The Carer Digital - Issue #39

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 39

95% of Care Home Residents Vaccinated Reveals Poll

An estimated 95 per cent of care homes in England have been able to get all their residents vaccinated, according to a poll by the National Care Forum (NCF). The National Care Forum carried out a snapshot survey which asked about the availability and take up of COVID-19 vaccination by residents and staff in care homes for older people, the JCVI priority 1 group. The survey revealed the very positive news around resident vaccination that approximately 95% of care homes had whole home vaccination testing within their settings. However, the story for staff showed there is still some way to go before the full cohort of staff in these homes have received their vaccination. This follows a request earlier this month by NHS England for a swift accelera-

tion of vaccinations in care homes in response to rapidly increasing Covid outbreaks. GPs were been instructed to complete all care home vaccinations by by 24 January at the latest, with the military on standby to support the programme. Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the NCF says: “The incredible drive by community health colleagues and care homes working together in partnership has resulted in nearly 100% of all homes within this survey being visited by a roving vaccination team. This is a brilliant achievement."



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


Peter Adams

95% of care home residents have received their vaccination with all care home residents expected to be vaccinated by this coming Sunday, January 31. After which government is by all accounts on track to have care staff by mid-February. I notice that some mainstream media have jumped on the fact that the government missed its own target of January 24, nevertheless this a monumental achievement and one which should be applauded. That said, the logistics involved in the work undertaken and achieved by health community workers and care staff needs to be highlighted! We receive reports on a daily basis from care homes up and down the country carrying out vaccination programs, and it has been an

absolute pleasure to report. I have really watched in amazement as to how “the show must go on” attitude has prevailed in care environments, particularly the initiatives undertaken. We had several stories this week about Burns Night and we have seen pen-pal initiatives, food bank help, charity fundraising, line dancing, music and sing-a-longs all taking place in one of the most challenging periods since World War II. An absolute credit to the industry! As the entire nation knows all too well, frontline social care staff really are in the eye of the storm. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed earlier this month that in total 7,961 deaths involving coronavirus were registered in England and Wales in the working age population (those aged 20-64 years). This includes care workers who have continued to work during the pandemic. A total of 469 COVID-19 deaths among social care staff were registered between 9 March and 28 December 2020, the ONS reported. Within this group, care workers and home care workers accounted for 74% of the deaths. I don’t think the Prime Minister need reminding just how imperative it is to meet his own target to vaccinate staff within the next 2-3 weeks, and that should be the beginning of a program of acknowledgement, recognition and reward to the sector. BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said recently that: “Vaccinating health and care workers won’t stop them being exhausted, won’t stop them feeling the stress and anxiety

of not having enough time, or beds, to give patients the care they need.” The warning signs are there, concerns over burnout had been raised prior to the pandemic. The findings of a government health and social care committee showed that exhaustion levels among staff were at an 11-year high in the months leading up to March, when the pandemic first broke. However, following the onset of Covid-19, rates of anxiety and stress surged, with health leaders now fearful of the mental strains of the pandemic in bringing. I hail from a hospitality background. Hospitality has often had to deal with issues of stress and burnout leading to breakdowns and drug and alcohol abuse. Much of that was

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attributed to working culture, but nevertheless the tragic consequences were the same. We published an appeal by the government in August last year (http:// for evidence on burnout across the NHS and social care, but have had little information since. In his appeal Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said: “The resilience of NHS and social care staff to deliver care during the Covid pandemic has been tested to the limits. That so many staff were willing to risk their personal safety to do so is testimony to the commitment and dedication of the workforce. “Our objective is to produce a report that shows what levels of staffing in health and social care are sufficient to avoid burnout and meet future challenges. That means we need a rigorous assessment of the overall numbers that will be needed to deliver services over a ten year period, and how many people we should be training in order to meet that

SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Shelly Roche

target. It's disappointing that the recently announced People Plan has not yet provided this. “We'll be looking carefully at NHS and social care measures that would not only protect staff from pressures that predate the Covid crisis but, crucially, address new challenges we're facing as a result of it.” The first session, I understand, was in October, and we have had precious little information since, but we do hope to report further on this in the coming weeks. Once again, I take this opportunity to remind you to continue send your stories, thoughts and views. We have always felt it important to publish “news without the spin”, share your thoughts and views, and 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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95% of Care Home Residents Vaccinated Reveals Poll (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER...) Vic Rayner continued, “However, the prioritisation of staff vaccination does not appear to have been followed through with the same level of effectiveness. Whilst it is encouraging that the vast majority of organisations who responded noted that 50% or more of staff have been vaccinated, only 27% reported vaccination of over 70% of their staff. “We need to learn quickly from the reasons why organisations are stating that staff have not been vaccinated and wherever possible remove the barriers at a local and national level. We need to eliminate the practices highlighted by members where staff have been unable to get vaccination appointments at local settings, or when vaccination teams come into a home and do not have sufficient vaccine to cover staff as well as residents. We must also make sure that any staff who express concerns about vaccination have the full opportunity to have all their questions answered, and then with their agreement be rapidly incorporated at the front of the queue in local vaccination centres. In many ways staff vaccination is proving to be the harder part of the equation, yet we know that it is critical for the safety of staff and to support the huge pressure on staffing caused by absence that care homes have been working with over recent months. “The NHS England target to vaccinate all residents and staff by the 24th January has been missed. The clock is now ticking on the stated government objective of getting all those in groups 1 to 4 vaccinated by the 15th February. The experience of care home staff to date would suggest there is much work to be done to make this a reality, particularly when going forward, almost all vaccinations will take place in the community and care home staff who should be vaccinated first, run the very real risk of being lost in the rush.” According to NHS England General-practice-led vaccination teams are ‘on track’ to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to all care home residents by this Sunday (January 31) NHS England said it expects to offer all elderly care home residents the first dose of the vaccine by the end of the month. A spokesman said ‘Just a few weeks after the Oxford vaccine – which allows teams to more easily vaccinate in care homes – became available, the majority of care home residents have already received their jab. ‘Vaccinating care home residents is a priority for local GP-led vaccinating teams, who are on track to meet the Government’s goal of doing so by the end of this month. The DHSC spokesperson said: ‘We have been doing everything we can to protect care homes and have

placed residents and staff in the highest priority group for vaccinations. By the end of the month, we aim to have offered every elderly care home resident a vaccine.’ Care home residents and staff were placed top of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list to be vaccinated. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier this week that 78.7% of all over-80s who are also among the top four JCVI priority groups for a vaccine have also received a jab. Mr Hancock said, in total, more than five million doses of COVID vaccine have so far been delivered to almost 7 million people. "This is a huge feat and one in which we can all take pride," Mr Hancock said. "We're vaccinating at a greater daily rate than anywhere in Europe." He added: "This virus is a lethal threat to us all and as we respond through this huge endeavour, let's all take comfort in the fact that we're giving 200 vaccinations every minute.

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Keeping People With Dementia Informed Nurse Paula Wagemans shares story board with resident Len Hill An activities co-ordinator with South-West base dementia care provider Camelot Care has been using his previous experience of working with people with autism to highlight the importance of communicating even more carefully than usual with residents during lockdown. Jason Saunders, who leads the activities team at Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater, said: “People living with dementia have cognitive issues which can make it so much harder for them to understand the need for the Covid safety precautions and health protection measures, and this can lead to high levels of frustration. “It is up to us to notice when our residents are trying to express their worries and do what we can to reassure them. “One of the techniques I used in a previous position, working with people with autism, was to devise a special story board to address hard-to-understand subjects that were causing concern, and we’re finding these work incredibly well with our residents living with dementia as well. “I’ve created story boards to address issues like why places we usually visit are currently closed, why staff and visiting health care professionals are wearing PPE, what social distancing is all about, and to explain why testing is needed and what it

involves. “The everyday safety measures which my colleagues and I are now used to still come as a surprise every day to many of our residents, so the story boards ensure we are consistent with our answers to their questions and that we don’t miss any of the issues which may be important to them. “For instance, the story board about testing explains it is to keep the individual and others around them safe, how the person doing the test will be dressed up to protect them from germs and what they will be wearing, and says that lots of people may need the test so there might be a short wait involved. It also explains what the swabbing involves, and that it might not feel very nice, but it will be finished very quickly. “Our nurses are able to share this story board with residents just before testing occurs, which maximises the chance they’ll remember why they’re being tested and really goes a long way to minimising any confusing and allaying our residents’ concerns.” The care regime at Avalon also involves carers engaging individually with each of their residents and communicating with other members of the team every day to ensure individuals’ concerns and interests are shared. Avalon is run by award-winning dementia care providers Camelot Care, who also have homes in Wellington and Plymouth. Details at

Preston Care Home Launches Virtual Reality Experiences for Residents Ribble View, an Exemplar Health Care home in Preston, is one of the first care homes in the UK to trial a virtual reality distraction therapy, which is helping reduce stress and anxiety for residents. Located on Church Avenue in Preston, Ribble View supports 30 young adults who are living with complex needs. The care home has been trialling a virtual reality distraction therapy which uses a headset which, when worn, transports people to a variety of fully immersive 3D content, from a beach in Bali to the Great Wall of China. During virtual reality sessions, a therapist can reproduce real-life scenarios, and personalise and adapt them to the needs of the individual. The technology can provide a safe and therapeutic experience for adults living with a range of neuro-disabilities and mental health needs. Lindsay Abraham, Commissioning Home Director at Ribble View, comments about how the virtual reality therapy has benefitted residents: “Our aim at Exemplar Health Care is to make every day better for the people we support – and virtual reality can help us to do this. “Many of our residents are unable to go to the places that they’ve dreamed of going, but with virtual real-

ity, we can make these dreams come true. For example, one of our residents loves going to the beach, and with the virtual reality headset, we can provide this meaningful experience from the comfort of the home – and complement it with other sensory elements such as dipping his feet in a paddling pool, running his hands through sand and the smell of fish and chips. “The headset also offers a 360-degree camera that loved ones can use to record events such as weddings, dinners or birthdays, which people can watch on the headset, so they feel part of those big days. This is a great way to support people to stay in touch with family and friends, especially during periods of lockdown.” “The availability of such technology is fabulous for staff and residents, and we have implemented this therapy as part of Positive Behaviour Support plans, working with residents to collaboratively identify what works for them during periods of distress.” Ribble View is part of Exemplar Health Care and has three 10-bed units which specialise in supporting people living with complex mental health needs, physical disabilities and neuro-disabilities including Huntington’s disease. For more information on Exemplar Health Care visit

New Covid-19 App Enables Care Homes and Primary Care Providers Comply with Hazardous Waste Audit Requirements Remotely A new app, which gives Care Homes and primary care providers the ability to conduct compulsory clinical waste pre-acceptance and duty of care audits without the need for third-party on-site visits, has been launched by leading independent healthcare waste management company Anenta. Designed to provide a Covid-19 compliant solution that ends the need for on-site reviews by external bodies, the app simplifies the process, saves time and dramatically cuts the cost of audits required by producers of healthcare waste in order to operate. The app, which can be operated from a desktop as well as a range of mobile devices, takes the user through the audit process, covering duty of care and waste pre-acceptance in one go. Taking around 40 minutes to complete, the app streamlines a process that can take up to six days - including expensive onsite visits - consuming the valuable time of staff and management. Costing just £200 per site, the Anenta audit app saves between £300 and £800 on physical audits. It identifies and records details of training undertaken linked to duty of care, keeping a record for compliance purposes. It also identifies if the correct waste management policies are in place and records details for assessment, including whether hazardous consignment notes are kept for three years – a compliance requirement - and in what format. The app enables details of all internal waste containers to be recorded, including their location and content, and whether these are correctly labeled. Images are uploaded as a point of reference using mobile devices, enabling multiple site assessments to be undertaken; colleagues can be emailed with a link to the section of the waste management audit that they need to complete. Once done, Anenta assesses the audit and provides a report with advisory notes and actions to be taken covering: missing policies, segregation requirements,

and areas where action needs to be taken to comply with regulations; be that in terms of duty of care or the clinical waste preacceptance audit process. This enables clients to quickly and easily address aspects of the audit that will enable them to continue operating. Graham Flynn, Managing Director of Anenta, commented on the app launch, saying: “Business operating in the healthcare sector have a duty of care to their staff within the Environmental Protection Act 1990. “Those that fail to demonstrate proper measures face potential enforcement action by the Care Quality Commission. Those same organisations also have an obligation to complete clinical waste pre-acceptance audits, without which hazardous waste including healthcare items cannot legally be removed from site. Without this being in place, care homes could face the prospect of being temporarily closed until the audit is completed.” “Understandably, many care home producers of clinical waste are looking to avoid third parties from coming on site during the current pandemic, yet they still have audit responsibilities. It is for this reason that we have developed the Anenta audit app, allowing healthcare settings to fulfill their duties faster and more costeffectively than has previously been possible, so that they can continue operating unincumbered. We view this as a win, win solution for all concerned and a transformational development for the care home and healthcare sector.” All audits undertaken using the Anenta app are stored electronically, are readily accessible by the user and can be used to track remediable actions providing a breadcrumb trail for compliance purposes and CQC checks. To gain access to the Audit app, healthcare settings need to set up an account with Anenta: visit or call 03301222143.


Shock as Care Homes Deaths Top 1,000 a Week Care providers have warned that Covid-19 had not gone away – despite the vaccine programme – after new figures revealed that almost 1,300 people had died in care and nursing homes in a week. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 1,271 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 15th January – a jump from 960 the previous week and 560 the week before that. Some 22,892 people died from Covid19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 15th January. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says it hopes figures will now start to fall as the impact of the vaccination programme and lockdown kick in. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures make grim reading once again and our thoughts go out to everyone who has lost someone to Covid-19. “Hopefully, the figures will soon start to improve as we always knew there

would be a lag before the impact of lockdown and the vaccine started to show. “At the same time, these figures once again demonstrate that Covid-19 is still taking an awful toll and we cannot afford to become complacent. “Yes, we now have vaccines, and the Government is to be congratulated on the speed at which it is protecting the vulnerable. But Covid-19 is not beaten yet and we must remain cautious and, on our guard, observing all the guidance and keeping everyone in care settings – care and nursing homes and those receiving care in their own homes – as safe as we can, alongside those who are caring for them. “The news that carers are going to be supplied with lateral flow tests they can do at home is another positive step and will hopefully have an impact and help protect carers who are selflessly looking after others.”

Hands, Face And Space: Dorset Care Home Residents Record Covid Song Staff and residents at a top-rated Dorset care home have recorded a catchy music video about their experience of Covid prevention. ‘Hands, Face and Space’ is an original song written by Sam Hurst, Companionship Team Member at Colten Care’s Sturminster Newton home, Newstone House. In a video posted on YouTube, Sam sings and plays guitar as two colleagues and three residents sing and perform dance moves to the tune. The lyrics include lines such as ‘Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, leave some space’, ‘We know what to do, you’ve got to leave some room’ and ‘We’ve got to see what we can do to save us from all this doom and gloom’. Further residents are shown doing hand movements in time with the song while others may be seen enjoying puzzles and playing bingo. Sam, whose musical interests include hip hop and R&B, said: “We had been planning a Newstone House variety show and our kitchen colleagues suggested we should perform a song about Coronavirus. We wanted to make it all a bit of fun and involve resi-

dents, and then the idea of filming a video came up. It was lovely to do.” Sam has had a connection with Newstone House for more than five years, originally doing weekend waitering shifts. He joined the Companionship Team at the end of 2020 having studied music at both Wiltshire College in Salisbury and the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. He says his new role is ideal, adding: “I really wanted a job that would involve me in doing music and I love working with the residents to help make their day a little brighter.” Sam created the music mix on a laptop, using production software to play in drums, bass and keyboard alongside the vocals and guitar. He was helped by Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner, who offered lyric suggestions, devised choreography and did the filming. Resident Linda Porter, who appears in the video, said: “We really enjoyed taking part, singing along to the song and doing all the hand movements. It was great to be involved.”


How To Ensure Your Mental Wellbeing Policy Genuinely Works For Your Employees Naomi Thompson, Head of Organisational Development at


Benenden Health, discusses the best ways to effectively implement

Your strategy shouldn’t solely focus on the things you need in place to help if and when your employees are having problems with mental wellbeing. Thinking about what you can do to positively encourage mental wellbeing in a proactive way pays dividends, too. In fact, it can be the support that makes the difference between happiness and unhappiness. Wholeheartedly encouraging shout-outs between colleagues and from managers to their team members makes a lot of difference. Recent research tells us that 80% of employees feel happiest at work if they feel appreciated. You may choose to formalise your thank-yous into a monthly rewards and recognition scheme, or the roll-out could look a lot simpler: how about a Monday motivation thank you in your weekly planning huddle?

a mental wellbeing policy in the workplace, ahead of ‘Time to Talk Day’ (4 February). If you asked employees what makes them stay in a job and what attracts them to a new opportunity, you could be forgiven for thinking that the usual answers of a good salary, free breakfast and a new laptop would top the list. However, it has been found that one of the principal reasons employees are attracted to jobs is the provision of a strong mental wellbeing policy. With work negatively impacting on the mental wellbeing of more than half of all employees, recent research from Benenden Health found that as many as 42% of businesses have seen an employee leave the business due to their wellbeing not being supported well enough by their employer. Given that 57% of employees state that a supportive mental wellbeing policy would increase their likelihood of joining a business and 54% of employees indicated that a lack of support for mental wellbeing would lead to them seeking alternative employment – ensuring you have an appropriate and effective policy in place is vital to recruiting and retaining the best talent whilst keeping productivity levels high within the business. So how can employers ensure that their employees not only have mental wellbeing support, but that it is built to be most effective for them?

INTRODUCE A MENTAL WELLBEING STRATEGY THAT WORKS FOR YOUR BUSINESS The measures you choose to implement should be seen as the building blocks of your mental wellbeing strategy; but the glue that holds these blocks together is you, your management team and the tone you set – as any initiative you do is futile if the relationship between managers and their team is poor with little or no trust. Every strategic decision made on this score needs to consider the culture of the organisation and any micro cultures that some managers could be fostering. If mental wellbeing days are discussed in this process, your team needs to know that it’s OK to tell you they are taking sick leave because of their mental health, rather than physical health. How you deliver this message needs to be consistent and repeated.

ENSURE YOUR POLICY IS PERSONALISED It’s also important to tailor your policy to meet the needs of your employees. A personalised approach to building your strategy will need to be adopted to tend to the needs of employees’ different life circumstances. For example, ensure that the right support is available for all different age groups within your organisation – younger employees may value support and advice around their finances, whereas older workers may find measures that alleviate loneliness a real benefit to them. The most successful wellbeing programmes are those that recognise the workforce is ever-changing and diverse. Failure to do this can negatively impact engagement and productivity.

DELIVERING CHANGE FOR THE BETTER To deliver an effective mental wellbeing policy, the change that must be made is attitudinal. It would appear that many employees have invested time and infrastructure into a variety of measures designed to promote better mental wellbeing. Our research revealed that UK businesses are already thinking about how to foster positive mental wellbeing in the workplace, with a number already having actions in place: 42% offer help and support from management 41% regularly review workload to ensure it’s manageable 32% changed the working environment such as lighting, equipment 31% offer free counselling 28% have mental wellbeing days in place 24% lay on exercise and activity classes 24% have a confidential helpline; and 21% have Mental Health First Aiders Even with programmes in place, without clear communication, even the best intentions can fail. Ensure employees are encouraged to use any wellbeing programme to benefit their needs.

ENCOURAGE A CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL WELLBEING Putting structures in place to remind you and everyone to communicate is a great way to prompt positive change. This could take shape by committing to a monthly internal roundup or newsletter, so that you have the space and time to signpost that support that is on offer for everyone within the team or by asking team members to block out an hour of their time each month to work on their own wellness plan. Why not use Time to Talk Day as an opportunity to engage with your employees about what wellbeing programmes would benefit them? Working together, we can help eradicate the stigma that comes with talking about mental health and make the workplace a positive environment for all. Benenden Health enables businesses to offer affordable, high quality, private healthcare to every employee. This includes round the clock care such as 24/7 GP and Mental Health helplines, plus speedy access to services such as physiotherapy and medical treatment so employees can have peace of mind that they can ask for help whenever they need it. As a not-for-profit organisation, Benenden Health offers support to its 800,000+ members at the same affordable cost of just £11.50 per employee, per month.

