The Carer Digital - Issue #35

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 35

Close Contact Stopped for Tier 4 Care Home Visits

New guidance issued by The Department of Health and Social Care has banned close-contact care home visits in Tier 4 areas. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new strain of the coronavirus appears to be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant, and could increase the R number by 0.4. Covid-19 devastated care homes earlier this year, with official figures recording more than 21,000 excess deaths related to Covid-19 in care homes. Physical contact visits, which started earlier this month, have now been stopped. The government guidance issued on Saturday night (19 December) states that care home visits in tier 4 areas can only happen behind substantial screens, in visiting pods or through windows. The guidance also states that all care homes – regardless of Tier – and except in the event of an active outbreak – should seek to enable: • outdoor visiting and ‘screened’ visits only taking place with substantial screens in

place, through windows or in visiting pods. All care homes in Tier 1, 2 and 3 – except in the event of an active outbreak – should also seek to enable: • indoor visits where the visitor has been tested and returned a negative result • Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be enabled, in all tiers. The guidance also states that 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.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at The Carer

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One of the great joys of my job is our “Unsung Hero” award. Regular readers will know it is something we started at a Residential and Nursing Care Show at the NEC in Birmingham when we celebrated our 10th Anniversary several years back. It was something we expected to do only “once every 10 years”. However, such was the response that we decided to incorporate it annually, then we decided to include a Christmas Unsung Hero as well! This has been a rather exceptional year in the sector, and in each of our printed issues in 2020 we have included an Unsung Hero award. As the sector was caught in the eye of the storm, we just wanted to give a small gesture of appreciation on our part. To say that the nominations we have received each time are heartwarming and uplifting would be an understatement! We here at THE CARER have all been truly “humbled”, and to see first-hand the dedication and commitment, hard work and devotion staff have shown from all departments has been a deeply moving and joyful experience. I have said repeatedly that prior to the pandemic the adult social care sector and those working in residential and nursing care have for a very long time been taken for granted. The pandemic demonstrated to the whole nation just how valuable and dedicated the sector is. Our award is as stated above just a “small no-frills or glitz or glamour token” and we are delighted that our “luxury Christmas hamper” has found its way to Martyn Davies, who owns and manages Urmston Manor care home in Manchester. (See page 5). Once again, very well-done Martin! You are an absolute credit to the sector, and once again thank you all for your nominations. We really do wish we could have awarded you all they were so delightfully inspirational. Another great joy is publishing, in print, online and via our social media, the many (again heart-warming and uplifting) initiatives around the country by residential nursing care


Peter Adams

homes, staff, residents, families and friends and multiple organisations. And Christmas 2020 is no exception. This has been a devastating year for the country but for the residential and nursing care home in particular. Residents unable to see loved ones, the devastation in care homes when the pandemic swept in the earlier part of the year, then all the uncertainty which followed. Residents were hoping experience the long-awaited warmth and joy of being able to hug touch and feel loved ones at Christmas time. Unfortunately, close contact is now banned. I often say the government finds itself between a rock and a hard place, and this latest close contact ban has been met positively. Given the spike infection rate and the spread of the Covid variant it was inevitable. However, staff and residents have proved this year just how resilient they are the face of adversity, and will adapt accordingly. This has been borne out by the stories we have received this Christmas period, which have been a delight. I think we have covered almost everything, from Carol singing, to shows and panto’s, celebrity podcast singing, making Christmas cards and Christmas tree decorations, community initiatives, virtual trips and travels, surprise visits from festively decorated animals, famous sportspeople getting involved, food banks on fundraising, you name it I think we have reported on it, but I must confess when I first looked at the heading on my email that “Ant and Dec” had paid a surprise visit to Llandudno care home I did fall for it! I genuinely believed it was the “lovable Geordie duo” and had to laugh when I saw 2 rescued donkeys with Christmas hats! (See page 16). It has been a truly difficult 2020 and I very much hope we here at THE CARER have proved to have been a vital source providing “news without the spin“, in-depth comment, opinion, advice and guidance from some of the industry’s leading lights as well as the most comprehensive selection of products and services in the marketplace. And we all at THE CARER would take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas indeed and a Happy New Year. 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

Fax: 01202 552666 Email:

WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Shelly Roche Published by


Close Contact Stopped for Tier 4 Care Home Visits (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) In the event of an outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson, said, ‘We know visiting restrictions in care homes have been very difficult for residents, their families and staff, and we have done everything we can to safely enable visits and reunite loved ones. In the face of a new variant of the virus, we have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes. ‘Visits to care homes can still take place in Tier 4 with arrangements such as substantial screens or visiting pods but, for the safety of loved ones, close-contact indoor visits supported by testing cannot take place in tier 4 areas.’ The National Care Forum (NCF) has said that the last-minute change to Christmas rules will cause a ‘significant challenge to all care providers’ and that care providers are receiving different instructions from local authorities and Government in relation to the use of lateral flow devices in care homes. Vic Rayner, Executive Director, NCF, said, ‘Visits can and should continue in tier 4. However, the change in government policy to refuse the use of on-site testing in tier 4 will cause enormous distress to residents and loved ones. It will also be a huge blow to providers who have spent the last week preparing and training staff to use lateral flow devices (LFDs), and communicating and planning with relatives to enable meaningful visits by Christmas. ‘Visiting is absolutely key to the delivery of great care. Therefore, it is

deeply unhelpful for local authorities and central government to be providing vastly different instructions in relation to the use of lateral flow devices in Tiers 1 to 3. Visits can be supported by LFDs, but they are only part of the picture alongside the continued use of PPE and Infection Prevention and Control procedures. ‘The last-minute changes to Christmas plans will also cause a significant challenge to all care providers – residential and homecare. Staff rotas have been planned to ensure everyone got a chance to spend time with families over the five-day Christmas period. This will of course all have to change as everyone assimilates the impact of this snap change of direction.’ According to NCF, care workers have always been the occupational group with the highest number of people working on Christmas Day and say it’s this lowest paid group of staff who are being asked to make some of the biggest sacrifices. Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum, said, ‘If ever this government was going to follow the lead of Scotland and Wales and reward all those staff for the multiple personal sacrifices they have made throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so to keep everyone safe over Christmas – then this is the time to do it. Care workers need all our respect, and we need government to step up and show just how much it values their contribution.’ Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said, ‘This is a terrible situation for everyone, and the short amount of notice given complicates matters further. We hope that the next, more transportable, vaccine will be rolled out to care home residents and staff as quickly as possible in order to see any light at the end of the tunnel.’

Judy Downey, chair of the Relatives & Residents Association, said the cancellation was an 'incremental tragedy' and 'hopes have been got up so cruelly', but conceded that there may be a higher risk of infection in care homes but said that some families 'are no longer being recognised'. She added: 'Spouses are going in and the person turns their face away and says: ''Who is that?'' ' BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “After days of warnings from the medical and scientific community to review the Christmas rules, the Government’s announcement and introduction of Tier 4 restrictions in London and the South East, is absolutely the right decision and one which will save lives. “With the virus rushing through the country at an alarming rate, the BMA has been warning that our NHS and its staff are already at the point of collapse. As many hospitals are already full to capacity and some are even unable to provide patients with the urgent care they need, these are necessary measures to ease pressure on services. “While the announcement today will be hugely disappointing to the millions of people now having to cancel Christmas plans, these tougher measures are necessary to protect our loved ones and those most vulnerable in our society, as well as giving our health service a fighting chance to cope with the incredible demand it is experiencing. “We all wanted to have some semblance of Christmas this year but given these latest developments, particularly with the emergence of this new faster spreading strain, the best thing we can do now is stay at home to protect each other. There is hope that in a few months the vaccination programme will allow family, relatives and friends to mix together once again.

Strictly's Head Judge Sends Christmas Message To Wiltshire Care Home As the residents at Blenheim House Care Home in Melksham settled in for their usual Saturday night “Strictly Club” imagine their surprise when in full technicolour, Head Judge, Shirley Ballas appeared on their cinema screen to wish them a very merry Christmas! Clearly making a wonderful impression on Strictly Come Dancing’s Head judge, not only did Ms Ballas send everyone lots of “Christmas Huggies” but she talked of their weekly “Strictly Club” asking why she hadn’t invited to be on their judging panel!! Avid fans of Strictly Come Dancing, the team at the Wiltshire care home were determined to try and do something extra special for their residents and particularly so this year. Chris Guest, Events & Community Liaison lead at Blenheim House commented at how amazing this was. “I’m still pinching myself that we actually made this happen and owe a huge thank you to the completely wonderful Shirley Ballas. The look on our residents faces and the sparkle when sharing the news with their families was just magical.

Ahead of this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing final, the excitement has been building at the luxury care home in Wiltshire, residents are swotting up on their dancing knowledge and polishing their score cards whilst their Activities team prepare a special sparkling night of fun!! Through their “Just for Me” initiative Majesticare luxury care homes are dedicated to creating these unique experiences for both their residents and teams. Lily Patrick, Heart & Creativity Co-ordinator commented: “Our “Just for Me” initiative is one we are most proud of and it’s only through learning about each other, life histories past and dreams unfilled that we can create such moments of magic.”


Covid Vaccinations, Capacity and Care Homes By Jonathan Landau, barrister at 5 Essex Court (

Vaccinations of care home residents have begun. In 2013 the Alzheimer’s Society estimated that 70 – 80 per cent of care home residents have dementia. Given the consistent trend of residents being admitted to care homes later in life and with more complex needs, that figure may now be higher. Some, though not all, of those residents will lack capacity to make the decision as to whether they should be vaccinated. How should care homes and care staff approach the issue? On 10 December, the NHS published a Standard Operating Procedure titled ‘COVID-19 local vaccination services deployment in community settings. It included, as Appendix D, an operating model for providing local vaccination services in care homes. The SOP, and in particular Appendix D, was significantly updated on 18 December, so care home providers and managers should ensure they are following the latest version and regularly check for further updates. The key message is that providers are expected to help facilitate con-

sent, but are not themselves responsible for best interest decisions. The updated Appendix D asks care homes to carry out ‘provisional’ assessments at least four days before vaccinations and to group residents into three broad categories: • Those who are likely to have mental capacity to consent • Those who have or may require a Legal Power of Attorney (LPA) to consent on their behalf. Although not expressly stated, it would of course make sense to include anyone with a Court of Protection appointed deputy covering healthcare decisions into this category. • Those who may require a best interest decision to be made on their behalf. In order to do that, it will be necessary to have a working knowledge of capacity. There are two elements of not having capacity: 1. An impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain; and 2.Being unable to make a decision because of that. A person is unable to make a decision under the Mental Capacity Act if they are not able to do one or more of the following: 1. Understand the information relevant to the decision, 2.Retain the information long enough to make the decision, 3.Weigh up the information, and 4.Communicate the decision. Information relevant to the decision is likely to include that the vaccination will reduce the chances of contracting the virus, which is a serious, life-threatening illness. It will also include information that vaccinations are not 100% effective and there may be some side effects which are mild and should not last longer than a week. The side-effects are set out helpfully here: Care homes must remember, however, than under the Mental Capacity Act, a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken with-

