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T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 45

Delight As Residents See Families Again Photo by Royal Star & Garter

Monday March 8th was a special day for social care as care and nursing home residents were able to reunite with their families again after months apart. Emotional reunions took place across the country as the Government said hundreds of thousands of care home residents received indoor visits from a nominated friend or relative. However, providers were also quick to urge caution because Covid-19 remains a risk. The Independent Care Group Chair Mike Padgham said: “This was a special

day. Residents and relatives have been apart for too long and it has been very damaging for both sides not to have vital human contact. “It is lovely to see them reunited and to know that more and more people are going to see their loved ones properly for the first time in weeks and months." “But we must also be cautious and careful as we reintroduce visiting. We have worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council in preparing for the visits and we are all following their guidance."

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PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

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

RBC Publishing Ltd Roddis House, Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 1LG

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We are delighted to report on our front page the heart-warming story that indoor visiting has now resumed and residents and loved ones can at last hold hands. Who would have thought that just over a year ago this small gesture, that people all over the world and throughout history have taken for granted, would now be a front-page news story! The difficulties families and staff are faced this past year are unimaginable, and sensationalist media reporting has on occasion been appalling. Regular readers will know I have been very critical of how mainstream media has handled the pandemic in relation to the residential nursing care sector - salacious, scaremongering and sometimes self-serving. This week the fallout following “Harry and Megan’s” interview has knocked Covid and reopening of care home visits off the front pages, which I think kind of proves my point and is an example of how fickle some of our mainstream media can be. For those of us involved in some way in the residential and nursing care sector the reopening is a huge step, and hopefully in weeks to come (April 12) residents will be able to see even more family and loved ones. As you will see in our front page were delighted to include a couple of uplifting stories and comments from homes around the country, so please do keep them coming! Also, fantastic news that the death toll in care homes is dramatically reducing (see page 5). According to Office for National Statistic show that 510 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 26th February, down from 776 the previous week. According to these figures, 30.884 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 26th February 2021. There are warnings which emerged this week that it could be yet another spike in infection rates and at the time of writing this grave concern been raised about a variant in Brazil with scientists are warning that Brazil's uncontrolled coronavirus outbreak could threaten the global fight to end the pandemic. This is a stark that while we have sacrificed a great deal, gone to great lengths and spent a great deal of money we could once again find ourselves overwhelmed if we do not follow the rules.

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TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades We are also pleased to report that three in five providers have funded an initiative during the last year to support mental health first aiders as part of a raft of preventative measures taken to safeguard their staff, according to a study by disability charity Hft. (See page 16). When the pandemic first broke a year ago, we were contacted by some leading professionals to emphasise the dangers the pandemic would bring to staffs well-being, and each week we have published articles from various professional some psychologists, psychotherapist, trade bodies and organisations, law firms who have provided we hope invaluable advice. Nevertheless it is great to see providers taking it upon themselves and underwriting the costs in supporting mental health first aiders very well done! 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 editor@thecareruk.com

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 3

Delight As Residents See Families Again (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) “The message to get across is one of taking extra care, adhering to the rules – visitor testing, full PPE, hand holding only – and keeping everyone as safe as possible. “We also respect those homes who have decided not to reintroduce visiting – for whatever reason. It has to be an individual choice, based on circumstances. “Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and we are caring for the most vulnerable and most susceptible to it. Care and nursing homes have lost more than 30,000 people in the past year, each of them a treasured loved one – a wife, a husband, a mother or father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend.” Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I know how important visiting a loved one is. This is just the first step to getting back to where we want to be. We need to make sure we keep the infection rate down, to allow greater visiting in a step-by-step way in the future.” Professor Deborah Sturdy, chief nurse for adult social care, said: “I know how much people want to visit, hug and kiss their loved ones but doing so can put lives at risk so we would ask people to continue to follow the rules. “This is a first step towards resuming indoor visits and we all hope to be able to take further steps in the future. “I am pleased that, as a result of so many people following the rules, we are in a position to increase visits and I hope this is just the start.” Residents at Royal Star & Garter held hands with loved ones for the

first time in nearly a year. It marked residents’ first physical contact with relatives since the Covid-19 lockdown began in March 2020, after the government gave the green light for indoor visits to commence. The meetings began in the charity’s Solihull and High Wycombe Homes on Monday 8 March. Indoor visits at the Surbiton Home are expected to begin later this month. Among the first visitors at the High Wycombe Home was Judi, who spent time with her husband, Army veteran Alan. She said: “It’s been absolute hell not being able to touch him all this time. I was so excited before seeing him and it was amazing to hold his hands.” Alan, who is living with dementia, described the visit as “lovely.” In Solihull, resident Patricia was visited by her husband Gerald. He said: “I was so happy to come into the Home after so long apart. Being able to hold Pat’s hand means we are close together once more. Knowing she is well cared for makes me feel relaxed at home.” Pauline Shaw, Director of Care at Royal Star & Garter, said: “Our staff have provided amazing, loving care during the Covid-19 crisis. It’s truly been care with courage. But nothing can replace a visit from a loved one. We saw that with the outdoor and Covid-secure room visits, and the boost it gave residents. Being able to now hold hands will mean the world to people we care for. It’s been a long wait for everyone involved and our residents have shown such resilience and strength. We are all so delighted that they can have these wonderful reunions.” Kay Fossett visited her mother, Sylvia Newsom, 86, who has

Alzheimer’s, at Gracewell of Sutton care home for the first time since December. Breaking down in tears as she squeezed her mother’s hand, the 66year-old from south Croydon, south London, said: “It’s nice to see one another and be next to each other. “Just to be able to feel close, today is the best day.” Government guidance says outdoor visits, window visits and those in pods should continue so residents can see other loved ones, and visiting is not conditional on the resident or visitor having been vaccinated, but this is “strongly recommended”, it adds. In care homes where there are coronavirus outbreaks, nominated visitors will not be able to come into the care home, however, visitors providing essential care, and visits when the resident is at the end of their life, can continue. Opening up care homes forms part of the first step of the Government’s road map which sets out how restrictions could be eased over the coming months. The Government will decide whether to extend the number of visitors to two per resident at step two of its road map and no earlier than April 12. Last month, the care Quality Commission (CQC) intervened after it emerged that blanket visiting bans were in operation in England, contrary to the guidance in place at the time. 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.”

Beatlemania Strikes at Isle of Wight Nursing Home! When it was decided all that a lounge at an Isle of Wight nursing home needed was love, Beatlemania provided the inspiration for its transformation. As a result, the lounge at Highfield Nursing Home in Queen’s Road, Ryde has undergone a revolution and is now decorated as the front covers of the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Magical Mystery Tour albums. Nursing home manager Andreaa Buciuman gave the task of brightening up the room to the two activities coordinators Dee Cooper and Angela Edwards. They drew on their own personal memories and those of their residents about the Beatles to redecorate the lounge at Highfield, which is run by Hartford Care. With a little help from their friends, staff and residents got to work creating the iconic images. On one wall are the silhouettes of the Fab Four walking on the zebra crossing which has been painted on the floor and a telephone box completing the scene. On the other wall is the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, complete with images of the staff at residents at Highfield.

Explained Dee: “I felt that reminders of World War 2 were rather dreary and dark, and I also realised that our residents living with dementia were either babies during the war or had not been born by then.” Having got to know the residents, their memories, jobs and hobbies, she discovered their “good times” memories were rooted in the 1960s/70s. That gave her the idea of creating a retro theme for the room especially as most of the residents remembered the Beatles and their music. “When I discussed the project with Andreea, she screamed with delight and I discovered she was also a huge Beatles fan, especially of John Lennon!” Dee said. Commenting on the results, Andreaa said: “We are absolutely thrilled to having this wonderful room full of memories at Highfield Nursing Home. Our residents absolutely love it as it is a fantastic reminder of the Swinging 60s during which many of them were growing up and enjoying the music of the Beatles.”


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Can COVID-19 Vaccines Become a Condition of Employment? By Alec Colson, Partner and Head of Employment Law at Luton-headquartered law firm Taylor Walton (www.taylorwalton.com) With some businesses publicly expressing an intention to make the COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment, it’s important that the issue is considered thoroughly before policies are introduced. Currently, there is no legal provision that permits an employer to make the vaccine a requirement, but with an increasing number of organisations expected to look down this route, the legal position must be navigated carefully. Simply put, compulsory vaccines is a legal minefield and employers must exercise caution when they approach the matter, so they do not breach any strict rules or guidelines.

BACKGROUND As detailed in section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA 1974), an employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to reduce workplace risks to their lowest possible level. Under section 7 of the same act, it is an employee’s duty to cooperate with the employer, so that it can comply with statutory requirements, such as reducing workplace risks. Not only this, but employees will want to be reassured they are work-

Therefore, a requirement to take the vaccine as a condition of

ing in a safe environment. However, it is unlikely that this will extend to vaccines becoming a legal requirement across all business sectors and we will have to wait for further Government guidance on what measures an employer may be required to take. The meaning of “reasonableness” is likely to depend on the business sector of the employer and the services it provides. For example, the request of an employer operating in the social care sector for its employees to take the vaccination could be argued to be a ‘reasonable management request’ as refusing to take the vaccination could pose severe risk to fellow employees and patients and thereby threatening the business. Therefore, dismissal in such circumstances could fall within the range of reasonable responses for the employer to dismiss the employee fairly, either on conduct grounds or for some other substantial reason.

or may become legally obliged to do so whereas for an office role, the

RELIGION AND BELIEF

requirements to have such information is less clear cut.

It is unlikely that an “anti-vax’ belief amounts to a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. However, not all vaccines in production have released their list of ingredients and it is possible that gelatine may have been used in some vaccines or in its production process and therefore, an employee with certain religious beliefs or vegans may have religious or philosophical grounds for refusing to take the vaccination.

CONCLUSION

PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY DISCRIMINATION Public Health England advice states that “women should be advised not to attend for vaccination if they are, or may be, pregnant, or are planning a pregnancy within three months of the first dose. Vaccinated women who are not pregnant should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant for two months after the second dose of vaccine”.

employment for a pregnant employee, or an employee planning a pregnancy, is likely to amount to sex discrimination, pregnancy/maternity discrimination.

DATA PROTECTION Personal data collected in connection with an employee’s vaccination records will be sensitive personal data or special category personal data and will need to be processed in accordance with GDPR. But is it legal to collect such data? The answer to this is whether the employer, as a data controller, has a legitimate interest or legal obligation to collect vaccine information due to the nature of their business. A care home owner may well be justified

At first glance, making the COVID vaccine a condition of employment seems like a reasonable way to keep colleagues and clients safe, particularly in the care sector where a lot of patients are considered vulnerable. However, the legal position is a lot more complex than meets the eye and businesses must consider individual circumstances before implementing policies. From a business perspective, it is important to stay up to date with the latest Government public health guidance, so that policies can be adapted accordingly. Remember, the vaccination rollout may be the light at the end of the tunnel, but the pandemic story still has a long way to go yet.

Burlington Care and Marton Care Homes Appoint CEO Burlington Care and Marton Care Homes are pleased to announce Amanda Cunningham's appointment as Group Chief Executive Officer, following her successful stewardship whilst acting as Operations Director over Marton Care Homes since March 2020. Richard Hoggart, the current CEO and Owner of Marton Care Homes and Burlington Care, has decided to take a step upwards and focus on strategic options, new care home developments, and alternative ventures across the portfolio. Richard will, however, remain the owner and Chairman of the companies. Amanda originally joined Marton Care Homes in March 2020 as Operations Director, bringing a wealth of social care experience, having begun her career as a nurse. During her time at Marton Care Homes, she has delivered against unprecedented issues and provided strong leadership. In acknowledging the contribution that Amanda has made to date, Richard Hoggart, Chairman, said, " I look forward to continued working with Amanda, and I feel confident

that Burlington Care and Marton Care Homes will benefit significantly." Following her appointment, Amanda was delighted to have been charged with the role of leading the two care home groups forward and relishes the challenge ahead, "Firstly, I am grateful and honoured that Richard Hoggart has presented me with this opportunity, leading the two groups allows me to influence the lives of so many and support people to live the life they choose." Amanda continued, "I lead my team by example, as I believe this is important for colleague development and morale, as well as respect. I believe in empowering and enabling our people to contribute to the company's strategic plan by listening to ideas, exploring possibilities, then communicating these through the organisation structure for consideration and feedback. Values have always been important to me within my personal and professional life to respect trust, have compassion and empathy, and do attitude. To support and ensure safe care and colleague nurturing, holding myself to account and others."

