The Carer Digital - Issue #13

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The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

Issue 13

THECARERUK

Outrage Over Prime Minster's Care Home Comments

Photo by Chatham House

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sparked outrage among the care sector and the wider public and has been accused of trying to shift the blame for coronavirus deaths onto care homes. The Prime Minister said on Monday that “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures”. Care providers feel they have been slapped in the face by the Government whilst battling to bring the death rate in care and nursing homes down to today’s new low. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 181 people in England and Wales died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 26th June, down from 249 the week before and the lowest so far.

Whilst welcoming the reduction, the Independent Care Group (ICG) said care workers would still be furious over yesterday’s “slap in the face’ from the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that some care and nursing homes had failed to follow coronavirus procedures. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said the comments had caused upset. “We warmly welcome today’s continued fall in the death rate in care and nursing homes and feel it is a testament to the amazing, selfless and brave efforts by care workers during this horrific pandemic,” he said.

(Continued on page 3...)

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else” CARSON MCCULLERS

Editor

Peter Adams

As regular readers may know, here at THE CARER, for both our digital edition and our printed edition, we do endeavour to remain apolitical. I am not that way personally - rather outspoken in fact! - but for a publication to any sector I do believe maintaining “neutrality” is the best path. Besides mainstream media makes a very good job of pouring out its political bias at every opportunity. It is, however, difficult at times! One of the aspects of my role here is dealing with some of the country’s leading public relations companies. These companies represent some of the sectors’ top blue-chip companies, as well as individual niche companies and it is the job of PR to manage their clients reputation, paint their clients in the best possible light, and raise the profile of their client or its products or

services whenever possible. There is always a grey area when we must go back and say, “This isn’t a PR release it’s an advert”! However, we do enjoy a very cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with them, and I am a great admirer of the work they do. My point? Where on earth were the Prime Minister’s PR people when he made the statement about care homes? I am confident that any PR agency that had been warned beforehand what the Prime Minister was about to say would have responded “absolutely not”! The Prime Minister’s comments are ill thought out and out of place. That’s not to say he is not entitled to make them. I am a great proponent of free speech, (one of my hobbies in fact!) No matter how “unpalatable” nobody should be prevented from saying what they feel. It is simply whether Prime Minister is right or wrong. Having been involved in publishing to the residential and nursing care sector for years, and in particular throughout the coronavirus crisis, speaking with people “at the coalface” on a daily basis, as well as organisations and industry observers, exchanging hundreds if not thousands of emails at the same time, and I am only too aware of how the sector has risen to the challenge challenge that was thrust upon them - and risen to it magnificently. Mark Adams, the chief executive of Community Integrated Care, told the BBC they reflected “a Kafkaesque alternative reality where the government set the rules, we follow them, they don’t like the results, and they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best”. I think that about sums it up. From what I can gather Downing Street have said they

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believe that the Prime Minister’s comments were misinterpreted. I do not accept that and feel that the damage has been done. However, if that is the case, then it is for the Prime Minister himself to clarify. The publicly funded social care sector has for many years operated under shrinking local government budgets. It continues to struggle to provide for an ageing population and a rising number of working-age adults in need of care. The sector has lobbied time and again, highlighting that current funding in the face of the above is an unsustainable model, and the question of how better to shape adult social care one that successive governments have for want of a better phrase lodged dodged. The Prime Minister’s comments when he stood on the steps of Downing Street the day he took office: “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.” This statement a far cry from his comments earlier this week. The social care sector deserves clarification from the Prime Minister or an apology, and in my humble opinion it is the latter!

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 3

Outrage Over Prime Minster's Care Home Comments “Which makes it all the more upsetting for the sector when the Prime Minister makes the comments he did, a real slap in the face for those workers after they have given and sacrificed so much. “We hope he will reflect on those comments and see the incredible work the care sector has done in the recent months to care for older and vulnerable people, with late and conflicting advice and poor support in terms of PPE and testing during this awful pandemic. And we hope it will spur him into long-promised action to reform the sector and end the crisis in social care which left us so vulnerable to a virus like Covid-19.” He said the continuing deaths proved that coronavirus hadn’t yet gone away and care providers were still very wary. “Every death is one too many, and is a loved one – a father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend. We are still very scared of a second wave, still in need of further support and not becoming complacent,” he added. “Care providers are very nervous that the relaxation of lockdown restrictions will itself spark a second spike in coronavirus, which has already had a devastating impact upon care and nursing homes.” Ian Kessler, a professor on Public Policy & Management at King’s Business School has issued said: “The Prime Minister’s comments on care homes distract attention from the highly fragmented, largely outsourced system of social care provision, delivered by low paid and insecure workers, as highlighted in our recent report on Fair Care Work . The report notes how these systemic features of the social care model generated major challenges and difficulties in dealing with Covid-19 in care homes, and the value of improving the treatment of staff in the sector as a step towards addressing them. “We need a new fair deal at work for social care workers which addresses the precarious nature of work and the often poor employment conditions found in the sector and as cruelly exposed by the Covid crisis. As the initial terror of this pandemic begins to subside, it feels like the right moment to start talking about how to rebuild and re-regulate our health and social care system. It is not enough to just clap for our carers, it’s time to make meaningful changes to the working practices that have seen them undervalued and dismissed for far too long”. Speaking exclusively to THE CARER Jonathan Cunningham MBE Registered Care Manager at Birkdale Park Nursing Home said “the Prime Minister’s comments though fully anticipated are absolutely abhorrent, and are deliberately calculated to deflect responsibility the excess deaths in social care. Under this government the sector has suffered a lack of

direction, lack of resources, low PPE supplies, no support, and unfortunately there are no votes to be gained in a fragmented social care sector. The Prime Minister has undoubtably thrown the entire sector under a bus ” The ICG says instead of trying to blame providers, the Government should, as Mr Johnson also says, start looking at future reform. Almost £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010, leaving the sector in crisis before coronavirus struck. Even before Covid-19, some 1.5m people were living without the care they need. Rocketing costs from buying personal protective equipment (PPE) and extra staffing costs have hit care and nursing homes hard at a time when admissions are falling. Age UK has warned that as many as 20,000 care homes could go out of business without urgent extra support. Local authorities have been given £3.2bn by the government to support all of their extra work during the pandemic, and there is a £600m infection-control fund for care and nursing homes. But estimates suggest that care providers will face additional costs of £6.6bn between April and September. “The pandemic has left many providers in financial crisis and we have already seen some fail and close,” Mr Padgham added. “We need to see action and we need to see it now, before the loss of care providers means we can no longer meet demand.” He says the Government should be held accountable and called for a similar pledge to that given by then prisons minister Rory Stewart in 2018. He promised to resign in a year if he failed to reduce the levels of violence and drug use in prisons. “Mr Johnson, when he first stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister, promised to sort out social care once and for all. We are still waiting,” Mr Padgham added. “We have been promised a Green Paper for years but it has been repeatedly put back and we are still waiting. Social care cannot wait any longer. We had a promise from Tony Blair to sort out care in 1997, followed by Gordon Brown in 2008, David Cameron in 2012, Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson in 2019. ” There have been 13 social care ministers in the past 20 years and at least 13 documents in 17 years, including four independent reviews/commissions, four consultations and five white and green papers, all without any reform coming. The ICG says the Government could make a start by making social care providers zero-rated for VAT, providing an instant financial saving. Care providers pay VAT for goods and services but cannot charge VAT themselves, to offset some of those costs. Making social care providers zero-rated for VAT

would provide a much-needed boost to providers. The ICG has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for him to do that immediately. The ICG has also set out its priorities for reform: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS health 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 to be treated like other high profile, 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 so that they can claim it back, as other business sectors do • CQC to have much greater powers to oversee all commissioning practises such as per minute billing and 15minute visits • Less duplication of inspection between CQC and local authorities/clinical commissioning groups • 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 • More nurse training and bursaries to encourage recruitment and 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.

Testing, Testing, Testing

Care England, , has welcomed the latest announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care regarding weekly testing for staff in care homes for older people. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Regular and routine testing is absolutely critical if we are to garner a better understanding and keep at bay this dreadful virus which has had such a devastating impact on care homes. This initiative needs to be rolled out to all care homes, including those adults with learning disabilities and also supported living”. The Department of Health and Social Care has announced today that staff working in care homes for people over 65 years old will be eligible to have weekly testing. This builds on an initial commitment for one off whole home testing. Martin Green continues: “Testing is not a one off activity, in order for it to be meaningful it needs to be regular thus we welcome this measure as a step forward. Staff and residents can be asymptomatic yet testing shows that they are positive hence the need for testing, testing and yet more testing to get a handle on this virus”.


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The Prime Minister Is Wrong To Suggest Care Providers Do Not Follow Procedures

By Philippa Shirtcliffe, Head of Care Quality at QCS

Posing for the cameras in a white hard hat and an ill-fitting high viz jacket, Boris Johnson visited the site of a leading-edge train building facility in Goole, East Yorkshire earlier this week. With the photo opportunity in the bag, Mr Johnson was asked to share his thoughts on how adult social care could be better funded in the future. You’d think his team would have adequately briefed him to provide a few meaningful soundbites to the media. Or worse still, perhaps it did. Whatever the rationale, the PR opportunity that Mr Johnson’s team had worked so hard to curate - spectacularly derailed into the sidings - when he said that some care homes had not followed procedures during the Coronavirus Pandemic. “We discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have, but we’re learning lessons the whole time,” he said. Mr Johnson’s incendiary comments drew immediate criticism from MP’s, not to mention the care and charity sectors. The CEO of Community Integrated Care, Mark Adams, labelled them “clumsy and cowardly”, while Vic Raynor, the Executive Director of the National Care Forum (NCF), said this Johnson’s comments were “neither accurate or welcome”. She singled out government guidance, saying that it came to the sector “in stops and starts”, while most of it was “not accompanied by an understanding of the operational implications of operating care services”. These are points that QCS agrees with and I’ll revisit them in more detail later in the article.

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT While I don't wish to add my voice to the growing chorus of anger sparked by Mr Johnson’s misinformed views, as the Head of Care Quality for Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the UK care sector’s leading compliance provider for the care sector, I would like to use this article to set the record straight on compliance. Not so much for us, but for our 86,000 customers, and the thousands of other providers, who between them, have endeavoured to absorb and implement the 100-plus pieces of additional guidance that the government has issued in the last 100 days. In terms of implementing policy, from working closely with our customers for the last six months, I can say that the vast majority have been ahead of the curve. The same, however, could not be said of the government and some of the public health bodies - especially early on in the Pandemic. There was confusion and conflicting advice around the correct use of PPE, for example. In regard to acquiring it, government policy was muddled and in the early stages it prioritised the needs of healthcare providers over those of the care sector.

GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE CONFUSING But it was the guidance that the government was issuing – sometimes updating it several times a day that caused the most confusion. Not only did it expect providers to deliver outstanding person-centred care to their service users, it also wrongly assumed that they had the time to track overly complex compliance

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changes and incorporate the new guidance into their policies. It wasn’t just unprecedented service delivery pressures that made this task virtually impossible, most of the guidance issued by the government was written from a medical rather than a care sector perspective. Acute hospital scenarios, for instance, which have little to do with the care sector providers, left many scratching their heads.

FINDING A SOLUTION In mid-February, a month before the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the Coronavirus was a global a Pandemic - following daily conversations with our customers and partners - we decided to tackle ‘the one size fits all’ approach to guidance taken by the government. QCS addressed the compliance challenges by creating a universally free to access Coronavirus Hub. Our aim was to review every new procedure the second it was released, disseminate it into simple language and provide the reader with a series of bespoke and practical action-points. We began with infection prevention and control policies, but have branched out to create a raft of customised policies and content for a myriad of different scenarios. These include - but aren’t limited to - COVID19 swabbing, assessing the risk to vulnerable staff groups, self-isolation care plan templates, death in service procedures, easy-to-read guides for service users on social distancing and self-isolation and symptom checks.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Over the course of the last quarter, we’ve created 25 new policies and procedures, which amount to over 300 pages of content. In May alone, our policies were viewed over 122,000 times and are regularly shared in National Care Forum bulletins, where they are accessed by 120 of the UK’s leading charities Moving forward, we'll continue to break down government guidance to make it accessible for all, so that providers, in the words of the NCF, can “continue to adopt these new procedures consistently, at pace and with integrity”. Back in Goole, Boris Johnson talked excitedly about “unleashing the potential of the area”. In the future, the government will need to apply the same positive thinking to every sector. The courageous men and women, who make the care sector what it is, should be at the front of the queue. Why? Because in the words of Liz Jones, the National Care Forum’s Director of Policy, “hospitals help to save people’s lives and social care helps them to live them”. If Mr Johnson can't see this, he should perhaps keep his hard hat on to avoid the many brickbats that are likely to come his way. Hopefully he and his advisors will see sense. Otherwise, ultimately, a lack of vision regarding the future of the sector will mean that all of us will lose out. Over to you then, Boris.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES QCS Coronavirus Hub: https://www.qcs.co.uk/coronavirus-updates/ CQC coronavirus information: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/all-services/coronaviruscovid-19-pandemic-information-providers

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS QCS would like to thank the National Care Forum.


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Whole Home Testing “Not Done” Reveals Survey The National Care Forum (NCF), has conducted a survey with its members to gather data relating to the whole home testing experience for staff and residents. The whole home testing portal went live on 11 May to all care homes with residents over the age of 65. Data gathered related to members’ experience of using this portal, including those who were part of the pilot that went live before 11 May up until 25 June 2020, as well as other testing routes for staff. While all care homes for over 65s have been offered whole home testing, our findings reveal that not all staff and residents have actually been tested. The survey represents the perspectives of a wide range of organisations who between them employ 24,681 staff and support 14,213 residents in 332 care homes. Our findings offer useful insight into who has been tested, speed of receiving test results and the urgent need for routine, repeat tests that are less invasive. The government pledged to offer testing to all staff and residents in care homes for over-65s by the beginning of June. Data from our members would suggest that this either hasn’t happened or care homes have been unable to access tests for their staff and residents which may be the result of another reason (e.g. staff absences, new staff, new admission, etc.). Respondents told us that a total of 2,318 (9%) of staff and 1,706 (12%) of residents in care homes are still awaiting COVID-19 testing. The majority of respondents stated that on average, it takes 1-2 days or 3-4 days to receive test results, with the longest time taken to receive a test result reported as between 2 days and 28 days. Of the small number of staff (3%) and residents (8%) who had tested positive, 53% of staff (239) and 30% of residents (233) were asymptomatic. Though a relatively small number, it’s a vital indication of the need for routine and repeat testing in care homes to manage the risk of transmission. Respondents told us that routine, regular testing was important and necessary to keep people safe and monitor the spread of the virus. “One-time testing is pointless in this setting. You have staff teams running a 24-hour service who are going

out into the community daily and could transmit the virus to the residents. Regular testing is the only way to attempt to eradicate COVID-19 in care homes” As demonstrated by international evidence (such as in Hong Kong), routine testing should be a necessary part of an effective test and trace system. However, concerns were raised about the ongoing use of swab tests which can prove time-consuming to administer and process, and have the potential to cause distress for residents, and it was felt a saliva-style test would prove easier to administer. “70% of our residents are living with dementia and the test is very traumatic. If a saliva test was available, we would encourage that weekly.” Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum says: “Testing of all those receiving care in care homes and the staff delivering it must continue to be an absolute priority. What we see from the results is the need for ongoing routine and regular testing of residents and staff in care homes. “It’s encouraging to see the high number of care homes that have received COVID-19 testing to date, but this cannot be a one-time arrangement. It is vital that we move to regular and repeat testing in our fight against COVID-19 in care homes, in order to continue to keep people safe and prevent the spread of infection. “We’re encouraged to seeing some improvements to the speed of receiving test results. However, we cannot lose sight of the number of residents and staff who are testing positive and are asymptomatic. This is a worrying trend that can only be effectively managed through repeat testing. “In the past few months we have surveyed our members to gauge their experience of the testing arrangements and to get a clear picture of what’s happening on the ground. Our survey results highlight that we can’t take our eye off the ball just yet. Access to the right type of tests for vulnerable people must happen quickly and all care home residents and staff offered routine tests.”

Huge Dilemma Facing Care Providers Care and nursing homes are facing one of their toughest dilemmas since the onset of coronavirus as pressure mounts for them to open their doors. Provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) says falling death and infection rates and the easing of lockdown means relatives are wanting to visit their loved ones. But, in the light of cases like Leicester, home owners are still living in fear of a second spike impacting on the older and vulnerable people they care for. They are calling for guidance from the Government over what to do next. Speaking as the number of deaths in care and nursing homes fell again, ICG Chair Mike Padgham said home owners were facing a dreadful dilemma. “We are delighted to see the death and infection rates in care and nursing homes continue to fall and of course would love to gradually open our doors and let our residents and their loved ones be back together. Many relatives are understandably asking ‘if we can go to the pub, why can’t we go and see our relatives?’ “We are also seeing care and nursing homes close and others enduring real financial hardship because of

coronavirus costs and reduced admissions. This also increases the pressure to open up. “But at the same time care providers are very nervous that this relaxation of lockdown restrictions will itself spark a second spike in coronavirus, which has already had a devastating impact upon care and nursing homes. We have seen what is happening in Leicester and the more restrictions are lifted and people, including care staff, return to more normal contact, the greater the risk of the virus being brought into a home again. “It is a dreadful dilemma and we could really do with better guidance over what we do next.” Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 249 people in England and Wales died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 19th June, down from 369 the week before. Previous weeks saw 564, 705, 1,090, 1,660, 1,666, 2,423 and 2,800 deaths respectively. The ONS says a total of 14,658 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 between 28 December last year and 19th June.



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CQC Reviews Will Help Health and Care Providers Prepare for Future Pressures To help providers of health and social care services learn from the experience of responding to COVID-19 around the country, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is carrying out rapid reviews of how providers are working collaboratively in local areas. These Provider Collaboration Reviews (PCRs) reviews will focus on 11 Integrated Care System (ICS) or Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas. The reviews will support providers across systems by sharing learning, helping to drive improvements and preparation for future pressures on local health and care systems. In Beyond Barriers: How older people move between health and social care in England, CQC noted that health and care services can achieve better outcomes for people when they work together. Collaboration between providers in a system is even more important in times of crisis. In carrying out the reviews, CQC will use data it holds and undertake conversations with providers and ICS and STP leaders. This will include the experiences of people who use services. CQC’s ambition is to look at provider collaboration in all ICS and STP areas. The first phase, between July and August, will see reviews in: • Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS • Norfolk and Waveney STP • The Black Country and West Birmingham STP • Lincolnshire STP • North East and North Cumbria ICS • Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS • Frimley Health and Care ICS • Sussex Health and Care Partnership ICS • North West London STP • One Gloucestershire ICS • Devon STP These reviews will involve understanding the journey for people with and without coronavirus across health and social care providers. They will focus on the interface between health and adult social care for the over-65 population group. Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care said: “The speed and scale of the response required by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the benefits to services and the people who use them of creativity and innovation through collaborative approaches. Responses to the pandemic have offered opportunities for partnership working, ensuring shared efforts to avoid fragmentation and drive best experiences and outcomes for those accessing care within the system.

