The Carer Digital - Issue #37

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 37

Close-Contact Visits In Care Homes Banned During Lockdown

Close contact indoor visits in care homes are prohibited under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newly imposed lockdown. The Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown which came into effect today in a bid to curb the surge in coronavirus cases, attributed to a particularly infectious variant. Under the rules, people in England may not leave the house except in limited circumstances, to go to work if they cannot do so from home or if they are shopping for essentials.

Exercise with one other person outdoors will be permitted, and you may leave home to provide care to a vulnerable person or to attend a medical appointment or for a medical emergency. International travel is also banned unless for work. Close-contact indoor visits are now prohibited across English care homes, however visits to care homes however can take place with arrangements such as safe effective screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER

Happy New Year! And what a start to the year! Brexit for starters. We are no longer a part of the EU. A divisive argument, but one that has now been brought to conclusion. After which a newly announced lockdown! An issue which will certainly impact adult social care. However, as previously reported, with mass redundancies in other sectors I suspect we may see a much-needed influx of furloughed and redundant staff to the care sector. Since the pandemic began social care staff found themselves in the eye of the storm. I have often said the care sector has been taken for granted for far too long, and, a sector which rose to what is the biggest challenge in modern times. You may recall from last week’s issue that the government announced £149 million support package for twice-weekly testing of care staff in England. The money will soon to be made readily available and will be distributed via local authorities. The support package will cover the infrastructure costs of the increased testing programme including setting up testing areas and resource costs including gaining consent for tests, supervising the use of PPE and swab tests and then processing and logging the results. Further details can be found at There is of course further light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine earlier this week, and (as reported in this week’s issue) the government secured access to 100 million doses, which will bring muchneeded reassurance to residents and staff. I would also draw your attention to an article and a call from the chair of the Independent Care Group Mike Padgham, (see page 5), where he calls for 2021 to be the year of sector reform. I would certainly echo that. 2020 shone a light on how exposed adult social care is. And no government present or future can rely solely on the hard work and dedication of those workers to maintain levels of care. Once that happens appreciation turns to expectation, and that will lead to an exodus of staff. The issue of pay in the sector should take absolute priority in 2021. I saw this online: Q: “What is the difference between Santa Claus and a care worker”?


Peter Adams

A: Santa Claus gets Boxing Day off. Social care does not stop for seasonal holidays! We highlighted in 2020 the horrendous staffing problems the sector faces, there were 112,000 vacancies at any one time, a slight fall from 2019 but the second year in a row the number has topped 100,000. Skills for care’s report can be viewed at The one great difficulty I think for pay in social care when compared to the NHS is that the NHS is of course public sector and adult social care is predominantly private sector. Nevertheless the government must move swiftly I believe to address renumeration within the sector. In November care sector employers, former health and care ministers, and the UK’s largest social care union joined forces to call for a major funding package and a fair wage deal for low-paid staff. The Future Social Care Coalition a cross-party alliance of more than 80 organisations and individuals – said an immediate £3.9bn emergency support fund was needed from the government to get the care sector through the pandemic’s second wave. Now of course we face a national lockdown. Charity director at Age UK and co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance Caroline Abrahams said: “Care workers have been the invisible heroes throughout the pandemic. They’ve been on the frontline giving their all while looking after older and disabled people. Many have put their own health and financial worries to one side, and some have tragically even paid the ultimate price. “The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the need for strengthening the workforce. Social care is a people business and it’s impossible to deliver good care without enough committed, well-trained workers. “The government must now do everything possible to help care workers at this very stressful time. That includes paying them a decent wage.” We would most certainly welcome any views, that you have on this topic, we hope in the coming weeks to have some of the industry’s leading lights giving their opinions, and also advice on how this matter can be taken straight to the government! I would also take this opportunity once again to remind you to send your stories, thoughts and views, we are always delighted to include some wonderfully uplifting stories from care homes throughout the country so please do keep them coming, I can always be contacted at

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Close-Contact Visits In Care Homes Banned During Lockdown (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Residents are forbidden to meet people indoors on a visit out, such as visiting relatives in the family home. Care homes with outbreaks of the coronavirus will not be allowed to receive visitors. However, visits under exceptional circumstances, such as end-of-life visits, will be able to continue in all circumstances. Campaigners have warned that these new rules may result in many families face going a whole year without a meaningful visit with their relatives in care, and in some cases loved ones may only have only weeks or months left to live. Seven in ten care home residents have dementia and many relatives fear that by the time they finally see their loved ones again, they will not recognise them. Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, which represents not-for-profit providers, said: “The move away from close-contact visits is a terrible blow for residents across the country. “However it is very important and positive that visiting remains firmly on the agenda and homes across the country will be working hard with loved ones to ensure wherever possible visits can continue. “When we emerge from this lockdown it is imperative that we put care home residents’ needs at the top of our priority list and ensure

meaningful visits can resume.” Fiona Carragher, director of research and influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society, said many residents have still not been able to properly see or hug their loved ones. The charity is calling for the Government to “act with compassion” and prioritise the safe continuation of meaningful visits. She said: “After a dreadful year for people with dementia, worst hit by the virus, we are still having to stress that mental health plays as much of a role in people’s survival as physical. “The large majority of people in care homes with dementia do not have time on their side. Contact with their families isn’t just for comfort but fundamental to their care – and most important of all, their reason for living. “The Government must do everything it can to keep people in care homes safe from the virus, but must act with compassion to prioritise meaningful visits continuing in a safe way, allowing residents to have the one thing that matters most to them in their final days.” Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the new lockdown 'has put an end to face-to-face visiting for now, unless mediated through a screen or window or in a 'pod' of some kind. On the one hand it's good that the Government hasn't imposed a blanket ban on visiting as it did in March 2020, but on the other we know that many care home

residents will be unable to benefit from these more distanced methods.' The British Medical Association have supported the government action, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “It’s clear that we need a major intervention to bring down the spread of this virus, especially the new more aggressive variant, given that the NHS in on the brink – currently facing exponential demand for care beyond what can be supplied in many places. “Hospitals are stretched to breaking point, with doctors reporting unbearable workloads as they take on more Covid-19 admissions alongside the growing backlog of people who need other, non-Covid care. Doctors are desperate, with some even comparing their working environment to a warzone as wards overflow, waiting lists grow, and ambulances queue outside hospitals because there are now so many people with Covid-19. “As a result, the NHS is currently facing a perfect storm of immense workload and staff burnout and more cases expected as we see the impact of Christmas on infection rates. “The vaccination of healthcare workers needs to be significantly sped up so that health and care staff across the country are prioritised to receive both the first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to help keep them free of the virus, so they can continue to provide the care so vitally needed by so many.

BMA says Decision to Delay Follow-up Dose of Pfizer Vaccine ‘Grossly Unfair’ to Thousands of At-Risk Patients The BMA says that asking GPs to rebook appointments of tens of thousands of elderly and vulnerable patients, due to get their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination in a few days’ time, is unreasonable and totally unfair, and practices who honour existing appointments booked for the next few days should be supported. Following the announcement by the Government that the follow-up dose of the Pfizer vaccine should now be delayed to 12 weeks, scores of GPs and clinical leaders have told the Association that to do this will have a terrible impact on the emotional well-being of their most vulnerable, at-risk patients. The BMA believes these are patients that have already been promised, by the NHS and local clinicians, that they will receive a second dose of Pfizer vaccination next week; they have given their consent to receive it and, quite rightly, are expecting to have it. Chair of the BMA GP committee, Dr Richard Vautrey said: “This group of very elderly patients is at the highest risk of death if they contract Covid-19, which is why GPs are so concerned for them. It is grossly and patently unfair to tens of thousands of our most at-risk patients to now try to reschedule their appointments. Local leaders are telling us that is unprofessional and impractical to amend the appointments for thou-

sands of frail elderly patients, particularly those booked and who have already made arrangements to have their second vaccination in the next two weeks. “The decision to ask GPs, at such short notice, to rebook patients for three months hence, will also cause huge logistical problems for almost all vaccination sites and practices. For example, to make contact with even just two thousand elderly or vulnerable patients will take a team of five staff at a practice about a week, and that’s simply untenable. “The BMA believes the existing commitment made to these patients by the NHS and local clinicians should be respected. If GPs decide to honour these booked appointments in January the BMA will support them. “The Government must see that it’s only right that existing bookings for the oldest and most vulnerable members of our society are honoured, and it must also as soon as possible publish a scientifically-validated justification for its new approach. As doctors, we believe this can and should be done even as practices and the wider NHS step up the Covid-19 vaccination programme to deliver initial doses of vaccination to other vulnerable people, including frontline healthcare professionals – many of whom still have not even received their first vaccination.”