North West HC-One Care Homes Collaborate with Manchester University Music Society Two HC-One care homes in Manchester, Averill House and Pendleton Court collaborated with the Manchester University Music Society (MUMS) to take part in their Chamber Music Outreach programme which aims to bring the joy of music to those most isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project enables the students at Manchester University to share their music with the community and is running in parallel with other similar workshops with schools, charities and hospitals. In December 2020, HC-One promoted a collaboration with a group of students at MUMS who shared a Christmas concert video with all the HC-One care homes in the Manchester area. Ever since, HC-One has been building on this collaboration and, in January, an interactive Zoom meeting where MUMS students played their instruments live for Residents and Colleagues at several of the HC-One care homes in the region was enjoyed by all. Residents and Colleagues at Pendleton Court Care Home in Salford and Averill House Care Home in Newton Heath were treated to a live Zoom music session by three music students from MUMS. Residents enjoyed a wonderful musical morning as students performed musical pieces, ranging from Vivaldi to songs from the musical Grease. The music session was thoroughly enjoyed, and Residents, Colleagues and students engaged with each other, discussed and shared their favourite music, songs and danced together. Residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet friends in other care homes and the students from the Society. The time spent together put smiles on the Resident’s faces and brightened up their days. At Averill House Care Home, Wellbeing Coordinator, Jodie Yates stated: “What a great session, we really enjoyed taking part at Averill House Care Home. Thank you to everyone involved for setting this up. It was simply amazing and our Resident Vera absolutely loved it! Vera thought it was a fantastic activity and was mesmerised by all the instruments, but in particular the french horn, the violin and trumpet. Vera also took delight in meeting the productive and talented students who were full of enthusi-

asm and she loved the social interaction with the younger generation. The session certainly really helped lift her spirits and she said it was so nice to meet other Residents at Pendleton Court. As I left Vera’s room later, she was humming away to another Colleague who had just gone in, telling her about the meeting. Thank you again, it was such a fun activity for all involved!” At Pendleton Court Care Home, Wellbeing Coordinator, Lesley Pearson Moore said: “Our Residents at Pendleton Court really enjoyed the session interacting with the students and also meeting the other Residents and staff from Averill House Care Home. Their mood and spirits were lifted so high after the session that we carried on singing and discussing different types of music afterwards. Elizabeth, who is a Resident at the home said how beautiful the music was when she was listening to the cello as she swayed to the sound. The ladies who took part in the session loved chatting and sharing their music preferences and favourite singers with the students. These sessions are invaluable to the wellbeing of the Residents we care for. It helps lift their mood and the impact it has on Residents when they listen to the music is long lasting. Our ladies Miar Taylor, Elizabeth Keating, Elsie Carney and Anne Chester carried on with a lovely morning of music afterwards. We would like to thank the students at MUMS and the HC-One Quality of Life team for taking the time to organise this, it’s fantastic!” The Society also created a pack of material for the care homes consisting of pre-recorded videos of students’ performances. The care homes can access the videos online and enjoy the performances as often as they’d like. To expand on the collaboration with MUMS, HC-One is working with them to continue to connect Residents and students through Zoom as well as providing students with the opportunity to start a pen pal scheme by writing letters to the Residents to build the relationship further, with the potential for them to meet in person one day in the future.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 5

Optimism as Care Home Death Toll Keeps Falling As Covid-19 deaths in care and nursing homes continue to fall it remains vital that safeguards – including those around resumed visits – are maintained, providers have said. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the latest fall in care and nursing home deaths did give grounds for optimism. But ICG Chair Mike Padgham warned: “We have to stay vigilant and ensure that safety measures remain in place, particularly now that homes have resumed relative visiting again and other restrictions are being relaxed, including children returning to school. “Latest figures are optimistic, but we have seen before how infections and deaths can suddenly rise again. “Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and it is still claiming the lives of our loved ones – we must remain on our guard.”

Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 510 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 26th February, down from 776 the previous week. According to these figures, 30.884 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 26th February 2021. From Monday, one designated visitor, tested and wearing personal protective equipment has been allowed in to see their relative and hold hands. Mr Padgham added: “We all wanted to see the return of visiting and to witness residents being reunited with their loved ones has been very special this week. “At the same time, we must manage it properly, remain on our guard and return to normality slowly and carefully for the sake of the vulnerable in our care.”

Men’s Club ‘Diamond Geezers’ at Brendoncare Alton Brendoncare Alton, run by Winchester based charity, The Brendoncare Foundation, has launched a new club ‘Diamond Geezers’ especially for the male residents within the care home. The staff at the home know how important it is that every resident is supported in their social, physical and mental wellbeing. 28% of residents at Brendoncare Alton are men and at times they were not keen on participating in activities because they were outnumbered by the women! A new ‘Diamond Geezers’ men’s club has been established especially for the men to take part in a range of activities and social get-togethers. Andy Rogers, Activities Co-ordinator at Brendoncare Alton, said, “I wanted to create a space for men so we could incorporate their hobbies and interests and have the social time together. The ‘Diamond Geezers’ men’s club is a time for men to get to know each other and do various activities such as table tennis, darts and indoor bowling. We are planning to get our mainte-

nance team involved on some DIY projects and also arrange a ‘pub afternoon’ too. “The men do behave differently when they are around other men and we thought it would be really beneficial to create that space. There is a lot of respect and you often hear ‘mate’ as a greeting amongst them. The indoor sports and games definitely brings out their competitive side! “The ladies are not being left out though, we have also created a ‘ladies hour’ so they can have specific time for their interests and hobbies, without the men!” Geoff, a resident at Brendoncare Alton added, “Although I like to mix with the ladies, I like the men’s club as ‘I’m not one for knitting’. I really enjoy watching a game of rugby with the other men. The ‘Diamond Geezers’ is the perfect time to continue our interests which may be something some of the ladies wouldn’t enjoy!”

Recruitment Of Senior Social Care Workers

Care England, given a cautious welcome to the new roles added to the Shortage Occupation List, an official list of occupations for which there are not enough resident workers to fill vacancies Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “I am pleased that the Government has acknowledged the challenges of recruiting social care managers, this is something we have long called for. We hope that this is the start of a process towards the creation of a migration system which supports rather than undermines the development of the adult social care workforce”. Yesterday the Home Office announced that pharmacists, laboratory technicians, senior care workers and nursing assistants would be added to the Shortage Occupation List. This

enables people in these roles to have an advantage in obtaining a skilled worker visa. A job

on the Shortage List is worth 20 points. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rulechanges-to-make-it-easier-to-recruit-health-and-care-staff Care England will continue its work to push for all social care workers, not just senior social care workers, to be added to the Shortage Occupation List and reassert its calls for a social care workforce plan. Martin Green continues: “Our staff are our best resource and we will do all we can to protect, recognise and champion them. We Care for England”


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

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

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

Q: Are there any particular sectors you’re looking to recruit from? A: Well, my constituency is close to Gatwick, and I know my local NHS and the care sector in that area there has been active recruitment from people that are normally employed in the aviation sector such as cabin crew. They possess experience around health and safety, around firstaid and they have those all-important people skills, these attributes have been very attractive for the care sector and hospitality is the same. And it is people recognising, which is very important to us at the DWP the value of transferable skills. People from perhaps the aviation and hospitality sector recognise the impact pandemic has had on their particular sector, and some will recognise that it might be sadly more long-term than perhaps shorter term and will be looking to turn their attention towards the care sector. I

think the other thing, and I have seen this with volunteering and helping in my constituency and we have seen across the land, people really do want to give back they really do value community and care, and everything that’s gone on around the pandemic. I think people are beginning to say that if I’m spending a lot of time at work I want to do something when I feel I am making a difference and that is fulfilling. And I think a role in care certainly does that. In my constituency we have some wonderful carers and care homes, and as an informal carer of myself I know just how much it takes to care every day, I certainly value them and I’m sure that anyone coming in to the sector with transferable or existing skills will be very welcome.

Q. There are many advantages of recruiting people from different sectors, what do you think people from other industries can bring to the care sector? (eg Hospitality person centred) A: Whether you’re coming from hospitality or retail, you will have built up the skills you need to give people a good service, make them smile and even manage difficult conversations when they have a complaint. I can understand why it’s sometimes hard to see how someone from another industry could benefit the care sector but that’s exactly what our Sector Based Work Academy programme is about: letting employers see the spark and jobseekers see themselves in a new light.

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

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

Q: If thousands of people on furlough work in the care sector, temporarily, it is likely that they will have a much better idea of the great work that the care sector does, which no one gives it credit for doing. Do you think this will light the blue touch paper for change in the sector? A: The care sector is a vital industry and one that I think some people probably have overlooked when they’ve considered future careers. It’s a real opportunity for the sector to get in fresh talent and in many cases, hold on to the people who excel and love the job. Opening up a sector to new groups of workers can also impact how it operates and its reputation. From my perspective, I’ve always admired the people who work in our care sector and do such an important job in our communities.

Q: One of the concerns we had relates to retired doctors who volunteered to help the sector during the pandemic were unable to do so due the level of paperwork what will be done to reduce the burden of paperwork to ensure that people are able

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

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

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

Q: While offering opportunities to those on furlough is a great idea, there is a long-term youth unemployment problem, will you also be considering bringing back national service/work experience, so younger people will be able to gain invaluable experience in the care sector and give something back to society too? A: Undoubtedly, younger people have been hit hardest by this pandemic and improving their job prospects by creating opportunities has been put at the heart of our Plan for Jobs. Our Kickstart Scheme has created over 120,000 jobs for young people in its first few months and is gaining pace alongside our wider youth employability offer which also supports taking up training, traineeships and apprenticeships.

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 7

HCLG Committee Launch Inquiry Into Long-Term Funding of Adult Social Care The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a new inquiry to investigate how covid-19 has impacted the adult social care sector and its long-term funding needs following the pandemic. The committee will consider how the pandemic has “placed further stress on an already challenging environment”, recognising the additional costs such as on personal protective equipment, cleaning and staffing, and will build on the work that it carried out in 2018 as part of a joint inquiry with the Health and Social Care Committee. The adult social care sector comprises a range of support services for older people and working age adults with disabilities. In 2018-19 it accounted for 41% of local authority expenditure. Continuing pressures on services and increased demand have been addressed by short-term and fragmented additional funding from central Government, making long-term planning difficult. Building on the work of its predecessor committee, the new inquiry will investigate the likely legacy of the covid-19 pandemic on the adult social care sector and the impact this has had on long-term funding need. It will also examine how additional funds can be raised to ensure the long-term stability of the sector and how the social care market can supported to improve innovation.

Launching the inquiry, HCLG committee chair Clive Betts said: “The challenge of finding a long-term solution to the financial pressures on the adult social care system is one of the toughest questions we will have to face in the coming years. “We have seen year on year the demand on services increasing, while local authority budgets have been stretched more and more.” He stressed there must be a “solution that provides a financial plan for decades, not just months” Responding to the launch, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Bold action is desperately needed to secure both the immediate and long-term future of care and support. “This cross-party inquiry will be another important contributor to how we can sustainably pay for social care services, which have been seriously impacted by the pandemic but also affected by decades of delayed reforms by successive governments of different political colours. “In addition to supporting this inquiry, we continue to call on the Government to urgently bring forward its proposals and a clear timetable for reform, so that we can finally put social care on a sustainable footing and enable people to live the lives they want to lead.”

