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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

THECARERUK

Issue 27

THECARERUK

Lockdown Now to Protect Residents Says Sector Body

The country needs an urgent, short, and total lockdown to halt a steady rise in the number of people dying from the virus in care and nursing homes, providers have said. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says it is now time to end the confusion and hold the so-called ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown as other countries in the UK have. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 63 people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes across England and Wales in the week ending 9th October, up from 46 the previous week and the highest total since July. The ICG fears the picture could be much worse once the time delay is considered.

Deaths have been rising in recent weeks, at 38, 31, 27, 17 and 23, respectively. It means 15,712 people died from Covid-19 in these homes from 28th December to 9th October. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Reluctantly, I think the time has come for a short, sharp lockdown to try to stop the second wave in its tracks. “We are now starting to see more significant increases in the number of Covid19 deaths in care and nursing homes and we have to act quickly. These figures are a week or two behind, so I would expect the reality to be somewhat worse."

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PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER Our lead story this week discusses the highly contentious issue of care home visits. This is probably one of the most heated issues surrounding the COVID crisis at the moment. I am sure those in the hospitality sector would disagree, as would many economists, but the loneliness and heartache isolation is bringing to residents in care environments is having the most devastating effect. Sometimes in certain situations there is no clear and correct decision, and I feel this is one of those cases. The government and care environments themselves can only do what they feel is right at the time, based on evidence presented, but also, calling on years of frontline experience that many “experts” simply do not have. I would be very surprised if the government introduced the called for circuit breaker lockdown. The economy is currently in free-fall and there are already backlashes in areas where regional lockdowns have been introduced, with the hospitality sector in particular, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan calling for the reversal of the government’s 10 PM curfew. Nevertheless, family visits and resident isolation is “the elephant in the room “. I remember Baroness Altmann speaking in a TV interview saying: 'Some people in care homes are more likely to die because of loneliness from lockdown and that is a real problem. 'Many of those people were unable to see their relatives and were desperately, desperately in need of their family visits and the family themselves needed to see the older people. 'One has to wonder whether it's right for the Government to say they can't go and see their loved ones.” No matter what decision is made it is going to cause upset, heartache and pain. I think prioritising certain family members as key workers is as practical solution as possible at the moment - prioritising them as family carers providing essential support and making them subject to all the same safety procedures as care staff. The government earlier this month issue guidance to care homes which can be seen at www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/updateon-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes While it was good news to see that the number of vacancies in the residential and nursing care sector has reduced, the figure of over 100,000 currently outstanding vacancies is quite alarming. A report by Skills for Care reveals that there are currently 112,000 vacancies, and this may widen in December 31 when we formally European Union. The report also says that the adult social care sector currently contributes over £41 bil-

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lion to the UK economy. So it would be fair to say that any calls for funding are in part a massive investment in a sector providing not only a good service but a good return on investment. There are challenges of course in not only recruiting but retaining staff, and long-term investment recognising the value staff and the sector contributes with dedicated funds for training will have positive impact. I would also remind readers that nominations for our Unsung Hero awards close at midnight tonight (October 21th). If you have got your nomination and yet then please make sure you have it in by 11:59 PM !!! We will be drawing a winner on Saturday, October 24th. A small gesture on our part but one we are delighted to say has always been really well received and appreciated within the sector, we are always overwhelmed with the uplifting nominations we receive for various people in various sectors of the industry, from manager, supervisor, care assistant, activities coordinator, chef, maintenance man, gardener, truly heartwarming nominations for people who have gone above and beyond their normal duties, which can sometimes go unnoticed, and we are delighted to occasionally step in with a “luxury 2 night break” in a choice of over 300 hotels! And please keep your stories coming I can always be contacted at editor@thecareruk.com

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 3

Lockdown Now to Protect Residents Says Sector Body (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) “As care providers we see that these are people’s loved ones – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, a brother or sister. We cannot let Covid-19 take so many people as it did in the first wave.” Mr Padgham said he knew that any lockdown would have an impact on the economy, but it had to happen. “Yes, we have to protect the economy but first and foremost we have to protect people’s lives and the lives of the staff caring for them,” he added. “It feels inevitable that if we don’t lockdown now, we will have to do so soon and probably for a longer time, doing even more damage to the economy. “At the moment we have people travelling all over the place, from areas of high infection rate to low areas, so the virus is bound to spread and spread. It is regrettable, but I feel the only way is to lockdown again and protect our oldest and most vulnerable in particular, until we can regain control.” Overall, the UK has recorded 21,331 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (20 October) and 241 deaths, the highest number daily deaths since 5 June, according to government figures. In Wales, a short, sharp 'firebreak' will start from 6pm on Friday 23 October in a attempt by the Welsh Government to regain control of COVID-19, with lockdown measures in place until Monday 9 November.

ISOLATION However, the issue of isolation since lockdown procedures were introduced in care homes has raised significant concerns to the health

and well-being of residents. It is now seven months since care homes first shut their doors to family visits, and concerns are further raised at the prospect of a winter isolated from their friends and families as a second wave of Covid-19 now gives way to fresh restrictions. The continued isolation of older people in care is putting their human rights at risk, the Relatives and Residents Association has said. Inadequate guidance from the Government about visiting has kept many homes in lockdown and led to unworkable policies which have made visiting impossible for some families. For some, the guidance and the Government’s Winter Plan have taken them backwards, resulting in more restrictions on their contact, creating further anxiety and distress for families at such a challenging time. As cases spike in some parts of the country, the Government’s updated guidance has created further confusion by applying ‘fully’ to care homes under Tier 1 but limiting visits in areas under Tiers 2 and 3 to “exceptional circumstances only such as end of life” The impact of months of isolation on older people in care has been devastating the association says. “We hear daily from callers to the R&RA Helpline about how their relatives in care are deteriorating, with people losing weight, losing speech, no longer recognising family members, and ‘losing the will to live’. Adding that People living in care need to be urgently reconnected with their support networks, to reinstate the crucial emotional and practical support family/friends provide. From help with eating, to relieving the distress of dementia, many family carers play a vital role in helping protect the well-being of their relatives.

CHANGE NEEDED the association is calling for better guidance from Government to support care homes to safely manage the virus. R&RA is calling for the current guidance on visiting to be changed, including: • Essential visitors: family carers providing crucial practical/emotional support should be seen as a vital part of the care team, subject to the same safety protocols as staff – the Government announcement of a pilot scheme fails to meet the urgency this situation requires • Single, constant visitor: this should be removed from the guidance, it is inhumane, impractical and creates painful decisions for families • Regular testing: this must be made available for visitors, as well as residents and staff • Privacy: remove the requirement for staff to supervise visits (except in exceptional situations such as safeguarding) • Group decisions: rather than encouraging blanket policies, putting people’s rights at risk, decisions in all care homes should be based on individual assessments The association is calling for clarity and leadership, and says that care environments need clear, practical guidance and support from the Government about managing visits whilst COVID-free or if they develop cases, to help them plan for our ‘new normal’. Care homes in Tier 2-3 areas, now told to restrict visits to only ‘exceptional circumstances’, need guidance to help them identify an essential visit. Individual needs and risk assessments should identify ‘essential’ family carers; providing support which helps ensure resident’s rights are protected. Such family carers should be subject to the same safety measures as staff, including regular testing and appropriate PPE.

Councils Told To Prepare Covid-Dedicated Care Homes by End of October The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has sent a letter to all local authorities in England asking them to identify appropriate care homes to receive elderly COVID-19 patients following discharge from hospital. The letter, sent to Directors of Adult Services in England on 13 October 2020, sets out an overview of the requirement for designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID19 positive status; and an instruction for Local Authorities to commence identifying and notifying CQC of sufficient local designated accommodation and to work with CQC to assure their compliance with the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocol. The DHSC letter said it is hoped that every local authority will have access to at least one CQC designated site by the end of October. The cost of these designated facilities is expected to be funded through the £588 million discharge funding. Designated homes must be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure they meet the regulator’s infection control standards, and the letter says anyone discharged into a care home must have a test result which is communicated in advance to the residence.

Councils will be required to provide alternative accommodation for the resident to isolate in if a care home does not have appropriate facilities. The requirements include: • Anyone with a COVID-19 positive test result being discharged into or back into a registered care home setting must be discharged into appropriate designated setting (i.e., that has the policies, procedures, equipment and training in place to maintain infection control and support the care needs of residents) and cared for there for the remainder of the required isolation period. • These designated accommodations will need to be inspected by CQC to meet the latest CQC infection prevention control standards. • No one will be discharged into or back into a registered care home setting with a COVID-19 test result outstanding, or without having been tested within the 48 hours preceding their discharge. • Everyone being discharged into a care home must have a reported COVID test result and this must be communicated to the care home prior to the person being discharged from hospital. The care home’s registered manager should continue to assure themselves. Vic Rayner, executive director at the National Care Forum, said: “Key questions around who will operate these services, how they will be

staffed, what choice will patients have in relation to their discharge and critically how care for the multiplicity of needs will be managed in one setting appear to be still not settled. “Within 48 hours local authorities are being asked to identify these schemes, and then a rapid run around of designation will ensue.” “The pressure on providers, authorities, regulators and people who are being discharged from hospital will be huge.” Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said it is “absolutely essential that lessons are learnt from the first wave, to avoid a repeat of what happened previously”. He continued: “Care providers remain under intense strain. For many, those experiences are now compounded by problems with the testing regime and uncertainties around funding, along with caution about taking on anything new or with greater risk. “Councils and care providers will work closely together to identify the most appropriate care homes, with the priority being that any measures must be designed to keep everybody, including both those who work in and receive care services, safe and to avoid the spread of infection.”


PAGE 4 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

The 2020 State of Care Report – A Rallying Call for Change By Philippa Shirtcliffe, head of Care Quality at Quality Compliance Systems (www.qcs.co.uk) Over the weekend my 18year old daughter sat down to write her UCAS personal statement. In case you’re not familiar with UCAS, I’m referring to the all-important supporting document that those wishing to go to university must submit together with their application. This year, with the shadow of Covid still looming large, the supporting document, which gives six-formers the opportunity to demonstrate their passion for their chosen course, carries even greater significance. ‘No pressure then,’ I thought. However, on the upside, I told my daughter that the Covid Pandemic might also spare her the stress of attending an interview. This in turn reminded me of an anecdote somebody told me a long time ago. To this day, I don’t if it is true or not, but it always brings a smile to my face whenever I recall it. Essentially, it goes something like this. An 18-year old sits down and is handed a piece of paper. When he turns it over he’s confronted with a brainteaser of a question - one which has been specifically designed to test if he can think outside of the box. The question simply reads, “What is courage?”. He thinks for a minute and then has a flash of inspiration as he picks up his pen. He then writes just three words: “This is courage”, and then with no further ado he walks out of the room. Urban myth or true story, I’m assured he was offered a university place. This year’s State of Care Report, the CQC’s annual assessment of the adult social care system is several thousand words longer, but the authors have demonstrated the same bravery as the teenager in my story. The report not only lays bare the significant challenges faced by the care sector, but at times, it reads like a rallying call for change. Ian Trenholm, the CQC’s Chief Executive Officer, was equally bullish in the press briefing that followed the release of the report. In it, he called for immediate reform saying that, “COVID has pushed social care

even closer to the edge and we need to make sure that action takes place now”. The CQC report says that “long-term funding” is a pre-requisite. It also urges the government to professionalise the sector. This, I thought, was a little clumsy as it seemed to imply that the sector is made up of unskilled workers, which couldn’t be further from the truth. As I’m sure everyone working in the sector will agree, care staff are some of the most skilled workers in the country, but their rate of pay is far too low for the job they do. As I read on, however, it became clear that this wasn’t the message that the CQC wanted to convey. On the contrary, it has laid out its vision for the future, which it calls the “new deal”. What is it? In short, the CQC wants to see an already talented workforce have access to the most up-to-date training, and be able to progress their careers with clear career paths mapped out. Adopting this new framework will, says Mr Trenholm, ensure that the adult social care sector “has the prestige it deserves”. At QCS, the company I work, we have long held this view. As a leading content, compliance and technology provider for the care sector, the core aim of the guidance that we create and develop for our 100,000 users, is to not only address their compliance needs, but to take providers far beyond the regulatory expectations of the CQC. Achieving outstanding person-centred care is not a box-ticking exercise, and in many ways it is the care sector that needs to set the regulatory agenda and not the regulator. So what needs to happen to realise this dramatic sea-change? There is an array of challenges - many of them cited in the CQC report - that the sector must navigate. Take collaboration and co-production for instance. In my view, they are very much the cornerstone of outstanding care. But the State of Care report suggests that there isn't enough collaboration happening within the care sector. It says “that the success of collaboration among providers to keep people safe was varied”, while, “at times the pace of change felt overwhelming for health and social care providers”. Technology too is something that the care sector often struggles to get to grips with. However, that said, there are some positive signs that the sector is adapting to change. During the crisis, for example, its use of video conferencing technology to ensure care home residents were able to stay in touch with their loved ones, was a quantum leap for the sector. But, in a time of Covid, the care sector needs to show a greater

willingness to work with innovators to create technology that has been specially created with the care sector in mind. QCS’s Visitor Tracking tool, which, in a nutshell, informs visitors, based on their recent movements, whether they can or cannot visit relatives, is a good example of technological collaboration done well. Finally, the report calls for close ties between the care and health care sectors. It calls on “providers, regulators and system partners to maintain the appetite to work together and at pace”. We have already witnessed what happens when patient information between the NHS and care homes is not shared. In the Spring lockdown, some Covid-positive patients were discharged from hospital. When they returned on their respective care homes they unwittingly infected others. Preventing a scenario like this from ever happening again is a basic human right. In the future, however, a long term funding strategy, which enables the two vastly different sectors to work seamlessly is the both the biggest challenge and the greatest opportunity. It will not only require collaboration, strategy and planning, but will demand the same courage exhibited by the boy who walked out of the room. The prize though isn’t a place at a top university. It's the chance to affect real generational change. And it’s an opportunity that the social care and health sectors should grab with both hands.

To find out how you can join QCS, contact our team on 0333-4053333 or email sales@cqc.co.uk.

Sources Care Quality Commission State of care report https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care Homecare Insight STATE OF CARE: Coronavirus exacerbated problems in social care, finds CQC https://www.homecareinsight.co.uk/state-of-care-coronavirus-exacerbatedproblems-in-social-care-finds-cqc/

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 5

New Measures To Support Roll Out of Vaccines in UK

New laws allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have been introduced, the government announced today. The measures aim to save thousands of lives by increasing access to vaccines against potentially killer diseases. They will also support the government’s plans for the rollout of a potential Covid-19 vaccine that is proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the regulator. Following a public consultation, changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 will come into force today (Friday) which will: • enable the expansion of the trained workforce who can administer Covid-19 and flu vaccines to improve access and protect the public. This will begin with those who already have experience in handling vaccinations but may currently work outside of NHS settings, such as independent nurses, allied healthcare professionals, paramedics, physiotherapists, pharmacists and student nurses and doctors. The expanded workforce will undergo a robust training programme to ensure patient safety is upheld to the highest standards; • implement reinforced safeguards to support the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to exceptionally grant temporary authorisation, pending the granting of a licence, for new vaccines and treatments needed to tackle public health threats – provided they meet the highest safety, quality and effectiveness standards and there’s a significant public health justification for doing so; Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The NHS has vast experience in vaccinating millions of people

against diseases every year. “These legal changes will help us in doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to roll out a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it has passed clinical trials and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator.” We will be able to increase the number of fully trained and experienced healthcare professionals to administer Covid-19 and flu vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, as well as enable an expanded workforce that can administer these vaccinations to the public. This will make it easier and quicker for patients and healthcare workers to access the vaccines they need, protecting them against fatal diseases. Our planning will ensure this does not affect other services in hospitals and in GP and community services, by drawing on a pool of experienced NHS professionals through the NHS Bring Back Scheme. This will ensure we can provide a safe and effective vaccination programme while continuing to offer timely access to other NHS services. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said: “Covid-19 vaccines are being developed at speed which, if successful, will save lives. “All vaccines must undergo three stages of clinical trials and be assessed for safety and effectiveness by the regulator before they are given to patients. “The measures outlined today aim to improve access and strengthen existing safeguards protecting patients.” If a vaccine is developed before 2021, the changes to the Human

Medicine Regulations will bolster existing powers that enable the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise temporary supply for any treatment or vaccine needed to respond to a public health need. This means that if a vaccine has been found to meet the safety, quality and effectiveness standards by the MHRA then vaccinations can begin without needing to wait for the European Medicines Agency who – up until the end of the transition period in 2021 – would have been the only body able to grant a licence. Dr Christian Schneider, Interim Chief Scientific Officer at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “Patient safety is our top priority. The independent Commission on Human Medicines will advise the UK government on the safety, quality and effectiveness of any potential vaccine. No vaccine will be deployed unless stringent standards have been met through a comprehensive clinical trial programme. “The preferred route to enable deployment of any new vaccine remains through the usual product licensing processes. “But reinforced safeguards are now in place to strengthen the regulatory regime and our ability to protect public health, should temporary authorisations be necessary.” From 2021, the MHRA will have a national licensing system in place and will be responsible for granting licences for potential vaccines and treatments once they meet high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness .

Hamper for Hero’s Donated to Hull Care Home HC One’s Kesteven Grange care home have been gifted a lovely ‘hamper for hero’s’ by the local Co-op store. The local Co-op Store visited outside of the Hull care home this week to hand out a 'Hamper for Hero's'. Co-op had put together a hamper for all the hard work the 'front line' staff have done over the months during the pandemic. The hamper contained lots of sweet treats, tea and coffee and even wool for the Residents to enjoy in knitting club. Alan Rawson, one of the Residents, is kindly modelling the hamper that staff have decided to share with Residents in the photo. One of the Residents said “Well it’s marvellous! It is very thoughtful and we all can’t wait to have a lovely cuppa with these posh biscuits.” It is so nice to receive such lovely gifts even after all this time for the recognition that the Colleagues at the home show to others, everyone sends a big thank-you to Co-op for their generosity. Kellie Moore, Kesteven Grange’s home manager, commented “Nothing ceases to amaze us when it comes to thanks from others.”


PAGE 6 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

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

BAPEN1 and the Malnutrition Task Force2, came together again earlier this month to run the third UK Malnutrition Awareness Week3 #UKMAW2020. This is an important week in the nutritional calendar as it highlights national efforts to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of malnutrition for more vulnerable, older people, and for those with disease-related risks of malnutrition in the UK. The care home sector is under exceptional and extraordinary amounts of pressure and managers are having to finding new and innovative ways of working to keep everyone safe. It is now even more important that nutrition remains a priority. There are many challenges; we already know that 30-42% of people who were admitted into a care home setting pre COVID-19 were already malnourished or at a higher risk. New admissions will likely be even more vulnerable. Residents may be admitted recovering from COVID-19, others may have experienced a deterioration of their physical condition during the lockdown in their own homes, making them unable to cope independently. People living with dementia may experience more rapidly advancing symptoms, family carers may be finding it more difficult to cope with less available domiciliary care, and therefore may be seeking admission to residential care. There are grave concerns about the nutritional status of older people who are already resident in care homes, whose lives have been changed dramatically because of COVID-19 related issues, isolation in their own rooms, reduction in the amount of usual contact with staff and other residents, their lack of understanding and fear about staff dressed in PPE and most importantly, their lack of usual contact with their friends and relatives. These difficult changes in circumstances are often translated into loneliness, with a lack of wellbeing, less interest in food, and a smaller appetite. Residents may be reluctant to eat because of oral health difficulties which have been hard to treat, resulting in dehydration and weight loss, which we know can lead to health complications associated with poorer outcomes. Care homes must have a food and drink strategy that addresses the nutritional needs of people using the service4. The strategy needs to be underpinned with a robust policy for nutritional screening and development of appropriate nutritional care plans, with guidelines and staff training. Each resident must have a personalised nutritional care plan (which is shared with the kitchen and menu planning staff) which manages their nutritional risk, with regular monitoring and evaluation which will ensure that residents do not experience unplanned weight loss, or if they do it is picked up immediately. Alongside this it is positive practice to have a section in the ‘getting to know you’ conversations with the resident and their friends and relatives, prior to or during admission, to get a clear understanding of what, how and when the new resident likes to eat and drink. This knowledge helps to ensure that mealtimes are an enjoyable experience. We know that undernutrition is not always obvious, it's often hidden and not easy to identify by just looking at a person. Measuring of malnutrition risk (undernutrition) and assessment through screening is essential to accurately identify risk. This can be done easily using BAPEN’s Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’). It is then important to put in place an individualised nutritional care plan based on the results of screening for malnutrition risk. Some guidance on this can be found here.

Undertaking a nutritional assessment using the ‘MUST’ tool on admission will identify any risk, and help to compile a personalised nutritional care plan which clearly sets out the plan for all staff to see and follow. It will include food and drink preferences, identify the help that is needed to eat and drink independently, be specific about the help that is required to cut food, and physically support someone to get food from the plate to the mouth. Special requirements must be set out e.g. IDDSI5 (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative) and any adaptations required e.g. to cutlery or sitting positions. The ‘MUST’ score and care plan should be updated regularly, but at least monthly, and any changes or concerns should be mentioned at the regular GP round. There are other, small changes that can make a significant difference to the overall mealtime experience, making sure that there is a calm and comfortable feel about mealtimes. It is important to ensure that people have the tools and support they need to allow them to eat and drink as independently as possible. In these new ways of working in the COVID world, the importance of not rushing a resident who needs help to eat and drink or is slow to chew and swallow cannot be overemphasized as often they will just give up – and if this happens at each meal the malnutrition risk is great. When people are forced to eat alone because of isolation or social distancing, listening to a favourite piece of music or the radio, or watching an enjoyed television programme can help. Think about how a focus on food can be integrated into the residents’ activities schedule. There are many tools, information sources and resources that can help organisations to make significant and beneficial changes that are easily achievable and can help to positively improve the experience of eating and drinking in care homes. • Make contact with your local dietetics team who can assist with training and support. • When reviewing your organisation’s nutrition strategy - the information on the Malnutrition Pathway website gives helpful information at https://www.malnutritionpathway.co.uk/carehomes • The Malnutrition Task Force has resources that can help and has examples of positive practice from other care homes. Positive practice can be shared on the MTF website at https://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk/eatingwell Nutrition is the foundation of health and wellbeing. We invite you to join us in continuing to shine a light on the risk of malnutrition. Throughout October, all social care professionals are being asked to submit data to help build a national picture of risk status. Last year, we had a great response from care homes, and we hope even more care homes will submit data this year, just choose one day of the month to report and enter information online at https://data.bapen.org.uk/maw/maw-home. It is important that as many organisations and practitioners as possible become part of this nationwide effort to screen for malnutrition. The impact of this year on the health and wellbeing of older people must be reviewed, analysed, and acted upon. 1 The British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN). https://www.bapen.org.uk/ 2 The Malnutrition Task Force. https://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk/ 3 UK Malnutrition Awareness Week. https://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk/uk-malnutrition-awareness-week-2020 4 Care Quality Commission. Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities). Regulations 2014: Regulation 14 Meeting Nutritional and Hydration Needs. https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/regulations-enforcement/regulation-14-meeting-nutritional-hydration-needs 5 IDDSI. International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative. https://iddsi.org/

A Bygone Age: Care Home Residents Treated to Sights of One of the UK’s Last Working Herds of Shire Horses Residents of a Surrey care home have been enjoying the sight of one of the UK’s last working herd of shire horses helping to manage the land on their estate. The Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead has given its residents a rare glimpse of a bygone age, thanks to its land management needs – which requires shire horses to tackle land that’s unsuitable for heavy machinery. Within the estate there’s a steep valley, which, for decades, used to be home to coniferous trees, the pine needles of which have left the soil very acidic – leading to continual bracken growth. The trees had been removed to improve the natural habitat on the estate, looking to encourage native wildflowers and scrub. However, the bracken growth is preventing re-generation – which has called for the specialist offering of the heavy horses. Ordinarily, the herd helps manage the conservation of the Royal Parks in London but Huntington & Langham has employed them on a four-year project – giving their residents the opportunity to enjoy a sight that was far more common in their youth, but what has now become a real rarity. Charlie Hoare, Director of the Huntington & Langham Estate commented: “It’s fantastic seeing the horses at work – and it evokes all sorts of sentimentality and nostalgia. Our residents have been thrilled to see it, with many of

whom having recollections of working shires in their younger years. One of our residents, Molly, says she has vivid memories of horses and carts in the roads – not just in the fields. Given that around the time of the First World War, there were a million shire horses in the UK – now I think the number is as low as 1,500 worldwide, making them incredibly rare.” He said: “We have a very specific need at the estate, and the shires can do things that heavy machinery simply can’t. Hopefully, their usefulness will continue for a long time – as there really is no sight quite like it.” The work of the horses has been having a very positive impact, with the estate seeing a massive increase in foxgloves this year, which subsequently attracted lots of insects, which in turn attract small birds and then larger predators, such as birds of prey. The finally balanced ecology of the estate enables residents to enjoy a wealth of flora and fauna, which can be enjoyed from bedroom windows as well as on walks. Charlie said: “We take our estate management responsibilities very seriously, and offer a really diverse outdoor environment for residents to enjoy. The long-term result of the endeavours of the shire horse herd will improve the diversity of wildlife and plant life, but, for now, our residents are simply enjoying watching them at work, while treating them to a carrot or two at the end of a hard day. It’s been really lovely to see.”

Care Home Manager And Residents Team Up To Complete Charity One Million Step Challenge A care home manager and group of residents have teamed up to complete Diabetes UK’s One Million Step Challenge, successfully taking one million strides together and raising over £600 for the charity – all whilst in lockdown! Akua Buabeng, manager at CHD Living’s The Summers care home in West Molesey, took the lead on the challenge, which saw her join forces with residents Rosie and Iris (both 88) and commit to taking one million steps over a three month period. Successfully completing the challenge at the end of September, the team managed to raise £600 for Diabetes UK in the process – a fantastic achievement for the trio, whose movements have been limited to the care home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a type 2 diabetic herself, it was a particularly meaningful accomplishment for Iris, who commented: “It’s been wonderful to help Akua reach one million steps, and to help raise some money for Diabetes UK at the same time. As someone who lives with diabetes myself, this is a cause very close to my heart and the challenge has certainly given me extra motivation to keep moving in recent months.”

Speaking of her reasons for taking on the challenge, Akua said: “it was all because of my residents. I have a few residents at The Summers who are diabetics, so I’ve seen first hand how it impacts their lives. Not only has the challenge motivated us to keep moving during lockdown, but the money raised will go to a fantastic cause in supporting people living with diabetes, so we are delighted!” The Summers care home is part of CHD Living, an award-winning, family-owned and operated group of care services comprising 13 residential facilities, two specialist rehabilitation centres and a domiciliary care business across Surrey and South London. Speaking of Akua, Rosie and Iris’ success, CHD Living’s Head of Hospitality and Communications Shaleeza Hasham said: “We’re incredibly proud of the team for completing the One Million Step Challenge. It’s always important to keep our residents motivated and active, however this has certainly been trickier in recent months with COVID-19. The challenge has given Akua, Rosie and Iris something positive to work towards and to focus on though, which has been brilliant to see!”


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Social Care Workforce Report Reveals Need for Long-Term Support and Recognition Skills for Care have released the findings of its annual ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce’ report, which highlights the social and economic value of social care workers, and the need to recruit, support and retain new staff into the sector. Data from 8,000 organisations and 650,000 workers informed the report, to analyse the trends and impact of policy changes and economic shifts. Key findings from the report showed a growth in the sector, with a workforce of around 1.52 million compared to around 1.4 million NHS workers. The adult social care sector is estimated to contribute £41.2 billion per annum to the economy in England and worth more than the oil industry and the culture sector. Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) - the national alliance of trade associations representing 10,000 adult social care providers – welcomed the report’s findings and said: COVID-19 has rapidly raised the profile of the adult social care sector, and of the complex and skilled role that care workers play in supporting some of our most vulnerable people in our country. The Skills for Care report reminds us that, despite this improved awareness, much needs to be done to ensure we have sufficient numbers of well-sup-

ported care workers right now, and in the future. “The CPA is calling for a long-term Social Care People Plan – similar to that being developed for the NHS People Plan. We want to see parity with our colleagues in the NHS, in terms of recognition as a skilled workforce, and in terms of reward through comparable pay and conditions. “The report has revealed that despite some recent improvements in recruitment, we still need over 100,000 care workers in the sector. We want to see structured career pathways that ensure working in care is an attractive profession for everyone with the right values and commitment. Care work should not be portrayed as an alternative to a job in a supermarket. Yet, retail staff on average earn 24p more an hour than a care worker, raising concerns about the wider issues on pay. “Care workers are not listed as an eligible occupation on the ‘Skilled Workers’ route of the new points-based immigration system, due to come into effect from January 2021. The adult social care sector in England is a major employer and contributor to the economy and as such, investment in the care workforce should be a priority at a national level. As we face a major recession, social care can offer people new career opportunities.”

Kew Care Home Manager Recognised In Queen’s Birthday Honours For Supporting Residents With Dementia Fiona Saadat, Home Manager at Cecil Court care home in Kew, South London, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours Lists. A qualified nurse and midwife, Fiona joined Cecil Court – part of the Central & Cecil Housing Trust (C&C) – in 1997, becoming the Home Manager in 2008. Early on, Fiona was keen to embrace new ways to support residents living with dementia. She began working closely with charitable organisation MyLifeFilms, to produce a series of autobiographical films which comprise the ‘life story’ of specific residents: reflections on their childhood, discussions about their adult lives, and interviews with family members. The completed film is then played to a resident to help manage and reduce anxiety. The project has proved so successful that it is now being rolled out to other C&C care homes. Fiona’s commitment to helping those with dementia lead the best lives they can has also seen her undertake leadership training in dementia. She has subsequently supported dementia research with Dr Robert M. Lawrence and his Clinical Research

Unit at the South West London and St. George’s Mental Health Trust. Upon being awarded the BEM, Fiona said: “I am very humbled to receive this honour. It is a testament to what can be achieved for those living with dementia with the right support and creativity – and my lovely team at Cecil Court. “Thanks to many wonderful partners and the C&C Management, we’ve made a lot of progress and made a real difference to those living with dementia and their families. I’m even more excited about the projects we’re about to launch. For example, we’re piloting an innovative new project with MyLifeFilms very soon. We’ll also be launching our own care home radio station to provide more music therapy for residents.” Julia Ashley, Chief Executive of C&C, said: “This award is so very well deserved for someone who shows such passion, dedication and commitment. We are so proud of Fiona, who fully deserves this medal for her tireless work for residents at Cecil Court.”


