The Carer #51 November/December 2020

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Issue 51

Home Secretary Rejects Call to Include Senior Care Workers in “Shortage Occupations List”

The Home Office has rejected its own migration advisers’ recommendations to make it easier for care sector providers to employ staff from abroad under its postBrexit immigration system. The new points-based system which takes effect from January 1, 2021 will include a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor, however, the jobs offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level), applicants will also need to be able to speak English and be paid the relevant salary threshold by your sponsor. This will either be the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher. Any workers who earn less than this, but not less than £20,480 may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against salary.

Senior care workers represent about 10% of the UK social care workforce, and sector leaders have raised concerns that the Government's decision will add to the current staffing crisis. In September the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended that senior care workers and registered managers should be placed on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). However the government has said that it will not, at this point, accept the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s recommendation, which would have reduced obstacles to recruitment from overseas under the new points-based immigration system. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 3...)


VIEWPOINT I would first start by thanking our readers for the wonderful response we had to our “Unsung Hero” award (see page 7). We were overwhelmed with nominations that were truly heart-warming and inspiring! So much so that we have once again “added on a couple of extra prizes”. A small gesture on our part, but during the pandemic, we are thrilled to be able to put something back and reward dedicated and hard-working staff who go Editor that extra mile. We are just sorry we could not award you all! I hope I am wrong, but rather like the government’s disastrous decision to release patients back into care environments from hospitals, I do feel the government’s decision to not include senior care workers and registered managers on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) may prove to be another error of judgement. The sector had been raising concerns for several months, and we here at The CARER were copied into a letter sent to an MP by care provider Raj Saghal, managing director of Armscare Ltd. He said “Despite every report’s recommendations and the Social Care Sector’s cry for assistance, it is unbelievable that a Government in this day and age should ignore the advice and pleas given to it. It is a Human Rights travesty that our frail and vulnerable may be put at risk because providers up and down the country will suffer as a result of shortages in qualified caring staff.” The last line is particularly important. The government may be banking on a shift from those working in the hospitality sector to the care sector. The hospitality sector has been brought to its knees by the pandemic, with tens of thousands of jobs lost and maybe tens of thousands of more jobs likely to go in the future. I can understand the government’s rationale in wanting give preference to the UK labour market following our decision to leave the EU. However, workers entering the labour market will not be at the level of senior care workers and registered managers. Which is why the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) gave its recommendations for the exemption. I am puzzled (although I might be wrong) why the Government did not consider a temporary granting of an exemption. We have no idea impact Brexit is going to have. All we can do at this stage to speculate. But granting a temporary exemption of maybe 1 to 3 years would have brought a bit of stability and confidence to the sector. One of the great joys of my job particularly during these testing times is, as I’ve said before, reporting some of the wonderful uplifting and heart-warming stories we receive from nursing and residential care homes throughout the United Kingdom. They are a joy to read and a joy to share. This time of the year is always particularly uplifting. When we report stories about care home residents and their experiences during World War II. From frontline soldiers, Normandy veterans, Spitfire pilots, land girls, tank personnel translators we have been delighted to share those wonderful stories. Things will be a little different this year. Celebrations may be a little more subdued, so it is even more important that we here at THE CARER promote them as much as possible. We have one or two in this issue, and our next weekly digital issues are out on November 4 and November 11. Our social media is one of the highest (if not the highest) in care publishing, so please do send your stories our way - we are always thrilled to share them! I can always be contacted at

Peter Adams

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Home Secretary Rejects Call to Include Senior Care Workers in “Shortage Occupations List” (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) In a letter to MAC chair Professor Brian Bell, home secretary Priti Patel said the government would wait to assess the impact of Covid-19 on UK citizens’ employment prospects and that of the new immigration system on the labour market before revising it. The Home Secretary said :“Before making any changes to the SOLs, we believe it is right to pause and assess how the UK labour market develops and how quickly recovery is evidenced post-Covid 19 and in response to the introduction of the new points-based immigration system, in terms of overall numbers, understanding migrant and employer behaviours, and where incoming migrants go (both geographically and by sector),” wrote Patel, who stressed she was not closing the door on the MAC’s recommendations. The committee raised specific concerns about the impact of ending free movement on social care, saying government needed to increase funding to boost pay and tackle the sector’s chronically high turnover rates and significant vacancy numbers. In reply the Home Secretary said: “We also want employers to prioritise and invest in those people already in the UK, a point you recognise as being of vital importance in relation to the social care sector, upskilling our

current work force rather than automatically seeking to bring in the skills and talents we need from overseas.” In a letter to James Wilde, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk, Raj Saghal managing director of care provider Armscare Ltd expressed his concerns at the government’s decision. “I write to you to air my anger and frustration and would like to know on what basis the Government is making a decision of such magnitude if it is clearly failing to take up the advice of all recommendations to include Senior Care Workers on to the Shortage Occupation List. “Despite every report’s recommendations and the Social Care Sector’s cry for assistance, it is unbelievable that a Government in this day and age should ignore the advice and pleas given to it. It is a Human Rights travesty that our frail and vulnerable may be put at risk because providers up and down the country will suffer as a result of shortages in qualified caring staff.” “A Government which puts the needs of the NHS ahead of the Social Care sector only serves to send out a message which states that they are more concerned about immigration statistics over the needs of our elderly in care. How many of our elderly have the luxury of time to wait for this Government to procrastinate in its decision to help this sector to provide the staff needed to care for our elderly? There is not one single report

Government Urged to Hurry Up Care Home Visit Pilot Relatives desperate to visit their loved ones in care and nursing homes will be lucky to do so before Christmas unless the Government speeds up a new pilot scheme, care providers warned today. The Independent Care Group (ICG) welcomed the announcement of a pilot scheme to enable people to resume visiting homes, provided they had been tested for Covid-19. The ICG volunteered to provide care and nursing homes to take part in the scheme. But ICG Chair Mike Padgham says despite the announcement and the Group’s offer, nothing seems to be happening and time is moving on. “Relatives are desperate to see their loved ones again as for many it is months since they had any proper contact, which is devastating for everyone involved,” he said. “We were as pleased as anyone when the Government announced it was to introduce a pilot scheme to enable care and nursing home visiting to

begin again, but we just aren’t seeing any progress. “We wrote to the Department of Health and Social Care offering to be part of the pilot but have had no take up of that offer yet. “Unless progress is made soon and given that this is a pilot, it looks as though relatives will be lucky to see their loved ones by Christmas.” The ICG says the Government would want to run a pilot for a period of time and then decide whether to roll out visiting across all homes, all of which takes time. “Why does it have to be a pilot scheme?” Mr Padgham added. “We know what needs to be done: enable designated relatives to be regarded as keyworkers and have regular tests so that they can visit. “Our residents and their relatives have waited long enough. The mental health and happiness of residents is suffering – particularly those with dementia. Now that we have a solution, what is going on and why is it taking so long?”

which does not advocate the need to fill the 112,000 vacancies that exist at todays date.” The letter said Colin Angel, policy director at the United Kingdom Homecare Association, said the government’s decision was “extremely disappointing”. “Although the proposed expansion of the SOL would have had limited application for many social care employers, some would have found it extremely helpful in sourcing candidates from outside the UK for hard-tofill roles, including live-in homecare,” Angel said. He said the government has now “sent a clear message to employers that they must recruit from the domestic workforce”. “For local councils, who buy the majority of social care services, this highlights the importance of adequate fees which will enable their subcontractors to offer competitive terms and conditions of employment,” he added. Care England also expressed its disappointment with the decision.“Covid-19 has shone a spotlight on social care yet there is still a lack of recognition about the need for a short, medium and long-term strategy for recruitment and retention of care workers,” a spokesperson said. “This when combined with Covid-19 workforce issues has the potential to create a perfect storm for the adult social care sector.”


Caring for Care Workers: Managing the Mental Health of Vital Frontline Staff

By Jill Mead, CEO of TalkOut Group

Every industry has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to managing mental health and the care home industry is no different. Whilst it can be a very rewarding career, there’s no denying that care work is physically and emotionally demanding. And if workers aren’t given the right support, this can lead to increased stress, anxiety, depression and burn out. According to a report published by the National Association of Care and Support Workers, 81% of care staff feel their work has affected their mental health. On top of that, 79% of care staff said they have experienced or felt close to burn out. As well as having a duty of care towards employees, looking after the wellbeing of your workforce makes operational sense. A healthier workforce means a more engaged and productive workforce, which is good for any organisation.


Care work is a rewarding but often mentally challenging job. And with care homes having felt the damaging impact of Covid-19, it’s no surprise that care workers are feeling the effects on their mental health. In fact, according to a survey by the Institute for Public Policy Research, one in two health and social care workers across the UK feel their mental health has declined during the pandemic. Jill Mead, CEO of TalkOut Group, discusses what care home managers can do to help manage and spot the signs of poor mental health amongst workers and promote a healthier, happier workforce.

Clearly, more training needs to be given to managers to better equip them with the resources and confidence they need to respond in a positive and helpful way when a team member takes the step to open up about their mental health problems. Many employees are promoted to a managerial role because they’ve excelled at their job but too often, they aren’t given the formal training they need. If they don’t have experience of mental health, it’s unfair to expect managers to know how to deal with these complex issues when they arise in the workplace. It’s crucial that we train our managers to give them the skills to support, listen and empathise with those who are experiencing mental health issues, which in turn will encourage people to talk out.



Focus Must Be On Shaping a Health and Care System That Delivers Says CQC

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England looks at the quality of care over the past year. This includes the period before the full impact of COVID-19 began to be felt and CQC’s routine inspections were suspended as a result of the pandemic. Pre-COVID-19, care was generally good, but with little overall improvement and some specific areas of concern: • In the NHS, improvement in some areas, including emergency care, maternity and mental health, was slower than others. More than half of urgent and emergency care services were rated as requires improvement or inadequate as at 31 March 2020, while a quarter of maternity services were rated as requires improvement. • In mental health services, inspectors continued to find poor care in inpatient wards for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. The overall proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 4% to 13% – almost entirely based on deterioration in independent services, rather than NHS services. • The social care sector was fragile as a result of the lack of a long-term funding solution, and in need of investment and workforce planning. In March 2020, CQC’s Market Oversight report highlighted that, in the absence of mitigating action, any further shocks to the labour market would be expected to increase the existing level of market fragility, place more pressure on local authority finances and could increase unmet care needs. There have been short-term interventions since that point but the need for a longer-term funding plan has still not been addressed. • In primary medical services, the fact that the overall ratings picture remained almost unchanged, with 89% of GP practices rated good and 5% outstanding masked a more volatile picture, with some practices deteriorating and a similar number improving. Since the arrival of COVID-19, all these things remain true, but so much else has changed. In considering the health and care system’s initial response to the pandemic, in order to learn lessons for the future, there are elements to build on – and elements to reassess. The progress achieved in transforming the way care is delivered has been extraordinary. In a matter of days, services developed new procedures and ways of working, often taking advantage of

technology.Changes which were expected to take years – like the switch to more flexible GP consultations by phone and online – took place almost overnight. This report highlights many examples of collaboration among services which have made a real difference to people’s care. The challenge now will be to keep and develop the best aspects of these new ways of delivering services while making sure that no one is disadvantaged in the process. At the start of the pandemic, the focus on acute COVID-19 care was driven by the urgent imperative that the NHS should not be overwhelmed. Decisions were made in order to ensure capacity as quickly as possible – but now priorities need to be reset in a more sophisticated way to ensure that the longer-term response includes everyone, regardless of what kind of care they need, or where they receive it. This resetting of priorities starts with local leaders seizing the opportunity to collaborate and building capacity to respond together to the needs of their area. The fact that the impact of Covid has been felt more severely by those who were already more likely to have poorer health outcomes – including people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities and people living in more deprived areas – makes the need for health and care services to be designed around people’s needs all the more critical. Over the summer, CQC reviewed the way health, social care and other local services worked together in 11 parts of the country. There were differences in the way they responded to the pandemic but there was evidence that the places with established working relationships and an understanding of need in their local areas were better able to care for the local population in a time of crisis. The reviews have brought into focus the learning that needs to be used to help plan for a longer-term response to the virus. It is essential that the right support is available for all parts of a local health and social care system to drive improvements where they are needed, and to involve voluntary and community organisations in promoting health and wellbeing. In social care, COVID-19 has not only exposed but exacerbated existing problems. The sector, already fragile, faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing – and coordinated support was less readily available than for the NHS. The long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care has been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic. Today’s report makes clear that these issues need to be urgently addressed – underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation. In the NHS, emergency departments now face the prospect of a winter which combines pre-existing pressures with the urgent demands of the pandemic. As other services restart, physical distancing will provide significant challenges, both logistically and in terms of managing capacity, alongside a backlog of people who were unable to access care during lockdown. The impact of COVID-19 on the NHS in terms of elective, diagnostic and screening work has been enormous. Some life-changing operations have

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Organisation leaders must take responsibility of ensuring they have a work environment where people can talk about mental health in the same way they talk about physical health. It’s important that all organisations – no matter what industry they operate in – create confidential and safe places where employees can go to talk through their concerns. If we’re going to make any progress, there needs to be an understanding and acknowledgement that people with mental health issues can often thrive at work with the right support. Build awareness and conversation For us to breakdown the stigma that exists around mental health, we need to talk about it more to raise awareness and normalise what people might be going through. Whether it’s internal communication on emails or the company’s intranet, posters and flyers around the building, regular one-to-ones, or wellbeing surveys, organisations should constantly be talking about mental health and reminding staff why it’s vital to talk out.

LEADERSHIP Let’s not underestimate leadership behaviours and the impact they can have on a team member’s mental health. More training is needed to help leaders understand how they can influence mental health through their words and actions. As well as the workday pressures that we all experience, work-related stress and anxiety can be fuelled by bullying, harassment, and even a lack of managerial support. Negative leadership behaviour will often have a ripple effect throughout an organisation, creating a culture of fear which will only serve to stop people talking about how they feel in work. Leaders are role models and in order for a mentally healthy culture of openness and trust to exist, this has to be demonstrated at the highest levels in the organisation. still not been rescheduled and there are people whose cancer has not been diagnosed or treated. As we enter a second wave, there must be learning to ensure that non-COVID-19 patients are not left behind. The NHS is already working hard to develop innovative solutions –collaborative partnerships between providers could help to protect services so people get the care they need. It will also be particularly important that those services where improvement was already not quick enough – for example mental health and maternity – do not fall further behind. Concerns about these service areas have led to risk-based inspections during the pandemic with enforcement action taken as a result. With the recognition that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed so much, it is important to recognise what has not changed. Problems that existed before the pandemic have not gone away – and people are still more likely to receive poorer care from some types of services for reasons that pre-date COVID-19. CQC will maintain scrutiny on these services, supporting improvement and taking action to protect people where necessary – and will continue to highlight factors, including commissioning and staffing, which impact on care but cannot be resolved at provider level alone and demand a national response. Alongside this, CQC will also carry out targeted programmes of work specifically focused on building resilience across the health and care system as it continues to respond to COVID-19, and look for opportunities to actively support providers who are trying new ways to improve people’s care. Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said: “Pre-Covid, the health and care system was often characterised as resistant to change. Covid has demonstrated that this is not the case. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum of transformation, but to do so in a sustainable way that delivers for everyone – driven by local leadership with a shared vision and supported by integrated funding for health and care. “There is an opportunity now for Government, Parliament and health and care leaders to agree and lay out a vision for the future at both a national and local level. Key to this will be tackling longstanding issues in adult social care around funding and operational support, underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce. This needs to happen now – not at some point in the future. “Covid is magnifying inequalities across the health and care system – a seismic upheaval which has disproportionately affected some more than others and risks turning fault lines into chasms. As we adjust to a Covid age, the focus must be on shaping a fairer health and care system – both for people who use services, and for those who work in them.” Peter Wyman, Chair of CQC, said: “Previous State of Care reports have highlighted areas of significant concern about, and opportunities to improve, the quality of health and social care provision. This report is no different in this respect – the areas we were concerned about before the pandemic remain areas of concern today. “What the response to Covid has demonstrated is how better joined up system working can improve both the quality of care and people’s experience of it. The increased pressures that the pandemic has placed on health and social care make it more crucial than ever to seize the opportunities available to rethink the delivery of care – or risk poorer care for some of the most vulnerable, and more patients left behind as a result of the pandemic. “The pace of change also makes it more important than ever that there is a safety culture across health and social care where staff, patients and their families feel able to speak up openly about what has worked and what has not, and that learning is then shared and acted on.”

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Urgent reform of the way the country cares for older and vulnerable people is vital if it is to cope with the second wave of coronavirus and an uncertain future, care providers warned today. The Independent Care Group (ICG) called on the Government to provide urgent, emergency short-term support to care providers before the second wave impacts further upon the sector. It is also calling for longer-term root and branch reform of the sector to tackle a staffing crisis, increasing home closures and a rising number of people going without care. The calls come after latest figures today showed another increase in deaths from coronavirus in care and nursing homes across England and Wales. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “The figures are creeping up and we must not forget, these are people’s loved ones – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, a brother or sister. We have to have better financial support to care and nursing homes now and fundamental reform of the sector for the future.” Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of Covid-19 deaths in care and nursing homes across England and Wales at 46 for the week ending 2nd October. That is up from 38. 31, 27, 17 and 23 for the previous weeks. It means 15,646 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes from 28th December to 2nd October. Mr Padgham added: “We are seeing evidence now of homes closing at a critical time when Covid-19 deaths in homes are rising. “Sara Livadeas, CEO of the Freemantle Trust, is worried that the Government is just going to sit around whilst more and more care homes

close. She was reacting to news of the closure of St Martin’s Care Home in Old Swan, Liverpool.” “We have warned all along that the financial implications of coping with coronavirus would be the final straw for a sector that is already in crisis. The Government must act urgently or there will not be enough homes to cope with the second wave. “We have to get more people into the sector to address the staffing crisis social care has, with 100,000 vacancies on any one day. The only way to do that is to pay social care staff better for the amazing job they do, not just during coronavirus but all the time. “Before coronavirus we knew there were at least 1.5m people living in this country without the care they need. With coronavirus, heaven knows what that figure is now. “Under-funded and neglected by government after government, coronavirus exposed a social care system that was already in crisis and plunged it into further despair.”


“There is huge confusion and uncertainty over visiting,” Mr Padgham added. “Yesterday’s announcement of new restrictions in many ways added to the confusion. We have huge disparities of infection rate between different towns and cities which are placed in the same risk category. Some local authorities are saying it is okay for homes to allow visiting whilst others are advising against. In all cases it is only guidance, which puts the final decision on registered managers. It shouldn’t be left to managers, who are already under severe pressure, to take this decision – we have to have a clear instruction from the Government, as they have with the six people limit, for example.” The ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • A guarantee that people receiving publicly-funded care can receive it in their own home or close to where they live • A commissioner for older people and those with Learning Disabilities in

England • A properly-costed national rate for care fees linked to a national career pathway and salary framework for care staff • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • A cap on social care costs, including ‘hotel’ charges • Local Enterprise Partnerships to prioritise social care • A national scheme to ensure people save for their own care, as they do for a pension • A new model of social care delivery based on catchment areas – like GPs • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT • CQC to have much greater powers to oversee all commissioning practises such as per minute billing and 15-minute visits • Less duplication of inspection between CQC and local authorities/CCGs • Greater recognition of the role of the independent sector and utilisation of its expertise in the commissioning and delivery of social care • Guaranteed equal partnership working through seats on Health and Well Being Boards, CCGs and NHS • Giving providers and CQC greater flexibility in delivering services • Providing telemedicine incentives • Allowing nurses and social care staff from overseas to work in the U.K. including lowering the salary cap • Training and bursaries to encourage recruitment/end the shortage of nurses • Long term measures to integrate older and younger people in care settings and change the perception of the generations • Investment in research and development into new models of social care delivery • Funding to help upgrade older care homes to maintain a range of choice for the public and investment in domiciliary care • Funding for leadership training.

Residents at Magnolia Court Enjoying New Life Enrichment Opportunities The fun and laughter has continued at Magnolia Court care home, in Hampstead as residents recently enjoyed trying a gardening session, Halloween Arts and crafts, sharing letters with local schools and staff dressing up in the Halloween theme. Residents at Magnolia Court have enjoyed our engaging activities programmes consisting of Halloween Baking, virtual music sessions and even filmed their own dance routine for ‘SilverAge’. Residents here take part in regular exercise sessions arranged by the homes’ activities team for residents within the home and local community groups. The activities coordinators Mimi and Tammie support the personal interests of residents so they can continue with their individual hobbies in an effort to celebrate life as often as we can. All group and individual activities offer a choice of mental, physical and spiritual activities of people we care for. Residents have taken part in new hobbies, baking and pumpkin Carving and kept in touch with their pen pals in the local schools. This

type of activity is meaningful to residents, and provides social engagement, as creates a lot of fun within the home. Octavian Stanciu, General Manager at Magnolia Court Care Home said: “Ensuring residents feel engaged and connected within our homes is more important than ever. Our residents have really enjoyed getting creative for ‘Southbank arts centre exhibition’ and preparing an autumn inspired window frame with leaves from the garden which will displayed in there centre. We provide a wide range of activities at Magnolia Court as part of the life enrichment programme for residents, and this one was very popular! Our varied activities programme allows us to provide stimulation of the mind, body and soul for residents in group activities, as well as oneto-one. We have also adapted ways to keep residents active, whilst ensuring that the group activities are smaller, adhering to current government social distancing advice”


Visiting in Care Homes: Where Now?

With COVID-19 cases now on the rise across the country this joint blog by Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the National Care Forum and Caroline Abrahams Charity Director at Age UK explains why visiting in care homes can and should continue to be the default.


To deprive people living in care homes of the stimulation and unprecedented pleasure that ‘visiting’ bring creates significant risks, Social care is a holistic service – it is concerned with people’s mental and physical health alongside their spiritual and emotional wellbeing – we lose sense of the balance of all these elements at our peril. The impact of taking visitors away from people on a prolonged basis has been closely observed all over the country, with people and organisations commenting on the raw reality of residents going downhill fast, giving up hope and ultimately dying sooner than would otherwise be the case. This is why it matters so very much and why we should think very hard indeed before intervening in a way that severs these connections. The impact of the Social Care Covid-19 winter plan and of rising cases That is not to say that any visit can be taken lightly at this time but the Social Care Covid 19 winter plan, launched by DHSC on Friday 18 September, while not outright banning visiting, gets awfully close to it. The plan outlines measures already in place which have created a blanket lockdown of those care homes in ‘areas of intervention’, which on the last count amounted to a geography covering nearly 20% of all care homes in England. This means that residents and their immediate families, amounting to approximately 300,000 people, a population equivalent to Brighton and larger than Newcastle on Tyne, have been effectively split apart from their loved ones without warning, and without consultation. With a blanket ban meaning no visits can take place – no garden visits, window visits or visits inside the home. This is to say nothing of the many more hundreds of thousands of people impacted by homes being in localised lockdowns through the decision of their Director of Public Health, as a result of being in areas which are on a PHE watchlist.


