The Carer Digital - Issue #42

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 42

Providers Back Call For £10 An Hour Carer Wage

...but call for social care reform to fund it.

“Claps didn’t pay the bills last year and it should be a source of shame for Tory

to care for others throughout the crisis are being paid poverty wages that mean they are struggling to support themselves and their own families." Labour is calling for a wage rise for care workers aged over 25 and currently receiving the minimum wage. The national minimum wage for workers over the age of 25 is £8.72 an hour. The real living wage is set by the Living Wage Foundation at £10.75 4 workers in London and £9.30 elsewhere in the UK. Half of frontline carers are paid less the real living wage, according to the Resolution Foundation. The Labour party says increasing social care workers’ pay to at least £10 an hour would result in wage increases of up to £3,500 a year, which Ms Rayner says would help secure the economy and contribute to the post-COVID-19 recovery.

ministers that the very same people who have been putting their lives on the line


Care providers have backed a call by the Labour party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner who has “demanded” an increase to care workers’ wages to at least £10 an hour to end the shame of "poverty wages". In a speech at the UNISON women’s conference today (February 17), Ms Rayner highlighted that failing to give care workers wages that they can live on is “morally wrong”. “Our social care workers were underpaid and undervalued even before this crisis struck.


EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER I am delighted to see care providers back a call to increase the minimum wage for those working in the care sector, and equally important, stating at the same time that the sector must have better funding to finance it. Any future wage increase cannot take place without an increase in funding! It is the elephant in the room. The country now recognises the invaluable Editor contribution the sector makes, and the hard work of those working in care. That said, a staggering £8 billion has been cut from the sector in the last 10 years, which will have had an impact on the sector’s ability to deal with the Covid pandemic when first broke. The government has recently launched its ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference.’ campaign which we published in our digital issue last week and is a campaign to drive awareness of long-term career opportunities. Almost 1.5 million people work in adult social care and there has always been many opportunities within the sector for career progression. However, as we have repeatedly said the pandemic shone a light on not only the dedication and hard work within the sector but also, shone a light and care sector wages. We reported in October 2020 that care worker pay has fallen behind that of retail staff and cleaners over

Peter Adams

the past eight years. The workforce development body Skills for Care found that while care workers earned more than retail assistants, cleaners, hairdressers, catering assistants and launderers in 2012-13, they had fallen behind the first two and seen the gap close with the latter two by 2019-20. We interviewed Employment Minister Mims Davies (see page 11) regarding the campaign to encourage adults into social care. I have to say it was a very positive interview indeed. The government has set aside over £120 million, and the government is clearly excited and motivated to inspire people to consider care to career. I did ask about care sector pay since it is what I believe to be one of the most significant issues going forward. The sector does offer fantastic and rewarding career opportunities, and also offers opportunities for people to work part-time and short term. However, remuneration within the sector has to be addressed. The Minister did of course acknowledge the pay issue and, this month, we have been delighted to have been contacted by both DHSC for an exclusive by Care Minister Helen Whatley, and by the DWP for an interview opportunity with employment Minister Mims Davies. I am hopeful we will have future interview opportunities and exclusive articles, and would once again invite our readers to share any concerns on pay and any other topic so that we can put them forward. Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “leading lights” for insight, advice guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” we receive from care homes and staff around the country so please do keep them coming! I can always be contacted at

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Providers Back Call For £10 An Hour Carer Wage (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Care Campaigners have also thrown their weight behind the call but warned that a complete overhaul of the social care sector was vital to ensure that providers would be able to pay that wage, and cautioned that the sector would need better funding to pay it. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “During the pandemic care workers have shown yet again the fantastic job they do in caring for our oldest and most vulnerable citizens. “We have argued for a generation that care staff deserve to be paid better – at least £10 an hour – probably more. “But to pay that, the country is going to have to pay more for the wonderful care it receives. “Most care providers are reliant on the fees they receive from bodies that commission care, like local authorities. At the moment, those bodies are not paying a price for care that would enable providers to meet the £10 an hour wage. “Local authorities need more funds so that they can support social

care and enable providers to give their staff the pay they deserve.” The ICG is calling for total reform of social care, beginning with more funding into the sector through National Insurance or taxation. It wants to see the merging of NHS healthcare and social care and parity between those working in the two sectors. It says some £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 with the result that 1.4m people are living without the care they need and there are 110,000 vacancies for social care staff. “Investing more in social care makes perfect sense,” Mr Padgham added. “The adult social care sector in the UK contributes £46.2 billion to the economy and with the right support, to meet increasing demand, would contribute even more. “There is an opportunity right now to reform social care, transform the lives of millions and improve this country as a result.”

Nicola Hollingsworth is one of the UK’s 1.6 million care workers. A support worker in Thanet, specialising in end-of-life care. Nicola says that more is needed. “We need to see a wage increase and a pay structure that makes sense. Right now, there’s a mix of some of us on NHS salaries, and some of us working for private agencies. In my last job, I earned more than my senior did by £1.20 an hour.” Despite the brief recognition that ‘clap for carers’ offered early in the pandemic, it was, Nicola says of little lasting value. A year into the coronavirus crisis, without any increase in pay or improvement in conditions, Nicola reflects on her own disappointment. “It was a cute idea. But it might have worked better if the government had just paid us more. Clapping is nice and we appreciate people taking notice, but we just want to be paid well for what we do.”

NHS Faces ‘Triple Challenge’ In Next Stage Of COVID Vaccine Programme In response to the publication of the Government’s COVID Vaccine Uptake Plan and as the national target to have offered a first dose to the top four priority groups approaches on Monday (15 February), Ruth Rankine, director of the NHS Confederation’s PCN Network, said: “All parts of the NHS have worked incredibly hard over the last two months to roll out a vaccination programme from scratch and administer doses to over 12 million people in England, and they will continue to do this over the weekend as we approach the national target for having vaccinated the top four priority groups. “Most people are coming forward for their jabs, but we know there are groups of the population who remain reluctant or who have not yet responded to their invitations. “This is a real challenge that primary care leaders are facing across their patient com-

munities, but we have seen some fantastic examples of innovation in how they are improving access through better public information, local engagement and setting up vaccination facilities closer to where people live. “We hope the Government’s Vaccine Uptake Plan will support this vital work further, particularly as the next stage of the programme will have the triple challenge of continuing to target people from the top four groups who may not have come forward yet, moving on to the next priority cohorts and shortly, booking in the second doses at the twelve-week interval. “The need to ensure local vaccinations sites have the right supply when and where they need it, as well as for the Government to uphold its commitments and maintain communications about the two-dose schedule will be essential.”

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Managing Grief and Bereavement in the Workplace During a Crisis By David Price, workplace wellbeing expert and CEO of Health Assured ( SPOT THE STAGES OF GRIEF

Bereavement is never an easy thing to deal with. Even when everything is going well, the sudden impact of loss can turn your whole life upside down. During a crisis, bereavement is even harder. Sadly, COVID-19 has meant some people have been facing bereavements they couldn't possibly have predicted—and they're facing them with distancing and isolation in place. Spending time apart from friends, family, and loved ones has been stressful for everyone—more so for those who are grieving. Someone who works for you may have tragically experienced bereavement during the coronavirus. Not necessarily due to COVID-19 directly—any loss in the last few months has been impacted by lockdown, distancing and isolation. Despite these changes, people need to grieve. And grieving people need support. Here are a few ways to offer your help in a difficult time— to help people cope during a crisis.

You may have noticed something different about your employee. Mood changes, quietness, outbursts. These are not necessarily grief— but when they're uncharacteristic, they can be an indicator. People can experience a wide range of emotions after a loss. According to the Kübler-Ross model—first outlined in Elisabeth KüblerRoss' seminal 1969 text On Death and Dying—there are five stages of grief: • Denial, disbelief, numbness • Anger, blame • Bargaining • Depressed mood, sadness, and crying • Acceptance, coming to terms with a bereavement There's no right or wrong way to feel when grieving. It can be an unpredictable time, and people can feel: • Shock and numbness—this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about "being in a daze" • Overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying • Tiredness or exhaustion • Anger—towards the person you've lost or just a general angst • Guilt—for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying Managers should learn about these symptoms of grief, so they can spot and deal with them effectively. Of course, this is especially difficult when more and more employees are working remotely. But simply having a good grasp of how people grieve makes you far more likely to spot it.

COMMUNICATE Again, this is much more difficult with distancing and remote work— but it's vital. Communicating effectively, confidently and compassionately with someone who recently suffered a bereavement important. You need to demonstrate emotional intelligence, reassuring and

assuaging any worries, while also ensuring your employee will be fit to resume duties as normal as quickly as possible. Regular phone calls are better than email or IM—assuming, of course, that the employee is receptive. Ask 'would you like me to call you again tomorrow?'—the answer will likely be yes.

OFFER BEREAVEMENT LEAVE When someone is grieving, they can sometimes act irrationally or be prone to strange behaviour. If they're not present in the office, this can be extra difficult to manage. Offering bereavement leave—while still offering those daily check-ups to ensure the employee has a caring outlet for their problems—could make all the difference to both the employee and those they work with.

BE PATIENT Bereavement is one of the most challenging times most people can experience. And it can take a long time to recover, especially in the tragic circumstances that coronavirus has forced some people into, unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones, or share their grief in the usual way. You may need to prepare for your employee to be absent for a while, as they recover and get back to their old selves. A sympathetic approach will help people make the transition back to work an easier one, so ensure good communication and use your discretion. Phased returns may be helpful in some circumstances, and flexible working requests may be necessary—for instance if an employee's partner has died, leaving them with sole responsibility for raising their children, or if the employee has lost a sibling, leaving them with sole responsibility for caring for ill or ageing parents. In all of these circumstances, you need to display that emotional intelligence once more and be as patient as possible. Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible and allow your employee to get their life in order with all the time they need, and they'll reward you with loyalty.”

Walk of Hope in Memory of Sir Tom Chief Operating Officer, Sam Manning from Excelcare asked their 33 Care Homes if they would take part in walking a minimum of 1-lap of either an indoor or outdoor space, whilst maintaining social-distances, for their “walk of hope” All of the steps taken were in memory of Captain Tom Moore and aims to continue the spread of positivity and hope during this unprecedented and difficult times. We are also raising money for The Excelcare Foundation. The Foundation was recently set up with the Charity Commission to help relieve financial hardship amongst employees and / or their immediate family members of Excelcare who are in need by reasons of ill health or bereavement. If you would like to donate and help raise funds for the cause, please click the link to our Go Fund Me page:

Hunters Down Care Home in Huntingdon have already participated in Excelcare's Walk of Hope. Captain Tom Moore inspired the staff and residents to carry on his legacy through the 'Walk of Hope'. 104 laps of the corridors were completed during the production of a wonderful video which was put together by Kristine, Lifestyle Coordinator, a replica of Tom Moore & Michael Ball singing “Your never walk alone”. Residents and staff also walked on the spot singing “your never walk alone”, while working on their duties as well. It certainly made the working day so much more fun, perhaps we will do this on a daily basis now!!! Hunters Down video has been uploaded onto Hunters Down Facebook page, which is well worth a watch, click on link to watch

Professor Stephen H Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England and Matthew Gould, CEO, NHSX to Deliver Keynote Addresses at Health Plus Care Online

Health Plus Care Online, the UK’s leading virtual event for senior care and HCPs will take place on 24th & 25th February 2021. Organisers of the Health Plus Care Online are delighted to announce

Professor Stephen H Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England and Matthew Gould, CEO, NHSX are confirmed to deliver two keynote addresses on the 24th and 25th of February 2021. They will join an esteemed list of 50+ expert speakers from the health and care sectors already confirmed for the virtual show. Free for healthcare professionals, attendees can register online at: Health Plus Care Online will bring together the entire health and social care community virtually, to review the effects of the initial waves of the pandemic and look forward to progress being made in 2021 and beyond. The two-day programme will be broken up into 4 key content streams: • Healthcare: Reimagining Innovation and Delivery • Digital Transformation

• Residential and Homecare (social care) • Patient Safety & Infection Prevention Sessions will also be available after they have taken place, on demand for the duration of the show, so attendees will be able to watch back on any sessions that they may have missed. Health Plus Care Online is proudly supported by the NHSE&I, NHSX, CQC, AHSN, IHM, TSA, BCS, Chime, UKHCA, PRSB, Patient Safety Learning and many more leading organisations. These partners have helped us to shape and refine the event and will be delivering case studies, speaker sessions and holding networking events within the programme. View the full programme on our website – Register here:


Social Care Must Be Higher In NHS Reform Care providers have welcomed proposals to reform the way the NHS is run but urged the Government to press on with vital reform of social care at the same time. The Independent Care Group (ICG) warned that care providers looking after older and vulnerable people were in danger of again being left the poor relation to NHS care. And it said the heroic work carried out by social care on the frontline against Covid-19 had proved how vital it was and earned it the right to urgent reform. The Government was today outlining proposals for health services, GP surgeries and social care to work more closely. Under the proposals

the NHS and local authorities will be left to run services and collaborate with each other to provide better care. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “It is welcome news that NHS reform is happening but aside from mentioning social care, the Government hasn’t gone far enough in outlining its future. It is vital that both are reformed at the same time, otherwise social care will be left behind once again. Reforming NHS care without reforming social care is like rebuilding a house without mending the roof. “We have argued for more than a decade that NHS care and social care need to be equal partners and ideally merged. But how can that happen when £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010,

some 1.4m people are living without the care they need and there are 100,000 vacancies for social care staff?” As a matter of urgency, the ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT

Elton John and Michael Caine Help the NHS Promote COVID Jabs Sir Elton John and Sir Michael Caine have joined forces in a new video to encourage people to get vaccinated against coronavirus. Showbusiness giants, who are both in their 70s and 80s have been vaccinated by the NHS, recorded the comic 90 second clip to show others that getting the life-saving jab is easy and safe. More than 10 million people in England have already been vaccinated and the NHS is now asking anyone aged 70 or over who has not yet been vaccinated to come forward to be protected. The new film to promote the jab was organised by Lord Ara Darzi who leads Imperial REACT COVID Surveillance Study Group, a friend to the two stars, and shot at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Sir Elton John said: “I wanted to take part in this film to help show people the benefits of getting vaccinated and how it helps protect ourselves and the people we love. “So, I hope we can all come together and do our bit in the fight against this wretched disease.” The film shows Sir Elton, 73, ‘auditioning’ for an advert promoting the jab. The singer says: “The more people in society who get vaccinated, the more chance there is of eradicating the national COVID pandemic. “It’s really important to know that the vaccines have all been through and met the necessary safety and quality standards.” Sir Elton then pretends to get the jab before bursting in to his 1983 hit I’m Still Standing. The unimpressed ‘director’ tells him “thanks Elton we will let you know” to which he replies: “Well at this short notice you won’t find anyone bigger”. The film then cuts to Sir Michael, 87, who says that the vaccine “didn’t hurt”, adding his famous catch phrase: “Not many people know that.” Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS said: “Well over nine out of ten people aged 75 and over have already taken up the offer of

their NHS COVID vaccination, and now we want to encourage everyone in the high priority groups to do so. “That’s why we’re grateful to Sir Elton and Sir Michael for helping the NHS promote vaccine uptake, building on the fast and efficient programme to date, which has seen the NHS already vaccinate 1 in 4 adults across England.” Professor Lord Ara Darzi, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London and Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, also thanked the stars for giving up their time. Lord Darzi said: “I am really pleased that Elton and Michael were keen to do this video, to show how quick and easy it is to get vaccinated and why it’s so important. “They recognise that the vaccines approved by the medical regulator are safe and effective and the more people who have them, the sooner we will curb the pandemic and get the country, and the world, back to normal. I am very grateful to both of them for their generous

participation and thanks also should be given to the brilliant writer Stephen Pipe and Producer, Clare Gibson who both generously gave their time to this.” The NHS is delivering COVID vaccinations at more than 1,500 sites across the country and is on track to have offered a jab to everyone in the top four highest priority groups by the middle of this month. Most people need to wait to be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive it. However, people aged 70 or over who have not yet been vaccinated can now arrange a vaccination through the national booking service, which can be accessed at, without first being contacted. The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. If a suitable slot is not available people can also contact their GP practice direct. Those who have received a letter asking them to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable should be contacted by their local family doctor. NHS England is supporting general practice with an extra £10 for every vaccination given to someone who is housebound. Health and social care workers, who are also among the top four priority groups for vaccination, should speak to their employer about arranging their vaccine. The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus, outside of a clinical trial, when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on the 8 December 2020. The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, was jabbed on January 4 2021. See the campaign at


