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
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The Carer Digital
Care Home Residents & Carers First to Receive Pfizer Covid Vaccine
Care home residents and care staff are to be the first to get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19 after it was cleared for clinical use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority. The government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has confirmed its priority list for the first phase of the UK's mass vaccine rollout, which will begin early next week. It comes after the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use. Regulators this morning (December 2) addressed the nation as the NHS prepares to start its mass vaccination pro-
gramme. Care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the extremely vulnerable will be among the 800,000 to get the jab in the first wave next week, it has been confirmed. The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart. However, due to initial limited stocks and need to store at -70C, the very first vaccinations are likely to take place at hospitals which have suitable storage facilities to store the vaccine at -70Â° C.
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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 Thankfully, an opportunity to present some good news (and we all really do need some good news!) As we wave goodbye to 2020, we look back at a truly terrible year, particularly for the care sector which found itself overwhelmed when the pandemic broke. Caught in the eye of the storm, we were all unprepared for what was to follow. The catastrophic decision patients from hospital beds to care home environment will go down as one of the worst decisions of modern times. The wider country and economy has also had its challenges. Covid has hammered all parts of society. Readers may know here at THE CARER also produce publication for the licensed on-trade and hospitality sector which has been devastated by the pandemic. Over the last 2 days we have seen Arcaia group, Debenhams and Bonmarche go into liquidation with potential loss of tens of thousands of jobs. So, as I say being able to report some “good news”, is a delight! As seen in this issue, care home residents across all tiers will be able to see families and loved ones during the Christmas period and visits have begun today. New testing technology, along with a significant increase in investment, allows families and relatives be tested prior to visits and providing tests prove negative care home residents can finally meet with loved ones. Instigating infection control/prevention and balancing that with one of our most treasured acts, visiting and sharing love and affection with family members has, I think, been the most difficult of tasks during this whole pandemic. The heartache it has caused has been truly distressing. After what happened during the very early stages of the pandemic, which saw Covid ravage care homes, one can understand the government’s concerns and reluctance to allow visits. However, from today, and leading up to the most family orientated times of the year, this news is most welcomed. Added to that is the news that care home residents and care staff are to be prioritised with the newly approved Covid vaccine. Given this is a newly approved vaccine it is not without its complications, and reports have surfaced as I write this, that NHS staff may be given priority over care staff. However, this appears simply to be a matter of logistics and not preference. From what I have seen the vaccine is clearly aimed at prioritising the most vulnerable which of course means care home residents. However, transporting the product which has
to be stored at -70° appears to be the issue. The vaccines, from what I understand, must to be packaged with dry ice and placed in a special transport box the size of a suitcase. These containers can prevent the vaccines from spoiling for 10 days if they remain unopened. Once the batches arrive at vaccination hubs, they can be stored in standard medical fridges at between 2C and 8C for up to five days, or they can be kept in their shipping boxes for up to 30 days if the containers are topped up with dry ice at least once a week, hence the potential issues. When the pandemic broke, we saw first-hand how businesses in the supply chain to the residential and nursing care sector rose to the enormous challenge, in some cases increasing production of products and services and in other cases innovating and diversifying to meet demand. So, I would be quite confident that the logistical issue will be a challenge that will be met in the foreseeable future. Once again, I would draw your attention to our latest “Unsung Hero Award” on page 17. Regular readers will know it is a “no-frills no glitz or glamour” token by us here at The Carer to award somebody in a residential and nursing care sector setting who has gone that extra mile, above and beyond and deserves recognition. We started the award in 2016, running twice a year. However since the pandemic broke, we have regularly reported on how hard-working and dedicated staff have been, and thankfully the whole country now recognises that. We have been repeating our Unsung Hero Award and this time there is a festive theme a luxury hamper will find its way to our “Christmas Unsung Hero” in time for Christmas day Closing date is December 16 so please get nominating! I would also take this opportunity once again to remind you to send your stories, thoughts and views, we are always delighted to include some wonderfully uplifting stories from care homes throughout the country so please do keep them coming, I can always be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Care Home Residents & Carers First to Receive Pfizer Covid Vaccine (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) said there is clear evidence that those living in residential care homes for older adults have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 as they have had a high risk of exposure to infection and are at higher clinical risk of severe disease and mortality. “Given the increased risk of outbreaks, morbidity and mortality in these closed settings, these adults are considered to be at very high risk,” it added. “The Committee’s advice is that this group should be the highest priority for vaccination. Vaccination of residents and staff at the same time is considered to be a highly efficient strategy within a mass vaccination programme with the greatest potential impact.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed vaccinations will start with
the most elderly, people in care homes and their carers, with NHS staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable also high on the list. In an interview he said: “2020 has been just awful and 2021 is going to be better, and help is on its way with this vaccine. “I’m confident now with the news today that from spring, from Easter onwards, things are going to be better and we’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy.” The full priority list is as follows: • Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers • People aged 80 and over and frontline health workers • People aged 75 and over • People aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals • People aged 65 and over
• People aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality • People aged 60 and over • People aged 55 and over • People aged 50 and over England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the vaccine approval is “excellent news and a step towards normality”. He tweeted: “It will take until spring until the vulnerable population who wish to are fully vaccinated. We can’t lower our guard yet.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the announcement was “fantastic” news, announcing on social media: “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.” A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had approved the jab after “months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts” from the regulator. He said they have concluded that the vaccine has “met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”. The JCVI’s advice on priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination can be read in full at https://tinyurl.com/yyxpnjxk
Is This What the People Really Want – Underfunding of Social Care? Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum responds to the Chancellor’s spending review (see page 11). “The Spending Review is a catastrophe for social care. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has consistently talked up the importance of social care, yet once again it has shown that it is unwilling to get behind the provision of services that are the lifeblood of people living independently within the community, or within residential care, or support services. “The funding outlined in the review is completely and wholly inadequate – it can only lead to reductions in the provision of care. The government should be very aware that it’s decision today to ignore all the advice around minimum funding from the care sector, think tanks, Health and Social Care Select Committee and local government, is a fundamental step backwards. It has offered just £300 million of additional funding, to be split between adult and children’s care services, to a sector decimated by the catastrophic costs of providing care in COVID-19, a pandemic it entered whilst reeling from years of unfulfilled promises of reform and well documented underfunding
“The Chancellor’s statement today must not be the end of this – we urgently demand the government to strengthen their commitment to provide adequate funding both for the short-term spending review period and to urgently address reform. “Millions of people are affected by the provision of social care, those who receive it, informal carers who rely on it, the 1.6 million people who work in it, local and national businesses who rely on the spending power of its workers, and the NHS whose primary and secondary care services are intricately woven within it. If that doesn’t feel like something that should be valued in a spending review purporting to be about what the people want, then I am at a loss to work out what is. The small increase in the national living wage comes nowhere near the level of recognition we need for care workers – these are the same people that the government has clapped and praised and yet when the moment comes to recognise those staff, and help employers to reward those staff, the silence is resounding.
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Ensure Standards are High and Protecting Those We Care For By Dr. Paul Nelson, medical doctor, clinical epidemiologist and Public Health Consultant, is the founder of
FeverFreeZone™ (https://www.feverfree.zone), and an expert in Covid-19 mitigation strategy.
Thomas Hobbes envisaged a world without society as nasty, brutish and short and Gandhi reminds us that the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members. During the Covid-19 pandemic the UK care home residents have suffered, and many have died. The protection of residents in care homes has been hugely problematic. Early in the pandemic the discharge back to care homes of older people contagious with C19 looks in retrospect to have been wilfully cavalier and a gross underestimation of the challenge. It led to the virus sweeping through care homes in the first wave, causing vast numbers of largely preventable deaths. That experience has perhaps led to rebound drastic and inhumane measures denying sometimes confused elderly people both touch and contact with loved ones as well as the freedom to move about in the care home for many months. This situation persists though efforts to facilitate the safe entry of relatives and loved ones into care homes are finally bearing fruit with trials of PCR testing and of new rapid testing methodologies for visiting relatives. The news of efficacious vaccines is wonderful and gives us all hope for the end of the pandemic, yet the news also threatens to become a distraction to focused efforts to protect residents of care homes whilst allowing the best quality of life for residents in the months and potentially years ahead where the virus still threatens. There is a genuine risk, that the emergence of the vaccine could be used consciously or unconsciously to divert attention and resources from C19 mitigation strategies which allow for and facilitate resident/visitor contact and some degree of freedom of movement of residents. Already Tedros Adhonan (WHO director-general) has warned that the vaccine will not be a panacea, not in the next year and perhaps
not ever as levels of immunisation may never reach herd immunity levels, mutations may occur and seasonal comebacks may become the norm. Pandemic preparedness must be in place in societies to protect them and particularly their vulnerable elderly. Now is the time to put in the infrastructure to protect care homes though layers of mitigation including screening for symptoms and critically objective assessment of signs of disease. The challenges for care homes are to balance compassion with safety, on a background of low levels of resourcing. Obvious solutions to safety like PCR testing to ensure people entering the care home do not have Covid-19 are slowly being adopted for staff but only on a weekly basis, so that interim infection and transmission remains a risk. New innovations like lateral flow testing are slowly being piloted although pan sector adoption with government backing is way off. However, for once social care is high on the news agenda taking column inches in the broadsheets and tabloids and is taking centre stage tv news reports and on social media. For once government is in the spotlight about their leadership and response and being challenged as to how they manage the next stage of the pandemic for the frail elderly particularly in care homes. The stakes are now high not to get it wrong again and moreover to ameliorate the situation. In early November The Scottish government published enhanced advice for supporting those who give and receive social care and specifically advocated daily symptom assessment and particularly temperature assessment for residents and staff in care homes. This is very good news since body temperature, although one of the primary signs of covid-19 has not been fully formally leverages as mitigation strategy in the UK. If measured correctly and consistently it can be a useful marker of infection risk and if data collected can be useful in disease surveillance and as the basis of population screening programme. Previously concerns about validity and accuracy have prevailed and the opportunities have not been seized.. Now it finally the usefulness and necessity for temperature assessment has been recognised and it is time for those who have implemented it to look at their processes and outcomes and ensure quality assurance. For those who have yet to adopt temperature assessment, process and quality are king. That said the care industry has been way in advance of government guidelines on symptom assessment, realising that a precautionary
approach early on a background of confusing, contradictory and deficient official advice. That information has imporved and care home owners have had taken then initiative adding mitigations above and beyond publicly recommended measure. Many have added in temperature assessment of staff, visitors and patients where Public Health guidelines have lagged behind the situation on the ground. In care homes, Temperature assessment has become widespread although often in an ad-hoc way without proper processes procedures and audit. In this light there is some doubt about the value of the temperature assessment process, assessment accuracy and validity without data being kept or used in the audit, it is easy to think that temperature assessment is largely theatre. It is important, and perhaps now likely that in view of the formal official public health advice from the Scottish government to care homes to implement daily symptom and temperature assessment that, standard procedures and equipment and the collection of data will become the norm. This will drive a focus by care homes on the accuracy and trust in the assessment as meaningful and helpful. This is good news as it adds another meaningful layer to broader mitigations against Covid 19 and is welcome and easy to implement even while the effectiveness of novel tests are still in doubt and while we endure the long wait for the vaccine. Objective temperature assessment now has its official sanction, let us get it in place and ensure that it is done so meaningfully and is not just theatre. That is it must be done according to a standard operation procedure using accredited equipment that is fit for purpose and there should be staff training and accreditation and a process of quality assurance. This is not only desirable but also essential Even if and when full eradication is here those care homes that have adopted best practice will be best placed to protect residents from early viral respiratory illness. Other infections such as flu have always threatened our elders in care homes and the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on our deficiencies in precautionary screening measures to protect them. Now is the time to get the infrastructure in place to protect the most vulnerable in our society for the next stage of this pandemic and be prepared for the next.
Cambridgeshire Care Home Launches Community Search For Lost Elves! Home Meadow residential care home in Toft, near Cambridge, is calling on the local community to help locate some festive elves, lost in isolation! The home is launching a fun competition, and has hidden four ‘Elf on a Shelf’ figures around the village for people to find. Those who locate the mischievous festive figures are encouraged to take a photo with their find, which is theirs to keep, and share them with the home. The initiative follows a successful Halloween-themed pebble hunt which attracted lots of participation from local groups and members of the community. Home Manager Laura Adams, “We had such fun connecting with the community from afar with our Halloween pebble hunt that we knew we wanted to set up a festive equivalent.
“Our team members have been out, covertly hiding these characterful elves around the village for eager eyes to find. We hope families enjoy searching for them over the coming weeks when out walking around the village. “It’s so important for us to keep our home and our residents connected with our community, despite the challenges presented by Covid, so I hope people enjoy taking part; we certainly look forward to seeing the photos of our recovered isolating elves in the run-up to Christmas!” The elves have been hidden and are available to find now; anyone who finds an Elf on the Shelf is asked to send their photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org and the photo will be shared with residents and, with permission, shared on Healthcare Homes’ Facebook page.
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 5
Care Home Residents To Be Reunited With Families By Christmas Care home residents in all tiers will be able to see their families again this Christmas period as over a million tests are to be sent out providers over the next month, with visits to begin in the first homes today ([Wednesday 2 December]. A significant increase in testing capacity, paired with new testing technology, will allow friends and family to visit relatives in care homes if they receive a negative result prior to the visit. The move will enable care homes to safely maintain a balance between infection control and the vital benefits of visiting to the health and wellbeing of residents. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “I know how difficult it has been for people in care homes and their families to be apart for so long. The separation has been painful but has protected residents and staff from this deadly virus. “I’m so pleased we are now able to help reunite families and more safely allow people to have meaningful contact with their loved ones by Christmas. “This news has been made possible by the unprecedented strides made in testing technology and capacity, as well as extra PPE supplies.” It will still be critical for visitors to wear appropriate PPE and follow other infection control measures within the care home to keep their loved ones, other residents and staff safe. An extra 46 million items of free PPE will be sent to CQC-registered care home providers through the Government portal in addition to PPE already available. Over 220 million items of PPE have been provided to adult care homes since April. The number of tests kits being supplied has been modelled to allow up to two visitors per resident, visiting twice a week. Care homes will manage the number of visits to ensure they can enable safe visiting and the programme will be continuously reviewed as it is rolled out. Visitors will still be expected to follow infection prevention and control procedures. Visitors should minimise contact as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission. Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “COVID-19 is a cruel virus that has torn families apart and denied so many the simple human pleasure of contact with a loved one, which means everything to so many living in care homes. “My focus is on making sure good quality care can still be provided to everyone who needs it, while keeping carers and the people they look after safe. “It is impossible to eliminate risk entirely, but now thanks to an enormous expansion of testing capacity and a huge delivery of free PPE we can help to more safely reunite families throughout December.” More than a million lateral flow tests have already been sent out to the 385 biggest care homes as the first tranche of a phased approach to make visits safer. The government is also publishing new guidance allowing some residents under 65 to spend time with
their families at Christmas outside of care homes. Working age residents may be able to join their families in their homes subject to an individual risk assessment, a negative test before leaving and a period of self-isolation upon return. However, they may only form a bubble with one other household and should not form a three-household Christmas bubble at any point. If anyone planning to visit a care home develops symptoms they must of course cancel the visit, self-isolate and order a test. The adult social care sector has been prioritised for the rollout of testing, and care homes have been one of the first groups to be given access to repeat asymptomatic testing, with 120,000 tests a day ring fenced for regular care home testing. Following this oneoff push of test kits throughout December, care homes will be able to order more rapid tests in a similar way to the current ordering process. In addition, the government are expanding regular COVID-19 testing to all CQC inspectors to help support their ongoing work. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England said: “As the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England is pleased that the Government has responded to the needs of the sector. In order for these promising plans to land successfully, the sector must now be adequately supported by the Government. Care England has always supported meaningful contact between families and residents, whilst recognising that the balance between freedom and safety needs to be explored at the most granular level possible. “We appreciate the continued risks associated with visits, but this represents a positive step forwards. The most important relationships in most people’s lives are with their families or other people, where love and trust are shared.” Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said, “Today’s announcement from the Department of Health and Social will be welcomed by many families who will now be able to see their loved ones over Christmas and to care providers who will be secure in the knowledge they are keeping their residents safe. “Person-centred care has never been more important and recognising that part of people’s identity and wellbeing comes from their relationships is key. Being able to visit friends and family in person wherever possible is at the heart of this and that is why we have encouraged care providers to support visiting as best they can whilst keeping people safe. “We are also delighted to be able to offer the additional assurance to care providers that our inspectors will be getting weekly testing for Covid-19, following the Department for Health and Social Care’s decision to offer testing to key workers. “It is vital we continue to work together to meet the continued challenges of the pandemic and keep people safe.“
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Concern New Care Sector COVID Staffing Regulations Will Lead to Staff Shortages sure due to Covid and facing a staffing crisis.”
Care providers are gearing up for further staff shortages in advance of new rules that will prevent the movement of staff between care settings introduced through the Regulation 18 clause, finds a poll of care providers by law firm Royds Withy King. The poll of 136 care home operators held on 23 November reports that 70% of care providers are bracing themselves for staff shortages if the proposed changes to Regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 are adopted in their current form. James Sage, Head of the Social Care team and a specialist employment lawyer at Royds Withy King, comments. “Regulation 18 is a temporary measure that would prevent care providers from allowing staff to work in more than one care setting without first placing that member of staff into a two-week quarantine. “This would seriously impact the ability of care providers to adequately resource care provision at a time when the sector is under immense pres-
The proposed changes to Regulation 18 would: Apply to residential care services; Restrict staff that provide nursing or personal care in one setting from doing so in another within a 14-day period; and • extend to bank and agency staff. James adds: “The proposals do include a limited number of exceptions
permitting care providers to break these rules in emergencies or to ensure they have enough staff to provide the care needed whilst they look to comply with the regulations. “In those instances, care providers will need to demonstrate that they have plans in place and are activity taking steps to comply with the changes to Regulation 18. Where providers need to rely on agency staff to fill shifts, they should agree contracts for exclusive use of particular agency workers.”
Knight Frank Recognises Healthcare Heroes Global property adviser Knight Frank has launched the inauguration of Knight Frank’s Healthcare Heroes Awards which recognises outstanding people within the social care sector. The first time that awards such as these have been launched, Knight Frank’s Healthcare Heroes Awards saw some fantastic nominations. Submissions focused on individuals who had shown tremendous leadership, empathy and compassion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as well as lead-
ing efforts around infection control and commitment to creative thinking to ensure social care residents and customers felt safe and secure throughout these unprecedented times. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, commented: “We are thrilled to acknowledge the amazing people that work within the social care sector, this year more than ever. Care providers have managed the COVID-19 pandemic brilliantly, particularly given challenges including lack of testing and PPE, and we received many nominations on behalf of some truly outstanding people working within the sector. “Our Healthcare Heroes Awards showcase those inspirational individuals who have been undertaking exemplary work in the most difficult of circumstances and have recognised some richly deserved winners. Standout Healthcare Heroes include:
• • • • • • • • • •
Candy Sharratt – Dormy Care Karen Johnson – HC-One Luke Owen – Bupa Daniel Inglis – Balhousie Sally Gregory – Sanctuary Peter Widdowson – Country Court Frank Cummins – Caring Homes Lorraine Windsor – Runwood Homes Elaine Mignott – Four Seasons Health Care June Hoggart – Barchester Healthcare
Julian Evans continued: “Despite the fantastic work of the UK healthcare sector, the pandemic has also unfortunately highlighted the lack of investment by successive governments into the sector, and therefore the urgent need to prioritise preventative and crisis funding. This is even more the case as further economic turbulence likely results from us entering a recession and as Brexit looms. However, already investors and lenders are viewing the healthcare and senior living sector as an opportunity
for a ‘flight to quality’. “The care bed shortage and supply versus demand crisis has definitely not evaporated, and if anything has been emphasised by the crisis. We urgently require inward investment into the sector as we are currently at a vital crossroads where we face a national bed crisis unless significant inward investment in the UK care home sector is made immediately.” Knight Frank’s research identifies a potential 6,500 care homes at risk of closure over the next 5 years, equating to 140,000 beds. This shortage will be exacerbated by the increased demand for care homes by 2050, which will see a national bed crisis in the UK as the share of people over the age of 80 is expected to surge over the next 30 years, with one in ten adults set to be over 80 by 2050, compared to one in twenty currently.
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Carers Worried Over Mountain of Work to Come
Over-stretched are providers are calling for urgent help as they face a mountain of work to enable visiting to resume and the vaccination programme to begin. The Independent Care Group (ICG) which represents providers, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock underestimates the reality of introducing testing across homes. And it has also warned of huge extra pressure on homes when the vaccination program begins next month. It has called on the Government to provide greater financial support to help care and nursing homes to cope. It has also criticized the Government for hastily introducing legislation to prevent staff moving between care homes. The Government has said care and nursing homes will welcome up to two visits per resident for twiceweekly tested visits. The health secretary said there would be no need for more staff to cope with the new visiting regime. But ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Everyone is delighted to be reintroducing visiting again as residents and their families and friends have been apart too long. “But to suggest this will be easy and won’t entail care and nursing homes needing more staff is wide of the mark and out of touch. “The National Care Forum* estimates that the average 50-bed care home will need to carry out an additional 1,350 tests on residents, staff and visitors under the new proposals, on top of the 450 a month already being undertaken and all, according to Mr Hancock, without needing any more staff. “Spread across the sector that is 11m tests and 3.6m hours of testing every month, time that, without extra staff, will be taken away from providing care. “Care providers want to do it and will do it, but
they will have to find extra staff resources and for many that will be extremely tough. “If Mr Hancock knows social care as he claims he does, he should know the extra resources this will need and would fight for greater financial support for the sector. We invite him to visit a care home on the frontline to see for himself the impact these new tests will have.” The ICG is also concerned that a huge logistical operation to give residents and staff the vaccine is only days away. “The vaccine is wonderful news and we cannot wait to protect our residents. But there will be a huge logistical and administrative burden on care staff to help carry out the vaccination of residents and staff. “With the new visitor testing regime coming in and very soon the vaccination program, care and nursing homes are going to be at full stretch and many are worried about how they are going to cope,” Mr Padgham added. The ICG was also angry that the Government rushed through legislation to prevent care and nursing staff from moving between homes during the pandemic, from the end of the year. It announced that the legislation was going through just three hours after consultation into the proposal ended. “This shows how much interest there was in the consultation and how much understanding of the impact it would have on the ability of care and nursing homes to keep staffing levels up during Covid-19. “We understand the thinking behind this but we already have 100,000 care vacancies on any one day in the sector, are struggling with staff absences due to coronavirus and now won’t be able to move staff between homes or use agency staff as easily. It feels like we have been fighting Covid-19 with one arm behind our backs and now they are wanting to take away the other arm too. “It is also interesting to see how quickly the Government can move in pushing through legislation when it wants to but when it comes to supporting social care, like indemnifying providers for example, there is very little action. “Care and nursing homes are at full stretch caring for their residents in the midst of the second wave of Covid-19. If we are to manage this new visiting regime and the vaccinations on top of that, we are going to need some help, and some help right now.”
