T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S
W W W. T H E C A R E R U K . C O M
The Carer Digital
New Government Guidance on Job Retention Scheme Offers Lifeline to Care Providers
New guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme issued this weekend by the Government can provide a possible lifeline to care providers struggling to recruit staff. The guidance updated over the weekend, says law firm Royds Withy King, confirms that furloughed staff can work for other organisations without losing furloughed pay from their primary employer. Furloughed staff in sectors including retail and leisure and hospitality have the potential to benefit in particular. James Sage, Head of the Social Care team and a specialist employment lawyer at Royds Withy King, says the guidance provides a potentially significant lifeline to care providers, who have said that they are losing some 25% of their workforce due to the coron-
avirus. James Sage said: “The guidance confirms that workers who have been furloughed can work for other organisations, subject to any restrictions in their employment contracts, without adversely affecting their entitlement to 80% of pay while furloughed by their primary employer. This was not prohibited under previous guidance but has now been expressly confirmed. “This provides a significant opportunity for care providers to attract staff from other sectors which have furloughed high numbers of staff including retail, hospitality and leisure, transport and logistics. There are many suitable roles for these workers in the care sector, not just frontline care roles, and many people will have transferable customer-facing skills that make them well suited to working in care.
“The opportunity to boost their reduced earnings and provide a valuable contribution to the Covid-19 response would be attractive to many workers. “Although some workers will only be available for the duration of the Job Retention Scheme, others may be able to continue on a part-time basis after they return to their other jobs. There will also be those that want to make a permanent move to the social care sector.” James adds: “The challenge, however, will be creating awareness and directing furloughed staff from other industries to vacancies in the care sector. A national social media campaign would be needed to see significant gains, but care providers can also run their own local and regional campaigns.
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PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2
EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the second edition of The Carer Digital “Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.” ARISTOTLE A warm welcome to the second edition of the Carer Digital - a weekly digital offshoot of our quarterly Editor printed publication. The Carer Digital has been created to keep you up to date with news (without the spin) and the current Covid-19 crisis, plus professional advice and comment from industry experts and, as always, to share the warmth and uplifting stories involving homes residents and staff - badly needed to lift the spirits in these challenging times!
One of my favourite sayings is “Cometh the hour, cometh the man”. It can be translated to “Cometh the crisis, cometh the care sector”. I have been absolutely astounded in recent days by story after story of how people in the sector who, despite possibly the most challenging times in living memory, are coming together. Putting themselves on the front line and at risk to do what they do best care for the elderly and the vulnerable. After years of underfunding, and after years of sector repeatedly finding itself under the spotlight and in the court of public opinion, the country is now realising how valuable to society the sector is and recognising the dedication of those working in the industry. This has taken a long time! I said last week, and will repeat it again, I am ashamed of mainstream media reporting during this crisis. Bandwagon journalism in my honest opinion. The sector has suffered chronic underfunding, staffing crisis and rising costs for years, which went largely ignored in the mainstream media and, as the sector valiantly rallies to meet this challenge, only now does the media actually sit up and take notice. That said, I am in full agreement with Independent Care Group chairman Mike Padgham, who said this week: “Yes, there is a shortage of adequate protective equipment for social care and NHS staff, but this is not the time to be pointing the finger of blame and arguing; that can come later. We have to address the situation we are facing here and now. “It also isn’t the time for people to be profiteering from the supply of vital PPE and agency nursing staff – most aren’t but some are. “At the moment all our energies should be going into working together – social care, NHS, local authorities – to get the people we provide care for and our staff through this horrific period. “Social care staff, alongside NHS colleagues, are doing an amazing job at the most challenging of times and all deserve the greatest support the country can provide for them. “The support social care is starting to receive is encouraging and I hope that finally people are seeing what a vital job our workers do. Perhaps once this is over, that recognition will become greater support for the sector.” He is absolutely right - there will in the coming months be a time and place for an enquiry, particularly when it comes to PPE, and now is not the time. Quite the opposite. In fact, now is the time to recognise the difficulties the industry is facing and help whenever possible. And that includes, in my opinion, raising morale and spirits. So, please keep your sto-
ries coming - we want to share the good stories, motivational stories, the heartwarming and uplifting stories! Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01202) 552333 And once again I will draw your attention to our Unsung Hero award on page 7. Regular readers online and in print will know that we have been running a “no-frills” Unsung Hero Award each Summer and Christmas over the past few years. A very simple competition to reward a member of staff working in a residential and nursing care home who has gone that extra mile, and whilst appreciated, may not have had the recognition so richly deserved. So we here at The Carer have been delighted to put up a luxury two night break for two people in a choice of over 300 hotels around the country. All you have to do is nominate someone from any department telling us why you feel they should be awarded the Unsung Hero award, maybe just a couple of paragraphs highlighting who they are and what they have done and we will do the rest! I know you will all be busy but please if possible email us with a small paragraph explaining how your nominee has gone that extra mile! email@example.com Say hello to some past winners!
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 3
New Government Guidance on Job Retention Scheme Offers Lifeline to Care Providers (Continued from Front Cover) “Another possible answer is Care Friends, an employee referral app from social care innovator Neil Eastwood, which could be utilised by providers to recruit the friends and family of their workforce who may have been furloughed from their jobs.”
VOLUNTEERS – A NEW RESOURCE James continues: “Volunteers offer a significant opportunity for care providers trying to manage the pandemic. Large scale volunteering has not been prevalent in the care sector before now, but that is changing.” The National Care Force, a new platform connecting local volunteers to care providers facing severe understaffing, has already seen more than 10,000 people sign up to help with various job roles in the sector, including cooking, driving and clinical care. The Government has also introduced a new emergency volunteering scheme under the Coronavirus Act 2020. It gives workers the right to take leave from work so that they can volunteer temporarily in the NHS or social care sector. The period of leave is unpaid and must be either two, three or four weeks long. There is no provision for employers to refuse leave. James adds: “Despite the leave being unpaid, the Secretary of State is required to establish arrangements for paying compensation to volunteers in respect of loss of earnings, travel and subsistence expenses. It is not currently clear whether this scheme will replace all lost earnings, will be subject to a cap or will consist of a flat rate.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for care providers. It is hoped that these new recruitment opportunities will provide some relief and grow a larger pool of potential workers and volunteer. The new guidance follows a move by an independent care group consisting of Care England, Scottish Care, Fforwm Gofal Cymru (Care Forum Wales) and the Independent Health and Care Providers (IHCP), who wrote to the government earlier this month outlining the urgent need for more care workers to cover the increased demand on their services amidst staff shortages caused by sickness and selfisolation. They specifically asked that furloughed workers receive their 80% payment AND to work in care and get paid for this at no penalty. Allowing the NHS and social care providers to employ such people with no penalty. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, a membership organisation which represents over 3,700 social care providers throughout England, said in the letter: “The next few weeks will be absolutely critical and if we are to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society then we need to ensure that we have enough staff to be able to deliver the care and support which is so vitally needed. What we need is for Government to urgently change legislation so that people who have been furloughed from other sectors can move seamlessly into social care roles to help us in meeting the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. Right across England, thousands of women and men are leaving their homes every
day to go to hospitals, care homes and communities to care for some of our most vulnerable, older and disabled citizens. We need to do everything we can to support them. We are already facing critical shortages of staff because of the requirement to self-isolate if a family member has or is suspected of having Covid-19. We will face even greater staff shortage in the weeks ahead.” “During this crisis we are supporting the NHS by helping free up hospital beds for those who will be admitted due to the virus as well as caring for those who have contracted it. “But we now need more support and urgent action from Government to allow us to recruit more staff to help us during a time when there is a huge increase in demand on our staffing. “We ask that an amendment is added to allow the NHS and social care providers, in homes or in community, to provide paid employment to staff furloughed from other industries. “This action would have a significant positive impact on our staffing and our ability to maintain the high level of care we currently provide. It would help us support our existing workforce’s health and wellbeing and provide cover for the inevitable loss of staff to sickness and selfisolation. “Our teams across the UK are doing an incredible job under extreme pressure and putting themselves at risk everyday – we want to do everything we can to support them.
Health Secretary Sets Out Plan to Carry Out 100,000 Coronavirus Tests A Day New 5-pillar plan outlines • national effort to increase testing to 100,000 a day in England Professor John Newton appoint• ed to drive forward programme bringing together industry, universities, NHS and government The increase in testing will first • be prioritised for NHS staff and their families, so that critical healthcare professionals can return to work England will carry out 100,000 tests for coronavirus every day by the end of this month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has pledged. Increased testing for the NHS will form part of a new 5-pillar plan, bringing together government, industry, academia, the NHS and many others, to dramatically increase the number of tests being carried out each day. Professor John Newton the Director of Health Improvement, Public Health England, has been appointed to help deliver the new plans and bring together industry, universities, NHS and government behind the ambitious testing targets. He will coordinate a national effort with global manufacturers encouraged to expand their manufacturing capacity here in England; our strongest, home grown businesses in life sciences and other industries
are encouraged to turn their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale, and the government will support anyone with a scalable scientific idea or innovation to start a business. New testing capabilities for the NHS and their families will support staff who are isolating at home to return safely to work if the test is negative, and keep themselves and others safe if the test is positive. Significant progress to increase testing has already taken place across the country to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives. New testing centres have been established at the main hotspots of the disease, and the UK has already conducted more than 152,000 tests. The 5-pillar plan sets targets to expand the England’s capability further. The new 5-pillar plan outlines the ambitions to: • Scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day by mid to late April; • Deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS, before then expanding to key workers in other sectors; • Develop blood testing to help know if people have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus; • Conduct surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease and help develop new tests and treatments; and • Create a new National Effort for testing, to build a mass-testing capacity at a completely new scale. Once widespread testing is available, we will prioritise repeated testing of critical key workers, to keep them safe and make sure that they
do not spread the virus. Over time, plans announced today will also see increasing focus on testing to see if people have already had the virus, to identify if they have the antibodies that will give them immunity against catching it again. This science is new and developing, but the aim is for a successful test that can be rolled out at scale, that could allow critical workers – and then the wider population – to return to work and their daily lives. Responding to the plan Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: “NHS and care staff need tests and they need them now. So this plan, not before time, is incredibly welcome. We have too many doctors, nurses and other staff off work because they do not know if they or a member of their household have the virus or not. This is a sensible plan which should bring in safe and effective tests at pace. Testing staff at home in household quarantine must be the priority in the coming weeks. “The NHS has yet to see the massive surge in cases but the numbers are rising and we must brace ourselves for that – testing is not everything but it is a vital weapon in our armoury, it helps protect staff and patients and in the weeks and months ahead it will help us contain the virus. We very much hope the new blood test showing whether someone has had the test will come soon – that too will be vital. “Writing off NHS debt is excellent news. It may seem academic when we are fighting the greatest battle of the NHS’s history, but this will make a difference now given the pressures the service has been under and offers the prospect of a much brighter future going forward.”
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New Online Resource Launched To Protect Mental Health Of Healthcare Workers A free online resource has been launched to help those working in healthcare cope with the stress of dealing with Covid-19 and help maintain their psychological wellbeing during and after the pandemic. The e-learning package has been put together by a health psychologist from the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the University of Leicester. It is for any healthcare staff and students.
It covers the possible impacts of the pandemic on mental health and practical measures that can be taken to combat these and maintain psychological well-being. Chartered health psychologist Dr Holly Blake led the development of the resource, she said: “It’s clear that healthcare workers are facing a challenging situation. Although they are used to working with some level of stress, extreme measures to boost the NHS workforce means that many staff will need to work in new or unfamiliar roles, and will experience increased demands and more pressure, in these unpredictable circumstances. This will take its toll on healthcare staff, and there may be longer-term impacts to wellbeing. There is a huge array of information and guidance out there but this could be daunting for anyone looking for support. We have brought together information about psychological wellbeing for healthcare workers, including tips from experts in the medical and
academic sphere and essential signposting to help staff cope with the current situation.” Creating psychologically safe workplaces The online package includes advice for team leaders to create psychologically safe workplaces where staff feel comfortable raising issues and concerns. It covers communication, the importance of language and avoiding social stigma, and advocates accessing support from colleagues, friends and family. The resource also provides guidance on supporting mental health in others through Psychological First Aid. Most important is the focus on self-care during these challenging times. The package includes guidance on rest and work breaks, shiftwork, sleep and fatigue. It addresses specific impacts of the pandemic, such as making morally challenging decisions around providing for patients with limited resources, and balancing the needs of patients with the needs of self. There is guidance
around dealing with grief, and managing emotions such as fear, anxiety and low mood. Dr Blake said: “It’s normal to experience difficult emotions in these situations. Making decisions in demanding environments can be hard, and staff may experience feelings of guilt when they are unable to provide care in the way they would like. This is a common emotion for healthcare workers who need to self-isolate”. This resource includes tips and advice from experts in mental wellbeing as well as those with direct experiences from the frontline. Dr Blake continues: “We’ve designed this resource to be easy to navigate so users find the relevant information quickly and we hope it will be useful to help support those working in healthcare who may be facing some extremely stressful situations in the coming weeks and months.” The resource can be downloaded here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/toolkits/play_22794
Residents Celebrate 50th Anniversary with Surprise Virtual Party Paul and Rosie Rowan celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Gracewell of Camberley care home last week. Originally, the couple were going to go home to their family and friends for a weekend to celebrate with a gathering. However, given the circumstances, the couple are staying put together at Gracewell of Camberley. The team at Gracewell of Camberley worked alongside Paul and Rosie’s family to organise a virtual celebration. They enjoyed prosecco and an afternoon tea together in the home’s bistro. The in-house dining team also prepared a wonderful decorated cake for them. Both their daughters, granddaughters and other family members were on facetime to celebrate with them. The team ensured they were set up with a large TV and decorated the room with balloons so that their special day could still be celebrated properly. Paul and Rosie’s family also made a lovely montage of some wonderful memories and organised for the couple’s friends to pre-record video messages that were played to them. Paul and Rosie Rowan, who are both in their 70s, have been married for 50 years. They got to know each other through their membership of a local boat club in their home country of Ireland and enjoyed regularly socialising there.