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Residents At Magnolia Court Dress To Celebrate Purim Residents at Magnolia court in Hampstead donned fancy dress and took part in ancient rituals to celebrate Purim, which took place on February 26. Purim commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, an official of the First Persian Empire who planned to kill all Jews. His genocidal plans were thwarted by Mordecai and his cousin, Esther, the story is recounted in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew bible, the Tanakh.

Residents got dressed up, observed the rituals and said blessings, received goodie bags from the local Jewish community Shia Association and ate challah bread. Staff and residents reminisced about the ways in which they had celebrated Purim in the past and shared their experiences of the festival. Peggy, a resident, said: “It was so much fun to get dressed up for Purim, it is always a great celebration. We all enjoyed tucking into our goodie bags and having a drink to mark the festival.”

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PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

Unlawful Killing Following Maughan - Increased Risk For Carers

Authored by Richard Reichman, Partner at BCL Solicitors LLP (www.bcl.com)

Following the case of R (on the application of Maughan) (Appellant) v Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire (Respondent) [2020] UKSC 46, there is now a greater risk of an unlawful killing conclusion at an inquest, for example following a care home fatality. In Maughan, the Supreme Court found, by a majority of three to two, that all conclusions in inquests, including unlawful killing and suicide, whether short form or narrative, are to be determined on the civil standard of proof i.e. ‘on the balance of probabilities’. A striking effect of the judgment is that a lower burden of proof is now sufficient for an inquest conclusion of unlawful killing. Previously, the burden of proof applied was the higher criminal burden of proof i.e. ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. This is the applicable burden of proof in any related corporate or gross negligence manslaughter prosecution, whereby a jury needs to be sure that each of the ingredients of the offence is proved by the prosecution to convict the defendant. Inquests which involve consideration of unlawful killing will be substantially affected by the Maughan judgment. Following Maughan, there are likely to be a much larger number of inquests considering unlawful killing and more unlawful killing conclusions in the future. In relation to the provision of care, such inquests may previously have considered a finding of neglect only (the lower burden of proof already applying preMaughan). In ‘Law Sheet Number 6’, issued in January 2021, the Chief Coroner considered the likely impact of Maughan on unlawful killing inquest conclusions. Most significantly, the Chief Coroner explained the implications in terms of consistency between criminal proceedings and inquests. If, for example, a nursing or residential care home provider is prosecuted for corporate manslaughter and acquitted at trial (i.e. a jury is not

sure of its guilt), an inquest can be resumed. Pre-Maughan, a conclusion of unlawful killing would have been prohibited at the resumed inquest as inconsistent with the criminal outcome. Post-Maughan, a coroner or jury only needs to be satisfied of unlawful killing on the balance of probabilities (i.e. more likely than not) and such a conclusion will not be inconsistent with the criminal outcome. The Chief Coroner provided guidance regarding when an inquest may be resumed following a criminal trial and how to deal with potential unlawful killing conclusions. He stated that the necessity of the inquest should be “scrutinised with care” and, where unlawful killing is considered, he would expect a “well-reasoned and fact-specific approach”. The tenor of these suggestions is sensible, but the concepts are nebulous and the practical application and effect on inquests remains to be seen. Where there is an unlawful killing inquest conclusion, it is likely that a large proportion of the public will consider that a care provider named in press reports is criminally responsible, even if they have been acquitted of any criminal offences, causing substantial reputational damage. We are also likely to see more reviews of decisions not to bring criminal prosecutions against organisations and individuals, with the associated risks of conviction, lengthy custodial sentences, fines without upper limit, and director disqualification. Relevant inquests are, therefore, likely to become more adversarial, with interested persons responding to the increased risk. The need for additional court time (for example, longer Pre-Inquest Review Hearings dealing with issues such as scope, witnesses and disclosure), greater challenges to Coroners’ decisions and powers and an increased use of protections such as the privilege against self-incrimination are likely to become more common in future inquests. The care sector has seen an increased risk of regulatory investigations and prosecutions over recent years, with the first corporate manslaughter conviction against a care home in 2016 and the introduction of the offences of ill treatment and wilful neglect. There has been particular recent scrutiny due to the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic and the high numbers of care home deaths. Maughan adds to the risks facing care providers and the significant repercussions for non-compliance.

Changing Careers To Make A Difference Exemplar Health Care is shining a spotlight on three frontline care workers who have made significant career changes, encouraging others to consider a role in care. Julie Schofield in Castleford, Christopher Venton in Sheffield, and Angie Smith in Codnor, Ripley, support residents who live with a range of complex needs arising from complex dementia, mental health conditions and physical disabilities. They help them maintain their independence, build their everyday living skills and live a life as fulfilled as possible. Below, they explain how they switched careers and how they adapted their skillset to work in the care sector.

WHEN AGE ISN’T A BARRIER – Julie Schofield (Unit Manager) At the age of 41, Julie decided that she was ready for a career change. She had been working in retail as a manager of a shop but was craving for something different. Nursing had always been of interest, but by the time she decided to start a career in care she thought that she was too old to become a nurse.

In 2006, with no previous experience, Julie began working as a health care assistant at Exemplar Health Care’s Fairburn Mews home in Castleford. She quickly progressed in her role and became the first team leader at the home. After being encouraged by her colleagues to consider a role in nursing, Julie did some research and found that she qualified to apply to university. After applying and completing her course, she became a qualified nurse and was given a role at Fairburn Mews. She said: “I realised that the fears I had about starting a new career later in life were actually what helped me the most as a nurse. The life experience that I have is different to someone fresh out of university. For those thinking of switching careers later in life – do it! It’s incredibly rewarding to pursue a dream I’ve had all my life. This is the proof that age really is just a number.”

THE UNIQUE JOURNEY OF A CHEF – Christopher Venton (Health Care Assistant) After starting his career as a chef in the Armed Forces, Christopher spent most of his life working in restaurants and hotels. His life took a turn when the pandemic hit, as he was made redundant and struggled to find a role in the hospitality sector. When Christopher was in the Armed Forces, he was also a trained First Aider, so he’s always had an interest in health care. The skills he had were transferable to social care, so he decided to apply for a role as health care assistant at Willowbeck in Sheffield.

For Christopher, the best thing about the role is building close relationships with his team and the residents. He shares: “At Willowbeck I work on the Ladybower unit which supports up to 10 people living with complex healthcare needs. I love that I work with the same people and team so I can see the difference we make each day. Every day is different, the role is varied and the training opportunities are great.” Since joining, he’s achieved the Care Certificate and completed clinical training, which has enabled him to take on more responsibility in his role. He’s currently thinking about doing the Trainee Nursing Associate programme to develop his skills even further.

MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE – Angie Smith (Health Care Assistant) Having worked at Tesco for over 30 years and volunteering with local charities, 56-year-old Angie decided to work in social care to make a difference. After applying for a role at Yarningdale in Codnor, Ripley, she quickly realised that a lot of her skills were transferable. Angie says: “As a Health Care Assistant, I listen to people’s needs, treat people how I would like to be treated and go out of my way to make the experience a good one. These are all values I shared at my previous role.” She had also trained as a Mental Health First Aider in a previous volunteering role where she worked with people who had a history of alcohol and substance misuse. She is able to use the skills she developed in this previous role, as the home supports people living with complex mental health needs. Angie has keen ambitions to develop within the company, wanting to do a Level 3 Social Care Lead apprenticeship or becoming a Trainee Nursing Associate.

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 (www.visiondirect.co.uk) 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 www.visiondirect.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 9

CQC Propose To Change Care Home Ratings Without Inspecting A Care Quality Commission consultation on a new regime of regulating care providers will close on 23 March. It proposes a radical reform of care home assessments, including the prospect of changes to ratings without inspections. The proposals are potentially worrying, warns social care lawyers Royds Withy King, and care providers should ensure their voice is heard by responding to the CQC’s consultation. Mei-Ling Huang, Partner in the Social Care team at Royds Withy King comments. “The consultation is in two parts and there are elements in both that will concern care providers. “Part one points to a move away from comprehensive inspections as a way of assessing quality and awarding ratings. Assessments and ratings will be updated more regularly based on user feedback, local data and insight from third parties. “Part two, whilst brief, will have long-lasting implications as CQC proposes to do away with future largescale formal consultations, preferring instead to use ‘alternative ways’ of gathering feedback. “Care providers will be rightly concerned that assessments and ratings may change without any formal

assessment. User feedback is important but can be unreliable: some residents may not have the capacity to respond to questions from CQC and disgruntled staff may have ulterior motives when providing feedback. The CQC does not propose any way to gauge the credibility of this type of feedback, but a care home’s entire reputation will be staked upon it. “Care providers will also want to know which third parties and what local data CQC will turn to when assessing a care home, and how the CQC can ensure its reliability. The consultation is light on detail and that is concerning. “That it may be one of the last industry-wide consultations is also of concern. The CQC proposes the use of focus groups when considering further changes. A less formal consultation may suit the CQC but will be less informative for providers, creating a further imbalance of power between the regulator and those it regulates. “We would urge all care providers to make sure their voice is heard before 23 March” To participate in this consultation visit: https://www.cqc.org.uk/get-involved/consultations/consultation-changes-flexible-regulation

Hospital Treatment for Care Home Residents Falls Due To Pressures of Covid New research by the Health Foundation shows that the amount of hospital care received by those living in care homes in England rapidly declined in the first three months of the pandemic in 2020 and was substantially lower than in the same period in 2019. The research, which is due to be peer reviewed, provides the first comprehensive and national analysis of all hospital care provided to care home residents during the first wave of the pandemic. It appears to substantiate concerns that care home residents (including those in nursing homes and residential care) may have faced barriers to accessing hospital treatment as the NHS rapidly reorganised to free up hospital capacity to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients. Emergency hospital admissions from care homes for conditions other than COVID-19 – including stroke and heart attack – decreased by 36% (13,191 fewer admissions) between March and May 2020, indicating that significantly fewer care home residents received potentially lifesaving treatment during the first phase of the pandemic. Over the same period, routine elective admissions for care home residents – which includes care such as cataract surgery, some cancer treatment and hip replacements – fell by 63% (3,762 fewer admissions). This is compared to a 56% reduction in routine admissions for the gen-

eral population, which suggests that those living in care homes who often have complex health needs and require high levels of hospital care – were particularly hard hit by the reduction in services. Some hospital admissions may have been avoided through increased provision of NHS care in the community, and the perceived risk of infection in hospitals may also have led to changes in patient and carer preferences for hospital admission. With the NHS under ongoing pressure from COVID-19, the scale of the reduction in hospital admissions will mean that many care home residents will still be waiting for care and many are likely to be sicker as a result. The researchers note that a significant amount of the unmet need is for conditions that are likely to have a significant impact on people’s quality of life. For example, there was an 81% reduction in admissions for cataracts procedures and cancer admissions fell by 49%, compared with the previous year. Understanding the full impact of the pandemic on care home residents has been hampered by lack of data. Whether or not someone lives in a care home is not consistently recorded in routine hospital data. Using innovative data science methods to tackle this problem, researchers at the Health Foundation were able to match all hospital

activity to care home addresses, while maintaining individual residents’ privacy. The level of unmet need within care homes will now be placing additional strain on the NHS alongside ongoing pressures from COVID19. The scale of the unmet need in care homes is likely to be contributing significantly to the overall backlog of demand for NHS services in England that has increased over the course of 2020 and now stands at 4.5 million people who are waiting for hospital treatment – the highest level since comparable records began in 2008. Sarah Deeny, Assistant Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: ‘Despite the falling numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitals are still struggling to provide care for other conditions. That the majority of care home residents have now been vaccinated is a substantial achievement and a very positive development. But there is now an urgent need to address the substantial backlog of care among residents, alongside the country as a whole. It is vital that we ensure that those living in care homes are receiving appropriate hospital treatment.’