At Risk Groups To Receive Free Winter Supply Of Vitamin D More than two and a half million vulnerable people across England will be offered free Vitamin D supplements for the winter, the government has announced. All care homes will automatically receive a provision for their residents, while individuals on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to ‘opt in’ for a supply to be delivered directly to their homes. Deliveries will be free of charge, starting in January, and will provide four months’ worth of supplements to last people through the winter months. The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This is particularly important this year as these individuals are more likely to have been indoors for extended periods due to measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19. Evidence of the link of Vitamin D to Covid-19 is still being researched with larger scale trials needed. In the meantime, the Secretary of State has asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence. The government will publish its findings towards the end of the year. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in Vitamin D. “The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free a supply to last them through the darker winter months. This
will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS. “A number of studies indicate Vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against COVID19. I have asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence on the link between COVID-19 and Vitamin D to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.” Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE, said: “Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health. “We advise that everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don’t get outside and those with dark skin, takes a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day. “This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to get Vitamin D.” The advice from Public Health England is for everybody to take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of Vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy. Public Health England advises people who are more at risk of not having enough Vitamin D to take a Vitamin D supplement all year round. A range of products and doses are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers. Anyone who is able to purchase a Vitamin D supplement and start taking them now is advised to do so, even if you are also eligible for a delivery later in the year.
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PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
Turn To Tech To Relieve Pressure and Improve Experience By Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Moneypenny (www.moneypenny.com) and leave carers to focus on what’s really important – looking after those in need. Here, Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Head of Healthcare Sector at Moneypenny – the leading outsourced communications provider – explains how.
ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE
The care sector has faced enormous pressures this year – all under the spotlight of the world’s media. The outbreak of Covid-19 has rewritten the rules and for care homes, it’s been a battle to protect residents and staff, while continuing to provide quality care and communicate clearly with concerned families. The pandemic has had an impact on communications habits, too. During times of unrest, people naturally want to reach out for support so the phone has become a lifeline for many seeking updates on loved ones that they’re unable to visit. Living in a 24/7 society, there’s round the clock demand and care staff are forced to juggle external communications with delivering care which can be extremely overwhelming – particularly out of hours. Technology has the power to help overcome this mounting pressure
Being accessible for residents’ families is a crucial part of running a care home – it’s what helps to make people connected with their loved one’s care givers. The telephone is the primary means of communication and has been critical during the pandemic with call volumes increasing significantly. It’s not just about maintaining a family connection, there’s an important commercial benefit to being readily available. Covid-19 means there’s an increased demand for care services and the phone is a major channel for new enquiries. If you’re accessible, friendly and professionally over the phone, it gives an indicator as to the values you have as a care home – you can not only put families at ease but also fill vacant beds quickly. Society has adapted to digital communication but there’s no replacement for human interaction. The introduction of alternative methods has simply rendered ‘real life’ conversation even more valuable. A phone call offers assurance and familiarity that you only get from speaking with a human being – particularly during times of need. That’s why being able to answer and handle calls quickly and efficiently is essential – it’s unacceptable to let the phone ring out or leave callers on hold for extended amounts of time. If this happens, messages aren’t relayed or calls missed – it starts to impact reputation and this can be hard to come back from. By outsourcing telephone answering – either on an overflow basis or entirely – care homes can rest assured that they’ll never miss a call – no matter how busy staff get. Callers will always get through to someone friendly and professional, who understands and represents a care
home’s individual brand.
PUT YOUR WEBSITE TO WORK Another way of streamlining customer experience is through the inclusion of live chat on a website. Consumers carry out lots of research online and there’s a growing expectation that they can communicate with your brand this way. The instant nature of live chat is what has made it so popular. Web visitors appreciate the opportunity to ask quick questions, right there and then, whilst browsing online. Others simply prefer not to talk on the phone and favour the messenger-style experience live chat offers. People expect a wide variety of channels through which they can communicate – live chat is still a relatively untapped area for care homes but it can be a valuable part of this solution. It provides an instant and easy way to get in touch and triages enquiries to keep volume away from the phones. Live chat technology generates six times more website engagement and encourages visitors who wouldn’t otherwise take the time to email or call, to engage with you. The solution also stores important details securely, allowing for a more informed and seamless follow-up. The reality is that we’ll be feeling the impact of the pandemic for months to come, so increased pressure on phones and other channels will remain. If standards are slipping, care homes can address these issues easily by looking to outsourced tech. Telephone answering support allows care providers to focus on the clinical aspect of their role and live chat is proven to improve digital presence and keep call volumes down. In difficult times, communicating well with the outside world offers an opportunity to stand out. It goes hand in hand with customer care and gives people confidence in the efficiency and quality of the service you provide.
Appeal for Patience Over Visiting Care providers have appealed to the public to be patient over the reintroduction of visiting to care and nursing homes. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was excellent news that the Government had announced arrangements for care and nursing home residents to resume having in-home visits and for younger residents to visit loved ones themselves over Christmas. But it warned that new systems would take time to introduce as the Government rolls out testing kits to thousands of homes across the country. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Yesterday’s news was excellent for all those families who have been apart from their loved ones for too long and every care and nursing home across the country will do its utmost to meet the arrangements the Government has announced.
“But this is going to be a huge undertaking and we appeal to families to be patient with their loved ones’ homes as they try to resume visiting as soon as they can. “It is going to take time for the tests to reach all homes and then for staff to be trained up in the procedures needed to test relatives and then have them come into homes to see their family and friends. “The public have shown amazing patience so far and we just appeal to them now to show a little more whilst we prepare for these long-awaited visits.” The ICG represents care providers who look after people in their own homes, in care and nursing homes and extra care housing as well as providing day care and support for those with learning disabilities and mental health problems.
Optalis Celebrates Employee Appreciation with its Annual STAR Awards Social care provider, Optalis, has been shining a light on the positive efforts of employees with its annual STAR Awards. The STAR Awards recognise those who have truly gone above and beyond in their work across a number of categories, highlighting those who have consistently performed with empathy, embraced an optimistic attitude and maintained ongoing commitment to the care given to customers supported by Optalis’ services. Now in its fifth year, the annual awards ceremony was at risk of being blighted by the pandemic but this year, more than ever, Optalis wanted to ensure colleagues got the recognition they deserved. The ceremony, which was due to take place this summer, was put on hold but as lockdown restrictions eased, small-scale local celebrations have taken place in keeping with COVID-guidelines. Employees were nominated in eight categories that highlighted accomplishments reflecting the company’s core values, including the Unsung Hero award, Outstanding Team award and an award nominated by people supported by Optalis, ‘Customer Choice’. The winners in each category were commended for their outstanding approach. Examples of the winning nominations included a team member who consistently showed and executed great determination over time, especially in respecting everyone’s views during difficult situations. A second example included a member of
staff who excelled in using communication aids, to give individuals with communication difficulties the ability to express themselves. A third example was a team member who showed an ongoing commitment to brightening the day of the people he supports with his cheerful demeanour. David Birch, Optalis’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said: “In our organisation, recognising and celebrating outstanding staff achievements and innovation is one of our priorities. The STAR Awards are a brilliant opportunity to do just that. “It’s a real shame that we were unable to hold our Award Ceremony event this year, I was very much looking forward to it. Nevertheless, we took the decision to push ahead with the STAR Awards to ensure that our colleagues and teams who received a nomination got the recognition they deserve. We hope that those who won, feel our genuine appreciation for the hard work, commitment and dedication they bring to their jobs and meeting our customers’ needs. “Personally, I can say that reading every nomination and learning more about the exceptional work our colleagues do has been a highlight of my first few months as Chief Executive. Looking at the talent right across our organisation, I know that Optalis will continue to provide outstanding experiences to our customers, and work in genuine partnership with all our colleagues and our community, which is now more important than ever. The future of Optalis is looking very exciting.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 9
Care Industry Leaders Urge Government Rethink On Restricted Movement Between Care Settings Leading care sector figures are calling for a rethink on restricted movement between care settings as outlined in the Government’s Winter Plan. Announced last Monday, legislation is set to be introduced by the end of the year that will require care home providers to restrict all but essential movement of staff between settings in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Care sector leaders though have expressed fears that the plan will have a disproportionate impact, with restricted movement effectively restricting care providers’ flexibility in the face of ongoing, existential challenges, something that will prove hugely detrimental in both the short and longer term. Concerns also abound that the learning disabled will be hardest hit due to the prevalence of smaller care settings (which often have fewer staff who move between settings) amongst that particular area of care. Maria Mills, who is on the board of directors of the Surrey Care Association and CEO of Active Prospects, an organisation that looks to help people with learning disabilities, and physical and mental health needs to live full and aspiring lives, outlined her fears: “Care managers have been doing everything they possibly can to restrict staff movement across services, and are already fully open to inspection from their regulator – the CQC – on how they are managing staff resources safely during COVID.” “This change to movement will have a profoundly negative impact on the ability to offer safe care. It’s an occurrence across the industry for some staff to
work across settings – especially in smaller 3, 4 or 5 person homes, such as managers and clinical staff.” Maria elaborated: “Many care providers also rely on agency staff, who they’ll often have established working relationships with, calling them in to plug staffing gaps or simply fill in where needed. Requiring them to work at one setting only, removes the flexibility which may very well have attracted them to an agency role in the first place, while they already have to comply with COVID testing arrangements and wear full PPE.” Fiona Aldridge, a fellow SCA board member is in full support of Maria’s viewpoint, saying: “We have worked tirelessly since March 2020 to restrict movements of staff whilst deploying trained, professional frontline workers during the pandemic.” She continued: “No-one wants to put clients, staff, workers, or themselves at additional unnecessary risk. Weekly testing, full PPE, Infection control and COVID-19 training is now standard practice – despite no additional financial support having been offered to agencies to provide this, and with no Infection Control Grant to cover additional PPE supply or additional training for agency staff.” She added: “There is risk, of course. Risk from permanent staff, managers, cleaners, kitchen staff, community staff who need to travel between homes. Domiciliary care and NHS are not restricted. What is the difference? And why are agency staff, yet again, being targeted as the ‘problem’ rather than a key part of the solution? Do other care providers or even the NHS know where their staff were last night? And how
do you know they are any less of a risk than agency staff?” Both Maria and Fiona also expressed concern on block booking being touted as a solution, with Maria saying: “Block-booking and exclusivity contracts, whilst working well in some scenarios, simply aren’t appropriate in all circumstances, as we are not always able to offer a minimum number of hours and the situation can change suddenly one day to the next.” Fiona Aldridge concurred: “Block-booking contracts have been planned for and implemented where possible. But this is not a one-size fits all solution. It is not financially viable to overstaff or block book regular agency staff when the need is not there. Care environments are not seeing enough funding to cover this, and their bed occupancy is suffering.” Further worry centres on recruitment. With the industry in desperate need of staff, Fiona fears the measures will prove detrimental in the long term, saying: “Many staff are unable or unwilling to commit to permanent contracts due to family commitments or other pressures. To force staff to transfer permanently leaves a sense of unease, and we will all end up losing out in the long run as staff leave social care all-together if treated in this way. It’s effectively a short-sighted recruitment plan. We are already seeing many staff taking whatever opportunity they can due to feeling they have no choice. Many are simply being frightened into taking permanent contracts. Sadly though, they will not remain – either in these roles or in social care long term – and so, post-pan-
demic recruitment in social care is set to become even worse not better.” Fiona concluded: “I urge the Government to rethink this move. The regulatory changes are based on outdated data, compiled when the testing of staff was incredibly difficult to do. More regular testing (which needs to be ramped up to the 20-minute daily testing) is a huge step forward. But this additional level of regulation will add unnecessary pressure to an already struggling frontline service. It’s a huge amount of work to implement change in a regulatory platform when a vaccine is on the horizon. This is a short-term problem which is already being well-managed on the frontline. By the time the regulations are agreed, passed and implemented, we may very well be looking at fully vaccinated teams of staff who can work flexibly again – making the whole process redundant.” Maria Mills added: “Of course, given the viral nature of COVID-19, we understand the need to minimise interaction between care settings, but for providers looking to deliver an efficient, quality and consistent service, this will just add to the difficulties in an already incredibly difficult period for the sector.” The Surrey Care Association recently launched a manifesto titled ‘Reinventing Social Care’, which outlines its vision for the future of care and includes within its wider observations steps to ensure a valued care workforce going forward. You can read the report at https://tinyurl.com/yxhtdgkp
Visiting In And Out Of Care Homes- Care England Appeals For Guidance Care England has appealed for guidance for care home visiting to go beyond Christmas. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “The issue about visiting in and out of care homes goes far beyond Christmas, we want to craft robust guidance that deals with the short, medium and long term. The guidance needs to recognise the intricate
balance between well being and safeguarding. Although the new testing regime is extremely welcome we need to face facts that it will be a while until it is entrenched and also needs to operate as part of a raft of other infection control measures”. The Department of Health and Social Care is expected to publish its latest guidance on visiting both in and out of care homes today.
Martin Green continues: “We hope that the guidance has drawn on Care England’s own visiting principles thus reflecting the difficult situation that many care homes are in. Visits both in and outside care homes are part of normal life and we want to be able to support residents, relatives, staff and providers to ensure their safety and wellbeing”.
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PAGE 10 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
What to Do Now to Weather the Winter Staffing Storm By Scott Erwin, founder and CEO of the flexible
workforce platform HireHand (www.hirehand.co.uk)
Even before the impact of COVID-19, many operators were already becoming increasingly reliant on agency staff to cover staff absences and dropped shifts, usually at far higher costs. And this year the added challenges have made workforce planning even more difficult. Sickness and isolation are causing random volumes and patterns of absenteeism. Staff may need to care for family members who are sick or home school children who are isolating, with little or short notice. Thanks to COVID-related complications, staff sickness and absence rates could reach as much as 15% this winter. To add pressure to an already stretched system, the Government is
now proposing a ban on care staff moving between locations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 this winter. These restrictions will complicate staffing issues further and only add to the headache faced by many care home managers who need to fill every shift with adequate staffing levels to ensure patient needs are met. Recruitment and staffing within the sector have long been challenging. But in an era where our ability to predict what is happening is gone, how can we possibly balance costs with such changeable staffing needs while delivering top quality care? Fortunately, there is an approach that allows you to manage costs and unpredictable needs at the same time. The solution lies in rethinking your approach to staffing. In short, the answer is to set full-time staffing levels to the minimum required for operational stability and use dynamic reserves to cover all other levels of demand. When instability reaches a certain point, static staffing breaks. Costs become unrelated to business needs. To survive the winter staffing storm, set your fixed-staffing levels as low as possible and fill as many roles as possible with dynamic staff. Static roles are any roles that have a fixed rota pattern, and you would want in place no matter how low or high your site requires. Dynamic roles, in contrast, are those roles that can be filled from a pool of people who work non-fixed hours. Be mindful that the dynamic reserves are as important to the care home as permanent staff. They aren’t a band-aid - and their performance depends on their satisfaction and retention. Dynamic staffing allows businesses to respond swiftly to unpredictability. Now is the time to act, to build a bank of staff against each
site, thereby creating a flexible workforce allowing you to withstand the staffing demands of the weeks and months ahead. Once you have identified the overall proportion of permanent staff numbers and dynamic reserves you can begin mapping your dynamic reserve skills against your care home needs. To do this, consider the following points: Identify which skills are in demand. Map the skills you already have available (in your reserves, or amongst staff you can transition to your reserves). Map the skills you need against your operating hours to understand peaks and distribution. Compare your operational needs to the skills and availability you have. Recruit for skills gaps or availability gaps and prioritise those who can perform multiple skills. Be intentional about hiring people seeking dynamic work and whose desired availability matches your shift needs. Dynamic staffing gives maximum responsiveness and efficiency, but it is complex, particularly for larger operators. This is before having to build pools of labour specific to individual sites. The moving parts involved - the volume of workers, their availability, the necessary skills, performance feedback - is hard enough when setting schedules in advance. Dynamic staffing software can help take the operational headache away. In mastering the art of staffing in an era of unpredictability, operators can not only survive this current period, but also help to boost efficiency for the business, satisfaction for staff and most importantly, contentment for patients as a result.
Daily Chores Help Friends Reduce Anxiety and Dementia Challenges At Diagrama’s Edensor Care Centre Muhammed Neeliyath, Residential Manager, Edensor Care Centre, talks about the pleasure the team experience when they see residents developing friendships and supporting each other. “Diane Groome, 71, who joined Edensor in September, after a short stay in hospital, has formed a lovely and very rewarding friendship with Susan Thiel, 73, who has dementia and anxiety and joined us in May. Susan lives with dementia and depression and was constantly worrying about things. Diane who can be forgetful but has not been diagnosed with dementia, has taken Susan under her wing. The team has seen fantastic results from this friendship as Susan now feels less anxious and the relationship has given Diane a friend that she really wants to help.
We were really concerned with the level of anxiety Susan displayed and wanted to put in place activities that would help to lessen this. We witnessed the way Diane was looking after her friend and that this attention was helping Susan feel less anxious. To build on this positive relationship, we gave Susan and Diane the responsibility for laying the tables in the dining room and helping Chef to serve meals to their fellow residents a few days a week. The pair complete the task with the help of an Activity Coordinator, and we hope that soon they will be comfortable enough with the routine, to help in the dining room every day. Susan’s condition means that she will have forgotten what she did when she laid tables the time before, but Diane and the Activity Coordinator are always there to lessen her anxiety
and help her. As a care professional it is so rewarding to see the change in Susan, since Diane took her under her wing. Previously Susan would sit and worry, so this is a fantastic distraction for her and seeing Diane reassuring her as she lays the tables has such positive rewards. This has been so successful that the two friends now help me with administration tasks in the office too.” The Edensor Care Centre has the “Working Towards Dementia Friendly Status” from Dementia Action Alliance and is delighted to have its work recognised in this way. To find out more about the Edensor Care Centre visit www.diagramafoundation.org.uk/seniordementia-care/edensorcarehomeclacton
Gracewell Of Sway Resident to Walk Over 15,000 Steps For Charity Colin Evans, 95, and his dog Rusty are set to do 50 laps around their Gracewell of Sway care home in an ambitious attempt to raise £500 for Cancer Research UK. Colin and his companion will also be donning festive dress for the challenge, with Colin in a Santa suit and Rusty dressing up as a reindeer. The duo will be completing the challenge over a seven-day period, starting on 12th December and walking until 18th December where it is expected that Colin will complete around 15,880 steps. Colin decided to start the challenge on the birthday of his late wife, Jean, who passed away after they shared 73 years of marriage together. Cancer Research UK is also a charity which Colin has a personal connection to after he survived bowel cancer earlier in his life. Recognising Colin’s ambitious challenge, Cancer Research UK have sent him a personal letter of thanks where they noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many cancer treatments and clinical trials to have been postponed or suspended. Against this backdrop, Colin’s 50-lap challenge in support of the charity is more important than ever with every penny going towards a vital cause. Speaking of his fundraising challenge, Colin said: “During the pandemic I have seen how charities have been hit hard, with thou-
sands of fundraising events cancelled and vital research being stopped. As a cancer survivor, I want to do something to give back as, without vital charities like Cancer Research UK, I would not be here today living such a wonderful and joyful life. “I am hoping to raise £500 as I am aware that every penny will help in the fight against cancer. I live in such a wonderful care home and I am looking forward to carrying out a Reindeer dash with my beloved furry friend, Rusty. He’ll be wearing his reindeer outfit and I will be in my Santa outfit walking around the stunning path of the home 50 times! “I am commencing the dash on the birthday of my late wife, Jean, whom I was married to for 73 glorious years! 50 laps will be one of my biggest achievements yet, but I know with the support of my wonderful friends and staff who are my extended family I can do anything!” Rachel Bedford, the General Manager at Gracewell of Sway, said: “The entire Gracewell of Sway care home will be cheering Colin on when he begins his remarkable challenge on 12th December. We hope that many agree with the pressing need to support Cancer Research UK and get behind Colin and his beloved Rusty to help make a real difference in our fight against cancer.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 11
Spending Review “Catastrophic” For Social Care Say Industry Leaders Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review has been described as a ‘catastrophe’ for the social care sector. Addressing the House of Commons, the Chancellor said that local authorities access to an extra £1 million next year, however councils would be unlikely to be granted funds to increase social worker pay. Describing ‘long-term scarring’ to the economy because of the pandemic, he said the UK was forecast to borrow a record £394bn this year, equivalent to 19% of gross domestic product. However, representative groups have reacted angrily at the lack of funds made available for the social care sector. Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said: “ During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has consistently talked up the importance of social care, yet once again it has shown that it is unwilling to get behind the provision of services that are the lifeblood of people living independently within the community, or within residential care, or support services. “The funding outlined in the review is completely and wholly inadequate – it can only lead to reductions in the provision of care. The government should be very aware that it’s decision today to ignore all the advice around minimum funding from the care sector, think tanks, Health and Social Care Select Committee and local government, is a fundamental step backwards. It has offered just £300 million of additional funding, to be split between adult and children’s care services, to a sector decimated by the catastrophic costs of providing care in COVID19, a pandemic it entered whilst reeling from years of unfulfilled promises of reform and well documented underfunding “The Chancellor’s statement today must not be the end of this – we urgently demand the government to strengthen their commitment to provide adequate funding both for the short-term spending review period and to urgently address reform. “Millions of people are affected by the provision of social care, those
who receive it, informal carers who rely on it, the 1.6 million people who work in it, local and national businesses who rely on the spending power of its workers, and the NHS whose primary and secondary care services are intricately woven within it. If that doesn’t feel like something that should be valued in a spending review purporting to be about what the people want, then I am at a loss to work out what is. The small increase in the national living wage comes nowhere near the level of recognition we need for care workers – these are the same people that the government has clapped and praised and yet when the moment comes to recognise those staff, and help employers to reward those staff, the silence is resounding. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “In light of the sector’s contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, Government must support and be responsive to the needs of the sector. Of course £1 billion is welcome, we welcome every penny, but in comparison with the NHS and the challenges that the sector faces, this figure is too little and too late. Unfortunately on previous occasions when the Government gave huge amounts of money to Local Authorities it did not reach the front line so we have grave concerns about the delivery mechanism”.. “Care England hopes that the Government makes good on its promise to bring forward proposals next year on its commitment to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system. This cannot wait any longer. If we thought 2020 was hard, unfortunately we have worse to come”. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and co-Chair of the CSA (Care and Support Alliance) said: “Today the Government passed up the opportunity to play fair with social care, instead granting it insufficient extra money to safeguard the current level of services through next year. Against the context of the pandemic, which is both driving up the level of need, and weakening
the finances of providers, this is a decidedly reckless approach. Local authorities are once again being asked to square an impossible circle and this ungenerous settlement does very little to help the NHS either. However, it’s older and disabled people, and their families and carers, who will as ever pay the biggest price, with them more likely to have to manage without the support they need. This is a bitter pill to swallow, especially after everything social care has been through this year. “The Spending Review documentation says that the Government will bring forward proposals on them longer term reform of care in 2021, but as a result of the decisions announced today social care will be even weaker by then than it is now. It’s hard not to conclude we’ve gone backwards.” Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “Council services have been critical in the fight against COVID-19, protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our local businesses and keeping the country running. It is good that today’s Spending Review provides a potential increase of 4.5 per cent in council core spending power to support these vital local services. However, this assumes council tax bills will rise by 5 per cent next year which will place a significant burden on households. “It is good that the Chancellor has provided further funding for councils to manage the cost pressures they face as a result of the pandemic. New funding for adult and children’s social care will also help address some – but not all – of the pressures these services face next year. Councils will still have to find savings to already stretched budgets in order to plug funding gaps and meet their legal duty to set a balanced budget next year. “As we look to build back better from the devastating social and economic impact of this crisis, this will be a blow to our communities and will hamper local and national recovery efforts.