They met in the 1960s and married in 1970, some of their most treasured memories were spent travelling the world together, exploring new countries and meeting incredible people along the way. Paul and Rosie now live together as residents at Gracewell of Camberley, they have more time now to pursue their hobbies and interests. The couple say that at Gracewell, “there is always something to do and people to talk to” and that their lives “are quite different as we have no chores and no responsibilities”. When asked about what the key to her long and happy marriage with Paul was, Rosie said that she has “no idea, luck of the draw, but love and respect for each other helps.” The couple would usually be regularly visited by their children and grandchildren. However, thanks to technology they have been able to maintain their regular catch ups with their family through video calls. Jeorgia Jones, Home Admissions Advisor at Gracewell of Camberley, said: “Paul and Rosie are a wonderful couple; they were delighted with their celebration. The huge smiles on their faces said it all. Their family were also so grateful to be able to join them – virtually – in celebrating this wonderful occasion. Thank you to all the Gracewell of Camberley team who ensured this was able to go ahead!”
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We All Need to Do Everything Bryn Haven Sisters Mark National We Can to Support Staff, Sibling Day Says NHS Confederation Responding to this weeks Downing Street press briefing, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: “Two nurses and two healthcare assistants have died from Covid-19, four doctors have died in the last week. The impact on their families is impossible to describe. “These are our frontline troops in an unforgiving war against an unseen enemy. The NHS is a family, and this is a devastating time for everyone on the frontline. It is difficult to express the degree of fear but also the overwhelming commitment of their colleagues and friends. “The virus will kill more staff both in the NHS and in social care – everyone involved in care is putting themselves at risk which is why we all need to do everything we can to support them and everyone who is fighting this relentless battle. “We do now have better guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) supported by all the main scientific and health bodies, but many staff are frightened and as employers we must do every-
thing we can to make sure no-one is sent into battle without proper protection. We have been concerned that community staff, family doctors and the forgotten army of staff in social care have not thus far been given the gear or the guidance they need. We do not doubt the sincerity or commitment of those organising this at a national level nor the scale of the challenges they face but let us all focus on the whole workforce. “Testing remains a real challenge. It is not a panacea and the government is absolutely right to say a bad test is worse than no test. For us the immediate challenge is establishing a testing regime that releases NHS staff from quarantine by testing them and their families. Expanding testing capacity is essential – to identify patients who have, to identify staff who don’t and to establish how fast it spreading and to whom. “But the most critical factor, the thing that will matter most, is how we as nation behave. If we follow the social distancing instructions we will prevail – if we don’t we won’t.”
Government Publishes COVID-19 Guidance for Care Homes Government has published detailed guidance for care homes who are supporting people during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is intended for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. This includes registered residential care and nursing homes for people with learning disabilities, mental health and/or other disabilities. Containing information on the admission and care of residents, the COVID-19 guidance for care homes covers: • Admission of residents. • Caring for residents, depending on their COVID-19 status.
• • • •
Reporting of COVID-19 cases. Providing care after death, advice for staff. Supporting existing residents that may require hospital care. National support available to implement the guidance. There are also annexes containing useful information and contacts for topics such as infection control, receiving residents who have been discharged from hospital and isolation of symptomatic residents. The full document can be read on the Government website. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877797/covid-19-carehomes-guidance.pdf
Friday 10th April is National Sibling Day and sisters Eileen and Julia O’Connor will be celebrating their close relationship and enjoying spending time together. Both Eileen and Julia live at Borough Care’s Bryn Haven home for older people in Brinnington, Stockport. Eileen, 93. and Julia, 89, hail from Ireland and grew up together in a large family of five boys and four girls. All the siblings were very close but Eileen and Julia became particularly close, as they shared a love for ballroom dancing and would take every opportunity to head to the dance halls together. Julia was a talented seamstress and used to make her and Eileen’s ballroom dresses from scratch. In 1946, Eileen and Julia decided to move from Ireland to the UK. Eileen worked as a housekeeper for a husband and wife doctor team, while Julia was a housekeeper for a clergyman. Following retirement in 1992, Eileen and Julia decided to buy a house together, having remained close throughout their lives and wanting to spend more time with each other. The ladies lived happily together in their own home until 2018, with Eileen caring for Julia following a dementia diagnosis. Following a fall at home, Eileen was hospitalised and Julia moved to Borough Care’s Bryn Haven, as Eileen was unable to look after her. On leaving hospital, Eileen moved to Bryn Haven too, as she didn’t want to be parted from Julia. Dr Mark Ward, CEO at Borough Care, says: “The incredible life-long bond Eileen and Julia have enjoyed throughout their lives is amazing. It’s great that they can continue to enjoy each other’s company and remain just as close while living with us at Borough Care. We encourage all our residents to continue to live colourful lives and it’s great that during their time living at Bryn Haven Julia and Eileen have enjoyed the entertainment we regularly put on.”
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Death, Dying and Social Work Under COVID-19
Dr Denise Turner, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, examines some of the pressures now put on social workers as people around the world lose loved ones to coronavirus. The Prime Minister’s stark warning only a few short weeks ago, that ‘many more people will lose loved ones to coronavirus,’ signalled an increase in fatalities that is now a grim daily reality and personal nightmare for many. Whilst media reporting and public support has understandably focussed on the work of NHS staff, social workers nationally
are under pressure as they grapple with people who have experienced the sudden, unexpected death of someone close to them. These daily struggles are set within an already stretched Health and Social Care sector, where the average retention rate for social workers prior to the COVID-19 outbreak was the lowest in the public sector (ONS, 2019). Deaths from coronavirus are also set within a national context where dying and bereavement remain largely sequestered from public discourse. A major national survey, carried out by YouGov in 2018 on behalf of the Co-op, found that 18 million people in the UK are very uncomfortable talking about death, whilst 5 million would not talk about their own deaths. Amongst the recommendations of this research were the need for more opportunities for talking about death, increased education on death and training, and greater support following bereavement. A parallel study, undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians in 2018, titled ‘Talking about Dying’, also showed that many medical staff struggle to have honest conversations about death and dying. Amidst this public and professional context, a collaborative study carried out by the Social Work department at London Metropolitan University and the University of Chichester, during 2019, investigated bereavement support and training for social work students and those in their first year of practice. Findings from the study further demonstrate a lack of training on death and bereavement within initial social work education and continuing professional development, leaving a pervasive gap in the knowledge available to social workers. Participants in
the study also reported an extensive deficit in bereavement support, leading to a social work student who experienced the death of a service user being told simply: ‘You have to be more resilient about death.’ Funerals and mourning customs Additionally, the study found a similar deficit in culturally specific bereavement training, for example, funeral and other mourning customs which are crucial for aiding the bereavement process. This is highly significant during the current outbreak of COVID-19, where the restriction on numbers of mourners at funerals has led to an increase in live streaming, with restricted access to the body, and an absence of the physical proximity and comfort often associated with mourning. In these circumstances, traditional bereavement rituals such as the Muslim practice of washing the body may be impossible, creating potentially major repercussions for those experiencing a difficult and unexpected death. Bereaved people in these circumstances will often turn to social workers who may lack both the expertise and the professional support to offer effective assistance. At a time when death and dying are confronting everyone through the news media and personal or professional experience, findings from this 2019 study and other major national research indicate a critical need for education and training to equip social workers, members of the public and other practitioners, with the language, knowledge and resilience needed to manage both the immediate and longer-term outcomes of death, dying and bereavement.
Hazardous Waste - The Importance of Correct Disposal Mark Hall spokesperson at BusinessWaste.co.uk a national waste collections company warned on the dangers of increased hazardous waste "The majority of nursing home and care home waste is for the most part just everyday household waste, with the expectation of small quantities of medicinal waste from medications and pharmaceuticals, swabs and wound dressings. However, due to COVID-19 a much larger amount of PPE is been used and disposed of than ever before and it is very important that this is disposed of correctly" "Used PPE equipment is classed as hazardous waste and as such is
regulated by The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales)Regulations 2005 which are governed by The Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England (2010), which sets out principles to advise those who handle, manage and operate hazardous waste. Any producer or holder of hazardous waste has a legal ‘duty of care’ to manage the storage and disposal of hazardous waste safely and appropriately whatever the industry may be. Failing to manage hazardous waste can result in heavy fines, disreputability and potentially an immediate closure of your business." "Put simply what this means is that you must store and dispose of it correctly, do not under any circumstances put any used PPE into your general waste bin or any other bin that is not for clinical waste. You must use a licenced waste disposal company who will provide you with the correct bags, clinical waste bins and importantly the duty of care certificate that proves you have disposed of your waste correctly. Please note the duty of care certificate or as is sometimes known as a
WE NOW SUPPLY A WIDE RANGE OF FURNITURE
waste transfer note is a legal requirement and should not be charged for by any waste disposal company" For people suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) or self-isolating at home, there are Public Health England guidelines regarding the disposal of waste. “This includes sealing personal waste such as tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in smaller plastic bags and storing them for 72 hours before putting them in a black bag which goes in the general waste bin.” Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. More information https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/hazardous-waste/ https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/clinical-waste/ https://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/healthcare-waste.htm http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/894/contents/made
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 7
Government Issues Care Act Easements Guidance For Local Authorities The Government has published guidance for the Care Act easements in place to help councils with the coronavirus pandemic. The overriding purpose of these easements is to ensure the best possible provision of care to vulnerable people in these exceptional circumstances. In order to help ensure that they are applied in the best possible way, with the greatest regard towards the needs and wishes of care users and their carers, the following protections and safeguards will apply. The easements took legal effect on 31 March 2020, but should only be exercised by Local Authorities where this is essential in order to maintain the highest possible level of services. They should comply with the pre-amendment Care Act provisions and related Care and Support Statutory Guidance for as long and as far as possible. They are temporary. The Secretary of State will
keep them under review and terminate them, on expert clinical and social care advice, as soon as possible. 1. Local Authorities will not have to carry out detailed assessments of people’s care and support needs in compliance with pre-amendment Care Act requirements. However, they will still be expected to respond as soon as possible (within a timeframe that would not jeopardise an individual’s human rights) to requests for care and support, consider the needs and wishes of people needing care and their family and carers, and make an assessment of what care needs to be provided. Annex B of the guidance provides more information 2. Local Authorities will not have to carry out financial assessments in compliance with pre-amendment Care Act requirements. They will, however, have powers to charge people retrospectively for
the care and support they receive during this period, subject to giving reasonable information in advance about this, and a later financial assessment. This will ensure fairness between people already receiving care and support before this period, and people entering the care and support system during this period. Annex B of the guidance provides more information 3. Local Authorities will not have to prepare or review care and support plans in line with the pre-amendment Care Act provisions. They will however still be expected to carry out proportionate, person-centred care planning which provides sufficient information to all concerned, particularly those providing care and support, often at short notice. Where they choose to revise plans, they must also continue to involve users and carers in any such revision. Annex B of the guidance provides more information
In This Time of Crisis, Nominate YOUR Unsung Hero A 2 night luxury break for 2 people in a choice of over 300 hotels awaits the April Carer Unsung Hero! Once again we here at The Carer are looking for an Unsung Hero! To say that the healthcare /social care system has been under pressure recently would be stating the obvious, and we are all to aware of many thousands of Unsung Heroes at this time! The current health crisis has highlighted all the hard work and dedication that those working in the sector deliver on a daily basis. There is no doubt that there are many heroes working in the social care sector and we are offering a chance to nominate yours - that person who has gone that extra mile and whose work deserves recognition. Over the past couple of years we have invited residential and nursing care homes to nominate somebody in their home who they believe is that “Unsung Hero”. Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, and often receives little recognise or reward, and, over the past two years we have had a phenomenal response to
our Unsung Hero award, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories. With the current health crisis we thought that it was only right that we should once again add to our Unsung Hero winners. Once again we have have a fantastic luxury break for two in a choice of over 300 hotels for that lucky Unsung Hero winner. No catches no rules no gimmicks, simply nominate somebody in your care environment who you think has done something you feel has made an impact and gone that extra mile and is worthy of a nomination. They can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration we will leave that up to you. We will be drawing a winner before the next print edition later in April, so please nominate with a short paragraph on why you are putting your nominee forward and send to:-
Community-Based Nursing Staff Are Being Failed by Lack Of PPE The Royal College of Nursing is demanding that nursing professionals across the UK’s health and care sector are supported with personal protective equipment (PPE) as they continue to deliver essential care. Nursing professionals continue to visit patients in their own homes, care homes, hospices and other social care settings, supporting them with what are often complex conditions, such as dementia, learning difficulties and physical disability. These nurses are struggling to obtain adequate supplies of PPE and hand sanitiser, and do not have access to COVID-19 testing. In the UK care home network alone, more than 19,000 care homes provide care to over 270,000 high risk patients. Nurses are caring for residents with a range of complex clinical needs, without the PPE to keep themselves, their families and their patients safe. Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director and RCN independent sector lead, said: “It is unconscionable that frontline nursing staff working in the community, care homes and hospices are still inadequately protected to carry out their work safely. “Our members are telling us that they simply are not getting the PPE they need, and there is evidence of hospices and care homes asking for donations of gloves, goggles and aprons; this situation simply cannot continue. “I am calling on the government to urgently prioritise the flow of equipment which they say is available, to ensure every single member of the nursing profession is safe to go to work. “Every minute we wait is a minute too long. All staff, no matter where they work, must feel safe. The RCN will continue to raise this issue until it is resolved.”
PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2
Medication Management: Why Increasing Numbers Childrens’ Artwork of Care Homes Have Fallen into ‘Special Measures’ Lifts Spirits at Bognor Care Home
By Helen Fuller, Managing Director at Care 4 Quality (www.Care4Quality.co.uk) Despite The Health and Social Care Act 2008 introducing the care sector to the ‘5 KLOE’s (Key Lines of Enquiry) back in 2014, care services across England are still failing to meet the standards of this framework and legislation, which essentially protects residents from avoidable harm, abuse and anything that breaches their basic human rights. Worse still, as we face unprecedented times, the number of care providers falling into ‘Special Measures’ is still increasing across several areas including medication management. As the spread of coronavirus continues to be a prime concern for care providers right now, how can the sector take steps to improve management of medication to ensure safety for all? Recent collation and in-depth analysis of the current inspection reports (undertaken by Care 4 Quality), focusing on inadequate rated care homes across England*, has identified that medication management is one of the key areas that is impacting care providers’ ability to achieve a positive rating from regulatory bodies and is also a greater threat to the safety of those who find themselves in care during the current crisis.
CHANGES TO SPOT CHECKS AND AUDITS That said, given the right support, plenty of care providers across the country are more than capable of stepping up to the mark by adopting improved measures and making positive and necessary best practice changes for the long term. Educating care home managers and providers on the more common areas of poor performance such as the management of medicines, may help to raise awareness, shift mind set and help them focus towards improving care services and preparing more proactively for future inspections. Current research shows that medication issues have been found to be present in 83% of care homes that were rated inadequate. The responsibility rests with care provider’s management team to not only spot check medication practices, but also to audit their medication systems thoroughly and regularly. This is perhaps even more poignant during the crisis we currently face and the increased risk to the vulnerable and elderly. At the best of times, care homes have to be in a position to act quickly and administer emergency medication when needed, but they must also maintain accurate, up to date records in terms of those residents taking regular medication.
BEING TOO REGIMENTED STIFLES PROCESSES
The problem is, audits can become far too regimented in frequency, which prohibits the provider from being actively responsive in their auditing processes. For those providers experiencing issues with managing medication safely, a daily audit check should be introduced to focus on specific deficient areas until improvements are made and sustained. During these challenging times, medication management is firmly in the spotlight and care services are having to adapt their systems to accommodate boxed medication as pharmacies move away from ‘blistered’ medication systems due to potential infection risks. There is also the increased risk and likelihood of agency use within care provision, whereby staff may be administering medication to service users that they don’t know. It is vital, more than ever, that every care provider has a well audited, safe and clear system to store, administer and order medicines.
PREPARING FOR THE UNPREDICTABLE Once compliance in these areas is being achieved on a consistent basis, the likelihood is, the care provider will be actively more responsive in titrating audit frequencies according to each audit outcome. This shift in mind set means they will have developed the flexibility to increase or decrease the frequency of these depending on the actions picked up on each audit thus evidencing a truly responsive service. This is about adapting those rigid audit processes that are preventing care providers from building robust and responsive procedures for medication management, while building in the flexibility and agility to react and respond more dynamically. This becomes even more relevant, in the unpredictable but fast-changing climate we now face.
About Care 4 Quality (www.care4quality.co.uk) Care 4 Quality is a health a social care specialist, dedicated to delivering ethically-led, compliance support and advice within the care environment to care providers across the UK. Offering a range of tailored services within the care setting, Care 4 Quality works in partnership with individual care homes and care home groups, to provide a personalised, quality monitoring service to help providers achieve compliance and generate robust evidence for the CQC, supporting the fundamental standards, thus preventing warning notices and enforcement action. Services include carrying out mock inspections to planned/unplanned compliance audits, quality assurance surveys, medication audits, crisis management coaching and supporting homes with CQC action planning and local authority liaison related to non-compliance issues. *Research carried out by R.Drury, S.Bawden, R.Dowson-Wallace, H.Fuller (Care 4 Quality Ltd) Analysis of Inadequate CQC published reports between October 2018 – March 2019.
A care home in Bognor has received a heart-warming gift from local schoolchildren this week, as residents enter their second week of isolation. A collection of paintings from children at South Bersted Primary School have been sent to Elizabeth House, which is run by Shaw healthcare, in an attempt to boost the mood of residents following the COVID-19 lockdown. Staff presented the artwork to residents before they are displayed in the home’s windows, so that everyone at Elizabeth House can enjoy the childrens’ creations over the coming weeks. Home manager, Marian Drake, said: “We were delighted to receive such a heartfelt gift from the children of South Bersted Primary. These uncertain times can prove challenging for our residents, and these paintings have really put a smile on everyone’s faces. We thank the children for all their beautiful work and look forward to continuing the relationship between our home and the school.”
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COVID-19 And Employment Law In The Care Sector – How To Make Sure You Are Compliant James Simpson, head of employment at Blaser Mills Law, offers his advice to our readers: Whilst the coronavirus outbreak has brought many industries to a halt, care providers are continuing to work hard to tackle the escalation of the virus and meet the needs of the most vulnerable. For employers in the sector, it’s crucial to understand your obligations and to ensure staff are adequately protected. Here of some of the main things you need to do to stay compliant.
FOLLOW GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES It is very important that the care system continues to operate, however many of those in receipt of care are in the high-risk category, and as an employer you must still ensure staff are able to follow public health advice. You should do everything possible to minimise the chances of employees carrying/and or spreading the virus in the workplace and make sure they know how to spot the symptoms. If an employee does become unwell at work with coronavirus symptoms, they must inform you straight away and go home. The unwell employee must then selfisolate at home for 14 days if they live with others, or seven days if they live alone. You should be particularly cautious if any of your employees are at increased risk from coronavirus, including [but not limited to] those who have a long-term health condition, respiratory illnesses such as asthma,
diabetes or heart disease or a weakened immune system, as well as anyone who is pregnant or over the age of 70.
than making staff redundant.
Government advice states people in vulnerable groups should use ‘social distancing measures’, which include working from home, where possible. Clearly, for those providing care to the vulnerable and elderly, it may not be possible to work from home, however you should still take a flexible approach and avoid penalising staff in terms of both sickness absence triggers and pay. You should seek to offer staff more flexible ways of working where possible, for example by allowing them to change their start and finish times to avoid rush hour on public transport and cancelling unnecessary face-to-face meetings.
Like many others in the care system, you are likely working hard to prepare for the escalation of COVID-19 and, as part of this, you should take the protection of your staff fully into account. Provide refresher training as necessary to ensure staff have access to critical information when it comes to issues such as infection control, and put robust measures in place to make sure any visitors are safe to enter to protect your workers. According to Public Health England guidelines, employers should make appropriate protective clothing and equipment available to employees, such as fluid repellent surgical masks, to minimise the risk to themselves and the individuals they are caring for.
CHECK YOU ARE PAYING STAFF CORRECTLY Employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they need to self-isolate in line with government advice. This applies not only if they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, but also if they have any of the symptoms, for example a high temperature or new continuous cough, or if someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms. It is particularly important that this is in place for workers in social care settings because of their contact with individuals from high-risk groups. SSP is now payable from day one instead of day four for affected individuals. If an employee cannot work, they should inform you as soon as possible with the reason.
EXPLORE AVAILABLE SUPPORT As a result of the coronavirus crisis some workplaces, including a small number of care homes and other care settings, have been closed. In response to this, the government has announced details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If at any stage you have to make the decision to close your business, you may be able to use this scheme to keep people employed until you are able to reopen, rather
MANAGE WORKLOAD PRESSURES The coronavirus outbreak raises the likelihood of staff shortages, and you have a duty to ensure carers are not asked to do an unrealistic amount of work. Regularly review staff workloads to prioritise activities and identify the least essential work that can be set aside until after the worst of the crisis is over. You may also need to consider recruiting staff on a temporary basis to spread the workload and cover severe staff shortages to ensure staff and the people they care for are kept safe and well.
SEEK EXTERNAL SUPPORT This is a highly unusual time affecting care providers around the world. However, by taking the right steps and practicing strong due diligence, employers can help to minimise risk to workers whilst maintaining a high quality of care. If in doubt, seeking expert advice can help you navigate matters more easily. Make sure you choose a respected lawyer who understands and has experience in advising on employment law. The correct legal counsel can go a long way in ensuring you are approaching things in the right way and sufficiently fulfilling your duty of care.
Care Home Coronavirus Campaign Reaches A Quarter of a Million Broomgrove’s campaign to have the work of care home nurses, carers and ancillary staff recognised alongside NHS workers has now reached nearly a quarter of a million people. Donna Pierpoint, manager of Broomgrove Nursing Home that has worked in health and social care for 26 years, said: “The NHS deserve every ounce of praise they get but I want to remind people that the nurses, carers and ancillary staff in care homes like ours work just as hard and deserve equal thanks. “We’re turning up for work every day to care for some of the most vulnerable people in society. Few people are more prone to the devastating affects of coronavirus than our residents.” Nearly two-and-a-half thousand people have now shared Donna Pierpoint’s original Facebook post in support of her campaign. It has now been viewed by nearly a quarter of a million people. Broomgrove Nursing Home closed its doors to visitors a few days ago in order to protects its residents. Donna Pierpoint added: “It broke my heart to see relatives crying when they realised they didn’t’ know when they were going to see their mums and dads again. But as manager we have to do all we can to keep our residents safe and work within the guidelines we’re given. These are unprecedented times and we’ve had to take unprecedented measures.”.
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Hydration in Care Homes achieve in all residents, especially when caring for people diagnosed with dementia, as they may not be able to remember when they had their last drink or even be able to recognise when they are thirsty or dehydrated. Here are some tips we have found work really well at Chelsea Court Place and can be easily replicated in any home or care home environment:
VISUAL AND VERBAL PROMPTS • This sounds obvious but it can be as simple as asking repeatedly throughout the day if they would like a hot or cold beverage. • Visual prompts in cafe areas; for example: a stylish sign that says “are you thirsty?”. • Well-presented hydration station offering flavoured waters, provided with jugs and glasses for easy access, situated within main communal areas.
Matt Dodge, Executive Chef at Loveday Chelsea Court Place shares his insight into promoting hydration with the elderly in a care environment. Staying hydrated is vital to health and wellbeing, it helps the immune system, aids concentration and mental focus and is also imperative in helping to reduce the risk of illness. It can be harder to stay hydrated as we get older as the water content in our bodies decreases, along with our thirst. Older people are more vulnerable to dehydration, partly because age changes result in a reduced sensation of thirst. Our kidneys assist with fluid regulation but their function deteriorates as we age, which means the body’s normal response to dehydration may be impaired. Hydration is commonly something most care homes struggle to
• Outside main meal times ensure fruits with high water content as offered, such as pineapple, melon and oranges, all of which can help boost hydration. • “Fancy a slice of cake or scone?”, serve these with a cup of herbal or flavoured tea to keep up regular fluid intake. Star ingredients with high water content to help improve hydration: Tomatoes Cucumber Spinach Broccoli Brussel sprouts Mushrooms Apples Oranges Pineapple Courgettes
Melon Berries Peaches Ingredients to reduce / eliminate in order to maintain or achieve good hydration levels: Sugar Salt – very dehydrating Alcohol Coffee/ High caffeine Asparagus High protein Complex carbohydrates
WINNING DISHES • Stews and casseroles filled with nutritious vegetables using herbs and spices to flavour – mind the salty stock!!) • Fruit and vegetable smoothies • Vegetable soups and broths
RECORDING INFORMATION It’s important to keep a record of what each individual’s food and fluid consumption is throughout the day, even down to the last milliliter if possible. This will help identify those at potential risk of dehydration and UTI’s. By following a few of these basic practices on a regular basis and remembering to be consistent in your approach, will inevitably boost hydration.