Over a Third of Care Operators Expect Business Recovery Within the Year Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, ‘Business Outlook 2021: Review. Realign. Recover,’ which reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of 2020 and forecasts what 2021 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including the care sector. Despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, Christie & Co notes the admirable strength and resilience of the care sector. During the first wave of the pandemic, the sector was tragically hit with a number of resident deaths which reduced average occupancy levels to circa 80 percent and resulted in numerous financial and operational challenges, including the sourcing of PPE and managing staff absences due to sickness or self-isolation. As more support has become available, the situation has certainly improved and, during the second wave, homes were much better prepared in terms of having the equipment, resource, and the support needed. Following increased testing and other innovations such as dedicated COVID-19 secure visitor areas and most recently the vaccine roll-out, Christie & Co anticipates a gradual recovery in occupancy as admission levels increase during Q2. The Business Outlook report goes on to detail the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, how it has adapted through these challenging times and its recovery progress, as well as Christie & Co’s business activity and how the investment and development landscape has fared. For this year’s report, Christie & Co also surveyed a pool of care business operators to hear their views on sentiment in the market, and how they feel about business operations in 2021. Unsurprisingly, 93 per cent of care operators said they feel their business has been impacted by COVID-19. Almost half of respondents said they expect it will take between one and three years for the sector to recover, however, 37.7 per cent are more optimistic, and think that recovery will be seen within the year. 35.5 per cent of respondents said they are planning on selling their business or some assets in 2021 and 29 per cent said they are planning on acquiring which indicates an active transactional market this year. Additionally, the report includes Christie & Co’s Price Index, which states, for the first time since 2009, a negative price index movement. This is largely due to a reduction in trading performance and is not related to the demand for care businesses which remains strong – particularly as a result of the sector’s profile

during the pandemic. As part of its sentiment survey, the company also asked respondents to share their views on pricing movement in 2021 and found that 43 per cent think it will stay the same, 20 per cent think we will see an increase, and 37 per cent think we will see a decrease. Market predictions for the year ahead: • An increase in activity as major portfolio processes paused in 2020 move forward and new opportunities are placed on the market. • Increased activity with investment transactions as funds that were gated, or otherwise paused new deal activity in 2020, return actively to the market. • Occupancy levels are likely to re-build in 2021, and referrals will increase as the vaccination and testing programmes are rolled out during Q1. • Interest in the UK care sector from overseas capital is likely to increase further and we may see European consolidators become increasingly active in the UK market. • Development activity is likely to continue at pace, both for care homes and extra care/ housing with care schemes. The development of new facilities is essential to keep up with demographic demand and the structural undersupply of future-proof care beds in the UK. • In summary, whilst the third national lockdown will create some challenges, there is equally very positive news relating to the vaccine roll-out. As we get to Easter and during H2, we anticipate a steady recovery in trading performance coupled with a notable increase in transactional volumes and a continued level of strong development activity. Richard Lunn, Managing Director at Christie & Co, comments, “Operators have shown their resilience and fortitude during this pandemic, and that confidence has been echoed by investors who continue to seek out the sector in growing numbers. Despite the challenges, we believe the focus on care over the last year will highlight the demand and opportunities for quality operators and businesses going forward.” To read the full report, ‘Business Outlook 2021: Review. Realign. Recover’, please visit:


New Trial To Test Drugs For Preventing Covid-19 In Care Homes

A new trial, led by experts from the University of Nottingham, will look at reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and its severity in care homes, thanks to funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The team are initially looking for up to 400 care homes to take part in the ground-breaking trial - called PROTECT. As part of the trial, researchers will test drugs that already show promise for treating Covid-19, but will use them to prevent Covid-19 instead. The team will focus on care home residents because they are at high risk from Covid-19, and although priority has been given to them for vaccination, the effectiveness of vaccines in this group has not yet been fully established. The aim is to reduce the number and severity of Covid-19 cases in those homes. The UK has more than 21,000 care homes looking after 420,000 residents, many of whom have dementia or physical care needs. Up to half of all Covid19 deaths in the UK have occurred in care homes. If PROTECT can identify an effective drug to reduce the severity of Covid-19, and the likelihood of transmission, then this, alongside other measures, could help enable a return to a more normal life for care home residents and their families, including more liberal visiting policies. The lead researcher, Professor Philip Bath from the University of Nottingham said: “Apart from vaccines, there are no drugs for preventing serious Covid-19 and we believe that the PROTECT trial has a good chance of finding one or more drugs that might reduce the awful death

rates seen in care homes.” The trial will have a “platform” structure like the RECOVERY trial, which has rapidly evaluated candidate treatments for Covid-19. However, PROTECT will randomise care homes (rather than individual residents) to one of up to three drugs or no additional treatment, in a cluster randomised controlled design. This design allows several drugs to be tested in parallel and then for new drugs to be added once the first candidates have been shown to be beneficial or have no useful effect. Treatment will be given alongside the ongoing vaccination programme. The trial will be coordinated from the University of Nottingham working with colleagues from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Cardiff, Surrey and Warwick and Queen’s University Belfast and University College London. Professor Adam Gordon, President-Elect of the British Geriatrics Society and co-chief investigator at the University of Nottingham said: “Having worked closely with care homes throughout the pandemic, I have seen how hard it has been for residents, their families and staff to deal with the high rates of illnesses and deaths, and the associated loss of routine, including visiting. The announcement of PROTECT is an important step towards finding preventative treatments that might help restore normality. The agents investigated may have important protective effects in future virus outbreaks, even after the pandemic has


Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said: “This trial is hugely important on so many levels. Firstly, it will enable detailed research with the intention of identifying lifesaving interventions that could prevent some of our most vulnerable citizens from contracting Covid-19. And secondly, because it recognises that those living within care homes continue to have a vital contribution to make towards society, and prioritises medical research which puts their health and wellbeing front and centre of scientific considerations.” Minister for Innovation Lord Bethell said: “Vulnerable care homes residents have been disproportionately impacted by this virus and we are working tirelessly to find effective ways of protecting those most at risk.” “This is a very promising development for the UK and I actively urge as many care homes as possible to get involved with this trial, which the government is backing through the National Institute for Health Research. Together, we can play a part in helping to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are given every possible form of defence against the virus.” Care homes interested in taking part in the trial should contact the researchers via the website at or by email

Leeds United Send Special Birthday Gifts to A Huge Fan on His 100th Birthday A huge Leeds United fan at HC-One’s The Denby care home in Huddersfield recently celebrated his 100th birthday with a gift from the football he has loved for 90 years. Leeds fan Arthur Earnshaw, who resides at HC-One’s Denby care home celebrated his 100th birthday on 7th January and Colleagues at the home wanted to make it as special as possible, given the current circumstances. Arthurs has been a Leeds United fan for as long as he can remember, definitely

for over 90 years, so Colleagues contacted the football club to ask a favour on behalf of Arthur. Leeds were more than happy to help Arthur celebrate his big centenary and sent over a card and a certificate from the Manager, Marcelo Bielsa and all of the players. Arthur also received a signed Billy Bremner poster. “I have loved my birthday,” said Arthur, “I have supported this club for so long, it means a lot to me.”


The Social Care Conundrum A comprehensive report which highlights important changes needed for the social care sector has been published by legal firm Addleshaw Goddard today (26 January 2021), with input from a wide range of operators, owners, funders and investors. The Social Care Conundrum pinpoints the challenges faced by service-users, providers and government, as well as the investment opportunities that should be prioritised to help support the industry. Developing a truly patient-led approach at the centre of how the health and social care system is designed, is something that has been championed by industry leaders and political players for decades. Whilst this should remain intrinsic to the delivery of services, the report from Addleshaw Goddard underlines how achieving this goal has proved challenging due to the complexity of funding decisions and the often conflicted positions of those involved in making such decisions at both national and regional levels. The contributing voices to the report echoed that social care has been viewed as a lesser priority for government than frontline healthcare as social carers continue to go unrecognised as key workers, nursing staff are paid less in care homes than in hospitals and public spending on social care is allocated through local authorities, many of which are struggling financially. The report concludes that this approach is a fundamental factor in the weaknesses of the social care sector and there is now broad recognition that this needs to be addressed as a priority.

Tom Speirs, partner and head of social care at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Undeniably, the health and social care sector has come under momentous pressure as we continue to live through the Covid-19 pandemic; but there was a significant strain on the industry prior to this in terms of resources, funding opportunities and government policy implementation. “The pandemic has magnified how fragmented the market is across the UK and it has highlighted the critical change that needs to take

place in order to provide high-quality, individualised care. Now that a number of bespoke funds have been established over the last 12 months specifically to enhance the delivery of supported living, care homes, nurseries and retirement villages, we must use such resources to ensure that the sector is strengthened.” Whilst all contributors to the report expressed optimism for the future of the social care sector with an overwhelming emphasis on governments prioritising change within the industry, interestingly the majority of the representatives also recognised the investment opportunity that is presented within the social care sphere as underdeveloped, but something which offered a significant upside in the medium to long term. Tom Speirs said: “At Addleshaw Goddard, what we are starting to note is the increased appetite from aggregators and developers looking to add social care service providers to their portfolios. “There is a huge scope for development opportunities as the span of assets available in the sector provides a strong mix of medium to longterm stable income and while it is highly regulated, investors see this as an advantage. “Investors are attracted by the combination of capital value in property portfolio ownership alongside strong, long-term incomes supported by funding from both private and public sector streams. Due to the way social care is funded by government, local authority fees vary significantly which means that investors are generally opting to fund new developments and refurbishments in locations offering higher local authority fees, as well as where there is a concentration of older, more affluent residents likely to self-fund privately.” The full report can be accessed here:

Care Home Residents Champion Local Homeless Charity by Donating Goodie Bags On an almost daily basis, we hear about the crisis in care homes and how those living in care facilities are the most vulnerable in our current climate. What many forget, however, is that for the generations living in care homes, this is not the first time that some of them have lived through challenging times and that they have an undeniably robust and steely spirit. What was always important during those times was the sense of community, where one would always look out for their neighbours and offer help to those who needed it. Therefore, it was of no great surprise to see this attitude prevail when residents at Queens Court Care Home were made aware of the plight of some of the homeless in their local town. ~ “We need to think of something that we can do to help” – Maureen Banfield, 79, Queens Court Resident ~ In December, following a chance meeting with a homelessness outreach worker who expressed how COVID-19, on top of the winter conditions, was making being homeless even more dangerous, 85-year-old resident Libby Elvin was saddened by this information, “It’s awful to think there are people out there in the cold, what can we do to help?” Queens Court have a very good relationship with their local community as a whole and, upon hearing about this, residents and staff at the Nursing and Residential Dementia home in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, were unanimous in wanting to make a difference and support their local community. Liza Street, the home’s Activities Co-ordinator reached out to local charity CHESS Homeless to see how they could help, “After

speaking with Debbie Furber [CHESS outreach worker], it was suggested a way we could support them was to donate toiletries as these are something that is always needed, but not often donated.” A few phone calls and emails later, residents’ loved ones and staff had donated enough toiletries and other small gifts that Queens Court were able to create a number of individual goodie bags which could then be handed out by the charity. Earlier this week, the dedicated team from CHESS collected the donations and announced shortly thereafter on their Facebook page that they’d been able to put them to use straight away, “Our thanks to Queens Court Care Home for the 27 goody bags we recently collected. So thoughtful of you. We really do appreciate our amazing community.” ~ “I hope they like the goody bags, it’s not much, but I hope it makes them feel we care” – Irene Tovey, 92, Resident ~ Customer Relations Manager Shelley Mclean commented “The care shown and the donations made by residents, families and staff has been very fulfilling, and brilliant to see. Not just in the home, but for the community to come together and support each other, and not just now, but always. Although we are all going through a challenging time, the effort made to remain positive and make things happen is great. We now plan to do this on a regular basis and remain in touch with CHESS Homeless Charity to see how else we can support them. I feel honoured and lucky to be part of such an amazing family at Queens Court.”

Case Study: How Visioncall Saved Jean’s Sight, And Turned Her Life Around “Your sight is precious, isn’t it?” These are the words of Jean*, an 85-year-old care home resident who underwent lifechanging cataract surgery in 2019, following diagnosis from Visioncall, a leading eye healthcare provider to the care home sector. Formerly almost completely blind, Jean’s carers say that she is now “a whole new woman” since her treatment. Jean came to Cherry Lodge in Birmingham in October 2018, after a fire in her home. She’d been living alone since her husband passed away several years before, and according to carers, was in ‘a state of serious self-neglect’. In those early months at Cherry Lodge, Jean required 24-hour one-to-one assistance, because of her sight issues. “When Jean first came here, she couldn’t see at all,” explains Lauren Kavanagh, Jean’s carer at Cherry Lodge. “She couldn’t see shadows; she couldn’t see if you placed your hand in front of her face – she just couldn’t see a thing. She was very timid and withdrawn. She would be very wary, shouting out to see if someone was there; sometimes, she’d stand up from her chair and start shouting for help, that she couldn’t see.” It was particularly sad for Jean to lose her sight, as she’d been an avid reader, with a particular love of crime stories. “Jean told me that she used to meet her sister in Birmingham city centre every Thursday, and that they’d go to the library together,” says Lauren. “But that all stopped

when her sister died. She sometimes says that she thinks her eyesight went downhill because she read too much.” After her arrival at Cherry Lodge, Jean was diagnosed with dementia, which made things more complicated: “Jean would insist that she could see,” explains Lauren. “When her dementia was at its worst, she would say things like ‘I’m not blind – I don’t know what you’re talking about, I can see everything’. She was in complete denial.” Carers were concerned about Jean’s sight, so they asked Visioncall to visit Jean and make a professional diagnosis. Vic Khurana, Visioncall’s lead optometrist, diagnosed Jean with bilateral cataracts and inflamed eyelids, and referred her to her GP and SpaMedica, a specialist eye hospital in Birmingham. Within a week, Jean had an appointment for cataract surgery. “The surgery was amazing – out of this world,” says Lauren. “I was allowed to be in the operating room with Jean, because of her dementia, and I watched the whole surgery. When it was done, the surgeon asked me to stand beside her, and I said ‘hello’ to her. Jean looked at me, straight in my eyes, and asked how I was! She could see me straightaway.” The changes didn’t stop there, according to Lauren. “I remember coming home with her that day, and she didn’t hold my hand – she got out of the car and walked into the building on her own. This was only one eye that had been treated at this stage, and she’d never seen the

building before, she didn’t know where her room was, but she walked straight in. She immediately began using the bathroom on her own and eating her food by herself – we didn’t need to help her with anything. She got her independence back that day, and it was lifechanging – for Jean, of course, but also for the staff.” Lauren is adamant that it was Cherry Lodge’s partnership with Visioncall that turned Jean’s life around, saying: “I think if Jean had been here at Cherry Lodge sooner, her eyesight and her independence would never have been so badly affected, because Visioncall would have been there to help her before it got to that stage. Visioncall is brilliant; they understand the needs of a care home, the needs of residents, the needs of people with dementia, which is amazing. It’s such a good service.” These days, Jean is very much enjoying her new lease of life at Cherry Lodge. “She’s got a 42-inch TV in her room!”, laughs Lauren. “She watches TV every day, and she reads again too, which is lovely. She enjoys her food again, and she’s much more sociable now, having conversations with everyone. Jean still has some struggles with her dementia, and some days she won’t remember a time when she couldn’t see, but it’s sometimes just nice to sit back and observe her in the communal areas, and remember how far she’s come.” “I honestly think that this experience will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Lauren says. “I’ve never seen such a turnaround on somebody before, how something so small can make such a difference. It helped Jean so much, it has changed her whole life.” To find out more about Visioncall, please visit: *Name has been changed to protect privacy.


OU Calls for Action to Address Skills Shortages in Adult Social Care in England The Open University is calling for significant reform in adult social work and social care to aid the sectors’ recovery from COVID-19. In a survey of leaders across England, The Open University has found that the sectors are facing significant challenges in the shape of skills shortages, as 44 per cent of respondents said they had only the bare minimum of skills to operate, or lacked vital skills to run their operations successfully. The challenges of attracting and retaining talent can be seen most acutely within third-sector social care, where 57 per cent of employers report that they are currently working with minimum staffing levels or below. Whilst battling these significant staffing shortages, the sectors have also had to keep up with rapid change brought about by COVID-19 and its impact on services and operations, with more than two thirds (67%) now requiring different skills to those they were prioritising before the pandemic. When asked about their current skills priorities, leaders in social work and social care cited digital (36%), leadership (33%), technical (31%) – where employees require a specialised skill to complete a specific task – and managerial (30%) skills as key areas of concern, with nearly half (46%) looking for recruits who are capable of adapting to future challenges in the wake of COVID-19. Even as the world learns to live with the changes brought about by the pandemic, further challenges are expected, particularly in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union. More than half (54%) of industry leaders said they are concerned about the impact of Brexit on staffing, suggesting that their organisations may suffer in terms of workforce skill-sets as a result of no longer being

easily able to hire employees from the EU. Amongst adult social care employers, more than two in five (42%) agreed that a clear career framework, with recognised qualifications, would go some way to addressing the sector’s recruitment and retention challenges. A further 34 per cent cited the increased availability of pathways, such as those provided by the recently created degree apprenticeships, between social care and qualified social work roles as a possible solution. In a new report, The path forward for social care in England, the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care has made a number of recommendations to employers, sector leaders and policy makers which could help the sector weather the ongoing difficulties it faces. Professor Samantha Baron, Head of School for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University said: “Public services have been at the frontline of the response to COVID-19, and it’s no secret that the severity of the pandemic has tested the preparedness and resilience of adult social care. What’s also clear is that the pandemic has exacerbated longer-standing pressures.” “We simply cannot afford to see these vital sectors further weakened, and for that reason The Open University is calling for a number of significant reforms to address skills needs and priorities for the future. Whether it be changing the way we promote the sectors to younger individuals, or implementing a recognised career framework for social care in England, the onus is on us all – educators, governments, private companies and individuals – to protect and boost the critical support these sectors provide.”

Local Care Home Puts on Pantomime for Residents An Essex-based care home has proven ‘there is no place like (a care) home’ to help raise spirits this January, as they put on their very own Wizard of Oz pantomime. Staff at Hutton Village Bupa Care Home dressed up as characters from the beloved 1939 musical to bring the show to life. Carers, kitchen staff, activities co-ordinators and administration teams all got involved, transforming themselves into the Tinman, Lion, Wicked Witch, and Dorothy; Hutton Village’s pet dog, Winston, even got into the spirit of theatre and played the role of Dorothy’s furry companion, Toto. The home decided to film the production, so that residents could watch the show in comfort at their own leisure from the home’s iPads. 98-year-old Peggy has been a resident at Hutton Village Bupa Care Home for two years. When asked about the pantomime, she said: “I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show from the iPad, it was a great

treat. I especially loved the music, it made me want to join in and dance along. Our carers did a wonderful job of acting out the Wizard of Oz, but I have to say, our doggie, Winston, was the star of the show!” Another resident at the home, 92-year-old Sylvia, added: “I recognised the music at the beginning of the show because Mike, who works in the kitchen here at Hutton Village, often plays the saxophone for us all. He is a very talented man.” Home Manager, Sue Green, concluded: “We are always looking for fun, new ways to entertain our residents at Hutton Village. I’m so proud of our entire team for coming together and putting on an amazing performance. “We decided on the Wizard of Oz because the team are big fans of the film, so much so that most of the script was recited from memory. They did a fantastic job and managed to put a smile on all of our faces.”