QCS Supports Down’s Syndrome Charity to Launch National Video Learning Programme

Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a leading content provider for the care, health and learning sectors, is proud to support 21 Together, a Kent-based Down’s syndrome charity, to roll-out a national Covid-19 learning programme on Christmas Eve. QCS has provided 21 Together with both funding and logistical resources to launch this online learning resource, Teach Me Too, which is a library of educational videos designed to help develop skills in speech, language and cognition. Thanks to QCS’s support, the learning resource, which has been designed specifically for children with Down’s syndrome, will now be free to access both in the UK and

around the world. The first batch of videos, which are focused on developing Speech & Language, cognition and learning skills, will be launched in time for Christmas to help deliver on the promise of a gift for every child. The videos, which have been specifically designed to focus on ‘stage’ rather than ‘age’ break new ground. By taking an innovative and non-conventional approach to learning, 21 Together have ensured that they can be accessed and enjoyed by a wide range of ages. 21 Together charity manager, Jo Aiyathurai explains, “As parents, we understand the learning challenges that children with Down’s syndrome face. While they can flourish in a mainstream learning environment, in order to do so, they need to learn visually, rather than through auditory learning techniques. These videos – which prioritise ‘stage’ rather than ‘age’ – recognise that children with Down’s syndrome can begin their reading journey from the age of two, and, with the right support, some can achieve expected reading milestones when they start school. We think that is life changing and are grateful to QCS for all its support.” QCS’s partnership with 21 Together is part of a wider goal to drive innovation, to make content more accessible to providers, to move it beyond compliance and in doing so, to make it available to new sectors, markets and geographies. As part of this strategy, QCS is supporting the work of experts in a number of different fields in a raft of sectors, including dementia care, where QCS is collaborating with Jackie Pool, a frontline dementia care expert, to further develop the

out success. Consideration should be given as to what steps, if any, could be taken to help residents make the decision themselves. There are standard letters and consent forms to be provided to any residents with capacity available here: For those without consent, care homes should identify whether residents have LPAs in place covering health and care. Check if they are joint (which would require all LPAs to consent) or joint and several (in which case one LPA would suffice, though it would be sensible to obtain views of all). Again, there are standard letters and forms available on the link above. For those without capacity or LPAs, the decision-maker will need to make a decision in their best interests. The decision-maker in this case is the clinician who will administer the vaccine NOT the care home provider or its staff. However, the link above has forms and letters to be sent to relatives if it is appropriate to consult them. It is sensible that care homes do as much as possible to line up the information the decision-maker will require on the day so discussing the issue with appropriate family members and others is to be encouraged. There may be isolated cases where those with capacity or LPAs refuse vaccinations, or family members object, possibly due to misinformation or scepticism. Such cases should be identified early. Managers should share information about the benefits of vaccinations but without exerting pressure that might affect the validity of the consent. Advice should be sought as early as possible in any cases of conflict or if there doubt about capacity or best interests. Jonathan Landau is a barrister at 5 Essex Court who has extensive experience of advising care homes about mental capacity, inquests and regulatory matters. QCS PAL Instrument, a tool which assesses cognitive ability. Mat Whittingham, QCS’s Chief Executive and Co-Founder, said, “We’re delighted, excited and honoured to be supporting 21 Together’s Teach Me Too programme. When we met with Jo and her team, what really shone through was a passion and determination to make this game-changing learning resource universally available to every person with Down’s syndrome. At QCS, we’re focused on helping those that care to go above and beyond standards and regulations. With this in mind, we will do all that we can to support 21 Together to launch and develop this unique and pioneering video learning resource.” Jo Aiyathurai added, “Every child, regardless of background, income, or family situation deserves access to education materials that meet their needs. For too long access has only been available to those that can pay for it and that is what 21 Together wanted to change. As a group, we are extremely proud of our achievement and are incredibly grateful to Quality Compliance Systems. QCS has been pivotal in enabling us to make the project accessible to the world, and our whole community will benefit because of their support.” Quality Compliance System (QCS) provides a high-quality, bespoke Care Quality Commission management service for Adult Social Care providers, Dentists and GPs. Across the social care sector, QCS is widely trusted and respected brand which is specifically designed to conform to the CQC Fundamental Standards set out by the CQC. To find out more about QCS, call 0333-405-33 33 or email 21 Together is a registered charity in Kent set up in 2016 by four parents, each with a child with Down’s syndrome. It is now a vibrant and thriving community charity with families at its heart, supporting over 140 families and 200 individuals within Kent. It was named “Charity of the Year” at the Wards Children’s Charity Awards in November 2019. To find out more about 21 Together, or its Teach Me Too online resource, please email

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Say Hello to Martyn - The Carer's “Christmas Unsung Hero” 2020 We are delighted to announce The Carer's Unsung Hero for Christmas 2020! And the winner is… Martyn Davies, who is registered manager and owner of Urmston Manor care home in Manchester. Martyn has done a magnificent job in steering the home not only during the current pandemic, but turning the home around, which saw the home receiving a CQC ‘outstanding’ rating overall. Martyn is a registered nurse and said his is “the most rewarding job in the world.” Martyn moved to Manchester at age 16 from South Wales and first worked as a kitchen porter at Tampopo in the Trafford Centre washing dishes before starting in the kitchen of a Manchester care home and is now running his own care home! Martyn and his team go above and beyond for the 24 residents aged 62 to 97 that live at Urmston Manor, and here is a small selection of the accolades we received from Martin’s nomination. “Martyn goes above and beyond to not just ensure the physical health of my grandmother and all other residents but also their happiness.” “What Martyn does in 'normal' times is extraordinary. What he has done this year has been well above the 'call of duty' and he thoroughly deserves recognition for all he has done for the residents and their families.” “He works in this industry because he has a passion for caring and entertaining and does his utmost to make sure everyone is well looked after, including staff and residents’ families. The events they hold throughout the days, the themed nights inviting family and friends (although we've not been able to do that recently) and the building of a perspex box, near the start of the pandemic, are just some of the ways he enables and encourages residents and families to interact.” “Martyn is very approachable and easy to speak to about any concerns. He has gone out of this way to find out about mum's likes and dislikes, and tries to accommodate them. He often phones me to find out needs for my mum, and also to give updates on any developments. I guess this is the same for all families. Before Covid, there was always plenty to do for the residents - trips out to local restaurants and pubs, cinema visits and days out, which were all managed with ease. There were many activities in the home too, which mum was encouraged to do. Martyn is very hands-on so all the residents know him.” “Martyn managed to keep the coronavirus out of the home till recently, and through careful management, it did not spread throughout the home - all my mum’s tests were negative. He was one of the first people to install a vis-

iting pod so relatives could see their loved ones again. There have been very few staff changes which suggests that they are very happy working there. I get the impression he goes out of his way to look after them too.” “He is a person who goes the extra mile and is continuously overlooked for the work he does. He is dedicated to the health wellbeing and safety of his residents and staff. “ “During the current pandemic he has devised ways to keep the residents happy and engaged. He's pre-empted Govt guidelines on social distancing. His record on Covid testing for staff and residents is phenomenal. I could not wish for my father to be cared for by better staff or a better manager.” “There are not enough words to express how much I believe this Man is worthy of this award. He is so committed to his work and clearly compassionate about his staff and the wellbeing of all his residents. “ “Our father became a resident at Urmston Manor after spending many days there on Day Care and unfortunately because of the Pandamic he was taken into the Home as my Mother was struggling to care for him, as a family this was a very stressful time for us all and it was only because of Martyn’s kind ways that we all soon had peace of mind that Dad was being cared for with such love and care during these very difficult times. Martyn would call my Mum regular to make sure she was Ok and give her regular updates on Dad. So his care and thoughtfulness went also outside of the doors of the Manor.” “When I get old, I hope I find someone like Martyn to take care of me, he truly is a Gentleman with a massive heart.” “Martyn has only been my boss for a short time and after 3 weeks of working with him I contracted covid 19 and then continued to be off work for about a following 3 weeks. Martyn contacted me every day and more to check if I was ok, how I was doing, asked everytime if there was anything I needed to be collected, delivered and to ring if I needed anything whether it be a Mac Donald's or a truffle shuffle to cheer me up, I feel I have gained a true friend during my time of illness and been lucky enough to have found a great boss! Martyn is the perfect nominee x” What more could we possibly say! Other than very well-done Martyn, you are a true example of community nursing an absolute credit to this wonderful industry! I would like to thank everybody who sent in nominations for various members of staff in many different departments, we had some absolutely fantastic and heart-warming nominations and once again I only wish we could award you all! All the very best festive wishes to Martyn and his team and the very best wishes for 2021. And we would of course like to extend those wishes to you all.


Care Home COVID Deaths Continue to Fall in December The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales has fallen for the second consecutive week in December. According to the latest statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 532 deaths involving COVID-19 in the week ending 11 December were recorded, down from 544 in the previous week. The slight decrease marked the second consecutive weekly drop in COVID deaths, the first weekly fall since early September. Overall, the number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 11 December 2020 (Week 50) was 12,292; this was 11 fewer deaths than in Week 49. The year-to-date analysis shows that, of deaths involving the coron-

avirus (COVID-19) up to Week 50, 66.9% (48,557 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (18,964 deaths), private homes (3,500 deaths), hospices (981 deaths), other communal establishments (287 deaths) and elsewhere (257 deaths). Between Weeks 49 and 50, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in hospitals (80 deaths fewer) and care homes (12 deaths fewer) while it increased in private homes (seven deaths more) and other locations (six deaths more). Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals decreased to 36.4% in Week 50. Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths

in care homes decreased to 21.4% in Week 50. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures give us another stark warning that Covid-19 remains a very real and very dangerous threat to the lives and health of our most vulnerable. “We cannot stress highly enough how vital it is that we all heed the advice of the Government and keep our celebrations short and small this Christmas and remember hands, face and space! “We desperately want everyone to enjoy Christmas and to see their loved ones if it is safe. But it will be better for everyone if we take extra care now and celebrate properly once this dreadful pandemic is behind us which, if the vaccine is rolled out quickly, should be very soon.”

Care Manager’s Granddad Inspires His Mission To Make Enfield Dementia-Friendly Enfield care home manager, Nicolas Kee Mew, is on a mission to raise awareness of dementia in the area, after personal and professional experience of the condition. Originally from Mauritius, Nicolas watched his grandfather deal with Alzheimer’s disease without the information and support available to people in the UK. Nicolas is the manager of Elsyng House care home on Forty Hill which will welcome residents with Dementia when it opens in February 2021. “People living with Dementia can experience a range of symptoms, not just memory loss, and the more people know about it, and how to support people to live well with Dementia, the better”. “It took a long while for my grandfather’s symptoms to be recognised as Alzheimer’s disease because awareness in Mauritius 20 years ago was very low. His life would have been very different if there had been greater understanding in his community and that’s what I want to see for my residents.” Nicolas, 34, came into the care industry by accident. He arrived in the UK as a teenager to study accountancy and took a part-time job as a cleaner in a care home to support his studies.