Top Tips To Help Older People Keep Fit And Healthy Through The Winter Months To help older people across the country stay active and healthy throughout the winter period, Anchor Hanover has developed a series of simple, accessible and effective fitness tips. As England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, Anchor Hanover recognises the significant positive impact that staying active has on older people’s physical health and mental wellbeing. Official guidance recommends people aged 65 and over should aim to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week*, or approximately for 30 minutes, five days a week. Yet during the colder months, and as the country faces tightening restrictions over the coming weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be increasingly challenging to prioritise health and fitness and to find motivation. But with many traditionally making new year’s resolutions, the tips aim to help start 2021 on a positive note, through practical advice on how to boost fitness in a fun, safe and engaging way. The tips are accessible for people of all abilities, demonstrating that fitness doesn’t have to be time consuming, and can range from walking to dancing and even hoovering or dusting – anything that gets your whole-body moving counts. Either in person (whilst meeting latest social distancing measures) or via Zoom, doing activities together with loved ones is also an effective way to stay motivated, and reach the weekly target of 150 minutes of activity. Discussing the importance of physical activity in winter, Helen

Core, Wellbeing Manager for Anchor Hanover, said: “Winter in the UK can feel very long, dark and cold – that’s why it’s so important that we all look after ourselves and stay active to keep healthy and in high spirits. “We have developed this accessible, engaging guide of essential tips to staying fit and active to show older people that boosting your fitness doesn’t have to be difficult – any activity that gets you up and moving and your heart beating a little faster, can be extremely beneficial for health and wellbeing. “As we enter the new year, it’s important we stay healthy and positive – so that we’re ready for the brighter months to come.”

5. 6.





Break your 30 minutes down into smaller chunks – 3 x 10 minutes is perfect if you are new to activity. Then you can do 2 x 15 minutes and finally the full 30 minutes if you feel up to it. Physical activity means anything at all! You can go for a walk, dance around the living room, do some hoovering or dusting, anything that make you feel a bit warmer and gets your whole body moving. You don’t have to hit the gym! Find what you enjoy, and you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Try and make movement functional – sitting down and standing up, pushing and pulling and reaching overhead, stepping up and down. This will help you with everyday tasks. Enlist some support – if you don’t want to walk alone, get a friend to walk with you outside (maintaining a social distance) or dance around

7. 8. 9.

your house with people you live with. If you aren’t able to meet face to face then zoom, skype or video call. This will help you stick to a routine as someone will be waiting for you to turn up! Wear layers – you’ll start to feel a bit warmer as you get moving so you can remove a thin layer at a time as you feel ready. Listen to your body – if anything hurts or doesn’t feel right then stop and rest. Make sure you build up gradually and don’t overdo it if you aren’t used to physical activity. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day – these are guidelines so enjoy your rest day and aim to do some movement the following day. Drink plenty of fluids to accommodate for the extra movement and the fluid lost during it. Make sure you have had something to eat at least 45 minutes before you start to exercise – exercising on a full stomach can cause some issues!

Further information and advice on supporting health and wellbeing can be found on Anchor Hanover’s BeActive page – a curated list of online resources, including exercise routine videos, podcasts and tips on how to keep the mind active. Please visit:

Care Home Company ‘Reindeers’ Raise Vital Funds For Disability Charity Sure-footed colleagues at a Ringwood-based care home company held a reindeer run to raise more than £350 for people with autism and learning disabilities. Thirteen team members from Colten Care’s Colten House head office donned antlers along with their trainers for a 5km circuit around the town, clocking up nearly 70km between them. The festive dash was in aid of an appeal by the Stable Family Home Trust which provides essential services in Hampshire and Dorset including residential homes, personal development programmes, day services and supported living. Representatives of Colten’s Marketing, Estates, Facilities, Finance and Architecture departments all took part in the run. One participant, Director of IT & Support Services Andy Keeble, was ‘volunteered’ to wear a full-body reindeer suit complete with Rudolf-

style red nose. Andy said with a smile: “I didn’t mind ‘prancing around’ Ringwood in my outfit in full view of everyone as it was all for such a great cause.”

Based in Bisterne, south of Ringwood, the Stable Family Home Trust was established in 1980 and currently works with more than 120 adults and families. Tracey Hickford, Corporate & Community Fund Development Officer, said Colten was among several local businesses that together raised £2,200 for what was the Trust’s first virtual ‘Cheer the Deer’ fun run. Tracey said: “Our day services and funds have been hugely affected by Covid since March 2020 so we are incredibly grateful to all local businesses who support us. A special thank-you goes to Colten Care staff and management for joining forces with us, sporting antlers and noses, and running round Ringwood town.” The deer run for the Trust is the latest in a series of fundraising, charity support and community activities by Colten staff and residents.

Cup of Tea Brightens the Day and the Mind If you enjoyed a cup of tea and mince pie this festive season, you may be refreshing more than your palate, as research shows a good brew improves the attention span in those over 85-years-old. The skills we see maintained in this group of very old may not only be due to the compounds present in tea, but it may also be the rituals of making a pot of tea or sharing a chat over a cup of tea are just as importantIn a study from Newcastle University, tea drinkers who enjoyed more than five cups a day were shown to have more focus and sustained attention span. They also demonstrated better psychomotor skills – those linking brain and movement. In tests, they showed better accuracy and speed of reaction which could help in daily activities such as completing a jigsaw, sewing or driving a car. The researchers studied the tea-drinking habits of those over 85 living in their own homes or in assisted accommodation and found that those who drank more than five cups of tea a day – with or without milk – performed better at certain cognitive tests. Dr Edward Okello, Principal Investigator, Human Nutrition Research Centre at Newcastle University led the research. He said: “The skills we see maintained in this group of very old may not only be due to the

Dr. Ed Okello enjoying a cup of tea. compounds present in tea, but it may also be the rituals of making a pot of tea or sharing a chat over a cup of tea are just as important.” The research used data from the flagship Newcastle 85+ Study involving more than one thousand 85-year-olds from Newcastle and

North Tyneside. Started in 2006, studies are still continuing to this day with around 200 participants as they become centenarians. Research nurses gather information by visiting participants in their own homes to complete a health assessment made up of questionnaires, measurements, function tests and a fasting blood test. Examining the consumption of black tea, Camellia sinensis, the researchers were looking for evidence that it protected against memory loss (cognitive decline). They found that higher tea consumption was associated with significantly better attention (focused and sustained attention), and psychomotor speed (complex tasks only) over the five years but there was no association between tea consumption and overall measures of memory (global cognitive function) or performance on simple speed tasks. The researchers suggest the findings mean that black tea should be considered for the very old in any diet which aims to improve attention and psychomotor speed. “We now know that enjoying a cup of tea quenches your thirst and has benefits for over 85s attention span,” adds Dr Okello, “What better excuse do we need for enjoying a cuppa together?”