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Focus Must Be On Shaping a Health and Care System That Delivers Says CQC The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England looks at the quality of care over the past year. This includes the period before the full impact of COVID-19 began to be felt and CQC’s routine inspections were suspended as a result of the pandemic. Pre-COVID-19, care was generally good, but with little overall improvement and some specific areas of concern: • In the NHS, improvement in some areas, including emergency care, maternity and mental health, was slower than others. More than half of urgent and emergency care services were rated as requires improvement or inadequate as at 31 March 2020, while a quarter of maternity services were rated as requires improvement. • In mental health services, inspectors continued to find poor care in inpatient wards for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. The overall proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 4% to 13% – almost entirely based on deterioration in independent services, rather than NHS services. • The social care sector was fragile as a result of the lack of a long-term funding solution, and in need of investment and workforce planning. In March 2020, CQC’s Market Oversight report highlighted that, in the absence of mitigating action, any further shocks to the labour market would be expected to increase the existing level of market fragility, place more pressure on local authority finances and could increase unmet care needs. There have been short-term interventions since that point but the need for a longer-term funding plan has still not been addressed. • In primary medical services, the fact that the overall ratings picture remained almost unchanged, with 89% of GP practices rated good and 5% outstanding masked a more volatile picture, with some practices deteriorating and a similar number improving. Since the arrival of COVID-19, all these things remain true, but so much else has changed. In considering the health and care system’s initial response to the pandemic, in order to learn lessons for the future, there are elements to build on – and elements to reassess. The progress achieved in transforming the way care is delivered has been extraordinary. In a matter of days, services developed new procedures and ways of working, often taking advantage of technology.Changes which were expected to take years – like the switch to more flexible GP consultations by phone and online – took place almost overnight. This report highlights many examples of collaboration among services which have made a real difference to people’s care. The challenge now will be to keep and develop the best aspects of these new ways of delivering services while making sure that no one is disadvantaged in the process. At the start of the pandemic, the focus on acute COVID-19 care was

driven by the urgent imperative that the NHS should not be overwhelmed. Decisions were made in order to ensure capacity as quickly as possible – but now priorities need to be reset in a more sophisticated way to ensure that the longer-term response includes everyone, regardless of what kind of care they need, or where they receive it. This resetting of priorities starts with local leaders seizing the opportunity to collaborate and building capacity to respond together to the needs of their area. The fact that the impact of Covid has been felt more severely by those who were already more likely to have poorer health outcomes – including people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities and people living in more deprived areas – makes the need for health and care services to be designed around people’s needs all the more critical. Over the summer, CQC reviewed the way health, social care and other local services worked together in 11 parts of the country. There were differences in the way they responded to the pandemic but there was evidence that the places with established working relationships and an understanding of need in their local areas were better able to care for the local population in a time of crisis. The reviews have brought into focus the learning that needs to be used to help plan for a longer-term response to the virus. It is essential that the right support is available for all parts of a local health and social care system to drive improvements where they are needed, and to involve voluntary and community organisations in promoting health and wellbeing. In social care, COVID-19 has not only exposed but exacerbated existing problems. The sector, already fragile, faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing – and coordinated support was less readily available than for the NHS. The long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care has been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic. Today’s report makes clear that these issues need to be urgently addressed – underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation. In the NHS, emergency departments now face the prospect of a winter which combines pre-existing pressures with the urgent demands of the pandemic. As other services restart, physical distancing will provide significant challenges, both logistically and in terms of managing capacity, alongside a backlog of people who were unable to access care during lockdown. The impact of COVID-19 on the NHS in terms of elective, diagnostic and screening work has been enormous. Some life-changing operations have still not been rescheduled and there are people whose cancer has not been diagnosed or treated. As we enter a second wave, there must be learning to ensure that non-COVID-19 patients are not left behind. The NHS is already working hard to develop innovative solutions –collaborative partnerships between providers could help to protect services so people get the care they need. It will also be particularly important that those services where improvement was already not quick enough – for example mental health and maternity – do not fall further behind. Concerns about these

service areas have led to risk-based inspections during the pandemic with enforcement action taken as a result. With the recognition that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed so much, it is important to recognise what has not changed. Problems that existed before the pandemic have not gone away – and people are still more likely to receive poorer care from some types of services for reasons that pre-date COVID-19. CQC will maintain scrutiny on these services, supporting improvement and taking action to protect people where necessary – and will continue to highlight factors, including commissioning and staffing, which impact on care but cannot be resolved at provider level alone and demand a national response. Alongside this, CQC will also carry out targeted programmes of work specifically focused on building resilience across the health and care system as it continues to respond to COVID-19, and look for opportunities to actively support providers who are trying new ways to improve people’s care. Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said: “Pre-Covid, the health and care system was often characterised as resistant to change. Covid has demonstrated that this is not the case. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum of transformation, but to do so in a sustainable way that delivers for everyone – driven by local leadership with a shared vision and supported by integrated funding for health and care. “There is an opportunity now for Government, Parliament and health and care leaders to agree and lay out a vision for the future at both a national and local level. Key to this will be tackling longstanding issues in adult social care around funding and operational support, underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce. This needs to happen now – not at some point in the future. “Covid is magnifying inequalities across the health and care system – a seismic upheaval which has disproportionately affected some more than others and risks turning fault lines into chasms. As we adjust to a Covid age, the focus must be on shaping a fairer health and care system – both for people who use services, and for those who work in them.” Peter Wyman, Chair of CQC, said: “Previous State of Care reports have highlighted areas of significant concern about, and opportunities to improve, the quality of health and social care provision. This report is no different in this respect – the areas we were concerned about before the pandemic remain areas of concern today. “What the response to Covid has demonstrated is how better joined up system working can improve both the quality of care and people’s experience of it. The increased pressures that the pandemic has placed on health and social care make it more crucial than ever to seize the opportunities available to rethink the delivery of care – or risk poorer care for some of the most vulnerable, and more patients left behind as a result of the pandemic. “The pace of change also makes it more important than ever that there is a safety culture across health and social care where staff, patients and their families feel able to speak up openly about what has worked and what has not, and that learning is then shared and acted on.”

Messages Of Kindness Bring Joy To Care Home Residents Big-hearted well-wishers have been putting a Plymouth care home on the map. The city’s Butterfly Lodge, home to up to 37 residents living with dementia, has been receiving Postcards of Kindness from across the country. The project offers friendly messages to older people, many of whom are no longer able to see their families due to lockdown restrictions. “We’ve put up a map of the UK with ribbons to show where all the different cards have come from,” said Butterfly’s activities coordinator Paul Hutt. “They’ve come from far and wide – from Texas in the United States to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk – and are a real pick-me-up for our residents in these difficult times. “We’re received almost 90 cards so far. We are so touched by everyone’s kindness. It’s wonderful to know there are so many lovely, thoughtful people out there. “There have been so many different cards, some are hand drawn or painted, others are of views, or old advertisements, with lovely heart-warming messages. “We use them as a talking point with residents – we might look at the picture on the front which could inspire someone to talk about a holiday they once had, or maybe a place they used to live. “They also love reading the messages and are delighted to know there are people thinking of them and sending them their best wishes.” Resident Phil O’Regan (86) was thrilled to see a postcard from Beckenham in Kent where he ran a Suzuki dealership for many years and sponsored local motorcycle scrambling events

The Social Interest Group The Social Interest Group (SIG) is made up of subsidiary charities that collectively believe that everyone has the right to live a positive and healthy life. We work in partnership to deliver quality support, health and social care through prevention, early intervention, recovery and rehabilitation. We are experts in working with adults who have the most complex and chaotic lives; enabling and empowering them to take charge of themselves, giving them the skills and resilience to live healthy and fulfilled lives. Penrose has been helping vulnerable adults make a change to their lives for over 50 years with support

interventions that have a positive and lasting impact. Penrose was founded in 1969 and since then we have supported thousands of people with their own personal journey and empower them to reach their own aspirational goals. Equinox Care provides support, care and recovery services to people who have a range of complex needs such as substance misuse and mental health issues. SIG Investments buys or leases property on behalf of the Group, and then leases it to Group members at an affordable rent. For further information please contact: communications@socialinterestgroup.org.uk


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Care Watchdog Confirms Crisis In Care Has Worsened The findings of a care watchdog have confirmed the need for an urgent “root and branch” reform of the way we care for older and vulnerable people, providers said today. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Care Quality Commission’s report on the state of health and social care makes damning reading for the Government. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Here we have damning evidence that the crisis in social care has hampered its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and made it ever more vital that we have reform of the sector straight away. “The dire state of social care – with providers struggling, 100,0000 staff vacancies a day, thousands going without care and poor staff morale – was not good preparation for the arrival of a pandemic. “Covid-19 found social care exposed and the toll has been terrible: 15,646 people died from coronavirus in care and nursing homes between 28th December and 2nd October, a number that is rising by the day. We must never forget, these are people’s loved ones – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, a brother, or a sister. ““Under-funded and neglected by government after government, coronavirus exposed a social care system that was already in crisis and plunged it into further despair.” The CQC says: “In social care, COVID-19 has not only exposed but exacerbated existing problems. The sector, already fragile, faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing – and coordinated support was less readily available than for the NHS. The long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care has been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic. “Today’s report makes clear that these issues need to be urgently addressed – underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation.” Mr Padgham added: “Reform is long overdue; the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised it and it is time to deliver. Unless we get more funding into the sector to support care, ease the staffing shortages and improve the terms and conditions of the staff providing amazing care, the sector will continue to be extremely fragile.” The ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally

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

Funding for Mental Health Support for NHS Staff Welcome as Difficult Winter Approaches Responding to the announcement of £15 million of funding to support NHS staff mental health, Rebecca Smith, managing director of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said: "NHS leaders know all too well the physical, emotional and mental toll the pandemic is having on their frontline workers as they respond to rising coronavirus cases alongside delivering their broader services for patients and preparing for what is expected to be a very difficult winter. "Nine out of ten NHS leaders we surveyed recently said they are concerned about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of staff, so this bolstered package of support will be welcome and will complement the measures that employers have put in place already.

"The roles of managers, teams, and organisations are vital in supporting staff to maintain their wellbeing, and it's imperative that the right training is available to make sure mental wellbeing can be discussed openly and supported appropriately. "However, no amount of mental health support will truly improve the experiences of frontline staff when they are faced with rising demand for healthcare alongside 90,000 vacancies. This requires additional investment from the Government spanning several years to put right. "Also, we must remember that social care workers will be equally exhausted and facing similar pressures. It is high time we see funding from the Government to support their mental wellbeing too."


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Protecting Future of the Care Sector Michelle Penn, partner at law firm BLM, analyses the current state of the care sector and whether it is in a viable position to survive the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. It is no secret that care homes have been badly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, 14,355 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in care homes between 10 April to 2 October 2020 in England alone. Accordingly, media coverage into the treatment of care homes by the Government during Covid19 has been widespread and less than favourable. BBC Panorama episode The Forgotten Frontline highlighted the struggles that care homes faced in protecting vulnerable residents at the height of the pandemic, bringing about serious questions on the Government’s approach to care homes. But what about the all-important Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) response? As an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, with a self-declared purpose to “make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, highquality care”, it holds the register of care providers and ensures they meet clear legal requirements through monitoring, inspecting and rating services. Legally, care providers must pay significant annual fees to the CQC for these services, with the 2019/20 ‘bands’ ranging from £313 to £15,710, dependent on the maximum number of residents that can be accommodated at each location – and care homes expect certain levels of protection in return. Should payment of these fees have been suspended during the period when levels of protection were also suspended?

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

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

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

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

HOW DOES THE CQC’S APPROACH COMPARE TO REGULATORS IN SCOTLAND AND WALES? To put the CQC’s approach to the crisis in context, it is worthy of comparison with the reaction of care regulators in Scotland and Wales. The Scottish independent care regulator, Care Inspectorate, announced on 13th March that it would cease inspections but promised a significant increase to level of contact with care homes. Unlike the CQC, payment of registration fees was suspended, and service providers were no longer required to pay balance of fees due for the

2019/20 financial year until July 2020. Inspections have now also resumed where risk is high, with a new ‘key question’ for care home inspections added, focusing on infection prevention/control, PPE, staffing and wellbeing. On 8th October, a letter from the regulator also confirmed that a significant number of inspections had been carried out over the preceding months. In Wales, where the designated care regulator is Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), inspections were similarly suspended on 16th March. It was not until 31st July that CIW moved into its ‘recovery phase’, confirming it would be returning to its full inspection program. As a substitute, the care regulator plans to undertake virtual on-site inspections to protect the wellbeing of residents. The CIW is working towards being more risk-based, responsive and intelligence-led, by seeking feedback and having close direct contact with services.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT BIGGEST THREATS TO CARE? Following a spike in cases and renewed lockdown restrictions, the sector is now considering how it can manage the impact of what appears to be a second wave. To date, public perception has been largely supportive of the care sector and how they coped with the height of the pandemic, generally passing blame for failings onto the government and regulatory bodies. That could very well change with a second wave, and in turn may encourage both Employers’ Liability and Public Liability Claims. Family members who have so far been supportive of the care sector but remain unable to visit their relatives in care may not be so patient this time around, and we could very well see a spike in Human Rights type claims against the sector, particularly as inquiries are ongoing into the use of ‘do not resuscitate’ orders in care settings at the height of the first lockdown. Another threat already having a considerable impact is the hike in insurance renewal costs, as care sector businesses are facing either huge increases in premiums and/or pandemic exclusion clauses for potential Public Liability claims. Consequently, this means care sector businesses are even more cautious about allowing visitors to see their relatives. Particularly for smaller businesses, this can present a serious threat to their business viability – insurance cover is crucial, as how can they survive if a Public Liability is made and they have no cover? Many will be looking to government intervention for support. The pandemic has already had a massive impact on the financial stability of the care sector, particularly with low occupancy, and these new problems make viability in the sector even more difficult for the majority of providers. How important will the promised government relief package prove to care homes, or does more need to be done? On 13th May, the Government announced an additional £600 million to support providers through a new adult social care infection control fund. To summarise, this is designed to provide: • Additional PPE and care infection training for staff • Reduction in workforce movements, via subsidy of staff wages • Comprehensive testing for all residents and staff • Capacity to quarantine residents that require isolation • Additional NHS clinical support via primary and community support • National recruitment campaign, to attract a further 20,000 people into social care • Oversight and compliance by local authorities, to help implement care support plans • Extra funding to local authorities Only time will tell if this relief package will be enough. The care sector is a diverse one, that ranges from small privately-owned care homes, to large corporates, local authorities, charitable institutions and domiciliary care. Regardless, they have a shared task and responsibility: to care for the most vulnerable people in our society. Problems are still prevalent across the sector and the CQC has a responsibility to ensure all care providers can work competently towards that shared goal. Whilst inspections are now resuming, albeit in a different form, basic mistakes are being made. At the time of writing, inspectors are still not being tested for Covid-19 prior to inspections, despite the primary traced source of infections being care sector staff members that attend multiple care settings. Considering its failures and conduct throughout the pandemic, the future of the CQC must surely be in question. It will be interesting to see whether it is reinvented in a similar manner to Public Health England (PHE). There are many threats to the future of care, and we will feel the impact of the pandemic on the care sector for many years to come, as we look to protect the future of care and the most vulnerable in our society.

Messages Of Kindness Bring Joy To Care Home Residents Big-hearted well-wishers have been putting a Plymouth care home on the map. The city’s Butterfly Lodge, home to up to 37 residents living with dementia, has been receiving Postcards of Kindness from across the country. The project offers friendly messages to older people, many of whom are no longer able to see their families due to lockdown restrictions. “We’ve put up a map of the UK with ribbons to show where all the different cards have come from,” said Butterfly’s activities coordinator Paul Hutt. “They’ve come from far and wide – from Texas in the United States to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk – and are a real pick-me-up for our residents in these difficult times. “We’re received almost 90 cards so far. We are so touched by everyone’s kindness. It’s wonderful to know there are so many

lovely, thoughtful people out there. “There have been so many different cards, some are hand drawn or painted, others are of views, or old advertisements, with lovely heart-warming messages. “We use them as a talking point with residents – we might look at the picture on the front which could inspire someone to talk about a holiday they once had, or maybe a place they used to live. “They also love reading the messages and are delighted to know there are people thinking of them and sending them their best wishes.” Resident Phil O’Regan (86) was thrilled to see a postcard from Beckenham in Kent where he ran a Suzuki dealership for many years and sponsored local motorcycle scrambling events