Of course, it is completely understandable that policymakers want to take every precaution they can when it comes to care homes, given the catastrophic suffering and loss of life earlier in the pandemic and now with the emergence of a ‘second wave’. Declaring a ‘no visiting’ blanket ban, or

near ban, may seem to them like the right thing to do against this context – but we seriously question whether it really is, and for a number of important reasons. Firstly, care homes and residents are all different whereas a blanket ban inappropriately treats everywhere and everyone the same. Surely, with this as with everything the appropriate way to proceed is by assessing the risk for places and people on an individual basis. Secondly, it seems perverse, to say the least, for official guidance to say that in certain circumstances a person can be discharged from hospital into a care home without a test showing they are COVID-19 negative, yet carefully managed visits by loved ones should cease. This makes no sense at all. Thirdly, we are not aware of any evidence showing that ‘visits’, if carefully managed, have been a significant risk in spreading the infection so far. On the contrary, our understanding is that the evidence points more towards people who come in and out of a care home inevitably being rather more of an ongoing risk, whether they are staff or visiting GPs and District Nurses, or indeed CQC inspectors. Unless these incomers are housed on site they live in communities like the rest of us and so are as vulnerable to picking up the infection as we all are. Finally, the risk of visiting contributing to spreading the infection is not the only risk that has to be managed here, though it’s the one we have the metrics to count. The other risk, which is very significant for many older people living in care homes, is that their physical and mental health significantly declines as a result of a prolonged lack of connection with those who mean most to them. It is this very delicate balancing act that homes, in partnership with relatives, have been negotiating in recent months. It is a very human balancing act that centres around people and their needs, and the risks for those living and working within a care home and relatives and friends too. Everyone has their part to play in making this a success: homes need to communicate transparently and often, sharing their thinking and measures to minimise risk as the situation changes; relatives need to ensure they are working with the home to facilitate these mitigations; and everyone needs to keep the focus on what really matters here – the safety and the welfare of the person living in the home. A polarised debate helps no one. The public conversation about this is not helped by the term ‘visiting, which somehow fails to capture what many relatives and friends often do for people in care homes to supplement the care available from staff. It is not unusual, for example, for the partner of a resident with dementia to spend many hours with them, helping them very slowly to eat and drink sufficiently. As the most familiar and cherished people in their lives relatives and friends also play a big part in giving residents reasons to stay cheerful. They are also often able to communicate effectively with a person who has dementia or another form of cognitive decline in a way which even the most highly skilled staff cannot manage – love makes all the difference. Finally, for older people with dementia we understand there is clear evidence that connection helps to slow down the progress of the disease, whereas its absence helps to accelerate it. The very hard reality for all us to contemplate is that for many care home residents, they don’t have time for us to get this absolutely right and therefore it is about balance – like every decision we have to take with and for them. However, let us not let this be portrayed as a Faustian pact – it should be a shared endeavour amongst us all to support people to live the best possible life, one we undertake knowingly, and with the best intentions at heart.



What do we need to tip the balance so visiting can continue to be recognised as the default position at this difficult time? • Testing is fundamental in terms of management of the virus – getting it right sits in the lap of the Government. To stop visiting because testing capacity or capability is not sufficient is not good enough. Ideally we would have rapid saliva testing for all visitors, including friends and relatives, visiting health professionals and CQC inspectors. • Designating one person per resident as a ‘special visitor’ would help – as in the partner of the person with dementia in the example above. They should be eligible for regular testing, PPE and training alongside the care home staff, to help facilitate their ability to keep coming in. • Public liability indemnity for care home providers – One of the very real pressures impacting organisations which run homes is the ever tightening insurance market. Government can and should address it. It has offered indemnity to the NHS, it needs to do the same for the care sector. • Making permanent investments in the built environment to minimise risks in visiting. It is clear COVID-19 is not going away quickly and there could be other infections in future to worry about too. Let’s make the investments now in securing functional space inside buildings that makes visitors and the visited as safe as possible. There are hundreds of creative schemes being enacted across the country – let’s ‘ramp’ this up with, if necessary, some targeted capital investment, so every home has a space they can use to keep people safely connected. • Shifting the dial on the metrics – We have a much better dataset around the spread of infection and what is happening in real time in homes but are less well served by wellbeing metrics for those living within care settings. We need to harness the power of those working with electronic care planning systems to develop these and roll them out. • Doing everything we can to enable safe visiting in care homes is a cause that the entire health and care sector should rally around, including CQC, local authorities, and health and care staff too. Health practitioners, particularly those with a specialism in mental health and wellbeing, understand only too well how important connections with family and friends are and we need them to demand that we find a way to nurture both people’s mental as well as physical health at this difficult time.


Here’s a real life story to finish with. One of us had a conversation recently with a friend who visits his Mum in a care home every week. She is there because of a major stroke. She sometimes struggles to speak and is seriously physically disabled but she has full mental capacity. She has a garden room in her care home and so when her son visits she sits inside and he sits outside, the appropriate distance apart. They both wear masks, which they laugh about sometimes. The only risk here, he says, is that he gets a chill from sitting outside – there is virtually no risk of passing on any infections either way. Are we really saying that even this visit should now stop? If living in a pandemic is ‘the new normal’ then we need a paradigm shift in our thinking now. For many the decisions that are taken about visiting are life changing, and potentially life limiting. None of this is easy – but nothing that mattered ever was. Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK


Say Hello to the Carer’s Latest Unsung Hero… We here at the CARER are thrilled to announce that Tracey James of Oaktree Court Care Home, Wellington Somerset, is THE CARER Unsung Hero!

Tracey is head of gardening at Oaktree Court which boasts over 9 acres! Over the years Tracy, whose nickname is “Flower” has become an integral part of the Oaktree Court team, however when the pandemic broke which led to restricted visitations and brought a temporary halt to resident outings, Tracy stepped up with the creation of dedicated flower gardens and a “veggie-village” tended by residents from the home, dubbed “Oaktree gardening Group”. This gave the opportunity for residents to enjoy the pleasures gardening brings, and the opportunity for socially distanced visits from family, helping unite families with their loved ones in these very difficult times. The project also helped give the residents, who were clearly feeling the impact of isolation, a new sense of purpose. Tracey also drew on the local community who supplied raised beds “made from old tanks” in the garden and veggie village, to help involve residents in wheelchairs. When the pandemic first broke there were concerns that not only supplies of PPE may be affected but also groceries, and the veggie village has proved to be an invaluable source of fresh produce to the home! Residents have already had many great days harvesting homegrown organic vegetables. When lock down commenced this year, Oaktree Court’s Care Home Manager Marie asked Tracey to 'go large' on the vegetable production with the aim of providing as much organically home-grown fresh produce as possible in case of shortages from outside suppliers. A lot of this information for growing organic vegetables came from the residents directly, many of whom had their own vegetable gardens and allotments in the past and were more than happy to share their experience and knowledge. Tracey and the resident team went into mass seed germination in the greenhouse. Fast forward and they now have everything from sprouts, kale, cabbage, carrots and runner beans to lettuce, tomatoes spring onions and cucumbers on the go. The team are very popular with the chef and even more so with the residents getting to sample the delicious foods produced. Anything and everything has been used as a place to grow produce - from plastic bins to old water tanks. Tracey has attempted to grow first early potatoes in used compost bags which she hopes will succeed! Marie George, Care Home Manager at Oaktree Court said: ‘’I am absolutely delighted that Tracey has been recognised for all her hard work in our grounds at Oaktree Court. “We have 9 acres of land, including woodland and a meadow and Tracey has done an amazing job at making them look beautiful throughout the whole year.” “Every time I discuss a project with her or ask her to do something, she not only meets what I’ve asked but surpasses it.” “At the beginning of the pandemic I asked her to create an area to grow our own fruit and vegetables to use in the home and where the residents could assist her. She developed raised beds that residents

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can tend and pick the produce and an allotment with an array of delicious home grown vegetables.” “The colours of her veg and lettuces are vibrant and have been outstanding quality. In liaison with our chefs she has produced what they have asked and the residents have helped to pick such things as Kale, Onions, cabbages, tomatoes, lettuces, runner beans, marrows, pumpkins and other root veg.” “We are very proud of her in the home and her passion in her work is unquestionable.’’ A delighted Tracey said ‘’ I came to Oaktree Court nearly three years ago as a complete novice. During that time I have shared my passion for plants with staff and residents by creating new flower gardens and developing our popular Veggie Village. The joy I see when a resident smells a rose, picks the runner beans or just dozes in the sunshine surrounded by flowers takes my time here beyond 'a job'. Sharon Suzette Chef at Oaktree Court ‘’It is fantastic to have fresh vegetables from the garden to cook for our lovely residents here at Oaktree Court. Tracy has provided us with a delightful selection of home grown produce over the past few months which really makes the difference to us chefs and what the residents. It is appreciated by all.” Worthy winner Tracey can now look forward to a wonderful two-night break for two in a selection of luxury hotels throughout the UK! When we started the award back in 2015 we just had one outright winner, however as it became more difficult to pick an overall winner we added two runner-up prizes! And, we are delighted to say that Dorcas Mukuzwazwa, a deputy manager at Sunrise House Beaconsfield, and Bernie Richardson who is a Carer at Blackwood Care Home Cornwall Care are our two “official” runners-up and £50 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way to them both. Since picking winners and runners-up was the most difficult of tasks, after sitting round the table of hours, finding it virtually impossible, we decided to add an extra 5 “unofficial runner ups”! Just a small gesture on our part to show some appreciation not only to the nominees but to those people who took the time to nominate them. We are very proud to be involved in such a vital and dedicated industry and are 4 extra runner ups were: Kay Byrne- a Healthcare assistant Bury Hospice Bury Stacey Allen - Housekeeper - Royley House Care Oldham Sara Morrissey - Healthcare assistant Withen’s Nursing Home Kent Ricky Eagle -Handyman Ashill Lodge Thetford Susan Shaw - Head Cook Woodside Grange Care Home Stockton-on-Tees A £25 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way to each Well done to you all!!! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response, it may sound tired old cliché but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody! Watch out for further details of our next “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury break for two people in the choice of hotels throughout the UK!

• Ladies & Men’s Daywear and Nightwear • Open Back & Front Fastening Clothing • Ideal for Arthritis, Stroke, Parkinson, Incontinence and Dementia Patients

Social Care Needs to Fill More Than 100,000 Vacancies The adult social care sector in England still needs to fill around 112,000 job vacancies on any given day according to a new report. Using data provided by employers to the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) the annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report from Skills for Care reveals that there had been a slight reduction in job vacancies, but employers still needed to find thousands of new workers. “Any reduction in the number of vacancies is welcome, but we need to attract more new recruits who have the right values to fill posts that offer long term careers where you can make a difference in people’s lives every single day,” says Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth. Welcoming the report Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, said: “We cannot thank our care workers enough. They have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to give compassionate care to our loved ones. No one should underestimate the skills and commitment of care workers. “I welcome this report giving us more insight into our social care workforce. It underlines the challenge for social care employers to recruit and retain staff - and the importance of investing in training and career opportunities. “Recognising the recruitment challenge we have run a national recruitment campaign highlighting the important work care workers do and launched the ‘Join Social Care’ online recruitment tool. We’re also working with DWP to promote adult social care careers to jobseekers. “We are supporting care providers through the pandemic with the costs of pay for staff required to self-isolate and so no care worker

should lose income as a result of the requirement to only work in one location, with the £1.1 billion infection control fund. As we come through the pandemic I want to see ever more appreciation of the care workers we rely on to look after the most vulnerable in our society.” Concerns however, have been repeatedly raised about staff shortages because of the Government’s immigration strategy, with some of the industry’s leaders comparing the government’s policy on immigration to “human rights abuse” perpetrated on “some of the nation’s most vulnerable people”. The UK will adopt a points-based immigration system from 1 January 2021, however, despite calls from sector leaders care workers have not been listed as an eligible occupation on the ‘Skilled Workers’ route, and will not be able to immigrate into the UK to take up these roles from the start of next year. Raj Sehgal, who sits on the board of the National Care Association, has called on the Government to include senior carers on its Shortage Occupation List (SOL) to help fill the 112,000 vacancies for care home staff. He is also demanding the Government recognises care home workers as skilled staff, and back the industry with cash for training and wages. “The sector already has a huge staff shortage and from the 1 January it will just get worse unless the Government adds senior care workers to SOL,” said Mr Sehgal. Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Social care makes an incredibly valuable contribution in supporting people to live the lives they want to

lead, as well to wider society and the economy, which this report shows. This has been highlighted even further by the immense efforts of the care workforce during the pandemic. “Despite the extraordinary endeavours of all those who work in this skilled profession, we still face a huge recruitment and retention crisis in social care, with more than 100,000 vacancies available on any given day and extremely high turnover rates. Urgent action is needed for the care workforce including on pay, professionalisation, skills and training. We look forward to working with Skills for Care to help address this. “The upcoming Spending Review must provide councils with the extra funding they need to help shore up social care ahead of winter and get through the second wave of Covid-19, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.” Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Social Care, responded: “Care staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our loved ones are properly looked after during this pandemic. But even before the virus stuck, social care services were stretched to breaking point with high turnover and vacancy rates and staff that are all too often undervalued and underpaid. “Unless Ministers take urgent action, these problems will only get worse. We need a long term plan for the care workforce as part of wider reforms to fix the crisis in social care – something the Prime Minister has promised time and time again, but so far completely failed to deliver.”


Protecting Future of the Care Sector Michelle Penn, partner at law firm BLM, analyses the current state of the care sector and whether it is in a viable position to survive the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. It is no secret that care homes have been badly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, 14,355 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in care homes between 10 April to 2 October 2020 in England alone. Accordingly, media coverage into the treatment of care homes by the Government during Covid-19 has been widespread and less than favourable. BBC Panorama episode The Forgotten Frontline highlighted the struggles that care homes faced in protecting vulnerable residents at the height of the pandemic, bringing about serious questions on the Government’s approach to care homes. But what about the all-important Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) response? As an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, with a self-declared purpose to “make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care”, it holds the register of care providers and ensures they meet clear legal requirements through monitoring, inspecting and rating services. Legally, care providers must pay significant annual fees to the CQC for these services, with the 2019/20 ‘bands’ ranging from £313 to £15,710, dependent on the maximum number of residents that can be accommodated at each location – and care homes expect certain levels of protection in return. Should payment of these fees have been suspended during the period when levels of protection were also suspended?

WHAT KEY MEASURES HAS THE CQC TAKEN DURING THE CRISIS TO PROTECT CARE HOME BUSINESSES AND THEIR RESIDENTS? At various stages throughout the pandemic, the CQC made changes to its ways of working in order to cope with the crisis. Just as the crisis began to seriously impact the UK, on 16th March there was an immediate cessation of routine inspections to allow services to focus on more urgent safety matters and protect staff. However, registered service providers were assured that the CQC would use its intelligence and information to continue to take action when it was needed. During this extended period of cessation of inspections, the CQC were monitoring social care under its Emergency Support Framework (ESF), providing telephonic support to providers. During the period 2nd March to 31st May, the CQC confirmed it received a total of 2,612 calls as a result of adult social care staff raising concerns, an increase of 55% compared to the same period the year before. Of those 2,612 calls, 26% related to lack of PPE or other infection control products, 32% related to concerns about how infection control or social distancing was being practiced and 4% related to quality of care being impacted by Covid-19. Despite the high volume of calls and concerns raised, only 17 physical adult social care inspections were conducted 17th March – 17th June, with the CQC stating they had followed up most of these complaints via telephone or by escalating to local authorities. This called into question whether the CQC was appropriately responding to the high volume of concerns being raised at the height of the national lockdown. It was not until the 17th June that the CQC announced a return of routine inspections, with inspections of ‘lower risk services’ resuming in the autumn and ‘higher risk services’ inspections set to take place over the summer. However, the inspection model has changed, as announced here by the CQC on 16 September. The transitional regulatory approach commenced on 6th October and allows the CQC to obtain information from multiple sources, including providers, service users, families and carers. This will allow ongoing monitoring against Key Lines of Enquiry. Where risk is deemed low, no further action will be taken. If higher, a targeted inspection will take place, focussed on areas of risk. Not all of the five key questions ordinarily reviewed or Key Lines of Enquiry will necessarily be covered. This will allow a focussed and adaptable inspection and may not lead to a change in rating. Other noteworthy changes enacted by the CQC include: • Change to notifications: care providers no longer need to notify the CQC about individual cases of coronavirus, only if it affects the day to day run-

ning of the business • Registrations digitised: must be submitted online instead of via post • Evolution of monitoring services via the launch of a new ‘transitional monitoring approach’ from 6th October across social care sectors In summary, the care regulator does not have plans to return to how it functioned pre-pandemic. It will not be returning to their fixed timetable, nor to its previous inspection processes or frequency of inspecting and publication of reports.

CASE IN POINT: EAST KENT HOSPITALS TRUST Following the resumption of inspections by the CQC, on 11th August the care regulator investigated the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, part of the East Kent Hospitals Trust. Investigating the emergency department and some medical wards, including Covid-19 wards, a series of Covid-19 practice failings were discovered. As summarised by a recent BBC article on the report, “staff did not always wear PPE or face coverings correctly” and that “at least seven members of staff were seen entering and leaving the ward caring for people who were suspected of having Covid-19 without adhering to hand hygiene practices”. Staff also reportedly did not always have access to hand gel or hand washing facilities. This led to the issuing of a Section 31 order against the Trust, meaning that going forward, the Trust must undergo closer monitoring and weekly reporting over its infection control measures. The alarming nature of this report highlights the importance of the CQC’s inspections for identifying Covid-19 practice breaches and failings across all the sectors it regulates. As a result, its findings will no doubt cause further concern around the CQC’s decision to suspend inspections at time when the regulator arguably needs to be taking more action to ensure its registrants are complying with the proper regulations and guidance. Once the CQC inspection programme resumes in full, it will be revealing to see the volume of further failings that are uncovered and how long they have been allowed to happen.

HAVE SOME CARE PROVIDERS TURNED AGAINST THE CQC SINCE THE PANDEMIC STARTED? The Government has come under the most fire with respect to their approach to care homes during the pandemic, however the CQC’s response has also been put under the spotlight, particularly throughout May. On 4th May, an open letter was sent by legal firm Leigh Day on behalf of 11 organisations which support older people, threatening legal action against the CQC and raising concerns that by suspending inspections, the regulator was breaking human rights and equalities law, via breach of its statutory duties under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. On top of that, the Relatives and Residents’ Association wrote an open letter to the CQC on 22nd May, expressing its disappointment at the role played by the CQC during the pandemic and accused it of failing to protect care homes. In addition, the Association raised concerns about the regulators failure to “represent the voice and needs of the sector for PPE, testing and tracing, and other much needed resources”, as well as failing to report the true death toll to ministers. To add even further fuel to the fire, The Guardian then ran an article on behalf of families of the residents of care homes, calling for an urgent restart to statutory inspections. Such a strong backlash is demonstrative of the feelings of abandonment from the CQC by relatives of care residents and care providers themselves. The CQC were not the only body to receive criticism, as influential figures in the sector such as the National Care Association executive chairman went after the government strategy to protect an overwhelming of the NHS – saying care homes were “left completely abandoned”. It has brought about questions of faith in the CQC from the care industry, and there is a definite cause for concern that the care regulator will come under even more serious scrutiny in due course. Many in the sector felt that – at the very least – payment of fees should have been suspended whilst inspections were no longer taking place.


To put the CQC’s approach to the crisis in context, it is worthy of comparison with the reaction of care regulators in Scotland and Wales. The Scottish independent care regulator, Care Inspectorate, announced on 13th March that it would cease inspections but promised a significant increase to level of contact with care homes. Unlike the CQC, payment of registration fees was suspended, and service providers were no longer required to pay balance of fees due for the 2019/20 financial year until July 2020. Inspections have now also resumed where risk is high, with a new ‘key

question’ for care home inspections added, focusing on infection prevention/control, PPE, staffing and wellbeing. On 8th October, a letter from the regulator also confirmed that a significant number of inspections had been carried out over the preceding months. In Wales, where the designated care regulator is Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), inspections were similarly suspended on 16th March. It was not until 31st July that CIW moved into its ‘recovery phase’, confirming it would be returning to its full inspection program. As a substitute, the care regulator plans to undertake virtual on-site inspections to protect the wellbeing of residents. The CIW is working towards being more risk-based, responsive and intelligence-led, by seeking feedback and having close direct contact with services.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT BIGGEST THREATS TO CARE? Following a spike in cases and renewed lockdown restrictions, the sector is now considering how it can manage the impact of what appears to be a second wave. To date, public perception has been largely supportive of the care sector and how they coped with the height of the pandemic, generally passing blame for failings onto the government and regulatory bodies. That could very well change with a second wave, and in turn may encourage both Employers’ Liability and Public Liability Claims. Family members who have so far been supportive of the care sector but remain unable to visit their relatives in care may not be so patient this time around, and we could very well see a spike in Human Rights type claims against the sector, particularly as inquiries are ongoing into the use of ‘do not resuscitate’ orders in care settings at the height of the first lockdown. Another threat already having a considerable impact is the hike in insurance renewal costs, as care sector businesses are facing either huge increases in premiums and/or pandemic exclusion clauses for potential Public Liability claims. Consequently, this means care sector businesses are even more cautious about allowing visitors to see their relatives. Particularly for smaller businesses, this can present a serious threat to their business viability – insurance cover is crucial, as how can they survive if a Public Liability is made and they have no cover? Many will be looking to government intervention for support. The pandemic has already had a massive impact on the financial stability of the care sector, particularly with low occupancy, and these new problems make viability in the sector even more difficult for the majority of providers. How important will the promised government relief package prove to care homes, or does more need to be done? On 13th May, the Government announced an additional £600 million to support providers through a new adult social care infection control fund. To summarise, this is designed to provide:

• Additional PPE and care infection training for staff • Reduction in workforce movements, via subsidy of staff wages • Comprehensive testing for all residents and staff • Capacity to quarantine residents that require isolation • Additional NHS clinical support via primary and community support • National recruitment campaign, to attract a further 20,000 people into social care • Oversight and compliance by local authorities, to help implement care support plans • Extra funding to local authorities Only time will tell if this relief package will be enough. The care sector is a diverse one, that ranges from small privately-owned care homes, to large corporates, local authorities, charitable institutions and domiciliary care. Regardless, they have a shared task and responsibility: to care for the most vulnerable people in our society. Problems are still prevalent across the sector and the CQC has a responsibility to ensure all care providers can work competently towards that shared goal. Whilst inspections are now resuming, albeit in a different form, basic mistakes are being made. At the time of writing, inspectors are still not being tested for Covid-19 prior to inspections, despite the primary traced source of infections being care sector staff members that attend multiple care settings. Considering its failures and conduct throughout the pandemic, the future of the CQC must surely be in question. It will be interesting to see whether it is reinvented in a similar manner to Public Health England (PHE). There are many threats to the future of care, and we will feel the impact of the pandemic on the care sector for many years to come, as we look to protect the future of care and the most vulnerable in our society.