COVID Emergency Far from Over As ONS Figures Show Deaths Pass 100,000 Responding to weekly data published by the ONS on COVID-19 related deaths, Dr

identified in England, this is a grim new milestone in what our country has been through in the last year, and as we have been warned, things are likely to get worse

Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “While there are early signs that we could be passing the peak in new cases, the COVID emergency is far from over, with the disease accounting for more than two in five deaths in England and Wales – the highest proportion of all deaths since the

before they get better in the coming weeks. “The NHS is doing everything it can to care for its patients, but it is under huge pressure, and the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 is nearly double what

pandemic started. According to the ONS, the total death count has now passed

it was in the spring. It’s crucial that the national lockdown is only eased when the evi-

100,000 people in the UK.

dence shows cases have come right down and that we get absolute certainty on the

“As we approach the anniversary of the first two positive cases of COVID-19 being

future supply of vaccines.”

Experts Call for Major Reforms To Palliative Care After Pandemic Accelerates Demand By 20 Years Leading researchers are urgently calling for major reforms to the UK’s system of palliative care in response to a significant and persistent increase in demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers at Cicely Saunders International – the leading charity supporting palliative care – have published You Matter Because You Are You, a seven-point Palliative Care Action Plan that identifies the major challenges now facing the palliative care system, and outlines evidence-based solutions for each of them. During 2020, demand for palliative care surged, reaching levels of need similar to those which had previously only been expected to be reached in 2040. The wide-ranging impact of the pandemic on NHS services – including delays to surgeries and consultations, an increase in long-term conditions and changes to how health and social care is delivered – is anticipated to result in a sustained increase in demand for palliative care, exceeding previous forecasts. The accelerated demand has highlighted and exacerbated existing shortcomings in the palliative care system, compromising patients’ care and affecting families and carers. The researchers say that urgent reforms are now vital to bring the palliative care system up to speed with new levels of demand. The researchers warn that patients currently do not have enough choice or control over decisions taken about their care. Too many people with life-limiting illnesses – as well as those approaching death –

are spending long periods of time in hospital unnecessarily, without the option of an alternative care setting. Meanwhile, hospital admissions have been rising to unsustainable levels across the country – and risk overwhelming parts of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic. A lack of coordination and information-sharing between health and social care providers is restricting patients’ choices and compromising the quality of their care. The shortage of palliative care expertise, especially in social care and community settings is further compromising patients’ experience. The Action Plan draws on research carried out by Cicely Saunders International during the pandemic, as well as evidence from Government-commissioned reviews and independent reports. It sets out 24 achievable actions, each designed to improve the care patients receive and increase the efficiency of NHS services, ensuring the palliative care system can cope with the accelerated demand. The Action Plan advocates a holistic approach to improving the provision of palliative care, identifying challenges and solutions across the health and social care system. It recommends reforms to the care delivered in hospitals, hospices, care homes, patients’ homes and in the community, as well as calling for an overhaul of the education and training for health and social care professionals, and greater investment in research.

A primary focus of the Action Plan is to increase and facilitate the provision of palliative care in all healthcare settings, in order to improve patients’ experience and alleviate pressures caused by unnecessary hospital admissions. Professor Irene Higginson, Scientific Director, Cicely Saunders International, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clear that when the demand for health and social care services goes up, the provision of palliative care falls short. The demand on NHS services we saw during 2020 is unprecedented, but it is also an indication of the challenges we will face in the future. We need to start preparing for those now, as we respond to and recover from the lasting impact of the pandemic. It’s vital that we learn from this experience and implement the changes necessary to secure high quality palliative care for all patients.” John McGrath, Chair, Cicely Saunders International, said: “This landmark action plan draws on excellent independent reports – including Government-commissioned reviews – into palliative care. The value of getting palliative care right – for patients, families, carers and the NHS – has long been recognised, but systemic issues remain, hindering healthcare professionals’ work and compromising patients’ care. These issues are being exposed by the accelerated demand for palliative care caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and must urgently be addressed.”

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Legal Expert Warns Care Homes – be Ready and Safe Care homes are being warned to be extra vigilant in making their spaces safe as the care industry regulator steps up monitoring during the current lockdown. Rachel Adamson, head of fraud and regulatory at Adkirk Law (, highlighted the importance of safety for care homes during the current pandemic, which is managed by the Care Quality Commission. She said: “There has been a lull in the monitoring and inspections because of the pandemic but care home operators and managers should be aware that just because we are in lockdown doesn’t mean there will be any less rigour in dealing with safety. “It seems obvious, but the issue of infection control is one of the key measures being examined and care homes should be ready to be visited at any time, and having robust processes and systems in place will provide evidence of safety.

“The CQC has increased the level of enforcement action over recent years and has made it clear that it will take action if people are at risk during the pandemic. It is important that providers be prepared for the calls with their inspector.” Whilst the CQC has temporarily halted routine inspections during this emergency period, it has retained its regulatory role by implementing a new Emergency Support Framework, designed to ensure risks can be identified and acted on. The CQC inspectors are looking at four key areas of care home provision covering safety including infection control, staffing arrangements, protection from abuse, neglect and discrimination and processes dealing with the health, safety and wellbeing of staff. Adkirk Law offers a niche practice with expertise in regulatory law, including serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct, and residential conveyancing.

Jo Brand and Hugh Dennis to Headline Alzheimer’s Society’s Virtual Comedy Night Comedian and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Jo Brand is headlining a virtual comedy night – Joke’s on You, Dementia! hosted by actor and comedian, Hugh Dennis on Thursday 11 March at 7pm, to raise vital funds for people living with dementia. For one night and one night only this March, comedic legend and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Jo Brand will headline an online comedy event hosted by actor and comedian Hugh Dennis to raise money for people affected by dementia. Jo and Hugh will be joined by a stellar line up of well-known faces from the comedy world, with more names to be announced very soon. Joke’s on You, Dementia! will be streamed online on Thursday 11 March at 7pm; tickets and sign up are free, with audiences invited to donate what they can to make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia. Living with a diagnosis or caring for someone with dementia can be tough, but the coronavirus pandemic has further exasperated the everyday challenges people may face. People with dementia have lost essential skills such as the ability to communicate due to the impact of isolation, and without being able to see friends and family, they are losing their connection to the world around them. Carers are exhausted and unable to get respite, reporting to Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect Support Line that worried families have seen loved ones lose hope and experience an increase in their symptoms. Accounting for well over a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths in the UK, people with dementia have been worst hit by the virus. Our services have been used more than 2.7 million times since the first lockdown began, showing we are needed now more than ever. Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s largest dementia chari-

ty, campaigning for change, funding dementia research for the future, and providing information and support for people affected by dementia today. This comedy event will raise vital funds to make sure that the 850,000 people with dementia in the UK today know that they aren’t alone. Comedian and actor Hugh Dennis said: ‘I’m really excited to be hosting Alzheimer’s Society’s online comedy night this coming March, and hope it will be something for everyone to put in their calendars to look forward to. We hope the night will bring a lot of laughter, and most importantly, a lot of donations to help Alzheimer’s Society continue to support people impacted by dementia. Given the impact of the pandemic, they need support now more than ever.’ Comedian and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Jo Brand, who also spent 10 years working as a psychiatric nurse, said: ‘After a completely horrendous 2020, and lockdowns continuing into this year – I think we’re all in desperate need of a little light entertainment. I really look forward to welcoming everyone on the night to come together and enjoy some comedy (all from the comfort of their own sofa!) to support people affected by dementia. In return, I promise a really good laugh and hopefully the best online meeting you will attend all year! See you there!’ Kate Lee, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, added: ‘We are delighted to have the brilliant Hugh Dennis and Jo Brand taking part in our virtual comedy night and we can’t wait to announce more familiar faces from the comedy world who are also taking part. ‘Like all charities, our income has taken a huge blow due to the pandemic, while demand for our services has sky-rocketed – without the generosity of our supporters we simply cannot keep up. We hope many of you join us on Thursday 11 March and donate anything you can, because every penny can really make a huge difference and keep our services going to help a huge number of people and their families.’ Claim you free tickets to Alzheimer’s Society’s comedy night at:


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Looking After Your Workforce - What Are Your Responsibilities For Lone Workers? Sara Ellison of the Banner Jones employment law team answers common questions from employers on the legal requirements for looking after their team members’ mental wellbeing while working alone ( Before the outbreak of the COVID -19 pandemic, many employees already worked without supervision or colleagues by their side. This included those who visit clients, customers or service users on-site or in their home, as well as those who worked at their company premises on their own. With almost all office workers having shifted to homeworking during the pandemic, many managers are now faced with the task of supervising employees remotely. The news that “everyone who can work from home must do so” once again will be distressing for many. This comes at a time where the UK is experiencing a mental health crisis. The Health and Safety Executive report a statistically significantly higher prevalence of work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2019/2020 compared with the previous year. Did you know that an employers’ responsibility for the health and safety of their workers includes mental health? This applies to home-workers as much as any other kinds of lone workers. Below, the leading Banner Jones employment law team answer some of the most common questions they get asked by clients.

You can support your team by communicating regularly and openly. One way to do this is to carry out team meetings and activities remotely via video based apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. You should also check that lone workers are able to manage their workload and ensure they are taking regular breaks. Remember that a mental health issue can be a legitimate reason for absence from work. Your employee is still required to notify you of their sickness absence in line with the terms of their contract and where they request adjustments to their work or role, or reasonable adjustments are recommended by their doctor, you should consider these properly and in a timely manner. Such adjustments might include adjusting their working hours or providing specialist equipment.

CAN EMPLOYEES CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WHILE WORKING AT HOME? Employers are obliged to carry out a risk assessment of a homeworker’s working environment to ensure they are safe and not at risk of harm when working. Employers are not legally obliged to provide additional expenses for homeworkers, but it may be necessary to provide them with the equipment they need in order to work from home. If you feel it would be conducive to productivity, then you may choose to reimburse your employee for certain items. At the moment, employees can claim up to £6 per week in tax relief to cover things like broadband, heating and lighting which they would not usually contribute to their energy bill if they were working in the office. You can either pay this directly to your employee or encourage them to claim via HMRC.


This tax reduction and opportunity to be better equipped at home could help employees to feel less

One of the biggest challenges of working alone is staying mentally healthy. This is particularly the case for those who have been forced to work alone because of the pandemic, but were not recruited for a homeworking role. Desk-based personnel may now find themselves in a lonely situation with only minimal contact from their colleagues. The Government’s Good Work Guide recommends some core standards that employers should meet to promote the wellbeing, safety and security of their team. This emphasises the importance of supporting mental health in the workplace. Furthermore, mental health is considered to be part of the duty of care an employer owes to its employees. Neglecting this could be a breach of this duty and result in costly claims by the employee. If an employee has a longstanding (usually for 12 months or more) or serious mental health condition that impacts on their ability to carry out day to day tasks, this could amount to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act, disabled employees are legally protected from being discriminated against at work and failing to give a disabled employee adequate support could mean you are not fulfilling your obligations as an employer.

mental health issues. You may wish to visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website for further guidance on



The most important thing employers can give to their employees is time and understanding. Feeling judged, unsupported or even discriminated against will not only make your team members unproductive and potentially impact negatively on their mental health, but it may lead to them taking legal action against you.

the Banner Jones Employment Law team. We are able to support you with Workplace Mediation, Contracts of

stressed about their working situation during the pandemic.

WHAT ABOUT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AT RISK WHEN WORKING ALONE? Employees who would normally return to an office after completing a challenging lone-working task, like visiting a family as a social care worker, may now return home and have nobody to talk to. It’s vital that you keep strong communication with your team members who face triggering activities and put measures in place to replace the natural support from working together that may have now disappeared. If your team members could be at risk of verbal or physical violence while lone working, you must have a clear management plan to prevent or control these risks by law. They may not report incidents as readily as they would have done when seeing you in person. You should make amendments to your health and safety policy to reflect the current situation if necessary. Violence or risk of violence has a high chance of leading to work-related stress. This could result in serious

If you would like to discuss issues surrounding lone working or mental health in more detail, please contact Employment and Employment Tribunals among other services.

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PTSD in NHS Staff is Nothing New Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, carers and emergency service staff already had disproportionately high rates of mental health conditions including depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who work in the emergency services and healthcare fields were three times more likely to have PTSD or a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) than the general population. These mental illnesses are also linked to physical health and so conditions such as heart disease are also disproportionately higher in the very people that society relies on most. In 2017, researcher Dr Jennifer Wild from the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, began a major study into the mental health of emergency workers with the goal of finding a way to prevent these conditions from developing. Before her research with MQ, Dr Wild had worked predominantly with paramedics. She had discovered two key factors that increased the likelihood of becoming ill. The first was known as rumination: the habit of dwelling on negative experiences. Paramedics who dwelled about such experiences were more likely to develop PTSD. The second was how they thought about their own resilience. If they thought negatively about their resilience, they were more likely to develop depression. On the basis of this research, Dr Wild and her team developed an intervention tool to help prevent major mental health conditions, such as PTSD and MDD, from developing in paramedics. She is now evaluating this in an MQ-funded study, which is vast, across 14 sites nationwide and with 570 volunteers taking part. “These people dedicate their lives to keeping others safe” said Dr Wild. “But many find their own mental health suffers as a result. This project could help thousands of emergency workers prepare for the inevitable

challenges of their jobs.” However, in 2020 when the COVID pandemic struck, Dr Wild’s research was impacted as many of the study volunteers were redeployed. The Oxford team had to adapt quickly and took the opportunity to expand their field of study to encompass the impact the pandemic was having on the mental health on healthcare workers based in hospitals. Dr Wild quote – “The pandemic has intensified working conditions in hospitals and our healthcare staff are stretched. Our intervention is evidence-based, easy to access and targets the risk factors that increase PTSD and depression in this group. One of the paramedics we’ve worked with said the following about our intervention:” “Work-related stress has been at an all-time high for me and my peers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately though, my weekly calls with my well-being coach have mitigated that stress significantly. For this, I am eternally grateful. I feel very lucky to have had all of this support.” ZM This research is funded by MQ Mental Health Research. The charity exclusively funds research into mental health conditions and treatments with the aim of increasing understanding so that we can better treat and one day even prevent mental health conditions from occurring. MQ recently called on the UK government to prioritise funding for mental health research as part of their COVID response. “It is only through research that we can fully understand the current situation and make informed decisions about what to do about it.” Says MQ CEO Lea Milligan. “The impact that the pandemic is having on the mental health of the most vulnerable people is not yet known and cannot be without investment into research. That is why we are calling on the UK government to prioritise research into mental health at this pivotal moment in time.” To find out more about Dr Wilds research, and the many other research projects that MQ supports just visit

1000-mile Drive for Dementia Road Trip Raises £3000 for Alzheimer’s Society A convoy of modern classic cars that toured England, Wales and Scotland has raised £3000 for Alzheimer’s Society. The ‘Drive for Dementia’ campaign was the brainchild of friends Pete Shergill, Craig Johnson, and Harj Sadhra who all work in the UK’s care and care home sectors. The fundraiser combined their love of modern classic cars with their quest to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia, which currently affects 885,000 people in the UK, and around 70% of people living in care homes. The trio drove 1000 miles over four days, making scheduled, socially distanced stops at care homes and home care providers in Uttoxeter, North Wales, Lockerbie, Wetherby, Leeds, and Burton Upon Trent. Pete Shergill is UK Director of PainChek,® the company behind the world’s first intelligent pain assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence via a mobile device to detect micro-expressions in the face that indicate pain. Pete drove his Ford Focus ST, Harj Sadhra his BMW Z3 convertible, and engineer Craig Johnson the support vehicle. Pete says: “Alzheimer’s Society is transforming the landscape of dementia forever, and now more than ever, needs financial support so it is able to maintain its vital support and specialist services for people living with dementia and those caring for them. Driving for Dementia is our way of supporting Alzheimer’s Society and we are delighted to have hit our £3000 fundraising target.” Ryan Stanley, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society West

Midlands says: “We are extremely grateful to Pete, Craig and Harj for raising £3000 with their Drive for Dementia fundraiser. It is an incredible achievement in the current climate and will go a huge way in making a difference to people whose lives are affected by dementia. “Over the last 7 months, demand for our services has increased, and people living with dementia are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with 1 in every 4 deaths relating to coronavirus being someone

living with dementia. During this time, we are also expecting to lose between 30-40% of our income due to cancelled fundraising events, which is why every supporter means so much to us, and we can’t thank Pete, Craig and Harj enough for their support.” PainChek,® which was founded on research from Curtin University in Western Australia, is currently used in 25% of the country’s aged care facilities, benefitting around 50,000 people living with dementia, and launched in the UK earlier this year. Pete adds: “About half of people living with dementia suffer from pain, but they are often unable to verbalise they have pain, and sadly, it goes unmanaged and untreated. Dementia does not cause pain, but a person with dementia is more susceptible to increased levels of pain compared to others as they have a higher risk of falls, accidents and injury. “PainChek is a CE-marked pain assessment tool, powered by AI, available as a point-of-care app on mobile devices, which takes a three-second video of a person’s face and applies AI to identify facial micro-expressions indicative of pain. This information is then automatically combined with other non-facial indicators of pain, recorded by a carer on a digital checklist, and an overall pain score generated.” PainChek® is available for download – subject to a user enterprise licence - on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and can be operated via any compatible smart device at the point of care. To further information, email: or visit:

Dementia Charity Offers Free Online Music Training for Health and Social Care Students

Music and dementia charity Playlist for Life has launched a new online training platform educating on the use of personal playlists to improve the lives of people living with dementia. The charity has trained over 6000 health and social care professionals since 2015 and is now delivering online training due to the pandemic. The first course to launch on the new platform is a free ‘Playlist for Students’ course open to all UK higher education institutions after a successful trial with over 600 students at Glasgow Caledonian University. The free training for students aims to educate the next generation of health and social care professionals on the power of personal music for dementia, whilst offering support to higher education institutions delivering teaching online. Playlist for Life’s online training is based on morethan two decades of research showing that ‘personal music’ – the specific tunes attached to someone’s emotions that spark memories – can help those living with

dementia by alleviating stress, managing symptoms and strengthening relationships with family members andcarers.In September 2019, the World Health Organisation undertook a major study investigating the evidence for the health benefits of the arts. A section on dementia found evidence of multiple specific benefits including: reducing anxiety and depression; supporting cognition, speech and memory; reducing the need for antipsychotic drugs, and fewer and shorter stays in hospital. Playlist for Life was founded in 2013 by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother, who lived with dementia, to ensure that everyone living with the condition has a playlist of personal music and that everyone who cares for them to know how to use it effectively. Professor Craig Ritchie, Chair of the Psychiatry of Ageing at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Brain Health Scotland features as an interviewee in the training package for students. He said: “Music stimulates many parts of the brain at once, meaning that even if parts of the brain have been damaged by dementia, music can still reach other parts. Playlist for Life uses music that is meaningful to a person living with dementia to improve their life, and the lives of their loved ones and carers. Everyone training for a career in health and social care should take the opportunity to learn more about the power of personal playlists.” The free student training is open to all UK-based higher education institutions delivering courses in nursing, medicine, social care, music therapy and other related disciplines that seek to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. Health and social care professionals can

also register their interest in training coming soon to the platform. Andy Lowndes, a former mental health nurse and nursing academic, is co-founder and deputy chair of the charity, and leads the online training for students. He said: “We are delighted with the response to our training for students and are excited to offer it to all UK universities for free during this time of the Covid-19. The pandemic has further cemented the incredibly important role of our health and social care workers, as well as the role of the universities working tirelessly to keep learning going for the next generation of health and social care heroes. Those living with dementia have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, so we want to do everything we can to help make a difference through the power of music.” The online training package will explain the benefits of personalised playlists for people living with dementia and teach students to implement this approach to person-centred care in their own work and future careers. The course takes about 2 hours to complete and gives students an engaging introduction to the power of music and how to use playlists effectively through seven short modules. Through videos, animation and case studies, students are introduced to dementia and its symptoms, the evidence for music, the ‘Music Detective’ skills needed to build playlists, and advice for introducing playlists in practice. Enrolment is now open for lecturers and higher education staff to register their students via the Playlist for Life online training platform:


Minister for Care in Letter Of Support for Vaccination of All Frontline Social Care Workers The Minister for Care Helen Whately has written to local authorities, care providers and directors of adult social services following the publication of a standard operating procedure to support the vaccination of all community-based frontline social care workers. The NHS Covid vaccination programme will offer a first vaccination appointment to all eligible frontline social care workers by mid-February. To ensure we can vaccinate as many staff as quickly and as safely as possible, care providers are working with their local authority and local NHS vaccination teams to ensure all eligible staff can access a vaccination using hospital hubs, local GPs, vaccinations centres or community pharmacies while ensuring continuity of care. All eligible staff will receive a letter with information about how and when they will receive their vaccination. Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I have seen for myself how incredibly hard the social care sector has worked throughout this pandemic to provide safe, compassionate care to some of the most at risk people in our society.