“These reviews will help identify where provider collaboration has worked well to the benefit of people who use services. Sharing that learning will help drive further improvements across systems.” Review teams will feedback findings to areas following each review to help them plan ahead. Themes from the 11 reviews will be reported in September in CQC’s COVID Insight report and State of Care in October. Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, said: “We welcome this approach. It is good to see CQC adapting to reflect the changing environment and piloting different means of working with providers and their partners. “One of the great achievements by trusts in response to COVID-19 was the way that they and their partners quickly developed new approaches, collaborating to confront the greatest challenge in the history of the NHS. “We look forward to seeing details of how this has been done, and the lessons to be drawn from these initiatives to support more collaboration, and the CQC’s approach to regulation, in the future.” The National Care Forum said: “We welcome this programme of rapid reviews by the CQC, looking at how local systems have responded to support care providers during the COVID crisis. The experience of our members on the frontline in the fight against COVID within the care sector has shown a variety of responses from local systems, some very col-

laborative and supportive and some less so. We welcome the opportunity for a strong care provider voice within these reviews as we reflect collectively on the very difficult past few months of the crisis. “It is absolutely essential that we learn what has worked well within the local care and health system, for care providers and the very vulnerable people they serve, and what has not worked so well, so that we are better equipped to work together in the event of any second wave. It will also enable a valuable local lens on the role that national policy making and guidance has played at a local level.” Lisa Lenton, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, said: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever we have witnessed the importance of clear communication and collaboration to tackle this crisis. “The pandemic has created unprecedented situations and there is an opportunity to reflect on the lessons we have learned at local system level over recent months – both what went well and the challenges that rapidly unfolded. “By having conversations with partners - importantly people who use services and providers as well as ICS/STP leaders in the identified areas, there is a real opportunity to share experiences - collaboration is key and identifying more effective ways to work in partnership is very welcome to swiftly evaluate what will need to happen in the event of a second peak to support people who access care and support." Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and their teams sit at the heart of our communities and therefore have a key role at the centre of our wider systems for health and care provision. The way in which general practice has responded to the challenges of the pandemic has been tremendous and further demonstrates the importance of GP leadership in supporting and sustaining health and care systems. “We welcome the opportunity to share our learnings and further develop a collaborative approach to supporting the NHS through the next wave of pressures. The welcome decision by the CQC and other regulators to ease their requirements during COVID-19 has enabled GPs to free up capacity which has been put to good use in delivering frontline care to patients and in supporting systems in new and innovative ways. “We look forward to working with the CQC to explore ways in which the positive changes we have seen during the pandemic can be embedded in the longer-term to improve the care we give to our patients post-COVID.”

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Coronavirus and Its Life-Lasting Impact to Health and Social Care By Mark Adams, CEO, Community Integrated Care (www.c-i-c.co.uk)

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark focus how much our nation relies upon the hidden heroes of social care. We can be in no doubt that their work in supporting the most vulnerable individuals in society has protected and saved lives, often at significant personal cost. However, this same statement could equally have been made a month, year or even a decade ago. Earlier this year, social care workers were labelled by the government as ‘low skilled’. This shocking statement fails to account for the significant responsibility that comes with the role and the rare gift for human connection that it requires. Most people, at heart, wouldn’t feel capable to work in frontline care, yet the care sector is funded as though being able to support someone to lead a fulfilling life is the most basic role in society. Care sector funding dictates that social care workers are afforded the lowest possible reward, in complete disregard of the level of accountability and commitment they display in their roles. It has abused the goodwill of those who have a vocation for making a difference and told them that their work is of the lowest possible value. However, this pandemic is bringing to light what really matters. It is making us appreciate those people who do the tough, important and often unseen work that really makes a difference. I hope that this is the catalyst for long-term reform.

RE-EVALUATING SOCIAL CARE We have to ask, why has it required a national crisis to value social care? Why have we undervalued for so long those who give so much in return for so little? Sadly, these failures can be traced much further back than the moment Coronavirus hit these shores.

Consecutive governments have entered elections promising investment, reform and direction for social care, but failed to deliver upon their bold promises. The human, and indeed economic cost, of the systemic failures of an under resourced social care sector cannot be underestimated. One factor in this mess is that whilst the NHS is a central government responsibility, social care is a patchwork quilt overseen by 408 local authorities. This lack of ‘hands-on’ connection means that government thinking around social care is often tragically ill-informed. It also creates the political wriggle-room for politicians to kick today’s problems into tomorrow. For a sector that entered this crisis at breaking point, these problems cannot be ignored any longer. It is time for central government to step up. It is our sector that enables people to live with dignity, offers comfort to families and keeps society going, so we cannot see it fail. Matt Hancock needs to do more than wear a ‘Care Badge’. We need action, not gestures. This uncoordinated army needs a central body that drives innovation, standards and efficiency, working with regulators, providers and local authorities. One obvious start is to create the equivalent of NHS England to oversee, plan and budget for social care nationally and support local authorities. Local authorities cannot make ends meet after a decade of austerity. They are managing organisations as varied as national charities, large companies and small family businesses, all with different styles and standards. This mix of a fragmented market and lack of financial clout is a recipe for disaster. Yes, we have regulators like QCC and the Care Inspectorate, but they don’t set policy, funding levels or drive innovation. We need to fill this void. This is a national problem that can only be fixed at a national level. The good news is that there are emerging models of care and new innovations that can improve lives and reduce expenditure to the public purse. The solutions, to a degree, are in right front of us – we just need unity and political will, as well as individuals with influence having the personal fortitude to stand up for what is right. 1948 produced our National Health Service, as the country recovered from WWII. Could a silver lining of this crisis be a new chapter for social care?

Acts of Kindness at Encore Care Homes for World Wellbeing Week From ice cream vans to wellbeing webinars, Encore Care Homes delivered a thoughtful week of events in celebration of World Wellbeing Week (22-26 June), a global awareness campaign about the importance of health and wellbeing. Encore Care Homes have care homes in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Southampton and joined other health and social care settings across the world by providing emotional support and wellbeing webinars to employees. Throughout this week, care teams were treated to daily acts of kindness such as free flapjacks, ice cream and beauty products. The overall aim of the Encore Care Homes Wellbeing Week was to help promote and encourage better understanding of health and wellbeing issues, which has been especially important during this current period of pandemic.

Fiona Radford, Sales and Marketing Director at Encore Care Homes, said: “The team have wholeheartedly embraced the week’s activities. It was lovely to be able to see everyone enjoying the favourite feel-good foods of ice-cream and flap-jacks. We must never lose sight of the health and wellbeing of our care team and helping them feel positive, supported and valued.” Many of the treats were kindly donated by local businesses such as Dorset Flapjacks, Jordans Ryvita, Harvest Foods, Gilcrist & Soames and Orla Kiely, which emphasises the key role that Encore Care Homes play in the community. Rachel Dryden, Chief Executive of Encore Care Homes said: “We have never had a greater sense of pride of working in the social care sector and the privilege of looking after our residents. As an organisation we are fully committed to ensuring that every team member is fully supported and we provide access to emotional, financial, mental and wellbeing support.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 9

Politicians Urged to Join Campaign to Protect Care Homes Against “Iniquitous” Postcode Lottery of Fees

A social care leader is calling on politicians across North Wales to speak out against the “iniquitous” post code lottery of fees in the wake of news that a historic care home is closing. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of sector champions Care Forum Wales, said the devasting news about the decision to axe the Penrhos Polish Home on the Llŷn Peninsula, highlighted the threat to the future of care homes throughout Wales. It’s been revealed that up to 40 “frightened” and elderly residents of the home, which recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, face an uncertain future. The home was established to provide accommodation for Polish exservicemen and women after the Secord World War. More than 30 residents will be affected by the planned closure but 63 people living in sheltered accommodation managed by housing association Clwyd Alyn will not be affected.

Gwynedd Council have stepped in to provide short-term support but the announcement has caused huge concern, with the daughter of one of the people living there being quoted as saying the residents were “very frightened”, Mr Kreft said: “The impending closure of this home is an absolute tragedy. “The home have been long-standing members of Care Forum Wales and our thoughts are with the residents, their families and staff at this difficult and uncertain time. “This heart-breaking situation mirrors the uncertainty in the social care sector across Wales and has highlighted the financial crisis facing our care homes which are such vitally important community assets. “For nearly a quarter of a century the policy has been for local government to manage the sector and the problems we are seeing are a direct consequence of that. “It is something that the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, recognised recently when he said the sector was fragile even before the coronavirus crisis began. “I would urge all North Wales politicians, who are naturally showing their concern in relation to the Polish home, to examine the fundamental cause of the problem because this is not a one-off situation. It is a deep rooted crisis. “A large number of care homes across Wales are at risk of closure and the reason is not difficult to identify. “Care Forum Wales has published a league table of care home fees which starkly illustrates the fundamentally unfair post code lottery that has plagued the sector for years. “It means, for example, that a care home in Cardiff will receive nearly £9,000 a year more per resident than the Polish care home in Gwynedd for providing exactly the same service. “As a result, we gave Gwynedd Council one of our Cheapskate Awards for being in the bottom 10 of this league of shame. “In total, five of the six councils in North Wales were in the bottom 10 – the exception being Conwy County Borough Council who were only just outside the bottom 10 and can’t take any credit for that.

“It’s clear that South East Wales is faring far better than North Wales so yet again we are seeing evidence of an unfair North-South divide. “This is why we need an urgent national action plan is needed to sort out this grossly inequitable situation once and for all so that we have fees that make sure that care homes not only survive the immediate crisis but are still there in the long-term so that they can continue to serve our communities across Wales in the future. “As Covid-19 has highlighted, we have frontline staff doing a heroic job and risking their lives to safeguard the vulnerable residents for whom they provide care. “Sadly, the closure of the Polish home will not be the last. We’ve already lost far too many homes and the financial instability of the sector is going to push a large number into the abyss unless we take urgent action now. “You can’t measure the loss of these homes just in terms of bricks and mortar – they are the cornerstone of communities across Wales, economically, socially and culturally. “This is fundamentally about rights of vulnerable people and giving them the choice to stay in their own communities rather than being heartlessly shipped a long way from home. “Social care has been designated by the Welsh Government as a pillar of the foundation economy and unless local councils get their act together it is going to be tantamount to a scorched earth policy that will wipe out large swathes of the sector. “Whereas you can produce widgets in any part of the world, but you can’t do the same thing with social care. The First Minister recently referred to social care as the scaffolding that supports the NHS. Care Forum Wales believes this to be so. “The system should be based on fairness and equality and we are urging all our politicians to speak up against this iniquitous post code lottery to ensure fairness and parity with other places in North Wales. “This shambles brings into disrepute the so-called North Wales toolkit used by local authorities to calculate fees and puts at least half of the staff who work in the sector at the basic national living wage.

Business Investment in UK Health and Social Care Sector Up 55% Despite Coronavirus Business investment in the health and social care sector has grown by 55% in a year amid the carnage of coronavirus, analysis by specialist tax relief consultancy Catax shows1. Total business investment in the sector grew to £1.46billion in the first quarter of 2020, up from £940million for the same period in 2019, latest ONS figures released yesterday show1. This bucks a wider slowdown in the British economy, which shrunk by 10.4% in the three months to April 20202. Overall business investment across UK industry rose 0.8% compared with the first quarter of 2019. The health and social work industry has seen investment rise as it leads the frontline response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Tighe, CEO of tax relief consultancy Catax, comments: “The nation spent ten weeks applauding the key workers in the NHS and social care who have led the frontline response, and it’s reassuring to see that business investment has also been increasing at the same time. “The health industry is going to be key to getting the country running again, so this increased investment is a sign of how important its success is going to be to the rest of us. “Research and development is going to be vital in this area, and many medical businesses should be able to claim tax credits of various kinds on the money they have invested.”


PAGE 10 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

Hope House Resident Celebrates 101st Birthday

Should Hospital-Style Infection Prevention Protocols Be Used In Care Homes?

By Dr Guy Braverman, Co-Founder & Managing Director of GAMA Healthcare

A resident at Hope House care home based in Clayton-le-Moors, has celebrated her 101st birthday. Kathleen Blakeley marked the day with a garden party at the Lancashire-based care home, complete with social distanced singer and party food. On her special day, she was also surprised by staff from the home who wore fancy-dress costumes from each decade of her life. Kathleen was born in Blackburn in 1919 and began her working life as a baker and confectioner, aged just 14. Coming from a family of five, she specialised in decorating wedding cakes before getting married herself. She had a daughter and a son with her husband who passed away after a happy 33 year-long marriage. Kathleen spent the last 20 years of her working life at Blackburn College as a cook before retiring at the age of 65. After her retirement, Kathleen devoted her life to her three grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Her hobbies include reading, knitting and gardening – she took great pride in her garden and could not settle on an evening until it was immaculate. Kathleen said that she believes the recipe for long life is hard work, determination and the love of family and friends. Kathleen’s daughter, Patricia Worsley, praised staff at the home for giving their mother a day to remember. Patricia said: “Thank you so much to everyone that took time out of their busy schedules to help my mother enjoy and celebrate her birthday. I can’t thank the carers at Hope House enough for all their help over the past year.”

“Don’t ask if something is clean, ask if it’s safe.” We’ve spent 15 years working with NHS Infection Prevention & Control teams up and down the country to help educate NHS staff on this concept. It sounds simple, maybe even a little obvious, but this single sentence captures an attitude shift that will help us all control the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings and beyond. Coronaviruses spread through a mix of direct contact and via droplets released when coughing and sneezing. Infectious human coronaviruses can be found in our everyday environments and, depending on the conditions, they can persist for days. National guidance from the UK government advises us to clean and disinfect touchable surfaces in communal spaces, bathrooms and kitchens on a regular basis. We know that better surface cleaning and disinfection in hospitals, and other care settings, reduces the spread of infection. Integrating these cleaning routines into daily practice is just as important as washing hands or wearing PPE. It’s crucial that all care home staff understand what good IPC protocol looks like.

DEFINING INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL IPC is the discipline concerned with preventing the spread of infections within the healthcare setting. IPC has two arms: • Prevention: hand hygiene, surface cleaning & disinfection, sterilisation, vaccination, surveillance • Investigation and management: stopping the demonstrated or suspected spread of infection within a particular setting Of course, infection control techniques are already utilised in care homes. Residents are often taken back to their care homes from hospital for the duration of their recovery. In these instances, care home staff have to consider how to care for these residents whilst minimising any risk of transmission to others – often using personal protection equipment and isolation. In this article, we’re going to focus on the aspects of

IPC where we can make the biggest impact as individuals: hand hygiene, surfaces cleaning & disinfection.

EDUCATION ON SURFACE CLEANING AND DISINFECTION Sometimes it might not feel like it, but there is a science to cleaning. If we don’t follow that science, we can actually spread microorganisms around our environment faster. If we take the time to train and educate each other, we can reduce the spread of infection. There are seemingly small changes in technique that can make a big difference to residents and staff. In this time of urgent need, we need to focus on education to help prevent any unnecessary cases. Working with infection prevention experts, we developed our 5 Principles of Cleaning. The idea is to make sure every surface is covered, but that we don’t inadvertently contaminate surfaces as we’re cleaning: • Wipe in an ‘S’-shaped pattern This helps stop you using a dirty wipe back over areas that have already been cleaned. • Work from top to the bottom on any given item This avoids dripping from a dirty area to a clean one and helps you work from clean to dirty. • Wipe from clean to dirty Again, to avoid accidentally spreading germs around, the areas likely to be dirtiest should be cleaned last. • Ensure the correct contact time of the disinfectant is met Disinfectants only work when wet. When you are selecting a disinfectant, you should make sure the “contact time” (the time it takes for a disinfectant to kill any given organism) is realistic, around a minute. If it is, you should leave disinfectants to air dry. • Only use one wipe for one surface This stops you from transferring microorganisms from one surface to another. You should also change wipes if it becomes soiled or dried out because this can stop the disinfectant from working. It’s important to note: if you’re using traditional, chlorine-based disinfectants, these are often ineffective in dirty conditions. That means you need to clean any given surface first, dry it, and then disinfect.

CLEAR SIGNAGE To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation has recommended improved hand hygiene. It can help to put up signage, reminding people of handwashing guidance by the sinks or basins throughout the care home.

Thorough and regular handwashing makes sure staff don’t contaminate surfaces, infect themselves or spread the virus from room to room. Hand hygiene in the care home should follow the 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene : • Before touching a resident To prevent germs from being transferred to the resident from your hands • Before clean /aseptic procedure e.g. changing dressings or taking bloods To reduce the risk of germs entering the body during the procedure • 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

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS Good technique is only effective if the products are fit for purpose. They need to be shown to achieve real results in the real world. We need to recognise that these products are used by real people, and develop them with that in mind. Not all disinfectants are created equal. Effectiveness to kill bacteria and viruses does differ between products depending on the formula and ‘dosage’ of the active ingredients. It’s crucial to look at which bacteria and viruses each product can kill and how quickly they can do it. For a disinfectant to work, the surface needs to stay wet. If your disinfectant product tells you it can kill an organism, but that it’ll take 5 minutes to do it, it’s probably not going to be effective in the real world. Make sure to check the claims and build this into the IPC protocol for your team. Over the last fifteen years, reducing infections in healthcare environments has been our key focus. We do this through providing effective products based in scientific research and, most importantly, making sure the individual users understand what makes a good IPC protocol. Individual users each make thousands of decisions a day that affect our environmental hygiene and our public health. It’s only by engaging those individuals that we improve IPC – helping them understand why these interventions matter and how they can help make things safer.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 11

HM Treasury Extends Tax Cut to PPE Costs Borough Care

The temporary scrapping of VAT on PPE has been extended until the end of October – saving care homes and businesses dealing with the coronavirus outbreak £155 million, the government announced today. • temporary scrapping of VAT on personal protective equipment (PPE) for infection extended until the end of October • the three-month extension will save care homes and businesses an estimated £155 million • comes after VAT on PPE was temporarily zero-rated at the beginning of May and import duty on PPE was removed The decision – which will make it easier and cheaper for care homes, charities and businesses to acquire the vital kit – comes after a temporary zero-rate of VAT was applied to PPE sales for an initial three months from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020. Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: Extending the zero VAT rate on PPE will provide the relief needed by care homes in particular, so that as many people as possible continue to be protected against the coronavirus.

