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
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The Carer Digital
Care Sector “Was Never Shielded from Covid-19” say Providers
Revelations about the Government’s handling of social care settings during the Covid-19 crisis come as no surprise, care providers have said. Care providers have spoken out following allegations made by former government adviser Dominic Cummings. Facing questions about early decisions around care homes, at a hearing of the Commons Health and Social Care and Science and Technology committees, Mr Cummings said that claims the government put a protective shield around care homes at the start of the pandemic were "complete nonsense.”
He told MPs: "We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to care homes. We only subsequently found out that that hadn't happened. "The government rhetoric was we put a shield around care homes - it was complete nonsense. "Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them - we sent people with Covid back to the care homes."
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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Wonderful news this week that the UK recorded has no Covid deaths for the first time since the pandemic began.
According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics, death rates over the last three months, and the numbers of people being admitted to hospital and catching the virus have all gone steadily down. Add to that the increasing numbers of people getting their first and second doses of vaccines, which bodes well for the future.
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This is the often neglected side of residential care by mainstream media, which I have often found disappointing. Very quick to publish salacious stories, but not so quick to publish many “feelgood stories”, ones putting joy and fun into residents lives after a devastating year. sector news.
So much so we have decided to include yet another Unsung Hero award! Yes, our “no-frills glitz or glamour” award of a luxury hamper for somebody working in a residential/nursing care environment from any department who has gone the extra mile and deserves a bit of recognition! (See page 17). I would also draw your attention to our front-page story, which comes as no surprise to anybody. There is no doubt that the former government adviser Dominic Cummings’ evidence last week was “explosive”. There was no plan! We introduced this weekly digital edition right at the beginning of the pandemic and so far have published 55 weekly digital editions, and 7 Bi monthly printed editions, as well as daily updating our website with the latest
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Another sign that life that the sector may be beginning to return to normal is the increased number of wonderfully uplifting stories we are receiving at the moment!
Residents leaving their care environment to enjoy an outdoor trip for the first time in a year, another involving a care resident getting hundreds of centenary birthday cards from around the world, a visually impaired artist curating his own gallery in a care home, memory walks, a resident creating a library - all initiatives and activities putting joy intoresidents, families' and staff's lives!
I think I would have seen a plan during that time! Dominic Cummings is, from what I have seen, saying that the Health Secretary made an unconditional promise not to send potentially infected patients into care homes, which is the most serious allegation and one, I hasten to point out, that the Health Secretary has refuted. I do hope, however, that instead of ongoing public “spats”, with allegations being bandied about to “settle old scores”, that we will see the government’s response to the pandemic laid out in a formal and full independent inquiry. After which an immediate government mandate to reform the social care sector. COVID-19 has put adult social care firmly in the public, political and media spotlight, highlighting the vital value of social care to the wider public and this interest needs to be channelled in the debate about the future of care and support. Long-term reform is urgently needed and has been for decades, and the government has an ideal opportunity to learn from past mistakes and fund and reform the sector to ensure those mistakes are not made again and to do so at the earliest opportunity.
EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Shelly Roche Published by
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Care Sector “Was Never Shielded from Covid-19” say Providers (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Mr Cummings said the situation was made worse because care home staff did not always have adequate PPE or testing equipment. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was obvious from the start that the Government had no plan on how to look after the vulnerable when coronavirus struck and the sector suffered as a result. ICG Chair Mike Padgham: “Nothing that Mr Cummings has said comes as a surprise to care providers as it was very clear there was no plan for social care. The sector was ignored and suffered terribly as a result. “It was like being thrust into a wartime scenario with no clear plan of attack or survival. “The Government advice at first was to proceed as normal, but many care settings locked down much earlier than they were subsequently advised to. “After years of neglect and under-funding, care settings were exposed and vulnerable to something like coronavirus and the outcome was devastating.” Mr Cummings told the committees that they were told in No 10 that people would be tested before being sent back to care homes and they were told there was a shielding plan. Neither of those things was correct, he said. “It certainly should never have been the case that people were discharged into vulnerable care settings without being properly tested,” Mr
Padgham added. “It was chaotic, care settings were not protected or shielded and suffered terribly as a result. It is going to take the sector a long time to recover. The only glimmer of hope that we have is that this will ultimately lead to the long-awaited reform of social care that we have been promised for a generation. That must happen now to ensure the sector is not left in such a desperate and vulnerable position again.” Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum, said: “The total focus on protecting the NHS and the lack of support to the care sector had a very severe and devastating impact. The reality of how hard care homes and those who received care and support have been hit in this pandemic is sadly very evident for all to see.” Shadow social care minister, Liz Kendall, said the government was too slow to act to protect residents and staff. She said: "Over 30,000 care home residents have died of coronavirus during this pandemic, 25,000 elderly people were discharged from hospitals to care homes without any tests whatsoever, and frontline care workers were left without PPE. "As we emerge from this pandemic, ministers must put in place a plan to transform social care and ensure that care homes never again face a crisis of this scale." Natasha Curry, of the health think-tank the Nuffield Trust, said serious questions needed to be asked about the timing and effectiveness of
measures in place for social care. She said: "The government was reportedly warned as early as January last year that the care home sector in particular would be hit hard by what was known about the virus, yet routine testing, adequate PPE and a plan for the sector came much later. "Care homes were left often ill-prepared and sadly the extension of testing to social care staff and care home residents in late April came far too late to protect many of the most vulnerable." Responding to Dominic Cummings allegations Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted he told the Prime Minister people would be tested for coronavirus before being moved from hospitals to care homes “when we could do it”. Mr Hancock told a Downing Street briefing that it was not possible to test everyone being sent from hospitals into care homes at the start of the pandemic because the capacity was not available. “My recollection of events is that I committed to delivering that testing for people going from hospital into care homes when we could do it. “I then went away and built the testing capacity for all sorts of reasons and all sorts of uses, including this one, and then delivered on the commitment that I made.” Figures from the Office for National Statistics say that 32,154 people died from Covid-19 in care homes in England and Wales between 28th December 2019 and 14th May this year.
Government Halts Plans For Legislation On Care Staff Movement The government has decided not to progress with amending regulations to require care home provides to stop staff movement at this time. However, restricting the movement of staff between care settings remains essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in care homes. The plans were fiercely opposed by trade unions, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which felt staff were being scapegoated. Patricia Marquis acting RCN England director, said: “The Government’s climbdown is the right decision. “We warned last year that this move would have had a significant negative effect on social care staff who may have felt they were being scapegoated for spreading Covid-19 when in fact they are integral to safe and effective care measures to stop cross infection.
“There is a workforce crisis in social care and a ban would have compounded an already-difficult situation. “A ban would have undermined safe, person-centred care and punished unfairly diligent care home workers. “The Government needs to come up with a long-term plan for the health and social care workforce urgently.” The government has published updated guidance on restricting staff movement between care homes and other care settings. This guidance makes clear that routine staff movement should not be taking place. In those limited exceptional circumstances where staff movement is necessary to ensure the delivery of safe care, the guidance provides examples of how to mitigate the risks of this with frequent testing. In the consultation some respondents called for an increase in
staffing capacity instead of regulation to achieve the goal of reducing staff movement except in exceptional circumstances. We have recently announced £120 million of new funding to help local authorities to boost staffing levels. The purpose of this fundingis toenablelocal authorities to deliver measures to supplement and strengthen adult social care staff capacity to ensure that safe and continuous care is achieved. This includes supporting providers to restrict staff movement between care homes and other care settings by, for example, increasing the utility of the existing workforce by paying overtime or for childcare costs. More detail on this funding is available in the Workforce Capacity Fund guidance.
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What Is Preventing Gypsies and Travellers From Accessing Person-Centred Care? By Barry Price of QCS (www.qcs.co.uk) To mark Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2021, QCS’s Barry Price reveals the social care inequalities that Gypsies and Travellers face. In this, my first column for The Carer, I want to talk about a subject that is particularly close to my heart. I want to devote this piece to talking about the challenges that the Gypsy and Traveller communities face when accessing social care services. It's a subject that I am very passionate about - not just because I’m a professional carer - but I’m also proud of my Traveller family heritage. Having a unique insight into both worlds, you'd think it would be easy for me to outline the issues and provide solutions. But it is not that simple. Take a paper written by Avril Fuller and Sarah Sweeney, for instance. The study, which was published by ‘Friends, Families and Travellers’, a national charity, states that there are at least nine different groups. Each one is incredibly diverse and wide-ranging, comprising of different communities and ethnic groups – each with their own history, traditions and culture. Some Gypsies and Travellers are nomadic, others live on sites, but most – like me – are settled in houses or bungalows. However, despite the subtle cultural differences, Gypsy and Traveller communities are united by the fact that they often struggle to access health and care services. According to a 2011 Census, only 70 percent of Gypsy or Irish Travellers said that they were in good health.
ACCESSIBILITY OF SERVICES Accessibility of services is a huge problem for communities who travel. If a community bases itself in Kent for the summer months, for instance and then moves north for the winter, how does it access social care services? The care and support Travellers require does not move with them and I think portability of care would make a massive difference to those Gypsies and Travellers who choose to live a nomadic lifestyle. But, if we are really serious about tackling some of the inequalities that Gypsy and Travelling communities face, then the care sector must show a greater willingness to understand our way of life, our customs and traditions that define who we are as a people. The Care Quality Commission has made great strides in this respect. Over the last few years, it has recognised the importance and the need to address a lack of cultural understanding within care services. Take its 2016 paper entitled, ‘Gypsies and Travellers. A Different Ending: Addressing Inequalities in End of Life Care’, for instance. It states ‘a lack of cultural understanding’, an inability to understand cultural needs and ‘unequal access to services’ as the major challenges.
A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING Over the years, I have seen the challenges highlighted play out in care homes a number of times. On one occasion, an elderly gentleman from the Traveller community came to the care home that I was managing. His wife was in hospital and there was nobody to look after him. Living in bucolic settings all of his life, he had never lived in a house. At night when the doors in the care home were locked, he was incredibly anxious and stressed. Unfortunately, staff found it hard to communicate with him and did not understand his fears. It was only after we spoke to his family and friends that we began to understand his life history. From there, we were able to devise a support plan that put his cultural needs first. During the day, we ensured that he could go outside and work on the care home garden. We also let him build a fire, albeit under controlled conditions. In the end, the man was supported with a package of care for him and his wife to go home. But I think simply taking the time to understand his needs meant that he stayed at the home and received much better support, than if care workers had not made the effort to explore his life history.
HOW CHANGE CAN BE AFFECTED ON THE FRONT LINES I think that this example - and many others that I could mention – raise important questions. The big question is if the CQC is publishing advice and guidance on how to overcome cultural barriers, why does it not appear to be filtering down to the front lines? There are no easy answers to this question, and in some respects the social care sector finds itself stuck in a vicious circle. Why? Well, a sizeable number of the Gypsy and Travelling community tend to only access social care services as a last resort. Firstly, let’s explore some of the reason behind this. On the rare occasions that it happens, many Travellers in homes cannot understand why they can't visit their loved ones as and when they choose. Moreover, many communities, which are exceptionally close-knit and matriarchal in their make-up, don't understand why their loved one can only receive limited visitors, and why they can't bring in home cooked own food into the home. Culture, Relationships, Religion and spirituality also play a central role in the lives of many Travelling groups, and while worship is openly encouraged in care homes, it may seem strange to some that not everyone in the home places the same importance on religion as they do. Finally, as the CQC document points out, when a person in the Travelling community dies, our culture dictates that the body be released for burial quickly. Sadly, when a member of the Travelling community passes away in hospital or in a care home, this doesn’t always happen.
BREAKING A VICIOUS CIRCLE And the vicious circle? With very few people from the Gypsy and Travelling community choosing to access care services, it is difficult for care staff to learn about the culture, to understand it and to create bespoke person-centred care plans. How can you do so when you have never met or cared for someone in the Travelling community? For many care professionals, the lives of Gypsies and Travellers remain an enigma. Their lives are esoteric and arcane. One way of raising awareness is through funding. But with so few members of the Travelling community using care homes, those who hold the purse strings may take the view that it is not worth funnelling money into a body of research where there isn’t a perception of need. But it is a fundamental mistake to think in this way. With the care and health sector likely to form a much closer union after Covid, we must invest more money, time and effort into awareness and educational programmes, which care workers and members of the Travelling community can access.
THE POWER OF CONTENT At Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards, we believe that having access to a set of pre-assessment communication tools could make a big difference. There are lots of words, phrases and vocabulary, which are unique to the Travelling culture that care workers simply won’t understand. Being able to do so, however, would, in my opinion, make a huge difference to the travelling community and might raise levels of engagement. Secondly, the care sector needs to work harder to create activities and care plans, which are specifically designed to draw out cultural, spiritual, social, personal and life history. Most of all, we must make it easier for Travelling communities to access person-centred primary, secondary and social care services on their terms. There are many examples of social care providers and GP practices who have succeeded in this respect. How have they done so? Well, it's not rocket science. They have reached out to Travelling and Gypsy communities and established good relationships, which in turn have helped them to adapt services to the needs of specific groups. Maybe it’s time more of us in the care sector followed suit. Barry Price is a Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs. Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) is a leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector. If you wish to find out more about QCS, why not contact QCS’s compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org?
Health Secretary Celebrates Success and Identifies Lessons of Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Six Months On Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock will celebrate the success of the largest vaccination programme in British history in a speech today (Wednesday 2 June). Speaking in Oxford - the beating heart of scientific brilliance in fighting COVID-19 and home to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine - the Health Secretary will praise the ‘extraordinary vaccine heroes’ who have worked tirelessly to administer more than 65 million total vaccines across the UK. It is expected that three quarters of adults in the UK will receive their first dose by today (Wednesday). He will reflect on crucial decisions that were made early in the vaccination programme and how the UK drew on the best talent from across the civil service, NHS, armed forces and private sector to build the ‘finest team’ and the ‘single greatest asset’ to turn the tide on the pandemic. The speech will praise the phenomenal dedication of the public to get their jabs, with data published by YouGov showing the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated. ONS data published on 6 May found that more than 9 in 10 (93%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine. The speech - taking place at the Jenner Institute in Oxford at 2.25pm
ahead of the UK-hosted G7 Health Ministers’ Meetings this week - will focus on four major lessons learned during the pandemic including start early; draw on your strengths; take and manage risks and back the team.
administrations, and local councils everywhere and we called upon the logistical heft of the British Armed Forces to help get them in arms.”