Call for New Year Social Care Reform A campaigner says his New Year wish is for the reform of care of older and vulnerable people to be an urgent Government priority now that Brexit is done. Mike Padgham, Chair of The Independent Care Group (ICG), says the arrival of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is excellent and provides light at the end of the tunnel. But he said that light could get even brighter if 2021 was the year social care got the reform it has long been promised. Mr Padgham said: “2020 has been a dreadful year. Covid-19 has taken a dreadful toll and it is not done with us yet. We have seen a further 600 deaths reported for care settings earlier this month and sadly more are still to come. “Our thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one this year. “Thankfully, we do now have greater hope thanks to the addition of the Oxford vaccine to our armoury. “This should mean that the mass rollout of the vaccinations can begin in earnest to vulnerable people, including those in care and nursing homes and the people who care for them, giving us a positive start to the New Year. “And then what would make it a truly happy New Year would be for that to be followed swiftly by reform of the social care sector. “Care providers proved during Covid-19 that they provide vital care to the most vulnerable and they have waited far too long for reform. 2021 must be the year it happens. “Now that Brexit is done Boris Johnson must get social care done with the same sense of urgency. Nothing is impossible. No more excuses. He needs to tell the treasury this is going to happen. No more prevarication. “Covid-19 exposed a fragile and vulnerable social care system, and it

is only through the super-human efforts of its staff that we have pulled through. We cannot go on any longer with a system that is in crisis. “Social care needs its Nye Bevan moment; someone to come along and grasp the issue, create a solution, and go down in history as the person who solved how to look after the country’s oldest and most vulnerable. “If this is to be Boris Johnson, he has what is perhaps his last opportunity to deliver after so many broken promises on social care reform. “The parallels with Bevan and his creation of the NHS are clear: the current system is failing a vulnerable section of society and needs reform. As Bevan did with healthcare, so the time is ripe for someone to create a system where the best in care can be provided to our oldest and most vulnerable. “Not only would Boris go down in history as someone who succeeded where others have failed, but he would surely create a legacy for himself and be known for something very special indeed.” The ICG points to 1.4m people going without the care they need, £8bn cut from social care budgets since 2010-11 and 100,000 vacancies in the care sector on any one day as evidence that social care needs urgent help. Mr Padgham added: “Reform is long overdue; the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised it and it is time to deliver. Unless we get more funding into the sector to support care, ease the staffing shortages and improve the terms and conditions of the staff providing amazing care, the sector will continue to be extremely fragile The ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • A guarantee that people receiving publicly funded care can receive it in their own home or close to where they live • A commissioner for older people and those with Learning Disabilities in England

• A properly costed national rate for care fees linked to a national career pathway and salary framework for care staff • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • A cap on social care costs, including ‘hotel’ charges • Local Enterprise Partnerships to prioritise social care • A national scheme to ensure people save for their own care, as they do for a pension • A new model of social care delivery based on catchment areas – like GPs • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT • CQC to have much greater powers to oversee all commissioning practises such as per minute billing and 15-minute visits • Less duplication of inspection between CQC and local authorities/CCGs • Greater recognition of the role of the independent sector and utilisation of its expertise in the commissioning and delivery of social care • Guaranteed equal partnership working through seats on Health and Well Being Boards, CCGs, and NHS • Giving providers and CQC greater flexibility in delivering services • Providing telemedicine incentives • Allowing nurses and social care staff from overseas to work in the U.K. including lowering the salary cap • Training and bursaries to encourage recruitment/end the shortage of nurses • Long term measures to integrate older and younger people in care settings and change the perception of the generations • Investment in research and development into new models of social care delivery • Funding to help upgrade older care homes to maintain a range of choice for the public and investment in domiciliary care • Funding for leadership training. The figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 602 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 18th December, up from 532 the previous week and 544 the week before that. Some 19,568 people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 18th December.

Care Home Gets In-House Vaccine From Surgery Residents at a Yorkshire care home got a New Year gift when their local surgery came to them to give them and their carers their Covid-19 vaccinations. A team from Pickering Medical Practice visited Alba Rose Care Home to give some of their residents and staff the vital injection. Some of the home’s residents had their vaccinations two weeks ago when they went by minibus to the Pickering surgery. But the less agile residents were not able to get to the surgery – so the surgery came to them today. Alba Rose is part of the Saint Cecilia’s Care Group. Its Managing Director Mike Padgham is grateful to the surgery for taking the initiative and visiting the home.

He said: “I know it isn’t straightforward to store and transport the vaccine, so I am really grateful to the team from Pickering Medical Centre for coming out to Alba Rose today, they have really shown the way. “We were concerned over how the remainder of the residents were going to get their vaccination as we know there are challenges in taking the vaccine into care and nursing homes, “But thanks to the commitment of Dr Coppack and his team at the surgery those obstacles were overcome today, and all Alba Rose residents and staff have now had their first vaccination. We cannot thank them enough.”



New UK Immigration Rules for EU Migrants Coming to Live or Work in the UK By Charles Kelly, Property Investor, Author of Yes, Money Can Buy You Happiness and creator of Money Tips Podcast ( The 2020 Immigration Bill sets out new rules for EU migrants coming to the UK after 31 December following Brexit and the end of free movement to live, work and study in the UK. The British government is seeking a new era of worldwide higher skilled immigration to meet the needs of a post-Brexit economy. From January 1 2021, EU and non-EU migrants who want to live or work in the UK will be required qualify under the points-based system. • They will need to score at least 70 points to be eligible for a visa. • Workers have a job offer at ‘an appropriate skill level’ from an approved sponsor and speak English at a ‘required’ level. • These mandatory criteria are worth 50 points. Additional points are awarded for a long list of reasons, for instance if you have desired qualifications such as a STEM PhD or a job offer in a ‘shortage’ occupation. Workers must also meet the minimum salary threshold, set at either £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for their occupation, known as the ‘specific salary requirement’, unless the job appears on the official government’s jobs shortage list or if they hold a PhD relevant to that job.

Self-employed and freelance workers will be unaffected and should apply for visas under existing rules and will not need to be sponsored. Visitors, including EU citizens, will be also still be able to come to the UK without a visa for six months – but they cannot work during this time. Asylum applications fall outside the points-based system and are expected to operate under existing rules. Low skilled migrants will no longer be allowed into the UK, as the government wants to encourage higher skilled and paid migrants which are more beneficial to the economy. New Immigration rules for students after Brexit Non-UK students wishing to study here must prove: • They have an offer from an approved educational institution. • They can speak English. • They are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK. There have been reports that British travellers have been refused entry to some EU countries on the basis that their reasons for travel were invalid, which confirms that UK citizens no longer have an automatic right on entry into former partner nations.

Eurovision Winner Joins Dorset Care Home’s Companionship Team Music fans among the residents at a Dorset care home have begun enjoying regular live performances in their lounge from a Eurovision Song Contest winner. Colten Care has appointed Nicky Stevens from pop group Brotherhood of Man as a Companionship Team Member at its Ferndown home, Amberwood House. Nicky and the band gained worldwide fame when they won Eurovision in 1976 with the song Save Your Kisses for Me. It went on to be a number one hit in 33 countries, holding the top spot in the UK for six weeks and becoming one of the most successful Eurovision songs ever. A classically trained singer and pianist, Nicky has been a professional musician all her adult life and a member of Brotherhood of Man since 1972. Like many other performers, she and the band had been looking forward to a busy season of gigs until the Covid crisis brought much of the live music industry to a halt. Nicky, still the only Welsh person to have won Eurovision, said: “I’ve spent 48 years in Brotherhood of Man with same line-up of four people. We sometimes joke that we’re ‘still working and walking’. However, because of the pandemic, all our work was wiped out. We had a very

full diary planned but our last gig was in March 2020. I am also a voice coach and a singing teacher and I run a choir. I was really busy then suddenly had nothing. Just by luck I was on a week’s holiday and saw an ad for Colten Care entertainers and companions. I applied, had an interview and got the job.” Nicky, who lives in Corfe Mullen, Dorset, now works three days a week at Outstanding-rated Amberwood House. “It’s absolutely fantastic” she said. “I’ve had such a warm welcome from the staff and residents. It’s a totally new scenario for me, going

into a workplace where people are doing different jobs, but everybody is really lovely to me.” Nicky sings and plays a range of music for residents including 50s and 60s hits, jazz standards and songs from the war years. She is currently planning a ‘Cockney afternoon’ featuring old London singalongs. “Music is so therapeutic and uplifting,” she said. “The residents tell me they really love it. Some join in straight away if they know the tune. One lady calls me her ‘little nightingale’. They know I can sing but some don’t know I won Eurovision. I would like to say they are in total awe but they just accept you are performing and appreciate it. As long as they enjoy what I’m doing with them, that’s the main thing.” As well as her career in music, Nicky has done voluntary work in a hospital in Essex for people living with dementia and other mental health issues. Nicky said: “I have a great learning curve every day. It’s a joy to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of the residents and provide stimulation for them through varied experiences and activities. They are always pleased to see new faces. So many elderly people around the world are not seeing their families as much because of the pandemic. Witnessing our residents being happy because of what we do as a team makes all our work so worthwhile.”