Due to the extension, the zero-rate will apply for six months in total with consumers including care homes, home care providers and businesses estimated to save an additional £155 million. Ministers had previously removed import duties from PPE and medical supplies intended to assist with the response to the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020 to ensure more essential equipment can get to the front line quicker. EU law governing VAT – which the UK is bound to until the end of the transitional period – requires the UK to charge VAT on the equipment. But the government has acted under an exceptional basis allowed by EU rules during health emergencies. The European Commission recently indicated support for member states to introduce temporary VAT reliefs to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The move will particularly benefit care providers, who are often unable to reclaim the 20% VAT they incur on their purchases. Funding has been provided to DHSC to support the centralised procurement and supply of PPE, including supply to the NHS and care providers.

Supports Stars in Memory Campaign

Call for More Support as Care Death Toll Revealed Care providers have called on the Government to provide them with more support as the true number of coronavirus deaths and infections in care and nursing homes was revealed. New figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that almost 20,000 people have died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes and one in five have been infected. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said behind every death was a tragic loss and it called on the Government to better support the care sector. ICG Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show the true, grim reality of Covid-19 – behind every statistic is a human tragedy – a mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister or friend who has been lost. “Social care has taken a dreadful toll on care and nursing homes, which have been the real front line against Covid-19 for some time. “They have been battling to keep the virus under control. From day one we have faced chronic problems in getting access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and to testing. “Front line care providers still need more direct support from the government. This isn’t beaten yet. “Locally, we have had good support from the local authority but it is central Government that needs to step up.” He welcomed a planned new testing regime to help care and nursing homes protect residents and staff against coronavirus.

The Government has announced that care and nursing home staff will be tested weekly and residents every month to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in social care. “Improvements to the testing regime can only be a good thing. Many of us in social care are very wary of a second wave of coronavirus and keen to do everything we can, urgently, to avoid that,” Mr Padgham said. “Maintaining full staff cover is crucial during the fight against Covid-19 but it is extremely challenging, because inevitably staff are going off sick too.” “Understandably, the Government does not want us to rely upon agency staff because of fears over moving between homes. But we urgently need to get more staff to the frontline to cope with the issues we have now and any potential second wave of the virus.” He said the Government had to get more direct financial aid to providers to help them cope with rising costs, including staff and personal protective equipment (PPE) and the losses due to falling home admissions. “The Government also needs to step up its recruitment campaign for care and nursing staff to get people who are experienced carers or others who aren’t to join the fight against Covid-19 in care and nursing homes. “The battle against coronavirus isn’t over yet – in fact there may be worse to come – this is the time to step up and support care and nursing homes through it.”

Staff and residents at Borough Care’s homes for older people in Stockport have participated in the Stars in Memory campaign, by creating and decorating stars to remember those lives lost during the coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has produced widespread personal loss and tragedy to people throughout the UK, with the care sector often at the centre of this. Organisations across the care sector have joined together to produce stars, to mark the loss that has been felt during the pandemic and to show those who have lost loved ones they are being thought about. Residents and staff at Borough Care’s homes spent time together designing their stars, which are displayed in the homes’ windows.


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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 13

Research Study into Long-Term Health Impacts of Covid-19 Launched In The UK

One of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus on hospitalised patients has been launched in the UK, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced. Around 10,000 patients are expected to take part in the groundbreaking new study, which has been awarded £8.4 million by the government, through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Led by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, a partnership between the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the PHOSP-COVID study will draw on expertise from a consortium of leading researchers and doctors from across the UK. They will assess and publish findings on the impact of Covid-19 on patient health and their recovery. This includes looking at possible ways to help improve the mental health of patients hospitalised with coronavirus, and how individual characteristics influence recovery, such as gender or ethnicity. Patients on the study from across the UK will be assessed using techniques such as advanced imaging, data collection and analysis of blood and lung samples, creating a comprehensive picture of the impact Covid-19 has on longer-term health outcomes. The findings will support the development of new strategies for clinical and rehabilitation care, including personalised treatments based on the particular disease characteristics that a patient shows, to improve their long-term health. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we continue our fight against this global pandemic, we are learning more and more about the impact the disease can have not only on immediate health, but longer-term physical and mental health too. “This world-leading study is another fantastic contribution from the UK’s world-leading life sciences and research sector. It will also help to ensure future treatment can be tailored as much as possible to the

person.” Chief Medical Officer and Head of NIHR Professor Chris Whitty said: “As well as the immediate health impacts of the virus it is also important to look at the longer-term impacts on health, which may be significant. “We have rightly focused on mortality, and what the UK can do straight away to protect lives, but we should also look at how Covid-19 impacts on the health of people after they have recovered from the immediate disease. “This UKRI and NIHR funded study is one of the first steps in doing this.” UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Ottoline Leyser, said: “We have much to learn about the long-term health impacts of Covid-19 and its management in hospital, including the effects of debilitating lung and heart conditions, fatigue, trauma and the mental health and wellbeing of patients. “UKRI is collaborating with NIHR to fund one of the world’s largest studies to track the long-term effects of the virus after hospital treatment, recognising that for many people survival may be just the start of a long road to recovery. “This study will support the development of better care and rehabilitation and, we hope, improve the lives of survivors.” This study is one of a number of Covid-19 studies that have been given urgent public health research status by the Department of Health and Social Care. Symptoms of Covid-19 have varied among those who have tested positive: some have displayed no symptoms, while others have developed severe pneumonia and, tragically, have even lost their lives. For those who were hospitalised and have since been discharged, it is not yet clear what their medical, psychological and rehabilitation needs will be to enable them to make as full a recovery as possible. The recruitment process for patients has been designed to ensure the best representation of those hospitalised with coronavirus, with a team of experts that have worked extensively on optimising inclusion and recruitment of underrepresented groups. The patients are expected to start being recruited by the end of July. Chris Brightling, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Leicester, Consultant Respiratory Physician at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Chief Investigator, said: “As we emerge from the first wave of the pandemic, we have new insights into the acute phase of this disease but very little information about patients’ long-term needs. “It is vitally important that we rapidly gather evidence on the longer-term consequences of contracting severe Covid-19 so we can develop and test new treatment strategies for them and other people affected by future waves of the disease. ”

Social Work Awards Launches Covid-19 ‘Social Work Stories’ Social Work Awards, the charity behind the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards, has launched a new initiative to support and recognise inspirational social work during the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Social Work Stories’ is an online hub and safe space for social workers to share their stories, experiences and thoughts, and support one another through these challenging times. Social workers are encouraged in the first instance to email their stories in any format such as a short blog, poem, captioned photograph, video or audio file. All approved stories will be posted to the Social Work Awards website and shared across social media, to bring light to difficult days for colleagues in social work and social care. Peter Hay CBE, Chair of Social Work Awards, said: “As a charity, we want to remain a home for recognition and support. “Right now, we can share our hope, our brighter moments and our stories from the front line. We can continue to inspire one another and bring greater public recognition to the thousands of social workers supporting communities around the UK.“ 2021 will be the 10th anniversary year of the charity and together with sponsors and corporate partners the Trustees are looking into holding a series of regional recognition events which could give the opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary times of Covid-19, share experiences of the hardships and losses and give recognition to social workers in each region. To learn more and share your social work stories, visit www.socialworkawards.com/social-work-stories or email stories@socialworkawards.com

Novellini launch BeSafe walls to help the UK return to work safely

Workplaces around the nation are preparing for when the UK can return to a kind of normality. The Novellini Group presents a solution that will help to create safe working environments that are hygienic and adaptable. The BeSafe wall is a protective device that companies with any office, desk space, trade counters, and food service areas can incorporate going forward. The primary benefit? Hygiene. Employees will feel protected with the BeSafe wall as it provides a barrier. Constructed from 6mm tempered glass, it’s easy to clean with any alcoholic disinfectant. In smaller spaces where it’s difficult to sit two meters away, the wall is a particularly helpful solution. Office teams aren’t the only ones who will be happy to see these walls put in place. BeSafe is a smart answer for all industries where contact with the public is required, such as pharmacies, retail counters, restaurants and public offices. Novellini can customise each barrier to suit the space with three versions (floor mounted, trade counter, and desks) and five different sizes. UK Sales Manager at Novellini, Stuart West says ‘We are looking to help the UK workforce where we can and these are a positive answer to those concerns about health and hygiene.’ As specialists in showers and design, Novellini are putting their skills to good use and many businesses across the UK will be pleased to find a safe and stylish solution. They are even available in several colours and glass finishes to suit the surroundings.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 15

Delays to Social Care Reforms Undermined Covid-19 Response Survey Reveals Years of government indecisiveness over social care reforms have made it harder to deal with the COVID19 crisis, according to the majority of over-45s polled during lockdown by Just Group. The findings show that 56% of the over-45s believe that delays to funding reforms hampered the coronavirus response, with just 22% saying it made no difference. And despite the disturbing coverage of the impact of the virus on care homes, only 52% believe that agreeing a social care policy will become a priority for this government. The finding has been revealed in the Just Group Care Report 2020: Coronavirus, can the catastrophe be a catalyst? Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group said, ‘Strong party allegiances show up more clearly, however, when people are asked about the likelihood of governments pushing reforms through. For example, Conservative voters make up 90% of those who confident that Boris Johnson will produce a social care policy in this Parliament, while 83% of those who are not confident voted for other parties.’ ‘There is little disagreement about the need to modernise the social care system and for the need to share costs across individual and taxpayer. Breaking the policy logjam will require cross party agreement. In the end, one government or another will have to bite the bullet and push through reforms.’ The report also revealed wide ranging confusion among people over the age of 45 on government announcements about care policy, reflect-

ing proposals that have been publicised but later ditched, such as a cap on care costs. People were also perplexed about how to access the right care for a loved one, with four in five (78%) saying the system was complex and hard to navigate, three-quarters (77%) finding the process stressful and nearly nine in 10 (88%) shocked at how expensive care is. Nearly half (48%) of the over-45s said that the Covid-19 crisis had made it likely that they would try to ensure their care needs were met in their own homes rather than a residential setting, a figure that rises to 64% among those aged 75+. This reflects a rising trend since 2012 for people to say they do not want to go into a care home. ‘Every year we have found about four in five people have not thought about care or spoken to family or friends about it and this remains true even among the over-75s,’ said Stephen Lowe. ‘When asked why, the most common answer given by nearly a quarter (24%) was that the thought of needing care was too depressing. A high number (16%) said they were also waiting for the government to clarify future social care policy.’ ‘Later life care has for years been the elephant in the room for families – an issue they have found easier to ignore than address. Politicians are reinforcing this by promising reforms but never delivering.’ ‘In the wake of coronavirus, we desperately need our policymakers to reinvigorate the debate and to lead the way towards a system that helps people look ahead with confidence rather than trepidation.’

Sunrise of Hale Barns Care Home Opens Pub in Memory Care Neighbourhood Sunrise of Hale Barns care home has opened a bar within ‘Reminiscence’, its Memory Care Neighbourhood. This is a dedicated neighbourhood for residents living with dementia. The new bar has been set up to emulate a traditional pub with bottle fridges, a working jukebox and beer pumps. The Sunrise of Hale Barns team in ‘Reminiscence’ run the bar, and the residents have ‘happy hour’ from 7pm-8pm. The bar was custom built and they serve a range of drinks in pint glasses, gin glasses and wine glasses. Residents also enjoy listening to their favourite songs on the jukebox. For a lot of the residents, the pub was an integral part of their week in their younger years. Having this facility on site in their home has proved to be a fantastic way of lifting their spirits and encouraging interaction with

their fellow residents. Sharon Parkes, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Hale Barns, said: “Our new bar has been such a success amongst the residents, it’s so lovely they can use it to socialise. This also means they can re-live the days when going to their local pub was a real source of enjoyment, something that for many was embedded in their weekly routine and remembered with great fondness. “The option of a bar onsite exemplifies the values we look to achieve for residents. Enabling choice and nurturing their spirit is hugely important in all the activities and facilities we provide.”


PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

ADI And ITN Release New Documentary ‘Hope in The Age of Dementia’ Alzheimer’s Disease International and ITN Productions have co-produced a new documentary ‘Hope in the Age of Dementia‘. Watch the documentary at https://tinyurl.com/ybdayxo5 The newly released news and current affairs-style documentary explores the latest ground-breaking global developments around dementia, from advances in care to research and technology, and showcasing organisations which are driving change and innovation around the world. Anchored by experienced news presenter Sharon Thomas, ‘Hope in the Age of Dementia’ explores the global disparities in dementia planning; hopeful signs of treatment and diagnostic breakthroughs; major barriers disrupting data collection, leading research in low and middle income countries; innovation in health and

care services and the importance of collaboration in improving Policy decision making. The 15-part programme features world leading organisations such Geras Solutions, National University of Ireland, Galway, Roche, TauRx, The University of Auckland and The Welsh Ambulance Services ADI’s Chief Executive Paola Barbarino, said: “Now more than ever we need hope for those who live with dementia and their families. The global pandemic in 2020 has shown us how vulnerable our constituencies are and how unprepared governments are to help them cope with not just emergencies but daily life. This programme delves deeply into a wealth of new ideas, possible therapies and innovation in care, diagnostics and support to name a few. We hope it will instil in all of us a renewed confidence that a better life for all who live with dementia and their carers is possible.”

St Barnabas ‘Drive-Thru’ Donations A Huge Success Thanks to the public’s generosity during the first week of the Donation Drive-Thru, St Barnabas Hospice is able to open its first few shops in Lincoln from today. Those who have been clearing out their closets and cupboards during lockdown were invited to donate via specially booked appointments at the charity’s Central Warehouse in Lincoln. St Barnabas’ Head of Retail, Caroline Peach, said: “We were absolutely delighted to see so many people taking us up on our offer of donating safely and with social distancing at our Drive-Thru. Thanks to all those people who donated, we are now stocked with enough items to begin opening our charity shops. In one week alone, supporters brought us more than 2,000 bags and boxes of items which are currently sorting through for our charity shops. I am excited to see how many more items come through before our Drive-Thru closes temporarily at the end of this week.” This surge in donations means that from today, the charity’s Birchwood store is open, with Wragby Road and The Forum able to open next week. The rest of the charity’s shops should all then be open by the end of July.

Caroline added: “Our Drive-Thru slots are fully booked, but if anyone else has donations, then from 13th July, please do bring them to our Central Warehouse on Cardinal Close in Lincoln. As our shops re-open, they will also be accepting donations, but would urge people to spread out or stagger these over a few weeks, so our staff and volunteers can sort through them safely and so we don’t run out of room in the shops. “We have plans to open up our Donation Drive-Thru again soon, but our main focus now is to open the shops back up so we can start once more to raise money for the Hospice.” St Barnabas has also asked those sorting donations to consider quality over quantity and to be mindful when selecting items to donate. Caroline continued: “I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported our Hospice so far with the Donation Drive-Thru, and to our customers who are being so patient while we ensure our shops are safe to be re-opened. A special mention must go to our volunteers, new and old, who have stepped in to help us process a huge number of donations and get them out to the shops.”

“National Tea Week” is Coming Up - August 10th-16th (But it doesn’t have to be once a year- celebrate tea week every week)

I am sure we have all been there, that time between lunch and dinner and the length of the day starts to wear. When this happens, need that little bit of vitality and social interaction it is an ideal time to take partake in that great British tradition and enjoy a delicious cup of tea and some light sandwiches, cakes and pastries! It’s also a great time sit back and to appreciate the day, unwind and bring a little bit of elegance and pomp to an otherwise unremarkable time of the day. Afternoon Tea Week was established to help secure a tradition that has graced British afternoons since the 1840’s. In those days, dinner often wasn’t served until 8pm, and lunch wasn’t actually a thing, so what was a hungry person to do? Create a new minimeal in the middle of the day of course! Traditionally this meal contains tiny finger sandwiches, scones with

jam and clotted cream, and sweet dainties like cakes and pastries to help lift the spirits, bolster energy, and see you through the rest of the day. This simple afternoon meal grew into a social event, especially for those who spent their lives in the upper echelons of the day’s society. This became even more prominent once Queen Victoria herself took part in this tradition. At that point the concept of the ‘tea reception’ was born, lavish and fancy afternoon repasts that could host anywhere from a close collection of friends to a couple hundred of society’s most important faces. As the name suggests, tea was a central part of this meal, a tradition started by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford. She often found herself feeling weary or worn down in the middle of the day, and a pot of tea with a snack just seemed to be the best way to take

care of it. She soon invited friends to join her for walks in the field, and the snowball that would become Afternoon Tea began. So, if you love your tea, there are plenty treats in store as the nation gears up for Afternoon Tea Week – the biggest celebration of teatime treats in the world. From 10 to 16 August, care homes up and down the United Kingdom will be celebrating in style, and of course it is a great time to raise awareness and improve Nutrition and Hydration Week. Within carer environments afternoon tea is a key focal point to demonstrate how this historic but effortless occasion is ideal for promoting and improving nutrition and hydration. As well as offering a number of nutritional benefits, it can also be easily adapted to a wide variety of social and health care settings, helping boost calorific intake if necessary, and can be adapted for all groups, including those with specific dietary needs, texture modification and eating problems. So, get on board for National Tea Week!

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 17

Two Thirds of People in England Ready to Help Improve Health and Social Care Post COVID-19 “Because we all care”, a new campaign from the Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch England, launched today as new research shows that more than two-thirds (67%) of people in England say they are more likely to act to improve health and social care services since the outbreak of COVID-19. The two organisations have joined forces with other health and care partners to call on all people who access services to help shape future health and social care. According to the research, close to two thirds (57%) of people said they would be more willing since COVID-19 to support NHS and social care services by actively providing feedback on their care. The results also show that people say they are more grateful for the healthcare services they receive – particularly GP and hospital services – since the outbreak. This sentiment was strongest among young people (aged 18-34), who are now even more likely to take more action to support the work of health and social care services than other age groups. With the public already giving generously to health causes, the polling suggests that this age group is now significantly more likely to feedback on care (72%), and to donate to or fundraise for a relevant health cause (52%). Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission said: “People working in health and social care have been going to extraordinary lengths to deliver good, safe care during this global crisis. They have never had a more crucial – or a more challenging – role to play. “This research clearly shows the public’s appreciation for the care and support they and their loved ones have received and it’s inspiring that people are now looking for ways to channel this into practical action. “Now more than ever, every voice really does matter. It’s only by hearing what’s working and what’s not, that health and social care providers can improve the quality of care and support that they are delivering."