He found he loved chatting with the residents so when the home asked him if he wanted to be a carer instead, he jumped at the chance. After finishing his degree, he could focus on his care career full-time and became a home manager at the age of just 30. He was appointed as manager of Elsyng House, a brand new, purpose-built home, in September. The home will provide luxury all-inclusive residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 75 residents. The home is the newest addition to Oakland Care’s portfolio which includes Lambwood Heights in Chigwell that was nominated for the prestigious ‘Luxury Care Home of the Year Award 2020’ with Knight Frank. Alongside running Elsyng House, Nicolas is also completing a Master’s degree in dementia studies and has recently finished a half marathon for Alzheimer’s Research, eight months after having coronavirus. “I like to be busy and a lot of my energy goes into raising awareness of dementia,” he said. “I’m working closely with local organisations in and around Enfield to raise awareness, both for the benefit of those who will make their home with us, and for others in the community living with the condition.”


Over 137,000 People in The UK Receive First Dose Of Covid Vaccine In One Week

More than 137,000 people in the UK have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the first week of the largest vaccination programme in British history. The Government has today released provisional figures which show at least 137,897 people received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of Tuesday 15 December. 108,000 people were vaccinated in England. The figures are provisional and subject to change. Formal statistics will be published every week from next week. The majority of the vaccines have been administered to the over-80s, care home workers and NHS staff through more than 70 sites across the UK.

GP-led centres started vaccinating patients this week in England and the roll out will expand to care homes soon. Over the coming weeks and months, the rate of vaccinations will increase as more doses become available and the programme continues to expand. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Thanks to the hard work of the NHS across the UK, over 137,000 people have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. “This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.” The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the first vaccine to be authorised for use by the medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Patients require two doses of the vaccine – 21 days apart – for the vaccine to be fully effective. Thanks to the work of the Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured for the whole of the UK. Rolling reviews on the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are underway and, if authorised by the MHRA, will mean there are more doses available to vaccinate those most in need.

Pensioner Sleighs Festive Fundraising For Hospice Despite Crippling Arthritis A PENSIONER suffering from Arthritis has raised £160 for a local hospice and spread festive cheer by making and selling miniature Christmas trees. Janet McCallum has raised funds for Strathcarron Hospice who helped treat her husband Duncan while he suffered from cancer. The 77-year-old who lives at Bield Housing and Care’s Strathallan Court in Bridge of Allan has created 13 Christmas trees, of which half of the materials have been made up of recycled content. The grandmother has been creating miniature Christmas trees for order since 2006 helping various charitable organisations such as Childline and the British Legion. Janet starts the tree making process months in advance. She said: “It takes a lot of time to put a tree together. You have to build the whole tree first and leave it to dry out for a period of time before decorating it. “My arthritis has been getting worse over the last few years resulting in the process becoming a little harder. “I start making the trees in October to make sure they are ready in time. The best part about making the Christmas tree’s is the designing – art and being creative has always been a passion of mine. “I use different colours and decorations for each of them. I try and make sure no tree is the same.” The Bridge of Allan local has been raising money for Strathcarron Hospice each year following the support her late husband, Duncan received from the charity. Duncan had served in the British Army and was married to Janet for 52 years before his passing.

Janet has also recovered from breast cancer with the hospice being a continual line of support for her. She said: “My husband was a lovely man, he was my first boyfriend and we got married shortly after. The hospice was there to support Duncan’s fight and have supported me through the years. “I wanted to continue to give something back to the hospice and this is my way of doing it. “Some people have said to me ‘why don’t you start your own business’, but for me this is just a hobby and I wouldn’t want to lose that sense of enjoyment. “I raised £240 last year through my Christmas trees, and so far I have raised £160, and I hope to continue to raise more.” This comes after a Bield housing development in North Lanarkshire has encouraged its local community to get behind a kindness initiative to bring messages of hope to vulnerable and elderly customers during the festive period. Campsie Gardens development in Cumbernauld is looking to keep customers motivated with the introduction of a - ‘Tree of Hope’, to remind them that better times lie ahead in the New Year. Bield is a registered charity which grew from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas. Bield’s new strategy for property development provides housing solutions with greater choice and flexibility - to address the needs of the current generation of older people and the next. To find out more about us and our developments, visit or follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.


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Covid-19 Controls Could Increase Fire Risks In Homes, Warns Safety Expert Controls to limit the risks of Covid-19 transmission could have an impact on the man-agement of fire risks in residential care homes, according to a firefighter and safety train-er. Scott Mathie specialises in giving safety advice to the residential care sector and is see-ing well-intentioned managers introduce coronavirus risks controls that are inadvertently heightening the risk of fire sweeping through their premises. “It’s common to see care providers’ Covid-19 risk assessments allow for opening doors to create an airflow to let airborne contaminants escape and to avoid ‘touch points’ in common places such as door handles,” he said. “Many aren’t communicating the increa-sed risks to their staff nor educating them in the new process of shutting doors in the

event of a fire. Self closers on the fire doors won’t function if they’re propped open. “An open fire door won’t contain the fire. The fire and smoke spreads through the building and this may hinder people’s evacuation by compromising the ‘means of escape’ and al-lowing for greater fire spread by not compartmenting the fire.” Scott, who has many years’ experience as a frontline firefighter and heads up a team of former fire service staff members within his Leicestershire company, advised residential care providers and safety managers that they could install mechanisms such as fire door retainers or magnetic locks with sensors that close doors when a fire alarm sounds. But open fire doors aren’t the only risks for care providers currently, he said. At the same time, Covid-related staffing changes, such as those caused by illness or in the small number of instances where care workers are furloughed, mean they also need to revisit their fire risk assessment to check they have enough fire marshals to keep people safe. “If your risk assessment has been set up to have, say, 10 fire marshals in the workplace and you have a number of them absent, then that may not be enough per person to man-age the risks and assist with the

evacuation of the premises. Many providers made their calculations preCovid, taking into account their then staffing numbers. You really need to revise and amend your fire risk assessment if this is the case. “And in care homes you’ll often have individuals who are the incident leaders. Often this is members of the senior leadership team or management. But what happens if they’re working remotely from home when the fire happens? Do your plans stack up and, impor-tantly, have you run a fire drill during Covid times to test your plans?’’ Mr Mathie’s company, 1st Choice Safety, runs virtual classroom courses via group video calls to ensure businesses such as residential care providers comply with fire safety both during and post lockdown. His advice to managers over the next few weeks is pretty clear: “Have a ‘stop moment’ and review your risk assessment. Are your fire doors doing their job? Do you have enough fire marshals per person at work to manage in the event of a fire? Are you sure about your chain of command, and know that you will have an incident leader on site to oversee the evacuation? “These are challenging times with Covid but we can’t let it distract us from other work-place risks, which remain and in some cases are compounded by the situation.”

HC-One’s Clinical Director and Chief Nurse Receives Knight Frank Healthcare Hero Award Karen Johnson, Clinical Director and Chief Nurse at HC-One, has won a prestigious and inaugural Healthcare Hero Award from Knight Frank, in recognition of her commitment and dedication throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Karen is one of ten marvellous healthcare heroes across a number of providers that have received a Healthcare Hero Award. The heroes were selected for their leadership, kindness and compassion through the pandemic, their efforts around infection control and commitment to thinking creatively to make sure Residents, Colleagues and visitors felt safe and protected during this challenging global pandemic. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, said: “We are thrilled to acknowledge the amazing people that work within the social care sector, this year more than ever. Care providers have managed the COVID-19 pandemic brilliantly, particularly given challenges including lack of testing and PPE, and we received many nominations on behalf of some truly outstanding people working within the sector. “Our Healthcare Heroes Awards showcase those inspirational individuals who have been undertaking exemplary work in the most difficult of circumstances and have recognised some richly deserved winners.” Karen was nominated for the award by Sir David Behan CBE, Non-Executive Chairman at HC-One, as she has been instrumental in steering HC-One through the coronavirus pandemic. She has been a pillar of strength to Colleagues, showing her dedication, determination and unwavering commitment to supporting those around her. During the pandemic, Karen showed true leadership and teamwork in equal measures, as well as providing coaching to those around her who took on

additional responsibilities and empowered each other throughout the crisis. She has also demonstrated unfaltering attentiveness, kindness, patience and empathy to Residents, Colleagues, and Relatives during these difficult and emotional times while working with the weight of responsibility of the safety of tens of thousands of people. Karen Johnson, Clinical Director and Chief Nurse at HC-One, commented: “I am extremely honoured to have been nominated for and received a Knight Frank Healthcare Heroes Award. I am privileged to work with some exceptional people in my job, who have all gone over and above to support Residents, Colleagues and Relatives during these unprecedented times. They are all truly heroes.” Sir David Behan CBE, Non-Executive Chairman at HC-One, stated: “We are so pleased that Karen, as HC-One’s Clinical Director and Chief Nurse, has received this award. Karen has made, and continues to make, an exceptional contribution throughout this pandemic, and we are delighted to celebrate her Healthcare Hero Award with her. “This award is a testament to the dedication Karen has demonstrated, even in the most challenging of times, and we are incredibly proud of her. Karen has truly gone above and beyond to provide the kindest care to Residents living in our care homes, as we strive to be the first-choice care provider in each of the communities that we serve.” Leading independent global property consultancy, Knight Frank launched the Healthcare Heroes Awards this year in order to recognise and acknowledge outstanding heroes working in the social care sector, who have showed significant dedication and true heroism throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Surprise Christmas Llama Visit At the ‘Future Care Group’Brings Festive Joy and Laughter The Show Must Go On! to Grimsby Care Home This year, all the reindeer are self-isolating ready for Christmas, so instead Residents at HC-One’s Clarendon Hall care home in Grimsby had a visit from the Christmas Llamas. The two llamas arrived wearing their finest Christmas jumpers and slowly made their way around the outside of the building and peered through the windows at the expectant Residents. Stephanie, the home administrator, joked with a new Resident, who had only joined the day before the Llamas visited, saying:

“Well I bet you weren't expecting to see a Llama when you arrived did you?” The Llamas were greeted by waves and laughter as the Residents sat at various windows awaiting their arrival. Residents who were unable to visit the windows still enjoyed the fun as Colleagues had set up a video call so Residents could join in on the fun from the comfort of their own rooms. Clarendon Hall Home Manager, Nicola joked, “We don't need a gardener now as they're eating the bushes for us and keeping them trimmed.”