A Commentary on Healthcare Recruitment in the UK

Written by Charlie Woodward, Divisional Manager for Residential Healthcare recruitment at ARC (

If healthcare recruitment wasn’t challenging enough already, we now need to be able to navigate through a global pandemic and Brexit. Having been a recruiter in healthcare for over 15 years, I have never seen such a variable outlook. We all know with such an aging population, not to mention the supported living and children’s services, that there will always be the need for quality care providers. However, with the deficit in care staff available ever-growing, it’s our focus is now on filling this gap - this is our expertise as a recruitment agency, right? Yes it is, but the challenges are huge and there are many obstacles to overcome. We have already seen a significant reduction in EU workers last year as they chose to leave the UK, and we have less and less overseas staff joining us due to the restriction of free movement under Brexit. Working in the healthcare sector during a pandemic is incredibly heart wrenching. Our candidates are caring for the most vulnerable, who could not only be facing dealing with the symptoms of COVID19 but also having had all their human contact taken away from them. In addition, the care staff who soak up this emotional turmoil can often work 12-15 hour days, it’s exhausting. Did I mention they do all this for just above the national living wage? This draws us to the subject of how we attract candidates. Yes, we have candidates new to the market as they have lost jobs, been furloughed or just want to contribute to a more fulfilling role - but with everything mentioned above, it’s a hard sell. If and when we manage to speak to a candidate that will work in the conditions stated with NLW, we are now faced with even more hurdles. This includes reference checks from companies that no

longer exist and a lack of face to face training. We have had to move all training to online, then we are relying on our clients to induct candidates in face to face training such as moving and handling. Some candidates have reported a loss in confidence as they haven’t had the face to face training that we deliver, and pride ourselves on. So what can we do? Increase wages? This would need to be across the board. The average care worker salary is £17500, the average NHS salary is £20000 unfortunately as an agency if we increase pay rates then we need to increase our charge rates. If only a handful of agencies did this, then the clients would take their requirements to the agencies that haven’t. What needs to happen is that care staff rates are bought in line with NHS pay rates, but this would need to come from the government. It needs to come directly from the government, or else companies will continue to pay as little as possible. We have all struggled financially and the care sector will need to cope with budgets being reduced and services being cut, so a pay increase will not be top of the agenda. Could the government perhaps subsidise a pay increase? Only time will tell. Fortunately the care staff that already work so hard and tirelessly will keep going as they love what they do. A quote that I have stood by for many years, is that you don’t do this job for money, you do it because you care! As do we - even with a reduced workforce and challenging situations we will still find the right candidates for our clients who we work hard for every day. It shouldn’t have to be this difficult, when a pay rise would eliminate a lot of problems!

92-Year-Old Sunrise of Hale Barns Resident Virtually Meets with Altrincham Football Club Stan Riley, a 92-year-old resident at Sunrise of Hale Barns care home, has had a video call with Altrincham Football Club players and the club’s Chair. A lifelong fan of the club, Stan has supported Altrincham since 1944 and had never missed a game by regularly taking the supporters’ coach across the country for their matches. Stan would also attend the club’s games with his late wife before she passed away. Yet, since the COVID-19 pandemic, Stan has been unable to attend Altrincham’s matches due to the social distancing measures enforced on the sport. Determined to reconnect him with the club, Sunrise of Hale Barns’ Activities Coordinator, Regina Faria, arranged for Jake Moult, the team’s captain, Shaun Densmore, the club’s longest serving player, and Lawrence Looney, one of the Chairs, to speak to Stan and his fellow residents at the care home. Stan then had a wide-ranging conversation with the club where he discussed the long-term plans for Altrincham with Lawrence as well as their mutual love and loyalty to the team with Jake and Shaun. Having never spoken to a player, Stan was delighted by the opportunity and thoroughly

enjoyed the special conversation. With almost seven decades worth of memories watching Altrincham play, Stan says that his favourite game occurred in 1978 when the club went to Wembley and won the FA Trophy after beating Leatherhead 3-1. Stan remembers how this was the first time that all of his family watched a football game together. His second favourite match was Altrincham’s 2-1 win over Birmingham City in the 1986 FA Cup, the last nonleague team to win away in that competition. Looking ahead to this season, Stan hopes that the team achieve a healthy position in the National League, having been promoted from the National League North last season. Speaking of Stan’s conversation with the club, Sharon Parkes, the Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Hale Barns, said: “Like many others, Stan is a dedicated supporter of Altrincham Football club and has been disappointed to not see the team play during the COVID19 pandemic. However, we wanted to give Stan an experience to remember and we were thrilled to arrange a video call between some of the fantastic players at the club and one of the Chairs. Once it is safe to do so, we look forward to helping Stan watch Altrincham play in-person once more.”

Hallmark Care Homes Wins Highly Commended Learning At Work Week Impact Award Care provider Hallmark Care Homes has been named highly commended at the prestigious 2020 Learning at Work Week Impact Awards. Hallmark who supports over 2,100 employees, impressed judges for the Promoting Digital Learning Journeys category by promoting a digital platform in partnership with RCNi which allowed nurses to access over 180 accredited online modules and create a portfolio to store their revalidation evidence. During Learning at Work Week which runs in May, Hallmark nurses were also able to access virtual drop-in sessions with RCNi representatives. Over 80% of nurses signed up to RCNi during the week with 20% actively engaging through the drop-in sessions. Within a week of gaining access to the resources 95 modules were completed with a further 32 modules in progress. The awards, first established in 2010, invite entrants to show how they promoted a lifelong learning culture, inspired learning journeys and digital learning, innovated in learning and development and supported business and organisational goals. National Director at the Campaign for Learning, Julia Wright said: “Digital tools, platforms and media are significantly changing the way we work, communicate and learn. It’s crucial that everyone is confident and able to access digital provision and understand the benefits these bring. Hallmark Care Homes and their partners RCNi show how a well-crafted campaign and tailored support can promote digital learning journeys at work. They engaged and empowered nursing colleagues to use a digital platform that gives them continu-

ous access to the very best of training and development. NCFE and the Campaign for Learning congratulate them on their highly commended impact award for Learning at Work Week.” People and Performance Director at Hallmark Care Homes, Elizabeth Fairchild said: “I am proud of the team who worked together from all different parts of our business to put together an offer to further develop our highly valued nurses. A real credit to our business and an example of how to make a real difference to our teams. Well done everyone on this achievement.” RCNi Managing Director Rachel Armitage said: “We are delighted Hallmark Care Homes has chosen RCNi Learning and RCNi Portfolio to help its nurses with learning and professional development, and to have supported them with raising awareness of these resources with staff during the Learning at Work Week. Investing in digital learning for nurses not only helps them enhance their skills and complete CPD requirements, but also leads to improvement in patient care and experience. However, full benefits can only be realised through high levels of staff engagement and we are pleased to see Hallmark Care Homes be highly commended for its impressive achievement in this area.” Care Quality, Governance and Compliance Director at Hallmark Care Homes, Julie Rayner said: “This is a significant package for our registered nurses as it brings all their professional development and revalidation requirements together in one place. As a registered nurse myself, I have been impressed with the ease of access to the platform and the quality and range of courses available.”


Relief As Care Home Deaths Start To Fall Care providers breathed a sigh of relief today as coronavirus deaths in care and nursing homes finally showed signs of falling But they were the first to warn against complacency as Covid-19 continues to claim the lives of those most vulnerable. And they warned that any easing of restrictions must be gradual to avoid a new spike in cases. The figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 1,726 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 5th February, down from 1,971 the week before. According to these figures 28,406 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 5th February. The Independent Care Group (ICG) today said the news was positive but the need to remain vigilant remained. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Whilst today’s figures are certainly a

move in the right direction, we have to remain on our guard. “There is understandably an increasing call for restrictions to be relaxed but we have to be cautious and not come out of lockdown too quickly as I think we have done before. “I think people would rather this was the last lockdown and so restrictions should be eased slowly and safely to avoid the figures going up again.” He also urged anyone who had not had the vaccine to have it. “It is clear the vaccine is going to have an impact on Covid-19 and it is the main weapon in our fight out of the pandemic,” he added. “To anyone, particularly care staff, who are hesitating I would say, have the vaccine for your own sake and for the safety of our most vulnerable.” Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “That the number of deaths from COVID-19 is finally starting to decline is of

course good news, and is testament to the monumental efforts of the NHS to care for patients, alongside the impact of the national lockdown. “However, we must remember that there is a long way to go yet, as the number of deaths from COVID is still very high, and still accounts for some 42.6 per cent of all deaths in England and Wales, the third highest proportion recorded during the pandemic. “We hope to start seeing the impact of the vaccination programme soon, with more than 15 million doses now given, but it remains vital that there is clarity and certainty about supply, especially as NHS teams continue to face huge pressures, with more than 23,000 people still in hospital with COVID-19. We continue to urge the Government to be extremely cautious about easing lockdown, and to do so with these pressures at the forefront of its thinking.”

Support for National Day of Reflection for Bereaved Gathers Momentum A national day to remember those who have died during the pandemic, and to show support for everyone who has been bereaved, is gaining support from a swathe of organisations. Spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie, and set to take place on Tuesday 23rd March – the anniversary of the UK going into the first national lockdown – care organisations, charities, businesses, membership organisations, community groups and many more have committed to supporting the National Day of Reflection,1 with more joining every day. They add their support to over 50 MPs, and a host of celebrities who are backing the day.2 Marie Curie estimates that over 3 million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began,3 yet many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve. The National Day of Reflection includes a minute’s silence at midday to reflect on those who have died, daffodils (fresh, drawn or crafted) placed in windows, as a symbol of hope; and Online talks featuring people who are bereaved, celebrities and expert panellists sharing experiences and answering questions. As night falls, the nation will appear on their doorsteps with candles, torches or simply lights from their mobile phones – for a minute of silence in the evening, sharing a beacon of support in these incredibly tough times.* Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances – be that from covid or any other cause. We’ve had a huge response from individuals, organisations, businesses, schools and groups from across the UK wanting to support the day – testament to how much people need and want to come together. Shirley Woods Gallagher, from High Peak, Derbyshire father died of covid-19 in May 2020 aged 77 years. Shirley is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. Shirley was shielding and was medically advised not to attend her dad’s funeral. Sharing her experience Shirley said: “On the day my father was dying, with just a minute’s notice, I was given a video call to say goodbye that lasted no more than 5 minutes. It was brutal. I was then told that under no circumstances could I attend my

Dad’s funeral as I am in the shielding category. Instead, I wrote the eulogy and pre-recorded it to be played at the funeral. I never even saw the funeral, there’s an assumption that they [funerals] can happen virtually – but there was no wifi or cameras at the crematorium so there was no possibility of doing an online funeral for us. “I couldn’t let the way we’d said goodbye over a hospital video phone be the end of it. So with the help of my husband, I managed to get 5 minutes in the chapel of rest on the day of the funeral in begged and borrowed PPE to have a personal meaningful goodbye with my Dad. “It’s not just the funeral service that brings you comfort after a death. It’s sharing stories with others who loved that person too, but my mum had to do a socially distanced wake. All these limitations make grieving more difficult. I had to drive away from my mum’s house after the funeral. Mum placed a cloth heart on the boot of my car what my Dad had had under his pillow in hospital whilst she and Dad were apart. “Ordinarily people have scaffolding in place when they are bereaved, they have support from seeing family, friends, colleagues. People have had none of that during this time. That scaffolding has disappeared, and its absence is being felt by so many and will have long-term consequences. “I hope a day for the nation to come together, to remember the precious people who have died, like my Dad, will help start to build a foundation of support for us to move forward with. We can’t move on from this crisis without acknowledging it and ensuring there’s sufficient support in place for people to rebuild their lives.” Marie Curie has been supporting bereaved people as well as caring for dying people with and without coronavirus throughout the pandemic. The charity warns that without the right support for people who have been bereaved, the devastation that the pandemic has caused will impact the lives of people for generations. Chief Executive of Marie Curie, Matthew Reed continued: “We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened. We invite everyone to join together on the 23rd March to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died during these challenging times – from Covid and other causes.” To find out more about the National Day of Reflection visit #DayofReflection


Online Recognition Platforms Support Healthcare Professionals In The Most Stressful Circumstances

By Jon Maddison, Managing Director EMEA - Achievers (

While employees in virtually every industry have been affected by changes to their working conditions as a result of COVID-19, those in the healthcare sector have suffered more than most. Not only have they had to deal with restrictions and procedures linked to social distancing and reducing the spread of the virus for close to a year, they’ve also had to look after those affected by the disease, often without sufficient levels of PPE or enough specialist equipment to provide adequate care. In these trying circumstances, it’s only natural that some healthcare professionals will eventually feel the strain to such a degree that their mental health will suffer and their performance will be negatively impacted. Managers in the healthcare sector will be keenly aware of the enormous stress currently experienced by their staff, and are likely to be searching for ways in which they can empower their workforce and equip people with tools to help them through such a demanding period. The power of peer-to-peer recognition One of the easiest methods of nurturing organisational values and encouraging desired behaviours is through an online peer-to-peer recognition and celebration platform. These tools enable managers to recognise and thank employees who have delivered examples of high-quality care, but they also allow all team members, regardless of job role and seniority, to celebrate great work carried out by their colleagues. More importantly, these acts of appreciation happen online where they can be seen and commented on by every employee in the organisation. Whereas these acts may previously have occurred in silos, they now take

place transparently. Aside from shining a light on a job well done, recognition programmes can be used to celebrate individual moments that matter – birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones – which helps to bring teams closer together and improves morale. Similarly, once an individual piece of work has been highlighted, it can then serve as a template for caregivers and contribute to the standardisation of the patient experience. Using recognition platforms to drive additional programmes With no clear light discernable at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel for the immediate future, managers will be focused on driving a culture of resilience in their organisations. Modern recognition software gives managers the chance to arm their staff with techniques to support their mental wellbeing, and combat stress and burnout. Such platformscan be adapted to deliver e-learning courses and worksheets that provide a framework for building and improving resilience. When implemented successfully, these initiatives help to reduce rates of sickness and absenteeism, and ultimately lower turnover. Another valuable feature of online recognition platforms is the ability to offer real-time feedback mechanisms. In contrast to the traditional annual staff survey, these mechanisms give managers a better understanding of employee engagement levels at different times of the year. Creating a continuous listening channel also facilitates the surfacing of day-to-day issues which require immediate attention, a critical component in a patient-centred workforce. The flexibility of digital recognition platforms allows them to be used for all manner of initiatives, from driving operational efficiencies to cultivating a culture of “near miss” reporting. But their main benefit lies in their ability to improve organisational culture and empower healthcare professionals to tackle the most trying of circumstances with resilience and confidence.