The Award-Winning Jolly Trolley is still available in time for Christmas! The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care home as it promotes social interaction between the residents and carers. This innovative system is fully mobile, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also join in with the interactive fun. Carol singers and pantomimes may not be able to visit your residents this year, so why not give your residents an extra special Christmas present of a Jolly Trolley® so they can still experience all these magical moments virtu-
ally! With the Jolly Trolley® you can easily add personal music, photos and films, also family and friends can send in a their very own personalised Christmas video messages to add some magic and sparkle to Christmas 2020. Don’t just take our word for it - here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients: - L&M Healthcare- Jeanne Davis, Director “We were so pleased with our first
Jolly Trolley® purchase that we bought 3 more!” - St Johns House- Donna Burkhill, Activities Manager “The Jolly Trolley® is quite simply the best money we ever spent on resident enrichment” - Pennine NHS- Hellen Macpherson, Lead Activity Coordinator “We have noticed a huge change with some of our patients when they see the trolley and relate to the themes we use” Call 0800 093 8499, visit www.littleislands.org or see the advert below.
PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
Is Your Care Home Throwing Away Money Unnecessarily? It’s The Big Waste Question – Part 2
By Graham Flynn, MD of Anenta (www.anentawaste.com)
In the second installation of a two-part article on why waste audits are key to cutting cost in care homes, Graham Flynn, Managing Director of healthcare waste management specialist Anenta, looks at how you can use your audit to guide policy and procure better waste contracts. Poor waste protocol in care homes is a problem and it can lead to eye-watering bills caused by the cross contamination of expensive waste streams. Conducting audits properly and consistently helps to avoid this. Waste audits inform your waste management policy development, enabling you to put into place clear statements that guide and train staff quickly and easily in a sector where staff turnover tends to be high. It also helps with the development of protocol, such as guidance and signage of waste streams, nipping the problem in the bud. The other benefit of an audit is that it will enable you as a business to understand your waste profile more accurately, and that is the key to
procuring cost-effective and appropriate waste contracts. That alone could save you thousands of pounds each year. Without this information, even the very best procurement officer can only procure the lowest headline costs for you. That might generate a cost-saving in the short term, but if the contract fails to reflect your actual waste profile, you can be sure you won’t be getting the best deal. Instead, you could find yourself bound by a ‘cheap’ headline contract where cross-contamination penalty charges are punitive. That’s why it’s always better to understand the real world picture, and to have proper protocol in place to prevent expensive mistakes. But it goes deeper than that. An independent audit will also enable you to understand and fulfil your waste management responsibilities as a business, keeping you compliant in the process. Like any other healthcare provider, care homes need to comply with the management of healthcare waste in accordance with the Health Technical Memorandum 0701 (HTM 0701). Sitting above this is the Environmental Protection Act 1990, setting out Controlled Waste Regulations and Duty of Care Regulations, as well as a long list of other statutory instruments. Within this, there are duties that you as a waste producer need to comply with; a significant one being the pre-acceptance audit. Effectively, this is a bill of health for your waste contractor, confirming that the waste and quantities of waste produced are managed in accordance with the law and is waste that your contractor is allowed to dispose of. Without this in place, your waste contractor cannot legally accept waste as they would be in breach of their environmental permit. Your audit, and subsequent policy and process development should help to facilitate this. Moreover, with Environment Permit Regulations under review, more stringent rules for the care home sector could be on the horizon soon. If introduced, the Environment Agency will be able to monitor perform-
ance in greater detail. That includes the ability to track waste from source, all the way through to disposal. If this is put into place, audits will not only be desirable, they will essential. The big question here, is how many care home managers, owners and groups fully understand their responsibilities, are ready for this potential change and have the expertise to deal with it? If the answer to that question is an uncomfortable one, seeking guidance and help from an independent healthcare waste management expert could relieve a lot of stress, and cost. When you consider that the average care home is wasting £8,000 every year through poor waste management process and procurement, seeking outside expertise suddenly starts to make sense. For more information about Anenta, visit www.anentawaste.com or call 033 0122 2143.
Well Known Illustrator Delivers His First Drawing Class For Care Home Residents Residents at over 20 Care UK homes were recently treated to a master class in drawing with nationally renowned artist and animator Gary Andrews as part of the celebrations for the 2020 Big Draw Festival. During the on-line sessions, residents and team members were able to join in as Gary, a former illustrator with internationally-known companies, taught everyone how to draw a variety of endangered birds and animals, including koalas, polar bears, puffins and sea turtles. He also explained various drawing techniques, such as shading and under-drawing. At the end of the session, residents were invited to ask questions and submit requests for animals they wanted him draw with his friendly bat proving one of the most popular. Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, the month-long Big Draw Festival promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception. ‘A Climate of Change’, this year’s theme, focuses on the relationship between people and their environment, and offers a great opportunity for older people to reminisce about their favourite nature spots, as well as trips in youngers years to the great outdoors, and how our focus looking after our planet has changed in recent years. Gary, who is also an ambassador for the Big Draw, said: “Hosting a live drawing session via Zoom was a unique and incredibly moving experience, and it was a pleasure to meet residents and team members at so many homes. Everyone can draw, all it takes is to pick up a pencil – it’s not about perfection, it’s about doing something enjoyable, and I think this session perfectly illustrated that.” Care UK’s dementia expert Suzanne Mumford said: “Drawing, arts and crafts are much loved activities in a
great many of our homes. People are often surprised to find that we have many talented artists who have drawn or painted throughout their life and we love being able to support them to continue or even rediscover that pastime. But whether someone is an accomplished artist or has only doodled on their shopping list it doesn’t matter – we’ll encourage them to have a go if they’d like to. “Gary’s session worked at many levels, some residents enjoyed drawing along using his tips of the trade while others were happy to enjoy the spectacle of animals appearing on the page. Drawing is especially beneficial for older people, including those living with dementia. It improves motor skills, helps with concentration and can often stimulate conversations about long forgotten memories. Most important of all, it’s an enjoyable and relaxing activity to do.” After a successful participation in the Big Draw Festival last year, Care UK renewed its partnership in 2020, becoming the main health and social care partner and leading the way in changing perceptions of life in a care home by promoting activity-based care and encouraging other care homes to follow suit. Across the country, more than 70 homes have been getting arty and working with their local communities virtually to create works of art around the theme ‘A Climate of Change’. To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with the Big Draw, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit careuk.com/carehomes/bigdraw To find out more about the Big Draw festival, please go to thebigdraw.org
Sheffield Care Home Proud to Win in HC-One Garden Competition Residents and Colleagues at HC One’s Alexander Court care home, are thrilled to have won in a category of the HC One annual gardening competition. The Coventry care home are one of the proud winners of the ‘best outdoor visiting area’ category – a huge congratulations is in order for all the hard work the home have put in to making this happen. Residents helped to renovate the garden area by spending time planting flowers, ensuring they are kept watered to keep the garden looking its best. Car tyres and old tins were painted and transformed into a beautiful flower and plant containers.
The Residents also painted small ceramic plant pots and gnomes to accessorise the garden shelf and add a bit more fun. The Residents loved getting to spend time in the fresh air and have fun whilst getting to work on the outdoor space. The bright pops of pink and blue is what really brings it all together and has created an outdoor space that everyone wants to spend time enjoying. All of the Residents worked so hard to upcycle bits of furniture and are so pleased that it paid off and Alexander Court won!
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 13
Government Asks Regulator To Approve Supply of Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine
The government has formally requested the UK’s independent medicines regulator assess the suitability of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for temporary supply, as soon as the company submits the necessary safety, quality and efficacy data. The move marks a significant first step in getting the vaccine approved for deployment, should it meet the regulator’s requirements.
The UK will be one of the first countries in the world to receive the vaccine, if authorised, with AstraZeneca expecting to have up to 4 million doses ready for the UK by the end of the year and 40 million by the end of March 2021. The UK is the first country in the world to sign an agreement with Oxford University/AstraZeneca, securing access to 100 million doses of the vaccine Earlier this week, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca published their interim efficacy results, which indicated the vaccine was at least 70 percent effective in protecting individuals from Covid-19. This rose to 90 percent effective when administered as half a dose, followed by a full dose – rather than two full doses. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are working tirelessly to be in the best possible position to deploy a vaccine as soon as one is approved by the independent regulator the MHRA. “We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety
standards. This letter is an important step towards deploying a vaccine as quickly as safely possible.” In a letter sent by the Department of Health and Social Care to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government has asked the regulator to assess the vaccine for authorisation under Regulation 174 of the Human Medicines Regulations, which enables the temporary supply of medicines to be authorised in response to a public health need. The MHRA has already started a rolling review to determine whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine meets its strict standards of safety, efficacy and quality. Once the MHRA receives the full data from the company, its renowned team of scientists and clinicians stand ready to progress its assessment of the vaccine. Until the end of December, and as part of the transition period, vaccines must be authorised via the European Medicines Agency and that authorisation will automatically be valid in the UK. However, if a suitable COVID-19 vaccine candidate,
with strong supporting evidence of safety, quality and effectiveness from clinical trials becomes available before the end of the transition period, EU legislation which we have implemented – Regulation 174 – allows the MHRA to temporarily authorise the supply of a medicine or vaccine, based on public health need. The letter, signed by Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and Director for Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Antonia Williams, requests the MHRA’s Chief Executive Dr June Raine for the MHRA to evaluate whether the vaccine can be authorised under this regulation. The Government has already formally asked the MHRA to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for its suitability for authorisation under Regulation 174. Until a vaccine is approved, the public must continue to take necessary actions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe including by following the Hands, Face, Space guidance and other public health advice.
Birchwood Reveals Birchwood Smiles: Showing The Smiling Faces Behind The Masks Birchwood House, the Tunbridge Wells-based care home, and sister company Birchwood Care Services, operating in the community, have unveiled Birchwood Smiles – a new initiative to show the smiling faces of its staff behind their masks. Every team member will now wear a lanyard around their neck, with a large picture of their smiling face on it. This will help them to engage with residents and clients, even when wearing full PPE. “So much of caring is about making a human connection and we wanted to remind our clients that there’s always a smiling face behind the mask. If you smile at someone, nine times out of ten you’ll get a smile back, and what’s important to remember is sometimes we’re the only people our clients see in a day.” Commented Wendy Ryan, manager of Birchwood Care Services. Ryan added: “For those who have dementia this is even more important. Continuity and routine are essential. A familiar face helps build rapport and trust. We want to create a positive, happy feeling for all clients.” This simple gesture is already proving effective. Although there are hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out soon and elderly people will
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be the first to receive it, Birchwood is preparing for PPE being a part of daily life for some time to come. Birchwood has adapted its services throughout the pandemic, locking down Birchwood House early in 2020 and introducing family visits to Birchwood House in June, using a fully secure visiting area. Birchwood Care Services has adapted by significantly reducing staff interaction and making more use of video and telephone supervision . Birchwood Care Services also held its first virtual Care Awards in 2020, to keep morale high and thank staff for their continued efforts. Categories included “Going over and above” and “Best compliments from clients”. Keeping clients’ spirits up throughout has been a priority, with organised afternoon teas, a Harvest Hoedown, Halloween and Guy Fawkes celebrations for the elderly people Birchwood cares for. Niral Patel, Birchwood’s owner, adds: “It’s our team’s smiling faces that so often get mentioned by residents, clients and their families. So, everyone loved the idea of Birchwood Smiles and quickly got behind it, and we’ve been able to roll it out across all of our staff.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 15
NAO Highlights PPE “Inadequacies” In Social Care Support During Pandemic A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed that adult social care providers were not adequately supported by government in obtaining PPE and came very close to running out during the pandemic. The report revealed that government was initially reliant on stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) that proved inadequate for the COVID-19 pandemic. In a rapidly deteriorating situation government made a huge effort to boost supply, but it has paid very high prices due to unusual market conditions and many front-line workers reported shortages of PPE. Demand for PPE soared in England from March 2020, when NHS and care workers, and key workers in some other industries, started to require protection from the virus. Government’s stockpiles of PPE were intended for an influenza pandemic and did not hold all the equipment that proved to be required during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as gowns. Government attempted to use its stockpiles to meet demand but there were difficulties distributing PPE and a lack of information on how much stock each NHS trust needed. To manage the rapidly deteriorating situation and urgently source PPE, the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) created a Parallel Supply Chain.2 It made orders worth £7 billion for 14.6 billion items of PPE by the end of May. The Parallel Supply Chain could barely satisfy local organisations’ requirements because of the time lag between ordering PPE and it being available to use. Of the 32 billion items of PPE procured between February and July, only 2.6 billion items were delivered to front-line organisations in that period. Demand for PPE was so high in April and May that stock levels were negligible for most types of PPE. Trusts and other local organisations relied on getting PPE from a combination of centrally allocated deliveries, what they could buy directly themselves, and items shared by other organisations with higher
stock levels. Towards the end of May, the position was improving, and the Parallel Supply Chain reported holding at least one day’s worth of stock across all PPE items for the first time. At the end of September, DHSC reported that it was on course to have stockpiled four months’ supply of PPE by November 2020. Adult social care providers told the NAO that they were not adequately supported by government in obtaining PPE and were very close to running out. DHSC told the NAO that it took different approaches to supporting social care and trusts during the pandemic. Social care providers, which are mostly private- or voluntary-sector organisations, either accessed PPE from wholesalers (as they did prior to the pandemic) or from local resilience forums and DHSC’s helpline which was set up to respond to emergency requests. The sector received approximately 331 million items of PPE from government between March and July (14% of the total PPE distributed and 10% of their estimated need). This compared with 1.9 billion items sent to NHS trusts in that period (81% of PPE distributed and 80% of estimated need). Between February and July 2020, DHSC spent £12.5 billion on 32 billion items of PPE. There were huge increases in the price paid for PPE compared with 2019 due to the global surge in demand and restrictions on exports in some countries. This ranged from a 166% increase for respirator masks to a 1310% increase for body bags. Had government been able to buy PPE at 2019 prices, expenditure on PPE to July 2020 would have been £2.5 billion (£10 billion less than it actually paid). Some PPE failed to meet required standards. Across two contracts, orders totalling £214 million were made for 75 million respirator face masks which the NHS will not use for the original purpose (one of the suppliers has since agreed to vary the contract and replace most of the order with a different type of face mask). Tens of millions of respirator
Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker Barnes Commercial is an independent specialist broker offering tailored commercial insurance solutions for businesses operating in the care sector, to help manage business risk. The experienced team take a personal approach, building authentic long-term relationships, supporting you with exceptional service from beginning to end. As an independent broker you can rest assured that their advice is completely impartial - the cover recommended will be just what you need for now and for the future. From typical buildings and contents insurance for your premises, or public liability and employer liability insurance, to domiciliary care insurance, or Directors’ and Officers’ cover, Barnes Commercial will help you to manage potential risk, providing freedom from worry so you can focus on running your business.
masks ordered from other suppliers and some other types of PPE are also likely to be unusable for the original purpose. NHS provider organisations told the NAO that while they were concerned about the low stocks of PPE, they were always able to get what they needed in time. However, surveys of care workers, doctors and nurses show that significant numbers considered that they did not have access to the PPE they needed and were not adequately protected.4 Employers have reported 126 deaths and 8,152 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 among health and care workers linked to occupational exposure. In September 2020, DHSC published a PPE strategy which aims to increase resilience by means of a bigger stockpile, a much larger UK manufacturing base, a better distribution network, and an improved understanding of the needs of health and care organisations. It is important that DHSC draws lessons from the first wave of the pandemic when taking forward its new strategy. This includes ensuring emergency pandemic plans include appropriate stockpiles of PPE and resilient arrangements for the rapid procurement and distribution of PPE. Gareth Davies, head of the NAO said: “As PPE stockpiles were inadequate for the pandemic, government needed to take urgent action to boost supplies. Once it recognised the gravity of the situation it worked hard to source PPE, but most of these orders were not received in time for the first wave of the pandemic and many front-line workers reported shortages of PPE during that time. The price of PPE increased dramatically, and that alone has cost the taxpayer around £10 billion. “There are important lessons for government to learn as it continues to tackle the pandemic. This includes fully understanding not just the requirements of the NHS, but also social care providers so that they can be better supported in future.”
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: email@example.com
More than just insurance. A specialist independent insurance broker providing tailored packages to manage business risk. With extensive knowledge of the care market, we can help ensure that you have the right cover in place for now, and for the future. We arrange cover for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care facilities, for both staff and business entity.
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PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
Brain’s ‘Speedometer’ Could Help Solve Part of Dementia Puzzle Nearly one million people in the UK have dementia. People living with the most common form, Alzheimer’s disease, can experience difficulties working out where they are, meaning they often get lost even in familiar environments. Research funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK at the University of Exeter Medical School sheds new light about why this might happen. The brain contains specialised nerve cells called ‘speed-sensitive cells’, which change their firing rate depending how fast someone is moving. Much like a speedometer in a car, these nerve cells encode how fast, and therefore how far, an individual has travelled. This process helps us to know where we are in relation to where we were, and to navigate our environment. In this study, Dr Jon Brown led a team of scientists to examine how these speed-sensing nerve cells in a specific part of the brain known as the entorhinal cortex might be affected in Alzheimer’s disease. They investigated this in mice with features of Alzheimer’s disease. The mice produced the tau protein – a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The team found that while roughly 60% of the nerve cells in normal mice were speed-sensitive, a much lower proportion (13%) were speed-sensitive in the mice with features of disease. When this speedometer malfunctions, the brain’s map does not receive correct distance-travelled information. The team believe that this malfunction will disrupt other elements of our internal map, and the team found that other cells in the mice producing the toxic tau protein did not function.
Dr Jon Brown, from the University of Exeter’s Medical School, who led the research, said “People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can experience profound deficits in spatial memory, meaning they often get lost even in familiar environments. We need to understand this if we are ever to provide treatments for this distressing symptom. “Our discovery has revealed that cells acting like a “speedometer” and feeding information into the brain’s neural map appear to malfunction in dementia brains, and this could help solve part of the puzzle. If this translates to humans, it could identify new pathways for potential treatment.” Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK who funded the work said: “We often hear heart-breaking stories about people with dementia who get lost and can’t find their way home and we know spatial navigation difficulties like these are some of the earliest warning signs for the condition. “Research shows us that the brain changes associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s begin decades before symptoms like memory loss start and for future Alzheimer’s treatments to be effective, it’s likely they must be given at the earliest stages of disease, before there’s too much damage to the brain. “Supporting fundamental research like this is incredibly important to build our knowledge of how the disease works. With the ongoing pandemic making its impact felt on people with dementia and our fundraising efforts, we are incredibly grateful for our dedicated supporters.”
Charity Brings Spirit Of Christmas To Care Homes Across The UK
The Not Forgotten, a British Armed Forces charity which supports serving and ex-service men and women has produced a Christmas DVD which will be distributed to 1,500 care homes across the UK. The Christmas Show DVD – ‘Bringing You a Not Forgotten Christmas’ features familiar festive favourite songs, carols and music, chosen specifically to appeal to the elderly generation – all with the aim of entertaining, boosting morale and lifting lockdown spirits during what can be an exceptionally lonely time of year for those separated from their families. Brigadier James Stopford, CBE, CEO of The Not Forgotten tells us: “This year has particularly been hard on the elderly, both at home and in care homes. Many have experienced unprecedented levels of isolation and loneliness and it’s really had a toll on their wellbeing. We usually deliver an annual programme of festive concerts to care homes across the nation, however, this year we are unable to do so in person. We were determined to bring some much-needed cheer to residents and our Christmas Show DVD enables residents to watch a festive concert which can be enjoyed numerous times, from the safety and comfort of their homes.” The 90-minute show featuring artistes who traditionally support The Not
Forgotten at their concert tours was predominantly filmed, during lockdown 2 in the Hurst Theatre at Hurtspierpoint with The Jive Aces and Margaret Keyes sending in their recordings. The Band of The Welsh Guards played a selection of music including carols for viewers to sing along to and recorded their pieces in the historic Figure Court at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Christmas Show DVD will be sent out as a gift to care homes across the county at the beginning of December and will also be sent to The Not Forgotten beneficiaries aged between 70 and 90. Stopford concludes: “This year has driven a coach and horses through our programme of activities for all those we support but it has not diminished the need for our work – indeed it has had the opposite effect. More individuals are feeling isolated and lonely so we looked at how we could adapt our programme to do more under extremely challenging circumstance. For 100 years we have helped those who have served their nation and we were not going to allow the pandemic to change this, so we adapted our model of support for all our beneficiaries.”