Staff throughout the Future Care Group care homes remain committed to ensuring their residents continue to experience a little magic and sparkle at Christmas time and this year is no exception! Despite all the rules and restrictions in care homes, the staff at the Future Care Group carefully prepared and wrote their own scripts, rehearsed, and performed some wonderful fun filled pantomimes for their resident’s enjoyment. One manager said, “We decided, if we can’t take the residents to a panto this year then we will bring the panto to them”. A long-standing tradition the ‘panto’ as they are referred to in the UK, provided the care home audiences with a chance to laugh and singalong as they enjoyed slapstick comedy performed by the staff of good vs evil! All that was missing were the residents loved ones! but the homes- who had put on some fantastic productions! invited family and friends to join in via zoom and for those that could not make it, videos were filmed to share at a later date.

The pantos were a huge success and not only did the residents love them as they sang and recalled memories of times gone by, but staff said it gave a much needed lift at the end of an enormously difficult year. Lorraine Smith, who was the tin man in Kings Lodge production of The Wizard of Oz, said “the residents absolutely loved the show it really made all the effort so worthwhile”.


Government Issues Tier 4 Care Home Guidance New guidance issued by The Department of Health and Social care has banned close-contact care home visits in Tier 4 areas. The guidance issued on Saturday night (19 December) states that care home visits in tier 4 areas can only happen behind substantial screens, in visiting pods or through windows. All care homes – regardless of Tier – and except in the event of an active outbreak – should seek to enable: • outdoor visiting and ‘screened’ visits All care homes in Tier 1, 2 and 3 – except in the event of an active outbreak – should also seek to enable: • indoor visits where the visitor has been tested and returned a negative result Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be enabled, in all tiers. The guidance also states that 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 (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson, said, ‘We know visiting restrictions in care homes have been very difficult for residents, their families and staff, and we have done everything we can to safely enable visits and reunite loved ones. In the face of a new variant of the virus, we have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes. ‘Visits to care homes can still take place in Tier 4 with arrangements such as substantial screens or visiting pods but, for the safety of loved ones, close-contact indoor visits supported by testing cannot take place in tier 4 areas.’ The National Care Forum (NCF) has said that the last-minute change to Christmas rules will cause a ‘significant challenge to all care providers’ and that care providers are receiving different instructions from local authorities and Government in relation to the use of lateral flow devices in care homes.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director, NCF, said, ‘Visits can and should continue in tier 4. However, the change in government policy to refuse the use of on-site testing in tier 4 will cause enormous distress to residents and loved ones. It will also be a huge blow to providers who have spent the last week preparing and training staff to use lateral flow devices (LFDs), and communicating and planning with relatives to enable meaningful visits by Christmas. ‘Visiting is absolutely key to the delivery of great care. Therefore, it is deeply unhelpful for local authorities and central government to be providing vastly different instructions in relation to the use of lateral flow devices in Tiers 1 to 3. Visits can be supported by LFDs, but they are only part of the picture alongside the continued use of PPE and Infection Prevention and Control procedures. ‘The last-minute changes to Christmas plans will also cause a significant challenge to all care providers – residential and homecare. Staff rotas have been planned to ensure everyone got a chance to spend time with families over the five-day Christmas period. This will of course all have to change as everyone assimilates the impact of this snap change of direction.’ According to NCF, care workers have always been the occupational group with the highest number of people working on Christmas Day and say it’s this lowest paid group of staff who are being asked to make some of the biggest sacrifices. Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum, said, ‘If ever this government was going to follow the lead of Scotland and Wales and reward all those staff for the multiple personal sacrifices they have made throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so to keep everyone safe over Christmas – then this is the time to do it. Care workers need all our respect, and we need government to step up and show just how much it values their contribution.’ Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said, ‘This is a terrible situation for everyone, and the short amount of notice given complicates matters further. We hope that the next, more transportable, vaccine will be rolled out to care home residents and staff as quickly as possible in order to see any light at the end of the tunnel.’

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

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 ,

Margoyles, TV stars Elizabeth Counsell and David Simeon, world champion close up

magic and all round good Cheer. Join me with stars Virginia McKenna, Mariam

magician Richard McDougall, and opera singer Charlotte Page, award winning pianist

Margoyles,Elizabeth Counsell, Nick Waring world class opera singers , magicians and

Philip Mountford with of course a visit from Santa and stars of yesteryear including Bing

pianists and Santa of course!"

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

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 “

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

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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To book your carehome a link to this wonderful heartwarming streamed event please email or visit (Price is £50 per carehome)


COVID-19 Vaccinations: What Do Employers Need To Consider?

By Nick Hobden, head of employment at law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore (

er, or included as part of their contractual obligations. Take the care industry, as one example, employers here could argue that staff refusing to be vaccinated would put vulnerable care home users at risk. The same argument would not necessarily work in a different sector, where employees do not come into contact with people who are particularly at risk from the virus, or where they have been successfully working from home, without contact with colleagues. If an organisation does issue a ‘reasonable instruction’ for staff to be vaccinated, it is vital that they engage and communicate clearly with all employees about why they are making this a reasonable instruction.


The roll out of the new COVID-19 vaccine has been welcomed by many across the country. In particular, employers and business owners are hoping that once the vaccine programme has been rolled out, their staff can come back to the workplace, ‘en masse’. This does raise questions about whether employers can insist that staff get vaccinated. This is especially so when reports show that roughly a third of people in the UK would be reluctant to have the new vaccine, in spite of well publicised pictures of the vulnerable elderly embracing the vaccine with one of their arms.

ENCOURAGING VACCINATION Organisations may well wish to encourage their employees to be vaccinated. There is no legal right to force employees to have a vaccination against their will and to do would give rise to human rights and criminal law concerns. The nature of the business, including the degree of contact that employees are expected to have with members of the public, could dictate that taking the vaccine is a 'reasonable instruction' by the employ-

For those employees who issue a ‘reasonable instruction’ for vaccination or make it a contractual obligation, then there could ultimately be grounds to fairly dismiss an employee for refusing to be vaccinated, once, after a series of formal warnings, they refuse to comply. Employers should not leap to dismiss an employee on these grounds, until they have, through those warnings, reached the conclusion that an employee is both unreasonably refusing to comply with a reasonable instruction and cannot do their job without putting lives at risk, unless they are protected from contracting and transmission of the virus by the vaccine. Each case would need to be considered on its individual facts and circumstances, with fair reasons for the dismissal carefully deliberated and a consistency of approach between cases. Employers also need to look at alternatives to dismissal, for example remote working or changes to a role. Each of which could be regarded as a more reasonable alternative than dismissal. As always, employers must be alive to the risk of discriminating against individual employees.

AVOIDING DISCRIMINATION There is a real possibility that any dismissal for refusing to be vacci-

nated carries a risk of a discrimination claim. Protected characteristics which may be asserted include disability – for example an employee who has an underlying health condition and as such has concerns about the vaccine; specific religious beliefs and pregnancy. Employers also need to be aware of potential claims for indirect discrimination. For example making it a blanket policy or contract condition that every staff member has to be vaccinated could indirectly discriminate against people with certain protected characteristics like a religion that prohibits vaccinations or objects to an ingredient in the vaccine (e.g. pig gelatine). This means that the employer would have to have a robust argument that vaccinations are carried out for a legitimate business reason (the health and safety of the work force or its customers) and the insistence on a reasonable instruction vaccination policy or contract provision is a proportionate means of achieving that legitimate business aim.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD EMPLOYERS CONSIDER? As well as the employment law implications referenced above, there are also data protection issues to take into account. Employers should be mindful of being GDPR compliant when storing any health data about employees who have been vaccinated. Because anything to do with someone’s medical data is a special category of data that has to be protected. If employers are insisting their staff get vaccinated, and any of them experience side effects, which the employer records then they need to consider if it is absolutely necessary for the management and administration of the employment relationship for such data to be gathered and held. This is new and unfamiliar ground for the vast majority of organisations and the subject of vaccination in general can be an emotive and sensitive one. As such, it is highly recommended that employers take expert legal advice before embarking on any course of action around vaccination policies.

Powys Care Home Staff Put On A Show Staff at a care home in Welshpool were so determined to give their residents a wonderful Christmas this year, despite the on-going pandemic, that a group of carers got together and wrote and acted out their own version of the Nativity. We all know that Christmas is going to be somewhat different this year, but the team at Llys Hafren care home pulled out all the stops to ensure their residents and their families make the best of the festive season. “It has been such a challenging year for everyone, but particularly for care home residents and their families, so we really wanted to make Christmas time as enjoyable as possible,” said home manager, Bea Wickstead. “We know how difficult it has been with visiting restrictions and changes to everyone’s routines, but knew that if we all pulled together, everyone could still have an enjoyable time.” Celebrations kicked off with a virtual Christmas Fayre on the 27th November, where friends and families joined via video conferencing app, Zoom, and purchased Christmas gifts and treats from stalls manned by staff, while residents browsed the goods and enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine. Staff were in festive fancy dress and

there was also visit from the main man himself – Santa. The Mayor of Welshpool, Cllr David Senior, joined the event virtually to offer a Christmas message to residents and staff, along with Alun

Thomas, Chairman of Shaw healthcare, which operates the home on behalf of Powys County Council. Mr Thomas echoed the thoughts of the Mayor and expressed his gratitude to the staff for all their hard work this year. The annual Llys Hafren carol service will still take place on the 23rd December, albeit virtually, but the event everyone has been looking forward to was the staff nativity play, held on the 18th December. Written by activities coordinator Linzi Isaac, the nativity play was adapted to include a number of landmarks in Welshpool and rooms in the home, including the ‘Bee Hive’ – the home’s outdoor garden area – as the stable. Llys Hafren resident, Peter Morgan, who turned 84 at the end of November, was one of the first to congratulate the team on the “lovely” performance, while a district nurse – who happened to be visiting at the time – said she couldn’t have chosen a better time to be at the home. Mr Morgan was the ideal critic, having made his TV debut earlier this year in an advert screened as part of the Welsh Government’s We Care Wales campaign, to promote the benefits of a career in social care.