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England said: "These findings are good news. As the UK looks to the future after COVID-19, it's never been more important for people to share their experiences of care. “Services won’t bounce back overnight. There'll be problems to tackle but also opportunities to make care better. “You can help doctors, nurses and care workers find ways to improve support by sharing your experience.” The research conducted following the start of the COVID-19 crisis has revealed a fascinating snapshot of how people view feedback on care: • Three-quarters (76%) of people surveyed said that feedback is an important way to improve services, yet despite greater public willingness to contribute, some barriers do remain. A third of respondents (36%) said they would be reluctant to provide • negative feedback in case it increases pressure on services or staff. A fifth (18%) of people now consider themselves even less likely to pro• vide negative feedback on care. Among the key reasons cited were a recognition of the challenging circumstances health care staff face (56%) and not wanting to cause further issues for services to deal with (42%). “Every piece of information is valuable for those delivering health and social care services, so it’s vital that people don’t hold back from giving feedback - whether it’s big or small, good or bad. It takes only a few moments, but it could make a real difference to the care that you, your loved ones and your community receives.” adds Sir Robert Francis. The new campaign, which will run extensively on social media, aims to help services identify and address quality issues and support patients by encouraging people to share feedback on individual experiences of health and social care services in England. People can give feedback on their experiences of care, or those of someone they care for, on the CQC website or through their local Healthwatch. Local Healthwatch organisations can also help you with advice and information to access the support you need.

Care Home Veterans Mark Armed Forces Day Veterans in each of the charity’s Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe recently celebrated Armed Forces Day, which was the culmination of Armed Forces Week (22-27 June). Care home army veterans helped raise special Armed Forces Day flags, while others paid tribute by taking part in a salute for all those who have served in the military. At the Surbiton Home, Army veteran Peter, who served in the Royal Engineers, raised the flag. Kingston Mayor Margaret Thompson also joined celebrations with a Zoom video call to the Home. She spoke to World War II WAAF veteran Flo, members of staff, and a volunteer who joined in the call from her home. In Solihull, residents enjoyed a garden concert from vintage vocal harmony group Boogaloo Babes. They participated in the salute and tucked into cupcakes, ice cream and champagne, while observing social distancing. In High Wycombe 101-year-old Ena, whose husband died in action in 1944, raised the Armed Forces Day flag. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Cllr Thompson, the Mayor of Kingston, said: “It was a real pleasure to attend a

remote meeting at Royal Star & Garter. The commitment of the staff, who have continued to care for residents with great compassion during the pandemic, and of the volunteers who have maintained phone and social media contact with residents, was truly awe-inspiring. “I also had the pleasure of meeting Flo, who at 98 was au fait with Zoom and who told me fascinating stories of her wartime experiences as a lorry driver in the RAF. Voices like hers must not be lost. “I am looking forward to being able to visit in person again.” Andy Cole, the charity’s Chief Executive, said: “Armed Forces Week is an important time for us and our residents. It is an opportunity to give thanks for the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made, and continue to make, for our country. We were especially delighted that the Mayor of Kingston was able to spend time talking to our World War II veterans, staff and volunteers at our Surbiton Home.” A Royal Star & Garter resident added: “During this difficult time, it’s really nice that we can still come together to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces.”

Young Hearts of Kindness Cheer Lincolnshire Care Association Dementia Care Home Residents Responds to Prime Ministers Kind-hearted children at a special needs Scout group have lifted spirits at a Winchester dementia care home. Nine members of the Osborne Scouts painted around 50 colourful pebbles as sensory gifts for residents at Colten Care’s St Catherines View. The children, who all attend the Osborne School in Athelstan Road, decorated their stones with acrylic paintings of rainbows, faces, flowers, butterflies and other designs. Members of the St Catherines View Companionship Team received the pebbles in a socially distanced handover from Scout Group Leader Lisa Massey and her son Barnaby Pearce. Colleagues then placed the pebbles around the St Catherines View garden, giving residents the opportunity to pick them up and discuss their feel, weight, shape, size and colour. Companionship Team Member Laura Sheldrake said: “Our residents are enjoying seeing the brightly coloured pebbles, some of which are hidden away in little corners of

the garden. “They are a nice talking point and a prompt for activity, including hiding games. “It’s so lovely to know that the Scouts have been thinking about us and wanted to do something practical.” Lisa said the idea was part of the Scouts’ #Careforcarehomes initiative which aims to see Scout groups across the country carry out 10,000 acts of kindness for care homes. Lisa added: “St Catherines View is the care home closest to where most of our group live. “They understand that care homes have had to restrict visitors because of lockdown and so they were keen to spread a bit of joy. “They like the fact they are doing something for somebody else. “This is a lovely link for us and hopefully once the pandemic is over we can visit in person, meet the residents and talk about the pebbles.”

Care Home Comments

As the fallout over the Prime Minister’s comments regarding care homes in which he said: "too many care homes didn't really follow the procedures", the Lincolnshire Care Association has issued a response. Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association, says: “We’d like to say a few words in response to Boris Johnson’s unacceptable remarks that too many care homes didn’t follow procedures during COVID-19, as well as Simon Stevens’ comments over the weekend regarding the resilience of the social care system. “These comments, although not unexpected, suggests the blame lies with care homes, when the sector is filled with hardworking, resourceful individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for others.The situation has been challenging, but care homes were not just sitting on their hands while the government was deciding its next steps. Like every sector, we have had to learn about this evolving situation as we go along, but providers used their expertise and anticipated what needed to be done long before the government guidelines were released. In fact, care organisations were a crucial influence on the policies that have saved lives, from PPE to choosing to suspend visits.” “Most importantly, don’t let these careless words dissuade you, a friend or relative from choosing to make a care home your home. They provide security, companionship and so much more, and for vulnerable people in need of support there is no safer place to be.” “A few weeks ago, the government was clapping for the care sector – don’t let them make us the target of their mistakes. The battle against COVID-19 isn’t over yet, but we’re still here fighting the good fight for the vulnerable people that need us.”


PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

Why Mental Health is Key for Both Care Home Residents and Staff in Wake of Covid 19

By Pete Trainor, CEO of Vala Health (www.valahealth.com)

At the end of February, it became apparent 2020 was going to be the year we dealt with a new, and highly unpredictable virus, Covid-19. Since then, experts have been battling with the knowledge they would ultimately be tackling a pandemic on two-fronts; the illness itself, and the shock-waves to the economy, and the mental wellbeing of our citizens. One group of people, in particular, have been hit the hardest; The people who live, and work in our care-home networks. The British Geriatrics Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists report that depression is the most common mental health problem of later life, affecting 10-20 per cent of older people and up to 40 per cent of care home residents. Yet in older people, depression is often under-diagnosed and undertreated. Research suggests that older people in residential and nursing homes are two to three times more likely to experience depression than older people in the community. But older people also tend not to complain of being depressed and are more likely to refer to physical symptoms, and some symptoms of physical illness are similar to those of depression. Physical illness can also be a common trigger for depression in older people. If managing levels of depression was complicated before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely to be an even more significant challenge now. Carers will often be well equipped to provide support for age-related illnesses and conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease, but have limited experience dealing with individuals with mental illnesses, and depression, whose needs will be very different. Some res-

idents may also have a history of nicotine, alcohol and sometimes past drug abuse, and as they age, they are likely to have illnesses related to these excesses. Being able to deal with this perfect storm is a considerable strain on already overworked carers, and we must not under-estimate what that impact could be across the board. When dealing with depression in older age-groups, the most common symptoms are; • a pervading feeling of sadness • a loss of interest in life and an inability to take pleasure in things • tiredness and sleep problems • loss of appetite • poor concentration and memory • anxiety and agitation • hopelessness • feelings of guilt and worthlessness • thoughts of suicide, or a fixation on end-of-life Covid-19 and the lockdown will also have significantly raised the risk factors that can be critical triggers for depression in later life, which include, but are not limited too: • Bereavement (the loss of other residents who might also be friends) • The onset, or the fear of the onset of illness or disability • moving accommodation • Loss of control over a situation or life • separation from a loved one • poor social support and loneliness. • Being placed in isolation due to having Covid-19 symptoms So it’s never been more vital for us to focus on increasing the life satisfaction levels of people working and living isolated from loved ones in care homes. Clearly, more effort is required from outside of the care home networks to help create environments of optimism and focus on the self-esteem of people stuck inside them. It is now a matter of priority, or we risk an even greater long-term situation when the pandemic passes.

MAKING THE RIGHT MOVES

Lockdown will also have created more sedentary behaviours which we know from all groups, not just the elderly and vulnerable, will have a severe effect on the wellbeing of people. Keeping active makes us healthier in mind and body. It can also help us sleep better. We don’t have to be running miles every day, simple activities like walking all count and can have significant improvements on our mood. Getting outside and breathing in some phytoncides (making sure to practice proper social distancing, of course) is a very good habit for the body and mind.

GETTING INTO A ROUTINE Other studies in resiliency during traumatic events encourage keeping a routine to the day. In the elderly and vulnerable, this will be even more important. They rely on the routine of normality to reduce what we call ‘decision fatigue’. People in a caring environment often don’t want to be making changes. Making a schedule and sticking to it frees up some mental bandwidth during this time of uncertainty, which is already straining everyone’s cognitive capacities. Both staff and residents will want to know what the day ahead looks like - focus on that schedule.

KEEPING TRACK OF MOOD The continuous, but simple scoring and monitoring of both staff and residents will also need to be a critical factor in the improvement of mental wellbeing and depression in the care home setting. Even just using simple metrics such as the Becks Depression score could prove useful in being able to provide the right levels of support for people by having residents who can communicate effectively for themselves express how they feel to their caregivers. Pete Trainor is the CEO of Vala Health an online doctors service, as well as being a mental health campaigner. He is also an advisory board member to The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) which is dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Sources: https://www.ismanet.org/doctoryourspirit/pdfs/Beck-Depression-Inventory-BDI.pdf https://www.caringfortheages.com/article/S1526-4114(18)30165-3/fulltext https://www.scie.org.uk/publications/guides/guide03/problems/depression.asp

Are You Making the Most of Your Contracts in the Current Climate?

By Pete Maguire, partner in the commercial contracts team at Wright Hassall

The focus on the far-reaching effects of coronavirus appears to have shifted from healthcare worries to economic woes, with the financial impact creating a period of instability, particularly throughout supply chains. With more sectors looking to get back to work, it is hardly surprising that businesses in survival mode are looking to protect their interests and reduce risks, with a review of their existing commercial contracts essential. Few contracts will have been written to mitigate the risks of a global pandemic, with months of lockdown and social distancing, but understanding its impact on commercial relationships and the ability of a business or its suppliers to fulfil their contractual obligations, is currently key. It’s important for businesses to stay close to their customers and suppliers to understand the pressures everyone is facing in the current climate and the impact a failure by any member of the supply chain would have both commercially and practically.

KEY CONTRACTUAL POINTS The relationship between a service provider and their customer is typically completely different from that defined by a standard supply of

goods agreement. Personal interactions are often critical and maintaining the relationship is essential to the success of the service. From the provider’s perspective, whilst it is critical to ensure that exposure is as limited as possible in the current economic climate, it’s equally as important to ensure the customer does not feel exposed by any new approach. Working hard to mitigate costs and actively coming up with proposals, will stand the relationship in good stead, whilst enhancing the feeling of mutual trust between the parties. In terms of the contract itself, the first important consideration is whether it contains a force majeure clause and if so, does it extend to the impact of the pandemic? Whilst a service provider should certainly consider this clause and whether the current circumstances could trigger it, they must ask themselves if it will be in their long-term interests to do so, as it can potentially lead to an immediate termination of activity.

HOW TO ADDRESS THE NECESSARY VARIATIONS Instead of jumping straight to the triggering of the force majeure clause, it may be possible to make use of the variation provisions in the contract. This will enable any additional costs incurred to be recovered by the service provider. If the costs incurred under the contract are driven by people costs and if it’s possible to flex resources, but have additional costs picked up by the customer, this would be a sensible option. Some contracts will have a formal change control procedure which sets out the process to be followed and it would be worth checking to see whether the customer is entitled to withhold its approval of any

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changes proposed. The critical point here is to try and find a way of ensuring that a contract remains financially viable. The contract will usually set out how a variation should be documented, but even this can vary. If the contract is silent in this respect, then the accepted position under English law is that any variations would need to be agreed between both parties, rather than imposed by one or the other. When variations to the contract are agreed, these should be documented carefully, detailing whether they can be agreed verbally or whether they need to be in writing and signed by both parties.

IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK… In May 2020, the government released guidance it hoped would encourage organisations whose contracts have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis to behave fairly and responsibly in relation to performance issues and contractual enforcement. Whilst the guidance has no legal power, it calls for parties to act proportionately when dealing with disputes and to collaborate to find solutions that are fair to both parties and consider each party’s financial resources and protection of the health of their workers. The single most important issue for service providers, is not necessarily the contract itself but the ongoing relationship with their customer. And vice versa for the customer; if the supply chain worked before, it can work effectively again, if every business does its bit. If there is any risk a business might not meet its contractual requirements, the best thing to do is not suffer in silence but open a dialogue as quickly as possible.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 19


PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

Mental Capacity and Best Interests Decision-Making Continues to Prove Problematic… By Hayley Dorrington, COO at Care 4 Quality (www.care4quality.co.uk)

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was introduced in 2005 as a piece of legislation to protect those over the age of 16 who lacked capacity to make decisions regarding their own care and treatment. The aim of the legislation is to not only to protect the person but also to empower them. As a piece of legislation, it covers not only serious life changing decisions but also day-to-day decisions. This is particularly essential within care home settings, especially in relation to individuals diagnosed with dementia who will need the support of the care team to act in their best interests when they are unable to make the decisions for themselves. Fifteen years on and with the development of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in 2009 as an amendment to the MCA, as well as recent changes to the MCA (due to coronavirus), there remains a problematic approach to embedding the MCA into practice. It is evident in care homes that the complexity of people being cared for has significantly changed, not only with respect to people’s physical care needs, but also their emotional and mental health requirements. As a result, mental capacity assessments are vital and must be completed and monitored to ensure the person is sufficiently protected. This is underpinned by the CQC in its Key Lines of Enquiry, which focuses on

the need for staff to understand decision-making requirements, legislation, and guidance along with assessing and recording mental capacity for particular decision. These decisions can vary from medication administration, to where the person is living and also the financial aspects of care. There is also a direct impact on gaining consent from service users as care homes require clarity on whether the person receiving the care has the capacity to consent on that particular area and if the person cannot consent themselves, then having access to accurate details in terms of the correct person/s to act in the service users best interests, is essential. It is essential to focus on the ‘particular decisions’ as the MCA explains the need for mental capacity assessments to be completed for individual decisions, and not carried out in a blanket approach. It is evident that confusion remains around this aspect with some services carrying out one capacity assessment in an overarching way, whilst others are following the Act’s guidance. There is also further confusion around who can complete the assessment with some services carrying out their own and others requesting their General Practitioner (GP) to carry out the mental capacity assessments. All of these aspects can lead to care homes working in a variety of ways and at different standards, which can cause lack of clarity on who has capacity to make which decisions and a risk to causing restrictions on care without authorisation. Another barrier in fully embedding the Act is the level of training and competency assessment that staff receive. There is an expectation that

staff receive training on the topic and that managers receive more in depth MCA training, along with competency checks on staff members’ knowledge and understanding of the Act. It is evident that this level of training and competence is not always completed, with care homes having gaps in their training of 71%. The MCA training is also one that faired worse with 42% of homes not having fully completed training. The MCA sets out specific guidance very clearly including the principles of the Act. However, over the last fifteen years the varied interpretation of the Act has led to uncertainty with care homes working in different ways around the country. If followed correctly, the MCA’s best practice guidelines can be very empowering for the person. By implementing a training matrix and competency assessment the right learning cycle for staff can be achieved. This, along with receiving training that is of a good standard and which reflects current best practice, will support compliance within the service. The completion of documentation such as the mental capacity assessment with clear links to the care plan, trackers showing those involved, best interest processes and DoLS applications and outcomes, will show a person-centred approach to care delivery for the individual. If linked to the governance framework in the service, the manager and provider will have the opportunity to monitor practice and ensure sustainability of the agreed approach moving forward.

Care Homes - Care Sue Ryder Warns of Increase Visiting England Vents Frustration in Need For Palliative Care National healthcare charity Sue Ryder has found that over one third (34 per cent) of the public said that they, or somebody they know, have delayed seeking medical advice or treatment for potentially serious symptoms during lockdown. The symptoms most likely to have been ignored include: new and continuous pain anywhere in their body, severe tiredness, a rash or skin issue, migraines and shortness of breath. In fact, two out of five of those who have experienced symptoms still haven’t sought medical treatment because they do not want to put pressure on the NHS or risk catching coronavirus. The research has caused concern to the charity, given that these can be symptoms of serious illnesses including cancer Moreover, with thousands of NHS treatments for life-threatening conditions postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, delays in diagnosis and accessing treatment may further reduce chances of survival. This has prompted Sue Ryder to begin planning for an increase in need for palliative care over the coming months and years. Sue Ryder’s research found that over half of the public (53%) would want to receive end of life care at home, and 23 per cent would choose a hospice setting. Even in their last few days, only three per cent of the public would want to receive end of life care in a hospital. Sue Ryder runs hospices and Hospice at Home services across England. The charity is concerned that without a sustainable funding model for hospices, the predicted increase in need could quickly become overwhelming for the palliative care sector as a whole. Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said:

“Sue Ryder is constantly scanning the horizon to ensure we adapt and modernise our services in line with the nation’s attitude to their health and end of life plans. “Our most recent research has thrown up some gravely concerning results regarding potentially serious symptoms going unchecked. When you pair that with over three quarters of people telling us that they now want to receive end of life care in either a hospice or at home, it is clear that we should expect an increase in the numbers of patients needing our care. “ The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the Government recognises specialist palliative care providers are a vital part of the integrated health and care system. “To ensure Sue Ryder and the entire palliative care sector can continue to be there for people at the end of their lives, the Government must start planning now for how they can increase long term statutory funding and relieve the pressures facing palliative care services across the country.” Professor Donal O’Donoghue, Royal College of Physicians registrar said: “COVID-19 has changed all of our lives and put an extraordinary strain on our NHS, but that doesn’t mean that other illnesses and ailments no longer exist. “Medical professionals are here to support everyone when they’re unwell – not just those who are ill with COVID-19. “If you have an underlying health condition or are in need of medical attention, please don’t hesitate to get help from the NHS before your condition worsens.”