“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and this guidance will help us offer a jab to everyone in the top four priority groups, including frontline social care staff. “By getting vaccinated, care workers can help protect themselves from becoming seriously ill from Covid19 so they can continue to be there for their family, friends, and the people they care for.” Sir David Pearson, Chair of the Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce said: “The social care sector is even more diverse than the NHS and involves a significant number of different employers, including individual service users – this makes any vaccine rollout challenging. “Throughout the pandemic we have strengthened relationships with local authorities, service users and providers and this additional guidance will play an important part in rolling out the crucial vaccine to staff working across the sector. This shot in the arm will give staff the protection they need to work our way out of the pandemic and back to life as we knew it.” Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Deborah Sturdy said: “Working on the frontline throughout the pandemic I have seen the fantastic health and care workforce rise to countless challenges to go the extra mile for those they care and support, and I know so many have been looking forward to the day a vaccine arrives. “The guidance will help providers, councils and those on the frontline, social care nurses, home care workers or personal assistants understand what steps they have to take. I would urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccination as soon as it comes, to give you the protection you need to do the job you have been doing so brilliantly throughout the pandemic.”

Connecting The Chief Nurse For Adult Social Care With The Frontline Care England, has welcomed the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, to a membership meeting with learning disability and autism adult social care providers. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “We were delighted to welcome Professor Sturdy to one of our membership meetings. Ensuing that the voice of the learning disability sector is heard by Central Government is of vital importance and the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care’s new role will play an indispensable part in this. We look forward to continuing to work with Professor Sturdy, as well as other national leaders, through our membership groups.” Professor Sturdy, England’s first ever Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, took the opportunity to engage with the frontline by listening to Care England’s members’ views on issues pertinent to the learning disability workforce and nursing agenda. Professor Sturdy addressed the group by outlining her vision for the role and her priorities. In particular, Professor Sturdy said that she was keen to provide a voice to areas of the workforce that needs to be heard louder.

Care England’s Learning Disabilities Group discussed the following key areas with Professor Sturdy, which have now been escalated to a senior level on Care England’s behalf: • The delegation of clinical tasks to social care staff, from local health professionals • The inequality experienced by those with a learning disability in their access to healthcare and healthcare services • Issues around isolating individuals with complex needs for extended periods of time • The testing of visiting health professionals. Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE said: “It was really useful to attend Care England’s meeting and hear exactly what challenges learning disability and autism providers are facing. “While the challenges are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic I am encouraged by the ‘can do’ attitude of providers and their resolute determination to do everything they can to ensure the welfare of their residents and staff.”


Tim Ware Is Crowned NACC Care Chef Of The Year 2020

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) crowned Tim Ware of Green Tree Court Care Home in Exeter the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2020 this afternoon (Wednesday 20 January) at a special online prize giving ceremony. Second place went to Matthew Dodds of Gracewell of Ascot and Cheryl Crook from Heol Don Nursing Residential Centre took third place. With Covid-19 still having an enormous impact on us all, the NACC took the decision to bring the postponed national final of its prestigious culinary competition to a close virtually. The finalists competed in a series of online cook-offs that gave each talented chef the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills, creativity and specialist care catering knowledge to the expert judges in the safe environment of their own kitchens. The finalists adapted to the new format fantastically and the standard of competition was as high as ever. The judges closely watched and spoke to each chef to assess their aptitude in the areas of nutritional understanding relating to their clientele, culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presentation and hygiene best practice. Designated tasters also ensured the judges had a full appreciation of the taste and texture of each dish. Tim stood out to take the coveted title with his mouth-watering menu of Butter roast chicken, Bombay potatoes, spinach and shallot bhajis followed by a dessert of poached apricots, coconut and lime espuma and pistachio filo pastry. Head Judge, Bev Puxley, said: “As chair of judges of this competition for several years, I’ve never ceased to be impressed by the enormous

talent and dedication shown by the chefs who work in this hugely important sector of the catering industry. Tim Ware’s Asian dishes were beautifully prepared with aromas that stimulated the palate. The level of spicing was perfect for his care home clientele. This, together with his well-organised method of work, led to his success in a closely fought cook off.” Matthew Dodds was also awarded Highly Commended Main for his ‘Post-war ration meal’ of poached saddle of rabbit, roasted shallots, baby carrots, crispy kale, fondant potato and tarragon cream sauce and James Cotton of Cavendish Park Care Home by Majesticare took the honour of Highly Commended Dessert for his Black Forest Bakewell tart. Sue Cawthray, the NACC’s National Chair, said: “Congratulations to Tim Ware on being crowned NACC Care Chef of the Year 2020. In last year’s competition he took second place so it’s wonderful to see that despite all the challenges the past year has thrown at us, he’s continued to develop and progress into the top spot! A huge well done on a fantastic achievement. “We’re delighted to have been able to bring this wonderful competition to its finale in a safe way. The virtual format worked incredibly well and I thank everyone involved, from the organising and production team to the competitors and judges, for their commitment, agility and positivity. “Care chefs have played an important part in the pandemic frontline effort. The vital role of good food and nutrition as a fundamental part of quality care has been brought to the fore so we were more determined than ever to find a way to recognise and celebrate care chefs up and down the country through this fantastic competition platform. The standard has been exceptional and is testament to the selfless dedication of care chefs who are driven to deliver excellence for their residents and clients no matter what pressures they face. We’re very proud of all the finalists and every care chef that uses their talent and specialist knowledge to help care for the elderly and vulnerable through the pleasure of delicious and nutritious person-centred food.” Mark Taylor, Healthcare Sector Lead at Premier Foods, comments: “We are very excited and proud of our sponsorship of the NACC Care

Caring Begins At Home Despite so much openness about health and wellbeing, incontinence is still a taboo subject. Many people simply don’t want to talk about incontinence, yet it is estimated that in the in the UK alone there are between three and six million people living with it. Ontex Healthcare is committed to encouraging people to talk about incontinence at every stage in life. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic there is a much greater focus on self-care at home and this applies to all ages, but is particularly important for those who live alone in our communities. In the UK 3.8million individuals over the age of 65 live alone, 58% of whom are over 75, around 2.2million individuals. It is also a fact that older adults who live are: • More likely to visit A&E • More likely to visit a GP with around a fifth of persons aged 65+ who live alone visiting their GP once a month, compared to 14% of older persons who live with others • More likely to have a mental health condition If you’re caring for someone living at home who is struggling with incontinence, these top five tips may help:

Chef of the Year competition, the perfect setting to highlight the exceptional culinary standards executed in care facilities around the UK. “It has been such a difficult year for the whole country but particularly in care settings, where nutritious meals are more important than ever, which is why we have been so impressed with all of the finalists who make the pressure of providing a nutritious and tasty meal on a tight budget look effortless. Congratulations to Tim Ware and all of the finalists!” The 2020 Care Chef of the Year finalists*: • Michael Collins, Blossom Fields Nursing Home, Grove Care • James Cotton, Cavendish Park Care Home by Majesticare • Cheryl Crook, Heol Don Nursing Residential Care • Nellie Dhliwayo, Sunrise of Chorleywood • Matthew Dodds, Gracewell of Ascot • Anna Koziarkska, Auchtercrag Care Home, Meallmore Ltd • Jack Lawson, Bunkers Hill Care Home, United Health Ltd • Paul O’Brien, St Modans Care Home, Meallmore Ltd • Brian Preston, Lister House, Royal British Legion • Carmine Tarquilio, Mardy Park Resource Centre, Monmouthshire County Council • Tim Ware, Green Tree Court The finalists had 90 minutes to produce the special two-course menu they had created (main and dessert) that is suitable for service users in a care setting. The competition criteria stated that the combined food cost for both courses was no more than £2.25 per head and it must be nutritionally balanced.

1. Ensure the person needing care leads a healthy lifestyle – healthy eating, quitting smoking, undertaking pelvic floor exercises, drinking plenty of fluids and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine are just some of the things that will help someone who is managing incontinence every day. 2. Look after yourself – As a carer it’s also important to look after yourself as well as those you are looking after. Dealing with incontinence care can be embarrassing and frustrating so it’s important to make sure you have some quality time planned to de-stress. 3. Maintain good hygiene practices - Wear gloves when dealing with used hygiene products and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. Make sure that you dispose of the hygiene products and gloves appropriately (in sanitary bins, never down the toilet). 4.Incontinence care is challenging: try to stay relaxed - Some people may be resistant to receiving help for their incontinence issues as they feel embarrassed or like they lack independence. Humour can also be a powerful tool for lightening a situation and creating trust between you and your loved one, which in turn may alleviate some of their embarrassment or resistance. 5.Use the right incontinence products – It can be completely overwhelming when there is so much product choice, which is why iD is here to try and provide products for all levels of incontinence from light to severe. Ontex has recently re-launched its iD Expert Slip and iD Expert Form brands, designed to support for those with moderate to heavy levels of incontinence. The iD Expert Slip range has been designed for those who no longer feel they have control of their bladder and when urine leakage is heavy and cannot be controlled in any manner. These all-in-one products will help to manage moderate to heavy incontinence and have anti-leak cuffs and waist elastication to ensure a snug fit with a high level of absorption. The iD Expert Form range has been designed for heavy urine leakage that cannot be controlled. The pads feature an odour control system that locks in any odours to keep you feeling fresh. Don’t struggle with incontinence, find a perfectly tailored solution that suits you and your level of incontinence. For more information visit or call our helpful advisory team on 0800 389 6185 See the advert on page 7 for further details.

Care Homes Toast ‘Rabbie’ in Annual Burns Celebration Hundreds of residents at 21 Colten Care homes across the south celebrated Burns Night in honour of the famous 18th century bard Robert Burns. In line with annual tradition, poetry recitals were the order of the day along with lunches and suppers featuring haggis, neeps and tatties. While Covid constraints meant homes could not welcome visiting bagpipers and dancers as they usually do, residents nevertheless enjoyed festive fun. At Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, Companionship Team Members Brian Knight and Rebecca Osborne wore kilts with their PPE and performed Highland dancing together. Brian also did a tour of the home calling at residents’ bedrooms to read out selections of Burns’ poetry. “I told him he looked very fetching in his ‘skirt’,” said Lois Barber, while fellow resident Ray Paice said: “It was very amusing and got us into the spirit of the day.” A number of homes decorated residents’ lounges with tartans and thistles.

Kirsty Richmond Cole, Companionship Team Leader at Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown, Dorset, said: “We had a whole afternoon consisting of all things Scottish. “We held a quiz to test everyone’s knowledge of Burns and invited residents to sample a range of whiskies and shortbread. “We discussed how whisky is made and where famous malts originate from.” Tracey Aldin, Home Manager at Brook View in West Moors, Dorset, said the annual event had become a firm favourite with residents. “We hold a Burns celebration every year and it always proves popular with residents from both north and south of the border,” she added.


One In 10 UK Adults Say Brain Health Has Deteriorated In Pandemic More than one in 10 adults in the UK (14%) believe their brain health has declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, new polling by Alzheimer’s Research UK has revealed, with two-thirds (66%) saying the pandemic has prompted them to think about making changes to improve their health. The news comes as Alzheimer’s Research UK launches Think Brain Health, a bold new awareness campaign to empower people to keep their brains healthy throughout life and ultimately, help reduce their risk of dementia. The digital campaign is backed by the latest research and focuses on three rules for brain health – looking after heart health, staying sharp and keeping connected. Think Brain Health is backed by broadcast journalist Suzi Perry, who lost her grandmother Mary to Alzheimer’s disease – the most common cause of dementia. The campaign was developed with the support of Warburtons and parkrun and is further backed at launch by Alzheimer’s Research UK partner Garmin. Alzheimer’s Research UK has also worked with the Royal Society for Public Health to launch a joint policy report on brain health, recommending the development of a national brain health strategy to enable everyone to take positive steps to look after their brains throughout life. The report calls on government to take this opportunity to embed brain health messaging for all age groups, implement cost-effective interventions that promote brain health and fund more research into dementia prevention. As well as being influenced by our age and genetics, the 2020 Lancet Commission on dementia suggests that up to 40% of dementia cases could be linked to 12 risk factors that we may be able to influence, including high blood pressure, physical inactivity, smoking, low social contact and depression. With polling showing that people’s awareness of dementia has

increased more than any other health condition due to the pandemic (16% reporting an increased awareness), the charity believes now is the opportune time to support people to take positive action, particularly with new lockdown measures in place. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Think Brain Health campaign aims to increase awareness of three rules for improving brain health: Looking after heart health, by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and keeping blood pressure, weight and cholesterol in check. Staying sharp, by taking part in activities that keep the brain active. And keeping connected, by staying socially active and connecting with other people. Visitors to can test their brain health knowledge with a quiz, as well as learning more through expert blogs and articles. The campaign is primarily aimed at people in midlife, who could stand to gain the most from adopting healthy habits that could reduce their risk of dementia. Suzi Perry, known for her work on BT Sport’s Motorsport coverage and F1 coverage for the BBC, has voiced an animation introducing the Think Brain Health campaign. Reflecting on the impact of dementia in her own family, she said: “I was very close to my grandma: she was a huge part of my life growing up and in many ways she was more like a friend than a grandma. She had a great wit, she wasn’t scared to speak her mind and she was always very encouraging to me. It was incredibly hard to watch her deteriorate as dementia took hold, and to see the impact it had for my mum, too. I felt angry at the disease for robbing us of the person we loved. “That experience of dementia gave me an awareness of what can happen to your brain and the importance of looking after it. I don’t think I know anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by dementia at some

point, and we should absolutely be doing all we can to reduce people’s risk of developing the condition. It’s vital that we act now and educate people on what we can all do ourselves to help our brains, and this campaign is so important for spreading that message.” Hilary headshot 3 December 2020Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll in many ways, and it’s deeply worrying that one in 10 of us fear it’s had a negative effect on our brain health. But positively, our polling shows that the pandemic has also made people more aware of their health, so we want to take this opportunity to set out some simple steps to help people think about their brain. While national lockdown is making many aspects of our lives more difficult, there are still things you can do every day to look after your brain and the Think Brain Health campaign shows you how. “Our brains control everything we do, from storing precious memories to helping us read and write – they define who we are. Sadly, every year, more and more families experience the devastation caused when physical diseases like Alzheimer’s take hold of the brain. “The good news is that while there’s no sure-fire way to prevent dementia, research suggests that 40% of cases could be down to factors that we may be able to influence. We must do all we can to capitalise on this powerful opportunity and ultimately, reduce the number of people who will go on to develop dementia in future. “There is a clear appetite among the public to improve their health and looking after the brain must become a core part of our approach to good overall health. The time is right for a national brain health strategy to enable everyone to keep their brains healthy – and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Think Brain Health campaign is an important first step.”

Best Possible Start To New Year As Droitwich Care Home Residents Receive Covid Vaccinations Residents at Ravenstone care home in Droitwich are delighted to have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccinations were administered by the Droitwich Integrated Care Team at the home in a Covid-secure environment. Home Manager Wendy Stokoe said: “This is wonderful day for our residents and their families, and we are truly grateful to everyone who made this possible. “It has been a difficult time, and we still have some way to go, but we’ve been

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing colleagues, our wonderful residents and their family and friends who have supported us throughout the pandemic. We are really looking forward to the day when once again we are able to relax the restrictions on visiting and finally the day when all restrictions can be removed – that will be the day we have a big party! Resident Betty Powell said: “I am so grateful that I have been given the vaccine. Everyone at Ravenstone has been fantastic all through the pandemic. I know how

celebrating this wonderful milestone today because it means that at last, we can

hard they have worked and appreciate that it can’t have been easy, so I’d like to

see a light at the end of the tunnel.

say a heartfelt thanks.”

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Blood Test Could Bring New Hope To Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials A team of scientists at UCL have found that blood tests measuring the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, b-amyloid (amyloid), could radically reduce the cost of clinical trials and potentially open the door to treating the disease earlier. The scientists studied a unique group of volunteers, who were all born in the same week in 1946. The findings are published on Tuesday 19 January, in the journal Brain. Amyloid is a protein that builds up in the brain in Alzheimer’s, and it is thought to set off a cascade of processes that result in damage to the brain and the symptoms of the disease. Amyloid accumulates in the brain years before symptoms appear and clearing this protein has been a major focus of Alzheimer’s research for the last two decades. Most amyloid-lowering drug trials so far involve people who already have symptoms¬— an approach that has yet to result in a new treatment. Many researchers believe that by the time symptoms set in, the window of opportunity for preventing cognitive decline may have already passed. These drugs are likely to be more effective earlier on, in people who have amyloid build-up but don’t yet have symptoms. Scientists have developed radioactive tags that attach to the amyloid protein. A PET scanner can pick up the radiation from these tags to reveal the extent of amyloid build up in a person’s brain. Researchers use these scans to recruit people to clinical trials, confirming that their symptoms are caused by Alzheimer’s and not a different form of dementia. Unfortunately, they are very expensive and require specialist facilities that are only available in a few locations throughout the country. To test anti-amyloid drugs in people before symptoms set in, researchers would have to carry out many times more scans to identify enough people for a clinical trial. This is too expensive to be practical.

The researchers compared three different ways of measuring proteins of interest in the blood and compared the results of the blood tests to those from the PET scans. In this group of cognitively healthy individuals around the age of 70, approximately 1 in 5 (18%) had evidence of significant build-up of brain amyloid – in a similar pattern to patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. The best performing blood test was able to identify those individuals with high levels of amyloid with about 85% accuracy. Using blood tests to screen for amyloid would reduce the requirement for PET scans by roughly half. Prof Jonathan Schott, lead author of the study from University College London said: “Current evidence suggests that the brain changes leading to Alzheimer’s disease start many years before symptoms. Identifying individuals at risk opens a window of opportunity to offer treatments to preResearchers need a way to narrow down the pool of potential participants who go on to have amyloid confirmed in a PET scan. The team at UCL looked at different blood tests as a way to achieve this. The UCL team led by Prof Jonathan Schott worked with a unique group of over 400 volunteers, recruited from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) 1946 British Birth Cohort. They were all born in the same week in 1946 and did not have dementia. They had amyloid PET scans and blood tests as part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK-funded Insight 46 study, Blood tests were done at UCL and through collaboration with researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

vent the onset of cognitive decline. “Our results – from a sample of individuals from across mainland Britain who were all born in the same week in 1946 – show that blood tests may be a useful means of identifying individuals who are in the earliest stages of the disease. “In the short term, this has implications for clinical trials of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Blood tests could allow for rapid screening, and reduction of the numbers who would need more expensive PET scans before entering a study. This would considerably reduce the costs and time it takes to run clinical trials, and will hopefully accelerate the development of new treatments.