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Social Care Needs To Fill More Than 100,000 Vacancies The adult social care sector in England still needs to fill around 112,000 job vacancies on any given day according to a new report published by Skills for Care. Using data provided by employers to the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) the annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report showed there had been a slight reduction in job vacancies, but employers still needed to find thousands of new workers. “Any reduction in the number of vacancies is welcome, but we need to attract more new recruits who have the right values to fill posts that offer long term careers where you can make a difference in people’s lives every single day,” says Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth. “Once people have discovered the personal satisfaction on offer in social care, we need to keep them by investing in pay, their professional development and creating clear career pathways. We cannot miss this opportunity so we must continue to invest in our frontline staff and dedicated leaders and managers who have made such a difference in keeping people safe and well during the pandemic. “We will use the quality information in this report to make long-term workforce decisions informed by solid data in what is a critical period of change for a workforce bigger than the NHS.” Welcoming the report Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, said: “We cannot thank our care workers enough. They have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to give compassionate care to our loved ones. No one should underestimate the skills and commitment of care workers. “I welcome this report giving us more insight into our social care workforce. It underlines the challenge for social care employers to recruit and retain staff - and the importance of investing in training and career opportunities. “Recognising the recruitment challenge we have run a national recruitment campaign highlighting the important work care workers do

and launched the ‘Join Social Care’ online recruitment tool. We’re also working with DWP to promote adult social care careers to jobseekers. “We are supporting care providers through the pandemic with the costs of pay for staff required to self-isolate and so no care worker should lose income as a result of the requirement to only work in one location, with the £1.1 billion infection control fund. As we come through the pandemic I want to see ever more appreciation of the care workers we rely on to look after the most vulnerable in our society.” The report also reveals the percentage of days lost to sickness in adult social care across England during the pandemic increased to 7.5% between March and August 2020 compared to 2.7% pre-COVID-19. The staff vacancy rate for employers updating ASC-WDS data between March and August 2020 was 7.0%, down from the pre COVID19 rate for those employers which was around 8.6%. CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care Kate Terroni said: “We welcome Skill for Care’s report. For years, we’ve been calling for a better funding settlement for adult social care. Last year, we warned that the continuing lack of a long-term sustainable solution for adult social care was having a damaging impact on the quality and quantity of available care. “Our latest State of Care report makes clear that these issues need to be urgently addressed and also calls for a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation. "We’re committed to ensuring safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and others to support the care system through winter.” Other Key findings from this influential report include: • Adult social care is a growing sector that, in 2019/20, comprised of around 18,200 organisations across 38,000 care-providing locations and

a workforce of around 1.52 million compared to around 1.4 million NHS workers. • The adult social care sector was estimated to contribute £41.2 billion per annum to the economy in England, which is worth more than the oil industry and the culture sector. • Around 84% of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% (113,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (134,000 jobs) had a non-EU nationality. • The UK will adopt a points-based immigration system from January 1st 2021, ‘Care worker’ was not listed as an eligible occupation on the ‘Skilled Workers’ route. Therefore care workers will not be able to immigrate into the UK to take up these roles from 1 January 2021. • Care worker pay has increased at a faster rate since the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW). Since the launch of the NLW the hourly rate has increased by an average of 30 pence per year (3.9%) compared to 1.9% per year prior to the NLW. The proportion of care workers paid the statutory minimum amount has increased since the introduction of the NLW, from 16% in March 2016 to 23% in March 2020, but and sales and retail assistants now, on average, earn 24p per hour more than care workers. • Skills for Care estimates that 7.3% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2019/20, equivalent to 112,000 vacancies at any one time. • Skills for Care estimates that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.4% in 2019/20. • Using data from care homes updating ASC-WDS between March and August 2020, the occupancy rate has fallen for 87% to 79% in care homes with nursing and from 87% to 82% in care homes without nursing. Over the same period, there was no evidence of the number of staff employed falling overall. To download the report and the infographic go to www.skillsforcare.org.uk/stateof-earlyrelease

Care Home Lifts Residents’ Spirits by Hosting Oktoberfest Celebration A CITY care home has temporarily transformed itself into a Bavarian Steinhaus, treating residents to beer, sausages and an afternoon celebrating the traditional Bavarian festival, Oktoberfest. Cramond Residence, the most exclusive care home in Edinburgh, put on a variety of German-related activities for residents, helping build engagement and provide much-needed light relief. From a beginner’s level language course to learning about the native music and games there was something for everyone to get involved in. To make the Oktoberfest celebration special, residents helped make decorations and were invited to decorate the event room itself before an afternoon of celebrations. More than 15 were then able to attend the celebrations, owing to the small group community in place at the home. One of those was 97-year-old Professor Leonard Pompa. He said: “The Oktoberfest was a great afternoon and had been very well organised by the staff at Cramond. “There were a host of activities that we could take part in the lead up to the event and even more on the actual day. My favourite part was trying the German sausage – it was surprisingly very tasty!

“It was interesting finding out about the history of the festival and tasting the native cuisine. I think it was one of the best events I’ve attended at Cramond as everyone was really enjoying themselves and got involved in all activities.” The Cramond Residence version of Oktoberfest included staff wearing traditional Bavarian dresses, a presentation of the history of Oktoberfest, German language lessons, watching traditional German Folk Dances, a beer tasting and a selection of Oktoberfest style food. Lisa Sohn, Lead Lifestyle Co-ordinator at Cramond Residence, said: “It’s great to hear the residents enjoyed themselves at the Oktoberfest as it was something different and we had not held a celebration like it before. “The residents transformed the cinema room and it not only looked authentic but sounded it as well due to several individuals putting their basic German lessons to the test and greeting each other in the language. “Feedback from residents has been very positive on a whole and we have had wonderful feedback for the decorations, dresses and food so we may have to look at holding this event again next year – hopefully minus the social distancing!”


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Care Chief Calls For COVID Testing To Be Widened To Care Home Visitors

A Dorset care home group director is calling for the government to allow COVID testing in care homes to be expanded to visitors to help preserve vital contact with loved ones. Mandy Kittlety, Managing Director of Luxurycare which operates five homes in Bournemouth and Poole, has added her voice to the growing campaign against isolation in care homes. She is urging the government to give the care sector ‘the tools it needs’ to manage the COVID risk, while still maintaining visits which are so vital for residents’ mental and emotional health. Luxurycare has in place robust infection control, including PPE for all staff and social distancing measures, and has asked families to name just one designated visitor for each resident. But the managing director now wants to be free to offer visitors weekly COVID testing across the five care homes, in the same way that their staff are tested. Mandy said: “Testing visitors, as well as residents and staff members, is the only way to close the circle, short of stopping visits altogether which we feel leaves residents, particularly those with dementia, feeling isolated and distressed. “While we ask people to stay away if they are feeling unwell, we know that regular testing is the only way to pick up non-symptomatic infections. Identifying these ‘invisible’ cases, combined with our other measures, enables us to successfully prevent the spread of the virus – as we have already seen after two members of staff recently tested positive despite being free of symptoms. ‘If we could offer nominated visitors weekly testing it would increase the safe-

ty of everyone in the home, at the same time as helping us stay open to visitors – something which is incredibly important for our residents and their families.” As the pandemic resurges, care homes up and down the country are enforcing increasingly stringent restrictions such as only allowing families to see their loved ones through windows or Perspex partitions, or stopping visits altogether. This fraught issue has hit the headlines, with new campaign groups fighting to #EndIsolationInCare, with some even mounting a legal challenge against the government guidance that restricts family visits. Luxurycare has consistently sought to balance the dual priorities of managing the COVID risk while continuing to prioritise compassion and supporting residents’ mental and emotional wellbeing. For example, family members can spend time with loved ones who are receiving end-of-life care, and homes even provide PPE ‘cuddle packs’ to allow for some physical contact between residents and visitors. Adds Mandy: “Everyone in this industry wants to do the right thing and manage the risks from COVID, but the longer this situation continues, the more evidence we see of the psychological damage caused by keeping residents apart from the people they love. It is heartbreakingly cruel. “A balance has to be struck. We have done and continue to do everything in our power to make sure our residents can still safely see family members, but it seems to me that COVID testing for visitors is the vital missing piece we need to get that balancing act right.’

Harvest Festival Gives Care Home Opportunity To Donate To Local Food Bank HC-One’s Sutherland Court care home in Newcastle was certainly in the Harvest Festival mood after spending days with Residents decorating harvest crafts. During this time, it is always important for Residents, Colleagues and Relatives to think of their local community, as the Harvest Festival is seen as a religious event that celebrated the winter harvest. Colleagues at Sutherland Court asked their fellow team and Relatives to donate non-perishable food for the local food bank, so that Sutherland Court can give back to their local community, as a thank you from all Residents and Colleagues at the home for their kind support over the past few difficult months. The Harvest Festival was filled with singing Hymns, thanking everyone for the food, quizzes, poems and watching You Tube clips of harvest related fun. Sutherland Court Resident, Emily Gray said: “We sang, we laughed and we drank and eat cake, what more did we need.” There was something for everyone, with Residents enjoying songs, films and a lovely selection of food that helped Harvest Festival celebrations go on into the night.


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The Essentials for Fabric COVID-19 Infection Control In The Care Sector

By Jackie Hook, chemist from commercial laundry specialist, JLA (www.jla.com)

The care home setting is one that requires staff to work in close contact with residents, the majority of whom are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. With heightened concerns about the growing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and care homes facing further difficulties with the winter months approaching, infection control remains a critical concern and is, arguably, now more important than ever. Finding ways to keep staff members protected and residents as safe as possible, means that care home managers will be putting an increased emphasis on hygiene measures throughout their facilities. Specifically, keeping laundry clean, and most importantly, COVIDfree, is crucial. With research showing that the coronavirus infection can live on fabric and textiles for up to 3 days, below are some top tips and best practice for care home workers when storing, washing and handling laundry within the residence.

STORING DIRTY LINEN As studies demonstrate that coronavirus can survive on linen for up to 72 hours, it is important that linen, or any fabric that residents or staff come into contact with, is removed, stored and washed as safely as possible. For workers, when removing infected laundry and bed linen from residents’ rooms, it is recommended that the linen is not rinsed, shaken or sorted but carefully placed in a red soluble bag, tied and then secured in a secondary bag. This should then be placed directly into the allocated laundry trolley. Similarly, once this has been done, laundry baskets must be stored in a designated and safe area, away from the residents and members of staff. This should be done before the laundry is washed or whilst awaiting collection from a contractor.

KEEPING LAUNDRY COVID-FREE It is important that linen is processed as quickly as possible and not left overnight for washing. This will ensure any stains are not allowed to dry into the fabric and reduce the microbial challenge. When washing the laundry, whether onsite or through a contractor, not only is it essential to do this safely, it is also worth researching the washing system that is being used to see how effective it is at removing the coronavirus infection. There are now systems available that have undergone extensive testing to demonstrate just how effective they are at removing the coronavirus infection, with factors such as optimum temperature and load capacity being carefully monitored and reviewed. Not only does investing in a tested system help protect care home residents, but it also places confidence in the staff, with families of residents feeling safe in the knowledge that everything is being done to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

SUPPORTING THE WASHING OF STAFF UNIFORM Another way to ensure that any potential traces of coronavirus are removed effectively from any fabric or linen within the care home, could be by having health workers’ uniforms washed and stored on site, rather than items being taken home. Using commercial washing machines provides better control of the wash process in comparison to domestic washers. They are not designed to deal with infected linen nor are they normally compliant with UK water regulations to deal with this category of work. As discussed by Dr Katie Laird, reader in microbiology and head of the infectious disease research group at De Montfort University Leicester ‘by taking uniforms home, (care) workers run the risk of contaminating their home environment’. By using a laundering facility for healthcare uniforms directly in the care home, infection control can be effectively treated and minimised transmission of the virus can be assured as fabrics are not being taken to and from the care facility after they have been worn. As a key public-facing industry, the care sector is quickly having to stay up to date with new measures surrounding infection control. In an environment where incorrect handling, processing and storage of linen can present a preventable risk, investing in the right laundry facility and hygiene measures, can help to keep residents safe, workers happy and families reassured that their loved ones are as protected from this virus as they can be.

Marie Curie to Support Care UK Teams in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic End of life charity, Marie Curie and care home provider Care UK, are working together to provide additional support to care home teams and to help prepare for any future outbreaks. Marie Curie will work with Care UK on its approach to end of life care, including evaluating current training and practice, provide support to Care UK home managers to enhance resilience among team members and will be on hand for care home colleagues who need a space to share, reflect and learn, with the opportunity to speak to Marie Curie experts about any aspect of end of life care. In homes affected by coronavirus, Marie Curie will provide support to the entire care home team via the Marie Curie Professional Companions programme. Marie Curie will also provide recommendations about additional support that might develop and reassure care home teams in the future. Leah Queripel, HR Director at Care UK said: “Our care home teams are what makes the care we provide second to none and we want to do everything we can to support our team members. I know absolutely that the last seven months have not been easy for them, but they have risen to the challenge in ways that would have been unimaginable a year ago. Their courage to keep on going to work, day in day out, to deliver great care and to support each other has been something we are incredibly proud of. We know that extraordinary grit and determination has, in some case, taken its toll on people and I hope that working with Marie Curie will help our teams in that position to move forward.”

Leah added: “Although a confidential telephone support service has been available to all Care UK employees for several years, directors at Care UK recognised that the past seven months have been like no other period in its history and that something additional was required. Sadly, the virus did claim the lives of some residents in our homes and care home teams worked incredibly hard to ensure that residents at the end of their lives were in comfortable, loving and supported surroundings. David had email as well is that about features list the current know we have the same email when you tell and what is good we work on the features list tonight “Whilst I hope it never arrives, these recommendations will also help us to be even more prepared and resilient if we see a surge of cases in our homes in the coming months.” Eamon O’Kane, Deputy Director, Devolved Nations & National Programmes at Marie Curie said: “As a charity, Marie Curie’s mission is to improve the experience of dying, death and bereavement for all. We provide direct end of life care in communities across the UK, but we will make greater impact in our mission by working with organisations that have a delivery role in end of life care. We have experience, resources and services that can help the care home sector and welcome the approach from Care UK. Working together ensures patients, residents and carers will ultimately benefit from the best end of life experience.”

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

Downs Residential Care Centre, in Hartley, Kent, secured third place with an impressive fruit and sponge design of its home. A special prize also went to St Winifreds Care Centre, in Deal, Kent, for its creative concept of featuring aspects of its residents’ lives, which included lawn bowls and cocktails. While cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50 were given to the winners, every home’s delightful designs were worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake! Viv Stead, Recreation and Wellbeing Manager at Nellsar, said: “The Great Nellsar Cake Off was full of fun, friendship and flour – lots of flour! Our residents fully immersed themselves in the competition and we were lucky enough to see some incredible designs.” Viv continued: “With the pandemic not likely to pass any time soon, it’s so important to keep residents engaged, stimulated and happy, and that’s what this light-hearted competition was all about. Well done to everyone who took part – treat yourselves to a well-deserved slice and cuppa!”


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What The Transitional Regulatory Approach Means For Your Care Business By Mick Feather, Care Business Manager at Citation (www.citation.co.uk) From 6 October, the transitional regulatory approach began to be rolled out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In follow up to the emergency support framework developed in response to the pandemic, the transitional regulatory approach will bring together existing methodologies with learnings from its COVID-19 response, and inspection activity will be more targeted and focused. The CQC has been clear that it won’t be returning to ‘business-asusual’ and has no immediate plans to return to a fixed timetable or frequency rules on inspecting. On-site inspections will take place in a targeted way, depending on whether CQC believes you are not providing adequate care, or if services need more visits, such as in secure settings. Having focused largely on managing the immediate risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, CQC will be broadening their monitoring approach to look at more areas where quality needs to improve.

Based on their existing KLOEs, the CQC will specifically target safety, people’s access to services, and leadership (though the CQC can still look at any, or all the KLOEs). The new focused Key Lines of Enquiry not only cover medication and infection control in the safe key area but also highlight the importance of safeguarding, risk assessments, staff recruitment, staff training and staffing levels. These are directly related to Health and Safety and Employment Law and if not handled correctly can impact on the safety of service users.” Information on your care service will be collected from a wide range of sources, including the inspector’s knowledge of your service, inspection reports, and ratings. Having initially reviewed the information they have on your care service, this will then be followed by a call which will take place by using Microsoft teams or by phone. With that in mind, there has never been a more important time to consider how you can make your care business ‘virtually inspectable’ and recreate how inspections usually take place but in a virtual environment. The CQC states that good digital records should be person-centred, accessible, legible, complete, up-to-date, always available and secure. Businesses may find it helpful to use platforms to help with their preparedness and organisation for calls, such as CQC Pro which Citation clients use to collate evidence which they can easily show by sharing their screen. The Well Led Key Lines of Enquiry focus on quality assurance and continuous improvement. How do you know what is going well and what needs improvement at any given moment in your service? Feedback and experiences from those involved in your care service

will be central to the CQC’s approach. Citation clients in particular can also use CQC Pro and it’s survey tool, to easily send out surveys and gain valuable insights and trend analysis from the responses. Examples of outstanding practices undertaken in September and October sessions include: • Virtual training sessions, using platforms such as Skype, Facetime and Zoom, for families and residents • Using interactive and fun social activities – such as quizzes and games – to communicate COVID-19 information, keeping residents up-to-date in an engaging way • When the weather is not appropriate for outside visits, having large lounges with visitors and residents separated by Perspex screening • To ensure correct washing temperature and to lower the risk of contamination, laundering of uniforms in the care settings • Staff reimbursement for the purchasing of easy-clean footwear However, care providers will not receive inspection reports and ratings akin to how inspections took place before COVID19. Though best practice examples like the above will help prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in your care settings, infection prevention and control remains the most important. With guidance and legislation frequently changing, care managers are increasingly having to wear many hats and HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety remain vitally important. Care businesses may find it beneficial to receive outsourced support in these areas, to ensure they are overseen by confident and competent people. Citation in particular supports more than 40,000 businesses across the UK, with specific products produced bespoke for the sector to help take the stress out of compliance.