Record £200,000 of PPE Training Donated to Healthcare Workers

Ilkley-based High Speed Training has announced it has provided more than £200,000 of PPE training free of charge to social care and frontline staff during the pandemic, its biggest ever charitable donation. The new ‘PPE Training for Healthcare Workers’ course launched earlier this year and received almost 1,500 advance sign-ups ahead of going live. It is designed to build on existing knowledge of PPE among health and social care workers, and provided immediate support to vol-

unteers including retired NHS workers that came forward to scale up the workforce. In recognition of High Speed Training’s commitment to the health and social care sector and following the milestone donation to support workers in the fight against COVID-19, social care education charity Skills for Care has endorsed the company as a recommended online training provider. Dan Jordan, CEO, at High Speed Training said: “We would like to share our thanks with all the frontline staff that have been the driving force in the fight against COVID-19. The past few months have been an incredibly challenging time for all those with a responsibility to provide care, and our course was designed to help those people to feel confident in their use of PPE so that they could get on with the task at hand. We are delighted to have been able to help in this small way as part of the nation’s response to the pandemic. We are also proud to be recognised as a Skills for Care endorsed training provider, a trusted quality mark only awarded to the best learning and development providers

within the social care sector.” Lori Barber-Field, Project Manager at social care education charity Skills for Care, said: “In recognition of High Speed Training’s commitment to learning and development for the social care sector, Skills for Care has awarded the company endorsement.” For more information and guidance related to COVID-19, simply visit


Relatives of Care Home Residents to be Treated as Key Workers Relatives of care homes residents could be treated as ‘essential workers’ and given regular tests to allow them to visit their loved ones more often, as part of a pilot scheme expected to will be launched in the near future. The new guidelines will see 30-minute visits extended to four hours and outdoor visits can be extended to include up to six visitors from no more than two households, including children and young people, for up to one hour per visit. Care Minister Helen Whately told the joint Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee she wants to facilitate visiting “but it must be safe”. Campaigners have been calling for a chosen relative to be given key worker status and regularly tested to make visits safer, amid concerns that isolation from loved ones is causing residents. In England the government’s winter plan for Covid-19 currently recommends that visits to care homes are limited, however charity Age UK has warned that some residents in care and nursing environments are dying “of sadness” because they have been cut off from the people they love for long periods of time. Ms Whately told MPs a new pilot scheme would examine to see if family members can be treated like key workers, including with regular tests, allowing them to enter homes more often. Asked about the proposals, which would apply to a named relative, Ms Whately said: “I am planning for us to launch a pilot on that shortly. I can't give you a date, but what I can say is we're moving forward with it and we are going to pilot it.” Ms Whately added: “Visiting is incredibly important for residents and their families and care homes. I really want us to enable visiting but it must be safe. “I think you do have to recognise that should a visitor take Covid, they are not just endangering the individual they're visiting but actually it's very hard to control Covid within a residential setting.” Ms Whatley did however reject a similar call for residents to be able to make their own decisions about visits, saying “It's not as simple as just a sort of agreement between resident and visitor,” She also told MPs that under the winter plan, staff can now only work in one care home, in an attempt to curb the spread of infections.

She told the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees the new rules were now "mandated" and no longer simply guidance. Welcoming the move Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the National Care Forum says: “NCF, alongside a wide range of partners, have been calling for this since June. It has been highlighted in sector wide Visitor Protocols and members have been exploring how this can work in practice for some time. Research from the UK (LESS COVID: Learning by Experience and Supporting the Care Home Sector during the COVID-19 pandemic) and other countries (The impact of COVID-19 measures on well-being of older long-term care facility residents in the Netherlands, J Am Med Dir Assoc, 2020) has shown just how important it is for people’s health and wellbeing to enable visits. “The government must act quickly to move us to a place where this pilot comes into play, and we move to a situation across the country where the default assumption is that meaningful and regular visiting is a clear part of every residents care. For many, the decisions that are taken about visiting are life changing, and potentially life limiting. None of this is easy – but nothing that mattered ever was.” Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Care home visitor restrictions, while intending to prevent the spread of coronavirus, have sadly had cruel and tragic consequences. We’ve heard daily about the grief and despair of families via our Dementia Connect support line. "People’s loved ones with dementia have felt bewildered, abandoned and in many tragic cases, faded away from the lack of personalised care, understanding and love that only family members can bring. That’s why we’re delighted that the Government has listened to Alzheimer’s Society and other dementia charities, and announced a pilot scheme granting family carers key worker status. But ‘soon’ isn’t enough for people losing their partners, mums, dads and grandparents – we need the ‘when’ and the ‘where’, plus plans for national rollout. Time is of the essence. “Keeping coronavirus out of care homes has to remain an absolute priority, so these key family carers must get the regular testing and PPE they need to visit safely. This will give people with dementia better care and quite simply enjoyment of life that’s an essential right, while keeping them safe during the winter.”

Captain Sir Tom Moore Inspires Care Home Residents with Charity Walk Care home residents have been raising funds for the fight against dementia with a sponsored charity walk. Fairmile Grange care home in Christchurch recently held a ‘Memory Walk’ in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, which has seen thousands take part in similar walks around the country this year. Putting their best foot forward for charity, residents and care teams have clocked up more than 130 laps of the garden area between them. Part of the inspiration came from the extraordinary fundraising achievements of Captain Sir Tom Moore earlier this year. Kim Butters, Wellbeing Manager at Encore Care Homes Fairmile Grange said: “The residents and team were moved and inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore doing his charity laps during the lockdown. We thought that we could do that here at Fairmile Grange, as we often walk residents around our

beautiful garden. Rather than just the care team walk for charity, we thought it’d be nice to get residents involved too. Our residents love to be outside and it’s a special time, having that one to one interaction of walking and talking. We’ve had a positive response from everyone and have launched a Just Giving page for friends and family to support us.” The money raised from the walk will go towards helping the estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. “It’s been was lovely thing to do and we all felt that we’ve contributed to something positive to help this worthy cause. It’s a very important charity to us and if we can play our part in helping future generations affected from this disease, then it’s a good thing to do. The residents will all get a medal, which gives a real sense of achievement, ” added Kim.

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5,000th Care Provider Chooses QCS Today Barnet Carers became the 5,000th organisation to join the QCS family. In recognition of the historic milestone, QCS rewarded the Finchley-based charity with a free subscription. In this exclusive case study, CEO Mike Rich, talks about the many complex social care challenges his organisation faces, how it is overcoming them and how a hybrid content system, which provides compliance, guidance and technology is proving transformative. How do unpaid carers keep up with regulation, while providing outstanding care to their loved ones? In the London borough of Barnet many rely on Barnet Carers, an independent charity based in Finchley, which provides information, emotional and practical support to many of the estimated 40,000 informal carers living in the borough. But with Covid creating an extra set of regulatory challenges, it was a question that Mike Rich, the CEO of Barnet Carers, had also been pondering. After conducting many hours of research, Mike found the answer. He has chosen to seek the help of Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), which many charities and care providers in the UK have come to rely on for their regulatory requirements, best practice content, and for their technology needs too.

BEST PRACTICE CONTENT IN GREAT DEMAND IN INFORMAL CARE SECTOR The charity, which has been delivering care in Finchley for over 30 years, is particularly reliant on best practice content – to supply both the informal and professional carers’ in the borough. In doing so, Barnet Carers provides unpaid carers and those they after with access to activities, counselling, training and outings. Mike, who has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years, says his staff “provide guidance, advice and emotional support” to carers as young as five years old. He explains, “Often the challenges are extremely complex and nuanced. From an emotional perspective, for instance, it’s often the children who worry constantly about their sick parents, when for most families it’s usually the mother or father that carries the burden. Depending on the severity of their parent’s illness or condition, the anxiety and stress that young carers experience often impacts on education and friendships. A large proportion of child carers are bullied and, most devastatingly, many, who also have to cook, clean and look after their siblings, miss out on their childhoods. Add a second lockdown to the mix and you have a perfect storm. At Barnet Carers, we’re doing everything in our power to not only help carers in these extremely difficult times, but to provide them with some of the opportunities that children from mainstream families take for granted every day.”

UNDERSTANDING YOUNG CARERS IS THE KEY TO REACHING THEM To ensure that his staff can provide the right advice and guidance, Mike has created a specialist team, who are wholly dedicated to working with young carers. The team provides mentoring, activities, support in schools, tutoring and a raft of other services, which also requires an in-depth understanding of compliance. Mike, explains the importance of compliance in an era of Covid, “To really be able to reach child carers, you have to understand the hurdles they face every day. You also need to do so through the prism of regulation. In this respect, QCS provides us with the regulatory building blocks that we need to do our job. How? Well, we know that when we feed in QCS policies, procedures or best practice content to our care plans, it will be up-to-date, meet regulation, and, most crucially, it will make a genuine difference to them.” In addition to providing support to informal carers, Barnet Carers’ also operates a domiciliary care service, which it established 30 years ago. The home care service, is run by fifty professional care workers, who provide care to 100 people across the borough, that is funded either privately, or by the local authority.

BEST PRACTICE CONTENT IS A GAME CHANGER FOR DOMICILIARY CARE Mike says, “Barnet Carers is well known locally for its home care service. We pride ourselves in providing high quality person-centred care. That means delivering a holistic package of care. Fulfilling service users’ basic care needs – such as ensuring they have the correct medication, preparing meals and helping them to toilet and to shower - is just the tip of the iceberg. Great care is when carers actively engage with service users on a personal level - listening to them, laughing with them and, most importantly, making them feel good about themselves.”

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL But how is QCS content making a difference to Mike and his team? Mike says that QCS has not only reduced the burden of regulation, but has made content much more accessible to care workers. In the long run, he thinks QCS will probably help to improve efficiency, which will mean that staff can spend more of their working day caring, and less time searching for policies, or updating them. He adds, “In terms of compliance tools, when we asked care staff what they needed most, the response was fairly unanimous. They wanted to be able to find policies and best practice content quickly, and they wanted the content to be easy to read and to understand. QCS ticks all the boxes.” However, as a CEO, it is the vast number of curated policy initiatives – 8,500 pages in all – that Mike feels will add real value to the quality of care that his frontline staff will be able to provide carers and service users in the future. “We’re a relatively small charity and simply don’t have the resources or the expertise to produce this kind of content. QCS’s guidance covers everything from infection, prevention and control and Dementia, to more arcane content such as helping carers care for people with osteoporosis. Now we have access to it, we can provide service users with an even higher standard of care. In the shadow of Covid, that’s both incredibly reassuring and exciting.” For further information on QCS, visit

Government Accused of Delaying Over Covid-19 Issues Care providers have accused the Government of endless delays over allowing visits to care homes and protecting social care against legal action on Covid-19 deaths. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the time for talking, planning, and promising was now over and care providers needed action as the second wave of coronavirus bites. The ICG is calling on the Government to find a way to enable care and nursing home residents to see their loved ones. Figures out today showed that 153 people died in care and nursing homes in England and Wales in the week ending 23rd October, an increase on the previous week’s total of 106. The ICG also wants the Government to indemnify care providers against legal action if a resident dies from Covid-19 after catching it in a care setting. NHS care is already indemnified in this way. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that the Government was “wanting” to enable testing in homes to facilitate visiting and “looking at” and “working on” the issue of indemnifying care providers against

#Colvid-19 deaths. I’m sorry, but the time for looking at things is over, it is time to start doing and delivering. “Today’s figures are worrying and demonstrate how important it is that the Government puts its focus on to the situation in care settings, which are, as last time, part of the front line against Covid-19. “The way things are progressing, and the way infection rates are increasing, I fear this will be a lengthy battle and lockdown may well go on beyond the current deadline. “That makes it even more vital that we press on with finding a way to enable relatives and friends to visit residents in care and nursing homes as soon as possible.” The Government announced a pilot scheme to enable people to resume visiting homes, provided they had been tested for Covid-19. The ICG volunteered to provide care and nursing homes to take part in a pilot for the scheme. But Mr Padgham says the time for the pilot has passed and the Government should skip straight to introducing the scheme. “The new national lockdown has changed everything. We know

what needs to be done: enable designated relatives to be regarded as keyworkers and have regular tests so that they can visit. “Our residents and their relatives have waited long enough and cannot wait until the end of the new lockdown – whenever that might be. The mental health and happiness of residents is suffering – particularly those with dementia. We have a solution; we need to get on with it this week. “At the same time, we also need the Government to give care providers parity with their NHS counterparts and indemnify them against legal action over Covid-19 deaths in care settings.” Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show 153 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes across England and Wales in the week ending 23rd October, up from 106 the previous week and 63 the week before. Deaths have been rising over the weeks before that, at 48, 38, 31, 27, 17 and 23, respectively. Some 15,972 people died from Covid-19 in these homes from 28th December to 23rd October.

Leigh-On-Sea Care Home Prepares for Reflective Remembrance Day Activities Rose Martha Court care home in Leigh-on-Sea is preparing for a quiet Remembrance Day of reflection, as COVID restrictions mean traditional activities must go on hold. Residents at the care home, based on Leigh Road, would usually visit nearby Leigh Road church to remember brave service people, or attend an event at a local memorial to lay a wreath, however this year these events may not take place due to government restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Where events are occurring, vulnerable people, including older people, are encouraged not to attend. To ensure the residents of Rose Martha Court still have the opportunity to remember those who served in the World Wars, and subsequent conflicts, the home is arranging internal events to allow for reflection and to celebrate the lives of the veterans and their families. Resident Queenie Watts,age 89, assisted activities co-ordinator Joanna Furtak , to decorate the home with hand-crafted poppies hanging from the ceiling. The wall of the lounge, has been decorated with poppies, wreaths and flags. On Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, the home will also be watching the transmission on BBC and participating in a two-minute silence, listening to Vera Lynn and sing a long songs. The home has also planned an

afternoon tea and will look at photos from WW1 to help residents reminisce. Lianne Parkin, home manager at Rose Martha Court, said: “It has been a very strange year for everyone, however we have been working hard to help the residents feel included as part of the wider community, as well as feeling safe and stimulated within the home. “Remembrance Day is incredibly important to many of our residents, particularly those who are veterans or who have family members who have served, and we knew we needed to find a way to mark it appropriately, even if we couldn’t visit a public event. “We are giving our residents time and space to reflect and remember and sharing stories of our own experiences and those of our loved ones on this significant day. We hope that next year we will be back out in the community, together again.” Beryl Hartley, age 73, a resident at Rose Martha Court, said: “I was very pleased that the home decided to mark Remembrance Day, because we can’t go to church or the memorial. It’s very important that we never forget those who gave their lives for us all those years ago. “The poppies on the window look lovely and I will be remembering those which suffered their lives, when we have our two-minute silence.”


Calls for “Mandatory Testing” for Care Home Inspectors Care home leaders have called for mandatory testing after CQC inspectors reported COVID-19 symptoms. Freedom of Information (FoI) requests acquired by The Sunday Telegraph have revealed that over 100 CQC inspectors reported COVID-19 symptoms or have been forced to self-isolate. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had halted routine scheduled inspections for five months in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, however in September they took the decision, approved by the Department of Health, to redeploy inspectors. Testing is not presently required for CQC inspectors visiting care homes, and there are currently an estimated 1,300 inspectors, and it is believed that up to 500 inspections over the next six weeks are planned. The lack of testing has drawn from care providers fierce criticism Care providers, with operators calling on the CQC to introduce mandatory testing for all inspectors as they insist that otherwise 'lives will be put at risk'. Labour MP Barbara Keeley says that the data proves why it is now essential that inspectors are regularly tested in order to protect elderly lives. Speaking to the independent newspaper she said: 'On the basis of these numbers, inspectors may be potentially taking infections into care homes. Given the risk Covid19 poses in care homes, this cannot be allowed to happen. 'It's just not acceptable that the inspectors are not being tested regularly... It is clear

from these numbers that the only way for CQC inspections to resume in a safe manner is for all inspectors to have access to regular Covid-19 testing, even if they are asymptomatic.' A CQC Spokesperson said: “DHSC has advised us that CQC inspectors do not meet the criteria for regular weekly asymptomatic testing, as inspectors are not required to undertake ‘hands on’ close personal contact with people. We remain in regular contact with DHSC on this and will continue to keep this under review. “All CQC staff engaging in inspection and registration visits must undertake a risk assessment prior to the visit. They must use the PPE identified, have gone through training on its use, and have completed the Infection Prevention and Control training. “This approach is in line with what has been agreed for other professionals. DHSC will continually review their policies as more evidence emerges during the pandemic, and if the evidence means the criteria needs to change, they will advise us accordingly.” A Department of Health and Social Care Spokesperson added: “Our testing policy is based on scientific advice to limit the spread of COVID-19 and prioritises health and care staff who are in direct, personal and regular contact with patients and residents. “CQC inspectors do not have close contact with residents and are expected to follow proper infection prevention and control measures at all times – including social distancing, correct use of PPE and hand washing to stop the spread of the virus.”

Hero Care Worker Saves Maghull Man’s Life Lisa Russell a Registered Mental Nurse at Parkhaven Trust’s The Beeches Centre in Maghull, went ‘above and beyond’ to raise the alarm when a resident’s 88 year old husband Ted Birch sounded ‘not quite himself’ when phoning to check on his wife. Lisa said: “Ted used to visit Maud daily before the pandemic began.

He was a real regular at The Beeches. Since the start of the pandemic we have been unable to allow indoor visiting – so we can keep all our residents safe. Ted has since been doing garden visits and calling regularly to speak to his wife. When he called last week he didn’t sound his usual self, he sounded like he was being sick and complained of feeling dizzy. We were worried about him so I called his daughter and also decided to pop round and see if there was anything I could do. When I arrived, he was shivering and had been sick. I immediately called the paramedics and they took him to hospital. Whilst in hospital he went into cardiac arrest and was brought back by the doctors. I am so glad I went over when I did and was able to help Ted.” Ted’s daughter Nicky Taylor added: “I had spoken to dad just 15 minutes before Lisa called me, we were

on our way to Wales for the weekend and he had sounded happy and well. When Lisa called I was distraught, he had taken ill so quickly and we were three hours away stuck in traffic on the motorway. I simply can’t thank Lisa enough. It’s thanks to her

my dad is still alive. If Lisa hadn’t noticed dad sounded unwell and hadn’t gone over to check on him he wouldn’t have had the help around him when he went into cardiac arrest and he wouldn’t be here today. Lisa is amazing - her help has been truly life saving. Lisa and the team at The Beeches have been taking such great care of my mum (Maud), we didn’t expect that care to extend to my dad too – but that is what the staff there are like! it feels like one big family and they really do care – which means so much to us.” Ted and Maud Birch are well known faces around Maghull, as they ran successful businesses here before their well-earned retirement. Ted and Maud have been married for 67 years and together for 70. Ted is now back ‘out and about’ in and around Maghull on his bright orange mobility scooter.


The Award-Winning Jolly Trolley is still available in time for Christmas! The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care home as it promotes social interaction between the residents and carers. This innovative system is fully mobile, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also join in with the interactive fun. Carol singers and pantomimes may not be able to visit your residents this year, so why not give your residents an extra special Christmas present of a Jolly Trolley® so they can still experience all these magical moments virtually! With the Jolly Trolley®

you can easily add personal music, photos and films, also family and friends can send in a their very own personalised Christmas video messages to add some magic and sparkle to Christmas 2020. Don’t just take our word for it - here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients: - L&M Healthcare- Jeanne Davis, Director “We were so pleased with our first Jolly Trolley® purchase that we bought 3 more!”

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How to Create a Covid-19 Specific Communications Plan for Your Care Home By Marta Kalas co-founder,

Care Homes have had a challenging time over the last few months, and with Covid-19 here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future), this has placed an extra burden on care home managers who need to keep abreast of every changing guidelines and regulations. The easiest way to deal with this is to create a ‘Covid19 Business Toolkit’ to help you stay on top of the changes and actions you need to take. One aspect of this toolkit needs to be ‘communication’. Good communication means successful management. Let’s start with the basics. Any care-home communications plan needs to include the following characteristics: 1. Understanding your audience 2. Listening actively 3. Being clear about what you want to say (simply) 4. Using the appropriate channel(s) 5. Making sure your communication is timely. Before we take each of these values in turn and work through how they need to be adapted, let’s add one step, at the very beginning: know your trusted sources of information! The best sites to visit are the most important government websites. Check these regularly. Currently, there is so much conflicting, confusing or out of date information circulating, so go straight to the horse’s mouth; check the government websites first. • • • Office of National Statistics, Coronavirus Roundup • Finding your local Health Protection Team:

tection-team • Moderate and high-risk factors: Now, let’s take a look at each step and how it needs to be adapted for Covid-19:


You will need to consider the different types of audience, from staff, to residents, from relatives to visiting professionals. Under the current circumstances people may be more sensitive to different types of communication, and this will not necessarily be along the lines you may expect. Essentially, we are talking about people’s ability to handle uncertainty and manage risk. Some people will be very risk averse, some will rely on science or authority, and some will be just the opposite. Your communications plan needs to be mindful of this and cater to the different needs of your different audience groups. It may need you to say the same thing from three different perspectives to cater to three different needs. The key to getting this right is understanding your audience and you can do this by listening actively.


You need to listen and hear what your audience or different groups in the audience (whether internal or external to the care home) are most concerned about. For example, is it rules around social distancing? or mask wearing? or visiting? You also need to demonstrate that you are listening, that the measures you are putting in place are to protect them and meet their needs. The actions you take need to be about them - and they need to understand that in your communications. Just acting, but not communicating, can lead to misunderstandings and a break-down in trust.


You don’t want people to come to work if they have symptoms - so be clear about this and what they should do in that situation. Ensure that everyone has the contact details they will need, e.g. of their manager, if they are at home and can’t come to work. If you need visitors to wear a mask at all times, or only in certain areas be clear about this. If areas within your care home are off limits, ensure they are obviously labelled. Above all, your communications need to be clear, simple and, if necessary, repetitive. Don’t assume just because you’ve said it once, everyone has heard it or taken it on-board.

Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms. And remember, this is not a time to be original or funny.


There are dozens of communications channels from your intranet to your website, from Twitter to WhatsApp, from newsletters to window signage. Choose the right platforms for the audience and message. Staff need different channels than residents who may need different channels than relatives. Make use of as many channels as you can and be consistent with your messages. Normally you'd be using a slightly different approach in each channel, but in your Covid-19 related communications, it is really important that there is no misunderstanding. Start by creating a list of all possible “channels”, and then use templates where possible as this will save time and keep the communications consistent. Ensure anyone involved communications (from PR to social media, from web editor, to marketing flyers, from poster designs to advertising) know what your Covid-19 messaging is and when and how to include it.


Things change fast or stay the same - which makes it very difficult to plan. You don’t want out of date information on any of your communications, and you want to be sure you are always in line with the most recent government or Public Health guidelines. Yet, you cannot spend every hour, every day, checking and updating everything. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use: In electronic communications (websites, newsletters, chats, etc.) use links directly to the relevant government websites. (see list above) Used shared file systems (e.g. Google Drive, One Drive or Dropbox) for templates and drafts Have a log of where these templates are used, to make sure you don’t miss one of them It is an extra few minutes to get everything in one place when you start, but it will pay dividends many times over when you suddenly need to change something. Once you’ve set everything up, it’s simple to set a weekly reminder in your diary, to check that everything is still correct and relevant; it’ll only take only a few minutes. So, when the Prime Minister announces a change or you get notified by your local public health representative, you will have everything in one place to update. Well done.


A Guide To Living with Dementia and Incontinence As age is the most significant risk factor for dementia there is naturally expected to be a growing number of people with dementia as the population ages. Let’s look at some of the statistics • It is estimated that in the UK, at least three to six million people, therefore 510% of the population, suffer from urinary incontinence • In 2015, the number of people with dementia was approximately 10.5 million in Europe. The number of affected people is predicted to increase to 13.4 million by 2030 and to 18.7 million by 2050 • There were an estimated 44.4 million people in the world diagnosed with dementia in 2013 and this figure is predicted to rise to 75.6 million by 2030 and to 135.5 million by 2050 What is clear from these statistics across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world is that the situation is only going to worsen not improve. And it’s not just an older person’s problem as younger people can also develop dementia. Although it is less common, it is important to avoid associating dementia uniquely with the older people and overlooking the many younger people who also experience it. Ontex understands that a review of numerous studies has demonstrated a correlation between increasing age and an increased prevalence of urinary incontinence and suggests that age is an independent risk factor

for urinary incontinence. Alex Shaw, Marketing Manager UK & Ireland for Ontex comments, “Ontex believes that dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and neither is incontinence. Equally, incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of dementia, however in cases of advanced dementia, where sufferers are completely dependent, incontinence will unfortunately be inevitable.”


To be continent you must be able to: 1. Recognise the need to pass urine 2. Identify the correct places to do so 3. Reach the correct place 4. Hold on until you get there 5. Pass urine once you are there If someone has a problem with any of these issues they are at risk of becoming incontinent. A person with dementia is more likely to have problems going to the toilet or suffer from incontinence than a person of the same age without dementia if they are unable to follow these five important steps.