Wiltshire Care Home Residents Make New Overseas Pen Pals Residents at HC-One’s Harnham Croft care home, in Salisbury, are building and nurturing new connections with pupils in France. Late last month the Residents of Harnham Croft each received a handwritten Christmas card from school children all the way in Fontaine. The pupils sent the cards to brighten spirits in the care home and to implement their studies in English language. In their cards they told stories about themselves and their families and discussed their hobbies, thoughts and feelings. One Resident commented: “What a lovely idea. I have never had a pen pal before and I’m looking forward to continuing our communications.” This thought was mutual throughout Harnham Croft and many Residents are now in the process of writing their replies in a bid to forge a

connection with a new friend. Another Resident said: “This is so kind. What a lovely gesture. “I am very keen to continue writing back to the students and keeping up to date with their progress.” The Residents’ new pen pals are a welcome addition to the home to show that new friendships can be made, even in the difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic. Harnham Croft Home Manager, Jim Bowie, said: “It is great that during these difficult times where our Residents are unable to see their loved ones as often they would like that we can support them to develop new relationships with children from overseas.”

WW2 Cartographer Celebrates 100th Birthday At Ledbury Care Home A Ledbury resident with a storied international life – which included fleeing the Suez Crisis – has celebrated her 100th birthday at a local care home. Joan Randolph was joined by residents and staff for the celebrations at Ledbury Nursing Home, which involved a tea party and lots of video messages from family members, as well as the customary card from the Queen. Born in Asansol, India, to British parents, Joan moved to England when she was just eight after embarking on a six-week boat journey. In her late teens she moved to Lausanne in Switzerland to study at a finishing school, before going to London Art School. After completing her education Joan then went back “home” to India where she met her first husband, Jack Alexandroff, whom she married in New Delhi in 1941. The couple were posted to London during World War Two where Joan worked as a cartographer, followed by a posting for her husband in Alexandria, Egypt. They lived there until the 1956 Suez Crisis forced them to flee back to England for their own safety. A subsequent breakdown in her marriage saw Joan move to Oxford to be closer to her extended family. She worked for the university and met Julian, a mature student, who together had her only child, Juliet. She later moved to

Ledbury in 1969 – marrying local man Dick Randolph – staying in the town ever since. Joan’s Daughter, Juliet, commented: “I am sad that I can’t be with my mother on her big day, but I have managed to get video messages from all 24 family members, which I hope she will enjoy watching while she is celebrating with her friends at the home.” A talented seamstress, Joan is also a keen gardener and music-lover. Until recent years, Joan was still volunteering at St Michael’s Hospice in Ledbury. Hayley Attwood, manager at the home operated by Shaw healthcare, said: “Joan has lived a fascinating life and we are always keen to spend time listening to her as she recounts her youth. She is a close friend to all of us at Ledbury Nursing Home and we’re delighted that we were able to put on a party for her, even if the current restrictions meant it wasn’t how her family might have planned it. “Joan, alongside all our other residents in Ledbury Nursing Home, has already received her first COVID-19 vaccine jab (in her typical high spirits, no less) and we’re hoping that the ongoing inoculation rollout means that we can celebrate her 101st birthday in person.”


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.


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 moni-

tored by the insurer market as they weigh up the exposure to risk for care providers.


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. 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 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.”


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 extraordi-

nary 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


Computer Says Yes: Improving Digital and Financial Inclusion in Care Homes The pandemic has highlighted the level of digital and financial exclusion in care homes and unleashed a drive for change says Matt Adam, chief executive, We Are Digital ( Digital technology has become an increasingly important tool to help care homes protect vulnerable residents, patients and staff. Indeed, Covid-19 has heightened demand for remote GP consultations, digital prescription ordering and remote communications with healthcare professionals, families and loved ones. It has also highlighted a requirement for better internet access to meet demand for these new services. At the pandemic's start, 7,000 care homes in England lacked an adequate internet connection. Only a third of the sector was what could be described as fully digital.* NHS Digital and NHSX (the tech, digital and data best practice arm of the NHS) has attempted to solve this in its negotiations with telecom companies to help more care homes and providers get online. Priority connection deals specifically for care homes are now available - a great first step in boosting sector-wide connectivity. Historically, internet access has been a nice-to-have service for resi-

dents rather than the vital lifeline to the outside world it is today. Online training has focused on staying in touch with relatives and friends. Clearly, this is important for mental health and wellbeing. But the issue of digital exclusion among the older population has morphed into something wider.

FINANCIAL EXCLUSION - THE HIDDEN TRUTH When it comes to their finances, many older people have a strong preference for cash. It is a familiar and tangible means of managing their money. It allows them to budget - it helps them keep track of their spending. Research conducted in 2016 found that 87% of older people didn't use the internet for online shopping or banking (The Finance Foundation, 2016).* Fear of fraud and of making mistakes were cited as the most common reasons behind low levels of internet use. But what this age group isn’t necessarily aware of is that this unwillingness to part with cash as a means of paying for goods makes them financially excluded. Nor is cash necessarily an efficient way for the elderly to manage their money either. A fifth of carers surveyed by The

FINANCE FOUNDATION SAID THE PERSON THEY WERE HELPING HAD PROBLEMS BUDGETING THEIR SPENDING. Financial exclusion – the inability to access finance, banking and income – typically affects the oldest and youngest in our society most severely. Those who are unable to embrace a move to online risk future difficulty in accessing their finances as the UK becomes increasingly cashless. For residents with a level of financial independence, an inability to access cash could prove problematic in the future. Currently, banks

have made it clear customers should stay away from branches unless they can't get help online or over the phone, and many of them are operating reduced hours. But branch inaccessibility will be a trend long after the pandemic ends. Bank branches across the UK, unwilling to pay high street rent to serve a dwindling number of customers, are closing down.

A FIRST STEP OUT OF FINANCIAL EXCLUSION A move to online banking is an automatic step out of financial exclusion, giving residents control of their money at a few swipes, while allowing them to save money on transaction fees. It is also one of the safest ways you can bank. Some digital banks can even help residents with their budgeting. Monzo, for example, lets you create a virtual savings pot – an alluring feature for the thriftily minded. For those still living independently, but with some carer provision, a move to online can minimise unnecessary, and potentially unsafe, journeys. Many high street banks are already providing training for their elderly customers. Free digital training and tablet devices are available for customers of Lloyds Banking Group, while Nationwide offers banking app demos, tips on online safety and scam avoidance via its Tea & Tech scheme. General digital skills training is often also provided as part of these offers because digital and financial exclusion are generally closely linked. There is still a long way to go before digital and financial exclusion is solved as one of the key issues facing the UK's elderly. But the digital genie is certainly out of the bottle, and the reality of managing their finances from the comfort of an armchair is looking more likely as a prospect for our ageing population than ever before.

“Massive Relief” For Nottinghamshire Care Home Community As Covid-19 Vaccine Rolled Out RESIDENTS and staff at Nottingham’s specialist care group, Church Farm Care, have received their first COVID-19 injections today (22 January 2021) as part of the government’s national vaccination programme. The roving vaccine service visited all four homes, three of which offer specialist dementia care, in a day that’s been described as one of “massive relief” for residents, staff and family members alike. Patrick Atkinson, owner of Church Farm Care Ltd, said: “This is a momentous day for everyone at all of our homes and one that we’ve been waiting for ever since the government announced the vaccination rollout in December. It’s such a relief to now be able to say that our homes are on the way to being protected from coronavirus.” According to government figures, more than four point five million people have received their initial jab across the UK, with care home residents and staff topping the priority list for the first phase of the rollout. One of the first recipients of the vaccine in the region was Rachel Williams, care home manager at Church Farm’s Skylarks home, who received her first dose on 10 December. Speaking at the time, she said: “We all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable in our society, so I see the vaccination as an essential part of doing this

and continuing to ensure life is as fun and healthy as possible for people who live with us.” Patrick added: “It was incredible to see how the mood instantly lifted while people were waiting to have their vaccination and you can tell that everyone is feeling a lot more positive. After what’s been an incredibly tough year, with our residents only able to see family members through a window or computer screen, this feel likes the first step in the journey to returning to the normality everyone is craving.” Last April, at the height of the first lockdown, Church Farm’s Skylarks home made headlines after 13 residents made a full recovery from coronavirus – thanks to the quick response from carers and staff, led by the head of nursing, Maria Spollin. An isolation area was set up within the home, which included beds, chairs and activities to ensure residents didn’t have to remain bedbound during their recovery. Patrick added: “Every single person across our four homes has played a pivotal role in the care of our residents over the past year to get us to this moment. We couldn’t have asked for a smoother running of the day, with everyone’s vaccinations completed by lunchtime, and would like to thank the roving vaccine service, our GP surgeries, nurses and all our staff involved for a fantastic effort.”

Sunrise of Purley Aims to Raise £3,000 in 2021 for Age UK Croydon Sunrise of Purley has formed an official fundraising partnership with Age UK Croydon. The care home will aim to raise £3,000 across the year through various fundraising activities involving residents and the team at Sunrise of Purley. The partnership has been formed to help raise vital funds for Age UK Croydon that will allow them to lead the way in empowering, enabling, supporting and connecting older people in the London Borough of Croydon to live well, healthily and independently. From this partnership, Sunrise of Purley residents will also benefit from access to additional Age UK services, including heathier lifestyle classes, information and advice, and the Memory Tree Café. As part of their fundraising endeavours, Sunrise of Purley and Age UK Croydon have been meticulously planning activities that can go ahead in the coming months despite on-going Covid-19 restrictions. For example, Sunrise of Purley is planning a fundraising activity that will include residents collectively completing a virtual walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

By May, the Sunrise of Purley team is hoping that they will be able to participate in a 5k or 10k run around Olympic Park, with a fundraising tar-

get of £200 per person. Jill Kyne, CEO (Interim) at Age UK Croydon, said: “We are thrilled to be chosen as Charity Partner of the Year by Sunrise of Purley. It gives us a great opportunity to engage residents in our services and activities, giving them access to a range of additional support. “In these incredibly challenging times for charities, the £3,000 fundraising target is a very welcome contribution to enable us to continue to deliver services for local people across the whole borough.” Rebecca Peters, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Purley, added: “We are delighted to be official fundraising partners of Age UK Croydon. It is a wonderful charity that really benefits older people in our local community. “The Sunrise of Purley team and all the residents are very excited to get involved in some fun activities and raise as much money as possible for this great cause!”


Protecting the Protectors Last week’s letter to Matt Hancock by the healthcare industry calls for emergency legislation to prevent the prosecution of healthcare professionals when treating COVID-19 patients. David Hardstaff, an associate in the Serious & General Crime team at BCL Solicitors (, analyses the impact on professionals working in the care sector. As we enter the deadliest phase of the pandemic, health and care workers are more vulnerable than ever to criminal and professional disciplinary proceedings. Against this backdrop, healthcare organisations have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pushing for emergency legislation to protect healthcare professionals who could find themselves at risk of ‘inappropriate legal challenge when treating COVID-19 patients in circumstances beyond their control.’ The letter, which was co-ordinated by the Medical Protection Society and signed by organisations including the British Medical Association and the Doctors’ Association, cites the Prime Minister’s warning in November 2020 that if the NHS is overwhelmed, the country could face a ‘medical and moral disaster’ where doctors and nurses could ‘be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would live and who would die.’ Few would argue that the prospect of the NHS finding itself overwhelmed is anything but likely, if not inevitable. The letter refers to existing guidance on whether to administer or withdraw treatment, pointing out that this guidance does not provide legal protection and does not consider additional factors created by a public health emergency, such as COVID-19. It states, ‘We do not believe it is right that healthcare professionals should suffer from the moral injury and long-term psychological damage that could result from having to make decisions on how limited resources are allocated, while at the same time being left vulnerable to the risk of prosecution for unlawful killing.’ The letter suggests than any new legislation should only provide protection where healthcare professionals have acted in good faith. It would not apply to ‘wilful or intentional criminal harm or reckless misconduct’.

The concept of ‘intentional criminal harm’ is fairly unambiguous and clearly it is not being suggested that those in the health sector should have complete immunity from criminal liability. However, ‘reckless misconduct’ is less clear as a concept, and the letter does not specify what offences should not be prosecuted. The most obvious offence likely to be of concern is gross negligence manslaughter. The offence is committed where a death is a result of a grossly negligent (though otherwise lawful) act or omission on the part of the defendant. However, it is not immediately obvious how to account for the unique conditions created by the pandemic so that due consideration is taken. Whether a breach of duty of care has occurred is tested by the objective standard of reasonableness. Applying this to the pandemic, it is difficult to imagine how any consistent level of objectivity could be achieved given the dramatically varied picture across the country. Comparing the experience of a care worker in Cornwall in September 2020 with that of a colleague in Hackney in January 2021 would be pointless. There is a risk that those working in the health and care sector could be treated differently depending on where they are based. The intervention follows the publication in September 2020 of the General Medical Council’s (GMC) COVID19 specific guidance. The guidance was introduced to support decision makers in determining how to assess the overall risk to public protection posed by doctors in relation to allegations of fitness to practise in a clinical setting during the pandemic. It is intended to account for the unprecedented demand on the healthcare system and the need to consider this as context when assessing a doctor’s fitness to practise. While the GMC’s guidance was welcomed at the time, the level of protection it affords is limited; not least because it has no bearing as to whether registrants are subject to criminal investigation and prosecution. The recent letter from healthcare organisations reflects this and suggests that those in the care sector are concerned that they may unfairly be made accountable for failures that are more likely to be the result of a lack of resources and capacity. The letter highlights that care workers are vulnerable on several fronts, including criminal liability, and professional discipline and fitness to practise. Being subject to investigation by the police and a professional regulator is an extremely stressful experience, with career, livelihood, and liberty at stake. The letter concludes that there will be a time in the future when we will need to debate the range of legal and ethical challenges that have been raised by this pandemic. In the meantime, it is hoped that some more practical assurances can be provided to health and care professionals who have sacrificed so much already. David Hardstaff is an associate in BCL’s serious and general crime department, specialising in criminal litigation, regulatory law, controlled drug licensing, and proceeds of crime.

Care Leader Signs Up To Help Fight Covid-19 The chief officer of an influential care group has signed up to do her bit in the fight against Covid-19. Bev Proctor, Acting Chief Executive of the Independent Care Group (ICG), has become a Covid-19 vaccine volunteer to help tackle the pandemic. Bev will be providing the vaccine from a GP surgery in her home town of York. She said: “Given the need to get the vaccine out quickly, particularly to vulnerable groups, it felt like the least I could do to contribute. “It is so important to get the vaccine administered across the country and I’m happy to do

what I can to help.” Mike Padgham, Chair of the ICG, said he was proud of Bev’s decision. “This is typical of Bev, who is a very selfless and generous person, to give up her time to support the vaccination programme. “And as a Registered Nurse, anyone getting the vaccine from Bev will be in very good hands.” Bev joined the ICG as its Operations Director in 2018 and has since become Acting Chief Executive. Prior to that her career had been predominantly in healthcare.

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Retirement Villages & Outdoor Furniture By Peter Tyrie, Managing Director, Barlow Tyrie (

market. Investing in Grade-A teak furniture is a commitment to quality and will certainly help to create a well-curated outdoor setting full of considered planting and landscaping. However, like any investment, once it’s been made, it needs to be looked after correctly to achieve maximum, longterm value especially if committing to a bulk purchase of pieces that are made from a natural substance like timber with metal joints and hinges. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation around teak upkeep. The purpose of this article is to offer top tips and advice, while also dispelling the many myths about cleaning and preservation. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll feel well equipped to ensure your outdoor furniture lasts for decades.


The last decade has witnessed a steep rise in the development of Retirement Villages, catering to an ageing population who want to maintain an urban feel yet benefit from the nuanced amenities and services necessary to support old age. Often these developments are geared towards a wealthy clientele looking for the trappings of a luxury lifestyle alongside maximum comfort. As such, many have extensive leisure facilities including clubhouses, swimming pools, spas, restaurants and bars as well as a multitude of social activities. When looking to attract high-net-worth individuals, attention to detail is essential, as well as ensuring the best fixtures and fittings are made available to the residents. Of course, this should extend to the development’s furnishings, both inside and out. Outside furniture will become a particularly important consideration over the coming year, especially with COVID-19 and its aftermath set to limit physical interaction. Architects and planners of retirement villages will no doubt look to ways in which residents can safely and comfortably socialise with friends and families outdoors. One of the most popular options for outdoor chairs, tables and benches is Teak. Robust, hard-wearing and attractive, it has timeless appeal and we’ve recently noticed a resurgence in popularity in the UK

When approaching the maintenance of teak, resist the temptation to overthink things. Due to its naturally high oil content, it resists rotting and warping well, even when exposed to climatic extremes. This is why it’s so suited for decking, construction and outdoor furniture. Whilst caring for the material is refreshingly simple, it’s also highly specific.

FADE TO GREY It’s well known that teak acquires an attractive silver patina over time, due to the action of sunlight. It’s a reason many customers choose the material. However, if your furniture is new and you want to retain its original 'honey' colour, then you should use a ‘Colour Guard’ before it changes. Of course, there are proprietary products available from many manufacturers to undertake the treatment yourself, or you can approach a specialist to undertake the work for you. There are various treatments and teak oils available on the market, which will inevitably stain your furniture. So, unless you want your furniture to turn a very dark and unattractive colour over time from multiple applications, you should avoid them.

BE ABRASIVE The best way to remove dirt, moss and lichen is to use mild soapy water and plenty of elbow grease. Alternatively, a gentle sanding starting with an 80 then going down to a 120 grade is another easy and effective method. Rest assured even old teak can be brought back to muster following this technique, asthe silver patina is only on the sur-

face. Resist any temptation to use strong chemicals as this will damage the finish of the wood, impacting its visual appeal.

UNWANTED GUESTS Wasps abound during the summer months, and your expensive teak furniture offers a tantalising material which they will use to build their nests. Prolonged munching removes a fine layer from the surface of the furniture and creates unattractive lines in the timber. However, the good news is several products use natural, non-toxic substances such as vanilla, menthol or verbena essence to keep these critters at bay.

POWER DOWN You’ll find video after video on the internet of members of the public recommending the use of a jet washer to clean teak and other wooden furniture. We cannot stress enough that this is not recommended. While power washing is very tempting to achieve quick results, aggressive spraying could destroy the cellulose fibres and structure of the wood, which could irretrievably damage your furniture. However, should you choose to use a power washer, turn the power down and do not direct the jet into the joints.

STRONG PERFORMER As teak can withstand the harshest elements, covers are not necessary. Ultimately, pure Grade-A teak can stay outside, uncovered, as long as it’s in an airy environment. However, breathable covers are useful for keeping your furniture clean and pristine.

Innovative Tech Helps Whole Care Home Celebrate All Things Scottish PENSIONERS at a local care home are set to celebrate Scotland’s most famous poet virtually with food and song thanks to dedicated care staff and the latest technology. Staff at Cramond Residence have pulled out all the stops to create a virtual Burns Night to ensure residents did not miss out on celebrating the occasion with fellow friends at the home. Lockdown restrictions and the current strain of Covid-19 led to Cramond Residence utilising its self-contained, small-group living units, which were built into the architectural designs, to help with infection control. It means that while the residents at the 74-room care home remain separated by the 9 houses, they’ll be able to celebrate as one through video conferencing set up in each house. Every house has a comfy lounge with a private television for use by the small group of residents in it. James McDiarmid, Lifestyle Coordinator at the 74-room care home in Edinburgh will pre-record an address to the haggis which will be shared and watched via a virtual link, before residents get a chance to raise a dram to the bard and catch up with their friends shielding at other parts of the home.

James said: “We are looking to make the best out of this situation and our home is really lucky to be able to continue facilitating the Burns Night celebration, as every resident has access to a tablet or television. “The virtual Burns Night will offer something different for our residents and it is a wonderful safe way to bring everyone together.

“Staff at the home have had to think outside the box to make sure resident continue to have rich, stimulating group experiences and everyone has worked really hard to adapt the activities to a virtual setting. “The staff are looking forward to the celebration just as much as the residents, I’m sure it will be a good laugh – especially since I’m kicking off the night with the address.” Residents will celebrate the day with a poetry group discussion and a presentation of the history of Burns Night. Every year Scots across the world celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns, with Haggis, Irn Bru and Whisky normally consumed. Cramond Residence’s catering team will serve the classic Burns Night menu with residents tucking into a starter of cock-a-leekie soup, followed by a main of haggis, neeps and tatties and for dessert it is cranachan or even a “wee dram”. James added: “Events like these give the residents the chance to do something outside of their normal routine and everyone usually enjoys celebrating the patriotic event, albeit this year might be a bit different. “We can’t wait to welcome family and friends back into the home to enjoy these events with our residents when it is safe to do so”.