LOOK OUT FOR POSSIBLE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION: • Skin that won’t bounce back – the skin is the bodies largest organ and is one of the first things to show signs of dehydration. To test for dehydration, gently lift the skin on the back of the individual’s hand and hold it for a few seconds before letting it go. If it doesn’t bounce back within seconds, it’s a sign of dehydration. • Confusion – The individual may seem confused or even disorientated if they are dehydrated and may also suffer with balance, walking and dizziness • Trouble going to the toilet – if the individual isn’t urinating as much as usual, this is a telltale sign of dehydration. It’s important to monitor toilet movements and observe the colour of the urine, which should be pale.
Marie Curie Publish Coronavirus Guidance for Health and Social Care Professionals Marie Curie has published coronavirus guidance for health and social care professionals to continue caring and supporting people at the end of their lives during this crisis period. The guidance has been collated to support health and social care professionals who are on the frontline of the pandemic and needing to adapt to daily changes in how to safely provide end of life care and support. The information will be regularly updated to keep pace with the vast range of new clinical advice, guidance and resources published by a range of organisations including professional bodies and government agencies to guide professionals in response to coronavirus (Covid-19). The webpage, located in Marie Curie’s Palliative Care Knowledge Zone, includes guidance on managing the coronavirus in places of care and resources to support patients and carers. Marie Curie has also responded to an increase in demand for its
information and support line and has extended its service to seven days a week (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm). The support line offers clinical and practical information as well as emotional and bereavement support for anyone caring for someone at end of life, including health and social care professionals. The service also includes the option to speak to an Information and Support Nurse between 10am – 4pm (Monday – Friday). Morven Masterton, Head of Information and Support at Marie Curie said: “As the coronavirus pandemic gains momentum and levels of uncertainty are felt by some health and social care professionals, we hope our expertise will offer guidance and confidence to those people to continue their crucial work in caring and supporting their patients and residents at the end of life. “We have also responded to an increase in demand for our support
line and extended the service to be available seven days a week. Health and social care professionals can call for any clinical or practical information as well as emotional support and reflective space if they need someone to talk to. “The work of carers has often been under-valued and how they are responding in this pandemic highlights their critical role. Without them we would be lost, and we need to give them all the help we can.” The information on the Palliative Care Knowledge Zone includes the following: • Coronavirus and end of life care resources for health care professionals • Palliative and end of life care resources from Marie Curie • Resources for managing coronavirus in places of care • General coronavirus information for health and social care professionals • Resources to help support patients and carers
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 11
Call for Unity in Fight Against Coronavirus Care leaders are calling for a united front in the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19) as they battle to care for and protect the country’s oldest and most vulnerable. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says social care workers and the NHS are doing an amazing job as they tackle the virus, despite shortcomings in equipment. Social care teams up and down the country are caring for people with Covid-19 in nursing homes and in people’s own homes. ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “Yes, there is a shortage of adequate protective equipment for social care and NHS staff, but this is not the time to be pointing the finger of blame and arguing; that can come later. We have to address the situation we are facing here and now. “It also isn’t the time for people to be profiteering from the supply of vital PPE and agency nursing staff – most aren’t but some are. “At the moment all our energies should be going into working together – social care, NHS, local authorities – to get the people we provide care for and our staff through this horrific period. “Social care staff, alongside NHS colleagues, are doing an amazing
job at the most challenging of times and all deserve the greatest support the country can provide for them. “The support social care is starting to receive is encouraging and I hope that finally people are seeing what a vital job our workers do. Perhaps once this is over, that recognition will become greater support for the sector.” In the meantime, the ICG has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling on him to find a way to financially support struggling social care providers. In its letter, Mr Padgham writes: “Firstly, many have found that admissions to care and nursing homes are falling, often because they cannot take new residents because of the virus. Secondly, they are facing higher costs in increasing staffing levels due to absences because of the virus. And thirdly, there are huge cost implications in terms of the materials used in providing care during the current pandemic. All of these, and more, are contributing to very real financial difficulties for what has become one of the Government’s key armies in the fight against Covid-19.” The Group is calling for some financial help for providers, in particu-
lar for the Chancellor to make social care zero-rated for VAT, which would save providers money. At the moment care providers face the anomaly of paying VAT for goods and services but being unable to charge VAT themselves, to offset some of those costs. “Making social care providers zero-rated for VAT would tackle that anomaly and provide a much-needed boost to providers,” Mr Padgham adds in the letter. He said: “Social care is getting some recognition during the coronavirus pandemic and we are grateful for that. The Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock wrote to carers last weekend expressing his thanks. “But we have to back that up with some financial support too.” Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes – that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. Social care looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes.
Alzheimer’s Society Launches Emergency Appeal to Support Vulnerable People Affected by Dementia Alzheimer’s Society has launched an Emergency Appeal to ask the public to help fund vital support for people affected by dementia in the UK, who may be isolated, alone and without basic support to help them eat, wash and take medication during the coronavirus crisis. The current pandemic poses a significant risk for people living with dementia, and many are now facing the next weeks and months cut off from the outside world and potentially essential care. Around 95% of people with dementia are over 65, many with underlying health conditions, and they largely rely on social care for support. Three fifths of homecare users and 70% of people in care homes have dementia. Social care, already in crisis,is only worsening as care worker numbers lessen and care homes have to close their doors to visitors, resulting in vital care, check-ups and support being reduced. Coronavirus is making life much harder for people affected by dementia. People are unable to get essential care, confused by losing their much-needed routines, their symptoms are deteriorating because of a lack of social contact andcarers are feeling isolated and struggling to get respite. The Emergency Appeal will raise funds to help keep the Dementia
Connect support line going and extend telephone and virtual support. People affected by dementia tell us this is a lifeline for them, with thousands of them now having to cope with the suspension of all face-toface services, stringent social distancing measures and self-isolation. The need for Alzheimer’s Society’s services has never been more urgent. Around 80% of calls to our Dementia Connect support line are about coronavirus issues and in March alone, nearly 3,300 calls were made*. There’s been an increase of 600% in people joining our online community Talking Point in the last two weeks and around 100 more posts made per day. People with dementia are also telling us they’re absolutely terrified of going into hospital, because they aren’t confident they’ll receive the right care following the release of NICE Covid-19 guidelines two weeks ago. Alzheimer’s Society’s asked NICE for an urgent review of these, as they suggest that all people with dementia, even mild, could be denied intensive care treatment, using the measure of those who can’t do everyday tasks like shopping, housework and managing medication on their own. We urge for the inclusion of guidance to make it clear that cognitive frailty is not discriminated against when having to make life or death decisions. Alzheimer’s Society is working hard to continue existing services remotely, such as Singing for the Brain,and focusing onincreasing telephone support viatheDementia Connect support line, by moving all frontline staff to respond to calls. The Dementia Connect support line
will ensurepeople affected by dementiadon’t have to face any challenges over the coming weeks and months alone. Alzheimer’s Society is placing 20% of staff on either furlough or reduced hours in efforts to focus resources on frontline support. Furloughing is being kept to as low numbers as possible, while we aren’t able to top up salaries beyond the Government grant of 80%. Like all charities our income has been affected by a whole range of challenges over the past two years, not least Brexit. Prior to coronavirus, we were therefore already looking at reshaping our future structure to best serve people affected by dementia and their greatest needs. Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Adviser Helen Payton said: ‘This week I have had lengthy phone calls offering people support and access to the information they need. ‘Much of what I’m doing at the moment is emotional support – letting people talk and express their worries and frustration.’ ‘Many are missing their family and worried about their care packages being reduced. One newly diagnosed person I spoke to cried when I told them I would phone them weekly to check in. They were so grateful to have someone there for them.’ Kate Lee, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘We are hearing daily from people with dementia worrying how to cope, confused, isolated and unable to get food deliveries, families struggling to explain what’s going on and carers unable to visit vulnerable people in person.
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Public Satisfaction with The Mother and Son Reunited at NHS Rose Sharply In 2019 New Tredegar Care Home New analysis published by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust shows public satisfaction with the NHS jumped to 60 per cent across the UK in 2019, up 7 percentage points from the year before. The increase marks a turnaround from declines in 2017 and 2018 which saw public satisfaction with the health service drop to 53 per cent, the lowest level in a decade. With NHS waiting times worsening throughout 2019, the authors conclude the improvement is likely to be linked to high profile announcements of more funding for the service before and while the survey was carried out. Questions commissioned by the two think tanks were put to the public by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) as part of their gold standard British Social Attitudes Survey. The annual survey was carried out between July and October last year, several months before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen health and care services placed under unprecedented pressure. The main reason people gave for being dissatisfied with the NHS overall was not enough staff. This has jumped to 62 per cent – an increase of 10 percentage points since 2018 – suggesting that concern about staff shortages in the NHS has made a significant impression on the public. This was followed by waiting times for GP appointments and hospital treatment (57 per cent) and a view that the government doesn’t spend enough money on the NHS (49 per cent). As in previous years, the public still overwhelmingly believes that the NHS faces a major or severe funding problem, however, the proportion who say this has fallen over the past two years from 86 per cent to 80 per cent. The report authors warn that higher satisfaction may not endure unless waiting times and staffing shortages are addressed. The authors note that responses show rising satisfaction across supporters of all major political parties. The increase is also seen across ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’, and different age groups – although as in previous years older people and Conservative supporters are the happiest with services. The public remains pessimistic about the health service’s future, with 42 per cent thinking the standard of care will get worse and only 29 per cent thinking it will get better. However, this is a marked improvement from the previous year when 51 per
cent expected care to deteriorate. The way that services respond to the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to influence results of future surveys. Results from other questions commissioned by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund and published today include: • satisfaction with GP services was 68 per cent in 2019 – a significant 5 percentage point increase over the previous year • the majority (54 per cent) of people surveyed said that if extra funding were needed for the NHS they would prefer it to come from either general taxation, or specially earmarked taxes • satisfaction with social care services remains much worse with 37 per cent dissatisfied and 29 per cent satisfied. There has been no significant change here Report author John Appleby, Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust said: ‘This survey was carried out in 2019 when the NHS was struggling with severe staffing shortages and consistently missing waiting time targets. So at first glance, it may seem surprising to see a jump in public satisfaction. But since the summer of 2018 and in the first months after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, the public has heard a lot about plans for substantial extra spending on the NHS. That may have sparked a sense of optimism. The question is how long it will last unless we see those promises being delivered soon.’
A mother and son have been reunited at White Rose care home, New Tredegar, after not seeing each other for two years because of ill health. 81-year-old Kenneth Dando moved into the care home on White Rose Way on 23 March so he could be closer to his mum, 104-year-old Nellie Dando. The staff at White Rose kept the secret until Kenneth moved in so it was a surprise for Nellie. The move was triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19 as the home has put strict restrictions on visits to help reduce the risk of infection in the home. Kenneth didn’t want anything to prevent him from seeing his mum any longer, so he made the decision to become a resident at White Rose. Kenneth is a former hospital porter at Caerphilly Miners Hospital and has two sons, Alyn and Robert. More recently, he was a carer for his wife Margaret who sadly passed away in 2019. Nellie was always a housewife, dedicating her time to caring for her family. She decided to move into White Rose in December 2019 as she was worried about being alone at night. Nellie said: “That’s the best surprise I have ever had in my lifetime! Thank you to the staff for making it happen.” Kenneth said: “I don’t know how will I ever repay the staff at White Rose. Thank you so much.” Jayne Coburn, home manager at White Rose
care home, said: “When Kenneth moved in and we finally revealed to Nellie that he was here to stay, there was an overwhelming sense of joy in the home, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! “I’m so glad we could bring Kenneth and Nellie back together and I hope they enjoy living together again here at White Rose.”
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Essential Advice for LD Providers Concerning COVID-19 Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has released a valuable new advice document for its learning disability members to use during the COVID19 pandemic. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “In the absence of clear guidance, Care England’s COVID-19 Learning Disability Document, aims to provide its members with some degree of certainty and as much intelligence as possible”. Prepared by learning disability care providers, members of Care England, and consultants who work
collaboratively with Care England, the document does not provide formal guidance, rather it is aimed at providing helpful information for providers on how best to deal with the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak. The document addresses five key issues pertinent to the LD sector: 1. Care and support of people supported with COVID-19 2.Staffing 3.Interface with health services 4.Equipment 5.Legal and regulatory framework. There are other issues of concern for providers
relating to COVID-19 which are outside of the direct control of providers. They have not been included in this advice document, but Care England is actively lobbying the Government to ensure that these issues are addressed. Members can access the document via http://www.careengland.org.uk/members/covid-19 Martin Green continues: “The document will be updated regularly in light of the constantly evolving social and political landscape. As always, we welcome the input and feedback of our members who are doing a fantastic job in such incredibly difficult circumstances”.