• Be supportive and remember that the person may feel embarrassed and upset as they may not realise they have been incontinent • Look for the non-verbal signs that someone needs to go to the toilet • Try to offer prompts and reminders every few hours to use the loo • If someone has an accident they may try to hide wet clothing or bedding. Discreetly deal with it to avoid further embarrassment. • Try to encourage the person to drink six to eight glasses of fluid per day as it’s really important to stay hydrated • It’s also helpful to encourage a healthy, balanced duet with plenty of fibre

• Consider practical things you can do in the person’s home such as placing a sign near the toilet entrance, a toilet seat or rail and things that might help at night such as a commode. • Keep continence pads in the bathroom and bedroom.


Ontex specialises in products for continence management and has designed its products ranges around discretion and giving confidence to the user. Both the iD and Lille product range covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages. Approved by Dermatologists, the iD and Lille product ranges covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages. The products deliver ultra-fast liquid absorption and keep liquid locked in the pad, as well as providing anti-leakage protection, odour control and breathable material for added comfort.


The new look pants range now offers extra skin benefits by incorporating an improved top sheet with a mix of camomile, known for its soothing and calming properties, Vitamin E with antioxidant properties and zinc oxide, a natural purifying mineral component to help protect the skin. For more information call our product Advice line telephone number: 0800 389 6185 or email: or see the advert on page 5.

Remembrance 2020: War Hero’s Remarkable 75-Year WWII Reunion The extraordinary tale behind a WWII reunion is being told by Royal Star & Garter as part of its ‘Every face tells a story’ Remembrance campaign, ahead of Armistice Day on Wednesday, 11 November. It features the story of Army veteran George ‘Bunny’ Avery, who took part in the D-Day landings, and is now a resident at Royal Star & Garter’s Home in High Wycombe. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their families living with disability or dementia. Bunny became friends with a Belgian boy in 1944, while building Bailey bridges to help Allied troops advance into Nazi-occupied territory. In 2019, Bunny was reunited with his Belgian friend at the very same spot, in front of the very same brick building, 75 years later. Bunny was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and was part of the second wave of troops to land on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, 6 June 1944. He advanced through Nazi-occupied Europe, building portable crossings which allowed troops and vehicles to travel at speed across rivers and canals. Along his way he passed through recently liberated Auschwitz. In 2019, Bunny’s daughter Kathryn discovered in her father’s possessions photos of a bakery and a family with a Belgian address written on the back. The pair often return to France, Holland and Belgium to take part in liberation commemorations, and Kathryn called on her

contacts to find out more about the photo. She eventually discovered that Bunny stayed with the family at the bakery in 1944 while building Bailey bridges. Kathryn was able to track down the baker’s family and got in touch with the son Urbain, who was just six back then. Kathryn and Urbain arranged to meet in his childhood hometown of Peer with Bunny. When there, Urbain produced a remarkable photograph showing him being carried by 23-year-old Bunny. The friends went on to pose for a photo 75 years later on the same spot. Bunny now lives with dementia at Royal Star & Garter, and cannot remember his meetings with Urbain. But he made a lasting impression on Urbain, who told Kathryn that he remembers playing with her father and him being good fun. Bunny spent five years in the Army, from 1942-1947, and also served in Greece, Italy and Palestine. In 2016, he received France’s highest military honour – the Legion d’Honneur – as thanks from the government for his role in its liberation. Also featured in Royal Star & Garter’s ‘Every face tells a story’ campaign is 93-year-old Dick, who served in Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). He is now able to reconnect with old hobbies in the Home, such as art and gardening since moving to Royal Star & Garter. The former rambler is also able to stand on his own two feet again thanks to the work of the Home’s in-house physiotherapy team.


Garden City Care Home Gets Special Mention at Pride of Britain Awards of circumstances. They are truly the Pride of Britain” Home Manager Melissa said “We all feel incredibly honoured to have been nominated by Sir Keir Starmer. The team have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that residents receive the best possible care, and their dedication, courage and resilience has been outstanding. They have always been amazing in my eyes, but to be recognised like this is such a wonderful achievement, and I am so proud of them all”. Maria Ball, Chief Executive of Quantum Care said “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Melissa and the team at Garden City Court for such welldeserved recognition. I have been truly humbled by the sheer determination and passion that they have shown each and every day, during what has been the biggest challenge the social care sector has ever faced. On an individual basis and working as teams right across our Quantum Care homes, our staff have been nothing short of exceptional”.

Staff at Garden City care home in Letchworth were delighted and proud to be given a special mention by Sir Keir Starmer as part of his nomination for front line care staff at the prestigious Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards. The Labour Leader visited the home in September as part of a wider visit to the local area, where he met the Home Manager Melissa McNeilly, as well as members of parent company Quantum Care’s senior team. He wanted to hear first-hand about the experience of working in a care home during the pandemic, and was extremely moved by Melissa’s account of the incredible lengths that the team had gone to in order to provide love, care and support for elderly residents during such difficult times. As part of the ceremony on Sunday evening he said “I want to nominate the incredible carers who’ve been on the front line in this pandemic; looking after our relatives and keeping our country going. Over the summer I had the privilege of meeting the staff and team of the Garden City care home in Letchworth, an incredible group of individuals with many, many selfless acts in the toughest

75 Organisations Call on Government to Make Carer’s Allowance Fairer for Carers Carers UK and 74 other organisations representing unpaid carers, disabled adults and children, and older people, have joined together to amplify their previous call on the Government to recognise the financial impact COVID-19 continues to have on people caring round the clock for family members and friends. Today, 3rd November, marks four months since the organisations first urged the Work and Pensions Secretary to recognise the financial difficulties unpaid carers are facing during the pandemic and introduce a supplement to Carer’s Allowance. Despite the huge contribution being made by unpaid carers every day of the pandemic, with many having been unable to take a single break for months or return to work due to reduced care and support services, the Government has not acknowledged or responded to the letter, sent on 3rd July, which was signed by 92 leading national and local organisations who provide vital support for carers and their families, and who can see first-hand the challenges that they are facing. Now, providing extraordinary hours of care each week and in many cases not being able to earn, a significant proportion of carers face further financial hardship over the coming winter. Research by Carers UK, released a fortnight ago, shows well over a third (36%) of carers receiving Carer’s Allowance - just £67.25 a week for 35 hours or more of care - are struggling to make ends meet, with 15% having been in debt because of caring. Earlier research with the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham found more than 100,000 unpaid carers in the UK have had to rely on food banks during the pandemic. During the lockdown 81% of carers said they are spending more money during the coronavirus outbreak – as they face rising costs include higher domestic bills, paying for additional care and support services, buying equipment to adapt homes, and purchasing technology to help with caring. To help alleviate some of the financial hardship experienced by so many, the 75 organisations are calling for the Government to urgently act by: • Introducing an additional supplement to Carer’s Allowance, to match the recent £20 increase in Universal Credit that rightly recognises the challenges for people on lower incomes of meeting additional costs thrown up by the pandemic. They are also calling for accompanying rises to Carer Premium and Carer Addition, and for this payment to be made to carers with an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance, so older carers on low incomes can also benefit. These payments should be backdated to recognise the lengths carers have gone to in supporting and caring for others during the crisis.

• Raising the earnings limit for claiming Carer’s Allowance, to ensure those juggling work and care on low pay also receive financial support. The current earnings threshold, just £128 a week, does not align with the National Living Wage (NLW), meaning a carer can only work for less than 15 hours per week without losing their eligibility to Carer’s Allowance. The earnings limit should be raised to at least £139.52 for 2020/21 and should be linked to the National Living Wage in future years. Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to exacerbate the ongoing financial struggle that far too many unpaid carers face. Without urgent support from Government, carers and their families are going to face significant hardship this winter. As we pointed out to the Government back in July, the vast majority of carers are facing rising costs during the crisis and many have had to rely on limited incomes to meet those costs. I, and the other organisations who wrote to the Government over the summer are extremely disappointed that we have had no response to date. What message does that send to unpaid carers, currently caring round the clock, at a huge cost to their own health and finances, and unable to get the support they need? With everything they’ve contributed through the pandemic, it is simply wrong that hundreds of thousands of carers are left struggling to put food on the table or heat their homes this winter because they live in poverty. They deserve so much better. The rate of Carer’s Allowance, just £67.25 a week for a minimum of 35 hours of care, barely reflects the support that carers currently provide. Working out at a maximum of £1.92 for every hour of care they provide, it is simply not good enough, and I hear from carers all the time who feel the current level of payment is an insult to them. It is not too late for the Government to act and acknowledge the additional practical and financial strain that has been placed on carers during the crisis, by putting in place much needed financial support ahead of this coming winter. It can only be right that we give back to carers who have done so much for others. Without this help, many will continue to face real hardship and suffering. The Government must act now to make Carer’s Allowance Fairer for Carers.” To read the copy of the letter visit

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The Cost Of Care: ‘Stealth Taxes On Care Workers Nets Govt £60m

The UK government is still set to make millions of pounds from migrant care workers by levying ‘stealth taxes’ on those who employ them, despite scrapping a controversial immigration health charge earlier this year. In a headline-grabbing concession to foreign care workers, earlier this month (Oct) the Government scrapped the £400 Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) annual fee each was charged. The fee has now risen to £624 for qualifying migrants not employed in the health and care professions. A statement at the time acknowledged that the fee was being waived in recognition of the role care workers played during the coronavirus crisis. Before the charge was scrapped and new visa fees were introduced, the Government was making over £140m from fees levied on care workers from overseas. However, analysis by immigration experts A Y & J Solicitors reveals that other visa charges imposed on care workers and the companies that rely on foreign care workers to fill jobs in the sector still make the government tens of millions of pounds. According to the figures compiled by the London firm care workers from abroad add around £60m to Treasury coffers before they’ve paid any tax. Only those classed as skilled senior care workers qualify for a Tier 2

Health and Care visa and each worker applying for one needs to pay a fee of £232. This is reduced from the standard £610. According to figures from SkillsForce, 250,000 jobs in adult social care are held by people with a non-British nationality. Of those, 134,000 are from outside the EU and so subject to the charge. Their employers also pay £199 to issue each person with a certificate of sponsorship. A Y & J Solicitors calculate that in total these combined fees alone add up to £57m. In order to sponsor workers from overseas, care homes and adult care services must also be approved by the Home Office. The application to become an approved sponsor incurs a fee of either £536 or £1476 depending on the size of the business. A Y & J Solicitor’s research shows there are 656 businesses currently registered as adult residential care suppliers on the Home Office list of approved businesses. Even if all of these were only charged at the lower rate, the accumulated charges would still add £352, 616 to Treasury coffers. However, many of these businesses will fall into the higher charge bracket so the figures are likely to be considerably higher. There are also another 538 organisations listed on the register under the Human Health and Social Work Activities category, many of which also provide adult care and will also be subject to the charges.

Yash Dubal, Director of A Y & J Solicitors said: “From our analysis, it’s apparent that while the IHS was waived for migrant workers, the Government is still making huge sums of money from those people who come to the UK to work in an underfunded industry and look after the vulnerable and elderly. It’s a form of stealth tax. “There are acute manpower shortages within the care industry and the government should be doing all it can to attract people to it, rather than charge them for working in it. The cost to migrants and the cost to the homes that employ them is a huge burden.” Revenue from migrant care workers is also likely to rise after Brexit. According to the latest figures, there are 116,000 EU workers employed in the adult care industry. Currently they do not require a visa to work in the UK and will be allowed to continue working here after Brexit. A percentage of the roles they are employed in will be classed as unskilled and from January next year these will not be eligible to be filled by migrants. However, any new workers coming from Europe after Brexit to take skilled roles that would previously have qualified for free movement will have to pay the same fees as non-EU migrants, thereby adding to the overall burden on the industry.

Local Care Home Turns Pink to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer A Thornton-le-Dale care home has ‘turned pink’ for breast cancer awareness, to coincide with a national campaign day on 23 October. The Hall, which is a residential home based on Chestnut Avenue, used pink gels on their floodlights to bathe the building in a rosey hue for the week, staff wore pink wigs and masks, and residents were served pink cupcakes in a magenta dining room. Wear it Pink is a national campaign hosted by the research and care charity Breast Cancer Now and has raised more than £35 million since its launch in 2002. The charity estimates that 600,000 people are living with or after a breast cancer diagnosis in the UK and that every year, more than 11,500 lives are lost to the disease. It aims that, through research and support, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will survive and live well. Diane Hagan, manager at The Hall, said: “Cancer is a disease which has affected many of our residents and staff.” Gwen Andrews, 94, a resident at The Hall who has survived breast cancer, said: “ I have had a double mastectomy and would tell you all to keep getting yourself checked out”

Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker Barnes Commercial is an independent specialist broker offering tailored commercial insurance solutions for businesses operating in the care sector, to help manage business risk. The experienced team take a personal approach, building authentic long-term relationships, supporting you with exceptional service from beginning to end. As an independent broker you can rest assured that their advice is completely impartial - the cover recommended will be just what you need for now and for the future. From typical buildings and contents insurance for your premises, or public liability and employer liability insurance, to domiciliary care insurance, or Directors’ and Officers’ cover, Barnes Commercial will help you to manage potential risk, providing freedom from worry so you can focus on running your business.

Barnes Commercial has partnered with market-leading A rated insurers to ensure reliable and robust protection for your business. Their expert advisers understand the potential risks faced by care facility providers; knowledge which allows them to create bespoke insurance programmes to meet exact requirements. And for care facilities with turnovers of less than £5M there’s a comprehensive Business Essentials package for complete peace of mind. Find out more about Barnes Commercial and how they can help you to manage your business risk effectively. Visit Telephone: 01480 272727 Email:

More than just insurance. A specialist independent insurance broker providing tailored packages to manage business risk. With extensive knowledge of the care market, we can help ensure that you have the right cover in place for now, and for the future. We arrange cover for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care facilities, for both staff and business entity.

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Dedicated Ross-onWye Care Worker Retires After 25 Years A support worker who has dedicated the last 25 years to caring for the elderly at Woodside care home in Ross-onWye has retired. Margaret Sayce, who has been working at Ledbury Nursing home following the temporary closure of Woodside due to COVID-19, was surprised by residents and colleagues with a retirement party. Maggie began working at Woodside in April 1995 in a temporary maternity cover role as part of a contract with Hereford County Council. She enjoyed the job so much that she stayed at the home ever since, transferring to Shaw healthcare when it went into partnership with the council in 2004. During her time at Woodside, Maggie was responsible for organising trips and events to put smiles on residents’ faces, from pantomimes to bingo. She was named as a regional finalist for Shaw healthcare’s annual ‘Star Awards’ on two occasions and was last year thanked for 15 years’ service with the healthcare provider. Commenting on her party, Maggie said: “What an amazing surprise this was! My colleagues told me we were having a Halloween-themed celebration – I never would have expected such fanfare for my retirement. “I am hugely grateful for the help and support I’ve had from my colleagues at Woodside and, more recently, Ledbury Nursing home, and will miss them all now I have left.” Heather Aubrey, manager at Woodside, added: “Maggie is a great person with an excellent Scottish sense of humour, making her very popular with staff, residents and relatives alike. Throughout her career she has always strived to take into consideration the individual needs of each person she is caring for. “The last few months have been incredibly difficult for everyone working in the care sector, but Maggie has got stuck in and really supported her colleagues through the pandemic. I’d like to thank her for everything she has done and hope she enjoys a well-deserved retirement.”

Mitigating Stress in the Workplace By Tina Chander, partner at leading Midlands law firm, Wright Hassall ( One course of action for businesses to take is to conduct a ‘Stress Risk Assessment’, which will enable them to focus clearly on the newly emerging drivers of stress, whilst taking steps to minimise their impact. Given the unprecedented scale of upheaval, any existing risk assessment may not be fit for purpose, so performing a new assessment will demonstrate a responsive and flexible attitude toward protecting the workforce. Many employers may have completed risk assessments during the first lockdown, however conducting a new and updated risk assessment will ensure that employers are able to adapt to any new challenges that may have arisen. By identifying the causes of stress and trying to deal with them, a business can demonstrate at any later date, that it took reasonable steps and fulfilled its duty of care.


Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, anxiety levels have undoubtedly increased for care home workers, especially as remote working is not an option for those looking after residents. With the risk of contracting and transmitting the illness far greater for those in constant contact with others, workplace stress is heightened for those working in care homes, so the extended support services offered by Public Health England and other mental health charities should be utilised as much as possible. From the perspective of employers, it’s important to mitigate stress in the workplace, as failing to do so could result in a slew of workplace personal injury claims. Not only this, but highly stressed workers are a lot less productive than those who are managing their anxiety levels with professional support.


Key triggers identified for work-related stress include workload pressures, workplace interpersonal relationships and changes at work. Given the current economic disruption, job insecurity and social distancing, these factors are likely to be amplified. Whilst many businesses are struggling with loss of trade and furloughed staff, many others are under enormous pressure to rapidly increase the volume of their services, food production, supply chain logistics, etc., whilst coping with a large influx of new, untrained workers. For those working in care homes, these anxieties are compounded, as there is a risk of passing on the illness to high-risk residents without knowing. The impact on the workforce can be so severe that businesses should consider some relatively simple steps.


Businesses may implement the following policies: Coronavirus Policy, Flexible Working Policy and a Homeworking Policy. In addition to this, businesses may wish to consider implementing a Stress at Work Policy, which can provide guidance to employees on how to handle stress at work, seek support from their employer and this can also include details of support services, if necessary. Not only will this protect the business by implementing procedural changes and providing guidance for the workforce, but it will also provide a level of comfort to the workforce who will recognise the business is responding sensibly and proactively to the crisis. It also demonstrates the business is paying attention to the needs of its employees and is committed to their health and wellbeing.


Whilst most businesses have implemented a system of remote working, this is not a viable solution for care homes, and so key workers must continue working as normal, with the added risk of spreading or contracting the illness. Therefore, employers should do everything in their power to ensure the lines of communication between the workforce, managers and HR team are open, so that concerns can be addressed quickly before they develop into much bigger issues. Dedicating a member of the HR team to different sectors of the business can help by providing employees a direct point of contact should they want to discuss work-related stress. If claims concerning COVID 19 related stress emerge, the businesses in the strongest position will be those that can demonstrate they took the issue seriously, whilst pointing to a recorded risk assessment and structured engagement with employees throughout. About the author: Tina Chander is a partner and head of the Employment team at leading Midlands law firm, Wright Hassall and deals with contentious and noncontentious employment law issues. She acts for employers of all sizes from small businesses to large national and international businesses, advising in connection with all aspects of employment tribunal proceedings and appeals.

Visiting Violinist Delights Dorset Care Home with Impromptu ‘Proms’ A top classical violinist surprised and delighted music lovers at a Dorset care home when she performed live during a visit to see her 100-year-old grandfather. Just a few weeks after performing at the BBC Proms, Katie Stillman entertained residents of Colten Care’s Castle View in Poundbury near Dorchester. In line with the home’s Covid-safe visit protocol, she stayed behind a seethrough screen at the entrance as her audience watched and listened from the foyer inside. Katie, co-leader of Manchester Camerata and a renowned soloist and chamber musician, played movements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by the 18th century German composer Christoph Gluck. The impromptu recital took place on a visit to Katie’s grandfather John Stillman. The centenarian had only recently watched her on national television at the Proms playing Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in her role as principal violinist for London’s Aurora Orchestra.

John, a former architect and chorister who once sang at the Albert Hall in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, said: “I watched Katie playing at the Proms on iPlayer recently and was completed moved by the experience. “Then, when she came and performed for us right here at our home, it made me feel so proud of her once again. “Everyone was surprised and amazed when she spontaneously started playing. “She is a true artist with the most outstanding creative musicianship and technical skills. “As well as playing, she collects classical violins and, like others in her collection, the one she was playing for us has great historic value and is worth many thousands of pounds.” Castle View’s Companionship Team Leader Katya Williams said: “We couldn’t take our residents to the Proms this year, but luckily the Proms came to us. “It was absolutely delightful to see our residents enjoying the magic of Katie’s playing. What an exquisite treat!”

SmartSpaces Work with St Teresa's Care Home and Opens ‘Garden Room’ To Support Covid-Safe Visiting

St Teresa's care home in Wimbledon, which provides high quality nursing & residential care to up to 28 people, is proudly announcing the opening of its temporary ‘garden visiting room’. SmartSpaces are proud to work with the Care Home to provide this much needed family support for both the residents and family members. SmartSpaces offers a bespoke design service for their garden rooms so made sure the design meets all the requirements.

The purpose-built wooden cabin is situated in the communal garden at the Home and provides a safe space for relatives to visit residents whilst Covid-19 continues to pose a risk. SmartSpaces designed this build to have a seperate access for the resident and also for the family members. The Home has implemented a wide range of health and safety measures since the pandemic outbreak was declared, which has involved stopping all external visits from the beginning of lockdown, to limited, socially distant visits wearing PPE. The team has been keen to find a way to make visiting more comfortable for residents and their loved ones so has created the temporary garden room. SmartSpaces designed a bespoke space which was both suitable for the residents and family in this testing time. Equipped with a Perspex screen to separate visitors from residents, an intercom to make communicating easyandthe room enables loved ones to get together without increased worry. The room is well insulated andappropriately heated. Home Manager Chris Glynn said; “At a time of great uncertainty we all look to our families for support and lockdown has prevented this personal contact. Technical solutions only have a moderate benefit for our Residents, so we needed something that would provide a more personal experience for Residents & families, plus a solution to an ever changing set of rules. With Smartspaces we were able to design a bespoke space that addressed the unique needs of a Covid secure visit. Visits are now safe-

ly conducted in a warm and comfortable environment, that allow Residents & families to relax, enjoying their time together. It has made the world of difference to our Residents & families, a visible difference to their well-being.” For more information on how SmartSpaces can create a covid safe visiting room, get in touch, or call 0800 6345223


Care Homes Reporting Increased COVID-19 Cases as National Infection Rates Rise The infection rate of Covid in care homes is rising, as the rate increases nationwide and is currently in the region of 50,000 per day. The number of patients in hospital with Covid has doubled in the past fortnight, with over 10,000 currently being treated by the NHS. If this curve of doubling every fortnight continues, there will be more than 20,000 patients in hospital by mid-November, higher than at the peak of the first wave. Separate Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released late October found daily coronavirus infections in England surged by 50 per cent within a week. It estimated almost 52,000 people were catching the virus every day and one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago. The spread of the virus in England exceeded the government’s predicted “reasonable worst-case scenario” in a SAGE report dated 14 October. The government’s scientific advisory group estimated that by mid-October, there were between 43,000 and 74,000 people being infected with the virus in England each day. “This is significantly above the profile of the reasonable worst-case scenario, where the number of daily infections in England remained between 12,000-13,000 throughout October,” said the report. The year-to-date Office of |National Statistics (ONS) analysis shows that, of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) up to Week 41 (week ending 9 October 2020), 63.7% (34,174 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (15,712 deaths), private homes (2,561 deaths), hospices (761 deaths), other communal establishments (227 deaths) and elsewhere (205 deaths). Between Weeks 40 and 41, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased in hospitals (90 deaths higher),

care homes (17 deaths higher), private homes (eight deaths higher) and hospices (two deaths higher). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care homes increased from 2.3% in Week 40 to 3.1% in Week 41. Reflecting, the surge in cases nationally the number of care home COVID-19-related deaths has begun to rise at an increasing rate, with an additional 106 deaths reported in the week to 16 October. Outbreaks in care homes have been reported, in Manchester, Dumfries, Edinburgh, and Norfolk. a report by Sky News reveals that Covid cases in care homes in Leeds have already surpassed levels recorded in spring, with recorded cases now at 200 in a week.. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Our first priority remains the prevention of infections in care homes to protect staff and residents and we are constantly monitoring and responding to the latest figures. "It is why we have introduced regular testing for staff and residents, providing more than 120,000 tests every day to the care sector. "Our Adult Social Care Winter Plan supports care homes by putting a total of £1.1bn into infection control measures, alongside free PPE and detailed guidance. "Stopping staff movement in and between care settings is also critical to minimise the risk of infection of COVID-19, and providers should limit staff movements unless absolutely necessary."

