The Carer Digital - Issue #34

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W W W. T H E C A R E R U K . C O M

The Carer Digital



Issue 34

Warning Progress in Resuming Care Home Visiting is Stalling

Concerns have been raised that many older people living in care homes will not be reunited with their nearest and dearest by Christmas, as the Government has pledged, unless something changes fast. A new report by charity Age UK, “Behind the headlines: why in-person care home visiting must get going again”, lays bare the intense suffering experienced by many older people and their families and friends as a result of their enforced separation throughout much of the pandemic. Age UK says this shows it is vital that care home visiting happens again in person, as widely and as quickly as possible. The Government’s latest guidance says allowing visiting should be the default in every care home unless it is unsafe there because of a COVID-19 outbreak, and Age UK agrees this is the right approach. However, reports suggest many families are yet to be reunited,

with no hope immediately in sight. To inform the report Age UK carried out a snapshot survey of 2732 people with which it is in contact, meaning that the study was not representative. Four in five (81%) of the people who responded had a loved one living in a residential or nursing care home. The other one in five (19%) were residents of care homes or nursing homes, or people who live in or who have a loved one who lives in supported accommodation. The survey was open from 23/10/20 to 09/11/20. The key findings from the survey include: • 70% said that they had not been able to visit or see their loved one since the start of the pandemic. • 34% or one in three said that they had been offered no alternative to in person visiting, such as a videocall

• Nearly 70% of those who said they had been unable to visit their loved one since the start of the pandemic, also added that digital and phone communication was not a good alternative to in person visits in their case • 45% of family, friends and residents who had been able to visit each other during the pandemic, said that seeing their loved ones in person was vital because their loved one couldn’t use digital options. A key theme that came through the findings was how terrible many families felt because they knew that their loved one would not understand why they weren’t visiting them, and would feel abandoned and unloved. This was a particular fear when the older person in question was suffering with dementia.



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 I am delighted to see a story this week stating that the pandemic has inspired a new generation of nursing students. I think most of the country was fearful that the pandemic might have deterred people from entering nursing care. The residential and nursing care sector, which has always suffered staffing problems, found itself in the eye of the storm when the pandemic broke. So it has been refreshing to see a generation embracing the primary care nursing sector, and I do hope postBrexit that we will see a surge in people wanting to enter the residential and nursing care sector. Particularly with the hospitality sector being so devastated. That sector was the 3rd largest employer the United Kingdom and has borne the brunt of job losses, and with the residential and nursing care sector constantly having staffing issues I do hope those who have unfortunately lost their jobs in the hospitality sector will consider a career in care. It was also refreshing to see that fatalities in care homes has fallen for the first time since September. We here at THE CARER are right at the coalface, liaising with many care environments, industry observers and experts and of course suppliers to the trade, and we know just how incredibly hard the sector has worked to ensure that care environments are as safe as they possibly can be. Which leads on to the issue of visits. Once again the issue of care home visits is top of the agenda. According to the government advice all care homes – regardless of Tier – and except in the event of an active outbreak – should seek to enable: • Indoor visits where the visitor has been tested and returned a negative result • Outdoor visiting and ‘screened’ visits • Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be enabled – see section 2.4 below • In all cases it is essential that visiting happens within a wider care home environment of robust Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, including ensuring that visitors follow (and are supported to follow) good practice with social distancing, hand hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use. • In the event of an outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting


Peter Adams

(except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors.

However, we are living in fast-moving times. Yesterday it was reported that new variant of coronavirus has been found which is growing faster in some parts of England. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the new variant. He said there was "nothing to suggest" it caused worse disease or that vaccines would no longer work, however in the coming days that might very well change. And this is where the public must play its part. There is a real fear of a third Covid wave. And while the Prime Minister has confirmed at the time of writing that the relaxation of lockdown rules the Christmas period will go ahead, we can all play our part in being sensible. And that may mean foregoing the long-awaited family get-togethers. Two leading medical journals - The Health Service Journal and British Medical Journal - said easing the rules is a "rash decision" that will "cost many lives". Several scientists and health advisers have also cautioned the public about the risks. "Even though we're permitted to do this, I think people have to think very carefully whether they can see loved ones outside or do it in a very, very modest way," public health expert Prof Linda Bauld said. Disappointing though it may be, we may have to rethink the Christmas relaxation rules and I will not be in the least at all prized if this time next week they had changed!

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LAST DAY - UNSUNG HERO AWARD! Once again, I would draw your attention to our Unsung Hero award! We are getting some fantastic nominations coming in, a small gesture on our part to reward somebody within the residential and nursing care sector (and there are many) who has gone that extra mile and deserves that little bit of recognition! (See page 17 for more details). 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 TODAY 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

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Warning Progress in Resuming Care Home Visiting is Stalling (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) In some instances, underlying feelings of acute guilt because of having agreed to Mum or Dad, husband or wife, going into a care home had been brought painfully back to the surface by the circumstances created by the pandemic. Others said that their loved one had always been frightened that living in a care home would cut them off from their family, making them lonely, and that now this was happening they felt to blame, even though it was not their fault. All these feelings were made worse by the realisation that time was not on the side of many of the older people. The report contains many heart-rending quotes from respondents: “It is bad enough having to have had the need to put a loved one in a home. With lack of contract and unable to take them out for visits home and contact with family it is even more guilt to contend with. Life is passing us by, time that can never be retrieved. I don't want mum to die away from family a thing she has always dreaded and I promised would not happen.” “I feel so very sad, tearful, I miss my hubby so very much we’ve been married 49 years I want to see him and be with him, I used to visit daily and this is torture for me and him!! He has Huntington’s disease and at the end of his life I’m sure this will be his last year” “Although we speak on the phone [my husband] is confused about why I'm not there and tells me all the time he just needs to see me.... He went into care during lockdown, so I feel lonely and almost as though I am a widow grieving even though I am not.” “My dad is totally deaf and I have to use a white board to communicate due to his hearing aids being lost! It’s so difficult communicating with him and not being able to give him a cuddle or hold his hand is dif-

ficult. He’s 95yrs old with dementia and prostate cancer.” “It's cruel and unfair to keep me apart from my 94yr old blind mum when l don't know how long she's got left. She's extremely lonely and depressed and is definitely losing the will to live” An especially sad section of the report focuses on the awful situation of those whose relatives died in care homes, whether of COVID-19 or from other causes, without the opportunity to say goodbye. “I was his support for 60 yrs and was not able to say goodbye at the end - I know in my heart that no one else is to blame but still feel as though I had no closure. Lots of people must feel the way I do and I am deeply sorry for them all.” “My grandad was going to die, we knew that it was only a matter of time. But the fact that he might have died thinking we abandoned him kills all of my family. And it probably will do for the rest of our lives. I’m only 23 and I would hope I have many years before me. But this will always be a sad thing for me” “My husband was in residential care when lockdown was suddenly implemented. The last time I saw him, we high fived and said see you soon. He died 7 weeks later. We never saw each other again.” Against the backdrop of these deeply upsetting findings Age UK is calling on everyone involved in social care – central and local government, care home managers and staff, local Directors of Public Health – to ensure that in person care home visiting gets going again now and that this really does become and remains the default position for the rest of the pandemic. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Now that the Government has said that visiting should take place in care homes unless a local outbreak makes it too unsafe it’s really important this

actually happens. “Our new report demonstrates a depth of suffering among all those care home residents and families kept apart by the virus that’s tough to read about, let alone experience. Our hearts go out to the hundred of thousands caught up in this tragedy; it’s clear that for some, their sadness and despair are almost unbearable and in the case of families left behind following bereavement, something that is likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives.” “Most of the families who responded to our survey had been unable to see or speak to their loved one for the best part of a year. Now visiting is supposed to be happening again it’s crucial that the Government's pledge is delivered; every day counts and we know that for some it’s already too late.” “It’s extremely disappointing that even with the Government’s new guidance encouraging in person visiting when the right precautions are in place many older people and their loved ones are still waiting to meet up, with no hope of that changing particularly soon. As one barrier is overcome another always seems always to take its place, whether it’s the pronounced risk aversion of some care home chains and their insurers, or a lack of confidence in Lateral Flow Tests among some local authorities.” “Meanwhile, while these debates go on, far too many older people and their families are stuck in limbo, agonising over whether they’ll ever see each other again. For their sake above all we call on everyone involved - central and local Government, care managers and staff, and local Directors of Public Health, to pull out the stops to get in person visiting up and running. Meeting their loved ones again is the Christmas present many older people in care homes and their families crave, a gift beyond compare."

Christmas Cards Bring Joy to All Ages in Nottingham After a difficult year, the teams at New Care’s Ruddington Manor Care Centre and The Grand Care Centre, located in Wilford and West Bridgford respectively, decided to bring joy to its residents in the form of Christmas cards, written by pupils from local primary schools. Children from Parkdale Primary School, in Carlton, sent 66 Christmas cards to the residents at Ruddington Manor, each with a personalised message of hope written inside. Mr Hillier, headteacher at Parkdale Primary School, comments: “The children have loved making their cards and really wanted to spread some festive joy in these challenging times. We focus very strongly on making a positive contribution to our community and caring for others; this is a fun and appropriate way to do that. Merry Christmas everyone!” Ruddington Manor resident, Jayne Brenan, adds: “I used to be a teacher and have loved receiving these cards from the children. I can’t wait to get through all 66 cards, reading each of the lovely messages.” Amy Simpson, lead wellbeing coordinator at Ruddington Manor, adds: “Receiving the Christmas cards from the school children really brightened up the day for our residents.

They were overwhelmed at receiving 66 Christmas cards and will enjoy opening them all. It’s just what they need right now. “The residents also wanted to share some Christmas joy and decided to send Christmas cards with their own message written inside back to the children. It was fantastic to see so many residents getting involved in this fun, festive activity.” Continuing with the community spirit, the team at The Grand have also organised ‘The Grand’s Give-Back Advent’ which will incorporate daily donations to the local food banks, helping those in need during these particularly hard times. 24 items with be gifted via door drops to neighbours of the care home, with each gift wrapped and including a note from the residents, wishing them goodwill and explaining The Grand’s give-back advent plans. Bridget Peck, Wellbeing Coordinator at The Grand, concludes: “The give-back advent activity is a really thoughtful way of helping those in need in the locality. It is joint effort with staff, relatives of residents and individuals living locally generously donating items for the food banks. We hope it will strengthen bonds with the local community this Christmas and going into the New Year.”


Registered Managers Should Not Be Blamed For Denying Visits To Relatives

By Philippa Shirtcliffe, QCS, Head of Care Quality (

The results of a recent study by the University of Manchester make for hugely depressing reading, but are by no means surprising. They reveal that “10,000 more people may have died in care homes from Covid-19 than previously realised”. The academics, who conducted the research, cited a lack of PPE, poor testing regimes, and care home residents not receiving hospital treatment when they needed it – as “playing a part in the higher figures of deaths”. But statistics don't tell the whole story of what happened this spring in care homes in the UK. They say nothing about how this insidious disease seeped into homes leaving residents – both young and old - gasping for their last breaths. They say nothing about how they died in great pain without their loved ones by their side. Nor can facts and figures ever bring to light the pain, sadness and guilt of families, who through no fault of their own, were often unable to see their relatives before they died. Restrictions around visiting continued until December, 2nd, when the government published new guidance, bowed to pressure from the public, and decreed that “visiting is a central part of care home life” and “must be supported and enabled”. While the government is right to recognise that families have an inalienable right to see their loved ones, its guidance lacks clarity. Instead of publishing a set of clear protocols around visiting, it has thrown a ‘politically hot potato’ to the care sector. In doing so, it has placed a huge weight of responsibility on the shoulders of Registered Managers. The buck essentially stops with them to ensure that “proportionate steps” are taken to “manage risks”. In creating a safe environment for visiting, the government has promised to distribute lateral flow tests to every care home in the land. The problem is that there are major questions marks surrounding the accuracy of these tests. While Oxford University and PHE say that lateral flow tests are accurate enough for community use , a study by the University of Liverpool has revealed that one test picks up infections just over half of the time. The researchers found it be particularly poor in identifying low levels of infection. As a result, Sheffield City Council has instructed care home providers not to use them. In an article published on 11 December, an editorial published by the BMJ was critical of the government’s decision to champion lateral flow testing. It concluded that “whatever decision making process the UK government used, it ignored key evidence and dismissed expert international advice”. It continued, “The result is a considerable burden on care home staff, universities, NHS staff, public health

teams, and schools, with minimal additional safety compared with existing risk mitigation measures. Asymptomatic lateral flow testing is an unhelpful diversion from the important task of vaccination rollout.” Instead of holding the government to account, many tabloids have short-sightedly labelled care providers as being overly officious and lacking compassion. Nothing could be further from the truth. During this crisis, Registered Managers understand better than anybody that there is fine balance to be struck between protecting residents from the virus and making it possible to see their relatives. They are simply suspending visits because it is their duty to keep people safe. In not sharing the burden, the government has put Care Managers in an impossible predicament. Whatever action they take they are likely to face criticism. The government needs to urgently step in. It can help alleviate pressure by commissioning more testing on the accuracy of lateral flows tests. There are several different companies offering the tests and it is clear that some are more accurate than others. If the lateral flow tests are not safe to use, then the government should distribute PCR testing kits to every care home. While they are not a hundred percent accurate and take much longer to reveal a result, I believe it is not a difficult test to manage and would give care home staff, service users, and families the reassurance they need to continue visiting. Secondly, while the test and trace programme has made great strides during the autumn, it is still not as effective as it should be. With families currently only allowed to visit relatives in their tier, central and local government must work even more closely to develop and prioritise track and trace at a more local level. In Britain, this has proved much more difficult than it looks, but where it has been attempted, it has proved to be very successful in driving down local transmission. Thirdly, many care homes have embraced technology during the Pandemic to good effect. While video conferencing tools have kept service users in touch with their relatives, tracking tools, can also add great value. Take QCS’s Visitor Tracking tool, for instance. It informs visitors, based on their recent movements, whether they can or cannot visit relatives. Not only does it show who has been in and out of care home in the last 21 days, it also checks when relatives last did lateral flow tests. The information can be uploaded in seconds at the click of a button, and while – on its own – it certainly cannot be regarded as a panacea – as one of a raft of measures it can help keep the infection rate down. With infections rates likely to soar after the Christmas break, support from the government in employing these ground-breaking measures, could be the difference in visits going ahead and not. To find out more about QCS’s Visitor Tracking tool, please see link below: To join QCS, contact our compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email See the advert on the back page for details.