Charity Care Worker Celebrated In The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List A charity Healthcare Assistant who has supported veterans for almost 40 years has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2021. Emrys Owen, Lead Healthcare Assistant at Royal Star & Garter, received his award for services to veterans during Covid-19. Emrys has been with the charity, which provides loving, compassionate care for veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, since 1982. Originally working in the charity’s former Richmond Home, he was there to support the residents’ move to the award-winning care home in Surbiton in 2013. Emrys was thrilled to find out he’d been given the award. He said: “I’m highly delighted that someone like me could receive such an award! It’s mostly the people I have looked after over the years, the stories I have heard and the characters that I have met that makes the job so worthwhile. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else, it’s an amazing organisation to work for.” Andy Cole, the charity’s Chief Executive, thanked him for his many years of service to the charity’s residents: “I’m delighted that Emrys’ dedication and hard work in support of the nation’s veterans has been acknowledged. Emrys has embodied the very best of Royal Star & Garter’s values throughout his four decades at the charity. We are one big family at Royal Star & Garter, and I have no doubt that all the

staff, residents and volunteers will be enormously proud of Emrys’ hugely well-deserved recognition.”

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Wellbeing Workplaces Boost Morale for Care Home Residents A care home in Wellingborough has created two ‘shops’ for residents as part of a dementia therapy scheme. Lancum House care home has installed ‘Stanwell Flowers’ and the ‘Redwell Boutique’ clothes shop, which recreates the atmosphere of the retail environment that residents can ‘work’ and ‘shop’ at, with the aim of providing dementia residents with a more familiar environment to talk about their memories. The clothes store is stocked with items kindly donated by staff and their relatives, while the florist is full of artificial flowers that residents can take for their own private spaces. The home now has colourful bedroom doors, as well as windows in the corridors - giving it a high street-like experience. Alysha Coleman, manager at the home operated by Shaw healthcare, said: “These shops have been a welcome distraction over the past couple months. “They are a great way to help our residents carry


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on with familiar tasks and it encourages interaction between them as well as keeping some independence. We have a few residents who love to ‘work’ in the shops and it really gives them a sense of purpose which helps their wellbeing no end.” Lancum house provides care for up to 43 people including those living with dementia.

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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.

Care Home Survey Highlights Team Strengths In Covid Response Managers of a group of 21 care homes in the south with up to 1,000 residents have said responding to lockdown constraints has strengthened their staff teams. Respondents to a survey of Colten Care Home Managers and Clinical Leads said having to manage the impact of Covid-19 has made staff work ‘even better as a team’. They said they had been able to offer support and reassurance to residents at the same time as ensuring staff have the help they need too. There was praise from all respondents for ‘concise, timely and informative’ communications from Colten Care throughout the pandemic. And all were confident their homes would remain resilient should there be future waves of the virus. Among the Home Managers who took part in the survey, 100% feel proud of how they have coped with Covid in their homes and agree they have been able to offer great support and reassurance to their residents. Lucy Yao, Regional Support Manager at Outstanding-rated Ferndown home Amberwood House, said: “The survey gave us a good opportunity to reflect on what we have needed and ensure the right support is in place.” Elaine Farrer, Colten Care Operations Director, said: “We will continue

to develop resources to increase the resilience of our managers in responding to the challenges of Covid, reassuring our residents and supporting staff.” As well as Covid, the survey covered areas such as job demands, wellbeing, work-life balance, roles and responsibilities, career development, systems and processes, and communications. On career development, all respondents praised Colten Care for providing good opportunities to progress for its Nurses, Senior Care Leads, Trainee Nursing Associates, Senior Companionship Team Members and Senior Administrators. Among other insights, 100% of Home Managers believe Colten Care encourages them to exceed residents’ expectations, all feel they have support from their line manager to do their job well and all agree Colten Care is a great place to work. All respondents feel the company is good at identifying and developing talented people and rate it as an ‘employer of choice’. More than 85% of Home Managers expect to still be working for the company in three years’ time, a higher proportion than a previous survey showed in 2016.

180 School Children Surprise Care Home Resident Joan with a Video Message as She Turns 100 on Christmas Day Joan Hamblin, a resident at National Charity Ambient Support’s Dora Matthews House has received the most wonderful surprise from children at Berry Hill Primary School. The children made Christmas cards for many of the local care homes in the area, but when the school got in touch with Dora Matthews House in Coleford and heard about Joan’s milestone birthday, they wanted to do something really special to mark the occasion. Teachers and children at the school have worked brilliantly to create a series of special gifts for Joan which she has received today, Christmas Day. Her special presentation includes a hand drawn A3 Happy Birthday plaque with an illustration of a rainbow and all of the children’s names (over 180) written into it.

It is framed so that Joan is able to display it. The special part is hidden behind three QR codes- which when scanned by the Care Home staff, linked to the school’s Twitter page so Joan could watch three groups of school children singing Happy Birthday to her. Lucy Stevens, SENDco at Berry Hill Primary School, says: “We are very community oriented at Berry Hill and having had such positive feedback from the rainbow letters and cards we sent during lockdown, we felt it was especially important to send Christmas cards. When we heard Joan was celebrating a milestone, we felt compelled to do something special for her. “Our gifts to Joan allow the children to give their time and kindness as a way of connecting with others in our local community. It’s very important, particularly during this difficult year, to think of others and do things that will brighten their day and show they’re thought of.” Julie Element, Manager at Dora Matthews House says: “It’s a huge achievement to reach 100 years, made even more special that Joan becomes a Centurion on Christmas Day! We couldn’t be more delighted with the huge effort from the caring staff and children at Berry Hill primary school. It has made Joan’s day even more special and she has absolutely loved watching and listening to the children sing.” Alongside the messages from the school, the team at Ambient

Support organised a visit from her son, who brought along her birthday cake, a traditional Christmas lunch with residents in her secure bubble and an extra special musical activity. On reaching 100, Joan says: “It’s wonderful to reach this milestone birthday and I am overjoyed to receive such a kind and thoughtful tribute from the school children. It brought a huge smile to my face and it is something I will watch many times over”. Tom Harrison, Director of Operations at Ambient, said: “This is a fantastic example of people going above and beyond to bring joy in these stressful times. Against the odds, the staff at Berry Hill along with our Ambient team at Dora Matthews House have united to give Joan a spectacular celebration. This is a brilliant example of our staff living by ‘The Ambient Way’, which is all about being exceptional in what they would simply call their ‘day to day’.”


First People To Receive Oxford University/Astrazeneca Covid-19 Vaccine The first people will receive the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine today as the NHS rapidly expands COVID-19 vaccination programmes across the UK. The NHS is the first health service in the world to deploy the life-saving jab, which has been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. It is the only approved vaccine which can be stored at fridge temperatures. The Government has secured access to 100 million doses of the vaccine on behalf of the whole of the UK, crown dependencies and Overseas Territories. More than half a million doses are available today, with tens of millions more to be delivered in the coming weeks and months once batches have been quality checked by the MHRA. More than 730 vaccination sites have already been established across the UK and hundreds more are opening this week to take the total to over 1,000, helping those who are most at risk from Covid-19 to access vaccines for free, regardless of where they live. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted that today we are rolling out the Oxford vaccine – a testament to British science. This is a pivotal moment in our fight against this awful virus and I hope it provides renewed hope to everybody that the end of this pandemic is in sight. “Through its vaccine delivery plan the NHS is doing everything it can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible and we will rapidly

accelerate our vaccination programme. “While the most vulnerable are immunised, I urge everybody to continue following the restrictions so we can keep cases down and protect our loved ones.” The first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations will be delivered at hospitals for the first few days, as is standard practice, before the bulk of supplies are sent to hundreds of GP-led services and care homes later in the week. More than a million people in the UK have already been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and its roll out will continue at pace. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at fridge tempera-

tures, between two to eight degrees, making it easier to distribute to care homes and other locations across the UK. The vaccines will be deployed through: • hospital hubs for NHS and care staff and older patients to get vaccinated; • local community services with local teams and GPs already signing up to take part in the programme; • vaccination centres across the country, ensuring people can access a vaccine regardless of where they live. An army of current and former NHS staff have applied to become vaccinators, with tens of thousands having already completed their online training. These are being processed as quickly as possible and volunteer vaccinators will be deployed as more vaccine supplies become available. GPs and local vaccination services have been asked to ensure every care home resident in their local area is vaccinated by the end of January. The MHRA, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the four UK Chief Medical Officers agreed to delay the gap between the first and second dose of vaccines to protect the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time. In line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be rolled out to the priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 and health and care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Salutem Care and Education Awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours Salutem Care and Education is delighted to announce that its Chief Executive John Godden has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to the care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

levels of care and education during this pandemic. “They have consistently demonstrated their roles as key workers and care professionals by adapting quickly, operating safely and maintaining our specialist services