TAKE AND MANAGE RISKS
The Health Secretary is expected to say:“Even before the first COVID-19 case arrived in the UK we’d started the work on how to develop, procure and roll out the vaccines that would ultimately make us safe. “I was told a vaccine had never been developed against any human coronavirus. We dared to believe … and we started early. We put out a call for research in February. By March, we were supporting six different projects, including the Oxford vaccine, alongside the vital work on treatments - including the RECOVERY trial, which led to the discovery of dexamethasone, the first proven treatment to reduce coronavirus mortality. These two projects, together, have already saved over a million lives.”
The Health Secretary is expected to say:“The biggest risk would have been the failure to find a vaccine at all. So we explicitly embraced risk early on. So we backed lots of horses and invested at risk. “And instead of sitting back and waiting to see which vaccines came off, we were tenacious in helping them to get over the line, drawing on the abundant industry experience in our team. “We helped to bring together Oxford and AstraZeneca and bring them to the table, a partnership which has been a lifeline, not just here, but in the developing world. We offered funding for the early manufacture of the vaccines, before we knew whether they would work and we backed manufacturing plants too. Like funding the Valneva facility in Livingston and sending a team to help the Halix plant in the Netherlands to scale up.”
DRAW ON YOUR STRENGTHS
BACK THE TEAM
The Health Secretary is expected to say:“First, we have a universal healthcare system with a trusted brand, our NHS. The NHS has performed with distinction throughout this pandemic, and it has deserved every plaudit that has come its way. “Next, we massively benefited from our scientific strength. Over centuries, we have built one of the greatest scientific capabilities in the world, and we must always support it. “One of our greatest strengths is the strength of our Union. We negotiated and bought vaccines for the whole country, we allocated them according to need and we worked with the NHS, devolved
The Health Secretary is expected to say:“We had to move fast, embrace change and learn quickly from our mistakes and bring the best people to the table - the finest team that I’ve ever been part of. “A perfect example of this is our Vaccine Taskforce. Last April, we worked to pull together a team with all the different disciplines that we needed, in one place, with one mission. And this diverse team, diverse in background and perspectives, helped us to create one of the most diverse vaccine portfolios in the world. “The team who worked on our vaccination programme was the single greatest asset that we had in this crisis.”
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Neglect Of Care Can’t Go Unchallenged Health Secretary Matt Hancock or PM Boris Johnson MUST resign if the Government
“It is true that people were discharged into homes without Covid-19 tests and that is
fails to deliver urgent, root and branch reform of social care during their term in office,
a scandal. It is also a scandal that 1.5m people cannot get the care they need and £8bn
providers said this week.
has been cut from social care budgets since 2010. “Government after government has promised to reform social care but betrayed
As the row over the testing of patients discharged into care homes during the pan-
those 1.5m people again and again. It can be little surprise that the care of our most vul-
demic rumbles on, the care provider organisation, the Independent Care Group (ICG), says it is time the Government was held accountable for years of neglect of social care
nerable was in crisis long before Covid-19 struck. It was not in a position to deal with
that have led to the current crisis.
this terrible pandemic.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham: “It seems unlikely that any heads will roll over the issue of people being discharged into care homes without Covid-19 tests, but the years of neglect that left social care in crisis and vulnerable to something like coronavirus cannot go
“Those years of neglect cannot go on any longer. We must hold the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister accountable for what happens next. “They must be forced to promise social care reform within this parliament on resign if they fail to deliver again.”
unchallenged any longer.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics say that 32,154 people died from Covid-
“More than 30,000 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 between December 2019 and now. Every loss has been a human tragedy – a parent, a brother, a
19 in care homes in England and Wales between 28th December 2019 and 14th May
sister, an aunt, an uncle or a friend.
Let’s Stick To The Facts-NCF Responds To PHE Report Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum responds to the Report issued by Public Health England (PHE) analysing the link between hospital discharges and outbreaks in care homes. Vic Rayner said: “The National Care Forum represents many care providers across the country who lived through the experiences that have been the centre of much of the discussions in recent days. “The PHE Report delivers an unhelpful analysis of data that provides at best a partial picture and at worst an unrecognisable representation of the impact that hospital discharge in the absence of testing had on the most vulnerable members of our society. The data attempts to almost completely absolve the discharge programme from ‘seeding’ outbreaks within homes by presenting a set of data as complete, when in fact it was fundamentally flawed because of the very limitations of the testing regime in both hospitals and care homes. “The Report draws its analysis from testing carried out in hospital, which at the time was both extremely limited and only concentrated on symptomatic patients. It also looks at the outcome of testing carried out in care homes as part of the local PHE teams testing for outbreaks. Again this approach to testing was very limited, with local teams only
required to test up to (and in practice often less than) 5 symptomatic resident in any care home, with the outcome of that needing only 2 positive tests to declare an outbreak. At that point no further testing of residents was carried out for 28 days. This meant that firstly residents discharged to care homes were not in any way guaranteed to be part of the testing regime in care homes, and secondly that anyone who had acquired COVID within hospital and was asymptomatic would not have been picked up within this testing regime. These are points of fact. “To take this partial data and use it to assert that the lack of testing of those leaving hospital and entering care homes was a relatively small factor in the ‘seeding’ of outbreaks within homes runs the risk of rewriting an element of history to suit a current narrative. In reality the low level of testing for symptomatic patients or residents, and the complete absence of testing for asymptomatic people can only mean that we do not, and probably will never know, the extent of the damage that the practice of discharge without testing delivered. It is one more example that shows social care was not front and centre of all government thinking, yet the people that it serves should have been. It was clear from the start that they were most at risk from the devastating impact of this virus.”
WE NOW SUPPLY A WIDE RANGE OF FURNITURE
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How A Career In Nursing Can Lead To A Successful Career In Coaching with Compassion By Graeme McKinnon, CEO, and founder of Why Leadership (www.whyleadership.co.uk) The notion of ‘coaching with compassion’ hinges on leaders making a strong positive connection with those around them. Using your emotional intelligence is important, to tune into others’ needs and helping them change in ways that are aligned to their personal vision and dreams. This form of coaching requires the coach to take a holistic view, empathising and acting on the things that are important to the coachee. This approach can be transformative, leading to a dramatic, positive effect on their motivation, performance and wellbeing. In much the same way as doctors or nurses connect on a human level with patients, teachers with pupils and parents with children, coaching with compassion focuses on helping people change because they want to change, not because they are being forced to. Connecting in this way has the power to unlock a positive response and a deep-seated sustainable level of self-motivation. Delivered effectively, coaching with compassion can help people from all walks of life including leaders, teams, individuals, and organisations, to establish a clear sense of purpose (your WHY) and a caring supportive environment, to accelerate personal and organisational growth. There are five must-haves from a career in nursing that can also lead to a successful career in coaching. These are: • Trust – the ability to build a relationship so that people feel you can be relied upon and confident that you will always put their best interests first • Empathy - the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from their frame of reference
• Emotional intelligence - the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you • Positive Mindset - an attitude and state that results in optimism about the future, underpinned with a natural ability to turn challenging situations into opportunities for growth • Resilience - the capacity to recover quickly from difficult situations with competence, confidence and control, particularly when the challenge seems insurmountable in the first instance.
These attributes and skills can really help every member of a multi-disciplinary team within the care sector. Creating a coaching culture and teaching people how to coach with compassion is therefore a huge opportunity, both for those providing care as well as those receiving care. When you coach with compassion, it creates opportunities to change organisational culture by allowing leaders to cascade the benefits of the coaching they have received down to their direct reports, who in turn can coach their own teams and so on. This often results in looking at other HR practices and internal communication platforms to see how coaching benefits can be shared with a wider audience. Coaching with compassion will lead to sustainable change, reducing stress and improving feelings of wellbeing. It can also invoke a psychological state that enables a person to be open to new possibilities and learning. In contrast, coaching for compliance, or performance coaching, often results in a negative response, invoking an unhelpful state. This often results in the person being coached acting in a defensive way, resulting in a lack of buy in to delivering sustainable change. A career in nursing usually leads to a strong desire to help other people. When someone from the sector moves into business, they will naturally find themselves in a position where coaching and leadership work comes with the same level of compassion. The good news is that these skills are transferable, which open us a whole host of opportunities, both within the care sector as well as any other organisation that relies on people to deliver a service.
Decline in COVID Deaths Reassuring But We Must Not Rush to Finish Line The UK has announced zero daily Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020. The latest figures also reported another 3,165 new cases, compared with 3,383 on Monday and 2,493 one week ago. The death rate has been steadily falling, between Weeks 19 and 20, the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in care homes (5 fewer), hospitals (30 fewer) and private homes (9 fewer). There were 4 deaths in other locations, the same as in Week 19. Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals fell to 1.6% in Week 20 (2.2% in Week 19). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 1.1% of all deaths in care homes, an decrease from Week 19 (1.3%). Commenting on the latest mortality figures published by the ONS, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "The fall in the number of deaths from COVID-19 is reassuring – but the race is not yet won, and it is
imperative these figures do not change direction. The evidence shows rising infections associated with COVID-19 variants, which is particularly concerning as some people have not yet had their first or second vaccinations. Given predictions of a summer wave of infections, the government must now use all available data to consider carefully whether 21 June is the right date for lifting all restrictions. "It is of real concern that cases are climbing quickly, and our members are increasingly worried that this will lead to more hospital admissions. The more people with COVID-19, the more impact there will be on recovering other services – including the huge backlog of elective treatment. "If this roadmap is truly to lead us to recovery, the government must consider all options, including slowing the pace of lifting the last elements of lockdown. We have come a long way, thanks to public adherence to restrictions and to the vaccination programme, but slow and steady will win this race – rushing to the finish line could backfire."
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CQC Launches New Strategy Regulation Driven By People’s Experiences of Care The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched an ambitious new strategy based on extensive consultation with the public, providers of health and social care services, charities and partner organisations. CQC’s purpose of ensuring high-quality, safe care won’t change, but how it works to achieve this will. The new strategy is set out under four themes: • People and communities: regulation that is driven by people’s needs and experiences, focusing on what is important to them as they access, use and move between services. • Smarter regulation: a more dynamic and flexible approach that provides up-to-date and high-quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with CQC, and a more proportionate regulatory response. • Safety through learning: an unremitting focus on safety, requiring a culture across health and care that enables people to speak up and in this way share learning and improvement opportunities. • Accelerating improvement: encouraging health and care services, and local systems, to access support to help improve the quality of care where it’s needed most. Running through each of these themes are two core ambitions: • Assessing local systems: giving the public independent assurance about the quality of care in their area • Tackling inequalities in health and care: pushing for equality of access, experiences and outcomes from services. At the heart of this strategy is how CQC will work to make a positive impact on the experiences of everyone who receives care, while regulating in a targeted way, which supports services to improve and prioritise safety. One fundamental change is that CQC will assess how well local health and care systems are working and addressing local challenges. This is likely to be underpinned by legislation in the forthcoming Health
and Social Care Bill. The strategy also recognises that effective regulation to improve the quality of care depends on people’s feedback and experiences. The regulator will develop more ways to gather views from a wider range of people, including those working in health and social care, and improve how this is recorded, analysed and used consistently. This will make it easier to quickly identify changes in the quality of care, both good and bad. CQC will make it easier for people, their families and advocates to give feedback about their care and will provide a response on how this is used to inform regulation. This will include specifically engaging with people who are disadvantaged, have had distressing or traumatic experiences, and those who are more likely to experience poor outcomes or inequalities. CQC will increase scrutiny of how providers encourage and enable people to feed back and how they act on this to improve their service. The strategy also sets out how innovative analysis, artificial intelligence and data science techniques will be used by CQC to support proportionate decisions based on the best information available – ensuring that it will be ready to act quickly and tailor regulation to individual circumstances. Another major change is the way in which CQC will provide information on quality, including ratings, so that these are more relevant, up to date, and meaningful. This will support people to make informed decisions and be confident that the information provided fully reflects the quality of care available to them and their loved ones. While on-site inspections will remain a vital part of regulation, CQC
will move away from a set schedule of inspections to a more flexible, targeted approach using a range of regulatory methods, tools and techniques to assess quality and ensure an up-to-date picture. Peter Wyman, Chair at the Care Quality Commission said; “Health and social care services are about people. Where people are not experiencing high quality care in a way that works for them and their individual needs, we must work together to change it. This is what our new strategy is about. “The world of health and social care has changed dramatically since CQC was established over a decade ago as an independent regulator – not least in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our new strategy responds to these changes, setting out a plan to deliver regulation that better meets the needs of everyone using health and care services, driving improvement where it is needed and supporting those who work in and lead services to deliver the best possible care.” Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive at the Care Quality Commission said; ““Our purpose has never been clearer. In our assessments we will ensure that services actively take into account people’s rights and their unique perspectives on what matters to them. We will use our powers proportionately and act quickly where improvement is needed, whilst also ensuring we shine a positive light on the majority of providers who are setting high standards and delivering great care. “This is not a static strategy – we will continue working with others to understand any further improvements required as we implement these changes, to make sure we are protecting people, and with others, driving change.”
Local Care Home ‘Climbs Mountains’ for Its Residents Activities Coordinator, Natalie Smith and her son Olly (9) are attempting to climb Mount Snowdon on July 10th 2021, to raise funds for the resident's social fund at The Old Vicarage Care Home, Clay Cross. Natalie works as part of the designated activities teams and wants to enhance the already dynamic activities and social program, by raising money, her aim is to increase the number of tailored outings, activities, and entertainment which are purposefully designed to be meaningful to each individual resident already living with dementia at The Old Vicarage. “We already have our ‘Make a Wish’ program where we try to fulfil at least one resident’s wish every month but since the start of the covid pandemic we had to cease and fundraising became difficult but now we are able to start going out again, we really want
to make it extra special,” said Natalie. “It seems like such a way up and I can’t believe they are doing this for us, we already have so much” said Mona resident at the Old Vicarage. Climbing Snowdon is an excellent challenge; all you need is a sprinkling of enthusiasm and a dash of determination. At 1085m above sea level, with a 970m Ascent, it is the highest mountain in England and Wales and a total 9 miles round trip. A challenge indeed! “I have no doubt Natalie and Olly will be successful, she is a determined team member and is always doing the very best for our residents making it a superb place to live or work. Good Luck Natalie” said Maria Hallam, Home Manager at the Old Vicarage Care Home
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Essential Immigration Update For Social Care Providers By Mike Thomson, litigation executive in the Employment and Social Care teams at Royds Withy King (www.roydswithyking.com.)