Manchester Care Home Colleague ‘Braves the Shave’ for Macmillan Cancer Support An extraordinary colleague at HC-One’s Kings Park care home in Ashton-UnderLyne, Manchester has had all of her hair cut off, to raise money for a charity close to her and the homes heart. Gail Rabbits, Senior Care Assistant at Kings Park ‘Braved the Shave’ on 27th November, to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support. Gail wanted to take part in the ‘Brave the Shave’ initiative as she has lost family and friends to cancer and wanted to shower her appreciation and gratitude to this amazing charity, that does so much for those suffering from the disease. Kings Park regularly hold Macmillan coffee mornings, which the Residents, Colleagues and Relatives at the home really enjoy. The coffee mornings are an oppor-

tunity for the community to come together in the home but have recently been restricted due to the coronavirus, but this gave Gail even more reason to raise money for the charity. Lisa Joy, Home Manager at Kings Park was chosen to cut Gail’s hair, which she was more than happy to do. Overall, after gathering donations from Colleagues, friends and family, Gail managed to raise £286 for Macmillan Cancer Support, all on her birthday, too. “Well done to Gail. I am so proud that you braved the shave for such an amazing charity close to everyone’s heart, you look amazing and a huge ‘Happy Birthday’ also form everyone at Kings park,” said Lisa, Kings Park Home Manager.

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Carers Call for Christmas Covid Caution

ANXIOUS care providers are urging caution over the Christmas period as they fear a third wave of Covid-19 after the festive break. The call comes after latest figures showed a further 544 people had died from coronavirus in care and nursing homes across England and Wales. The Independent Care Group (ICG) is worried that the Government has opened the door to further Covid-19 infections by relaxing restrictions over Christmas. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and we are seeing infection rates rise again in many parts of the country. The last thing we need is for the Christmas period to spark a third wave before we have the chance to make progress on the vaccine programme. “The Government said restrictions could be relaxed over Christmas but maybe that is sending the wrong message. Of course, we all want to see our loved ones, and nobody wants to spoil the Christmas spirit. But just at this critical period maybe we all have to heed what ministers are

now saying and do the minimum over Christmas and keep the celebrations until we are free from Covid-19. “In care settings we look after the most vulnerable and most susceptible to Covid-19 and have seen up close the tragedy it brings to our loved ones. We have come so far and with vaccinations starting it would be awful to take a backward step now and let the virus take a hold again.” Today’s figures show that 544 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 4th December, a slight fall on 571 the previous week. Some 18,434 people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December and 4th December. Mr Padgham added: “Any fall in deaths is welcome news, but we have to be guarded and wait to see if there is a lag in the figures and we see deaths rise again following the end of the total lockdown.” 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.

Care Home Residents To Get Vaccinations This Week A designated care home in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be the first in Wales to receive the vaccine, with teams in additional Health Boards taking the vaccine to care homes later this week. The initial roll-out of the vaccine to care home staff, health and social care workers and those aged 80 and over began on Tuesday 8th across the UK, based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Wales and other UK administrations are guided by these recommendations. There had been concerns about maintaining the stability of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine outside hospital vaccination centres as it usually needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees centigrade. The Welsh Government has discussed at length with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the vaccine’s manufacturer how to repackage and transport the vaccine without compromising the standards of safety and efficacy patients rightly expect. This meant that until now it had not been efficient to take the vaccine to care home residents. This will mean Health Boards can take the vaccine to settings with at least five residents, rather than using it only in static vaccination centres. It will take a number of days to train staff and ensure standard procedures are drawn up and validated. At first the vaccine will be issued to care homes in proximity to hospital pharmacies, but it is planned for the vaccine to be available in other settings in coming weeks, once learnings from the care home

pilot has been captured. The effects of the vaccine may not be seen nationally for many months and the advice on keeping Wales safe remains the same for everyone; keep contacts with other people to a minimum, keep a 2 metre distance from others, wash hands regularly, wear a face covering where required and avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible. The Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “Following Wales’ successful roll-out of the first COVID vaccine last

week, we are starting the care home resident phase of the programme carefully; however we need to continue to make sure we can safely transport the vaccine to people who can’t come to clinics. “If all goes well this week, we will start the roll out of vaccinations ahead of Christmas, bringing a new level of protection to some of our most vulnerable people. “Our NHS staff have done a fantastic job to get this first vaccine out in a safe and timely manner. I’m extremely grateful for their hard work on this and across the course of the pandemic.” Dr Gill Richardson, Chair of Wales’ COVID-19 Vaccine Programme, said: The delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine to care home staff and residents has always been a priority for the Welsh Government. We have been working for months to meet the challenges of distribution and believe we have a feasible solution which we will deploy at pilot sites from Wednesday. Care home staff have been offered immunisation at Health Board centres whilst awaiting the mobile model to commence.” “We are now very confident NHS hospitals can safely repackage and transport vaccine to care home without compromising its stability. As further supplies become available and additional vaccines receive MHRA approval, a staged approach will see other groups be offered the vaccine, based on risk of serious complications and deaths. People are urged to wait to be invited, which will happen through NHS systems. Please do not ask your pharmacist or GP.


Sunrise Senior Living UK And Gracewell Healthcare Scoop Two Major Awards Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare have won two awards at this year’s BOC International Brilliance Awards. The care provider was named as the winner of the ‘Brilliance in Customer Service Award’ and received the Gold Award for ‘Brilliance in PR/Communications’ for their #CelebrateCareHomes campaign. The care home provider, which operates 46 care homes across England and Wales, won the Brilliance in Customer Service Award in recognition of their efforts to continue providing industry-leading care to their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of their efforts to protect the safety and wellbeing of residents across their care homes, Sunrise and Gracewell have implemented a ‘Meaningful Contact’ model. This model has formed the basis to delivering enhanced, meaningful contact between residents and their loved ones which has dramatically improved the emotional and physical wellbeing of those who have participated. One family member who had used this innovative service, said: “Thank you so much for organising the enhanced visiting for my mum. Since you have introduced the enhanced visiting, it has made such a difference. We are at least able to see each other in doors, have a relaxed socially distance conversation and even play a game of cards.” The care home provider also effectively managed the immediate impact of the pandemic when it first broke-out earlier this year. After making the difficult but necessary decision to close their care homes to all visitors, team members at Sunrise and Gracewell facilitated hundreds of video calls between residents and their loved ones to ensure that

valuable contact was able to continue. Sunrise and Gracewell’s #CelebrateCareHomes campaign also won the Gold Award for Brilliance in PR/Communications during the virtual awards ceremony on 3rd December. The campaign, which was launched in July 2020, sought to challenge the damaging media narrative against care homes as the effect of COVID-19 became increasingly clear. The multifaceted campaign included each Sunrise and Gracewell

care home creating and posting unique videos on TikTok which were shared with the campaign hashtag. Over 75 videos were created as part of the campaign, which went on to receive over 30,000 engagements across the platform. The judging panel were also impressed by the campaign’s success at garnering political support, after numerous care homes wrote open letters to their MPs calling on them to support the campaign and the invaluable work of care homes. These letters went on to receive numerous pieces of press coverage, with one care home securing a front-page feature in their local newspaper. Speaking of their double win at the prestigious Brilliance Awards, Jen Walker, Head of Marketing at Sunrise and Gracewell, said: “Our #CelebrateCareHomes campaign championed the vital work of our care homes as well as all those within the care home sector during the pandemic. To have won a Gold Award for this campaign is a validation of not only the campaign’s success, but of the truly heroic actions of all team members, residents and their family members in the fight against COVID-19. “The entire Sunrise and Gracewell organisation are immensely proud to have also won the Brilliance in Customer Service Award. Our team members have worked tirelessly to ensure that our residents continued to thrive during the most testing period that the care home sector has faced in a generation. Using this momentum, we’ll continue striving to deliver the best possible services to our residents and their loved ones across each and every one of our care homes.”

Care UK Urges Caution for Care Home Christmas Donation Scam Care UK directors are urging care home managers from other providers to be vigilant after a quick thinking colleague at one of Care UK’s Surrey care homes potentially thwarted a criminal trying to access the home’s bank account A man called one of Care UK’s homes asking for bank details in order to transfer money towards the purchase of Christmas gifts for residents. The caller claimed to be acting on behalf of a deceased resident whose wishes were to donate funds to the home but the resident’s name was not recognised by

details instead. Which, of course, she also refused. The warning has been shared with all 124 of Care UK’s homes but Care UK wanted a wider audience to be on the look-out. Care UK’s Operational Support Manager Jeni Rushton said this wasn’t the first suspicious approach our home teams have received this year and added: “ Thankfully colleagues at our homes have been really vigilant and sensible and not handed out

the home manager. The caller was insistent on taking the bank account details

any bank details. But it is possible this caller will keep trying and we wanted to raise

immediately and when the manager refused, he asked for a colleague’s bank

awareness of this scam to all care home teams, not just our own.”


More Regions To Move To Tier 3 But Is It Enough To Protect The NHS? In his statement to the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that Greater London and parts of both Essex and Hertfordshire will be moved into tier three and also, that a new strain of coronavirus has been identified, which appears to be growing fast in the South East of England and other areas. In response, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “NHS leaders are deeply concerned about the sharp rises in coronavirus in some parts of the country and the worsening impact that will continue to have on their services. “It is right that the Government responds to these concerns by placing more regions of the country into tier three but given the lag between infection and serious illness, coupled with a new strain of coronavirus having been identified, we have to ask

whether these rules will be enough to protect the population in the short term. “This is particularly true given that we are less than two weeks away from restrictions on household socializing being eased significantly over the festive period. “A close eye on enabling the public to follow the rules, such as by providing the home testing kits in the hardest hit areas, is needed, as is ongoing support for the NHS to cope with the ripple effects of these restrictions elsewhere, including further disruption to elective waiting lists and on people’s mental and physical wellbeing. “We are fortunate to be the first country in the world to be rolling out a coronavirus vaccine but it will take time for hospitals and primary care sites to immunize the high risk groups and so, now a time for increased vigilance and realism.”

Octogenarian Models Recreate Iconic Portraits for Fundraiser Dementia care specialist Belong Crewe has released a special 2021 calendar to raise funds for a telescope for the village. Featuring its residents as life models, the project has recreated some of the world’s most iconic portraits for the calendar which can now be enjoyed by the local community. Fourteen of the not-for-profit care village’s residents have modelled as famous paintings for the calendar, including works from some of history’s most renowned artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh and Grant Wood, spanning from 15th century Northern Renaissance to 1930s Modernism. Natalie Ravenscroft, experience coordinator at Belong Crewe, who led the project, explains: “A number of our residents are fascinated by astronomy and our aim is always to indulge their interests, as well as introduce them to new ones. Creating the calendar to help raise telescope funds has been great for fun residents and provides a Christmas gift that can be enjoyed by their loved ones and the wider community, throughout all of 2021.” Belong colleagues stepped outside their usual

roles to become stylists, make-up artists and photographers, working with residents and using recycled materials, props and face paints, to bring their characters to life. The subsequent photoshoot, which took eight hours over the course of two days, saw staff capturing their model’s alter egos for the project. Natalie Ravenscroft continues: “There’s been a real buzz around the village – everyone has been excited to see the final result. Our models really enjoyed getting dressed up, contributing their ideas, and many reminisced about old times from childhood when they used to play dress up or were involved in school plays. It’s been a great success.” For one of the more ambitious photos, Picasso’s ‘Portrait of Dora Marr’, Jean, 85, commented: “The make-up tickled my face and felt so relaxing. I can’t remember having my face painted – it looks bright and joyful.” Another resident, Gillian, 80, spoke of taking on the role of Frida Kahlo and her distinct facial features: “Look at my eyebrows! They are marvellous!”.

Christmas Crafts Bring Joy to Colchester Care Home A residential care home for adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities in Colchester is getting into the Christmas spirit with activities and festive fun for residents during the holiday season. The staff at Newlands care home are making sure that no two days are the same for their residents in the lead up to Christmas by providing a variety of engaging activities, including baking chocolate cakes and flower arranging. Building the traditional gingerbread house proved most popular with residents, as they decorated their confectionary cottages with Smarties and Mike-n-Ikes. Nicola Dolton, service manager, said “We have really enjoyed getting in the festive spirit with our residents after the difficult year that we have had.

Both the team and residents loved baking chocolate cakes, flower arranging and building gingerbread houses and we are all very excited for Christmas.”


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Making Arrangements For Care Home Residents To Visit Family And Friends Over Christmas With A Focus On Risks Associated with COVID-19

By Mary - Teresa Deignan, barrister specialising in healthcare law practising from Temple Garden Chambers (

The challenge faced in arranging for adult care home residents to safely visit family and friends has been the subject of government guidance twice during December 2020. It was first considered in Visits out of care homes published on 1 December, which applies to residential care settings for older people and adults of working age in England (footnote 1) and subsequently in part 7 of the more general guidance for England

for Christmas in Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family, updated on 3 December (footnote 2). The guidance can be read as discouraging visits out of care homes and encouraging instead for consideration to be given to visits to the care home and that visits out should only be considered for those of working age. For the period of 23 to 27 December 2020 residents out visiting family and friends should only mix with people from one household (or a bubble that includes that household plus another that is already connected in a support bubble or childcare bubble) and not become part of a 3household Christmas bubble. All members of the household hosting the visit and the care home resident themselves are advised to: - be tested prior to meeting up and to provide a negative result - limit the number of people they meet for two weeks prior to the visit - maintain social distancing during the visit - wash hands regularly during the visit - let plenty of fresh air into rooms during the visit - consider wearing face coverings during the visit At the conclusion of the visit, the resident will be required to isolate

for 14 days. The objective of a Christmas visit and the practical steps involved to achieve this may be reasonably identifiable. But providers will need to be alert, for each step, to the risks of infection and to put in place appropriate measures to mitigate these risks in order to protect, not only the resident who is undertaking an external visit, but also other residents, staff and visitors to the home. Risk assessments will need to be carefully recorded and kept under review to reduce, not only the repetitional damage likely to arise from an outbreak of an infection of COVID-19 attributable to an external visit, but also the exposure to criminal and/or civil action arising from health and safety legislation. Guidance for Wales can be found at: Guidance for Scotland can be found at: Guidance for Northern Ireland can be found at: 1. 2.