John Godden MBE said: “I am immensely proud to have received this honour, which is really a testament to the hard work, dedication and determination of all our staff at Salutem who have continued to go above and beyond to provide the highest

to the people we support throughout this unprecedented time. “This honour is for every single person within the Salutem family that have proven to be exceptional in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances.”

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Nursing In The New Agile Way Of Working - Does Hiring Need A Rethink? By Mina Morris, a Partner with Aon’s Assessment Solution Practice ( million nurses, we need more trained nurses. While the greatest gaps are found in countries in Africa, South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region, the US and across Europe also have significant vacancies. Even with a reported uptick post-pandemic in applications, it will be hard to fill the gap. One out of six of the world’s nurses are expected to retire in the next 10 years. And, there are reports of a possible exodus from the nursing profession due to workload and stress. Rethinking the Hiring of Nursing Talent Attraction of talent to the sector has relied on the career being a ‘vocation’. Nurses who are retired, students, or in-post, all talk of the desire to help, care and support the sick and injured. The profession has the respect – and gratitude – of the public, recognised degree-level training and CPD and embedded pay structures. How, then, can healthcare authorities and providers attract more talent? Nurses, doctors, care workers and specialist healthcare practitioners have been celebrated over the past nine months. Their commitment and workload have increased, and new responsibilities taken on. New skills are learned: due in part to need, but also due to progression of medical technology. But is such skill acquisition a short-term reaction to the current pressures in healthcare – or is it part of the long-term future of essential nursing practice? That is, do the nurses of the future need the fundamental ability and capability to face new agile ways of working? Indeed, perhaps they already have these.

NURSING AS A RENAISSANCE CAREER We know nursing skills are hugely transferable – and the career options broad. Opportunities of moving into nurse specialisms or leadership roles abound, and they offer incumbents real career agility. And yet there is a nursing shortage. The World Health Organization published its The State of the World’s Nursing 2020, and its findings – even before the pandemic – identifies important gaps in the nursing workforce. With a global shortfall of 5.9

TAPPING THE UNTAPPED TALENT POOL The talent pool is larger than it has been for decades with people finding themselves unemployed due to the economic downturn or needing to return to work following a career break. But recruiting new nurses into the profession has a long lead time. Training qualified nurses is, understandably, long. What if an apprenticeship scheme could be developed to train and pay nurses simultaneously, based in the real work environment?

SPOTTING THOSE WITH THE QUALITIES OF A GREAT NURSE Would it also be valuable to look at the characteristics, skills and behaviors needed of nurses, identify these at applicant stage and hire those we know to have the disposition to embrace the role? Indeed, this is how we at Aon have helped one healthcare provider, designing a bespoke situational judgement questionnaire. Having worked through with the client what they were looking for in their nursing professionals and detailed the situations in which they face, we designed a very specific behavioral questionnaire that pinpoints those candidates with the capabilities and approach needed to thrive in and contribute to that particular healthcare setting.

Through its work, Aon is also helping healthcare specific training providers identify the agility and learning potential for individuals, so they can tailor selection and content delivery to ensure that 'graduates' from the programme are easily employable and maximise their career opportunities.

VIEW RETENTION AS A REPLACEMENT TO RECRUITMENT A two-pronged approach is needed to bridge the gap between healthcare demand and number of current nursing professionals. Attracting, training and hiring talent is one aspect. The other is retention – and part of this could be poor perception of working conditions. Nurses have a variety of career options available: progression to nurse specialisms; taking on leadership roles; moving to allied healthcare roles. If there is a lack of visibility of career paths, perhaps this is a communications story: being clear that nursing supports an entire career. About 90 per cent of all nurses are female, yet few nurses are found in senior health leadership positions and the bulk of those positions are held by men. But when countries enable nurses to take a leadership role, for example by having a government chief nursing officer (or equivalent), and nursing leadership programs, conditions for nurses improve.

AND WHAT OF THE FUTURE? It’s clear that the nursing role is changing. Augmented medical technology allows nurses to take on new tasks and work alongside doctors and allied healthcare workers as side-by-side partners. The eco-system of medical and social care will strengthen and, going forward, healthcare authorities and settings will need to understand those who have the qualities to adapt to the challenges and changes of the future however the roles develop. Article by Mina Morris, a Partner with Aon’s Assessment Solution Practice. As an organisational psychologist, Mina works with clients to maximise the effectiveness of their talent selection processes, implement talent management systems and helps organisations manage change. Mina has extensive global experience partnering with clients to deliver human capital solutions that help deliver business results.

Carer Rapidly Recovers From Illness To Land Her Dream Job For The New Year A CARER who suffered a heart attack two months ago has recovered to take on a brand new role as an activities coordinator at her local care home. Samantha Nicol from Broughton in the Scottish Borders was promoted just eight weeks after suffering a minor heart attack, having made a remarkable recovery. The 28-year-old recently started her new position at Mansfield Care’s Peebles Care Home, where she had worked as a care assistant from January 2020. This follows another remarkable recovery for Samantha after she suffered a multi-tiered brain injury in a horse riding accident in 2015, which left her having to relearn how to write, walk and talk. Despite these challenges, Samantha is determined to provide an invaluable service to her residents in her new role coordinating activities and social events for the care home. Samantha said: “Care has always been an integral part of my life – from the age of 14, I cared for my dad who suffered from advanced bowel cancer. “More recently I had been working as a care assistant at Peebles Care Home, as well as taking care of my mum over lockdown before she sadly passed away. “I absolutely love care, and so when I saw the opportunity was there to take on the role of activities coordinator I went for it. “I have so many ideas for the care home which I’m hoping to implement in the New Year – I’m a big fan of therapy pets as they provide such amazing comfort and reassurance, and I think it’s something our residents would really enjoy.

“I am also keen to bring in professionals in art and pottery to teach our residents different skills, which would be both interactive and help develop cognitive and sensory activity. “It’s important that our activities are stimulating for our residents, not only does this make it fun it also helps to maintain positive mental health.” After her first accident in 2015, Samantha has viewed her health as a challenge which she describes as difficult to overcome, but which have been pivotal in her life and career as a carer. She said: “The horse riding accident was incredibly difficult. I was stood on and dragged for some time – of course it wasn’t the horse’s fault, it was an unfortunate accident. “I was off work for 14 months. The recovery process was really tough, and as you can imagine it took a lot of time for me to be in a position where I could carry out even basic tasks. “I recall one moment during my recovery where I staggered out of the shops at around 10am. A woman, who was a complete stranger, turned to me and muttered ‘what a disgrace, drunk at this time in the morning.’ “This really shook me – I was in floods of tears that someone who I have never met could just jump to this conclusion without understanding my situation. “However, this has really enforced a belief in me to be patient with people and to try and understand the personal situations each resident is in. “These are qualities which I think are essential to people working in care, in the end I just want to put a smile on the residents’ faces. “I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I’m thrilled to have started my new role in shaping our residents’ lives.” Activities at Mansfield Care Homes are led by residents’ wishes – with every effort made to support individual requests and interests. The care provider specialises in small, friendly residential care homes in Edinburgh, Borders and west of Scotland; each designed to an exceptional standard with state-of-the-art facilities.