The UK’s new immigration regime and access to overseas workers is a key concern for care providers, says Royds Withy King’s Mike Thomson.
NEW VISA ROUTE FOR SENIOR CARE WORKERS On 6 April 2021, the role of ‘Senior Care Worker was added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), which reduces the requirements for recruiting migrants from overseas into the role. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which advises the government on UK immigration policy, recommended that a number of care sector roles be added to the SOL to combat the recruitment challenges in the sector caused by Brexit and the removal of the freedom of movement of EEA workers. It has taken over six months, but the role of Senior Care Worker has now been added to the SOL.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PROVIDERS IN TERMS OF SALARY AND
The minimum salary is now £20,480 per annum or 80% of the going rate for the role, whichever is higher. The going rate for the role is £16,900 per annum based on a 39-hour week and 80% of that salary is £13,520. The minimum amount a Senior Care Worker can be paid is therefore £20,480 as this is higher than 80% of the going rate. Due to the lower going rate for the role, you could offer contracts with more than 39 hours per week and reduce the hourly rate until the salary either meets £20,480 or the current National Minimum Wage depending on the age of the migrant. Helpfully, there is no clear definition of a Senior Care Worker, so you have some scope to be quite creative with the duties required. Unhelpfully, the salary must be at least £20,480 regardless of how many hours the employee works, so there is very limited scope for recruiting part-time workers. It is important to note that the worker will need to actually be working the number of hours that they are contracted to work and the duties need to clearly relate to a Senior Care Worker as opposed to a Care Worker (which isn’t an eligible role). You will need to demonstrate this to the Home Office in the event of a compliance visit. For example, it is unlikely that you will be able to legitimately employ a migrant as a Senior Care Worker that has no prior experience working in care. The individual will need to demonstrate that they undertake more senior duties, such as delegating work, organisation and supervision of more junior members of the team and taking the lead on more complex clients and/or procedures. The difference between the two roles will depend on the circumstances of the particular provider, but it is very important that there is a clear distinction between the two. Adding Senior Care Workers to the SOL is unlikely to address the endemic issues with recruitment into the sector, but it at least gives you
Bringing Dance Into Care Homes With the vaccination programme proceeding as planned across the country, care homes are finally able to offer themed nights and entertainment programmes inviting external performers again. Engaging with music, dance and food from different cultures is a great way to stir conversation, create bonding experiences and offer new and unusual perspectives. According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence, dance has positive effects on residents’ mood and increases levels of trust towards carers. Of course, it’s also good for physical health. Dancing makes people feel happy, and while many people feel shy about dancing in front of their peers in their younger years, research has shown that with age often comes less inhibition. Dancing doesn’t need to be athletic exercise
that is hard on joints or overly challenging on stamina. Above anything else, it’s fun movement to music, and that can be executed at any age and any mobility level. Even tapping the foot or nodding the head to the beat of the music has been shown to improve mood and lift the spirit. Dance can be incorporated into everyday life in care homes in many different ways, from regular classes to one-off workshops and entertainment. Regular classes increase fitness and strength, build community cohesion and offer opportunities for socialising over a shared interest. Oneoff workshops and entertainment create special occasions encouraging residents to dress up, be creative and feel special. Especially themed entertainment days offer plenty of ways for everyone to join in according to their interests, from crafting decorations to
another option to consider. If you already have a sponsor licence and would like further guidance on recruiting Senior Care Workers, please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help.
RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS The government has announced that the measures that were in place due to Covid-19 will remain in place until 20 June (rather than 16 May as originally planned). This means that right to work checks can be completed virtually over video and scanned documents can be verified instead of original documents being inspected in person. In order to complete a valid right to work check, you should review the individual’s identity documents (passport/biometric residence permit) in their presence to verify that they are who they say they are. Normally this needs to be conducted face-to-face and the checker is required to verify that the document looks genuine. However, due to the pandemic this can be carried out over a video call. Employers will not be required to carry out a physical check once the position reverts back. If you fail to carry out a proper Right to Work Check you could be liable to a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker plus criminal sanctions. You could also have your sponsor licence revoked.
EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME The EU Settlement Scheme is due to close on 30 June, at which point EEA nationals will no longer be able to use their passports as valid identification for a right to work check. From 1 July EEA nationals will be required to demonstrate that they have leave to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme and to have a biometric residence permit. Employees will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme themselves using the online service. Employers should send communications out to staff to remind those that need to apply to do so, and that if they don’t they may lose their right to work in the UK. sewing costumes, and from creating and cooking an out-of-the-ordinary menu to engaging with a foreign culture through its music and dance. Expert entertainers can share their craft in an extravagant performance and then involve residents in a dance class, which can be tailored to the mobility needs and previous dance experience of the residents. This type of entertainment can even mimic the benefits of memory therapy. How the session is delivered matters more than what dance style is presented. The show and session need to be delivered with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. The performer needs to have a high degree of sensitivity for the individual residents’ varying needs for attention and support. The space the activity is held in needs to allow for people to step into the foreground if they wish to, but also to retreat. Performers will often bring props that make their dance style approachable and fun to engage with. They will be able to not just deliver their dance session, but also to make it accessible by chatting about their culture, the costumes and music to the residents. Altogether, they will create a memorable experience that can be captured and live on in photos. The benefits of a smiling face, physical movement and the joy of music can’t be underestimated and giving dance a central role in care homes is finding ever more support through research and in day-today experience.
Retirees Buckle Up for First Day Trip in More Than a Year Fun-loving pensioners who missed out on more than a year of weekly excursions and bus trips enjoyed their first outing to The Three Bridges in Queensferry. Like many other care homes, Cramond Residence had to put its most popular activities, days trips and excursions, on hold due to the pandemic, which has meant most residents have not ventured further than the garden grounds for more than 14 months. Dedicated staff were delighted when they were given the green light to resume all of their interactive activities and compiled a list of the top pursuit’s residents wanted to see and do – the first being a scenic day out. Four residents hit the road for a day out to The Three Bridges in Queensferry to take in the beautiful sights and views. The day out was split between two groups, with two residents in the car at a time to maintain social distancing. Four residents hit the road, meaning there were only two residents in the car at a time to ensure social distancing remained, for a day out to The Three Bridges in Queensferry. Morna, an 88-year-old resident at the plush care home, said: “It was a fantastic day out, and made for a nice trip down memory lane visiting places we’ve been before. “It’s so nice to be back in the community and making up for lost time over the past year – our day trips are always such a laugh, and it was nice to experience something new out of the home again. We’re already looking forward to our next trip out to Cramond beach for World Ocean’s Day. “Staff are always up for hearing what we’d like to do and where we’d like to go, and we are never stuck for ideas, so I think the list will be never ending!” Residents who took part enjoyed simply watching the world go by after such
a long period spent indoors with less opportunities for socialisation. This short trip was fulfilling and helped individuals reconnect with outside world. Throughout lockdown, the upmarket care home laid on ‘The Grand Tour of Scotland’, which saw pensioners visit some of Scotland’s best visitor attractions from the comfort of their armchairs as part of a programme of virtual tours – including Glenkinchie Distillery and Surgeons Hall. Part of the home’s main aim is to provide a rich activity programme for residents, which is now able to return. Lisa Sohn, Head Lifestyle Co-Ordinator at Cramond Residence, at the 74-bedroom care home, said: “Being able to get our residents back out into the community and revisiting some of their favourite spots has been long-awaited and something everyone in the home has been looking forward to. “Getting out for a scenic drive has always been an activity residents have loved, so when it was announced that we were able to resume, everyone was thrilled and we now have a huge list of places to go! “Our first trip was to the Three Bridges in Queensferry as this was highly requested, it was the first time many had left the home grounds in a year, and the first outing for our minibus in a long time! "We always find that day trips are a hugely beneficial way to keep our residents mobile and active whilst doing something they enjoy in the fresh air. “After a long period of winter weather, we are extremely keen to kickstart our outdoor activities where everyone can reconnect, after having to make the most of the smaller group living units for the past few months. “There is no better feeling than seeing our residents interact with one another, get excited for their trips out, and revisit places they’ve loved in the past – we’re already planning our next few outings.”
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Older People Left At “Continued Risk” Says R&RA The Relatives & Residents Association has expressed disappointment and despair at the Care Quality Commission’s abdication of responsibility which, it says has left older people in care at continued risk. In a letter exchange with the CQC, the charity had set out how older people needing care have been badly let down by the regulator: ‘during the most difficult period in generations and with a human rights crisis unfolding in care, CQC retreated to the side-lines’. The letter was accompanied by a number of examples from the R&RA Helpline of the ongoing human rights infringements faced by those living in care, still facing isolation. The response from the CQC is an unacceptable abdication of responsibility. It fails to acknowledge the devastating impact the past 14 months have had on older people in care, a group they exist to represent. It ignores R&RA’s main call for CQC to take a proactive role in monitoring compliance with visiting guidance. It
misses the point entirely about CQC’s vital role in upholding minimum legal standards and rights which seem to have been superseded by the vagaries of non-statutory guidance. Sadly, the letter from CQC reads more like a defence statement to a future public inquiry. Instead, this should have been CQC’s crucial opportunity to step up and use their powers to protect the rights and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people who need their regulator now more than ever. Judy Downey, chair of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “CQC’s abdication of responsibility has left far too many people in care homes without any scrutiny or oversight. We continue to hear about those who feel abandoned in a strange and frightening world of masks and gowns and distancing and have given up. Many of their basic human rights continue to be ignored. CQC exists to uphold legal standards and ensure that people receive safe, effective and high-quality care above all else. In the present crisis, people coming to the end of their lives need the regulator’s scrutiny more than ever. On behalf of the people we represent, including those without families or friends, we urge CQC to make this expectation a reality.”
Care Resident Receives 400 Birthday Cards From Around The World As She Celebrates Her 100th Birthday A Southport Great Grandmother who served her country during World War Two has been showered with kindness as she celebrated her 100 birthday today. Connell Court resident Agnes Kelly celebrated her 100th Birthday on 27th May 2021. As a surprise for the day, Agnes’s daughter Margaret McMullen posted on Facebook requesting 100 cards for mum’s birthday. With 160 shares so far, more than 400 cards have been received from all over the world! Margaret , Agnes daughter ‘’We asked for cards to be sent to make the day special as due to Covid we aren’t allowed to celebrate in any great numbers. I would like to say a huge thank you to all who sent a card or a letter from near and far including New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Gibraltar, The Isle of Man, Kenya, USA, Canada and elsewhere. It was most appreciated, and it restores my faith in humanity. The kindness in strangers indeed’’ On 27th May, 1921, Agnes was born in Liverpool and was the eldest of four. Sadly, she is the only surviving sibling. Left school at 14. Worked in a variety of places the main one being Freeman’s, Wavertree Rd, Edge Hill.
During the war she was a teleprinter in the ATS. Her postings were wide including Bournemouth, Howarth, Chester and finally the Cotton Exchange in Liverpool. Agnes met her husband, Edward Kelly, at a tea dance at St Dunstan’s in Liverpool. He was Scottish but they lived in Liverpool before moving to Ainsdale 35 yrs ago. Married for 63 yrs before he died in 2012. Agnes has four children plus in-laws, 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. The latest great grand children were born during lockdowns and are named for their grandchildren grandparents. Little Agnes lives in London, little Edward(Ted) is in Ainsdale. Covid restrictions mean she hasn’t been able to give them a cuddle for over a year! Agnes celebrated her milestone birthday with a family visit at Connell Court, along with an outdoor visit to Rose Tea Rooms in the afternoon. Home manager , Anna Harvey said: ‘Agnes is a ray of sunshine at Connell Court, she is always smiling and cheerful.
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Prime Minister ‘Misled By Health Secretary’ On Patient Covid Tests Says Former Advisor Former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has laid the blame firmly at the door of Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock for the crisis that enveloped care homes during the pandemic Former chief advisor to the Prime Minister Dominic Cummings has claimed Boris Johnson was misled by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Covid testing of discharged hospital patients to care homes. Addressing a parliamentary inquiry into the pandemic, Mr Cummings claimed Prime Minister Boris Johnson was misled by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Covid testing of discharged hospital patients to care homes, saying that Mr Hancock gave personal assurances to the Prime Minister in March that hospital patients would be tested before they went into care homes. In May last year, Mr Hancock claimed the government had “tried to throw a protective ring round our care homes”, despite the fact that thousands of care home residents had already died of Covid and care homes were told on 2 April to accept Covid-19 patients discharged from hospital. Data released by NHS England last summer revealed that 25,060 people were discharged from hospital into care homes between 17
March and 16 April prior to guidance requiring patients to have a Covid19 test before discharge. “Hancock told us in the cabinet room that people were going to be tested before they went back to care homes,” said Cummings. “We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to care homes, we only subsequently found out that that hadn’t happened,” he added. Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been around 42,000 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales. Cummings said Hancock’s rhetoric that the government had thrown a “protective ring” around care homes “right from the start” of the pandemic was “complete nonsense”. “Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them, we sent people with Covid back to the care homes,” he added. Mr Cummings said the situation was made worse because care home staff did not always have adequate PPE or testing equipment. Nadra Ahmed, of the National Care Association, said Dominic Cummings’ remarks about care homes were disappointing.