Dorset Care Home Residents Enjoy Festive ‘Away Day In Lapland’ Creative staff at a Sturminster Newton care home put residents firmly in the mood for Christmas with a surprise ‘flight to Lapland’. Weeks of planning went in at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Newstone House to ensure the virtual trip was every bit as magical as a real travel experience. It began with residents being handed a personalised invite and letter from Santa together with a red ‘Land of Newstonia’ passport complete with their photo – and of course a boarding pass. They were then asked to present themselves in the lounge to ‘board’ the virtual ‘plane’ at a specified departure time. As the delighted ‘travellers’ arrived, they were shown to their firstclass seats where they listened to a crew member ‘elf’ reading aloud a jokey welcome-aboard poem through a cabin-style tannoy. ‘Take-off’ was arranged with help from a projector showing a pilot’seye view of a runway. Once ‘in the air’, the passengers were treated to mulled wine and port, and ginger biscuits, courtesy of the home’s chef, Donna Singleton. In-flight entertainment featured a film highlighting some of the typical joys of a visit to Lapland including sleigh rides, sledging, husky dog rides through the trees and calling in at Santa’s post office. After a few Christmas sing-alongs it was time to ‘land’. As they disembarked, residents were invited to step straight into the open air of their

courtyard garden where staff had prepared a feast for their eyes. “It really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” explained Companionship Team Member Rebekah Goddard who, with colleagues, had created a dreamy blizzard-style winter wonderland with a specially arranged snow machine. “There were gasps of surprise as our party of

tourists walked out into the snow and took in the twinkly Christmas lights that adorned the trees as well as a brightly lit candy cane pathway. Of course no trip to Lapland would be complete without seeing Father Christmas, so we also laid on a grotto and the chance to meet Santa for a souvenir picture and a chat.” Asked how the meetings went, Santa said: “It was so nice of Mrs Claus to let me out for the afternoon, especially this late in the season, but the smiles on the residents’ faces were worth every second.” The return flight included more drinks and nibbles, accompanied by a film about the Northern Lights. Back in the Land of Newstonia after what would have been a 4,000mile round-trip in real life, there were plenty of smiles as residents spoke of their joy. Pat Steer said: “It’s been a while since I went on a plane and in first class. What a treat! I didn’t expect it at all. The whole thing was just lovely, especially meeting Santa Claus. He made me laugh. It was all very exciting from start to finish.” Follow resident Linda Porter agreed, adding: “The lights were so lovely,” while Doreen Ashford said: “It was so pretty.” Reflecting on the success of the experience, Rebekah said: “We went to great lengths to plan it. We wanted it to be the ultimate day to remember, especially after such a difficult year for all.”


Long Term COVID Patients To Get Help At More Than 60 Clinics Thousands of patients suffering with the long term symptoms of

Ten sites are now operational in London, seven in the East of

coronavirus can now access specialist help at more than 60 sites, NHS

England, eight in the Midlands, South East and South West respectively,

England announced today.

nine in the North West and a further 18 across the North East and

The assessment centres are taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. NHS England has provided £10 million for the network of clinics,

Yorkshire. A further 12 sites are earmarked to launch in January in the East Midlands, Lancashire, Cornwall and Isle of Wight. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has also issued

which started opening last month. There are now 69 operating across

official guidance on best practice for recognising, investigating and

the country with hundreds of patients already getting help.

rehabilitating patients with long COVID.

New research has shown one in five people with coronavirus develop

Patients can access services if they are referred by a GP or another

longer term symptoms. Around 186,000 people suffer problems for up

healthcare professional, so that doctors can first rule out other possible

to 12 weeks, the Office for National Statistics found.

underlying causes for symptoms.

The new centres bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “The NHS is taking prac-

as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long covid and its debilitating symptoms.” Dr Graham Burns, clinical lead at the long covid centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, said: “In the first wave of the pandemic many people did not recover as quickly as they’d expected. We had no idea what long covid was – the world had never seen COVID-19 before. We set up the clinic in Newcastle to support patients, but it has also been invaluable in helping us understand what long covid is. “I’m delighted that patients now have places to turn to across the country turn and on a national scale doctors will be able to learn from our collective experience and offer tailored support to patients.” The NHS has also launched a long COVID taskforce, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians involved, to help lead the NHS

occupational therapists to offer both physical and psychological assess-

tical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of

response to long covid, produce information and support materials for

ments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation servic-

coronavirus. Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliv-

patients and healthcare professionals, and develop a wider understand-


er an integrated approach to support patients access vital rehabilitation,

ing of the condition.

Christmas Cheer for Banstead Care Home Residents

Staff and residents at Banstead-based care home The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society were feeling the festive cheer after a visit from Shetland pony Blossom and her furry friends as part of an animal therapy session. The visit, delivered by Surrey-based Kingswood Shetland Ponies, takes place every Christmas at the maritime charity’s care home Belvedere House. This year, despite the Coronavirus pandemic limiting the Society’s programme of activities for residents, senior management

were able to secure private rapid testing kits (LFDs) for visitors and entertainers, alongside other preventative measures already in place, to ensure residents were still able to experience the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. Residents at the seafaring care home had the opportunity to spend time with Blossom as well as several guinea pigs and rabbits as part of a therapy session designed to help reduce anxiety and improve communication skills amongst the elderly residents. The sessions can also be particularly beneficial for those living with dementia. The award-winning Society delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants at its home in Banstead. Lockdown restrictions have meant that the charity’s comprehensive activities programme has had to be put on hold and visits restricted in line with national guidelines, with the animal visit the first external activity to take place in the home since March. Chief Executive of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, said: “This year has been a difficult one for everyone and we know this is especially true for those who have been unable to visit family and friends living in care homes. The Society has been committed to ensuring safety in the home and ensuring the national guidelines have been followed thoroughly. Thanks to these rapid testing kits and the ongoing commitment of all our staff, we have been able to instil a bit of normality back into the lives of the residents at Belvedere House with a festive visit from our old friends at Kingswood Shetland Ponies.

“Our team provides excellent care for residents living in our care home, but we also know the importance of providing different entertainment and activities to keep residents active, promote wellbeing and combat loneliness. Whilst this has been difficult this year, having the residents be able to spend time with Blossom and friends reminds us of just some of the positives we can look forward to in the future.”


Care Home Supply Chains Need A Digital Upgrade To Overcome Future Pandemics

By James Minards, Country Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland at healthcare supply chain specialists GHX (

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, care homes became one of the frontlines of the outbreak. The danger the virus posed to older patients created an unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) from care homes, putting strain on an already stretched healthcare supply chain. Ensuring care homes have timely access to enough PPE will be critical to preventing a repeat of the shortages experienced earlier this year. So, how can the healthcare supply chain adapt to overcome the challenges posed by an increase in non-acute demand for PPE, and ensure care homes are prepared for any future health emergencies? The shift to digital Unlike typical outbreaks of disease, the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for PPE in non-acute settings. Care homes in particular required vital supplies of medical-grade equipment to deal with a virus that disproportionately targets an older demographic. Coupled with the worldwide shortage of PPE due to global supply chains being

affected by a series of lockdowns, this increased demand from nonacute settings piled additional pressure onto the healthcare supply chain. In order to ensure they receive the right levels of medical supplies to combat future spikes in COVID-19, and other health emergencies, there needs to be a digital shift in the way supply chains operate. The digitalisation of healthcare supply chains is actually nothing new – acute settings have been integrating digital inventory management and data-driven requisitioning for years. However, the focus on improving hospital supply chains has coincided with non-acute supply chains being largely overlooked, especially during the pandemic. Efficient requisitioning Digitalisation of care home supply chains could take a similar form to the upgrades seen in acute settings, with a few subtle differences to account for the difference in operations. Integrating a new digital requisitioning system could be initiated at NHS Trust level, for example, through a browser-based app that could be “bolted-on” to existing IT assets in order to seamlessly integrate with existing ERP systems. This is easy for staff to use and budget friendly for Trusts or care home groups without a large amount of financial flexibility. A digitalised requisitioning system would make it easier for staff to raise purchase orders quickly and efficiently, as well as give Trusts and care home groups oversight on how money is being spent across locations. It also ensures a single product catalogue, streamlining decision making, as well as allowing for a centralised delivery system that makes the logistics of the PPE supply chain much more efficient: a critical

boost for care homes experiencing a sudden health emergency on the scale of COVID-19. Easier inventory management The other key area of upgrade for the non-acute supply chain could come in the form of a digitalised inventory management system for care homes. Such a process would involve simple integration of easy-to-use technology, such as handheld scanners to track when a piece of equipment has been used and allow for real-time data on stock levels. Coupling this with a standardised list of products would also allow care homes to automatically raise new requisition orders as soon as stock drops below a certain level, meaning critical PPE and other vital medical supplies are requested and delivered in a much more efficient and timely manner. This drastically reduces the likelihood of a care home running out of PPE due to supply chain inefficiency, by automating what is traditionally the laborious manual task of hand counting stock levels. Crucially, this eliminates the chance of human error, as well as freeing up staff time to focus on caregiving. In summary, one of the biggest lessons the healthcare supply chain needs to learn from COVID-19 is that care homes and other non-acute settings are just as important as acute hospital settings when it comes to combatting pandemics and other health emergencies. A digital upgrade to the non-acute supply chain would go a long way to rectifying the gulf between priorities in the healthcare sector, and ensure care homes are well prepared for any potential future pandemics or health emergencies.

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

Manchester City Star Brings Christmas Joy to Care Services Manchester City star İlkay Gündoğan hosted a special Christmas virtual visit for people supported by the national social care charity, Community Integrated Care. Making dreams come true for fans who have care and support needs, he brought some much-needed seasonal joy at the end of a challenging 2020 for the care sector. With Coronavirus restrictions limiting the Germany international’s access to meet people supported by the charity face to face, he instead opted to host a surprise Zoom session with his biggest fans in the charity. Drawing together people from as far as Dorset to Edinburgh, as well as many from Greater Manchester, people from sixteen of the charity’s services had the opportunity to catch up with their footballing hero. Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s largest social care charities, supporting thousands of people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, dementia and other complex care needs. The charity is a major provider of specialist services across Greater Manchester. The midfield star became an Official Ambassador of the charity after recently making a socially distanced visit to three of its services in Manchester to celebrate his 30th birthday. Instead of receiving gifts, he chose to give them – wanting to support a local charity on his big day. Bringing joy to life-long City fans who live in the charity’s EachStep Blackley specialist dementia care home, and younger supporters who live at St Anne’s in Tameside, a service that supports people who have learning disabilities, autism and acquired brain injuries, he has gone on to build an ongoing relationship with the charity. Unable to participate in a traditional Christmas visit, Ilkay was keen to host an exclusive Zoom chat and share his good wishes for the festive period. Taking almost an hour out of his day, he answered their questions on his life as a Manchester City player as well as on his day-to-day life, from his Christmas plans

to his hobbies and interests. This experience was described as “a dream come true” by one participant and “the best Christmas surprise” by another. As well as taking time to speak directly to everyone on the call, İlkay also surprised them by arranging for them to all receive a special present for Christmas day. John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, says: “2020 has been an incredibly tough year for many of the people we support and our colleagues. The support from İlkay has been an important, and much needed, boost. We support many Manchester City fans, not just locally but across the whole of the UK. With the wonders of technology, we were able to bring together fans who were almost 500 miles apart. For them to have the chance to spend quality time with one of their heroes has been something they will cherish forever. We would like to thank İlkay his support of Community Integrated Care and wish him a very happy Christmas.” İlkay Gündoğan said: “It was fantastic to spend some time with the people supported by Community Integrated Care. At this time of year, with Christmas being around the corner and people being stuck at home, I wanted to take some time out with them. Their questions were great and it was wonderful to see what it meant to them. "Manchester has become a second home to me. I have been here for almost five years, so it is important to me to support a charity that does a lot of good things locally. I visited some of Community Integrated Care’s projects and met many of their people on my birthday, and I loved it. I always remember how privileged I am, so it means a lot to be able to give back and put a smile on people’s faces - this is what really matters in life. I hope that they have a great Christmas.”


