The Carer Digital - Issue #44

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 44

Urgent Need to Better Fund and Fix Social Care say MPs

Nine out of ten MPs say that local government does not have enough resource to meet the growing need for social care services and three in five believe that the social care budget should be raised by £7 billion a year over the next two years. These are among the key findings of a major poll of politicians from across the political spectrum carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Health for Care

coalition which shows a broad consensus, driven by the tragedy of the pandemic, on the pressing need for widespread social care reform. Health for Care – a coalition of 15 national health organisations, led by the NHS Confederation – warns that the social care system needs urgent and radical reform and significant investment and is calling on the Government to rapidly deliver on its manifesto

pledge to transform the struggling sector. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak prepares to set out his budgetary statement on 3 March 2021, the findings of a survey of nearly 100 MPs and over 500 English councillors highlight the pressing need for a long-term funding strategy and swift transformation in social care.



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 have been hanging on and hanging on! But unfortunately we do have a deadline to meet and the Chancellor is still delivering his Budget, so will have to make our comments on our website It’s a pity because I was hoping to address the Budget announcements in this column! The sector had made some very relevant and badly needed requests (see ahead of this week’s budget. It is probably one of the most difficult budgets to address in the past 75 years and, if we were to be fair and practical, no sector is going to get what it wants. I suspect this is going to be a budget supporting furloughed businesses and staff and trying to get retail and hospitality sectors up and running so that taxes can then again flow. That said, it is time for the government to make good on past pledges. We all remember when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister that on the steps of Downing Street he made an unequivocal promise to fix social care. In the link above Independent Care Group (ICG) chair Mike Padgham has called for NHS health care and social care merged and managed, either locally or nationally; extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance; a properly costed national rate for care fees and a proper salary and career pathway to recognise and reward social care staff. Taxation and social care has always been “the elephant in the room”. If we cast our minds back the 2017 election, then the Prime Minister Theresa May’s Dementia Tax cost her majority and led to the next three years of complete turmoil in Parliament. In the lead up to the 2017 election the Conservatives looked on course for a landslide general election victory. Polls suggested the party were set to win a 100-200 seat majority with Labour risking being reduced to less than 150 seats. Then the government began to push their dementia tax, which, under the plans, anyone who received care in their own home will have to pay for it through the value of their home once they had passed away. This meant that the entire value of a person's


Peter Adams

home, apart from the first £100,000, would be claimable by the state. It was, as we remember, an electoral disaster. Rightly so, in my humble opinion. It punished responsible and frugal people who have managed their affairs responsibly, and, like all responsible people, wanting to leave as much as they possibly could for their children. I have always accepted that care has to be paid, but the “dementia tax” was too unfair and caused a backlash which the then Prime Minister never recovered from. It would take a brave Chancellor to introduce a system similar to that in Germany and Japan. Currently our system is a bit of a dog’s dinner, and is widely regarded as unfair, complicated, perplexing and failing to meet growing care needs in the population Not only does it vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also between different local authorities within each part of the UK. Japan’s system, from what I can gather, is partly funded by a national insurance fund that all over 40s pay into and partly out of general and local taxation. In Germany their system is, I gather, not as generous as the Japanese system. It is intended, however, only “to cover basic needs”. However, care provided is identical throughout the country and is determined by an individual’s need rather than his or her ability to pay. To fund the system “everyone starts paying into a fund from the time they start working”. It further says “Currently 1.5% of every person’s salary, and an identical sum from

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employers, is safeguarded to pay for care in later life.” Instead of repeatedly kicking the can down the road, sooner or later a Chancellor is going to have to address this issue. The current system is unsustainable, and as I rushed to meet this deadline I am already receiving reports that the Chancellor has offered little or no change! I would be very interested in your views so please email us, or contact us by social media! 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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Urgent Need to Better Fund and Fix Social Care say MPs (....CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) They show strong support for a long-term financial and workforce plan for the sector and for a funding settlement of an additional £7 billion a year by 2023- 2024, as recommended by the Health and Social Care Select Committee in October. Other key findings show: • over three quarters of MPs believe the budget for social care should be raised. This included almost two thirds who believed that it should be increased by £7 billion a year and almost a quarter who believed the increase should be more than this. • a third of Conservative MPs and nearly three quarters of Conservative councillors believe the social care budget should be raised by £7bn or more to plug the funding gap. • three quarters of Conservative councillors, and almost half of all MPs think that social care should be funded by a new collective funding mechanism. The survey reveals a strong political consensus on the need for adult social care reform in England which spans party divides and both national and local government. The COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight once again the important interlinked relationship between health and social care, which has left both struggling to cope. Without a comprehensive and properly funded long-term plan for the sector this important infrastructure is in peril. 1.4 million older people are currently estimated to have an unmet need for social care, yet despite this there have been dramatic falls in spending on social care in England, with figures showing a 12 per cent decrease per person over the decade to 2018/19. It is now imperative that the Government lays out a new plan for social care, which addresses the complex problems it faces including severe underfunding; an overstretched and under-valued workforce; a fragile provider sector; extensive unmet need; a lack of clarity about the cost of care; and a complex system to navigate. Danny Mortimer, chair of the coalition and chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Decades of delay and inertia have left the social care system chronically underfunded and in desperate need of reform. “As we slowly and cautiously ease out of the COVID emergency we cannot delay this a moment longer. It is clear that the tragedy of Covid19 has helped to cement a consensus in both parliament and local government that urgent action is needed to fix social care. There is also clear cross-party support for

additional resources for the sector and the need long term financial and workforce plan. “The NHS and social care work side by side, when one service does not work, the other suffers, and the pandemic has served to shine a stark light on how fragile and severely under-resourced the country’s social care system has become. “We are now calling on the Government to commit to deliver both significant investment and concrete legislative proposals which give social care the future facing reform it so badly needs.” Commenting on the findings, Neil Tester, director of The Richmond Group of national health and care charities, said: “It’s heartening that local and national elected politicians, across party divides, recognise the scale and the long-term nature of the investment people demand to see being made in the essential social care support they need to live their lives, including the vital staff who deliver it. “The Government must now heed that message without delay and deliver real strategic reforms to fix social care.” Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “It is really encouraging to see the widespread support for better resourcing for social care from MPs and councillors from all parties. Medical Royal Colleges all recognise that the social care system needs long term reform and adequate funding both for its own sake and for the sake of the NHS. For the NHS to function effectively it is essential that Social care is also functioning effectively in parallel.” Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “These poll findings show cross party support from local politicians to place social care on a sustainable footing, which is really encouraging to see. “COVID-19 has highlighted just how underfunded the social care sector has been for too long, despite this government’s pledges for reform. “The NHS and social care are two sides of the same coin. The NHS relies on a stable social care system to help people remain well and independent. We look forward to the proposals government has committed to bring forward on social care later this year.” Dr Jennifer Burns, President of the British Geriatrics Society, said: “It is heartening to see that councillors and MPs from across the political divide regard social care as a political priority and agree that significant public funds should be committed to it. We look forward to these MPs and councillors applying pressure on the Government to fulfil its promise to reform social care in the very near future.” Nick Kirby, managing director of the Shelford Group of NHS hospital trusts, said: “It is clear from these findings that there is cross party support for urgent and thorough reform of social care. Now is the time to be more ambitious than ever and look at far reaching Fiona Carragher, director of research and influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “People with dementia deserve the right to good quality and affordable care – the coronavirus pandemic has exposed just how threadbare and broken our social care system is, at a time when families

needed to rely on it most to care for their loved ones. We support the Health for Care Coalition in calling for urgent, comprehensive social care reform. We need a system fit for purpose and free at point of use, like the NHS and education, providing quality care for every person with dementia who needs it.” Dr Jonathan Steel, Royal College of Physicians’ lead fellow for social care, said: “It is encouraging that the majority of MPs think a long-term financial plan should be one of several priorities for the social care sector. There are many things we need to do to fix social care, but it all needs to be underpinned by a sustainable funding settlement to be effective. “The recent white paper on NHS reform which sets out how new legislation will hopefully enable more integrated care and services is welcome, although the lack of a proper plan for social care was noticeable. We look forward to the government publishing its social care reform proposals later this year. “The Chancellor’s Budget next month needs to deliver a significant funding increase for social care to get people the support they need and create a service we can all be proud of.” Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “It’s a profound unfairness that patients with an illness that can benefit from medical treatment get it free on the NHS, while those who can only be helped through day-to-day support have to battle with the complex and expensive social care system. As we look ahead to a life after lockdown, there can be no possible excuse for not ending this injustice, and finally resolving the drawnout crisis in social care, as the Prime Minister promised nearly two years ago.” Lou Patten, CEO of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said: “The pandemic has thrown into sharp focus the gaping holes in our social care system, to the detriment of our most vulnerable people. Our social care colleagues are doing their best with the resources they have available, but after years of underfunding the NHS is left to pick up the slack at a time when our health services are most under pressure. “For too long the Government has dragged its heels on this issue, despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’. We cannot wait any longer. Now is the time for the government to take bold action, providing short-term funding to plug the immediate gaps, and setting out comprehensive proposals for a social care system that is sustainable in the long term and delivers for those who need it.” The NHS Confederation, on behalf of the Health for Care coalition, will publish a report setting out the full polling data findings later this week.


Considering A Career In The Care Industry? Here's What You Need To Know... Whilst some industries have weathered the storm fairly comfortably this past year, others have undoubtedly suffered greater hardship. With government guidelines forcing many businesses to close, live events, personal services, hospitality, retail and travel have been particularly badly hit. Those who have been made redundant recently or are still furloughed as the scheme's deadline approaches may be casting their net a little wider when considering their next steps. As the UK’s elderly population continues to grow, one sector that has remained relatively stable is care homes. As the industry evolves, the volume and variety of roles available has too. With a wealth of experience recruiting for this sector, Jon Mason, Recruitment Manager at Maria Mallaband Care Home Group fills us in on what you need to know when considering a role in the care home industry.

WHAT ROLES ARE ON OFFER IN THE CARE HOMES SECTOR? Whilst direct care is the key purpose of course, care homes are also mini communities where there really is something for everyone. There are plenty of creative, practical and management roles in the team too, with positions in catering, wellbeing and social activities, administration, housekeeping, management, maintenance, quality control, and even transport.

DO YOU NEED SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS? Whilst there are some roles that do need specific qualifications there are many that don't. In fact, in many cases getting hands on experience whilst studying can be a much more effective way to learn - plus some

employers actually value the opportunity to align your learning to their own methods and practices. For example, Maria Mallaband currently has a number of Trainee Nurse Associates studying with universities across the UK alongside their current roles. Being able to earn and learn like this gives them the opportunity to become fully qualified nurses without having to worry about funding.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR SECTORS THAT ARE WELL SUITED TO A CAREER IN A CARE HOME? With the pressures of the ongoing pandemic on certain industries, many are needing to look elsewhere for reliable employment. We've seen more applications for those who want to completely change their career path and are now looking to build a long-term future in the care sector. Many of our most recent hires have come from completely different sectors, including project management, children's activities, hotels, and even personal training. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality have developed great interpersonal skills and are able to work as part of a team. In sectors that are struggling, people are now considering where those skills could be applied elsewhere, and care homes have a lot to offer.

WHICH ARE THE RELEVANT SKILLS THAT YOU WOULD LOOK FOR? One of the most important skills you can bring to this field is passion! After all, it might be your place of work, but it is home for those who live there. It’s also important that people who choose this career are confident communicators and empathetic, whether they engage directly with those living there or not. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality often cultivate great communication skills and have learnt to work well as part of a team. As well as customer facing roles I have already mentioned, there are plenty of other roles that could provide relevant skills. Experience in the food industry could lead to a career in the catering team, or perhaps a role co-ordinating hobbies and activities for those with creative or artistic inclinations. More practically minded individuals may be well-suited to general maintenance, cleaning or transport positions. A passion for people and companionship as well as the work you do can make such an impact on your role and those around you. With each home operating as its own community accommodating every need for those who live there - the possibilities really are endless.