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

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

Sector Response to The Publication Of CQC’s State Of Care 2019/20 Report The publication of this year’s influential State of care report rightly shines a welcome spotlight on the precarious position of social care before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as well as the more recent and momentous impact of COVID-19 on England’s health and care systems. The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), the national infrastructure body representing organisations within the voluntary sector who work alongside disabled people, welcomes this comprehensive picture. There is an encouraging focus on how COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on some people with protected characteristics, including how disabled people have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic and its knock-on effects. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March, VODG has raised concerns about how the government’s response has overlooked the rights and entitlements of disabled people and of the workforce supporting them. This has been alongside a continued call for the government to put social care on a strong and sustainable footing – instead of dishing out quick-fix solutions. VODG hopes that today’s publication will encourage the government to finally address the historic and sustained political failure to fully recognise, understand and fund equitable care and support services. Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG, said: “We welcome CQC’s continued spotlight on the most pressing issues within the sector as well as its unique perspective, which gives us a broad view across health and social care at a time of particular concern. “The pandemic has exacerbated the need for reform, investment, and sensible workforce planning for the social care sector. It has also highlighted the government’s lack of recognition for working age adult social care services and the inequities that exist for many people with protected characteristics – as CQC rightly reports, the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges already faced by the UK’s 14.1 million disabled people and the social care sector that supports them. “COVID-19 has also shone a spotlight on the significant role voluntary sector disability organisations play in supporting people and their families and of the local community services that play such an important role in people’s lives. “While it is reassuring that CQC’s State of care report had identified and acknowledged these issues, we can only hope that the government finally takes notice and addresses these issues as a matter of urgency. “For many years, the annual State of care report has highlighted the precarious financial state of the social care sector and the growing

demands placed on it. “Today’s report provides yet another reminder of the impact this sustained lack of funding is having on the sector, only now, it has been truly magnified and worsened by the pandemic. “The government must now seize the chance to ensure its ongoing response to the pandemic, and future planning for the social care sector, is fully inclusive and responsive to the needs of all the people it serves.”

THE CARE PROVIDER ALLIANCE RESPONSE Speaking on the findings and recommendations, Kathy Roberts, chair of the Care Provider Alliance said: “Care providers are to be congratulated for their remarkable achievements: 85 per cent have achieved a good or outstanding CQC rating despite the huge pressures they have faced, but they cannot be taken for granted. “COVID-19 has revealed, more starkly than ever, the lack of parity in the support given to the NHS and that given to social care. Paradoxically it has also highlighted the absolute inter-dependence of the two systems. CQC’s report provides clear evidence and recommendations for improvement. “Through the Care Provider Alliance’s work with care services, the NHS, central and local government, we have seen how working together as equal partners – sharing expertise and experience – makes a real difference. As the Alliance of the main trade associations working across the adult social care sector, the CPA is calling for: • a long-term funding and support solution to ensure that the social care market is sustainable. • an equal place for care providers at local and national planning and decision-making, alongside our health and local authority colleagues. • recognition and reward for our highly-skilled care workforce. “In return, the CPA and our members will continue to work constructively with our colleagues across government and social care national agencies. We strongly welcome CQC’s rigorous and valuable report and recommendations.” Nick Sanderson, Audley Group, CEO commented: “The CQC report simply highlights the depressing fact that the pandemic exposed just the tip of the iceberg. The whole social care system is incredibly fragile and in desperate need of fundamental reform. The government has until now turned a blind eye to the growing issue, with years of empty promises and inaction. This can’t go on. If any positives can come out of a very difficult year for the social care sector, real reform has to start now. Before it is too late. We have an opportunity to do something fun-

damental rather than simply throwing money at a broken system. “The solution has to bring together care and housing as one. Many issues faced in the social care system result from people are living in unsuitable housing, particularly as they age and this places intolerable pressure on the NHS and social care systems. People are pushed into the care sector long before they need to be there. We must effect change from the ground up, increasing provision of the type of housing that is suitable for people as they get older, and as such takes the pressure off hospitals and residential care. This is why, with ARCO, we are calling on the government to create a task force to tackle the obstacles holding back the growth of the retirement living market. The sector is ready to play its part and the government must be too.” Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Although this year’s State of Care report makes a raft of important recommendations including a new deal for the adult social care workforce, it is disappointing to note that the report is predominantly a narrative of events which spanned the Covid-19 pandemic, as opposed to a critical reflection of what must change. This is underscored by the lack of internal reflection from CQC as to its handling of the crisis.” The annual State of Care report, www.cqc.org.uk examines trends, shares examples of good and outstanding care and highlights where care needs to improve. This year’s State of Care starts by considering the quality of care prior to Covid-19 before subsequently examining the impact of the pandemic and the response of the system. The report highlights the fantastic work of the adult social care sector with 80% of adult social care services were rated as good and 5% as outstanding (31 July 2019: 80%, 4%). However, it is concerning that among mental health services that the level of poor care in inpatient wards for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people continues to rise; the overall proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 4% to 13%. This emphasises the need to deliver on the Transforming Care target to reduce the total number of patients with a learning disability and/or autism within inpatient units by 35%. Professor Green continues: “The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the interdependence of the health and social care system and the organisations that operate across the system. The regulator must now reflect upon its own role and look to facilitate the delivery of safe, quality and sustainable Covid19 proof care in the future.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 17

Retirement Community Sector Calls For Task Force On Housing With Care For Older People The UK’s Retirement Community operators have issued a call for a Government task force to help tackle the obstacles which are holding back the growth in supply of good quality housing-with-care for older people. At the AGM of the sector’s trade body, ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators), operators threw their weight behind the initiative which is designed to bring “clarity and consistency” to regulation which is characterised as “conflicting, confused and contradictory” for residents, prospective residents and investors. This year has seen reports from the County Councils Network and Professor Les Mayhew making a call for the Government to adopt a more joined-up approach to the sector. This should bring together the range of Government departments which touch on the sector, including the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office as well as representatives of the sector and local Government. Previous government task forces, such as on the Private Rented Sector, have shown the potential of joined up working between governmental and sector stakeholders. The coronavirus crisis has also brought into stark relief the need to expand choices for older people seek-

ing housing and care. The well attended AGM took place digitally for the first time and saw the re-electeion of Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Villages, as ARCO Chair and Jane Ashcroft, CEO of Anchor Hanover, as ARCO Vice-Chair. Nick Sanderson, Chair of ARCO and CEO of Audley Villages, said: “This is a seminal moment for the sector. We can see clearly now that older people want to make the most of their retirement and stay healthy, connected and independent for longer. “It is clear that we need a much more concerted and intelligent approach to allow this sector to achieve its potential. The sector is ready to do its part to growth housing and care options for older people in the UK. We are now asking the Government to play their part too – we need a task force now.” Jane Ashcroft, Vice-Chair of ARCO and CEO of Anchor Hanover, said: “Retirement Communities are already providing tens of thousands of older people with great housing and care – but we can and must do more. We know that there are hundreds of thousands more older people at all income levels who need to be provided for. This is a chance for the Government to “level up” for older people.

More Restrictions Likely Without Major Improvements to Test and Trace Responding to the latest NHS test and trace figures, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “The latest test and trace figures paint a clear picture of what is on the cards for the UK. As cases continue to rise steeply, it is becoming increasingly likely we will see more – and more stringent – restrictions. “While the trace system is still identifying contacts for fewer than 80 per cent of people who test positive, it is at least somewhat reassuring that the turnaround time for inperson test results has decreased. But the same cannot be said for satellite and home tests – we need to see improvements across the board. While our members in some of the worst-affected areas tell us the system is coping for now, if the NHS is to continue to be able to cope, with the added challenges of winter, we will either need to see a swift and significant improvement in the test and trace system, or more draconian measures

over even larger parts of the country. “Staff are doing all they can to bring back routine services alongside treating rising numbers of COVID-19 patients, from primary care to acute hospitals, but if COVID-19 demand continues to follow the same trajectory, it will reduce the ability to deliver other services, which could have repercussions for non-COVID deaths. “Greater Manchester and London are now facing tougher restrictions; if the rest of the country is to avoid following suit, it is vital that people continue to be patient and to do all they can to help curb the spread. At the same time, it is also imperative that the Government heeds scientific advice, and provides very clear communication so that everyone understands what is being asked of us.”

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PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

Managing Cultural Change in a Crisis By Phil Taylor, Chief Digital Officer of RLDatix (www.rldatix.com) The coronavirus pandemic has magnified a myriad of challenges in the healthcare sector. Whilst there is no magic cure, a change in culture can deliver seemingly miraculous benefits including reducing the effects of staff burnout, delivering a higher quality of care and increasing productivity. It is well within the remit of leaders, who can use their power, to influence workplace culture and drive positive change from within. Coronavirus has delivered profound shockwaves across the country. At a time when people are losing their lives, Government measures to halt the spread of the disease are adversely affecting people’s income, job security, life chances for the young and social contacts – all essential to physical health and emotional wellbeing. Many of these factors are identified by The Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK, as the ‘five dimensions of the impact of COVID-19’. These encompass the direct impact of the virus in terms of death and serious illness; the impact on acute care for conditions that are not related to the virus; the disruption suffered by those with longterm chronic conditions; the medium to long-term impact of Government interventions to contain the virus by restricting movement; and the long-term impacts of service capacity and resilience in the health service.[i]

CRISIS MAGNIFIES PERENNIAL PROBLEMS IN HEALTHCARE During the pandemic, the NHS, local government and local communities have really come together, reshaping their work in an effort to contain the infection and protect the most vulnerable. However, increased fatality rates – NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE) claim death rates have doubled during the pandemic[ii] - along with the extra workload resulting from delayed care for routine treatments, have put additional burdens on an already overstretched health service struggling with squeezed budgets and not enough people. Financially, the situation has been bleak for some time. Even before the pandemic, NHSE revealed an NHS deficit of £1.3billion for the first six months of 2019-2020[iii] and it can only get worse. In a bid to reduce waiting lists for non-COVID care, predictions are that the NHS could spend £10billion outsourcing work to private hospital groups over the next four years alone.[iv] Moreover, staff shortages are nothing new. At the beginning of this year, there were around 44,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the UK [v], and staff burnout has always been, and continues to be, an issue. Findings from the Royal College of Nursing who surveyed their 8,307 members reveal that 77% work in excess of contracted hours at least once a week, while 63% feel under too much pressure at work and 61% are too busy to provide the level of care they would like.[vi]

THE VALUE OF CULTURAL CHANGE The challenges are greater than ever before, but it is how healthcare organisations prepare themselves to tackle these challenges that will make the difference. No-one expects an instant cure-all for widespread NHS debt or staff shortages caused by factors outside our control, such as a pandemic or the imminent arrival of Brexit. How executive leaders can drive improvement is by focusing on developing their organisation’s culture, building with their staff an open, just, and empowering environment, thereby enabling their organisation to meet the challenges of the new and uncertain healthcare environment. Evidence shows that leaders who invest personally and emotionally in workplace culture can influence significant change in spite of all the noise around them. They can also expect to enjoy significant rewards. A culture of openness, for example, has been associated with demonstrably lower mortality rates among 137 NHS acute trusts, and organisa-

tions regularly achieve a 6.48% reduction in mortality events following culture initiatives.[vii] Meanwhile, improvements in culture could easily represent a 30% reduction in the £2.2 billion litigation costs through NHS Resolution, saving around £660 million every year.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO, RATHER THAN WHAT YOU CANNOT At first sight, the challenges facing healthcare leaders today appear overwhelming, so what can executive teams do to overcome the numerous barriers to success and how do they cope during extreme circumstances? ‘Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot’ is a good place to start the journey towards a new and enlightened workplace culture.

HERE ARE SIX STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER: Deploy systems that allow you to hear what your team is telling you – Establishing an open culture has to be based on the ability for leaders to understand the organisation they are managing. Sydney Finkelstein’s book “Why Smart Executives Fail” highlights the outcomes of once-great organisations that were managed by leaders who did not work in the same reality as that of their teams. Eliminate the fear factor – Your organisation has to be open to hearing the truth from all staff. Nothing is worse for communication than a healthcare organisation where bullying and harassment are rampant. The statistics speak for themselves. When you take into account the direct specific impacts to staff health, sickness absence, costs to the employer, employee turnover, diminished productivity, sickness presenteeism, compensation, litigation and industrial relations costs, bullying and harassment are estimated to cost the taxpayer £2.281 billion per annum – and that’s a conservative estimate.[viii] Executive teams should focus on eliminating the fear factor so that if an individual has been diligent but still has no success, it’s not the individual’s fault but the organisation’s fault. Change unsuccessful leadership habits – identified as an important step to success in the book ‘Why Smart Executives Fail’. The key is to listen and to be open to changing your Leadership Habits based on feedback from your teams. Put another way, seek to become a ‘servant leader’. A servant leader is one that focuses on building systems and processes that enable their people to flourish in their roles and to be the very best that they can be – and then gets out of their way. To use a lesser known quote from Albert Einstein, ‘Do not try to become a person of success but try to become a person of value’ - in the terms of leadership this means be of value to your staff. Caring for your staff is not only based on ethical and professional values of good healthcare but research suggests it is a key differentiator of successful organisations in all industries. For example, supporting staff where failures happen and taking ownership for improving the system. Executive leaders should aspire to attain the top ten characteristics of servant leadership: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualisation, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people and building a community Visibly own inspiring visions and culture - operationalised at every level with clear, aligned objectives for all teams, departments and individual staff. This is something most organisations have, but only the best organisations’ leadership teams actually live by them, every day. A vison can just be a set of words on a slide, but when an organisation’s leadership team truly believes and exhibits this belief in an inspirational vision it has the power to remove stress. The tangible value of this is evidenced in a growing body of research on how stress reduces an individual’s ability to acquire knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. Adopt a just culture - in a sector where a blame culture is prevalent, the greatest stressor for staff especially during a healthcare crisis like COVID-19, is ‘What will happen to me if something goes wrong?’ The first step towards positive cultural change is to eliminate blame by focusing on the systems or processes that support staff rather than the supposed failings of individuals. Avoidable deaths (the Office for National Statistics deems some 22% of deaths to have been avoidable[ix]) are often caused by inefficient processes. Be mindful of

the system, consider its impact on staff and a just culture will follow. A just culture aims for openness & transparency - “if transparency were a medication, it would be a blockbuster, with billions of dollars in salesand accolades the world over.”[x] Indeed, NHSE’s definition of a just culture is one that supports fairness, openness and learning in the NHS by making staff feel confident to speak up when things go wrong, rather than fearing blame.[xi] Executive leaders can create a workplace environment where staff are encouraged to be open about their own mistakes as well as the potential failings of other individuals or the organisation as a whole. This allows valuable lessons to be learnt so the same errors can be prevented from being repeated. Most importantly, staff should be confident they are following an objective process where they can be open without suffering undue recrimination for speaking out. https://resources.rldatix.com/uk-en-blog/moving-from-a-blame-culture-to-a-just-culture-seven-key-elements-2 Start from the very beginning – with your new recruits. Demonstrating compassion throughout the employee lifecycle, starting with recruitment, is essential to supporting and retaining NHS staff. Research indicates that newly qualified nurses are at the highest risk of leaving the profession, and, stress and burnout have been found to significantly correlate with intention to leave. In a European nursing survey, 42% of UK nurses reported burnout (the highest percentage of the 10 European countries surveyed), compared to the average of 28%. Conversely, nurses who are psychologically engaged and currently involved in their organisation report a lower intention to leave their job.[xii] Do your new recruits feel welcome? Do they believe in your Vision and Culture? Do they have the right knowledge to do their job properly? Do they understand the most common processes? What about training and new technology? Have you ensured they have enough experienced staff they can approach with questions? Investing executive attention in new staff with a clear focus on wellbeing and development opportunities will reap dividends. It boosts confidence, empowers staff to care for patients in their own way and builds longterm staff loyalty. It also costs very little, but the rewards are high.