Care Home Workers Recognised with Badges From Government A NEW badge to recognise the work of adult social care has been awarded to every member of Encore Care Homes. The green badges from the Department of Health and Social Care are free to staff to help provide greater recognition of their work day-to-day and particularly their extra efforts throughout the Covid pandemic. There are believed to be 1.6 million social care workers in the UK who look after half a million people every day and who stand amongst the 1.4 million NHS workers on the frontline. Encore Care Homes has teams at Great Oaks in Bournemouth, Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole, and Hamble Heights in Fareham. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has championed the lapel badges for adult social care staff which ensure that people working in homes for older and vulnerable people received the ‘same recognition and benefits’ as NHS staff. Lindsay Rees, Director of Health and Care at Encore Care Homes, said: “We are delighted to receive the care badges to present to the team. It is just a small ges-

ture of goodwill and thanks, but I hope it will provide some formal recognition of how proud we all are to work in adult social care, and how much we value and champion every member of the team.” The badges were presented to each person at Encore Care Homes, which includes care workers, cleaners, catering staff, registered nurses, wellbeing teams, and administrators on a colourful card featuring a thank you message on behalf of their colleagues and the residents that the team look after. Cecilia Thomson, Home Manager at Fairmile Grange, said: “When I told the team that we were going to get these badges, everyone was happy because it makes you proud to wear them. I think people feel valued when they receive something like this and it’s a nationwide initiative so it’s recognisable across the country.” Dave Black, Head Chef at Oakdale Care Home, said: “It’s great to have the badges to recognise what everyone within Encore Care Homes does. I watch these guys work very hard every day and give such good care, so to have this recognised is a great morale boost, especially in these tough times.”

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out a Logistical Minefield for Care Homes? As Britain waits with bated breath to see our elderly loved ones protected, and perhaps a shift towards a more ‘normal’ return to life, what steps can care home managers take to support their colleagues during this increased time of pressure?


With care home residents at the front of the queue for receiving COVID-19 vaccines this winter, Daniel Holmberg, Head of Sales for workforce management solution Quinyx UK (, examines the demands on under pressure care workers. A letter addressed to care workers from the Government in early December outlined its plans for “getting the first vaccine [PfizerBioNTech] to care home staff from the first day that vaccinations are available”. It confirmed that “residents in a care home for older adults and their carers” are in the Group One roll-out. News around the vaccination, and the initial immunisations, have received great praise, and rightly so. Yet there are logistical challenges around first getting the treatment to care homes, let alone the safe administration of it.

Developing a plan that your whole team has fed into and agrees with, from the outset, is invaluable. This means having an accurate overview of all your operations and the scheduling of permanent, temporary, and locum staff. Quinyx carried out research in 2020, which found that a third of health and social care workers would leave their job because of inflexible rotas. So, it’s important to make sure all of your people have a voice and are comfortable with what is being asked of them. Prioritising employee wellbeing and happiness is not only the right thing to do to maintain a contented workforce, but it means employee turnover will be reduced and, it will be easier to attract new recruits. Now more than ever, it is also important that all your team members are doing what they’re trained to do – so be clear on what their skills and attributes are and how, during this transitional period, they can fulfil specific roles. This shouldn’t mean working everyone harder – just smarter. All too easily staff fall into other roles to ‘get the job done’. Understanding why this is happening and making positive steps to change it, will ensure when it comes to roll-out time there’s no ambiguity around the part they have to play. The Government has already provided care home managers with a long list of tasks they need to undertake in preparation for their staff and residents being vaccinated. Effective delegation is therefore going to be essential in juggling it all!


For many care homes the pandemic has already fast-tracked the introduction of digitised systems – be that e-rostering tools, instant communications and even video conferencing to connect residents with their loved ones. Technology is a force for good in the care sector – helping to cut admin time, have better visibility over staff and their skills, provide valuable insights, while allowing managers to be proactive, rather than reactive, with their forecasting. It may seem another thing to add to an already bulging to do list, but the short-term pain of implementing new systems will certainly be worth it. A Quinyx partner recalled how, at the start of the pandemic, they knew their communication had to be timely, relevant, adaptable, scalable, and accessible. They have a multi-generational, multi-ethnic staff group who used a range of platforms to get their information. Finding a communication tool that suited the entire team was a huge logistical challenge but one they needed to face head on. The implementation of this has reaped significant benefits for them.

TAKE TIME TO REFLECT Just like at the start of the pandemic, care homes will again pivot their operations to support the safe roll-out of the vaccination, so ensuring they learn lessons gathered over the last nine months to inform the next six, will help. This is a time for honest reflection – recognising where the stumbling blocks were in 2020, will mean they can be removed for 2021. Despite these unprecedented times, care workers have proven their hard work, dedication, commitment, and resilience. To help support them through this next challenge, they need honest and open communications with managers and peers, transparency relating to expectations and boundaries, and the freedom to do their jobs in a safe and nurturing environment.


Number of Older Workers Shoots Up By a Third as Pandemic Bites With more than 340,000 people aged 50 – 64 years now unemployed, an increase of almost 85,000 on the last quarter (April – June 2020), Age UK is urging the government to help those at risk of longterm unemployment in the run-up to receiving their State Pension. The Charity is warning that with current vacancies in short supply a perfect storm is on the horizon for many over-50s working in sectors badly affected by the pandemic. Even in a buoyant job market systemic ageism can make it extremely difficult for many unemployed older people to find work. Covid-19 has made unemployment an issue across all generations, however for a substantial number of older workers – especially those in their 60s – the pandemic could spell the end of their working lives, with high numbers being made redundant or feeling forced to choose between their jobs and their health or caring responsibilities, leaving them facing an uncertain and rocky financial road to State Pension age (SPA). In a new report by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), Longevity Inequality – sponsored by Age UK and published today – the widening inequality gap between rich and poor in later life even before the pandemic hit is laid bare. The report shows that in the five years between 2012 and 2017, the difference in life expectancy between the most deprived and least deprived individuals (men and women) grew by eight per cent. Even with the Chancellor’s recent announcement of the new ‘Restart’ scheme, Age UK warns the Government must ensure the new scheme along with Jobcentre Plus delivers the support that older jobseekers need to get back into work. With SPA currently at 66 and due to rise to 67, coupled with a further review of the SPA due by 2023, Age UK is calling for urgent government action to safeguard the financial futures of unemployed older workers who are facing a long and difficult wait for their State Pension: • Early access to the State Pension for those within three years of their

State Pension age (SPA) who are unlikely to be able to work again due to caring responsibilities, a disability, or long-term joblessness. • The age of eligibility for vital money benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit lowered to help all older people struggling to manage on a low income. Additionally, take-up should be encouraged to help the millions of older people currently missing out on Pension Credit worth £1.6 billion a year. • Back-to-work support and access to training must be ramped up by the Government to help all unemployed or struggling older workers to find a way back into the workplace. Current government policy is to increase SPA to ensure that individuals, on average, spend approximately a third of their adult life in receipt of their State Pension. Yet the new PPI/ Age UK report sets out how a single SPA can be hugely problematic for those on the lowest incomes, showing that even in non-pandemic times, many older people struggle to make it to SPA through no fault of their own. According to the report, around 50 per cent of those reaching retirement are expected to live long enough to spend a third of their adult life in receipt of SPA. However some segments of the population can expect significantly less of their adult life in receipt of the State Pension. Whilst those on lower incomes are invariably more reliant on the State Pension – currently half of pensioners derive nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of their income from the state – a lower life expectancy means they receive it, on average, for much less time than their wealthier counterparts. In fact, men in the lowest ten per cent receive the State Pension for just over a quarter of their adult life (26 per cent), compared to those in the highest 10 per cent who receive it for a third of theirs (33 per cent) – a difference of six years. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “It’s deeply worrying that there are so many older people falling out of work and struggling to get back in. With the unemployment rate across all generations

shooting up, we need urgent action from the Government to help – they must ensure that the new ‘Restart’ scheme and Jobcentre Plus are delivering the support that older jobseekers need and ensure they are not left on the scrapheap. “The pandemic looks likely to cause lasting damage to the labour market, leaving many older workers unexpectedly facing a deeply challenging and uncertain future. Unless measures are brought in quickly to help them keep their jobs and to support those who lose them, it seems certain that hundreds of thousands will soon be staring prolonged unemployment and premature retirement in the face. “This new report shows just how much inequality there is among older people, even before the pandemic took hold – an important reminder that the differences in income and wealth within generations are greater than those between them. Given the impact of the pandemic on the jobs market, we strongly believe that it is only fair for some groups who are within three years of their State Pension age to have early access to their full State Pension. We are thinking particularly of people who are never likely to be able to work again because of caring responsibilities, a disability, or because their chances of getting another job are particularly slim. Furthermore, the Government should also lower the age of eligibility for benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit to support these older people. Action of this kind would have multiple benefits.” “Unless the Government takes bold action, hundreds of thousands of older people could face a dire end to their working life and a long, painful road to retirement.” Chetan Jethwa, Policy Modeller at the Pensions Policy Institute, said: “On average, people are living longer within the UK. However, the increases in life expectancy are not shared equally among the population. Shifts in healthy life expectancy are also distributed unevenly among the population. The briefing note highlights the changes to

Spread Some Christmas Joy with Stars of Stage and Screen! Amanda Waring talks about her wonderful unique online entertainment for carehomes and staff- Christmas Joy - that includes Stars Virginia McKenna, Miriam Margoyles, TV stars Elizabeth Counsell and David Simeon, world champion close up magician Richard McDougall, and opera singer Charlotte Page, award winning pianist Philip Mountford with of course a visit from Santa and stars of yesteryear including Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. "I have been performing in carehomes since I was eight years old and throughout my life as an Actress from famous theatrical parents Dame Dorothy Tutin and TV star Derek Waring I have always brought live Christmas entertainment to care homes near me with my family joining me. I "t has been a joy to do this and so now especially at this time I wanted to bring online the feeling of a family Christmas with stars of stage and screen to join me in providing

heart warming and feel good entertainment. For this hour long uplifting revue there is something for everyone , a virtual sleigh ride , poetry, jokes, Santa, songs, storytelling , magic and all round good Cheer. Join me with stars Virginia McKenna, Mariam Margoyles,Elizabeth Counsell, Nick Waring world class opera singers , magicians and pianists and Santa of course!" Karen Pirks Learning and Development West Sussex “ It’s wonderful and I have purchased for all the homes in Selsey” "My clients with Dementia didn’t stop smiling the whole way through, it truly brought Joy to our home , thank you Amanda “ To book your carehome a link to this wonderful heartwarming streamed event please email or visit

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A unique uplifting 1 hr online Virtual Christmas Revue Show especially created for care homes and staff with stars of stage and screen. VIRGINIA MCKENNA OBE NARRATES A VIRTUAL SLEIGH RIDE, alongside West End Stars, Musicians and Singers present and past to bring joy and good cheer to all.

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“Can My Employer Make Me Get a Covid-19 Vaccine?”

By Sarah Calderwood, Human Resources and Employment Lawyer at Slater Heelis (

This week has brought exciting advancements in the treatment of Covid-19 as the first Briton received the Pfizer vaccination. As the first 800,000 doses of the vaccine are rolled out in the coming weeks, the UK public is beginning to ask about their rights and whether their employer can force them to be immunised. Sarah Calderwood is a Human Resources and Employment lawyer at Slater Heelis with over 17 years advising on employment related issue has discusses what the rules are when it comes to employers asking staff to get the vaccination. Commenting on the topic, Sarah said: “Under current health and safety legislation, employers have a duty to protect the health of employees, anyone on their premises and anyone else effected by the business. Existing vaccination guidelines state that if a risk assessment finds a risk of exposure to biological agents and effective vaccines exist, employers should offer to provide immunisations to those who are not already immunised, however, employees are at liberty to refuse immunisation.”

DOES MY EMPLOYER NEED TO KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19? “Employers may have to make data protection considerations as the Information Chief Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that an employee’s health information is special category personal data. In the context of vaccinations, a permitted ground for processing special category data would be for heath purposes. However, employers must ensure they are handling their employee’s data with care and the ICO advises that employers only need to obtain confirmation whether the employee has had the vaccine and collecting any more data is unneces-

sary and excessive.”

CAN MY EMPLOYER ADD AN IMMUNISATION CLAUSE TO MY CONTRACT? “If employers want to make the Covid vaccine a contractual requirement, changes in the terms of the contract would need to be agreed by staff. Employers enforcing this change without employees’ express and implied agreement would be in breach of contract and employees would be entitled to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal. Employers could find it difficult to show this change in terms as reasonable and may struggle to introduce this type of agreement for existing employees. “If employers were to introduce an immunisation clause into new starters’ contracts, it would have to be in a reasonable manner which would include consultations with any employees worried about the vaccine for any reason.”

EMPLOYERS CANNOT FORCE THEIR STAFF TO GET THE VACCINE OR DISCIPLINE THOSE WHO REFUSE TO DO SO “Overall, vaccinating employees without their consent would be criminal assault and probably be a repudiatory breach of contract. Although there is no case law, dismissing an employee because they do not want a Covid vaccine would likely be considered unfair dismissal as it is unusual for an employer to force staff to undergo a medical procedure. Vaccine requirements could also subject employers to discrimination claims as individuals may not be able to get vaccinated on health or religious grounds.”

WHAT CAN AN EMPLOYER DO TO ENCOURAGE VACCINATION? “Employers who are keen for their staff to be immunised should write a non-contractual policy outlining the benefits of getting the vaccine and any arrangements for staff to be immunised. Any employees who refuse the vaccine could be met privately to explain the benefits again, but employers should not force or discipline staff who refuse.” Slater Heelis is a full-service law firm based in the North West with an experienced employment law team ready to advise on any disputes which arise due to the vaccination. To find out more, visit the website at or call on: 0161 969 3131.