Care England has expressed immense frustration over the delay in Visitor Guidance. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “We are at a loss to know why the Department of Health and Social Care is incapable of making swift decisions at a time of crisis. As the country unlocks, care providers are in the dark as to what is permissible in terms of visitors to their residents, or indeed residents leaving their homes on visits. This should have been a priority for the DHSC given that care homes are central to fighting this dreadful pandemic”. Providers are very aware of the role that friends and family play in supporting their loved ones. The primary concern of providers has, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of all the individuals they support and their staff. With that in mind it is important that we find ways of supporting increased contact with families and friends, but that this is approached in a

Maritime Care Home Celebrates Unsung Heroes of 2020 with Tales from Sea Surrey-based maritime care home, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, is marking the UK’s tenth annual Seafarers Awareness Week (612 July) with tales from the high seas from its seafaring residents and tenants. This year, Seafarers Awareness Week highlights the immense challenges faced by merchant seafarers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic and The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society is paying tribute to the ‘unsung heroes’ of the crisis – the key workers that have kept the UK afloat during these unprecedented times. The Society, which was established in 1865, delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants – including those living with dementia – from a variety of maritime backgrounds including; the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Service), all of whom have fascinating tales to tell from their days at sea. Championing the Society’s seafaring residents, CEO, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, said: “This Seafarers Awareness Week I am proud to celebrate all of our former seafarers here at the

Society and of the contributions they have all made to the maritime industry during their time in service, including many during WWII. “While we are looking back on the contribution made by our residents it is also important to recognise the work of the UK’s current seafarers who, as key workers, have kept our country afloat during the pandemic, and kept our vital trade and supplies operating as usual during these peculiar and challenging times. Seafarers around the world often sacrifice so much to ensure we can continue our lives as safely and with as little disruption as possible and we thank our country’s unsung heroes for their dedication.” Tales from the Society’s former Seafarers: Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Haskins, one of the home’s D-Day veterans, said: “I joined the Royal Navy in 1943 as a Midshipman and, in 1944, I was called up for the D-Day landings as my first assignment at just 17 years old. “D-Day was such a top-secret mission, that I nearly got into trouble with my Captain when I recognised one of the locations as we were sailing up to the beach – ‘That’s Arromanches!’ I called out, which raised some eyebrows on the

way that is safe, sensible and does not undo all of the efforts of so many care providers to date. The starting point for decision-making must be safety, transparency and a human rights-based approach. As the rest of the nation unlocks it is not right to keep people with care and support needs locked down indefinitely. Any move towards increased liberty of movement must be accompanied by ongoing person-centred risk assessments and with due regard to the safety of other service users and staff. Martin Green continues: “In the absence of Government guidance, on 10 June Care England published its own statement on visitation for learning disability providers. We supported a separate CPA document for providers for older people too. However with new changes to shielding and the wider lifting of lockdown we now need a national framework led by government to support the complex steps to normality for care home residents.”

bridge. ‘How did you know that?’ and I had to explain to my superiors that I recognised the beach as I had visited with my family previously on our holiday. “I spent 25 years in naval uniform and I’m very proud of my rich maritime history. One of the great things about The Royal Alfred is we all come from such a variation of seafaring backgrounds – we are a real community and it’s special we all have the sea in common.” John Conacher, also a tenant at the Royal Alfred, was a Deck Officer in the Royal Navy and Master Mariner. He said: “My seafaring career goes back to when I was a teenager. I attended King Edward VII Nautical College, prior to joining the Merchant Navy at the age of 17. I was a deck officer in the international shipping service for 20 years, then changed roles to become a land-based marine for the next two decades. My time at sea took me all over the world and I was lucky enough to visit some exciting places, many of which were not yet visited by people outside of the Navy. “My wife was firstly a resident here at Belvedere House in the dementia wing. The care she received during her stay was excellent and I decided to become a tenant so I could be near her and spend more time with her. Many firm bonds have been established since I arrived here, and it has been a pleasure to renew friendships with likeminded people of a similar background.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 21

Women in Mid-Life More Likely to Have Alzheimer’s Brain Changes Than Men Researchers from the US suggest that the menopause could account for women being at greater risk of dementia than men. The findings are published in the scientific journal, Neurology. More women than men are affected by dementia and account for two-thirds of those living with the condition in the UK. While women can expect to live longer than men, this alone does not explain the difference in the numbers developing dementia. Scientists have been delving deeper into the biological variations that could be causing this. The US scientists looked at 121 research volunteers between the ages of 40 and 65. This included 85 women and 36 men who had no memory and thinking problems. Researchers conducted extensive brain scans including MRI and PET. They also looked at several lifestyle and medical measures, which included hormonal risk factors and menopausal status. The researchers found that women tended to have smaller brain volumes, lower rates of brain metabolism and a greater build-up of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid, compared to men. On average, the women had 30% more amyloid clumps in the brain and 22% lower glucose metabolism than the male volunteers. Aside from sex, the strongest indicator of risk was the onset of the menopause. Photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.

Expert reaction from Alzheimer’s Research UK: Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: Sara Imarisio Edit 200×300“It’s a fact that more women are affected by dementia than men. While women can expect to live longer than men, this alone does not explain the difference in the numbers developing dementia. “This research used a comprehensive set of brain scans in people who did not have memory or thinking problems, but this study was relatively small and larger studies will be needed to confirm these findings. While women in the study were more likely to show brain changes usually associated with Alzheimer’s, we do not know whether they would have gone on to develop symptoms of dementia. Although the researchers found that the menopause was the strongest predictor of these changes aside from sex, they cannot tell if this was down to hormone changes alone, as they did not measure this directly. “While there is no sure-fire way to prevent dementia, our brains don’t operate in isolation from the rest of our bodies and a good rule of thumb for everyone is that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain. “The best current evidence indicates as well as staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, drinking only within the recommended limits and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support a healthy brain as we age.”

Covid19: Accelerating the Use of Digital Technology in Healthcare As this crisis impacts every part of the health sector, significant vulnerabilities are being exposed. The NHS ‘digital revolution’ has long been touted as the key to futureproofing both Social Care and our health service in the face of increasing patient demand. That demand has now reached unprecedented levels and seems unlikely ever to revert to previous trends; against that background; there is an urgent requirement to move quickly to realise the opportunities which are available from digital technology. It is no longer an interesting speculation; it is an essential requirement to support staff and save lives. (Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell)

USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY Poor efficiencies in many areas of the sector are caused by the lack of investment in technology.

Technology will improve the way your staff carry out tasks by either speed up existing processes or allowing new, more flexible and accurate ways of carrying out a job or process which will in turn enables live real time management information. Would you expect to check out of a hotel with an invoice and extras raised

in Word or Excel so why do many operators still use this method when invoicing? How many industries with shift workers rely on manual payroll processing outside the care sector? Repeatable systems should harness the power of technology to cut back the massive waste of man hours spent processing and checking manual tasks. In order to work out the best technology for your needs, you should assess your current systems against your requirements. Think about what inefficiencies exist in your homes and how you could: 1. Capture relevant information, such as resident/staff details, in a simple, time-efficient way. 2. Manage your documents to ensure that information is dealt with logically. 3. Avoid duplication at all costs; completing handwritten timesheets which then need to be manually inputted into payroll is a massive, unnecessary waste of time & manpower. 4. Address technological obstacles. The perception that your staffs are not IT literate is out of date; most people own a smart phone so yes they are! See www.fusion4care.com for details or see the advert on page 21.

WISHING YOU DIDN’T KEEP PAPER RECORDS? S STAFF TAFF AF MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT R otas, Timesheets & Payroll Payroll Rotas, RESIDENTS & SER VICE USERS SERVICE In voicing, Enquiries & Occupancy Invoicing, C ARE PL ANS CARE PLANS As sses s sments, Dail es, Assessments, Dailyy Not Notes, Task T askk Management Manag M ag g gement &C are Planning Care FUSION CAN CAN A INS INSTALL TALL AL LL AND TR TRAIN T AIN YOU AND YOUR YOUR S TAFF REMO TEL LY YOU STAFF REMOTELY W ITH C ONTINUOUS AND REASSURING WITH CONTINUOUS R OUND THE CL OCK SUPPOR T. ROUND CLOCK SUPPORT.

As the pandemic crisis hits, with self-isolation and home working much greater, the digital revolution has, for most, future proofed “business as usual” But we know a large percentage of social care providers are not so lucky!

NOW MORE RE THAN EVER THE USE OF DIGITAL DIGITAL TECHNOL NOLOGY IN SOCIAL CARE TECHNOLOGY CARE IS PRO PROVING VING ITS ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD GOLD.. The demands yyou Th ou are are no now w facing ar aree unprecedented; unprecedented; maintaining intaining levels l vels le ls of ccare are and a staff staff,, the safety and w ellbeing of those who w d thosee yyou ou care care for is your yourr maximum priority rity. DIGITA AL wellbeing work ork for yyou, ou, and priority. DIGITAL TECHNOL OGY CAN CAN MAKE THIS SO MUCH EASIER. SIER R. TECHNOLOGY EASIER Vital information all in one plac e, in the cloud, rremotely em motely ac cessible to eevery very member of staff who needs place, accessible it. There There is an urgent urgent rrequirement equirement to move move quickly are available available from from uickly ly to realise r opportunities that are the opportunities digital technology technology..

t: 001133 1133 979 555 e:info@fusion4care.com e:inf o@fusion4care.com • www www.fusion4care.com .fusion4care.com

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PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL RCP Presents Practical Solutions During the Pandemic PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS

ENHANCED CLEANING

Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP) is a leading global provider of hygiene, cleaning, waste and safety equipment to multiple industries. During the pandemic, healthcare facilities have been frontline environments battling COVID-19. The everyday heroics of medical staff have been acknowledged globally. Governments have reacted differently, but their advice has been consistent: ensure regular hand hygiene, enhance cleaning and waste procedures and maintain social distancing.

Surfaces are a primary contamination point. In a healthcare facility, cleaning products need to perform well, wherever they are used, under whatever conditions. RCP’s cleaning products place adaptability at their core. Microfibre products embedded with zig-zag technology remove 99.9% of microbes with or without bleach and are available in multiple colours to prevent cross contamination. Reusable cloths can endure up to 500 wash cycles before they need to be replaced. By using adaptable microfiber products, healthcare facilities improve their ability to clean alongside demonstrating visible cleaning to patients and visitors.

HAND HYGIENE

Healthcare facilities were considered the most forthright proponents of hand hygiene prior to 2020 and have still seen a dramatic increase in the need for hand

hygiene provisions. RCP’s contribution to the various settings of healthcare hand hygiene has been through free-standing hand hygiene stations and wall mounted dispensing solutions. Hand hygiene stations can be securely deployed wherever needed, providing instant hand hygiene via alcohol or alcohol-free hand rubs. These stations are touch operated, eliminating cross contamination risks while wall mounted units have antimicrobial touchpoints. Both use sealed soap refills that eliminate the contamination risks inherent in bulk refill systems.

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Throughout healthcare facilities, there are multiple points where waste is created and stored prior to transportation. In both cases, it’s advisable to isolate waste in closed lid containers to prevent germs spreading. RCP waste management products provide closed-lid isolation of waste and further reduce risk with foot operation rather than manual handling. Smooth resin construction make them easy to clean between uses, eliminating lingering threats.

GUIDANCE

In addition to product solutions for healthcare, and to support all facilities through the pandemic towards

Mattress Maintenance Services Helping Hospitals and Care Homes Spring into Action

By Truan Remmington - Contracts Development Executive – Spearhead Healthcare In order to bring a mattress back into service after use, it needs to be completely cleaned and decontaminated to approved standards that guarantee bacterium and viruses such as C.Diff and MRSA are killed, and no cross contamination occurs. A challenge with mattress cleaning is not only that it requires large commercial washing machines but that different mattress types also require different treatment. The construction of air pressure mattresses for example means they cannot be washed in high temperature machines, requiring cold-water disinfection instead. The only certified process available, OTEX, injects ozone into each wash, killing all the harmful microorganisms without using the heat

or chemicals of traditional laundering. However, having the time, staff, and the facilities required to provide this level of deep clean for each of your mattresses can prove very costly. In additional to it being potentially dangerous, there is also a high probability of reputational damage if standards slip and go unnoticed by your staff, because this is something patients and their families will always, quite rightly, notice and report. The right rental and maintenance service will not only provide you with an appropriate mattress when you need it, but offer fast cleaning, repairs, and replacements, ensuring mattresses are up to the required standards. This undoubtedly saves you

reopening, RCP has created digital guidance documents: • Sector specific best practice guides • Cleaning and waste management guidance • Return-to-work preparation guide • Bulk refill soap systems health risk factsheet Constant dialogue helps RCP understand the needs and expectations of professionals across the healthcare sector. Taking this information, using it to develop products that solve multiple challenges, makes RCP the leading choice for performance and ROI. Find out more about Rubbermaid Commercial Products by visiting Rubbermaid.eu or emailing RCPEnquiries@newellco.com

money in the long term, provides the best possible levels of care to your patients and residents, and reassures all stakeholders that hygiene is a top priority; a must in the current climate.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?

So what should you look for in a rental service – apart from a wide range of special purpose mattresses? Here are a few key pointers: • Rapid breakdown response • All work carried out by trained technicians • Mattresses returned in fully certified working order with free loans while repairs are carried out to allow you continuity of service • Servicing and/or repair offered in a hygiene controlled environment where mattresses are PAT tested, static pressure leak tested and cycle tested • Mattresses placed in an infection controlled 'Cold Storage' zone to control cross contamination • Mattresses completely cleaned and decontaminated using a specialist, certified decontamination system to approved standards • Transparent and clear results reporting for peace of mind In today’s ever-more pressurised care sector, on-demand mattress rental and maintenance services are playing a growing role in helping providers respond quickly to growing patient and resident intake. This allows you to maintain the highest possible standards of infection control practises in all areas. Visit www.spearheadhealthcare.com


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 23

Are You Using the Correct PPE?

Answering your questions on the type of mask to wear to reduce the risk of those you provide care for contracting Covid-19

THE CURRENT PROBLEM COVID 19 has led to a surge in demand for personal protective equipment throughout the UK, and in response, a multitude of UK businesses have established supply lines to try and fill this demand. Unfortunately, although millions of masks are now being brought in, many provide little or no protection against COVID 19. The confusing amount of variations of masks combined with the lack of information in the market and masks being sold with invalid certification has led to many users, including even the NHS, ending up with inadequate masks at disproportionate prices.

WHO ARE WE? Our company is called HealthHealth (www.healthhealth.co.uk), due to the ongoing pandemic many businesses have had to purchase PPE for the first time, we have transformed our distribution model from wholesale to supply the end-user directly to prevent price gouging via intermediaries and ensure the user receives the correct masks for their intended use.

WHAT MASKS SHOULD I BE USING? The 2 main types of masks that provide protection against COVID 19 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) are N95/KN95 masks and 3 Ply Surgical masks. KN95 masks are 4/5 ply (layers) masks that come in two grades; FFP2 and FFP3. The WHO recommends these masks be used by those who are symptomatic and otherwise should be reserved for and used by those in the healthcare sector, particularly those in and around patients who are most susceptible to Covid-19. These masks should be tested to EN:149 standards by a PPE compliant non-voluntary body. There are four types of medical-grade 3 Ply surgical masks; Type I, Type IR, Type II and Type IIR. Type I and Type II masks are not fluid-resistant and hence are not

ideal for use during the ongoing pandemic. Fluid resistance is the ability of a mask to catch the respiratory droplets discharged when a user coughs or sneezes. The WHO recommends fluid-resistant medical masks be worn by over 60s and those who have underlying health problems, as well as those who are in contact with these groups. Both masks have high fluid resistance and high breathability. The difference between the two is type IR has a bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of >95% and type IIR has a BFE of >98%. Type IIR is therefore preferable to type IR, although both provide protection against COVID 19. These masks should be tested to EN:14683 standard by a PPE compliant non-voluntary body.

WHICH MASKS SHOULD I BE WARY OF? A surgical 3 Ply mask that does not fit into the above two categories cannot be classified as medical. Although they may provide some protection, they are not tested by the relevant standards to qualify them as either type IR or Type IIR, and are hence not appropriate for care workers. Valve masks provide no protection for anyone but the user of the mask, they do not prevent respiratory droplets being emitted by the user, and are hence not appropriate for care workers. Reusable cloth masks lose their integrity with every wash, a study by the WHO shows them as significantly less effective than medical masks, and are hence not appropriate for care workers.

HOW DO I AUTHENTICATE A MASK I’M BEING SOLD? 1. Ask for a test report and a CE certificate/conformity and make sure the mask is tested to the aforementioned standards (EN:14683 for surgical masks and EN:149 for KN95 masks) 2. Verify the test report and the CE certificate on the website of the testing body on the certificate, most testing bodies will allow you to do this online automatically.

ABOUT US We provide all the aforementioned masks via our website: www.healthhealth.co.uk . Our Type IR and Type IIR masks supersede the required standards and are made to fit comfortably on the face for elongated periods. Our KN95 masks are all individually sealed in sachets. Our focus is on high quality at wholesale prices. Our masks have been supplied to the UK Department of Health, the NHS, Care Homes, Dentists, to name but a few. Please email us at sales@healthhealth.co.uk for any bulk enquires. GET 10% OFF when you use the code CARERDIGITAL

Sales@HealthHealth.co.uk

+44 (0)203 488 5653

www.HealthHealth.co.uk

Tel: 01495 772164 I 07967 402995 www.shophygiene.co.uk


PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

Haigh Engineering Hand sanitising just got simpler and safer with the Astreea® touchless pedal operated stylish sanitiser dispenser.