CROSSING YOUR FINGERS ISN’T AN OPTION Why does all this matter? Healthcare is a high risk industry, navigating this successfully as a care worker is essential to safe, reliable outcomes for patients, staff and leadership teams. Good, open transparent culture is built by the leadership team. As Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield famously said: “No astronaut launches to space with their fingers crossed. That’s not how we deal with risk. A large part of successfully being an astronaut is learning how to manage information.” Today’s healthcare teams are taking similar life and death risks on a daily basis. Do you and your teams start each day with your fingers crossed? Or have you equipped them with the Vision, Tools, Culture and skill to be successful? If not, I believe that all leadership teams have the ability to start that journey today. For more information, visit www.rldatix.com [i] https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/blogs/covid-19-five-dimensions-ofimpact [ii] https://www.hsj.co.uk/coronavirus/urgent-reviews-launched-by-nhse-as-death-ratesdouble/7027937.article [iii] https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/nhs-finances-worsen-with-130m-overspend/7026475.article [iv] https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/nhs-braces-for-10bn-spend-on-outsourcing-work-to-private-hospitals/7028255.article [v] https://theconversation.com/nursing-expert-this-is-the-full-scale-of-nhs-staffing-problem-128250 [vi] https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/publications/pub-007927 [vii] https://psnet.ahrq.gov/issue/culture-openness-associated-lower-mortality-ratesamong-137-english-national-health-service [viii] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540962.2018.1535044 [ix] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/bulletins/avoidablemortalityinenglandandwales/2018 [x] https://hbr.org/2018/11/building-a-culture-of-transparency-in-health-care [xi] ‘A just culture guide’ published by NHS Improvement: https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/just-culture-guide/#h2-about-our-guide [xii] https://www.nhsemployers.org/-/media/Employers/Publications/WorkforceSupply/Volume-Recruitment-in-the-NHS.pdf

How Covid-19 is Improving the Tech Skills of Residents in the West Midlands It’s hard to think about any positives that have come from the coronavirus pandemic so far, but staff at two care homes in the West Midlands are always trying to focus on the good, especially when it comes to maintaining the welfare and well-being of residents. Whilst experiencing some of the most challenging times that they have ever faced, staff and residents at Oldbury-based Portway House and Newbury Manor agree that technology has brought them all up to speed with today’s fast-paced world of communication. Rewind the clock to January 2020 and residents’ family members were freely allowed to visit their loved ones, hug and come and go as they liked during regular visiting hours, but as soon as lockdown arrived, both care homes followed Government guidelines to keep the doors closed to prevent the spread of the virus. In common with the majority of residents at most care homes, those living at Portway House and Newbury Manor were unaware of the benefits of such technology such as iPads, Facetime and Skype. Now, however, such platforms are providing a vital communications lifeline offering voice and video contact to friends and family members. Indeed, technology is helping to maintain a sense of connection to the wider community as well, for video chat software also enables residents to engage with their doctors as well, should such a link be necessary.

A 94 year old resident embracing technology

On a more basic level, however, introducing residents to email and social media provides another connection with the outside community. Thankfully, many residents, despite their residency in a care home, retain a sense of independence so educating them about access to the Internet and informing them about the endless benefits it can bring can help towards facilitating a better quality of life.

Sadly, many care home residents suffer from dementia, however the use of technology to provide something to focus on besides a daily routine is, according to research, a way of creating mental stimulation. And, of course, games consoles not only offer fun and encourage socialising but also offer a way of exercising as some games require participants to be on their feet and moving their arms and legs! Technology also offers a number of other benefits to staff and residents – though as far as residents are concerned they are largely “unseen.” For example, electronic documentation and centralised file management systems do away with the need for actual physical storage space and replace the need for copious amounts of paperwork – all allowing staff to actually spend more time with residents. Technology can also be used to monitor individual public rooms. And for less mobile residents, speech recognition technology is often available to help them communicate with other electronic devices to perform specific functions. Diane Williams, manager at both Portway House and Newbury Manor, who is highly aware of the benefits of investing in technology, said: “Staff are always conscious of the need to provide high quality care and to ensure that residents live together in a warm and convivial atmosphere. They never fail to meet the challenges of a demanding job -and never fail to come up with a smile."


PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

The National Association Of Care Catering Supports Sector With Relevant Virtual Seminars The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is hosting a series of virtual seminars to support its members and the care catering sector as they continue to navigate the challenges presented by the Covid19 pandemic. Across the series, a mix of expert speakers, presentations, demonstrations and conversations will explore a variety of relevant issues to help care caterers deliver continued excellence in nutrition and hydration and positive food and dining experiences, whilst also dealing with the issues facing the sector today and the extra pressures the pandemic presents. Topics range from nutrition and hydration expertise and catering for dietary requirements to important practical support, such as facilitating supplier connections to keep care caterers up to date with the latest innovations, products, services and solutions when Covid-19 restrictions make this more difficult. The virtual seminars are open to both NACC members and non-members and cost just £5 to attend. Confirmed seminar dates: Thursday 22 October 2020: Can food be thy medicine? – experts will discuss how we can fight Covid-19 with food. Speakers include: Jacqueline Dennis, Care Inspectorate; Evelyn Newman and Alison Moyneux, NHS Dieticians and Dr Elizabeth

Boaden, Chair of IDDSI UK. This event is sponsored by Simply Food Solutions and Lakeland Dairies who will also be presenting. Thursday 26 November 2020: Virtual speed dating with the NACC – the NACC’s premier partners and suppliers will present their latest products, services and solutions in just 180 seconds! These bite-sized presentations will be grouped into blocks, with activity breaks throughout. Thursday 28 January 2021: Catering for special dietary requirements in the care setting – this important seminar will include discussion on diabetes, vegetarian and vegan options, coeliac and restructuring foods to finger food, washed down with top hydration tips. Sue Cawthray, national chair of the NACC, said: “The care catering sector has worked tirelessly and selflessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The vital frontline contribution of everyone associated with providing good nutrition, hydration and care to the elderly and vulnerable continues, be that in a care home or within the community. As our members and the wider care catering sector continue to face unprecedented challenges, we’re committed to helping everyone navigate the next phase of the pandemic by giving them access to the right information, connections and expert support through our virtual seminars.”

Local Care Home Resident Creates Braille Menu To Celebrate National Braille Week In support of the National Awareness day, a local resident from Castleford Lodge care home in West Yorkshire has dedicated her time to creating a special braille menu for blind people. Princess Baldwin has been a resident at the Orchard Care Home since November 2019 and thoroughly enjoys working on projects with the support of the entire activities team. She worked with staff member Shelly, who read out every item as Princess

used her braille writer to type each one out. The special menu was personalised with Princess’s name in recognition of all her hard work and she was so thrilled with the final outcome that she couldn’t wait to show it off to the other residents. Shelly had a great time working on this project with Princess and said, “I learnt so much about writing in braille that I didn’t know before. Well done Princess!”.

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

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PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

CATERING FOR CARE

Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *

*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only. Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.

HOW CAN THIS TRAINING HELP YOU? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and

social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at resourcecentre@nutricia.com. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia) See the advert on page 37 for further information.

Renowned Care Home Chef Launches A Series Of Cracking Lion Egg Dishes NACC Care Chef of the Year, Martin McKee, has created a series of new videos showing how Lion eggs can bring inspiration to care home menus across the country. The recipes have been developed to reflect the growing trend for menu simplification that has been seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five easy-to-make recipes have been tailored to meet various nutritional requirements of residents, ranging from undernourishment, to dementia, or dysphagia. The dishes, designed to serve 10 or more people, include: an egg and bacon breakfast muffin; salmon and broccoli stuffed pepper with baked egg; smoked bacon, scrambled egg and potato waffles; spinach, ricotta and cherry tomato frittata; chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream; and Mediterranean vegetable scotch eggs. The latest Food Standards Agency advice means that vulnerable groups, including care home residents, can eat runny, or even raw, eggs, as long as they are produced to British Lion standards.  Eggs meeting the Lion standard will carry a red

Lion and best before date on every egg. Previously, care homes had to restrict the way they served eggs, but they can now make the most of this nutritious, versatile, and cost-effective food. Martin said: ‘’Eggs are an essential ingredient in every kitchen, and it is brilliant that we can now serve them runny as long as they meet Lion standards.  The recipes I’ve created are easy to replicate and have been designed to make the most of the nutritional benefits of eggs, including key vitamins and minerals, as well as providing an abundance of protein which is vital for care home residents’ diets. ‘’I always use British Lion eggs and I would strongly urge any other care home chef to follow suit when sourcing and cooking with eggs, to guarantee highquality, safe dishes.’’ The video recipes are available to view on British Lion eggs YouTube channel and can also be found on www.eggrecipes.co.uk See the advert on page 19 for further information.

Microwave Specialist Launches Its Biggest Ever Giveaway Regale Microwave Ovens is offering a free Panasonic rice cooker with every purchase of some of the brand’s microwave ovens. Users can now benefit from a free Panasonic rice cooker when they certain Panasonic microwaves via specialist supplier, Regale Microwave Ovens. Panasonic Rice Cookers are Ideal for cooking porridge at breakfast and keeps it hot for late risers when on standby without it drying out! One of the models where the giveaway applies is the Panasonic NE-1878, a 1,800W inverter-powered microwave designed to feature the benefits of an all metal door. With each purchase, companies can receive a free model SRGA421 rice cooker, worth over £120, which will also come with 2kg of FOC Tilda rice inside. All enquiries received by Regale will be passed to the nearest geographical dealer, and both units will be dispatched by Regale to the operators on the UK mainland with next day delivery, free of charge. There are three other Panasonic ovens included in the promotion, but these

qualifying for a FOC 7.2L Panasonic rice cooker. The ovens are the:Panasonic NE-C1275 13A plug-in combination microwave oven with • ‘five-way’ cooking methods. Panasonic NE-1880 & NE-3280. The extra-large and very powerful • microwave ovens can take 2 x full size (1:1) Gastronorm pans. Each of these ovens comes with a 7.2litre Panasonic (model SR• GA721) rice cooker, Free Of Charge. Each rice cooker comes with a complimentary 5kg of Tilda Basmati rice. Furthermore, Regale will deliver the equipment free to any UK mainland operator on the next working day. Regale deputy MD Iain Phillips said: “Of course there are a few terms and conditions with this fantastic giveaway, the main one being that it is restricted to ‘whilst stocks last’, however we are hoping that we can run it from now to somewhere towards the end of August.” See the advert on page 10 for details or call 01329 285518..

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

Users of CaterCloud can also join the e-foods’ Buyers’ Club and benefit from its substantial buying power. The Buyers’ Club is made up of a network of trusted accredited suppliers across the UK. Users can purchase food and non-food goods from these suppliers with savings of between 5 to 10%. Paul Mizen, Chief Executive, EF Group said: “The service industries are moving at pace towards technology to help meet their stock ordering,

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


SAFE | EASY | ACCURATE

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Find out more at LANDVIRALERT.COM


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 25

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

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

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

Dean Hill and Mark Coutts from Essex based contractors TH Electrical said: “We worked alongside VORTICE to specify the DePuro Pro to effectively clean and purify the air in these hospitals. As we know from the science, good indoor air quality is vital to the fight against the spread of Covid-19 and we’re delighted that these units are already starting to make a difference after only two weeks of being used.” For more information about the DePuro Pro and other products from VORTICE visit www.vortice.ltd.uk

New VIRALERT 3 Screening System Delivers COVID-19 Protection for the Care Sector Care facilities have been severely affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 across the world. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of people in these facilities including patients, staff and visitors, is a key priority for managers of care organisations in this current pandemic. AMETEK Land, a global leader in temperature measurement technologies based in the UK, has used the expertise and knowledge of its workforce to support this vital sector by develop a new human skin temperature screening system, VIRALERT 3. Designed to screen visitors at an entry point without slowing the flow of people, VIRALERT 3 scans temperatures without any person-to-person contact, keeping all parties safe. VIRALERT 3 is easy to use, and can be left to operate automatically, with audible and visual alarms alerting when high temperatures are discovered. VIRALERT 3 is the first of its kind, providing a camera and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mounting. This makes for a compact system that won’t get in the way of queueing people and can be easily wall-mounted. Using automatic face detection, it locates the best areas for temperature detection, taking a reading that is accurate to within 0.5°C, then calculates core body temperature through a rapid test procedure in less than two seconds. The system has recently been installed at the Dronfield Medical Practice, where it has brought extra confidence to staff and patients visiting the site. “At Dronfield Medical Practice we wanted to see how

we could all work together to “Stay Alert” by ensuring patients are seen appropriately, and by keeping all staff secure with the knowledge they are being looked after,” said Kathryn Wileman, Practice Manager, Dronfield Medical Practice. She continued, “The installation of VIRALERT 3 has been a very effective way to achieve this. If a visitor’s temperature is high, we can ask them to leave the premises, then arrange to see them safely without putting anyone at risk.” Division Vice President Justin Smith at AMETEK Land said: ““VIRALERT 3 is a major global technology in keeping people safe in the fight against COVID-19. Highly accurate readings mean that anyone with an elevated temperature will be identified before fully entering the building, thereby reducing the spread of infection”. In addition to the care sector, the roll-out of VIRALERT 3 has attracted interest across a variety of sectors including hospitals and healthcare, commercial areas, education facilities, and public spaces, transportation entry points, offices and manufacturing locations, and sports and leisure sites. Visit www.landviralert.com for further details.

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

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


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

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

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

Haigh Engineering Callero Shield for Care Homes and Clinics Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched all-inclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or info@haigh.co.uk

For over 40 years, Gratnells Medical products have been widely used for hospital storage. From trolleys and frames, to trays and accessories, the wide range of products makes up the ideal storage solution for any medical environment. Designed with a multitude of settings in mind, the Gratnells Medical range would fit suitably into care homes, dental practices and other surgeries.

The Gratnells Callero Shield range is a complete collection of products designed to offer ample storage that is easily moveable and fits neatly into any environment. Treated with BioCote® antimicrobial additive, the trays and trolleys in the range protect against the spread of various viruses, bacteria and germs. Callero Shield trolleys are available in double and treble column width and with multiple tray combinations. Suitable for the safe storage of PPE, medical files and equipment, uniform and beyond, the trolleys are easily movable between locations and can be set in place with lockable castors. They’re also popularly used as sanitation and cleaning stations due to the ample storage space and the antimicrobial metal worksurface. The antimicrobial Gratnells Rover allows the movement of heavier loads with ease. Robust, hygienic and practical, safely carry medical equipment over any terrain and up and down stairs. With a safety strap to secure antimicrobial trays in place and the option to add antimicrobial lids to trays, contents will be safe on

their journey from place to place. Recently added to the Gratnells antimicrobial range are the new SortED inserts. SortED is a new range of removable, modular inserts designed to fit and create separate sections in shallow and deep Gratnells trays. Also treated with BioCote® additive, the dishwasher safe inserts offer a safe and hygienic solution for the storage and distribution of smaller medical equipment or PPE. Browse the full Gratnells Medical range: www.gratnellsmedical.com

Airdri Launches Air Purifier To Flush Away Washroom Bacteria Airdri, a leading designer and manufacturer of hand dryers, has added a new air purifier unit to its portfolio, to tackle washroom bacteria and eliminate odours. Complementing its range of hand drying solutions, the Airdri Air Purifier uses custom thermal convection technology to kill airborne and surface bacteria and viruses, eliminating the bad odours they cause, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering both odour and infection control, the unit is ideal for use in busy washrooms. Its compact profile means it can sit discretely in the top corner of a washroom, yet can service the entire space, covering a floor area of up to 30m2. With minimal maintenance and low energy consumption of 10w, the Airdri Air Purifier is a green solution for providing constant sanitised washroom air. Trudi Osborne, Marketing Manager at Airdri, says “Washrooms are the primary source of infections, with many housing bacteria and viruses that are unseen to the eye. Given

that in just eight hours a single bacterium can multiply into over eight million cells, it is vital to ensure washrooms are kept clean and hygienic at all times. Cleaning and disinfecting alone are only a partial solution – they do not stop ongoing surface contamination or tackle airborne bacteria. Equally, fragrances or fresheners simply mask the associated odours, doing nothing towards hygiene. “The Airdri Air Purifier kills both surface and airborne bacteria, removing the unpleasant odours that they bring with them. The unit processes contaminated air in the purifying chamber, emitting an efficient cleaning agent. Other solutions, which may feature a HEPA filter or have an antibacterial coating, only clean the area immediately surrounding the dryer. The Airdri Air Purifier provides a complete hygiene solution for the whole washroom ensuring that the whole environment is clean, hygienic and odour free.” For more information visit www.airdri.com


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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL QCS and Autumna Announce Infection Control Partnership Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a leading provider of content, guidance and technology for the health care sector, and Autumna, the largest directory of social care providers in the UK, with a focus on supporting self-funding families find care, have announced a ground-breaking partnership, which will revolutionise care for service users. At the heart of the partnership is the S.A.F.E. initiative (Symptom Assessment For Everyone) and the S.A.F.E. badge, which helps care providers to demonstrate that their infection, prevention and control procedures (IPC) go beyond current government guidelines. The collaborative alliance will enable worried self-funding families to benefit from the knowledge, experience and extensive reach of both organisations, allowing them to make better informed choices when choosing care homes for their loved ones. While QCS already supports over 100,000 users in their quest to secure a favourable CQC rating, this extra level of accreditation will provide an even greater level of visibility to concerned families. It will help care providers too by highlighting the outstanding IPC protocols already present within their services. QCS, which also provides next-generation technology solutions to the care sector, has already created and deployed a state-ofthe-art visitor contact tracing tool to over 300 care homes, which Autumna has integrated into the S.A.F.E. initiative. As part of the partnership agreement, QCS will accelerate the development of leading-edge technology applications, and best practice content, which are both central to the S.A.F.E. framework. Philippa Stevens, QCS’s Head of Partnership and Alliances, said of the landmark agreement, “We’re delighted to be working with Autumna. We share Autumna’s person-centred vision and tireless dedication to improving standards in the industry. At QCS, we believe that infection control policies and procedures should be outstanding in every care home. We hope that this unique partPhilippa Stevens, QCS’s Head of Partnership nership agreement makes that a reality for many more people.” and Alliances

Debbie Harris, Autumna’s Managing Director, added, “We are really excited about this joint-venture. Giving self-funding families the assurance that infection control procedures are paramount in a home’s thinking is so important. Not only will this partnership provide them with much greater choice, it will shine a positive light on the outstanding compliance performance and world-class skillset of staff around infection control in thousands of care homes throughout the UK. That can only be a good thing for families and their elderly relatives.”