SmartSpaces Work with St Teresa's Care Home and Opens ‘Garden Room’ To Support Covid-Safe Visiting
St Teresa's care home in Wimbledon, which provides high quality nursing & residential care to up to 28 people, is proudly announcing the opening of its temporary ‘garden visiting room’. SmartSpaces are proud to work with the Care Home to provide this much needed family support for both the residents and family members. SmartSpaces offers a bespoke design service for their garden rooms so made sure the
design meets all the requirements. The purpose-built wooden cabin is situated in the communal garden at the Home and provides a safe space for relatives to visit residents whilst Covid-19 continues to pose a risk. SmartSpaces designed this build to have a seperate access for the resident and also for the family members. The Home has implemented a wide range of health and safety measures since the pandemic outbreak was declared, which has involved stopping all external visits from the beginning of lockdown, to limited, socially distant visits wearing PPE. The team has been keen to find a way to make visiting more comfortable for residents and their loved ones so has created the temporary garden room. SmartSpaces designed a bespoke space which was both suitable for the residents and family in this testing time. Equipped with a Perspex screen to separate visitors from residents, an intercom to make communicating easyandthe room enables loved ones to get together without increased worry. The room is well insulated andappropriately heated. Home Manager Chris Glynn said; “At a time of great uncertainty we all look to our families for support and lockdown has prevented this personal contact. Technical solutions only have a moderate benefit for our Residents, so we needed something that would provide a more personal experience for Residents & families, plus a solution to an ever changing set of rules. With Smartspaces we were able to design a bespoke space that addressed the unique needs of a Covid secure visit. Visits are now safely conducted in a warm and comfortable environment, that allow
Residents & families to relax, enjoying their time together. It has made the world of difference to our Residents & families, a visible difference to their well-being.” For more information on how SmartSpaces can create a covid safe visiting room, get in touch www.smartspaces.co.uk, email@example.com. or call 0800 6345223
DO YOU HAVE A CHRISTMAS UNSUNG HERO? Regular readers will know we here at the Carer have been awarding an Unsung Hero each Christmas since 2016! In these unprecedented and testing times we are looking for care homes to nominate a Christmas Unsung Hero! Somebody you think deserves recognition for going that “extra mile” during this challenging year. A luxury Christmas hamper overflowing with choice items will find its way to the lucky winner in time for Christmas!
Say hello to some previous winners!
Care Home urst of Cloverfield Marion Brockleh
Home ktree Court Care Tracey James of Oa
Debbie Day of Cedars Care Home
Tina Higginson of Sam brook care home
A no-frills, no glitz or glamour competition - all we ask is for you to send us a paragraph or two nominating your Unsung Hero from any department with a brief description of how they've gone that extra mile and deserve to be recognised.
✓ Do you know our next Unsung Hero? Email your nomination to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org ENTRIES CLOSE at 5PM on 16th DECEMBER 2020
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Care Homes Praised For Pioneering New Approach That Has Dramatically Reduced Emergency Hospital Admissions For Elderly Residents Following A Fall New data released shows that care homes who pioneered an innovative telemedicine approach to assessing residents following a fall, have seen a significant reduction in the use of ambulances and emergency hospital admissions. The data confirms that enabling vulnerable residents to receive rapid, high quality clinical care in a familiar environment reduces the risks associated with lengthy hospital stays and reduces pressure on local services and budgets. Immedicare is a secure, video-enabled, clinical healthcare service linking care homes to the NHS with 24hour access to a highly skilled, multidisciplinary clinical team based at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. The service has been adopted by 780 UK care homes to date. The provision of consistent, high quality care is particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many care homes struggle with absent staff due to selfisolation, ongoing recruitment challenges and Government movement restrictions. In the last 3.5 years, 105,144 video consultations were made from care homes who have access to the Immedicare central hub.1 Of these calls, 20,152 (19%) were related to falls.1 Following a falls related consultation with a clinical specialist, 83% of residents remained in their care home for assessment, follow-up and monitoring of their condition.1 Prior to installation of the service, care home residents would have been routinely sent to hospital for assessment after a fall, usually via an ambulance. It is estimated that the service has saved the NHS nearly £10 million in less than four years in ambulance conveyancing and hospital admissions related to falls.1 If all 15,000 care homes in the UK were to use the service, it is estimated that the NHS could save over £250 million in ambulance conveyances and hospital admissions related to falls over the same period.1 Mike Padgham, Managing Director of St Cecilia’s Care Services and Chair of the Independent Care Group commented, “It always benefits the resident if they can remain in the home rather than be admitted to hospital as an emergency, unless it’s truly necessary, and that’s the underlying principle of the Immedicare service. It gives care home staff and residents round-the-clock access to a highly skilled, specialist nursing team who can assess, manage and monitor their condition. We’ve always known this is the best approach for care home residents, but now we have the data to prove it. This service protects residents and care home staff and reduces pressure on local services and budgets. It should be a must-have service for every CCG.” Falls in the elderly are a huge challenge. In 2018/19, there were over 225,000 falls-related emergency hospital admissions among people aged 65 and older in England alone.2 Falls and fractures cost the NHS an estimated £2 billion a year.3 Around a third of people aged 65 and over, and around half of people aged 80 and over, fall at least once a year.4 Older people living in care homes are three times more likely to fall than older people living in their own homes.5 Falls are the leading cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people.3,4 Once admitted as an emergency, care home residents aged 65 or older spend on average 8.2 days in hospital.6 It can be a stressful and disorientating experience for elderly care home residents, of whom 69% have dementia or memory problems.7 In the current climate, the potential for distress is heightened by visitor restrictions and can lead to additional problems associated with worse health outcomes, such as hospital
delirium, which affects a third of elderly patients admitted to hospital.8 Rachel Binks, Nurse Consultant, Digital and Acute Care, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for Immedicare commented, “The clinical risks associated with emergency hospital admissions provide a stark reminder of why we need to wrap specialist clinical care around our elderly residents and keep them out of hospital whenever possible. This has always been the case, but the pandemic has made it a priority and that’s why telemedicine has been adopted at a scale and pace never seen before in this sector. We have decided to share our data now to encourage more commissioners and care home providers to consider the Immedicare service as part of their long-term strategy for providing high quality care. As the data shows, it protects elderly and frail care home residents, as well as protecting local services, so it’s a win for everybody.” For further information on Immedicare, please visit www.immedicare.co.uk
Caring for Autism in the Community A CQC report has found that too many hospitals are providing ‘poor care’ to patients living with learning disabilities and autism. The report, which was prompted by a 2018 BBC News investigation, describes some of the care in hospitals as ‘undignified’ and ‘inhumane’, with some patients being kept in seclusion for up to 13 years. Cascade - which cares for over 30 people with learning disabilities including autism in four residential homes across the UK - says that whilst secure mental health services have an important place in the care of those in crisis, they should only be used for those who have no other options left to keep themselves safe from harm. “Rather than being used as permanent homes for those with learning disabilities, secure mental health facilities should be used as a tool to reassess the needs of those who are no longer able to live safely within their community, to establish stability and to help them to transition safely back into the community,” says Graham Goforth, CEO at Cascade. In line with the NHS’ ‘Transforming Care Agenda’ – which focuses on improving health and care services so that more people can live out of secure mental health services with the right support - Cascade believes that providing a person-centred, multi-faceted and sustainable service to people in the community is often the best approach. Designed to prevent the admission of people into secure mental health
services, the agenda aims to give people with complex needs the opportunity to remain mobile and make a positive contribution to their own lives and within their community. This approach has been life changing for Cascade resident Max*, who has lived in the community for five years after previously living in a secure mental health facility. Max’s mental wellbeing drops drastically at certain periods of the year due to a family bereavement. However, staff have done extensive work with him to give him the extra support needed to remain in the community, even during his very hard times. With extra support from the outside community, along with the staff from Cascade, Max is now surrounded by people who know when he is having a good or bad day and can give him extra support when needed. “Our objective is to ensure the changing needs of people are under constant review and adapted accordingly when needed, which we do by observing their day-to-day lives and adapting routines when necessary,” says Graham. “As such, those with complex needs have a network of professionals ensuring that they can be supported successfully while living in their own community. “This approach ensures dignity, ownership, self-worth, and as far as practically possible, independence.” *Cascade resident's name changed for safeguarding reasons
A Person-Centred Approach to Mobility and Hygiene Maintaining a level of independence and involvement in activities of daily living for those in your care can be a challenge. Using the Mobility Gallery™ assessment tool (figure 1) allows you to understand a person’s functional mobility, the level of assistance required, the risk to the caregiver and the importance to stimulate functional mobility.
Figure 1 © 2020 Arjo
Person centred care places the resident at the centre of all we do. This assessment tool helps to optimise the mobility of the resident, improve dignified care and reduces the risk of injury to both the resident and the
caregiver. Promoting mobility is the driving force behind The Positive Eight™ philosophy shown in figure 2. When looking at specific hygiene tasks, needs differ significantly across care settings and need to encompass both physical and cognitive capabilities determined through individual assessment. Assisted hygiene solutions are designed to allow you to work in an ergonomically sound position, to reduce the risk of injury, whilst supporting a beneficial interaction with your resident. Caregiver safety is paramount, and factors, which affect the risk of musculoskeletal injury, should be considered, such as: • The number, type and functional mobility levels of residents being transferred or participating in hygiene routines • The inadequacy (or absence) of suitable
equipment • Restricted spaces • Lack of education and training for care skills To mitigate these risks, evidence has demonstrated that education alone is insufficient. Use of the right equipment improves caregiver safety and reduces injury-related costs for the organisation. Understanding functional mobility, combined with selection of appropriate equipment to support your resident and caregiver can assist in addressing this challenge. To learn more about Arjo's solution contact 08457 342000 or see the advert on the facing page. Figure 2 © 2020 Arjo
ISO/TR 12296:2012 Ergonomics — Manual Handling of People in the Healthcare Sector, 2012 Matz M, 2019. Patient Handling and Mobility Assessments: A White Paper Second Edition
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Brunelcare Celebrates Its Real-Life Heroes With New Campaign Brunelcare, a Bristol based charity with nearly 80-years experience in caring for older people, has launched a new campaign to celebrate the amazing work of its employees and inspire others to join the team. Workers from across the charity have had lots of fun taking part in a comic-book style photoshoot and being turned into Brunelcare’s very own superheroes! The campaign aims to highlight the incredible work ethic and abilities of those working in the care sector during these unprecedented times. Carley Martin, Team Leader and one of our Brunelcare Heroes said: “It’s great to be asked to be a part of the Heroes campaign. It’s a really fun and imaginative way of highlighting all the great work we’ve done at Brunelcare all while promoting trust in the care sector. The photoshoot was lots of fun and I think it’ll highlight Brunelcare as a great place to work alongside a great place to receive care.” Oona Goldsworthy, CEO at Brunelcare said: “I think the Heroes campaign is just brilliant! We’ve not launched a campaign like it before. It’s fun, it’s exciting, but it also captures the heart of what we stand for and what we do at Brunelcare.”
Royal Award Given to Abbeyfield Society Member of Staff After Nearly 20 Year’s Service Elaine Conway, who has worked for many years at The Abbeyfield Society, has been honoured with a Royal Patron’s Award. Mrs Conway is a Business Manager for Abbeyfield in the North region. She has been chosen from thousands of employees and volunteers worldwide to receive one of just five accolades, endorsed by HRH The Prince of Wales, and is the only member of staff to receive it this year. The Awards are presented every year to those who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to The Abbeyfield Society. In almost 20 years, Mrs Conway has worked in a variety of leadership roles, primarily in the North of England. She has championed improvements to each of Abbeyfield’s houses and care homes that she oversees, making them a welcoming place for residents and visitors alike, with a friendly ambience. She follows in the footsteps of the late Abbeyfield founder Richard Carr-Gomm, who believed that no person should feel lonely and that living in a community setting would provide the companionship they need. It would be difficult to say that Mrs Conway has a greatest strength as she is so strong across the full range of her responsibilities. However, truly exceptional is her networking ability, which she passes on to all whom she trains and supports. It enables her to fully engage the local community around each house in its activities and events, from the annual Christmas carol service, to VE Day and Pie Week. She does this with great integrity and enthusiasm, encouraging a large proportion of residents to also get involved. Even in the North Regional Conference in 2019, residents were invited to take part in their own feedback sessions, which we and most of them found invaluable. Mrs Conway’s rapport with the residents is well renowned and she is able to extend this across the North
with activities such as ‘Abbeyfield Does Strictly’, which she organised in 2016 to coincide with Abbeyfield’s 60th anniversary. She is always mindful that the residents have Abbeyfield as their home and she is certain to ensure a continuous dialogue with them and their families. Mrs Conway has been involved in Abbeyfield through thick and thin and is just as able to take things in her stride when the going gets tough. She has managed almost all of the organisation’s services in the North at some point and has often been required to take over management of those that were struggling, where she has created renewed confidence and implemented sustainable improvements. In the rare circumstance where it has been required to close a service, she has treated each resident with the utmost respect, been in constant communication with them and their families and ensured that each one was able to settle in to new suitable accommodation. She is also a highly respected manager and her staff team hold her in great esteem. One commented, “I have had many line managers in my long career, but none as dedicated as I have found Elaine to be. At every opportunity, she gives hints and tips to help staff progress and she gently guides us in the right direction. I am sure in her position as Business Manager she rarely gets praise from staff, but perhaps it is time to shine a light on those who are truly carrying the torch for Abbeyfield and those who actually make a difference to the quality of people’s lives. I will have very fond memories and owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the help I have received from her.” Julie Robinson, Abbeyfield’s Experience Programme Director, who nominated Mrs Conway for her Royal Patron’s Award, says, “Abbeyfield is a way of life for Elaine, a truly dedicated member of the Abbeyfield Family who believes in the Abbeyfield ethos. Her ongoing commitment and passion for the organisation, our teams and of course our residents is evident in the relationships she has built, the strong services she has developed and the outstanding performance that can be evidenced in the properties she has supported and with the people she has led during her career.”
Care Home Combats Covid Restrictions with Personalised Activity Boxes A Borders care home has created personalised hobby boxes for its residents, enabling them to continue to enjoy their favourite activities while adhering with social distancing measures. After residents of Mansfield Care’s Galahill House in Galashiels could no longer use communal areas following COVID-19 restrictions, staff had the creative idea to organise individual activity boxes for each resident to enjoy in their rooms. The care home’s staff have created personalised activity boxes for its 20 residents, filled with hobbies each resident enjoys, such as knitting needles, CD’s and DVD’s, crosswords and magazines. Tracy McGeown, Activities Coordinator at Galahill House, said: “After restrictions were introduced to keep our residents safe, we had to adapt to new ways to ensure everyone is cared for and kept entertained and socialised. “We came up with the idea of a personalised activity box which are catered to everyone’s different interests. The boxes stay in our residents’ rooms so they can enjoy them whenever they want, and are updated regularly.
“As well as being entertaining, we’ve included activities in the boxes for cognitive and sensory engagement. For example, one of our residents used to be a farmer and likes to read a particular farmer’s magazine which he gets from his friend, we ensure he receives every new edition of the magazine in his activity box. “Another of our residents adores playing dominoes, so our care staff regularly take time to play with him. This ensures he’s still playing the game he loves every day, but he’s also minimising contact with other residents.” Tracy, added: “Our residents love what we’ve been doing. With every box being unique to each of them, it really gives them a sense of enjoyment as well as a feeling of appreciation.” The personalised activity boxes have been a great success with the residents and staff. Residents at another of Mansfield Care’s 11 homes have been taking part in a sensory activity called ‘Conversation Ball’, which is designed to stimulate cognitive behaviour and spark fond memories to those suffering with dementia.
Don’t Delay Combi-Cleaning, Warns Rational Rational is warning that it’s essential for kitchen staff to follow the cleaning procedures recommended by their machine’s manufacturer in order to keep combi steamers operating safely and efficiently. The marketleader says that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some operators are choosing to delay cleaning in order to save money. “We are already seeing an increase in service call-outs arising from this,” says Trevor Lath, national service director of Rational UK. “It’s a problem that will be affecting all combi steamer brands,” he adds. Typically combi steamers should be cleaned every day as part of the kitchen routine. Most quality machines have self-cleaning programs that make what would be a time consuming and unpleasant chore effortless. On Rational’s new iCombi Pro the iCareSystem tells operators when they need to run the programme to clean the combi, so it minimises the use of chemicals – because it only asks for a clean when it’s necessary. The iCareSystem also deals with scale, so there’s no need for a separate water treatment system, or for expensive professional descaling. “The problem is that some operators are ignoring the iCareSystem’s alerts, on the assumption that delaying a clean and descale will save them money and won’t really do any harm,” says Lath. “This is not the case.” Deferring cleaning routines will lead to the build-up of dirt and scale, which may compromise cooking results, increase energy consumption and running costs and ultimately
lead to equipment breakdown. If a descale becomes necessary it could cost hundreds of pounds. There are additional risks: the Rational detergent cleaning tablets don’t just clean and descale the machine, they also break down fats and grease, preventing drains from blocking and subsequent kitchen floods. “At the very least, you’re looking at unwanted costs and unwanted downtime,” says Lath. “Worst case scenario, you could block drains, flood the kitchen and damage the appliance permanently.” By making the equipment unsafe, not cleaning the combi may even compromise HACCP. “The answer is simple,” says Lath. “Follow the machine’s alerts, or the manufacturer’s guidelines, and run the cleaning program when it’s required.” HACCP data available from the iCombi Pro combi-steamer and via Rational’s ConnectedCooking platform will give the operator a comprehensive summary of the combi steamer’s daily operation, including the number of cleaning programs that have been run during a specified period. RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment and, with the iVario multifunctional cooking system and the iCombi Pro combi steamer, the company delivers 95% of all conventional cooking applications. Rational’s ConnectedCooking allows operators to monitor, manage and update their Rational appliances remotely, from a PC, tablet or smartphone. iKitchen is the combination of the iCombi Pro, iVario Pro and ConnectedCooking – iKitchen delivers the best kitchen management and the best cooking solutions. For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live online demonstrations and webinars, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit www.rational-online.com
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New Research Roadmap Sets A Course Towards A Cure For Osteoporosis The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) has launched a new Research Roadmap for leading clinicians and academics to develop better treatment methods and work towards a cure for osteoporosis. This important publication will be launched through the Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy as part of their digital conference Osteoporosis Online. Academy Chair Professor Juliet Compston said: “The work outlined in the Research Roadmap will advance our understanding of this terrible disease and ultimately provide a route to a cure for osteoporosis, bringing hope to future generations.” The Academy was launched in February 2019 by the ROS President, HRH Duchess of Cornwall. Bringing together leading national and international expertise, the Academy has undertaken reviews of key evidence to identify gaps in osteoporosis research and clinical care of patients. The ambition being a world in which osteoporotic fractures become a rare occurrence, rather than events which affect the lives of one in two older women and one in five older men. Today’s Roadmap sets out how strategically targeted research will fill these knowledge gaps. The ultimate aim, a world without osteoporosis, will be achieved through understanding causes, developing new technologies and enhancing therapeutic interventions to optimise bone health across the whole of life, and to ensure that every person who is at high risk of fracture is identified, assessed and treated appropriately. Chief Executive of the Royal Osteoporosis Society Craig Jones said:
“This new Research Roadmap is a milestone in our work to facilitate more effective treatments and to move towards a cure. We’re determined not only to support the 3.5 million people living with osteoporosis in the present day, but also to lead a step change in research for future patients.” The Roadmap demonstrates two contrasting bone health trajectories across life: one likely to end with fracture, and one resulting in healthy
skeletal ageing. Along this lifecourse journey, the Academy researchers have identified key gaps in the evidence and care base - and developed cutting edge scientific approaches to tackling these. The Roadmap presents state-of-the-art scientific projects which will improve bone health across life, and research to better understand the genetics, mechanisms and risk factors behind the disease. It also examines how new and novel technologies will help to advance diagnosis, detection and assessment of bone health, as well as new ways to improve the effectiveness of existing and developing treatments. The aim is to ensure that people living with osteoporosis receive the best care and enjoy the best possible quality of life. Substantial funding will be sought to deliver this ambitious work, which has the potential to achieve a step change in the bone health of the population and in the care of patients with osteoporosis. Importantly, the Academy will also incorporate comprehensive input from scientists, clinicians and Patient Advocates. Professor Nicholas Harvey, Academy Vice-chair said: “We are confident that as well as raising the profile of osteoporosis and awareness of the importance of bone health, the financial support gained through the Academy will bring about rapid advances that will take us forward on our journey to a cure for osteoporosis.” Visit www.theros.org.uk
Green And Serene As Hampshire Care Home Opens Botanical Lounge A New Forest care home has ‘brought the outside in’ with the launch of a peaceful indoor oasis to support residents’ mental and physical wellbeing. The botanical lounge at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington features an abundance of lush plants in a bright, airy space that will evolve in line with the seasons and residents’ interests in gardening. A living wall and planters contain plant varieties known for being among the best at absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air. They include dragon trees, spider plants, aspidistras and mother-inlaw’s tongue, all helping to create a fresh, therapeutic ambience. Gardeners at the home have added some further seasonal cheer to the greenery through colourful cyclamens, orchids and poinsettias. Reclining with a book in a sunny window seat, resident John Webster said: “This is a truly beautiful, peaceful setting that will be thoroughly enjoyable to escape to. I’ll be coming back to sit in the morning sunshine as often as I can.” While the first-floor lounge is open to residents at all times, it is
hoped it will also become a focus for the home’s garden club which
meets regularly throughout the year. Club enthusiast Jean Denham said: “I’m really looking forward to having our garden club sessions here in the lounge, in particular to learn about the variety of plants.” Belmore Lodge Home Manager Julie House said: “It’s widely acknowledged that plants are good for you. “Gardening and engaging with the natural world is a positive and therapeutic activity that improves both mental and physical wellbeing. “This botanical room is a quiet, serene space well away from any screens or commotion, somewhere you can experience a fresh-air feeling all year round.” The home’s Companionship Team Leader May Butcher said: “Many of our residents have a background of living in a country environment and are used to experiencing the peace and tranquility that comes with it. “We also have very keen gardeners among us who have taken a huge interest in our gardening club and can now enjoy this in an indoors setting available at any time regardless of the English weather.”