London Care Resident is Reunited with Her Siblings After Ten Years Apart A Resident has enjoyed an incredible family reunion after Colleagues at HC-One’s Bakers Court care home in Manor Park helped her to contact her sister and brother for the first time in ten years. Bakers Court Resident Milly was taking part in a Facetime call with her son when she began reminiscing about time spent with her siblings and how much she missed them. It came to light that her son had a contact number for Milly’s sister and he forwarded the phone number onto the Bakers Court Wellbeing Team. Milly’s sister was in complete surprise to be contacted. She was unaware that Milly was in a care home as they last contact more than ten years ago but she was very eager to speak to her and find out what they had missed out on. Milly commented: “What a lovely surprise!” The pair spent a lot of time chatting about happy memories and catching up with the latest news in a very emotional reunion with lots of tears. When Milly’s sister asked if she would like her brother’s phone number, Milly exclaimed: “Oh yes! I love my dear brother and I want to

She passed his details onto the Wellbeing Team and, after a lengthy conversation, Milly and her sister promised that they would keep in contact with one another. The Team at Bakers Court got in touch with Milly’s brother and upon answering the call he was completely overwhelmed and excited to hear Milly’s voice for the first time in over a decade. Once again, there were plenty of tears from Milly and her brother as he explained: “We will never lose contact again. I love you my darling. When this lockdown is lifted I will come and visit you, I can’t wait to see you!” The incredible reunion brought cheer to everyone at the home. It is a moment that Milly will never forget and she is now looking forward to lockdown restrictions being lifted so that she can be reunited with her siblings once again. Bakers Court Home Manager, Akin Oyelekan, said: “This is a truly wonderful moment for Milly and has massively boosted her morale, especially in the current circumstances.”

speak to him.”

Statement On Vaccine Roll-Out For People With Learning Disabilities The Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) has today recommended that everyone on the GP Learning Disabilities Register should be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine under priority group 6. Responding to the announcement, Kirsty Matthews, CEO of Hft said: “It is great news that the new recommendations will mean more people with learning disabilities are prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine. “Over the past year, the longstanding health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities have been brought into sharp relief by the pandemic. This has all contributed to the sobering fact that people with learning disabilities are up to six times more likely to die from Covid-19. We hope that today’s announcement with regard to vaccinations helps to prevent further devastating and unnecessary loss of life. “To ensure that the vaccine rollout is thorough and comprehensive, it is vital that the government works

with other agencies – including local authorities and care providers – to identify everyone with a learning disability who is eligible rather than rely on the GP Learning Disabilities Register. “Despite the announcement, we remain concerned by the continued lack of clarity about when everyone with learning disabilities, regardless of age, will be invited for vaccination. Given the government’s poor track record on supporting people with learning disabilities throughout the pandemic, we are worried they will continue to be at the back of the queue for the vaccine, and risk isolation from society, even beyond 21 June. “Hft would therefore like to see the government follow Scotland’s example and clearly prioritise everybody with a learning disability to ensure that no one has to face an unnecessary wait for the Covid-19 vaccination.”

Residents Engage With Local Youngsters Via Pen Pals Residents at Magnolia Court care home, in Hampstead recently enjoyed receiving letters, post cards, pictures and artwork from the local community, who treated the residents to keep in touch with the community and the outside world.Residents at the home enjoyed reading and writing cards and it meant such a lot as visitors are currently not able to visit the home at this time. Octavian Stanciu, General Manager at Magnolia court Care Home said: “In these unprecedented times, ensuring residents feel engaged and connected within our local community is more important than ever. Our residents really enjoyed pen pal project. We provide a wide range of physical, mental and spiritual activities at Magnolia court of home as part of the life enrichment programme for residents, and

this one was very popular! We have also adapted ways to keep residents active, whilst ensuring that the group activities are smaller, adhering to social distancing advice” Peggy, a resident at the home was able to enjoy pen pals from schools said “It’s so lovely that we can still write and send letters and pictures to our grandchildren. Hearing all about their days makes mine.” Magnolia Court care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Magnolia Court provides residential care, nursing care, Respite Care.


Visiting Rights Of Individuals Must Be Paramount Says CQC The Care Quality Commission (CQC) hasadvised care providers they should not wait until the vaccination programme is complete to allow visits. The care watchdog said it was aware that some English care homes are continuing to impose blanket bans on visits against government guidance. Where decisions are being made, whether that is for visiting, people not being allowed to see visiting professionals, testing or vaccinations, the focus must always be on the individual needs and rights of the person they have said, adding that while they understand providers are rightly cautious in order to keep those they care for safe,they mustn’t wait for the completion of the vaccination program to facilitate visits. With the announcement that each care home resident in England is to have one regu-

lar visitor (with tests required before entry and PPE to be worn on site), visiting guidance is likely to be updated shortly. All decisions need to stay under review as circumstances change. Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, said: “Blanket bans are unacceptable and people should follow Government guidelines, give sufficient weight to local risks and advice from their Director of Public Health as well as giving consideration to the home environment. The individual must be at the centre of the decision and all decisions need to stay under review as circumstances change.”

Half Of Over 55s Think Government Needs To Seriously Rethink Social Care As the Chancellor’s Spring Budget approaches next week, Audley Group is calling for a phased approach to the end of the stamp duty holiday rather than a hard stop in June as rumoured, and reform to the social care system. The housing market will not withstand the shock of immediate cancellation of the stamp duty holiday and the social care system is in need of fundamental reform. It was struggling long before the pandemic and has borne a significant brunt of the difficulties experienced in the last year. It can’t, and shouldn’t, continue on the same course. Research from Audley Group has found: • Half (51%) of over 55s think the government needs to seriously rethink how they manage care in the UK • A fifth (20%) of the UK said they do not trust the state care services to look after them sufficiently, with only 7% saying the state care services have their full trust • Demand for suitable housing options is also growing – 48% of over 55s want more suitable housing options for older people compared to 38% of

all age groups • 42% would like greater support for older people who want to downsize their property • The need for more suitable housing is set to grow, recent figures from the ILC showed the supply of retirement housing will need to be boosted by over a third to meet demand by 2040 and 8.8% growth will be needed by 2025. More detail on research can be shared upon request Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Group, said, “Whether the stamp duty holiday ends in March or June, the housing market won’t easily withstand the shock of an immediate cancellation. Buyers and sellers will still be left in limbo, just twelve weeks later. The policy was implemented to get the market moving and if the Chancellor wants this to continue, it needs to be phased out gradually rather than a hard stop. “The stamp duty holiday has succeeded in some parts of the housing market but not all of it. The Chancellor must use the Budget to also acknowledge the need for more targeted measures. Specific support

for those downsizing or moving into housing with care is one area that could have a significant impact on the whole housing market, but has been largely neglected. “And finally, many will call on the Chancellor to support a social care system that has borne a significant brunt of the difficulties caused by the pandemic. A system that was already underfunded and creaking as our population ages. But I challenge that thinking. Some short-term support might be necessary, but it isn’t the Chancellor and his Budget that can make the systemic change needed to reform the system from the ground up. The only feasible solution is reducing the need for care within the UK. This involves a more holistic view of social care for older people. We, as a nation, need to change the narrative around social care services and make them a last resort, and instead, improve the planning system to facilitate the building of more suitable housing, with care and wellbeing services attached. Only this will take the intolerable pressure off hospitals and residential care.”


Digital Transformation Is Key To Enhancing Social Care By Lisa Greaves, Business Development Manager, Connexin Health ( The pandemic has forced change upon huge swathes of our society. From the way people work to how industries operate, adapting has been key to helping us navigate through this turbulent time. Nowhere have we seen this more than in the health sector, particularly when it comes to technology. Covid19 has forced our health services to rapidly embrace new ways of seeing and treating patients to ensure they receive the care they need while keeping safe. Solutions such as video consultations, once a rarity in the NHS, have quickly become the norm and look to remain so going forward. While the digital transformation of healthcare has been in progress for some time now and accelerated by the pandemic, there are parts of the sector where the adoption of tech has traditionally been slower. One of these is adult social care, specifically care homes who have not historically been known for being hubs of digital innovation, though there are mitigating factors for this. For example, many care homes are based in older buildings where it can be much harder to implement new technologies. However, the pandemic has shone a very stark light on the connectivity issues and care providers are eager to now put the foundations in place to support good WiFi connection so residents can connect quickly to devices to interact with the outside world due to physical visits being limited or non existent in some cases. With this improved infrastructure, comes the ability to upgrade other elements such as the telephony provision, access control and CCTV, all essential to keep services at a high level and the care of the residents at the heart of operations. Now, thanks to the Government, providers have the opportunity until the 31st of March to secure the funding to make this happen. The recently created Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund is providing £600 mil-

lion to support adult social care providers during Covid-19, giving them access to resources that can help accelerate their digital transformation to protect staff and residents. With funding available, if care providers put in place the right fundamental technologies now for immediate effect then it will also provide the premise for longer term benefits. To do this, they need to build from the ground up, focussing first on upgrading current infrastructure. This is important because unless things such as old telephone cabling are replaced and connectivity solutions like fibre broadband are brought in, it will hinder the implementation of hi-tech, connected Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the future. Once the right infrastructure is in place, this is when providers can look at bringing in platforms that will keep their care homes and assisted living spaces safe now and in the future, while saving providers time, money and improving quality of care. For example, air quality monitors allow staff to see air flow and ventilation throughout the building and make changes accordingly. With good ventilation proven to reduce the concentration of COVID and the risk of airborne transmission, this will help keep staff and residents safe and protect them from catching and spreading the disease. More generally, technologically enabled care can improve residents’ safety through tools such as sensors that monitor and alert staff when a resident falls or has an incident. At the same time, providers can use this technology to optimise staff workflow, limiting repeated tasks and time spent between residents, while also ensuring systems and processes are running efficiently to reduce downtime and interruption, and to adhere to CQC legislation. From securing funding to upgrading infrastructure and implementing new solutions, this process may sound daunting to care organisations. However, technology partners are able to assist in this process, helping with the application for funding and then handling the implementation of the new infrastructure for immediate effect. A true long term partner will also be able to develop a digital transformation roadmap to incorporate IoT solutions to provide data driven insights for tomorrow. The pandemic has presented so many challenges over the past year. However, it has also provided opportunities. Care providers now have a chance to access the resources and tools to digitally transform their facilities and through working with the right digital partners, can create the safe, secure places residents need to help them live better lives through the pandemic and beyond.

Veterans Mark St David’s Day with Daffodils, Traditional Food and Poetry St David’s Day has been marked at Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes. Arts and crafts, daffodil flower-arranging, quizzes and poetry readings were part of the series of activities arranged at the Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe, to celebrate the Patron Saint of Wales on Monday, 1 March. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It celebrates cultural days throughout the calendar as part of a busy schedule of daily activities, which keep residents mentally and physically active. In High Wycombe, residents picked daffodils in the Home’s luxurious gardens, which they later arranged. There was also arts and poetry readings.

Veterans in Surbiton tucked into Welsh cakes, took part in quizzes and also read poetry. Solihull residents enjoyed craft activities and quizzes, and watched footage of the Welsh National Opera. All three Homes also put on a delicious St David’s Day lunch, with food on the menu including a leg of Welsh lamb, Glamorgan sausages, cawl, leek and chicken pie, minted lamb chops, leek soup, traditional Welsh pancakes and Snowdon pudding. High Wycombe resident Ena, 102, from the High Wycombe Home, said: “It was nice being out in the sunshine, feeling its warmth on my face, and picking daffodils. We had a fun and busy day to celebrate St David’s Day.”

Meet Gracewell of Ascot Care Home's Activities Coordinator

Caroline Whyman is Gracewell of Ascot's Activities Coordinator! Having started her new role in August 2020, Caroline has made a huge impact at the care home and is already a favourite among residents and her fellow team members. Before joining the care home, Caroline enjoyed a long career in the motor racing industry, working for McLaren’s Formula One team for 27 years and then at Mark Blundell Partners, where she organised events and hospitality services at motor races for corporate clients.