She told the PA news agency: “It is with great sadness that listening to Mr Cummings, it emerges that our initial thoughts and the evidence that was around us was right – that there was no shield around care homes, there was no thought on the impact on the vulnerable people that we care for.” Jeremy Hunt, Chairman of the health select committee, and former heath secretary called the claims “very serious allegations said under parliamentary privilege” and told Mr Cummings to provide evidence of his claims before Mr Hancock appears in front of MPs in a fortnight. Shadow social care minister Liz Kendall said: “Mr Cummings’ comments have revealed what we knew all along – that the Government’s ‘protective shield’ around care homes during this pandemic did not exist.” Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG): added: “Nothing that Mr Cummings has said today comes as a surprise to care providers as it was very clear there was no plan for social care. The sector was ignored and suffered terribly as a result. “It was like being thrust into a wartime scenario with no clear plan of attack or survival.”
Oakland Care Launches New Michelin-Star Inspired Menus Oakland Care has launched a new set of signature-style menus in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Tim Allen. The new menus are being rolled out across each of their six care homes in the south of England. Tim has worked closely with Spiros Ragavelas, Oakland Care’s Executive Chef, to develop a set of menus unique to the luxury care home provider. The new dishes make use of fresh produce and fine-dining techniques normally reserved for Michelin-starred restaurants to provide exceptional dishes for the residents at Oakland Care’s care homes. Once the menus had been curated, Allen joined Spiros and Oakland Care’s chefs at a training session where they were walked through the menus and given instructions on how to prepare them. The session at Lambwood Heights care home was well received by the chefs, who were able to develop their own skills under the coaching of Tim. Having never before worked with a care home, Tim was challenged with adapting his techniques and knowledge to the environment of a care home kitchen. He was previously the head chef at Launceston’s Place in London which won a Michelin Star under his leadership, and went onto work at the Wild Rabbit in Kingham which also earnt a coveted Michelin Star. Tim’s Flitch of Bacon restaurant
in Essex also won the area’s only Michelin star in the last 25 years. Speaking of the new menus, Tim Allen said: “Working with Oakland Care has been a new and rewarding experience for me. With no prior knowledge of what care home dining teams can deliver, I didn’t know what to expect when I started this journey with Spiros and his team. However, I was thrilled to see the dedication and ability displayed by Oakland Care’s chefs, who have shown that anything is possible if you have the right attitude. “What will stay with me is the unique environment that has been created at Oakland Care. Every team member I spoke too was enthused by their roles and they have established a family environment that was a delight to be around.” Spiros Ragavelas added: “Working with Tim has been an immensely rewarding experience. His expertise has raised the bar of what is possible within care home dining and it has been a privilege to have worked so closely with a world-renowned chef. “As part of the training session, we tasked our chefs to a ‘cook-off’ where they each prepared dishes from the new menu for our Directors. They relished this opportunity and will take the learnings from this session forward as they bring these special dishes to the plates of each of their care home’s residents.”
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Legislation Should Ensure Covid-19 Health Status Certificates Are Only Used During The Pandemic, Study Argues Lawmakers around the world should include “sunset clauses” in legislation to ensure Covid-19 health status certificates are only used during the pandemic, a new study says. Safeguards should be in place to guarantee against the risks posed to people’s privacy and human rights by new measures such as vaccine passports, according to the study. Governments should also ensure Covid-19 tests are affordable or free to avoid unlawful discrimination against those who cannot be vaccinated or will likely not be vaccinated soon. The study urges policymakers to carefully consider when and how to adopt Covid-19 certificates. It proposes a framework to help them determine whether to implement them, and if so, how this should be done. The framework considers three essential elements: (1) the context of deployment of these certificates; (2) the impact on rights and freedoms; and (3) the necessary safeguards in place. Dr Ana Beduschi, from the University of Exeter Law School, who authored the study, said: “There is no “one size fits all” solution for Covid-19 certificates that would be equally appropriate in all countries or even in all sectors of the economy. “While we are seeing a consensus being formed about requiring Covid-19 health status certificates for international travel, the domestic uses of these certificates are not straightforward. “On a spectrum, some situations may justify an obligation to display Covid-19 health status – for instance, to visit relatives in care homes and hospitals, where doing so may well be necessary to protect the health of vulnerable individuals.
Anna Chaplaincy: Here To Help! Anna Chaplaincy began just over 11 years ago with one person - the former broadcaster Debbie Thrower, in Alton in Hampshire. Now, it’s a rapidly growing, widely respected nationwide ministry with Anna Chaplains and people in equivalent roles, in places as diverse as Orkney and Cornwall, south Wales and the Scottish highlands, Cumbria and Kent, Cheltenham and Newcastle. The purpose of Anna Chaplaincy – named after
the widow, Anna, in the Bible – is to offer spiritual care for older people and their carers, to advocate on their behalf and to champion their contribution to the wider community. As Debbie Thrower explains: "Our vision is to see an Anna Chaplain in every small- and medium-sized community in the country, and for the Anna Chaplain name to become synonymous with spiritual care for older people." Anna Chaplains work closely with care home managers and staff and carry out a wide range of activities in care homes and in the wider community. In normal times, being an Anna Chaplain involves visiting older people wherever they may be living, meeting one-to-one, hearing life-stories, taking services and home communion, drinking tea, praying, making music or simply holding someone’s hand in
“By contrast, there are increasing concerns about the equity of requiring Covid19 health status certificates for access to restaurants, shops and other private venues.” The study highlights that the degree, nature, and duration of the interference with people’s rights need to be considered. The study, produced as part of research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)’s rapid response to Covid-19, highlights how Covid-19 health status certificates providers will still have to comply with the GDPR principles. It says maintaining the confidentiality of health data should be paramount. Health data, such Covid-19 test results and vaccination records, must be processed in a manner that complies with the requirements of security and confidentiality, preventing any unauthorised access, accidental loss, damage or destruction of the data (Article 5-1 (f) GDPR). Providers should carry out data protection impact assessments before any large-scale deployment of these certificates. Dr Beduschi said: “The technological solutions adopted during the current pandemic will have a lasting impact on our societies. A variety of initiatives to develop and deploy Covid-19 health status certificates are currently underway. However, it is not sufficient to develop technical solutions for the verification of people’s health status. Because technologies do not evolve in a legal vacuum, the existing laws and regulations must be respected. The risks of implementing such technologies must be anticipated and mitigated as much as possible before any large-scale deployment.” companionable silence. They also offer pastoral support to front-line care home staff. But for Anna Chaplains, as for everyone else, these have been far from normal times. They haven’t been able to go into care homes or make home visits for months but, ever creative and adaptable, they’ve switched to Zoom and FaceTime, window visits, telephone calls, handwritten notes and individual gift bags of tea and cake. Former nurse, Sally Rees, was ordained priest and commissioned as Anna Chaplaincy Lead for Wales, in a small socially distanced but very special service at Brecon Cathedral late last September. "I’ve been part of the Anna Chaplaincy network from the very first gathering,’ she says, ‘so I’ve been witness to Anna Chaplaincy growing. "Lockdown has been very difficult for Anna Chaplains, their teams, and the people for whom we care. But in this time when we can’t ‘do’, our praying for people is no small thing – praying is never a small thing, but in these times I really do believe our
goal is to do that deeper prayer, which protects and holds and keeps." As the whole area of social care, and support for the older members of our communities, moves centre stage as a result of the pandemic, (The Carer 12.04.21), Anna Chaplains are uniquely placed to share their wisdom and experience with practitioners and policy-makers alike. Increasingly, team leaders Debbie Thrower and Julia Burton-Jones are consulted by government, church leaders and academics and there is an increasing demand for Anna Chaplaincy training and resources. In an indication of the growing regard for the work of Anna Chaplaincy, Debbie Thrower was honoured to lead a special service on BBC Radio 4 to commemorate the 125,000 people who lost their lives in the first year of pandemic. For more information go to www.annachaplaincy.org.uk. Anna Chaplaincy is a ministry of the charity BRF. For more information go to www.brf.org.
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Transform Care With Less Words and More Action On the 10th anniversary of the Winterbourne View scandal, Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), said: “The Winterbourne View scandal exposed the horrific abuse of people with learning disabilities and / or autism that took place at the Winterbourne View assessment and treatment unit (ATU) in 2011. “At the time, the government responded with promises to transform care for people with learning disabilities and / or autism. Ten years on and there are still more than 2,000 people with a learning disability and /or autism detained in ATUs and the all-to-regular exposes about abusive practices demonstrates how little progress has been made. This is simply unacceptable. It is clear that the government’s various programmes to deal with this has been ineffective and shows a clear need for less words and more action towards genuine transformation of care and support. “That thousands of people remain in these types of institutions, and for some people this has been over many years, is a national scandal – in what other circumstances can a British citizen be detained indefinitely by the state, without a trial? Secluded institutional care has never been appropriate, and
there are community-based solutions that enable people to draw on care and support to improve outcomes and experiences. “On the day of this sombre anniversary, VODG calls on the government to commit to the follow action: • that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care direct the Care Quality Commission to rate all assessment and treatment units as ‘Requiring Improvement’ if any person has been living there for more than 12 months. The rating should be downgraded to ‘Inadequate’ if anyone has been living there for more than 24 months and all new admissions halted until the rating has improved. • that HM Treasury establish a community development fund of £400m over four years to pump prime the development of community facilities. • that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care require the National Audit Office to publish an annual report to be presented to parliament on the progress of Transforming Care. “If the government is truly committed to protecting and transforming the lives of people who are in the most vulnerable of circumstances, then it must put an end to this human rights scandal and instead do the right thing and significantly reduce its reliance on institutional ATUs.”
Hertfordshire Care Home Builds Library For Residents Following Great Take-Up In Reading During Lockdowns A Hertfordshire care home has turned a new page with the opening of a library within its grounds following popular demand from residents – who used books as a way to boost positive wellbeing and mental stimulation throughout the nation’s lockdowns. Located in the new activities room at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, resident bookworms can now pick a novel from the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that stretches across the entire room. The popularity of reading at the family-run home has also led to the launch of a library club, where residents and staff alike can enjoy losing themselves in a diverse selection of titles. The club will aim to promote uplifts in mood, improved concentration and better long and short-term memory. Other benefits include reduced levels of agitation, while enhancing connectedness amongst residents by taking part in reading groups. Whether it is contemporary biographies, thoughtful non-fiction, standard novels or an array of historical yarns, residents have already gained an insight into the world view of others through the groups, which are inclusive to all members including those with dementia. The club will also enable staff to gain insights into their residents’ lives and interests, while family members can also join in the fun, being brought closer together through literature. Neeti Gandecha, of Foxholes Care Home, said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone connected with Foxholes, particularly for our residents who had their regular programme of activities restricted during the height of the lockdowns. Books and reading groups proved to be a great distraction and after having become so popular, we decided to build our very own floor-to-ceiling library for the residents.
“They can now independently find something to occupy their time with, whether it be the articulate tales of Charles Dickens, or an autobiography recounting the lives of sporting greats – there is a little something for everyone.” The launch of the new library and its resulting club inspired one resident at the Pirton Road home to write his own book, depicting the colourful events from his life. 79-year-old Hilmar Warenius, said: “I’m writing a book on my memories of growing up in Cornwall, going to the University of Cambridge, then to London as a medical student, before qualifying as a doctor. It also covers how I met my wife and obtained my PHD, before moving to Newcastle and finally going on to be a professor in Liverpool.” “The primary reason I wanted to write a book was for my children and grandchildren, who will be able to read it later. When I started to write, I found there were so many interesting things to cover, mainly the drastic change in the way medicine has been practised, even in what I view as my short life.” Fellow resident 88-year-old Roy Ketchell will help maintain the library and its books. He said: “I enjoy organisation. My favourite books are biographies. I enjoyed Seve Ballesteros’ autobiography as I also used to play golf. Tommy Cooper was another enjoyable read.” There has even been a large section of the library dedicated to local Hitchin history, which has been interesting for residents who grew up in the area to look back on.
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5 Ways IDD Therapy Can Help Older People With Their Unresolved Sciatica By Richard Hughes, MCSP, Clinical Director of Physio at the Lodge Ltd in Nantwich, Cheshire. less able to replenish nutrients to keep themselves healthy. This weakens them over time, it becomes easier to injure them and their ability to recover is also impaired.
Sciatica becomes more common as we age. This does not mean, however, that older people should accept it as a part of life! So, what can they do to tackle unresolved sciatica? Most bouts of back pain are short lived and a lot of issues are referred to as ‘non-specific low back pain’, meaning it is difficult to ascribe the symptoms to a specific structure. The body typically deals well with these issues and recovery is just a matter of time. Over the course of a week or two the pain typically subsides, movement becomes easier, and we reach a point where we ask ourselves “what back pain?!” However, when back pain persists, is reluctant to settle and then the symptoms are felt in the legs as sciatica, it may be the case that discbased pathology is at fault. This is where IDD (‘Intervertebral Differential Dynamics’) Therapy non-surgical spinal decompression can help people without them having to be dependent on pain medication just to get through the day. Back pain is complex issue with many causes. Whilst there can be severe causes of back pain, such as a bone fracture, many problems arise due to chronic exposure to certain loads and/or positions, such as sitting for long periods of time. Sometimes people can trace their back pain to a traumatic event, or the pain can come on as the end point of a gradual deterioration of strength and flexibility. In a situation where structures have been weakened over time, a simple movement can be the triggering mechanism - the veritable straw that broke the camel’s back. However, an awkward or unexpected movement can be the trigger and result in a slipped disc. It is also worth noting that the terminology of a slipped disc, a herniated disc or a disc prolapse all relate to the same issue and are not three separate conditions. The intervertebral disc is a curious structure; it is a pressurised spacer that sits between the bony vertebrae in your spine. In the centre of the disc is a pressurised sphere with a consistency not dissimilar to toothpaste. The job of the discs is to keep the vertebrae away from each other, ensuring that the nerves that branch off from the spinal cord have sufficient space to move freely and not become compressed or ‘trapped’. There is no blood in the discs, they rely on the exchange of fluid and nutrients that flow from the adjacent vertebrae. Movement and loading are therefore hugely important in maintaining the health of these amazing structures. The disc is a tremendously strong structure, but as with most things it is open to abuse and deterioration. The soft tissues including the muscles and ligaments which are packed around our spines all play a vital role. The difficulty is that the spine sometimes needs to be a flexible structure that allows us to move, whereas at other times, such as carrying a load, it needs to be a rigid beam and maintain its form. When these abilities are used inappropriately, or when movement becomes restricted, or activity levels decrease, these structures are
‘Sciatica’ is a condition where symptoms are felt in the distribution of the sciatic nerve. There are a number of nerve roots that exit the low back and come together to form the sciatic nerve, which is about as thick as your index finger and travels through your buttock and down the back of your leg. If the discs become weakened or if too much force is exerted on them from certain twisting or awkward bending for example, the wall of the discs can bulge. A disc bulge, or disc herniation, where the walls of the disc are pushed outwards can put pressure on these nerves exiting the spinal cord. Pressure on, or inflammatory irritation of, the sciatic nerve from a bulging or herniated disc can cause intense pain travelling down the buttocks and legs. It can be a constant dull ache or feel like jolts of electricity. When people suffer with sciatica, it can follow them around as an unwelcome companion.