ABOUT QCS Quality Compliance System (QCS) provides a high-quality, bespoke Care Quality Commission Debbie Harris, Autumna’s Managing Director management service for Adult Social Care providers, Dentists and GPs. Across the social care sector, QCS is widely trusted and respected brand which is specifically designed to conform to the CQC Fundamental Standards set out by the CQC. To find out more about QCS, call 0333-405-33 33 or email sales@qcs.co.uk.

ABOUT AUTUMNA The UK's largest & most detailed online directory of care services for the elderly, including home care, live-in care, care homes and retirement living, Autumna’s primary objective is to ensure self-funding families are able to make an informed choice about elderly care. Its care directory and free advice line ensures families can find the information they need to achieve this. To receive free, unbiased, independent advice about care options, or to find out more about Autumna, call Autumna’s free helpline on 01892-335-330 , or email info@autumna.co.uk.

Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics,

Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics, vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so please ask. Choices include print basecloths, plain and woven designs. All antimicrobial fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high stan-

dards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viralreducing and anti-fungal properties. Fabrics are not seen as a beneficial host for Sars Cov-2 even without antimicrobial treatment, however including this extra benefit viruses and bacteria are greatly reduced. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team: sales@skopos.co.uk. www.skoposfabrics.com


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

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

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

New Mobile Hands-Free Wash Basins Greyland Spray And Wipe Ultra Disinfectant from Mechline Have the X Factor Has ‘Huge Impact On Cleaning Industry’ Mechline Developments has extended its line-up of BaSix hand wash stations with an all new range of space-saving, mobile, hands-free basins. The range facilitates hygienic handwashing in any location—even where water, waste and electric utilities are not available—and the completely portable ‘X’ model provides double the washes per litre of any comparable product on the market. As Nick Falco, Product and Technical Director at Mechline, explains: “As Coronavirus lockdown measures are eased and many businesses reopen their sites, hand washing remains key to mitigating against the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Every business needs to encourage customers and visitors to wash their hands, especially when first entering venues, and the new BaSix mobile hands-free basin range makes this very easy to do. Models in the range are slimline, easy to manoeuvre thanks to removable castors and a splashback grab handle, and the ‘X’ model can be used in locations without any utilities at all—as it all comes integrated. This means it can

be wheeled out daily if necessary, to sit outside an establishment, and with a compact footprint of just 384 x 360mm it is an ideal and reassuring addition to entrances and other small spaces. We have also used our experience to incorporate water-saving technology into the range, adding value to the basins by providing unique water saving benefits for the end-user. Using the ultra water-saving diffuser supplied, the ‘X’ model can provide up to an impressive 304 hand washes per water container, so users can rest assured it will last a long time between refills! Furthermore, with its hands-free design, the new mobile basin maximises user hygiene. Unlike traditional taps, where the lever or handle must be touched with dirty hands, and then revisited with clean hands to turn it off, our mobile BaSix range removes the need for manual contact—reducing the risk of cross-contamination.” BaSix mobile hands-free basins are operated via a foot pump or time flow foot valve, depending on which model is required. All models can be fitted with an optional hanging bin, soap/sanitiser dispenser, and towel dispenser, to provide a complete hygiene station in any location. The ‘X’ range stores water and waste containers within the unit, which can be easily accessed via a hinged door with a ¼ turn thumb latch. For further information please contact Mechline at info@mechline.com or call +44 (0)1908 261511

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

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


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

exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.

Environmental Science Limited (ESL) Restructures its Business to Launch Unique and Effective Palm Tree Foaming Hand Sanitisers

PLEASE MENTION THE CARER WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISING

Environmental Science Ltd based in March, Cambridgeshire was originally set up in 1994 and has focused primarily on the authoring of Safety ata and Workplace Activity Safety Protection (WASP) Sheets, identifying chemical hazards and providing on-site COSHH monitoring, LEV testing and risk assessment services. This core activity will continue, however due partly to the changed circumstances brought about by Covid-19, the company has made the decision to significantly expand and restructure the business. ESL has built and established trusted relationships within the UK chemical industry over the last 25 years, therefore it is a natural progression for the business to move into the development, manufacture, and distribution of hygiene products. These will include hand sanitisers, sprays, medicated soaps, surface and floor wipes and disinfectants. To facilitate these new product lines, a new business entity is being created with the name “Environmental Science Hygiene Ltd”, and the existing company is renamed as “Environmental Science Group”. Their new website is: www.envsciencegroup.com One factor behind the change of direction for the business is that some products are being very hastily marketed during this pandemic; therefore they do not perform as efficiently as may be implied. By contrast, the team at Environmental Science are committed to pro-

ducing high quality products that are both safe and effective. They also feel it is important to provide complete transparency by supplying the relevant GHS Safety Data Sheets, Product Labels, Product Information Sheets, etc. Our Palm Tree Foaming Hand Sanitiser is unique and different from other current products for the following reasons: • The alcohol is naturally sourced and distilled from the sap of palm trees. • The palm trees are not damaged in the extraction process, so the product is both sustainable and eco-friendly. • Unlike most other sources of Ethanol, by tapping into an existing resource it means that valuable agricultural land can be used for food production instead. • The foaming action is preferred by the healthcare sector over gelbased products. • The alcohol content is in excess of 60% as recommended by the World Health Organisation. • Conforms to the European Standard EN1276. For further information, please contact: Tel: +44 (0) 1354 653 222 Email: sales@envsciencegroup.com Web: www.envsciencegroup.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 31

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

any number of members of staff of any issues with potential clients entering the premisses via text or email. • Facial recognition is fully integrated with body temperature monitoring. This means no additional staff are required. • The solution is contactless, reducing the risk of cross infection. • Extensive storage of facial images and temperature information enabling easy historical access. • Fast facial recognition and temperature monitoring reducing access congestion. In Scotland will detect if you are or are not wearing a mask / face covering. • Integration with third party products such as turnstiles and VMS. See a demonstration of the system at https://youtu.be/lcQllOytA7Y For further information, see the advert this page, call 01257 477060 or visit www.ctuservices.com

Care and Protect Cromwell Polythene is a major supplier of waste management solutions to the healthcare sector and an active member of the Sanitary Medical Disposal Services Association. We offer a full range of sacks for clinical waste management, from ultra-strong sacks with very high tear resistance to economically priced sacks with a high recycled content. It is essential that care staff, who work so hard to protect us, have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of infection. Our Wave® range of disposable gloves are both latex and powder free, for comfort and performance. Options available include a blue nitrile examina-

tion glove which has strong barrier properties and high resistance to oils, fats, and chemicals; synthetic examination gloves; and vinyl general purpose gloves. The gloves are packed in a way that they are dispensed ‘cuff first’ which has clear hygienic advantages. All of the gloves are tested to BS EN 455 and conform to a number of other standards. The Wave® range also includes water-soluble strip laundry bags for the safe containment of soiled linen, with a water-soluble seal and a tie string for securing the bags. The strip and tie part of the bag dissolve in water allowing the contents to discharge into the wash. We also supply other forms of PPE such as aprons; face masks and protective plastic sheeting for receptions and other areas of work. www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 33

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS A Reliable Service Partner is Key to an Efficient Laundry Function - FORBES PROFESSIONAL A laundry function is a central service in any care home and commercial laundry equipment is an important procurement area in terms of hygiene adherence, day-to-day logistical operations and financial projections. As such, it is vital to source the right service partner, who will support the smooth running of your operation and offer the relevant industry, planning and technical advice. You need to ensure the reliability and stability of any supplier, and to feel confident that they are capable of delivering a service that you can depend upon. Forbes Professional has been providing an awarding winning first class customer service since 1926 and has a solid understanding of the specific requirements of the healthcare sector. With depots across The South East, The Midlands, The South West, The North East and Scotland, we deliver a local service on a nationwide basis. We have flexible finance options and can provide commercial washers, dryers, rotary ironers and dishwashers on a rental, lease or purchase basis. We can also provide chemical detergents and auto-dosing equipment for a complete solution. From the initial site survey, we assume a consultative and advisory approach to business, with all clients being assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their contact for all on-going account management or service requirements. We advise upon all plumbing, electrical and regulation requirements, and ensure that the right product decisions are made for the

specific project. Our team of manufacturer and City and Guilds trained field engineers fully install and commission all equipment, as well as providing any necessary user training to enable the products to be fully optimised. Forbes runs a centralised administrative and customer support operation from our head office in Surrey, which enables us to deliver a streamlined and efficient response to our clients. If a service requirement arises, we provide a same/next day engineer response. Our clients have total peace of mind in that they know that they will receive the on-going service that their organisation requires. For more information contact Forbes Professional info@forbes-professional.co.uk or 0345 0702335.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washer Extractors

Tumble Dryers

Cost Quality Service Design Innovation

Flatwork Ironers

Other Equipment


PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Ontex Healthcare Re-Launches Incontinence Pants Range In years to come, the majority of the population across Western Europe will shift towards the 55+ age group , people will live longer and stay in their own homes for longer. With this in mind, Ontex Healthcare has re-launched its iD incontinence pants collection this September. The new look range will offer key benefits including triple skin protection through fast absorption and 100% breathability. The improved top sheet with a mix of camomile, known for its soothing and calming properties, Vitamin E with antioxidant properties and zinc oxide, a natural purifying mineral component, helps to protect the skin. In addition, the pants contain super absorbent particles which feature an

anti-odour system that provide extra confidence and comfort. The pants are made with non-woven materials, which make them by definition “breathable”, leaving the use feeling soft and safe. For those looking for overnight dryness, there is the Maxi absorption range. Performance tests show that they can be used for up to 10 hours without any leakages or feelings of wetness. What’s more the range has been approved by dermatologists so customers can fully trust iD Pants and count on our expertise. The range comprises Normal, Plus, Super and Maxi absorbencies. Prices start from £10.49 per pack For more information call 0800 389 6185 or visit www.id-direct.com

Calibre Audio - Unleash the Power of Your Imagination Audiobooks offer a gateway to independence for those who are unable to read printed books themselves. Reading books has many health benefits; from reducing anxiety and helping to combat memory loss, to boosting mental health. Books provide companionship, adventure, empathy and enjoyment and listening to audiobooks brings all of this to people who cannot otherwise access books. Those with a restricting disability can often feel the sting of isolation, and being locked out of activities that were previously enjoyed can be frustrating and lead to loneliness. However, research has shown that listening to audiobooks can boost mental health (ref. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), helping to counteract depression and other mental health issues. Escaping to audiobooks provides comfort as well as being a coping strategy in hard times. Calibre Audio is a national charity, providing free audiobooks to anyone who struggles to read print, whether it is through sight loss, dyslexia or a physical

disability. Our collection of over 12,000 audiobooks includes books from all genres, both fiction and nonfiction, from the classics to the latest blockbusters; from crime to autobiographies. Our audiobooks are available online for members 24 hours a day or can be delivered to your door via a free postal service. It is free and easy to join Calibre Audio, simply visit www.calibreaudio.org.uk.

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

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

Adaptawear Clothing To Help Healthcare & Care Home Workers: Independent & Assisted Dressing If you are a healthcare or care home worker or Occupational Therapist and struggling to dress your patients during this Covid-19 pandemic; then take a look at our range of Adaptawear adapted clothing for both men and women. Adaptawear comfort clothing has been designed to help independent living and assisted dressing with the aim to make getting dressed easier and less painful for both the wearer and carer. Adaptawear designs and manufacturers a range of ladies and men’s open back and drop front trousers, magnetic & open back shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, open back nighties and front fastening bras. We also sell a selection of everyday essentials aimed at making people comfortable day and night. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for

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

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

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

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

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

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

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

iMEDicare Pelvic Health Naturally When it comes to women’s intimate health, many of us are reluctant and embarrassed to talk frankly about it, which often leads to women suffering in silence. A lot of the problems we worry about, however, are surprisingly common, such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) – a frequent effect of the menopause experienced by as many as one in three women. Stylish, effective and washable, iMEDicare’s Wearever washable and re-useable incontinence underwear is a great alternative to incontinence pads, better for the environment (washable over 200 times) with absorbencies ranging from 100ml all the way up to 650ml: • 3-layer Hydrex™ (patented) system for total protection by con-

taining the urine and preventing it from penetrating through the garment • Unique-Dri™ System that traps liquid and controls odour with its Silver ion anti-microbial treated fibres. Wearever underwear is seamless – so that possible pressure points that could be cause for pressure sores are minimized. If you buy a 3 pack, we guarantee the first pair for another size or style or absorbency, or refund all three, provided 2 of the 3 pairs are unused within 30 days of initial trial. Choose life  - not leaks. Be confident again and visit www. MyPelvicHealth.co.uk or call 01923237795.

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 37

FURNITURE AND FITTINGS Interiors Company Working To Provide A ‘Healthier Solution’ SOMMER Rose Interiors is working with upholstery manufacturers to provide a ‘healthier solution’ to care home furniture. Sarah Thompson and her team would like to introduce Sileather™. Sileather™ silicone fabrics are highly durable and abrasion resistant, thanks to our unique silicone, and Sileather™ upholstery fabrics are all over 200,000+ Wyzenbeek double rubs, over 130,000 Martindale and 3000+ Taber cycles (rotating “cement discs”). We take a long term approach when considering our production of silicone leather and want to do our part to be environmentally friendly. With our non-solvent production technique and with the lack of PVC or PU elements, we are much safer and healthier than traditional fabrics. Unlike PVC fabrics, we do not need to use chlorine in any of the production process, and our fabrics do not leak VOC emissions throughout its life. There’s no need to clog up landfills – silicone leather is recyclable! We have passed the most common environmental standards so you can breathe

Sileather™ fabrics have ultralow VOCs, so it is among the healthiest fabrics, making it perfect for use around children, hospitals, ALL HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS, hotels, boat cabins, trains, and any number of enclosed spaces.

EVERYTHING ESSENTIAL

comfortably knowing that you are using a fabric that’s safe for you and the environment. We take pride that our fabrics are environmentally friendly and safe to use by anyone, Sileather™ silicone fabrics are made with the same material as baby bottle nipples, so they are gentle enough even for babies’ skin.