Rotherham Care Home Residents Clean the Floor, 54, At Bingo It was ‘eyes down’ for the residents at Moorgate Lodge in Rotherham as they attempted to win a full house during a game of bingo with callers from Mecca Bingo. Residents at Moorgate Lodge care home dusted off their dabbers as they took on two fat ladies and two little ducks to become ‘top of the shop’. Mecca Bingo contacted the home about providing residents with some remote entertainment. After dropping off dabbers and game cards in plenty of time for COVID-secure isolation, hosts from the bingo giant joined the residents via Zoom on Friday for an hour of lines, full houses and BINGO! Moorgate Lodge is part of the Park Lane Healthcare family with capacity for more than 100 residents. Priding itself on the community atmosphere, the care village has dedicated activities coordinators who never fail to come up with new ideas to keep life exciting. Mona Pearson, aged 93, resident at Moorgate Lodge, said, “I really enjoyed playing bingo with Mecca and I can’t wait to play again.”

Oliver Smalley, aged 88, resident at Moorgate Lodge, said, “It is the first time that I have ever sat and played a game of bingo and I loved it! I used to be on the committee at the club but never played, it is now my favourite game because I won.” Demi from Mecca Bingo said, ‘Mecca Bingo Rotherham wanted to help spread their bingo joy to others during these difficult times. We know that care homes have suffered severely through the pandemic by not seeing loved ones and having little entertainment or engagement from outside the residence. We have the facility to create virtual bingo and we are so pleased we can spread the bingo love!’ Samantha Sheppard, operations coordinator at Moorgate Lodge, said, “When Mecca Bingo invited residents at the Moorgate Care Village to take part in a round of bingo via Zoom, I knew we would have a full house. It was great to see the residents come together, even virtually, to take part.”

Community Life at Riverdale Care Home, Braintree Riverdale Care Home, like many other care homes across the UK, has faced unprecedented changes over the past 12 months. Despite the challenges, the staff at the home have come up with new and innovative ways to keep residents motivated and fulfilled throughout the national lockdowns. An integral part of Riverdale’s person-centred approach to care is creating a community feel within the home to support the wellbeing of its residents. Over the past 12 months, staff have encouraged residents to join the home’s Lifestyle Pioneer initiative, which invites them to choose favourite ‘jobs’ around the home, in turn promoting their independence and sense of achievement. This has played a fundamental role in the wellbeing of residents, and has created a strong community feel in the home. Debbie is Riverdale’s Lifestyle and Wellbeing Manager and spends her time getting to know the history of the residents and their personalities. Debbie has helped develop Riverdale’s Lifestyle Pioneer initiative to enhance the lives of her residents, and she works closely with staff to ensure each resident has the opportunity to partake.

Debbie Blackwell, Riverdale’s Lifestyle and Wellbeing Manager.

June is Riverdale’s Artist Pioneer, and during the lockdowns she has enjoyed painting and sharing her work with fellow residents. Now the proud occupier of a designated painting area in the home, June said ‘I

June enjoying painting at Riverdale

All residents at Riverdale Care Home regularly enjoy a variety of fun activities, such as acting, playing music or watching sports. The staff at the home have also ensured that residents who are less mobile can still enjoy activities tailored to them, such as quizzes and reminiscence sessions. Nutrition has played a vital role in the wellbeing of everyone living at Riverdale, and the home’s culinary experts have gone above and beyond for their residents, including hosting virtual culinary events to make mealtimes a positive and stimulating experience.

love to paint, I feel like a free spirit when I’m painting and the teams are great at supporting my passion and allowing me to share my works of art with my friends.’ Norman, another one of Riverdale’s residents has discovered a new found passion for history and writing. With the support of Debbie and her team, Norman has proudly become Riverdale’s Writing Pioneer and has even written an autobiography of his life! Norman’s two sons were delighted to see their dad smiling during what has been a difficult time for residents and their families.

Norman, Riverdale’s Writing Pioneer enjoys typewriting at the home.

A resident living at Riverdale said “I am very happy living at Riverdale and I’ve made a lot of friends here. I love quizzes in particular, but there are so many interesting things to do and people to talk to. Living in a community you can always find someone to talk to and share stories with.” Innovative activities and new ways of working have brought staff and residents closer than ever, with a new found sense of community felt throughout the home. The daughter of a resident living at Riverdale said “I am in awe of the number and Bird feeding at Riverdale Care Home. range of activities arranged for everyone. I believe that this mental stimulation has been a key factor in Dad coping with the lack of normal contact throughout this pandemic.” Another relative said “I would like to thank all of the staff at Riverdale Care Home for their efforts over the course of this pandemic. Their care and support for the residents in such difficult circumstances has been amazing. All the activities that take place are also fantastic, and it is wonderful to be able to see the photos of what they have all been doing. These really make us feel involved in some small way as we can see our relatives interacting with staff and other residents.” Staff at Riverdale have also benefitted from the new initiatives launched by Westgate Healthcare group. In January 2021, Westgate Healthcare extended its Big Wish initiative to all staff members, granting one lucky employee from each care home their chosen wish. Later that month the group also announced the winners of the Resident Big Wish initiative, granting a resident from each of the group’s care homes their gift of choice. In the face of adversity, the staff at Riverdale Care Home have gone above and beyond for their residents, and in doing so have created a strong community within the home. Visit for more information.


Government White Paper on NHS and Social Care Reform is a Tentative Start The government has published its white paper outlining proposed reform of the NHS and social care. The white paper points to a new legal framework for the NHS and local government to provide integrated care systems but contains little concerning the reforms that are so badly needed in social care. The white paper acknowledges this, indicating that further reforms are still in the offing “this year”. Significant reforms have been promised for years but have again yet to materialise. The white paper, whilst welcome, demonstrates the Government’s lack of understanding of the care sector, says the dedicated Social Care team at law firm Royds Withy King. Mei-Ling Huang, Partner, Royds Withy King comments. “Care providers will welcome a truly integrated care system but will want to know what this will mean in practice. Care providers need a voice that is equal to that of the NHS in the provision of health and social care. If the system is to be truly integrated, then social care will need to be given an equal seat at the table. The white paper seems to acknowledge this, but fails to explain how this will be achieved.” Some of the proposed reforms relate to the collection of data, yet says Mei-Ling Huang, the fact that the Government has no good way of communicating with care providers has become painfully apparent during this pandemic. “The Government wants to implement new ways of collecting data from care providers so they can gain a better understanding of the services that are being provided, including services for those who pay privately

for care. This seems to be an acknowledgment that the Government does not have a good handle on what is happening in social care. “They clearly need to learn more, but we are concerned that the imposition of yet more data reporting requirements will push care service managers over the edge. The requirements for the provision of data during the pandemic have been extremely onerous. The systems are difficult to use and time-consuming. If the Government is going to ask care services to do more reporting, then they need to ensure that the systems work and cut down on the bureaucracy that they appear to be trying to reduce with these new proposals.” Amongst the proposals that will be welcome is the idea that there will be oversight of local authorities when carrying out the commissioning of care. “Care providers have been calling for this for over a decade,” says Mei-Ling Huang. “Poor commissioning practices can lead to real problems in the system.” “Related to this is the issue of hospital discharges. Poor hospital discharge practices were arguably at the heart of the high COVID rates in care homes in 2020. The white paper proposes the greater use of ‘trusted assessors’ to oversee discharges. “It also proposes that people be discharged from hospital and into care before a determination is made about a person’s eligibility for FNC or CHC funding. This is likely to pose problems for care providers, who will be expected to accept a new client without knowing what fee rate will be paid for the person. Because the margins in care are so low, I anticipate that this will be met with some resistance. This demonstrates that there is a lack of understanding of the sector within central Government. “This white paper does not offer the reforms that care providers have been waiting for for more than a decade. However, the Government does appear to acknowledge that social care has been overlooked and they need to engage more with it to create a truly integrated health and care system.”

Care England Calls For “Occupancy Strategy” Care England has written the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, encouraging him to put in place a system of occupancy strategy in the care home sector to support its future sustainability. The strategies enacted in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all offer well-trodden examples where this can work in an effective manner. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Decreased occupancy rates in the adult social care sector have had an adverse impact upon adult social care provider sustainability. Decreased occupancy rates have, in turn, increased care costs per head. This is at a time when care providers have been confronted by an array of COVID-19 related costs”. Care England has also written to every Director of Adult Social Care in the country regarding fee rates and the need to work in partnership with providers to ensure the best

means of recovery in conjunction with quality care with those in need. The majority of care providers’ costs are fixed and cannot in the main be reduced despite dropping occupancy levels. This includes their heightened staffing costs. All these costs will therefore have to continue to be endured despite significant drops in income. The net effect is that the financial pressures caused by dropping occupancy levels will continue (along with increased costs) well into and beyond this forthcoming financial year. Martin Green continues: “An occupancy strategy would be a very effective way of increasing the sustainability of the adult social care sector in the coming weeks and months. This is of fundamental importance given the role which adult social care has, and continues, to play in England’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.


DHSC Launches “Care for Others Make a Difference Campaign” - Employment Minister Mims Davies Talks to A national recruitment campaign by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) to drive people with the right values to take up crucial work in social care, now and for the future, was launched last week. Addressing the urgent recruitment need, ‘Care for others. Make a difference’ looks to build on the existing “Every Day Makes a Difference” campaign, but with a new message that reflects the current urgent recruitment need, highlighting the rewarding, varied and flexible roles available across the care sector to help build a sustainable workforce now and for the future. Following the launch, we here at THE CARER were delighted to speak with Mims Davies, Parliamentary UnderSecretary for the Department for Work and Pensions and formally a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, to ask questions about the initiative:

Q: Welcome to the Carer, Minister. Firstly, can you provide more details of the scheme? When does it go live? Are you recruiting now? Where? (Just England or the entire UK?) Who? (Which sectors are you looking to recruit from - aviation, hospitality, travel?) A: We are actually recruiting already, we do at the DWP every single day, working with the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSE) #MAKEADIFFERENCE and others for this campaign which is fantastic, and we are doing it up and down the land in our job centres every week. It really is great that the DHSC are turning their interest to it, and of course today is the announcement of the blueprint which has come through the White Paper aimed at bringing health and social care closer together and focusing on how we can improve and support care as a whole and tackle inequality. At DWP we have something called our 'sector-based work academies programme'. This is where people can have up to 6 weeks training in a particular sector we can do initial training and learning from an employer, you can get your basic certification and we do this for care workers regularly. And it gives the opportunity for interviews at the end, to give real experience about what the job is going to entail, and I met with some claimants earlier this week as I do regularly, and this week I was in Walsall and North Harrogate at a hospice to discuss the breadth of opportunities in care that people could be part of. Some of these people don’t always think of the programme as their first step, it could be people coming off a career break, people who have been carers themselves. people looking to swap sectors, people who may be single parents and are looking something that fits around the parental and care responsibilities. But what was really great to see and what came out in all the conversations I had was how excited people were about helping others, how they knew it was such an important sector and above all it was for them an opportunity to come in and make a real difference.

Q: How long will the scheme last? A: We know the scheme is a long-term commitment, to champion the opportunities in care, and sits alongside what we do at the DWP. We had a fantastic take up on kickstart from employers in the care sector to help younger people come into the sector, which as you know is a programme which gives the opportunity, funded by the government for under 25 to join an organisation for 6 months work experience and the opportunity to get involved in the care sector. So, we got lots of measures to try and make sure that we are supporting the sector, we know there’s lots of vacancies and lots of opportunity. We have well over half a million vacancies even now during the pandemic and many of those are in the care sector

Q: Is this initiative just for England or is it UK wide? A: I believe it is UK wide, but I will double check!

Q: Are there any particular sectors you’re looking to recruit from?

Q: One of the concerns we had relates to retired doctors who

A: Well, my constituency is close to Gatwick, and I know my local NHS

volunteered to help the sector during the pandemic were unable to do so due the level of paperwork what will be done to reduce the burden of paperwork to ensure that people are able to make a difference?

and the care sector in that area there has been active recruitment from people that are normally employed in the aviation sector such as cabin crew. They possess experience around health and safety, around firstaid and they have those all-important people skills, these attributes have been very attractive for the care sector and hospitality is the same. And it is people recognising, which is very important to us at the DWP the value of transferable skills. People from perhaps the aviation and hospitality sector recognise the impact pandemic has had on their particular sector, and some will recognise that it might be sadly more long-term than perhaps shorter term and will be looking to turn their attention towards the care sector. I think the other thing, and I have seen this with volunteering and helping in my constituency and we have seen across the land, people really do want to give back they really do value community and care, and everything that’s gone on around the pandemic. I think people are beginning to say that if I’m spending a lot of time at work I want to do something when I feel I am making a difference and that is fulfilling. And I think a role in care certainly does that. In my constituency we have some wonderful carers and care homes, and as an informal carer of myself I know just how much it takes to care every day, I certainly value them and I’m sure that anyone coming in to the sector with transferable or existing skills will be very welcome.

Q: How would this initiative be funded? Will any responsibility be falling back in care homes or is it a government funded initiative? A: This is a government funded initiative coming directly from DHSC that we at the DWP supporting, and I would remind people that we have universal credit which will help people in and out of work coming into the care sector, particularly if they are themselves and can only take up a few hours. I believe that the DHSC has put in the region of £120 million into the scheme, and I know that this is just the start of a long-term focus to support the sector which I truly believe is very welcome.

Q. The sector requires particular levels of skill, although particular roles that you are looking to target, or is the initiative casting a “wide net” to get people into care and train them for various roles once they are actually enrolled? A: I think it is important to cast the net wide, as we have discussed roles within the sector are different and varied, so anyone can apply from the entry-level or to paid volunteers, some people might be asked to take on support roles and then move up in the sector more long-term. We have 1.4 million care workers at the moment, and we know as previously discussed the pressures the sector is under regarding safe staffing levels, so we do need more staff into care homes and domiciliary care. We are trying to move people from, shall we say volunteering or being interested to taking more direct roles. And it is important to get the message across that in care you can progress very quickly from those first early certificate entry roles to running or looking after our home. As well as frontline care we are looking to fulfil roles in management, IT, maintenance, entertainment, cleaning, it does not necessarily after centre around one-to-one care.