HOW TO RELIEVE SCIATICA It is well documented that many people have disc-based issues including disc herniations apparent on their MRI scan, yet they remain symptom free. The body is very adept at managing these processes. Think of them as running repairs; after all the spine is a living structure. Inflammation has to be present to a degree at certain points because that is how the body fixes these issues. When pain strikes, the body will do the only thing it can, namely, strongly contract muscles in that region to lock it down. This spasm is completely normal and prevents further movement. The reason for this spasm is simple and primitive; when in pain the spasm will afford us some ability to hobble off to a safe place to lick our wounds and start the recovery process. Physical therapy which combines hands-on treatment with stretches and strengthening exercises for the back, core muscles and the body as a whole, serves to improve the function of the spine and facilitate the body to heal. Gradually the pain will subside.
UNRESOLVED SCIATICA The challenge arises when despite best efforts, the pain persists. When treatment is not working it can be frustrating. At this stage IDD Therapy non-surgical spinal decompression is used within the treatment programme. IDD Therapy is delivered using an advanced machine called the ACCU SPINA which delivers a specific pulling force to the relevant area of the spine. Patients lie comfortably on a treatment couch and are connected to it with ergonomic harnesses around the hips and upper body. IDD Therapy was developed to address the shortcomings of traditional traction. Using physics and computer technology, IDD Therapy gives therapists a tool to take pressure off targeted spinal segments and at the same time gently mobilise soft tissues to make them more flexible and thus encourage the body’s natural healing mechanisms to operate.
1. TREATING TARGETED SPINAL SEGMENTS As the patient lies on the ACCU SPINA table, the harnesses are connected, and the parameters of the treatment are put into the computer, and the treatment can commence. The ACCU SPINA applies a specific gentle pull via a belt attached to the pelvic harness. The angle at which the force is applied will determine where the pull will be focussed. This makes it possible to direct the pull to the segments which are most problematic. The pulling force is brought on slowly and this opens the space between two vertebrae, thus taking pressure off the disc. As the space is opened, the ACCU SPINA then gently oscillates the force, that is, whilst maintaining a degree of tension, the force is brought on and off
partially and this serves to work the tissues, whilst exposing the disc to a pumping type of motion that stimulates the passage of nutrients. Patients remain on the ACCU SPINA for twenty five minutes during which time a series of cycles of pulling force are applied to decompress the disc and importantly, work the tissues around the joint.
2. CONTROLLED HIGHER DECOMPRESSION FORCES A key benefit of IDD Therapy is that the amount of force which is applied is far greater than can be applied with hands-on treatment, especially for the amount of time needed to bring about the change in the tissues. The forces used in IDD Therapy are built up to and over half a patient’s body weight. Whilst the treatment forces are in pounds, if we consider someone who weighs 70kg or 11 stone, half of that weight is 35kg. This is a considerable weight to lift comfortably, let alone to be able to apply such force at a specific area of the spine.
3. STRUCTURED PROGRAMME OF CARE Patients have a programme of up to 20 sessions over a six-to-eight week period. This is different from a traditional model of physical therapy where patients are given four-to-six treatments. However, when pain persists and a condition has built up over time, it takes time for tissues to adapt, become more conditioned and improve function for long term pain relief. The programme of care is necessary to bring about lasting change to relieve pain. At the same time as a patient has treatment on the ACCU SPINA, therapists use manual therapy to work on specific areas and, of course, exercises are given to strengthen the supporting muscles so that normal activities can be resumed.
4. RELIEVE PRESSURE ON THE SCIATIC NERVE During IDD Therapy, pressure is taken off the disc. With some patients, the reduced pressure can allow the body to retract the disc bulge and, in some cases, the pain from pressure on the nerve can disappear quite quickly. Typically, however it does take more time as the body adapts to the treatment and function is improved. As mobility increases and the spinal structures are better able to move, the body’s natural healing mechanisms can operate more efficiently. Patients can sleep better and this in turn helps healing. It should be noted that there are times when a disc bulge may not appear to have changed over time and yet the pain is no longer present. We do not understand all of the body’s mechanisms and there are many factors which combine to cause pain. By addressing the whole area with IDD Therapy, hands on treatment and exercise, therapists have far greater ability to resolve persistent sciatica from a disc bulge.
5. CREATING A PLATFORM FOR LONG TERM ACTIVITY Many elderly people in pain are caught in a vicious cycle. The level of stiffness and pain make it very difficult to move and can lead to an avoidance mentality, where people are afraid of the consequences of moving. As we have seen, the body needs movement and the longer pain persists, the harder it can become to move and of course, our motivation to move decreases. By breaking this cycle, older people can learn to have confidence in their ability to move and then go on and commit to some physical exercise to further both their physical and psychological recovery towards a pain free life again. Of course, for some patients a condition may not fully resolve but achieving a level of pain reduction and improved mobility can still be life changing. As therapists the non-invasive treatment route is always preferable where possible, allowing for the reality that some conditions need to be addressed through the skills of a surgeon. For more information on IDD Therapy: Web: http://iddtherapy.co.uk/ Facebook: IDD Therapy Europe Twitter: https://twitter.com/IDDTherapyDisc
New Transparent Face Mask Shields Your Smile, Without Hiding It! Newly launched Smile Shield has a transparent panel to aid communication, whilst offering medical grade protection, and meeting all elements of the government’s Transparent Face Mask Specification. Smile Shield has also over 98% bacterial filtration efficiency, is breathable, splash proof and hypoallergenic. It is a British invention, created by two founders Jennifer and Lisa, who also own TAD medical, known for its range of medical supplies, already widely used by hospitals, educational facilities and the emergency Services. Jennifer Soboslay, Founder of Smile Shield comments: “Visual facial expression is a huge benefit to many industries, as communication is so important to us all, especially a smile, which can change the sentiment of the information being shared or be
encouraging without words. The Smile Shield allows lip reading, visible facial expressions, and a clearer understanding and connection between people to take place.” The Smile Shield™ can also be used as a surgical mask. The clear front panel makes the mouth visible, which is especially important for those caring for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a learning disability, or suffer with autism or dementia. Soboslay, adds: “We saw a gap in the market for a medical grade mask with a clear panel, that can be used by healthcare providers.” Hypoallergenic and latex free, the Smile Shield mask is comfortable to wear and offers over 98% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. For more information about Smile Shield, please visit: www.smileshieldmask.com.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 15
A Third of UK Jobseekers Considering a Career in Social Care, as Public Opinion Improves After Covid-19 Applications to social care jobs have increased as a report from the Work Foundation and Totaljobs finds that the pandemic has significantly improved people’s perceptions of working in the sector. The comprehensive study shows that a new-found appreciation for carers could help improve the sector’s longstanding worker shortage, with 31% of UK jobseekers considering a job in the sector. However, it finds there is a risk that the sector will continue to be characterised by high levels of staff churn, with one in seven (14%) current social care workers actively looking for a new role outside the industry as it faces new challenges.
MOVING INTO CARE Data from Totaljobs shows the number of applications to social care roles increased by 39% YoY (Jan-Mar 2020 vs Jan-Mar 2021). Alongside this, social care vacancies advertised on Totaljobs are up by 17% across the same period. Younger candidates are most likely to be planning to pursue careers in care, with one in four (25%) 16–25-year-olds expecting to pursue a career in the sector in the near future. More generally, 17% of all jobseekers confirmed that they are likely to move into the sector in the near future. Analysis of Totaljobs data from 15,248 candidates across 5 major social care organisations shows that 56% of those moving into social care roles had come from a different sector in the last two years. 19% of those moving into the sector came from customer service, retail and sales backgrounds, whilst 7% moved from catering, utilising key transferrable skills. 52% of people in the UK say their view of social care work has become more positive following the pandemic, with a quarter (26%) noting that Clap for Carers impacted their opinion. Only 16% of people said
government recruitment campaigns shaped their view of the sector.
HISTORIC ISSUES WITHIN THE SECTOR WORSENED BY THE PANDEMIC The report also highlights the extent to which the pandemic has impacted care workers’ wellbeing. Only 48% of respondents to the carers survey stated that their mental health was good or very good over the past two weeks, in comparison with 60% in early 2020. When asked about their experience of working in the last year, twofifths of social care workers (41%) reported an increased workload during the pandemic, and almost one third (30%) had to make up hours for colleagues who were self-isolating. The pressure the pandemic placed on the social care sector also resulted in 19% of staff not being able to take annual leave to maintain the staff numbers needed over the last year.
RETENTION OF STAFF REMAINS A CHALLENGE For those currently looking to leave the sector, half (51%) flag that higher pay is a key motivation, followed by not feeling valued by their current employer (50%), the need for a less stressful working environment (46%) and a lack progression routes in their current role (42%). When asked what would encourage them to stay in the care sector, a manageable workload is one key factor. Nearly half (49%) of respondents currently looking to leave said that having enough staff to cover the work needed would motivate them to stay. Social carers also note that feeling valued by their employer (55%) and opportunities for career progression (40%) would make them more likely to continue a career in care. Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs comments: “Social care providers can make the most of this new interest by consciously tackling misconceptions of the industry and speaking to the needs of young people in particular. Highlighting the training opportunities and range of qualifications
on offer to people pursuing a role in care will also help employers to hire staff who see care as a long-term career path.” “Our research also shows the undeniable pride that social carers have for their work, something that they want to see tangibly reflected by their employers. How a social care provider can make their staff feel valued will be unique to their workforce, whether it’s clearer progression opportunities, stronger relationships between carers and managers, or broader wellbeing support. Now is an opportunity to engage with staff and foster a people-first working culture where every social carer can thrive.” Ben Harrison, Director at The Work Foundation explains: “For too long poor pay, limited options for progression and challenging working conditions have driven significant staff shortages and high levels of churn. “This new Work Foundation and Totaljobs research highlights the window of opportunity we now have to tackle these issues, as more people than ever – including higher numbers of young people – are looking at social care as a viable career option. “We must therefore seize this moment to strengthen and support the sector. The Government made a welcome commitment in its 2019 manifesto to deliver long-term reform for social care. As it does so in the months to come, this has to involve a sustainable funding programme, alongside a comprehensive workforce strategy that engages directly with providers and workers alike, and puts issues like pay, progression and workforce wellbeing at its heart.” The new report ‘Social care: a guide to attracting and retaining a thriving workforce is available to download here. Totaljobs and The Work Foundation will host a webinar session on 8th June 2021 to discuss the findings – please register interest in attending at https://bit.ly/3wQNLKa
Covid Death Rate In Scottish Care Homes Higher In Larger Homes Coronavirus death rates in Scotland’s care homes were six times higher in larger facilities, according to a report. Figures from the Care Inspectorate have revealed that fatalities rose from 2.1 deaths per 100 places in facilities with up to 20 places to 12.6 deaths per 100 places in those with 80 or more places. Scottish care homes located in the most populated areas had higher rates of Covid-related deaths than those in the most remote areas. The regulator’s data also showed a death rate of 11.6 per 100 places in large urban areas compared with 3.7 per 100 places in remote small towns. “A spokesman for the public body said: “We know from our inspections and our experience of the pandemic that the relationship between the quality of care experienced by people in care homes and the
impact of Covid is complex. “We know that any care service can be affected by Covid and that residents of care homes were, tragically, particularly vulnerable to the virus. “We also know that the quality of care experienced by residents did not necessarily provide an indicator of the risks in relation to the virus.” The spokesman added the data indicated there “may be relationships between a high number of deaths related to Covid and size of service and geographical location”. The Care Inspectorate figures also showed 59 per cent of care homes for older adults reported at least one Covid-related death up to March 2021. Private sector care homes had a higher rate of recording at least one Covid death.
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Using Technology To Reduce Stress In Social Care Settings By Jonathan Papworth, Co-founder and director of Person Centred Software (www.personcentredsoftware.com)
According to The Health Foundation, as we start to take stock of the unprecedented ramifications of the pandemic and make the initial steps towards recovery, evidence is emerging about the detrimental mental health impacts on UK health and social care staff; an estimated 3 million-strong workforce. For instance, half of the 1,000 care workers surveyed across the UK by IPPR/YouGov in April reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research showed those aged between 18 to 34 years were hardest hit, with 71 per cent reporting a worsening in their mental health. Put simply, stress is one of the most detrimental impacts in health and social care today. Looking at social care, in particular, care providers are finding themselves under immense pressure. They need to do a lot more than they would normally, to deliver the same quality of care as pre-pandemic. On top of this, they don’t have the luxury of having any extra time, with the build-up of workload being a key stress trigger for staff.