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 11

Budget Leaves Funding for Health and Social Care Desperately Wanting Critics continued to hit out following Chancellor’s budget last week, in which he failed to address any of the issues facing adult social care. Industry observers have come out in force to express their anger. Danny Mortimer chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The Chancellor had a lot to prove in this Budget, but sadly he has once again left funding for health and social care services desperately wanting. NHS leaders will have hoped to see a much greater acknowledgement of the toll the past year has taken on our key public services, yet the health service will feel that it has been left out in the cold. “The NHS has faced an unprecedented and almighty battle over the past year and has at times come very close to breaking point, so to continually under-resource and underfund both the health service and social care sector when they are facing the biggest challenge they have ever seen is of huge concern. “Last year, the Chancellor promised ‘absolutely’ and ‘categorically’ to give the NHS ‘whatever resources’ it needed to get through the crisis; today, this promise seems to have evaporated and leaves the summer Spending Review with a lot of ground to cover. “NHS leaders, including our members across primary care, will welcome the announcement of an additional £1.65 billion made available for the coronavirus vaccination programme, although details on what this means for frontline delivery will be crucial. We would do well to remember that this only forms a small part of a tangible recovery plan for the health service. “While an additional £3 billion of funding to tackle the elective care backlog and wider pressures was announced in the autumn Spending Review, this fell far short of the £10 billion investment in the NHS recommended by the Health Foundation, and supported by our members, to deal with the impact of pressures and fall out from COVID-19 on our services. “With this in mind, this Budget’s failure to address the crucial and long-term funding needs of the NHS weakens the contribution that our incredible, hardworking, yet exhausted health and care teams can deliver. It has also missed the real opportunity to go further and faster to address the significant and pressing investment needed to tackle the

gaping holes in provision in capital, social care, in public health and in workforce training and education spending. “The health service is still grappling with the immediate challenges of the pandemic, and we know that over the long-term, the implications and fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will be monumental and felt for years to come. A growing elective backlog of at least 4.5 million procedures, as well as record demand for mental health services and staff exhaustion mean we now urgently need to have an open and honest conversation about how and what the NHS can realistically deliver over the weeks, months and years ahead.” Vic Rayner, Chief Executive of the National Care Forum, the leading member association for not-for-profit care providers says: “There is nothing in this budget for social care. Nothing that acknowledges the massive financial challenges affecting social care provision. No recognition of the importance of investing in services that operate at a local level, employ local people and support the most vulnerable members of communities. Not even an acknowledgement of the incredible dedication and commitment of the social care workforce. “The chancellor and his team must quickly address this. All ring fenced emergency funding for COVID-19 come to a grinding halt on the 31st March. Yet none of the costs associated with providing care in a COVID-19 world disappear. Urgent action is required to address these short term financial holes in the budget and the government must immediately outline the detailed timescale for the full scale reform of social care. “Meanwhile, social care will take a deep breath once again and look hard at all the announcements around developing the workforce, apprenticeships and investing in technology, to see how they can be fully embraced by those receiving care and the workforce that supports them.” Helen Wildbore, Director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “The Budget is an insult to older people needing care, and their families. Our helpline hears every day from people who are relying on these vital services who already feel neglected and left behind by the

Government. The sector was already on its knees before the pandemic hit and now it is at crisis point. Following a year of unremitting challenges, with care services stretched to breaking point and staff burnt out, support from the Chancellor was desperately and urgently needed. Older people and their families deserve better.” Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said: “We are deeply disappointed that no immediate or longer term support for social care, so badly battered by the pandemic, was announced in the Budget. Experts have been warning about the sustainability of many smaller care companies for some time and unfortunately the Chancellor spurned this opportunity to give them a helping hand. The result may well be an upsurge in closures over the next few months, putting more stress and strain on older and disabled people & their unpaid carers, who have already endured so much. “We and many others will also be seeking assurances that the lack of any mention of longer term care refinancing and reform does not reflect an intention on the part of this Government to renege on its repeated promise to ‘fix’ care by bringing forward concrete proposals later in the year. “ Chris Thomas, head of the Better Health and Care Programme at IPPR, said:

ON FUNDING FOR THE NHS “Many will be shocked to see so little in the budget on the NHS and care during a pandemic. The chancellor has not given enough support to help the NHS through its massive backlog. He has not pre-empted an inevitable rise in Covid-19 this winter. And he has not helped prepare against the risks posed by future health shocks: pandemics, climate change, anti-microbial resistance and an ageing population. For a government committed to ‘build back better’, it is a dangerous lack of foresight.”

ON SOCIAL CARE “Covid-19 has been devastating for social care services and for the people who rely on them. The chancellor’s budget today brings no relief

Local Care Home Give Away Arts and Crafts Kits to Children as a Community Thank You Staff at a Huddersfield-based care home have said thank you to the community by giving away free arts and crafts kits to local children. After setting up a collection point outside Lindley Grange Bupa Care Home, children from the Huddersfield community were encouraged to pick up a homemade pack of colouring book, pencil crayons, glitter, googly eyes, pom poms and so much more. The home was delighted to give away a total of 50 kits to local families. The aim was to put together a goody bag of treats for the little ones to enjoy in return for all the community support the home has received over the last 12 months. The support that Lindley have been given during these very difficult times has been overwhelming from gifts, kind words, cards pictures and most of all the community spirit has been amazing and we wanted to give a little back to others who have also had a difficult time.

Becky Crow, Head of Activities at Lindley Grange Bupa Care Home, oversaw the charitable event. She said: “We have received overwhelming support from the Huddersfield community over the last year. It has been a challenging time for many, but it has been amazing to see a variety of groups from across the area come together. We are truly grateful to be a part of such a caring and thoughtful community. “That is why we wanted to give something back and spread a little bit of joy, as a way of saying thank you. We had an amazing response from the parents and children who came to collect their packs; one little boy even told me it was the ‘best day ever,’ which absolutely melted my heart. “We hope to organise more community events like this during the warmer months and we welcome all members of the community to get involved.”

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PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

Government U-Turn - Senior Care Workers Added to Shortage Occupation List By Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors (www.astonbrooke.co.uk) The Social Care Sector has long called for senior care workers among other key roles to be added to the Shortage Occupation List. Aston Brooke Solicitors has worked with Care England to ensure that the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations are adopted by the Government. Initially, the Secretary of State refused to add the role of senior care workers to the shortage occupation list and she was faced with widespread criticism from the sector. This prompted calls from the sector to legal challenge the decision. This recent announcement means that the Government has finally recognised the voice of the sector and this important change builds on the government’s delivery of the new pointsbased immigration system introduced in January 2021. Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “Every year we welcome healthcare workers from across the world to our United Kingdom, with many having played a key role on the frontline of the NHS during the recent pandemic. This latest set of changes, combined with our Health and Care Visa, will ensure they can

easily get the immigration status they deserve.” Professor Martin Green OBE said: “I am pleased that the Government has acknowledged the challenges of recruiting senior care workers and residential day managers, this is something we have long called for with our partner law firm Aston Brooke Solicitors. We hope that this is the start of a process towards the creation of a migration system which supports rather than undermines the development of the adult social care workforce”. Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors welcomed the announcement and said: “The addition of the senior carer position to the shortage occupation list means care providers are now able to recruit suitable candidates outside of the UK on a minimum annual salary of £20,480. Prior to this announcement, the minimum annual salary payable for this role would be £25,600, which is unsustainable in the sector.” As part of the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must reach 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a work visa. A job on the Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points. Combined with the mandatory criteria – having an acceptable standard of English, an offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, which are worth 50 points – will ensure people in these roles reach the 70 points necessary.

Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare Launch COVID-19 “Emergence Plan” Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare have launched an “Emergence Plan” to guide the care home providers through the easing of social distancing measures over the coming months. The launch of the Plan, which comes as government restrictions on care home visits are partially eased, hopes to address residents and families’ anxieties and expectations as the sector begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Plan details how Sunrise and Gracewell’s care homes will support their residents to improve clinical indicators, such as mood, appetite and mobility, which may have deteriorated since the start of the pandemic. The protocol will also help to prepare residents to see their loved ones again by encouraging those residents who have lost confidence in social situations to partner with fellow residents and take part in group activities. Team members are also being asked to inform family members whose loved one’s cognitive abilities have declined over the last year and to have honest conversations about this in advance of their visit. It is hoped that this will help to prepare family members and minimise any distress caused by this decline. The Plan also invites team members to ask residents about their hopes and concerns about changes to social distancing restrictions and to provide the necessary reassurance about reconnecting with others.

Sunrise and Gracewell are also implementing a roadmap to guide the reintroduction of events and excursions at their care homes as restrictions ease. These will start with smaller activities, such as local walks and minibus trips, but are expected to encompass more sociable events, including entertainers from outside the care homes, once it is safe to do so. Speaking of the Emergence Plan, Anna Selby, who spearheaded the protocol in her role as Head of Sunrise and Gracewell’s COVID-19 Taskforce, said: “Every step of the pandemic the different lockdown periods have taken a period of adjustment… every time it’s been a rollercoaster, but not necessarily for our residents – for them it’s been quite continuous, and how difficult is it going to be to make that adjustment? Anna Selby added that some residents may find it very difficult to share their anxieties for fear of upsetting relatives who are desperate to see them. She said: “When people have visits in the visiting room, and a family can come, some people find it quite overwhelming because they’re so used to that smaller contact.” “We need to start off with that meaningful conversation, not necessarily a clinical conversation, just ‘How are you feeling? What are you looking forward to? What does it mean to you?’, and test it out. “And it may be that ‘I’m really looking forward to it and I’m fine, and I can’t wait and I’m going to start preparing and start ordering new


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 13

DHSC Issues New Guidance On Care Home Visiting The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has released new guidance on care home visiting that allows each resident to have one regular indoor visitor. This guidance applies from 8th March 2021 and replaces previous guidance on care home visiting. The guidance applies to care homes for working-age and for older adults, recognizing that visiting is an essential part of care home life and is crucially important for maintaining the health and wellbeing and quality of life for residents. The guidance sets out the government’s advice to support safe visiting: • every care home resident will be able to nominate a single named visitor who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits. Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging • residents with the highest care needs will also be able to nominate an essential care giver • care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visit-

ing pods, or behind windows Care home visiting should, the guidance advises, be supported wherever it is possible to do so safely – supported by this guidance and within an environment set up to manage risks. Visitors and family members also have an important role to play – helping to keep their loved ones safe by carefully following the policies described in this guidance, and the practical arrangements that care homes put in place. Local system leaders such as the directors of public health (DPH) and directors of adult social services (DASS) have a key role in this partnership to support visiting. It is not a condition of visiting that the visitor or the resident should have been vaccinated. However, it is strongly recommended that all visitors and residents take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when they are invited to do so through the national programme. When the data shows it is safe, the government wants to go further and allow more visitors. At step 2 of the roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) the government will look carefully at the effectiveness of the vaccine for people living in care homes (and for the clinically extremely vulnerable generally), as well as levels of infection in the local community, especially of any new variants. The government will take a decision at that point on extending the number of visitors to 2 per resident, which was the approach in December prior to the national ‘stay at home’ restrictions coming into force, and set out a plan for the next phase of

visits for people in residential care. Responding to the updated guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes, Vic Rayner, Chief Executive at the National Care Forum, the leading member association for not for profit care providers said: “The Prime Minister has made a commitment that this, and other cautious moves out of national lockdown, are ‘irreversible’ and he must ensure that all parties at local and national level work together to fulfil that promise. The important introduction of the essential caregiver role will provide the vital continuity that our most vulnerable residents need. It will enable those residents who desperately need to be reconnected with loved ones to be reunited and have them once again a consistent part of their life in the care home. “Care home providers will continue to need support to implement this guidance. It is reliant on government sustaining free PPE, ongoing access to testing and to recognising the additional costs to care homes in managing the complexities of safe visiting within a pandemic. It is of huge concern that at the same time that the government is relaunching visiting, it has missed the opportunity within the budget to provide assurance that the emergency funding for testing and visiting will be extended beyond the end of March 2021. If the notion of an irreversible step forward in enabling visiting is to be believed, then the government must also put forward an irreversible commitment to resource it.”