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BMA Supports Third National Lockdown As Doctors Compare Working in the NHS to Being in a Warzone Responding to the Government’s announcement that England will enter another national lockdown, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “It’s clear that we need a major intervention to bring down the spread of this virus, especially the new more aggressive variant, given that the NHS in on the brink - currently facing exponential demand for care beyond what can be supplied in many places. “Hospitals are stretched to breaking point, with doctors reporting unbearable workloads as they take on more Covid-19 admissions alongside the growing backlog of people who need other, non-Covid care. Doctors are desperate, with some even comparing their working environment to a warzone as wards overflow, waiting lists grow, and ambulances queue outside hospitals because there are now so many people with Covid-19. “As a result, the NHS is currently facing a perfect storm of immense workload and staff burnout and more cases expected as we see the impact of Christmas on infection rates. “The vaccination of healthcare workers needs to be significantly sped up so that

health and care staff across the country are prioritised to receive both the first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to help keep them free of the virus, so they can continue to provide the care so vitally needed by so many. “The decision to close primary and secondary schools for the foreseeable future is also essential to containing the spread of this new variant. While the BMA believes they must be the first to reopen after this lockdown, we know that the percentage of positive tests is currently rising fastest among school-aged children, particularly those in secondary education, and that this is having a huge impact on community transmission. “No one likes being told how to live their life, but the reality is that without these tougher measures, the further this virus will spread, potentially taking more lives and damaging the NHS beyond repair. This lockdown is temporary, but the grief and loss suffered by those because of Covid-19 is enduring - and a stark reminder of our collective responsibility to ensure that it is not this virus that wins, but us.”

GPs Given £10 Per Jab Boost To Support Care Home Vaccination Drive The NHS is to provide GPs an extra £10 for every care home resident they are able to vaccinate against Covid by the end of January in an accelerated drive to protect the most vulnerable. The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, is being expanded after regulators approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday. More than three quarters of a million people were vaccinated in under three weeks from the start of the programme, new figures revealed today. A total of 786,000 people received a Covid jab between the NHS delivering the world’s first vaccination outside of a clinical trial on December 8 and last Sunday. Around two thirds, some 524,439, were delivered to people aged 80 and over who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, meaning that around one in five people of that age are already protected. The number of vaccination sites are coming on line all the time with more than 700, a mixture of GP-run centres and hospital hubs, now delivering jabs across the country.

The logistical challenges of using the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first to be approved by regulators, make it difficult to use in care homes. The vaccine needs to be kept at -70 degrees until it is ready to be used and can only be moved a limited number of times. The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab can be kept at fridge temperature and transported more easily, making it easier to get to care home residents. As the regulators and the chief medical officers have now specified more flexibility on timing of second doses, this also means that more first doses of vaccines should be available for the NHS in January than in December. The £10 per jab additional funding for GPs to prioritise them is expected to see the majority of care home residents vaccinated by the end of January and all those who have not had the jab are expected to have an appointment by then. NHS staff are also being prioritised now that more vaccine is coming on stream.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: “Three quarters of a million people have now received the Pfizer vaccine thanks to the tireless efforts of NHS staff who have given up time with their families over Christmas to deliver vaccines at the same times as treating record numbers of seriously-ill patients with COVID-19. “As we head into the New Year with a second vaccine that is also more versatile we will be able to expand the programme and ensure that the majority of care home residents are protected within the next four weeks or so. “It is also great news that we will be able to begin vaccinating NHS staff serving on the frontline to protect them against coronavirus.” NHS organisations have also been asked to start vaccinating nurses, doctors and other staff immediately, as additional supplies become available. Until now they were only being jabbed if vaccine was going to be unused. Priority groups for vaccination in this initial phase were determined by the government following advice from the JCVI and were people aged 80 and over, as well as care home residents and staff.


How To Scale A Healthcare Business When Facing Extreme Change By Richard Taylor, BGF ( From one day to the next the goalposts change. The unpredictable nature of 2020 has made managing a healthcare business extremely challenging. Since March, businesses in the care and domiciliary sectors have been fighting on all fronts – whether that’s having to contend with the ongoing lack of government funding, COVID-19 and the plethora of issues that have spawned from the global pandemic – namely managing cost base, testing, PPE, staffing and occupancy – and Brexit, which understandably comes far down the list of concerns in the current climate. For many, it’s like being caught ‘in a hamster wheel’, with ‘COVID-free’ being tentatively spoken, while touching wood. The issues facing the sector are vast and the pressures immense. But, despite this, the introduction of a vaccine roll-out is leaving some ‘cautiously optimistic’. The prospect of protecting residents and staff from the coronavirus by Spring 2021 will help to build confidence in the sector – one that has proven how vital it is in supporting the NHS and delivering safe clinical outcomes. It’s very much a confidence piece. With a vaccine in place, which will lead to renewed visiting plans and operational improvements, the market can finally take stock and focus on future growth – scaling up against a backdrop of extreme change. So, what are the biggest considerations facing healthcare leaders when it comes to growth in an unpredictable world.

as an opportunity to migrate high quality people from the service sector into healthcare to help plug that gap. However, Brexit will play its part, with concerns over what it will do to the overall talent pool. This has led to calls for the government to provide support to the sector, in terms of recruiting and employing overseas nursing staff.

COST BASE Controlling costs is vital for any business looking to grow, but doing that during extreme change is incredibly challenging. Businesses are already facing the prospect of significant hikes in areas such as insurance, with operational costs increasing in order to deal with heightened processes. However, the growth in the selfpay private healthcare market, and a robust fee structure is likely to help offset a spike in costs in the shortterm. The key lies in creating confidence and reassurance around the care system, which in turn will produce a shift in demand for services – occupancy levels play a vital role in enabling healthcare businesses to grow.

MARKET PLAYERS There’s little doubt that the sector will look somewhat different in a post-COVID world. No more so than in the size and type of players that will be left in the market. The appetite for financing small, non-purpose-built care homes is reportedly reducing, leading to questions about whether there will be an exodus in the next 12 months. With every challenge comes an opportunity – opportunity to provide a service in a vacated area and opportunity to achieve growth through acquisition. There can be little doubt that COVID-19 will continue to pose a very clear challenge to the healthcare sector for many months to come, with the prospect of further change still a distinct possibility. Robust testing, a widespread vaccine roll-out, a reassessment of fee rates, keeping a close eye on cost base, and managing changing staffing levels, will remain firmly on the agenda in 2021. But, alongside that, the opportunity to scale-up in amongst extreme change is still a real possibility for many as we enter a new year.

EMPLOYMENT Finding and retaining the right people is vital at any stage of growth, but the pressures being placed on healthcare businesses at the moment are significant. With an inability to move staff between services, due to COVID restrictions, fluctuations in staffing levels because of self-isolation, and additional costs associated with filling those temporary vacancies, employment is a key issue. Many see record unemployment in the UK

Richard Taylor heads up BGF in Yorkshire and the North East. To date, BGF – the UK’s most active investor in growing companies – has backed 42 companies in the healthcare sector with a total of £230 million invested and seven exits to date. Portfolio companies include Pharmacy2U, Springfield Healthcare, Dolphin Homes and CHS Healthcare.

Ensure Standards are High and Protecting Those We Care For By Dr. Paul Nelson, medical doctor, clinical epidemiologist and Public Health Consultant, is the founder of

FeverFreeZone™ (, and an expert in Covid-19 mitigation strategy.