Asked what spurred her to move into the care sector, Caroline said that her own grandmother lived with dementia for a number of years and so she had personal experiences of the challenges that the illness can bring for the individual and their family. And, after being placed on furlough and then being made redundant from her previous role, Caroline thought it was a wonderful opportunity to join the care industry and to support her community. Having travelled extensively throughout her career, Caroline says that she was also looking for stability in her professional life and to take a new direction. It was at this time that the Activities Coordinator role became available at Gracewell of Ascot. Speaking of when she first saw the role advertised, Caroline said: “When I read the job description, it occurred to me that my experience working within the high-end corporate world should easily transfer over into the care sector world if I was given the opportunity. Luckily for me, Raina Jordan, the care home’s General Manager, was willing to take a calculated risk on me and I am so grateful she did.” Since joining, Caroline has loved how her role is highly personal and involves close interaction with the residents. “I have fallen in love with our residents as if they are members of my own family”, she said. Adding, “they are the most wonderful individuals, all with different personalities, experiences and needs. I have found that I can bring them laughter, a little joy and lots of love in this role, which is very special indeed.” “We’ve also introduced a lovely Christmas light garden in December for the residents, a staff song and dance show, a weekly French Club,

book club, Gent’s Chess & Whisky Tasting Club as well as the usual garden walks, online exercise classes, concerts and singing, so it is a pretty full and varied programme. Whilst not new, the residents all love a quiz and singing which are both great for their mood and memory. Yet for me, the most important activity is to talk to the residents one-to-one, constantly checking-in on how they are feeling. There is nothing like a good chat!” Asked what advice she would give to others who are considering pursuing a career as an Activities Coordinator in a care home, Caroline said: “As with all care positions, the Activities Coordinator role is one of dedication and vocation rather than just a job. In order to provide the best environment for your residents, you need to be willing to give all of yourself, perhaps more than most roles require. However, the rewards are the delight and joy that you can bring to people who absolutely deserve all the respect and happiness you can provide to them in their twilight years.” Raina Jordan, General Manager at Gracewell of Ascot, said: “Caroline goes over and above to ensure that every resident has quality activity time. Her patience and sense of humour quickly established her as a much-loved team member amongst residents and her laughter is heard throughout the home numerous times a day. Caroline has the ability to bring the best out of people and residents always look forward to activities with her. She has a big heart and is a huge asset to Gracewell of Ascot.”


Captain Sir Tom’s NHS Gifts Must Be Protected Says Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson In Wales The Health and Social Care spokesperson for the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Senedd Candidate for SE Wales has asked for guarantees that funds received from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s monumental fundraising efforts benefiting the NHS Wales Employee Wellbeing Service will not trigger reduced or reallocated future funding. Captain Sir Tom’s incredible fundraising achievement inspired and moved the nation during this time of national crisis. Over £30,000,000 was raised by Sir Tom for various NHS charities across the UK. Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Employee

Wellbeing Service has received £115,000 from Sir Tom’s charity fund. Speaking days after Captain Sir Tom’s funeral, Jo Watkins, the Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson and Senedd Candidate for SE Wales, Jo Watkins, has asked for guarantees from NHS Finance Directors that gifts from Sir Tom’s efforts will not be factored-in to future spending reviews. The Liberal Democrat Councillor for Caldicot is concerned about the future long-term funding of various NHS initiatives supporting NHS staff mental health and wellbeing. Jo Watkins said: ‘‘It would be an affront to Sir Tom’s achievements and memory if future levels of core spending on NHS staff mental health support were to be trimmed or reallocated by finance directors or accountants in future spending reviews.’’ Liberal Democrat Senedd candidates across Wales, says Councillor Watkins, are campaigning for increases in spending to support NCH mental health services for staff and their families. ‘‘The NHS Employee Wellbeing Service is dedicated to alleviating

Care Home Deaths Pass 30,000 Milestone Care providers have mourned the 30,000 lives that have been lost in care and nursing homes and prayed that the ongoing fall in Covid-19 fatalities continues. The figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 776 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 19th February, down from 1,160 the previous week. According to these figures, 30.369 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 19h February 2021. Provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) said every death was the loss of a loved one. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “This is a grim sta-

Covid-related anxiety, stress and fatigue. I am already hearing reports of ICU nursing staff leaving the profession as the pandemic has taken such a toll on their mental health. Liberal Democrats are concerned that medical, nursing and ancillary staff will simply leave the NHS if mental health services are not adequately sustained in the long term, ’’ said Jo Watkins. Jo Watkins added: ‘’Gifted funds raised from Captain Sir Tom’s efforts can never be used as an excuse for ‘re-directive accounting’ or for trimming future core NHS budgets. The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board NHS Employee Wellbeing Service has already benefited from a payment from Sir Tom’s fund of £115,000 This welcome gift and other future donations from Captain Sir Tom’s funds must be protected and ring-fenced within this financial year. Sit Tom’s gifts must not be factored-in to any future core financing reviews of spending on NHS staff wellbeing.’’

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tistic and behind it is the loss of a loved one – a husband, a wife, a father, a mother, an aunt and uncle, a brother or a sister. “Covid-19 has taken a terrible toll in care and nursing homes and we mourn and send our condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to the pandemic. “With today’s figures showing a fall for the third week, we must pray that the vaccine and lockdown measures are working, and we are getting on top of Covid-19. “We must all remain on our guard and return to normality slowly and carefully for the sake of the vulnerable in our care.”

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Remote Monitoring In Care Homes – Learning From The Lessons of Covid-19 By Fay Sibley, Head of Healthy Ageing at the Health Innovation Network ( who leads on the NHSX Innovation Collaborative for London. As a result of the tremendous challenge Covid-19 has placed on the health and care system, remote monitoring technology and capabilities development has accelerated at rapid speed. The short-term benefits of this are obvious in settings like care homes for older people, whose residents have made up 39% of all Covid-related deaths in England . This critical progress has made it possible for care home staff to access clinical monitoring of complex health conditions and palliative care, while reducing the transportation of elderly residents to and from crowded hospitals and GP surgeries with high rates of infection. With all of the work that has been done in response to this need, an evidence base has begun to emerge, slowly but surely building the case for remote monitoring interventions not just as an effective short-term solution to a current problem, but as a long-term improvement to care in care homes. However, this sort of lasting improvement to the adult social care sector is not without its significant roadblocks, which prominently include the need for major improvements to IT systems in care homes that vary significantly across the board in terms of the digital maturity of staff, the size of the home and type of care provided. For these roadblocks to be addressed properly, local authorities and CCGs must be aware of this variation and take a targeted approach to supporting these interventions in care homes. To facilitate a more joined up approach, NHSX has pioneered a new Innovation Collaborative, which is partnering with all seven regions of the NHS in England to help health and social care staff embed remote monitoring interventions. In the London region alone, we are supporting roughly 600 care homes and a total of 21,000 older people in the country’s capital to remain safe and well in their homes. The hardware and digital platform necessary for remote monitoring to occur allows care home staff to monitor and record vital signs of care home residents, which are then stored on a shared platform accessible to health professionals like GPs. In turn, care home staff have access to clinical information like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, which allows them to identify signs of a resident becoming unwell and consult a health professional earlier. The result is a more efficient, collaborative approach to planning and priori-

tising the care of care home residents, in a way that could permanently reduce the distress and practical obstacles of transporting those who are more often than not extremely frail or unable to move around on their own. Care home managers in south London have reported this new technology and the collaborative approach to using it with primary care have been game-changing during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as made it easier to reassure families who have expressed uncertainty about the vaccine. Upskilling existing care home staff has been simple, requiring less than an hour of training to become onboarded. GPs involved with piloting remote monitoring technology in care homes have acknowledged the huge potential benefits to both care home residents and primary care clinicians, including the possibility of integrating with clinical systems already in use by many GP surgeries, such as EMIS, to avoid increasing workload. It also offers an exciting possibility to roll out these services to larger portions of the population and other areas of healthcare. “It’s been a game changer for us,” says Rick Mayne, the Registered Home Manager for Sherwood Grange Care Home in Kingston, south west London, which is home to more than 50 residents with varying needs. “My staff embraced it as it only took around 30 minutes training for them and then a few minutes to get them on the system. Usually we do observations once a week as our residents are generally well. However when they received their Covid vaccine we took their observations three times that week so we could reassure them and their families that they were well. For a non-clinical person it’s been great.” As a result of NHSX’s Innovation Collaborative, all five sustainability and transformation partnerships (known in some areas as integrated care partnerships) in London are working together to: • build on the learnings and improvements around digital health brought by Covid-19; • accelerate the scale of digital innovations that will contribute to redesigning outpatient and remote care for the better; and • increase workforce productivity by helping to save staff time. As well as leading on this pan-London approach, our role as the Health Innovation Network has been to review and summarise research on the topic of increased remote monitoring technology use in care homes, as well as to conduct a market comparison of viable solutions and their spread across London. We are also, importantly, supporting the dissemination of learnings from this experience, so the benefits of remote monitoring can continue to reach those who need it most in the future.

Care Home “Life Under Lockdown” Wins RTS Award News reports on Sky News featuring the staff and residents of Palms Row Health Care homes have been recognised at the Royal Television Society Awards. Sky’s coverage of the pandemic was described by judges as a “must watch during these difficult times” and had included reportage that had “offered insight into the lives of ordinary people”. The reports led to journalist Nick Martin winning the coveted specialist journalist of the year prize.

of the pandemic knew that something wasn’t right. She had the courage to let us tell the story. Her and the staff fought so hard to keep residents alive.” The news comes after Palms Row director, Nicola Richards, was commended for speaking out with a nomination at the Covid Comms Awards. Nicola Richards commented: “The care sector across the country recognises that Nick Martin’s reports on the

Judges said that he had “brought to life the human dramas” in his moving accounts of people in care homes, and their family struggles, through this difficult year, but crucially, he had also “held politicians to account”.

crisis facing our care homes forced the government to act and take our sector seriously. “One lasting legacy from the crisis will hopefully see local and national govern-

In his speech to the Awards, Nick Martin said: “We couldn’t have told this story without Nicola Richards who right at the start

ments no longer treat care homes as the Cinderella sector.”

Vision Direct Donates Over £10,000 Worth of Laptops to Vulnerable Children Homeschooling During Lockdown Following England’s third national lockdown and a return to remote learning, Vision Direct ( has donated over £10,000 to deliver 50 laptops to schools in need. The donation has come at a time when many students are struggling to maintain their education during the pandemic, as Ofcom estimates that up to 1.8 million UK children don’t have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. The brand new laptops have been delivered to six schools across London: St. Dunstan’s Cheam, CofE Primary School, Highams Park School, All Souls C of e Primary School, Rhyl Primary School, Hackney New School and Ruislip Gardens School. While the government has supplied a number of laptops to schools in England, it has struggled to deliver the amount needed to meet demand. Vision Direct stepped in to fill this gap by purchasing £10,000 of new laptops and donating them directly to the schools in need, who will then distribute the laptops to families on their lengthy waiting lists. "I am very grateful for the devices." says a parent from Rhyl Primary School "It has helped me form routines for home learning. I can support both my girls now as they have their own devices. I found it very stress-

ful before but now it is calm. The children look forward to their live lessons to meet their teacher and they can see their friends everyday. Thank you Vision Direct." “It’s vital that everyone has access to laptops during this pandemic,” says Ashley Mealor, Chief Marketing Officer at Vision Direct. “Like countless others, we’ve made the switch to operating remotely and our business would not have been able to continue functioning without the proper technology to keep us connected. We want to ensure that all children have that technology too, as they battle the challenges of remote learning.” The ‘digital divide’ that the pandemic has created has had a negative impact on children’s education. If families don’t have enough devices, they’re forced to make hard choices about their children’s educational needs. Despite these challenges, expectations of home-learning are high. The Department for Education states that schools must provide

between three and five hours of learning per day, depending on age. Many of those hours come in the form of live or prerecorded video, powerpoint presentations, and submitting work virtually to be checked, meaning that the child’s education is next to impossible without a device and access to the internet. “The donation of laptops from Vision Direct to Rhyl Primary School pupils has been invaluable,” says Helen Connor, Headteacher at Rhyl Primary School in Kentish Town. “Over 60% of our pupils do not have a device of their own to use at home and have to share with siblings or use a parent’s mobile phone. It is more important than ever that every school-aged child is able to access remote learning. For too many children this is not possible and as a result the gap in learning and achievement for our most disadvantaged children is becoming wider and the impact on their future educational outcomes will be significant. Every child has a right to be provided with a device of their own to support their learning and education and this donation will mean more of our children are able to learn at home and have the support from their teachers that they deserve.” This isn’t the first time brands have used their resources for good during the pandemic. During the first lockdown, many brands donated goods and services to key workers. Vision Direct gave away 4,000 packs of free contact lenses to people working for the NHS, police and fire service, social care staff and teachers to wear comfortably under their PPE. For more information, visit


Care Providers Look To Make COVID Vaccination Condition Of Employment Finds Poll A poll by social care lawyers Royds Withy King reports that almost three-quarters (73%) of social care providers would like to make a COVID vaccination a condition of employment for new members of staff. That condition would include exceptions for those who can’t have the vaccine on medical or other protected grounds. The poll of 194 care providers was held on 23 February at the law firm’s annual employment law webinar for social care providers. Royds Withy King found that whilst the majority (53%) of care providers had over 80% of staff vaccinated, 20% of care providers are operating with more than 40% of their workforce unvaccinated. In the vast majority of cases this was due to workers being unwilling or unable to have the vaccine, although most providers (78%) said that up to 10% of unvaccinated staff wanted the vaccine but had not been able to access it. James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King said: “Many providers have made good progress getting staff vaccinated through encouragement rather than enforcement.