Sue Ryder Calls on Government to Permit ‘Bereavement Support Bubbles’ Sue Ryder research* has found that the biggest challenges for those who experienced a bereavement during the UK lockdown earlier this year was feeling isolated and alone when grieving (62%) and feeling as though their grief had been forgotten amidst the global crisis (59%). When questioned on what they felt would be helpful for other bereaved people during either a future local lockdown or another period of national lockdown, two thirds (66%) of people said being able to form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household would be a vital source of support. The charity is calling on the government to extend the support bubble policy to include bereaved people with more than one adult in the household for example housemates and older children. This would allow bereaved people to form a support bubble with another household without the need for social distancing, for any future lockdowns. As a leading bereavement support provider in the UK, Sue Ryder

believes that allowing people to access their support network whilst they come to terms with their grief is imperative. Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said: “As a nation, we are experiencing bereavement and grief on a greater and more profound scale than ever before. “Integral and deeply personal elements of the bereavement journey have been disrupted for so many over the last few months due to social distancing measures. People have not been at their loved one’s bedside when they died, unable to hold their hand or say goodbye and some people have been prevented from attending funerals. “In addition to that, current tier 2 and tier 3 restrictions mean that we will once again be forcing these very same people to grieve in isolation, without the physical presence or touch of those close to them. It is simply cruel. “Sue Ryder is calling on the government to immediately extend exist-

ing support bubble regulations to ensure that people who have experienced a bereavement can have a support network around them.” Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said: “Grief is extremely complex – even without the added anxieties of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. “For many people who have been bereaved, this has been an incredibly isolating time. The ability to form a bereavement support bubble without the need for social distancing, as single adult households are currently able to do, could make a huge impact for someone who is grieving. “It is important that the government does all it can to support people who are bereaved, and bereavement support bubbles would be a significant help to people in tier 2 and 3 areas or in the event of a future national UK lockdown.”

Care Team Reach Great Heights in Memory Of Former Colleague Four care workers from the Kanner Project in Plymouth have scaled Mount Snowdon to raise money for charity and a memorial for a colleague who passed away in August. Kurtis Steele, Rebecca Tompsett, Natalie Cook and Hannah Wells took on the 1,085m Welsh giant on 22 September to fundraise for Mind and to create a memorial for Carl Logan, who died last month from an ongoing medical condition. Mind is a charity close to the four fundraisers hearts and provides vital support to individuals living with both long- and short-term mental health conditions, including the grief of losing a loved one. The Kanner Project is operated by Modus Care, part of Salutem Care and Education, and provides specialist residential care for up to five residents with complex needs, including those with autistic spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. Hannah Wells, waking night support worker at the Kanner Project, said: “The

money we raise will be split down the middle between Mind and a memorial piece for Carl. He was an amazing person, was always happy and brightened everyone’s day so we wanted to give back in memory of him. “We chose Mind as a charity because everyone is touched by mental health concerns, either living with a condition themselves or supporting a loved one. We hope that our climb will raise awareness and money for those who need it most. “We’ve been training hard and we’re ready to take on Wales’ highest mountain.” John Godden, CEO of Salutem Care and Education “We were all shocked and saddened when Carl died. He was a very valued member of the Salutem family who is greatly missed by our colleagues and the individuals we support. “I’m incredibly proud of Hannah, Natalie, Kurtis and Rebecca for taking on such a gruelling physical challenge in aid of a fantastic cause. Their work ethic and approach to helping others in inspirational.”

Research Finds No Link Between Hobbies and Dementia Risk Research published this week in the scientific publication Neurology suggests those who lack interest in the world around them are at an increased risk of developing dementia. The scientists looked at a group of research volunteers taking part in an existing study. The Whitehall II study is a long-term health study that recruited people working as civil servants in the 1980s. At the start of the study, the team used a questionnaire with 13 questions to see how often 6,000 people took part in leisure activities over the previous year. The activities included gardening, going to the pub and seeing friends. The scientists then followed the volunteers repeating the questionnaire

ten years later and looked to see who developed dementia after nearly two decades. What did the researchers find? They found no link between taking part in leisure activities in people’s mid-50s and dementia over nearly two decades. But they found those who took part in more hobbies by the time they were in their mid-60’s were less likely to develop dementia. Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Living an active lifestyle is good for many aspects of our health, including our brain. This new study in a group of ex-civil servants found no link between the type or how often people in their mid-50s take part in hobbies and the risk of developing dementia over the next two decades.

Residents of Moorgate Hollow Receive the Ballroom Treatment Residents at a Rotherham care home were treated to a night of sequins and spray tan as the care home staff laid on a Strictly Come Dancing themed afternoon. Staff at the care home, on Nightingale Close, got into the groove with the Cha Cha and American Smooth, sweeping residents off their feet in celebration of their love for the programme. Residents also got into the spirit of the show by judging the staff on their moves with the iconic score paddles, dressing up and watching re-runs of the programme. David Boyd, 75, resident at Moorgate Hollow care home, said: “It was such a beautiful afternoon

and such great fun to get involved and dance with the staff. “We definitely need more practice though; I felt a bit rusty with some of my moves!” Lyn Pilkington, home manager at Moorgate Hollow care home, said: “Lots of our residents used to dance and are fans of Strictly. It’s been lovely to dress up the room and get the residents onto their feet. “It’s heartwarming to put a smile on residents’ faces and see them dance away. “I’d also like to say thank you to our deputy manager, Leighann Peace, who organised the event. It was fab-u-lous!”

However, this group of people are not representative of the whole UK population and the types of leisure activity looked at varied greatly. “The research suggests changes in the participation in leisure activity in your mid-60s may be an early sign of dementia, but not one specific activity was found to be an indicator or a risk factor for the condition. “With no treatment to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia, prevention is key, and we need to see more research in this area. In a separate study, scientists have calculated that eliminating 12 modifiable factors could reduce 40% of dementia cases. A healthy lifestyle includes staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, drinking within recommended guidelines, and not smoking.”

No Change To CQC Fees Scheme

The CQC fees scheme, which covers all our costs of regulation, including registration, monitoring and inspection, will not change next year – in 2021/22. This means that, for most providers, their fees will remain the same as in 2019/20 and 2020/21, providing their registration or size does not change. As this year, NHS trusts, NHS GPs and community social care providers may see a small change to their fees from April 2021 (up or down), because each provider’s fee is calculated by looking at their size against the total size of the sector, both of which change year-on-year.

However, the total fees collected for each sector will not change. In a statement the CQC said “Since we are only required to consult when there is a change to our fees scheme, we will not be consulting on fees this year.” “By keeping our fees scheme unchanged, providers can benefit from a known fee when setting budgets. We know this is a particularly challenging and uncertain period for providers across health and social care and we will continue to do all we can to support those delivering care at this time.”


New Research to Personalise Care For People with Dementia in Care Homes During COVID-19 Pandemic The NIHR and UK Research and Innovation have awarded £1.2 million to support development of an innovative online programme to improve and personalise care for people with dementia in care homes, which have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the 400,000 people living in care homes in the UK have dementia, mental health or neuropsychiatric symptoms, and a number of physical illnesses. They are at particularly high risk of developing severe COVID-19, and providing support is challenging for care staff who are facing a difficult, distressing and isolated work environment. Led by the University of Exeter and King’s College London, this new research will draw on the most successful elements of the NIHR-funded Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) programme, one of the very few staff training programmes that is proven to improve lives for people with dementia in care homes. Clinical trials have shown that WHELD improved quality of life and mental health, and reduced the use of harmful sedative drugs, in people with dementia in care homes. This new funding will allow researchers to develop a digital version of the staff training programme, to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. Short, digestible and practical digital resources and tools that are easily accessible will be developed, which, with the support of a network of WHELD coaches, will create a community that allows carers to stay connected and supported at a distance. Specific adaptations to the programme in light of the COVID-19 crisis,

such as peer networking and solution sharing, will be combined with the core elements of WHELD. These include focusing on person-centred care that involves the person with demetia in decision-making, personalised activities that are tailored to the residents’ interests, and reducing unnecessary sedative medications, known to increase risk of falls and death. The programme will first be tested in 160 care homes, followed by an evaluation of efficacy and cost effectiveness in a further 1,280 care homes, before making the programme ‘implementation ready’ for national care home roll-out. Professor Clive Ballard, Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “We urgently need to support care staff, who are going through an extraordinarily difficult time in trying to care for residents in hugely challenging circumstances.

“Care home residents are among the frailest in society, and are at particularly high risk of dying from COVID-19. I’m delighted that this funding will help us to adapt the WHELD programme to a COVID-19 world, and roll it out swiftly, to provide the best possible support to residents and staff.” COVID-19 social distancing has been particularly challenging for care home residents with dementia, who might not be able to see their families and loved ones and may see staff in full PPE gear, which might be frightening. “This is expected to lead to increased emotional stress including anxiety, depression and night-time problems, which will lead to poorer physical health and wellbeing for care home residents,” said Professor Dag Aarsland, Chair of Old Age Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. “This project will address these challenges and help to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia in care homes, helping families and carers adapt to these challenging times better.” Professor Martin Knapp, NIHR’s social care spokesperson and director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, said: “Having staff who are skilled in offering person-centred care can make the world of difference to people living in care homes, as shown by the previous NIHR-funded research on the WHELD programme. I’m pleased our researchers are responding to the pandemic by adapting the programme for online delivery, as care homes are facing huge challenges in these difficult times.”

Church Wedding Live Streamed To Essex Care Home So Resident Can See Her Grand-Daughter Walk Down The Aisle

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Home Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, in Stisted, put on their glad rags to enjoy a very special wedding, which was live streamed from a nearby church. Resident, Dot Bash, aged 91, sadly couldn’t be at her grand-daughter Kathryn’s wedding to fiancé Tom Law in person, because in line with Government guidance,

she would have had to isolate at the Home afterwards. However, Dot’s son, Peter Bash, and kind-hearted staff at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court were determined that Dot didn’t miss the big day. So, they arranged for the wedding to be live streamed and Dot watched it in real time with her fellow residents on the Home’s huge, cinema style screen. Residents and staff at the Home dressed up in their best wedding attire for the midday service, just as they would if they were there in person. To create a wedding atmosphere at the Home, there were fresh flower decorations, and a tea party was held after the service. Everyone was invited to drink a toast to the happy couple. The bride’s father had even delivered a case of wine to the Home for everyone to enjoy. In normal times, residents at the Home enjoy lots of fun, sociable and stimulating excursions, with some residents even trying activities such as ice-skating and horse-riding. So, the residents were delighted to have this really special occasion to look forward to.

Home Manager Aggie McDonald explains: “We couldn’t bear the thought of Dot not being able to see her granddaughter getting married in real time. They’re such a close family, for her to miss it would have been heart-breaking. We were determined to make it special for her and it was lovely that our other residents were also able to enjoy such an uplifting event.” The wedding took place very nearby at the picturesque All Saints Church, Stisted, where Kathryn’s mum, is church warden. After the service, the bride and groom cut a wedding cake outside the Home, a beautiful grade II listed property, while Dot and fellow residents watched through the window. The cake was made by the Home’s chef! Kathryn, who now lives in the Cotswold’s, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that my Nana and her fellow residents could join in my wedding. It added an extra exciting dimension to the whole day and lasting memories to treasure. It’s lovely that the Home is doing so much. They’re having a three-course meal and canapes! In fact, they’re probably doing more than we are!”

Kathryn was able to visit her beloved Nana in the Home’s Covid-secure visitor pod the day before the wedding. Dot told carers: “I’m so grateful that the Home was able to make this happen, so I could see my granddaughter getting married!”

A Person-Centred Approach to Mobility and Hygiene Maintaining a level of independence and involvement in activities of daily living for those in your care can be a challenge. Using the Mobility Gallery™ assessment tool (figure 1) allows you to understand a person’s functional mobility, the level of assistance required, the risk to the caregiver and the importance to stimulate functional mobility.

Figure 1 © 2020 Arjo

Person centred care places the resident at the centre of all we do. This assessment tool helps to optimise the mobility of the resident, improve dignified care and reduces the risk of injury to both the resident and the

caregiver. Promoting mobility is the driving force behind The Positive Eight™ philosophy shown in figure 2. When looking at specific hygiene tasks, needs differ significantly across care settings and need to encompass both physical and cognitive capabilities determined through individual assessment. Assisted hygiene solutions are designed to allow you to work in an ergonomically sound position, to reduce the risk of injury, whilst supporting a beneficial interaction with your resident. Caregiver safety is paramount, and factors, which affect the risk of musculoskeletal injury, should be considered, such as: • The number, type and functional mobility levels of residents being transferred or participating in hygiene routines • The inadequacy (or absence) of suitable

Nametags4Carehomes are Winning the War Against Lost Property! Labelling clothes seems simple. So what’s the problem? Some Name Tags simply fall off! Some are chunky and uncomfortable, others are tricky to apply, and many are difficult to see! Our dual purpose Easyfix Clip & Iron on labels are the bestselling Care Home labels. Unlike other chunky and cumbersome ones on the market, these button-like clips are so tiny that they won’t cause any irritation to the skin. The labels can either be fixed on in seconds using the clips, or ironed on. When ironed on they fuse into garments and become part of them – so they can’t possibly come off! And of course, they withstand high temperature washes and industrial tumble dryers.

The labels ensure that clothing and personal belongings are easily identified. They can be printed in bright colours, with a name, room number and even with the resident’s photo! Bold and visible, they are impossible to miss. Choosing NameTags4CareHomes is the best way to ensure that laundry operations run smoothly, and residents don’t find themselves without their clothes! Same day despatch and next day delivery means your labels can be with you as soon as you need them. It’s no wonder hundreds of care homes already trust us to supply them with millions of labels. Prices start from £8 for 34 Clip-Ons. Visit our website or call us on 01242 519191 today!

equipment • Restricted spaces • Lack of education and training for care skills To mitigate these risks, evidence has demonstrated that education alone is insufficient. Use of the right equipment improves caregiver safety and reduces injury-related costs for the organisation. Understanding functional mobility, combined with selection of appropriate equipment to support your resident and caregiver can assist in addressing this challenge. To learn more about Arjo's solution contact 08457 342000 or see the advert on the facing page. Figure 2 © 2020 Arjo

ISO/TR 12296:2012 Ergonomics — Manual Handling of People in the Healthcare Sector, 2012 Matz M, 2019. Patient Handling and Mobility Assessments: A White Paper Second Edition


Care Watchdog Confirms Crisis In Care Has Worsened The findings of a care watchdog have confirmed the need for an urgent “root and branch” reform of the way we care for older and vulnerable people, providers said today. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Care Quality Commission’s report on the state of health and social care makes damning reading for the Government. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Here we have damning evidence that the crisis in social care has hampered its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and made it ever more vital that we have reform of the sector straight away. “The dire state of social care – with providers struggling, 100,0000 staff vacancies a day, thousands going without care and poor staff morale – was not good preparation for the arrival of a pandemic. “Covid-19 found social care exposed and the toll has been terrible: 15,646 people died from coronavirus in care and nursing homes between 28th December and 2nd October, a number that is rising by the day. We must never forget, these are people’s loved ones – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, a brother, or a sister. ““Under-funded and neglected by government after government, coronavirus exposed a social care system that was already in crisis and plunged it into further despair.” The CQC says: “In social care, COVID-19 has not only exposed but exacerbated existing problems. The sector, already fragile, faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing – and coordinated support was less readily available than for the NHS. The long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care has been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic.

“Today’s report makes clear that these issues need to be urgently addressed – underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation.” Mr Padgham added: “Reform is long overdue; the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised it and it is time to deliver. Unless we get more funding into the sector to support care, ease the staffing shortages and improve the terms and conditions of the staff providing amazing care, the sector will continue to be extremely fragile.” The ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • A guarantee that people receiving publicly funded care can receive it in their own home or close to where they live • A commissioner for older people and those with Learning Disabilities in England • A properly costed national rate for care fees linked to a national career pathway and salary framework for care staff • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • A cap on social care costs, including ‘hotel’ charges • Local Enterprise Partnerships to prioritise social care

• A national scheme to ensure people save for their own care, as they do for a pension • A new model of social care delivery based on catchment areas – like GPs • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT • CQC to have much greater powers to oversee all commissioning practises such as per minute billing and 15-minute visits • Less duplication of inspection between CQC and local authorities/CCGs • Greater recognition of the role of the independent sector and utilisation of its expertise in the commissioning and delivery of social care • Guaranteed equal partnership working through seats on Health and Well Being Boards, CCGs, and NHS • Giving providers and CQC greater flexibility in delivering services • Providing telemedicine incentives • Allowing nurses and social care staff from overseas to work in the U.K. including lowering the salary cap • Training and bursaries to encourage recruitment/end the shortage of nurses • Long term measures to integrate older and younger people in care settings and change the perception of the generations • Investment in research and development into new models of social care delivery • Funding to help upgrade older care homes to maintain a range of choice for the public and investment in domiciliary care • Funding for leadership training.

New Paper Outlines Counties’ Four Main Themes to Guide Social Care Reform The County Councils Network (CCN) has published a new think piece The Other Side of the Coin, setting out the themes it believes should be at the heart of reform the adult social care system in the wake Coronavirus pandemic. The paper has been released to help shape thinking around the long-awaited social care green paper, and argues strongly that care should be kept local in any reform as councils have delivered quality services despite funding challenges and its links with other areas such as housing, public health, and children’s social care. Download the report at . The four themes encompass: Scope: taking full account of the wide range of adult social care services delivered by councils and ensuring reform fully considers working age adults as well as older people and hospital discharges. Infrastructure: considering the best ways to deliver an adult social care system which is of high quality, provides value for money, and fully engages communities. Resource: providing the right resources to help adult social care be commissioned effectively to meet the needs of local communities Improvement: putting in place the necessary framework to not only ensures quality but create an ongoing culture of continuous improvement which helps everyone to live their best lives for as long as possible. Separately, CCN has also announced that it would be commencing a new project in partnership with Newton Europe to explore and evidence the key themes for social care reform more deeply, drawing on the experience of local authorities delivering services on the ground and Newton’s expertise in the sector. The project is due to

Visioncall Eyes Growth Following Restructure Eye care specialist Visioncall is focussing on growing its operations across the UK following a restructuring process designed to improve its clinical service. Visioncall is one of the UK’s leading providers of eye health services to care homes and has had to adapt its operating model to facilitate growth in a market heavily impacted by Covid-19. The restructure consolidated managerial, administrative, bookings, and HR roles to the company’s

Cambuslang base. Head office will act as the nexus of the hub and spoke model of operations with lead optometrists and dispensing opticians focussing on the delivery and standard of care. Three new regional lead optometrist roles and three lead dispensing optician positions have been created to provide deeper and broader coverage south of the border. Michelle Le Prevost, Managing Director at Visioncall, led the restructur-

report later in the autumn. Cllr David Fothergill, CCN spokesperson for health and social care, said: “County authorities have been warning for several years that the adult social care system has been close to breaking point. Coronavirus has thrown into sharp focus the urgent need for reform of the system – a move which CCN and its member authorities would very much welcome. “However, any such reform must focus not on a narrow health-centric view of hospital discharges or care in residential homes but recognise the huge fabric of social care provision managed by local authorities – including for those of working age with chronic conditions or mental health issues. “Adult social care is, fundamentally, a local community service and any proposals for reform needs to consider the role local authorities have played in delivering quality care despite yearly funding reductions, rather than any knee-jerk moves towards centralisation. We therefore urge the Government to take on board the principles outlined in this paper so that county councils’ extensive experience of delivering adult social care is fully reflected in any future proposals for reform.” Danny Sperrin, director at Newton Europe, said: ‘We are very much looking forward to working with the County Councils Network and its members, and to draw on our experience of delivering change with local authorities, in order to contribute to the national discussion on the future of social care.” ing programme. She said: “Covid-19 has had an immeasurable impact on businesses across the country and around the world, and few have been as hard as our partners and patients in the care home sector. It became clear very quickly that we would have to adapt our operations significantly to be able to continue our person-focused eye care, which – while difficult – gave us the capacity to look at our broader business operations and adapt for the future. “Our clinical teams are the experts in the fields and specialise in the looking after our elderly and vulnerable patients, including those with dementia and communication issues. Because of the nature of our core patient base, it’s essential that those clinical teams can focus on the implementing the highest standards of care rather than roles like processing bookings which can be done remotely. “The new operating model also allows us to be more flexible to changing markets. Care homes remain our central and core audience although as the way we

each live our lives is changed, perhaps irrevocably, by Covid-19, there are opportunities to expand and innovate with new routes to market for eye health businesses like ours. “The future of the care home sector and the wider economy is uncertain, but by taking these brave steps now, we’re securing the future of our business and protecting our patients’ eye care and the improvements in quality of life that accompany clear vision.” Visioncall has been delivering person-centred eye care to the UK care home sector since 1994. Its services include home sight tests, optical dispensing and dementia-friendly eye exams. More than 50% of UK care home residents suffer with sight loss, which can increase anxiety and frustration, having knock-on effects on other aspects of an individual’s physical and mental health. To find out more about Visioncall, please visit:

On Your Marks, Get Set, BAKE! 12 Care Homes Take Part In Cake Off Event A group of 12 care homes across the South East of England got to make their cake and eat it as part of a bake off event covering Kent, Essex and Surrey. Donning aprons and wielding whisks, residents and staff at Nellsar, a family-run group of residential and nursing care homes, baked their way to success in a showstopping competition – with not a soggy bottom in sight! Dubbed ‘The Great Nellsar Cake Off’, the event saw an array of indulgent and creative cakes entered into a competition, which was held in part to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of residents – a core strategy at Nellsar – and to coincide with the nation’s beloved Great British Bake Off returning to screens. A panel of sweet-toothed judges were tasked with the difficult decision of picking the cream of the crop, casting judgement on creative concept, resident involvement, and standard of finish to determine three prize winners. Meyer House Care Centre, in Erith, Kent, took first place with an incredible seaside themed cake, while Princess Christian Care Centre, near Woking, Surrey, scooped sec-

Don’t Delay Combi-Cleaning, Warns Rational Rational is warning that it’s essential for kitchen staff to follow the cleaning procedures recommended by their machine’s manufacturer in order to keep combi steamers operating safely and efficiently. The market-leader says that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some operators are choosing to delay cleaning in order to save money. “We are already seeing an increase in service call-outs arising from this,” says Trevor Lath, national service director of Rational UK. “It’s a problem that will be affecting all combi steamer brands,” he adds. Typically combi steamers should be cleaned every day as part of the kitchen routine. Most quality machines have self-cleaning programs that make what would be a time consuming and unpleasant chore effortless. On Rational’s new iCombi Pro the iCareSystem tells operators when they need to run the programme to clean the combi, so it minimises the use of chemicals – because it only asks for a clean when it’s necessary. The iCareSystem also deals with scale, so there’s no need for a separate water treatment system, or for expensive professional descaling. “The problem is that some operators are ignoring the iCareSystem’s alerts, on the assumption that delaying a clean and descale will save them money and won’t really do any harm,” says Lath. “This is not the case.” Deferring cleaning routines will lead to the build-up of dirt and scale, which may compromise cooking results, increase energy consumption and running costs and ultimately lead to

ond place with a stunning Wedgwood inspired Queen’s cake. The Old Downs Residential Care Centre, in Hartley, Kent, secured third place with an impressive fruit and sponge design of its home. A special prize also went to St Winifreds Care Centre, in Deal, Kent, for its creative concept of featuring aspects of its residents’ lives, which included lawn bowls and cocktails. While cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50 were given to the winners, every home’s delightful designs were worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake! Viv Stead, Recreation and Wellbeing Manager at Nellsar, said: “The Great Nellsar Cake Off was full of fun, friendship and flour – lots of flour! Our residents fully immersed themselves in the competition and we were lucky enough to see some incredible designs.” Viv continued: “With the pandemic not likely to pass any time soon, it’s so important to keep residents engaged, stimulated and happy, and that’s what this light-hearted competition was all about. Well done to everyone who took part – treat yourselves to a welldeserved slice and cuppa!” equipment breakdown. If a descale becomes necessary it could cost hundreds of pounds. There are additional risks: the Rational detergent cleaning tablets don’t just clean and descale the machine, they also break down fats and grease, preventing drains from blocking and subsequent kitchen floods. “At the very least, you’re looking at unwanted costs and unwanted downtime,” says Lath. “Worst case scenario, you could block drains, flood the kitchen and damage the appliance permanently.” By making the equipment unsafe, not cleaning the combi may even compromise HACCP. “The answer is simple,” says Lath. “Follow the machine’s alerts, or the manufacturer’s guidelines, and run the cleaning program when it’s required.” HACCP data available from the iCombi Pro combi-steamer and via Rational’s ConnectedCooking platform will give the operator a comprehensive summary of the combi steamer’s daily operation, including the number of cleaning programs that have been run during a specified period. RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment and, with the iVario multifunctional cooking system and the iCombi Pro combi steamer, the company delivers 95% of all conventional cooking applications. Rational’s ConnectedCooking allows operators to monitor, manage and update their Rational appliances remotely, from a PC, tablet or smartphone. iKitchen is the combination of the iCombi Pro, iVario Pro and ConnectedCooking – iKitchen delivers the best kitchen management and the best cooking solutions. For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live online demonstrations and webinars, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated

with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. See page 12 or visit for details.