Infection control precautions, such as wiping down surfaces and engaging with families who can’t see their loved ones remotely, are just a few of the time-consuming tasks social care workers have had to add to their already heavy workloads over the past year or so. Then there are the residents who are isolating and in need of more time and care than those who aren’t. On top of everything else, care providers have had to complete new data entry forms for the government, such as the capacity tracker. This intense time pressure doesn’t even take into account the staff who have had to take on the workload of fellow colleagues who have had to isolate themselves. These unhealthy and unsustainable levels of stress have made staff wellness a key focus in 2021. Care providers must do what they can to reduce the work burden on their staff without compromising the quality of care. With last month (April) being Stress Awareness Month and staff wellness being more crucial than ever before, we wanted to give attention to the concerning aforementioned statistics and explore sustainable technological solutions that can help reduce them in the years ahead. There’s already digital care technology out there, for example, that can save three days a month on administrative tasks. Some technology solutions are well-documented for their ability to reduce stress amongst staff by simplifying tasks and freeing up more time to provide direct care to residents, whilst enhancing communication and facilitating wider teamwork. Certain technologies on the market also offer more openness and transparency. For instance, the need for video calling between family and residents has been paramount throughout the pandemic, and care technology has enabled that social interaction, thereby reducing the burden of staff having to constantly answer phone calls from concerned family members. Staff wellness is important at all times, but especially when people are under stress, and this is where technology can make an instrumental difference. Our Mobile Care Monitoring system, for instance, allows staff to seamlessly plan, record and monitor the care of residents digitally in real-time. The mobile digital care system helps to reduce the time it would take
to physically transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing information is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access. Some recent case studies on care homes utilising digital care technology include Wren Hall, a specialist dementia care nursing home in Nottinghamshire. Its owner, Anita Astle, believes the implementation of digital care technology has enabled her staff to spend more time focusing on caring for the people they are there to support. “In a world where time is so precious, the technology has proved to be a powerful tool,” she said during a recent webinar looking at the future of care homes. During the same webinar, Andrew and Carole Geach, CEOs of Shedfield Lodge, a residential care home near Southampton, believed digital care technology was key to ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for staff. The couple said: “It’s about educating the staff on what you’re implementing and how it’s going to be of better use to them. We want to allow them to spend more time with the residents, which predominantly is what it’s all about.” As we head further into 2021 and further out of the pandemic, care providers across the health and social care sectors must look towards technology to empower staff to utilise their time efficiently and productively. At present, we find ourselves in a privileged position, whereby we have care technology at our disposal that can significantly help to improve the quality of life for people in social care, including reducing stress among staff. Ultimately, if we are to reduce workplace stress and make the industry a healthier, happier place to work, then the adoption of technology is a necessary step to achieving such a utopia. Jonathan Papworth is the co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, a market-leading digital care technology pioneer. Founded to help to improve the quality of life for people in social care, Person Centred Software has become an award-winning global company with over 2,000 care homes in the UK alone using their digital care system.
Visually Impaired Artist Curates Care Home Gallery Prolific sketcher, Michael Perfect, whose drawings ‘reflect his mood’, has recently taken over the walls of the care home where he lives, creating a gallery to display his works of art. Looking through the artwork produced by Michael, who lives at Farnham Common House – one of The Fremantle Trust’s care homes, you get a sense that this is the work of a seasoned artist. And you’d be right. Michael has been sketching for over 60 years. There are countless pages of artwork, all beautifully sketched in pencil and marked with his signature. The sheer number of sketches is quite remarkable, but what makes this story even more impressive, is the fact that Michael is living with dementia, is severely visually impaired and is registered blind. Detailed shading and intricate details are all drawn from memory with such impressive skill. A skill that Michael has honed since he was a very young boy. Michael said: “My parents were very protective of me because of my limited sight and I wasn’t able to do too much. So I picked up my colouring pencils and started drawing and I haven’t stopped since.” When asked about his inspiration and desire to draw, Michael explains: “Sketching helps to ease frustration. For me, my sketches are like mood drawings and I find that the sketches reflect how I’m feeling at the time.” One of four siblings, Michael grew up in Loudwater, High Wycombe. He
attended a mainstream school, but had very little support so left with limited qualifications. In his early twenties, Michael went on to study at a school for the partially sighted in London, where he was able to catch up. The school, located close to London Zoo meant that Michael was able to visit and provided inspiration for his sketches, many of which have a distinctly feline theme and feature a variety of ‘Big Cats’. He recently moved to Farnham Common house where Harry Dennis, Lifestyle & Wellbeing Support Worker spotted his incredible artistic talent. Harry commented: “I noticed that Michael would spend hours and hours sketching, so asked to take a look at his artwork and was blown away by not only the number of drawings, but the quality of them. Whilst Michael’s vision is so limited, the level of detail and techniques used are really impressive. I felt that it was only right to create a display of Michael’s work and so together, we selected some of his favourites and created a gallery on our staircase here at Farnham Common House.” Michael’s artwork now takes pride of place at the foot of the stairs in the care home for all to admire. And based on the rate that Michael is sketching, Harry and the team will need to find more space very soon! https://www.fremantletrust.org/ https://www.fremantletrust.org/farnham-common-house
Psychiatrists Urge Action in Preparation for New Dementia Treatments 36% of Psychiatrists think their services would be ready to deliver a new dementia treatment in a year. Research published by Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Royal College of Psychiatrists has highlighted significant gaps in support and resources that need to be addressed so that old age psychiatrists can effectively diagnose people with Alzheimer’s disease and deliver future treatments. Dementia, most commonly causes by Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the UK’s greatest healthcare challenges. There are almost one million people currently living with the condition in the UK. With an ageing population and currently no treatments to delay the onset or reduce the progression of diseases that cause dementia, this number is set to rise to 1.3 million by 2030. The report, “Are we ready to deliver disease modifying treatments?”, has found that while these specialists are keen to embrace the arrival of new dementia drug treatments, they and the services they work for need much more support in order to effectively implement them into their clinical practices.
Over 500 old age psychiatrists contributed to the report, which shows that services are not currently ready to deliver disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia: Only 36% of psychiatrists thought their services could adapt to deliver disease-modifying treatments within a year. Just 6% of psychiatry services are able to fully meet the current NICE guidelines regarding accessing further biomarker and diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Mani Santhana Krishnan of Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Early and accurate diagnosis plays a vital role in the treatment of dementia. It’s important that Psychiatrists are given access to diagnostic tools and training to help reduce the progression of this debilitating illness by way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease even before symptoms of dementia are present. “We need to work collaboratively with the NHS across the country to ensure that we continue to improve care for the 1 million people living with dementia, as well as supporting their loved ones. We’re seeing pockets of variability in accessing the right specialised diagnostic tools
and it needs addressing, as this report has highlighted” Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “These reports greatly add to our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that psychiatrists and the health system are facing working. We need to work towards a long-term ambition of having a health system where everyone can find out if they have dementia at the earliest stage and have access to the appropriate treatments that could slow its progression. Failure to deliver an ambitious and transformative plan for diagnosis will be a huge, missed opportunity that will impact people affected by dementia for decades to come.” Dr Jonathan Schott, Chief Medical Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We recognise that it can be difficult to make the case for diagnosing the diseases that cause dementia when there are currently not treatments available to delay or slow progression. However, we need to break this vicious cycle and accept that current diagnostic services are not good enough for patients. By improving access to a range of diagnostic techniques across the UK through investment and skills development, we can start to develop the services we need now and in the future.”
DO YOU KNOW THE CARER’S NEXT UNSUNG HERO? Regular readers will know we here at the Carer have been awarding an Unsung Hero each Summer and Christmas since 2016! Now, in these unprecedented and testing times we are Say hello looking for another to some Unsung Hero! previous (How we wish we could winners! reward you all!)
Care Home urst of Cloverfield Marion Brockleh
Thelma O’Leary of Fern hill House Care Home
A Super Deluxe Luxury Hamper for the lucky winner! ro r last Unsung He Martyn Davies, ou
Tina Higginson of Sam brook care home
A no-frills, no glitz or glamour competition - all we ask is for you to send us a paragraph or two nominating your Unsung Hero from any department with a brief description of how they've gone that extra mile and deserve to be recognised.
✓ Do you know our next Unsung Hero? Email your nomination to us by July 9th 2021 at
PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
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)  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.
Dementia Action Week: Sing-Alongs, Memory Walks and Crafts In Royal Star & Garter’s Homes A series of activities has taken place at Royal Star & Garter as the charity marked Dementia Action Week. Residents enjoyed tea parties, walks and arts and crafts to celebrate the week, which ran from 17-23 May. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. In Surbiton, residents went on a Memory Walk around the Home. They made forget-me-nots from tissue paper and enjoyed a party at the end of Dementia Action Week. In the Solihull and High Wycombe Homes, activities included painting, sing-alongs and dementia awareness tea parties. Raquel Pena Aristizabal, Activities Manager at the Surbiton Home, said: “Dementia Action Week is a very important week for
us, so it was lovely to involve lots of residents with a variety of different activities.” Royal Star & Garter is supporting Alzheimer Society’s Cure the Care System campaign to provide quality care that is free and easy to access, no matter where you live. Chief Executive Andy Cole said: “The pandemic’s devastating impact on adult social care has not only highlighted the amazing work that happens every day to support those people living with dementia but also underscored the urgent need for reform and sustainable, long-term investment. Too many still struggle to access the care and support they deserve. The high standard of dementia care that we provide at Royal Star & Garter should be the norm, not the exception.”
Hallmark Care Homes Promotes Aneurin Brown to Group Operations Director Aneurin Brown, Regional Director for England, of the multi-award-winning care provider Hallmark Care Homes has been promoted to Group Operations Director. Aneurin started his career at the family run care group in 2014 as a Hospitality Services Manager and steadily progressed throughout the group before becoming a Regional Manager in 2019. He was promoted again in October that same year, becoming a Regional Director before being appointed as Group Operations Director in May 2020. He will now oversee the operational direction of the group’s entire portfolio. In addition, he will drive consistency across the group, which currently provides residential, nursing and dementia care to over 1000 residents across 20 locations in England and South
Wales. Avnish Goyal, Executive Chairman of Hallmark Care Homes, Santhem Residences and Savista Developments said: “Aneurin was an ideal candidate to step up as Group Operations Director at Hallmark Care Homes. He has a wealth of knowledge and he lives and breathes the company vision and values. I am looking forward to working with him to fulfil on out exciting plans for the future.” Aneurin Brown said: “I am delighted to be promoted into this role at such an exciting time. We have a fantastic team, who are dedicated to delivering the very best relationship centred care. I am looking forward to the future and working closely alongside Avnish.”
QCS Is Awarded Gold Tier Preferred Supplier Status By Scottish Care Scottish Care, which represents over 400 private, not for profit and charitable social care providers in Scotland, has awarded Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) with Gold Tier Preferred Supplier status. QCS, the UK’s leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, was awarded enhanced status in recognition of its outstanding content contribution to the independent care sector during the pandemic. During the crisis, for example, QCS reacted to the Care Inspectorate’s decision to introduce a new inspection framework by creating an easy-to-use mock inspection kit and satisfaction surveys, which reflected the new care standards. Senga Currie, QCS’s Head of Care Development (Scotland), said, “We’re delighted to have achieved Gold Supplier status. We have been working hard for a number of years
to provide outstanding up-to-date content, which not only meets the expectations of our providers but exceeds them. However, QCS is keen to provide even greater support to providers in the future, and achieving Gold Tier Status shows that we are on the right path to helping them achieve excellence.” Donald Macaskill, the Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Care, added, “We’re very excited to give our social care providers the opportunity to work even more closely with QCS. The content that QCS provides has proved transformative. We look forward to continuing working with QCS to provide our members with help and support in compliance, to enable them to deliver an even higher standard of care to those they look after.” Visit www.qcs.co.uk
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"I Have Changed My Life Plan In Order To Stay In The Care Sector" With the first anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdown now passed, one Cassington-based carer has been reflecting upon the past year. Shay Sparg, Care Assistant at Churchfields Care Home in Cassington, changed her career plan in order to become a care professional during the coronavirus pandemic. Shay was preparing to move to London to start a job in Interior Design in January 2020, however, just before Shay was about to move the COVID-19 Pandemic began in the United Kingdom. Although this disrupted Shays’ initial plans, it allowed her some time to reconsider her interests and long-term career aspirations. This encouraged Shay to approach Churchfields Care Home based in Cassington, where she undertook the role of Care Assistant in April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. Undertaking such an important role when the pandemic was at its height was understandably daunting, as Shay explains; “My first day arriving at Churchfields, I felt really nervous. However, working in that environment meant that we had to just get on with it and do our best, whilst doing what was right for the residents at Churchfields, and so the nerves left me instantly.” Churchfields Care Home offered Shay, who had little experience in the care sector, the job with the view to train her to become fully qualified, as Shay discusses. “I almost instantly felt like part of the team! Churchfields employed me with
almost no previous experience, but ensured I had full training and development. I started at the peak of the pandemic, which was really quite nerve-wracking. I just remember being in absolute awe of all the other staff members who were doing their utmost to ensure all residents were happy and safe at all times.” “I felt inspired by their caring and hardworking nature. I said to myself: “that’s the kind of person I aspire to be, I want to be just like them!” After that, the rest is history – I became part of one big family. Churchfields have been amazing right from the start, and we are all really close.” Shay is currently studying for her NVQ Level 3 and is being supported by Churchfields Care Home to become a Senior Carer, with the overall goal of developing Shay to the level of Care Practitioner. Reflecting on the career move, Shay said: “I definitely plan to stay in the care industry, I have pretty much changed my whole life plan and moved to Witney, where I now have my own little place, so that I can stay as part of the Churchfields team!” Jane Roberts, owner of Churchfields Care Home, said: “Shay has all the wonderful attributes, she is caring, kind, and compassionate, which is central to our philosophy at Churchfields Care Home. “She has become an incredible asset to our team, it really is wonderful to see her flourish.”
Sara Allton Is New Manager at The Hamptons Fast growing care home operator, New Care, has appointed Sara Allton from Blackpool as CQC registered manager at The Hamptons, its beautiful care facility located off Main Drive on Heyhouses Lane in Lytham St Annes. In her new role, Sara takes responsibility for the state-of-the-art 76-bed care facility, its residents and 100-strong employee team. She will work consistently to ensure the home provides the very best quality of care and that every resident receives person-centred individual care in a safe and dignified manner. She is also tasked with ensuring the home complies with Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulations and will oversee ongoing training and development to ensure the team meets New Care’s exacting standards and the needs of the wonderful community of residents who call the care centre their home. Well qualified for her new role, Sara was previously manager at another care home in the North West. She is also a registered nurse with many years’ experience, has a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing and a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership. She was attracted to New Care’s values and beliefs and its enviable industry
reputation for delivering exceptional care from a highly qualified team in a superb, high quality purposebuilt environment. Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I am delighted to join this wonderful team at The Hamptons and aim to maintain the high standards already established while working with my deputy and the wider team to develop the service even further to ensure that it is the best available in the local area.” Married for 20 years with four adult sons, Sara has continued with her personal development and undertaken various healthcare and business courses during her professional career including Designated Safeguarding Officer, NVQ Level 5 Operational Business Management, Registered Managers Award, Level 4 Safeguarding Trainer, IOSH and AECI to ensure she remains at the forefront of delivery of quality care and business operations in her field. She recently moved to Stanley Park in Blackpool and is currently renovating a Victorian property into her dream family home. When not working or renovating the house, she enjoys reading, crochet and socialising with family and friends.