However, some providers reported very low staff uptake rates. “The current figures, and the legal risks of forcing existing staff to have the vaccine, explain why increasing numbers of providers are considering making vaccinations mandatory for new staff. Of those polled, 73% said that they would want to adopt this approach whilst making exceptions for those who can’t have the vaccine for protected reasons under the Equality Act, such as pregnancy, disability or religion. “These figures indicate how keen care providers are to protect the health and safety of their clients and workforce by ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated. “In practice, fewer numbers are likely to move ahead with it now because of the risk it might hinder recruitment which is already incredibly challenging – 59% of providers reported that they do not have enough staff with a further 11% saying they have significant staffing gaps.”

Care England Urges Government To Make Good On Ten Year Plan For Adult Social Care Care England has written to the Chancellor urging him to make good on the Government’s commitment to adult social care in his Budget this week. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “The sector is tired of empty promises, White Papers and consultations, 13 of these in the last 17 years, that always end up in the long grass. It is now or never; we need a 1948 moment with a commitment in the Budget that the Prime Minister will tackle the social care crisis”. In January, Care England’s Budget submission highlighted the following issues: • The changing cost and operational reality that has been imposed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. • The intervention which the Treasury can make in the sphere of insurance to assist the adult

social care sector. • The existing and potential role which the adult social care sector can continue play as a valuable employer in the UK’s job market. • The need for a £7 billion injection into the adult social care sector, in line with the Commons Health and Social Care Committees call. Martin Green continues: “A ten year plan akin to that of the NHS would be a great help to the sector, which in turn is part of the national infrastructure. Adult social care needs to be placed at the forefront of future policy planning and cannot remain an addendum to the NHS. Care England wants to work with the Government to ensure that this does not remain a pipedream”.


Compliance with Visiting Guidance Must Be Monitored Says Residents Association trigger an inspection is welcome, CQC must act now to stop the human rights crisis unfolding in care. We urged CQC to set out their expectations of care homes and how facilitating contact with relatives/friends is key to providing person-centred care that ensures people’s dignity. Setting out these expectations within the framework of CQC’s fundamental standards and the Health and Social Care Act regulations will ensure care homes see facilitating visiting as intrinsic to delivering good care and meeting these legal standards. The association says that callers to the R&RA helpline see the devastating impact lack of contact has had on their relatives and feel let down by the systems designed to protect their human rights. With visiting guidance remaining advisory, rather than set out in law, it is vital that the regulator ensures compliance. This falls squarely within CQC’s purpose to improve standards and protect and safeguard vulnerable adults receiving care.

The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) has urged the Care Quality Commission to be far more rigorous in helping to end isolation in care. Following a meeting with Kate Terroni, the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, the association called on the regulator to take a proactive role in monitoring care homes’ compliance with visiting guidance. It is unacceptable, they say that relatives/friends of those in care have had to step in to fill the gap, chasing homes for compliance. From now on, CQC should insist that care homes make their visiting policy explicit and report current practice to them as the regulator. The information should be publicly available and included in CQC’s inspection reports. This would help to ensure safe visiting is enabled in all care homes. This forms part of it’s six point plan on ending isolation in care, issued as the Government is redrafting visiting guidance this week. Whilst the CQC’s recent statement that blanket visiting bans are “unacceptable” and may

Live Stream Music Sessions Help Care Home Residents Isolated During Lockdown The COVID-19 pandemic may have halted musicians entertaining the residents of Grange Care Home in Kilmarnock but thanks to a music charity, residents are now enjoying live music virtually. Every year professional musicians from the charity Music in Hospitals & Care provide live music for over 100,000 people who may not otherwise get to experience it. This includes those living with dementia, people in care homes or those who are seriously ill. Since the pandemic took hold the charity had to stop going into care homes and hospitals. But they are still providing the healing power of live music to those who need it by using technology. Residents of Grange Care Home received one of Music in Hospitals & Care’s virtual live music sessions. Professional guitar player Neil Sturgeon played for residents over Zoom. Mary Tonner, 79, a resident at Grange Care Home, said: “It was fabulous, he came on with the guitar and it was wonderful. Afterwards I felt happy, because it just made you feel a wee bit more alive at the end. We all went to bed happy. Even Sheena and Margaret were singing, and they’re about 90-

odd! It was marvellous, I couldn’t say enough about it.” Mary and the other residents haven’t seen friends and family or been able to leave the care home during the pandemic. Derek Lennox, Lifestyle Coordinator at Grange Care Home, said: “We haven’t had live music for months. Everything we have been doing is just on the TV or videos. To have someone who was interacting directly, asking them what songs they would like to hear, I think it was almost like a wee touch to the outside world again. And that just made you feel a bit more hopeful afterwards.” Barbara Osborne, Chief Executive of Music in Hospitals & Care, said: “It’s been a challenging and isolating time for people in care homes, and we believe live music needs to be part of everyone’s health and social care. Music helps people feel more relaxed and can relieve frustration and stress. While our professional musicians can’t attend in person, it’s still vital that care home’s like Mary’s have access to live music during the pandemic. That’s why we’re providing live sessions virtually.”

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Top North East Solicitor Advises Businesses To Reconsider Blanket Vaccine Policies

Employers should tread carefully when discussing vaccinations in the workplace, warns a leading North East solicitor. As the vaccination programme rolls out across the UK, increased protection against the virus has given many hope for returning to normal sooner rather than later. However, Lisa Branker, employment lawyer at Sunderland-based Richard Reed Solicitors, advises that requiring staff be vaccinated, or even asking if they have been, may be infringing on their rights. “While the vaccine has provided many businesses with a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s important that employers are prepared to accommodate staff who refuse or may not be eligible for it,” she said. “As it is not compulsory to have the COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, businesses are likely to find themselves in breach of an employee’s human right to privacy or facing potential discrimination claims if they bring in any blanket policies surrounding this.” While employers are within their rights to encourage staff to get the vaccine, as

they have a duty under health and safety law to reduce the risks to their employees’ health, they must be careful to approach this in a gentle manner. And Lisa advises that those wishing to find out if their staff have been vaccinated should check that their data protection policies and privacy notices cover this first, as this is sensitive health-related information. “Employers can emphasise the benefits to the individual, colleagues and customers, direct workers to reputable sources of information – such as NHS guidance – and offer paid time off to attend an appointment, but they must remember it is a matter of personal choice,” she said. “The right to refuse medical intervention is well established in the UK and so employers will need to consider whether a vaccination requirement is justified - for example if they work in the health or care sectors - and if not, look at introducing alternative working arrangements to combat this.” For further information visit or call 0191 567 0467 or email

Sunrise of Winchester Residents Pay Tribute To Sir Captain Tom Moore Residents at Sunrise of Winchester have paid tribute to Sir Captain Tom Moore with a walk around the care home. Sir Captain Tom Moore was an inspiration to all the residents and team members at Sunrise of Winchester. Following the news of Sir Captain Tom’s passing, they wanted to honour his legacy with a walk around the home. Residents initially set a target of 100 laps, this is one lap for each year of Sir Captain Tom’s life. 19 residents took part, and between them, they accomplished over 181 laps of the home. After residents completed the laps, team members presented them with certificates that said, ‘I walked for Captain Tom’. Families and friends of residents sponsored the residents on their walk, and all proceeds are going to The Captain Tom Foundation. The residents raised a total of

£475. Jean Tudor, 92-year-old resident at Sunrise of Winchester, said: “I felt quite pleased with myself that I had achieved something. We all appreciate what Captain Tom did to help others.” Ted Gumbrell, 89-year-old resident, said: “I was so happy to be the first to go around the course. Captain Tom showed true gumption and determination.” Freda Peacock, 91-year-old resident, added: “Captain Tom was so selfless and made a tremendous effort to make an example for other people to do something and express their appreciation. I loved doing the walk and it will be nice to do it again in the garden when the weather is better.” Louise Murkin, Activities and Volunteers Coordinator at

Sunrise of Winchester, was so proud of the residents. She said: “The residents and I followed the amazing achievements of Sir Captain Tom with great affection. We were saddened to hear that he had become unwell and later passed away. I was chatting with the residents soon after we heard the news of his passing and they were keen to do something in his memory. “We set a route within the home and challenged the residents to do 100 laps. “I was so proud of the residents; they were so motivated to achieve the set goal. Some did 20 plus laps, some did some in the morning and again in the afternoon. It was so lovely to see the comradery of those involved encouraging each other and laughing and joking along the way.”


Covid-Related Care Home Resident Deaths Continue to Fall

Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales fell by 35 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. In the week ending 19 February, 969 care home resident deaths were recorded where Covid was cited on the death certificate. The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 19 February 2021 (Week 7) was 13,809; this was 1,545 fewer deaths than in the previous week (Week 6). Of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020 and up to Week 7 (week ending 19 February 2021), 69.0% (89,070 deaths) occurred in hospitals, with the remainder occurring in care homes (30,369 deaths), private homes (6,894), hospices (1,851), other communal establishments (471) and elsewhere (458). Between Weeks 6 and 7, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in hospitals (1,065 fewer), care homes (384 fewer), private homes (148 fewer), hospices (9 fewer) and elsewhere (7 fewer) but increased

in other communal establishments (1 more). Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all

deaths in hospitals fell to 44.6% in Week 7 (53.5% in Week 6). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 29.7% of deaths, a decrease from Week 6 (37.8%). The ONS data revealed that 3,018 care home residents died from all causes in week seven 2021, meaning Covid was a factor in 32 per cent of total deaths. As well as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) provides numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England that are based on the date the death was notified to the CQC. From 10 April 2020 (the first day when data were collected using the CQC’s new method of identifying deaths involving COVID-19) to 26 February 2021, there were 28,267 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19. Of these deaths, 382 were notified in the week up to 26 February 2021.