Fairy Lights and Sparkle Shows Support for Care Workers Emergency Appeal Across the UK people will be adding glitter to their outfits, switching on fairy lights and putting tinsel in their windows on Monday 13th April to show their support for frontline care workers and the part they play in tackling coronavirus. People are saying thank you to care workers during the lockdown by putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes and posting photos on social media using the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. The ‘Sparkle for Social Care’ movement is using anything that sparkles, be it tinsel, a homemade glitter and sparkle poster or fairy lights, to show those who care for society’s most vulnerable that they are valued. An army of almost 2 million care workers is currently looking after the most vulnerable people in the UK, helping them to get through the lockdown. People in need of care are often older or suffering from certain health issues, meaning they are also the most susceptible to Covid-19. While their families and friends are unable to look after them, care workers offer a vital life-line, ensuring that their daily needs are met and that they are not left stranded and alone. By continuing to provide care for those in desperate need during this crisis, care workers are potentially putting themselves at risk. There is a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment, PPE, meaning care workers are having to carry out their roles, often with little to prevent them being infected. When a care worker does become ill, or needs to self-isolate due to a family member showing symptoms, they can’t work, with many falling into serious hardship. Within days of the Care Workers Charity launching its Covid-19 crisis grants, they had received thousands of applications from care staff who were in crisis because of coronavirus. Therefore, as well as putting something that sparkles in their windows
or on their clothes to show their support for care workers, people are also being encouraged to donate to the Sparkle for Social Care crisis appeal, launched by the Care Sector Ball organising committee. The appeal aims to raise £1million for the Care Workers Charity Covid-19 Crisis Grants to support care workers during the coronavirus crisis. Care staff, personal assistants and support workers can apply to the charity for grants if they are unable to work because they are selfisolating. Launching the appeal, Avnish Goyal, chair of the Care Sector Ball organising committee said: “Care workers bring a bit of sparkle back to the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and by digging out the Christmas decorations, or donning a sparkling novelty tie, people across the country are showing that they care too. Seeing the way people have rallied around to help one another get through this crisis is inspiring. As a society, we
rightly recognise NHS staff, but we often overlook the care workers who look after residents in care homes and those who provide care in people’s own homes. The Sparkle for Social Care movement is one way of saying a massive thank you to all these care workers for the amazing work they do.” Executive Director of the Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, said: “The current crisis is bringing real hardship, not just for those who are isolated and alone because of health conditions, but also for the women and men who tirelessly care for them. Right now, care workers are working longer hours, and in more difficult conditions than ever before. They are sacrificing their own health to care for others. “Many care workers live pay cheque to pay cheque, and they are terrified by what might happen if they can’t work due to coronavirus. Our appeal is designed to help those care staff affected by the disease. When you consider all they do for society and for our loved ones, the least we can do for them is ensure they don’t go into debt because of Covid-19.” The Sparkle for Social Care emergency appeal is being backed by the organisers of the annual Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which each year recognises the contribution of care workers and raises sorely needed funds for charities in the care sector. They are asking everyone who is thankful for the hard work of care workers to join the #SparkleforSocialCare movement by putting some sparkly decorations in their windows or wearing something that sparkles each Monday, and posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. They are also calling for donations to the Sparkle for Social Care Crisis Appeal, donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sparkle-for-Social-Care
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Why Care Workers Need Clear and Up-To-Date Policies and Procedures in the COVID-19 Pandemic Philippa Shirtcliffe, Head of Care Quality at Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), talks about the challenges of shaping compliance in a Pandemic COVID-19 has claimed over nearly 76,000 lives across the globe , but on these shores it has changed attitudes too. For so many years, adult social care has been labelled a ‘Cinderella Service’. It has been grossly underfunded, under-valued, and misunderstood by successive governments; so much so that in mid–February the current administration ruled that carers were “unskilled” workers. What a difference a few months make. For the last fortnight, the brave efforts of care workers, have been recognised by the nation, who have cheered them from their doorsteps. But what a terrible shame it has taken a disease as deadly as COVID-19 to elevate their status. Anyone reading this will know just how complex and demanding care work can be. It requires highly-skilled staff with vastly technical skill-sets and an unbreakable spirit, to deliver holistic and person-centred care. But the Coronavirus Pandemic has made their jobs even harder. Not only is PPE in short supply, but infection prevention and control measures have had to be intensified since the outbreak began in February. The problem is that with events so fluid, many providers are unsure what best practice now looks like.
QCS CORONAVIRUS HUB At Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), over the last six weeks or so, we’ve been inundated with calls from subscribers across the UK. While most are fluent in infection control guidance, they want to learn what extra measures they need to take to keep this highly infectious and insidious virus at bay. And they want to know what best practice looks like, and more importantly, how to instil it in their staff. We listened and then immediately went to work. Integrating guidance and best practice from industry bodies such as the NHS, PHE and the NCA, we developed a COVID-19 hub. With Coronavirus such a fastevolving Pandemic, the policies and procedures within it are updated the minute regulation changes, or when an area of best practice evolves. We’ve also created easy-to-read fact sheets and guides, which allow care workers on the front lines to be agile and responsive in their work. We’ve had some great feedback from our subscribers, but we’ve made the hub free to access. So if you're not a QCS member but want to access our suite of COVID-19 policies, you can do so here.
STAFF TRAINING IN A PANDEMIC With compulsory measures like social distancing in place, staff training has suddenly become much more challenging. Before the outbreak many providers advocated the classroom approach. Now, however, they’ve had to embrace technology and utilise ‘virtual’ training. It’s incredibly important that this e-training mirrors the classroom learning. That means providing carers with access to online competency assessments. For example, that could be a video demonstrating the correct order to put on and remove PPE. Or it could be an e-learning module illustrating how clinical waste practices have changed since the virus struck. The QCS Care Quality team has researched the best videos and
learning tools to support e-learning and has uploaded them onto the hub. But, there’s another dimension to the training narrative. With hospitals currently inundated with COVID-19 admissions, there’s a lot more pressure on care providers to start taking service users back into homes. In these difficult times, providers are having to upskill their staff very rapidly. This means teaching them to recognise the early signs of COVID-19 in elderly residents, which are often very different to symptoms displayed by younger people. In these difficult times, having access to a comprehensive suite of infection control policies and procedures (which are constantly updated), is crucial. If there is one glimmer of light on the horizon, it is a growing realisation that infection prevention and control best practice is being reshaped by this crisis. It is forcing the care sector and the NHS to look at infection control in a way that they never done so before. If we are to affect positive change, however, the primary care and adult care sectors must collaborate as equal partners and on a scale never seen before. The care sector must no longer be seen as a poor cousin. It has much to offer in terms of new ideas, not to mention a workforce possessing huge reserves of fortitude and resilience. This is perfectly evident to anyone looking in. For those looking out, the Coronavirus, may prove to be the driver that finally heralds lasting change. See the advert from QCS on the back cover for details. Figure taken from John Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center https://coronavirus.jhu.edu Figure accurate at the time of writing
Leicester Care Home Excited to Begin New Intergenerational Initiative Graysford Hall, a care home in Stoneygate, Leicester, are keeping residents busy during the Coronavirus lock down, with one particular initiative that hopes to bring new, intergenerational community connections. Due to Coronavirus infection prevention measures, visits to Graysford Hall, operated by Sanders Senior Living, are currently postponed, but the professional care and wellbeing team have constructed an exciting plan, supported by Love 2 Learn Nursery, with great anticipation felt by residents. Graysford Hall’s Wellbeing Lead, Jayne Hill, who is essentially responsible for activities and quality of life, thought it’d be great to approach a local early years group to connect with to help reduce loneliness and isolation at this time. Graysford Hall approached Love
2 Learn Nursery with the idea of sending and receiving pictures and letters and they confirmed immediately that they were keen to support the initiative. Being accustomed to receiving post when living in their own properties, paper communication is a familiar form that they no longer really have dealings with, but the potential scheme will reignite that and will be a great means to make new friends and it will help in efforts to bridge the generation gap. When the Coronavirus threat has passed, we are hopeful that the Nursery children and teachers will be able to meet the residents and continue their new found friendships in person, getting to know and learning from one another, with communication then in person on a regular basis.
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Keeping Spirits High in a Care Home Environment Throughout the COVID-19 Crisis By Gabriela Zackova, General Manager at Loveday Chelsea Court Place - www.lovedayandco.com
Looking back to the beginning of this pandemic, it was difficult to imagine how much the lives of people living in Chelsea Court Place were going to change. As we began to adjust to less and less social contact and outings, we started becoming more inventive and began adopting a different way of thinking about engaging our members and incorporating more social engagement into our new routine. The first thing we worked on was maintaining social contact between members and their loved ones. We decided to use video calling and it turned out to be great fun. We all get involved and have great fun video chatting and letting them know what we are up to at Chelsea Court Place. It is safe to say we have all become very mischievous and rediscovered our love for an afternoon aperitive, random sing-a-longs and a little flutter which have been translated into wine tasting activities, karaoke, card games, board games and bingo. This element of fun has been very much enjoyed by our members and has been a great distraction. We explored our competitive spirits even further and decided to have regular sessions of staff racing. It is just as exciting as horse racing, minus the horses, plus a giant dice is thrown into the mix. Our members get to choose their “horse” and throw the dice to get their “human horse” to the finish line. There has never been a better time for cooking, and we have cooked (and baked) up a storm with our members with Culinary Masterclasses lead by our chefs. We have made pizzas, tarts, cakes, scones, biscuits, apple pies, bread and much, much more! Our members enjoyed sharing their favourite
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meals and desserts and we are gradually getting through their favourite recipes. Our members love getting involved in the preparation and we all love tasting their favourites! Technology has helped us a great deal in many ways. We join an online chair-based exercise class to keep fit. We also look out for online performances and creative classes. Creative activities give our members and colleagues great sense of accomplishment. Our regular Pottery Club and Knitting Club are favourites on the weekly schedule and we are in the process of buying a sewing machine as our members would like to elevate their creativity by making a patchwork quilt next. Throughout the time of social distancing, we have realized that we have a lot of hidden talent within our team. Alongside our regular music therapy sessions and art workshops, we now also have an in-house classical pianist and a group of singing enthusiasts (myself included). We have formed the Chelsea Court Choir and rehearse our favourite songs regularly. We are also in the process of practising for our very own production of Grease. It is sure to bring a lot of laughter, especially as Sandy is 6-foot tall with a beard! Some of us have more practical talents such as hair styling or providing various beauty treatments to maintain our indoor “glam.” Our aromatherapy spa treatments and manicures are very popular with the ladies. Although this is undoubtedly one of the most challenging times I we have ever faced, both our members and colleagues are determined to get through it by filling Chelsea Court Place with fun and laughter.
ABOUT LOVEDAY CHELSEA COURT PLACE Loveday Chelsea Court Place is a residential care home for individuals living with dementia and symptoms of memory impairment. The industry-leading team delivers the very highest standards of 24hr tailored dementia care and curated experiences, taking a personal and holistic approach to the emotional and physical wellbeing of each individual.
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Early-Life Hardship Linked to Decline in Memory and Thinking
Researchers have found that early-life adversity can have long-term effects on people’s memory and thinking in later life. Dr Ruby Tsang from the University of Oxford showed that experiencing family financial hardship in early life, and poorer childhood health predicts greater memory and thinking decline in later life. Research suggests that early-life experiences play an important role in mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, with exposure to early life adversity linked to a range of aspects of our lifestyle. There’s
limited research, however, on the influences, early-life experiences have on how memory and thinking skills decline later in life. Now, using information from the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) Data Portal, Dr Tsang studied 15,309 volunteers, including over 5,000 ex-civil servants. Using questionnaires, the study volunteers answered questions about their childhood concerning their family socioeconomic status, their own health and whether they were the victim of abuse. The researchers then looked at volunteer’s scores on a wide range of memory and thinking tests, including verbal fluency in mid-to later life. Dr Tsang examined the association between early adversity factors and a decline in memory and thinking. The analysis was carried out using the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) Data Portal. Dr Tsang found three different patterns of memory and thinking, which reflect resilience to cognitive decline, gradual age-related decline and rapid cognitive decline. The results showed fewer years of education, having experienced family financial hardship in early life, and poorer childhood health predicted a greater decline in memory and thinking skills. Dr Ruby Tsang, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, said: “Our socioeconomic status is closely intertwined with many aspects of our lifestyle and is particularly associated with our risk of various health conditions as we age. This research suggests that even in childhood, these experiences have a far-reaching and important influence on our cognitive performance. We found key differences between men and
women, with women more likely to be in the resilient group for commonly used screening tests that measure a range of memory and thinking skills. “It’s fantastic to still be able to share this research funded by Dementias Platform UK in these times. It is important that we continue to communicate our research findings, and a virtual conference like this allows the work of early-career researchers like me to reach more people out there.” Dr Carol Routledge, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “While we can’t change our past, keeping mentally and physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, only drinking within recommended guidelines, eating a healthy diet, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check can help to support brain health as we age. “While this study didn’t investigate whether people went on to develop dementia, understanding the risk factors for declining memory and thinking could help us to design better strategies for keeping people’s brains healthy. This research adds to growing evidence that suggests we need to protect brain health throughout life, just as we do with heart health. “By considering life-long risk factors that influence cognitive health, we can support measures to help keep people’s brains healthy at any age. With greater understanding of the factors influencing brain health and dementia risk, we will be better able to make breakthroughs that could make a real difference to people’s lives.”