National Resource Consortium (NRC) and Anenta Come Together to Manage We Care Group Healthcare and Clinical Waste Services Across 16 Locations in the North and Northwest England The UK’s leading network of independent waste operators, National Resource Consortium (NRC), has announced that it has joined forces with independent healthcare waste management company, Anenta, to oversee and manage the healthcare, clinical waste and disposal services for nursing and care home operator, We Care Group. The partnership between both waste management companies is helping the nursing and care home group achieve savings of over 14% on their waste services from the offset, with further savings to come as services are standardised across all 16 locations in the North and Northwest of England. The resource management network, NRC, combines expertise from the UK’s leading independent waste firms to deliver unrivalled waste collection and processing capacity for We Care Group. Acting as contract manager, NRC takes responsibility for the group’s volume waste management with all services provided by their network of local members. Through centralised contract management, NRC has already consolidated We Care Group’s existing waste contracts with various waste providers into one single, reliable point of contact across eight locations, with eight more to come. Through the ability to mobilise a national network of providers, NRC offers a single rate solution with 100% UK coverage and the flexibility to meet all We Care Group’s local needs. As a result, We Care Group is already benefitting from a 1/7th saving on its waste costs for the on-boarded care homes, thanks to a simple and transparent pricing schedule. The three-year fixed-term contract with We Care Group com-
menced in January 2021. All 16 locations are set to be under the single agreement by mid-2022. Commenting on NRC’s appointment Paul Jackson, Director of NRC, said: “We Care was buying waste services locally, individually, site by site, and not benefiting from the cost, waste and recycling efficiency of consolidating their estate into one contract. “Both NRC and Anenta offer compliance and service-based packages at competitive rates under a single agreement. This provides customers, like We Care Group, with greater transparency, control and peace of mind over their healthcare and clinical waste management, which is an essential service for any care provider.” We Care Group operates 16 Care and Nursing Homes in Liverpool, Blackpool, Southport, Leeds, Hull and surrounding areas across North and Northwest England. Specialising in residential, palliative, end of life, dementia, bariatrics and young mental health care, We Care Group pro-
vides all 735 residents with happy, safe and homely environments in which their care, wellbeing and comfort is of prime importance. With Anenta’s dedicated, online contract management platform ‘Vector’, NRC will be able to deliver service efficiencies and identify savings that will be implemented across the group’s 16 locations. Anenta’s cutting-edge, real-time smart technology, ensures that the We Care Group receives effective contract management against existing specifications. Going forward Anenta’s integrated solution, which ensures that services are correctly specified, will provide NRC with the data needed to offer We Care Group complete transparency and the ability to proactively manage their environmental services, all in one place. Graham Flynn, Managing Director at Anenta, commented: “Anenta is delighted to be working in partnership with NRC to provide healthcare and clinical waste services for We Care Group. By consolidating multiple contracts, each of which has different end dates and varying prices, into one standard contract with uniform pricing, our real-time smart technology will provide We Care Group with vital savings worth many thousands of pounds each year.” Working for more than 8000 customers, Anenta simplifies the process of healthcare waste management, collectively saving clients millions of pounds each year. Over the past five years, Anenta has saved its clients over £5.6 million. Bernie Suresparan, Chairman at We Care Group, commented: “We selected NRC after reviewing all of our waste requirements with our procurement partner. We needed to gain control over our contracting process and to find savings – NRC offered us a centralised, managed process with initial savings – we are looking forward to developing our relationship with NRC and identifying future benefits.” Find out more about NRC and Anenta by visiting www.uk-nrc.com and www.anentawaste.com.
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How Technology is Transforming The Future of Social Care
by Steve Morgan, Partnership Director, Agilisys (www.agilisys.co.uk)
Chronic underfunding, a workforce crisis, insufficient modernisation and COVID-19 are all testing social care to the limits. There is now, however, an opportunity to reassess, redesign and re-ignite a strategy for lasting, effective change as we emerge from the pandemic. The social care system is complex and fragmented, with care being provided by around 18,500 organisations throughout the country. Good practice being developed in one part of the care sector is difficult to share. A joined-up view is needed to achieve a clear vision. By thinking long-term and bringing together the fragmented sector, funding decisions can be made to drive efficiencies and modernise the traditional service, to benefit all.
ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE LEADING THE WAY
everyday tasks are automated, staff have more time to make a difference to the people they care for.
• Advanced predictive analytics Data is critical to any strategic, joined-up future of care. Predictive analytics can help understand when somebody is in danger of needing health or residential care, which can dramatically reduce the overall cost of care delivery. Using data to inform more effective decisions is the way forward and with the use of the Integrated care system (ICS) and how it will bring together data collection and joined-up data usage.
• Data collection at home Technology can identify when there are issues with damp, carbon dioxide, humidity and temperature. Having knowledge of the environment vulnerable people are living in, can reduce and remove any knock-on effects.
• Social care cost modelling Social care makes up most of local authority spend. In 2018/19, total expenditure on social care by councils was £22.2bn. Using data to predict outcomes and effective routes, social care cost modelling enables users to take any cohort of children or adults and apply one or more of a huge range of potential scenarios to it. This shows authorities how much social care services are costing them, and what they can do about it.
• Microsoft Viva
Demand for care is not going to reduce, so it’s down to critical technologies to transform the future of care:
The transition to permanent remote working raises a crucial question: how does an organisation create a culture, a sense of belonging, a mission and connection in the absence of a physical presence? Employee Experience platforms such as Viva focus on employee wellbeing to help avoid burnout, highlight efficiency gains, and bring knowledge together in one place.
• Tools for collaboration There is a growing movement towards a 'delivery ecosystem' of collaboration tools. You can plug a variety of options into one connectivity hub, which enables everything from telehealth and telecare to social inclusion and family contact, without the need to have six or seven different boxes.
• Remote working solutions
• Reduced inbound demand, through automation There has been a fundamental switch from inbound telephony-based contact services to proactive outbound ones. To make those services more productive, you have to reduce inbound demand. That is where artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) are important. If the repeatable and
Providing frontline staff with remote working solutions, encompassing software and client information, allows professionals to spend more time with their clients, speed up data capture, decision-making and reduce transcribing errors.
USER ENGAGEMENT KEY TO SUCCESS Technology alone will not drive the change. If the purpose of a new
app or software is not apparent, then it already presents a cognitive issue to your team. Only by engaging the intended users through a change programme will change have the opportunity to succeed. Stimulate conversations, test ideas and gain buy-in from those who will be using the technology every-day.
HOW CAN WE TAKE ACTION NOW? 1. Plan Think of every aspect of care delivery. Is it the right thing to do? Is the level of spending correct? What is the value? Do this right and it will drive a fundamental shift in thinking; towards treating the delivery of care like a business.
2. Introduce strategic thinking Care is one of those few areas in in the 21st century, where there appears to be little strategic thinking around the continual improvement of service delivery. It is time to mirror the NHS and implement a fiveyear plan.
3. Map opportunities for partnerships Currently, different bodies deliver assessments dependent on the area. Far better to bring those together and have them delivered by a single individual who is empowered to operate on behalf of those other organisations. Joined-up, multi-agency thinking is required.
4. Think prevention, not cure Preventative investment in social care will deliver benefits to society as more people will stay healthy, happy, and independent for as long as possible.
5. Embrace organisation-wide technology A recent paper from Socitm showed social workers are more ‘digital ready’ than previously thought. More frontline staff need to be identifying opportunities for digital improvements; not just in service management and client outcomes, but in what the future of social care could be. By investing in preventative, person-centred approaches, including asset-based solutions to reducing social isolation, shared lives and community agents, outcomes can be improved, and costs reduced. Technology has a huge potential to support more people to live independently. Data, workforce and true partnerships are critical in delivering care at the right time, making differences for people.
Canford Healthcare Announces New Appointment at Hampton Care Home Canford Healthcare, a leading provider of nursing, residential and dementia care services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Krystyna Bosko RN MSc as manager of Hampton Care Home. Krystyna brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the home manager role. She is highly qualified, with an MSc in Nursing with Teaching, a PGCert in Hospital Management and Public Health, a PGDip in Quality Management/Internal Auditor and the NVQ Level 4 Registered Manager Award. She has been nursing for 35 years, 19 of those in senior roles within care homes, and she specialises in helping homes to be the best they can be. Her previous home achieved not only CQC Outstanding and the Platinum Status Gold Standard Framework Quality Hallmark Award in palliative care, but it also reached the national finals in 2019 for the best end-of-life and dementia care home. Krystyna herself was a finalist in the Great British Care Awards’ Care Home Registered Manager category in 2018. Krystyna is ably assisted by clinical manager Margielyn Lopez Gonzaga, as well as the rest of the Hampton team. The new management team’s main priorities are to reinforce the home’s commitment to first-class, person-centred care, create a happy environment where residents feel genuinely at home and support colleagues to develop their skills and be genuinely inspired by their work. Krystyna is also determined that Hampton will achieve a CQC
Outstanding rating. “Residents deserve nothing less than exceptional, person-centred care,” she says. “I know that this is what staff really want, too, and we believe that we can become a flagship home here in Richmond. Over the next few months, we will focus on being the best we can – in term of care, training and the lovely warm welcome that greets anyone who comes through our door! Eventually, I would also like to see the home
becoming a community hub of care, where residents and local people alike can enjoy the benefits of networking and mutual support, in a setting that provides expert residential, dementia and end-of-life care.” In her view, the home’s staff is one of their greatest assets. “We’re so lucky to have such a variety of people from different backgrounds, experience and talent working for us. I’m a firm believer that everyone has something positive to contribute and that they should be given opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills wherever possible,” she says. Krystyna’s expertise in dementia care will also support the home’s ongoing initiative to improve the quality of its care of residents living with dementia. This incorporates the provision of optimum, personcentred nutrition and maintaining wellness via daily activities, underpinned by a dementia- friendly environment and thorough training for staff. Operations Manager Wendy Cowell says: “We are delighted to welcome Krystyna as the new manager of Hampton Care Home. We are confident that her knowledge, skills and experience, especially in relation to dementia, together with her passion, energy and determination to build a strong, united team will help establish Hampton as an outstanding provider of residential, nursing and dementia care.”
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PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
Attendee of Acclaimed Dementia Training Programme Promoted To Manager After Strengthening Lancashire Day Centre’s Care Culture
A social care worker taking part in an acclaimed dementia training programme has been promoted to manager at her Lancashire day centre, after reinforcing its care culture to reflect the coronavirus pandemic. Lesley Bownass, who is taking part in Meaningful Care Matters’ ‘Free to Be Me’ dementia training course, has been promoted to manager at Senior Moments Care day centre, in Lytham St Annes, after successfully implementing The Butterfly Approach for its service users with dementia. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a significant impact on the social care sector, Lesley’s recent adoption of the dementia care model
has seen the centre’s numbers grow considerably, after receiving more referrals from Lancashire County Council due to its “glowing” reputation. At present, the centre can accept up to 30 people across two floors – significantly more than pre-pandemic. She is currently enrolled on the care and culture consultancy group’s ten-day modular programme, which was reintroduced in September 2020 until July 2021, and aims to educate leaders in dementia care on how the quality of life for people living with the condition can be positively transformed. Speaking of the success of implementing the course's learnings into her day centre, Lesley said: “Since applying the The Butterfly Approach, I’ve been made manager of the day centre, our numbers have increased tremendously, our reputation is glowing, and we get lots of referrals from the county council. When social workers visit us, they love what they see. We now have great reviews and go above and beyond a normal day centre.” In response to the pandemic, the Free to Be Me course has been updated to reflect the challenges care providers have faced from PPE, infection control protocols, social distancing, social shielding, visitation restrictions of family and friends, and more. Run by veteran care consultants Luke Tanner and Sally Knocker, each course is broken into ‘threads’ which empower attendees to be able to articulate a truly person-centred approach in their respective settings, where people are free to be themselves. The course values emotional intelligence, domestic household living, and the core belief that everyone living with dementia has a unique story that deserves to be heard.
Lesley continued: “Upon starting the course, I quickly realised I had naturally been applying The Butterfly Approach without knowing. The concept looks at how, in a dementia setting, a few quality moments in a day can make all the difference. I have always shared the importance of making people feel valued and needed. “The course helps you to understand the reasons behind what you’re doing and its benefits. It also helps attendees to further understand how those they care for think and feel. Ultimately, it promotes and encourages a person-centred environment where everyone feels valued and loved.” Lesley has been holding regular meetings with carers where she shares her leanings on The Butterfly Approach, and plans to host similar meetings in the future with service users’ family members. Peter Bewert, Managing Director of Meaningful Care Matters, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Lesley utilise her training to create such a prosperous and thriving environment, during a challenging period. These courses aim to empower people to develop and nurture a person-centred care culture where people are ‘free to be me’. “Attendees are provided with the tools and knowledge to go away and establish an exemplary dementia care culture where people can live the best lives possible. We look forward to seeing other attendees like Lesley transform the culture of their services to create places where increased well-being is at the forefront of practices.” To find out more about the Free to Be Me course, visit https://meaningfulcarematters.com/services/the-learning-lenses/. Alternatively, for more information on Meaningful Care Matters, please visit: https://meaningfulcarematters.com/.
Care Group’s Success in Nursing Covid-19 Patients A North Yorkshire care group has cared for more than 100 poorly Covid-19 patients during the past year of the pandemic. Saint Cecilia’s Care Group agreed to take in discharged Covid-19 patients at its nursing home in Scarborough to free up much-needed hospital beds. Now that that need has passed, the care group is delighted to have played its part in the national effort to tackle the virus. Managing Director Mike Padgham said: “Twice during the pandemic we have agreed for Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home to become a designated setting to care for those with Covid-19 as part of a pioneering scheme with North Yorkshire County Council. “This has meant that we dedicated a floor at the home to be isolated so that those with the virus could get the care they needed without impacting upon the rest of the home.