High Quality Soft Furnishings Manufactures Tailored For All Your Window Needs WL Interiors are a family run company with over 20 years experience in manufacturing high quality soft furnishings for the healthcare industry based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. WL are suppliers of flame retardant curtains, blinds & soft furnishings. We offer high-quality fire resistant fabrics that are perfect for care homes, including any dementia specific requirements where needed. Working on your care home refurbishment, new build or general replacements, WL Interiors Ltd can do site surveys and check measures, offer free samples and quotations. • UK Wide Fitting & Installation Available

• UK Manufactured • Highest Quality British Manufactured • FREE QUOTES Contact details – Lorraine Firth Telephone- 01924 298953 Email- Lorraine@wl-interiors.com

It’s our mission to bring you a healthy fabric that’s safe, hygienic and meets high standards that help to ensure your well-being. Thanks to the unique advantages of our proprietary silicone, Sileather™ fabrics are inherently: • Flame resistant. • Does not promote growth of mildew or mould. • Superior in hydrolysis resistance compared to vinyl and polyurethane fabrics. • Superior in UV and colour fading resistance. • Stain resistant to many substances found in healthcare facilities, including biro, iodine, betadine, blood and urine. • Resistant to liquids and fluids. • Easy to clean – common stains need only water, including biro. • Medical grade skin friendly and allergen free. • Highly abrasion resistant and durable with recovery ability to reduce sagging and wrinkling. • Luxurious soft touch. For free samples of this upholstery or to view sample furniture, please contact Sarah Thompson on 07495 471038 or email: sarah@sommer-rose.com

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

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PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION Call Aid UK - Cost Effective NURSE CALL Nurse Call Systems IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

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

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.

www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

At Call Aid UK we like to let our clients speak for us! “We were introduced to the PAM system a year ago and are delighted with the difference it has made since its introduction. The system is very reliable and offers a couple of sound options for day and night mode, ensuring that residents are not disturbed during quiet hours. The system notifies you as soon as movement is detected which in many cases decreases the risk of falls. Call Aid are also helpful and offer a personalised service. We have a single point of contact that ensures actions are taken quickly if required and also contact us to see how

we are getting on. I cannot fault the system nor the services “ West Lodge Nursing Home Call Aid UK is an electronics design and manufacturing company specialising in providing electronic solutions to the healthcare market. We are committed to delivering innovative solutions with easy to use systems and we recognise the importance of listening to our customers’ needs. We produce systems that use the latest technology, compliment the decor and are competitively priced. Visit www.callaiduk.com or see the advert on this page for details.

TumbleCare from Easylink Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK was established in 1984 after the invention of an alarm clock to wake deaf people. The “Shake Awake” set a new precedent in quality standards for products designed for sensory care, notoriously at the time – rubbish. The company invented a new device for the detection of nocturnal epileptic seizures in 1994, which also set a new precedent for quality, especially after the company achieved certified medical accreditation. We could boast and say we have supplied more seizure detection monitors than any other company in UK. You could say we are innovators; we are and very proud of it. To constantly adapt to changes in demands for care technologies, remain competitive and continue to develop new care solutions it takes more than intelligence, it takes passion. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 39

NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION

Wireless Fall Prevention A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare

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

NO LOOSE WIRES When looking at a wireless solution, make sure it truly is wireless and that any receivers, or sending features on the items are contained and are not left loose where someone can catch a foot on it, or accidently rip it out.

WIRELESS CALL BUTTONS Care home staff cannot be chained to their desk and need to be checking on residents and conducting all the

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

duties that are required to create a smooth-running home, filled with happy residents. A wireless alert that can be carried in a pocket allows the user to respond as swiftly as possible to potential falls, helping homes provide the highest level of care. A centralized alert system is an option that also presents many benefits, as homes can ensure that the right person in the right place is alerted in a timely manner. Making sure that a system works both centrally and on the move, giving you the best range of options to help provide a high level of care.

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

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

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

time consuming and often counter-productive as residents often wake, have poor sleep and can even fall after attempting to use the toilet once awake. Acoustic monitoring means that only those who actually need assistance get it, those who are sound asleep do not get disturbed and carers can concentrate on more productive tasks. So, in this new COVID-19 and Digital world what other new solutions are on the horizon? Nurse call devices around a care home become intelligent enough to identify a resident in need. Already we can measure changes in levels of noise, but monitoring light, temperature coupled with wearable devices monitoring vital signs, now a deterioration in a resident’s wellbeing can raise an alert or be recorded. A resident ‘connected’ with a wearable device can have their movement, location, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure etc., monitored automatically. Instead of intrusive, often unsocial physical monitoring, at-risk residents have vital signs checked and recorded continuously. If an emergency occurs, the nurse call system will still summon help, only now one of its key functions will be to record, store and make available critical data. Thereby reducing the touch points, minimising transmission of disease, freeing up carers time and providing a safer and healthier life for both residents and staff. For further information visit www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert below.

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27 | PAGE 41

TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Technology in a Post-Covid World Let’s not beat around the bush: It’s been a terrible year so far. Healthcare around the world has been pushed to the limits. Here in the UK our amazing NHS pulled out all the stops, despite being hugely underfunded even before the pandemic. The unsung heroes were the Social Care sector. We heard many appalling stories of both staff and residents falling victim to this indiscriminatory virus and but also stories of people’s love and determination to help the more vulnerable amongst us. As we move towards a new post lockdown phase, we ask ourselves: How have we survived so far and what does the future have in store?  Since the prime minister announced in March that we were to stay at home, we have clung on to two factors to help our mental health manage the dramatic change to our lives: long walks and video conferencing and sometimes, but not being too over indulgent, both at the same time. As many of us prepare to work from home, the discovery of “Zoom”, mainly known as a colourful ice lolly to many before March, transformed the way we began to communicate. Zoom saw its number of users explode from 10 million a day to 200 million over lockdown. Video conferencing isn’t just for business though. It allowed families and friends to remain connected throughout. Crowd funding appeals began to help raise money to pay for tablets. These were given to residents in care homes to

ensure they too weren’t missing out on the digital party.   It’s not just the video conferencing either. We’ve exercised with Joe Wicks and we’ve written or partaken in online quizzes. Most of us have had more time to interact with friends and family because other distractions have been taken away.  Now we’ve been able to move away from lockdown thanks to government initiatives such as Test and Trace. So, we must ask ourselves, where would we have been without technology?  Amazingly, despite most of us having access to computers, tablets and smart phones, almost three quarters of our sector are still operating paper-based systems within their homes? We have fully embraced technology for our personal use, but why not our business? We’ve relied on it for months, it’s enriched our lives, imagine what it could do in our places of work.  Will changing to a computer-based care system, like Ablyss CMS, change our lives? No. But, will it make a positive impact to the way we operate and run our businesses? Yes.  We need to learn from the lessons of 2020. We don’t know what’s around the corner, so it’s impossible to be ready for the next challenge. But we can do our best to be prepared. The future is not written on a piece of paper, it is changeable, it will adapt and will, occasionally, throw us a Covid-shaped curve ball! We need adaptive systems in place to help us navigate the road ahead. We need to fully embrace and invest in the technology and advances that are available to us. Put faith in technology. We’ve tested it to its limits and now we know, we DO need it. See the advert on this page for more information about Ablyss.

Friends of the Elderly Selects Softworks Employee Rostering and Time and Attendance Software for its Care Homes Friends of the Elderly has been supporting and caring for older people since 1905.Their Care Homes provide residential, dementia, nursing and respite care dedicated to providing quality care with dignity. The organisation is passionate about its work and strives to provide quality care while continually evolving. As part of this ethos the organisation went to market looking for a solution to help transform and improve Employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills Management within their network of Care Homes and after an extensive selection process selected Softworks. Commenting on the selection Sharon Nunn, Group Financial Controller of Friends of the Elderly said “Last Summer we identified that implementing a Workforce Management System to manage our employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills would bring significant improvements to the everyday running of our Care Homes. We were using spreadsheets to manage key areas such as hours worked rosters, leave, absences, holiday requests and skills and this was becoming very complex and labour intensive.” “We knew streamlining and automating processes in these areas and removing time consuming paper-based admin would give both Managers and Healthcare Staff better oversight and more time to focus on the provision of excellent care within our Care Homes.” “After meeting with a number of solution providers we chose Softworks because they really understood our requirements as a Care Home provider. They had a proven track record and were ready, willing and able to configure their system to our specific requirements rather than us needing to alter our work practices to fit in with their system.” “Aside from this we were impressed by the extensive functionality offered

by the Softworks Workforce Management Software such as the complete HR module, Skills, Training and Expense Management modules, Compliance, Employee Self-Service and Payroll Integration.” Commenting on the project, Paresh Vadukul, Healthcare Relationship Manager, Softworks UK said “Friends of the Elderly focus on their residents first and we do the same. Our primary concern is enabling Care Homes to deliver the best level of care they can. Our Software makes sure they have the right person with the right skillset rostered at the right time no matter the circumstances and removes that admin burden from employee management. We were delighted to be selected by such a respected organisation as Friends of the Elderly.” Samantha Corfield, Regional Director, Friends of the Elderly continued “Covid-19 has turned all our world’s upside down, we are working through a very trying time while supporting our residents, staff and visitors. We are more convinced than ever that selecting Softworks to manage employee Time and Attendance, Rostering, Skills and Training is the right move and will bring huge benefits across our network of Care Homes. Due to Covid19 the project will also incorporate new elements such as Contactless Fever recognition terminals from Softworks to provide an additional layer of security and safety for staff, visitors and residents. We work hard to ensure our residents receive the level of care they expect and deserve and we’re very happy that Softworks are working with us to facilitate this. We’re looking forward to rolling out the new Workforce Management System to our network of Care Homes early in 2021 and to seeing the immediate benefits.” See the advert on the facing page for details,


PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Covid19: Accelerating the Use of Digital Technology in Healthcare

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

USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY Poor efficiencies in many areas of the sector are

caused by the lack of investment in technology. Technology will improve the way your staff carry out tasks by either speed up existing processes or allowing new, more flexible and accurate ways of carrying out a job or process which will in turn enables live real time management information. Would you expect to check out of a hotel with an invoice and extras raised in Word or Excel so why do many operators still use this method when invoicing? How many industries with shift workers rely on manual payroll processing outside the care sector? Repeatable systems should harness the power of technology to cut back the massive waste of man hours spent processing and checking manual tasks. In order to work out the best technology for your needs, you should assess your current systems against your requirements. Think about what inefficiencies exist in your homes and how you could: 1. Capture relevant information, such as resident/staff details, in a simple, time-efficient way. 2. Manage your documents to ensure that information is dealt with logically. 3. Avoid duplication at all costs; completing handwritten timesheets which then need to be manually inputted into payroll is a massive, unnecessary waste of time & manpower. 4. Address technological obstacles. The perception that your staffs are not IT literate is out of date; most people own a smart phone so yes they are! See www.fusion4care.com for details or see the advert on page 17.

CARE VISION – Outstanding Care is at the Heart of Everything We Do At Carevision, outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything they do. They have combined over 40 years of hands on experience running care homes and working with some of the smartest mind in tech, they have created Care Vision - An all-in-one, cloudbased system that incorporates all your care and admin in to one easy to use system. Carers can compile resident notes, health observations and EMAR. Care home managers can manage rotas, accounts, HR and house-keeping tasks and log visitors using the digital visitor book. Residents can use the system to make personal choices on meals and activities and use the app to keep in touch with family and friends. Rishi Jawaheer, director at Care Vision says “The 100+ care homes that use our system have seen its benefits –

They are saving 2-4 hours of staff hours per resident, per week and they are achieving outstanding CQC results. Carers love it, residents and relatives love it, and care home managers can’t remember how challenging managing a care home was before it.” Of course, taking on a whole new system can seem daunting, that’s why Care Vision offer minimal investment, all round support and flexible hardware options. They don’t feel the need for long-term contracts, Rishi says “We have total confidence, once you use Care Vision, you will love it as much as we do.” The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you. Contact at info@care-vision.co.uk or call 0208 768 9809. See the advert on page 47 for details.

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


PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 27

PROFESSIONAL AND TRAINING Building Understanding: Why It’s So Important To Nurture Relationships Between Care Homes and Temporary Agencies By Chris Pritchard, Director at Search (www.search.co.uk) It’s hard to fathom that up to only eight or nine months ago, care homes were sitting quietly in the background of a busy world, expertly tending to those in their care as they always have. Fast-forward those eight or nine months and care homes remain under the harshest of public spotlights having been shunted there during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this period, not only did care homes become one of the most talked about institutions, the struggles they faced created internal issues beyond the immediate safety of residents. A key issue was staffing and getting the personnel in to maintain stability at a time of extraordinary turbulence.

UNDERLYING TENSIONS SURFACE Unpredictable and fluctuating requirements in care services, coupled with high staff attrition and the spread of coronavirus, precipitated a need for care agency services so that employee shortages could be mitigated. However, a restrained but growing contempt for agency workers and the care homes that use them has, in some quarters, surfaced. As the focus shifted to care homes around April time, a prevalent insinuation was that agency staff working between services were unknowingly spreading the virus. Accordingly, the divide began to deepen, despite the overwhelming, communal dedication to working together in the face of such a punishing challenge. There was also a feeling amongst some that temporary carers lacked the competence of their full-time counterparts and were using the renewed demand on them simply to fill timesheets. As such, the ‘Us and Them’ culture between full-time and agency workers intensified. Adding to this sense of mistrust were those care homes marketing themselves as never using agency workers. Undoubtedly, maintaining a 100% full-time staff points to good management, but advertising the fact can serve to cast further doubt on the competency of temporary carers. It also acts a none-too-subtle slight against those equally hard-working care homes that do sometimes use temporary carers, bolstering the narrative that temporary workers are, and will always be, an unsatisfactory option.

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

THERE’S A DIFFERENT SIDE TO THIS STORY In the interest of honesty and objectivity, it is incumbent upon temporary agencies to concede that there were some problems with a minority of temporary carers. Stories of agency staff arriving late, cancelling last minute, failing to put in the necessary effort, and generally not adhering to the high standards expected of the sector, were not without foundation. The responsibility for quality improvement rests firmly at the agency’s door and their commitment to overseeing this improvement should be paramount. However – and this is essential to emphasise - in most cases agency carers performed an outstanding service. Were it not for their endeavours, the care home sector might have struggled a lot more than it did during the worst days of the crisis.

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It is also worth addressing the myth that agency carers are somehow not as competent as their full-time counterparts. The reality is that a distinct majority of agency carers are every bit as skilled, qualified, and experienced as full-time staff, it’s just that agency work is a better fit for their personal circumstances. Some are highly capable students on work placements, some are on working visas, others just prefer having control over their shift patterns.

CARE HOMES AND TEMPORARY AGENCIES NEED A RELATIONSHIP RESET Speaking as someone who has been at the forefront of arranging temporary carer placements during the pandemic, we have been doing what we can to make improvements. For example, we looked beyond smarter roster management to ensure that staff rotation was limited. We also identified staff who were happy to be assigned to just one service, one where they truly felt valued and part of a team. In truth, most agencies are doing what they can, but a commitment to improvement should come from all sides. Those care homes that do partner with agencies might need to monitor the relationships between temporary and full-time carers more closely. It is common for temporary carers to return to their agencies describing unfriendly environments. They are disproportionately tasked with menial jobs and in some cases not even referred to by their names, just as ‘agency’. Then there is the key component of any healthy relationship between care home and agency - feedback. Often, the only feedback an agency will receive will be when there has been a problem with a carer. Important as it is to know when there have been issues, agencies also need to know when a placement has gone well. The better an agency understands the type of professional who fits within the culture of a care home, the better chance they have of organising suitable placements.

BETTER RELATIONSHIPS BENEFIT EVERYONE When relationships between care homes and agencies, and full-time and temporary carers falter, there are no winners. Central to preventing this, is building better relationships. At the care home/agency level, the most productive relationships are formed when the care home maintains links with only one or two agencies. Where this happens, the agency can quickly build an accurate picture of the type of worker the care home prefers. This minimises the risk of unsatisfactory placements and aids the development of a reserve of committed ‘regulars’ who know and engage well with the service users, as well as the permanent staff team. This requires constant, open lines of communication where care home managers can provide feedback on carers, both good and bad. Then, of course, there’s the ‘Us and Them’ culture between full-time and temporary workers that is so widespread within care homes. These divisions can make for hostile environments that benefit no-one, not least the residents who don’t deserve to be exposed to such conflict, however low-level it may be. Together, care homes, agencies, temporary and full-time carers, we can create working relationships that benefit everyone, in all kinds of ways. We can make our lives easier, more productive, and more pleasant. We all just need to show a bit more willing.


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

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Profile for The Carer

The Carer Digital - Issue #27  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

The Carer Digital - Issue #27  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

Profile for thecarer