The Resident Florists of Mornington Hall Care Home Stop and smell the roses – an infamous quote everyone has been using a HC-One’s London care home, Mornington Hall, this week as they celebrated Flower Day 2021. Gathering all their flower arranging skills, Residents gossiped and sipped beverages whilst demonstrating the art of flower arrangements. From lengths, colours, textures and all things floristry, Residents produced some very impressive vases of flowers. Wellbeing Coordinators, Lindy and Indu, as well as Joan L, Joan H, Maureen, Rosemarie and Iqbalmossa, who all live at Mornington Hall, thoroughly enjoyed the day arranging. Rosemarie remarked, “A little taste of summer,” whilst smelling the flowers.

One Resident acknowledged the current pandemic, stating, “Let’s put them at reception so our visitors can see them,” so that’s exactly where they were displayed. In particular, it is the sensory aspect of activities like this that make them so successful at the home, seeing, smelling touching the flowers whilst making the floral arrangements. “Thorny little devil,” Maureen had joked as she inspected the roses. Manager Pervine King said, “I love flowers and these really do put a smile on everyone’s face when arriving at reception. Beautiful. On the same day we celebrated popcorn day, indulging in flavoured popcorn whilst completing the flower arrangements.”



Cleanliness and Hygiene: Continuing Care place for staff and regular visitors, unless it is used correctly and uniformly, there’s still potential for viruses and bacteria to make their way into the building. Positioning dispensers, ideally hands free, immediately at the home’s entrance, exits and key doorways is the best way to remind all visitors to sanitise their hands. And don’t be afraid to insist gels are used before allowing entry, or check later that hands have been definitely sanitised – it’s always better to be reassured. Posting clear signage throughout the care home that reminds visitors and staff to clean their hands regularly and properly also helps, as well as emphasises that they are in a vulnerable environment and extra vigilence is required.


With a new, more contagious strain of COVID spreading across the UK, cleanliness and hygiene has never been more critical. Here, Anica Detic, Head of R&D at Zidac Laboratories discusses how care facilities must go above and beyond on their hygiene policies to keep staff and residents protected. With the UK placed under another lockdown as cases rise dramatically due to the emergence of a new, more contagious variant of COVID, care homes are under increased pressure to uphold even stricter hygiene standards to keep staff and residents safe. The new restrictions have brought with them a ban on close contact visits, as well as an optimistic pledge from Government to vaccinate all elderly care home residents by the end of January. Yet the new COVID variant is still driving a surge in cases, with the latest figures from Public Health England showing that in the first week of January, there were 503 reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in English care homes, up from 304 the week before. It is clear that staff and visitors alike must continue to go above and beyond in their diligent cleaning and hygiene measures, to ensure residents are protected in time for the vaccine. And, even if vaccinations have taken place it is still not the time to relax standards or procedures. By staying aware of the below, care home managers can be reassured they are doing all they can to protect residents.

As well as ensuring sanitiser is available, care home managers should check that they are providing hand gels that are powerful enough to kill viruses. There is now a huge range of hand sanitisers on the market but not all formulations are fully effective. The most important factor to consider when buying hand sanitiser is alcohol content, which kills germs by protein denaturation and dissolving the lipid membrane. For sanitiser to be fully anti-microbial (or effective on germs) it must contain at least 70 per cent alcohol, yet many off-the-shelf sanitisers that are currently being produced do not contain this. Care home managers would be advised to use products which contain more than 70 per cent alcohol, as well as state they have been tested to kill at least 99.9 per cent of germs – or 99.99 per cent for the most powerful sanitisers. Where possible, managers should also look for labelling proof thataproduct has been tested to a minimum of European Standards EN

1276 and EN 1500. Products which advise accreditations of EN 14476 and EN 13727 also certifies them as suitable for use in medical and contaminated areas and guarantee the highest standard of protection.

REGULARLY CLEAN FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES The increased contagiousness of the new variant means that areas that are hot spots for bacteria must be given even more attention when cleaning – relying on sanitiser is not enough. Surfaces that are often touched by multiple people, such as door handles, door bells and desks with sign in books or screens, will need to be cleaned far more regularly than before. This should be with high quality multipurpose disinfectants to help minimise the chance of cross contamination, as viruses can stay on surfaces for 1-2 days. Again, it’s vital to look for medical-grade products which provide the most reassurance that potential viruses lurking on surfaces are killed. And while it is recommended to place sanitiser bottles and pumps near high risk areas to reduce hand-to-surface contamination, they can also be a hotbed for germs. Sanitiser stations are often missed during regular cleaning regimes, however it’s vitally important they are regularly disinfected all over to kill any residual bacteria or viruses which may then transfer back to hands.

MAINTAINING HIGH-STANDARDS With a vaccine being offered around the UK, it seems that the ending may be in sight. However, the new variant has meant that there is no time for complacency. With a final concerted effort from all towards the vigilant cleaning of surfaces and hands, ideally with medical-grade products, care home managers can help contain the spread of the virus in time for the widespread introduction of the vaccine.

FIRST DEFENCE Hand sanitiser remains one of the best defences against COVID – and indeed other germs. While its use in care homes has become common

In 2020, TC Facilities Management (TCFM) completed over 500 nationwide Covid-19 decontamination and electrostatic sprays, in 4-hour response times. As we enter Lockdown 3.0, TCFM is continuing to keep their customers’ sites safe across the UK with their Covid-19 decontamination solution. The electrostatic spraying technology that TCFM offers provides 360° coverage to the premises, in contrast to traditional fogging methods which only protect surfaces. Environmentally f riendly, human and food-safe chemicals kill Coronavirus on con-tact, offering up to 4 weeks’ protection f rom pathogens. This solution provides TCFM’s customers with: A safe working environment;

Credibility with their clients;

Employees who feel valued;

Peace of mind.

Working tto Working o Minimise Disruption A Across cross a National Portfolio P ortf tfolio olio TCFM is proactively working with a diverse portfolio of national customers to keep their sites safe including: Tesco, Yodel, Makro, RS range of industries including distribution, retail, telecommunications and finance. TCFM’s national coverage is key to responding promptly to calls for the Covid-19 decontamination solution, which mitigates disruption to BAU at even their most remote sites.

Ho How w TCFM TCFM Can Can Suppor Supportt You You Thr Through ough The Th e Developing Developing C Covid-19 ovid-19 Cr Crisis isis TCFM is committed to supporting customers across the country to safeguard sites against Coronavirus as the situation continues to develop. To ensure they can deliver a solution tailored to the requirements of your premises, TCFM offers a f ree site visit and quote for their Covid-19 decontamination solu-tion and a certificate on completion. As many of your colleagues will be site-based, this will give them the peace of mind that you are committed to safeguarding their health and safety. This identifies TCFM as a trusted partner in the fight against Coronavirus. Haris Niksic, TCFM’s Head of Specialist Services, comments: “Our specialist service colleagues wor work extremely hard to prevent disruption to your your business while safeguar saf eguarding a saf safe ew wor orking environment for for your colleagues and customers.”

To book your free site assessment & Covid-19 quote please visit: or contact Nicola Heywood directly on: 07920 539 265


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

Andy Middleton of LiquidNano said: "We have created an antimicrobial face mask that is environmentally friendly and ergonomically designed to be worn comfortably for long periods. The mask can be washed up to 20 times, which is a major positive for anybody who is concerned about the environmental impact of disposable masks." The initial study of the DiOX 4 facemask was overseen by Dr. Graham Christie, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. Dr Christie commented: "Our study showed that the coating on this facemask has strong anti-viral properties, which are likely to be effective against all types of coronavirus. We initially tested it on a pathogen called MHV-A59, which is genetically and structurally very similar to the causative agent of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). We found that the mask killed almost 95% of the test virus within one hour." "We followed the industry standard testing for viruses on material (ISO18184:19) but made some critical adaptations to give it a more ‘realworld’ relevance. This included conducting splash tests to mimic sneezing to ensure the tests were as rigorous as possible. Therefore, there is evidence to suggest that this mask could be beneficial in helping to prevent human to human transmission of Covid-19, and we are now scheduled to conduct further tests using the SARS-Cov-2 pathogen." A number of commercial companies, including those within the hospitality and retail sectors, are currently trialling the mask with a view to rolling-out its use for employees. The study showed that 95% of viral pathogens introduced to the fabric surface were killed within one hour and almost 100% after four hours. The study concluded: "Box fresh DiOX coated fabric is associated with strong viricidal activity with respect to the control material, with a near 95% (1.25 log) reduction in viral titre after a 1 hour contact period. The murine

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. See the advert on page 11 for details.

Coronavirus inoculum is undetectable in eluates after a 4 hour contact period, representing an 8 log reduction in titre (although there is no formal definition or standard, we would consider a 5 log reduction to be indicative of significant viricidal activity)." The study found that the mask maintained its antiviral properties after repeated washing, albeit at a reduced rate when compared to a box-fresh mask. For further information, please visit

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

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



SanOZone Deep Cleans Indoor Spaces of All Sizes for Covid Safety Ozone sanitising is the most effective way to deep clean residential environments. It is easier, quicker and more cost-effective than manual cleaning or fogging.

The main benefits of SanOZone are:

Once in position, an easy to use key-pad enables the operator to set the optimal ozone concentration for the size of the room. The system then automatically converts the ambient air into ozone that fills the room, sanitising floors, walls, ceilings, surfaces and equipment.

Quicker and more effective than fogging

Highly efficient in the fight against Covid viruses

Effective against the majority of microorganisms tested

Requires only low volumes of ozone to kill bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses

A standalone system that eliminates the need for chemical substances

More cost-effective than traditional cleaning operations or materials SanOZone units are fully mobile, easy to programme for hourly or daily cleaning

The complete sanitisation of an average sized room will take approximately two hours. This includes the production of ozone, maintaining the required concentration for total cleaning and then returning the room to its usual habitation state.

ongoing costs.

“SanOZone offers many benefits over manual cleaning and is three times quicker and more efficient than alternatives like fogging.”

visit the website at

and have acoustic and visual warning indicators for safe operation. As it creates its own ozone, no chemicals or additional cleaning products are required. There are no

For more information, contact Barbel on 01629 705110, email or

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

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



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

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 under-

taken 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

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.

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. 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 sys-

tem, 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 Edge Protect Giving Care Homes the Tools to Manage Infection Control In-House Edge Protect have been providing care groups throughout the pandemic with their own Fogging equipment and revolutionary 3-1 TriGuard solution to enable homes to effectively manage hygiene and infection control inhouse. Owning their own fogging equipment allows care homes to maintain the safety and wellbeing of both residents and staff whilst also having best laid plans in place when opening back up for outside visitors. The process can be managed in-house, with a quick and simple process treating all visitation areas both inside and outside the home along with other communal areas and bedrooms. Owning your own fogging equipment has been advised by councils as an essential

purchase, and one of which can be claimed back through the infection control funds. It ensures your home has a robust Covid prevention process in place whilst also having all the tools necessary for immediate treatment in the event of any outbreaks.

BENEFITS OF TRIGUARD AND FOGGING TO CARE HOMES • A quick and easy to use in house Covid19 decontamination solution • Significantly reduce likelihood of outbreaks and spreads with one simple weekly treatment • Save 000’s of pounds on specialist cleaners • Fogging cost at £0.30p per room, based on an average care home room size of 20m2 • Non time consuming – Fogging takes 30 second per room. Up to 20 x cheaper than employing external specialists (based on a 40 room care home) • TriGuard forms an antimicrobial coating on surfaces, which continues to protect against biocides residually when dry • A comprehensive sanitising method, protecting employees, residents and families for complete peace of mind • TriGuard does not use aggressive chemicals, alcohol or bleach and is non-toxic, and safe on skin. “ We are delighted to have the Edge Protect team in our corner supporting providers through this pandemic” Nadra Ahmed OBE Executive Chairman – National Care Association Visit or call 01179 214 1109 for more information and an obligation free quote.

A More Hygienic Lighting Solution Designed and manufactured by COCO Lighting after many months of development, Bio-Luminaire™ is a new range of surface, recessed and pendant LED luminaires. The unique benefit is that they offer a more hygienic alternative to traditional and existing lighting options. With light fixtures often being overlooked due to inaccessible high ceilings and walls they can, however, still harbour hidden and harmful bacteria. The spread of bacteria is naturally a major concern in every environment, especially care homes where hygiene is of paramount importance. With the surface of the entire luminaire armed with BioCote® technology, Bio-Luminaire will continue to protect 24/7 against bacterial growth, as well as provide a reliable and maintenance-free light source. The proven and safe BioCote® technology is not a coating but impregnated into the diffuser sheet and paint of the luminaire at the time of manufacture so will not wear away over time. Independently tested in a UK laboratory, Bio-Luminaire™ has been proven to kill over 99% of bacteria within 2 hours upon the surface on the luminaire and effective against MRSA, E.Coli and Influenza as well as some common viruses, making it an ideal addition or replacement to your existing lighting. Not only can Bio-Luminaire™ help reduce your energy

consumption but also reduce any ongoing maintenance costs thanks to its high-quality construction and LED light source. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the standard ceiling luminaire comes in both recessed and surfacemounted versions. The Bio-R version developed for quick and easy installation into popular 600x600mm ceiling grid systems and the surface-mounted option (Bio-S) for installation on standard ceilings. The recent addition to the range is the wall-mounted version (Bio-W) offers a rugged yet modern design ideal for illuminating walkways, corridors, and stairwells. Finished with a tough powder coated white finish as standard with your choice of coloured trim options to match your environment if required. To ensure compatibility across all technological platforms the Bioluminaire™ range is designed to work with Fixed Output/DALI/1-10V dimmable drivers or having an integral standard, Self-Test and DALI addressable emergency functionality. We can also incorporate a wide variety of sensors that can communicate via Bluetooth technology. For more information on the Bio-Luminaire™ range please visit or email or call us on 01376 331 515.


CATERING FOR CARE Dysphagia Patients’ Emotional Health - How Can We Reduce The Stress Right Now? By Sumathi Sinnappan, dysphagia specialist and speech and language therapist. With three quarters of care home residents reported to suffer from dysphagia, these are worrying times. Not only are patients having to come to terms with their swallowing difficulties, they’re also hungry for information and in many cases, in need of urgent treatment. Yet compared to other conditions, readily accessible details, beyond a cursory internet search, remain relatively sparse. Left untreated, dysphagia can lead to possible malnutrition and that can also mean an increased chance of clinical depression. As a pandemic takes hold, some dysphagia patients may confuse their symptoms with a much more serious condition, leading to even more stress. People are understandably anxious faced with an overworked NHS that can’t see them or adds them to a monumental waiting list. Or, due to their age, they may feel they don’t want to make a fuss or a be burden. That’s on top of the demands of living with a condition that’s perceived as a decline in dignity, and for some, still a bit of a taboo. In my work with dysphagia patients, under normal circumstances, sessions are repeated between three and five times a week until swallowing patterns have improved and restored to a near normal or normal level. Sufferers see improvements in six to 20 daily sessions, sometimes, thanks to specialist VitalStim technology, in as little as three days. As a specialist in dysphagia since 2005, I’ve seen the massive difference the right help can bring, changing lives for the better, finding new joy for people who feared they may never swallow properly again. I’ve worked diligently with this advancing technology to improve things greatly. I’ve watched with pride as patients go on to enjoy a hearty meal without a feeding tube.

I’m not the only one. Without the current pressures and national lockdown to contend with, there’s good medical provision in place. But as an independent consultant specialising in dysphagia and acquired neurological conditions, I fear for the effect of the pandemic and lockdown on patients’ emotional health. Would you want to spend this time concerned by a declining ability to communicate? Was there ever a worse era for this to happen? My heart goes out to patients who’ve been unable to access the help they undoubtedly need. ‘Nobody is listening to me, my family don’t want to know,’ one patient confided. Who could blame them? Bafflingly, for the general public at least, the term dysphagia and its symptoms are not as widely known as they could be. This also adds to uncertainty and fear from a newly-identified sufferer or for all of those in the limbo of waiting a diagnosis and appropriate rehabilitation therapy, monitoring of patients, or intervention. The fact that swallowing difficulties have also been identified as potential signs of Covid-19 is even more frightening for people of an advancing age or with other underlying health conditions. Being confined to lockdown and not being able to see loved-ones is bad enough, or being hit by bereavement.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Awareness and peace of mind:

Patients need to feel listened to and access reliable information about the severity of their dysphagia. I’d advise limiting online research and self-diagnosing or ‘doom scrolling’ Stick to trusted sites such as the NHS or find support groups online. Identifying those most at risk: Older adults are undoubtedly more at risk due to an ageing body. Certain diseases of old age can cause dysphagia. Up to half of stroke patients are reported to develop some degree of dysphagia. A fifth of vascular dementia patients experience dysphagia. This suggests that around 37,000 people suffer dysphagia due to vascular and mixed dementia in the UK. Patients with degenerative central nervous system disease often develop some degree of dysphagia. Dysphagia also commonly occurs following radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, traumatic head or spinal cord injury, tracheotomy, burns and meningitis. It is also common in people with congenital or degenerative neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and Chronic

Can Food Boost The Immune System? Since Covid-19 came into our lives, focus on the immune system and suggestions regarding immuneboosting food has been rife. Tess Warnes, BSc RD, Registered Dietitian at independent food procurement experts allmanhall, provides advice… Important nutrients for effective immune function are: • Copper – bread, fortified breakfast cereals, meat, fish, beans, pulses, seeds, and nuts • Folate - bread, fortified breakfast cereals, citrus fruits, beans pulses • Iron - fortified breakfast cereals, wholegrains, meat, pulses, green leafy veg, nuts, eggs, dried fruit • Selenium - bread, nuts, seeds, seafood

Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Knowing the signs

The NHS says: Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing some foods or liquids, while others can't swallow at all. Other signs of dysphagia include: • Coughing or choking when eating or drinking • Bringing food back up, maybe through the nose • Sensation that food is stuck in throat or chest • Continuous drooling • Inability to chew • 'Gurgly' wet sounding voice when eating or drinking • Weight loss • Repeated chest infections • Breathing difficulties These can also be signs of aspiration pneumonia which occurs when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit are breathed into the lungs or airways, instead of being swallowed into the oesophagus and stomach.

Urgent medical attention is needed.

This can also lead to malnutrition which has additional symptoms of: • Reduced appetite • Lack of interest in food and drink • Feeling tired all the time • Feeling weak • Getting ill more often, and taking longer to recover • Depression or low mood • Sensitivity to cold temperatures • Poor concentration • Wounds take longer to heal The following are recommended: • Changing consistency of food and liquids to make them safer to swallow – there are seven levels of how solid foods and liquid should be, formulated by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI). • Other forms of feeding – such as tube feeding through the nose or stomach • Surgery to widen the oesophagus, by stretching it or inserting a plastic or metal tube (stent)

Nutritional requirements and adjusting texture

It can be difficult to meet your body’s need for good nutrition when you have swallowing difficulties. It may take longer for you to finish a meal and sometimes soft • Zinc - fortified breakfast cereals, meat, fish, wholegrains, beans, nuts • Vitamin A – milk, eggs, orange coloured fruit and veg • Vitamin B6 – meat, fish, milk, cheese, seeds, eggs, wholegrains • Vitamin B12, - eggs, milk, cheese, meat. Fish marmite, fortified breakfast cereals • Vitamin C – fruit and vegetables, potatoes • Vitamin D - fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, oily fish No one food is recommended over another – balance is key. The immuno-protection of many of these nutrients is based on their antioxidant capacity which is lost if consumed in excess. Beneficial bacteria (probiotic bacteria) ensure good health and prevent diseases. To support good gut health, ensure residents eat a wide range of foods, high fibre foods and live foods. In case of specific challenges in meeting the dietary

meals. Food becomes less appealing with no appetite. If you have been sick, it’s particularly important to make sure that you eat and drink enough every day. This is important to help prevent unnecessary weight loss and to help regain any weight you may have lost already. Hydration is another important factor.