Christmas Comes To Barchester

The Christmas elves at Barchester Healthcare have been working hard behind the scenes to secure a whole host of exciting and innovative live streamed events to surprise and delight care home residents this Christmas. When it became clear that live entertainment and trips out would still not be possible at Christmas, Barchester’s Resident Experience team swung into action contacting all kinds of different organisations for their help in giving residents a variety of different Christmas treats. The team at Barchester were bowled over by the kindness of the offers they received. Residents are set to enjoy interactive talks and performances from organisations and attractions as diverse as English National Ballet, Blenheim Palace, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the British Army. English National Ballet will be hosting three separate virtual sessions for care home residents based on different aspects of Nutcracker. The first session will be a dance workshop lead by Dance Artist, Laura Harvey with First Soloist, James Streeter, who plays the Mouse King. In the second session, Music Director, Gavin Sutherland, will lead musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic in a performance of excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score from Nutcracker. In the third session, Laura Harvey will talk to costume department manager, Gerry Tiernan, about the beautiful outfits the dancers wear and how they are created. Each session will include an opportunity for residents to meet the cast members and ask questions. Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement said: “We are delighted to be bringing some Nutcracker magic to Barchester care homes this Christmas. We hope these unique sessions provide an uplifting experience and connect residents with

the joy of dance and live music.” Antonia Keaney, Blenheim Palace’s social historian, joined by special guests including TV historian Dan Snow and actress Ruth Madoc, is hosting a series of four interactive tours and talks in the run-up to Christmas, looking at different aspects of the Palace’s history. Antonia will cover a broad range of fascinating topics from Christmases through the ages to fashions worn at the Palace over 300 years, and from life below stairs to the starring role the Palace has played in films including James Bond, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter and Cinderella. “I was delighted to get involved. It has been a tough year for all of us, but my heart really goes out to everyone involved with the care industry and the prospect of being able to offer a little bit of festive cheer was too good to miss,” said Antonia. The world-famous Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set over 500 acres of

stunning scenery in West and South Yorkshire and is home to over 90 pieces of art all displayed in its gallery without walls. Helen Pheby will host a virtual tour of all the major exhibits in the park including breathtaking pieces by artists as diverse as Damien Hirst and Joan Miró. Residents will be transported to the beautiful countryside surrounding the park to find out about the many artistic treasures that can be found there in the fields, hills, lakes and woodland. Helen Pheby comments: “It was wonderful to be able to share some of the brilliant artworks and sculptures that we have at YSP with the Barchester staff and residents, that’s what we’re all about – making art accessible for all. During lockdown we’ve been hosting virtual tours so that people can still enjoy YSP even when they can’t physically visit. It was a pleasure to show the residents some of the highlights the Park has to offer.” Many of our residents have been in the military and know what it is like to be away from home at Christmas. Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry and his team from the British Army Engagement Group will host a talk about serving overseas and being away from loved ones at this time of year, looking at the differences for military personnel serving now and those who have served in years gone by. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out how technology has helped military personnel stay connected. Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry said: “The Army Engagement Group is a small team based out of the Royal Military Academy in Surrey. It is our role to go out into the wider community and explain the role of the Army to promote understanding of how we operate. We were delighted to speak to the residents today and compare experiences part and present.”

Jeremy Hunt MP Visits Sunrise of Guildford To Turn On Christmas Lights Jeremy Hunt has paid a festive visit to Sunrise of Guildford to turn on the care home’s outdoor Christmas lights. While attending the socially distanced ceremony, the Surrey MP spoke to residents and their loved ones who have taken part in the care home’s enhanced visiting programme. This innovative scheme has enabled residents to have meaningful contact with their loved ones during the pandemic in a safe and controlled environment. The former Health Secretary also learnt about the protocols the care home has put in place, including rigorous infection control measures, which has enabled Sunrise of Guildford to remain free from COVID-19. After the ceremony finished, the care home’s residents returned inside to complete the ceremony over fresh mince pies and mulled wine. Jeremy Hunt also told the care home that he would be delighted to receive an invitation to turn on the care home’s full festive lighting next year, once social distancing guidelines have been relaxed. Speaking of Jeremy Hunt’s visit, Lynn Grafham, the General Manager of Sunrise

of Guildford, said: “In a year that has been dominated by the challenges associated with the COVID19 pandemic, it was wonderful to welcome Jeremy to our garden to turn on our Christmas lights. Our residents thoroughly enjoyed speaking to him about our remarkable efforts to keep our residents and team members safe over the last nine months. “While this year’s ceremony may have been a smaller affair than previous years, the entire Sunrise of Guildford community look forward to welcoming Jeremy back for a visit in the new year under more normal circumstances.” John Jenkins, a resident at Sunrise of Guildford, said: “Although brief, as it was such a cold day, it was very nice to meet Jeremy and show that we are still standing strong through this pandemic.” Jean Blyth, another resident at the care home, said: “It was very nice of him to come and turn the lights on for us. It makes us all feel still relevant. It’s nice to know he hasn’t forgotten about us, although we moved out of our homes and into a care home. He is still an MP for a lot of us.”


Record Numbers of Nursing Students as Pandemic Inspires Next Generation The latest data on university admissions published by UCAS shows record num-

work has inspired the next generation to pursue careers in the NHS and social care.

bers of students accepted places to study nursing and midwifery in England this year.

“This year we’ve also introduced a new training grant for nursing students of at

The final figures from this year’s admission cycle show there were 29,740 accept-

least £5,000 a year, helping to remove the barriers for anyone considering this bril-

ances to nursing and midwifery courses in England, 6,110 more than last year and an increase of over a quarter (26%). This year, 23% (6,770) of acceptances were from students aged 35 years and older, a 43% increase on last year.

“With over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS compared to last year, we are on our way to delivering 50,000 more by the end of this Parliament to help us build

The number of new nursing applicants to English providers between 15 January

back better.”

and 30 June was 68% (4,600) higher than the same period last year. The lockdown

In September the Government introduced training grants for eligible nursing, mid-

period (23 March – 30 June deadline) itself saw nearly double the number of applications to nursing relative to the same period in the year previously.

liant career.

wifery and many allied health profession students of at least £5,000 a year, which does not need to be paid back. Additional payments of up to £3,000 will be available

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

for specialisms struggling to recruit including learning disability and mental health

“It’s fantastic to see so many people choosing to pursue a career in nursing and

nursing and to help students cover childcare costs.

midwifery, with over a quarter more students starting on courses. This year has shown just how much we depend on nurses. I have no doubt that their incredible

Figures to the end of August show the number of nurses in the NHS in England increased by 14,813 compared to last year.

Call for Providers to Share Their Views as Survey for Hft’s Annual Sector Pulse Check Opens Learning disability providers are being encouraged to share their perspective on the last 12 months, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to build an informed picture of the financial health of the social care sector. The annual Sector Pulse Check survey, commissioned by the national learning disabilities charity, Hft, opened on Friday (11 December) and will run for two weeks. It aims to

of the sector’s experience. Senior leaders in organisations which provide care for people with learning disabilities, are being asked to complete the survey by visiting before the closing date of 31 December. The findings of the Sector Pulse Check report will be published early next year, with the

provide a yearly snapshot of the financial health of the learning disability social care sector

valuable data used to inform conversations highlighting key issues – including the vital

based on analysis of responses from providers.

question of social care funding – to decision makers over the coming year.

Since 2016, Hft has been commissioning independent economics and business consultancy Cebr to produce its annual research, which analyses the impact of challenges facing

Victoria Hemmingway, Public Affairs and Policy Manager said: “I am delighted that Hft’s Sector Pulse Check survey is now live. This has been a year unlike any other with Covid-19

the sector, focusing largely on finances, as well as this year covering the impact of Covid-

placing unforeseen pressures on the sector. As parts of the economy struggle as a result

19 on staff and people they support.

of the pandemic, it is vitally important that we gain an understanding of the care sector’s

Given the unprecedented challenges faced as a result of Covid-19, Hft is encouraging all learning disability care providers to take part to ensure the report is truly representative

financial health, and how this will impact on the support it provides to some of the most vulnerable adults in society. I would urge all learning disability care providers to take part.”


Time for Nursing Staff to Focus on Self-Compassion PRESCRIBING SELF-COMPASSION

The Carer spoke to Dr Marti Balaam, Senior Teaching Fellow in Nursing Studies and Lead for Professionalism and Wellbeing at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and Director/Founder of The Compassion Salon, to find out how nurses can practice self-compassion This year has seen the NHS emerge as a national champion in its handling of Covid-19 and has gained untold respect from the whole country. We have clapped for carers, displayed rainbows in windows and raised millions for our amazing healthcare staff who have been confronted with unprecedented stress and uncertainty whilst caring for those impacted by Covid-19. So, six months on, how are our nurses fairing? The evidence is indicating that many staff aren’t just reaching but have, in many cases, already reached burnout. We were already aware of the intense pressure nursing staff were already under, prior to Covid-19, due to, amongst other things, staff shortages, increasing demands, mistreatment and lack of resource. Add to this the colossal weight of the pandemic requiring healthcare workers to dig even deeper and the result is that many are now running on empty.

HOW DO WE ENSURE NURSES ARE RE-CHARGING THEIR BATTERIES? Nurses are educated to put their patients first and are notorious for battling on in stressful situations under a virtuous ethic of self-sacrifice which is often detrimental to their own wellbeing. Stopping and recharging can be seen as a sign of weakness. But how can nurses be there to support and care for patients if they haven’t stopped first to care for themselves? So, it’s now vital that we give nurses ‘permission’ to recharge their batteries. The long-term effects of untreated stress and burnout are numerous and can be debilitating leading to distress, dissatisfaction, unhappiness and even the abrupt end of a career in healthcare if we don’t start to re-educate ourselves about the importance of self-care and self-compassion.

What is self-compassion? And how can nurses prescribe it for themselves? We know that as humans we are all wired to be compassionate and nurses are trained to offer care and understanding to those suffering – that is a given. We also know that the pressure nurses and care-givers are under day-to-day with the ongoing staff shortages and rising expectations in the NHS is relentless and over time can be debilitating. Add to that the uncertainty and disruption of Covid-19 throwing our normal, reassuring lives into complete disarray and the result is living with a constant sense of unease. For those in the caring profession, there is a requirement day after day for them to be resilient to provide reassurance and compassion to their patients, but how can that strong sense of compassion be turned on to themselves ? Compassion is defined by myself and Rev/Dr Harriet Harris as attentiveness to the suffering of ourselves and others, with the wisdom and steps taken to relieve it. Compassion then is incomplete if we do not include ourselves. However many nurses are been suffering with their own feelings of stress, anxiety and exhaustion without stopping to offer the same care they would offer to a patient, to themselves. Practicing self-compassion means being attentive to our own suffering and being wise about how we can help ourselves. This includes being patient, kind and understanding when we fail or feel we are not doing the best we could. Recognising that we are not always perfect and that we are indeed human rather than getting impatient or angry is one of the first steps to practising self-compassion. We need to consider, therefore, how healthcare workers can identify that they are suffering, that they need reassurance, care and compassion to bolster their own wellbeing? And on a practical level, how can nurses ensure that they are practicing self-compassion day-to-day to ensure that they are not headed for burnout? In order to start to practice true self-compassion, individuals need to be tuned into how they are feeling and responding to situations on a daily basis. Knowing when, how and what is required means we need to be attentive and tuned into our own needs in the same way, as carers, we are tuned into the needs of others.

SIX STEPS TO START PRACTICING SELF-COMPASSION Step 1: Practice Forgiveness Accept that you are not perfect and be gentle with yourself when you are confronted with your shortcomings. Remind yourself, especially on a bad day, to be gentle and kind with yourself. Indeed, talk to yourself as you would to a close friend.

Step 2: Shared Humanity It’s important to acknowledge that whilst we may be in different boats, we are in this storm together and we all have a shared need for love and acceptance. When we suffer therefore it is helpful to remember we are not alone. Everyone has feelings of loneliness and isolation but by accepting that many of us feel like this can alleviate these feelings.

Step 3: Employ a Growth Mindset Changing the way you view challenges can help you adopt a growth

mindset. By viewing challenges or obstacles as opportunities helps you see them as a path to learning and growing and is more constructive to getting through them with a positive outcome.

Step 4: Express Gratitude Switching from wishing for what we do not have and feeling gratitude for what we DO have can be very powerful in our overall feeling of positivity and wellbeing. Writing a gratitude journal or going on a gratitude walk are ways of reinforcing and accepting all that is good in what we have.

Step 5: Find the Right Level of Generosity For generosity to work in favour of your well-being, it cannot be selfless. Think about when you are being generous, make sure you are aware of your own needs before progressing. Consciously select the recipient of your generosity, the resources you have available, and your level of energy based on what will support your own well-being.

Step 6: Be Mindful Mindfulness has been found to have a positive impact on self-compassion, as it has a tendency to lessen self-judgment. Try and always be in the moment and to be aware of what is happening right now, without judgment and labelling. Allow what you think or feel to have its moment and then dismiss it – let it go!

COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP Its vitally important that we understand how to engage staff so that they recognise how to be compassionate with themselves, how to bring awareness to their own stress and wellbeing and also how to recognise it in others. Compassionate leadership is fundamental in creating a culture of improvement and innovation across health care. It enhances the fundamental motivation of NHS staff and reinforces their loyalty and determination. Compassionate leadership also helps to promote a culture of learning, opening up to risk taking (within safe boundaries) and an acceptance that not everything we introduce or innovate will always be successful. It helps to create an environment where staff feel confident in speaking up about errors, problems and uncertainties and fosters a culture of trust and shared responsibility.

CULTURAL CHANGE POST COVID-19 We have celebrated the work of the NHS over the past six months and have recognised how reliant we are on good healthcare, particularly through Covid-19 which has affected everyone in some way, shape or form. But in order for us to build a resilient future for our healthcare system, we have to put the people who work in it first and their wellbeing and mental health must be prioritised. Our healthcare system has been through a transformation this past six months and there will be good and bad experiences and lessons learnt from Trusts and healthcare organisations across the country. But hopefully the one lesson healthcare workers will have taken from this experience is the importance of kindness and compassion to their colleagues, patients but most importantly to themselves. Learning to value the needs of our healthcare staff and prioritise them to help them build resilience and navigate this new normal is vital. We must learn therefore to put our own oxygen masks on first before attending to the wellbeing of others.

UK Company Develops Anti-Viral Facemask Believed To Kill Covid-19 SCIENTISTS at Cambridge University are testing a facemask that has an anti-viral fabric coating that they believe may kill Covid-19. The reusable mask was developed by British company LiquidNano and has already been shown to kill a coronavirus that is genetically and structurally very similar to SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that caused the pandemic. The fabric of the mask contains a unique nano-coating called DiOX 4, which has strong anti-viral properties, according to an initial study by the University of Cambridge. Further testing has now been commissioned to evaluate the efficacy of the mask directly on Covid-19. Andy Middleton of LiquidNano said: "We have created an antimicrobial face mask that is environmentally friendly and ergonomically

designed to be worn comfortably for long periods. The mask can be washed up to 20 times, which is a major positive for anybody who is concerned about the environmental impact of disposable masks." The initial study of the DiOX 4 facemask was overseen by Dr. Graham Christie, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. Dr Christie commented: "Our study showed that the coating on this facemask has strong anti-viral properties, which are likely to be effective against all types of coronavirus. We initially tested it on a pathogen called MHV-A59, which is genetically and structurally very similar to the causative agent of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). We found that the mask killed almost 95% of the test virus within one hour." "We followed the industry standard testing for viruses on material (ISO18184:19) but made some critical adaptations to give it a more ‘real-world’ relevance. This included conducting splash tests to mimic sneezing to ensure the tests were as rigorous as possible. Therefore, there is evidence to suggest that this mask could be beneficial in helping to prevent human to human transmission of Covid-19, and we are now scheduled to conduct further tests using the SARS-Cov-2 pathogen." A number of commercial companies, including those within the hospitality and retail sectors, are currently trialling the mask with a view to rolling-out its use for employees. The study showed that 95% of viral pathogens introduced to the fabric surface were killed within one hour and almost 100% after four hours.