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Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the

Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched all-inclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or info@haigh.co.uk

Astreea - The Pedal Hand Sanitiser

As COVID-19 continues to be a major concern for UK care homes, it is important to plan and implement strategies to keep their visitors and employees safe. Where cleanliness and efficiency are key for the hospitality trade, a simple and safe way of sanitising is the way forward. Introducing the Astreea® pedal hand sanitiser. Touchless, fully mechanical and made entirely from medical stainless steel, this revolutionary dispenser requires no assembly, electrical outlet, or maintenance. It’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use, making it ideal for any public space. The Astreea® dispenser is different from typical plastic wall or postmounted products. Its seamless steel body and mechanical operation make it almost indestructible. Units are mainte-

nance-free, arrive fully assembled, and use any hand sanitiser product, making them an ideal solution during these uncertain times. Astreea®'s many virtues have made it an easy choice for businesses as lockdown eases. • 12 month warranty • Anti-theft • Hands-free • Genuine usage increase where installed • Medical stainless-steel construction • Developed in an aerospace factory • No electrical outlet needed • Visitors see you are proactively making site safe • Highest quality materials • Universal use, can be filled with any hand sanitiser To learn more, visit www.astreeauk.co.uk or contact info@astreeauk.co.uk.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 25

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

The Care Home That Remained Covid-19 Free Thanks To Ground-Breaking Protein

“There isn’t a doubt in my mind that it saved the lives of our residents and staff.” The owner of a care home has hailed a £20 face covering, coated in a ground-breaking protein called Viruferrin™ that is now scientifically proven to stop the spread of Covid-19, as ‘life-saving’, after it helped to prevent a coronavirus outbreak within her home. The news comes as ONS released statistics showing that just over 28% of all coronavirus deaths in Wales occurred in care homes. Former nurse Elen Hughes and husband Trevor Hughes, are owners/directors of the Plasgarnedd Care Home on Anglesey; they purchased the Virustatic Sheild face coverings for all their staff very early on in the pandemic when the World Health Organisation confirmed the COVID19 pandemic threat. This decision, they believe, is the main reason the care home was able to control the disease, despite one resident becoming ill with the virus and given a positive diagnosis. “The face covering, in my opinion, definitely stopped any type of transmission to my staff,” said Elen. “This meant none of them passed it on to the other residents. The protective face coverings have been life-saving. I stand by that! There is not a doubt in my mind that it saved the lives of our residents.” Elen, who oversees a team of 120 carers and support staff over two sites and in the community, made the decision to provide face coverings for all employees some time before guidance from Public Health Wales was changed to make them compulsory for the sector. “I saw these face coverings on the news and decided right there and then to go ahead and purchase them for my team. At that time, we were under no obligation to do that, we were told by Public Health Wales that

we just needed aprons and gloves, but because of my nursing background and I guess, a gut feeling, I just knew that the situation was serious and that we needed to protect our residents (all of whom are in single rooms) and that to do so we needed to protect our staff – even though there were no confirmed cases here.” continued Elen, “However, subsequently, one of our ladies became ill. When her condition deteriorated, our resident was admitted to hospital where it was confirmed that she had the COVID-19 virus. I have no doubt that this lady will have been infectious while she was in our care before and that the Virsutatic face coverings worn by our staff alongside scrupulous hygiene prevented them from becoming infected and spreading the virus through our home.” Some care homes in North Wales have unfortunately not been as fortunate. One with a similar number of residents, which received a positive diagnosis at the same time, has seen several staff members and residents test positive for Covid-19 and a number of fatalities. “We’ve had a similar set of results across both of our sites, so it can’t be coincidence. Others sadly haven’t been so lucky, and I simply put that down to the fact we’ve worn Virustatic Shields and that our amazing staff have followed our own strict infection control guidelines.” Virustatic Ltd, the leading biotech organisation behind the masks, donated 20 of its Shields to Plasgarnedd. Overall it donated 15,000 of its coverings to frontline workers, charities and those most at risk across the UK. Paul Stanton, a former national Director of NHS Board development, who works as an independent consultant with NHS organisations and with senior clinicians commented: “In any care home there is a significant risk that staff who have become infected in the course of their ordinary lives may, before their symptoms develop, unintentionally bring Covid-19 into their place of work and thus spread the virus to colleagues and to residents – unless they are suitably protected against airborne transmission of infected particles. “Where residents, as was the case at Plasgarnedd, are isolated within single rooms, unprotected staff could all too easily have spread the virus from one infected resident to others – and indeed to their colleagues. However, it seems that in this case the Virustatic protective face coverings helped to prevent any onward transmission. It will be important to establish, through properly conducted clinical trials, how important a contribution the protective face coverings can make in other private sector residential care settings”. Initial discussions are already underway between Virustatic and Care England, the umbrella representative body for private sector residential care home providers, to initiate such trials. “It will also be vital to the wider UK economy to establish, through properly conducted and evaluated trials, the contribution that these protective face coverings can make in other non-care workplaces. Potentially, the ability of this new form of face covering to prevent the spread of airborne particulate infections in workforce intensive employment settings could be

game changing” Paul Stanton said. This week it was announced that the ground-breaking Viruferrin™ coating used on the Virustatic Shield has been independently tested and proven to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection at a cellular level. The discovery is being hailed as a significant breakthrough in the fight against the disease, paving the way to research that could deliver a cure. The next step is clinical trials on preventative and curative applications of the Viruferrin™ technology. Paul Hope, Inventor of the Virustatic technology and products said: "The coating has been demonstrated to protect the cells. If that is replicated within the respiratory systems and lungs it will stop the virus spreading because it cannot infect other cells. We believe the tests demonstrate the effective preventative and curative ability of this coating against Covid-19.” Paul made it his mission to find a way to prevent deaths caused in pandemics after his own grandfather died of the Spanish Flu in 1919. This latest discovery builds on 10 years of work by Paul, his family and a team of British scientists and virologists. Paul ended: “I am delighted to hear that our face coverings have already proven life-saving for Plasgarnedd Care.” Plasgarnedd Care is an award-winning Care Provider which has over 30 years’ experience of providing the highest level of care and support for service users in and around Anglesey and Gwynedd. More information: www.plasgarnedd.co.uk The Virustatic Shield is available to buy direct from the website virustaticshield.com


PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Proven Technology Offers Greater Protection for Staff and Residents Against Covid-19

Care Homes are having to work around the clock to ensure their facilities are as clean and infection-free as possible, to try and prevent Covid-19 (and multiple other viruses and harmful bacteria) from entering their facility in the first place or containing it once it does. However, routine cleaning and disinfection, even with the use of other hand sanitisers and antibacterial surface cleaners, only sanitises the individual or surface for that moment in time, i.e. as soon as contact is made with an infected surface or introduced from the outside, the area or the person is no longer safe. In the tight confines of a Care Home, supporting one of the most vulnerable groups, cross infection via surface contamination is a major challenge. The transient nature of current cleaning regimes will always prove challenging, particularly as over 80% of germs are spread by hands. Now a proven, independently accredited technology that offers a protective barrier wherever there is a risk of infection is at the forefront of preventing and protecting against the spread of Covid-19. Once applied it stays active, providing up to 30 days

protection on surfaces and 24 hours on the skin. In a Care Home, this can dramatically reduce the chances of encountering a crisis by reducing the spread of dangerous pathogens either by hand or touch. OneSpray’s Hand Sanitiser offers 24 hours protection with one application, contains no alcohol, is ultra-gentle on the skin and won’t wash off during normal daily washing. This means it is very economical to use versus alcoholbased sanitisers, given that typically one person will apply those sanitisers up to 10 times per day. OneSpray’s Surface Sanitiser offers protection on nearly all surfaces including door handles, desks, door entry systems and keypads, touchscreens, phones, kitchens and taps. A single application forms an invisible barrier over the surface that lasts up to 30 days and will not wash off so normal, daily cleaning can continue. OneSpray products incorporate Zoono technology, world leaders in antimicrobial protection. Over 150 worldwide laboratory testing reports support the efficacy of their products. In earlier trials for London Underground a treated train came back 99.9% clear after 28 days of uninterrupted service. OneSpray is offering a Starter Outbreak-Prevention Package, specifically for Care Homes. It consists of a 5-litre Hand Sanitiser with two 1-litre dispensers, plus a 5-litre Surface Cleaner with two 500ml spray bottles. For more information contact 07811113108 or email russell@onespray.com or see the advert on page 8.

New Health Check Station A new product has been released to help check individuals’ temperatures as they enter a public space. The Health Check Station by Contour Heating has been designed to help control the spread of infection in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Manufactured from mild steel with a BioCote® antimicrobial powder coating, The Health Check Station has been designed with safety and efficiency in mind. A durable Perspex screen with a small cut out provides the user with a safe means of checking employee and visitor temperature upon arrival. With a letterbox-style slot for documentation (such as registers and time-sheets) and informative signage to help reinforce key messages in relation to government guidelines, The Health Check Station can be used in offices, factories, retail units, public buildings, schools and much more. The Health Check Station is available directly from Contour Heating. Call +44 (0) 1952 290 498 to find out more or head over to www.contourheating.co.uk.

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 support-

ing 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 www.staysafevisor.co.uk

www.baltex.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 27

Meeting the hygiene challenge of COVID-19 By Zak Manhire, Chief Commercial Officer at Regency Design Protecting care home workers and their patients throughout the COVID-19 epidemic and beyond has been a constant challenge, and one that has attracted considerable media attention. It has also prompted the business community to look at its own capabilities, and whether manufacturing and production facilities can be turned over to fulfilling the ongoing demand for protective clothing and equipment.

Made out of premium quality products, Regency Design’s dispensers cut down on sanitiser costs by using sensory technology to dispense an adjustable amount (1.5ml, 1.2ml or 0.8ml) of sanitizer gel or liquid per use. As well as this, the units are constructed out of Mild Steel, which makes them lightweight, yet robust and sturdy. They are all powder coated in a SteriTouch antimicrobial covering to ensure no harbouring of germs on the units themselves. The units are customisable with bespoke under surface mark resistant graphics applied on the front of the unit.

Our company, Regency Design, is one such company that has answered the call, and now produces a suite of products ranging from face visors to automatic hand sanitising units to keep carers, patients and guests safe and avoid cross contamination issues in often challenging environments. All of which manufactured in the UK at their site in Surrey. Our face visors prove useful for care-home staff as they are highly durable, re-useable and CE marked to demonstrate conformity with health, safety and environmental protection standards. They comprise a clear, polycarbonate panel with a soft foam headband and a Velcro adjustable strap. With anti-mist properties, high-quality optics with no distortion and a space for branding / name.

Most recently we have gone one better and added an innovative body temperature reading camera with AI Face recognition, that can measure temperatures within 100 milliseconds and at a distance of 0.5 metres all while someone is sanitising their hands. The infrared temperature sensor provides alerts when a person has a high temperature. The system is calculated with an algorithm for object heat and fast detection temperature accuracy, with a temperature sensing range of 30 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius and an accuracy of plus or minus 0.3 degrees Celsius.

Along with the face visors, Regency Design has also launched various automatic hand sanitising units to increase hygiene levels. The automatic hand sanitising units help reduce cross contamination by making the hand cleaning process completely touchless. Our units are diverse as they come as both small and large floor standing units, wall mounted units and countertop units, which provide convenience to all parts of a care home. The small and large floor standing dispensers allow all patients to reach the units, whether they are in a wheelchair or standing, and the countertop units provide hygiene for staff, administration and visitors.

The temperature reading system gives care home staff a non-invasive and comfortable way of checking, staff and guests temperatures, with an aim of reducing contamination issues and increasing hygiene. To go with the sanitising units, Regency Design also supplies a sanitiser gel or liquid, which can be put into the automatic dispensers so care home staff can keep their units topped up with ease and without worry of replenishment.

Regency has committed to offer a 15% discount on all its products if you use Carer20 when enquiring.

For more information please contact Zak Manhire on zak@regencydesign.co.uk or 07837391421.

www.regencydesign.co.uk


PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

CONTINENCE CARE

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 www.win-health.com or see the advert on page 7.

New Skincare & Incontinence Leaflet A new ‘Skincare management in incontinence’ leaflet is available from Thornton & Ross Pharmaceuticals – manufacturers of Zerolon® Barrier Cream. Accredited by the Association for Continence Advice (ACA), the leaflet is designed as a quick guide for all health professionals involved with continence care. Including recommendations from NICE, the leaflet also outlines factors to consider when selecting a barrier cream and advice on helping prevent incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD). Zerolon® Barrier Cream is the latest addition to the Zeroderma emollients and barrier creams range, specially formulated to prevent irritation from bodily fluids including urine, faeces and exudate. To receive a free copy of the ‘Skincare management in incontinence’ leaflet, please email: zeroderma@thorntonross.com Thornton & Ross Ltd, Linthwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5QH 01484 842217 www.zeroderma.co.uk

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

iMEDicare Ltd is a dynamic and rapidly growing Medical Device Distributor offering an exciting range of unique and market leading medical products for patient use in the fields of Urology and Continence Management Treatment throughout the UK. Our motto is “Pelvic Health Naturally” – premised on the ability of living tissues to react positively to clinically approved therapeutic measures in a pelvic health con-

text. Our logo features a very interesting version of the infinity symbol in blue – which also looks like the Pelvic Girdle bone structure. This symbol represents a sense of simplicity and balance – an important tenet in providing effective healthcare solutions and achieving optimal pelvic health. We offer a unique blend of professional and patient product training in Clinical and Home environments which are designed to improve individual product customizability, user uptake and long-term patient compliance and satisfaction. See the advert on this page for details.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 29

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protection to

our customers' brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.

Please go on our website to see the new range of Dishwasher proof ID labels which can also be stuck onto textiles.

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 months part and labour warranty. The environment is at the forefront of every opera-

tor’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 www..laundrytec.com

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

0151 317 3127

www.laundrytec.com

info@laundrytec.com

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Washer Extractors

Tumble Dryers

Cost Quality Service Design Innovation

Flatwork Ironers

Other Equipment


PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

FOOD AND NUTRITION

10 Appetite Boosting Tips To Help Those Suffering With Dementia tors, from physical issues such as constipation to low mood. Taking a holistic look at the person you care for and their environment may help you to improve the situation and nourish them with food that improves their wellbeing.

Dementia can affect the desire and ability to eat in many ways. Jane Clarke, a leading dietitian, cordon bleu chef and Founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke, shares her simple strategies for helping boost a poor appetite and developing a calming mealtime routine. We know that having a nourishing, well-rounded diet gives our brain the best chance of not succumbing to dementia, but there is new research that suggests that omega-3 fatty acids in particular can play a significant role in reducing some of the risk. Also, when dementia is diagnosed, there is some evidence that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help to slow down the progression of the disease. The problem is that as dementia progresses, our ability and desire to eat deteriorates, which is why we need to focus on meeting those practical challenges, which can include: • Memory loss and confusion which means some people do not eat • The ability to judge temperature can disappear, so if food is served too hot it can burn our lips or throat • Physical skills like keeping our mouths closed while food is inside, to help us chew and swallow, can become difficult • Not being able or safely cook or prepare food • Depression, low mood and lack of energy • Constipation through lack of fluid and fibre intake, or as a side-effect of drug treatment, leading to discomfort and loss of appetite • Aggression and resistance to eating

1. CALMING ROUTINES A calm, regular routine is reassuring for someone with dementia – even eating 10 minutes later, or sitting at a different table, or with friends they don’t usually eat with, can throw them. The requirement to stick to the same routine can be isolating as a carer for those suffering, as their whole day is dictated by something which used to be flexible and sociable. One way around this is for the carer to feed them in the same way, at the same time, and then for them to eat separately with friends afterwards.

2. TRY TO SLOW DOWN We juggle so many tasks when caring for someone that it can be tempting to hurry meals, which only increases the likelihood of upset and for very little food to get eaten.

8. MONITOR THEIR EATING What we do know about a poor appetite is that the less we eat, often the less we fancy eating. Malnutrition can kick in, and problems such as pressure sores, poor wound healing and depression start occurring. If you suspect that your relative or friend in a care home isn’t getting the right types of food, or that they’re not getting help with eating, make yourself a nuisance and either try to persuade someone to sit with them while they’re eating, or ask if you can bring in some food., these nutritious drinks are ideal for anybody facing physical and psychological eating difficulties due to illnesses such as dementia.

9. GIVE THEM FOOD TO TEMPT THEM

3. MINIMISE DISTRACTIONS While the person is focusing on swallowing or getting the food from fork to mouth, it helps not to have the radio or the TV on to distract them.

4. TAKE A TIMEOUT If a meal is becoming challenging, it can help to step back for a minute, to find a moment of quiet or even a piece of music that’s therapeutic and can give you the strength to go back with a calm attitude.

5. TAKE OFF THE PRESSURE If you’re finding that the person you’re looking after is getting frustrated at not being able to eat when the sole focus is on doing so, sitting in front of the TV with a plate of something easy to nibble, such as sandwiches or cut-up soft fruits, could mean they eat while being distracted by the programme, so experiment with both scenarios.

Take your cues from the person when it comes to tempting their appetite. Are there dishes they loved in the past, favourite family recipes, easy-to-eat alternatives to tried-and-trusted meals? The scent, taste, look and feel of food can all trigger a desire to eat and provide the comfort and nourishment they need.

10. CREATE A FOOD MOOD BOARD Often, memories are linked to foods we loved eating at a precise moment. For me, childhood summer holidays are rekindled as soon as I think about knickerbocker glories and eating fish and chips out of the newspaper on the North Wales coast, while my treasured aunt and uncle sang with the choir on the seafront. A personal food mood board made up of photos of favourite dishes, people and places can be a great way to communicate and also stimulate a jaded appetite.

6. WAIT FOR A BETTER TIME If they’re drowsy and not very responsive, feeding can cause choking – so try to leave a bit of time before you try again. Do seek advice if they’re overly drowsy, as it could be that a change in some of the medication they’re taking could give you a better window of opportunity for helping them to eat. Try not to make meal times a battle ground by offering a nutrient and calorie rich therapeutic drink as an alternative, such as Nourish by Jane Clarke meal replacement drinks. Containing 26 essential vitamins and minerals, 12 grams of protein and 4 hours of slow releasing carbohydrates, these nutritious drinks are ideal for anybody facing physical and psychological eating difficulties due to illnesses such as dementia.