Thomas Hobbes envisaged a world without society as nasty, brutish and short and Gandhi reminds us that the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members. During the Covid-19 pandemic the UK care home residents have suffered, and many have died. The protection of residents in care homes has been hugely problematic. Early in the pandemic the discharge back to care homes of older people contagious with C19 looks in retrospect to have been wilfully cavalier and a gross underestimation of the challenge. It led to the virus sweeping through care homes in the first wave, causing vast numbers of largely preventable deaths. That experience has perhaps led to rebound drastic and inhumane measures denying sometimes confused elderly people both touch and contact with loved ones as well as the freedom to move about in the care home for many months. This situation persists though efforts to facilitate the safe entry of relatives and loved ones into care homes are finally bearing fruit with trials of PCR testing and of new rapid testing methodologies for visiting relatives. The news of efficacious vaccines is wonderful and gives us all hope for the end of the pandemic, yet the news also threatens to become a distraction to focused efforts to protect residents of care homes whilst allowing the best quality of life for residents in the months and potentially years ahead where the virus still threatens. There is a genuine risk, that the emergence of the vaccine could be used consciously or unconsciously to divert attention and resources from C19 mitigation strategies which allow for and facilitate resident/visitor contact and some degree of freedom of movement of residents. Already Tedros Adhonan (WHO director-general) has warned that the vaccine will not be a panacea, not in the next year and

perhaps not ever as levels of immunisation may never reach herd immunity levels, mutations may occur and seasonal comebacks may become the norm. Pandemic preparedness must be in place in societies to protect them and particularly their vulnerable elderly. Now is the time to put in the infrastructure to protect care homes though layers of mitigation including screening for symptoms and critically objective assessment of signs of disease. The challenges for care homes are to balance compassion with safety, on a background of low levels of resourcing. Obvious solutions to safety like PCR testing to ensure people entering the care home do not have Covid-19 are slowly being adopted for staff but only on a weekly basis, so that interim infection and transmission remains a risk. New innovations like lateral flow testing are slowly being piloted although pan sector adoption with government backing is way off. However, for once social care is high on the news agenda taking column inches in the broadsheets and tabloids and is taking centre stage tv news reports and on social media. For once government is in the spotlight about their leadership and response and being challenged as to how they manage the next stage of the pandemic for the frail elderly particularly in care homes. The stakes are now high not to get it wrong again and moreover to ameliorate the situation. In early November The Scottish government published enhanced advice for supporting those who give and receive social care and specifically advocated daily symptom assessment and particularly temperature assessment for residents and staff in care homes. This is very good news since body temperature, although one of the primary signs of covid-19 has not been fully formally leverages as mitigation strategy in the UK. If measured correctly and consistently it can be a useful marker of infection risk and if data collected can be useful in disease surveillance and as the basis of population screening programme. Previously concerns about validity and accuracy have prevailed and the opportunities have not been seized.. Now it finally the usefulness and necessity for temperature assessment has been recognised and it is time for those who have implemented it to look at their processes and outcomes and ensure quality assurance. For those who have yet to adopt temperature assessment, process and quality are king. That said the care industry has been way in advance of government guidelines on symptom assessment, realising that a precautionary

approach early on a background of confusing, contradictory and deficient official advice. That information has imporved and care home owners have had taken then initiative adding mitigations above and beyond publicly recommended measure. Many have added in temperature assessment of staff, visitors and patients where Public Health guidelines have lagged behind the situation on the ground. In care homes, Temperature assessment has become widespread although often in an ad-hoc way without proper processes procedures and audit. In this light there is some doubt about the value of the temperature assessment process, assessment accuracy and validity without data being kept or used in the audit, it is easy to think that temperature assessment is largely theatre. It is important, and perhaps now likely that in view of the formal official public health advice from the Scottish government to care homes to implement daily symptom and temperature assessment that, standard procedures and equipment and the collection of data will become the norm. This will drive a focus by care homes on the accuracy and trust in the assessment as meaningful and helpful. This is good news as it adds another meaningful layer to broader mitigations against Covid 19 and is welcome and easy to implement even while the effectiveness of novel tests are still in doubt and while we endure the long wait for the vaccine. Objective temperature assessment now has its official sanction, let us get it in place and ensure that it is done so meaningfully and is not just theatre. That is it must be done according to a standard operation procedure using accredited equipment that is fit for purpose and there should be staff training and accreditation and a process of quality assurance. This is not only desirable but also essential Even if and when full eradication is here those care homes that have adopted best practice will be best placed to protect residents from early viral respiratory illness. Other infections such as flu have always threatened our elders in care homes and the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on our deficiencies in precautionary screening measures to protect them. Now is the time to get the infrastructure in place to protect the most vulnerable in our society for the next stage of this pandemic and be prepared for the next.


Looking Forwards Rather than Backwards Safeguards Wellbeing During Covid-19 Lockdowns In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Surrey investigated the effectiveness of three psychological interventions -- nostalgia, a sentimentality for the past; gratitude, recognising the good things currently in our life; and best possible self, thinking about positive elements of the future -- and how they each affect wellbeing during lockdowns. Personal characteristics such as emotion regulation (the ability to respond to and manage an emotional experience) and attachment orientations (how a person views their relationships to others) were also examined. It is believed that such traits may be an indicator of how an individual responds to lockdowns. Investigating which intervention was the most effective, researchers worked with 216 participants who were each assigned to one of four groups, each one practicing either nostalgia, gratitude or best possible self, plus a control group. Those practicing a nostalgic approach were instructed to think of a sentimental memory in their life that occurred before the lockdown; for gratitude, participants were encouraged to list three things that went well in their day and why this was; and for best possible self those involved were asked to think about where they imagine themselves in the future after lockdown has lifted. Those in the control group were each asked to recall the plot of a recent television or film they had viewed. Participants were then asked about their thoughts and feelings. Researchers found that those who participated in the best possible self and gratitude interventions reported higher levels of social connectedness than those who practiced nostalgia. Those in the best possible self group were also found to experience significantly more positive emotion than those in the nostalgia group. Researchers believe that gratitude and best possible self direct attention towards positive aspects of a person’s life by giving them hope and prevent individuals from

dwelling on their current situation. Amelia Dennis, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Surrey, said: “All three interventions have proven beneficial to people experiencing a difficult time in their life. However, as lockdowns have continued people have been presented with unusual challenges and many have struggled. We found that looking to the future and appreciating what is positive in our lives currently is more psychologically beneficial than reminiscing about the past. “The current restrictions and any future lockdowns have removed our sense of control of our lives. For the sake of our wellbeing, we need to acknowledge what we do have rather than regretting what we have lost.” Participants were also surveyed on their personal characteristics regarding attachment and emotion regulation. Researchers found that those with low attachment anxiety (i.e. believe they are worthy of love) and those with lower attachment avoidance (i.e. inclined to feel others are trustworthy) were most likely to experience greater wellbeing during lockdown. Those with higher emotion regulation were also found to be more resilient to their current circumstances, which protects their overall wellbeing. Jane Ogden, Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, said: “The two lockdowns last year dramatically affected our mental and emotional wellbeing and it is likely any future ones will have the same affect. Reports of increased levels of depression and anxiety are worrying because these can negatively impact upon our physical health. It is important that we understand which psychological techniques can most benefit and support people during unsettling and difficult times.”

Top Care Home Takes A Shot At Covid A North West England residential care and nursing home has launched its vaccination programmes for patients, residents and staff in partnership with a nearby general medical practice immediately following the delivery of Covid vaccines after weeks of detailed planning. Stapely Care, based in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, has received its first delivery of the Pfizer Covid 19 vaccines, and in a joint-venture with Valley General Practice, Childwall, Liverpool, is going ahead with innoculations having made painstaking preparations for the event. A delighted Philip Ettinger, Stapely Care Trustee, said: “This is potentially very positive news and we hope it will be the start of the road back to some form of normality for everyone with this vaccination programme for our patients, residents

and our wonderfully heroic staff.” The implications of the reversion to Tier 3 from midnight on 31 December 2020 in Liverpool will not have a dramatic effect at Stapely Care, as it will remain in effective lockdown, as has been the case throughout the pandemic. Philip Ettinger, added: “Everything has gone smoothly with the vaccination programme launch today with military precision. As long as no one suffers any side effects we should look forward to the second session in a few weeks’ time. “Our Senior Manager Shirley Smith is pleased with the smooth way everything has gone today. We are very grateful to our colleagues in the Valley General Practice who have overseen safe delivery of the vaccines and administered them to our patients, residents and wonderful staff.”