The study concluded: "Box fresh DiOX coated fabric is associated with strong viricidal activity with respect to the control material, with a near 95% (1.25 log) reduction in viral titre after a 1 hour contact period. The murine Coronavirus inoculum is undetectable in eluates after a 4 hour contact period, representing an 8 log reduction in titre (although there is no formal definition or standard, we would consider a 5 log reduction to be indicative of significant viricidal activity)." The study found that the mask maintained its antiviral properties after repeated washing, albeit at a reduced rate when compared to a box-fresh mask. For further information, please visit


Designated Settings for COVID-19 Patients Leaving Hospital The CQC is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), local authorities and individual care providers to provide assurance of safe and high-quality care in designated settings, which are part of a scheme to allow people with a COVID-positive test result to be discharged safely from hospitals. These settings are admitting people who are discharged from hospital with a COVID-positive test who will be moving or going back into a care home setting. This is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in care homes and will allow for a focus on the care that people who have contracted COVID-19 need. The Government’s aim is for each local authority to have access to at least one designated setting as soon as possible, CQC is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure social care designated settings are appropriate. In order to do this, the CQC are using our Infection Prevention Control (IPC) framework which is being used on allcare homeinspections. For inspections of designated setting services, there are specific elements we are checking for in the environment to ensure infection control can be maintained. This means that there will be checks to see if services are physically separating this group of residents, whether a dedicated workforce is in place and ensuring there’s an appropriate emphasis on ventilation. The CQC say they are inspecting care locations against eight areas and reporting with ‘eight ticks’ on infection prevention control which will give the public an overview including on whether: • Adequate PPE is available for staff and residents to control infection safely • Staff are properly trained to deal with outbreaks and the proper procedures are in place • Shielding and social distancing are being complied with • Layout of premises, use of space and hygiene practice promote safety. Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, said: "It is

our role to ensure that proposed locations for the designated scheme, which is an initiative led by DHSC, meet the IPC standards expected for people with a confirmed COVID-19 test result to be discharged into. "Since October, we have completed well over 500 infection prevention and control inspections including approved designated locations and measured against 'eight ticks'which are published on our website. We will continue to work with the Department of Health and Social Care, local authorities and care providers to ensure that all locations participating in the scheme are able to provide the high-quality care that people leaving hospital will need." The Department of Health and Social Care have asked local authorities to speak to local care providersand find suitable designated locations where people that have tested positive for COVID-19 may be safely discharged to. Once these locations have been identified, they contact CQC and we go out and assess the location with an IPC inspection and a specific focus on a service’s ability to zone COVID-19 positive residents with a dedicated workforce and high levels of ventilation. The results of that inspection will be published on our website through an inspection report, where the public can see how the care provider has performed against our 'eight ticks'. This means we are able to provide assurances on infection prevention control, whether people being cared for are in a designation area or in an existing location. CQC’s infection prevention control (IPC) inspections include three different kinds of inspection as outlined below. These include: • Inspections of proposed designated facilities • Inspections in response to risk and information of concern This is in addition to our risk-based inspections which are continuing alongside IPC and designated settings inspection work. As of 8 December, the CQC have conducted2,062 risk-based inspections of Adult Social Care providers since April 2020. We also conducted a num-

ber of inspections focused around collecting good practice at the beginning of our programme.

TESTING To provide additional re-assurance to the care sector and during these inspections, CQC 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. Testing will be rolled out to all inspectors who participate in onsite visits in the coming weeks. This is in addition to our existing protections, where all CQC staff engaging in inspection and registration visits must undertake a risk assessment prior to the visit. They must use the PPE identified, have gone through training on its use, and have completed the Infection Prevention and Control training. Where an inspector displays symptoms or a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, they are already required to self-isolate.

DESIGNATION SCHEME As of 8 December, there were 117 CQC IPC assured designated settings within 90 local authorities. There are a further 28 “alternative settings”, where local authorities have agreed with local NHS partners to make use of NHS settings to fulfil the role of a designated setting. This totals 145 settings. The data section provides more detail on the figures. Please note that some local authorities will be sharing a designated setting that is located within another local authority. Where a setting did not pass the CQC assurance process followinginspection,the key reasonsare: • Location unsuitable – e.g. not enough separation between designated bit of service and the rest of the care home • Location not ready - e.g. significant building work planned and impossible to assess until this is complete • Staffing - no designated staff team to work exclusively in the designated setting. Read more information about Designated Settings on GOV.UK.

Pulling Pints in Memory of Barbara Windsor Residents at a Wellington care home have voted to name their new pub bar The Windsor Arms in memory of actress Barbara Windsor who died last week. Richard Dempslake, activities co-ordinator for Camelot House and Lodge, said: “Our residents loved Barbara as the bubbly star of Carry On films and the outspoken Eastenders lady at The Queen Vic, and were really enthusiastic about memorialising her in this way.” The pub bar - created by Camelot House’s maintenance man Wally Perlik - had only just been completed when Dame Barbara passed on. It was originally to be named The Welcome Inn but residents voted to remem-

ber the actress by naming the bar for her instead. Local businesses have made generous donations to help create an authentic atmosphere, including Sheppy Cider and the home’s local pub Blackbird Inn, who donated glasses, table runners, beer mats and cider. Camelot House and Lodge provides specialist care for people living with dementia, a condition which also affected Dame Barbara who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and campaigned to raise awareness of the disease in her later years. Her husband Scott Mitchell said: “Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour,

drama and a fighting spirit until the end. “It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserves. I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.” Scott Mitchell has called for greater government funding for research into Alzheimer’s and dementia, and care for those with the conditions.


Keeping Care Homes Safe This Christmas

By John Earle, Director of Aster International (

COVID-19 is a cruel virus that for the last ten months has torn families apart all over the country. Those that have suffered the most are our elderly who have been most at risk from the coronavirus while being denied the simple pleasure of human contact with their loved ones – the separation has been painful for all. Care homes have found themselves on the frontier of fighting Covid-19 and their next challenge is how to keep residents and staff safe over the festive period as they open their doors to families balancing infection control with the benefits of the mental health and well-being of their residents. We all know that it is impossible to eliminate risk entirely, but now thanks to the government’s promised expansion of testing capacity and a huge delivery of free PPE, families can be more safely reunited this Christmas assuming of course that the allocations meet the requirements of the sector. Testing is fundamental and will permit care homes to open their doors more easily, although it will remain essential that visitors wear personal protective equipment, follow social distancing rules, good hand hygiene and minimise contact to reduce the risk of transmission.

ESTABLISH AND COMMUNICATE A ROBUST VISITING POLICY All care home managers will have put in place good strategies for the prevention, preparedness, detection and management of a possible outbreak, but the increased visitor traffic means it’s even more important

to establish a robust visiting policy and communicate it clearly to visiting families to ensure that they stringently follow the infection prevention and control procedures at all times. Visiting policy may involve new physical barriers and social distancing, however this may be confusing for older people with cognitive impairment, so considering the individual needs of each resident is of paramount importance to reduce the potential for transmission.

ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS TO MINIMISE RISK In addition to the protocols and equipment originally adopted to meet early Covid infection control there are now new additional precautions that can be taken to minimise infection risk. These include technology such as UVC room protection, improved testing and better PPE products. These options provide a safer environment, reduce staff workload and cost. Covid-19 particles are airborne which means if we can control the air we breathe, we can minimise the spread of the virus. Properly ventilated rooms go a long way to providing a secure environment and care home managers should consider how best to do this in their particular environments. As the World Health Organisation and the medical community gets a better handle on how to control and manage the risks, care homes could deploy extra layers of sanitisation to safeguard the residents, staff and visitors. Sanitisation remains one of the cornerstones of protecting and safe-

guarding public places where people may come into close contact. Technology exists and is already used in medical environments to sanitise, not just the surfaces, but also the atmosphere, ie. the very air that we breath. Machines draw in contaminated air to a UV-C light which in turn destroys unwanted particles. When run constantly these can continuously disinfect the air and surfaces. It takes bacteria only 10 minutes to multiply, so the inactivation of contaminated particles at 99% after 2 hours of switching on this machine creates a protective shield from the virus. Now that visits by relatives are being made possible, in addition to pre visit testing, it is possible to completely sanitise meeting rooms rapidly, before and after visits with “deep clean” systems that are both affordable and hands free. Many other advances are being made, for example in PPE, studies at Cambridge University have enabled the development of an antimicrobial face mask with a unique nano-coating which is believed to kill 98% of pathogens - bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus. The study shows that 95% of viral particles introduced to the fabric were killed within one hour and nearly 100% after four hours. Having access to best in class products and equipment may not be always possible but many companies are willing to work with the sector to make care homes safer, after all, occasional visits to our loved ones should not be limited to Christmas, but ideally should continue through the winter as we continue to wrestle with this deadly virus.

Do You Know An Unsung Hero This Christmas? 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 their Unsung Hero! Somebody you think deserves recognition for going that “extra mile” during this challenging year. How we wish we could reward everyone! So we invite you once again to nominate a “Unsung Hero” They can be from any department from carers, to kitchen workers, from administration staff to maintenance staff. Somebody you feel has gone that extra mile, sometimes without

the recognition they deserve, and someone you think is a worthy nomination. No complicated or glitzy awards ceremonies a simple no frills nominate your unsung hero in a short paragraph to and we will pick a worthy winner. A luxury Christmas hamper overflowing with choice items will find its way to the lucky winner in time for Christmas! So please send us a paragraph or two nominating your Unsung Hero and why you think he or she deserve recognition and we will do the rest. Email Entries close at 5pm on 16th December 2020.


Changes To The IR35 Rules Explained Obligation, assuming that it exists in every contractor engagement). Having assessed the employment status of their contractors, the organisation must issue them a ‘Status Determination Statement’ (SDS) which confirms whether the contractor is genuinely self-employed or now considered an employee, giving reasons for the determination. HMRC will deem the client company liable for tax and NI contributions until the contractor (and agency or other organisation that contracts with the client company) is told of the status determination and reasons for it. When the contractor is deemed to have employee status, subject to tax and NI contributions, both parties will need to consider how to deal with the additional tax cost. Companies must ensure their systems are structured appropriately for IR35 and create a system for addressing any challenges raised by contractors in terms of the employment status determination, with legal advice a helpful step in getting things right.

Previously, contractors and the client company using them were able to enjoy significant tax advantages by providing their services to an organisation via an intermediary, usually a personal service company (PSC). However, HMRC ruled that PSCs were being used as tax avoidance vehicles, and so in 2000, they implemented the off payroll working rules (IR35), which were designed to address ‘disguised’ employees. Fast forward seven years to 2017, and the IR35 rules were amended to make public sector organisations responsible for determining the employment status of those they contacted via PSCs and for paying the income tax and NIC for those deemed to be employees. From 6 April, this requirement is being extended to large and medium-sized businesses in the private sector.


With the new IR35 rules expected to change how businesses engage and enlist the support of contractors and freelancers, Claire Halle-Smith, partner at law firm Wright Hassall (, explains what impact the rule changes will have and how businesses should prepare for it. It’s not uncommon for businesses to seek additional support outside of their organisation, especially during busier periods when selfemployed contractors, consultants and freelancers can help lighten the load for the permanent workforce. However, if you are a contractor or client company with contractors on your books, the new IR35 rule changes introduced from 6 April 2021 will have a significant impact on the way such services are purchased. To ensure compliance, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the new rules and adjust your existing processes where necessary.


All client companies in the private sector will have to comply unless exempted by meeting at least two of the following criteria: • An annual turnover of less than £10.2m • Balance sheet total of less than £5.1m • Fewer than 50 employees Non-exempt organisations must determine the nature of the employment relationship they have with their contractors. This has proved key in several recent challenges brought by HMRC and the four main principles on which the relationship will typically be judged are: 1. Control: what control do you have over the contractor (e.g. what, how, when and where they work)? 2.Substitution: can the contractor substitute a suitably qualified person to act in their place? 3.Financial risk: how much financial risk is borne by the contractor? 4.Mutuality of obligation: are you obliged to give the contractor work and are they obliged to accept any work you give them? (The HMRC online test to check employment status, CEST, does not consider Mutuality of

DRAWING THE RIGHT CONCLUSION For organisations that actively employ the services of freelancers and contractors, and those people currently providing such services, it’s important to review the terms of any existing engagements, so you can ensure compliance once the new rules come in to play. Until they tell the contractor and the person the contractor contracts with, of its determination and reason for it, then they are liable for tax and NI contributions. HMRC shows no sign of softening its stance towards those it suspects of tax avoidance and it will be learning from experience to improve its future success rate in court. Do not be tempted to bypass IR35 by other means and treat any advice to implement a tax avoidance scheme with considerable caution, as most do not work and do not have HMRC’s blessing.