Q: In the initial launch it was announced that there will be opportunities for fast tracking could you elaborate? A: I think it is important for us to get the message that if people want to progress the opportunity is there, whether that is further within the NHS or adult social care. It really is about making sure that there is a really good progression pathway in care, and this is something we are highlighting in the campaign. It is also something that the DWP with our progression commission who are currently taking evidence know, that providing the opportunity to learn, and progress quickly encourages people to come into the sector. So this is part of a package of helping people to understand that there is more to care than what they currently perceive.

A: I do understand that, and I think it is an opportunity that we have with the White Paper where we are looking at health and care together with an absolute focus on getting things right, and that will be something for the DHSC to focus on, and I would say that whoever raised that with you I would encourage them feed that into the current consultation

Q: How will you vet people in time? Will you fast-track DRB checks and how can you be sure that in pandemic the checks are completed on time? A: We do understand the challenges involved and it’s something we are helping with here at the DWP, we do get feedback that sometimes it is the vetting procedure or the cost which is holding them back so that is something the DWP will definitely be linking in with the DHSC and also linking into the White Paper just to see if that is what is holding back staffing. At the same time we do recognise that it is very important to make sure that our safeguarding procedures are really high, well understood and that is something the care minister takes very seriously. I think that’s where are sector based work Academy programme is really helpful here at the DWP, because people go through the safeguarding procedures, go through training, learning and understanding what the job entails and what is required, and this again is something we at the DWP take very seriously. We do understand that we need to get vetting process right.

Q: When it comes to training who will be undertaking the training of staff? Are there designated companies? Or will be left to homes to administer training under their own in-house training schemes? A: Through our sector-based work Academy programme we work directly with learning companies and employers, so that they directly take those people through the experiences of joining the company and what the expectations and what training they receive. We cover some of that in our sector based work Academy programs. We do actively work with local employers to help them get the funding and support them through Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and we will provide more details to you with respect to DSE regarding specific homes.

Q: There is as you are aware a tremendous amount of governance and compliance required by the sector. While there is no substitute for training, compliance and content systems, offered by private sector companies like for instance Quality Compliance Systems, give Registered Managers the option to send the latest guidance, and best practice content to care staff as and when they need it. Will the homes be able to refer staff to third-party companies with the funding coming from the initiative? A: I genuinely don’t know the answer to that afraid Peter, I think that is one for DHSE and the care minister, but I will ask our team team to pick up on that one for you as I think it is important to make sure we are giving the right information.

Q: During the past 8 years renumeration for care staff has fallen behind that of hairdressers and cleaners. If you are looking to attract staff into the sector are there any plans to increase sector pay in particular the minimum wage in social care? A: This is something I understand that is being looked at by the DHSE as part of the White Paper, led by DHSC as I said earlier people can be on universal credit both in and out of work which enables us to support people going into a career, and one focus we have here at DWP is to help people progress and earn more. I think one thing that the pandemic has shown is our local care staff, what is going on in our communities, what our councils are paying for, and how our community is being looked after, which is so important. This gives us the opportunity to look at this issue. I know the DHSC are keen to look at this, and also around the progression piece. I think this is an opportunity to reflect what we have learned and understood going forward, and as a government look to respond to these concerns. A lot of this is also a matter for employers as well, so I think we all need to work together to make to make an attractive opportunity for people to join in and above all stay in.


Welfare: Where To Turn In Times of Illness?

It’s often hard to think about your day to day when you get a diagnosis of serious illness, especially during a pandemic. Whether your condition is terminal or is going to be life-changing, finances and benefits are often the last thing you want to think about. Chloe Pearson of St Barnabas Hospice, gives us an insight into her work as a Welfare and Benefits Team Leader. The diagnosis of a terminal or critical illness is one that is always hard to digest. Many people who receive bad news in relation to their health are often spun into a panic. What will they do to combat or deal with the illness? What treatment or care is available? Can they manage it mentally? How will they cope financially? Those concerns are perfectly valid and should be a patient’s first priority. It’s only natural that everything else comes to a standstill. That’s where my team and I come in. There’s often a focus on the care part of our job as a hospice, but there’s a lot more going on in the background than people might realise. The number of benefits available to people are vast and are often a real unknown when you fall ill. We deal with not only the patient and their welfare, but the families that are equally affected. My team are often busy seeking out forms to fill in, completing them with concerned and often upset families and ensuring that life can continue for the patient and their families as smoothly as possible. We help more than 600 families a month, and that shows just how wide-reaching our service is.

We help anyone over the age of 18 who has been diagnosed with an illness or condition access benefits they may be entitled to or we can often find the appropriate benefits that are available. We deal with anyone who is registered in our county with a GP and life-limiting illness. Our perception by the public is that we only deal with cancer, heart disease or terminal conditions, but nothing could be further from the truth. We help those with slow-onset disease too, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, one which can be a long-term and devastating condition to

live with for patients and their families and caregivers. The question is often ‘How am I going to live?’, through our help, we can often answer that question head-on and put your mind at ease at a chaotic and painful time. We are here to ensure finance, support and options are presented to people so that life can continue and be made easier. This can be as simple as applying for benefits, finding grants available to those suffering specific conditions or dealing with the effects of illness. We are often there to signpost and provide information to those who might be unaware. For example, if a patient is dying, we can signpost the family to the hospice’s grief counselling or if funeral arrangements haven’t been made previously, seek help to pay for any unexpected costs. The pandemic has made this service we provide all the more challenging. Our job depends on being able to meet people face to face, to get to know families and to be a friendly face of support during the most challenging parts of many people’s lives. Although we’re manning the phones in the face of the pandemic, it simply isn’t the same, but I am fiercely proud of my team during this time. We often get to know families personally as we aren’t a service you dip into once, but one that people turn to again and again. Our welfare and benefits team at St Barnabas is doing an incredible job, and we are happy to be that extra safety net that many people need. Times need not be as stressful as you first imagine, there is help out there even if the future is uncertain.

Pet Therapy Helps Care Home Residents Enjoy A ‘Paws’ In Their Week ANIMAL-LOVING pensioners at a city centre care home have been enjoying pet therapy sessions for more than a decade, thanks to dedicated staff and resident pup, Sophie. Staff at Belleville Lodge in Edinburgh recognised how much joy and comfort the sessions brought to their elderly residents and made the decision to ensure they could continue throughout the pandemic. During the sessions, residents reminisce about their pets over the years, cuddle up with Sophie, the resident west highland terrier, and look at pictures of animals and nature, while sharing stories in small groups. The carers have found pet therapy has amazing benefits for residents with and without dementia, from increased mood and social interaction to improved nutrition and physical activity. It’s also a fun activity for residents who can share their pet histories and find out interesting facts about different animals. Margaret Russell, Matron at the home operated by Mansfield Care, said: “We find the sessions are excellent for our residents wellbeing and spirits. Before the pandemic we had two other dogs who visited regularly, a black lab called Orchid and a border terrier named Ruff, who residents are looking forward to reuniting with when it’s safe to do so.

“Anyone with a pet will know just how relaxing and calming spending time with an animal can be. As well as relieving the feelings of loneliness and isolation, pets can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote a sense of overall wellbeing. “With such a powerful range of physical and mental benefits, it’s not surprising that pet therapy is being introduced into many care homes to improve the lives of elderly people and dementia patients across the UK. “Even when a resident has advanced dementia, you can see the change in their face and the comfort they find when petting a dog – their faces completely light up as they stretch out their arms to welcome them. “We’ve found it so important to keep activities that residents enjoy going throughout the pandemic, so we have made sure to incorporate pets and animals into our activity programme. “When we couldn’t physically welcome any pets into our lounge area, we would download pictures of our residents favourite animals for our residents to talk about. “Everyone thoroughly enjoys hearing one another’s stories and leaves the sessions feeling happy – which is the main reason why we have our extensive activity programme.”


New Report Calls For A Digital Revolution To Facilitate Healthcare Reforms The UK Government must place digital innovation at the heart of new reforms included in the recently published White Paper, and galvanise the progress made during the COVID-19 pandemic if GPs, hospitals, community services, and social care providers are to work together effectively in the longer term; according to a new report released by global public policy institute, Public Policy Projects (PPP). The ‘State of the Nation: Digitisation and Medical Technologies’ report from PPP includes 12 policy recommendations from the former Associate Chief CIO of NHS England, Dr Harpreet Sood; and Deputy Chair of the PPP Healthcare and Life Sciences Policy Board, Baroness Nicola Blackwood. The recommendations call for digital-based solutions to be placed at the heart of the Government’s plans for healthcare reforms outlined in the recently published white paper. Proposals in the paper set out plans to modernise the health and care system to make it fit for the future and tackle the needs of communities to deliver higher-quality care in a system that is less bureaucratic, more accountable, and more collaborative. The report from PPP, presented to the current Minister for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord James Bethell and CEO of NHS Digital, Sarah Wilkinson, urges the Government and NHS arm’s length bodies (ALBs) to use digital solutions to facilitate greater collaboration between health and care providers to benefit local populations, and that changes to system leadership pave the way for greater accountability of services . The policy recommendations focus on driving substantive cultural and practice change towards digital-first healthcare provision, and include tech-based solutions to a number of significant issues currently faced by the NHS, including: • Placing digital innovation at the heart of healthcare reform • Implementing a prevention-first approach • Empowering patients to become informed co-creators of their own health • Legislating better data access, interoperability and protection • Reviewing effective digital solutions used during the pandemic The report provides analysis concerning the current state of digital policy, performance of policy development against benchmarks, and delivery in the UK healthcare system. Specific exploration includes the practical short-term benefits of embedding digital enhancements to frontline service delivery where improvements have been observed

gy and data directs how healthcare is delivered in the 21st century. As

our population continues to age, the digitisation of the NHS will enable care to be more joined-up and the structures in place to link health and social care to be drastically improved.” Published in partnership with Novartis, Cerner, Cloudgateway, Siemens Healthineers, Nourish Care, and VitalityHealth, the State of the Nation report incorporated insights from three extensive roundtable discussions and interviews with over 70 leaders and expert representatives from policy, system leadership, frontline care, social care, mental health, the third sector, and leading players in research, life sciences, digital health, and the tech sector. Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Co-Chair of the ‘State of the Nation; Digitisation and Medical Technologies’ report and former Minister for Innovation at the Department for Health and Social Care, added: “The rapid expansion of new forms of system collaboration, and remote care experienced during the pandemic has heightened the need to rethink during the pandemic. Alongside these, the report provides a long-term vision for the transformational potential of digital and data enabled healthcare, outlining the key enablers, capabilities and partnerships that are required to make this a reality. Dr Harpreet Sood, Co-Chair of the ‘State of the Nation; Digitisation and Medical Technologies’ report, former Associate Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) for NHS England, and practising GP in London commented: “The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), and the Health and Social Care Secretary have both identified the crucial role that digital transformation will play in our ability to meet the health and care demands of the 21st century. However, the recently published white paper highlights that there are still barriers to integrating technology effectively. “The insight gained from the roundtable discussions and interviews revealed that there is a tremendous desire to embrace the new possibilities of enhancing health and care using technology and data. We need to remove the institutional and systemic barriers in working efficiently for patients and healthcare professionals and improve the widening health inequalities. “The report calls for healthcare professionals, industry leaders, policymakers and the general public to think and act differently, looking to a future in which population health is empowered by innovative technolo-

both the ambitions and plans for the digital and medical technologies agenda. “The Government will only be successful in its aims to enhance the current structure of the NHS, provide clear lines of accountability, and integrate health and care services if it ensures that digital innovation is at the centre of all health and social care reforms moving forward. The Department for Health and Social Care must build on the momentum generated over the course of the pandemic to drive substantive culture and practice change towards digital-first healthcare provision which is more proactive, predictive, and effective.” The report heralds the beginning of an ongoing cross-sector conversation on the future of digitally empowered healthcare that will comprise an annual report and a series of events, debates, and roundtables to explore the themes and policy recommendations that have arisen in more depth. The ‘State of the Nation: Digitisation and Medical Technologies’ report will be launched at a virtual launch event on Tuesday 16th February. To register to attend the report launch, please visit

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New Vaccine Uptake Plan Published

From vaccination buses to WhatsApp groups and charity engagement, the new COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan aims to boost vaccine uptake in vulnerable and under-served groups. Published this week, the plan sets out how the Government and NHS England are partnering with directors of public health, charities and the faith sector to increase vaccine take up and ensure equal access. Evidence from the rollout so far has shown the vital role of health and social care staff and community leaders who are providing advice and information to their local communities. Data published today shows comparable vaccine programmes achieved a 75% uptake rate, but so far, the COVID-19 vaccination programme has exceeded expectations, seeing 93% uptake in those over 75 years of age. Our aim remains to achieve the highest possible uptake in all other groups. Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “We have seen an incredible response so far from the public to the vaccination programme and are on track to offer everyone in the top priority groups a jab by 15 February. “We recognise that some groups feel more hesitant about getting a jab, or have more barriers, both physical and mental, preventing them from accessing one when it’s offered. “Each shot in the arm brings us closer to beating this terrible virus. That’s why we are setting out our plan to make sure everyone is protected equally, by working hand in hand with those who know their

communities best to make sure as many people as possible take up the offer of a lifesaving vaccination.” The plan highlights work being done at a local and national level to make sure specific groups, including those with mental illness or without a fixed address, can access the information and advice they need to make a decision on taking up the vaccination. Building on work already underway to reach more hesitant audiences, which includes translating vaccine resources in over 13 languages, the plan aims to raise awareness of how the NHS is making vaccination accessible to all, especially ethnic minorities, homeless people, asylum seekers and those with disabilities. Community leaders are being urged to make clear an NHS number is not needed to get a jab and that there are a large number of vaccination sites spread right across the country that people can go to. Over 98% of the UK population now lives within 10 miles of a vaccination site. The uptake plan sets out best-in-class real-world examples of community-led engagement to improve vaccine uptake which other local areas could replicate to drive uptake in their areas. This includes: • The GP Federation Alliance for Better Care have launched a mobile vaccination service in Crawley, staffed by members of the community, to reach those who are housebound or less physically mobile; • The OneSlough Partnership has trained vaccine community champions and produced social media resources to dispel vaccine myths and boost vaccine uptake within their communities; • Bradford Council and the Race Equality Network have built on established groups and events such virtual women’s exercise classes and befriender services as a forum to ask questions and share information about vaccination; • NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced short films to provide accessible information for people with a learning disability including autism, about what a vaccine is, how it’s made and how to decide whether to get vaccinated; • A branch manager at MiHomecare, a domiciliary care provider in North London, noticed her staff were initially hesitant to take the vaccine, so she shared a video of herself getting a vaccine on her workplace social media and WhatsApp group. This led to a noticeable increase in staff vaccine uptake. Local initiatives are also being bolstered by national support programmes. The Community Champions scheme that recently received a

£23 million boost is helping 60 local councils to fund local engagement with groups including older people, those with disabilities and people from ethnic minority backgrounds. NHS England and PHE have been working with Rethink Mental Illness to produce communications materials which aim to overcome barriers and address common causes of concern faced by people living with severe mental illnesses or learning disabilities and autism. A new Vaccination Equalities Committee, led by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is bringing also together government departments with national representatives from the Association of Directors of Public Health, local authorities, Fire and Police services and third sector organisations to advise and guide the vaccine deployment programme on addressing inequalities. The plan published today builds on the UK Covid-19 Vaccines Delivery Plan, published on 11 January, which provided details about vaccine investment and supply, as well as the operation of vaccination sites across the country. Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said: “COVID-19 affects everyone, whatever their background. Life-saving vaccines need the trust and confidence of every community to protect us all from the virus. That is why the Government is working with local figures, faith leaders, and doctors to combat misinformation and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.” Two months since the start of the vaccination rollout, over 13 million people across the UK have already taken up the offer of a vaccine. Jabs are now being administered at 267 hospitals, 1,034 local vaccination sites, 90 vaccination centres and 194 community pharmacies. The NHS is on track to offer a first dose to the top four priority groups by 15 February – care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers, all those aged 70 or over and the clinically extremely vulnerable. NHS top trauma surgeon and volunteer vaccinator, Dr Martin Griffiths, said: “Thanks to the fantastic efforts of hard-working NHS staff and volunteers, the largest vaccination programme in the health service’s history has now jabbed four in five people aged 70 and over – but it’s not too late to come forward. “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people are disproportionately affected by Covid so it’s really important they get the vaccine. I’ve had it myself but understand that each person has their own specific reasons why they are hesitant and I want to ensure every person I see understands the vaccine is safe and effective as this will help us all get back to as normal a life as possible.”