Royal Alfred Champions Diversity On International Women’s Day

Surrey-based maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society and its care home, Belvedere House, is proudly recognising the contribution of its team this International Women’s Day by marking the diversity of its predominately female workforce. Women make up almost three quarters (72%) of the Society’s 100-strong workforce, with female staff far outweighing the male staff. Women also make up 66% of the Heads of Department team and 66% of the Senior Management team, with the Society priding itself on providing strong progression opportunities for

staff and nurturing female leaders. The Royal Alfred showcases a diverse team of women ranging from 27 years of age to 66 and from a variety of different backgrounds, so the home is proud to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Staff at the Royal Alfred originate from 17 nationalities in total, bringing a wealth of different experiences and cultures to the home. Housekeeping Manager, Shirley Campbell has been working at Belvedere House since 2007, when she and her family relocated to the UK from South Africa. She said: “When I first moved to the UK, my original role here at the Society was as carer. I trained as a nurse in Zimbabwe and so have always worked in the health field. Two years later, I wanted a new challenge and so applied for the Housekeeping Manager position – the rest is history, as it were! “As one of the oldest staff members here at the Royal Alfred, I’m proud to work alongside so many fantastic people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. Here, it doesn’t matter about where you come from, your age or gender – as long as you are passionate about people and have a caring heart, this really is an amazing place to work. We have a brilliant team and we’re all like one big family.” The Society’s CEO, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, added: “The Royal Alfred is proud to offer people of all ages and backgrounds a supportive workplace and career opportunities and in return we know having a diverse workforce brings new ideas, innovation and creative solutions to the Society. We know this is partly why so many of our team choose to dedicate so many years of their lives to the Royal Alfred, and we are proud of our strong staff retention rate, compared to the industry average. This International Women’s Day we thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the sector.”

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PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

Covid Vaccinations - What Are the Implications for Employers? By Sarah Hayes, a solicitor in the employment team at Paris Smith (www.parissmith.co.uk) IS IT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR PEOPLE TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

may be opening themselves up to an unfair dismissal claim, assuming that the employee has at least 2 years of service.

The government have made it clear that the vaccination will not be a legal requirement. The government guidelines on vaccinations say that individuals must be given enough information to enable them to make a decision before they can give consent. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 gives the government the power to prevent and control an infection. However, it specifically prevents a person from being required to undertake medical treatments such as vaccinations.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS? The distribution of the vaccine will likely come as a relief for businesses and employers. There is now a light at the end of the tunnel that normal working operations can slowly resume and more employees will be able to return to the workplace. However, not every worker will want to be vaccinated and this is likely to be a topic which is increasingly raised over the coming months. The government has identified that this is a “complex” topic. A question that is likely to arise is whether it is ethical and legal for employers to request staff to be vaccinated before they return to the workplace, particularly when some will refuse for religious, philosophical or health care reasons. An employer who requires employees to receive a vaccination could potentially be open to the risk of a discrimination claim on the grounds of disability, age, religion or belief. In addition, if an employer were to dismiss an employee for the reason of refusing to take a vaccine, they

CAN AN EMPLOYER DISMISS AN EMPLOYEE WHO REFUSES TO TAKE THE VACCINATION? An employer may dismiss an employee who refuses to comply with a reasonable management request. Therefore, if it is considered that taking the vaccine is a reasonable management request, an employee may be able to be dismissed for refusing to comply. This will require careful analysis on a case by case basis and will depend on the specific circumstances. If an employee is refusing to take a vaccination and is also refusing to come into the workplace, an employer should firstly consider alternatives such as change of role, regular testing or permanently working from home. Where contact with customers, clients or other employees is necessary, steps may need to be taken when employees are refusing to come into work. However, if an employee is refusing to take the vaccine for legitimate reasons and is still happy to come into work, an employer would be illadvised to dismiss them. An employer should thoroughly consider an individual’s reasons for refusing to take the vaccine before making any decisions. Whether an employee can be dismissed for this reason would depend on whether the employee’s refusal to comply with the request is reasonable or not. Whether this is a reasonable request will involve a consideration of where the employee works. For example, UK healthcare employers must ensure that their employees do not present a risk of infection to patients, so may have a stronger defence to an unfair dismissal claim. However, as mentioned above, employers will have to be aware of the possibility of opening themselves to the risk of discrimination or unfair dismissal claims by insisting on their staff having a vaccine.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THOSE WHO ARE ‘EXTREMELY CLINICALLY VULNERABLE’? The government has now published the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. Subject to the government’s assessment of the current data against the

four tests contained in the roadmap, this will result in a gradual lifting of the restrictions over coming months. The risk therefore lies with the situation when an ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ person refuses to take the vaccine but there are no longer protective restrictions in place. If ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ individuals refuse to take the vaccine this is going to be difficult for employers to manage, particularly if the individual is also refusing to go to work. There are a range of options available to employers where high-risk employees are not comfortable with going to work. This includes use of the furlough scheme, suspending on full pay, allowing employees to take annual or unpaid leave and sick leave. However, as time goes on these options may be less commercially viable, in particular when businesses return to their normal workload. Employers should also be aware that employees have statutory rights meaning that they have protection from any detriment or dismissal when they have decided not to return to work, because there are circumstances of danger where the employee reasonably believes this danger is serious or imminent. The belief must be genuine and reasonable; therefore, once the vaccine has been fully introduced, the belief will likely become less reasonable. As stated above, an employer may consider taking disciplinary action against an employee who refuses to take a vaccine and also refuses to return to work, on the basis that it is a breach of an employer’s reasonable instruction. In order to proceed, employers should take all appropriate steps to make their workplace COVID secure. This option may be more appropriate where employees who are not clinically vulnerable are refusing to return to work as these employees are, arguably, less likely to prove a reasonable belief in an ongoing and serious imminent danger. Employers should consult with their employees to understand their concerns and discuss how risks will be managed. Employers should also carry out a proper risk assessment and take the appropriate steps to mitigate these risks.

Thornton-Le-Dale Care Home Residents Receive Creative Poetry From Local Primary School This poetry project aims to recreate a sense of grandparents and grandchildren reading

Pupils at Thornton Dale Primary School have sent video-poetry to residents from The Hall residential care home. In response to a video of poetry that residents at The Hall sent to the children while they celebrated their poetry week from home, the year two pupils have recorded themselves performing their own poetry. The six- and seven-year olds were given the title of “The Last Tiger” and were asked to make up a poem to describe the jungle giant. Once written, pupils’ parents filmed them performing their poems, including descriptions of “gold glittery eyes” and “speed like a cheetah” and costumes representing the big cat. Residents at The Hall relish their connection with Thornton Dale Primary students and have continued to strengthen this relationship virtually throughout the pandemic.

to each other, by creating videos that can be watched and made at home. Danielle Collins, teacher at Thornton Dale Primary School, said: “The pupils were inspired to perform their own poetry after receiving the surprise video from the residents during their learning at home. The children in year 2 really cherish their connection with The Hall and they can’t wait until they can see the residents in person again.” Nicky Beach, manager at The Hall, said: “Our residents love connecting with Thornton Dale Primary and watching the year two children perform their tiger poems was something that residents cherished.”

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PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

Social Care Providers Race to Protect the Mental Health of the Workforce Amid Pandemic Three in five providers dug deep into their own pockets during the last year to fund mental health first aiders as part of a raft of preventative measures taken to safeguard their staff, a newly published report reveals. Independent research commissioned by learning disabilities charity, Hft, found that Covid-19 has taken its toll on the social care workforce, with 62% of providers reporting a rise in absenteeism relating to mental health since the beginning of the pandemic. Compared to last year, this marks a 10% increase on average across the sector, during a time when care staff are playing a crucial role on the frontline to support vulnerable adults. The report, reflecting on the previous year, highlights a rise in a range of actions that were taken to promote mental health across the board in an effort to protect the workforce, despite more than 56% of providers reporting declining surpluses or already being in deficit. Nearly all providers (96%) reported signposting to mental health services, up from 67%, while 87% provided mental health awareness training. The number providing in-house mental health first aiders has also risen from 38% to 62%. This is Hft’s fourth annual Sector Pulse Check report, carried out by independent economics and business consultancy Cebr, and the first of its kind to focus primarily on learning disability providers. Based on survey analysis from social care providers, it provides an annual snapshot of the financial health and the challenges faced by the social care sector over the past year, and an indication of how providers anticipate the next twelve months will progress. The report also highlights that social care providers appear to be reaching a crisis point and have been forced to resort to measures to reduce capacity to tackle the persistent cost pressures over recent years. The main cost pressure cited was rising wage bills (79%) followed by lack of fee income (63%). As a result, more than half (62%) said they have had to close down some parts of their organisation or hand back marginal contracts, up from 45% in the previous report. Around a third (29%) of providers have made redundancies, in keeping

with the last two years, with one in ten saying they have had to offer care to fewer individuals. This is a trend that looks set to continue, with over half (51%) stating they are more likely to close down some parts of their organisation or hand back marginal contracts and 47% likely to make staff redundancies in response to Covid-19 cost pressures. The research has prompted calls from the charity to shine a light on the pandemic’s forgotten workforce by publicly recognising their efforts and investing in the sector. An open invitation has been sent to all MPs, offering the opportunity to find out more about the report and the challenges faced by the sector at a virtual parliamentary event on Wednesday 10 March 2021. Kirsty Matthews, Chief Executive for Hft, said: “Our Sector Pulse report shows that in a year where the social care sector has played a pivotal role on the frontline, providers have gone to great lengths to support staff, who are crucial role to supporting some of the most vulnerable adults in society. “It’s time to shine a light on the pandemic’s undervalued workforce

and publicly recognise their efforts. It is vital the government provides a cash injection specifically to ensure frontline social care staff have the mental health support they deserve, and that it is not at the expense of an already beleaguered sector. “While the Covid-19 pandemic has seen some additional funding enter the sector, it falls far short of solving an enduring and underlying financial challenge. The precarious financial situation is a culmination of years of financial pressures, which have forced providers to take drastic action in order to remain sustainable. It is vital that the government brings forward a long term funding solution for adult social care to safeguard the future of the sector.” Josie Dent, Managing Economist at Cebr, said: “The finances of the social care sector continue to stand in a precarious position as costs rise, yet in spite of this, the research shows providers have increased their mental health support for staff over the past year. Furthermore, a lack of fee income, cited by over three in five organisations, means these increasing costs are difficult to fund. We are therefore seeing more and more providers close down some parts of their organisation or hand back marginal contracts and services to their local authority, with 62% taking this action in 2020”. Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, said: “This year’s Hft Sector Pulse Report highlights the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges already faced by an over-stretched and underfunded social care sector. High quality support services for disabled people can be transformative and this report, as we collectively look to recover from a truly challenging year, clearly exposes how the government and it agencies must do away with short-term fixes and instead invest in sustainable, long-term reform.” Hft is now calling on the government to ensure the future financial sustainability of the social care sector by providing immediate funding to stabilise the social care system while working towards an equitable and sustainable funding solution in the longer term. To read the full report: visit www.hft.org.uk/sectorpulsecheckreport

Lakeland Dairies Launch Activity To “Celebrate Green” For St Patricks Day Steeped in Irish heritage, Lakeland Dairies launches its annual Celebrate Green campaign, with a ‘takeover’ of the month of March. The campaign embraces the co-operative’s excellence in dairy farming, alongside its heritage in churning high-quality milk into professional products trusted by chefs. Brand New Recipe and Activity Book This year’s campaign focuses on celebrating the lush green grass of the Co-Operative’s family farms and Irish traditions. To launch the campaign, Lakeland Dairies has created a brand-new resource packed with recipes and activities, designed especially to inspire care settings to host an Irish themed party for St Patrick’s Day. The activity resource serves as an inspiration for both care home residents and staff, full of interesting snippets, cooking tips and expert advice for perfect Irish-themed dishes. The resource also contains a host of Irish inspired fun activities to encourage engagement across residents and staff. In addition, there is also a chance to win of one of ten free Farm Memories Aqua Paints, specialist products designed for residents living with dementia, when claiming the free activity resource.