UK To Strengthen Its Ethical Approach To The International Recruitment of Health and Care Workers The UK has updated its code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care staff to align with the World Health Organization (WHO), widening the global market from which the UK can ethically recruit. This will provide increasing numbers of international staff with the opportunity to come and work in the UK’s health and social care sectors to deliver world-class care. The CoP sets out how the UK can work collaboratively with governments from around the world, forming partnerships to benefit health and social care workers, their country of origin and the UK. The updated CoP aligns with the principles set out in the WHO’s global code of practice and represents an important step forward in the UK’s approach to ethical recruitment. It will: ensure international recruits will be treated fairly and be pro• vided with the appropriate support provide safeguards against active recruitment from 47 coun• tries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List • set out how the UK is supporting countries with the most pressing health and social care workforce challenges

Together with robust plans to increase UK-trained nurses, an increase in health and social staff from overseas will help to meet the government’s manifesto commitment for 50,000 more nurses by 2024. There are already over 10,500 more nurses working in the NHS compared with last year. Minister for Care Helen Whateley said: I am hugely grateful for all of the frontline health and social care

workers from overseas who have worked tirelessly to save lives and provide the best possible care during this pandemic. We will work with countries all over the world to promote the best standards of ethical recruitment of health and social care staff and I look forward to welcoming more incredible talent to the UK. Alongside our ambition to increase the number of UK-based nurses, this will allow us to continue to deliver world-class care to patients for years to come. International recruitment is one part of the Long Term Plan to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs. This will help to achieve a sustainable health and social care workforce to meet the UK’s needs and will ensure better healthcare can be delivered to everyone. Homegrown supply of health and social care staff is increasing through a range of government measures which includes more training, retaining more staff and encouraging those who have left to return. The CoP clearly sets out responsibilities for recruiters, employers and the government on how to maintain ethical recruitment on an ongoing basis and will ensure countries with the weakest health systems are protected.

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Former Google Employee Shares Tips for Marketing Your Residential Care Home Online By Conor Hardy, Managing Director, Run PPC – ( Putting your business and its services in front of the right people online is a non-negotiable in today’s digital age, and while traditional marketing techniques such as offline advertising will continue to deliver results, keeping abreast of the latest digital strategies is essential. Add into the mix the challenges of coronavirus and the importance of having an effective online marketing strategy in place has perhaps never been more acute. As a former Google employee, I have seen digital marketing trends come and go, and techniques that were once hugely effective are now redundant, but staying up to date with what works and what doesn’t can be extremely challenging when you’re running a residential care home. So, what practical solutions can you put in place to ensure there are pairs of eyes on your services, which don’t require a huge investment of time? Well, a lot depends on how your customers find you and how you want them to find you. It makes sense to focus attention on areas where you are getting the most success, and I certainly wouldn’t encourage operators to abandon strategies that are delivering results. But have you considered the techniques being used by your competitors and the audiences you could be missing out on? An often-neglected aspect of digital marketing in the residential care industry is SEO and PPC, and I know this to be the case because I’ve analysed the marketplace, both in preparation for writing this article and through my own work with operators in the sector.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the practice of ensuring your brand is at the top of search results – or close to it – for key search terms. Here’s a quick experiment you can try from your phone or laptop – search on Google for residential care home and the area you serve – for example, “residential care home dorset” – and take a look at the results generated. Does your name feature? Consider other terms that your audience may use to find businesses like yours. If your name isn’t appearing then these people simply won’t find you. So, what can you do about it? 1. Ensure your website is submitted to search engines – speak to your website manager to check that this box has been ticked. Free plug-ins like Yoast SEO (which works with WordPress websites) can help you do this in a few short steps. This allows Google to ‘crawl’ your website and add it to its directory. 2. Ensure your website is as good as it can be – for your website to rank highly in Google, it should be up to date, fast loading and populated with relevant information. Adding a new blog post every couple of weeks will work wonders in the longer term. Slow, outdated websites will quickly slip down the search rankings as Google wants to show its users the best and most up-to-date answers to queries. 3. Consider Google Ads – An effective Google Ads campaign can send your business to the top of the search results for key terms. This requires a little investment, although a significant percentage of your total spend is dictated by the number of clicks your campaign receives. This is where the term PPC – or pay-per-click – comes from; the more successful your campaign is, the more you’ll pay. But if the value of a new customer is significant then the initial outlay is a real no-brainer. Alongside other digital strategies, such as engaging social media output, by taking these steps you can super-charge your digital marketing and ensure that your business is presented to a relevant audience that is ready to engage with you. I have worked extensively with operators in the residential care sector and have seen the good and the bad – and grown to understand that the phrase ‘getting out what you’re prepared to put in’ is rarely more relevant than when it comes to online marketing.

Bramhall Care Home Receives NHS Award The team at New Care’s Bramhall Manor care centre on Robins Lane in Bramhall, in Stockport, Greater Manchester, has received a special Making a Difference award from Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. Personally delivered and presented by chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust Karen James OBE as part of the Trust’s wider ‘Thank You February’ initiative, the certificate recognises the care home’s outstanding contribution and dedicated commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bramhall Manor is one of only a handful of local healthcare organisations to receive the award. Upon opening in March last year, it was commissioned in its entirety by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs Stepping Hill Hospital, NHS Stockport CCG and Stockport Council as part of a joint Borough-wide plan to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last 12 months, the New Care team at the home has worked tirelessly to help ease the pressure on the NHS in the locality by offering a much needed and viable solution to the shortfall of hospital beds by caring for those who are well enough to leave hospital but not quite able to care for themselves fully at home.

pandemic and also during the recent busy winter months. Karen made a surprise visit to Bramhall Manor to present the certificate taking with her a selection of fresh fruit and beautiful cakes which were very well received by the team. She said: “I’m visiting Bramhall Manor to say thank you from all of us at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. The New Care team has worked successfully in partnership with us to provide positive outcomes for hundreds of patients over the last 12 months. It has been an incredible partnership and one that we hope to continue to support the needs of those patients discharged from hospital who still require some transitional support prior to returning to their home.” Registered manager at Bramhall Manor, Sarah Lydon, said: “It was wonderful to receive the surprise visit from Karen and we are delighted to have been presented with a Make a Difference certificate. The situation with the pandemic has not always been easy, but we have worked hand-in-hand with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the delivery of a seamless care service for many Stockport residents The partnership has been instrumental in helping the local NHS deal with the increase in hospital admissions, both as a result of the

before they return to their own homes after a hospital stay and are pleased that the project has been successful.”

Care UK Announced As The World’s First Care Sector Partner Of The #FairKitchens Movement Care UK and the #FairKitchens movement are proud to announce that Care UK is the first care sector organisation in the world to join the global movement #FairKitchens, which is aiming to make the happiness of catering teams as important as diner satisfaction. Co-founded by Unilever Food Solutions in 2018 to inspire a healthier and more inclusive culture in hospitality, #FairKitchens now has more than 20,000 community members learning from each other’s approaches and creating a more resilient and sustainable businesses in the process. The long-term ambition is to make “Fair Kitchens” a point of preference, recognised by potential team members as good places to work and potential diners as an assurance mark of a high quality dining experience. Hotel Services Manager Chef James Clear will lead Care UK’s contribution to #FairKitchens by sharing lessons and success stories from his colleagues in the care sector as to how to build a respectful culture in which people are valued and treated fairly. Care UK will also join discussions on wider issues affecting the industry’s future; such as attracting talent. Those already involved in #FairKitchens in the UK include Hospitality Action, Hawksmoor, The Pilot Light Campaign, The Burnt Chef Project, Hospro, Craft Guild of Chefs, Healthy Hospo and So Let’s Talk. Started in the US, #FairKitchens has now launched in Europe, Africa, Australasia

and the Middle East. Announcing the new partnership, #FairKitchens said it was looking to work with the care sector because of its unique working environment and the lessons it can offer operators in other areas of hospitality. It highlighted the freedom that chefs in care often have over menus and

the satisfaction that comes from creating person-centred service for individual residents as plus points. The sector was also praised for offering more sociable working hours and appealing to a diverse community of employees. James Clear “I am very much looking forward to working with a movement which focuses on ‘people first’, which is something Care UK truly believes. When I joined Care UK I was inspired by Food & Services Director, Jon Bicknell’s vision of ‘Dining with Dignity’ which ensures the dining experience for our residents is the best it can be. I have learnt that to deliver this you need an engaged, motived team. I am looking forward to sharing how we do this with others across the globe so it can benefit their businesses too.” Alex Hall Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions and #FairKitchens ambassador added “I am very excited to have Care UK as a partner of the movement. There is a lot the catering industry can learn from the people centric way it runs its operation. I also think it is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the care sector as a place to work, especially in light of the pandemic. Sharing the stories and examples from Care UK could inspire others to consider it as an alternate career path.” To join the #FairKitchens movement and inspire the change follow them on Facebook,Instagram and LinkedIn.

A Commentary on Healthcare Recruitment in the UK


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

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!

Tameside Resident Makes Leaps and Bounds in Her Incredible Walking Recovery A Resident at HC-One’s Millbrook care home in Stalybridge is making tremendous steps in her recovery after an accident left her unable to walk as well as she previously could. Sheila came to the home in July last year after an unfortunate accident back at home. She no longer had the same movement and strength in her legs as she previously had and would be assisted by Colleagues using a wheelchair when roaming around the home. Since then, Sheila has made incredible progress and is now up and about without her wheelchair. She now

walks from room-to-room in the home with just a walker and without the need for any help from Colleagues. Sheila has been taking part in regular exercise classes with Millbrook Wellbeing Coordinator, Gavin, and has been continually encouraged and cheered on by Residents and Colleagues alike. Sheila said: “I’m finding it easier every day and my confidence keeps on growing.” Although Sheila still has her wheelchair at hand in case she needs a rest, she very rarely uses it anymore and is making incredible leaps and bounds in her leg move-

ment and walking ability. She is feeling much more confident than when she first arrived at the home and, with more exercise, will soon be able to walk even further and for longer periods of time. The exercise classes are a great way for Sheila to maintain movement and ensure that she feels strong and independent. Millbrook Home Manager, Andrew Bradley, commented: “Sheila is doing extremely well. It’s heart-warming to see her smile and have a different perspective and outlook.”

Firm Pulls Plug On £7m Care Home and 150 New Jobs

Scores of care homes in South and West Wales will go bust and be forced to close unless there is a significant increase in funding from local councils. That’s the grim warning from Mohammad Mazhar Ali, who runs Wellcome Care Homes that operates three homes in Caerphilly, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. Mr Ali painted a bleak picture of the challenges providers face in trying to balance the books. Things were so bad that his company had pulled the plug on £7m plans to open fourth care home with 96 beds in Llanwenog on the Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire border which would have created 150 jobs. In Wales, the fees and the pay rates for carers are determined by local councils who used set formulas to calculate them. As result, many carers are condemned to living on the minimum wage and he fears a lot of them will turn their back on the sector and look for better paid jobs elsewhere. According to Mr Ali, the miserly fees were an affront to care workers who had put their own lives on the line and heroically done their utmost to protect their residents from the Covid-19 virus. He also fears homes may reluctantly have to turn away potential residents with significant needs if there is not a shift from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to funding which does not take into account the dependency levels of individuals. Mr Ali says the challenges facing his homes have intensified following Covid-19 outbreaks, which have affected the health of a number of residents. He is calling for a radical overhaul of the fee system and wants far

more funding to be provided to meet the ever-increasing demands placed on providers. His comments come after Care Forum Wales highlighted the low care home fees paid by local authorities in Wales and pushed for carers to receive improved salaries. Last year the organisation, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers, launched a campaign to ensure qualified staff who work in care homes and domiciliary care in Wales are paid a minimum of £20,000 a year. Mr Ali says that in Ceredigion the standard rate is as low as £605 per week – equating to £86.42 per day. “If nothing is done about this then I am worried that in years to come there will not be many care homes left,” said Mr Ali, who has run Wellcome Care Homes with his business partner, Syed Ali, since 2013. “It is very challenging and difficult to do everything we do when the fees are so low. “We provide accommodation and care and the residents have three meals a day. The staff administer medication and keep the residents engaged with activities, with services provided 24 hours a day. “The fees need to be a lot higher to cover the costs of everything we do.” Wellcome’s three homes are Annedd in Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire; Blaendyffryn Hall Nursing Home in Llandysul, Ceredigion; and Try-Celyn Court in Newbridge, Caerphilly. Mr Ali, 52, said homes have a legal obligation to provide care for individuals under the Social Services Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. But he is frustrated by the fact that local authorities do not vary the fees paid based upon dependency levels. His concerns have been heightened by the impact of Covid outbreaks at the homes. He added: “People are now coming into homes who are more frail and have complex needs. “If somebody has a high level of need then this is clearly going to cost more. “We have had Covid outbreaks at our homes. Although we have come the other side and thankfully the majority of our residents have survived, many are not the same as before. “Their level of dependency has increased. This results in extra staffing costs. “However, we do not get any extra funding to cover these increases in costs. “If there is not a change then I can see care homes saying somebody is too frail to take them on. The system needs to be changed.” “I am calling on the Welsh Government to step in and help ensure carers can be paid a minimum of £11 per hour, recognising the impor-