Colleagues at Ilkeston Care Home Brave The Shave Residents and Colleagues at HC One’s Victoria Park have been showing their support for breast cancer awareness month. One of the Ilkeston care home’s carers, Rachel Collyer, braved the shave today and raised over £300 towards Macmillan by shaving off all of her hair. Rachel also then donated her hair which was shaved off to the Little Princess Trust to make this even more amazing. Rachel said, “I was so nervous in the build-up to doing the shave but now that it’s done with I’m so relieved and glad I did it!” On this day the home also hosted an event to remind people of the importance of Breast cancer awareness, this even included the staff members wearing pink PPE equipment throughout the day to support the cause safety yet effectively. Everybody was happy to join in where they could, Rosie Scollins, the homes wellbeing coordinator, and the Residents, decorated cakes. The Residents enjoyed the pink decorations and of course the cakes that they were then able to enjoy. Rosie commented, “I love when we are able to celebrate occasions, even during lockdown.” For two years now the home has made a fuss of the Breast Cancer Awareness event as it is close to everybody’s hearts, and will continue to raise awareness where they can.
Residents Mark Festive Friday Thanks To Generous Donation From Local Card Designer Veterans at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton have been busy writing Christmas cards to loved ones, thanks to a kind donation from a local businesswoman. Independent greetings card publisher Emma Bryan gave the cards to help spread some festive cheer among veterans at the Upper Brighton Road Home. Residents wrote the cards on Friday 27 November – known as Festive Friday, when the greeting card industry starts to encourage the sending of festive cards – after they were dropped off by Emma earlier in the week and quarantined. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Emma set up her greetings card business in 2019. She said: “I used to work in Richmond and would pass the old Home on the Hill every day. And now, there’s a Home in Surbiton where I live, so I know a bit about the charity, and it’s lovely. My job as a greetings card designer has never felt more important than this year
where connection has been so crucial during the lockdowns, so it gives me great pleasure to donate these greeting cards so that the Surbiton residents can enjoy writing to family and friends on Festive Friday.” She also handed over cards donated by Davora, a Manchester-based firm that supplies ethnic and specialist cards. The Home’s Activities Manager Raquel Pena Aristizabal said: “The residents thought Emma’s designs were beautiful, and really appreciated the donation. They enjoyed writing to their friends and relatives.” In October, Royal Star & Garter’s own Christmas cards went on sale to raise money for the charity. They are part of their 2020 Christmas Card Catalogue, which also features wrapping paper and tags, gift wallets, crackers and virtual gifts. Four of the 22 cards on sale have been designed by the charity’s residents
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Dementia UK Launches ‘Only Together’ Campaign ‘Only together,’ the charity’s first-ever influencing campaign, highlights the low level of specialist support currently available to families affected by dementia, and how access to quality care could be improved. The key findings include: 77% of family carer respondents were dissatisfied with the support they received from primary care services, 82% of health care professionals said they have limited time and capacity for appointments, and 58% of the charity’s own dementia specialist nurses agreed there is a lack of information and support provided to people with dementia. The findings present a stark account of the challenges facing families with dementia. The campaign report’s recommendations outline how families need access to tailored information and that the charity’s dementia specialist nurses can support in connecting up a still fractured system, through close working with families and healthcare professionals. The ongoing effects of coronavirus have exacerbated the challenges which family carers face. Some of the key issues which carers raised for the report include: 83% of carers have had fewer opportunities to take a break from their caring role, 86% reported a decline in their own mental wellbeing and a further 62% are worried about whether they can contin-
ue to care for the person with dementia at home following the arrival of the pandemic. To read the full report and its recommendations/vision paper, please see www.dementiauk.org/onlytogether The charity’s Admiral Nurses work alongside families with dementia, giving compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practi-
cal solutions which can be hard to find elsewhere. They are continually trained, developed and supported by Dementia UK. Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO at Dementia UK, Dr Hilda Hayo said: “Familiesaffected bydementia have always been in the dark, but even more so during the pandemic. Information about how the condition could affect them and who to turn to in times of need has been lacking. Added to this is a climate where community support services are all but drying up. “Our Facing it alone report highlights the importance of working together to improve dementia specialist support for the thousands of families living with dementia. Our dementia specialist nurses can be at the heart of this approach, allowing GPs and other healthcare professionals to understand the complexities of the condition, and for families to live a future with more confidence and less fear.” Dementia UK is calling on families, GPs and health professionals to act in a number of ways: • By sharing experiences of best practice; • Highlighting where provision is lacking; and • Work with the charity in local areas to improve dementia specialist services If you would like to find out more about how you can support the campaign, please visit: www.dementiauk.org/onlytogether
Lincoln Care Home Create Their Very Own Bar Colleagues and Residents at HC One’s White Gables care home enjoy some time at ‘Foggy’s Bar’. Rachael Fogg, the unit manager at the Lincoln care home, had an idea to make one of the small lounges at the home into a bar. After Rachael spoke to maintenance operative Alan Trevor they came up with a plan. As the home is a late stage dementia home it would be unwise to leave a permanent bar open with bottles etc., as this could cause potential problems, so a pop up bar was just the ticket. Alan came up with an idea of a drop down bar that can be packed away when not in use. After some research online he worked on the weekends at home in his own time to make a fabulous bar that unfolds to use and folds back securely to the wall when not in use. The bar top is made from bottle tops set in resin and the bar itself has three shelves to hold glasses and bottles. The Area OD Mags Barton was in the home to see the grand unveiling and a select few Residents got to have the first drinks from Foggy’s Bar. It looked great and was a fantastic idea, the Residents have loved going to the bar again.
Heanor Park Care Home - Winner of Client of the Year at the Lux Awards* 2020
The Circadian Plus solution includes bespoke lighting design, smart lighting software and spectrum-controlled lights – creating a truly revolutionary solution that has resident health and wellbeing at the forefront. The impact of the lighting at Heanor Park has significantly reduced resident falls, increased engagement, and has improved sleep-wake cycles. Check out our case study video to understand more at www.circadianplus.com/heanor-park-case-study The term Circadian Lighting is defined as lighting that replicates natural light (as closely as possible) to support human circadian rhythms, otherwise known as our internal body clock. We are all governed, to
some degree, by our internal body clock - the timing, intensity and colour of light are key factors in regulating our sleep and wake patterns. Disturbances in the circadian rhythm can have a physiological and mental impact, and often causes poor sleep patterns. Many factors can influence our circadian rhythms, such as exercise/movement and food intake. However, by combining them with new interactions with our non-image forming light receptors, we can achieve excellent results in the care home setting where residents tend to struggle to spend time outdoor where they can be exposed to the benefits of natural light. Some of the main benefits of circadian lighting are: • Improved sleep • Improved mood • Less risk of developing certain mental and physical health conditions • Reduction in errors and accidents • Faster cognitive processing • Increased alertness at the right times of day • Can aid with the rehabilitation of certain medical conditions e.g. brain injuries • Can be beneficial for elderly residents and people with Alzheimer’s disease To understand more about the importance of care home lighting visit www.circadianplus.com/news/care-home-lighting
Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com email@example.com
Manufactured in the UK
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‘We’re seeing a greater level of engagement from the residents during the day because the lighting is helping their body clock become alert and ready for the day…we’re not seeing people falling asleep in their chair or not wanting to engage in activities’. - David Poxton,
Managing Director of Heanor Park Care Home * The Lux Awards are designed to celebrate and reward both creativity and sustainability, recognising clients and end-users that have used lighting in exceptional ways to improve their lit environment, reduce energy and achieve business objectives.
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New Integration Between Care Home Systems Will Drive Safety Within the Care and Medication Administration Process Care home residents regularly don’t receive the correct support with medicines in line with what is documented in their care plan according to the latest CQC ‘Medicines in Health and Adult Social Care report’. Omnicell UK, the market leader in medication and supplies automation, and Nourish Care, a leading electronic care planning provider, have come together to provide a new integration that gives care staff greater visibility of a patient’s medication regime as part of their overall care plan. Managing and monitoring resident’s medication regimes effectively can significantly impact the delivery and quality of care. Historically care planning and medication administration systems have been managed completely separately. This can potentially contribute to failings in support of residents’ care. The new integration means that Omnicell eMAR can now share data related to medication with the Nourish Care system, giving greater insight and driving best practice into the safety and individual care of each resident in the home. This provides care givers with the following: Sight of the latest prescribed medications, supporting carers in assessments and reviews without having to switch between two separate technology sys-
tems Information on when new medication has been prescribed to residents, so it is possible to monitor or adjust care plans accordingly A summary of the medication, dose and time administered to better understand the medical history and individual pathway of a resident Ability to correlate the data for medication administered with other information such as falls, accidents and additional incidents Omnicell eMAR automates the entire medication management and administration process ensuring each resident receives the correct medicine dose at the correct time. The system gathers information, provides prompts and accurate instructions for staff and managers in real time at the touch of a button. Each individual medication is identified through a barcode applied in pharmacy, which can then be tracked at all stages from check in at the care home through to administration to a resident. It provides an invaluable medicines history for each patient and includes a simple alert and verification system to minimise the risk of medication errors in the home. Residents in care homes take an average of 7.2 medicines per day. With each additional medicine comes an increased risk of errors in prescription, monitoring, dispensing or administration, adverse drug reactions, impaired medicines adherence which can lead to compromised quality of life for patients. CQC’s annual state of care report found that safety was the biggest concern with one of the main contributing factors being poor medicines management. Nourish’s customisable and easy-to-use software supports recording at the point of care, saving time and allowing for more accurate notes. Access to information ensures that care teams are kept up-to-date and can make informed decisions for better care. With records that are secure, accurate and compliant, evidencing care becomes more man-
ageable and care management more organised. Now with the latest integration with Omnicell, Nourish empowers care teams further with contextual medication history and usage helping to ensure better care decisions are made both at moments of care and when planning care needs. Cyrus Hodivala, Medicines Adherence Sales Director at Omnicell UK & Ireland, comments; “Whilst the care sector has undoubtedly made great strides to ensure the safer use of medicines across its services, there are still areas for improvement. A disconnect between care planning and medication management could be contributing to the problem of poor support of residents with their medication regimes highlighted in the CQC ‘Medicines in Health and Adult Social Care report’. As leaders in innovation within the sector we have developed an answer to this problem. The newly enhanced eMAR system for care homes links to and works in conjunction with individual care plans providing the care giver with crucial data and insight. We’re anticipating this will help to drive much needed efficiencies and drive patient safety within the care sector and hope that it eventually becomes the gold standard when managing medication administration within care planning.” Nuno Almeida founder of Nourish Care says, “Our mission is to support care teams to provide high quality care and we have worked on a number of integrations and projects to deliver this. This latest collaboration with Omnicell is entirely consistent with our mission and provides care teams the choice of having an eMAR system with evidence of quality. We are also looking forward to working with the combination of the care planning and medicines management data as part of our Nourish Analytics.” To learn more, visit www.omnicell.co.uk
New iPads to Help Southampton Care Home Residents Stay in Touch Southampton City Council in partnership with NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have supplied iPad Carts to every care home in Southampton to help keep residents in touch with loved ones and health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year care homes have suffered from outbreaks of the virus and measures were introduced to restrict visitors to avoid the unnecessary spread of COVID-19. The city-wide roll out of 60 iPads on moveable carts comes after a successful pilot earlier this year at Holcroft House, a care home run by Southampton City Council, which is registered to support residents with a diagnosis of dementia. Here, residents were reported to be engaging well with people on-screen and the feedback is that the two-way communication has been a lifeline for many families. The roll out of these devices will enable care homes to conduct video consultations with health and social care professionals during the continued pandemic. Residents can also use the devices to use Skype and WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends whilst COVID-19 visiting restrictions are in place. Families can call through at any time to say hello to their loved one. Barclays Digital Eagles, as part of a partnership with NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, have supported care homes to set up their iPads and helped to build skills and confidence with their functionality as part of the digital skills training scheme for Care Homes across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight region. This is an example of the great work undertaken by the Integrated
Commissioning Unit in Southampton. This team is jointly appointed by the local NHS and Southampton City Council and aims to improve health and care services in the city. Mrs Edmonds, whose mother is in her 70s and at Holcroft House, said: “Being able to see mum on Skype and WhatsApp was amazing. It was lovely to be able to talk to her on the phone but to be able to see her face and for her to see us was amazing. We were buzzing afterwards as her grandchildren were able to see her too. Mum was more interactive on Skype than she usually is on our weekly visits. It meant the world to me to see my mum. We usually visit every week and our main worry was that she may have thought that we have left her, as we haven’t been able to visit. To be able to tell her we missed her and
to blow her kisses, well that can’t be described. We don’t know how long we have left with our wonderful mum so every day not being able to see her is heart wrenching. A voice can tell you some things, but eyes can tell you everything.” Arceli Deleon, Registered Manager at Aspen Lodge Care Home, said: “The iPad carts and the digital support is invaluable especially during these challenging times. With the iPad, our communication with health care professionals and families will be greatly improved and we are already planning what activities our residents might enjoy doing using the iPad.” Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “This is such a difficult time for everybody and with access to some care homes restricted it’s vital that residents can still communicate with their family and friends. With lockdown and social distancing in place, whilst absolutely the right thing to do, many families have been incredibly distressed by not being able to see their loved ones. The new iPad roll out across the care homes in the city enables families to see their family members and alleviate their concerns around their loved one.” Tony Ives, Head of Barclays Digital Eagles, said: “This year our Barclays Digital Eagles have committed to delivering digital training to care home staff and residents. Our programme has given both care home staff and residents the confidence and skills to use technology to keep entertained and stay connected with friends and family.”
The Journey of a Nurse Who Became Manager of a CQC Outstanding Care Home A nurse who found a foothold in the care industry and progressed to become the manager of an outstanding CQC rated care home, is now encouraging fellow nurses to pursue a career in the care sector. In 2006, when Kim Payne graduated as a qualified nurse from Sheffield University, jobs in the NHS were hard to come by. This led her to the care industry where she began her first nursing job at Greenside Court, one of Exemplar Health Care’s homes in Rotherham, supporting people with neuro-disabilities, mental health conditions, brain injury and stroke. After working at the care home for a couple of years and going to extraordinary lengths to ensure residents were happy and felt supported, Kim was promoted to Unit Manager where she led a team of other nurses and support workers. Kim was pleasantly surprised with how great of a fit working in a care home was for her. She says: “Back then you wouldn’t see many nurses working in a care home setting. However, when I first visited the care home, I was really wowed with what Exemplar Health Care does. I could see how fulfilling the work would be and how my knowledge and skillset would be beneficial for the job.” After taking a brief respite from her role at Exemplar Health Care to raise her daughter, Kim returned to Greenside Court as Home Manager. This role, while different to her initial start in nursing, still held the main components of what made her want to be a nurse.
Being so familiar with the care home, its staff, and residents, as well as going above and beyond on her duties, meant that Kim was the perfect fit for the Home Manager role. With Kim confidently leading a team of 80 care professionals, who were providing quality care to Greenside Court’s residents, it was no surprise when they received an ‘Outstanding’ rating following the CQC’s inspection. She added: “Because of how good the team is, getting the news wasn’t a massive shock. When you walk into Greenside Court, it feels homely, it’s a nice place to be. It tells you a lot when a home has colleagues that still work there 17 years later. We are Outstanding because our team works very hard to ensure we deliver a high-quality level of care at all times – our residents always come first. “I would highly encourage nurses, whether newly qualified or with years of experience, to explore available vacancies in care homes. Your skills are really valuable, the work is so rewarding and the opportunities for career growth are unparalleled.” Exemplar Health Care has 32 homes across England that provide person-centered care and rehabilitation. The specialist nursing care provider is recruiting for several roles across its homes. Visit the careers section of the website to find out more: www.exemplarhc.com/careers/job-search
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CATERING FOR CARE
Addressing Challenges to Eating with Dementia By dietitian Jane Clarke BSc (Hons) SRD DSc, founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke (www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com) CHALLENGES TO EATING WITH DEMENTIA IN A CARE SETTING • Memory loss and confusion that mean some people don’t eat • The ability to judge temperature can disappear, so if food is served too hot it can burn the lips or throat • Physical skills such as keeping the mouth closed while food is inside, to help with chewing and swallowing, can become difficult • Depression, low mood and lack of energy • Constipation through lack of fluid and fibre, or as a side-effect of drug treatment, leading to discomfort and loss of appetite • Aggression and resistance to eating.
I have supported many individuals living with dementia, their families and carers, in my work as a nutritionist running a clinical practice and working with care homes to advance the nourishment of their residents. But I also have personal experience of the eating, nutritional and emotional challenges this condition can bring, as my amazing dad has fronto-temporal lobe dementia and it affects how, when and what he wants to eat. Dad’s lunch has to be at one o’clock; there is no flexibility, otherwise his anxiety levels and confusion rise. The clock dictates our lives to an obsessive degree, but it’s worth it for the comfort his routine provides him. My dad also needs to know before he starts eating that there will be some pudding to follow, otherwise he can get upset and confused. At the moment we are noticing that my dad’s sweet cravings are getting a lot stronger, which is so often the case with people living with this progressive disease. Dementia can affect desire and ability to eat in many ways and not everyone experiences the same challenges. Use these simple strategies to help prompt a poor appetite and develop calming mealtime routines.
A regular routine is reassuring for someone living with dementia – eating 10 minutes later, sitting at a different table, or with fellow residents they don’t usually sit at the table with, can throw them. The need to work to a regular rhythm is one of the advantages of a care setting, but where possible, it’s important to flex to fit with the individual needs of those you look after. If mealtimes are challenging, are you able to offer two sittings or separate tables, so that those who need variety and diversity get to switch tables and companions, while those who need consistency have the familiarity of a regular routine?
MAKING FOOD THE FOCUS Mealtimes can be time-consuming and challenging – but they can also be highlights of the day that nourish with sociability and fun, as well as food. So, while you may have set up an efficient system of cooking, serving and clearing away dishes, don’t forget to focus on the important bit, eating together. • Try to slow down. We juggle so many tasks when caring for someone that it can be tempting to hurry meals, which only increases the likelihood of upset and for very little food to get eaten. • Minimise distractions. While the person is focusing on swallowing or getting the food from fork to mouth, it helps not to have the radio or the TV on to distract them. • Take a timeout. If a meal is becoming challenging, it can help to step back for a minute and give both you and the person you are caring for a chance
Taking Combi Steamer Productivity To The Max One of the stars of Rational’s new iCombi Pro combi steamer is an advanced feature called iProductionManager which, the company says, not only increases productivity but also adds enormous flexibility to production schedules. At the same time it reduces running costs. The option of cooking different products at the same time in a combi steamer isn’t new, but iProductionManager takes the whole concept to a higher level. As well as telling you what products can be cooked together, it allows chefs to select whether they want all the food to be ready at the same time, or if they want it all to be cooked as quickly as possible, or if they want it cooked as energy efficiently as possible. Depending on the choice, iProductionManager then automatically prepares the optimum schedule. For example, suppose a full breakfast is being cooked where everything is wanted at the same
time. The system will inform the chef when to load the eggs, the bacon, the tomatoes, and so on, staggering the start times so that the hash browns are perfectly cooked at exactly the same moment as the mushrooms – and all the other breakfast components. On the other hand, chefs may want each food cooked as quickly as possible. In this case, food is loaded onto the different shelves and iProductionManager simply lets staff know when each shelf’s load is ready. As one shelf’s food is being taken out, iProductionManager automatically compensates for the loss of temperature due to the door opening, and recalculates the cooking times for food on all the other shelves. Energy efficiency is increasingly important and iProductionManager can help here, too, by creating the most energy efficient schedule for multiple different foods. The iCombi control panel makes every-
to calm down and regroup. • Take off the pressure. If the person you’re looking after is getting frustrated at not being able to eat when the sole focus is on doing so, sitting in front of the TV with a plate of something easy to nibble, such as sandwiches or cutup soft fruits, could mean they eat while being distracted by the programme. So, experiment with both scenarios. • Wait for a better time. If they’re drowsy and not very responsive, feeding can cause choking – so try to leave a bit of time before you try again. And do seek medical advice if they’re overly drowsy, as it could be that a change in some of the medication they’re taking could give you a better window of opportunity for helping them to eat.
MANAGING CHANGES As dementia progresses it’s highly likely that appetite and ability to eat will change. These shifts are not always down to the disease itself – sometimes medication can put a person off their food, causing weight loss. Or a new drug may interfere with hunger messages in the brain, so they don’t register feeling full and stop eating. They may also forget that they have eaten and say they want more food when they don’t physically need it. Or they may crave sweet foods. Weight gain will cause physical challenges and additional health risks, so while occasional treats are fine, try to keep to the basic structure of an overall nourishing diet.