Care sector employers looking to reward hard working staff for their efforts during lockdown have helped double new business at one of the UK’s leading gifting and engagement companies. Appreciate Group saw the sharp rise in demand from new clients between April and August as firms looked to thank employee efforts during the pandemic. The year-on-year increase was particularly high in the care sector – where many employees remained in the workplace throughout lockdown. Appreciate Group’s business products include Love2shop gift cards, e-gift cards and vouchers all of which companies can use to reward their employees and customers. Love2shop can be redeemed with many of the nation’s leading retailers and leisure providers. Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Group said: “Employees up and down the country have needed to adapt to new and different ways of working during these challenging times, be

that working from home or abiding by social distancing rules in the workplace. “These challenges have also led to an increasing number of employers finding new ways to say thank you to colleagues for their efforts during lockdown, including digital rewards.” “Recognition gestures such as gift cards can go a long way in making staff feel that their employer values their commitment. Many companies will need these hard-working employees as they continue to deal with, and emerge from, the challenges of COVID-19.” Employers are able to use the tax-free Trivial Benefits Allowance to reward staff with gift cards up to the value of £50. For more information on tax-free gifting for employees, visit: or email Alex Speed, Head of Business Development, at Appreciate Group

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down.

CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and non-iron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 or see the advert on page 3.

New Scale for Mobility-Impaired Residents Could Reduce ‘Risk of Injury to Staff and Demand From Care Sector Firms Rewarding Staff In Residents’ and ‘Costs to Healthcare’ Lockdown Drives Surge In Recognition Products

Euroservice Trolley Manufacturers celebrating 40 years of experience in the sale and manufacture of wooden trolleys for the catering trade, Euroservice trolley manufacturers have now acquired a worldwide reputation and still offer an extensive /comprehensive range of top quality wooden trolleys manufactured in the UK. Top quality is a priority in the production of all of our products and Euroservice are specialists in the manufacture of sturdy and beautiful looking trolleys which will grace any environment from the small privately owned restaurant to the splendid 3 to 5

star hotels, resorts and Residential homes. Euroservice’s excellence in the manufacture of wooden trolleys is backed by a personal, efficient and friendly service second to none. We are always busy researching the needs of the market and launch new ranges according to market demands. Whatever your needs you can be assured that Euroservice can cater for them and we look forward to your call. Freephone: 0800 917 7943

C & S Seating Postural Management C & S Seating has been providing postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide since 1991. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls in a removable and machine washable, waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C & S Seating is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support (APS) system. Ideal when more control of the abducted lower limb is required (See photo) which has

removable side cushions and middle pommel; this is available in small or large. Our popular range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 vibrant colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard waterproof rolls. It is recommended you seek professional advice to select the correct product depending on your needs. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit us at to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 10.

A new chair scale with a lifting seat, believed to be the first of its kind, will ‘reduce risk of injury to residents’ and ‘support the musculoskeletal health of staff’ when weighing individuals with limited mobility. By making the weighing process easier, the new device could also ‘reduce costs to healthcare’’ according to the manufacturer. The M-250, available now from scale manufacturer Marsden, is a chair scale that features a seat that rises and lowers to help a resident get into, and out of, a sitting position. Marsden says it has been introduced in response to requests from customers for easier ways to weigh residents who cannot stand unaided. The tilting seat base, operated by a handheld remote control, rises to the resident and then gently lowers them into the seat. Once weighing is complete, it rises slowly to assist them from sitting to a near-standing position. The new weighing scale is Class III Approved, meaning it is legally suitable for weighing individuals for medical purposes. It provides an accurate weight reading to the nearest 100g, and has a capacity of 250kg. The seat is slightly wider than standard chair scales, meaning it can accommodate larger residents. Development of the new weighing scale began in 2017, with input provided by care homes, back care specialists and other industry experts, including medical device design house PD-M. The scale was developed alongside the Patient Transfer Scale, Marsden’s transfer board with built-in weighing scale that was launched in late 2018.

“The M-250 is designed to make weighing residents with limited mobility more comfortable, less stressful, and potentially even reduce the time and number of staff it typically takes to weigh these individuals,” said Dave Smith, Marketing Director at Marsden. “We want to see it reducing costs to healthcare too, through quicker, easier weighing processes and less risk of injury to care staff.” Mark Coates, Operations Director at Marsden, said: “The biggest challenge of weighing residents with limited mobility is the time it takes, the stress on the individual and the amount of effort required by staff. “When developing the scale we had to consider the benefit to the resident and the member of staff. What’s safest and easiest for the healthcare professional without compromising comfort for the resident? “Our finished product has been tested by individuals with varying levels of mobility, and with both one and two members of staff. Through this testing we found that effort required by staff to help the resident out of the seat was greatly reduced compared to a standard chair scale or wheelchair. “Plus, we’ve focused on reducing risk of injury to residents as well as supporting the musculoskeletal health of healthcare staff when weighing those with limited mobility.” “We’re looking forward to seeing the M-250 make a real difference in care homes in the UK, and around the world.” The M-250 Chair Scale with Stand Assist is available to order now on the Marsden website. or email

NEW Adaptawear Clothing Website Helping Independent & Assisted Dressing Adaptawear has recently launched their NEW and improved website making it even easier for customers to browse, buy and shop online. Benefits of New Website • New Adaptawear logo – easier and cleaner to read • Faster and simpler to buy online through your mobile, tablet or PC • Improved navigation to relevant collections & categories: ladies wear, menswear and lifestyle and comfort • Updated and enhanced product photography • Easier & additional payment opportunities: • Secure & reliable • Ability for customers to set up account online so you can track orders and make it easier for repeat or new orders • Improved order tracking functionality • Integrated customer reviews Adaptawear provides adaptive clothing that are specially designed to making dressing easier and the elderly and disabled; both for independent dressing and assisted dressing. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for arthritis, stroke, Parkinson, incontinence and dementia

sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with fastenings, buttons and zips. If you are a healthcare or care home worker or Occupational Therapist and struggling to dress your patients during this Covid-19 pandemic; then take a look at our range of Adaptawear adapted clothing for both men and women CARER OFFER: SAVE 10% Do go and visit online at to buy adapted clothing online. Carer readers please quote CR10 for 10% discount off your first order.

Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics, Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics, vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so

please ask. Choices include print basecloths, plain and woven designs. All antimicrobial fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high standards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viral-reducing and anti-fungal properties. Fabrics are not seen as a beneficial host for Sars Cov-2 even without antimicrobial treatment, however including this extra benefit viruses and bacteria are greatly reduced. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team:



Malnutrition Matters

By Lesley Carter, Programme Lead, The Malnutrition Task Force, and Dr Trevor Smith, President of BAPEN

BAPEN1 and the Malnutrition Task Force2, came together again earlier this month to run the third UK Malnutrition Awareness Week3 - #UKMAW2020. This is an important week in the nutritional calendar as it highlights national efforts to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of malnutrition for more vulnerable, older people, and for those with disease-related risks of malnutrition in the UK. The care home sector is under exceptional and extraordinary amounts of pressure and managers are having to finding new and innovative ways of working to keep everyone safe. It is now even more important that nutrition remains a priority. There are many challenges; we already know that 30-42% of people who were admitted into a care home setting pre COVID-19 were already malnourished or at a higher risk. New admissions will likely be even more vulnerable. Residents may be admitted recovering from COVID-19, others may have experienced a deterioration of their physical condition during the lockdown in their own homes, making them unable to cope independently. People living with dementia may experience more rapidly advancing symptoms, family carers may be finding it more difficult to cope with less available domiciliary care, and therefore may be seeking admission to residential care. There are grave concerns about the nutritional status of older people who are already resident in care homes, whose lives have been changed dramatically because of COVID-19 related issues, isolation in their own rooms, reduction in the amount of usual contact with staff and other residents, their lack of understanding and fear about staff dressed in PPE and most importantly, their lack of usual contact with their friends and relatives. These difficult changes in circumstances are often translated into loneliness, with a lack of well-being, less interest in food, and a smaller appetite. Residents may be reluctant to eat because of oral health difficulties which

have been hard to treat, resulting in dehydration and weight loss, which we know can lead to health complications associated with poorer outcomes. Care homes must have a food and drink strategy that addresses the nutritional needs of people using the service4. The strategy needs to be underpinned with a robust policy for nutritional screening and development of appropriate nutritional care plans, with guidelines and staff training. Each resident must have a personalised nutritional care plan (which is shared with the kitchen and menu planning staff) which manages their nutritional risk, with regular monitoring and evaluation which will ensure that residents do not experience unplanned weight loss, or if they do it is picked up immediately. Alongside this it is positive practice to have a section in the ‘getting to know you’ conversations with the resident and their friends and relatives, prior to or during admission, to get a clear understanding of what, how and when the new resident likes to eat and drink. This knowledge helps to ensure that mealtimes are an enjoyable experience. We know that undernutrition is not always obvious, it's often hidden and not easy to identify by just looking at a person. Measuring of malnutrition risk (undernutrition) and assessment through screening is essential to accurately identify risk. This can be done easily using BAPEN’s Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’). It is then important to put in place an individualised nutritional care plan based on the results of screening for malnutrition risk. Some guidance on this can be found here. Undertaking a nutritional assessment using the ‘MUST’ tool on admission will identify any risk, and help to compile a personalised nutritional care plan which clearly sets out the plan for all staff to see and follow. It will include food and drink preferences, identify the help that is needed to eat and drink independently, be specific about the help that is required to cut food, and physically support someone to get food from the plate to the mouth. Special requirements must be set out e.g. IDDSI5 (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative) and any adaptations required e.g. to cutlery or sitting positions. The ‘MUST’ score and care plan should be updated regularly, but at least monthly, and any changes or concerns should be mentioned at the regular GP round. There are other, small changes that can make a significant difference to the overall mealtime experience, making sure that there is a calm and

comfortable feel about mealtimes. It is important to ensure that people have the tools and support they need to allow them to eat and drink as independently as possible. In these new ways of working in the COVID world, the importance of not rushing a resident who needs help to eat and drink or is slow to chew and swallow cannot be overemphasized as often they will just give up – and if this happens at each meal the malnutrition risk is great. When people are forced to eat alone because of isolation or social distancing, listening to a favourite piece of music or the radio, or watching an enjoyed television programme can help. Think about how a focus on food can be integrated into the residents’ activities schedule. There are many tools, information sources and resources that can help organisations to make significant and beneficial changes that are easily achievable and can help to positively improve the experience of eating and drinking in care homes. • Make contact with your local dietetics team who can assist with training and support. • When reviewing your organisation’s nutrition strategy - the information on the Malnutrition Pathway website gives helpful information at • The Malnutrition Task Force has resources that can help and has examples of positive practice from other care homes. Positive practice can be shared on the MTF website at Nutrition is the foundation of health and wellbeing. We invite you to join us in continuing to shine a light on the risk of malnutrition. Throughout October, all social care professionals are being asked to submit data to help build a national picture of risk status. Last year, we had a great response from care homes, and we hope even more care homes will submit data this year, just choose one day of the month to report and enter information online at It is important that as many organisations and practitioners as possible become part of this nationwide effort to screen for malnutrition. The impact of this year on the health and wellbeing of older people must be reviewed, analysed, and acted upon. 1 The British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN). 2 The Malnutrition Task Force. 3 UK Malnutrition Awareness Week. 4 Care Quality Commission. Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities). Regulations 2014: Regulation 14 Meeting Nutritional and Hydration Needs. 5 IDDSI. International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative.

Taking Combi Steamer Productivity To The Max One of the stars of Rational’s new iCombi Pro combi steamer is an advanced feature called iProductionManager which, the company says, not only increases productivity but also adds enormous flexibility to production schedules. At the same time it reduces running costs. The option of cooking different products at the same time in a combi steamer isn’t new, but iProductionManager takes the whole concept to a higher level. As well as telling you what products can be cooked together, it allows chefs to select whether they want all the food to be ready at the same time, or if they want it all to be cooked as quickly as possible, or if they want it cooked as energy efficiently as possible. Depending on the choice, iProductionManager then automatically prepares the optimum schedule. For example, suppose a full breakfast is being cooked where everything is wanted at the same time. The system will inform the chef when to load the eggs, the bacon, the tomatoes, and so on, staggering the start times so that the hash browns are perfectly cooked at exactly the same moment as the mushrooms – and all the other breakfast components. On the other hand, chefs may want each food cooked as quickly as possible. In this case, food is loaded onto the different shelves and iProductionManager simply lets staff know when each shelf’s load is ready. As one shelf’s food is being taken out, iProductionManager automatically compensates for the loss of temperature due to the door opening, and recalculates the cooking times for food on all the other shelves. Energy efficiency is increasingly important and iProductionManager can help here, too, by creating the most energy efficient schedule for multiple different

foods. The iCombi control panel makes everything simple. Once the chefs have selected what type of schedule they want – synchronised, speedy or efficient – they simply drag the relevant icon, such as sausages, onto the appropriate shelf on the panel, so the system knows which food is where and can monitor it accordingly. With iProductionManager chefs can even split shelves, so that two different foods can be cooked on the same shelf, with the system monitoring each to ensure they are perfectly cooked. “The new normal is already creating new challenges for chefs,” says Simon Lohse, managing director of Rational UK. “Consumers want more flexibility in terms of when they eat – all day eateries are going to be more common; many kitchens may have fewer staff; and every operator will have the overriding need to reduce running costs. More efficient management of the production process will provide solutions in all these areas – and iProductionManager delivers the most advanced, easy to use and practical technology available.” iProductionManager is one of a suite of new, advanced intelligent features on Rational’s iCombi Pro combi steamer. RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment and, with the iVario multifunctional cooking system and the iCombi Pro combi steamer, the company delivers all a commercial kitchen’s thermal cooking requirements. Together, the two appliances offer the best cooking solutions. For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live online demonstrations and webinars, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit

EF Group Launches CaterCloud - The Secret Ingredient for Menu Management Success Manchester-based, EF Group has announced it is offering free for life access to its new cloud-based, menu management platform, CaterCloud, which launched this week. The easy-to-use, next generation allergen, nutrition, menu planning and costing system offers a wealth of enhanced functionality to help caterers gain significant efficiencies in their operations, to control costs and increase profits. CaterCloud helps businesses ensure food safety remains a key focus. With food labelling regulations set to change in October 2021, as a result of Natasha’s Law, all England-based businesses working in the food industry will be required to clearly label all foods produced and packed on their premises with a full list of ingredients detailing the full allergen profile. Designed to help businesses prepare for this upcoming regulation, CaterCloud provides sub-allergen information and tagging; QR Code scanning for live allergen and nutritional information, along with the ability to print Natasha’s Law compliant food labels. CaterCloud also offers customers access to a range of accredited training for allergen awareness and food safety. CaterCloud’s innovative functionality also boasts many other benefits to enable simple menu management for caterers across the hospitality, healthcare, education and retail sectors. It offers effective menu planning with dish and menu costings; access to a nutritional database with 1,000s of ingredients and customisable dashboards to record KPIs. Users of CaterCloud can also join the e-foods’ Buyers’ Club and benefit from its substantial buying power. The Buyers’ Club is made up of a net-

work of trusted accredited suppliers across the UK. Users can purchase food and non-food goods from these suppliers with savings of between 5 to 10%. Paul Mizen, Chief Executive, EF Group said: “The service industries are

moving at pace towards technology to help meet their stock ordering, menu planning and compliance challenges. Our experience shows that there is increasing demand for more advanced dish and menu costing tools, as well as detailed, easy to use product data. “Catering managers require their menu management software to seamlessly integrate with their ordering systems and demand best value from their food suppliers. With CaterCloud, we will remain at the forefront of delivering the innovative features the industry needs. “The entire catering industry has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and as businesses work hard to recover, we are providing CaterCloud for free to help maximise efficiencies and reduce costs. This is our way of giving something back to the industry upon which our business is founded.” CaterCloud is a web-based menu planning, nutrition, allergen and costing system which is part of the E-F Group. CaterCloud helps hundreds of hospitality businesses deliver performance and control costs while reducing food safety risks. CaterCloud is committed to innovation in food management, its leading-edge platform helps to manage food offerings from front desk to kitchens, with the aim of improving efficiency in catering operations. Live menu costings help businesses to see how their business is performing every day, enabling them to focus on producing quality food and increasing profitability. CaterCloud’s clients are mainly in the following sectors: healthcare, education, hospitality and retail. For more information, see the advert on page 22 or visit

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DYSPHAGIA myAko Develops Dysphagia Online Courses For Carers Swallowing difficulties are common in people residing in care homes. Early identification, assessment and management by care home staff may result in a decrease in the incidence of pneumonia and death. Therefore, it is important for staff to be aware of the signs of dysphagia and what to do in order to prevent further deterioration in a resident’s condition. Dr. Elizabeth Boaden is a fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has spent over 30 years working to improve the quality of life of those living with dysphagia. Dr. Boaden has created a set of courses on dysphagia. These courses have been researched and developed for the benefit of all healthcare workers and nurses, and are due to be available on

WHAT IS DYSPHAGIA? Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulties swallowing. Difficulties may range from a decrease in chewing ability to food and drinks going onto the lungs causing aspiration pneumonia and death. Dysphagia is a common feature of many congenital and acquired structural and neurological difficulties. It is not possible to provide accurate figures regarding the prevalence of dysphagia, as it is often unrecognised and underdiagnosed. Dysphagia affects approximately 8% of the global population. Although swallowing difficulties are seen in the paediatric population, the greater incidence is in adult client group. The incidence of

commonly occuring elderly neurological diseases in the older population are stroke (45-78%), Parkinson’s disease (75-100%) and Alzeimer’s disease (90%). Swallowing involves six cranial nerves and over 26 pairs of muscles, with the oesophagus opening within a fraction of a second of airway closure. It is therefore unsurprising that everyone has experienced at least one incident where just a slight incoordination of the swallow has caused coughing and choking as food and drink enter the airway. It is therefore to be expected that dysphagia occurs in approximately 35% of the normal aging elderly population owing to weakness in the muscles for swallowing. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 74% of residents in care homes will present with swallowing difficulties of some description.

AWARENESS AND EDUCATION The training, available on, helps healthcare workers to better understand the impact of dysphagia and how to help those in their care. The nurses training helps them support Speech and Language Therapists with remote dysphagia assessments, without the need for face-to-face visits. Utilising remote teleswallowing techniques helps to reduce current NHS waiting lists and nurses and carers are able to improve early diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia.

MOVING FORWARD It is imperative for care staff to be able to quickly and effectively screen for dysphagia, as a delay in doing so may have devastating effects. It is a care worker’s duty to ease the struggle presented by dysphagia; not only to avoid the possibility of death, but to simply ensure that a resident’s later life and emotional well-being is as comfortable and content as possible. Visit, email or call 01202 283383 for further details.

Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *

*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time. How can this training help you? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring

for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.(


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Guidance For Staff Returning or Joining the Care Sector COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is highly contagious (Li, 2020). While most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms, the elderly are at greater risk of becoming seriously or gravely ill. Those who live in care homes are at an increased risk (CDC, 2020). It is therefore important that care staff or those who a new to the care sector remain vigilant and are up to date on best practice hygiene and infection control as government advice is constantly evolving. This will be key to prevent the spread of the virus in care settings.


It is important that care staff wash and disinfect their hands frequently to help limit the spread of the virus. There should also be emphasis on correct handwashing (Aymood et al 2020). Studies have found that correct handwashing can limit the spread of coronavirus by 69% (Nicolaides et al 2020) . Research has found that most people do not wash their hands correctly, forgetting to disinfectant areas such as between the fingers, fingertips and thumbs. Staff should be aware of best practice hand hygiene.

How to disinfect your hands

It is also imperative that staff know when to perform hand hygiene, this includes: • Before touching a resident

To prevent germs from being transferred to the resident from your hands • Before an aseptic procedure e.g. changing dressings or taking bloods To reduce the risk of germs entering the body during the procedure. For guidance on dressing changes, Molnlycke Healthcare have a suite of free resources for carers • After body fluid exposure risk To protect yourself and the care home environment from harmful resident germs • After touching a resident To prevent transfer to yourself, the environment and other residents • After touching a resident’s surroundings To remove germs picked up by touching the resident’s local environment

Article by GAMA Healthcare (


It is important that PPE is available for staff to use. When carers are in close personal contact with a resident, they should wear PPE to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. Staff should also be familiar on what type of PPE to use based on the situation (Public Health England, 2020) Public Health England guidance recommends the following types of PPE for each situation: When providing close personal care in direct contact with the resident(s) (e.g.touching) OR within 2 metres of anyone in the household who is coughing • Disposable gloves – to protect from fluids, secretions and contact from residents body • Disposable plastic apron - to protect from fluids, secretions and contact from residents body • Fluid repellent surgical mask – This can be worn throughout the shift, unless staff need to eat, drink or take a break • Eye protection – protect from secretions and droplets from residents mouth, this is particularly important when a resident is repeatedly coughing. When within 2 metres of a client or household members but not delivering personal care or needing to touch them, and there is no one within 2 metres who has a cough • Type 11 surgical mask - This can be worn throughout the shift, unless

staff need to eat, drink or take a break (Public Health England, 2020). It may also be prudent to wear visors, but they have been found to limit the inhalation of the virus by 92% (Perencevich, 2020)


Coronavirus can live on surfaces for days. It is therefore important that effective surface hygiene is incorporated daily to prevent the spread of the virus. Carers undertaking cleaning duties should be aware of the 5 principles of the cleaning. GAMA Healthcare has a suite of free downloadable resources which can be shared amongst colleagues and provided to in house or agency cleaning staff. These include posters that can be put up as a daily reminder All waste should be put aside for 72 hours before being put inside the household. By incorporating these practices into daily duties, carers can help limit the spread of the infectious disease and protect themselves as well as residents.