#BeKindToOneAnother: Community Initiative Uniting Older People and Locals in Challenging Times A new initiative launched by Anchor Hanover is encouraging people to send letters, pictures and poems to care home residents in their local community during the Coronavirus pandemic. In these unprecedented times, older people across the UK are being advised to limit social contact for a prolonged period, and Anchor Hanover has stopped non-essential visits to residents in care homes. In response, the #BeKindToOneAnother initiative aims to keep communities connected whilst bringing joy to residents during periods of isolation. Through the #BeKindToOneAnother hashtag, Anchor care homes are reaching out to their local communities via Twitter and Facebook, asking people to send letters, pictures or poems to residents. With children now home
for school for the foreseeable future, the initiative is mutually beneficial as it provides young people with a meaningful and creative outlet. The response so far has been heart-warming, with Anchor care homes inundated with bundles of messages from local schools and members of the community. Residents are particularly touched when receiving letters, sparking memories of how they used to stay in contact with loved ones and pen pals. At a time when 1.2million older people in the UK are chronically lonely, the messages are brightening residents’ days, lifting spirits and providing a source of comfort and companionship. Cath Holmes, Service Improvement Manager at Anchor Hanover said: “The mental wellbeing of our residents is of paramount importance, and we continuously look for innovative ways for our residents to stay connected with their loved ones and the outside world. We’re so grateful for all the responses we received to our #BeKindToOneAnother initiative, and we’d like to thank everyone who’s sent messages so far. “In these challenging times, a lot of people are finding themselves with a bit more time on their hands, so we’d encourage everyone to spend a little time create something for our residents. Every message
received makes a real difference to our colleagues and residents.” Kristy Smith, manager at St. Mary’s care home in Suffolk, has publicly thanked all those who’ve sent in post, including their local primary school. Commenting on the messages received in the past few days, Carrie Lewis, home manager at Kimberley Court care home in Newquay, said: “We’ve had an influx of photos and messages and have spent all day going through the pictures. It’s really lovely because some people have said they’re going to come and visit the residents they’ve been sending letters to when this all blows over.” Carol Holmes, District Wellbeing Coordinator, who looks after Chesterton Lodge care home in Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: “It’s been fantastic to let the residents know that they’re being thought about. They were overwhelmed by how many people sent in messages.” Anchor Hanover is encouraging people across the country to send letters, pictures or poems to older people living in their neighbourhood, or in a different part of the country. Anchor Hanover has more than 100 care homes throughout England, and people can find their nearest care home’s address by visiting: www.anchorhanover.org.uk/care-homes
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The Royal British Legion Seeks New Care Home Staff in Response To COVID-19 Outbreak The Royal British Legion has announced that it is seeking new staff members to support its six UK care homes in Taunton, Cromer, Broadstairs, Bexhill-on-Sea, Southam and Ripon in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legion is recruiting for a number of roles including nurses, care assistants, general assistants, catering staff, administrators and maintenance staff for full and part time positions. The charity will also recruit a bank of casual staff members to provide temporary support to the homes when required. Anyone interested in any of the roles in those areas is being encouraged to contact the Legion immediately. Nicola Cook, Assistant Director of Operations for The Royal British Legion, said: “Coronavirus has impacted every part of our society. As we
respond and react to these challenging times our ability to provide care and support for the elderly and most vulnerable within our community, including our veteran population, is our highest priority. “Never have the support and services provided by the care sector been more important, therefore we are taking action to ensure we can continue providing critical support to those who are most at risk. The Legion is in need of increased numbers of staff to ensure we are well equipped to withstand the challenges resulting from Coronavirus, including large scale staff absences due to selfisolation or sickness. “We are asking anyone who is experienced in any of these fields and is interested in one of these jobs to contact us to find out more.” Permanent and fixed term contracts are available with options of full and part time roles, day and night shifts, and weekend work. The Legion currently operates a portfolio of six care homes, providing 450 residents with high quality residential, nursing and specialist dementia care. Anyone interested in any of the roles should contact the Legion on 0808 802 8080 or LegionNeedsYou@britishlegion.org.uk
New Government-Backed Care Home Complaints Guide Launched The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) announces the launch of a new complaints guidebook for the UK care homes industry. In 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Care Homes Market Study, found that once entering into care, it is incredibly stressful for residents and their representatives to organise a move to a different care facility. The CMA also found that many residents and their representatives found it difficult to make complaints directly to care homes, and perceived the complaints processes to be unclear, complicated and confusing. In response to this, CTSI, in collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), produced a new guide for registered managers and care home owners. Written by industry experts, the guidebook, entitled Care Home Complaints, is a clear and informative guide that assists care home operators in understanding con-
sumer law and implementing a complaints process. CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: "This new care home complaints guide is essential reading for care home managers and operators. Entering care is a critical life decision usually undertaken during an extremely vulnerable time for residents and their representatives alike, and this guide will prove to be essential for the improvement of the care home industry. "I am proud of CTSI's role in producing the guide, and I ask the care home industry to take notice and use this free resource. The guide will improve both your business and the experiences of your residents. Let's build a better care home industry together, which starts by reading and implementing the advice in this guide." A digital copy of the guide may be found here: www.businesscompanion.info/focus/c are-homes-complaints
COVID-19 Game Raising Awareness To Promote Safe Behaviour Because COVID-19 is causing confusion and anxiety Focus Games has developed a simple online COVID-19 Game that offers the facts and challenges myths (from UK government and NHS). It's free-to-play and works on any device through a web browser. It only takes couple of minutes and there is no registration required. The game is intended for anyone and everyone: https://games.focusgames.co.uk/coronavirus/game/ The game is being played by adults and older children and here is feedback from a teacher in Egypt: “I teach grade 8 students (14 years). My students are in COVID-19 isolation and their response to eLearning was disappointing. I needed to attract their attention. We were exploring diseases in populations and I sent them the COVID-19 Game. It was like magic! Within 2 hours they were sending selfies of their scores, encouraging others to play and sharing information. The students were engaged, they learned and were entertained. Thank you.” Haidy Wael, Science Teacher, Egypt. The game is based on similar health education games: Flu Bee Game and Dementia Awareness Game. Both games were investigated by Queen’s University
Belfast and within the NHS and they concluded that the games can and do change perceptions and behaviour. So, it is hoped that the COVID-19 Game will have a positive effect on some members of the public. Here is a comment regarding the Dementia Awareness Game from Dr Gillian Carter, School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University Belfast: “The dementia awareness game has been played over 1,000 times and research conducted by Queen's University Belfast on its impact shows that after playing the game, a person's attitudes to people living with dementia improve! This statistically significant information is being prepared for an international journal” For further information, please contact: Andy Yeoman – Director, Focus Games Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)141 554 5476 games.focusgames.co.uk/coronavirus/game/
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Bob Weighton, The Oldest Man in The World Celebrates His 112th Birthday
Bob Weighton, the oldest man in the world, celebrated his 112th Birthday on 29 March! This year, due to the coronavirus, Bob will be staying at home and will be chatting to his family and friends via Facetime and telephone during the day. A big birthday celebration will be arranged for a few months’ time. Bob lives independently in one of 46 apartments at Brendoncare Alton. He has lived in Alton since 1969 and leads a busy lifestyle. He enjoys a stroll around the shops and enjoys making children’s toys, windmills and furniture from wood that he has been given. He is a keen environmentalist and writes a
monthly article for local magazines. He enjoys giving presentations on his long life, work and environmental issues to local community groups, church groups and school children. For his 100th birthday his family collated his memoirs in to a book, “We were Seven and other memories”! Bob Weighton, said, “I am very lucky to have been healthy and active throughout my life. I enjoy social activities and like to get outside.” Bob went on to say, “It is far better to make a friend out of a possible enemy than it is to make an enemy out of a possible friend. This is something I have lived by throughout my life.” Bob was born on 29 March 1908 in Hull, Yorkshire, where he lived and studied for a degree in mechanical engineering. After his studies, he worked in marine engineering in Northumberland. In 1933 he decided to volunteer to teach English in Taiwan. He spent six weeks on board a ship reaching Hong Kong and a further week getting to Taiwan. He initially spent two years learning Japanese, and then taught English in a school for four years, during which time he married his fiancée, Agnes, who came out from England in 1937. When warnings of Second World War were made in 1939, he decided to leave for England. However, on the way across the Pacific to Canada war broke out, and being unable to get back to England, he was diverted to Toronto, Canada. He then moved to Connecticut, in the USA until the end of the war. During this time in the USA, he worked with the British Government, first inspecting aircraft engines for delivery to the RAF, and then translating enemy broadcasts and preparing programmes in Japanese to be broadcast to Japan under the title of the ‘Voice of Britain’. He returned to England in 1946 with his wife and three children. He became a lecturer in mechanical engineering at the City University of London, where he continued working until his retirement in 1973. He had three children, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. During Bob’s life, he has seen 22 prime ministers, five monarchs and two world wars.
Kent NHS Choir “Raises the Roof” And Racks Up 54,000 Views on Social Media It’s possibly the biggest challenge the NHS has ever faced, but despite the daily pressures of COVID-19, staff at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) found a little time to virtually record a song to motivate colleagues and encourage the public to stay at home. The special version of ‘This is me’ – one of the most well-known songs from the film The Greatest Showman – was recorded in the trust’s choir members own time and is aptly titled ‘Stay at home’. In just four days, the choir’s effort has been viewed more than 54,000 times on social media, and reached more than 100,000 people, including a ‘like’ from Keala Settle from The Greatest Showman. The trust’s choir is made up of a variety of colleagues including nurses, healthcare assistants, support service colleagues, directors and many more. The song’s key message is about how the NHS is supporting our communities and how our communities can support the NHS by staying at home. https://vimeo.com/403657372
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Protecting the Elderly in Long-Term Care Facilities from the Risks of COVID-19 A new report calls for measures to protect elderly people in longterm care facilities and their caregivers who are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elderly people in long-term care facilities are at high risk of dying from COVID-19 and the risk of transmission of the virus is also especially high at these residences. Writing in the Journal of Aging & Social Policy, the authors emphasize that being vigilant about the health of the elderly in long-term care is essential not only for their health, but also to protect the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by severe COVID-19 cases. Lead author William Gardner, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, Canada said: “If COVID-19 sweeps through a single long-term care facility, this surge in caseload could overwhelm local hospital capacity. Local hospitals may already be under severe strain due to an influx of coronavirus patients during the current pandemic.” In response to the pandemic many long-term care facilities have
adopted strict new access and visitation restrictions to protect residents from infection. But locking down long-term healthcare facilities, possi-
bly for several months, raises other concerns. “A lack of visits from family and friends will increase the isolation of elderly residents of long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, isolation will also increase their vulnerability to abuse and neglect,” said Gardner. “If we do not watch closely, many elderly people might be effectively abandoned as the outbreak continues.” The authors emphasize the urgent need for new measures to protect elderly residents of long-term facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They recommend that: • Long-term care facilities should be priority sites for COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment. • Policies should be developed to ensure that long-term care facilities remain adequately staffed and that infection control protocols are closely followed. • To protect residents and staff, supervision of long-term care facilities should remain a priority during the pandemic. The authors also emphasize that the fewer people who get infected in the general population, the lower the risk of infection for long-term care residents. Similarly, the fewer in the general population who get hospitalized, the more capacity will be available for long-term care residents. “The most important thing that we can all do to help protect these vulnerable groups is to minimise disease transmission by following guidance from public health officials on handwashing and social distancing,” said Gardner.