POOR APPETITE • Practical issues Do they have a sore mouth, badly fitted dentures, or is the effort of preparing food (if their dementia isn’t that advanced) or chewing and swallowing (if it’s more severe) preventing them from eating? • Monitor their eating What we do know about a poor appetite is that the less we eat, often the less we fancy eating. Malnutrition can kick in, and problems such as pressure sores, poor wound healing and depression start occurring. If you suspect a resident isn’t eating enough, keep a diary of what they manage at mealtimes to help you create a care plan for them. • Create a food mood board Often, memories are linked to foods we loved eating at a precise moment. A personal food mood board made out of photos of favourite dishes, people and places can be a great way to communicate and also stimulate a jaded appetite and it can be a lovely ‘memory activity’ for residents living with dementia. thing simple. Once the chefs have selected what type of schedule they want – synchronised, speedy or efficient – they simply drag the relevant icon, such as sausages, onto the appropriate shelf on the panel, so the system knows which food is where and can monitor it accordingly. With iProductionManager chefs can even split shelves, so that two different foods can be cooked on the same shelf, with the system monitoring each to ensure they are perfectly cooked. “The new normal is already creating new challenges for chefs,” says Simon Lohse, managing director of Rational UK. “Consumers want more flexibility in terms of when they eat – all day eateries are going to be more common; many kitchens may have fewer staff; and every operator will have the overriding need to reduce running costs. More efficient management of the production process will provide solutions in all these areas – and iProductionManager delivers the most advanced, easy to use and practical technology available.” iProductionManager is one of a suite of new, advanced intelligent features on Rational’s iCombi Pro combi steamer. RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment and, with the iVario multifunctional cooking system and the iCombi Pro combi steamer, the company delivers all a commercial kitchen’s thermal cooking requirements. Together, the two appliances offer the best cooking solutions. For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live online demonstrations and webinars, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit www.rational-online.com
EF Group Launches CaterCloud - The Secret Ingredient for Menu Management Success Manchester-based, EF Group has announced it is offering free for life access to its new cloud-based, menu management platform, CaterCloud, which launched this week. The easy-to-use, next generation allergen, nutrition, menu planning and costing system offers a wealth of enhanced functionality to help caterers gain significant efficiencies in their operations, to control costs and increase profits. CaterCloud helps businesses ensure food safety remains a key focus. With food labelling regulations set to change in October 2021, as a result of Natasha’s Law, all England-based businesses working in the food industry will be required to clearly label all foods produced and packed on their premises with a full list of ingredients detailing the full allergen profile. Designed to help businesses prepare for this upcoming regulation, CaterCloud provides sub-allergen information and tagging; QR Code scanning for live allergen and nutritional information, along with the ability to print Natasha’s Law compliant food labels. CaterCloud also offers customers access to a range of accredited training for allergen awareness and food safety. CaterCloud’s innovative functionality also boasts many other benefits to enable simple menu management for caterers across the hospitality, healthcare, education and retail sectors. It offers effective menu planning with dish and menu costings; access to a nutritional database with 1,000s of ingredients and customisable dashboards to record KPIs. Users of CaterCloud can also join the e-foods’ Buyers’ Club and benefit from its substantial buying power. The Buyers’ Club is made up of a net-
work of trusted accredited suppliers across the UK. Users can purchase food and non-food goods from these suppliers with savings of between 5 to 10%. Paul Mizen, Chief Executive, EF Group said: “The service industries are
moving at pace towards technology to help meet their stock ordering, menu planning and compliance challenges. Our experience shows that there is increasing demand for more advanced dish and menu costing tools, as well as detailed, easy to use product data. “Catering managers require their menu management software to seamlessly integrate with their ordering systems and demand best value from their food suppliers. With CaterCloud, we will remain at the forefront of delivering the innovative features the industry needs. “The entire catering industry has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and as businesses work hard to recover, we are providing CaterCloud for free to help maximise efficiencies and reduce costs. This is our way of giving something back to the industry upon which our business is founded.” CaterCloud is a web-based menu planning, nutrition, allergen and costing system which is part of the E-F Group. CaterCloud helps hundreds of hospitality businesses deliver performance and control costs while reducing food safety risks. CaterCloud is committed to innovation in food management, its leading-edge platform helps to manage food offerings from front desk to kitchens, with the aim of improving efficiency in catering operations. Live menu costings help businesses to see how their business is performing every day, enabling them to focus on producing quality food and increasing profitability. CaterCloud’s clients are mainly in the following sectors: healthcare, education, hospitality and retail. For more information, see the advert on page 22 or visit www.CaterCloudCare.com
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PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
DYSPHAGIA myAko Develops Dysphagia Online Courses For Carers Swallowing difficulties are common in people residing in care homes. Early identification, assessment and management by care home staff may result in a decrease in the incidence of pneumonia and death. Therefore, it is important for staff to be aware of the signs of dysphagia and what to do in order to prevent further deterioration in a resident’s condition. Dr. Elizabeth Boaden is a fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has spent over 30 years working to improve the quality of life of those living with dysphagia. Dr. Boaden has created a set of courses on dysphagia. These courses have been researched and developed for the benefit of all healthcare workers and nurses, and are due to be available on myAko.com.
WHAT IS DYSPHAGIA? Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulties swallowing. Difficulties may range from a decrease in chewing ability to food and drinks going onto the lungs causing aspiration pneumonia and death. Dysphagia is a common feature of many congenital and acquired structural and neurological difficulties. It is not possible to provide accurate figures regarding the prevalence of dysphagia, as it is often unrecognised and underdiagnosed. Dysphagia affects approximately 8% of the global population. Although swallowing difficulties are seen in the paediatric population, the greater incidence is in adult client group. The incidence of
commonly occuring elderly neurological diseases in the older population are stroke (45-78%), Parkinson’s disease (75-100%) and Alzeimer’s disease (90%). Swallowing involves six cranial nerves and over 26 pairs of muscles, with the oesophagus opening within a fraction of a second of airway closure. It is therefore unsurprising that everyone has experienced at least one incident where just a slight incoordination of the swallow has caused coughing and choking as food and drink enter the airway. It is therefore to be expected that dysphagia occurs in approximately 35% of the normal aging elderly population owing to weakness in the muscles for swallowing. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 74% of residents in care homes will present with swallowing difficulties of some description.
AWARENESS AND EDUCATION The training, available on myAko.com, helps healthcare workers to better understand the impact of dysphagia and how to help those in their care. The nurses training helps them support Speech and Language Therapists with remote dysphagia assessments, without the need for face-to-face visits. Utilising remote teleswallowing techniques helps to reduce current NHS waiting lists and nurses and carers are able to improve early diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia.
MOVING FORWARD It is imperative for care staff to be able to quickly and effectively screen for dysphagia, as a delay in doing so may have devastating effects. It is a care worker’s duty to ease the struggle presented by dysphagia; not only to avoid the possibility of death, but to simply ensure that a resident’s later life and emotional well-being is as comfortable and content as possible. Visit www.myako.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 283383 for further details.
Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *
*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.
Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time. How can this training help you? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring
for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at email@example.com. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated
with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. See page 12 or visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.
Care sector employers looking to reward hard working staff for their efforts during lockdown have helped double new business at one of the UK’s leading gifting and engagement companies. Appreciate Group saw the sharp rise in demand from new clients between April and August as firms looked to thank employee efforts during the pandemic. The year-on-year increase was particularly high in the care sector – where many employees remained in the workplace throughout lockdown. Appreciate Group’s business products include Love2shop gift cards, e-gift cards and vouchers all of which companies can use to reward their employees and customers. Love2shop can be redeemed with many of the nation’s leading retailers and leisure providers. Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Group said: “Employees up and down the country have needed to adapt to new and different ways of working during these challenging times, be
that working from home or abiding by social distancing rules in the workplace. “These challenges have also led to an increasing number of employers finding new ways to say thank you to colleagues for their efforts during lockdown, including digital rewards.” “Recognition gestures such as gift cards can go a long way in making staff feel that their employer values their commitment. Many companies will need these hard-working employees as they continue to deal with, and emerge from, the challenges of COVID-19.” Employers are able to use the tax-free Trivial Benefits Allowance to reward staff with gift cards up to the value of £50. For more information on tax-free gifting for employees, visit: www.appreciate.co.uk/tax-free-gifts-foremployees/ or email Alex Speed, Head of Business Development, at Appreciate Group firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 3.
New Scale for Mobility-Impaired Residents Could Reduce ‘Risk of Injury to Staff and Demand From Care Sector Firms Rewarding Staff In Residents’ and ‘Costs to Healthcare’ Lockdown Drives Surge In Recognition Products
Euroservice Trolley Manufacturers celebrating 40 years of experience in the sale and manufacture of wooden trolleys for the catering trade, Euroservice trolley manufacturers have now acquired a worldwide reputation and still offer an extensive /comprehensive range of top quality wooden trolleys manufactured in the UK. Top quality is a priority in the production of all of our products and Euroservice are specialists in the manufacture of sturdy and beautiful looking trolleys which will grace any environment from the small privately owned restaurant to the splendid 3 to 5
star hotels, resorts and Residential homes. Euroservice’s excellence in the manufacture of wooden trolleys is backed by a personal, efficient and friendly service second to none. We are always busy researching the needs of the market and launch new ranges according to market demands. Whatever your needs you can be assured that Euroservice can cater for them and we look forward to your call. Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com email@example.com
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.
A new chair scale with a lifting seat, believed to be the first of its kind, will ‘reduce risk of injury to residents’ and ‘support the musculoskeletal health of staff’ when weighing individuals with limited mobility. By making the weighing process easier, the new device could also ‘reduce costs to healthcare’’ according to the manufacturer. The M-250, available now from scale manufacturer Marsden, is a chair scale that features a seat that rises and lowers to help a resident get into, and out of, a sitting position. Marsden says it has been introduced in response to requests from customers for easier ways to weigh residents who cannot stand unaided. The tilting seat base, operated by a handheld remote control, rises to the resident and then gently lowers them into the seat. Once weighing is complete, it rises slowly to assist them from sitting to a near-standing position. The new weighing scale is Class III Approved, meaning it is legally suitable for weighing individuals for medical purposes. It provides an accurate weight reading to the nearest 100g, and has a capacity of 250kg. The seat is slightly wider than standard chair scales, meaning it can accommodate larger residents. Development of the new weighing scale began in 2017, with input provided by care homes, back care specialists and other industry experts, including medical device design house PD-M. The scale was developed alongside the Patient Transfer Scale, Marsden’s transfer board with built-in weighing scale that was launched in late 2018.
“The M-250 is designed to make weighing residents with limited mobility more comfortable, less stressful, and potentially even reduce the time and number of staff it typically takes to weigh these individuals,” said Dave Smith, Marketing Director at Marsden. “We want to see it reducing costs to healthcare too, through quicker, easier weighing processes and less risk of injury to care staff.” Mark Coates, Operations Director at Marsden, said: “The biggest challenge of weighing residents with limited mobility is the time it takes, the stress on the individual and the amount of effort required by staff. “When developing the scale we had to consider the benefit to the resident and the member of staff. What’s safest and easiest for the healthcare professional without compromising comfort for the resident? “Our finished product has been tested by individuals with varying levels of mobility, and with both one and two members of staff. Through this testing we found that effort required by staff to help the resident out of the seat was greatly reduced compared to a standard chair scale or wheelchair. “Plus, we’ve focused on reducing risk of injury to residents as well as supporting the musculoskeletal health of healthcare staff when weighing those with limited mobility.” “We’re looking forward to seeing the M-250 make a real difference in care homes in the UK, and around the world.” The M-250 Chair Scale with Stand Assist is available to order now on the Marsden website. www.marsdenweighing.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW Adaptawear Clothing Website Helping Independent & Assisted Dressing Adaptawear has recently launched their NEW and improved website making it even easier for customers to browse, buy and shop online. Benefits of New Website • New Adaptawear logo – easier and cleaner to read • Faster and simpler to buy online through your mobile, tablet or PC • Improved navigation to relevant collections & categories: ladies wear, menswear and lifestyle and comfort • Updated and enhanced product photography • Easier & additional payment opportunities: • Secure & reliable • Ability for customers to set up account online so you can track orders and make it easier for repeat or new orders • Improved order tracking functionality • Integrated customer reviews Adaptawear provides adaptive clothing that are specially designed to making dressing easier and the elderly and disabled; both for independent dressing and assisted dressing. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for arthritis, stroke, Parkinson, incontinence and dementia
sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with fastenings, buttons and zips. If you are a healthcare or care home worker or Occupational Therapist and struggling to dress your patients during this Covid-19 pandemic; then take a look at our range of Adaptawear adapted clothing for both men and women CARER OFFER: SAVE 10% Do go and visit online at www.adaptawear.com to buy adapted clothing online. Carer readers please quote CR10 for 10% discount off your first order.
Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics, Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics, vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so
please ask. Choices include print basecloths, plain and woven designs. All antimicrobial fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high standards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viral-reducing and anti-fungal properties. Fabrics are not seen as a beneficial host for Sars Cov-2 even without antimicrobial treatment, however including this extra benefit viruses and bacteria are greatly reduced. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team: email@example.com. www.skoposfabrics.com
PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS JLA's Ozone Washing System Proven To Remove All Traces of Coronavirus in University Study of Infected Laundry
Treating coronavirus-infected laundry with a professional ozone washing system could have major implications for the future of infection control for the care sector, according to new research. The in-depth study carried out at De Montfort University in Leicester found that the OTEX washing system, which uses ozone to kill bacteria even at low temperatures, completely removes all traces of coronavirus (OC43), a model virus for SARS-CoV-2. The system, created by JLA (the UK’s leading supplier of commercial laundry equipment) was tested by a research team overseen by Dr Katie Laird, Reader in Microbiology and Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, and expert virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar, Lecturer in Molecular Biology. The research found that cleaning with the OTEX technology completely removed the coronavirus, even in large washing loads. Additional testing also proved that the virus was not transferred to other textiles in the wash. Believed to be one of the first studies of its kind, the research proves that coronavirus-infected laundry can be cleaned even at low temperatures, allowing heat sensitive items such as personal clothing, hospital mattress covers, emergency rescue wear and microfibre items to be cleaned effectively. Dr Laird and her team are now completing the next stage of their research, looking at the rate at which the virus is inactivated in the cleaning process to give more data on the length of time and quantities of ozone required for the virus to be eliminated. Dr Laird comments, “A key element of tackling the spread of COVID-19 is to understand how effective infec-
tion control can be implemented in real world settings. There are a variety of situations in which textiles potentially carrying the virus need to be cleaned, such as care homes, hospitals and hotels. “Until now we have had little data about how the virus responded to different types of cleaning. These initial results demonstrate that cleaning with ozone, as in the OTEX system, completely removes the model coronavirus. “This held true even when treating larger loads of washing, as is likely to be the case in a real laundry setting. This result can give reassurance that such cleaning is effective .” The implications of these findings are hugely significant for the healthcare sector in the fight against COVID19 and the protection of both service users and staff. The financial and environmental benefits are equally as impressive. Research shows that over the average sevenyear lifespan of a standard 30kg thermal disinfection cycle, using OTEX can reduce operating costs by over £130,000, whilst also reducing the businesses total carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes. Helen Ashton, CEO from JLA commented “I am really excited about the results of these tests as here at JLA we play our part in eradicating this terrible virus. We have been developing and refining the OTEX laundry system for over fifteen years and its benefits to our customers are clear - full eradication of disease, including coronavirus, even at low temperatures and a significant reduction in operational cost coupled with a meaningful benefit to the environment. “The system has been designed to be easy to use with real time verification of the disinfection process on every wash which provides a unique audit trail of full compliance to regulatory standards.” This is the latest accolade for JLA’s innovative OTEX system, having been previously recognised by the NHS Rapid Review Panel in 2009 set up by the government to fast track new technology to address hospital acquired infections, achieving the highest grade (level 1) for infection control products. More recently, assessment of compliance with current Public Health England HTM01-04 guidelines for the decontamination of healthcare linen. The OTEX ozone system is also fully supported in line with the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. For more information about OTEX by JLA, please visit: https://jla.com/otex or see the advert on the facing page.
Forbes Professional Helps the Care Industry Adhere to Stringent Laundry Regulations For a care home, their laundry operation is always a central part of the infection control that has never been more pressing than today. The Department of Health’s CFPP 01-14 guidelines state that each wash cycle must provide the requisite disinfection. Machines must be also approved to WRAS category 5 due to elevated risks of contamination. In order to meet stringent laundry hygiene standards, PPE is essential as are established processes to enable efficient transportation and procedural segregation of clean and soiled items. As standard, CFPP 01-04 requires that laundry is washed in a commercial washing machine at the highest possible temperature. For enhanced hygiene requirements, all washing cycles must have a thermal disinfection cycle that reaches 71°C for at least three minutes, or 65°C for at least ten minutes. Forbes is proud to be partnered with Miele which enables us to provide highly efficient commercial laundry solutions to care homes and the NHS. The new, highly programmable and user-friendly Little Giant range from Miele provides thermal disinfection at 85°C for 15 minutes to kill viruses and bacteria. It is
also WRAS approved to category 5 and delivers faster wash cycles and impressively low energy consumption, making it an ideal choice for any care environment. Our laundry solutions include a complementary site survey, free installation, commissioning and user training as well as a first-class service support, at no extra cost for the life of the contract. Contact www.forbespro.co.uk, call 0345 070 2335 or see the advert on page 37.
5 Reasons Why You Should Choose LaundryTec Chester based LaundryTec since its foundation in early 2016 has become one of Alliance Internationals major UK distributers. Founded by Jeremy Hartigan, the team of industry professionals with the backing of the Alliance Lavamac brand and supported by its service partner PDS Laundry based in Nuneaton. They supply a significant number of the UK’s leading health care operators with equipment, installation and after sale support. The LaundryTec designs offer not only washing, drying and ironing equipment but a full range of handling, distribution, folding and identification systems, to create a fully functioning laundry complete with all items necessary for efficient operation. Every LaundryTec machine includes full installation options, including the removal and disposal of an existing machine. A training program and a minimum of 24
0151 317 3127
months part and labour warranty. The environment is at the forefront of every operator’s mind. Standard specification on a Lavamac machine includes functions that automatically weigh and control the energy input into the machine and store the data in the machines memory. Our LS range of electric heat pump dryers require no ventilation or gas services and operates at 3kw per hour.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. Cost 2. Efficiency 3. Service 4. Design 5. Innovation Telephone 0151 317 3127 Web www..laundrytec.com
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Cost Quality Service Design Innovation
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL New Covid-19 App Enables Care Homes and Primary Care Providers Comply with Hazardous Waste Audit Requirements Remotely A new app, which gives Care Homes and primary care providers the ability to conduct compulsory clinical waste pre-acceptance and duty of care audits without the need for third-party on-site visits, has been launched by leading independent healthcare waste management company Anenta. Designed to provide a Covid-19 compliant solution that ends the need for on-site reviews by external bodies, the app simplifies the process, saves time and dramatically cuts the cost of audits required by producers of healthcare waste in order to operate. The app, which can be operated from a desktop as well as a range of mobile devices, takes the user through the audit process, covering duty of care and waste pre-acceptance in one go. Taking around 40 minutes to complete, the app streamlines a process that can take up to six days - including expensive on-site visits - consuming the valuable time of staff and management. Costing just £200 per site, the Anenta audit app saves between £300 and £800 on physical audits. It identifies and records details of training undertaken linked to duty of care, keeping a record for compliance purposes. It also identifies if the correct waste management policies are in place and records details for assessment, including whether hazardous consignment notes are kept for three years – a compliance requirement - and in what format. The app enables details of all internal waste containers to be recorded, including their location and content, and whether these are correctly labeled. Images are uploaded as a point of reference using mobile devices, enabling multiple site assessments to be undertaken; col-
leagues can be emailed with a link to the section of the waste management audit that they need to complete. Once done, Anenta assesses the audit and provides a report with advisory notes and actions to be taken covering: missing policies, segregation requirements, and areas where action needs to be taken to comply with regulations; be that in terms of duty of care or the clinical waste pre-acceptance audit process. This enables clients to quickly and easily
address aspects of the audit that will enable them to continue operating. Graham Flynn, Managing Director of Anenta, commented on the app launch, saying: “Business operating in the healthcare sector have a duty of care to their staff within the Environmental Protection Act 1990. “Those that fail to demonstrate proper measures face potential enforcement action by the Care Quality Commission. Those same organisations also have an obligation to complete clinical waste preacceptance audits, without which hazardous waste including healthcare items cannot legally be removed from site. Without this being in place, care homes could face the prospect of being temporarily closed until the audit is completed.” “Understandably, many care home producers of clinical waste are looking to avoid third parties from coming on site during the current pandemic, yet they still have audit responsibilities. It is for this reason that we have developed the Anenta audit app, allowing healthcare settings to fulfill their duties faster and more cost-effectively than has previously been possible, so that they can continue operating unincumbered. We view this as a win, win solution for all concerned and a transformational development for the care home and healthcare sector.” All audits undertaken using the Anenta app are stored electronically, are readily accessible by the user and can be used to track remediable actions providing a breadcrumb trail for compliance purposes and CQC checks. To gain access to the Audit app, healthcare settings need to set up an account with Anenta: visit www.anentawaste.com or call 03301222143.
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
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 37
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Greyland Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant Has ‘Huge Impact on Cleaning Industry’ In this statement from Richard Dyson, MD of Greyland, “From not existing, the new Greyland Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant has had huge impact on the Cleaning industry since its launch in early March 2020. “Trading patterns are very hit and miss at the moment, with different pressures hitting UK Cleaning chemical manufacturers on a daily basis. “One thing that has been consistent, is the weekly sales growth for the new Spray and Wipe Ultra Disinfectant, with just a 1 minute anti-coronavirus contact time, the product available in both 750ml ready to use Trigger Spray and top up refill 5L, has very quickly become Greyland’s number 1 best seller.” Luckily, the Greyland factory in Manchester has been
purpose-built for both volume capacity and versatility, in order to quickly and readily switch production focus with minimum fuss. Expansion to capacity at any time has also been planned in from the start, with continual investment and upgrades to production equipment, and increased staff. Richard Dyson continues: “After the initial March and April early reactions to the pandemic, we have coped with everything thrown at us, and right now in mid June our production flow and renowned industry order-to-delivery lead time is pretty much back to normal.” Contact the company now: T. 0161 343 3830 E. firstname.lastname@example.org W. www.greyland.co.uk
MAG Launches Ozone Generator Proven To Kill Covid–19
One of the UK’s leading suppliers of commercial laundry solutions, MAG Laundry Equipment, can now offer a generator that has been proven to kill the Covid–19 coronavirus. In a ground-breaking study conducted by Nara Medical University, it was confirmed that ozone gas can effectively inactivate the virus up to 1 / 10,000 CT (cycle threshold). In real conditions, it shows that Covid–19 can be inactivated on all surfaces and that ozone can be used in the sanitisation of all environments. Putting the new discovery into the practise, the MAG Ozone Generator emits ozone through the air to sanitise surfaces and kill bacteria, microorganisms and viruses including Covid–19, while permanently eliminating unpleasant odours. Proven to eliminate SARS coronavirus, norovirus, E.coli, salmonella and more than 99% of harmful bacteria and viruses, ozone is recognised as the strongest and fastest method of destroy-
ing microorganisms. With cycle times from 15 minutes to 72 hours, the generator is suitable for quick cleans and full airregeneration projects and can be used across all business sectors. Commenting on the new product, Mark Dennis, managing director of MAG Laundry Equipment said: “The ability to offer a product that has been proven to kill the Covid–19 coronavirus is a real triumph for us as a business. “With the UK economy now officially in a recession, it’s important that the Government and businesses look at how people can return to work safely, protect jobs and keep the economy moving. The ozone generator could be a key part in that, with the ability to sterilize office spaces, hotel rooms or hospitality venues quickly and effectively.” More information on MAG Laundry Equipment is available at https://maglaundryequipment.co.uk/.
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 39
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Why Care Homes Need Change from Traditional Toxic Cleaning Products to a More Sustainable, Safe and Low-Cost Alternative By Chris Speak, Managing Director, Purozo Limited (www.purozo.co.uk) If we took the time to analyse our present cleaning regimes, it would unearth some startling facts. Firstly, the huge cost and quantity being spent in our homes on a range of cleaning and sanitising products is adding pressure to budgets which are already over stretched, as well as putting more strain on our wonderful care staff. Secondly, the extra storage you need for multiple chemicals, the plastic waste they produce and the worry of running out of stock also presents additional challenges.