tance of their work and the long hours they put in. Ideally they would be paid even more than that.” “It is unfair the UK Government’s newly-implemented quarantine hotels scheme – which sees arrivals from 33 high-risk countries having to isolate in a hotel for 10 days – involves a fee being paid of £175 per night. “I am bemused why this figure is significantly higher than the amount our homes receive for providing vital care for residents. “We are providing a larger and more comprehensive service than the hotels and looking after the most vulnerable in society,” said Mazhar. “How can it be fair that the hotels are paid so much more? We are working tirelessly to save lives. “The minimum paid for care per day should not be less than the £175 that the hotels are receiving.” Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “The First Minister rightly pointed out that social care was in a very fragile state even before the pandemic began. “The reason the sector is so chronically underfunded is that we have had local authorities managing the market for a generation, particularly in relation to care homes, and it was a disaster from the word go because they put cost before quality. “As a result, social care has always been treated as a poor relation and a Cinderalla service. “We need a radically different approach to the way we fund social care otherwise the situation will never get better. “If we had to replace the current capacity of 20,000 beds it would cost £3 billion – and that’s without the cost of the land. “Even then it would not be economically viable to build new care homes in many rural communities because it would not stack up financially. “We therefore need to preserve what we have already and Wales needs to decide what kind of health and social care system it wants, in particular the value it attaches as a nation to its social care workers. “We need to ditch the current postcode lottery and have a new national strategy with certain things like minimum fees set centrally, just like minimum standards, enabling providers to pay the real living wage to all qualified social care workers. “The plight of Wellcome Care Homes in being forced to shelve their plans for a new care home which would have created 150 new jobs is yet another example of the urgency of the situation. “If we carry on doing what we’ve done for the past quarter of a century we will make no progress and Wales will be poorer for it. “As Einstein pointed out, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”


UK Charities Join Together To Boost Vaccine Drive 16 frontline charities have formed a new partnership to encourage those with long term health conditions and their carers to get the Covid19 vaccine. Organisations including The British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mencap are joining with the government and NHS to promote vaccine uptake among those the charities support every day. Since 15 February those in cohort 6 – people with certain underlying health conditions and their carers – have been receiving invites from their GP practice to come forward for life saving vaccinations to protect them from Covid-19. Working with the government on the UK’s largest ever medical deployment, the charities will use the combined strength of their networks to reassure people with long term health conditions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The incredible success of our vaccination programme has only been possible by working in partnership with the NHS, health and care professionals, local partners and our volunteers. “Having the support of the charities who work every day to support the very people we are reaching out to in cohort 6 is a great boost for the rollout which continues to show what we can achieve when we pull together as one. “Their help, encouragement and links with communities next in line for the jab will help make sure everyone can get access to the life-saving protection the vaccine provides and help protect those with underlying conditions and their carers.” The organisations which have signed up so far to become members are: • African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) • Asthma UK • British Heart Foundation • British Liver Trust • British Lung Foundation • Cancer Research UK

• • • • • • • • • •

Carers UK Diabetes UK Epilepsy Action Kidney Care UK Lupus UK MacMillan Cancer Support Mencap MS Society Sickle Cell Society Terrence Higgins Trust These vital charities support those included in priority vaccination categories, including cohort 6 which covers individuals aged 16 to 64 with certain long-term conditions identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as being at higher clinical risk from Covid-19. These conditions include chronic respiratory, heart, kidney, liver disease and neurological conditions, including MS and epilepsy, vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen, morbid obesity, severe mental illness, as well as sickle

cell, lupus and those on GP learning disability registers. Following the government meeting its target of offering a first dose vaccine to the top four priority groups by 15 February, all those in cohort 6 are now eligible to get the jab and should be receiving their invitation for their first dose. Minister for Vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and offers the chance to protect yourself and others – that’s why it’s vital that people get their jab when called to come forward. “The rollout is a truly UK wide effort which is why having the support of these fantastic and trusted charities as we work to ensure everyone eligible gets their vaccine is so important. “I would like to thank them all for backing this life-saving campaign and offering their expertise and assistance to support the largest medical deployment in British history.” Cohort 6 also includes carers who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. The charities will support the campaign by sharing content across their channels, including a new campaign video featuring people in cohort 6 getting their jab, and putting forward both those who represent the charities and those the charities work with to encourage others to take up the vaccine. Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are incredibly proud to be working with other leading voices in the charity sector to encourage people to get their Covid-19 vaccine. “People with diabetes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they develop coronavirus. “For people living with diabetes, the best protection against coronavirus is to get the vaccine and take whichever vaccine you are offered.” People in group six who are at higher clinical risk from coronavirus and have not already been contacted will be invited for a vaccine by their local GP team.


Social Care - Best Practice for Prisoners Living with Dementia Britain’s oldest serving prisoner recently died – aged 105. Convictions for historic crimes and longer prison sentences are leading to an increase in the number of older prisoners. Julia Waldron, Head of Primary Care for Practice Plus Group’s Health in Justice division, examines the challenges this presents When you provide healthcare in 47 English prisons, you know beyond a doubt that the prison population is getting older, and that caring for them within an ageing prison estate can pose significant challenges. There are currently 10,000 people in prison who are aged over 60 – and 2,000 of these are over 70. Unfortunately, the architects of our Victorian prison stock did not foresee the nursing and social care needs of older prisoners when designing the steep stairs and narrow landings that are common in many prisons. Memory and sensory impairments, chronic health conditions and disabilities are becoming more common. Added to this, on average, prisoners are around 10 years older than their biological age due to the long-term effects of their lifestyles. Older people facing imprisonment for the first time can find the exceptional changes in environment traumatic – much as people do when first entering a residential care environment. For older people these factors sometimes reveal a dementia that was not evident at home. In many respects our patients in prison share many of the same issues as those living in care homes. Isolation is detrimental and creeping frailty is an ongoing concern, so there is a need for us to find ways to maintain life skills – and all within the confines of the prison environment. The exact numbers of prisoners with dementia is unknown and will be until a standardised screening policy is introduced. The House of Commons estimates that almost 4,000 people in prisons live with dementia. However, some experts think this is a significant underestimation.

So with these challenges what can we do to support older people? Our goal is to maximise their quality of life. Our integrated clinical model, the Wellbeing Approach, has been designed to holistically meet the differing and often complex needs of our patients by supporting them to define realistic health goals within their care plans. Buddy systems are established in many sites, seeing older people supported by trusted prisoners who are employed to assist with tasks like laundry and cleaning, additionally it can help people to better integrate within the environment. Our trained Health Champions – also prisoners – are on the wings watching for signs that someone may need additional support: they can take basic observations and signpost people to services within the prison that can help. We work with gym and education departments to stimulate physical and cognitive functioning, educating patients on the impact of isolation and inactivity on physical and mental health, and we work with speech therapists and kitchen teams to support those requiring modified diets. We are also anticipating and preventing increased accident risk with our own falls prevention pack. At HMPs Isle of Wight, Dartmoor and Exeter we have had success working with prisoners and prison officers, with the help of the Alzheimer’s Society, training them in dementia awareness. Currently at HMP Wakefield, 55% of the population are aged over 50. Age UK is working in partnership here with local health and social care providers and Grey Matters, an older prisoner discussion group, to improve services. They provide support for prisoners, training for staff and peer support workers and sessions three times a week for those who are isolated on wings or who want to participate in activities similar to those in day centres. Around the country, prisons hold dementia cafés in gyms, recreation rooms and libraries, just as care homes might for their local communities. Also for older patients, we are taking on a game-changing initiative that will see the first-ever eight-bed unit designed for them. Not only will this provide multi-disciplinary care for people, selected by their need, but it will also share best practice among prisons across the West Midlands. Taken together, these initiatives will help us to meet our aim of providing the same levels of care people could expect in a good care home. I am confident that within the next five years we’ll have risen to that challenge.

HC-One Announces Proposed Sale of 52 Care Homes The UK’s largest care provider HC-One which runs 328 care homes for an estimated 14,000 residents, has revealed it is putting 52 of them up for sale and is planning to close four. The announced plans the company says are to “better meet the current and future care needs of the communities it serves, recognising evolving care needs, including the growing demand for more complex care and dementia care.” James Tugendhat, HC-One’s Chief Executive, said: “Our purpose, as The Kind Care Company, is to support those in our care to lead their best life, and serve at the heart of each of our communities. “We strive to be the first choice for our families, our Colleagues and our commissioners, and best meet the evolving care needs of the country, including the growing demand for more complex care and dementia care. “As we plan how best to use our resources to continuously improve

our care homes, we are determined to invest where we can have the greatest impact and more effectively ready ourselves for the evolving needs of those we care for. “As a result, we are putting 52 of our homes up for sale in areas where we feel our communities would be better served by a local operator in conjunction with other local services. We are also proposing to close four homes. In both cases, we will work closely with our local partners and commissioners. “Whilst we have chosen to make this announcement now, having determined our investment priorities, our sales and the four closures will only happen when we are convinced that we have found the right alternative operator, and when Residents are able to safely move to their new care placement, ensuring continuity of care throughout the pandemic. We will also be providing all possible support to our Colleagues to make these processes as smooth as possible for them. It will be business as usual for every home until all these processes are

complete. “In conjunction, we are investing in refurbishing over 200 of our care homes. This is in addition to our new build programme, which most recently involved opening our first care home in York, Mossdale Residence, at the start of 2021, with a further two new care homes set to open soon, one in Bingham and one in Telford.” Responding to the announcement Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, Founder & Chairman Advinia Health Care said: “HC-One won’t be the only operator to exit the local authority market if things continue as they are. When local authorities are paying less than £700 per week per bed, this creates huge pressure. Now we have a new CQC Market Oversight guidance system which has the potential to increase business failures with fees as low as they are. The funding model has to change. Care homes are a key part of the solution to public health challenges, and the aging population. The country can ill afford another Southern Cross.”

Brook House Residents Show Appreciation to Their Carers The residents of Brook House Care Home recently got creative as they showed appreciation to the people who care for them. National Caregiver’s Day is celebrated on the third Friday in February and is in place to honour health-care professionals across the country. Jade, who was recently welcomed as a Lifestyle Coordinator at Brook House, thought it would be nice for residents to celebrate the day by creating something special for the team who care for them. To do this, Jade laid a variety of craft resources on the table for them to use. After having a chat, the people living at Brook House decided they wanted to make a poster

that could be hung on a wall for all the team to see. During these difficult times, residents wanted to show how much they appreciate the people who care for them and thank these special people for everything they do. They made the poster with a floral theme to coincide with the transition into spring and warmer summer months. They also thought of a lovely message to include on the poster, which the team wrote down for them. The poster was then placed on a wall in a communal area at the home for everyone to see. It was a lovely surprise for the Carer’s working at Brook House who said it was a loving and thoughtful gesture.

From Surbiton With Love: Residents Enjoy James Bond Day at Royal Star & Garter Staff had a licence to thrill when Royal Star & Garter put on a James Bond Day for residents at its Surbiton Home. Hosted by staff in black tie, the residents sipped Martini cocktails (shaken, not stirred naturally), enjoyed the glamour of the casino, took part in a 007 quiz and danced as Healthcare Assistant Jodie Halls sung a string of Bond classics. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. The Home has hosted a series of popular special events and activities since the pandemic outbreak,

including an American Party and Caribbean Day. These fun events create a lively, stimulating atmosphere and support residents’ sense of purpose. Resident Bet said: “We had such fun. I loved the casino and sipping the Martini cocktail. And Jodie has a beautiful voice. To borrow a line from The Spy Who Loved Me… Nobody does it better than Royal Star & Garter!” Raquel Pena Aristizabal, Activities Manager at the Home, said: “Residents have told us they really loved our themed activities. Our Caribbean and America Days were a big hit, and so was James Bond Day.”