Call for Extra Christmas Caution

Care providers have made a last-ditch appeal to the public to be extra cautious over Christmas after latest figures showed a further 532 Covid-19 deaths in care and nursing homes. The Independent Care Group (ICG) which represents care providers, urged families to remember the risks when celebrating the festive season and be extremely cautious, particularly around older and vulnerable people. The call comes after latest figures showed a further 532 people died from coronavirus in care and nursing homes across England and Wales in the week up to 11th December. That brings the total to 18,964 since 28th December last year. The Independent Care Group (ICG) is worried that Christmas get-togethers will spark more cases of Covid-19, especially as cases of the new strain are rising so rapidly. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “In truth, all I want for Christmas is for our residents, families and staff to stay safe. “Today’s figures give us another stark warning that Covid-19 remains a very

real and very dangerous threat to the lives and health of our most vulnerable. “We cannot stress highly enough how vital it is that we all heed the advice of the Government and keep our celebrations short and small this Christmas and remember hands, face and space! “We desperately want everyone to enjoy Christmas and to see their loved ones if it is safe. But it will be better for everyone if we take extra care now and celebrate properly once this dreadful pandemic is behind us which, if the vaccine is rolled out quickly, should be very soon.” The figures show that 532 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 11th December, 544 the previous week. Some people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 11th December. 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.

Celebrity Endorsed Covid-19 Book Published Moorland House Gets All Creative Chapel House Care, which runs two care homes in Puddington, Cheshire, has been included in a book about life in care homes during the Covid-19 lockdown. The book, called Bringing The Inside Out, has been published by the arts and literature charity Living Words. The charity spoke to more than 60 care home residents with dementia, their carers and relatives as part of a pioneering UK-wide project. They ran weekly sessions with carers from 15 British care homes – including The Chapel House and Plessington Court – to enable the words of people with dementia to be part of the book. Each person’s sounds and words were captured using their Listen Out Loud Methodology, allowing people’s words to be captured as they spoke them – making for an unconventional use of grammar and arrangement on the page. The book was published this week and has been supported by celebrities and leading figures in dementia care including National Care Forum and Dementia Research Centre as well as the actors Brian Cox and Christopher Eccleston.

Chapel House Care owner Cathrina Moore, an Admiral Nurse, said: “We feel privileged to have worked on this book with Susanna and her team and I believe it will have a lasting impact. “It has been an exceptionally difficult time for all care homes and their residents but so important for the year 2020, Covid-19 and its devastating impact to be captured.” Susanna Howard, Living Words founder, said: “This book will resonate not only with other people in care homes, their loved ones and professional carers but with all of us as a society. “They give us an insight into how things have really been in care homes across the UK. These words have tremendous power – and the act of truly listening will drive all of us forward to deliver ever better care.” Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said: “At last, carers of people with dementia are being given a voice. These extraordinary people, so often taken for granted, are in the front line of the fight against this outcast of diseases. Carers are indispensable and need to be heard. This book is an essential first step towards that.”

A Derbyshire care home MHA Moorland House in Hathersage has been getting very creative with the residents with several craft recycling projects on the go. The latest of which is the advent calendar made up of PPE boxes – these have been decorated and filled with chocolate for residents to enjoy leading up to Christmas Day. Activities creator Amy said “As part of my ongoing recycling projects I thought it would be really nice to use up some of the left over PPE boxes we had in the home. I thought an advent calendar would be a really nice way to make residents feel special in the lead up to

Christmas and reminiscent of their youth. We are limited on how we can use decorations in the home this year so it adds a bit more sparkle to the décor and was something the residents could get involved in making too. Also, who doesn’t love chocolate?” Other projects include the ‘Tree of Life’ a magnificent papier mache tree created from recycled paper and painted by residents, which adorns a corner of the activities room. The tree looks very realistic with different textures and patterns and has been a real labour of love for the residents.


Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report Outlines Health Challenges in England The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has released his first independent annual report ‘Health trends and variation in England’ today. In the report, Professor Whitty highlights that improvements in life expectancy have stalled in recent years, a trend which has also been seen in many major developed countries. He also highlights that illhealth and disease is concentrated in areas of deprivation, or where there is a higher proportion of older citizens, and that more action is needed to tackle these longstanding inequalities in health. The report consists of a collection of data, charts and statistics that present a broad overview of the nation’s health and wider diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease, with the aim of supporting policymakers to prioritise areas for action and monitor progress. The report highlights both short and long-term trends in health, and the factors that influence variation in

health outcomes across the nation. Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said: “Although COVID-19 has dominated the news, and remains an urgent priority, other diseases and health problems such as cancer and cardiovascular disease continue to take a major toll. “I have brought together the latest data for health in England because they highlight major issues to tackle, identify where in the country they are heavily concentrated and trends in health over time. “There is wide variation in ill health across the country, and much of this is avoidable. It is possible to raise the health outcomes of the least healthy closer to the outcomes of the healthiest – we should be aiming for that.” While the Chief Medical Officer states it is important to acknowledge the extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of the nation, the NHS and on wider society in 2020, this report focusses on wider long-term health challenges in England. The Chief Medical Officer’s annual reports have been a tradition stretching back over 150 years, providing an independent assessment of the state of the public’s health in England.

Youngsters Send Festive Cheer To Shielding Elderly Residents A Girls’ Brigade company have been spreading Christmas cheer to residents in a local care development by sending bespoke Christmas cards. The 1st Troon Girls’ Brigade in South Ayrshire have designed their own Christmas cards and sent them to residents and staff at Mansfield Care’s Belhaven House. At 50 strong, the youngsters hope to provide a card for every carer and resident to say thank you and send their best wishes over the festive season. Belhaven House had hoped to host the company for a Christmas Carolling session and the senior girls, before the pandemic, had started to visit the residents weekly after school. However, all joint activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, members of Troon’s Girls’ Brigade have been sending motivational messages to the staff and the residents throughout lockdown. Troop Captain and retired primary teacher, Mrs Ray Campbell, said: “Over the past couple of years the Girls’ Brigade have formed a strong connection with the residents at Belhaven House and it has been really difficult not to be able to visit them regularly. “We know how tough it has been for us, so as a company our immediate thoughts were on the residents and staff who have had a particularly challenging time.

“It was hoped we would be conducting Christmas activities with the care home, in person, but this year that is simply not feasible. Therefore, we have decided to show our love and appreciation by sending Christmas cards instead. “We hope that many of the girls will be able to join in and send cards to the home, whether by post or by hand. 1st Troon Girls’ Brigade planned to visit the home on VE Day to sing World War II songs with the residents before lockdown came into effect. A number of the older girls would also visit the home and speak with the residents on a regular basis as part of their Duke of Edinburgh voluntary programme. Belhaven House Home Manager, Fiona Hunter, said: “Everyone at Belhaven House is thrilled about receiving the Christmas cards from the Girls’ Brigade. “For many of the residents the girls weekly visit is a highlight for them, and we would frequently get feedback about how much they value their time and company. “Naturally, we were saddened by the suspension of these visits, so it means the world to all our residents and staff to receive these cards. “We can’t wait to welcome back the Girls’ Brigade in the future.”


Why Competency In Fire Safety Is Imperative In The Care Sector

By Claire Wright, Head of Training at the Fire Protection Association (FPA)

The severity of fires in UK care homes has been well documented over the last decade. A series of fires in London care homes in 2019 prompted the London Fire Brigade to inspect more than 150 properties, its largest ever audit of care home fire safety. Not only do fires in care homes pose a significant risk to life, especially given the vulnerability of residents, but they also threaten to destroy the homes themselves. The loss of these buildings to fire can have a severe impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. Care homes are deemed high risk premises, and, unlike other building types, the specific vulnerability level of residents dictates the approach to fire safety they should take; it is not one-size-fits-all. This also applies to the skills and competency of those responsible for fire safety – whether care home staff or individuals employed to carry out work on behalf of a care home. Here we explore how care home owners and managers should approach fire safety in order to reduce the risks from fires.

KNOWING THE RISKS – THE FOUNDATION OF FIRE SAFETY Legislation requires every employer to ensure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment has been undertaken, and to have put in place general fire safety precautions to ensure the safety of employees and building users. They must identify hazards along with people at risk and implement appropriate control measures. In a care home, people at risk will include service users, staff, visitors, and contractors, but it’s not just the range of building users that impacts fire safety in care homes.

The varying dependency levels of care home residents is the primary reason that a universal approach to fire safety and risk assessment in these buildings is not applicable. For example, there is a significant risk to life posed by vulnerable residents while they sleep, creating challenges around the time taken to evacuate. Some residents may need assistance to exit the building, while others will be able to escape entirely unaided. Therefore, a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment will look at the specific nature of the individuals and the relevant risks and recommend appropriate measures – ranging from fire suppression systems to bespoke evacuation plans. Taking a person-centred approach, in which controls/measures are implemented for all residents individually, is essential in ensuring that effective arrangements are in place, staff numbers are suitable at all times of the day and night and that all occupants can be evacuated safely in the event of an emergency. A competent fire risk assessor will identify potentially hazardous substances within the care home. This may include oxygen cylinders, ointments and fuel used in back-up generators. Ensuring the appropriate staff are aware of these risks and have the competency to handle these safely will reduce the risk of fire. Those carrying out fire risk assessments must also have highly specialised knowledge of the specific risks posed in care homes in order to ensure they are mitigated as far as possible through processes and fire protection and prevention systems. Seeking third party accreditation of contractors is the best way to ensure good practice is followed and that the building or its occupants are not put at unnecessary risk.

GETTING A THOROUGH FIRE STRATEGY IN PLACE Fire strategies are a fundamental part of a business continuity plan for protecting life and essential property, but in our experience, there isn’t always a robust strategy in place dictating an approach to fire safety. The British Standards Institution document, PAS 911, refers to a fire strategy as providing ‘a clear set of measures encompassing fire precautions, management of fire safety and fire protection.’ It involves the development and implementation of policies that address relevant risks and procedures in line with objectives specific to the business, with an aim to reduce life risk while also protecting business procedures and

assets. Although usually developed during the design and construction phase of a new building, this is not always the case. In such circumstances, or for older premises, fire strategies can be developed retrospectively.