New Skincare and Eastbourne Nursing Home Wins Incontinence Leaflet Public Vote in Inaugural Awards 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: email@example.com Thornton & Ross Ltd, Linthwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5QH 01484 842217 www.zeroderma.co.uk
Sovereign Lodge nursing home in Eastbourne is proudly celebrating after being named Care Home of the Year by the Eastbourne Herald. The home, which is part of the Healthcare Homes Group, provides residential and nursing care for up to 64 people, many of whom live with dementia. The home was part of a list of more than 50 care providers that were showcased by the Eastbourne Herald as part of a newly formed award. Members of the public were then asked to vote for the top home over four weeks. Ten homes were shortlisted after the first two weeks, with Sovereign Lodge in joint first. After the second two
weeks of voting, the home was the clear winner, receiving more than 500 votes. Home Manager Sam Kirwan said, “It’s been so wonderful to receive this fantastic news, especially amidst the challenging times in which we’re currently operating. “Everyone at Sovereign Lodge works so hard to create a happy, caring environment for the people who live here, and it’s really important for us to receive feedback on how we’re doing. Being recognised by a public vote in this way therefore means a great deal, and we’ll be celebrating this wonderful news with our residents.”
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Charity Launches Toiletries Appeal for Veterans Living in Surbiton Home Conditioner Hairspray Lip balm Steradent dental cleaner Home Manager Helena Maher said: “Personal care is hugely important to our residents, supporting their well-being and dignity. So whether it’s an individual donation from a family, or a bulk donation from a hotel, whatever we receive will make a real difference to the veterans in our care.” Any individuals or hotels with surplus toiletry stock are asked to leave donations at the designated dropoff point at the front of the Home in clearly marked polythene bags. Staff will be safely checking this at regular points during the day. The public are asked to drop off donations of toiletries at the Home as part of their daily exercise routine. They should also take all necessary precautions and observe social distancing. • • • •
Royal Star & Garter is seeking donations of toiletries for the vulnerable veterans it cares for following a shortage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The charity’s 63-room care home in Surbiton, on the corner of Upper Brighton Road and Langley Avenue, is in desperate need of items including deodorant, soap and toothpaste for its residents. It is asking for individuals in the local community to volunteer their help by providing toiletries for the residents. It is also appealing to central London and local hotels which may be closed to guests to drop off surplus stock at the Home. It comes after the charity, which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, temporarily stopped all visits as part of its infection management protocol. As a result, residents, who would either go to the shops with their carers or receive goods from family and friends, have been unable to get new toiletries. The charity has been able to purchase some locally, but this is limited because of restrictions brought in by shops to tackle stockpiling. The charity is asking for the following new and unused products: • Body Spray (male and female) • Deodorant (male and female) • Dental fixtures • Shampoo (male and female) • Shower gel (male and female) • Liquid soap • Toothpaste
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PAGE 8 | THE CARER | SPRING 2019
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A New Bathing Range Designed To Meet Individual Needs
Making sure you find the right bathroom equipment to suit the needs of your care home residents and staff can be a daunting task. However, two well-known faces in the sector have joined forces to create a new range of height adjustable and fixed height assisted baths for the care home market, which have been designed to meet the needs of each individual resident. With more than 60 years’ experience in design, manufacturing and customer service between them, Ray Metcalf and Dennis Goodes have launched a unique range of baths for the assisted bathing market. “I have enjoyed redesigning a range that specifically suits care homes, upgrading the mechanical parts and incorporating soft curves to protect delicate skin as well as being aesthetically pleasing,” explains Metcalf. “We both have the same enthusiasm now as we had 20 years ago,” he adds. The range includes a number of baths that are either height adjustable or fixed height in a unique ‘Art Deco’ style. Each one is built by hand in the UK using traditional methods to meet the highest standards and incorporating the latest ‘one touch’ technology. “We are proud of the fact that our baths are designed and made in the UK,” says Goodes. “We are also as proud of what’s underneath the bath as what’s on top. Our ‘fit and forget’ motto is the standard we build to.” Individually tested and dispatched direct to site and ready to go, trained teams are available to install, commission and service the baths throughout mainland UK. The baths are bespoke with numerous options that can be incorporated to suit individual needs and are built to order. “Our aim is to provide a top quality product at a really good price,” says Goodes. “I design to make other peoples’ lives better,” Ray Metcalf concludes. The Assisted Bathing Company T: (Sales) +44 (0)1590 647 479 T: (Technical) +44 (0)1590 647 478 F: +44 (0)1590 610 080
A Longer and Healthier Life Is A Goal to Be Pursued The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Group to present its longer, healthier lives strategy. A positive approach to a subject that is often seen as a problem, instead of something to celebrate. Matt Hancock: “Longer life is not a problem to be tackled but a goal to be pursued. And not just for government, or even the NHS, but for each and every one of us.” A goal imminently linked to technology. Growing older every year is an accomplishment we should be very proud of. Not only because it’s the outcome of a continuously improving care system, but also because it shows that we’re all taking our health seriously. It’s no longer a side dish: it’s the main dish. Matt Hancock tapped into the momentum and presented the longer, healthier lives strategy: “There’s a huge prize ahead if we get this right: 5 more years of healthy life. More enjoyment out of life. More time for the things that matter most in life.” It’s an ambitious goal, but definitely one worth fighting for and, with the right knowledge, people and attention, a goal that can be achieved. There are three things that are key to making this goal a reality: people and place, lifestyle and technology. Technology is an ongoing and upcoming important conversation that Adaptive IT Solutions is humbled and proud to be a part of. One of our most special clients WCS Care and our CLB Acoustic Monitoring were referenced in Matt Hancocks’ speech: “Adult social care is increasingly a site of healthtech innovation. Internet-linked devices can
help people live at home for longer and stay connected to family and friends. They can also help providers deliver smarter, more responsive care. For example, there’s a provider up in Warwickshire – WCS Care – doing great things with acoustic monitoring.” Our CLB Acoustic Monitoring lets the care staff hear crying, moving around and breathing difficulty, just to name a few. When a sound like that is detected, it sends an alert to the night managers’ monitoring station. An important solution with big impact: it means care staff doesn’t have to knock on the residents’ doors regularly to check and see if they’re alright, ensuring the residents can have a good night sleep. This alone reduced the amount of night-time falls at WCS Care with 34%. It also provided WCS Care with another interesting insight, Matt Hancock: “…when they analyzed the data, they found that lots of people were staying awake late into the night. This led the care home to set up a ‘wide awake club’ to support night owls and get them back into a healthier rhythm.” About Adaptive IT Solutions Formed in 2002, award-winning Adaptive IT Solutions provides professional IT services throughout all commercial markets, predominantly within the Healthcare, Dentistry, Education and Retail sectors. Adaptive IT Solutions offers a vast portfolio of IT services including structured cabling, audio visual, hardware deployment and specialist digital clinical equipment. For more information about Adaptive IT Solutions: www.adaptiveit.co.uk. For more information about CLB Acoustic Monitoring: global.clb.nl.
Ad-Memoire - A New Digital Reminiscence Activity Resource Featuring Vintage TV Ads - A Perfect App For Use In Care Organisations Packed with memorable 1950s & 60s TV and print ads from the History of Advertising Trust archive, and encouraging smiles and laughter all round, Ad-Memoire is designed to stimulate happy memories for residents to share. Geared to make life easier for carers and fun to use, it is ‘ready to go’ available on Apple and Android devices for streaming via laptop, tablet or smartphone for 1-2-1 or share on large screens via HDMI, Chromecast or Apple TV for group sessions. Ad-Memoire includes: Themed reels of TV ads including Motoring, Toys
& Games, Sweets & Chocolates, Cooking, Oxo- Life with Katie, Breakfast, Ice-cream & Lollies and Housekeeping Ads of the Month: Updated each month, specially selected ads offering on-screen conversation prompts and downloadable fun advert and brand based quizzes, activities and colourful print ads. Brand Bingo: Updated each month, Brand Bingo provides a weekly activity based on the popular, classic game but featuring on-screen images of colourful print ads instead of numbers. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org to
SIGN UP FOR A FREE MONTH’S TRIAL See information on AD-MEMOIRE at www.hatads.org.uk/hat-services/admemoire.aspx
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World’s Largest Trial Of Potential Coronavirus Treatments Rolled Out Across UK
The world’s largest randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus treatments is well underway in the UK as part of the race to find a treatment. A number of promising treatments are being tested and, if the science supports it, will be given to NHS patients as quickly as possible. Definitive results on whether the treatments are safe and effective are expected within months and, if positive, they could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals have been already recruited in just 15 days and thousands more are expected to join the Randomised Evaluation of COV-id19 thERapY (RECOVERY) trial in the coming weeks, making it the largest randomised controlled trial of potential COVID-19 treatments in the world. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation and we are doing
everything we can to fight it on all fronts through our evidence-based action plan. “The UK is leading the way on research in the race to find treatments and we have now launched the largest trial in the world, pooling resources with our world-leading life science sector. “As one of three major trials funded by the Government, this marks a major milestone in our battle against coronavirus and offers renewed hope that together we can beat this. “The public still has a crucial role to play by staying at home so we can protect the NHS and save lives.” The trial is testing a number of medicines recommended by an expert panel advising the Chief Medical Officer for England. They include: Lopinavir-Ritonavir, commonly used to treat HIV; Dexamethasone, a type of steroid use in a range of conditions to reduce inflammation; and Hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for malaria. The trial is being conducted in over 130 NHS hospitals across the UK. Adult patients who have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are being invited to take part. The trial is specially designed so that as further medicines are identified, these can be added to the study within days. Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “The UK has world-leading life sciences and research sectors and, because of our joined up healthcare and health research system, we have been able to get hundreds of patients involved in this clinical trial in just two weeks. “This marks a significant step in identifying treatments for coronavirus that could benefit patients and underpins our science-backed approach to fighting this virus.” The trial is being coordinated by researchers at the University of Oxford, led by Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine and Martin
Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health. To ensure that the healthcare system research resource is directed to benefit the national effort, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has put in place a national process to prioritise COVID-19 research. The RECOVERY trial is one of those prioritised. The study has received £2.1 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department of Health and Social Care, through the NIHR. It It is part of a wider £20 million rapid research response investment by the Government to support in looking at ways to tackle the coronavirus outbreak The move further bolsters the ‘research’ phase in the Government’s science-led coronavirus action plan. It follows decisive action by the UK’s medicines regulator to fast-track clinical trials for potential coronavirus treatments, meaning NHS patients could have faster access if medicines are proven to be effective. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been working hard to put in place procedures to support manufacturers and researchers developing these treatments and approve clinical trial applications in days, rather than weeks. Its experience as a world-renowned regulator means these rapid approvals are based on the latest scientific advice and do not compromise the Government’s top priority of maintaining patient safety. Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, said: “The RECOVERY trial will provide much-needed evidence on the best care for patients with COVID-19. The more patients that are enrolled, the sooner we will know how best to treat this disease. “We are very grateful to those patients who are participating and to the hospital and research staff who are helping us to find the best treatments.”
Octogenarian Resident Has Grand National Race Brought to Him When 83-year-old Alfred Lewis, a horse racing fanatic who had boyhood dreams of becoming a jockey, was surprised by staff at his care home that they were taking him to his first-ever Grand National, the former British Army chef was thrilled at the prospect of attending the sport’s most famous race. Since that happy day though, the coronavirus pandemic has seen all major sporting events cancelled, including the Grand National, leaving Alf stuck inside his care home with his horse racing dream unfulfilled. Thanks to the power of technology though, the race took place in virtual form, so staff at the home, Foxholes Care Home, in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, decided to recreate the thrills and spills of Aintree – giving Alfred as close an experience to a day at the races as they could given the circumstances. Other residents joined Alfred as he waited for the
drama to unfold on a TV set-up in the home’s lounge. Clutching mock bookies tickets, while the home took a (non-monetary) sweepstake of horses, Alf also got first pick – helping him to get into the spirit of the race. After Potters Corner won the exhilarating steeplechase, an excited Alf, said: “What a surprise that was! I didn’t expect to feel as if I was there but the home certainly did their best to try and recreate the atmosphere. I was made to feel as if I was right in the thick of it. It might not have been the real thing but I can’t thank the home enough for trying to fulfil my dream, despite what is going on in the world at the moment.” The initial surprise of wanting to take Alf to the Grand National came about through the home’s Experience Wishes scheme, which sees staff collect residents’ unfulfilled wishes, which can be anything from flying to diving, before trying to make them come true.
Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes, explained: “Alf regularly tells us how we always dreamt of becoming a jockey as a child, and he’s always fond of watching live racing, so we decided to surprise him by taking him to his first Grand National. Obviously that wasn’t to be (we’ll look to go next year!), but after hearing a virtual race was going ahead, we thought why not try and bring the races to him. The staff have been doing a brilliant job of keeping spirits up during the lockdown, with an array of activities taking place every day. Alf’s experience is a testament to the wonderful job that the team have been doing, going above and beyond the call of duty.” Alf concluded: “I thought the race was brilliant, it was made to look so real and the atmosphere in the lounge made it that bit more special. If anything, it’s made me more excited for next year’s race now!”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 33
A Nottinghamshire Care Home Embraces the Positive Effects of Pet Therapy A local care home is hosting pet therapy sessions for their residents in a bid to make the home even more of a community and is one of several activities to benefit those experiencing dementia. Residents from Red Oaks Care Community in Mansfield have been bonding with Marlo, a nine-yearold Lhasa Apso. Marlo and his owner, Mrs Bennett, have been providing pet therapy to care homes and nurseries for just over a year. He often sits on the residents’ laps and snuggles up in bed with those who are unable to move easily. Pet therapy can improve residents’ mental health, increase socialisation and
provide comfort. It can also have an astonishing impact on residents’ physical health as pet therapy is proven to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. John Adams, General Manager at Red Oaks Care Community, said: “Our residents have really bonded with Marlo and pet therapy is one of their favourite activities. Many of our residents are animal lovers and have had pets their whole lives so they are completely at ease with Marlo. It’s fantastic that the physical benefits of pet therapy are just as powerful as the psychological benefits, which are evident amongst our residents.”
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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-the-art 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
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 35
Brunelcare Help Free Up NHS Hospital Beds Little Heath, Brunelcare’s newest Care Home and Reablement Centre, officially opened in South Gloucestershire on Wednesday 1 April following registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The 64-bed Care Home and 24-bed Reablement Centre has already welcomed its first five guests. Working in partnership with University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), the new facility will play a key role in freeing up much needed hospital beds to take pressure away from the NHS during this critical time. A stay at Little Heath Reablement, will allow people to recover and build confidence outside of hospital before returning to the comfort of their own home. Oona Goldworthy, CEO at Brunelcare said: “Brunelcare were determined, despite the Covid Crisis, that we would go ahead with the opening of Little Heath centre. This is the first time that Brunelcare and UHBW have worked in such a close partnership and we’re excited about the potential for more collaboration between the world of social care and the NHS in the future. We still have lots of exciting new career
opportunities available across Brunelcare and have launched a recruit-
RDA Launches Dementia Project to Open Up the Sensory World of Horses Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is launching a nationwide project to support more people living with dementia. With sessions focussing on sensory experiences with RDA horses and ponies, initial feedback among pilot groups has shown a positive impact for both guests and their families. Several RDA groups already provide experiences for people with dementia, including ‘Tea with a pony’ at Cotswold RDA in Cheltenham, ‘Golden Hour’ at Kesteven in Lincolnshire and sessions at Avon Riding Centre in Bristol and Beechley Stables in Liverpool. The project will encourage more of the charity’s groups around the UK to get involved by providing a framework for possible sessions, best practice and advice. At Cotswold RDA, ‘Tea with a Pony’ has been running since 2018 and the group has seen a wide range of benefits to guests. “It seems that spending time with horses unlocks fond memories from a time when horses were a more familiar part of people’s lives,” explains RDA’s Head of Therapy, Denise Robertson, who is heading up the project. One family member reflected on her mother’s experience: ‘it seems to have helped her memory, I’m not sure how, but it has and, more than anything, it’s been like a light has turned back on again. It’s the warmth of an animal, an animal that trusts you – the present fades away
and it takes her back to just warm memories.’ The project comes amid growing demand for RDA’s activities, and updated guidance from NICE on the use of animal assisted activities as a suitable treatment for people living with the condition. “We gathered together representatives from our groups where this work is already taking place,” explains RDA’s Head of Therapy, Denise Robertson, who is heading up the project. “Our mission is to create and deliver fulfilling experiences with horses for people living with dementia or other disabilities – and to deliver these experiences in a supportive, safe and inclusive environment for clients, their carers, our volunteers and horses.”
ment initiative about roles available on our website.” Lewis Farrel, Reablement Centre Manager said: “We are so pleased to have officially opened Little Heath Care and Reablement Centre on Wednesday (1 April) and to have welcomed in our first three guests. We are pleased to be playing a vital role in relieving the pressure on much needed NHS acute beds by opening our new service. The site is looking great and I’m excited to begin my role as Reablement Manager at Little Heath and welcome even more guests over the next few weeks.” Paula Clarke, Director of Strategy and Transformation at UHBW, said: “Working more closely with our partners to support people to leave our hospitals when they are medically well enough is a key part of our strategic approach for the future, but the current pandemic makes this even more essential. We are delighted that some of our patients will be able to access further support from the bespoke Reablement Unit at Little Heath that will help them return home with as much independence as possible.”
Care Home Painter and Decorator Retires After 22 Years Service Stocks Hall Nursing Home in Burscough, Lancashire, held a surprise retirement party for dedicated Painter & Decorator and lifelong serviceman to Stocks Hall Care Group for over 22 years, Colin Faulkner. Colin has worked in all 6 of Stocks Hall’s Care Homes throughout the North West. Painting and decorating numerous lounges, bedrooms, kitchens, offices and outside areas. During his years, he has helped to ensure that the Homes feel warm, comfortable and homely – paramount to health and quality of life. Friends and colleagues showed their appreciation of Colin’s service to Stocks Hall, with cards, a farewell gift and a buffet celebration. Manager of Stocks Hall Burscough, Sammi Molyneux says “On behalf of everyone at Stocks Hall Nursing & Care Group we
would like to wish Colin a very happy and healthy retirement. Thank you for all your hard work and service over the years, you will be missed.”
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Fight Back Against Bacteria and Viruses If the global COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that good personal and environmental hygiene and a deeper understanding of cleaning procedures is of the utmost importance in controlling the spread of pathogens. We know that having a thorough cleaning regime and the right cleaning equipment is important but how do you know which equipment is right and what a thorough clean actually is? Understanding more about the potential pathogens is a good place to start. Firstly, do you know what the difference is between antibacterial and antimicrobial? An antimicrobial agent protects against various types of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, mould and fungi, whereas an antibacterial specifically protects against bacteria. Knowing which products are best to use alongside chemicals, as manual cleaning is still vital, is also key. Some pathogens survive in different
conditions for different lengths of time and variations in temperature. For example, did you know, MRSA can survive up to 8 weeks on a mop head and 7 months on dust? Listeria Monocytogenes, (aka Listeria) which is known to cause fever, diarrhoea and can even affect your nervous system, is what is known as a resilient bacterium. That means it can harbour on seemingly clean surfaces and create a protective biofilm over itself that chemicals alone cannot remove. This is where the right cleaning equipment comes into play. Using a high-quality brush alongside the correct chemicals when cleaning will allow filaments to get into the crevices where bacteria may be harbouring and clean it away, creating a hygienic surface. For more information about the highest quality, anti-microbial brushes available for the job, visit https://bit.ly/39oRq5r or call +44 (0)17 4786 0494
Adaptawear’s Richmond Wrap-Over & Back Opening Ladies Dress Looking for a pretty, easy to put on dress? Then take a look at our NEW stock of the best-selling Richmond Wrap-Over Ladies Dress in navy spot which has recently arrived into our warehouse. This pretty Richmond Wrap-Over Dress opens easily at the back and is ideal for easy toileting, disabled or wheelchair customers. The practical dress opens to the waist at the front giving plenty of room to put over the head and insert arms. It has a pretty collar and the high neckline is extremely flattering. The back of the dress has an overlap going from the shoulder blades to the hem. This not only makes assisted toiling quick and easy but means when the front buttons are open, there is plenty of room to slip the dress over the head and pull com-
WristPIT from Pinpoint The WristPIT from Pinpoint,is a bespoke patient call transmitter designed to be worn on the wrist. This wrist-worn personal infrared transmitter (WristPIT) is easily accessible and allows patients to activate a call for even if they are away from their bed or a fixed call-point. Pinpoint’s renowned PIT technology (usually worn by staff for personal safety) has, for the first time, been designed around patient use. The WristPIT can withstand showering and brief submersion in water and also incorporates antimicrobial product protection, reducing the ability for bacteria to grow. According to figures published by the National Reporting and Learning System, around 250,000 incidents where patients required assistance in hospital were reported in 2015/16. In many cases, nursing staff remained unaware that a patient had
fortable down. The ladies Richmond Short Sleeve wrap-over dress is ideal for everyday wear or special occasions. •Length: 44" •Fabric: 13% Cotton, 87% Polyester •Easy machine wash, quick dry and minimum ironing required. •Available in all sizes 8 - 26 in variety of colours including navy spot. Do take a look at our full ladies dress range which have been specifically adapted for ladies with special dressing needs. Perfect for easy independent dressing and assisted dressing. 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.
had a fall for quite some time. Pressing the clearly labelled call button on the WristPIT notifies the personnel on duty that a patient is requesting help and informs staff exactly where the patient is. The call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. Pinpoint Alarm Systems are installed in thousands of medical facilities throughout the UK and USA. The new WristPIT is backward compatible and easily integrated into existing Pinpoint Systems. A green LED indicates the WristPIT is ‘activated’ with good battery level. When the battery requires changing, the LED flashes red until the battery is changed and the device has been retested. In addition to being water-resistant, the WristPIT has been designed to withstand harsh environments and user tampering, meaning suitability for facilities where service users may be at risk of self-harm. For more information: www.pinpointlimited.com
CareZips Incontinence Dignity Trousers ™
CareZips™ are adaptive trousers that protect the dignity of incontinent people, whilst helping the carers improve 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 caregivers. 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 all the way up and down to the inside of the other knee, thus entirely opening the trousers at the crotch, when needed. The 3-zip system enables access to the abdomen and crotch for fast and easy diaper changes without the need to undress the patient or pull the CareZips™ trousers down. CareZips™ are unisex and available in 7 sizes for good fit. CareZips™ fabric is soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch for extra comfort. Washable and non-
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iron, the CareZips™ are perfect for daily use. When worn over hip protectors, such as HipSaver QuickChange, HipSaver OpenBottom or HipSaver EasyFit, the CareZips™ help to prevent fall-related hip fractures. CareZips™ Trousers improve lives of vulnerable people and help their carers! Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.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
Infection Control Thermometers UK thermometer manufacturer, TME, explains the important role being played by food thermometers during the coronavirus. Infection control has never been more of a priority for our hospitals, care and nursing homes keeping vulnerable people safe from the coronavirus. This critical task is obviously their number one concern. Careful food safety measures including the hygienic preparation and delivery of meals also continues to play an important supportive role. Tom Sensier, MD: “TME Thermometers is staying operational throughout the crisis to continue manufacturing and supplying food thermometers for those who need them, and our staff are ready with help and advice.”
TME’s CA2005 thermometer range for preventing bacterial cross-contamination combines waterproof thermometers, colour coded dishwasher-safe probes and colour coded stainless steel storage for an ultrahygienic food safety solution. The CA2005-P thermometer with dishwasher-safe probe can be bought for as little as £65 and the CA2005-PK kit with 6 anti-cross contamination colourcoded needle probes is now just £125. TME offers a full range of temperature test and measurement equipment for food manufacturing, catering and legionella risk prevention at its online shopping site www.tmethermometers.com or by contacting 01903 700651 email@example.com
TME – When temperature matters
TME’S ULTRA HYGIENIC FOOD RANGE
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 patent-pending 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
Euroservice Trolleys Celebrating Its 40th Year Euroservice Trolleys is delighted to be celebrating its 40th year. It has been involved in the sales and manufacture of trolleys since 1980. All manufactured in Leicestershire, the trolleys offer that extra touch of class to any establishment. For the growing and competitive Care Home sector, standing out from the crowd with trolley service is important. Euroservice offers a range of stylish and practical trolleys to add that homely feel. Why not bring a little glamour to the service in your care home and make everyday a special occasion.
Medpage Limited Medpage Limited have manufactured quality affordable caring technologies for over 30 years. We specialise in providing bespoke design and development solutions for patient care. We were challenged recently to develop an alarm solution for a wandering resident in a care home on a limited budget. The alarm was to operate independently from the house nurse call
Watch your residents’ eyes light up when the trolley is wheeled into the room with the cakes and that lovely cup of tea.... Style and practicality define Euroservice trolleys so call the friendly sales staff today to discuss your new trolley! All trolleys are available in any colour with a variety of styles to choose from. They look forward to your call. w: www.euroservice-uk.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 0800 917 7943 system and required to send notifications to the carer mobile phone with time and dated incident reports. This we did with 100% success. The alarm is now a mainstream product sold nationally. Reassurance and confidence in a supplier is paramount to a successful business relationship, especially where healthcare is concerned. You can rest assured that when you buy and use our products you are connected with a company with backbone and a passion to offer care technologies that deliver performance and quality. Visit www.medpage-ltd.com
Workforce Scheduling Solutions Workforce Scheduling Solutions deliver Electronic Time & Attendance systems worldwide, using the latest Face Recognition technology. Why should care homes move from paper to electronic time sheets
The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.
How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?
Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone
to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".
There are many systems on the market - Why facial recognition is important and how it works Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways
to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.
How is data protected?
With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. Visit www.wfsoftware.co.uk
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 2 | PAGE 37
The Carer Digital will be delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition will be available online for the duration of...
Published on Apr 8, 2020
The Carer Digital will be delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition will be available online for the duration of...