British Lion Gets Cracking With New Member Ten of Britain’s largest processed egg suppliers are now signed up to the Lion scheme, after Stonegate Farmers Ltd, the free range and organic egg specialist, became the latest to gain Lion accreditation. British Lion egg processors now account for around 90% of all egg processed in the UK, making it easier than ever for retailers, food manufacturers and retailers to source egg processed to the highest standards of food safety. Established more than 90 years ago, Stonegate now provides British Lion eggs in liquid and boiled form, as well as Lion shell eggs, to the food manufacturing and food service industry. Working in partnership with trusted, longstanding partners, ensures best practices are adopted at every stage of production – from feed, hen wellbeing and through to processing. Stonegate has joined the British Lion scheme for processing at a time when the demand for British Lion egg products is at an all-time high[1], with recent research by British Lion showing that 2/3rds of shoppers would be disappointed to learn that non-British egg products were being used for prepared foods, and more than three quarters would be more confident buying food with a British Lion mark on the packaging[2]

. Mark Simmons, Stonegate Divisional Director – Convenience Foods, said: “As an existing British Egg Industry Council member we are pleased to join the processed egg supplier scheme at a time of exciting growth for the industry. We look forward to working with existing and new customers, offering high quality processed British free range and organic egg products.” Andrew Joret, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “We’re delighted to have Stonegate on board as an accredited Lion egg products supplier. As the demand for British Lion egg products increases across the nation, so must the availability, therefore this is great news for customers.” Stonegate offers British Lion boiled eggs, as well as pasteurised liquid whole eggs, egg yolk and egg white. Visit to see all British Lion egg product suppliers. [1] BEIS facts & figures 2009-2019 [2] Consumer research into attitudes towards eggs and egg products, 3,000 Nat rep UK 16+, September 2020

Covid-19 Experience Reveals Poor Public Planning for End of Life A UK wide group of experts from leading charities and health bodies has launched a new Charter to support better conversations between people and their loved ones over their lifetime, that will also help guide care for people at the end of life. The new What Matters Most Charter aims to change the nature of care planning. It forms part of a national movement to make sure that care is better focussed around supporting what makes life good for the individual rather than what helps meet targets, system priorities, or overly focuses on medical treatment options or where someone wants to die. The Charter alongside two new powerful films argues for a better approach to planning ahead and What Matters Conversations. Both have been developed at a time of heightened concern around urgent care planning during the pandemic and a commitment to improve learning. Kathryn Mannix, a member of the UK wide expert group, author and former consultant in palliative medicine, said: “There is an urgent need to de-medicalise end of life conversations. We need to move beyond the idea of advance care planning discussions, recording of preferences or knowing what treatment people don’t want towards the end of life. This approach doesn’t help us to wrap care around an individual in a way that matches what they do want. It is time to change the conversation.” Leading figures, charities and health bodies are calling on all governments and organisations across the UK to adopt the ‘What Matters Most Charter’. At the same time, the group are encouraging professionals and the public to watch the supporting films, which show inspirational stories to spark conversations, as well as share “what matters most to you”. Julie Pearce, Marie Curie Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Quality and Caring Services, and member of the expert group, said: “What matters most to people and how to live as well as possible for as long as possible is a challenge we all face. Planning ahead isn’t just about care preferences, it’s about making the most of life. It’s also not

just a hurried conversation in a moment of crisis, but a series of lifeaffirming discussions. “By being clear about the things that matter most, we give ourselves a better chance of ensuring that our wishes are respected and grieving loved ones aren’t left feeling unsure about what the person would have wanted. It’s often the simplest things that are most important, like having a pet to cuddle, listening to favourite music, holding hands, or watching the world outside the window. That’s why we’re encouraging everybody, young and old, healthy or not, to start their ‘What Matters to Me’ conversations. We want this to become a habit that everyone does throughout life, a social movement that we all join in and support. “As professionals we can also encourage people to have or share their life-affirming, life-long conversations, so that we can better support them throughout their life. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that many more people have the chance to make the most of whatever time remains, while families are better prepared for a future without their loved one.”

The UK expert group is urging the public to have life-long conversations about what is important for life to feel enjoyable and worthwhile. Lucy Watts MBE, from Essex, has a rare progressive, life-shortening illness. She is a disability activist, patient advocate and contributed to the new film. Lucy said: “Advance planning has enabled me to talk and think about my future, my wishes, my goals and what’s important to me. Medical and personal care keep me alive, but it is advance planning that has kept me living well. Through one professional asking me what I wanted to do, I’ve been able to live a fulfilling life. Advance planning is about conversations and about making preparations for our future – for all parts of life. It allows us to take control and ensure our lives are as we wish for them to be”. The What Matters Most Charter includes key principles for health and social care professionals and organisations to consider, as well as key questions for the public to help plan ahead while they are well and develop further as they age or if living with a life-limiting illness. The UK wide expert group is chaired by Dr Catherine MillingtonSanders, Royal College of General Practitioners / Marie Curie National Clinical End of Life Care Champion and Dr Adrian Tookman, Medical Director, Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead. The group continues to grow and includes representatives from ADASS, Age UK, the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland, Compassionate Communities UK, Cruse Bereavement, Hospice UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Pride in Pennine, Sudden, The Royal College of Nursing, The Royal College of GPs, National Bereavement Alliance, Together for Short Lives, and The University of Manchester. For further information about the Charter and to watch the films visit Compassionate Communities UK, Marie Curie and funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, have helped to create the films and wider project.

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 ENTRIES CLOSE at 5PM on 16th DECEMBER 2020


Independent Age: ‘Damning’ Figures Show Need for Social Care Reform Campaigners are renewing calls for urgent government reform to adult social care after NHS figures revealed that almost a quarter of older people seeking help in England were denied it. NHS Digital’s ‘Mid-Year 2020-21 Adult Social Care Activity’ data shows the number of requests to local authorities for support received from new clients aged 65 and over between 1 April and 30 September 2020 tallied 495,575 while ‘no services provided’ – unmet care requests – totaled 113,775. Older peoples’ charity Independent Age said the “damning” figures are the equivalent of more than 600 over-65s a day “denied support for basic tasks such as help washing, preparing meals, and going into town”. “The government cannot allow this to continue. The current social care system is under-funded and people have told us they feel denied their dignity,” added Independent Age chief executive Deborah Alsina MBE (pictured). “Significant cuts to budgets since 2010 have forced councils in England to ration access to social care. Politicians must seize the opportunity to create a care system that allows people in later life to live with dignity, choice and purpose.”

Care Home Manager Among First to Receive Covid-19 Vaccine in Notts A NOTTINGHAMSHIRE care group has seen one of its care home managers become one of the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region with a roll-out to the rest of its team now underway. Rachel Williams is the care home manager at Church Farm Care’s Skylarks home in Nottinghamshire and received her COVID-19 vaccination on 10 December. She said: “It’s great news that the vaccine is being introduced. We all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable in our society, so I see the vac-

cination as an essential part of doing this and continuing to ensure life is as fun and healthy as possible for people who live with us.” Church Farm Care’s director Patrick Atkinson said: “It’s been an incredibly tough year for everyone working in the care sector, so the availability of the vaccine is welcome news. The wider team will be receiving the vaccination over the coming weeks – a huge step in helping to further protect our residents, colleagues and friends from the virus – and we hope it will allow us to welcome visitors back into our homes in 2021.”

Independent Age called on the government to bring forward a funding plan that “ends the cycle of crisis in social care, and it must be distributed fairly based on need”. “Care should be free at the point of use, paid for through general taxation, to ensure everybody can receive the help they’re entitled to,” said Alsina. NHS Digital meanwhile revealed that gross current expenditure on adult social care by local authorities was £19.7 billion in 2019-20. That represents an increase of £918m from the previous year, a 4.9 per cent increase in cash terms and a 2.4 per cent increase in real terms. The ‘Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England – 2019-20’ report also revealed the average cost of residential care for a person aged 65 and over rose from £636 per week in 2018-19 to £662 per week in 2019-20. The average cost of nursing care for the same age band increased from £678 per week in 2018-19 to £715 per week in 2019-20.

Add High Quality Art to Your Care Home with Global When considering the refurbishment of your care home, it may be a wise move to look at some pieces of quality art to give a feeling of class and prestige to your business image. Homes can benefit aesthetically and financially from investing in quality original art. GLOBAL ART Acquisitions and Investments Ltd are based above the Antiques centre at the Bridge House Longham BH22 9AN. We have an extensive selection of unique art available for the discerning client with prestigious premises and customers. GLOBAL ART is also the home of the world’s number 1 reformed art

forger BILLY MUMFORD’S collection. Billy put £6 Million pounds worth of forgeries through the major auction houses of the world before spending 2 years at her Majesty’s pleasure in Brixton and Ford prisons. Art is now the number 1 financial asset and retains it’s value better than other asset classes so that you can appreciate your art as your art appreciates. Take time to come over and visit us Thursday to Sunday 10 till 4 and see what a fantastic selection of works we can offer, you won’t be disappointed or Telephone James Hartey on 07894555107 or visit

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Friends of The Elderly “Give the Gift of Joy and Warmth” This Christmas Friends of the Elderly, the charity which runs care homes and services for older people throughout England, has launched its 2020 Christmas Appeal in its continuing work putting the care, mental and physical health and wellbeing of older people at the heart of all its activities, especially during this notoriously lonely and cold time of year. The colder temperatures and spending more time inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic are posing an additional challenge – both mentally and physically – to older people’s health. It is also crucial that those who may be in financial difficulties or experiencing monetary hardship, are not forced go hungry or live in freezing conditions in their own homes. These reasons are at the core of the charity’s 2020 Christmas Appeal which is focusing on helping those older people who are alone or struggling to cope during the wintery days and nights. Talking about the Appeal, Friends of the Elderly’s Director of Engagement, Mark Wilson said: “Every day, we receive despondent calls from many older people who are desperate for help, advice and support as they have nowhere else, or nobody else, to turn to. Some need financial support, others need emotional support and some need physical, material assistance. “The requests we receive are not extravagant, excessive or exaggerated asks, just simple wishes that make an extraordinary, positive difference to an older person’s daily wellbeing. For example, following an emotional call, we were able to replace a condemned cooker for an elderly lady to ensure she can have hot meals. We have also granted an elderly gentleman money

towards transport costs so he could attend his vital hospital appointments; and awarded another older lady a tablet to provide much needed entertainment and company for the days she is on her own.” Through the Christmas Appeal, Friends of the Elderly has also helped an elderly couple by awarding them a grant to pay for an urgent oil delivery, which helped them immensely as it alleviated the stress and worry of deciding between eating and having a hot meal or being able to heat their home. The recipient said: “I’ve always worked, that is until I got ill in 2015 and had a heart attack, and now here I am, still struggling. We were down to the last inch of oil. People say to just put away £10 a week and save up but it’s not easy to do that when all your money gets spent on other essential things. We cut down a lot on how much we ate and insulated where we could. Your grant was so welcome. It’s unbelievable, thank you so much. An (oil) tank like the one you got us can last us just over six months. It was a weight off my shoulders; we were really worried so it gave me a lot of relief.” Mark added: “Our Christmas Appeal is vitally important as it allows us to help, support and make tangible, positive differences to many older people, their lives and daily routines during the cold and lonely winter months. Every penny we receive is match-funded by the Edward Gostling Foundation and goes towards making sure older people do not feel alone or forgotten this winter.” To find out more about Friends of the Elderly’s 2020 Christmas Appeal please visit:

Heanor Park Care Home - Winner of Client of * the Year at the Lux Awards 2020 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. The Circadian Plus solution includes bespoke lightSome of the main benefits of circadian lighting ing design, smart lighting software and spectrumare: controlled lights – creating a truly revolutionary • Improved sleep solution that has resident health and wellbeing at the • Improved mood forefront. • Less risk of developing certain mental and physical The impact of the lighting at Heanor Park has sighealth conditions nificantly reduced resident falls, increased engage• Reduction in errors and accidents ment, and has improved sleep-wake cycles. Check • Faster cognitive processing out our case study video to understand more at • Increased alertness at the right times of day • Can aid with the rehabilitation of certain medical The term Circadian Lighting is defined as lighting conditions e.g. brain injuries that replicates natural light (as closely as possible) to • Can be beneficial for elderly residents and people support human circadian rhythms, otherwise known with Alzheimer’s disease as our internal body clock. We are all governed, to To understand more about the importance of care

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home lighting visit ‘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.


HC-One’s Head of Quality of Life Shares Wisdom About Wellbeing on Australian Podcast Robi Roccella, Head of Quality of Life at HC-One, was invited to speak on an Australian podcast produced by SilVR Adventures, Aged Care Enrichment (ACE) with host Ashley de Neef, which was released recently. On the podcast, Robi discusses how she and her team have supported the quality of life of Residents and how Colleagues across the organisation have adapted to the challenges they have faced during the coronavirus pandemic. Robi shares some of the challenges which came to the fore during the pandemic due to the large number of facilities HC-One has, with over 300 care homes in different regions across the UK. She also talks about some of the positive aspects that have come from the situation and how this affected HC-One Carers. Robi, an Italian native, has revolutionised HC-One’s approach to since joining in 2019 bringing many HC-One wellbeing and dementia-friendly initiatives to life. This includes HC-One’s dementia support programme, Harmony, as well as her work overseeing the implementation innovative projects designed to improve Residents quality of life, whilst often managing culture change on a large scale. Robi has galvanised HC-One Colleagues across the country and helped thousands of Residents engage in and benefit from structured wellbeing activities. Her personal mission is to make the lives of those around her better and this is backed up by her unwavering commitment to provide the tools, resources and support to do their jobs to the best

of their ability. Prior to joining HC-One, Robi set up an advocacy project in Wakefield for Mencap for people with profound disabilities, where she worked for five years and received recognition by the Countess of Wessex being the driving force behind an innovative project. Robi has also held a number of Local Authority roles as well as working for Four Seasons

Healthcare as Head of Quality, Head of Quality and Governance and then Head of Care Projects. Robi Roccella, Head of Quality of Life at HC-One, commented: “It was a pleasure to share my knowledge and experience on how to improve and enhance Residents’ quality of life on the Aged Care Enrichment (ACE) podcast with SilVR Adventures. It was a great opportunity to share upcoming initiatives that we are working on and collaborating with other organisations in the community to progress our wellbeing programme. “During the pandemic, it has highlighted the importance of adapting and focusing on enhancing Residents’ wellbeing and providing stimulation to their body, mind and soul.” SilVR Adventures aims to tackle isolation and loneliness amongst the elderly community, whilst helping to drive and facilitate social engagement and connections through shared experiences in virtual reality, creating more connections and less barriers as well as embracing diversity and identity. The podcast is released every fortnight and invites care industry experts, passionate individuals and thought leaders to share their experience and knowledge with others, as they look to improve the quality of care and life of elderly individuals. Robi’s podcast is available to listen from here:

Historic Moment for Lanarkshire as Residents & Staff Receive Vaccination Residents and staff at Beechgrove Care Home in Lanark were some of the first Lanarkshire citizens to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Five nurses from NHS Lanarkshire administered the first part of a twopart process and first in line was Manager, Margaret Allison. She was one of 63 residents and 64 members of staff who took part in the vaccine programme which will be repeated within 28 days eventually providing maximum defence against the effects of the virus. Strict Infection Protection and Control precautions were in place to enable the programme to take place and there were shouts of joy and encouragement as Margaret stepped up for the vaccine. She said, "After such a long, nine months it really was quite a moment to be finally receiving the vaccine and I was glad to have done it. We are so proud of all the residents and staff who, despite some inevitable initial apprehension, have risen to the challenge. Not only will this provide us with much needed protection of the effects but hopefully signals the start of better times ahead not just for

Beechgrove but for Lanarkshire and the rest of the world. "It was carried out quickly with just a jag to the top of my arm and the nurses were really great at making me feel at ease." Joining Margaret was 91-year-old Ann Dunn who was the first resident to receive the vaccine. Her daughter, Margaret MacLeod, said, “Congratulations to Beechgrove for securing an early roll out of the COVID vaccine. I am delighted my mother, fellow residents, and staff will benefit from this enhanced level of protection. “Hopefully this will pave the way for designated visitor testing and allow relatives to have meaningful indoor visits with their loved ones.” Residents and staff were prioritised by NHS Scotland to receive the vaccine which will now be rolled out to identified groups of people. The Covid19 vaccine helps build up immunity to the virus enabling your body to fight it off more easily and reduce the risk of the virus by making the symptoms milder.