Paul Chmielewski, Head of Marketing and International at Lakeland Dairies comments: “Our Celebrate Green campaign for St Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to embrace our Irish heritage and celebrate our dairy farming expertise. For more than 100 years we have been producing high-quality, wholesome and nutritious milk. Our milk is made from contented cows grazing freely on lush, green pastures of our family farms, located on the beautiful Isle of Ireland. We are delighted to help care caterers celebrate St Patrick’s day this March with our recipe and activity booklet.” Inspired by Lakeland Dairies’ Irish provenance, the activity book features various recipes using Lakeland Dairies portfolio of products including its Millac Gold Double with Added Vitamin D. Known for its creamy taste and stability, Millac Gold Double with Added Vitamin D is a delicious, versatile cream alternative. Ideal for whipping, cooking and pouring, the added Vitamin D aids the body’s absorption of calcium. Recipes include a delicious Salmon Mousse, an Irish Moss Panna Cotta and a scrumptious White and Black Pudding. To download the recipe and activity book please go to https://bit.ly/2NrJMCN

®

Well Pharmacy Partners with PainChek to Promote Person-Centred Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is pleased to announce a partnership with PainChek®, the world’s first AI-powered pain assessment tool to help people who are unable to verbalise if they have pain, such as those living with dementia. Sadly, pain often goes un-detected and under-treated in people with communication difficulties from medical conditions. The Well Care Home Services Team are actively signposting more than 350 care homes across the UK to use PainChek® as an effective solution to help measure pain in residents and promote the highest standards of care in residential homes. This secure medical device is simple and straightforward to use via mobile or tablet. It uses artificial intelligence (facial detection and analysis technology) and smart automation to detect and score pain in real time allowing informed clinical decisions around appropriate and effective pain management to be made. This partnership further highlights how Well Pharmacy are committed to offering a local community service with a real focus on person-centred care, quality and safety. Tandeep Gill, Care Home Business Lead at Well Pharmacy said: “Well Pharmacy is delighted to partner with PainChek®. At Well we strive to offer an outstanding local service to care homes and their residents. PainChek® uses innovative technology to help residents who are not able to communicate for themselves to identify the presence of pain.

“We’re delighted that through this partnership we are able to pass on an exclusive discount to benefit our care homes customers across the UK, so they can help improve the quality of life for their residents and offer person-centred care.” Pete Shergill, PainChek® UK&I Country Director said: “About half of people living with dementia suffer from pain, but they are often unable to verbalise they have pain, and sadly, it goes unmanaged and untreated. “Ensuring residents’ pain is assessed effectively is critical for care home operators, healthcare professionals and carers but it can be challenging. Therefore, we are really pleased that Well Pharmacy is partnering with us to promote and deliver a quick and easy-to-use solution that will allow carers and healthcare professionals to measure pain in residents, document checks and make informed clinical decisions for effective pain management. “By harnessing the power of medtech, care providers can deliver more efficient and effective care, streamline processes, and ultimately cut costs and save time – allowing staff to focus on delivering the highest standard of care.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please visit www.well.co.uk/carehomes For more information about PainChek® email: info@painchek.com or visit: https://painchek.com/uk/


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 17

Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Project ENLIVEN to Help Improve Lives Through Contact with Nature A new research project has been announced that will help older people living with cognitive impairment – including dementia – to be more active and independent and experience a better quality of life through increasing their contact with the natural environment. ENLIVEN is led by researchers from the University of Exeter, and is one of seven research projects funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) that form the Healthy Ageing Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (SBDRP), which is overseen by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The programme is one component of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Healthy Ageing Challenge, which has the overall goal of extending healthy, active life expectancy by five years by 2035. Research has established that, for people with dementia, the benefits of outdoor activity include maintaining independence and meaningful occupation, promoting social inclusion, stimulating memory and the senses, and enhancing identity and self-esteem. For those at risk of developing dementia, such as people with mild cognitive impairment or post-stroke cognitive impairment, engagement with nature may help to prevent, reduce or slow cognitive decline. Although we know outdoor activity is beneficial, older people living with cognitive impairment often experience barriers to accessing the natural environment. These barriers result not only from problems with physical accessibility, transport costs and safety concerns, but also from cultural, social and psychological obstacles – all of which are exacerbated among those from minority ethnic and disadvantaged groups.

The ENLIVEN team will work with businesses, social enterprises and third sector organisations to develop and test innovative ways of adapting services and improving accessibility, in order to address and overcome the barriers that stop people living with cognitive impairment from accessing nature-based outdoor activities. ENLIVEN will also aim to reduce inequalities in healthy ageing by including people who have experienced a wide range of structural disadvantages, such as people from minority ethnic groups or from socio-economically disadvantaged areas. Professor Linda Clare, Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing and Dementia and Director of the Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), is the project’s Chief Investigator. Professor Clare said: “We believe that outdoor activity in nature, whether it’s a walk around a local park or a day trip to a place that attracts visitors, really can enable people with cognitive impairment to live better, richer and ultimately longer lives. “In ENLIVEN, we aim to work with organisations to put in place innovative ways of facilitating this greater engagement with the natural world by addressing some of the barriers and obstacles people with dementia are facing.” Dr Joanne Connell, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at the University of Exeter Business School, said: “There is a growing recognition globally that actively engaging in outdoor-based recreation and experiencing nature in its many forms can contribute to the wellbeing of people with cognitive impairment and dementia. “Visitor-facing businesses and organisations have a role to play in helping people with cognitive impairment and their carers to access and enjoy outdoor recreation in natural places and spaces, and we look forward to working with them to address the barriers facing people who are living with these ‘hidden conditions’.”

Bampton Community Join Together to Celebrate Residents 100th Birthday A resident at a dementia specialist care home in Oxfordshire has celebrated an exciting milestone recently when she turned 100 years old. Ruby Riches, who resides at Rosebank Care Home, marked the milestone birthday with the help of the community on Tuesday, 23rd February 2021. Ruby was inundated with gifts, phone calls, and cards on her special day from the local community, as well as a card from the Queen. Staff at the care home in Bampton counted over one hundred cards that she received, some from her former paper girls, from her time working at the post office. As the former headteacher of Clanfield Primary school, Ruby was delighted to receive a video message from the current headteacher wishing her a happy birthday, and the children also created a presentation filled with videos and pictures in celebration of Ruby’s special day. Ruby also received a card from the family who bought her cottage when she moved into Rosebank four years ago, which was extremely thoughtful, and much appreciated. The family wished her a happy birthday and reassured

her that her garden was being well looked after. Ruby, was overjoyed by the community’s efforts, said: “I have been thoroughly spoilt by everyone. I have enjoyed my day enormously.’” The team at Rosebank Care Home arranged a live zoom call from her favourite entertainer to sing to Ruby, as well as a beautiful birthday cake, which she enjoyed with her friends at Rosebank. A special visit in the family hub was arranged with her dearest friend Elizabeth Martin, who helped organise everyone in the community to make the centenarian’s day so wonderful. Rosebank Care Home Owner, Jane Roberts, said, “We are all delighted that Ruby has reached this milestone birthday, and we are honoured to have been able to share such a happy day with her.” Manager, Vanessa Lavender commented, “It was a joyous occasion, and we are extremely grateful to Elizabeth, and our amazing Bampton community, who have shown so much kindness and love towards Ruby on her 100th birthday!”


PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

New Age UK Analysis Shows That 1 in 10 (1.4 Million) Aged 60+ Have Been Eating Less Since the Start of the Pandemic and Could Be at Greater Risk of Becoming Malnourished New analysis from Age UK reveals that 1.4million older people aged 60+ in England have been eating less since the start of the pandemic and could therefore be at a greater risk of becoming malnourished, while 3.7million say that either they or others in their household have been unable to eat healthy and nutritious food. Results from a recent survey of older people by Age UK are stark and show how tough life has been for many older people since the start of the pandemic. Lockdowns have left some older people with reduced appetites and less able to shop for, prepare and eat enough good food. Age UK is worried that this hidden problem of undernutrition and malnourishment in older people is increasing at pace, with: Nearly half (49%) of people who already had difficulty going to the shops saying this has become harder Two in five (43%) of older people surveyed by Age UK saying they feel less confident or much less confident going to the shops by themselves than they used to Eating and drinking enough is especially important as we age. Being well nourished helps to maintain muscle mass, which in turn improves mobility and reduces falls. It keeps us warm, and gives us energy, as well as being a big mood boost that enables us to continue to do all the things that are important to us. Before the pandemic 1.3 million older people were already suffering from or at risk of malnutrition in the UK. Covid-19 restrictions instantly and dramatically increased the amount of time older people have been isolated from family, friends and carers. People were left alone and vulnerable, with the anxiety of catching the virus, restricted access to food shopping and a reduction in essential health care and daily support. This resulted in many older people feeling isolated and lonely and losing their daily routine has put many more older people at risk of becoming malnourished. Age UK is calling on everyone to start a friendly conversation with the older people in their lives to ensure they are having enough to eat and drink after an incredibly tough year of coronavirus and the restrictions it has imposed on us all. The charity is also encouraging people to look out for signs that loved ones maybe be under-nourished. Older people and their families have told Age UK of the difficulties they are experiencing when it comes to eating well during the pandemic: “When she’s really low she loses interest in the things she used to do for fun. She also struggles to eat and loses her appetite which is quite dangerous for her as she has a slim, delicate frame.” (F 75-79) “Mobility decreased which had an effect on pain and caused her to stop eating.” (F 75-79) Dementia has deteriorated considerably in lockdown. We have not been able to visit her in her flat to help with reminders about eating, sort out cupboards and help with meal prep. She has lost weight (family member & carer of female aged 85 to 89) Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “We really are worried about the number of older people who are now reporting they

are not eating enough and it’s vital that we all raise the issue of eating well and getting enough nutrients with our older relatives and friends, sensitively and supportively. “When we are able to see them face to face we should take the chance to look out for warning signs that they may not be getting enough to eat - like rings being loose and slipping off, clothes looking too big, belts needing to be tightened. It is sometimes quite difficult to recognise that an older person may unintentionally be losing weight. If older people become malnourished this can have serious implications for their health. Not eating and drinking enough increases the risk of infection and falls and worsens any existing long-term conditions. It also makes it harder for people to recover from an episode of ill health. We all need to do everything we can to help our loved ones, friends and neighbours to keep up their nutritional intake - and enjoy it too.” Dianne Jeffrey, Chair of the Malnutrition Task Force, said: “It is devastating to hear that so many older people during lockdowns have been left with reduced appetites and are less able to shop for, prepare and eat enough good food. Age UK and the MTF is worried that this hidden problem of undernutrition and malnourishment in older people is increasing at pace. “We know that now more than ever, it’s essential that older people are eating enough to maintain their health and well-being. Many older people are struggling to shop, cook, eat, and drink enough nourishing food, without their usual health and social care support or support of families and friends. Malnutrition makes it harder to recover from an episode of ill health which is particularly worrying during this pandemic. If malnutrition is not addressed, many of these people will eventually be admitted to hospital which is often the first-time malnutrition will be identified. “The call for action is that better raising awareness, identification, services and support are available to ensure older people are getting the right help, at the right time to remain independent, well-nourished, and hydrated.”