Opera Star John’s Joyous Voice Wows Dorset Care Home Residents One of Britain’s top opera singers has given an exclusive ‘tenor on the terrace’ concert for music lovers at a Dorset care home. John Hudson, who has sung for English, Scottish and Welsh National Operas, performed a selection of pieces at Colten Care’s Castle View home in Poundbury. While physical distancing rules meant he had to sing outside on the terrace, he had no difficulty projecting his voice so all inside the home could hear him. Team members put up a gazebo and flooded the terrace with jars of tea lights to mimic a stage while in the home’s lounges, they arranged armchairs in rows to create a theatrical feel. Residents Joan Edwards, George Clarke and Liz Thompson were all thrilled with the show. “It was an absolute treat,” said Joan. “I can’t wait till we can have more of this kind of music again.” George said: “What a talent. It was something different, almost like being at the opera.”

Liz concurred with both comments, adding: “It was amazing to listen to an operatic tenor.” Katja Williams, Companionship Team Leader, said: “John’s singing certainly lifted everyone’s spirits. “He projected his fantastic voice so that residents in our lounges and in their bedrooms could hear him easily.” John studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has performed in top venues all over the world including London’s Royal Albert Hall. He debuted as a principal with English National Opera in 1993, going on to sing in productions of famous operas such as Rigoletto, Tosca and Carmen. He has lived in the Dorset village of Piddlehinton for ten years with his wife and children. During the first lockdown, he started doing weekly doorstep concerts from the family home with a repertoire ranging from opera to songs from the musicals. The performances quickly prompted great interest with his voice resounding around the Piddle Valley.

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

leagues can be emailed with a link to the section of the waste management audit that they need to complete. Once done, Anenta assesses the audit and provides a report with advisory notes and actions to be taken covering: missing policies, segregation requirements, and areas where action needs to be taken to comply with regulations; be that in terms of duty of care or the clinical waste pre-acceptance audit process. This enables clients to quickly and easily address aspects of the audit that will enable them to continue operat-

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


The Power Of One Hour – A New Campaign To Embed Music Into Dementia Care Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, a community interest company specialising in dementia care, has launched the Just One Hour campaign which aims to spark a cultural change in dementia care through music. The team at Musica are asking care homes and caregivers in the UK to sign up to the Just One Hour campaign and join the 277 care homes that have already signed up including the Hallmark, Four Seasons, Brighterkind, and Meddyg Care groups. Chief Executive and Founder of Musica, Rosie Mead, is a PhD candidate researching music in dementia care: “Just One Hour is inspired by research* which suggests that people living with dementia in care homes experience just two minutes of social interaction each day on average. We are seeking to change this and increase that social interaction to at least one hour per week by enabling carers to embed music into the daily care of people living with dementia.” Care homes and caregivers can sign up to the #JustOneHour pledge via the Musica website to help harmonise healthcare and improve the lives of people living with dementia. Sign-ups will receive a digital pack with information on why music is beneficial in dementia care, how to use

music in individual care, as well as all the tools required to deliver meaningful music in short 10-minute bursts. The pack will also include prompts, which can be displayed around the home to encourage all caregivers to provide social interaction through music. Musica’s #JustOneHour campaign is supported by British cartoonist, Tony Husband, best known for his regular cartoon strip in Private Eye, Yobs, that has been published since the late 1980s. Tony is an active dementia campaigner and openly speaks of his own experience of the joy that music brought this father whilst living with dementia: “I know the importance of, and the pleasure, music brings to those living with dementia. My dad was a brilliant boogie woogie player and he took his keyboard into the care home. One day I was in his room, and he was playing something I’d not heard before, I said ‘Dad, is that your tune?’ Without stopping playing, he said ‘Yes, music gives me freedom’ And it did, I know that.” Musica is considered one of the leading music and health organisations in the UK. Based in Dorset, the organisation operates across the UK delivering online support, training, coaching and meaningful music activities for healthcare providers and family caregivers to support relationship-centred dementia care. “The benefits of music in dementia care are significant – the use of familiar music delivered in a responsive way can help to reduce agitation, anxiety and improve wellbeing, social interaction and quality of life. This isn’t magic, it’s science. We have realised the importance of being in the moment with people living with dementia and have fully embraced a responsive care model, and this campaign will empower carers all across the UK to do the same,” Rosie comments. The Just One Hour Campaign is supported by Hallmark Care Homes, an award-winning, family run care provider with 20 care homes across

England and South Wales. Head of Relationship Centred Care April Dobson said: “At Hallmark Care Homes we’ve seen from our own experiences how music has the power to create connections and build relationships – particularly for people living with dementia. Our teams recognise the value of using music as part of everyday care, not just as one-off sessions or events, and the learning we’re taking part in with Musica is helping to embed that practice in all Hallmark Care Homes. Our aim is that every person’s care plan should include a way to use music therapeutically in a way that is meaningful for that person. Our partnership with Musica will help us achieve this aim and ensure that our focus remains always on every single individual. Music enriches people’s lives in so many ways by bringing joy, fun, and opportunities for a shared experience, which is why we’re so proud to support the ‘Just One Hour’ campaign. On an organisational level, the partnership supports the many of the outcomes within our dementia strategy, and our vision of relationship centred care.” The #JustOneHour campaign is also supported by Xledger UK, a cloud-based finance software company based in Bristol. Mark Pullen, the CEO, said: “As a company, we endeavour to support initiatives that enhance people’s lives. We all appreciate the joy music brings, so what better way to improve the wellbeing of those most in need. We are proud to support the campaign and as we operate within the care homes space, we hope to spread the message as far as we can so as many people as possible can benefit.” Just One Hour is a revolutionary campaign, starting a movement of people making the world a better place for those living with dementia, by improving their overall quality of life, by taking one small step, one person at a time, Just one hour.

Care Home Resident Reads Her Poems To Local Nursery School Children Via Facetime as Part of National Story Telling Week In celebration of National Storytelling Week, Brentwood Care Centre resident and published Author Joan Vicente used virtual technology to read her poems to children at the local day nursery. Joan, recently moved into the Nursing, Residential and Dementia Care Home in Larchwood Gardens, Brentwood. When Joan’s family shared with the care team of dedicated professionals at the home her past experiences and love of poetry, they couldn’t think of a better way of supporting Joan to continue sharing her love of poetry by including her in the care home’s intergenerational partnership with Hopscotch Day Nursery. Joan has always loved poetry and in her later years would regularly visit local primary schools to hold poetry writing workshops and also read poems from her books. Joan and her family thought this part of her life was over until the team at Brentwood Care Centre started planning the intergenerational event as part of RCH Care Homes National Story Telling Week. ‘By Your Side’ is part of the home’s Dementia Strategy. Torie, the Home’s Manager explained it’s importance and effectiveness, “The strategy is a 3year plan to audit, review and further develop the Dementia service we provide. There are four pillars where excellence of care is signposted: learning and development; activities and occupation; food, drink and the mealtime

experience; and prosthetic environments, with all four pillars working within the provision of strengthsbased person-centred care planning.” It is this approach which enabled the team to co-ordinate and support Joan to once again engage and continue this skill and passion with the virtual poetry reading. Joan’s family were delighted when the idea of Joan being able to combine her passions of community, children and poetry in this way was put to them. As you can imagine this was an emotional and heart-warming event for Joan and her family, “The staff at Brentwood Care Centre are unreal and beyond words. Watching her read her poems to the children, I cannot even start to explain how I felt. We’ve shared the video with friends and family and there have been many tears of joy”. – Joan’s daughter Sally The importance of this type of engagement for residents was underlined by the home’s Deputy Manager, Charlie “It is amazing to see Joan interacting and doing what she loves. It is even more special that Joan read from her own published book whilst reading to the Children from Hopscotch Day Nursery. It is lovely to see how different generations can engage and interact with each other and the difference this makes to the resident’s wellbeing, especially during these difficult times.”

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.


Vaccine Take Up Among Social Care Workforce The National Care Forum (NCF) have carried out a snapshot survey of all members and the response came from organisations representing 1500 social care services in England over the 8th and 9th February 2021. The survey was broken down to cover staff from different types of care settings and each category of service was asked a set of questions about staff take up and access to vaccines. The survey revealed that there is a long way still to go if the government wants to meet its 15 February target of offering the vaccination to all social care staff. The tables below show the percentage of respondents who reported over 70% of staff vaccinated and under 40% of staff vaccination across a number of care settings. The biggest gaps appear to be in domiciliary care services – where 38% of those responding had less than 40% of their staff vaccinated. Although over 30% of all services other than care homes for older adults had less than 40% of staff vaccinated.

REASONS FOR LACK OF TAKE UP When examining the reasons for lack of take up of the vaccine, there is an interesting emerging picture. • In older peoples care homes, where vaccination take up is generally significantly higher, responses would suggest that issues around medical reasons and hesitancy are absolutely key for current levels of vaccine take up, although the very practical issue of staff being unavailable when the vaccination team was visiting remains a challenge. • In services where vaccination is currently much less prevalent it appears there is much more balance across the reasons for not having the vaccine with issues such as lack of access, already having a future booked appointment and hesitancy all playing a relatively equal part. • The exception to this appears to be care homes for working age adults, where hesitancy appears to be a really dominant reason for lack of vaccination. This would be an area where there needs to be more work to under-

stand the reasons behind this and what support should be offered specifically targeted at this workforce. • An unexpectedly large category of those who have not yet had the vaccine are those with medical reasons not to have it. This does feel like an area that needs more exploration, as it would appear there are potentially significant numbers of staff unable to receive the vaccination due to medical reasons. Percentage of organisations Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the NCF says: “The prioritisation of staff vaccination across all types of social care does not appear to have been followed through with the same level of effectiveness as the campaign to vaccinate all older adults in care homes. “The voice from providers on the ground gives some indication of where local systems could be improved, such as making sure hospital hubs continue to offer appointments to social care workers, ensuring these appointments are available as a matter of priority and removing any local barriers to vaccine access. “A positive first step has already been taken towards this by opening the National Booking Service to all social care staff, but more needs to be done to address vaccine hesitancy and a better understanding of the medical barriers to vaccine uptake. “When it comes to vaccination hesitancy, social care providers need to be supported with tailored resources to build confidence in the vaccine programme, address staff concerns and combat misinformation. We all want to see all care workers offered the vaccine as soon as possible, in line with the government’s target to vaccinate all social care staff by 15 February.”

Piers Morgan Delights Care Home Resident With Special Valentine’s Day Message Love is certainly in the air at a South London care home this year after Piers Morgan surprised an admiring resident with a sweet Valentine’s Day message. The special surprise was arranged by staff at The Summers care home in West Molesey having noticed that resident Rosie Kirkin (88) held a flame for the TV personality. Akua Buabeng, home manager at The Summers explains: “At The Summers we love to see our residents smile, so we’re always looking for new ways to surprise them. We noticed that Rosie often wakes up early to watch Good Morning Britain and when we asked her about this, she confessed that it’s to catch a glimpse of Piers who she finds “rather dashing – if only she were a few years younger”! With Valentine’s Day approaching, we thought how wonderful it would be if we could surprise Rosie with a message from Piers, just for her. We spoke to a few people, not sure if it would amount to anything, and we were absolutely delighted when the video came through!”

“Rosie’s reaction was priceless, she couldn’t stop blushing and proudly played the video for all of her friends afterwards,” Akua added. In the message, Piers can be seen saying: “Rosie, it’s Piers Morgan here. I know you’ve got a little bit of a soft spot for me and who knows if our lives had followed different paths, we could have been spending Valentine’s Day together, couldn’t we? I want to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for all your years of support – it’s greatly appreciated. I know it’s been a tough year for everybody, definitely in care homes, but I want to wish you and everybody in your home all the very best on this special, lovely day.” Speaking of her crush and her delight upon hearing from him, Rosie said: “Although Piers can be known to divide opinions, I’ve always thought he’s great. He’s intelligent, charismatic and easy on the eyes so, of course, I have a soft spot for him! I can’t believe he took the time to send such a lovely message, it’s made me very happy."


4 Ways Digital Tools Can Boost Efficiency and Help Manage the Vaccine Roll-Out in Care Homes some expert insight into why digital tools play an integral part in the management of care homes - particularly during a global pandemic.


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Care homes have played an integral part in keeping the elderly safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK has more than 15.5 million people aged 60 and over1. Even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many challenges made caring for the UK’s ageing population difficult, with even more pressure to come in the next few years. Caregivers now have to constantly reimagine and reorganise their operations to best meet the changing clinical demands, including a mass vaccine rollout. In these challenging times, digital tools have become indispensable, and if used correctly - they can improve efficiency and ultimately, curb the spread of the virus within a facility whilst individuals await the vaccine. Brett Smith, Director of Customer Success at Planday, provides

3. THEY HELP TO MAINTAIN ACCURATE RECORDS “Keeping a comprehensive audit trail is critical to keep your business running effectively and maintaining quality assurance. Good processes and record-keeping also helps manage any interruptions to staff rotas or shift-swaps for care home workers, especially during COVID-19. “Having employee management software in place can save the day. Tools can provide accurate time-critical data to answer questions such as; ‘When did a member of your team clock in or out?’ ‘Which department do they work in?’ Or, ‘How many colleagues were present that day?’ “Now that the vaccine is being rolled out, it’s also vital to effectively track which patients and members of staff have been vaccinated and when the rest will be receiving their vaccinations. This should also be factored into rota planning.”

“Doing this in a sector that’s often understaffed2, can certainly be problematic. It’s important to factor in the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, which in turn results in a lack of agency or “bank” staff in the sector. This could be as a result of illness, exposure, or the need to care for their own family members at home. “As employees take leaves of unspecified lengths of time, precise employee scheduling is vital. Software that is tailored specifically to care home management will help you do this, simply and efficiently. “For example, Planday’s software enables you to build smart and flexible staff rotas for care homes – which take into account employee skill, demand patterns, work regulations, and employee contract terms. You can also make “open” shifts available to employees with specific skills.”