PLANNING FOR EVACUATION The fire strategy and fire risk assessment will also require the development and implementation of an effective fire evacuation plan. This should consider by way of a person-centred assessment, as mentioned above, the people at risk, where they are in the building, the risks that cannot be removed or reduced any further, and the size/layout of the building. In care homes, as with the risk assessment, the vulnerability levels of residents will affect the fire strategy. The materials used in the construction of the building, alongside the method of construction will also impact the fire strategy plan and other subsequent prevention measures, as was so horrifically evidenced in the Beechmere Care Home fire in mid-2019. So again, it’s essential that a competent individual with specialised knowledge is appointed to develop it. Finally, a plan is no use at all if staff are not aware of it and are unable to implement it in the event of an emergency. Training of all staff and practice, practice, practice is essential if the risk assessment, fire strategy and the evacuation plan is going to succeed. Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the debate over competency has gained significant momentum. While the subsequent Hackitt review identified a lack of skills, knowledge and experience within the building and construction industry, its recommendations focused predominantly on high rise residential buildings. The issues surrounding competency, however, are true of building types right across the board, none more so than care homes which are responsible for some of the most vulnerable people in society. For more information, download the FPA’s free Residential Care Home Fire Safety Guide, which provides care home managers and staff with the basic steps that need to be taken to help maintain fire safety standard within a care home at

Stockton on Tees Care Home Gift Christmas Hampers to Local Community HC-One homes across the north of England have organised a hamper initiative, that saw representatives from the homes hand out hampers in the local community, to combat loneliness, isolation and bring a smile to people’s faces this Christmas. Residents and Staff at the Victoria House care home in Stockton, recently decided to give back to their local community this Christmas, after the local community pulled together to help the home during the coronavirus pandemic. This year has been a difficult year for everyone and a year where everyone has had to pull together. Residents at Victoria House care home nominated individuals in their local community who they felt, truly deserved a surprise with the delivery of a wonderful Christmas hamper. Victoria House care home surprised Ronnie Dawson, Elsie Taylor, Margaret Clish, Kath and Olwyn Rusk on the 15th December with their hampers, they were overjoyed with the gifts which helped them feel remembered and appreciated during the festive season. Ronnie Dawson, who is currently shielding at his home, said: “I can’t thank you enough

Ant and Dec Make Surprise Christmas Visit to Llandudno Care Home

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Home Queen Elizabeth Court, in Llandudno, were delighted when Ant and Dec made a surprise visit this week. Rescue donkey twins Ant and Dec were brought to the Home to meet residents by Tom Tuoby of Allwood Donkeys.

He rescued them ten years ago and his daughters named them after their favourite TV presenters. As well as meeting some of the residents safely outside, the friendly duo were led around the outside of the Home, so that others could see them from their rooms. Among the residents who loved meeting Ant and Dec was 85-year-old Christine Goody. She said: “They looked wonderful! Their visit really lifted everyone’s spirits! The names did make me laugh. She joked to carers: “I had no idea Ant & Dec were so hairy in real life!” Queen Elizabeth Court Activities Coordinator, Gary Carr, said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve been doing everything possible to keep everyone’s spirits up, so it was so heart-warming to see the residents faces when they saw these beautiful, gentle animals! “Many of our residents know Ant and Dec from ‘I’m a Celebrity’ because it was being filmed near our Home recently. They thought it was hilarious when we were told what the donkeys were called!”

for the love and care you provide for my wife and you’ve made my day.” Margaret Clish, who lives nearby and is a full-time carer for her husband David, said: “What a wonderful surprise to be nominated, thank you all so much”. Kath Plews, Scheme Manager at Priory Court, received a gift for a Resident at Priory Court who wished to remain anonymous. Kath said: “Thank you so much for the lovely gift.” Victoria House Home Manager, Sarah Dodsworth said: “It’s really great to share some Christmas kindness to those in the local community who are either isolating or have shown our Residents and staff kindness throughout the year”. Regional Quality Director, Lisa Morehead “We are extremely thankful to those in our community for the love and support that they have shown us through these unprecedented and challenging times. To be able to offer a token of our appreciation was only fitting and we hope that the hampers we delivered, bring the same feelings of joy and warmth that they have given us through 2020!”

Resident Wish List Receives Hundreds of Donations For Preston Care Home Everyone has been truly blown away when HC-One Nursing Assistant, Denise Worsley, encouraged the online community to donate something a little special for Residents after the difficult year it has been for everyone. Denise had decided to make Christmas extra special for the Residents at Meadow Bank care home, in Preston, by setting up an ‘Amazon Wish List’ with items that people could purchase and donate to the Residents for Christmas. Denise is currently decorating gift bags, with the help of local children, so the gifts donated can look extra special for

Christmas day. “Denise shared this through social media and the response was out of this world. Hundreds of donations started to arrive and we are blown away by everyone’s kindness,” explained Anne-Marie Potter, Home Manager, ” I am absolutely blown away by the act of kindness shown by Denise she is one in a million.” “It’s so lovely that people are thinking of our Residents at this time, they are going to be so pleased on Christmas Day and I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts,” Denise commented.


NCF Launches ‘Caring In COVID’ Ebook How do you demonstrate leadership, caring support and a sense of community through unprecedented times? David Young from Community Integrated Care went weeks without any face-to-face interaction with his family, moving into his greenhouse in order to minimise the possibility of passing on infections from his care home to his family. Surrey Choices supported disabled and autistic people in developing vital employment skills through Zoom, creating bespoke meetings that included guest speakers from different industries. So many care organisations have stories of almost daily donations being made to homes, from fish and chips to pizzas, cleaning products and PPE as well as gift bags for every care worker. The experiences of the care sector during what has been a relentless and sometimes-thankless task of caring and supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities during the pandemic deserves to be recorded as an important record of social history. The National Care Forum (NCF), the leading membership association for not-for-profit social care providers, today launches ‘Caring in COVID’ – a collection of stories about care, communities and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. This piece of social history records and highlights the incredible response from NCF members, brought together as a collection of real-life stories in an ebook. The compendium details how, during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions, NCF members and the communities they serve, came together and rose to the challenge to support those who needed it most. Not only will the ebook become part of the British Library collection for future generations, it also acknowledges the legacy of 2020 and the role care providers played in the fight against COVID-19. Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said:

“Through the collection of Caring Heroes stories, the reader peeks behind the closed doors and experiences what it was really like for care staff, residents in care homes, and people needing support in their own homes during lockdown. This book is more than just a nod to social history; it demonstrates how people’s lives are enriched by the role of those working in the care sector through their creativity, dedication and passion, and through their many skills and talents.” As a run up to the launch, NCF has been sharing sneak preview of some of the stories in the ebook in the NCF Advent Calendar a daily reflection of the stories during advent. To bring these stories together the NCF has been supported by its Annual Partners; Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), Marr Procurement and Person Centred Software. Simon Bunegar, Director of Sales & Marketing at QCS said: “2020 has put renewed focus on the hard work, dedication and above all compassion of all those caring professionals who put others before themselves time and again. From its inception QCS have been delighted to be able to support Caring in COVID in every way that we can. These stories are a wonderful glimpse into the beating heart of social care.” Christoph Marr, Managing Director of Marr Procurement said: “Marr Procurement is delighted to be a part of this incredible project. The National Care Forum consistently shines a light on the care industry and this ebook serves to specifically highlight the amazing dedication and creativity that was shown by so many staff during the pandemic. We hope this remarkable piece of social history will result in a wider public recognition of the outstanding work that happens every day in the social care sector.” The Caring in COVID ebook consists of five categories. A story from

each category has received a Highly Commended Award, judged on reader impact, impact on the person receiving care, originality and value to the social care sector. The Highly Commended Award winners are: 1. Stories from the Frontline: Sanctuary Care ‘Leaving family to care for residents’ 2.Community and Volunteer Voices: Cornwall Care ‘Mia’s story amazing journey to John O’Groats’ 3.Keeping It fun: WCS Care Group ‘Dancing at Drover’s House’ 4.Keeping the connection: Accord Housing Association ‘Amber Wood Dementia Centre of Excellence keeps everyone connected’ 5.The many faces of leadership: Pilgrims’ Friend Society ‘Care Manager Rachel is an “Absolute rock”’ Jonathan Papworth, Co-founder and Director at Person Centred Software said: “2020 has been a difficult year for many but social care has had the toughest time than most. Nevertheless, these stories show the amazing work that carers provided day in day out to the elderly and vulnerable people they care for. We are proud to support the National Care Forum in creating this resource for future generations to experience the impact that individuals have had on the people they care for.” Vic Rayner, says: “Caring in COVID is now available to download from the NCF website. We are proud to dedicate this ebook to everyone whose life has been touched by care during the pandemic and hope these stories of pain, challenge, hope and humanity will resonant with many, to show how truly exceptional the care sector has been in responding to the challenges of this pandemic.”

Winter Wonderland at Oxfordshire Care Home This Christmas A dementia specialist care home in Oxfordshire has transformed their home into a winter wonderland to light up the village, and spread Christmas joy after a difficult year.

Jane Roberts, owner of Rosebank, commented: “After an unsettling year for all, this is poignant and uplifting to see. Here at Rosebank, we have endeavoured to not let our spirits be dampened, and what better way to spread some

Every year as an annual gift to the residents, staff, and the local community, Rosebank Care Home has decorated the outside of their home with wonderful lights, for all to enjoy. This year, more than ever, the light installation is hoped to

joy than with our annual Christmas lights. “We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and best wishes for a happier 2021 for everyone. We look forward to the

bring some festive cheer to everyone at the home, and those who have sup-

creation of new memories, and celebrations with our much loved local commu-

ported them throughout this challenging time.

nity, next year.”

With the countdown to Christmas on, everyone in the home and the community has loved seeing Rosebank light up Bampton. One family member com-

Embracing the festivities, residents have been trying their hands at all kinds of activities over recent weeks, including making Christmas biscuits, chutney, jam

mented: “What a beautiful winter wonderland. Well done to Mandie, Gemma,

making, Christmas puddings, decorating the home, and all the while enjoying a

and Piotr, you have all done the residents proud.”

tremendous amount of joyous carol singing.