Ex-MI5 Secretary Sylvia Celebrates Her 100th With International A Dorset resident who played her part in Second World War military intelligence has celebrated her 100th birthday at a Blandford care home. Sylvia Spooner was the focus of international attention as family members and friends in the UK, Canada, Australia, The Gambia and the United States joined a Zoom call or sent greetings. Team members at Colten Care’s Whitecliffe House helped Sylvia welcome 26 Zoom groups for chats and good wishes during her special day. Born in Streatham, London in 1920, Sylvia, maiden name Blest, was in her late teens when she had a chilling foretaste of the looming trouble in store for the world. Staying with an English lady and her husband, a German General, on an arranged stay in Bavaria, she found herself attending a Hitler rally in Munich and was later taken to visit Austria after its annexation by Nazi Germany. Back in London and training as a secretary with German language skills, Sylvia was taken on by the MI5 section responsible for handling intelligence on threats to rail transport. Her first posting was at Wormwood Scrubs prison. Her son Edward said: “She always used to say how she and the other secretaries had to be very careful not to let the doors of their offices close, because of course they were cells and couldn’t be opened from the inside.” Near the start of the London Blitz which began on 7 September, 1940, and went on for 57 days and nights, Sylvia and her colleagues were moved to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. In their spare time

they received art history lectures by Anthony Blunt, an MI5 employee later exposed as a Soviet spy, and skated on Capability Brown’s lake. Her office was in one of the cold wooden huts built in the Great Court. So she was one of the original “Blenheim Girls” who lived in Keble College, Oxford. Sylvia transferred to Ghana on the west coast of Africa where she met and married a colonial officer from Dorset, Arthur Spooner, who was born in Coupar House, Blandford, and was one of the sixth generation of the family connected with Blandford. They had two sons, Charles and Edward, who was born in Blandford Hospital. Arthur continued working in Ghana, with further assignments in The Gambia and Nigeria, before the family stayed in Tarrant Gunville, near Blandford, from the early 1960s. Asked for Sylvia’s secret of longevity, Edward said: “The most important aspect is that she has always been connected with people, helping everyone and anyone. Aside from that, plenty of exercise, including going up and down the village on her old bike, and keeping her mind active by reading.” Having arranged the centenary Zoom call, team members at Whitecliffe House helped Sylvia open her cards, presented her with a homemade cake and invited all callers to sing Happy Birthday. “It worked really well even though people were in different time zones around the world,” said Debbie Easter, the home’s Companionship Team Leader. “In Vancouver and Seattle it was 3:00 at night for example. Sylvia acknowledged all the greetings and the cards people sent, including her one from the Queen. Sylvia is a very bright lady and we were delighted to help her celebrate her 100th birthday with a party that involved her whole family and many friends.”



Older People’s Food Needs Investment, Local People and Campaigners Say As local authorities decide their budgets ahead of spring 2021, local people, campaigners, and academics have written to councillors to urge them to invest in underfunded vital food services for older people. A group of professionals and campaigners, including the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), has written to England’s council leaders to urge them to invest in older people’s health. The letter was coordinated by the food and farming charity Sustain and signed by representatives from the third sector, private sector, social enterprise and academia. The group is united by a commitment to ensuring all older people can access at least one good meal every day, and their understanding that as we recover from Covid-19 it is vital that communities and individuals develop greater resilience and better infrastructure to guard against future shocks. This letter was sparked by Meals on Wheels Week 2020 – more than just a meal, a campaign by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) in November to raise awareness of the social value of meals on wheels services as a lifeline keeping the elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community nourished, hydrated, physically and mentally safe and well, and connected. This year, it also recognised and praised the dedicated frontline efforts of those involved in these services during such a challenging time. It also follows a public letter writing campaign in which local people

across England wrote to their ward councillors to demand action. In light of council’s upcoming 2021/22 budget review, these letters ask local authorities to allocate funding to meals and wheels services. The urgent need for proper investment in meals on wheels was highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an estimated 1.3 million people over the age of 65 were malnourished, or at risk of malnourishment. This situation is largely caused by cuts to older people’s food services over the past decade, but has been made worse by disruption caused by the pandemic. Upon the announcement of a national lockdown in March, community groups and existing meals on wheels services across the country launched into action to meet demand posed by the crisis. New groups sprang up within communities and from the hospitality sector, existing community food organisations adapted to provide meals to those in need, and existing meals on wheels services scaled up to meet increased demand. Over the second lockdown, we have witnessed a concerning lack of shielding provisions for older and medically vulnerable people. Despite the creation of numerous innovative meals on wheels services by local community groups during the first lockdown, a lack of funding and local authority support has resulted in many being forced to close because they no longer have the resources to continue this vital work. Consequently, many older and medically vulnerable people who were reliant on these services for survival have been left to navigate social isolation and lack of food access alone. “From speaking to people who use these services, I know just how much difference it makes to their day-to-day life. I spoke to Jane, for whom her local meals on wheels service meant she could leave hospi-

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-

tal as soon as she felt well enough, after breaking her hip. And Rasheed said that without the service, his meals would consist of toast. From these conversations, I learned that meals on wheels services are an absolute cornerstone of many people’s health and wellbeing. They’re people’s daily contact, they keep them not only nourished but also connected and safe. It’s hugely concerning to think about how people will cope without them.” _Morven Oliver-Larkin, Older People’s Food Campaign Coordinator, Sustain In this context, it is vital that local councils recognise the need for meals on wheels services. Councils have a vital role to play in sustaining and enhancing these services, through their unique position to both finance these services and to integrate them with adult social care and hospital discharge team, so as to maximise appropriate referrals. This would bring multiple benefits including: • Acting as a long-term preventative measure against malnutrition, thus decreasing its £20bn cost to health and social care spending; meals on wheels preventative health benefits include enabling hospital patients to be discharged earlier and reducing the necessity of GP visits. • Providing ‘more than just a meal’ via welfare checks that spot any changes to wellbeing to ensure early intervention, daily social contact and other complimentary services that reduce feelings of loneliness. • Helping the community by creating local jobs; many meals on wheels services employ people who were long-term unemployed or underemployed. It is vital that new funding and support be made available to ensure that robust meals on wheels services are in place across England, so that communities and individuals have the resilience to face any future crises and to flourish as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot afford to compromise this service any longer. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOVING FORWARD It is imperative for care staff to be able to quickly and effectively screen for dysphagia, as a delay in doing so may have devastating effects. It is a care worker’s duty to ease the struggle presented by dysphagia; not only to avoid the possibility of death, but to simply ensure that a resident’s later life and emotional well-being is as comfortable and content as possible. Visit, email or call 01202 283483 for further details.

Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *

*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.

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

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


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

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

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

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

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

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

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

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

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

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

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

removable side cushions and middle pommel; this is available in small or large. Our popular range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 vibrant colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard waterproof rolls. It is recommended you seek professional advice to select the correct product depending on your needs. Contact us on 01424 853431 or visit us at to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

also WRAS approved to category 5 and delivers faster wash cycles and impressively low energy consumption, making it an ideal choice for any care environment. Our laundry solutions include a complementary site survey, free installation, commissioning and user training as well as a first-class service support, at no extra cost for the life of the contract. Contact, call 0345 070 2345 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


Washer Extractors

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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Portibac - Making The Places You Live and Work Safe PORTiBAC is the answer to the quick and effective sanitisation for care homes. Choose the PORTiBAC system that fits your needs. All come with our unique sanitising solution produced in the UK. PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN The entry level member of the PORTiBAC family has a simple mission - to sanitise the spaces you care about within minutes making the environment safe for staff and residents. Powered by a rechargeable battery and with its easy custom carry case, the PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN is ready to go anywhere.

What could be more satisfying than taking aim with this handy spray gun at the places you need to make safe? Filled with exclusive PORTiBAC Tropical Citrus solution - certified to kill Covid-19 on surfaces – the fine mist produced by the gun gets the job done in minutes. The PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN is available in, Metallic gold, Brushed silver & Brilliant white. Comes complete with 800ml of PORTiBAC Tropical Citrus solution all for just £125 PORTiBAC - the essential tool in the fight against the spread of Covid19 15% discount to all care homes, please see or call 03430 442 442

Staysafe Visor - CE-Certified PPE Manufactured in the UK

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

200,000 items per week. At Staysafe Visor our experienced team takes very seriously its role in supporting the health of the community by helping to maintain a safer environment. Availability and affordability are the cornerstones of our operation. Because we sell directly to

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


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

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

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

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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL MAG Launches Ozone Generator Proven To Kill Covid–19

Are your rooms 100% free of germs and smells? Clean, fresh air has never been more important and ozone is being used in care homes across the UK as a new safety standard for infection control. The MAG Ozone Generator emits ozone through the air to sanitise surfaces and kill bacteria and viruses including Covid–19. 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 destroying microorganisms. With cycle times as quick as 15 minutes the MAG Ozone Generator is the quick & easy way to sanitise any indoor environment including care homes,

pods, rooms, offices, toilets, canteens, storage areas and more. Ozone is also extremely effective at removing unwanted smells from rooms. Rather than masking unpleasant odours with air fresheners and chemicals you can permanently remove smells with the MAG Ozone Generator. Available for less than £5.00 per day MAG Ozone Generators can be purchased outright or paid for monthly via lease or rental. Separate to ozone generators MAG Equipment Ltd also supply and service all leading brands of commercial washing machines, tumble dryers and ironers should you require any assistance. To find our more visit or telephone 01422 244734.

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

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MAG OZONE GENERATOR Emits ozone through the air sanitising surfaces and killing bacteria, microorganisms and viruses including COVID-19 while eliminating unpleasant odours


01451 604708



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

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

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

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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


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL 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) technolo-

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

OneSpray - Reduces the Spread of Harmful Bacteria and Viruses Throughout the course of the 2020 pandemic, the Care Home sector has undoubtedly endured a challenging period. With an increased risk to staff and residents, there has been a lack of fundamental government support at all levels, leaving owners and managers with increased challenges. Infection control is naturally a top priority for Care Homes but never before has the risk been so acute. With a lack of direction and support from government, the onus is left to the individual homes to determine the best course of action. An obvious change has been to implement either significantly increased or continual cleaning procedures. However, as Channel 4’s Dispatches showed on 26 October 2020, whilst this can be effective if carried out perfectly, the results can be highly inconsistent in reality, as that policy is susceptible to human error. It also comes at a cost, in terms of both product and labour. Dispatches looked at continual cleaning procedures undertaken in Tesco, Costa Coffee, hotels and public transport, using ATP testing in a number of sample areas to determine the presence

of organic material. The results were very mixed with an unsettlingly high number of samples showing very high counts of bacteria, despite supposedly being clean. The conclusion was that whilst the process can work, it leaves open the risk of human error, whether that be missing an area or it simply not being feasible to continually clean every surface. OneSpray offer a solution to help mitigate that risk, with innovative antimicrobial technology that is proven extensively to protect surfaces for up to 30 days from application. Groups of Care Homes are already using their solutions, alongside major transport networks, airlines and airports amongst others business worldwide, across multiple sectors. Containing no alcohol or harmful chemicals, and proven against EN14476 and EN1500, the unique longevity of the products will help protect staff and residents alike. For more information, contact or 03400 577 148. Alternatively, you can visit their website at See the advert on page 43.

Elgin Bay Offer The Mac500 Proven Solution to Combating Coronavirus 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 companies and individuals in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. We have not

About MAC500: The MAC500 air purifier has been on the market for nearly 20 years and is already operating in many homes and workplaces around the world. Other benefits include: • Reduction in Virus/Bacteria/Fungi • Reduction in Odour within the room • Reduces indoor air pollution and eliminates the sources of headaches, respiratory problems (COPD/Asthma) For further information, please contact Matthew Cove on 07920 254379 or The report can be requested by contacting or downloaded here: 07_ms2-test.pdf


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Why Care Homes Need Change from Traditional Toxic Cleaning Products to a More Sustainable, Safe and Low-Cost Alternative By Chris Speak, Managing Director, Purozo Limited ( If we took the time to analyse our present cleaning regimes, it would unearth some startling facts. Firstly, the huge cost and quantity being spent in our homes on a range of cleaning and sanitising products is adding pressure to budgets which are already over stretched, as well as putting more strain on our wonderful

care staff. Secondly, the extra storage you need for multiple chemicals, the plastic waste they produce and the worry of running out of stock also presents additional challenges.


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

possibilities with COSHH training, it still does not remove the danger. In this new dawn of environmental awareness, we still continue to pump all these toxic chemicals down our drains and into our rivers, lakes and coastline, and for what reason?


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

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

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

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



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 or 01902 484 400.

Protecting Staff And Residents with Continual Airborne Sanitisation

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

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




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Why eLearning Is Part of the ‘New Normal’ The rapid turnover of staff in the care sector is an established and unfortunate fact. A state of play that care providers are forced to contend with constantly. Not only is this the cause of countless lost hours, but it also takes a hefty financial toll too. Skills for Care have estimated the cost to recruit, train and induct new carers at £3,642 per care worker. With a significant portion coming directly from training costs. Prior to COVID-19, forward thinking care providers were already starting to use eLearning instead of or as a compliment to face to face training. The current situation has compelled care providers eLearning the most sensible way to go for most if not all care providers.

founded eLFY. Thirteen years later and eLFY is now used in over 5,000 registered care locations care across the UK and is the leading eLearning system for social care in the UK. What people love is the interactive learning, the ease of use and access anywhere, the comprehensive course library and of course, the much fairer pricing model. In the intervening years, the eLFY team have worked with experts in care sector training, regulations, and compliance and in eLearning design. develop a truly unbeatable learning library. Here are just some of the course categories on offer: • Mandatory courses (including infection prevention and control) • Care Certificate • Managerial courses • Clinical courses

WHAT’S eLEARNING FOR YOU AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT? While most eLearning platforms charge by the individual, eLearning for You, or eLFY for short, charges by the course or for an allocation of transferable user licenses. Crucially, this means that when a new carer replaces an outgoing one, they simply take on the leaving carer’s learning license, so you don’t need to pay again. That’s because we understand how the care sector works at the levels of senior management and the day-to-day, on the ground. eLFY’s founder, Rob Cousins, has operated his own care homes for over 17 years. Relatively soon after entering the care sector Rob saw the need for a more affordable, flexible and efficient way to train staff. In 2007 he

• Non-clinical courses • Ancillary courses • Advanced care courses

NEW HORIZONS A more recent addition is eCompetency. Designed by social care experts, eCompetency uses gamification to create a virtual and interactive environment. Learners are presented with real-world scenarios to properly assess their decision making and competency. eLFY’s rapid growth and reputation among care providers led them to be acquired by the Access Group earlier this year. eLFY is now delivered through Access Workspace, the unique single sign-on system that brings all your care software together in the same place. This joining together of forces will make it easier for Access’ 8,000+ care locations to take advantage of eLFY, particularly at a time when distanced learning seems like the only sensible option. Meanwhile care providers using eLFY are seeing exactly what else Access can do for them, whether it is electronic care plans, scheduling, medicine management, compliance, recruitment, screening, or something else, Access should have what you need. What eLFY users say: “We have been using eLearning For You for several years now and it’s helped to change the way we manage our training and develop our staff teams.” – Frank Walsh, Workforce Development Manager, Potens “Very easy online platform to use, especially on mobile. The content of the course was well presented and comprehensive.” – Iona Cioaca, Registered Manager, Runwood Homes Find out more about eLFY or book a demo at or call 01202 725080 (Option 4).