“Whether it’s the immediacy of dealing with COVID-19 or the range of other challenges staff rotas and staff management for care homes need, keeping clear and open communication with your team is key. “To foster an all-hands on deck approach so everyone knows what’s going on, managers should create a regular communication cadence. Continually assess and tweak your communication plans and policies, and endeavour to deliver the right message in real-time, through the right channels. “Use digital tools and apps to tailor communications, and message employees in real-time when changes occur to keep them in the know. “In turn, you’ll improve trust with employees, which creates a community of happy care employees, who are passionate about giving better care. And while care home workforces have been challenged immensely in the past year, a happy team has proved essential to maintaining the connection and care that residents need right now.”

“If any unvaccinated patient in the facilities did come into contact with an infected employee, or another patient, you must make conscious efforts to keep them safe. “If a health record system is in place, it'll be easy to access details regarding the patients' issues and problems faced - and also whether they have been vaccinated or not. This way, even as you isolate them, you’ll be in a position to prescribe the most effective preventive or curative methods for the patient. “Using digital tools also eliminates the need for manual check-in, spreadsheet data recording, and paper payments. Ultimately, this can reduce the spread of the virus within the facility significantly.” 1 2

HC-One Care Homes Celebrate The Year of the Ox in Chinese New Year Festivities In celebration of Chinese New Year, HC-One care homes across the UK held Chinese New Year parties welcoming the ‘Year of the Ox’ by taking part in a series of fun, cultural celebrations. Colleagues at Dingle Meadow Care Home in Oldham, West Midlands, decorated the home for the occasion in luxurious colours of red and gold, as well as a variety of décor including Chinese paper lanterns, streamers, origami animals and flowers. Whilst traditional music played in the background, Residents feasted on a selection of delicious Chinese cuisine, including spring rolls, noodles, samosas and a variety of sweet treats including plenty of cakes and biscuits for dessert. Residents enjoyed sampling the dishes, along with a tipple or two of wine, before finishing the evening with some dancing. At St Margaret’s Care Home in Crossgate, County Durham, Residents and Colleagues celebrated Chinese New Year by making beautiful Chinese lanterns which were displayed proudly in the home to celebrate the ‘Year of the Ox’. The home’s Chef made a variety of Chinese-inspired dishes for Residents to sample. As part of their new year’s resolutions to keep active, Residents are taking part in virtual exercise programmes with fitness guru, Joe Wicks. After finishing the exer-

cise class, Residents enjoyed crafting their beautiful Chinese lanterns. St Margaret’s Home Manager, Katherine Swainston, said: “It’s amazing to see how energetic some our Residents can get! Seeing all of our Residents get involved with the lantern-making was lovely. It’s great to do things that provide inclusion for everyone.” A Resident at Swallownest Care Home, South Yorkshire enjoyed spending time crafting beautiful paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year. Chris Parker spent some one-to-one time with Wellbeing Coordinator, Dawn Spafford, making the beautifully patterned lanterns in time to celebrate. Resident Chris Parker, commented: “I’ve loved this one-to-one time and have enjoyed making the lanterns. They’re all prepared and ready to make which makes it so much easier.” Chris and Dawn spent a lovely afternoon chatting with one another whilst they skilfully created the bright and cheery lanterns. Swallownest’s Home Manager, Amanda Fields, said: “Chris was very proud of his finished lanterns. Spending one-to-one time with Residents is very important and the Colleagues enjoy it as well.”

Guide For Carers Overseeing Loved Ones Moving Into Care Homes Overseeing loved ones moving into care homes can be one of the most emotionally difficult challenges facing older carers, according to a new guide launched by Age Cymru. ‘Making relationships count’ says older carers can often suffer a sense of loss, guilt and worry when their loved one leaves to move into a care home. However, carers can also feel a sense of relief as caring can be so exhausting, especially for those suffering with ill-health. Cath Peach who manages the Cottage Nursing Home in Mold says: “The guide has been produced at a time when it has never been needed more. The transition into a care home can be difficult at the best of times but the lockdown has brought lots of additional challenges. “The sayings ‘ll never put you in a home’ or ‘don’t ever put me in a home’ is still said amongst families, even though care homes have changed enormously over the years. Feelings of failure and guilt are huge for some families. It is therefore important that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. “Many people still think that a care home is where everyone just sit around doing nothing. Well things have changed and we are certainly not like that at The Cottage. This guide will help families get a realistic glimpse of what life is like in care homes today. Our care at The Cottage extends to the families who

are a big part of our home and often need reassurance and support just as much as our residents.” ‘Making relationships count’ advises carers going through the process to communicate with the care home as much as possible so that the homes can get to know their new resident and better understand what they do and don’t like, and what matters to them most. It says the best way to do this is to meet with the key people in the care home such as the manager, the chef, and the activities co-ordinator. Quite often, care homes will assign a staff member to buddy up with a new resident to help them settle into their new home. The guide advises that you can help settle your loved one by personalising their living space with objects they cherish such books, photographs and pictures, encouraging other relatives and friends to keep in touch by writing or telephoning regularly, and by getting involved in their care plan. It also advises carers to take care of themselves by sharing their feelings with people they trust, ensuring they get plenty of rest and exercise, and by treating themselves with whatever makes them feel good. The guide, funded by the Welsh Government, is available in English or Welsh from Age Cymru: or call 029 2043 1555.


NHS Faces Mammoth Task to Recover Treatment Backlog but Has Never Been COVID-Only Responding to the report What’s next for the NHS? by think tank Reform, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “The NHS faces a mammoth task to recover the treatment backlog that has built up during the pandemic – this would need to more than double in size in the next three months if Reform’s prediction of it reaching 10 million by April is to materialise. “The NHS has operated at the top of its capacity for far too long and it will take years to get through the backlog as it currently stands and this is before the hidden waiting list of people who have not yet come forward for treatment is factored in, the size of which is not yet known. “Hospitals in England cared for over 242,300 people with coronavirus in the last year, services in the community are supporting a growing list of people with long-lasting symptoms to recover, and all parts of the NHS have been delivering the largest vaccination programme this country has ever seen. “But despite these challenges, it is plainly not the case that the NHS has been a COVID-only service. In December and January alone, the NHS in England performed over 6 million elective operations, treated over 280,400 people for cancer, and supported over 18.8 million admissions into A&E. “Although cases of coronavirus are continuing to decline, the threat of future waves remain, and experts

are clear the disease will never go away completely. Increasing acute bed capacity is vital but it is far from being the only solution. As we explained in our letter to the Prime Minister last week, a long-term plan to grow the NHS workforce is needed too, as well as additional investment in community, primary, ambulance and mental healthcare. And we finally need a solution to end the crisis in social care. “Also, a continuation of the NHS’s successful relationship with the independent sector will be essential. The deals that have been put in place have enabled over 2.6 million operations, consultations, scans, tests, and chemotherapy sessions to be carried out since last March. “Health leaders and their teams will continue to do everything they can for their patients and they are committed to transparency but imposing another mandatory reporting requirement on their staff on the second year of a global crisis helps no one, particularly at a time when the Government has said it is committed to stamping out unnecessary bureaucracy. “There is a long road ahead and solutions should be focused on supporting the NHS to recover in a realistic, safe and manageable way and on ensuring the workforce is looked after following everything it has been through.”

Charity Invites Care Homes Across The UK To FREE Intergenerational Session The Together Project set to spread joy throughout the care sector during National Intergenerational Week in March Sing, move, play, make friends and have lots of fun! National Intergenerational Week (8th-14th March) is an online campaign celebrating ideas, moments and opportunities where different age groups come together and intergenerational friendships are made. With a difficult winter drawing to a close, national charity The Together Project is offering one free Virtual Songs & Smiles session to care homes during National Intergenerational Week. The joy-filled initiative will spread cheer, reduce loneliness and make heartwarming multi-age connections across the UK. Designed by experts and structured around key themes of Speeds/Volume, Beats, Actions and Movement. Playing instruments, tapping out rhythms, popping bubbles, waving colourful scarves – there’s lots to keep everyone entertained! The sessions are very flexible and can be held for a number of residents in a communal lounge or for individual residents in their own rooms (in a group session with other homes). Songs & Smiles has a range of proven benefits for older people living in care settings, including: • Uplift in mood and happiness levels • Improvements in motor skills and physical abilities

• Improvements in verbal and communication skills for those living with dementia • Increased opportunities to interact with others, reducing loneliness and isolation • Increased sense of ‘something to look forward to’ “Residents will continue to feel the magical effect of a Virtual Songs

& Smiles Session throughout the rest of their day!” Louise Goulden, Founder & CEO, The Together Project “It was so good to be able to see the children and it was very clever!”. Care home resident “Isn’t it lovely the children can still play together” Care home resident “Normally residents would go out and about into the community, engaging and connecting with people, but this past year it hasn’t been possible. Songs & Smiles is a way for them to bridge the generational divide and bring children into the home. “What we enjoyed most was the connection. It was the first time some residents had seen children for over a year! Songs & Smiles is the perfect name for it, we sang songs and the residents had the biggest smiles. It was so lovely to see. We talked about it after the session on our Zoom calls to families. Some of the families even wanted to get involved” To get involved care homes can visit and will receive full information on how to sign up to the free session. The free sessions are available on a first- come, first-served basis and The Together Project anticipates high demand, so early booking is strongly advised.

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Councils Against Relinquishing Control of Social Care To NHS or Government A new blueprint for delivering social care in England could help tens of thousands of adults each year who need care and support to live more independent lives – if councils are given the ability to reshape services through the government’s long-awaited reforms. This is the key finding of a major new report launched today by CCN, Newton and the Association of County Chief Executives (ACCE). It argues strongly that social care should remain being delivered by local authorities rather than giving increased control to the NHS or central government. Across the social care sector, and built on an extensive new evidence base, Newton concludes that only councils, working with their partners – including the NHS and providers – can deliver their new wide-ranging blueprint for services that supports individuals to live as independently as possible. The report is another piece of evidence to illustrate why social care should continue to be delivered by local authorities, rather than via the NHS. To showcase the importance of local delivery, the CCN launches its #KeepCareLocal campaign today. CCN’s new video below contains an overview of Newton’s report and makes the case for keeping social care a service delivered by councils The report outlines new ways of working and improved practices for local authorities, care providers and the NHS in what Newton terms an ‘optimised local delivery model’ to help transform services for many of the 1.4m people who approach councils each year for local authority arranged-care in England. This can be achieved through a mix of interrelated improvements, including better long-term commissioning of residential and home care; greater collaboration between councils, the NHS and care providers; investment in reablement services; maximising the use of the voluntary and community sector; and embracing digital transformation. However, the report warns that this model can only be delivered if councils are given the clarity of a long-term funding model for care, due

to be outlined in the government’s long–awaited green paper, and remain under local democratic control. The Local Government Association estimate that by 2025 there will be a funding gap in adult social care of £3.6bn just to maintain services. The blueprint shows that, as part of a wider transformation that would improve services for many of those who need care and support, tens of thousands of individuals could live more independent lives every year. This would help deliver £1.6bn nationally in financial benefits per year from reducing care costs if councils are put in the driving seat to reform local services. This includes: • At least 90,000 additional older adults each year could benefit from greater access to short-term services, such as reablement, to reduce or prevent their need for long-term-care. This, coupled with services being more effective, could reduce long-term care costs by £867m a year. • Around one fifth – 10,800 – of older adults who go into long-term residential care each year could be supported to live in a more independent setting, such as their own home. This could reduce long-term care costs by £178m a year. • Working age adults with learning disabilities outside of residential care receiving formal support could be enabled to develop the skills they need to live more independently. In turn, they could have their level of required home care support hours reduced by 8% on average – delivering £261m in savings per year. • Around 11,600 working age adults with learning disabilities who currently live in residential care could be living in a more independent setting, such as in supported living or with a Shared Lives carer. This could deliver £74m a year of reduced costs. • Greater collaboration between care providers and councils to tailor home care support around the individual, which maximises their potential for independence, could save £75m per year. At the same time, more use of voluntary and community sector services when adults approach social care could deliver a £95 million financial benefit per year.

But for service improvements to be realised, Newton outline several ‘foundations’ that must be in place through the government’s longawaited social care reforms. These include setting out plans for a longterm funding solution for adult social care. Parity of esteem with the NHS is also called for, with social care getting a more prominent voice in local decision-making, and more campaigning to raise the positive profile of the sector with the public. The report suggests reforms could also be underpinned by a new, outcomes-based performance framework. In exchange for more funding, the framework would make clear the impact of funding decisions, highlighting areas of good and poor practice, and give central government a new mechanism to monitor and support improvement. Cllr David Fothergill, health and social care spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said: “This year, we could finally see the government’s long-awaited proposals for reforming care services in England. This must set out a longterm funding solution but also be clear over who is best placed to deliver services for the most vulnerable in our communities. “The evidence presented in this report is compelling: only councils, who know their populations and their providers, have the means to deliver improved social care services to keep people independent for longer. Social care is best delivered as a local service and local authorities have the connection to their communities to truly transform local care for the better. “This report recognises that if government finally delivers sustainable funding for councils, we can work with health partners and care providers to deliver improved commissioning and financial benefits which could be reinvested in local services. “In exchange for more funding and local decision making over services, a new co-designed performance framework could also help provide reassurance to government that these improvements are being met.”

George Celebrates 100th Birthday George Almond, a resident at Sunrise of Bagshot, celebrated turning 100 on 14th January.

George was an engineer in the electrical supply industry. George’s fondest memory is his friendship with his late wife, and his top tip for liv-

George has been a resident at Sunrise of Bagshot since 2017, and he enjoys the exercise groups at the care home, as well as a daily walk around the landscaped gardens. When Sunrise of Bagshot’s in-house dining team made George’s birthday cake, the icing depicted George’s favourite spot in the garden. George was born in Northwood, Middlesex, and he lived in Chester for most of his life. In 1952, he married Nona, and they had three children, Diane, Pauline, and Neil.

ing a healthy life is always looking on the bright side of life and keeping active. Jane Harris, Activities Coordinator at Sunrise of Bagshot, said: “George is such a lovely gentleman; it was a pleasure to celebrate his 100th birthday with him. He is regularly joining with exercise and balance groups at Sunrise of Bagshot, and he also really enjoys playing bowls with other residents.”