WAYS WE CAN ALL HELP

Ask an older friend or relative what they are eating to keep warm or do they have any favourite food could be a good way to start a conversation about how they’re eating. Ask them if you can run through a checklist to see if there is anything you can do help, and ask them the questions below: 1. Are you concerned that you may be underweight? 2. Have you lost a lot of weight unintentionally in the past three – six months or have you noticed clothing or rings becoming loose recently? 3. Have you recently found that you have lost your appetite or interest in eating? 4.. Are you concerned about how to shop for food, your food budget, and/or your ability to cook meals? 5.. Are any eating difficulties because of things like dentures not fitting properly or do you have any difficulty swallowing, chewing or cutting up food? 6. Do you think you are drinking enough, or do you find it difficult to drink? If a friend or relative answers yes to any of these questions it is time to take action. The Malnutrition Task Force’s website www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk website has information on what to do if someone is underweight, having difficulty with the physicality of eating, or having difficulty chewing or swallowing food. You may also wish to talk about consulting with their GP or healthcare professional. The Malnutrition Taskforce also offers advice on changes that can help someone who is unintentionally losing weight:

WHAT CAN OLDER PEOPLE DO IF THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR APPETITE? Speak to your GP to rule out other health conditions and they can arrange for referrals to a dietician or speech language therapist if required If teeth or dentures are a problem, make an appointment with a dentist. Some dentists will make home visits. If there is difficulty with chewing, try eating soft foods such as scrambled eggs or yoghurt If you can’t face a large meal, try small meals and snacks throughout the day. Move to full-fat foods like milk, yoghurt and cheese. If you have difficulty opening items, make sure to pick up items that are easy to get into If your eyesight isn’t good, try using a blue coloured plate – this helps people to see what they are eating. Try to introduce some routine, for example a regular snack with a favourite TV programme. If you need help with shopping, look into online shopping or find out what support local Age UKs can offer to older people who have difficultly shopping or are lonely. If a care worker supports you with meals, talk to them about incorporating these suggestions into your care plan. For more information contact Age UK I&A line to order a copy of a booklet on eating well in later life at https://tinyurl.com/cmhf6jce

Final Findings From Latest Covid-19 React-1 Study Published The final findings from the ninth report of REACT-1, one of the country’s largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, have been published by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI. It follows the interim findings published in February. The data shows infections in England have fallen by two thirds since the last REACT report published in January. Over 165,400 volunteers were tested in England between 4 and 23 of February to examine the levels of infection in the general population. While there has been another fall in the number of cases in England, the speed of this decline is slowing. When compared to the interim findings published in February, there has been no change in prevalence in Yorkshire and The Humber and prevalence has risen slightly in London, the South East, East Midlands and West Midlands but has fallen in all other regions. While the vaccination programme continues at pace, it is critical everyone continues to follow the rules, stays at home, reduces contact with others and maintains social distancing – remembering hands, face, space. The main findings from the ninth REACT study show: • national prevalence fell by two thirds from 1.57% to 0.49% or 49 per 10,000 people infected, compared to the last REACT report from 6-22 January; • a halving time of 31 days for prevalence and an R number of 0.86; • when comparing the first half of the reporting period (4-12 February) to the second half (13-23 February) there were apparent falls in: North East from 0.80% to 0.58%, North West from 0.89% to 0.48%, East of England from 0.53% to 0.40% and South West from 0.27% to 0.19%, and no apparent change in Yorkshire and The Humber. There were apparent rises in London from 0.53% to 0.66%, South East from 0.33% to 0.39%, East Midlands from 0.50% to 0.69% and West Midlands from 0.34% to 0.39%; • prevalence fell by 50% across all age groups compared to the REACT report for 6-22 January; • a substantial reduction in prevalence, compared to the last REACT report from 6-22 January, among those who work in health and social care and among those with public facing roles, including delivery, trans-

port and hospitality. It was higher among those who worked in education, school, nursery or childcare at 0.73% compared to 0.46% in those who did not; and • prevalence was highest among Pakistani participants at 2.1% compared to white participants at 0.45% and Black participants at 0.83%. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is encouraging to see continued evidence of cases falling overall, and I want to thank everyone for sticking to the rules and supporting each other through this pandemic. “There is some cause for concern that our hard-won progress may be slowing down, and even reversing in some regions so it is important we remain vigilant – this is on all of us. “We have set out a cautious, but irreversible approach to easing restrictions but until we reach each milestone, we must all remember the virus is still here, and still dangerous. Please continue to stay at home – practice hands, face, space – and get your jab when you receive your invite so we can bring down infections further.” The vaccine programme continues to expand to protect as many people as possible, with over 20 million people vaccinated across the country. We are already seeing a significant impact of the vaccination programme on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, and it is vital people come forward for their vaccine when invited. Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said: “The fall in infections our study has observed since January demonstrates that national public health measures are working. But these new findings showing that some areas are experiencing apparent growth reinforce the need for everyone to continue to stick to the rules and help keep infections down. At this critical time, with lockdown soon to be eased, we need to make sure that our behaviours don’t risk a rise in infections which could prolong restrictions, which we all want to avoid.” Kelly Beaver, Managing Director- Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI said: “The 50% prevalence reduction across all age groups is very welcome and shows that we are making progress in fighting this pandem-

ic. The potential shallowing of the decline though reinforces the message that all of us must continue to stick to the measures which are in place for as long as is necessary so that we can stay on the path set out in the Prime Minister’s roadmap. Over the coming weeks and months as we hope to progress through the roadmap milestones, the REACT study will continue to be a critical data source aiding government understanding of the virus. Thanks to those participating in the study for their important contribution .” This report is the latest from the REACT study which was commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care and carried out by a world-class team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Ipsos MORI. Getting children back to school has been the top priority and is crucial to their education and wellbeing. While the report demonstrates prevalence is highest among those aged 13-17, there are generally low levels of transmission between younger aged children and overall, the risk of the virus to children is low. As schools open, the most vulnerable adults will have received the first dose of the vaccine and developed the necessary protection from it. With about a third of individuals with the virus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, targeted, regular testing of secondary school age children will mean more positive cases within households are found and prevented from entering schools and colleges, helping to keep educational settings safe. The findings provide further evidence that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted BAME communities. Vaccines are the best way to protect people from the virus and the government is working with faith and community leaders to provide advice and information about the benefits of vaccination and how their communities can get a vaccine. Targeted communications campaigns have helped reach BAME communities, with messaging published in over 600 publications, including those that have high proportions of ethnic minority readers, and in 13 languages, such as Punjabi and Urdu.


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PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

Peter Lilly Calls For State Backed Insurance To Prevent Need To Sell Homes To Pay For Social Care Former Conservative minister Peter Lilley has presented proposals to introduce a state-backed insurance company to allow homeowners to safeguard against having to sell their homes to pay for social care. Mr Lilley’s Solving the Social Care Dilemma? A Responsible Solution paper for the Civitas think tank calls for people to pay a one-off insurance premium of “about” £16,000 to a not-for-profit state guarantor. The former Social Security Secretary proposes that the company would offer everyone approaching state pension age the opportunity to take out insurance against the need to sell their home or other assets, to pay for social care if and when they meet the official conditions for such care. He recommends that ‘the cost of such insurance would be calculated to be sufficient to pay for such care, so the insurer would aim to operate at no cost to the taxpayer. People would be able to pay for it by a charge on their home which would be realised when they die and/or the home is sold. Typically, that charge would be a modest fraction of the value of any home.’ The proposals present an alternative to other plans which would ‘mean the taxpayer shouldering a larger share of the cost of social care to the benefit of those who are better off, while putting an increased burden

on council care budgets – which are already stretched to breaking point’. “They could not complain if, having rejected the opportunity to pay into the pool to pay for care for those who insure, they eventually find themselves paying for their own care from their own assets,” said Lilley. “Those who do pay the premium would be confident that they could leave their homes and other assets to their heirs – who would be able to look forward to such bequests with greater confidence,” he added. “The premium should reflect the value of the home/assets protected – so, those protecting a modest home would pay less than those with very valuable home,” he added. Even if those other plans were ‘affordable in the past’, Mr Lilley suggests, ‘it is clearly impossible postCovid, when the UK has a national debt exceeding its annual national income, a massive deficit to bring under control and a commitment to level up across society.’ Private insurance has been repeatedly considered as a potential way of spreading the cost and so avoiding the risk of losing one’s home to pay for long term care. However, it has been rebuffed since private insurers will not provide insurance because of uncertainties about government policy and future longevity, and there are concerns that the public may not contribute to such policies in addition to the normal outgoings such as pension and mortgage contributions. In the report Mr Lilley concludes that since the private sector will not provide such insurance policies, a publicly owned body should do so and allow people to pay for them, but not over their working life, instead by taking a charge on their homes, which would be paid out of their estate. The report can be found here https://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/SOCIAL-CARE.pdf

Kindness Postcards From Local Students Delight Residents Residents at a Lowestoft care home have been left delighted after receiving a flurry of kindness postcards from local students during the third lockdown. Pupils from East Coast College, a well-established further education college based in Lowestoft, created and sent the postcards, which included drawings, motivational quotes and heartfelt messages, to spread smiles at Wellbeing Care’s The Dell Care Home during isolation. Amongst the 30 handmade postcards were messages of reassurance, encouragement and appreciation, as well as wishes of sunshine and happiness for all. The students, aged 16-18, came up with the idea as part of a community action project designed to spread cheer and kindness at an otherwise difficult time. Having taken part in work experience at the care home before the pandemic and enjoyed bonding with the residents, the students chose The Dell to receive the postcards as a way of keeping in contact and showing residents how much they are cared for. Discussing the project, Carrie Doddington, a tutor at East Coast College, said: “The last 12 months have been difficult for everybody, but especially so for care home residents who have been unable to see their family for long periods. Our students wanted to do whatever they could to spread some smiles, so they came up with the postcard project, which we hope will help keep spirits high at The Dell.”

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Pupil Chloe Peters (aged 16), who came up with the idea, said: “The residents at The Dell are very special to us. We’ve been lucky enough to spend time with them in the past and they were always so welcoming and friendly; smiling, singing and offering to tell us stories about their lives. Although we can’t visit at the moment, we wanted them to know that they’re in our thoughts and we hope that by receiving one of our postcards, they’ll know how loved and appreciated they are”. Daniella Penedo, Assistant Manager of the Wellbeing Care Day Centre, said: “For the staff and pupils at East Coast College to think of us as recipients for their kindness postcards is wonderful. The residents have been blown away by the lovely gesture, and to know that someone has taken the time out of their day to send loving thoughts, has made them feel very special. We’re very grateful to East Coast College, as well as other members of the public, who’ve helped ensure our residents feel connected to the local community at this time of isolation.” Following the success of the postcards, students at East Coast College are now working on their next project, which will see them create a ‘Happy Memories’ jigsaw puzzle for residents to enjoy.

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 Our mission is to help the silver seniors to become more creative in the using 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 includes:, Moviefy 360 marker. Playing the 40 cards prompts seniors to write in their life journal. Website, 20 pictures flipbook photo album, 10 minute video, Life story flipbook with 4 paged Quiz. Visit https://storytellingforsilverseniors.com or Email: info@storytellingforsilverseniors.com Call Jean On +44 791 630 6888 today

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 www.globalartinternational.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 21

The Changing Risk Landscape for Care Providers and its Impact on Insurance It is common knowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has brought huge challenges to the UK care sector. The increased demand for care across all sectors and the change to the way in which it is delivered means operators have had to become more flexible and responsive. This has only been possible by the hard work and dedication of those working within the industry. Significant change have been experienced across all sectors of the care industry, but it’s only the elderly care sector that has seen a change in the insurance landscape as a direct result of COVID-19. There have been increases in the premiums required by insurers for many insurance packages as potential risk increases and appetite for the sector diminishes. We have taken a look at the challenges facing providers of elderly care in the UK and why these increased risks have had such an effect on the insurance market.