Staysafe Visor - CE-Certified PPE Manufactured in the UK Staysafe Visor is a subsidiary of 1st Packaging Ltd, a leading specialist UK plastics manufacturer founded in 2002. Used in a wide range of health and commercial settings, our high-quality recyclable CE-certified face shields offer protection against liquid droplets, sprays and splashes. Our visors are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, are anti-fog and easy to assemble. As a long-established UK company, we have been able to step up our manufacture of PPE to meet high demand

during the current unprecedented circumstances. Our facilities enable us to produce well in excess of 200,000 items per week. At Staysafe Visor our experienced team takes very seriously its role in supporting the health of the community by helping to maintain a safer environment. Availability and affordability are the cornerstones of our operation. Because we sell directly to businesses, organisations and the general public, we are able to remove the need for

intermediaries and keep costs low. We believe that we offer the most competitive rates on the market for this type of CE-certified PPE. Our high-quality products are helping to better protect employees in the NHS, care homes, education, transport, manufacturing and a host of other workplace settings. For further details about our range of visors please do not hesitate to contact our friendly expert team. See page 4 for details or visit


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Greyland Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant Has ‘Huge Impact on Cleaning Industry’ In this statement from Richard Dyson, MD of Greyland, “From not existing, the new Greyland Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant has had huge impact on the Cleaning industry since its launch in early March 2020. “Trading patterns are very hit and miss at the moment, with different pressures hitting UK Cleaning chemical manufacturers on a daily basis. “One thing that has been consistent, is the weekly sales growth for the new Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant, with just a 1 minute anti-coronavirus contact time, the product available in both 750ml ready to use Trigger Spray and top up refill 5L, has very quickly become Greyland’s number 1 best seller.” Luckily, the Greyland factory in Manchester has been

purpose-built for both volume capacity and versatility, in order to quickly and readily switch production focus with minimum fuss. Expansion to capacity at any time has also been planned in from the start, with continual investment and upgrades to production equipment, and increased staff. Richard Dyson continues: “After the initial March and April early reactions to the pandemic, we have coped with everything thrown at us, and right now in mid June our production flow and renowned industry order-to-delivery lead time is pretty much back to normal.” Contact the company now: T. 0161 343 3830 E. W.

MAG Launches Ozone Generator Proven To Kill Covid–19

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of commercial laundry solutions, MAG Laundry Equipment, can now offer a generator that has been proven to kill the Covid–19 coronavirus. In a ground-breaking study conducted by Nara Medical University, it was confirmed that ozone gas can effectively inactivate the virus up to 1 / 10,000 CT (cycle threshold). In real conditions, it shows that Covid–19 can be inactivated on all surfaces and that ozone can be used in the sanitisation of all environments. Putting the new discovery into the practise, the MAG Ozone Generator emits ozone through the air to sanitise surfaces and kill bacteria, microorganisms and viruses including Covid–19, while permanently eliminating unpleasant odours. Proven to eliminate SARS coronavirus, norovirus, E.coli, salmonella and more than 99% of harmful bacteria and viruses, ozone is recognised as the strongest and fastest method of destroy-

ing microorganisms. With cycle times from 15 minutes to 72 hours, the generator is suitable for quick cleans and full airregeneration projects and can be used across all business sectors. Commenting on the new product, Mark Dennis, managing director of MAG Laundry Equipment said: “The ability to offer a product that has been proven to kill the Covid–19 coronavirus is a real triumph for us as a business. “With the UK economy now officially in a recession, it’s important that the Government and businesses look at how people can return to work safely, protect jobs and keep the economy moving. The ozone generator could be a key part in that, with the ability to sterilize office spaces, hotel rooms or hospitality venues quickly and effectively.” More information on MAG Laundry Equipment is available at

Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Why Care Homes Need Change from Traditional Toxic Cleaning Products to a More Sustainable, Safe and Low-Cost Alternative By Chris Speak, Managing Director, Purozo Limited ( If we took the time to analyse our present cleaning regimes, it would unearth some startling facts. Firstly, the huge cost and quantity being spent in our homes on a range of cleaning and sanitising products is adding pressure to budgets which are already over stretched, as well as putting more strain on our wonderful care staff. Secondly, the extra storage you need for multiple chemicals, the plastic waste they produce and the worry of running out of stock also presents additional challenges.


Aside from all of the challenges listed above, there are unfortunately much more worrying aspects to a home full of chemical cleaning products that we need to consider - especially when it comes to the safety of our precious residents and dedicated staff. In an enclosed environment within a care home, what effect can these toxic chemicals have on an already fragile community? We already know that harmful side effects of chemicals can include

aggravating chest conditions, skin issues, and allergies for both staff and residents. Although we try to eliminate these possibilities with COSHH training, it still does not remove the danger. In this new dawn of environmental awareness, we still continue to pump all these toxic chemicals down our drains and into our rivers, lakes and coastline, and for what reason?


Can we do something about it? Of course we can. Joining many care homes from across the UK in switching from toxic chemicals to the chemical-free Tersnao Lotus Pro will create a more sustainable, toxin free home, which is safe for your residents and staff – and at a fraction of your current cost. There is also no requirement for COSHH training and you will be creating a fresh, clean and sanitised home. Why wouldn’t you want to change? For more information please visit our website or contact us on 01594 546250 |

New DePuro Pro Air Purifier In Use In Two NHS Hospitals The new DePuro Pro air purifier has been successfully installed in two NHS hospitals in Essex as part of their fight against the spread of Covid-19. The twelve units have been installed in three dental rooms and nine treatment rooms in a project to improve the air quality in the hospitals and increase patient turnaround in a clean and safe environment. The DePuro Pro unit comes in two sizes, it is a plug and play set up and uses two HEPA 14 filters which retain up to 99.995% of particulates including virus, bacteria and droplets within the air.

Dean Hill and Mark Coutts from Essex based contractors TH Electrical said: “We worked alongside VORTICE to specify the DePuro Pro to effectively clean and purify the air in these hospitals. As we know from the science, good indoor air quality is vital to the fight against the spread of Covid19 and we’re delighted that these units are already starting to make a difference after only two weeks of being used.” For more information about the DePuro Pro and other products from VORTICE visit

Clinical Waste Management Cromwell Polythene’s Sansafe® and clinical waste management ranges are designed to support the care sector in their infection prevention and control procedures, for washroom, sanitary and clinical waste. Special consideration is needed when dealing with clinical waste, which requires different treatment and disposal methods appropriate to the hazard it may present. Our range includes refuse sacks, wheeled bin liners, tiger stripe sacks for deep landfill of offensive/hygiene waste, yellow sacks certified to UN standards for incineration of hazardous waste and orange UN standard sacks for alternative treatment of infectious and potentially infectious waste at a licensed or permitted facility The most recent addition to the Sansafe® range is tiger stripe sacks incorporating Biomaster silver antimicrobial technology, added during the film extrusion process. This inhibits the growth of harmful bac-

teria, including E. coli and Legionella. Pine Scentmaster® fragrance helps mask unpleasant odours. These features eliminate the need to add separate antimicrobial products and intoxicating fragrances. The tiger stripe sacks are designed for the collection and disposal of offensive/hygiene waste collection, which can be disposed of through Energy from Waste (EFW), incineration or deep landfill. Typical examples of this type of waste include non-infectious used gloves, masks, dressings, incontinence waste, and sanitary products. Any liner used in a care setting – whether for hazardous, sanitary, or general waste – should have been independently tested to prove its effectiveness and safety. Check for recognised quality standards including the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) certification mark for refuse sacks and EN and ISO standards. Visit

Unigloves Expands Its PPE Range Hand protection specialist Unigloves is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of a range of sanitising hand gels and facemasks. Added to its range to help in the fight against Covid19, the new products complement Unigloves’ range of disposable gloves designed for use across a wide range of industrial sectors including healthcare and care homes. Available in 480ml and 200ml pump dispenser and 50ml flip top sizes, the new 70% alcohol hand gel with added Vitamin E kills 99.9% of all bacteria. Fast-drying, leaving the hands feeling soft and smooth, the new gel also moisturises the hands, making it ideal for the healthcare sector and high use environments. Joining the hand gels is Unigloves’ Profil facemasks. Available in boxes of 50, the 3 ply, pleated Type II facemasks have a Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) of 98%. Tested to EN14683 the facemasks are manufactured from soft, non-

woven fabric with integrated noseband and soft ear loops for a comfortable, secure fit. “Our hand gels and facemasks are part of our global response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which has seen us manufacturing for the NHS and a wide range of healthcare-associated settings both in the UK and internationally. “In tandem with our extensive gloves range, the combination of hand protection and respiratory protection, provides companies with an effective solution to the increased focus on hygiene protocols,” said Unigloves’ Marketing Director, Donald Gillespie. For more information on the range of hand gels and facemasks from Unigloves, visit and .


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CTU Services' Thermal Access System With the introduction of various measures to constrain and manage the emergency of COVID-19 in the UK, CTU Services Thermal Access System presents the ideal solution. To address the challenge of social distancing many public places are implementing restrictions on customer flow. This includes locations such as the hospitality industry and the retail sector. CTU Services perfectly resolves the problem of "how to accurately and efficiently control customer flow in a premises" Their system detects how many people are present in the targeted area and display the figure in real-time. If the capacity is reached the system's display immediately indicates no more people should enter. The two systems that CTU Services supply can be merged together to give you more security and social distancing. The Thermal camera can be wall mounted or comes on a sleek stand. It will also notify

any number of members of staff of any issues with potential clients entering the premisses via text or email. • Facial recognition is fully integrated with body temperature monitoring. This means no additional staff are required. • The solution is contactless, reducing the risk of cross infection. • Extensive storage of facial images and temperature information enabling easy historical access. • Fast facial recognition and temperature monitoring reducing access congestion. In Scotland will detect if you are or are not wearing a mask / face covering. • Integration with third party products such as turnstiles and VMS. See a demonstration of the system at For further information, see the advert this page, call 01257 477060 or visit

Sheffcare Teams Up with Haigh Sheffcare continue to stay at the forefront of resident health, safety, and care. With ten homes across the city of Sheffield, Sheffcare a leading care charity, serves the needs of more than 500 older people and is strongly committed to providing high quality, compassionate care which enhances quality of life. Like a clean kitchen, often the most important aspects of infection prevention are out of sight. Best in class providers continue to invest in their facilities, ever-improving client health and experience. Most recently, Sheffcare has upgraded its waste management to Haigh's disposal units. These allow the hygienic disposal of disposable toileting items, simplifying and improving a challenging task for staff, reducing cross infection risks, and helping drive down long-term costs. Sheffcare noted "Investments like this are taken only once we have strong evidence. We trialled the

Please Please mention mentionTHE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Haigh Quattro and Haigh Incomaster at several of our sites. The improvement was noticeable, improving resident experience and for our care staff." Haigh has been designing bed pan disposers since the 1950s, supporting hospitals across the UK and worldwide, while investing in the UK economy. For further information, visit


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Electrox Sterilising Water Electrox Sterilising Water is an ecological disinfectant that kills viruses, bacteria, spores and fungi significantly faster than bleach and other traditional disinfectants. It is 80 x more effective than bleach, no alcohol, non corrosive, pH neutral and hypoallergenic. The active substance in Electrox is hypochlorous acid, which has been successfully tested for full virucidal activity as defined in EN14476:2013, and has activity against all viruses. This includes all coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2. When used with fogging machines, Electrox can sanitise care homes rapidly, with minimal disruption and without the harsh chemicals found in traditional disinfectants. Electrox customer Eddy Pyatt, Director of Platinum Care Homes

says “We’re using Electrox Sterilising Water and the fogging machine in four of our Care Homes and have found it provides real peace of mind and assurance to our residents and their visitors. We are fogging communal areas, outdoor visiting areas in between visits and resident’s rooms within our care homes to make sure we’re providing a sanitised environment for our staff, residents and their visitors alike. We wanted a sanitising product that didn’t involve large amounts of chemicals and found Electrox to be the most cost effective of all the solutions we looked at.” Contact Electrox today: 0117 318 0830

Sanozone. The Easy Way To Sanitise Your Indoor Spaces SANOZONE, which delivers the most efficient sanitisation performance in indoor spaces, is now available from Barbel. Manufactured by Vitaeco S.r.l., the world famous manufacturer of the highly regarded HotmixPro thermal blender range, SANOZONE sanitises rooms of many sizes in enclosed HRC sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, conference rooms and similar establishments where totally reliable and regular sanitisation is needed. SANOZONE is particularly suitable for hospitals and care home areas, where absolute cleanliness is mandatory, and in areas where it is difficult or impossible to deliver effective sanitisation throughout. The SANOZONE range of

machines use Ozone (O3) technology, a gaseous form of Ozone that fills the room, reaching every corner of the space, santising surfaces and critical hard-toreach corners homogenously, consistently and safely. The SANOZONE range of sanitisation machines are all equipped with the latest technology and customised disinfection programmes to suit your specific requirements. The running costs are considerably lower than any traditional disinfecting programmes and most importantly, there is no manual labour involved. For further information about the SANOZONE range, please contact Barbel on 01629 705110, email, or visit the website at

Elgin Bay Offer The Mac500 Proven Solution to Combating Coronavirus panies and individuals in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. We have not invented a miracle cure for coronavirus that can stand alone, but we may have one of the weapons needed to reduce the infection”, explains Michael Kløcker, JIMCO A/S. Elgin Bay are the UK suppliers of Jimco UVC and Ozone technology. The Mac500 is an air purifier developed and manufactured in Denmark by Jimco, that reduces viruses in the air. With the air purifier the reduction of viruses is both fast and significant, achieving 99.99% reduction within 3 hours. A study from a technological institute in Denmark states that The MAC500 effectively reduces viruses from the air. In rooms where the air purifier is in use, The study documents that the MAC500 reduces viruses in the air by 89 percent in one hour. After two hours, the virus is reduced by 99 percent, and after three hours, the reduction is 99.9 percent. “We have tested the air purifier on a virus that is 7-10 times more resistant to UV light than coronavirus. The results of this study are very uplifting right now, because we are all trying our best to avoid infections”, says Michael Kløcker, business unit manager at JIMCO A/S. The MAC500 air purifier works partly by burning harmful particles such as viruses with the help of UV-C rays, and partly by letting out a small amount of ozone, which can destroy bacteria and viruses. The amount of ozone is equal to the amount occurring in nature by the Sun. “You can use the air purifier everywhere, and our greatest customer segments are businesses and industries where it is difficult to keep distance or where customers are at a greater risk”. “It is very common to use air purifiers in Care Homes, Hospitals, Dentists and in private homes where you feel extra exposed”. “The aim is to strengthen the indoor climate as well as limiting the spread of viruses through the air”, Matthew Cove, MD at Elgin Bay explains. “We are very happy that we are able to offer a product that can help both com-

About MAC500:

The MAC500 air purifier has been on the market for nearly 20 years and is already operating in many homes and workplaces around the world. Other benefits include: • Reduction in Virus/Bacteria/Fungi • Reduction in Odour within the room • Reduces indoor air pollution and eliminates the sources of headaches, respiratory problems (COPD/Asthma) For further information, please contact Matthew Cove on 07920 254379 or The report can be requested by contacting or downloaded here: 2407_ms2-test.pdf


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL AtmoSan Supports Safety at Avery Care Homes In a further step to ensure that its care homes continue to be some of the safest places to live, Avery Healthcare has deployed AtmoSan systems to all of its services. As a part of its comprehensive approach to hygiene and sanitisation, supported by extensive staff training, it is now using AtmoSan Fogging machines, a ULV ultra-fine droplet cold fogging system, to provide complete room decontamination, prior to a new resident moving in and for regular cleaning and virus prevention. AtmoSan is a specialist manufacturer of decontamination solutions

against surface and airborne pathogens, and its advanced Biocide is completely natural, 100% safe and non-toxic to humans, animals and plants. Accredited and approved to multiple European and British Standards sanitisation standards, it kills 99.999% of all known pathogens, including viruses such as norovirus, MS2 and the coronavirus, bacteria such as Campylobacter, fungi, spores and moulds. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with an appropriate disinfectant product. Biocide Regulatory Agencies such as the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) employ a ‘hierarchy-based’

approach for new virus strains, meaning a product such as Biocide that is found to be effective against harder-to-kill viruses is likely to kill a virus such as COVID-19. Tony Devenish from AtmoSan was thrilled at the agreement; “We are delighted to partner with Avery Healthcare in providing an effective aerial and surface disinfection solution for their 56 care homes nationwide. It is a privilege to work with such a proactive care group and to be able to contribute towards increased resident safety and providing peace of mind for their families in these difficult times.” Director of Care and Quality for the Avery Group, Julie Spencer, was similarly enthusiastic with the project roll-out: “After testing and a pilot phase, we are confidently deploying the AtmoSan systems to all our homes as part of the fight against the coronavirus and other health risks. It’s a great addition to our other protocols and will help keep our residents, staff and their respective families safe when in an Avery environment.” Find out more at

Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is

Clean Air Solutions There are a lot of cost-effective equipment that could be put in place quickly and easily to actively assist in lowering or eliminating the virus contaminated particles of any room helping eliminate the spread of viruses. Air and Surface Treatments are the most effective method for treating all manner of smells, viruses, volatile organic compounds and all other airborne and surface contaminants. These type of unit utilise either O³ (Ozone) or OH (Hydroxyl) Ozone is created when the kind of oxygen we breathe O² is split apart into single oxygen atoms. Single oxygen atoms can re-join to make O², or they can join with O² molecules to make ozone (O³) when the energy is available to do so. Ozone breaks down when it reacts with other compounds, harmful viruses included.

exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code. The machines that produce Ozone in higher effective concentrations must be used in unoccupied spaces, high concentrations of Ozone can cause issues with the respiratory system, with this said they are extremely effective at sanitising a space (airborne and surfaces) after a manual clean down. Hydroxyl machines are by far the most user friendly, firstly because they’re more adaptable and easily integrate into our normal daily lives. Much like the Ozone units, a volatile OH compound is produced which reacts with all airborne contaminants. The OH compound reacts by oxidizing and this cascade reaction will continue until the area is free of contaminants, the OH particles will then simply become H²O once there is nothing left to react with. Hydroxyl units are safe for use in constantly occupied rooms and will provide the constant decontamination required in a busy office. For more information please contact Axair Fans to discuss your requirements. 01782 349439



Germgard from Fireco With the outbreak of COVID-19, good hygiene practice has become more important than ever before. Fireco has recently released its newest innovation, Germgard, a smart sanitiser combined with digital signage. Germgard has been designed to promote awareness of the importance of hand sanitisation to all building users. It can also be tailored to suit individual business needs, helping as a building management tool. Some examples of potential messaging includes instructing users to follow your one-way system or putting on a mask before entering. Germgard is a smart sanitising station which monitors people passing through your chosen doorways. A PIR sensor will detect someone approaching and a screen will show your personalised message. Germgard can also be combined with a range of door systems so that the use of hand sanitiser is a requirement before gaining entry. Integration options include electronic door locks, automatic doors, and access control systems. James Wheeler, Chief Commercial Officer at Fireco says, “Our customers require visual, physical products as evidence in promoting their return to work strategy to their workforce. Germgard meets those requirements, ensuring best practice, encouraging occupants to self-police when moving around the building.”


As lockdown restrictions started lifting in July, businesses had

to plan their back to work strategy in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive COVID-19 Risk Assessment guidelines. Staff and members are detected when entering the building, they are presented with a digital display asking them to sanitise their hands. Castle Snooker & Sports Bar chose to connect their Germgard system with their electronic door lock, meaning that the door will only unlock for people who have used the sanitiser unit. This reduces the possibility of human error when controlling the transfer of germs. “Germgard has played a vital role in making our COVID Secure Strategy strikingly obvious to our customers. We wanted to ease anxiety and make sure our members feel safe when returning to the new normal.” “I would recommend Fireco. They have helped us to reopen our business safely.” Fireco manufactures wireless fire door closers and retainers, notification systems, disability aid products and hygiene equipment, all designed to provide simple solutions to a range of needs: fire safety, compliance, access, ventilation and hygiene. Fireco’s operations are in alignment with International Standard ISO 9001:2015. All of our products meet relevant British and European fire safety standards. With some products gaining primary test evidence with fire door manufacturers. For more information about Germgard or how Fireco solutions can assist with COVID-secure strategies, visit or call the Fireco team today 01273 320650.

Antimicrobial Handle Helps Boost Care Homes’ Active Protection Methods Against Bacteria Care homes can now help to reduce the spread of bacteria using a maintenancefree, antimicrobial surface for door hardware. HOPPE has developed SecuSan®, an antibacterial and antimicrobial surface for door and window handles, to help ensure high hygiene standards wherever people are present in large numbers. SecuSan® immediately suppresses the growth of pathogens on the handle on a lasting basis. Independent tests have proved that SecuSan® reduces microbial growth by more than 99%. Andy Matthews, head of sales at HOPPE (UK), said: “SecuSan® is ideal for facilities managers trying to take care of high traffic buildings. In these types of buildings where there is so much to monitor and keep clean, SecuSan® helps to maintain high hygiene standards. It actively fights bacteria and fungi from the moment it is installed and is wear-free on a long term basis. This is particularly important in care homes where residents are much more vulnerable.”

Protecting Staff And Residents with Continual Airborne Sanitisation The COVID-19 pandemic raises particular challenges for care home residents, their families and the staff that look after them. With no end in sight and millions of pounds being spent every day on cleaning and sanitisation methods that are costly and labour intensive. SOH Group has a revolutionary new product ‘SOH Pure’ that is already helping thousands of people and businesses by continuously sanitising their premises. The SOH Pure systems work in a similar way to that of a fogger but is an ‘always on’ solution that continually sanitises an area of up to 80m2. Achieved by cold air diffusion technology liquid is turned into a vapour the is lighter than air. This vapour

cleans and sanitises the air whilst airborne and then sanitises all surfaces when it falls creating a unique dual action air and surface approach. Using the SOH Pure system will help reduce the amount of time that is required cleaning and will help re continually sanitise high traffic areas, such as staff gathering hot spots building entrances , lobbies and delivery zones and more. Let us help you today give your staff and residents that extra piece of mind! Get in touch for more details and other environmentally friendly products 02037276400, or

The surface can be applied to a wide range of popular HOPPE handle designs including the Amsterdam and Paris series, all available in aluminium silver and stainless steel. It is also covered by HOPPE’s 10-year operational guarantee that applies to all HOPPE door and window handles. For more information on SecuSan®, please contact Andy on or 01902 484 400.



LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS JLA's Ozone Washing System Proven To Remove All Traces of Coronavirus in University Study of Infected Laundry

Treating coronavirus-infected laundry with a professional ozone washing system could have major implications for the future of infection control for the care sector, according to new research. The in-depth study carried out at De Montfort University in Leicester found that the OTEX washing system, which uses ozone to kill bacteria even at low temperatures, completely removes all traces of coronavirus (OC43), a model virus for SARS-CoV-2. The system, created by JLA (the UK’s leading supplier of commercial laundry equipment) was tested by a research team overseen by Dr Katie Laird, Reader in Microbiology and Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, and expert virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar, Lecturer in Molecular Biology. The research found that cleaning with the OTEX technology completely removed the coronavirus, even in large washing loads. Additional testing also proved that the virus was not transferred to other textiles in the wash. Believed to be one of the first studies of its kind, the research proves that coronavirus-infected laundry can be cleaned even at low temperatures, allowing heat sensitive items such as personal clothing, hospital mattress covers, emergency rescue wear and microfibre items to be cleaned effectively. Dr Laird and her team are now completing the next stage of their research, looking at the rate at which the virus is inactivated in the cleaning process to give more data on the length of time and quantities of ozone required for the virus to be eliminated. Dr Laird comments, “A key element of tackling the spread of COVID-19 is to understand how effective infec-

tion control can be implemented in real world settings. There are a variety of situations in which textiles potentially carrying the virus need to be cleaned, such as care homes, hospitals and hotels. “Until now we have had little data about how the virus responded to different types of cleaning. These initial results demonstrate that cleaning with ozone, as in the OTEX system, completely removes the model coronavirus. “This held true even when treating larger loads of washing, as is likely to be the case in a real laundry setting. This result can give reassurance that such cleaning is effective .” The implications of these findings are hugely significant for the healthcare sector in the fight against COVID19 and the protection of both service users and staff. The financial and environmental benefits are equally as impressive. Research shows that over the average sevenyear lifespan of a standard 30kg thermal disinfection cycle, using OTEX can reduce operating costs by over £130,000, whilst also reducing the businesses total carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes. Helen Ashton, CEO from JLA commented “I am really excited about the results of these tests as here at JLA we play our part in eradicating this terrible virus. We have been developing and refining the OTEX laundry system for over fifteen years and its benefits to our customers are clear - full eradication of disease, including coronavirus, even at low temperatures and a significant reduction in operational cost coupled with a meaningful benefit to the environment. “The system has been designed to be easy to use with real time verification of the disinfection process on every wash which provides a unique audit trail of full compliance to regulatory standards.” This is the latest accolade for JLA’s innovative OTEX system, having been previously recognised by the NHS Rapid Review Panel in 2009 set up by the government to fast track new technology to address hospital acquired infections, achieving the highest grade (level 1) for infection control products. More recently, assessment of compliance with current Public Health England HTM01-04 guidelines for the decontamination of healthcare linen. The OTEX ozone system is also fully supported in line with the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. For more information about OTEX by JLA, please visit: or see the advert on the facing page.

Forbes Professional Helps the Care Industry Adhere to Stringent Laundry Regulations For a care home, their laundry operation is always a central part of the infection control that has never been more pressing than today. The Department of Health’s CFPP 01-14 guidelines state that each wash cycle must provide the requisite disinfection. Machines must be also approved to WRAS category 5 due to elevated risks of contamination. In order to meet stringent laundry hygiene standards, PPE is essential as are established processes to enable efficient transportation and procedural segregation of clean and soiled items. As standard, CFPP 01-04 requires that laundry is washed in a commercial washing machine at the highest possible temperature. For enhanced hygiene requirements, all washing cycles must have a thermal disinfection cycle that reaches 71°C for at least three minutes, or 65°C for at least ten minutes. Forbes is proud to be partnered with Miele which enables us to provide highly efficient commercial laundry solutions to care homes and the NHS. The new, highly programmable and user-friendly Little Giant range from Miele provides thermal disinfection at 85°C for 15 minutes to kill viruses and bacteria. It is

also WRAS approved to category 5 and delivers faster wash cycles and impressively low energy consumption, making it an ideal choice for any care environment. Our laundry solutions include a complementary site survey, free installation, commissioning and user training as well as a first-class service support, at no extra cost for the life of the contract. Contact, call 0345 070 2335 or see the advert on page 37.

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose LaundryTec Chester based LaundryTec since its foundation in early 2016 has become one of Alliance Internationals major UK distributers. Founded by Jeremy Hartigan, the team of industry professionals with the backing of the Alliance Lavamac brand and supported by its service partner PDS Laundry based in Nuneaton. They supply a significant number of the UK’s leading health care operators with equipment, installation and after sale support. The LaundryTec designs offer not only washing, drying and ironing equipment but a full range of handling, distribution, folding and identification systems, to create a fully functioning laundry complete with all items necessary for efficient operation. Every LaundryTec machine includes full installation options, including the removal and disposal of an existing machine. A training program and a minimum of 24

0151 317 3127

months part and labour warranty. The environment is at the forefront of every operator’s mind. Standard specification on a Lavamac machine includes functions that automatically weigh and control the energy input into the machine and store the data in the machines memory. Our LS range of electric heat pump dryers require no ventilation or gas services and operates at 3kw per hour.

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. Cost 2. Efficiency 3. Service 4. Design 5. Innovation Telephone 0151 317 3127 Web


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have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future. Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Wireless Fall Prevention

By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare

The last thing any care home wants to have to deal with is an elderly resident falling in their home. However, with over 255,000 hospital admissions in England a year relating to the elderly suffering injury after a fall, being alert and aware as soon as a fall happens is critically important in the administration of aid; as well as helping reduce emotional distress. For years, the care industry has used a tremendous range of call alert solutions to help care home staff respond to these falls quickly and easily. The most popular and regularly used of these are systems which plug in to nurse call systems. Nonetheless, these come with their own issues and can often create their own risks in regard to falling; largely in the use of trailing cables that need to be plugged in to make them work. These potential trip hazards can cause the exact issues they are trying to prevent. But with new innovations come new solutions, and we are increasingly seeing a range of wireless solutions that provide a variety of benefits. Below we list things to look out for when selecting these systems:


When looking at a wireless solution, make sure it truly is wireless and that any receivers, or sending features on the items are contained and are not left loose where someone can catch a foot on it, or accidently rip it out.


Edison Telecom

We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain? We may have just the part and expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further exten-

Care home staff cannot be chained to their desk and need to be checking on residents and conducting all the duties that are required to create a smooth-running home, filled with happy residents. A wireless alert that can be carried in a pocket allows the user to respond as swiftly as possible to potential falls, helping homes provide the highest level of care. A centralized alert system is an option that also presents many benefits, as homes can ensure that the right person in the right place is alerted in a timely manner. Making sure that a system works both centrally and on the move, giving you the best range of options to help provide a high level of care.


While this might very well be viewed as a smaller issue, nurse call systems come with a huge variety of plug types; and ensuring that your receivers have the correct plugs for your call system is key.


Make sure the system you choose is as unobtrusive as possible. Often fall prevention equipment is designed to be as hidden as possible. Should the item be particularly obvious make sure you are happy it fits as well as possible into the decor of the room it sits in and think about choosing a floormat that corresponds with the flooring in the room e.g. wood effect vinyl or carpet. Spearhead are proud to distribute the entire Alerta wireless range that has been launched this year. See the advert on this page for details. sion to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.”


NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era After 50 years being at the forefront of advances in Nurse Call solutions, Courtney Thorne continue to develop solutions which now seem more relevant and important than at any time before. The introduction of digital care planning and medication solutions has enabled forward thinking care homeowners to go paperless, giving more accurate, timely and readily available information on those in their care. These same digital devices, tablets and smart mobiles can now be used to view calls and emergencies generated by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system. Both new installations and many existing Courtney Thorne systems can benefit with calls being delivered straight to the carer. Monitoring of resident’s care planning and medications are just two areas that reduces the amount of paperwork and administration, freeing up carers to spend more time actually caring. The monitoring of the caring staff themselves can become arduous and time consuming for management, not with a Courtney Thorne nurse call solution. The introduction of Staff ID tags of fobs is nothing new, there are so called systems on the market which use simple magnets which carers need to remember to press onto a room sensor when they attend, and again when they leave a resident’s room. With Courtney Thorne’s Altra Tag the process of logging who attended, what time they attended and how long they remained in the resident’s room is all logged automatically and seamlessly. No longer are there management and staff disputes about forgetting to “fob in/fob out”. The volume and detail of the data captured automatically by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system is vast. All the data is available to management using the reporting function built into the main touch screen server. However, where visiting the home is difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions or time and distance problems,

TumbleCare from Easylink Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK was established in 1984 after the invention of an alarm clock to wake deaf people. The “Shake Awake” set a new precedent in quality standards for products designed for sensory care, notoriously at the time – rubbish. The company invented a new device for the detection of nocturnal epileptic seizures in 1994, which also set a new precedent for quality, especially after the company achieved certified medical accreditation. We could boast and say we have supplied more seizure detection monitors than any other company in UK. You could say we are innovators; we are and very proud of it. To constantly adapt to changes in demands for care technologies, remain competitive and continue to develop new care solutions it takes more than intelligence, it takes passion.

owners and managers may find retrieving data difficult, resulting in a lack of monitoring and possible reduction in quality of care delivered. Courtney Thorne’s CT-Cloud service provides ready complied, detailed reports daily, coupled with a “live” view of all data contained in the server from any location with an internet connection. Carrying out regular checks on sleeping residents is time consuming and often counter-productive as residents often wake, have poor sleep and can even fall after attempting to use the toilet once awake. Acoustic monitoring means that only those who actually need assistance get it, those who are sound asleep do not get disturbed and carers can concentrate on more productive tasks. So, in this new COVID-19 and Digital world what other new solutions are on the horizon? Nurse call devices around a care home become intelligent enough to identify a resident in need. Already we can measure changes in levels of noise, but monitoring light, temperature coupled with wearable devices monitoring vital signs, now a deterioration in a resident’s wellbeing can raise an alert or be recorded. A resident ‘connected’ with a wearable device can have their movement, location, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure etc., monitored automatically. Instead of intrusive, often unsocial physical monitoring, at-risk residents have vital signs checked and recorded continuously. If an emergency occurs, the nurse call system will still summon help, only now one of its key functions will be to record, store and make available critical data. Thereby reducing the touch points, minimising transmission of disease, freeing up carers time and providing a safer and healthier life for both residents and staff. For further information visit or see the advert on this page.

Lotus Care Technology The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls.  Having many years of experience in

fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit for details.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis ever known, we have battled through. At the start of the lockdown we supplied the NHS and Local Authorities with over 2000 bed occupancy detection alarm systems, many of them used to enable long term patients to be discharged from hospital to free up beds for COVID victims. Independent living support was and is essential during this pandemic. Now we launch our new brand. TumbleCare. The TumbleCare brand is a range of fall detection and prevention products focussing on affordable quality and product performance. The products are tough, easy to set, use and provide carers with reliable advance warning notification of potential falls. Visit our website. Firstly, you’ll be amazed at the variety of care solutions we offer, then blown away by our realistically fair pricing. Visit or see the advert on page 2 for details.


TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE CARE VISION Friends of the Elderly Selects Softworks Employee Rostering and Outstanding Care is at the Heart of Everything We Do

At Carevision, outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything they do. They have combined over 40 years of hands on experience running care homes and working with some of the smartest mind in tech, they have created Care Vision - An all-in-one, cloudbased system that incorporates all your care and admin in to one easy to use system. Carers can compile resident notes, health observations and EMAR. Care home managers can manage rotas, accounts, HR and housekeeping tasks and log visitors using the digital visitor book. Residents can use the system to make personal choices on meals and activities and use the app to keep in touch with family and friends. Rishi Jawaheer, director at Care Vision says “The 100+ care homes that use our system have seen its benefits – They are saving 2-4 hours of staff hours per resident, per week and they are achieving outstanding CQC results. Carers love it, residents and relatives love it, and care home managers can’t remember how challenging managing a care home was before it.” Of course, taking on a whole new system can seem daunting, that’s why Care Vision offer minimal investment, all round support and flexible hardware options. They don’t feel the need for long-term contracts, Rishi says “We have total confidence, once you use Care Vision, you will love it as much as we do.” The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you. Contact at or call 0208 768 9809. See the advert on page 46 for details.

Time and Attendance Software for its Care Homes

Friends of the Elderly has been supporting and caring for older people since 1905.Their Care Homes provide residential, dementia, nursing and respite care dedicated to providing quality care with dignity. The organisation is passionate about its work and strives to provide quality care while continually evolving. As part of this ethos the organisation went to market looking for a solution to help transform and improve Employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills Management within their network of Care Homes and after an extensive selection process selected Softworks. Commenting on the selection Sharon Nunn, Group Financial Controller of Friends of the Elderly said “Last Summer we identified that implementing a Workforce Management System to manage our employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills would bring significant improvements to the everyday running of our Care Homes. We were using spreadsheets to manage key areas such as hours worked rosters, leave, absences, holiday requests and skills and this was becoming very complex and labour intensive.” “We knew streamlining and automating processes in these areas and removing time consuming paper-based admin would give both Managers and Healthcare Staff better oversight and more time to focus on the provision of excellent care within our Care Homes.”

Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their

“After meeting with a number of solution providers we chose Softworks because they really understood our requirements as a Care Home provider. They had a proven track record and were ready, willing and able to configure their system to our specific requirements rather than us needing to alter our work practices to fit in with their system.” “Aside from this we were impressed by the extensive functionality offered by the Softworks Workforce Management Software such as the complete HR module, Skills, Training and Expense Management modules, Compliance, Employee Self-Service and Payroll Integration.” Commenting on the project, Paresh Vadukul, Healthcare Relationship Manager, Softworks UK said “Friends of the Elderly focus on their residents first and we do the same. Our primary concern is enabling Care Homes to deliver the best level of care they can. Our Software makes sure they have the right person with the right skillset rostered at the right time no matter the circumstances and removes that admin burden from employee management. We were delighted to be selected by such a respected organisation as Friends of the Elderly.” See the advert on the facing page for details,

services have live, up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010 with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functionality within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we decided to commercialise

the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-to-strength with exponential growth. We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit or see the advert below for further details.

Reliable Technology Can Be the Difference Between Your Care Home Getting By or Excelling As a healthcare professional, your goal is to deliver the best care for your residents, but you can’t focus on them if you’re constantly struggling with unreliable, under-performing technology. Here at EC Computers we specialise in technology management for Care Home. We take care of all your IT, preventing technical issues from ever happening, and providing powerful solutions that help you streamline operations and improve staff and resident experiences. Our OnePoint Solutions improve both staff and resident

satisfaction for Care Homes, these include: Managed IT Services Office 365 Communications and Document storage Data Backup Solutions Virtualization for Groups requiring on premise servers VoIP Solutions to provide flexible working and cheaper calls Desktop and Server Support Cybersecurity Solutions to keep you important data safe

Data Cabling and Infrastructure planning Software applications - CRM - Database - Custom apps Would your Care Home benefit from Managed IT Services? We believe every Care Home can achieve more with help from a Managed Services Provider (MSP), but you’ll need information to make your own decision. So please contact us today, or call us direct on 0117 200 1000. See the advert on page 47 fpr details.


TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Workforce Scheduling Solutions Workforce Scheduling Solutions deliver Electronic Time & Attendance systems worldwide, using the latest Face Recognition technology.

Why should care homes move from paper to electronic time sheets The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.

How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?

Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".

There are many systems on the market - Why facial

recognition is important and how it works Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.

How is data protected? With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. Visit

Alpaka at Askham Village Askham Village Community is a group of specialist homes which provide professional nursing care to young adults and the elderly. Growing organically over the last 30 years, means internal processes have evolved to keep pace with regulatory requirements and the needs of a growing organisation.

Paper-based reporting and recording systems were the norm for rotas, timesheets, annual leave and absence as well as training status and other personnel information. Alpaka software adoption proceeded in four stages, paced to match the staff expectations and available time. 1. Software Champions: An introduction to Staff data & Rotas 2. Management Team: Parallel working with old process and Alpaka 3. Employees: Presence app for clocking in and out with paper timesheets for comparison 4. No more paper, the full digital experience. Askham's 'challenge' is a common scenario in the care sector, mainly where businesses have grown and processes have remained manual and paper-based. It might seem a daunting task, but with the right technology, a digital transformation is possible and profitable. The full case study is available to read on Call Alpaka on 0203 286 6109 or email



Why Compliance And Insurance Go Hand In Hand

By Pip Stevens, Head of Partnership and Alliances, QCS ( with Becky Newman, Associate Director of Howden Care


Pip Stevens

Becky Newman

It has been a tough year for the care sector. According to a study by LaingBuisson*, in England more than half of care homes have been hit by COVID-19. Many insurance premiums have risen too. A recent National Care Association survey** revealed that 68 percent of members interviewed had reported significant increases in their insurance premiums.*** While the average premium has risen by 20 percent, one provider reported that their renewal quote had increased by 880 percent.****


But before I go any further, the point of this piece is not to criticise insurers. Not only would that be unfair, it would also miss the point. Insurers and brokers are not guilty of profiteering. They are simply reacting to risk. Right now, due to the COVID-19 crisis, potential liability risks are myriad. Insurers have to consider employee claims, public liability claims, not to mention, claims made by residents. It is a point not lost on Mike Padgham, the chair of the Independent Care Group. In August, Mr Padgham, told “I do have some sympathy with the insurance companies because they’re worried about the risk, which is why I want the government to step in and help the industry.”****


The question is, what can care providers do to lower renewal quotes? With around 100,000 users, QCS, the company I work for, which provides best practice content, guidance and technological care solutions for care sector, receives many calls from our customers searching for advice. So frequent are these calls in fact, that we’ve been collaborating with one of our closest partners, Howden Care, a specialist insurance provider for the care sector, to shed new light on the steps providers should take when approaching their insurance renewal. Part of the challenge says Becky Newman, Associate Director of Howden Care, is that, “Providers may be used to working in a certain way with their broker which may now need to change. QCS and Howden are helping providers to prepare and be aware”. Both organisations have teamed up to create a comprehensive checklist, which you can download from the QCS website at

At QCS, we believe that forging a closer union with insurers and brokers is not only a positive development, but a necessary one. Why? Well, the vast majority of providers who use our policy, process, content, guidance and auditing tools go on to achieve a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC rating. This, in turn, give themselves a better chance of securing the insurance cover they need to continue operating.” It is a view largely shared by Howden. Mrs Newman says, “Compliance management won’t necessarily translate immediately into lower premiums but in a hardening market, being able to demonstrate robust risk management and procedure compliance can help set a provider apart. In addition, compliance management can help create a defence against any allegations of negligence against the provider which could help them to manage a favourable claims experience.” But compliance management aside, what are the key steps that every provider should follow when speaking to their broker?


Firstly, it’s vital that brokers are given adequate time to explore all the options. Therefore, in terms of engagement, Howden Care advises that care providers contact their insurer six weeks before renewal, and divide the renewal process into manageable stages. Becky Newman says, “Providers should consult their broker for advice on potential options and those seeking terms should ensure that they understand their position well ahead of renewal. This is vital to ensure an informed decision is made when planning ahead. Certain timeframes will be required when approaching the market. A provider’s broker will potentially be speaking to more than one insurer this year in order to seek competitive terms, and this may take some time.”


Insurers may well require extra information from providers this year, such as proposal forms for alternative quotes, or more information surrounding infection control procedures. Mrs Newman says, “A timely submission of forms may open up more options for providers. Howden advises that operators seeking renewal quotes should consider and prepare financial forecasts in advance. Having this information ready, along with any other revisions to requirements for the coming insurance period can help speed up the process.”


Mrs Newman advises care providers to discuss any incidents of COVID19 (amongst their service users and staff) with their broker. She says, “They may need to report these to insurers before the renewal date as a precaution and the information will be a ‘material fact’ for any new insurer who is looking to provide them with terms.”


With fewer insurers now considering renewals for providers where the latest CQC inspection rating is recorded as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’, securing a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating is vital. By placing the most up-to-date content in the hands of frontline care workers, and furnishing them with the latest guidance and standards, the QCS system helps care workers to deliver the best care possible. But, its vast range, which include risk assessment, auditing and inspection tools,


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also gives managers and their staff a solid platform to secure an outstanding CQC rating. For those providers who don’t secure a favourable CQC rating, Mrs Newman, has the following advice. “If providers are in this position, it is essential that they engage with their insurance broker early. We would recommend that they have an actionplan available with surrounding commentary on improvements that have been made. Having this information available from the outset could help secure terms.”


With insurance premiums increasing considerably across the sector, Mrs Newman says, “Providers should speak to their broker about what to expect so they can prepare. They can also discuss options for paying monthly with a broker, and look at the best interest rates available.”


Providers should be aware of potential new limitations or exclusions within their terms. Howden recommends that time be set aside to review documents carefully with a broker. Becky Newman adds, “They (the broker) will be able to carefully review the terms with providers, pointing out any changes in cover and any potential consequences.” For more information about QCS, call us on 0333 405 33 33 or email If you wish to contact Howden Care, please email or phone 0117 205 1850. To download the QCS/Howden checklist, visit To enquire about a free trial, please visit


* The Observer More than half of England’s coronavirus-related deaths will be people from care homes By Michael Savage Date: 7th, June, 2020 ** National Care Association Survey *** Care Home Professional Care homes facing astronomical rises in insurance premiums By Lee Peart Date: August, 19th, 2020 **** Care Home Professional Care homes facing astronomical rises in insurance premiums By Lee Peart Date: August, 19th, 2020 ***** By Angeline Albert Date: 19, August, 2020 Coronavirus: 'Colossal' insurance costs threaten to make care homes 'go out of business'


TRAINING Care Certificate by Laser Learning High Speed Training Endorsed By Skills for Care During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were furloughed, whilst others (such as those in Care Homes and the NHS) bravely worked on the frontline and continue to do so. Here at Laser Learning, we are proud to have supported both of these groups, in different ways. This was achieved through the Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to

make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to help the ongoing development of skills and expertise of both furloughed staff, who had the silver lining of time on their side, as well as those working through the pandemic amidst concerns of job security. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and Spread of Infection’ and ‘Infection Control and Prevention’ – were especially popular during this period. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on this page for further details.

High Speed Training is proud to announce that we’re a Skills for Care endorsed training provider! This means our online training courses make a significant difference, not only to the learner but also to the person accessing care and support. Skills for Care Endorsed Provider What Does it Mean for High Speed Training Learners? Our mission has always been to deliver training that helps people to be engaged, effective and safe in the career they’ve chosen. We work tirelessly to ensure all our online courses are relevant and meaningful to a variety of sectors and roles. Skills for Care endorsement is a trusted quality mark only awarded to the best learning and development providers within the social care sector. We welcome High Speed Training to Skills for Care endorsement. They’ve demonstrated dedicated commitment to the core requirements, such as effective leadership and management, robust quality assurance, equal opportunities for staff development as well as keeping learners central to all learning and development. We look forward to working with High Speed Training in the future.

Receiving Skills for Care endorsement is highly significant for our learners who work in social care and demonstrates our commitment to constantly providing the best training and support we possibly can. Businesses all over the world have been using their resources to help during the COVID-19 pandemic wherever they can. We worked hard to develop a course that would inform people how to use PPE safely. This information was so important that we gave the course away for free to those who work in front line healthcare. To this date, we have trained over 6,000 people in safe PPE practices for free. For more information and guidance related to COVID-19, simply visit covid-19-courses-resources/

Engage With Your Residents - In-House Practical Training Workshop Scripts Bring About Happy Days Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design has created a new range of engagement training scripts for residential care and dementia homes. The workshops are designed to be presented in-house, saving time and costs. Easy to follow training scripts are practical in nature and help care teams engage with elderly and people living with dementia. Through activity, discussions, role-play and practise with nostalgic materials, carers can feel more equipped to engage and enrich social care. Packages include demonstration materials to use during your workshop. Training Scripts and engagement materials can be created to suit your organisation, care team requirements and resident interests. Ideal for home care services too - Help your carers engage and create meaningful

moments during visits. With Covid19’s restrictions and safety procedures, it makes sense to train your care teams on site. ‘Bringing your care teams together can build carer confidence, boost morale and uplift mood. If a carer feels good, this will reflect on the the person being cared for’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design. Passionate about helping people living with dementia to live well, Happy Days also supplies nostalgic displays, reminiscence baskets, conversation prompts and more See The Carer front page or Shop Online: - We accept NHS purchase order numbers and care home accounts. Phone Gillian direct on: 07971-953620 or see the advert on page 1.

Without QCS we wouldn’t have been rated as an ‘outstanding service’ Rupert Stocks Registered Manager, Guyatt House


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Start your free trial today at or call 0330 8087 606


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