Read all the latest stories online at: Visit The Carer website to see all the very latest news and developments from the care sector as it happens! Sign up to get the latest stories delivered directly to your email at:



National Survey Launched To Learn From Pandemic’s Impact On Retirement Housing Sector Ground-breaking research project has been launched to study the true impact of Covid-19 on retirement villages and extra care housing schemes across England. Led by the St Monica Trust, in partnership with the Housing LIN, the RE-COV research project has been given the green light after receiving funding from the Dunhill Medical Trust. The aim of the research project is to better understand the experiences of retirement villages and extra care housing during the pandemic, including the effectiveness of measures taken to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff. Rachael Dutton, St Monica Trust’s COVID National Research Project Lead said: “In England there are more than 75,000 older people living in retirement villages and extra care housing schemes, and they represent one of the groups who are the most at risk from coronavirus. “There is currently little robust evidence about what impact Covid-19 has had on the villages and schemes, the extent of the challenges they faced, how they have responded, or what their successes and innovations have been. “With the increasing likelihood of pandemics occurring more frequently in the future, the findings from this research project will be invaluable in informing both

Children at East Dene Primary School Deliver Christmas Artwork to Rotherham Care Home Moorgate Croft, a residential care home in Rotherham, has received festive artwork from students at East Dene Primary School. The students at East Dene School created Christmas cards, a multi-coloured pom-pom wreath and a 3D Christmas tree to deliver to the home. The crafts were then isolated at Moorgate Croft for 72 hours in order to ensure that they were COVID-safe. Students at the school on Doncaster Road, wanted to create the decorations to help the make the twelve days of Christmas even more special for the residents. Ann Wood, manager at Moorgate Croft, said: “We love celebrating Christmas with our residents, and we were delighted that East Dene Primary School wanted to join in with the festivities.

“The cards and decorations that they created were really thoughtful and will look great around the home. Thank you to the children at East Dene for their lovely artwork, our residents loved it!”

ongoing and future operational decisions within older people’s housing and the care sector, ultimately influencing national policy and risk management.” A national online survey will collate data relating to the pandemic from responses sent to the 280 housing operators managing 1,400 retirement villages and extra care housing schemes across England. The Housing LIN’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Porteus, added: “It will greatly help us understand how the retirement village and extra care housing sector has responded to the pandemic and managed to safeguard the lives of many extremely vulnerable older residents during lockdown.” Susan Kay, Executive Director at Dunhill Medical Trust said: “We are delighted to invest in this important piece of research. Having funded similar research into care homes at the height of Covid-19, this will therefore provide useful comparative analysis and help identify the scale of the issues faced by the specialist housing sector.” The findings from the RE-COV research project will be shared nationally and used to inform practice, planning and requirements during the current pandemic, as well as for pandemics occurring in the future.

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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Carers Left To Care Alone Without Support This Christmas Unpaid carers looking after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives say they are facing a bleak holiday, with the majority telling Carers UK they have gone so long without support this year they don’t expect Christmas to be any different. Over the course of 2020 many have seen vital face-toface community services they relied on before the COVID-19 outbreak – such as day centres – significantly reduce their service or close completely. Carers report being worn out and physically and mentally exhausted after months of caring without respite and have very low expectations for Christmas. A poll of more than 2,200 carers by Carers UK found over half (59%) were too worried about COVID-19 to risk seeing their family and friends this year, meaning many will go without the helping hand they might usually have at Christmas-time to take the pressure off. Two thirds (68%) said they had already gone without lots of support

this year so Christmas will be no different. 44% said they were very worried about the fact that they will have no support. 45% said they were very worried about the extra costs while half (49%) of carers said Christmas makes them feel more lonely than normal. When asked what would make Christmas better for them, a resounding 81% of carers said they wanted to go into the New Year with a clear sense that the Government values carers and will provide more support and recognition. 59% said being able to see family or close friends and get a break from their caring role would help. A third (36%) said help from a supportive community would make a difference, such as an offer to cook a hot meal. More than half (52%) said they will miss seeing other family and friends this year but they will still enjoy Christmas, with rules around support bubbles making a difference for some. Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “Caring is 24/7, 365 days a year and it doesn’t stop for Christmas. Carers are burning out after nine months straight of caring round the clock without respite, and they won’t get time out at Christmas like many of us will. “On Christmas Day alone, carers will save the UK state £530 million in the care they provide “This has been a difficult year for all of us, but for carers it has been extraordinarily challenging and draining. The majority have taken on

many more hours of care and it has had a huge impact on their physical and mental health. We encourage communities to come together and offer help – a small favour could make a big difference. “Carers say they feel invisible and that the Government doesn’t value them. Government must acknowledge everything they’ve contributed and give back to carers by ensuring those caring more than 50 hours get a funded break this winter.” Carers UK is calling on the Government to urgently review carers’ breaks services and invest in them to ensure carers can take a significant break over the winter. It is also calling on the Government to increase the income of carers entitled to Carer’s Allowance, just £67.25 a week, by £20 a week, to match the increase made months ago to Universal Credit, helping carers manage the higher costs of caring in the winter and the lack of services available to help them stay in work. In the longer term the charity wants to see the Government implement a New Deal for Carers that recognises the enormous contribution of unpaid carers. Carers UK’s helpline will be open as normal from Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to offer advice and information to carers. Carers UK’s online forum will also be open throughout the holidays.

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.


830,000 PPE Items Donated To West Midlands Care Workers

More than 830,000 items of PPE are being donated to the region’s care and voluntary organisations on behalf of West Midlands Mayor Andy Street. A subsidiary of IM group is making the donation, with the Solihull-based company saying it wants to ‘boost the supply for many people working in local voluntary, health, and social care roles in organisations across the region’. The donation has been made via the Mayor’s Office, with the Mayor asking Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB) for help in ensuring the 830,000 masks reach those that need them most. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “This is an incredible donation and I cannot thank IM and their team enough. “Throughout the pandemic businesses across the West Midlands have done what they can to support the region’s efforts to tackle the spread of Covid-19, and this is yet another phenomenal example of that. “With the NHS relatively well-stocked, I have asked BVSC and UHB to help us identify the community workers and organisations most in need of this PPE.” Masks have started to be delivered across the region from a warehouse in West Bromwich, where the haul is currently being stored. The Mayor visited the warehouse earlier this month alongside IM Group’s managing director Andrew Edmiston. Mr Edmiston said: “The West Midlands has been one of the worst hit

areas, and we want to help ensure that vital PPE continues to be available for those working so hard to protect us on the frontline in the wider community. “We hope that this donation of 830,000 items of PPE from one of IM Group’s subsidiary companies, will help to make a real difference and boost the supply for many people working in local voluntary, health and social care roles in organisations across the region. “We decided to make our donation via the Mayor’s office because we are so aware how active Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, has been in supporting local charities and businesses, and we want to support them in their efforts as much as we can.” Brian Carr, the chief executive officer of BVSC, added: “On behalf of Birmingham’s community and voluntary sector, we are extremely grateful for this fantastically generous donation. “The masks are already being put to good use – 4,000 are going to a local care home; 10,000 to organisations supporting people with disabilities; 20,000 to our local food distribution partners; and the remainder are being distributed to our city and regional networks of local community support charities. “Although we can all see some light at the end of the tunnel, we’re also very aware that the Covid crisis isn’t yet over and protecting vulnerable people and frontline care and support workers is of paramount importance. Kind donations like this one help us to do exactly that.”

Friends Reunited at a Buxton Nursing Home During Covid-19 Two school friends, who had lost touch for many years, have been reunited at a nursing Home in Buxton, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dorothy, 93, and Mary Gregory, 89, became friends whilst they both attended The Buxton Girls school together as teenagers and remained friends for many years after-

outbreak. Mary’s daughter, Lorraine was the person who informed Portland Nursing Home Manager, Kaye, of the two ladies friendship history. Lorraine commented: “It's great for two old friends like Mary and Dot to be reunited. I'm sure they will enjoy reminiscing over the old times. Just be careful, they were

wards. Mary previously lived in Cresswell and Dorothy lived in Buxton when they first met at junior school. As they grew up, they enjoyed dancing together at the Palace Hotel

always a bit boisterous!” Kaye Fogarty, Home Manager at Portland Nursing Home, commented: “It’s wonderful to see these two lovely ladies reunite at Portland after so many years apart, espe-

after having a drink or two at the Milk bar in Buxton. Dorothy and Mary went on to start families and lost touch over the years, but now have plenty of years to catch up. Mary has resided at The Portland Nursing Home since December 2019 and Dorothy joined her in August 2020, during the Coronavirus

cially during these difficult times. “We are enjoying spending time with Mary and Dorothy and love hearing about the many memories that they share.”

Biggleswade Care Home Set To Welcome Festive Visits As Garden ‘Pod’ Opens In Time For Christmas Beaumont Park nursing home on Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, has opened a special garden-based ‘visitor pod’ in time for Christmas, which provides a safe space for relatives to visit their loved ones. The purpose-built wooden cabin, which residents have named the “Inn on the Park”, is situated in the communal garden at the home and provides a warm place for relatives to visit residents whilst Covid-19 continues to pose a risk across the country. Having taken a tough decision to cease all but essential or compassionate exceptional visits inside the home prior to the national lockdown in March, Healthcare Homes Group, which operates Beaumont Park, has researched additional ways to keep residents connected with family members. The answer has been to create temporary garden pod structures, which are equipped with two separate entrances, a Perspex screen to separate visitors from residents and an intercom to make communicating easy. The rooms are also equipped with heating when required, insulation and nurse call buttons, for added comfort. Now, residents are able to spend treasured time with their loved ones whilst keeping safe and warm. Resident Harry Spring was happy to ‘cut the ribbon’ to mark the pod’s official opening. Patricia Burton, National Operations Manager for Beaumont Park said; “Our visitor pod is such a fantastic addition to the home. During the festive season, it’s even more important for us to find ways to keep a sense of connection between our residents and their relatives, over and above video or telephone calls. Having this warm, inviting and safe space in the garden is just fantastic and offers our residents the opportunity to see their loved ones, without worry. “I sincerely hope our residents and their loved ones enjoy using the pod for some special time, both now and in the future.”

HC-One Celebrate the Completion of their Newest Care Home in York The largest care home operator in the UK, HC-One have celebrated the unveiling of their brand new, state of the art care home in York. The new Mossdale Residence care home located in Burnholme will provide high-quality residential, nursing and dementia care for up to eighty residents. It will also create new jobs for the local community, all of which will benefit from HC-One’s multi-award-winning learning and development programme, with roles across care, nursing, property maintenance, housekeeping and food service. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the 15th December 2020 to mark the completion with only six attendees, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker attended to officially open the home and commented: “I declare this home well and truly open, I bless all who work and come to live here, may it be a very happy place to be.” Victoria Edwards, Home Manager at HC-One’s Mossdale care home, said:

“This morning marked the opening ceremony of Mossdale Residence. Myself and the team here are very much looking forward to welcoming our first Residents to the home early 2021.” John Ransford, Executive Director at HC-One, said: “We have been working for five years alongside York City council to create a new luxury care home in York, and we are extremely pleased with the effort that has gone into this, especially given the challenges this year has brought due to Covid19. We are all excited to welcome our first Residents in January 2021.” The care home is set to feature a dedicated cinema room, a bar, a hair and beauty salon, a hobby and crafts room, and a range of lounge, dining and outdoor terrace spaces, all of which Residents can benefit from. Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at City of York Council watched the event virtually and commented: “I would like to congratulate all concerned in the development of Mossdale Residence, this is another great step forward!”



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

Tumble Dryers

Cost Quality Service Design Innovation

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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

01782 713444 / 01785 850866

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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