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New Campaign Encourages The Nation To Keep Going and Stay At Home Everyone across the UK is being reminded of the importance of staying at home and the risks in relaxing their behaviour at this crucial point, in a new advertising campaign launched this week.. While transmission rates decline, vaccines continue to be rolled out and the roadmap out of lockdown has been published, the heartening new campaign is encouraging people to ‘keep going’. It acknowledges how difficult lockdown has been but highlights its effectiveness with falling infection rates and successful vaccine roll out. The campaign will run across TV, radio, out of home advertising and on social media, reminding people that everything they’ve done – working from home, washing their hands, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and video calling – is helping stop the spread of Covid-19 and new variants, edging us closer to coming out of lockdown. Every small act is making a big difference and it is important that everyone keeps doing what they’re doing. It will air for the first time on ITV at 19:15 tonight. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “The British resolve during this pandemic has been astounding. We’ve all pulled together to help each other out. “I know it’s been a long year but we can’t let up now. Everything we’re doing is bringing us one step closer to beating this virus. “The vaccine roll out is going extremely well and is saving lives – but it is not the only way we will reduce infection rates and be able to get back to normality.

“So let’s keep going. I encourage everyone to keep playing their part and stay at home – keep washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance which will ensure that, together, we beat this.” Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “Infection rates are falling, but they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals across the country. “Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part in protecting the NHS and saving lives.” This week, the Prime Minister has set out 4 stages of the roadmap – the first of which will involve reopening schools and allowing outdoor recreation with one other person from 8 March. However, even at this point, the Stay at Home order remains in place and people can still only legally leave their house for a very limited number of reasons. The Stay at Home message will, at the earliest, end on 29 March where people will be urged to stay local and keep taking individual decisions around their risk exposure. The vast majority of people are staying at home and as a result, the number of COVID-19 cases is falling. However, infection levels remain high and the impact of the second wave is still being seen in hospitals across the country with over 1,000 people admitted to hospital every day. It is critical everyone continues to stay at home and follow the rules to help bring down infections even further and reduce pressure on the NHS.

Care Home Enables 85 And 91 Year-Old To Wed An 85-year-old care home resident married his 91-year-old sweetheart of 26 years after a senior registrar was given special powers to enable it the nuptials to go ahead. Peter Smirles (cor) has been a resident at The Cedars care home in Purton, near Swindon for just over a year and had planned to marry Jean Robson sooner but the pandemic saw repeated postponements. Unfortunately, Peter’s health began to deteriorate and just after Christmas his doctor advised that the wedding should be held as soon as possible. Amy Thorne, manager of The Cedars, which is run by The Orders of St John Care Trust, contacted Wiltshire’s superintendent registrar Sarah Bradley who secured a special license to enable the wedding to take place within the home. Colleagues at the care home then worked with Jean and her daughters Alison Buckland and Susan Wyths to ensure a ceremony to remember and COVID-safe wedding took place. On Tuesday, 23 February the blushing bride walked up the aisle and said ‘I do’. The marriage was witnessed by Alison and Susan and Peter’s daughter and granddaughter joined on Skype from their home in Norway. Jean said: “It was lovely that so many people put in so much effort to make sure this could happen. We have been planning this for so long but it seemed it might never happen. Peter actually first proposed to me

about 25 years ago but I said ‘why rush’ and then it never seemed to happen. “Amy and her team have been so good to make this happen, and The Cedars looked lovely today.” Peter added: “What can I say but ‘I love her’.” Alison added: “It has been hard on my mum and Peter, but I can’t thank Amy and Sarah enough for making this happen. It means so much to my mum and to the whole family.” Both Peter and Jean have lived in Purton for a long time and are well known through Jean’s job as a teacher and Peter’s as a dental surgeon. Amy said: “I only started as manager here at The Cedars in January and this was about the first thing I was asked to do and we have been delighted to make sure it goes ahead. We managed to get Peter’s bubble together and have a beer or two for a stag do the night before as well. “The organisation of the wedding has been challenging but we worked through the risk assessments and with our infection control experts to make sure that it was as safe as it could be.” All visitors to the home were not allowed in until they had returned a negative result from a Lateral Flow test and full PPE was worn at all times. Sarah added: “It’s been two months in the making, and I was thrilled to be able to do this."

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.


Analysis Shows 1.6 Million Older People are Finding it Harder to Look after Themselves Since the First Lockdown New Age UK research, carried out in late January and early February 2021[i] shows that older people's need for social care has been intensified by their experience of the pandemic and lockdowns, and that many heroic older carers have temporarily had to take on more caring responsibilities as formal care services have been battered by the virus. Social care, already struggling before the virus arrived, is in no position to meet this increased demand. As a result it is imperative, the Charity says, that the Chancellor continues social care's extra pandemic funding through 2021 in his forthcoming Budget. Otherwise, millions of older people who have already endured so much will face further suffering in the months to come. The Charity’s analysis shows that: • 10% of older people aged 60+ say that they now find it harder to look after themselves since the start of the first lockdown, equivalent to 1.6 million older people overall. • 40% of carers aged 60+ say they are providing more care since the start of the pandemic, equivalent to more than 900,000 older carers overall. The Charity says that these findings reflect what it has heard from many older people and from clinicians and frontline social care staff too. They also reinforce the picture painted by the Charity's first wave of research into the impact of the pandemic on older people's health and care needs. Carried out in the summer and autumn of 2020 [insert reference] this earlier study included accounts from older people about how their mental and physical health had been undermined by fear of the virus, prolonged isolation and reduced physical activity, damaging their self-confidence and leading to muscle weakness, termed 'deconditioning' by clinicians. Older people’s long term health conditions had often worsened and it had been difficult for them to access routine health care or help with new health problems. All this is sadly a sure-fire recipe for older people's social care needs to ratchet up, as Age UK's new study has now found. The Charity points out that social care was struggling to cope before the pandemic began and that unfortunately, everything that has happened since then has heaped further stress on an already beleaguered system. Costs have risen for care providers and vacancies caused by the toll of deaths and fewer new residents in care homes have brought the sustainability of some services into question. In addition, care staff becoming ill and having to self-isolate has led to a reduction in the services on offer, especially for those needing care in their own homes. Older people have also sometimes been reluctant to let care staff in during the pandemic, lest they unintentionally bring the virus with them. This helps to explain why so many older carers have had to take on more care themselves over the last year, and we know that more families have been forced to help out too [ii][Carer’s UK – Caring behind closed doors: 6 months) but the Charity says this is not something that

THE RINGFENCED WORKFORCE CAPACITY FUND The adult social care sector is able to access £120 million to strengthen workforce capacity via local authorities. Due to end on March 31 2021 this Fund is helping to fill the yawning gaps in care staffing.

THE STATE BACKED INDEMNITY TO CARE HOMES This is a time limited state-backed indemnity until Mid-March 2021 available to care homes which are registered as a designated setting and which cannot secure their own insurance to cover them. Insurance worries are one of the reasons that some care homes have been reluctant to begin visiting again so really this funding needs expanding beyond ‘designated settings’, as well as extending in terms of duration.


can continue indefinitely. That’s because piling pressure on already stretched older carers risks these caring arrangements breaking down completely. Formal social care services must step up again or millions of older people will be left in a perilous position, without the support they need. It goes without saying that if they don't receive it pressure will simply be diverted onto the NHS, which has more than enough to deal with already, given long waiting lists for treatment and exhausted staff. During the pandemic the Government increased its funding to social care through a series of exceptional grants, but these are all due to finish in the next few months. With older people's needs so clearly increasing and care services continuing to struggle the Charity says it is essential that these investments are extended, in recognition of the ongoing adverse impact of the pandemic on this vital area of public service. Age UK is therefore calling for the following grants and funds to be extended until at least the end of this calendar year:

THE RINGFENCED INFECTION CONTROL FUND Due to end on 31 March 2021, this fund, totalling £1.146 billion, is aimed at supporting providers to implement infection control measures related to Covid-19 – predominantly focussed on stopping the movement of the workforce between care settings. It is distributed via local authorities.

THE COMMITMENT OF FREE PROVISION OF PPE FOR ADULT SOCIAL CARE Social care providers have been able to access free PPE for Covid-19 requirements, an important enabler for visiting and crucial support given the cost of PPE has rocketed - but this is set to end at the end of June 2021.

From 1st September 2020 to 31st March 2021, the NHS has been provided with a £588 million fund to cover adult social care for people needing additional care after being discharged from hospital – this includes social care & access to community rehabilitation services. There are huge worries, including among clinicians, that once this funding stops many more older people will be stuck in hospital after they are medically fit enough to leave. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: “The pandemic has intensified many older people’s need for care but after the battering it has received social care itself is effectively broke and in no position to respond. That’s why it is essential that the Chancellor extends the emergency funding for social care in his Budget, so older people are not left high and dry. “This emergency situation is far from over so far as social care is concerned and it will take at least a year, more likely two, before providers can stabilise their finances. Therefore, just as with some other sectors, the Government must give social care the continuing financial support it desperately needs.” “The Prime Minister has recently said he will bring forward proposals for the long-term reform of social care later this year and Age UK will certainly be holding him to his pledge. However, in the meantime we have to keep social care going and that’s where the Chancellor must come in with more immediate funding in his Budget. If he fails to do so he will simply be heaping more pressure onto the NHS at a time when it needs to focus all its energy on recovery and bringing down waiting lists for treatment. Hospital beds filled with older people who are medically fit to leave but who are marooned by the lack of care in the community is the last thing the NHS needs.” “Older people have been through the mill this last year and it is no exaggeration to say that for some the pandemic has pressed the fast forward button on ageing. It is essential that the Government and the NHS recognise the resultant increase in their need for good health and social care and ensure the resources are there to help them.”

Write Your Life Story! With Reminiscence Journal Game Imagine you’re playing a board game with your family and carers as you write the story of your life. You can do this using Our mission is to help the silver seniors to become more creative in the use of their imagination. To help them stay focused with their memory activity. To help them interact and avoid the feeling of loneliness and aloneness. To Help the seniors Preserve their stories through Print, video and Online publishing, keep record of their oral history with legacy building for future generations. To continue in making the life of the silver seniors relevant to the society. To help in bring out the hidden skills the Silver seniors may never know or recognize they possess. The Pack includes a 120 paged journal, 40 cardboard game, a timer, two reusable maze games including a water marker. Playing the 40 cards prompts seniors to write in their life journal. includes:, Moviefy 360 Website, 20 pictures flipbook photo album, 10 minute video, Life story flipbook with 4 paged Quiz. Visit or Email: Call Jean On +44 791 630 6888 today


Draft Your Heads of Terms with Professional Support By Karen Mason, a highly experienced commercial

property lawyer and co-founder of Newmanor Law

(, a specialist real estate law firm.