THE SITUATION

We know that at the beginning of the outbreak back in March, many companies operating care facilities were not included in vital government plans to provide suitable PPE, financial support and workforce planning. Many UK care homes in the elderly care sector struggled to control outbreaks within their facilities as COVID began to sweep across the country. By the very nature of the working conditions and relationships between patients, families and staff, it was easy for the virus to spread causing worry. PPE was a cause for concern; locating the right type and in the right quantities left many care providers without the right protection. Staffing has been challenging with vulnerable team members shielding, and isolating colleagues leaving a temporary gap in staff levels following a holiday or from exposure either inside or outside of the care home. But the biggest ongoing challenge facing elderly care home operators was and remains regular testing and speedy results. Testing is vital to stop the spread of infection and is the best weapon to keep it under control, until the approved vaccine programme is well underway. As restrictions change across the country on a regular basis, care providers have had to adapt and implement new ways of working. This constant change adds additional stress to the workforce and brings increased potential for something to go wrong. All of the issues above will have been closely moni-

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

INCREASED POTENTIAL RISKS – A CONCERN FOR INSURERS

Care facility proprietors will always put the care and wellbeing of their patients and residents at the heart of everything they do; reputations are built on the exceptional care that is delivered. We should remember that care home settings have always been open to potential risk. Claims can arise for a myriad of reasons, from a claim of medical malpractice to a claim under Employment Liability for an employee fall or injury, but COVID-19 has brought its own set of risks which have increased the potential for insurance claims. 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.”

INSURANCE ADVICE FOR PROVIDERS OF ELDERLY CARE

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 www.barnesinsurancebroker.co.uk

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

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


PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ®

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.

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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 sales@radnorhills.co.uk Radnor’s online shop https://www.radnorhills.co.uk/shop/ Radnor’s Amazon shop https://www.amazon.co.uk/Radnor-Hills/s?k=Radnor+Hills

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 www.yeomanshield.com 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

Management

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 www.win-health.com 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 www.cands-seating.co.uk 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 https://panodyne.eu.com/test-kits/


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 23

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 www.rawlins.co.uk/brands/germerase.html

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: sales@skopos.co.uk. www.skoposfabrics.com

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: https://tcfm.online/return-to-work-safely-with-covid19-decontamination-cleans/ or contact Nicola Heywood directly on: 07920 539 265


PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Please mention

when responding to adverts.

MAG Launches Ozone Generator Sheffcare Teams Up with Haigh 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 www.maglaundryequipment.co.uk or telephone 01422 244734.  See the advert on page 11 for details.

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 www.haighmed.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 25

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

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 www.barbel.net.

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 info@barbel.net 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 www.Portibac.com or call 03430 442 442

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


PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 27

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 info@onespray.com or 03400 577 148. Alternatively, you can visit their website at www.onespray.com

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 www.rentokil-initial.co.uk * 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] https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-how-is-it-transmitted [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. www.axaironline.co.uk sales@axair-fans.co.uk 01782 349439


PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

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 www.edge-protect.co.uk 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 www.bio-luminaire.co.uk or email more@bio-luminaire.co.uk or call us on 01376 331 515.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 31

CATERING FOR CARE Texture Modified Foods – Eating For Pleasure and Health

By Mandy Davies, Head of Nutrition & Dietetics at Elior UK (www.elior.co.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 ufs.com/knorrprofessional to find out more

*Aggregated UK wholesaler value sales 52 w/e 21st August 2020

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 www.CaterCloudCare.com


PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

CATERING FOR CARE

The Importance of Good Nutrition & Hydration for the Elderly By Dan Baker, a Content Writer that works with Consultus Care (www.consultuscare.com), a live-in care provider that works across the UK. great benefit as we get older. It is important that when caring for the elderly, you encourage them to continue to eat their regular meals and that you monitor their diet to ensure it is well balanced.

WHAT IS A WELL BALANCED DIET?

A healthy diet for everyone should include plenty of natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In addition, whole grains and protein should be part of your diet. It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and protein should come from lean meats and poultry, and dairy products should be low fat. The UK government’s recommendations for a balanced diet are depicted in the Eatwell Guide. Unfortunately, good nutrition also involves avoiding certain foods, such as those with high salt levels that can lead to high blood pressure. Watching your cholesterol and fat intake is also important for good nutrition. It is also important that you try and get the right mix of micronutrients into your diet. Micronutrients are essential in small amounts and include vitamins and minerals. A varied and balanced diet should provide you with all the vitamins and minerals that you need. With National Nutrition Month in March, and Nutrition and Hydration Week beginning on the 15th of March, there is no better time to look at the importance of good nutrition and hydration for the elderly. As we get older, it is more important than ever that we continue to control our food and nutrition intake to ensure we remain in good health. In fact, understanding good nutrition and paying attention to what we eat can help our bodies cope with ongoing illnesses or other healthcare problems.

WHAT IS GOOD NUTRITION?

Good nutrition plays a big part in our health, regardless of our age. After all, food is how we get fuel into our bodies through nutrients, which need to be replaced daily. This includes fats, carbohydrates and proteins. In addition, water is another important component of good nutrition. Eating the wrong foods or not enough food can result in malnutrition. While many people know that a combination of good nutrition and physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, there are several other benefits of good nutrition. Maintaining a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and can also help to prevent colds and infections, which can be far more serious to the elderly. In addition, good nutrition can help to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as increasing our energy levels, which can be of

SIGNS OF MALNUTRITION

There are some common signs of malnutrition to look out for when you are providing care for the elderly, such as: Sudden weight loss or weight gain. Feeling lethargic or tired. Muscle weakness or an increased number of falls. Sudden changes in behaviour, depression or memory loss. Constipation.

WHY IS GOOD HYDRATION IMPORTANT?

Around 60% of the human body is made up of water, which it uses for many vital processes. This is why it is so important that we hydrate ourselves regularly. It is recommended that adults consume around 2 litres of fluids a day and while your individual requirements can depend on your body size, age and environmental factors like activity levels, all adults should be aiming to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Good hydration is critical for maintaining several body functions, including the heart and brain. In addition, good hydration also helps to reduce the risk of a range of illnesses, such as UTIs, which can pose a significant risk to the elderly. In fact, the elderly are far more susceptible to dehydration if they struggle to recognise when they are thirsty or are unable to communicate their

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

needs, so it is important to keep a close eye on them and know the signs of dehydration.

HOW TO STAY HYDRATED It is recommended that adults drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. While water is the best option for rehydrating the body, it is possible to be hydrated by other drinks, such as juice, tea or milk. As people get older, they often have difficulty staying hydrated, whether this is a conscious effort due to worries around incontinence or the effort of going to the toilet, or if they become forgetful. However, it is important that we encourage the elderly to continue drinking as dehydration can actually exacerbate any existing conditions or cause new ones. If you work in a residential or nursing care home, it is important that you encourage the elderly to remain well-hydrated and to drink water regularly. It is always a good idea to have a glass of water within easy reach and to refill the drink regularly to prevent dehydration.

SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION There are some common signs and symptoms of dehydration you should look out for when caring for the elderly, including: Trouble passing urine, only passing urine infrequently or dark and concentrated urine. A drop in blood pressure resulting in dizziness, unbalanced or headaches. Muscle cramps. Change in mood or confusion. Constipation or UTIs.

SUMMARY In summary, as we get older it becomes more important than ever to eat a well-balanced diet and to maintain good nutrition and hydration. If you are providing care to the elderly in a residential or nursing care home, it is vital that you monitor what they are eating and drinking and encourage them to meet their daily required amounts. Helping the elderly to maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated can lessen the risk of developing chronic diseases and can help stave off colds and infections. In addition, keep an eye out for any signs or symptoms of malnutrition and dehydration.

• 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 www.allmanhall.co.uk/blog

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. 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, user-friendly 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

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: https://youtu.be/DxBvvI0J0Sw?utm_source=FoodSafetyManual&ut m_medium=Youtube

Click on the following link to access a free kitchen cleaning schedule: https://www.qcs.co.uk/kitchen-cleaning-schedule


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 37

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 info@forbes-professional.co.uk www.forbespro.co.uk

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 www..laundrytec.com

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

0151 317 3127

www.laundrytec.com

info@laundrytec.com

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Washer Extractors

Tumble Dryers

Cost Quality Service Design Innovation

Flatwork Ironers

Other Equipment


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

MEDICATION MANAGEMENT

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 www.omnicell.co.uk/products/emar

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 www.atlasemar.com 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. www.everylifetechnologies.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 41

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 https://info.deputy.com/

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 www.anentawaste.com or call 03301222143.

Turn To Tech To Relieve Pressure and Improve Experience By Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Moneypenny (www.moneypenny.com) those in need. Here, Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Head of Healthcare Sector at Moneypenny – the leading outsourced communications provider – explains how.

ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE

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.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 43

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".

THERE ARE MANY SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET WHY FACIAL RECOGNITION IS IMPORTANT AND

HOW IT WORKS

Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.

HOW IS DATA PROTECTED?

With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. For further information visit www.rcscare.net 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 www.mainteno.com, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email sales@redro.co.uk

Watch the short video at https://vimeo.com/425488696

web: www.mainteno.com email: sales@redro.co.uk

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 www.spirit-digital.co.uk, call 0800 881 5423 or email info@spirit-digital.co.uk


PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE

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

WHAT’S eLEARNING FOR YOU AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT?

While most eLearning platforms charge by the individual, eLearning for You, or eLFY for short, charges by the course or for an allocation of transferable user licenses. Crucially, this means that when a new carer replaces an outgoing one, they simply take on the leaving carer’s learning license, so you don’t need to pay again. That’s because we understand how the care sector works at the levels of senior management and the day-to-day, on the ground. eLFY’s founder, Rob Cousins, has operated his own care homes for over 17 years. Relatively soon after entering the care sector Rob saw the need for a more 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 www.theaccessgroup.com/hsc 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: www.pinpointlimited.com 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.

www.pinpointlimited.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 47

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 contact@sekoia.co.uk 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 www.carecontrolsystems.co.uk 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 info@care-vision.co.uk or call 0208 768 9809


PAGE 48 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION

The Ageing Population: Tackling the Challenge of Falls By Barak Katz, VP and GM Essence SmartCare (www.essencesmartcare.com) 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)https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545605/PHOF_Part_2.pdf (2) https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/03/falls-fracture.pdf


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 49

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.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

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

TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD

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.

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

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

www.edisontelecom.co.uk

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.


PAGE 50 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION

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 https://www.easylinkuk.co.uk/index.php?route=product/search&search=tumblecare 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.

TOUCHSAFE PRO DISPLAY PANEL

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 www.aidcall.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45 | PAGE 51

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION

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 www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert on this page.

PLEASE MENTION THE CARER WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISING

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


PAGE 52 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 45

PROFESSIONAL AND TRAINING

Boost Cashflow by Claiming Tax Allowances By Steven Bone, director and capital allowances specialist, Gateley Capitus (www.gateleyplc.com/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.

WHY HAS IMMIGRATION TO THE UK CHANGED?

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.

HOW WILL POINTS BE AWARDED?

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.

HEALTH AND CARE VISA

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 km@astonbrooke.co.uk. 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 www.meaningfulcarematters.com


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The Carer Digital - Issue #45  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

The Carer Digital - Issue #45  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

Profile for thecarer