7. TAKE A HOLISTIC LOOK Our appetite and desire to eat anything is influenced by many fac-

BEIC Chairman Has Appetite for Big Year for Lion Eggs The British Egg Industry Council has announced that Andrew Joret has been re-elected as Chairman of the BEIC, with the following office holders also re-elected: Elwyn Griffiths, BEIC Deputy Chairman; Duncan Priestner and James Baxter, joint BEIC Vice-Chairmen; Jeffrey Vergerson, BEIC Treasurer; with Mark Williams continuing his role as BEIC CEO and Secretary. While confirming the reappointments, Andrew Joret also announced the manifesto for the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) for the coming year: “It has been a turbulent few months, with the impact of COVID-19 putting an enormous strain on production with year on year sales up by as much as 30%. We’ve also launched and completed a successful lobbying campaign to protect the high standards of British egg producers by maintaining tariffs on imports ahead of Brexit. “The unprecedented egg sales over the past few months show that the UK’s love affair with eggs is as strong as ever and this provides some huge opportunities for the industry to continue to grow the market – there are so many reasons to be optimistic.” Joret sees three key areas for ongoing success:

THE LAUNCH OF THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE LION CODE EVER

As the Chairman of the Lion Technical Committee, which is responsible for the development of the Lion Code of Practice in line with the latest scientific and veterinary thinking, Joret will oversee the launch the Lion Code of Practice V8 later this year, consolidating the most comprehensive and stringent measures ever, to ensure the Lion continues to offer the highest standards of food safety in the world.

MAINTAIN TARIFFS ON IMPORTED EGGS At a time when imported egg has appeared on supermarket shelves for the first time in decades, and bilateral trade negotiations with the USA and other countries on the horizon, it is vital that the industry continues to lobby Government to ensure import tariffs are neither reduced nor removed. The BEIC will continue to work to hold the government to its pledge to support the egg industry by not lowering standards.

CLAIM THE LION’S SHARE Following an extended period where eggs have become even more of a family favourite, the industry must work together to continue to maintain sales as people return to work. Working with BEIS, plans are in place to highlight the food safety, nutritional benefits, and versatility of British Lion eggs. The industry will also be working with the foodservice and food manufacturing industry to continue the steady increase in Lion specification that we’ve seen in recent years in these sectors. Joret concluded: “It’s a great honour to continue as Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council and help to lead such a wonderful industry. With the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on egg demand to manage and Brexit trade deals looming, we have vital work to do this year, but we are prepared for any challenges and confident that we will be able to continue to grow the market for Lion eggs in the long term. “I am very pleased that we have a hugely talented executive team in place, led by Mark Williams, that has the necessary skills to ensure that we can support the industry through what is likely to be a pivotal year in the development of the egg industry.”



PAGE 32 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Tackling Malnutrition in Dementia Patients

By Gillian Farren, Registered Dietitian

NUTRITIONAL CHALLENGES Patients with dementia face numerous challenges, all of which can have a significant impact on their ability to eat and drink. In the UK alone, it is estimated that 3 million older people are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.1 Alongside weight loss, key micronutrient deficiencies are recognised, with an estimated 35% of older people showing deficiencies in vitamins A, B12, iron and zinc.2 Although weight loss is part of the natural ageing process, dementia is recognised as a key contributor.3 Moreover, the link between dementia and weight loss strengthens as dementia becomes more severe.4,5 It is important to support dementia patients in eating and drinking well, as inadequate nutritional intake can make a person with dementia more confused.6 Recent guidance from NICE recommends that carers “encourage and support people living with dementia to eat and drink, taking into account their nutritional needs” and “consider involving a speech and language therapist if there are concerns about a person’s safety when eating and drinking”.7 However, dementia carers face specific challenges in supporting patients to eat and drink enough.8

DYSPHAGIA: A BARRIER FOR DEMENTIA SUFFERERS Dysphagia is a term used to describe difficulty or discomfort in swallowing food, fluids and saliva. Dementia is a well-recognised cause.9 Signs of dysphagia in people with dementia include coughing or choking; difficulties chewing; spitting out food; wet gurgling voice after eating; and food/drink spilling from or residue in the patient’s mouth after eating.10 If dysphagia is not managed appropriately, patients can suffer severe health consequences such as chest infections, aspiration pneumonia and choking-related death 9.

PROMOTING A SAFE SWALLOW The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) is a global standard that describes correct and appropriate thickening of liquids and food texture modification, to ensure that they are safe to offer to patients with differing degrees of dysphagia.11 IDDSI gives clear descriptors for all levels of consistency, from level 0 (thin/unthickened) up to 4 (extremely thick) for fluids, and from level 7 (regular) down to level 3 (liquidised) for foods.11 It is vital that patients with dementia are only offered foods and drinks that are a safe and appropriate texture for their current level of dysphagia. This should be assessed and regularly monitored by a registered speech and language therapist. Many dementia patients dislike the taste and texture of thickening agents. Thus, products which do not require added thickener may be more acceptable, and can make it easier when patients with dementia are preparing their own drinks. Interestingly, research suggests that use

products which do not require added thickener can lead to increased food and fluid intake.12

PERCEPTION, DEXTERITY AND DISTRACTIONS Dementia often changes how patients recognise once-familiar foods, drinks and utensils.6 Additionally, preference for sweeter tastes and contrasting colours are commonly observed 3. Involving patients in preparing their own foods and drinks, alongside the use of adapted utensils and cutlery, and a reduction in distracting sounds, sights and objects at mealtimes, can encourage independence and focus, while preventing wandering off during mealtimes.13

USING THE “FOOD FIRST APPROACH” For patients with small appetites, foods and drinks can be enriched by adding foods rich in fats and sugars – such as butter, jam, cheese and cream – to increase energy and protein intake without increasing the amount of food eaten. This is referred to as a “food first” approach.14 While this is the preferred first-line strategy to tackle malnutrition, dementia patients can still struggle to meet their needs from food alone, and oral nutritional supplements or nutrition shakes such as NuVu Life are often recommended to fill the gap.15

HOW NUVU LIFE CAN HELP Made up with 200ml whole milk, one 50g sachet of NuVu Life delivers an impressive 362 kcal and 27.5g protein. When mixed with water or milk, it is IDDSI level 2 consistency. For patients requiring level 2 thickened fluids, NuVu Life removes the need for added thickening agents, thus saving time and reducing risk of error for carers and patients alike. Moreover, NuVu Life is enriched with vitamins and minerals, including those identified earlier in the article (i.e. vitamins A, B12, iron and zinc), which are a specific concern for older people. Just one 50g sachet on NuVu Life provides 100% of the recommended daily intake for these key micronutrients. NuVu Life is available to purchase online (www.nuvulife.com), RRP depends on the quantity purchased. Use voucher code TC30 to claim 30% off your order. For sales enquiries, or to request a sample of NuVu Life, please email sales@nuvulife.com or call: 07740 844 405.

Martin McKee’s Croque Madame

REFERENCES: 1. Stratton R, Smith T, Gabe S. Managing malnutrition to improve lives and save money. BAPEN Report 2018. (available at http://www.bapen.org.uk/pdfs/reports/mag/managingmalnutrition.pdf ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 2. Maggini S, Pierre A, Calder P. Immune function and micronutrient requirements change over the life course. Nutrients. 2018; 10(10):1531. (Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212925/ ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 3. Prince M, Albanese E, Guerchet M, Prina M. Nutrition and dementia: a review of available research. Alzheimer’s Disease International 2014. (available at https://www.alz.co.uk/sites/default/files/pdfs/nutrition-and-dementia.pdf) [accessed 07 June 2020] 4. White H, Pieper C, Schmader K. The association of weight change in Alzheimer's disease with severity of disease and mortality: a longitudinal analysis. J Amer Geriatrics Soc 1998; 46(10):1223-7. (available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.15325415.1998.tb04537.x) [accessed 07 June 2020] 5. Albanese E, Taylor C, Siervo M, Stewart R, Prince MJ, Acosta D. Dementia severity and weight loss: A comparison across eight cohorts. The 10/66 study. Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 2013; 9:649-656. (Avaiable at https://alzjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1016/j.jalz.2012.11.014) [accessed 07 June 2020] 6. Alzheimer’s Society. Caring for a person with dementia: a practical guide. 2019. (Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/202003/caring_for_a_person_with_dementia_600.pdf ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 7. National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers (NG97). 2018. (Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng97 ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 8. NHS Education for Scotland. Supporting People with Dementia in Acute Care: Learning Resource. 2016. (available at: https://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/media/11866144/supporting%20people%20with%20dementia%20in%20acute%20care%20final%202016%20web.pdf) [accessed 07 June 2020] 9. Holdoway A, Smith A. Meeting nutritional need and managing patients with dysphagia. Journal of Community Nursing. 2020; 34(2):52-59. (Available at: https://www.jcn.co.uk/files/downloads/articles/12-nutritionalneed.pdf) [accessed 07 June 2020] 10. Hansjee D. 5 Fundamental Ms: cutting aspiration risk in dementia and dysphagia patients. Nursing Times. 2019; 115(4):38-41. (Available at: https://cdn.ps.emap.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/03/190327-5-Fundamental-Ms-cutting-aspiration-risk-in-dementia-and-dysphagia-patients.pdf) [accessed 07 June 2020] 11. International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative. Complete IDDSI Framework detailed definitions 2.0. 2019. (Available at: https://ftp.iddsi.org/Documents/Complete_IDDSI_Framework_Final_31July2019.pdf ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 12. McCormick S, Stafford K, Saqib G, Ni Chronin D, Power D. The efficacy of pre-thickened fluids on total fluid and nutrient consumption among extended care residents requiring thickened fluids due to risk of aspiration. Age and Ageing. 2008; 37(6):714–715. (Available at: https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/37/6/714/40923 ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 13. Crawley H, Hocking E. Eating well: supporting older people and older people with dementia. Caroline Walker Trust. 2011. (Available at: http://www.cwt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/EW-Old-Dementia-PracticalResource.pdf ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 14. Forbes C. The ‘food first’ approach to malnutrition. Nursing and Residential Care. 2014; 16(8): 442-445. (Available at: https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/nrec.2014.16.8.442 ) [accessed 07 June 2020] 15. Robinson K. Nutrition and Dementia. Dietetics Today. Sept 2018; 42-43 (Available at: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/nutrition-and-dementia.html ) [accessed 07 June 2020]

Are You in Need of * Dysphagia Training ? Did you know that between 5075% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a

INGREDIENTS Sandwich • • • • • • •

20 slices of thick white bread 20 British Lion eggs 20 honey roast ham 2 red onions 150 grated mature cheddar 150 grated Gruyère cheese 50g butter (soft)

Bechamel • • • • • •

90g butter (unsalted) 90g plain flour 1/4 tsp English mustard 100g milk powder 900ml milk (whole fat) 50g grated parmesan

Serves: 10 Allergens: Eggs, wheat, milk

Method: 1. To make the Béchamel, fortify the milk with milk powder in a pan. In a separate pan, combine the melted butter with flour. Slowly incorporate the butter on a medium heat until it’s smooth. Add the parmesan, mustard and salt and pepper. 2. To make the sandwich, spread each slice of bread with the Béchamel before adding some ham, red onion, Gruyère cheese, cheddar and pepper. 3. Spread the top slice of bread with butter. Heat a pan on a medium heat and place the sandwich butter side down with a little extra butter and fry on each side. 4. Remove from the heat, top with more Béchamel and cheese and place in the oven to finish cooking at 170°C for 3 – 4 minutes (fan oven). 5. Remove the fried sandwich and top with a sunny side up British Lion egg. 6. Serve with a fresh tossed mixed salad with red onion, mixed peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, radish and carrot. Recipe courtesy of www.eggrecipes.co.uk For more information please call the British Egg Information Service on 020 7052 8899 or see the advert on page 19.

training solution for you, a FREE elearning 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

ing 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 elearning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at resourcecentre@nutricia.com. 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.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-languagetherapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)

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 continu-

*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.


NEW DYSPHAGIA E-LEARNING Between Between 50-75% of nursing nursing home residents from residents suffer suffer fr om dysphagia dysphagia1

ARE YOU IN NEED OF DYSPHAGIA TRAINING? NUTRICIA HAS A SOLUTION! A FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia using Nutilis Clear*

4 modules 60 min utes minutes

Point your camera at the code to access the registration link


PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Calibre Audio - Unleash the Power of Your Imagination Audiobooks offer a gateway to the world of independence when print is inaccessible. Reading books has many health benefits; from reducing anxiety and helping to combat memory loss, to boosting mental health. Books provide us with companionship, adventure, empathy and enjoyment, and listening to audiobooks extends all of this to people who cannot read printed books. A restricting disability can bring with it the sting of isolation, and being locked out of activities that were once enjoyed can create frustration and loneliness. However, research has shown that listening to audiobooks can boost mental health (ref. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), helping to

counteract depression and other mental health issues. Escaping to audiobooks provides comfort and companionship as well as being a coping strategy in hard times. Calibre Audio is a charity, providing free audiobooks to anyone who struggles to read print, through sight loss, dyslexia or a physical disability. Our collection of over 11,500 audiobooks includes books from all genres, both fiction and non-fiction, from the classics to the latest blockbusters; from crime to autobiographies. Our books are available online for members or delivered to your door via a free postal service. It is free and easy to join. Visit calibreaudio.org.uk for more information or to join. See page 4 for details.

Adaptawear Clothing To Help Healthcare & Care Home Workers: Independent & Assisted Dressing 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. Adaptawear comfort clothing has been designed to help independent living and assisted dressing with the aim to make getting dressed easier and less painful for both the wearer and carer. Adaptawear designs and manufacturers a range of ladies and men’s open back and drop front trousers, magnetic & open back shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, open back nighties and front fastening bras. We also sell a selection of everyday essentials aimed at making people comfortable day and night. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for

arthritis, stroke, Parkinson, incontinence and dementia sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with buttons and zips. The easy fit clothes are made from quality and natural fabrics to provide maximum comfort. Adaptawear Offers: • Discreetly Adapted Clothes • Independent & Assisted Dressing • Ladies & Men's Daywear and Nightwear • UK Nationwide and Overseas Deliveries • No Quibble 14 Day Returns • VAT Exemption where relevant • FREE Delivery on orders over £100 For more information on Adaptawear’s Product Range please visit www.adaptawear.com. Carer readers please quote TC141 for 10% discount off your first order.

CARE VISION – 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, cloud-based 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 house-keeping 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 info@care-vision.co.uk or call 0208 768 9809. See the advert on page 42 for details.

Workwear Experts For Over 100 Years Grahame Gardner has more than 100 years’ experience in clothing a broad spectrum of medical and healthcare professionals. Our knowledge and understanding of uniform demands ensure we remain one the UK’s most trusted and respected suppliers. We combine our extensive expertise with the latest innovations in technology and fabric and design, to offer you the highest quality garments to meet the demanding standards of healthcare professionals… all at exceptional prices! We also provide one of the most flexible embroidery services available from any clothing manufacturer using state-of-theart technologies that enable us to copy virtually any design or

logo directly onto your chosen uniforms. Whether you’re seeking a classic healthcare dress or tunic, or something from our bold and bright scrubwear range, you can find it with us. As one of the largest workwear providers in the UK, we are proud to be able to offer instant stock availability on 1,000s of workwear garments all in addition to our extensive range of ‘made to order’ items that can be manufactured on demand in a wide range of styles, fabrics and colours. To find out more, or for a no obligation discussion as to how we can help with your workwear requirements, please get in touch on 0116 255 6326 or email Info@grahamegardner.co.uk www.grahamegardner.co.uk

In-House Practical Engagement Workshop Scripts New Pressure Relief Options from Airospring Medical Now Available for Care Homes & Services Airospring Medical manufactures a range of pressure relieving devices. Our flagship products are a range of lightweight and breathable pressure relief cushions and mattress overlays made from high-tech 3D Knitted Spacer Fabrics. Airospring has been awarded a full patent in August 2014 approving this ground breaking technology. Our pressure relief cushions distribute weight and allow maximum airflow. The cushions have been tested for the dissipation of perspiration, a key factor in the fight against pressure ulcers. Welcome to a new standard in healthy seating. Call: 0115 9322403 Email: sales@airospring.com Visit: www.airospring.com

Renray Healthcare Design and Manufacture New COVID19 Response Beds for Temporary Hospitals Renray Healthcare has developed a field response bed to supply to temporary hospitals, with our design expertise and manufacturing capability we have been able to put the COVID-19 Response bed and mattress into production quickly, with deliveries going out across the country to help in the fight against COVID-19. Renray has been supplying beds, mattresses and furniture for over 50 years and due to the increasing spread of Coronavirus, we are proactively using Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) decontamination system in all our Heavy Goods Vehicles prior to delivery of your goods to eliminate the virus or any potential contaminant, making deliveries safer for our staff, customers and users. Let us know if you require beds for temporary or permanent hospitals, to ensure you have everything you need to continue caring for patients in this difficult time. Download our brochure now for more information: The COVID-19 Response Bed Brochure at https://tinyurl.com/unofs42 Please contact customer service on 01606 593456 or info@renrayhealthcare.com who will be happy to assist you. See the advert on page 3.

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 www.cands-seating.co.uk 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.

As training sessions and venues may be difficult to facilitate for some time, Happy Days Dementia Workshop has acted quickly, re-writing their ‘Practical Engagement Workshop’ into a series of easy to follow presentation and training guides. Enriching social care is at the heart of Happy Days, ‘It’s amazing to see how care teams are heartened and invigorated once they see how easy it is to engage more meaningfully with residents on a daily basis’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Dementia Workshop. Training in-house can support the safety of your care teams, reduce travel, time and cut costs. Demonstration and nostalgic materials can be included in packages with options to add an activity manual, reminiscence baskets and memory prompts. The workshops are ideal for building carer confidence, boosting morale and uplifting everyone’s mood.

Packages can be created to suit your care team requirements and resident interests. See The Carer front page or find starter practical workshop packs online at www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk / Phone direct on 07971953620 or see the advert on page 1.

The Benefits of Spillsafe Every year, thousands of working hours are lost to the sanitisation of furniture which ultimately can never be completely sanitised. This can feel like a losing battle to “beat the bugs” as any attempt to truly clean soiled furniture will inevitably only be scratching the surface. The true challenge lies inside the chair, a haven for contamination, but therein lies the problem. How do you clean the inside of a chair that has been soiled? The simple answer is “you don’t”. There is no way to truly clean a chair that has been soiled as liquids will find their way into every part of your furniture, absorbed by wood and languishing in foam and fabric. So, what is the solution to sanitising your furniture?

Simply, you stop anything from ever reaching the interior. The truest way of maintaining hygeine is to prevent unsanitary situations from ever reaching the areas that cannot be easily cleaned. Investing in hygienic barriers today not only saves time and money, but ensures the protection demanded by those who need it most. This was our maxim here at SpillSafe when developing our patentpending cassette system – Why allow the uncleanable to become unsanitary in the first place? Matthew Holmes, Director of SpillSafe Ltd. Contact Spillsafe Ltd on 0330 088 4851 or www.Spillsafe.co. See the advert on page 9.