Turn To Tech To Relieve Pressure and Improve Experience By Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Moneypenny ( 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.

of hours. Technology has the power to help overcome this mounting pressure 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.



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

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

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.

The Future of Health and Social Care in a Post-Pandemic World By Steve Morgan, Partnership Director, Agilisys ( Covid-19 has turned the daily rhythms and routines of everybody upside down, not least of which those within the nursing and residential care home sector. Health and social care, weakened by years of chronic underfunding and rising demand, was already staring into an abyss. Whilst the newly announced vaccine provides hope, there is still plenty that the sector needs to do to assure its future. What does the future look like for health and social care? How will the ways care is delivered change in 2021 and beyond? And, crucially, what impact will this have on patients?

THE CONTINUED DISPLACEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY By deploying technology across people's homes and linking it with the digitised front door, a large proportion of attended care at home can be displaced, making large savings and improving the quality of service delivered. For example, sensors like oximeters or door contact sensors that trigger an exception when dementia sufferers open doors at unexpected times, can reduce the number of home visits dramatically.

CREATING A CARE BUBBLE Vulnerable people are alone now more than ever, and health care teams are struggling to keep up with the demand. Technology can help to create and connect support teams whether that be family members, third sector organisations or charitable groups. Technology can account for a patient’s routine, medication and needs. Plus, it can enable a community of volunteers, family members, friends and neighbours to help with day-to-day care. Therefore, creating a support bubble around at-risk individuals. This bubble could consist of 10,000 volunteers or organisations that bring different skills to the table, in addition to any formal care that would still be required.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS There needs to be additional targeted investment post-pandemic to finally integrate health and social care throughout the UK. It is a case of safety in numbers. However, there are still significant technology and data challenges to bringing residential and domiciliary care into the 21st century. And there remains basic technology issues that need urgent attention. As recently as last year, only 75% of residential care homes had an Internet connection.

CHANGING THE ROLE OF CONTACT CENTRES The wider changes to working habits will impact the delivery of social care. Due to contact centre headcounts being reduced as home working takes over, the focus will be on technology to virtually bring people together. If an issue needs to be raised that's associated with one part of provisioning or social care, workers need to be able to do so automatically and immediately. Traditional contact centres who operate an ‘inbound’ contact model must now change to a proactive ‘outbound’ contact model; making video calls, verifying current situations and using the proactive support bubble to ensure closer integration with primary care.

TAKING A HOLISTIC VIEW We are already seeing increased interest in chatbots to manage inbound demand and expect this to accelerate further, supported by more complex Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation led solutions. It is likely that there is a large amount of pent-up demand for care – people have battened down the hatches and held off making requests but as the world returns to normal, they will do so. Therefore, the opportunities to signpost and manage that demand by automation may be required. What has been missing when looking at social care in the past is for somebody to sit back and take the holistic view; looking at how existing technologies come together to deliver the outcomes that we need. Get the technology angle right and you can deliver integrated care. The pressures on the sector are severe – and have been seriously exacerbated by the pandemic – however the vaccine and the re-emergence of technology solution provides hope.


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 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 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


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


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

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

How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?

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

There are many systems on the market - Why facial

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

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

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

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



Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.


Call button Pager Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

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.

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.

Benefits include:

Features 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:


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

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

your needs.

environment of any size or scale.

Aid Call wireless nurse call systems can make

See the advert on page 1 for further information.


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

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

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

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

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

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis ever known, we have battled through. At the start of the lockdown we supplied the NHS and Local Authorities with over 2000 bed occupancy detection alarm systems, many of them used to enable long term patients to be discharged from hospital to free up beds for COVID victims. Independent living support was and is essential during this pandemic. Now we launch our new brand. TumbleCare. The TumbleCare brand is a range of fall detection and prevention products focussing on affordable quality and product performance. The products are tough, easy to set, use and provide carers with reliable advance warning notification of potential falls. Visit our website. Firstly, you’ll be amazed at the variety of care solutions we offer, then blown away by our realistically fair pricing. Visit or see the advert on page 45 for details.






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

Call us on 01252-340220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future. Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Wireless Fall Prevention

By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare

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


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

Edison Telecom

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


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


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


Make sure the system you choose is as unobtrusive as possible. Often fall prevention equipment is designed to be as hidden as possible. Should the item be particularly obvious make sure you are happy it fits as well as possible into the decor of the room it sits in and think about choosing a floormat that corresponds with the flooring in the room e.g. wood effect vinyl or carpet. Spearhead are proud to distribute the entire Alerta

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.”


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:

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: For further details, please email us at or call 01977 705203. Register on the ESS Care TENDERTRACKER for further details

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: 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 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 or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on this page for further details.



Buying A Care Home – Issues To Look Out For By Derek Ching, partner in the commercial property team at Boyes Turner ( The care home market is expected to be buoyant in 2021. If you are considering buying a care home, there are various issues you should consider. Derek Ching partner in the commercial property team at Boyes Turner explains more. Anyone who is considering buying a care home needs to undertake thorough due diligence. This is always time well spent and will minimise the chance of potentially expensive surprises happening later on in the purchase process, or even after the deal has completed.

OVERHEADS An obvious starting point is for a potential buyer to look at the overheads of a care business. In doing this, it is important to look ahead and think about the impact that rising compliance standards may have. Staff overheads also need to be factored in, including increases in the minimum wage and other employment overheads. Will these increases be matched by an increase in income?

STAFFING Take time to consider staffing generally, including the impact of TUPE – the rules governing the transfer of staff – on the acquisition of a care business. Other questions to ask are if the business will be affected by changes to the immigration rules post-Brexit.

Consider the impact loss of key staff could have on the business. This will require contingency planning to ensure that key people don’t leave the business on day 1. Losing key staff could affect continuing Care Quality Commission registration and may also have a major impact on operational effectiveness. A key manager may hold the keys – both literally and metaphorically – to understanding how the business operates. A great way to understand a care business before buying it is by speaking to the manager, who may not be the owner. This may be delicate commercially, but without that opportunity, your understanding of the business may be impaired.

PROPERTY AND PLANNING ISSUES Another item on your due diligence list should be to review the adequacy of any planning consents and issues over securing planning for any building improvements or extensions that you may be thinking of carrying out. A review should be undertaken into the scope of the property title to ensure that no adverse third party rights or covenants exist, and that title restrictions do not impede any plans you may have for improvements. If the care home is held under a lease, it is important to thoroughly understand the controls imposed by the lease covenants on the operator of the business. This should include permitted use, controls on alterations, dealing with assignments, transfer of licences and the scope of repairing obligations. Where landlord’s consent to assignment is needed, does the entity acquiring the lease have the financial strength to satisfy their requirements? Ensure all necessary insurances can be put in place when required.

FINANCE If you are relying on bank or other external investment be aware that the lenders’ legal requirements will be uncompromising and allow no

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


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

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room to sort things out afterwards. This makes it imperative that sellers are required to supply every piece of supporting documentation needed by the lender, even if you don’t consider them of immediate concern. Approval in principle for funding is never unconditional. The problems and delays in the purchase process usually come in satisfying lenders pre-conditions. Demands for personal guarantees or secondary security often add to the timescale before funds can be released as well as add to the expenses of the transaction overall.

LOOK OUT FOR UNDERINVESTMENT When looking around the premises, look for signs of underinvestment or cost cutting, which may mean expensive catch-up investment later. This could include lack of maintenance and decoration, poor record keeping, inadequate support and training for staff, poor management, reduction in purchasing of supplies. Other issues to look out for are excessive dividends or repayment of director loans at the expense of reinvestment into the business. A detailed survey of condition is crucial. The survey should encompass asbestos, DDA compliance, electrical and gas safety and energy performance. Many deficiencies can be swept under the carpet and only get picked up later when major spending becomes necessary.

PLAN FOR AHEAD FOR CQC REGISTRATION Take time to understand any areas of improvement identified or outright non-compliances identified by CQC inspection reports and the implications for a new owner. This could be a sign of wider issues. Plan ahead for the CQC registration process to run smoothly. There are a lot of issues to consider before buying a care home but taking time to do this thoroughly at the start of the process will save you time and money later on.

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


INSURANCE FOR CARE The Changing Risk Landscape for Care Providers and its Impact on Insurance It is common knowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has brought huge challenges to the UK care sector. The increased demand for care across all sectors and the change to the way in which it is delivered means operators have had to become more flexible and responsive. This has only been possible by the hard work and dedication of those working within the industry. Significant change have been experienced across all sectors of the care industry, but it’s only the elderly care sector that has seen a change in the insurance landscape as a direct result of COVID-19. There have been increases in the premiums required by insurers for many insurance packages as potential risk increases and appetite for the sector diminishes. We have taken a look at the challenges facing providers of elderly care in the UK and why these increased risks have had such an effect on the insurance market.

THE SITUATION We know that at the beginning of the outbreak back in March, many companies operating care facilities were not included in vital government plans to provide suitable PPE, financial support and workforce planning. Many UK care homes in the elderly care sector struggled to control outbreaks within their facilities as COVID began to sweep across the country. By the very nature of the working conditions and relationships between patients, families and staff, it was easy for the virus to spread causing worry. PPE was a cause for concern; locating the right type and in the right quantities left many care providers without the right protection. Staffing has been challenging with vulnerable team members shielding, and isolating colleagues leaving a temporary gap in staff levels following a holiday or from exposure either inside or outside of the care home. But the biggest ongoing challenge facing elderly care home operators was and remains regular testing and speedy results. Testing is vital to stop the spread of infection and is the best weapon to keep it under control, until the approved vaccine programme is well underway. As restrictions change across the country on a regular basis, care providers have had to adapt and implement new ways of working. This constant change adds additional stress to the workforce and brings increased

potential for something to go wrong. All of the issues above will have been closely monitored by the insurer market as they weigh up the exposure to risk for care providers.

INCREASED POTENTIAL RISKS – A CONCERN FOR INSURERS Care facility proprietors will always put the care and wellbeing of their patients and residents at the heart of everything they do; reputations are built on the exceptional care that is delivered. We should remember that care home settings have always been open to potential risk. Claims can arise for a myriad of reasons, from a claim of medical malpractice to a claim under Employment Liability for an employee fall or injury, but COVID-19 has brought its own set of risks which have increased the potential for insurance claims.

adviser who specialises in insurance for the care sector has spoken to a number of A rated insurers to understand why there is a decreased appetite for the elderly care sector. Matthew said: “Whilst insurers haven’t actually seen an increase in claims so far, the apprehension appears to be around the potential for claims under Employment Liability cover for COVID-19. There is concern about the possible emergence of companies that may offer a ‘no win no fee’ for anyone who has contracted Covid whilst working in a care home, creating a claim culture. Should this scenario arise it could lead to significant reserves having to be put aside for potential claims. It sounds unlikely but this is exactly what happened with PPI only a few years ago. The reasons for claims are certainly very different but we could see the claim culture it invoked replicated for this pandemic.” Claims may arise from employees, residents or the families of either, if something should go wrong. This could be as the result of inadequate PPE or robust procedures to stop the spread of infection within a facility. The potential for claims is high, but without adequate cover in place care homes will be unable to operate. Matthew continued: “We are an independent broker and look across the insurer market to find the optimum insurance programme for our clients. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to place business, which is a problem for everyone. A number of insurers have pulled out of the elderly care market completely and those remaining have increased their premiums to accommodate for an anticipated rise in claims.”


Insurers have been watching the unfolding care sector situation closely as they decide on their response and how or rather if, they have an appetite for cover moving forward. Matthew Dale, from Barnes Commercial, an expert

Thankfully there are still some insurers who will provide insurance for the care sector and at affordable premiums. Packages are available for care homes in any setting, including elderly care, with a turnover of up to £5M and can be purchased via reputable brokers. Barnes Commercial offer a Business Essentials package which has been specifically created for the care home sector, and includes cover for management liability (Director’s and Officer’s insurance) which is quite hard to come by these days. Care homes can expect to see broader insurance packages returning as the pandemic abates and the approved vaccines are rolled out. Advice to care homes owners during these extraor-

dinary times to mitigate risk, is to ensure that you keep up to date with government and CQC guidelines. Create safeguarding practices, write them up and share with all members of your team so everyone knows the procedures to follow and how to manage a crisis effectively. If following an inspection any issues are raised, ensure an action is put in place and any remedial actions are taken immediately. Review and improve cleaning regimes to ensure they are robust and comply with government guidelines. Consider hiring the services of companies with specialist air purifying machines to help with air circulation and ventilation. Try to avoid using agency staff if possible because the change can be unsettling for elderly residents and there is more potential for the virus to be brought into your workplace. If you do use a care agency, make sure you carry out due diligence and check they have employment liability and medical malpractice insurance for their staff. If you employ new staff, ensure they are fully trained and put procedures in place to facilitate ongoing training for all employees. Make sure you carry out thorough background checks for new team members, or suppliers. In summary, it’s all about general good management and an ability to manage risk effectively. Take the time to look at all areas of your business and identify where you are open to risk, putting measure in place to allow business continuity should the unexpected occur. Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a specialist independent broker offering guidance and advice on managing risk within the care sector. For more information please visit their website at

Specialist care home insurance We arrange tailored insurance programmes for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers, for both staff and business owners. Our extensive knowledge of the care market will help to ensure you have the right protection in place for now and, for the future. Secure robust cover that’s right for your business.


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Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a trading style of Barnes Commercial Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 844370. Registered address: 3 Fenice Court, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 8EW. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 11909011.

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


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