THE PROBLEM WITH CHEMICALS
Aside from all of the challenges listed above, there are unfortunately much more worrying aspects to a home full of chemical cleaning products that we need to consider - especially when it comes to the safety of our precious residents and dedicated staff. In an enclosed environment within a care home, what effect can these toxic chemicals have on an already fragile community? We already know that harmful side effects of chemicals can include
aggravating chest conditions, skin issues, and allergies for both staff and residents. Although we try to eliminate these possibilities with COSHH training, it still does not remove the danger. In this new dawn of environmental awareness, we still continue to pump all these toxic chemicals down our drains and into our rivers, lakes and coastline, and for what reason?
Can we do something about it? Of course we can. Joining many care homes from across the UK in switching from toxic chemicals to the chemical-free Tersnao Lotus Pro will create a more sustainable, toxin free home, which is safe for your residents and staff – and at a fraction of your current cost. There is also no requirement for COSHH training and you will be creating a fresh, clean and sanitised home. Why wouldn’t you want to change? For more information please visit our website www.purozo.co.uk or contact us on 01594 546250 |
New DePuro Pro Air Purifier In Use In Two NHS Hospitals The new DePuro Pro air purifier has been successfully installed in two NHS hospitals in Essex as part of their fight against the spread of Covid-19. The twelve units have been installed in three dental rooms and nine treatment rooms in a project to improve the air quality in the hospitals and increase patient turnaround in a clean and safe environment. The DePuro Pro unit comes in two sizes, it is a plug and play set up and uses two HEPA 14 filters which retain up to 99.995% of particulates including virus, bacteria and droplets within the air.
Dean Hill and Mark Coutts from Essex based contractors TH Electrical said: “We worked alongside VORTICE to specify the DePuro Pro to effectively clean and purify the air in these hospitals. As we know from the science, good indoor air quality is vital to the fight against the spread of Covid19 and we’re delighted that these units are already starting to make a difference after only two weeks of being used.” For more information about the DePuro Pro and other products from VORTICE visit www.vortice.ltd.uk
Clinical Waste Management Cromwell Polythene’s Sansafe® and clinical waste management ranges are designed to support the care sector in their infection prevention and control procedures, for washroom, sanitary and clinical waste. Special consideration is needed when dealing with clinical waste, which requires different treatment and disposal methods appropriate to the hazard it may present. Our range includes refuse sacks, wheeled bin liners, tiger stripe sacks for deep landfill of offensive/hygiene waste, yellow sacks certified to UN standards for incineration of hazardous waste and orange UN standard sacks for alternative treatment of infectious and potentially infectious waste at a licensed or permitted facility The most recent addition to the Sansafe® range is tiger stripe sacks incorporating Biomaster silver antimicrobial technology, added during the film extrusion process. This inhibits the growth of harmful bac-
teria, including E. coli and Legionella. Pine Scentmaster® fragrance helps mask unpleasant odours. These features eliminate the need to add separate antimicrobial products and intoxicating fragrances. The tiger stripe sacks are designed for the collection and disposal of offensive/hygiene waste collection, which can be disposed of through Energy from Waste (EFW), incineration or deep landfill. Typical examples of this type of waste include non-infectious used gloves, masks, dressings, incontinence waste, and sanitary products. Any liner used in a care setting – whether for hazardous, sanitary, or general waste – should have been independently tested to prove its effectiveness and safety. Check for recognised quality standards including the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) certification mark for refuse sacks and EN and ISO standards. Visit www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk
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 .
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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
Sheffcare Teams Up with Haigh Sheffcare continue to stay at the forefront of resident health, safety, and care. With ten homes across the city of Sheffield, Sheffcare a leading care charity, serves the needs of more than 500 older people and is strongly committed to providing high quality, compassionate care which enhances quality of life. Like a clean kitchen, often the most important aspects of infection prevention are out of sight. Best in class providers continue to invest in their facilities, ever-improving client health and experience. Most recently, Sheffcare has upgraded its waste management to Haigh's disposal units. These allow the hygienic disposal of disposable toileting items, simplifying and improving a challenging task for staff, reducing cross infection risks, and helping drive down long-term costs. Sheffcare noted "Investments like this are taken only once we have strong evidence. We trialled the
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Haigh Quattro and Haigh Incomaster at several of our sites. The improvement was noticeable, improving resident experience and for our care staff." Haigh has been designing bed pan disposers since the 1950s, supporting hospitals across the UK and worldwide, while investing in the UK economy. For further information, visit www.haighmed.com
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Electrox Sterilising Water Electrox Sterilising Water is an ecological disinfectant that kills viruses, bacteria, spores and fungi significantly faster than bleach and other traditional disinfectants. It is 80 x more effective than bleach, no alcohol, non corrosive, pH neutral and hypoallergenic. The active substance in Electrox is hypochlorous acid, which has been successfully tested for full virucidal activity as defined in EN14476:2013, and has activity against all viruses. This includes all coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2. When used with fogging machines, Electrox can sanitise care homes rapidly, with minimal disruption and without the harsh chemicals found in traditional disinfectants. Electrox customer Eddy Pyatt, Director of Platinum Care Homes
says “We’re using Electrox Sterilising Water and the fogging machine in four of our Care Homes and have found it provides real peace of mind and assurance to our residents and their visitors. We are fogging communal areas, outdoor visiting areas in between visits and resident’s rooms within our care homes to make sure we’re providing a sanitised environment for our staff, residents and their visitors alike. We wanted a sanitising product that didn’t involve large amounts of chemicals and found Electrox to be the most cost effective of all the solutions we looked at.” Contact Electrox today: www.electroxwater.co.uk 0117 318 0830 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.barbel.net
Elgin Bay Offer The Mac500 Proven Solution to Combating Coronavirus panies and individuals in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. We have not invented a miracle cure for coronavirus that can stand alone, but we may have one of the weapons needed to reduce the infection”, explains Michael Kløcker, JIMCO A/S. Elgin Bay are the UK suppliers of Jimco UVC and Ozone technology. The Mac500 is an air purifier developed and manufactured in Denmark by Jimco, that reduces viruses in the air. With the air purifier the reduction of viruses is both fast and significant, achieving 99.99% reduction within 3 hours. A study from a technological institute in Denmark states that The MAC500 effectively reduces viruses from the air. In rooms where the air purifier is in use, The study documents that the MAC500 reduces viruses in the air by 89 percent in one hour. After two hours, the virus is reduced by 99 percent, and after three hours, the reduction is 99.9 percent. “We have tested the air purifier on a virus that is 7-10 times more resistant to UV light than coronavirus. The results of this study are very uplifting right now, because we are all trying our best to avoid infections”, says Michael Kløcker, business unit manager at JIMCO A/S. The MAC500 air purifier works partly by burning harmful particles such as viruses with the help of UV-C rays, and partly by letting out a small amount of ozone, which can destroy bacteria and viruses. The amount of ozone is equal to the amount occurring in nature by the Sun. “You can use the air purifier everywhere, and our greatest customer segments are businesses and industries where it is difficult to keep distance or where customers are at a greater risk”. “It is very common to use air purifiers in Care Homes, Hospitals, Dentists and in private homes where you feel extra exposed”. “The aim is to strengthen the indoor climate as well as limiting the spread of viruses through the air”, Matthew Cove, MD at Elgin Bay explains. “We are very happy that we are able to offer a product that can help both com-
The MAC500 air purifier has been on the market for nearly 20 years and is already operating in many homes and workplaces around the world. Other benefits include: • Reduction in Virus/Bacteria/Fungi • Reduction in Odour within the room • Reduces indoor air pollution and eliminates the sources of headaches, respiratory problems (COPD/Asthma) For further information, please contact Matthew Cove on 07920 254379 or email@example.com The report can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or downloaded here: https://jimco.dk/CustomerData/Files/Folders/5ppdf/ 2407_ms2-test.pdf
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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
Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is
Clean Air Solutions There are a lot of cost-effective equipment that could be put in place quickly and easily to actively assist in lowering or eliminating the virus contaminated particles of any room helping eliminate the spread of viruses. Air and Surface Treatments are the most effective method for treating all manner of smells, viruses, volatile organic compounds and all other airborne and surface contaminants. These type of unit utilise either O³ (Ozone) or OH (Hydroxyl) Ozone is created when the kind of oxygen we breathe O² is split apart into single oxygen atoms. Single oxygen atoms can re-join to make O², or they can join with O² molecules to make ozone (O³) when the energy is available to do so. Ozone breaks down when it reacts with other compounds, harmful viruses included.
exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code. The machines that produce Ozone in higher effective concentrations must be used in unoccupied spaces, high concentrations of Ozone can cause issues with the respiratory system, with this said they are extremely effective at sanitising a space (airborne and surfaces) after a manual clean down. Hydroxyl machines are by far the most user friendly, firstly because they’re more adaptable and easily integrate into our normal daily lives. Much like the Ozone units, a volatile OH compound is produced which reacts with all airborne contaminants. The OH compound reacts by oxidizing and this cascade reaction will continue until the area is free of contaminants, the OH particles will then simply become H²O once there is nothing left to react with. Hydroxyl units are safe for use in constantly occupied rooms and will provide the constant decontamination required in a busy office. For more information please contact Axair Fans to discuss your requirements. www.axaironline.co.uk email@example.com 01782 349439
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
Antimicrobial Handle Helps Boost Care Homes’ Active Protection Methods Against Bacteria Care homes can now help to reduce the spread of bacteria using a maintenance-free, antimicrobial surface for door hardware. HOPPE has developed SecuSan®, an antibacterial and antimicrobial surface for door and window handles, to help ensure high hygiene standards wherever people are present in large numbers. SecuSan® immediately suppresses the growth of pathogens on the handle on a lasting basis. Independent tests have proved that SecuSan® reduces microbial growth by more than 99%. Andy Matthews, head of sales at HOPPE (UK), said: “SecuSan® is ideal for facilities managers trying to take care of high traffic buildings. In these types of buildings where there is so much to monitor and keep clean, SecuSan® helps to maintain high hygiene standards. It actively fights bacteria and fungi from the moment it is installed and is wear-free on a long term basis. This is particularly important in care homes where residents are much more vulnerable.” The surface can be applied to a wide range of popular HOPPE
handle designs including the Amsterdam and Paris series, all available in aluminium silver and stainless steel. It is also covered by HOPPE’s 10-year operational guarantee that applies to all HOPPE door and window handles. For more information on SecuSan®, please contact Andy on Andy.Matthews@hoppe.com or 01902 484 400. www.hoppe.com
Protecting Staff And Residents with Continual Airborne Sanitisation
The COVID-19 pandemic raises particular challenges for care home residents, their families and the staff that look after them. With no end in sight and millions of pounds being spent every day on cleaning and sanitisation methods that are costly and labour intensive. SOH Group has a revolutionary new product ‘SOH Pure’ that is already helping thousands of people and businesses by continuously sanitising their premises. The SOH Pure systems work in a similar way to that of a fogger but is an ‘always on’ solution that continually sanitises an area of up to 80m2. Achieved by cold air diffusion technology liquid is turned into a vapour the is lighter than air.
This vapour cleans and sanitises the air whilst airborne and then sanitises all surfaces when it falls creating a unique dual action air and surface approach. Using the SOH Pure system will help reduce the amount of time that is required cleaning and will help re continually sanitise high traffic areas, such as staff gathering hot spots building entrances , lobbies and delivery zones and more. Let us help you today give your staff and residents that extra piece of mind! Get in touch for more details and other environmentally friendly products 02037276400, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.sunglobalavf.com
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
Hygiene And Infection Control: How To Create A Safe Environment For Staff And Residents As Britain Enters The Festive Period By Enrico Allegra - Microbiologist at Inivos (www.hygiene-solutions.co.uk) The impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on care facilities and their residents in the UK has been significant. Here, Enrico Allegra, a Microbiologist at infection control experts Inivos, outlines how to create a safe environment for staff and residents as Britain enters the Christmas period and families are allowed to visit. New Government guidance today has stated that care home residents in England will be able to spend some of the festive season with their family or friends. People living in care homes in England will be able to have visits from family and friends by Christmas if the visitors test negative for COVID-19. For many care residents, for whom seeing loved ones is a treasured lifeline, this is very welcome news. However, as COVID-19’s symptoms are so varied with many people only suffering mild symptoms or being completely asymptomatic, the virus can spread quickly as people do not realise they are an active carrier and continue to interact with others and pass on the infection. This means robust measures need to be implemented by care homes to ensure that the risk of transmission is low, especially over the Christmas period when families can visit.
GOOD INFECTION CONTROL IS ESSENTIAL In the early months of the pandemic, manual deep cleaning was the recommended method to help control the spread of the virus. While deep cleaning is vital for good hygiene, manual cleaning alone is not enough to control the spread of the virus. Coronavirus particles are easily transmitted, which means they can cover a large surface area very easily. Therefore, manual cleaning alone can leave dangerous traces of the virus behind through unavoidable human error. The risk of becoming infected is also heightened because of the nature of how COVID-19 can spread. We know that SARS-CoV-2 is predominantly spread via airborne droplets , meaning that the virus can linger in the air for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, if just one person in a care home is infected, the virus has the potential to spread to an entire room of people very quickly. To help manage the spread of the virus over the festive period, care homes should utilise Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) decontamination technology to ensure patient areas are a safe space for residents. The Ultra-V UV-C system is ideal for care homes over Christmas because its short cycle time allows for rooms to be easily decontaminated when residents are in communal areas with staff or their families. If families and friends are visiting care homes frequently over the holidays, care home managers need to ensure that buildings are thoroughly decontaminated regularly, as this is the only way to ensure all traces of the virus are eradicated after visiting hours.
BEST PRACTICE HYGIENE SYSTEMS NEED TO BE IN PLACE One of the simplest ways to ensure the safety of all staff and residents over the Christmas period is to implement good hygiene systems and protocols. It is essential that care home managers take adequate steps to miti-
gate infection risks in all areas of the care home. By implementing a policy where all staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and providing hand hygiene kits for all staff, care home managers can help to reassure employees and residents that they are safe and protected. PPE shortages are a huge concern for the care industry and while many care home managers have made significant efforts to ensure stocks don’t run out, it is still vital that care home managers plan-ahead for over the Christmas holidays as the homes will potentially be welcoming higher numbers of outside visitors. Workplace Infection Prevention Assessments and ongoing training for staff can also help care homes to identify areas which pose a risk while also making sure staff are up to date with all the latest safety measures.
CHRISTMAS BUBBLES AND INFECTION SAFETY Whilst socialisation is important for good mental health and wellbeing; it could also allow for the virus to spread quickly through care homes if appropriate measures are not put into place. Therefore, it is important that residents who do join external bubbles should maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly and keep doors and windows open to allow fresh air to circulate if they are inside. When families begin to visit care homes and staff start to mingle with friends and family over the holidays, it’s important that care home managers keep buildings as safe as possible to limit the spread of the virus. However, by following these simple rules the safety of staff and residents can be assured so everyone can enjoy spending time with their loved ones. For more information, please contact Inivos@ThePHAGroup.com or call 0203 848 7424
Care Homes at Risk of Prosecution If They Fall Foul of Covid-19 Infection Control Checks Care home operators are “under pressure like never before” trying to meet the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has resumed its regular rating inspections as well as separate infection prevention and control inspections. Failure to meet the requirements of the infection prevention and control inspections could, in the most serious cases, lead to a care home owner or operator being prosecuted. The rigorous inspections scrutinise a range of areas including use of PPE, testing, the safety of premises and visitor and shielding protocols and admission procedures for new residents. Maxine Parry, Regional Director of Caresolve, one of the UK’s leading care home consultancies, said: “The CQC or local authority can turn up at a home without any warning to check on measures and whether they are robust enough. “Some homes have already been pulled up because they hadn’t put the correct procedures in place for infection control.
“There are so many important aspects for operators and managers to think about. One of the biggest areas is around PPE and whether the equipment chosen is properly certified. Staff need to evidence that they are coming into work in their own clothes before getting changed, while daily temperature checks also need to be conducted. “Smaller operators are under the greatest pressure as they often don’t have the resources they need or up-to-date policies and procedures and guidance around Covid-19. “The implications of being found to be in breach of infection control are severe especially if operators could be seen to be wilfully neglecting their infection control and putting residents and staff at an increased Covid-19 risk. Should people die as a result, they could be open to prosecution.” Alongside the challenges of keeping a care home safe, operators face escalating financial pressures. Maxine said: “Good financial management has to go hand in hand with good infection control management. “The pandemic has put significant financial pressures on many homes. Even allowing for Government support, homes are facing increased costs in many areas. “If Covid-19 gets into a home and staff must isolate, there is a need to pay for agency cover. You also need to ensure that agency staff are not also working in other homes. Contingency planning around staffing and PPE is vital. “We have seen from cases during recent months that it is 90% luck if Covid-19 doesn’t get into a home. You can put the best possible measures in place and tick every box, but the nature of the virus means you are still at risk. “But an operator gives themselves the best chance of avoiding a serious
issue by ensuring they have put all the right policies and procedures in place. “Caresolve has been working with several operators throughout the crisis, giving them the practical advice and peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to stay on top of Covid-19. “We keep homes informed and up to date with the latest guidance and ensure best practice has been implemented when we go into homes to support them. In some cases, we are providing hands-on management in the home. “In one instance, the manager and both deputies had to isolate at the same time. “A lot of care home owners and operators are extremely stressed as the pressure on them is immense. “We have had providers telling us they couldn’t have coped without our support.” Caresolve was established in 2011 by experienced care sector professionals Ben Challinor and James Parkin. Richard Shore joined as Finance Director in 2016. The company provides strategic and operational support to care home operators and their investors including undertaking management contracts. The team also has extensive experience in achieving the successful turnaround of numerous care homes. Caresolve also has a dedicated financial arm, Caresolve Financial, headed up by Richard Shore, providing financial reviews and management services and Finance Director support. For further information please visit www.caresolve.org.uk
Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a mark-
antimicrobial treatment, so please ask. Choices include print basecloths, plain and
er for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been
woven designs. All antimicrobial fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high
offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to
standards required for contract interiors.
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 cus-
Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viral-reducing and anti-fungal properties. Fabrics are not seen as a beneficial host for Sars Cov-2 even without
tomers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics,
antimicrobial treatment, however including this extra benefit viruses and bacteria
Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The
are greatly reduced.
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
Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team: email@example.com. www.skoposfabrics.com
PAGE 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE CARE VISION Friends of the Elderly Selects Softworks Software
At Care Vision we believe care may never be the same again. Outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything we do, with a clear purpose of Less Admin, More Care. Growing up and working in a family owned care home, Rishi Jawaheer saw at first hand the main needs in the care sector; to cut down on the burden of manual paperwork while maintaining good practice and to encourage people to become more involved in care. Using his experience as a registered manager, with some of the smartest minds in tech, Rishi was driven to create Care Vision, an all in one cloudbased care management, system incorporating all your care and admin into one easy to use system. Presently the care industry has our work cut out to keep in line with statutory and legislative compliance in addition to the essential everyday tasks of looking after our clients. Care Vision acts as a bridge which uses technology that organises care work, ensures a safer, better and more intimate experience for every member of the community, from administration, the carer to family, friends and the people we care for. Care Vision provides An easy to use system for carers, managers, relatives; bringing care and admin into one platform; to manage time, attendance, rota, HR, housekeeping, maintenance and much more An E-mar system, fully compliant with NICE, reducing medication errors and keeping people safe An intuative daily notes section that can be completed at the point of service quickly and accurately A pictorial food order system that allows the individual to choose from a menu even if they forgot what a meal looks like Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual
Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”.
Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 768 9809
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
Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their services have live,
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.” See the advert on the facing page for details,
up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010 with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functionality within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we
decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-tostrength with exponential growth. We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit www.carecontrolsystems.co.uk or see the advert below for further details.
Reliable Technology Can Be the Difference Between Your Care Home Getting By or Excelling As a healthcare professional, your goal is to deliver the best care for your residents, but you can’t focus on them if you’re constantly struggling with unreliable, under-performing technology. Here at EC Computers we specialise in technology management for Care Home. We take care of all your IT, preventing technical issues from ever happening, and providing powerful solutions that help you streamline operations and improve staff and resident experiences. Our OnePoint Solutions improve both staff and resident satisfaction for Care Homes, these
include: Managed IT Services Office 365 Communications and Document storage Data Backup Solutions Virtualization for Groups requiring on premise servers VoIP Solutions to provide flexible working and cheaper calls Desktop and Server Support Cybersecurity Solutions to keep you important data safe
Data Cabling and Infrastructure planning Software applications - CRM - Database Custom apps Would your Care Home benefit from Managed IT Services? We believe every Care Home can achieve more with help from a Managed Services Provider (MSP), but you’ll need information to make your own decision. So please contact us today, or call us direct on 0117 200 1000. See the advert on page 47 fpr details.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 49
TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Workforce Scheduling Solutions Workforce Scheduling Solutions deliver Electronic Time & Attendance systems worldwide, using the latest Face Recognition technology.
Why should care homes move from paper to electronic time sheets The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.
How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?
Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".
There are many systems on the market - Why facial
recognition is important and how it works Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledgeâ€™ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someoneâ€™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
Alpaka at Askham Village Askham Village Community is a group of specialist homes which provide professional nursing care to young adults and the elderly. Growing organically over the last 30 years, means internal processes have evolved to keep pace with regulatory requirements and the needs of a growing organisation.
Paper-based reporting and recording systems were the norm for rotas, timesheets, annual leave and absence as well as training status and other personnel information. Alpaka software adoption proceeded in four stages, paced to match the staff expectations and available time. 1. Software Champions: An introduction to Staff data & Rotas 2. Management Team: Parallel working with old process and Alpaka 3. Employees: Presence app for clocking in and out with paper timesheets for comparison 4. No more paper, the full digital experience. Askham's 'challenge' is a common scenario in the care sector, mainly where businesses have grown and processes have remained manual and paper-based. It might seem a daunting task, but with the right technology, a digital transformation is possible and profitable. The full case study is available to read on https://alpaka.io/case-studies/care Call Alpaka on 0203 286 6109 or email email@example.com
PAGE 50 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION
Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.
FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.
Benefits include: Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button
Pager Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts
TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.
Features include: Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details.
Aid Call Nurse Call Systems Aid Call has been leading the way in wireless nurse-call systems for over 40 years. We offer a wide range of products and bespoke solutions. All of our products have been developed following feedback from our customers who are the forefront of care delivery. We tailor our offering specifically to each individual customers require-
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
life easier and more efficient for your staff and are simple for residents to use too. The combination of flexibility and functionality allows you to focus on the most effective care delivery, rather than being constrained by the limitations of technology. Our nurse call systems are not only powerful, functional and reliable, but also robust enough to
ments to ensure you get the perfect system for
withstand the demands of a care or nursing home
environment of any size or scale.