Omnicell's eMAR Solution Helping Care Homes to Manage Their COVID-19 Vaccination Programmes As the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out across the UK, Omnicell’s eMAR solution has recently been enhanced to help support care homes to manage recording of the medication in terms of timings, dosage as well as the type of vaccination used. As with any other medication, this vaccine needs to be managed and administered safely. New features to the eMAR care home solution have been introduced to ensure that staff can easily record the type of vaccine, when it was administered and whether it was the first or second injection. As with all medication, residents have the right to refuse and should that be the case, the Omnicell eMAR solution also captures this information too. The Omnicell eMAR system automates the entire medication management and administration process for each care home resident, ensuring they receive their right medication at the right time. Now, care home management and staff can have the COVID-19 vaccine status of each resident at the touch of their fingertips as part of the eMAR Reporting Suite. The eMAR system gathers information, provides prompts and accurate instructions for staff and managers in real time at the touch of a button. Each individual medication is identified through a barcode, normally applied in pharmacy, which can then be tracked at all stages from check in at the care home through to administration to a resident. It provides an invaluable medicines history for each patient and includes a simple alert and verification system to minimise the risk of medication errors in the home. Residents in care homes take an average of 7.2 medicines per day. With each additional medicine comes an increased risk of errors in prescription, monitoring, dispensing or administration, adverse drug reac-

tions, impaired medicines adherence which can lead to compromised quality of life for patients. CQC’s annual state of care report found that safety was the biggest concern with one of the main contributing factors being poor medicines management.1 Recently, Omnicell UK, the market leader in medication and supplies automation, and Nourish Care, a leading electronic care planning provider, came together to provide a new integration that gives care staff greater visibility of a patient’s medication regime as part of their overall care plan. Managing and monitoring resident’s medication regimes effectively can significantly impact the delivery and quality of care. Historically care

planning and medication administration systems have been managed completely separately. This can potentially contribute to failings in support of residents’ care. The new integration means that Omnicell eMAR can now share data related to medication with the Nourish Care system, giving greater insight and driving best practice into the safety and individual care of each resident in the home. Heather Bethune, Care Home Manager at Abbeyfield House Care Home, comments; "The new COVID-19 recording feature has been a huge help for our care home. All of the vaccine information is recorded in one place and it's presented alongside all the medication that we've administered - where it should be, so it's great to have a simple overview of everything that’s medication related. We can record the type of vaccine that resident has been given and the date they were administered it, this allows us to know when the second vaccination is required for each resident. The system allows you to input information retrospectively which is a great help when we have new residents join the home who have already had the vaccine. It's a really simple and easy to use system that is helping us to manage the COVID-19 virus.” Cyrus Hodivala, Medicines Adherence Sales Director at Omnicell UK & Ireland, comments; “Here at Omnicell we are constantly looking at new ways to respond to our clients needs with innovative solutions. And as such, we are pleased to announce the new features and enhancements to our eMAR solution which will help support care homes to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programmes. We anticipate that this will help to drive much needed times efficiencies for staff during this difficult time, as well as ensure patient safety within the care sector.” For further information contact


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Nationwide Drive To Urge Vaccine Take-Up In Priority Groups People eligible for a vaccine who haven’t yet had their jab are being urged to come forward this weekend in a renewed drive to roll out the vaccine to those most at-risk as quickly as possible. Thanks to the incredible efforts of the NHS, volunteers, our armed forces and local authorities, more than 14 million of the most vulnerable people in the UK have already been vaccinated – including around 9 in ten of all over-70s. From mosques and museums to rugby grounds and cathedrals, vaccinations are taking place at thousands of sites across the UK in the country’s biggest ever medical deployment. Today, almost 30 government ministers are taking part in a further concerted push in every region and nation of the UK to encourage everyone eligible for the vaccine to come forward through visits and virtual meetings. They will hear from NHS staff, volunteers helping with the deployment, and people getting their jabs, as part of continued efforts to underline the importance of getting vaccinated and protecting yourself from Covid-19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has visited the Stoke Mandeville stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympic movement – which is being used as a vaccination centre. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is visiting the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground to meet doctors, nurses and volunteers supporting the national effort, and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is hearing from military personnel helping administer vaccines alongside health care staff at the Whitemoor Lakes site in Staffordshire. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has met with military personnel sup-

porting the vaccine roll out in Stirling, following confirmation that a further 353 Armed Forces personnel will deploy across Scotland to support the pandemic response and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will speak with health care staff at Elland Road Vaccination Centre, home of Leeds United. Home Secretary Priti Patel is volunteering at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple in Bedford and Environment Secretary George Eustice is having a virtual tour of Stithians’ showground in Truro to thank local NHS workers. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am determined that we protect as many of our country’s most vulnerable people from this awful disease as soon as possible. It is so important that everyone aged 70 and over who hasn’t yet had a vaccination comes forward this weekend and contacts the NHS to book in their jab. “Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and it is testament to the strength of our Union and the combined power of our United Kingdom that we’ve seen such incredible progress in the roll out of our vaccination programme. “I want to thank all the NHS workers, volunteers, local partners and armed forces who have done such a tremendous job so far in protecting our families and our communities.” Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “Thanks to the tireless efforts of staff, the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in health service history, is off to a strong start with over 12 million people in England already taking up the offer of a vaccine at one of over 1,500 centres across the country.

“People in the priority groups have not missed their chance to get jabbed and if you are aged 70 and over and haven’t yet taken up the offer, please do come forward and make an appointment – the vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.” The top four priority cohorts include care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers, anyone aged 70 or over and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. People aged 70 and over in England should now contact the NHS to arrange their jab. They can do this through the online national booking service, of if they can’t get online they can dial 119 or contact their local GP practice. Health and social care workers should speak to their employer if they haven’t had their vaccine yet. And GP teams have been asked to contact their clinically extremely vulnerable patients to make sure they have been offered a jab. We are working with communities right across the country to make sure that whatever someone’s background, ethnicity or their religious beliefs, everyone is able to get the protection they need as we continue to fight this disease together. Today, the government and NHS are publishing a new plan setting out the work we are doing in partnership with communities at a national and local level to increase vaccine uptake and ensure equity of access. The Government has committed to offering the vaccine to all those over 50 by May and all adults by September.

Beating COVID to Celebrate Landmark Birthdays There was double cause for celebration at The Fremantle Trust recently with Barbara Wood celebrating her 101st birthday after also fighting off COVID. She was joined in the centurion club by Peggy Graham, who marked her 100th birthday just a few days earlier. Barbara Wood, who moved into Sir Aubrey Ward in Marlow shortly after she turned 100, contracted COVID at the end of December. She has since made a full reco very and was able to fulfil her birthday wish to receive the vaccine before her 101st birthday on 13 February. Barbara commented: “I’ve made a full recovery and have now been vacci nated I am so grateful.” She added, “I was overwhelmed with the effort everyone went to for my birthday. I was thoroughly spoilt and feel very lucky indeed.” Sir Aubrey Ward home manager, Julie Canale added: “We always make an extra effort for residents celebrating landmark birthdays. Turning 101 is obviously somet hing special, but turning 101 having survived

coronavirus is cause for even greater celebration and the team really put on a great party for Barbara.” Barbara was joined by her daughter who was able to visit thanks to a ded icated visitor room set up at the home, something that the Trust introduced in order to facili tate safe visits across each of their 11 homes at the start of the pandemic last year. The Mayor of Marlow also made an appearance via a personal video call to Barbara. Another resident celebrating a landmark birthday recently was Peggy Gra ham. A resident at Farnham Common House in Farnham Common, Peggy turned 100 years old on 7 February. Peggy was treated to a telegram from the Queen and not one, but three b eautifully decorated birthday cakes one for each digit! Peggy also had a number o f visitors throughout the day including family members, the Chairman of Farnham Royal Parish Council Paul Rowley and Dev Dhillon, Bucks County Councillor. All visits were carefully planned and facilitated by the team at Farnham Common House, with scr eens in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Asked what her secret was to living a long life, Peggy commented: “I spen t much of my life playing sport and staying active as well as 47 years in South Africa where the weather is beautiful, so I think that has helped.” Mark WebbAustin, Director of Operations at The Fremantle Trust, said: “ It’s been fabulous to celebrate Barbara and Peggy’s landmark birthdays. We’ve made every effort to facilitate safe visiting at all our homes wherever possible throughout this past year , and it’s fantastic Barbara and Peggy were able to see their families to mark their special da ys.”

Love Was In The Air At The Oaks Care Home This Valentine’s Day The Oaks Care Home in Newtown, Powys celebrated the most romantic night of the year by holding a Valentine’s Ball for its residents. Staff worked hard to create a special day for everyone in the home, including a number of married couples who live there together. As well as a special afternoon tea with homemade decorated cookies, there was Love Bingo with prizes to be won, a couple of familiar game shows to take part in and a chance to dress up with the theme of wearing something red. Jen Roberts, Registered Manager of The Oaks, said: “We had a lovely day for all our residents. “We handed out roses at the door along with glasses of cranberry fizz in champagne

glasses. The ladies had their hair and nails done in the salon and we helped them make red brooches and designed lovely gift bags. “We asked residents to reminisce about their favourite love songs and we drew up a playlist with numbers by Vera Lynn, Elvis, Billy Joel, Tom Jones and the Welsh Male Choir. “We finished off with a ball dance and waltz and some karaoke. “The pandemic has bought enormous challenges for the entire care sector and there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in lockdown but we thought a Valentine’s Day Ball would be something everyone could look forward to and get involved in. We were delighted with the response we have had from everyone in the home.”

Collinges Get Their Dancing Shoes On For Learning Disability Charity Two times British Hairdresser of the Year, Andrew Collinge and his wife, top make-up artist Liz Collinge, are taking to the dance floor this Valentine’s Day to raise money for a charity close to their hearts. Andrew and Liz are marking the most romantic day of the year by dancing the Sweetheart Waltz to raise funds for Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. They were inspired to take on the challenge by Andrew’s sister, who has been supported by one of the charity’s services in Ellesmere Port for the last six years. After seeing the care and dedication shown to Andrew’s sister by her support workers during a difficult year, the couple wanted to get involved in Hft’s 1.4 challenge this Valentine’s Day. Liz has always loved dancing and thought this would be a great way to support the charity. She is now busy teaching Andrew the steps to the Sweetheart Waltz each day, leading up to 14 February. The couple are sharing their progress on social media and on Hft’s Instagram account (@Hftlearningdisabilities), culminating in a 14 minute video of non-stop waltzing on Valentine’s Day. Already well on their way to passing their £500 target, Andrew and Liz are hoping to raise a significant amount while inspiring others to

have a go at the routine while in lockdown. The challenge forms part of Hft’s 1.4 challenge event, which sees the charity asking fundraisers to raise money by taking on activities based around the numbers 1 and 4, such as dancing for 14 minutes, or making 14 Valentine’s Day cards. All funds raised will go towards supporting people with learning disabilities to stay healthy and happy during the pandemic. Andrew Collinge said: “We always like to support Hft – it’s an amazing charity supporting amazing people but this year has been particularly difficult. It has been a huge change for those with learning disabilities – often a bit frightening and difficult to understand, and social distancing has meant that many activities have not been possible. It has been very reassuring to know that those who support my sister have taken so much care to make it a safe environment in the pandemic. Hft has been careful to protect those they support, both practically and emotionally, but this has involved organisation and imagination. A perfect example of this is the gazebos that are being installed in the gardens at Hft properties, allowing family and loved ones to meet up once restrictions are eased.”


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


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.


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL GermErase Launches to Give Confidence to UK Businesses and Hospitals, With Efficacy Against SARS-Cov-2 First British commercial product to be tested on live SARS-Cov-2, the virus causing COVID-19 Multi-surface protector kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens in under 30 seconds and provides a protective barrier for up to 48 hours British scientific breakthrough can turn the tide against hospital infections and superbugs, while supporting vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 and saving the NHS billions GermErase, a new brand at the frontline of protecting against COVID19, infections and superbugs, has today launched its first product range. Available as a cleaning spray and a hand spray with wipes, with aerosols and hand wash to follow, GermErase is a unique formulation that kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19, in under 30 seconds – faster and more effective than the next best product. It bonds to surfaces to provide total protection without any reduction in performance for up to 48 hours and remains effective for 28 days. GermErase has been tested to global standards in independent facilities at the University of Southampton, including on live strains of SARSCov-2. The British business has invested £1m in testing the product. As 99.9% water, GermErase is safe and has low toxicity, meaning it

does not irritate skin in the way alcohol gels can and, unlike alcohol gels, is not flammable. It uses common ingredients that have already been approved for medical and cleaning purposes and is ready to distribute at scale across the country via specialist cleaning supplier, Denis Rawlins Ltd. Professor Bill Keevil, Professor of Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, comments, “An invention like this does not come across your desk very often. We have found that GermErase demonstrates remarkable breadth of efficacy against bacteria and viruses, speed of kill, residual efficacy and shows no evidence of antimicrobial resistance.” GermErase is more effective than alcohol gel and, alongside vaccines, can help to turn the tide against COVID-19 and a broad spectrum of other dangerous pathogens. While alcohol gels and sanitisers – products recommended by the World Health Organisation – are dependent on concentration levels and a lengthy period of application, GermErase is easy to use and completely kills the virus within seconds with a simple spray. The products can be used by medical professionals in hospitals but are also quick and easy to use by private sector businesses – giving employers and employees the confidence to return to work safely and unlock the economic recovery in the UK. GermErase will launch a consumer product range for the general public in Spring 2021. The urgency of antibiotic resistance is well known among the medical community and increasingly by wider society. GermErase provides a defence by preventing infection, instead of relying on the development of new cures and antibiotics. Inspired by the most human of stories, GermErase was invented by

Rob Scoones, a former retail business owner. After losing someone very close to him, Rob dedicated his life to eradicating the superbug crisis in our hospitals and worldwide. Through the relentless pursuit of this vision, Rob developed the GermErase product, combining common ingredients in a way that has delivered remarkable efficacy against all known pathogens, including SARS-Cov-2. It has been estimated that a 10% reduction in infections and superbugs in hospitals would save the NHS £1bn annually. GermErase can kill and protect against all known infections and superbugs and is available to use throughout healthcare facilities immediately. Matthew Higdon, Chairman of GermErase, comments, “Our intention is for GermErase to become the first line of defence against infection for hospitals, businesses and families across the country. This product will allow us to get our freedom back and live with peace of mind that we are protected against pathogens like Coronavirus. Our ambition is for this British breakthrough to represent a landmark moment in the fightback against COVID-19, infections and superbugs.” GermErase is the new British brand at the frontline of protection the fightback against coronavirus, infections and superbugs. It provides a new multi-surface protector proven to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 within 30 seconds and provides protection for 48 hours. Clinically proven to be more effective than alcohol gel or existing disinfectant, GermErase products are the breakthrough Britain needs to get back to work, turn the tide against the Coronavirus in healthcare and save the NHS billions of pounds handling infections and superbugs. GermErase is available from Dennis Rawlins Ltd at

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

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

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 ortffolio 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 Y You ou 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 d to y your our business while saffeguarding a saffe e wor working 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.