SOME GOOD ADVICE: • Try adding extra calories and protein to meals to make them as nourishing as possible. A nutritionist can give the right advice based on the patient’s condition. • You may be recommended to take oral nutritional supplements. These are high in calories, protein and other important nutrients and can help you meet your nutritional requirements.

Treatment may include: • • • • •

Oral exercises to improve swallow muscles. Medicine Changing texture and consistency of food Dilation Surgery.

I help patients by: • Teaching exercises to improve swallowing ability • Training how to eat and drink in a safer and more comfortable way. • Showing how to make foods and liquids easier to swallow. • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the oral and pharyngeal muscles to re-educate and strengthen the swallow muscles.

TIPS FOR PATIENT MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING: Posture: Sitting upright when eating or drinking is key. If that’s not possible, adjusting their back or helping them hold their head up when eating and drinking is important. Eating: To avoid the exhaustion a normal length mealtime may bring; I’d advise eating little and often throughout the day. We may not be able to wipe out all the frightening emotions sparked by dysphagia right now, but a knowledgeable and empathetic approach will help soothe understandable fears. A listening ear and a supportive caring presence go a long way. Let’s be there for each other, even if we have to be physically distant. Read more about the IDDS here: requirements, supplements can be used to add nutrients to a resident’s diet. Unfortunately, the complexity of the immune system means that it cannot be modified acutely by a specific nutritional intervention. Rather, ensuring residents adhere to a healthy diet is important and may even delay the process of immunosenescence (the natural gradual deterioration of the immune system as people age). There is no convincing evidence that any food or dietary pattern can ‘boost’ the immune system and prevent or treat Covid-19. Find out more at

British Lion Eggs Crack On With Extensive 2021 Marketing Campaign British Lion eggs has launched a £1.3m marketing campaign for 2021 to drive awareness of the Lion mark and capitalise on unprecedented consumer demand for eggs in retail. With retail sales growing by 18.4% in the last year (52 w/e 27 Dec 2020), the equivalent of around 1.2billion extra eggs, this year’s campaign will focus on keeping eggs top of mind and maintaining the sales boost delivered by lockdown and consumer desire for quick, healthy meals. In addition to inspiring recipe content, targeting millennials in particular, the campaign will also seek to build pride in the Lion against the backdrop of Brexit and the expected rise in demand for British produce. Olympic diver, foodie and parent, Tom Daley, will continue his role as the figurehead for British Lion eggs as he builds towards representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games this year. Daley, an advocate for healthy living, will front a digital ad campaign in partnership with health and food media outlets including BBC Good Food and Men’s Health, as well as creating and sharing Lion egg recipes with his 7 million+ social media followers. British Lion eggs is also tapping into the huge popularity of podcasts, sponsoring various food and health focused series, which will generate an estimate of 400k weekly impressions and reach an audience of which 70% are aged 18-34. A partnership with inspirational digital food platform Tastemade will help to encourage consumers to experiment with new ways to enjoy this versatile food. Respected nutritionists and dietitians will continue to work with British Lion eggs to leverage their food safety and nutritional benefits, targeting health professionals and consumers, across health professional and consumer media. To communicate and educate new audiences about the FSA advice that only British Lion eggs should be consumed runny by vulnerable groups, a new partnership is being launched with Charlotte Stirling-Reed, a Registered Nutritionist and high-profile influencer with 204k followers on Instagram, as well as an advertising campaign with

top parenting sites, including The long-standing partnership with Annabel Karmel, the best-selling author on baby food and nutrition, will also continue. Seasonal, calendar and health opportunities, including British Egg Week, will be maximised year-round across digital, social and print media. The campaign will also have a strong foodservice focus, with food safety professional Dr Lisa Ackerley continuing to work with British Lion eggs to highlight their benefits to EHOs and hospitality through social content, training and liaison with key industry influencers. This messaging will be shared through partnerships with respected industry bodies including The Royal Society of Public Health and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Social and digital media partnerships targeting caterers with food safety messaging will follow. Andrew Joret, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, says: “While retail sales have been on the up for more than a decade, last year we witnessed an incredible increase in egg sales, due to lockdown. Healthy, quick and easy to cook, as well as versatile, consumers are using eggs as a meal solution throughout the day, which gives us a fantastic opportunity to try to maintain those consumption levels throughout this year and beyond. “Conversely, there have been huge challenges for hospitality as a result of lockdown but we are optimistic the sector will start to recover when lockdown eases and our marketing programme will highlight the benefits of British Lion eggs and encourage increased usage. “We enter a post-Brexit world expecting increased demand for British produce and with huge confidence that we can continue to inspire customers and end consumers with motivating messages around the nutrition, versatility and affordability of eggs produced in the UK and educating all stakeholders about the highest safety and quality standards that British Lion eggs offer.” British Lion eggs will continue to inspire retail, foodservice and care home channels with new research, motivating experts, ambassadors, education, training and advertising across print, digital and social media as well as at exhibitions and events in the latter part of 2021. For more information visit


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Professional Provides Critical Laundry Appliances to the Care Industry

Effective laundry and dishwashing processes have always been vital to the efficient running of any care environment. This has never been more critical than in this COVID era, where infection control is absolutely paramount. Throughout the pandemic, Forbes Professional has provided an uninterrupted provision of essential services to the healthcare sector. We have been approached by hospitals and care homes from across the UK requir-

ing compliant solutions with a rapid turn around and a swift, reliable service support. We have implemented the requisite enhanced hygiene measures to ensure that we are COVID-secure, and continue to deliver the same/next day response that our clients depend upon. Our National Account Manager, John Dobbs, says ‘Throughout the pandemic, demand has been extremely high from hospitals and both national and local care home operators. Miele’s hygiene dishwashers and washing machines provide a fully compliant solution to the healthcare sector and our first-class engineer response has been utterly invaluable.’ Never before has the importance of finding a trusted service partner been so underpinned. The care sector need to know that they can deliver continuous and hygienic decontamination and laundering, and that relies on having fully-functioning commercial grade machines at all times. Conact Forbes Professional 0345 070 2335

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

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

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

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Managing Medicines In Care Homes. Effective Remote Consultations. By Steve Turner, nurse prescriber and Managing Director of Care Right Now CIC It is now common for clinicians to carry out consultations with patients over the ‘phone or online. Here are some simple suggestions to help staff in care homes prepare for an effective consultation. Our patient led clinical education work is showing that this can greatly improve the effectiveness and outcomes, even to the extent that an online or ‘phone consultation may be preferable in cases where a hands-on clinical examination is not required. Whether you are assisting the resident to have the consultation or carrying it out on their behalf I recommend that you write some notes beforehand. Here is a brief guide to producing a simple checklist that will help you prepare for the consultation and lead to an agreed plan for what to do next. In preparation, you may need to take some observations, e.g., temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and other measurements, including the resident’s feelings, behaviour changes, mood, cognition, mobility, and areas such as sleep & appetite. If the problem is something visible (like a rash for example) send pictures & monitor changes over time. Use early warning scoring systems where appropriate. Think particularly about what the resident would like to have happen. This is a question you may well be asked.

If you are speaking to clinician who does not have the person’s records to hand, be sure to have a list of their previous illnesses, long term conditions and treatments, plus a list of all clinicians and therapists they are currently seeing. The person’s preferences and beliefs about treatments, including on resuscitation & end of life care (often called advanced decisions or advance care plans), and whether anyone has Power of Attorney is a ‘Deputy’ in relation to their health and care need to be included. You also need details of the person’s (current and past) medicines. This must include details of any allergies, sensitivities of previous adverse reactions. This may be critical. This list should include prescribed medicines; over the counter medicines; as required (prn) medicines, including the effect these have; herbal medicines; complementary medicines; vitamins and supplements and any other therapies they are receiving. In addition, diet, smoking and alcohol intake can affect medicines. You also need to have information on the person’s beliefs and ideas about medicines, and anything they do not want to take. At the end of the consultation, you should confirm that all concerns have been listened to and have an agreed action plan , to be documented in the resident’s notes. This plan may be ‘watch and wait’ or may involve a change. You should also be clear on what to look for if the situation deteriorates, including who to call, and have access to related support and information for the resident. I believe taking time to prepare for consultations and insistence on having a clear agreed plan as the product of the consultation will help improve outcomes & may even save someone’s life. There is emerging evidence that good remote consultations, where applicable, save time

and can sometimes be preferable to face to face consultations when all factors are considered. About the author: Steve Turner is a nurse prescriber, Managing Director of Care Right Now CIC, Head of Medicines and Prescribing for, Information Governance Lead for CareMeds Ltd and Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University. You can find more on this, & related topics, at Steve’s blog site: Contact 07931 919 330.

ATLAS eMAR - The Only Proven eMar for Care Homes in the UK

ATLAS eMAR is the only independently evaluated medication administration system that has been shown to eradicate 21 out of 23 medication error types, save 65 staff hours per month on medication, representing over £1500 savings per month and improve accountability by reducing missing entries by 85%. There are four unique features of ATLAS eMAR: 1. Use of barcode validation to ensure all the rights of medicine administration are checked. This feature eradicates most common medication errors. 2. Automatic two-way link between the pharmacy and care home. This ensures that the pharmacy is aware of therapy changes made at the home and can sort out discrepancies with prescriptions before they become errors. The pharmacy can also see all prescription requests and the actual stock counts of each medicine at the care home. This leads to efficiencies in ordering, booking in and returning of medicines.

3. The data from ATLAS eMAR on medication administrations can now be viewed on most e-care planning platforms through our open API. This means that all aspects of resident care including medications can now be viewed in one place. 4. ATLAS eMAR can now be used on any suitable android device. This means that if you already have an android device for e-care plans, then you can run ATLAS eMAR on it, making it a very cost effective option. ATLAS eMAR has a national network of enabled pharmacies and can work with any pharmacy, as long as they agree to support the care home with the technology. The implementation is detailed and fully supported. Training is via on-line elearning and webinars. Over 95% of care homes who implemented ATLAS eMAR indicated that they would never go back to their traditional medication system. Visit or see the advert on page 34 for further details.

everyLIFE’s PASS and NHS Digital’s GP Connect join up Health & Social Care Information sharing and interoperability between Health & Social Care took a significant step forward today with an industry first integration between GPs and social care providers through the implementation of GP Connect Access Record: HTML with everyLIFE’s PASS digital care management system. Taffy Gatawa, everyLIFE’s Clinical Safety Officer said, “Ensuring that the right information is in the right hands at the right time to deliver safe care and the best possible care outcomes has been at the core of what everyLIFE was set up in 2014 to achieve. With real time sharing from today of clinically relevant data such as Problems and Issues, Allergies and Adverse Reactions, Acute and Repeat Medication between GPs and authorised social care clinicians, the provision of person-centred care takes a milestone leap forward. Michelle McDermott, Programme Manager in GP Connect at NHS Digital, said “This is a really important step in more joined up care and we’re thrilled

to be working with the social care suppliers to allow access to the GP Patient record for clinicians working with social care settings. everyLIFE’s enthusiasm for this project has been great to see and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the name of better patient care” Juliette Millard, Head of Clinical Governance, Newcross Healthcare Solutions commented, “We are really excited about GP Connect within PASS, it will have a positive impact for our clinicians and how we manage medicines for our service users living in the community. It will also enable us to access changing information about the health and wellbeing of the people we support in a timely way, ensuring that we work in true partnership with our medical and healthcare colleagues to achieve the best outcomes possible.” For further information visit everyLIFE Technologies Limited t. 0330 094 0122 w.



Why Technology Enabled Compliance Systems Are The Future Home health care provider Cera Care recently chose QCS to assist it with compliance. In doing so, a member of the Cera Care team became the 100,000th user to access the QCS system. In this case study, Cera Care’s Regional Director, Theresa Cull, reveals how the QCS platform is helping Cera Care to manage its compliance requirements. What is the greatest barrier to delivering outstanding domiciliary care? Ask any experienced Registered Manager and they're likely to list recruitment and retention as the top challenge. But the Pandemic has also demonstrated the value of embedding a culture of technology within care services – something which is still relatively rare in the care sector. It is, however, what sets Cera Care, a London-based technologyenabled domiciliary care company, apart from other providers. Launched in 2016, Cera, which operates a nationwide home care service, has been using technology to help its frontline carers plan and deliver an outstanding package of person-centred care.

TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN COMPLIANCE But Cera Care understands that innovation comes in many different forms. Take compliance, for example. Cera Care is using technology to revolutionise compliance by providing care workers with the latest guidance in the form of curated, easy-to-read content - as and when it is required. Cera Care approached QCS, which operates the UK’s leading content platform for the healthcare sector, to help it with its compliance needs. Cera Care had begun to acquire a number of traditional care businesses across the UK. In February, it purchased Mears Care, which has operations in England, Wales and Scotland. With each nation governed by a separate regulatory body, it began tailoring compliance for each country. Quality Compliance Systems, has assisted Cera Care in helping it to deliver the right content, to the right worker, at the right time regardless of which country they are operating from.

CERA CARE: TAKING COMPLIANCE TO A NEW LEVEL Theresa Cull, the Scottish Regional Director of Cera Care believes that Cera Care’s approach to compliance, and its partnership with QCS is a potential game-changer for her staff and the people they care for.

She explains, “The system will save us time, as we’ll no longer have to trawl the Care Inspectorate’s or the Scottish government’s websites for the latest changes in protocol. At the peak of Pandemic, when guidance was changing several times each daily, simply updating policies and procedures was incredibly time consuming. Now, however, the new system will give us the peace of mind that the policies we’re accessing are not only up-to-date, but have been individually tailored to the needs of service users in the country that we’re operating in. That’s incredibly important – especially for new starters who might confuse the Mental Capacity Act (England) with the Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland).”

INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY Mrs Cull, who has worked in the care sector for over 30 years, also believes that the culture of innovation that Cera Care has instilled within its staff, will also increase accessibility and engagement. She says that the content, which is divided into a number of different formats, such as policies, guides, checklists and audit tools, is not only “very easy to understand, but the QCS platform that supports it is highly scalable”. “Care workers can access QCS on their desktops, smartphones and tablets. For anybody in home care, this is essential as if they’re caring for a client, and want to check on a policy, instead of ringing the office, they can check the policy by typing the QCS platform URL into their device.”

PROMOTING EVEN GREATER ENGAGEMENT AND UNDERSTANDING In terms of promoting even closer engagement, Mrs Cull says that the bespoke reading lists that Cera Care and QCS partnership will allow her to create for staff could prove a great way of “checking understanding and also reinforcing any knowledge gaps”. She explains, “We find that there are one or two recurring policy areas – such as the ‘No Access Policy’ and medication protocol - that staff find particularly challenging. When we begin using the new system, however, it will not only tell me that my staff have read a particular policy, but it will also let me know how long they've spent reading it. If, for example, a care worker has only spent a few seconds reading the update, it will immediately flag on my dashboard.”

CERA CARE: CHAMPIONING BETTER COMPLIANCE UNDERSTANDING While carers from the UK account for the vast majority of domiciliary care staff, there are a minority of workers – around 20 percent – who have come from overseas. Cera Care recognises that care workers, who receive policies and procedures in their native tongue, can understand and implement compliance much more easily. Working with QCS, it has ensured that its staff policies and procedures have been translated into over 100 different languages. Mrs Cull adds, “While it’s important to say that most domiciliary care

policies are from the UK, we do employ care workers from abroad. No matter how fluent a person is in English, I think it’s both reassuring and comforting that that they can access new guidance in their first language. From an efficiency perspective, it’s also likely to save us time because previously we hired translators to translate complex guidance into English.”

VIDEO-BASED TRAINING But Cera Care, which invests heavily in staff training and development, also recognises that everybody learns differently. Theresa Cull thinks that taking a multi-faceted approach to professional development will add great value. “We’ve already witnessed the role that video-based training can play. Every care worker at Cera Care can access it. It is particularly useful when it comes to a procedure such as preparing, changing and disposing of a stoma bag, as seeing a stoma for the first time can be quite frightening for inexperienced staff. Having read the policy, and checklist, we find that having access to a video as the final preparatory step is the best ways to mentally prepare staff before they undergo practical training.”

EMBRACING COLLABORATIVE COMPLIANCE Cera Care has always practiced outstanding compliance. It is firmly built into its DNA. But what separates it from other homecare providers is a desire to use technology to explore new ways to continuously improve person-centred compliance. While Cera Care’s compliance and technology teams have - and always will - lead the way in this respect, Theresa Cull says that QCS’s digital platform has added value. She concludes, “We pride ourselves on always being able to supply frontline workers with the right compliance tools which enable them to provide outstanding care. By providing us with templates, care plans, audit and surveying tools, QCS, however, will make that task a little bit easier for us. It will save us time. In the future, it ought to be possible to use the time saved to lay the groundwork for new policies, such as protocols around car sharing, for example. And we know we can always approach QCS for best practice guidance and advice and they’ll come back to us in 24 hours with the information we need.” For further information on Cera Care visit For further information about QCS visit or see the advert on the back cover.

Turn To Tech To Relieve Pressure and Improve Experience By Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Moneypenny ( 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 of hours. Technology has the power to help overcome this mounting pressure and leave carers to focus on what’s really important – looking after

Being accessible for residents’ families is a crucial part of running a care home – it’s what helps to make people connected with their loved one’s care givers. The telephone is the primary means of communication and has been critical during the pandemic with call volumes increasing significantly. It’s not just about maintaining a family connection, there’s an important commercial benefit to being readily available. Covid-19 means there’s an increased demand for care services and the phone is a major channel for new enquiries. If you’re accessible, friendly and professionally over the phone, it gives an indicator as to the values you have as a care home – you can not only put families at ease but also fill vacant beds quickly. Society has adapted to digital communication but there’s no replacement for human interaction. The introduction of alternative methods has simply rendered ‘real life’ conversation even more valuable. A phone call offers assurance and familiarity that you only get from speaking with a human being – particularly during times of need. That’s why being able to answer and handle calls quickly and efficiently is essential – it’s unacceptable to let the phone ring out or leave callers on hold for extended amounts of time. If this happens, messages aren’t relayed or calls missed – it starts to impact reputation and this can be hard to come back from. By outsourcing telephone answering – either on an overflow basis or entirely – care homes can rest assured that they’ll never miss a call – no matter how busy staff get. Callers will always get through to someone friendly and professional, who understands and represents a care

home’s individual brand.

PUT YOUR WEBSITE TO WORK Another way of streamlining customer experience is through the inclusion of live chat on a website. Consumers carry out lots of research online and there’s a growing expectation that they can communicate with your brand this way. The instant nature of live chat is what has made it so popular. Web visitors appreciate the opportunity to ask quick questions, right there and then, whilst browsing online. Others simply prefer not to talk on the phone and favour the messenger-style experience live chat offers. People expect a wide variety of channels through which they can communicate – live chat is still a relatively untapped area for care homes but it can be a valuable part of this solution. It provides an instant and easy way to get in touch and triages enquiries to keep volume away from the phones. Live chat technology generates six times more website engagement and encourages visitors who wouldn’t otherwise take the time to email or call, to engage with you. The solution also stores important details securely, allowing for a more informed and seamless follow-up. The reality is that we’ll be feeling the impact of the pandemic for months to come, so increased pressure on phones and other channels will remain. If standards are slipping, care homes can address these issues easily by looking to outsourced tech. Telephone answering support allows care providers to focus on the clinical aspect of their role and live chat is proven to improve digital presence and keep call volumes down. In difficult times, communicating well with the outside world offers an opportunity to stand out. It goes hand in hand with customer care and gives people confidence in the efficiency and quality of the service you provide.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Evaluation of Remote Reliant Care Solutions Ltd 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".



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.


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. For further information visit or call 03333 444 562.