Aid Call wireless nurse call systems can make
See the advert on page 1 for further information.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 51
NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era After 50 years being at the forefront of advances in Nurse Call solutions, Courtney Thorne continue to develop solutions which now seem more relevant and important than at any time before. The introduction of digital care planning and medication solutions has enabled forward thinking care homeowners to go paperless, giving more accurate, timely and readily available information on those in their care. These same digital devices, tablets and smart mobiles can now be used to view calls and emergencies generated by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system. Both new installations and many existing Courtney Thorne systems can benefit with calls being delivered straight to the carer. Monitoring of resident’s care planning and medications are just two areas that reduces the amount of paperwork and administration, freeing up carers to spend more time actually caring. The monitoring of the caring staff themselves can become arduous and time consuming for management, not with a Courtney Thorne nurse call solution. The introduction of Staff ID tags of fobs is nothing new, there are so called systems on the market which use simple magnets which carers need to remember to press onto a room sensor when they attend, and again when they leave a resident’s room. With Courtney Thorne’s Altra Tag the process of logging who attended, what time they attended and how long they remained in the resident’s room is all logged automatically and seamlessly. No longer are there management and staff disputes about forgetting to “fob in/fob out”. The volume and detail of the data captured automatically by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system is vast. All the data is available to management using the reporting function built into the main touch screen server. However, where visiting the home is difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions or time and distance problems,
TumbleCare from Easylink Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK was established in 1984 after the invention of an alarm clock to wake deaf people. The “Shake Awake” set a new precedent in quality standards for products designed for sensory care, notoriously at the time – rubbish. The company invented a new device for the detection of nocturnal epileptic seizures in 1994, which also set a new precedent for quality, especially after the company achieved certified medical accreditation. We could boast and say we have supplied more seizure detection monitors than any other company in UK. You could say we are innovators; we are and very proud of it. To constantly adapt to changes in demands for care technologies, remain competitive and continue to develop new care solutions it takes more than intelligence, it takes passion.
owners and managers may find retrieving data difficult, resulting in a lack of monitoring and possible reduction in quality of care delivered. Courtney Thorne’s CT-Cloud service provides ready complied, detailed reports daily, coupled with a “live” view of all data contained in the server from any location with an internet connection. Carrying out regular checks on sleeping residents is time consuming and often counter-productive as residents often wake, have poor sleep and can even fall after attempting to use the toilet once awake. Acoustic monitoring means that only those who actually need assistance get it, those who are sound asleep do not get disturbed and carers can concentrate on more productive tasks. So, in this new COVID-19 and Digital world what other new solutions are on the horizon? Nurse call devices around a care home become intelligent enough to identify a resident in need. Already we can measure changes in levels of noise, but monitoring light, temperature coupled with wearable devices monitoring vital signs, now a deterioration in a resident’s wellbeing can raise an alert or be recorded. A resident ‘connected’ with a wearable device can have their movement, location, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure etc., monitored automatically. Instead of intrusive, often unsocial physical monitoring, at-risk residents have vital signs checked and recorded continuously. If an emergency occurs, the nurse call system will still summon help, only now one of its key functions will be to record, store and make available critical data. Thereby reducing the touch points, minimising transmission of disease, freeing up carers time and providing a safer and healthier life for both residents and staff. For further information visit www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert on this page.
Lotus Care Technology The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls. Having many years of experience in
fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit lctuk.com for details.
Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis ever known, we have battled through. At the start of the lockdown we supplied the NHS and Local Authorities with over 2000 bed occupancy detection alarm systems, many of them used to enable long term patients to be discharged from hospital to free up beds for COVID victims. Independent living support was and is essential during this pandemic. Now we launch our new brand. TumbleCare. The TumbleCare brand is a range of fall detection and prevention products focussing on affordable quality and product performance. The products are tough, easy to set, use and provide carers with reliable advance warning notification of potential falls. Visit our website. Firstly, you’ll be amazed at the variety of care solutions we offer, then blown away by our realistically fair pricing. Visit www.easylinkuk.co.uk or see the advert on page 45 for details.
PAGE 52 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION
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.
Wireless Fall Prevention
By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare
The last thing any care home wants to have to deal with is an elderly resident falling in their home. However, with over 255,000 hospital admissions in England a year relating to the elderly suffering injury after a fall, being alert and aware as soon as a fall happens is critically important in the administration of aid; as well as helping reduce emotional distress. For years, the care industry has used a tremendous range of call alert solutions to help care home staff respond to these falls quickly and easily. The most popular and regularly used of these are systems which plug in to nurse call systems. Nonetheless, these come with their own issues and can often create their own risks in regard to falling; largely in the use of trailing cables that need to be plugged in to make them work. These potential trip hazards can cause the exact issues they are trying to prevent. But with new innovations come new solutions, and we are increasingly seeing a range of wireless solutions that provide a variety of benefits. Below we list things to look out for when selecting these systems:
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
We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain? We may have just the part and expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further exten-
Care home staff cannot be chained to their desk and need to be checking on residents and conducting all the duties that are required to create a smooth-running home, filled with happy residents. A wireless alert that can be carried in a pocket allows the user to respond as swiftly as possible to potential falls, helping homes provide the highest level of care. A centralized alert system is an option that also presents many benefits, as homes can ensure that the right person in the right place is alerted in a timely manner. Making sure that a system works both centrally and on the move, giving you the best range of options to help provide a high level of care.
While this might very well be viewed as a smaller issue, nurse call systems come with a huge variety of plug types; and ensuring that your receivers have the correct plugs for your call system is key.
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. See the advert on this page for details. sion to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 53
TRAINING Free 30 Day No-Obligation Trial Access to Our High Speed Training Endorsed By Skills for Care ESS Care Industry-Leading TENDERTRACKER 100’s of Care Funding Opportunities When you subscribe we will give you a free no-obligation one-month trial of the ESS TENDERTRACKER. PLUS Free access to accredited online Level 2 CARE CERTIFICATE COURSES plus many others once your full membership is confirmed at the end of your 30 day Free Trial Period. Monthly Subscribers access to 5 Free courses at ESS Online Learning worth a minimum of £210 Annual Subscribers access to 10 Free courses at ESS Online Learning worth a minimum of £420 And remember our online learning offer includes 25+ courses which count towards the Level 2 Care Certificate. ESS Online Learning: https://essassist.co.uk/online-learning/
PLUS • Weekly priority notifications of tenders and funding opportunities • Daily notifications of your tender interest requests sent directly to your inbox • Access to supply chain funding opportunities • Access to the ESS Care bid writing team with in excess of over £350m bid wins Commercial Care Providers - We offer special discounted commercial rates for all our ESS Online Learning Courses enquire at: email.essassist.co.uk For further details, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01977 705203. Register on the ESS Care TENDERTRACKER for further details essassist.co.uk/care/tendertracker-opportunities/
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, roleplay and practise with nostalgic materials, carers can feel more equipped to engage and enrich social care. Packages include demonstration materials to use during your workshop. Training Scripts and engagement materials can be created to suit your organisation, care team requirements and resident interests. Ideal for home care services too - Help your carers engage
and create meaningful moments during visits. With Covid19’s restrictions and safety procedures, it makes sense to train your care teams on site. ‘Bringing your care teams together can build carer confidence, boost morale and uplift mood. If a carer feels good, this will reflect on the the person being cared for’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design. Passionate about helping people living with dementia to live well, Happy Days also supplies nostalgic displays, reminiscence baskets, conversation prompts and more - See The Carer front page or Shop Online: www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk We accept NHS purchase order numbers and care home accounts. Phone Gillian direct on: 07971-953620 or see the advert on page 1.
High Speed Training is proud to announce that we’re a Skills for Care endorsed training provider! This means our online training courses make a significant difference, not only to the learner but also to the person accessing care and support. Skills for Care Endorsed Provider What Does it Mean for High Speed Training Learners? Our mission has always been to deliver training that helps people to be engaged, effective and safe in the career they’ve chosen. We work tirelessly to ensure all our online courses are relevant and meaningful to a variety of sectors and roles. Skills for Care endorsement is a trusted quality mark only awarded to the best learning and development providers within the social care sector. We welcome High Speed Training to Skills for Care
endorsement. They’ve demonstrated dedicated commitment to the core requirements, such as effective leadership and management, robust quality assurance, equal opportunities for staff development as well as keeping learners central to all learning and development. We look forward to working with High Speed Training in the future. Receiving Skills for Care endorsement is highly significant for our learners who work in social care and demonstrates our commitment to constantly providing the best training and support we possibly can. Businesses all over the world have been using their resources to help during the COVID-19 pandemic wherever they can. We worked hard to develop a course that would inform people how to use PPE safely. This information was so important that we gave the course away for free to those who work in front line healthcare. To this date, we have trained over 6,000 people in safe PPE practices for free. For more information and guidance related to COVID19, simply visit www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/ covid-19-courses-resources/
Care Certificate by Laser Learning During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were furloughed, whilst others (such as those in Care Homes and the NHS) bravely worked on the frontline and continue to do so. Here at Laser Learning, we are proud to have supported both of these groups, in different ways. This was achieved through the Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling
care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to help the ongoing development of skills and expertise of both furloughed staff, who had the silver lining of time on their side, as well as those working through the pandemic amidst concerns of job security. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and Spread of Infection’ and ‘Infection Control and Prevention’ – were especially popular during this period. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on email@example.com or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on this page for further details.
PAGE 54 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32
Business Support and Survival Guide for Care Homes During Covid-19
Article supplied by insolvency firm AABRS (www.aabrs.com)
receive at least 77% of their usual pay. Find out more here.
The pressures facing the adult social care sector over the last six or seven months have put care homes across the UK under immense strain. The human cost of the pandemic has been tragic and unprecedented, but as the outbreak lingers on, it’s not just the health implications that care homes are having to battle against. The financial strain is continuing to mount, with many businesses already at breaking point. In this guide, we will explore the financial issues the UK’s care homes are facing, detail the government support that’s available and take a look at the rescue measures that could help you come through this difficult time.
WHAT ELSE CAN STRUGGLING CARE HOMES DO TO SURVIVE DURING COVID-19? If your care home is running out of money fast, does not have a steady stream of prospective residents waiting to be admitted and has received all the government support you are eligible for, there are other options available to you. Like any other private sector business, you should explore the external sources of funding that are available to you. There are also informal and formal procedures you can access that could potentially save your business.
WHAT FINANCIAL ISSUES DO THE UK’S CARE HOMES FACE DURING COVID-19?
Explore alternative funding options
Experts are predicting that up to 1,000 care homes could go bust in wake of the Covid crisis. These are just a few of the issues that are putting the UK’s care homes in such a precarious position.
Falling new admissions and resident numbers Reports suggest that new admissions into care homes have halved in the wake of coronavirus. According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were also more than 30,000 excess deaths in care homes up to 12 June. Add to that the large number of residents who have been removed by their families from an environment they believe is risky and it’s easy to see why occupancy rates have fallen. With occupancy rates down, the income of many care homes has taken a significant hit, creating a shortfall in cash flow. Unfortunately, there are few ways for care homes to raise revenues to plug this gap. Although some financial support is given to care homes by local authorities, care homes receive the majority of their funding from residents’ fees. That means, when occupancy rates fall, there’s no financial safety net to fall back on as there would be in the public sector. Increased costs associated with PPE While revenues for many care homes have been falling, costs have been rising. Disposable PPE such as gloves, masks and gowns, as well as hand sanitiser and additional cleaning products, have all become essential items for care homes, adding to their overheads at a time when cash flow is already tight. Sourcing PPE in the first instance is a time-consuming job given the shortages across the country. Even if a reputable supplier can be found, the increased demand has sent prices soaring. Care Home England estimates that the average cost of adequate PPE per patient, per week, has risen from just £4 before the outbreak to as much as £253 at present. That’s due both to the increase in the amount of PPE required to keep workers and residents safe and the inevitable price hikes.
Staff shortages and rising costs The sector has been woefully understaffed for a long time. However, with workers now having to self-isolate if they, a member of their household or someone they have been in contact with displays Covid symptoms, staff shortages are becoming critical. That has made care homes even more reliant on agency staff. Agencies in the sector charge a highly inflated rate to provide workers to cover these absences. On average, the cost of an agency care home worker is 40% more than a permanent member of staff, which is an additional cost many care homes could do without. The use of agency staff is also associated with higher Covid infection rates, with research from the ONS showing residents and staff were 1.58 and 1.88 times more likely to be infected in homes that used agency staff than those that did not use them at all.
Insurance premium hikes The excess deaths in UK care homes have led to a dramatic increase in the number of legal cases that are being commenced by family members of deceased residents. Unlike the NHS, care homes have not been given indemnity during the crisis, which means if they are successfully sued, they are liable to pay compensation and the claimants’ legal costs. In response, the insurance providers that cover these costs have increased the price of their premiums by as much as 800%. With insurance premiums skyrocketing, some care homes could decide to turn higher risk patents away rather than face a barrage of legal claims.
WHAT GOVERNMENT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO CARE HOMES DURING COVID-19? Given these additional financial pressures in a sector that was already struggling, it’s not surprising that care homes are running out of money. For many, external funding from the private sector is unavoidable, but it’s also well worth checking that you have received all the support you can access from the government. The government support available includes:
Infection control measures Care homes in England will receive an additional £546m in funding to try to reduce the transmission of coronavirus during the winter, bringing the total amount of support for infection control measures in care homes
in England to more than £1.1bn. The purpose of this fund is to support adult social care providers, including those who do not have a contract with the local authority, to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission. The funding must be used for Covid-19 infection control measures that include: • Ensuring that staff who are self-isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages when doing so. • Ensuring that staff members only work in one care home so far as is possible, including staff who work across several homes for one provider. • Limiting staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings. • Segregating Covid-19 positive residents. • Stocking up on personal protective equipment. • Taking steps to limit the use of public transport by members of staff. That could be by providing changing facilities and secure bike storage for staff who can cycle or using local taxi firms. • Providing accommodation for staff who choose to stay separately from their families to limit social interaction outside of work. That could be through the provision of accommodation on-site or in partnership with local hotels. Every local authority has been allocated a proportion of this funding and providers must account for all payments from the Infection Control Fund and keep appropriate records.
Provision of PPE Some local authorities are assisting adult social care providers by sourcing additional stocks of PPE which are being made available to care homes free of charge where an emergency supply is needed.
Additional capacity for hospital discharge Working with care homes, some local authorities are purchasing beds on a block basis to provide additional capacity to meet the demand to accept patients who have been discharged from hospital. This will provide guaranteed income for care homes to boost cash flow and increase service capacity.
Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme The Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme (CBILS) has been extended until 30 November 2020, so care homes that require a boost to working capital can still apply for funding. Loans of as much as £5 million are available over a term of up to six years. The government pays the interest and fees on the loan for the first 12 months and gives the lender a guarantee for 80% of the total loan value. The big four banks, namely HSBC, Barclays, The RBS Group and Lloyds, have agreed not to ask for personal guarantees for the remainder of the loan on loan amounts of less than £250,000. That makes them the choice banks to apply to. The Coronavirus Business Loan Scheme can also give you access to: • Overdrafts • Invoice finance facilities • Asset finance facilities
VAT Payment Deferral VAT registered businesses were able to defer their VAT payments for the period between 20 March to 20 June 2020. Care homes that chose to defer their VAT payments would ordinarily have to pay the sum they owed for this period by 31 March 2020. However, they now have the option to split this cost into monthly, interest-free payments that will be made over 2021-2022. That means businesses will not have to pay their VAT liability from that period in full until the end of March 2022, which may help to boost their cash flow position. You have to opt-in if you wish to make monthly, interest-free VAT payments over 2021-2022. You can find out more here.
Job Support Scheme If falling new admissions and a reduction in patient numbers have left you with more staff than you need, the furlough scheme continues until 1 November in its current form. At that point, it will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, which tops up the wages of employees who work at least one-third of their normal hours. The government and the care home will foot the bill for one-third of the remaining wages, so employees will
Covid-specific government funding is unlikely to be the only source of finance available to you. These days, there are several alternative funding methods that could help to alleviate your cash flow concerns. For example, many care homes are asset rich but cash poor. In that case, you could use assets such as vehicles, equipment and property as security for a loan. Asset refinancing is another option you could consider. If you have hire purchase agreements on company-owned assets, asset refinancing could free up the short-term capital you need. In this form of funding, a refinance company will pay off the balance of the hire-purchase agreement so you can access the equity. This could be an effective way of addressing a cash flow shortfall. Alternatively, care homes that invoice businesses as well as private patients could use invoice finance to release the value tied up in those payments. Rather than waiting for 30, 60 or even 90 days for an invoice to be paid, an invoice finance provider will pay you up to 90% of the cash tied up in the invoice within 24 hours of it being issued to the business customer. The finance provider will then collect the money from the customer when the payment is due and pay you the balance, minus their fee.
Negotiate with your creditors If you have bills that you are struggling to repay, the best approach is always to contact your creditors at your earliest opportunity to let them know what is going on and explain the position you are in. Creditors such as suppliers and landlords understand that the current situation is very difficult for businesses of every kind, particularly care homes, and they may be willing to give you more time to repay your debts. If you intend to negotiate the repayment of your debts with your creditors, make sure you are prepared. Know exactly how much you can afford to repay per month, over what term and come up with a repayment amount that is affordable and realistic. An amount that’s too low may not be accepted, while an amount that’s too high may cause you to default on the agreement and damage the positive relationships you have developed with your creditors.
Ask HMRC for more Time to Pay If you are struggling to pay a tax bill that is not covered by the government’s Covid-support package, you should contact HMRC on 0300 200 3835 to discuss your situation with an adviser. You may be able to make a Time to Pay arrangement, which will give your business additional time, usually 12 months, to pay your outstanding tax liabilities. During this time, interest and penalty charges will be frozen to make the payments more manageable. However, you will have to pay all other tax liabilities not covered by the agreement when they become due or the Time to Pay arrangement will be in default. That will harm your chances of reaching a similar agreement in the future.
Enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) If your care home is unable to pay its bills when they become and is therefore insolvent, one option that will allow you to continue trading while repaying your creditors over time is a CVA. A Company Voluntary Arrangement is a formal insolvency procedure that allows for the full or part payment of your debts over a period of up to five years. A licensed insolvency practitioner will be appointed to draw up proposals on your behalf that must be accepted by 75% of your creditors by the value of debt. If the proposals are accepted, all creditor pressure and ongoing legal action will cease and no more interest charges can be applied to the debt. As long as you continue to meet the terms of the CVA by making the agreed repayments every month, you will be free to trade your way out of trouble.
WHAT OTHER ORGANISATIONS CAN PROVIDE COVID SUPPORT FOR CAREHOMES? Business Debtline Phone: 0800 197 6026, Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, or webchat with an advisor StepChange Debt Charity Phone: 0800 138 1111, Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, or webchat with an advisor TaxAid Phone: 0345 120 3779, Mon–Fri 10am–12midday HMRC Business Payment Support Helpline Phone: 0300 200 3835, Mon-Fri 8am-8pm & Sat-Sun 8am-4pm
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 32 | PAGE 55
Are You and Your EU Citizen Workers Prepared for Brexit? By Jane Biddlecombe, associate solicitor and immigration specialist at Paris Smith (www.parissmith.co.uk)
The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and brings big changes for any EU citizen who wants to come and live and work in the UK. There are two key deadlines looming: 1. Any EU citizen who wants to live and work in the UK without restrictions post Brexit must be living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (and be able to prove it) 2. Any EU citizen who wants to continue to live and work in the UK must apply through the EU Settlement Scheme for either pre-settled status (if they have less than five years’ residence in the UK) or settled status (if they have five years’ residence or more in the UK) by 30 June 2021 If a EU citizen does not take these steps, as of 1 July 2021, they will no longer have the right to live and work in the UK and could be subject to immigration enforcement action. What should employers do now regarding their EU citizen workers? All employers should act now to: • Review their workforce • Identify those EU citizens who may be affected by these new rules • Inform them of the need to apply for pre-settled or settled status • Provide them with support to make sure they continue to have the right
to live and work in the UK after Brexit If EU citizens have not complied with these requirements by 30 June 2021, it will be illegal for any UK employer to employ them to work in the UK. They would not pass the right to work checks that all employers need to carry out - and the employer would be at risk of penalties and sanctions from the UK government. Whilst an employer is likely to be able to follow a fair process to end an employment contract legally in this situation, this is obviously something employers want to avoid. It’s therefore in everyone’s interests for employers to educate their employees and proactively manage this process over the coming months. When should employers start this process and complete it by? Although the deadline for EU citizens to obtain pre-settled or settled status is 30 June 2021, don’t leave this process until the last minute. We strongly recommend you do as much as possible to try and secure your workforce’s future by December 2020 and work towards this date as far as possible. This will give time for any remaining issues to be dealt with in the grace period from January to June 2021. What will the rules be for EU nationals who first come to the UK after 1 January 2021? EU nationals who want to come to work in the UK from 1 January 2021 and who aren’t already based in the UK will need a skilled worker visa under the new points-based immigration system that will be in place from 1 January 2021.
Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance
Global assists clients throughout the U.K. who specialise in the healthcare sector to achieve their objectives of purchase, development and refinance. We have organised over £1.8bn for clients in the past 30 years, providing clients with competitively priced funding to refinance existing debt, ease cashflow and develop businesses further. From helping clients make their first purchase through to allowing groups to grow significantly in
size we assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A substantial Grade II Listed former manor house in grounds of over 5 acres. It has been used as a residential home in recent years and offers 36 single rooms, together with ancillary accommodation. The property requires refurbishment and redecoration throughout. Offers In Excess of £2,000,000.
Further details available
01782 713444 / 01785 850866 www.hinsonparry.co.uk
To employ these EU nationals you will need to be registered as a sponsor with a sponsor licence and be able to meet the requirements of the new points-based immigration system. Applying for a sponsor licence can currently take up to eight weeks, and it is anticipated that there will be a surge in demand at the end of the year so future applications may take longer. A priority option that takes only ten working days will be available, but such applications will require the payment of an additional fee of £500 and will be limited to ten applications per day, on a first come first served basis.
Hinson Parry Hinson Parry offers a multi disciplinary property service providing a wide and comprehensive range of services to business and individuals. We are Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, Valuers, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Consultants, Land and Estate Agents. Based in Staffordshire, in the heart of the
Midlands, Hinson Parry has a wealth of expertise and experience encompassing local market knowledge as well as operating on a national basis. Visit www.hinsonparry.co.uk
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The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...
Published on Dec 2, 2020
The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...