Texture Modified Foods – Eating For Pleasure and Health

By Mandy Davies, Head of Nutrition & Dietetics at Elior UK (

Let me tell you about dysphagia - Imagine being too scared to eat. Imagine not being able to eat your favourite foods. It’s simply unimaginable for most of us, yet for many care home residents it’s very real. Up to 75% live with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) leaving them unable to eat everyday foods in an everyday way. Various health events can lead to dysphagia, such as stroke, cancers including head and neck cancer, learning disabilities and progressive neurological disorders. Whilst dysphagia can affect all ages, its occurrence disproportionally affects the ‘older adult’, hence the prevalence in the care home setting. Dysphagia can affect swallowing food or drinks, chewing, sucking, controlling saliva, taking medication, or protecting the airway from choking. Having swallowing difficulties greatly impacts on an individual’s quality of life. People who do not receive a diet that meets their individual needs are vulnerable to malnutrition, dehydration and weight loss, as well as psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Why Texture Modified Foods? – The swallowing process is made up

of 3 stages (oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal). Safe and successful swallowing depends on each stage of the swallowing process being completed and happening at the right time. In a person with dysphagia, any or all the swallowing stages may be delayed. This increases the risk of choking and aspiration, which can be fatal. Altering the consistency of food and liquids (TMF) provides individuals with a better opportunity to swallow food and drink safely. NHS Improvements called for all NHS staff to use clearly categorised food textures, as published by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI). This was enforced internationally from March 2019 to ensure patients of all ages and all cultures, are fed safely and correctly according to their individual needs across all care settings. TMF must be prescribed by a Speech & Language Therapist. The Food: TMF is not just pureed food and it’s certainly more than just mashed potato. It is about modifying the consistency and texture of foods and drinks to safely maintain oral nutrition wherever possible. It is about offering texture modified meals that are consistent in texture using a variety of safe foods. It is about enabling people living with dysphagia to dine with dignity by offering tasty, nutritious and recognisable meals. It is about inclusion. The People: Supporting people living with dysphagia is everyone’s responsibility. It is vital that IDDSI descriptors are used by all health professionals in the UK, and that food is cooked and prepared to the required consistency – with love! Chef’s preparing TMF should undergo robust training and have competencies assessed at regular intervals. Enhanced training, including piping skills is a must for an integrous approach. Food service is just as

important, and the social opportunities should be not be overshadowed by medicalisation. We’re all human and mealtimes should be enjoyed by all. Mandy Davies, Head of Nutrition & Dietetics, joined the Elior UK family last year. Following on from Caterplus’ award for their Dining with Dignity Programme in 2020 she is on a mission to drive inclusivity and promote great food choices for everyone. When she’s not working, you can find her walking, trail running or entertaining friends.

Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *

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

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

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

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

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





Find out more at Support. Inspire. Progress. ^Aggregated wholesaler data. Gravy Report UK (Latest Period 52WE 11 Oct 2020). *Department on Health UK 2017 salt targets. **This product does not contain allergenic ingredients which require declaration under EU regulation 1169/2011 (Annex II)



Cinnamon Care Collection and QCS Join Forces To Create New Food Safety Toolkit

A luxury UK care home group and a leading compliance provider have come together to create a food safety manual for care home caterers, which is being released today.

Cinnamon Care Collection, which operates an exclusive group of care homes and retirement developments across the UK and Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, spent a year working on the new manual, which is available to all QCS customers at a discounted rate. The driving force for the partnership was to create a practical, userfriendly toolkit which also provides care home catering staff with a set of easy-to-use compliance tools to record, log and evidence industry guidance and best practice, meeting the highest standards of food safety and hygiene. The food safety manual contains 86 documents divided into six distinct categories which will be regularly updated by QCS. The manual breaks down each of the processes and provides logical guidance to catering teams, helping to ensure residents receive food prepared to exacting standards for care home residents. Rob Burcher, Cinnamon Care Collection’s Regional Support Service Manager, said, “We’re very proud to be rolling-out the food safety manual in partnership with QCS. While it meets FSA regulations and CQC requirements, what really makes it stand out from other manuals is that it is a realworld document, written in accessible language, which every member of the catering team in a care home can relate to. Another unique aspect of the toolkit is that it not only provides caterers with up-to-date guidance, but the templates, the posters and the questionnaires bring compliance and best practice to the forefront of food preparation and kitchen safety.” Leah Cooke, QCS’s Customer and Policy Lead, added, “We are delighted

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

to have worked with Rob and his team on this project. We think that the manual content, which was provided by the Cinnamon Care Collection team, gives care home caterers all the tools they need to excel in kitchen safety and food hygiene. We look forward to making the toolkit universally available so that every care provider in the UK can benefit from it.” To discover what is included in the QCS Food Safety Manual, please watch: m_medium=Youtube

Click on the following link to access a free kitchen cleaning schedule:

• 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

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

Parkinson’s and Mindful Eating By Jane Clarke, BSc (Hons) SRD DSc, Founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke (

eating challenges – whether caused by Parkinson’s or another health condition – can experience the pleasure, ritual and sensory and emotional fulfilment provided by sitting down to a meal.


Eating is such a simple joy, and such a loss when a condition such as Parkinson’s Disease makes it difficult. There are a number of factors that can make mealtimes a struggle. Parkinson’s can affect the muscles in the jaw, face and tongue, meaning that biting, chewing and swallowing food is a challenge. Even when a mouthful is swallowed, diminished strength and movement in the muscles along the intestine results in food taking longer than usual to travel from mouth to stomach. As mealtimes become prolonged, the appetite can wane and food goes cold on the plate, leaving the individual hungry and dissatisfied. A dry mouth can be a problem for people living with Parkinson’s, making chewing and swallowing uncomfortable, and meaning they don’t experience the full flavour of food. Conversely, producing too much saliva is another common problem. Drooling, choking and spitting doesn’t just make eating difficult, it can lead to social embarrassment and a reluctance to sit down to a meal with others. These issues don’t mean that, as carers, we must default to the plainest purees and synthetic meal replacements to provide the nourishment a person needs. There are ways to savour real food and to ensure those facing

One of the joys of food – and it’s something that so-called ‘mindful eating’ reminds us of – is a pleasure that goes beyond flavour. It’s the feel of food in our mouth and the sensory tingle as even the smallest amount hits our taste buds, whether that’s the sweet chill of a lick of ice cream or a sip of warming broth. Sadly, that feeling isn’t easily available to all. Over the years I’ve been in practise, I’ve worked with many people who have found it difficult to chew and swallow in order to eat and nourish themselves, due to conditions such as Parkinson’s. It has been noticed that patients who are unable to eat whole foods, love to hear about the food you have been eating, as if they could enjoy it by proxy – you may find that those you care for ask what you’ve had for dinner, or want to watch food programmes on TV. I would always indulge this desire, as talking about food can waken the appetite, and tempt someone reluctant to eat to perhaps try a few mouthfuls. Take the time to discover the flavours that someone enjoys most, and see if you can incorporate them into their mealtimes. That might mean taking the same ingredients and enjoying them in a new way – a soft chowder rather than fish and chips, for example; or poached blackberries with Greek yoghurt instead of blackcurrant crumble. Present dishes such as purées with love and care. Instead of a plate with dollops on, ramekins or even a soup served in a little espresso cup can feel and look far more appetising. Remember, we eat with our eyes so the way food looks has an enormous impact on how tempted we feel to eat it.

CONSISTENCY & FLAVOUR There are some easy tips that reduce the choking and swallowing hazards in a meal. • Find alternatives to liquidised meals. Rather than simply pureeing meals, which can make a person feel disempowered and dispirited, try to find softer alternatives. Try an appetising shepherd’s pie served in a small ramekin instead of struggling with the classic Sunday roast. • Slow-roasting meat such as lamb in a good stock alongside root vegetables until they all melt in the mouth and become less challenging to swal-

low can be delicious for everyone to eat. • Spread a soft crumpet with butter or soft cheese, rather than serving crisp and crumbly toast. • Serve easy to swallow puddings such as mousse, lemon pudding and trifle. With cakes, think a moist ginger cake instead of a flapjack or a rich fruit cake, which often contains nuts and more challenging ingredients. Or try bread and butter pudding if the dried fruits have been cooked so they are really soft. • Thicken liquids as some people find thin fluids trickier to swallow. Soups, a smoothie given body with ingredients like avocado, banana or a dollop of nut butter can be a good way to ensure they have enough fluids. Italianstyle soups which have soaked bread in them, such as ribollita, can be gorgeous and much easier to swallow than a thin consommé. If you have a thinner soup and want to thicken it, then adding some mashed potato, cream or Greek-style yoghurt is another idea. • Don’t be afraid of using spices and more intense flavours such as garlic, a little chilli or fresh ginger. They not only stimulate the taste buds, but they can activate the brain’s response and encourage swallowing. You can, for instance, stew fruits such as apricots in cardamom and a little orange – delicious not only from the spice, but also because stewing the fruit will really intensify the flavours.

PEG TUBES Some people who cannot swallow easily may require a PEG, which is a tube inserted directly into the intestine or stomach, sometimes via the nose, through which nourishing liquids can pass. In this way, the body can receive all the nutrients it needs. What it can’t do is provide the sensory joy of food and eating. Sometimes, it simply isn’t possible to attempt chewing and swallowing at all. But there are many people who, with a PEG to take away the stress of trying to eat enough, can still enjoy the sensation of food in their mouths. It could simply be a sip of soup or a smidgen of Greek yoghurt. Taking a moment really to savour the taste and sensation of food when in the company of others, can do so much to make the person you care for feel a part of the world and not isolated or defined by their illness. Even when they have difficulty eating or need a PEG tube to deliver the majority of their nourishment, every mouthful matters.


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

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

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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

Watch the short video at

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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



The Ageing Population: Tackling the Challenge of Falls By Barak Katz, VP and GM Essence SmartCare ( It is no surprise that populations around the world are ageing dramatically, with citizens living far longer than ever before. Indeed, the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), reveals that a quarter of the population will be over 65 by 2045 (1). While this reflects improved health and welfare standards, such an ageing population presents the NHS and social care services with a number of challenges, with perhaps none more important than dealing with the aftermath of life-changing falls. The Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) showed that between 2017-2018 there were around 220,000 emergency hospital admissions related to falls among patients aged 65 and over(2). Dealing with these falls is estimated to cost NHS England £435m a year alone (3). Whilst our own research, conducted in late 2020, showed around 75 percent of all falls go unreported, as people are often embarrassed about falling and don’t want to be ‘told off’ by family members and carers. Put simply, if individuals are not reaching out and raising the subject with their families or carers, care teams will struggle to prevent such incidents from happening again. What’s the answer? To focus on preventing falls, and when they do happen, to be better at detecting, and responding to them.

FALL PREVENTION REQUIRES GREATER ACCURACY AND MORE DATA INSIGHT Preventing falls requires multi-disciplinary teams who have access to behavioural information about the situation just prior to the fall. Whilst there have been some developments within social care, where technology such as smart sensors and other telecare solutions have been added to the home to track elderly subjects, there are too many gaps in the data. Most current fall detectors are based on accelerometer technology, which only detects certain types of incidents and only the fall itself. Teams need to consider the accuracy of what is being reported and verify

whether the incident was indeed a fall. This represents a serious challenge, and our research suggests, less than half of those in residential care actually wear fall detection devices even when provided to them. To some, they represent a ‘badge of vulnerability’. Elderly care needs to be far more proactive and respectful, and there needs to be greater visibility across the whole home. Relying on legacy technology that only confirms whether a fall indeed took place and calls for help, is clearly not working. Care teams need insight into the events that led up to the fall. A more non-linear approach to falls management is needed, but this requires far more effective fall detection technology.

BUILDING A NON-LINEAR APPROACH TO MANAGING FALLS Clearly to be better at falls management, more information needs to be recorded and shared. For example, consider an appraisal of a victim’s situation leading up to the fall, telecare solutions can now report on the circumstances leading up to the incident and care teams can retrace their steps. In fact, whilst multiple sensors could notice an individual’s movement within the household, more recent developments such as machine learning, can analyse trends and patterns in behaviour. It could highlight whether the individual moved suddenly following a long period of seated rest, or whether they were in fact in a darkened room. These seemingly small factors could greatly inform how care teams and families plan proactively for future events. Teams would have the insight leading up to event enabling future prevention. Once teams can improve the accuracy of recorded falls with an increase in incident logs and case history and gain real insight into what led to the fall, they can put more preventative measures in place. With greater data on high-risk individuals, they can personalise their social care programme, providing specific prevention and management help. Whether grab rails, improved flooring, or lighting, or even reconsidering the resident’s current home setting. By assessing the circumstances and identifying all risk factors for that individual, teams can make widespread changes. Using such techniques as described above will help older people feel more comfortable discussing a fall incident. Whilst falls cannot be entirely stopped from happening, we can deploy more appropriate technology, gather and share the right data, and in so doing help mitigate the risks that falls bring, leading to better health and living conditions. (1) (2)


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.




Boost Cashflow by Claiming Tax Allowances By Steven Bone, director and capital allowances specialist, Gateley Capitus ( The Government's initial coronavirus tax assistance package to businesses focused on late payment of tax and offered time to pay to give breathing space. Whilst welcome, the limited nature of these measures has made it more vital than ever for care home owners and occupiers to fully take advantage of existing incentives and reliefs. These can reduce tax bills to retain cash in the business or even generate cash repayments from the Government. Capital allowances are a government tax break intended to encourage investment in business assets by allowing those investments to be written-off for tax. They improve cash flow by reducing the amount of tax that needs to be handed to HM Revenue. In the right circumstances they can even generate a cash repayment from the tax man by rectifying a previous year’s tax return where relief was underclaimed, meaning that too much tax paid at that time can now be reimbursed to the business. Currently each year, up to £1 million of qualifying spend can be 100% written-off for tax in the year the money is spent using an ‘Annual Investment Allowance’ (AIA). Although the Government intends to reduce the AIA to just £200,000 from January 2022. So, a fading opportunity exists to make the most of this generous cap whilst it is still available. Most care home providers and their advisers are aware that plant and machinery capital allowances are available for furniture and furnishings, and business apparatus such as moving and handling equipment or laundry machines, and these allowances are straightforward to claim in practice. But it is less commonly realised that allowances are also available for assets

integral to the fabric of a building when an owner or operator buys or constructs care premises (including newbuilds, extensions and refurbishments). Also, from the end of 2018 a brand new kind of capital allowances was created by the Government called ‘structures and buildings allowances’ (SBAs). This, for the first time, gives care home owners and occupiers relief for ‘bricks and mortar’ type expenditure which was previously not eligible for any tax relief (albeit SBAs relief is given at a slower rate than the tax write-off for plant and machinery). But the trouble is that in practice it can be difficult for a general practice accountant or tax adviser to maximise capital allowances claims for premises spend. To prepare the claim, the property needs to be broken down into its constituent parts. For example, electrical power and lighting, hot and cold water, heating systems, bathroom fittings, fire alarm installations and so on. Then each must be costed separately and grouped together in the tax return with other assets that have similar tax characteristics. This not only needs an understanding of the detailed tax rules, but also ideally requires construction knowledge and surveying skills that accountants and tax advisers ordinarily do not have. For purchases of care premises there are additional traps for the unwary because there are vital steps that need to be taken at the time of the transaction. But under the pressure of getting the deal over the line these are often overlooked or dismissed as being unimportant. Unfortunately, that usually means that valuable tax allowances are lost and can never be recovered. Whereas, in practice there is usually no reason why the value of capital allowances cannot be considered and appropriate action taken which should not delay or frustrate the purchase. If you are buying, building or refurbishing care premises, thinking of doing so, or have done so in recent years it is well worth speaking to a capital allowances specialist. About the author: Steven is a tax-qualified chartered surveyor. For more than 20 years he has specialised in capital allowances, and more recently land remediation relief and R&D tax incentives.

How Does the New UK Points-Based Immigration System Work? Is There Any Benefit to the Health Care Sector? 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 21 for further details.

2021 is the Year to Take Stock of Training Following COVID-19 Restrictions By Peter Bewert, Managing Director of Meaningful Care Matters

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

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