Call For Vaccine Speed-Up In Care Homes Care providers sent an urgent “hurry up” message to the Government over the Covid-19 vaccine as the official death toll in care and nursing homes topped 20,000. The Independent Care Group (ICG) is pleased that vulnerable people in care settings have been promised the vaccine before the end of January. But today they warned that the Government had to deliver on that promise as the number of deaths in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 hit 20,098. The ICG has also urged the Government to provide local authorities with more funding to help them support care providers as they battle a new and more virulent strain of coronavirus. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “As we go into battle against this new and aggressive strain of coronavirus, it is heartening that those in care and nursing homes are a high priority and promised the vaccine by the

end of January. But we have had similar promises before and we pray the Government can deliver this time. We need a dose of realism. If the Government can deliver the vaccine to homes by the end of January, we want to see them do it swiftly. If they can’t then they must be honest and tell us a realistic timescale.” “There is no time to lose. Infection rates are rising and today’s figures from the ONS show once again that deaths in care settings continue. “We also support David Williams, the chair of the County Council Network in saying that local authorities are going to need urgent support so that they can help care providers to look after the most vulnerable.” Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 530 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 25th December, down from 602 the previous week. Some 20.098 people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 25th December 2020.

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

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

structurally very similar to SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that caused the

Christie, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and


Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge.

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

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 ‘realworld’ relevance. This included conducting splash tests to mimic sneez-

strong viricidal activity with respect to the control material, with a near

ing to ensure the tests were as rigorous as possible. Therefore, there is

95% (1.25 log) reduction in viral titre after a 1 hour contact period. The

evidence to suggest that this mask could be beneficial in helping to pre-

murine Coronavirus inoculum is undetectable in eluates after a 4 hour

vent human to human transmission of Covid-19, and we are now sched-

contact period, representing an 8 log reduction in titre (although there is

uled to conduct further tests using the SARS-Cov-2 pathogen."

no formal definition or standard, we would consider a 5 log reduction to

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

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 boxfresh mask. For further information, please visit



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-

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.

100th Birthday Celebrations for Salisbury Resident Resident Marjory Clements, of HC-One’s Harnham Croft care home, in Wiltshire, celebrated her 100th Birthday last month. With Champagne and cake as well as plenty of cake, treats and cards, Marjorie enjoyed a lovely day with fellow Residents, Colleagues and her family. Marjory’s family visited Harnham Croft in the new unique Covid-secure visitor pod. They commented, “It is brilliant that the staff and management have been able to support a safe visit for the family on this special day.” Marjory also received a family video call from her relatives, thousands of miles away, in Canada. Marjory was beaming throughout the day following birthday wishes from the Queen and so many cards gifts and well wishes. She had a wonderful day with so many special treats. Marjory said, “It has been so wonderful” Home Manager, Jim Bowie, remarked, “It is an absolute privilege to be able to support such a special occasion; Marjory had such a special day.”

Heanor Park Care Home Winner of Client of the Year * at the Lux Awards 2020

The Circadian Plus solution includes bespoke lighting design, smart lighting software and spectrum-controlled lights – creating a truly revolutionary solution that has resident health and wellbeing at the forefront. The impact of the lighting at Heanor Park has significantly reduced resident falls, increased engagement, and has improved sleep-wake cycles. Check out our case study video to understand more at The term Circadian Lighting is defined as lighting that replicates natural light (as closely as possible) to support human circadian rhythms, otherwise known as our internal body clock. We are all governed, to some degree, by our internal body clock - the timing, intensity and colour of light are key factors in regulating our sleep and wake patterns. Disturbances in the circadian rhythm can have a physiological and mental impact, and often causes poor sleep patterns. Many factors can influence our circadian rhythms, such as exercise/movement and food intake.

However, by combining them with new interactions with our non-image forming light receptors, we can achieve excellent results in the care home setting where residents tend to struggle to spend time outdoor where they can be exposed to the benefits of natural light. Some of the main benefits of circadian lighting are: • Improved sleep • Improved mood • Less risk of developing certain mental and physical health conditions • Reduction in errors and accidents • Faster cognitive processing • Increased alertness at the right times of day • Can aid with the rehabilitation of certain medical conditions e.g. brain injuries • Can be beneficial for elderly residents and people with Alzheimer’s disease To understand more about the importance of care home lighting visit ‘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.



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

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 elearning 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.(


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


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

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


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

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

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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.

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 turn-around in a clean and safe environment. The DePuro Pro unit comes in two sizes, it is a plug and play set up and uses two HEPA 14 filters which retain up to 99.995% of particulates including virus, bacteria and droplets within the air.

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

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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


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Rentokil Initial Launches VIRUSKILLER Air Purifier That Kills Coronavirus in the Air* TM

Rentokil Initial has announced an agreement to distribute VIRUSKILLERTM, air purification technology which is proven to kill 99.9999% of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus. It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently updated information on its website that recognises Coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person via aerosols in the air[1]. The VIRUSKILLERTM technology will hopefully play an important role in the nation’s Coronavirus recovery, helping businesses and public facilities minimise the risk of airborne transmission when they are allowed to resume normal operations. Despite WHO recognition of Coronavirus transmission (air to person) via aerosols, research commissioned by Rentokil Initial[2] reveals a lack of awareness of this risk amongst the British public. Just over one in five (22%) of Brits revealed they are concerned about catching Coronavirus from contaminated air. Interestingly, the research did find that over three in five (64%) were more concerned about the air quality in indoor environments now, than they were prior to the pandemic. As a result of these concerns, 59% of consumers believe air purification systems should be mandatory in public buildings and educational facilities. Additionally, 41% believe that facemasks do not do enough to protect them against catching Coronavirus from contaminated air. Unlike traditional air purifiers that can ‘trap’ airborne particles and microbes, the VIRUSKILLERTM also decontaminates the air, by not only

trapping but also killing airborne viruses, bacteria** and fungi. When placed correctly the unit takes control of the airflow in a room, drawing contaminated air in from the ‘breathing zone’ and then releasing fresh, clean air back into the breathing zone. As well as deploying carbon and HEPA filters, VIRUSKILLERTM uses patented ultraviolet-C (UVC) lamps, surrounded by a mesh of chromed nano titanium dioxide tube filters that are polished with activated carbon. The emitted UV light reacts with the mesh, and in a process called ‘photocatalytic oxidation’ produces hydroxyl radicals, which acts as a disinfectant and breaks down the organic molecules. This all in one solution effectively filters dirty air, neutralises toxic air and decontaminates sick air. Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager UK, Ireland and the Baltics, Rentokil Initial says: “Unlike traditional air purification systems, the UVC technology provides a photochemical deconstruction of the RNA and DNA of microorganisms, deactivating their reproductive processes so that the Coronavirus, and other viruses, can no longer spread, before the air is released back into the room. “Its ability to kill 99.9999% of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus, is what really sets this technology apart. Take the following scenario for example, if you had one million viruses passing through a VIRUSKILLERTM, just a single virus would be recirculated, compared to the 500 viruses that would pass through when using a traditional filtration device (99.95%).”

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Rentokil Initial comments: “Following the positive news surrounding several Coronavirus vaccines on the near horizon, VIRUSKILLERTM is another landmark development in the ongoing effort to battle Coronavirus. “VIRUSKILLERTM could play an important role as people look to resume their normal lives, providing confidence and peace of mind that airborne transmission is far less likely in indoor environments where the technology is installed. It could also help eliminate scenarios that we see in so many schools across the country, where students have to sit in cold classrooms because the windows must be kept open to maintain airflow. “This solution will play a crucial role in helping to break the ‘chain of infection’, by taking control of the airflow in a room – drawing contaminated air out of the breathing zone and releasing fresh, clean air back into the environment. Once installed, businesses should still ensure that proper hand hygiene is encouraged among workers and visitors, and that social distancing measures are practiced.” For further information, please visit * When independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio, the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass. [1] [1] Research conducted by Opinium LLP for Rentokil Initial. Conducted 20-22 November 2020 sampling 2,000 adults in the UK **When independently tested against reference bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Staphyloccus aureus subsp. Aureus, Streptoccocus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli), the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of bacteria on a single air pass.

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.




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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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