Whilst remote working was originally intended as a temporary solution during lockdown, there are a lot of businesses warming to the idea of it forming at least part of the working week, having been encouraged by improved productivity levels. With this in mind, many occupiers will be looking to renegotiate lease terms or agree new leases to redefine their situation, once the restrictions are lifted in the coming months. Whether it’s to downsize or acquire bigger offices to space employees apart, organisations of all sizes will seek new arrangements, requiring Heads of Terms to tie down what has been agreed, so that a healthy long-term deal can be secured. Traditionally, Heads of Terms have been resolved before involving solicitors, which can cause delays later down the line. These agreements should provide the framework for the deal, detailing how it should be executed to ensure all parties are satisfied. Early advice will save problems later It is always best practice for businesses to draft Heads of Terms with the support of an experienced real estate lawyer, as lack of detail may result in unnecessary delays during the negotiations. Important details like the price of the deal, identities of the parties involved, purpose of the contract, terms of the contract/transition, confidentiality agreements and any protection for the parties involved, will be included within a carefully drafted Heads of Terms. When it comes to creating the Heads of Terms, it’s vital that the wording does not make it legally binding, as the detailed provisions will be included in the contract documentation. The phrase ‘subject to contract’ will help ensure this is the case, but usually, the actions of the parties after the Heads of Terms are drawn up, will have as much impact on whether they are legally binding than the words themselves. If, for example, the parties start to deliver the obligations set out in the Heads of Terms before a legally binding contract has been finalised, then the very act of doing so may be taken as an indication that these

obligations are accepted as being legally binding. For a lease agreement, these provisions might include: • Details of the property itself, the address, whether it’s freehold or leasehold and whether the transaction deals with lease of the whole or part of the property. • The details of any professional advisers working for the parties, such as solicitors, accountants, agents etc. • The parties involved in the transaction, including any guarantor required, with names, contact details and whether the property is being let to a limited company or an individual. • The length of any proposed lease term. • The level of any security of tenure being proposed, particularly whether any lease will be covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. • Whether any lease will include a Break Clause and, if so, whether there will be conditions to trigger it. • If rent is being paid, the Heads of Terms will itemise the amount, the frequency and method of payment. • The frequency of any rent reviews, and the method of review. • The length of any rent- free period while the tenant is fitting out the property prior to formal occupation, • The amount (if any) of any other incentives to take the lease • Whether a rent deposit is payable and if so, how much and when it will be reimbursed. • Who is responsible for paying building insurance and if it is included as part of the rent. • What purpose the property can be used for and whether the tenant can change that use in future. • Whether the tenant is allowed to sublet the property or assign the lease to a third-party. • Whether each party is responsible for their own costs, or if one has agreed to meet the costs of all parties. • Whether the tenant is permitted to carry out alterations. • A timescale detailing how long the transaction is expected to take. • Adding a target completion date may also help to stop further negotiations becoming protracted. Not binding but an invaluable guide Once it has been agreed, the Heads of Terms will act as a guide and benchmark for progress measurement. The details of the negotiation can be changed once they emerge, but it’s important to reflect this in the documentation itself. With efficient and successful deal execution a priority for all businesses, these Heads of Terms will become increasingly important in commercial property deals, as they allow the process to run smoothly. Remember, a lot of time and energy can be saved by consulting a team of specialist legal advisers, who will ensure the Heads of Terms is drafted correctly, in a way that prevents any larger issues occurring.

Liverpool FC Foundation Delivers Joy To Care Sector Liverpool FC Foundation brought joy to 200 peo-

ple who receive care and support in Liverpool,

GLOBAL ART For Your Refurbishment

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teaming up with the charity Community Integrated Care. Colleagues from Liverpool FC Foundation made a special donation of 200 afternoon tea boxes, as well as LFC memorabilia, to the social care charity. Reaching learning disability and mental health support services across Merseyside, the Official Charity of the Premier League champions brought real happiness at this difficult time. With the charity’s LFC fans encouraged to wear their kits for a surprise celebration, they were delighted to see colleagues from the Foundation arrive at their doorstep to deliver the afternoon tea parcels. One person, Eddie, who accesses the charity’s

supported living services in Liverpool, proudly asked, “Does this mean that Jurgen Klopp knows where I live?!” Arriving on the day that it was announced that the Coronavirus vaccine would be rolled out to all people who have a learning disability, the kind gesture capped a day of celebration as they can now look towards to a more positive 2021. This donation follows significant support from Liverpool FC Foundation for the charity throughout the pandemic. This includes colleagues and volunteers from the Foundation coordinating mass deliveries of tens of thousands of items of PPE for the charity at the peak of the crisis, relieving pressure on its frontline care workers.

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

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


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

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


Impartial advice from experienced advisers

Exceptional service from a dedicated account executive

Let us help you to protect your business with a no obligation risk review today!

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01480 272727 /barnes-commercial

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



Radnor to Launch First Vitamin D Spring Water Drink in Tetra Pak Packages Wales’ leading family owned branded soft drinks company is launching a new product to help customers to get their daily vitamin D dose. Radnor Vits, which will launch on March 1st, is the first vitamin D flavoured spring water in Tetra Pak® packages. Designed to be straw-free, you can drink it straight from the pack. Public Health England and NICE advise that 10 micrograms of vitamin D are needed every day for healthy bones and muscles. Everyone is advised to take a vitamin D supplement between October and March, when the sun is too low in the sky for our bodies to naturally make vitamin D from sunlight. Vits is a low-calorie sugar-free drink which is also suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. It comes in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Apple & Raspberry. Radnor is targeting listings in supermarkets and health stores as well as care homes and hospitals. Vits is also available to buy as a three-pack from Radnor’s own online shop and also from Amazon. Radnor Vits’ benefits include: Vitamin D – Contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function, cell division, teeth and bones. Copper - Contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues. Folic Acid - Helps make healthy red blood cells

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.

Selenium - Contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, nails, immune system, and thyroid function. Zinc – Contributes to metabolism, brain function and normal. William Watkins, Owner and Managing Director of Radnor, said: “When we heard that 20 per cent of the British population is deficient in vitamin D, and that this is a growing problem thanks to Lockdown and people staying indoors, we decided to create a new daily drink to help tackle the problem. “Radnor Vits is the first functional drink of its kind in Tetra Pak® packages and, as well as providing your daily dose of vitamin D, it also contains other vital vitamins and minerals to help support a balanced diet. “Our new drink, designed as your once-a-day vitamin and minerals boost, increases your daily intake of vitamin D and other recommended vitamins and minerals up to 200%.” Over the past 12 months, there have been reports about vitamin D potentially reducing the risk of coronavirus and the Government is keeping a close eye on the results of trials currently underway. Trade samples are available on request by emailing Radnor’s online shop Radnor’s Amazon shop

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.

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-CoV-2 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


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.


CATERING FOR CARE 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.

Discover The New Matching Tool That Will Show You Which Bouillon Is Best For Your Needs When it comes to creating great dishes for residents living in care settings, a quality base is key. With a good bouillon or stock at the base, chefs can transform everyday favourites into rich, flavoursome dishes. Knorr® Professional is the UK’s number one brand for bouillons in foodservice. They’re passionate about providing chefs in the care sector with the building blocks to creating dishes which make mealtimes memorable. They believe that, when it comes to choosing a bouillon, getting the right format for your needs is fundamental. Their range includes Powders, Jellies, Cubes and Pastes – which are also available in a Rich and Roast formats for an even stronger flavour. But how you use each of these formats will depend on a number of factors. If you’re not sure which bouillon is right for your menu, then why not try Knorr® Professional’s new online matching tool. By answering just a few simple questions, the tool will help you discover the right bouillon for you in less than a minute. Visit to find out more.

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


*Aggregated UK wholesaler value sales 52 w/e 21st August 2020. ^This product does not contain allergenic ingredients which require declaration under EU regulation 1169/2011 [Annex II].


BOUILLON G reat dishes st ar t from the b ase, so choosing the best bouillon ffo o r yo u r operation is key. A s the UK’s no.1 bouillon brand*, we have a wide range of bouillons t o suit the budget , f lavour and allergen needs of ever y chef in the care sec t or. If you need a bouillon with great er depth of f lavour then tr y K norr ® Professional’s Rich & Roast Past es , ideal ffo o r re s i d e n t s that may require stronger f lavours . If value fo for money is your number 1 priority, then why not tr y our new Powder Bouillon which delivers consist ent f lavour with no ewer covers , allergens to declare^. For ffe there’s our per fec tly por tioned Cube B ouillons or tr y our market leader, Knorr ® Professional Past e – a chef ’s fa favourit e.






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

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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

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 44 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.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Care Sector Staffing Challenges Cause Surge In Technology Adoption UK residential care homes are facing increasing challenges as staff shortages make planning and managing rosters almost impossible. According to Deputy, the leading workforce management app, its healthcare customers, including more than 20,000 workers in UK residential care homes, have increased their rostered hours by 230% year on year between February 2020 and 2021. At the same time, advanced planning of shifts has become much more erratic, reducing from an average of 18-20 days to 12-14 days. In these turbulent times, staff rotas have become unpredictable. Just last month, the National Care Forum revealed that most care homes have been dealing with between 11% and 40% staff absences and some have been functioning without 50% of their staff due to Covid-19, self-isolation following contact tracing, shielding and childcare responsibilities. Over the past 12 months, Deputy has been brought on board for more than 20,000 residential care workers across the UK, as more and more care homes turn to scheduling software to take the pain out of managing unpredictable staff rotas and last-minute changes. Specialising in providing nursing with dementia care, Aspen Hill Village is one of the biggest care homes in Leeds, with 242 staff and service for up to 180 residents. It’s part of a group of five care homes operated by Armighorn Capital, which is run by Navjot Singh and his partner Shahzada Ahmed. Their strategy is simple. “It’s all about creating a better experience for residents and staff,” says Navjot “We’re passionate about ensuring we provide care to the very highest

standard. When you’re dealing with different issues across the business, it’s very disruptive to be tied up doing admin tasks the old-fashioned way. On timesheet inaccuracies alone, Deputy saves us between £2,000-£5,000 each month.” David Kelly, General Manager for EMEA at Deputy said: “With fluctuating levels of demand and many staff being unavailable to work, we’ve seen a sharp rise in care homes using software to manage their workforce in a much more agile and structured way. For example, if someone calls in sick, a manager can find a replacement quickly. Our app advertises available shifts instantly to all qualified staff who are not already due to be working and also offers a shift swapping feature, which reduces the need for expensive agency cover.” Deputy keeps track of staff attendance and ratios, making it easier to meet CQC audit requirements and also integrates accurate timesheets directly into the payroll, reducing costly errors and admin. David Tanner, owner of St David’s and St Christopher’s Nursing and Residential Homes in North Ascot, Berkshire, said: “We reduced our time spent administering payroll from 160 hours to eight hours per month. The hours we save go back into extra pay and staffing.” David Kelly added: “This is an incredibly testing time. As the care sector rightly focuses on the overall quality of patient experience there is much that can be done to support the employees in this endeavour and also make the core business more efficient and resilient.” For further information visit

New Covid-19 App Enables Care Homes and Primary Care Providers Comply with Hazardous Waste Audit Requirements Remotely A new app, which gives Care Homes and primary care providers the ability to conduct compulsory clinical waste pre-acceptance and duty of care audits without the need for third-party on-site visits, has been launched by leading independent healthcare waste management company Anenta. Designed to provide a Covid-19 compliant solution that ends the need for on-site reviews by external bodies, the app simplifies the process, saves time and dramatically cuts the cost of audits required by producers of healthcare waste in order to operate. The app, which can be operated from a desktop as well as a range of mobile devices, takes the user through the audit process, covering duty of care and waste pre-acceptance in one go. Taking around 40 minutes to complete, the app streamlines a process that can take up to six days - including expensive 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; colleagues can be emailed with a link to the section of

the waste management audit that they need to complete. Once done, Anenta assesses the audit and provides a report with advisory notes and actions to be taken covering: missing policies, segregation requirements, and areas where action needs to be taken to comply with regulations; be that in terms of duty of care or the clinical waste pre-acceptance audit process. This enables clients to quickly and easily address aspects of the audit that will enable them to continue operating. Graham Flynn, Managing Director of Anenta, commented on the app launch, saying: “Business operating in the healthcare sector have a duty of care to their staff within the Environmental Protection Act 1990. “Those that fail to demonstrate proper measures face potential enforcement action by the Care Quality Commission. Those same organisations also have an obligation to complete clinical waste pre-acceptance audits, without which hazardous waste including healthcare items cannot legally be removed from site. Without this being in place, care homes could face the prospect of being temporarily closed until the audit is completed.” “Understandably, many care home producers of clinical waste are looking to avoid third parties from coming on site during the current pandemic, yet they still have audit responsibilities. It is for this reason that we have developed the Anenta audit app, allowing healthcare settings to fulfill their duties faster and more 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.

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

web: email:

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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