Mainteno Facilities Maintenance and Management Software Whether it’s managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno simplifies the day-to-day maintenance of almost any organisation. Mainteno also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking. Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving your organisation time and money.

USABILITY MADE AFFORDABLE Mainteno was designed with practicality in mind. The interface is so intuitive that basic operation can be learned in minutes, and you can be a power user in one afternoon. Elegant usability usually means a hefty price tag. However, our pricing structure means that for small organisations, Mainteno can cost as little as two cups

of coffee a month. No set-up fees, no lengthy contracts and a free trial, all mean that the system starts paying for itself straight away. Dr Asif Raja, Bsc MBBS Summercare Managing Director says “Facing significant challenges of ever increasing quality and compliance demands upon time and resources as well considerable economic pressures, Summercare, an award winning provider of residential care and housing related support, sought to upgrade their systems for managing the property and environmental aspects of its service delivery. After an extensive period of investigation and research Mainteno was selected as the platform of choice for the entire organization based on its ease of use, very short-term contract, quick set up and ongoing support.” Visit, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email

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Monitoring Technology Begins In Derbyshire Care Homes

Following pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes, Derbyshire health and care system partners are evaluating the impact of new digital monitoring technology that helps to detect the deterioration of care home residents to support care home staff with timely escalation. Joined Up Care Derbyshire, the county’s Integrated Care System (ICS) which brings together health and social care organisations in Derbyshire, and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN), the region’s innovation arm of the NHS working to test and spread innovative health and care solutions, are working with innovator Spirit Digital to introduce their remote monitoring platform, CliniTouch Vie, as part of a trial for Derbyshire care homes. The platform is designed to identify early signs of deterioration in care home residents, enabling care home staff to escalate and communicate this in an appropriate and timely manner. Catching deterioration of care homes residents early can significantly improve resident outcomes and will create better ways of working for care home staff, making the most of their time and skills. Leicester headquartered Spirit Digital’s remote monitoring platform, CliniTouch Vie, has been augmented with functionality to meet the specific needs of care home residents and staff. Using the platform, carers will take residents’ regular vital signs readings (including respirations, oxygen saturations, blood pressure, heart rate (pulse), temperature and assessment of their consciousness level including any new onset or worsening confusion) and answer personalised questions to identify changes in residents’ everyday wellbeing on a digital device. These readings are provided directly to specialist clinical staff who can then remotely connect with the care home staff to provide health and wellbeing advice for residents, and intervene when more urgent care is needed. As part of the trial, an education and training portal will be provided for all care home staff using the technology. The evaluation will last 6 months and work has started with the early adopter care homes, with others being contacted through December and into the New Year. The results will be used to provide evidence as to whether a large-scale deployment of this digital approach would be beneficial to the health and care

system in Derbyshire, the East Midlands and potentially nationally. Dawn Atkinson, Head of the Derbyshire Digital Workstream, Joined Up Care Derbyshire says: “This project is an exciting opportunity to test and evaluate how a digital solution can help care home teams to feel more supported by health services as they monitor the health and wellbeing of their residents. “We look forward to working with EMAHSN and Spirit Digital to test whether a digital platform can impact on the dual challenges of identifying deteriorating care home residents early, enabling care home staff to escalate residents to the correct and appropriate service, and providing a solution for Primary Care Networks to fulfil the ability to perform remote home rounds in a structured way. We aim to ensure high-quality, consistent care to residents within care homes whilst also ensuring the safety of residents, carers and clinicians.” Simon Applebaum, Managing Director, Spirit Digital, concludes: “We have been working over the last few months to make this latest technology available to help the NHS with its COVID-19 response, and enhanced it to help medical teams quickly identify when a person exhibits health deterioration so they can intervene earlier. We are proud to be in a position to support both the NHS and vulnerable people in Derbyshire through the development of CliniTouch Vie specifically for care home residents and carers. Being able to identify early warning signs of deterioration and intervene accordingly is key to keeping people safe in their environment and prevent avoidable hospital admissions, critical in today’s environment.” For further information please visit, call 0800 881 5423 or email



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.

able, flexible and efficient way to train staff. In 2007 he 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


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 afford-

WristPIT from Pinpoint The WristPIT from Pinpoint,is a bespoke patient call transmitter designed to be worn on the wrist. This wrist-worn personal infrared transmitter (WristPIT) is easily accessible and allows patients to activate a call for even if they are away from their bed or a fixed call-point. Pinpoint’s renowned PIT technology (usually worn by staff for personal safety) has, for the first time, been designed around patient use. The WristPIT can withstand showering and brief submersion in water and also incorporates antimicrobial product protection, reducing the ability for bacteria to grow. According to figures published by the National Reporting and Learning System, around 250,000 incidents where patients required assistance in hospital were reported in 2015/16. In many cases, nursing staff remained unaware that a patient had had a fall for quite some time.

• 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).

Pressing the clearly labelled call button on the WristPIT notifies the personnel on duty that a patient is requesting help and informs staff exactly where the patient is. The call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. Pinpoint Alarm Systems are installed in thousands of medical facilities throughout the UK and USA. The new WristPIT is backward compatible and easily integrated into existing Pinpoint Systems. A green LED indicates the WristPIT is ‘activated’ with good battery level. When the battery requires changing, the LED flashes red until the battery is changed and the device has been retested. In addition to being water-resistant, the WristPIT has been designed to withstand harsh environments and user tampering, meaning suitability for facilities where service users may be at risk of self-harm. For more information: or see the advert on this page.

PINPOINT WRISTPIT The WristPIT is a wrist worn Personal Infrared Transmitter designed exclusively for patient use. The latest call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. It is also backward compatible, allowing seamless integration into existing Pinpoint Systems.

DID YOU KNOW? Biomaster Technology is incorporated into all surface areas of the product during manufacture, inhibiting the growth of contaminating bacteria 24/7 for the lifetime of the product.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Strong Case For Digital Care Planning CARE VISION Switching from one digital system to another is a big decision. But Tim Whalley and the rest of the team at Birtley House Nursing Home knew what they wanted. The award-winning Surrey nursing home, Birtley House, is a family-run operator that’s been about since 1932. You could say that the nursing home tradition is in their DNA. They know what they need and why they need it. Even when it comes to technology. Just like empowering their residents to make their own choices, they were looking for a digital care planning system to empower staff delivering care effectively and safely. New Generation Supplier Unnecessary complexity and old school software were a regular nuisance for staff. Creating more problems than it solved. And if there’s one thing staff don’t need in the care sector it’s to be obstructed by the very thing designed to help them. Birtley House also wanted a solution they could customise to the scale of their home. To support how they deliver care. Tim Whalley, Director & Nominated Individual, elaborates: “We are now generating a

quality of care records that we never had before. It gives our staff the information they need quite literally in the palm of their hands.” Implementation Time: Smooth Sailing Or Windy Seas? Implementation is always a worry. You introduce fundamental changes to working routines for staff and residents. It’s not something that’s done by the flick of a switch. Every home would need to spend a bit of time configuring and setting up their system. For it to be a successful transition one would even need staff to lean in:

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, 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 functional-

“Implementation was easier than expected. Excellent engagement from our staff helped a lot and I think everyone sensed this was a great opportunity to improve things.” Being available for questions and advice during the first period and on the go-live day is of essence. And onwards of course. That’s why some suppliers like Sekoia offer to stay the night. Onsite or online. So, the night shift is also comfortable with the new changes. Julie Eagleton, Care Delivery Coordinator at Birtley House elaborates: “From the start, it was just easy to use, even for me as one of the older members of the team I can find my way around it! Even those staff members who were originally advocating a return to pen and paper are now fully on board.” Luckily, Birtley House is already seeing promising signs with Sekoia. Tim concludes: “I think it is extremely powerful that the care staff can access the detail of a residents care plan directly from their mobile device in realtime.” Call (0)20 7751 4010, email or see the advert on the facing page for further details. ity 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.

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


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Rapid Testing During Lockdown - NEW Panodyne Combined COVID-19 & Influenza Flu Virus Test Kit

With the increased infection rates across the UK and the new lockdown restrictions, early detection of the virus through rapid antigen testing is more crucial than ever in controlling the spread of the virus to save lives. Multibrands International Ltd is now launching a new combined Panodyne COVID-19 & Influenza Flu virus Antigen Test Kit to help test against both viruses and provide clear results with up to 98% accuracy within 15 minutes. As we are in the middle of winter, this is particularly helpful in the vulnerable section of the population susceptible to the influenza flu virus. Multibrands International Ltd already supplies a growing number of care homes and healthcare facilities with its Panodyne COVID SARS-CoV2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit alongside its Panodyne Rapid Antibody test kit, which helps assess the body’s immune response to the virus by detecting the presence of antibodies after the infection has gone. With the Government’s plan to roll-out LTF rapid testing to schools and secondary schools in January, the Panodyne range of rapid Covid-19 tests can help make the numbers.

The company has also registered interest from local councils who feel that essential workers such as bin collectors, cleaners and other service providers who are working throughout the pandemic, need rapid testing to carry on safely. Equally, food stores and supermarkets along with a lot of businesses, large and small are still operating during lockdown such as the Royal mail, banks and construction industry to name a few. As the New business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in his open letter to the construction industry yesterday 12/01/21 in the Construction Enquirer: “I would like to take this opportunity to restate the Government position, which is that firms and tradespeople in the construction sector and its supply chain, including merchants, suppliers and product manufacturers, should continue to operate during this national lockdown.” Hence, rapid test kits such as the Panodyne COVID-19 Antigen test kit or indeed the new combined Covid-19 & Flu virus test kit is a vital screening tool for businesses and schools that have to remain open during and beyond lockdown. There’s no doubt that early detection through rapid testing will help keep staff, students and customers safe until the vaccine is rolled-out to the rest of the population. All Multibrands COVID-19 test kits are CE certified and approved for use by healthcare professionals and trained staff. For further information call 01274 307310 or visit

Adaptawear’s Magnetic Shirts - Helping Independent & Assisted Dressing Adaptawear’s men’s magnetic shirts provide an easy dressing solution for people who struggle with tiny shirt buttons or who need a helping hand when getting dressed. This unique men’s magnetic shirt incorporates specially hidden magnets along the front panel that fasten effortlessly and removes the need to struggle with buttons. Perfect for customers who suffer with limited mobility or dexterity including Arthritis and Parkinson’s. Available in choice of sizes: Small – XX Large in smart light blue check or black check. Please note that the magnetic shirt is unsuitable for Pacemaker users and suffers from Deep Brain Stimulation. Adaptawear provides adaptive clothing that are spe-

cially 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. They also offer a choice of men’s open back shirts, men’s magnetic shirts and men’s open back polo shirts as well as ladies open back blouses and tops.


Do go and visit online at to buy adapted clothing online. Carer readers please quote CR10 for 10% discount off your first order. See the advert on page 3 for details.

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 10 or visit for details.

CareZips Dignity Trousers C & S Seating Postural ™

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 noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 or see the advert on page 5.

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 12.

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.


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION 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 extension 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.”

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


Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.

Benefits include: Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button Pager Floor sensor mat

Wireless door/window exit alerts


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.




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.

Features include:

Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors

See the advert on this page for further details.

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



Wireless Fall Prevention TumbleCare A New Brand of ®

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

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

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

Falls Management Products by Medpage Limited

Medpage has launched a comprehensive range of fall detection/prevention products under the brand TumbleCare. The products are designed to deliver reliable performance at manageable prices. For home carers the products provide a simple, effective solution for preventing falls in the home. For professional care, the products provide a means of serving more people for less. For more than 25 years, Medpage/Easylink has manufactured and distributed bed and chair occupancy monitoring products and have an unrivalled reputation for supplying quality product at affordable

of options to help provide a high level of care.

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

LOOK AND FEEL Make sure the system you choose is as unobtrusive as possible. Often fall prevention equipment is designed to be as hidden as possible. Should the item be particularly obvious make sure you are happy it fits as well as possible into the decor of the room it sits in and think about choosing a floormat that corresponds with the flooring in the room e.g. wood effect vinyl or carpet. Spearhead are proud to distribute the entire Alerta wireless range that has been launched this year. See the advert on this page for details.

prices. The TumbleCare brand will group together the most popular options for the detection and prevention of falls including; bed, chair and floor pressure sensor pads, movement and proximity sensors and a choice of carer alarm receiver options. Investing in a new product brand can be a risky business, but through a pandemic, we are really proud of our achievement. You can view the available products at See the advert on page 2 further details.

How Flexible Is Your Nurse Call System? Fitting a nurse call system can often be disruptive, time consuming and expensive; but not with Aid Call’s wireless system. Aid Call utilise wireless technology because there is no need to install cables to any of the call points and the impact is minimal, which is reassuring at a time of increased pressure on resources and environments. Wireless systems also have lower installation and operating costs over a traditional hard-wired system, as well as being quicker and easier to install. Wireless configuration offers complete flexibility and mobility, which makes our system infinitely changeable and expandable, allowing for the constant ability to deal with ever changing priorities and demands. Our system is safe, reliable and cost-effective. It can be designed to suit individual requirements and needs and adapted to work within your budget. It also has a variety of features which can help to maximise

staff efficiency and improve the overall quality of care offered to your clients and patients.


The Display Panel conveys a mass of important information at a glance. This includes call type, call location, patient name, nurse identity and call response time. Varying colour displays and alarm tones correspond to different call types to help staff to easily identify priority levels. All calls will display on the panel. In the event of multiple calls, automatic system triage will display the calls in order of urgency. On multiple-panel systems the panels can be set up with zones so only calls from specific areas are displayed on the panel located within that area. See the advert on page 15 or visit



A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era The New Year brings good news and light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with the roll out of vaccination programs, despite this the UK has been forced into stricter lockdown regulations. Health and care sectors are acutely aware of their responsibilities and the importance to look after technology that is fundamental to caring for the vulnerable and their carers. Should systems fail, technology suppliers should provide help and assistance remotely with telephone support and using remote diagnostic tools. At Courtney Thorne we find that most issues are resolved over the phone, where this proves difficult and further checks or reconfiguration is necessary this is done by remotely accessing systems and running diagnostics. 95% of the service inquiries we receive are resolved this way reducing the need to physically attend the site. Inquiries that cannot be rectified remotely will require an engineer to visit. To ensure the safety of residents, staff and the engineers themselves, service providers need to adopt stringent policies with rigor-

ous clarification processes concluding with written confirmation that there is no COVID-19 on site or where there is, that those suffering are suitably isolated. In the case of Courtney Thorne our process includes asking authorised care home management to fill out a questionnaire prior to our engineer turning up. We also insist that our staff are regularly checked, including logging daily body temperature. Finally equipping field staff with necessary PPE, making sure it is always used and includes a hand washing regime before, during and after any site visit. Courtney Thorne provides our field-based engineering staff with overalls, gloves, face masks and plenty of hand sanitiser. By diligently observing these protocols, and despite our staff visiting care homes and hospitals on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, not one of them has developed any COVID-19 symptoms at any time. For further information visit or see the advert on this page.



PROFESSIONAL AND TRAINING How Does the New UK Points-Based 2021 is the Year to Take Stock of Training Following COVID-19 Restrictions Immigration System Work? Is There Any Benefit to the Health Care Sector?

By Peter Bewert, Managing Director of Meaningful Care Matters

The UK's new points-based immigration system ('PBS') is now operational from the 1st January 2021. It will apply to non-EEA nationals; EEA and Swiss nationals (who do not qualify under the EU Settlement Scheme). EU and EEA citizens resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 will have the right to settle, if they apply to EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. When the UK was an EU member, people from EU countries had an automatic right to work in the UK but this is no longer the case.


Tier 2 has been rebranded the Skilled Worker route. Employers are required to have a sponsor licence in place in order to sponsor employees through this route. This will include nurses and other healthcare professionals including the senior care worker position. A significantly larger range of jobs will be eligible for sponsorship than is currently the case meaning that an increased number of employers are likely to be involved in the sponsorship process. Business should look to benefit from changes in the UK’s 2021 system with thoughtful planning. Employers who intend to recruit migrants from the EU or elsewhere will require a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. Employers intending to sponsor those from outside of the UK should apply for a sponsor licence now if they don’t already have one in order to avoid any delays.


To qualify for a visa, migrant workers who want to move to the UK will have to qualify for 70 points. If you have a job offer from an approved employer (sponsor licence holder) for a skilled job you will earn 40 points. Demonstrating the ability to speak English will give another 10 points. The applicant can achieve the remaining 20 points if they are paid at least £25,600 per annum.


The events of recent months have illustrated just what a crucial role the care sector plays in UK society. The Home Secretary and Health and Social Care Secretary have together developed the Health and Care Visa to demonstrate the government’s commitment to deliver for the NHS and wider health and care sector. The Health and Care Visa will come with a reduced

visa application fee compared to that paid by other skilled workers, including exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Health and care professionals applying on this route can also expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks, following biometric enrolment. However, the independent care sector has serious concerns with the Governments view. Concerns have been raised over the exclusion of social care workers from the health and care visa, which will not apply to care staff because they are classed as unskilled. Moreover, the Migration Advisory Committee recommended that the senior carer position should be placed on the shortage occupation list thus allowing the salary threshold to be lowered to £20,400 for sponsorship. However, the Home Office did not adopt MACs recommendation and kept the salary threshold at £25,600 per annum. Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said that despite calls from adult social care and the NHS’ own representative bodies, including the Cavendish Coalition, the government has “failed to pay any dues to the sectors specific needs”, thus leaving it “out in the cold. This is particularly worrying given the wider context of the instability, which COVID-19 has placed upon the adult social care sector. The impending threat of the international workforce supply being turned off has the potential to de-stabilise the sector even further with potentially disastrous consequences”. In short, the PBS has some benefits for the social care sector pertaining to the recruitment of nurses as the abolition of the RLMT reduces the timeline for recruitment and migrants are able to work immediately after the certificate of sponsorship is assigned and do need to wait for a decision on their applications. However, although the skill level has been reduced to RQF Level 3 (equivalent to A level) there is no immediate benefit to the sector. In this regard, Aston Brooke Solicitors is initiating a legal challenge on behalf of Care England to determine the reason the Home Office did not adopt MACs recommendation to place the senior carer position on the shortage occupation list. If you wish to support this legal challenge, please contact the firm by emailing See the advert on page 13 for further details.

As we enter a new year full of hope and possibility, it is the optimal time to reflect and learn from the experiences of the year that has just passed, which, for all the care sector, was filled with challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Working closely with our partners undertaking Butterfly Projects in Canada, the UK and Ireland, we found that one of the biggest challenges was coping with the stringent infection control restrictions in a person centred care culture where human touch is so meaningful. Unfortunately, the restrictions have caused some confusion in social care and has led to some care providers and individuals to wonder what is acceptable in the ‘new normal’. At Meaningful Care Matters, our ultimate goal is to create person centred care cultures that allow the caregiver and care receiver to thrive. Following the restrictions of 2020, we believe now is the perfect time for providers to take stock and review their training to ensure all practices are in place to maintain and safe, meaningful space for people to live in. As a leading care and organisational development group that specialises in helping health and social

care providers and individuals to access a variety of support services, we can help to facilitate the creation, reinvigoration and sustainable implementation of person centred care cultures, where people matter, feelings matter, and we are ‘Free to be Me’. Providing services in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Canada, we offer a comprehensive range of development tools, each uniquely laying the foundation for a powerful story of ‘Meaning and Mattering’. Each care model has been designed by an experienced team of people who care, and can be implemented into all health, social/aged, and disability care settings. Being CPD accredited with the CPD Standards Office, we deliver the highest quality of training and support available to enhance the skills of care providers. Using the core values of purpose, value, transformation, freedom, engagement, and love, we want use 2021 to empower those working in care by helping them to get the best out of themselves and those around them. Our goal is simple; to improve the quality of life and lived experience for all people in health and social care services; bringing meaning and mattering to the forefront of interactions by connecting through powerful and emotive stories, heart to heart and person to person. For more information on our training and services, please visit

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

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.


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?


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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