New Guides To Supercharge Your Care Home Management Is continued customer satisfaction important to you? Could your communications with residents and their loved ones be improved? Does your care home's website need to be brought into the 2020's? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you will be pleased to learn about a series of free expert guides for care home managers and owners. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a series of guides for the care home industry. These guides provide you with specialist advice on fair trading practices, complaints procedures, communications methods and website layouts for care homes written by and for those

working in the care homes sector. UK consumer law is among the best in the world, but this also means that it can be complicated and in-depth. Care home regulations are no exception, and you may be overwhelmed by it all. These guides make it simple and straightforward so that you can avoid the regulatory pitfalls and improve your business for the good of you and your residents. The guides are hosted on Business Companion, a government-backed website containing a wealth of in-depth knowledge on every element of consumer protection written by industry experts in every sector. Download your free guides at: www.businesscompanion.info


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 35

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE What Has COVID-19 Taught Us? During the last few months, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by services and technology companies has been epic. Decision making processes which normally take months, even years took days. Massive co-ordinated efforts with care homes, hospital trusts, local authorities, manufacturers and suppliers all coming together on projects across the UK. We can certainly say, having been heavily involved in many projects in the UK and around the World, that Courtney Thorne are enormously proud and humbled to have played our part. One of the largest temporary Field Hospitals is the Dragon’s Heart Hospital inside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. This vast stadium initially housed 335 emergency beds, when an additional 1200 beds were required Courtney Thorne was approached to supply,

install and commission nurse call points throughout the pitch and seating areas. These call points (including shower and toilet alarms) were supplied, installed and commissioned by Courtney Thorne’s own engineering team. Designed into 55 separate “wards” and integrated with paging systems. Completed in two weeks, it was a herculean effort by everyone involved. No one could have predicted what was going to happen when in January we heard of deaths in China spreading. The impact of the lock-down in March brought home the scale of the problem as business owners worried, not knowing what the consequences might be. This was true for those of us supplying the healthcare sectors, with hospitals focussing on the pandemic and care homes locking down to protect elderly residents.

As we reduce the lock down rules, for many people and businesses this means a degree of normality and returning to work, albeit with social distancing. Those in the care sectors however will be more cautious so not to risk the vulnerable and elderly. Where there are COVID-19 free hospitals some of the day to day maintenance, building work, refurbishment will re-start, and it is here that the health and care solution providers need to be ready to support these projects. Care homes need to make sure the safety of those in their care is not compromised by aging or failing nurse call systems. Courtney Thorne continued to provide full engineering, sales and support functions throughout the lock down period. A serious consideration when deciding who will supply business and person critical technology in the future. When we look back on this period, no doubt some of the practices learnt will stand the test of time, such as flexible working with more home working. Video conferencing has at last come of age, e-training, webinars, online meetings have been the savour of many busi-

nesses. It therefore appears to have taken a pandemic to create a situation where communication technologies, readily available becomes normalised. Spending quality time with our closest family is favoured rather than spending hours sat in commuter traffic. Business leaders at last realise that they can trust colleagues to do the right thing. Maybe there is a compromise to be gained where work can be more flexible, coupled with face to face meetings, not for every individual nor every business, however it is a start. For more information about solutions for care, see Courtney Thorne's advert on page 11 or visit www.c-t.co.uk

How Can Employers Help Improve the Work-Life Balance and Mental Health of Social Care Workers? Hailed as heroes during the pandemic, social care workers dedicate their lives to help the old, the weak and the sick. Often forgotten and under-valued, their mental health is under strain and COVID-19 has understandably worsened the situation. How can employers help their employees restore a healthier work-life balance?

THE STATE OF THE SOCIAL CARE WORKFORCE A new survey by Quinyx found that health and social care workers are amongst those most likely to have their mental health negatively impacted by their job. The pandemic has made it worse: 54% of those polled said that their work had negatively impacted their mental health over the past 12 months, versus 48% before the pandemic - a 12% increase.

LOW PAY, LONG HOURS AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS COVID-19 has seen them work longer hours and be in the spotlight, with high expectations from their employers, the nation, the government, and to an

extent, global scrutiny over which country will do “better” at handling the crisis. Added to the fear of getting sick or contaminating their loved ones, it is easy to imagine the mental burden on those who risk their lives to help others. Prior to the outbreak, the main reasons invoked by those who suffered poor mental health as a result of their job were low pay (42%) and managers’ expectations being too high (37%). Some concerns were alleviated during the pandemic though, with 72% of healthcare workers polled saying that they felt valued by their employer, versus 53% prior.

WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION? While increasing wages may not always be possible, three areas can make a positive difference: - Two-ways communication channels, effective and open, to monitor and engage. - Allowing greater flexibility and control over work hours to restore a healthy balance.

- Optimised schedules to improve efficiency, reduce the overall cost of labour and help both workers and managers plan ahead.

HOW TO SUCCEED? Using technology to improve your workers’ work-life balance and wellbeing is one way to stay ahead of the game. Technology can help keep your employees productive, connected and happy. A solution like Quinyx helps empower workers, while optimising communication, time management and resources. It can also ensure that employers comply with the new regulations around contact and tracing, all through a simple, user-friendly app. www.quinyx.com/survey * Research conducted by Censuswide in two stages: the first was conducted with 1,200 deskless workers who work an hourly schedule in the following sectors: healthcare and social assistance, retail, hospitality and tourism, shipping/distribution, transportation and warehousing. It took place between 11.03.2020-23.03.2020. The second was conducted with 1,205 deskless UK workers in these same sectors.


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FOLLOW FOLL OW W UP UP


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 37

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE The Tiny Tablet from Inspired Interaction be useful for staff training, presentations and transferring data. "This new interactive experience has been of great benefit to our longterm residential residents with mid to late stage dementia, focusing on three primary outcomes of play: sensation, relaxation and reminiscence. Their interaction and engagement have increased considerably since using the table". Stuart Davies - General Manager Plas Bryn Rhosyn, part of the Pobl Group Tel: 07950 513 176

Our touch tables are portable, adjustable and utilized the same way as a smart phone or iPad. They are ideal for improving the well being of residents through App Technology. Every Tiny Tablet comes with a commercial grade screen and a chargeable built in power pack so there are no potential trip hazards. We offer both fixed and height adjustable tables, making it accessible for standing or seated use. Wi-Fi capabilities allow the table to be used anywhere around the care home, enabling every resident to benefit both in a group activity environment and privately on a one to one basis. Having the option of USB, HDMI, VGA and Bluetooth means various devices can be connected to the table, increasing options of use. This can

Sales & Enquiries: sales@inspired-interaction.com Web: www.inspired-interaction.com HRH Prince Charles discovering the Tiny Tablet at Plas Bryn Rhosyn Care Home

Using Technology to Manage the Prevention and Control of Infection in Care Homes For care home residents, infections can be serious, and in some cases, life-threatening. So, in the midst of a pandemic, the focus on good infection prevention and control practices has never been more important. Over the last few months, we have supported Radar Healthcare customers in the management of Covid-19 related incidents, helping them to map resident outbreaks, identify pockets of self-isolating staff and anticipate consequential risks as a result. The steps taken in care homes to protect residents and staff from infection represent an important element in the quality of care. So, knowledge and understanding of outbreak prevention, preparedness, detection and management is key.

PREVENT The dynamic management of emerging risks is a collective responsibility and one which ensures your workforce is fully involved in the process of preventing and controlling infection. Risk registers should be actively maintained and monitored with a standardised risk scoring mechanism to facilitate prioritisation. Risk stratification combined with regular audits and assessments to identify potential hazards can then support the creation of preventative action plans.

PREPARE Engaging with your workforce to co-create your strategic and

operational approach to infection prevention and control can support you to embed a culture of continuous improvement in this area. Education plays a critical role in the prevention and control of infection so it’s critical that you manage and track workforce capability and competency – giving you peace of mind that they understand the importance of infection control and the specific role they have to play.

DETECT Clear communication of symptoms, guidelines and procedures ensures staff are equipped to recognise an outbreak and take appropriate action. With standardised procedures for reporting active cases and incidents, you can develop a clear picture of the pace and spread of the infection.

DIGITALISING YOUR OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT PLAN Prompt investigation and control of infection outbreaks is critical to protect the safety of residents and staff but mobilising an infection outbreak response can be difficult if information is siloed or managed manually. Find out more about how Radar Healthcare can support your infection control processes at info.radarhealthcare.co.uk/infectioncontrol/

Tiny Tablet

Interactive Activity Touch Tables for care homes, education & hospitals. Based in the West Midlands, all of our Tiny Tablets are designed and manufactured in the UK.

Utilising the latest touchscreen technology, we’ve created a range of products that are easy and intuitive to use, combining education & play through the use of interactive technology.

■ Wi-Fi Capabilities

■ Screenshot Function

■ Google Play Store Accessibility

■ Wheelchair Accessible

■ Bluetooth

■ Internet Browsing

■ Films and Catch Up TV

■ Brain Training / Collaborative Apps ■ Skype

■ 8 Hour Use Off One Charge

■ Data Saving Option ■ Multiple Users

■ Durable Screen

■ 3 Year Warranty

■ Full Onsite Training with every product

07950 513 176 sales@inspired-interaction.com www.inspired-interaction.com


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Mainteno Facilities Maintenance and Management Software Facilities Maintenance and Management Software Simple to use, easy to maintain and very affordable.

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Reporting tasks and faults Asset tracking and value reporting Invoice management Add multiple images and documents Detailed analytical reporting Dashboard reporting showing live status of all tasks Management of all planned maintenance schedules Compliance testing and inspections Traffic light detailed reporting for audit purpose Audit reporting Direct allocation of work to relevant parties Can be used for help desk Supplier performance management and reporting Warranty and insurance management Can be used on any web enabled device Link tasks to calendar Create check lists for compliance purposes Contractor Quotes and Invoice Management Contractor Login upload function

www.mainteno.com 020 8798 3713 sales@redro.co.uk

Whether it’s managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno simplifies the day-to-day maintenance of almost any organisation. Mainteno also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking. Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving your organisation time and money. Usability made affordable Mainteno was designed with practicality in mind. The interface is so intuitive that basic operation can be learned in minutes, and you can be a power user in one afternoon. Elegant usability usually means a hefty price tag. However, our pricing structure means that for small

organisations, Mainteno can cost as little as two cups of coffee a month. No set-up fees, no lengthy contracts and a free trial, all mean that the system starts paying for itself straight away. Dr Asif Raja, Bsc MBBS Summercare Managing Director says “Facing significant challenges of ever increasing quality and compliance demands upon time and resources as well considerable economic pressures, Summercare, an award winning provider of residential care and housing related support, sought to upgrade their systems for managing the property and environmental aspects of its service delivery. After an extensive period of investigation and research Mainteno was selected as the platform of choice for the entire organization based on its ease of use, very short-term contract, quick set up and ongoing support.” Visit www.mainteno.com, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email sales@redro.co.uk

Network Communication Systems Network Communication Systems Ltd ( NCS ) was established in 1992 and from the outset has provided Telecare and Security Products and Services, primarily to Local Government (Housing) and Housing Associations. Today we have many accreditations to our name including ISO 9001 Quality Management which ensures the company meets its quality commitments The company offers a full range of services encompassing Consultancy, Design, Project Management Installation and Maintenance The company supplies both 3rd party and own brand products for individual and grouped living. Grouped Living encompassing Sheltered Housing, Extra Care and Nursing Homes The Company offers maintenance on any make and model of

Telecare and Security Products/Systems, including system upgrades, partial and full, for better operation with the new digital telephone system being phased in by 2025. Maintenance can be offered on an ad-hoc basis or contractually via various packaged service agreements, depending on customer requirements Recently the company has just completed a design and installation project for Central Bedfordshire Council comprising over 50 CCTV cameras, some of which offer auto-tracking to get the best possible close up high quality image, Recording Equipment, Security Doors including Door Entry and Access Control and Automatic Swing Door Operators. All delivered to the client’s satisfaction. For further information, please visit www.nsgroup.co.uk

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

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS Grouped Alarms - Fully Integrated Telecare and Security

• 2 System types available depending on requirements • Door Entry panels and standalone fob readers • Telecare room units with choice of peripherals • On-site / Local Offsite / Off-site operation • BS8521 protocol for remote Off-site monitoring

Door Entry and Access Control

• High quality robust stainless steel panel • Panels and readers can be inter-connected • Cloud based remote management option • Well specified - Will meet your requirements • High reliability and fault tolerant • DDA compliant • Parts availability - 15 years • Low cost

Carephones and Peripherals

• Tele-care for individual properties • High quality product • Available in various models (PSTN or GSM) • Allows connection of multiple peripherals • The only product in the marketplace that offers wireless remote speech stations and voice pendants • Compatible with most Alarm Receiving Centres • Low Cost

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

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.

www.edisontelecom.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 39

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE ETHEL, The Smart Care Hub The Covid19 pandemic has really ripped through our healthcare system and it has impacted the Care Home industry in a profound way too. However, what’s been quite evident, is the resilience of staff and their drive to better manage the residents in their care. In a way, the pandemic offers us an opportunity to explore if ‘technology enabled care’ can help us solve some of the issues we are facing. Can Tech help busy Carehome staff offer better support, connect the residents regularly with the family, help with clinical outcomes, without adding to their workload? It is in this context that solutions such as ETHEL, the

smart care hub has attracted a lot of interest from the Care Home sector. ETHEL is a large (16 inch) touch screen personal device with a robust stand and tailormade for 85+ yr olds who have little or no computer skills. Its easy to use interface and robust security features helps a resident connect with their wider family network and clinical team in an easy way. Families can make video calls to the Large screen device, they can send photos and video clips and send simple messages. It also allows the clinical team to offer remote physiotherapy, remotely gather vital signs from the resident on a regular basis and do remote video consultations. ETHEL also comes with a built in Early Warning Scoring system for detecting deterioration. A number of patients across the UK – from Shetland Islands to the devon coast have benefitted from using ETHEL. You can get more information at www.ethelcare.co.uk and/or call us on 07841977559.

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Qintil Learning Manager Qintil was created for the care sector and we’re proud that so many incredible health and care professionals and their employers use Qintil everyday to learn and maintain skills and manage training and compliance. Qintil is a lifelong learning platform that's built for the way the world works today. You'll almost certainly have more than one job in your lifetime, and quite possibly more than one career. You might even work more than one job at once, or for a staffing agency. We built Qintil so that you can find, share and manage everything that's essential for work - your learning, certificates, achievements and right to work docs - in one place. You can share them, connect to more

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 extension to

than one employer's learning at one time and when you move to a new job, contract or career you can take it all with you and continue to add to your lifelong record of learning. This all helps employers too of course. Now there's an easy way to get a record of new hires' learning and documents and to deliver their own training from any source. Our mission is to help everyone benefit from the thousands of ways there are to learn and to have one place to find, manage and share it all. Try for free today. Call 0300 577 1484 Email sales@qintil.com Web qintil.com 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.� www.edisontelecom.co.uk

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

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 13 | PAGE 41

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE

Arquella's AIDA Data Platform Lotus Care Technology Arquella is proud to release our first version of the AIDA data platform. We are committed to improving the quality of nurse call reporting by integrating cloud-based technology with advanced hardware. This development means that all of your data is easily accessible from any internet device. Our technology is even compatible with some existing nurse call systems. With the easy to read 'Dashboard', you see a brief overview of all your current calls on one simple screen. With a simple click you are able to access more detail easily. Choose rooms, zones, call types, dates and times, you can evidence the care that your residents receive with total ease. All of the data available is easily saved as a report, perfect for your CQC requirements. You

don't need any Arquella equipment to access Dashboard and Reports, our web browser interface gives you instant access onsite or offsite, complete with login control. You control who sees zones, sites or groups of homes, bringing local and national reporting with just one click. We recognise that your care teams deliver excellent care, and we are committed to supporting you in capturing those moments. This is why we strive to provide you with the best technology to gather detailed evidence of the care you deliver. Arquella's future-proof solutions keeps you up to date with all future releases, giving you peace of mind and the ability to 'Capture Moments of Care'. Please call or email us so we can show how AIDA can help you. See the advert on this page for details.

Plexus Innovation Provides GUARDIAN® To Help Safeguard Care Homes Plexus Innovation has forged links with Careline Lifestyles to take one of the job’s pressures off the nursing team at a time that is intense in the industry. Ian Murray and Steve Todd, directors of Plexus Innovation, are successfully rolling out its innovative GUARDIAN® technology. They were keen, during such unprecedented times, that a care company benefitted with no initial cost implications. GUARDIAN® is a remote, automated measurement and alert system that focuses on environmental data including temperature. Ideal in reducing the risk of legionella and ensuring temperature in water or refrigeration units is at an optimum level to protect health, Plexus Innovation’s technology comprises of a combination of hardware, with remote monitoring software. Plexus Innovation supplied training to Careline Lifestyle staff, enabling the user to simply plug in and activate the hardware in seconds, putting the data live onto the portal managed by the experienced team at Plexus Innovation. Provided initially for free, the arrangement covers nine of Careline Lifestyle’s homes across the North East. GUARDIAN® is now monitoring 37 measurement points, including medical fridges and ambient room temperatures, which must be kept at compliant levels. Ian said: “GUARDIAN® is cost effective, reliable and reduces risk. We are delighted to be remotely monitoring for Careline, where lack of compliance can be of detriment to

medications, dispensed to the people they care for. “Previously these critical assets would be checked manually, which leaves room for human error when people are busy or under pressure. Using GUARDIAN® the nurses can get on with looking after the people in their care and not worry about this detail. Our system identifies compliance issues, enabling us to keep clients informed, saving time, effort and often money! “Plexus Innovation can really help and support much of the health, social housing, care and even the hospitality industry perfectly.” Based in the North East, Careline Lifestyle is a leading independent provider of high quality nursing and residential care specialising in acquired brain injuries, neurological, mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities for persons over 18 years of age in addition to providing nursing, residential and social care for the elderly. Kirsty Nealis, Head of Care Delivery at Careline Lifestyles said: “With the extra pressures brought about by COVID-19 we couldn’t be more grateful for this GUARDIAN® helping hand to ensure our compliance measurements are done quickly, properly and even better, remotely. “We are always looking at innovative new ways to improve our services which frees up staff, allowing them more time to support our residence. “ “Thank you to Ian and Steve of Plexus Innovation for the free installation and remote monitoring over these first few months of a new and trying challenge!” More information on GUARDIAN® is available at www.plexus-innovation.com

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 lctuk.com for details.


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

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