“The floor in effect became a hospital ward with an altogether more rigorous regime of hygiene and infection control in place to ensure the best of care. “We faced some criticism for doing it at the start but it has been a success. I am pleased to say that we have successfully provided care for more than 100 people discharged from hospital with Covid-19. “And we did so without suffering any additional outbreaks or cases of Covid-19 as a result of becoming a designated setting.” With death and infection rates falling, there is no longer the need for as many designated settings across North Yorkshire, so the floor at Saint Cecilia’s is returning to normal care provision. Saint Cecilia’s was joined by other homes in the county and across the country in taking part in the designated beds scheme. Here it worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council, the local clinical commissioning groups and the Care Quality Commission, which regulates care providers. Sue Howard, who is Deputy Chief Inspector with the Adult Social Care Directorate in the Care Quality Commission, wrote to say: “I was impressed by your positivity to the Designated Schemes and how your staff have used this process to support people’s recovery
during the pandemic. “Please thank your staff on my behalf for their continued dedication to the people they care for and support.” Mr Padgham added: “Tackling Covid-19 has been a real team effort and we are very pleased to have worked with North Yorkshire County and City of York councils, North Yorkshire CCG, Vale of York CCG, York NHS Trust, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Care Quality Commission. “The fight against Covid-19 has seen partnership working at its best and we hope that the contacts forged over the past year will stand us all in good stead for whatever future challenges face adult social care. “It has been tough and we have had losses and setbacks along the way but thanks to the magnificent efforts of our staff and the support we have received not just from the statutory bodies but from the local community too, we have come through. “We know that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and there is still a lot of hard work to be done and a continued need to be vigilant. But with the vaccine now taking effect, we are very hopeful that brighter times are ahead.”
Person Centred Software Assured by NHSX as Digital Social Care Records Supplier, As Revolutionary New Software Integration Improves Outcomes Person Centred Software has been assured by the NHSX as a supplier of Digital Social Care Records (DSCR), having launched a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to support adult social care providers in England to buy from an assured list of digital social care record solutions. Commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, the DPS enables quicker, easier and more informed purchasing processes for social care providers and other organisations. It is managed by NHSX, which provide expert advice and guidance to social care providers. The move makes Person Centred Software, providers of the most widely used digital care system in the UK, one of the first digital care planning providers to be approved by the NHS and listed on its DPS as a go-to provider for digital social care record solutions. Recognising that its platform meets the standards and capabilities deemed essential for health and social care teams and care providers across integrated care systems in England, the assurance is a major milestone for Person Centred Software, who have long campaigned for a more integrated health and social care system. The company, whose ultimate goal is to improve the quality of care for residents and to enable a better journey for when they move between services, believes that the more joined-up the different elements of care are, the more likely everyone is to achieve the best outcomes. Pioneers in this area, Person Centred Software recently launched a revolutionary new integration, which provides care homes with easy,
secure and direct access to a resident's GP records. By integrating its digital care management system with NHS Digital’s GP Connect and National Record Locator (NRL) services, registered nurses at care homes in England can now access information held by GPs at a much greater speed, enabling better medical decisions. As well as enabling carers to provide better care which, in turn, improves resident outcomes, the integration can deliver two-way interoperability between health and social care services, ensuring a smoother journey
for residents transitioning between these two settings. Currently, there are over 130 care homes across the UK using GP Connect and National Records Locator to empower caregivers and improve outcomes. Andrew Coles, Head of Product Management at Person Centred Software, said: “We have supported over 2,000 care homes on their digital journey and are leading the way in joining up health and social care. From February, our Nursing Home customers were able to access GP records via the integration with GP Connect, which we are delighted to say is already saving lives. We are paving the way for other care providers to follow by being assured by the NHSX Digital Social Care Records (DSCR) Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).” Several care providers have praised the integration for streamlining processes and boosting efficiency since its launch earlier this year. Discussing how the integration has benefited, Jonathan Cunningham MBE, Registered Care Manager of Birkdale Park Nursing Home and Rosebank Care Home for Learning Disabilities, said: “GP Connect has allowed us to gain access to a resident who we were told didn’t have any allergies, however, when we looked in GP Connect, we could see that they did. Also, a number of residents came into our home and they were due their second round of vaccinations. Without GP Connect, they wouldn’t have been able to get their second vaccine as we wouldn’t have been able to see when they had their first and when they were due their next. If we didn’t have access, we would have had 10 residents who wouldn’t have had their second vaccines.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 25
Perception of Care Homes Needs to Change As 85+ Population Rises Castleoak, the specialist care developer, has turned to University of Oxford Student Consultancy to understand perceptions of care homes among generation X, Y and Z and what they envisage for future care home environments. The research partnership seeks to bring younger generations into the conversation in light of accelerated growth of the 85+ population and fears that care has become the ‘forgotten sector’ following failure to address reform as part of the Queen’s speech. University of Oxford Student Consultancy, a programme for students run by the university to support local organisations, conducted research over an eight-week period which revealed that only one in six (15.7%) respondents have a positive perception of care homes. Further findings included negative words which were prominently associated with ‘care homes’ including, ‘disabled’, ‘smell’, ‘isolated’, ‘removed’ and ‘cheap’. This contrasted greatly with words younger people wanted to think of in association to places they live as they get older, including ‘independent’, ‘home’ and ‘assisted’. Following their research, the students made recommendations regarding how future care home environments could change these perceptions. Recommendations included promoting autonomy and individualism as well as moving towards multi-purpose buildings to better connect care homes with the wider community. One recommendation included integrating childcare facilities to overcome the familial chal-
lenge associated with rising childcare costs and aging grandparents which could also help older people stay better connected to their families and wider society. The University of Oxford Student Consultancy also conducted a focus group with some participants to ask them to draw on personal experiences of visiting loved ones in care homes. The research is the first in a series of projects which Castleoak is partnering with Oxford University Student Consultancy to gain insight into how innovation can be driven in the care sector. Kate Still, COO at Castleoak, says: “It’s so important to include people from generation X, Y and Z in conversations about care so we don’t continue to be the ‘forgotten sector’. “If we’re not talking to younger generations they’re never going to give it a second thought and it’s going to continue to be low on the priority list. This is a direct barrier to innovation and to integrating care homes into our communities. “The average age of a start-up founder is early 40s, so as a sector we need to make sure we’re capturing the hearts and minds of people – like Oxford University students – before they reach this age to ensure we benefit from their talent and ideas.” The research also revealed some of the key factors that would give people piece of mind about moving into a care home. One in five (50%) cited ‘quality of care’ as the most desired factor, followed by emotional-
ly available staff (28%), having family close by (25%) and autonomy (25%). Other recommendations from the research included the need to create sustainable environments surrounded by green space and giving residents a sense of ‘going somewhere’ by having facilities that are integrated with the wider community. Emerging themes were also identified as part of the research, including robotic care homes, AI diagnostics, autonomy-enabling technology and technology usability. Charlotte Densmore, University of Oxford student who was the research lead for this project, says: “Hearing personal experiences from our participants made it clear that as we get older we don’t stop being the same person. We still want the same things: as much autonomy as possible, with appropriate levels assistance, to be able to express our individualism and live in a place which is our home, not a hotel, and to be genuinely connected with the wider community and with our families. Having access to social activities is important, but they shouldn’t be forced upon anyone. “We need future care environments to take these things into account when care homes are being located and designed through to when they’re operational. “I’m really glad that I was able to be a part of delivering this research because I now realise what an important topic it is for younger generations to be debating and I know other participants felt the same.”
Dorset Care Home’s Kind Hearts Deliver Hampers To ‘Frontline Heroes’ the home.” Similar sentiments were expressed by Dr Robert Koppenhol at Poundbury Doctors, who said: “It was lovely to see care home residents going out and about and making such a welcome gesture.” Kay said: “We wanted to recognise all essential workers, including GPs and other surgery staff, for their continued commitment and dedication to the whole community during the pandemic.” Katja Williams, Castle View’s Companionship Team Leader, who accompanied Kay and Enid on the surgery deliveries, said: “Everywhere we have visited with our gift hamper surprises we have had sincere thanks from people. It’s no more than they deserve for all their hard work and resilience over the past year. It has been so incredibly challenging for frontline heroes in all parts of the world trying to keep everyone safe. “At Castle View, despite the pandemic restricting our usual community visits and fundraising for charities, residents still wanted to do their bit. As well as the gift hampers, we have used in-home events to continue to raise money for causes such as the Poundbury Community Group.”
Community-minded residents and staff at a Dorset care home have delivered hampers of goodies to frontline workers as a surprise thank-you for keeping us safe during the pandemic. Police officers, staff at doctors’ surgeries and teams at fellow nursing homes have all received pamper boxes and treats from representatives of Colten Care’s Poundbury home, Castle View. Residents there funded the initiative through an Easter raffle, building on a similar ‘Hearts of Kindness’ idea earlier in the year which saw hampers gifted to intensive care staff at Dorset County Hospital. Two Castle View residents, Kay Davis and Enid Deakin, helped bring deliveries to the Prince of Wales Surgery and the Poundbury Doctors Surgery respectively. As well as the baskets of goodies, they brought along handwritten cards from the home expressing thanks and appreciation. In response, Prince of Wales’ Practice Manager Sally Holland said: “This was such a kind thought from Castle View. I’m sure we will all enjoy the goodies. Our gratitude and good wishes go to all the residents and staff at
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PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Skin and surface hygiene specialist, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd, supports the WHO’s annual ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign
Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO Industries-Europe, is proud to be part of the global movement to improve hand hygiene and is once again supporting the World Health Organization’s annual ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign. Its worldwide advocacy day falls on 5th May, and this year it is focused on achieving appropriate hand hygiene action at the point of care. Its ‘seconds save lives – clean your hands!’ slogan reinforces the message that taking a little extra time to practise hand hygiene makes all the difference. To achieve this, healthcare workers should have access to good-quality alcohol-based hand rub products, clean water, soap, single-use towels and an adequate number of functioning sinks within patient zones. This enables hand hygiene practise at the five key moments: before touching a patient, before clean/aseptic procedures, after body fluid exposure/risk, after touching a patient, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. 2021 has also been designated the ‘International Year of Health and Care Workers’, so focusing on their protection is just as crucial. The PURELL brand’s focus on ‘formulation without compromise’ means that products in the range have been proven to maintain skin health and have high antimicrobial efficacy. In fact, in scientific tests, PURELL Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub was found to kill 99.99% of the most common germs that may be harmful, including Coronavirus, with a contact time of just 30 seconds. Chris Wakefield, Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO IndustriesEurope Ltd comments, ‘As a founder member of the WHO Private
Organizations for Patient Safety group, we are strong advocates of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone – this past year has shown how this is more important than ever. We hope that this year’s campaign encourages everyone to do their part, as it takes commitment from all for
hand hygiene programmes to be successful. ‘We strongly encourage everyone in the healthcare industry to unite in support of hand hygiene improvement. As well as healthcare workers cleaning their hands, IPC practitioners need to continue mentoring and championing the act, facility managers must ensure that supplies are available at every point of care, and policy makers should invest now to enable hand hygiene for all. Everyone, the general public included, must make clean hands a habit. It protects us all.’ Backed by a wealth of scientific expertise, and specialist formulations, GOJO has the technology and experience to work in partnership with healthcare managers to implement effective hand and surface hygiene regimes, and promote hygienic and compliant hand hygiene behaviour. Assets, such as posters and product placement guides are available to download from GOJO’s dedicated ‘Hand Hygiene Day’ page at www.gojo.com/WHO-May-5 from mid-April. Free advocacy toolkits to support the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign are available on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/ WHO invites everyone to use the hashtags #CleanYourHands #HandHygiene #InfectionPrevention on social media to ensure Save Lives: Clean Your Hands posts are picked up by the campaign. For more information, call +44 (0)1908 588444, email infouk@GOJO.com or visit www.GOJO.com
Take Maximum Control of Washroom Hygiene, Efficiency and Sustainability New from Kimberly-Clark Professional is the Scott® ControlTM Mini Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue system designed to deliver maximum hygiene, efficiency and sustainability in healthcare and hospital washrooms. Just launched, the new dispenser is the most hygienic in the marketplace1 and is the highest capacity centrefeed toilet tissue system available. Launched as part of the Kimberly-Clark Professional 360 Hygiene & Protection programme, the new twin system provides the healthcare sector with optimum hygiene, with a one-wipe-clean dispenser that is designed with no shut lines or key holes. “In the healthcare sector, hygiene plus the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients, is the highest priority as it copes with the ongoing pandemic,” says Richard Millard, EMEA Senior Category Manager, Bath Tissue, Kimberly-Clark Professional. “The pressure on Healthcare Facility Managers and cleaning staff to deliver hygiene without compromising efficiency is higher than ever. This system is designed to reduce hygiene risks and refill events, enabling cleaning staff to be deployed to other more critical hygiene duties.” Designed with fully enclosed, protected rolls for touchless dispensing, the new system avoids cross contamination as users only touch the sheet to be used. Controlled single sheet dispensing reduces paper usage for exceptional cost in use and maximum efficiency. A never-run-out twin design delivers 100% tissue availability and reduces the need for refills for improved efficiency of staff and provides guaranteed dispensing reliability – every time.2 Fewer refills means less chance for cross contamination keeping staff, patients and visitors safe and confident that facilities are well stocked and managed for their comfort and convenience. The most hygienic and highest capacity toilet tissue system ever from Kimberly-Clark Professional, the Scott® ControlTM Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue System is ideal for busy washrooms in high footfall environments. It has 1,666 sheets and a total of 408 metres of tissue per fully loaded dispenser which means it has 82% more metres and 426 more sheets than other twin centrefeed systems. A full dispenser provides sufficient tissue for a huge 408 visits versus typically just 72 visits with a competitive
single bulk pack folded toilet tissue system. Compared with uncontrolled, toilet tissue systems, the new twin centrefeed dispenser provides up to 378 more visits than a small roll toilet tissue and up to 285 more visits than a 2x200 metre competitive jumbo toilet roll. “Using a controlled toilet tissue system is the future for delivering maximum efficiency. The wastage generated from jumbo roll and small roll formats makes them not the preferred choice for high traffic environments”, adds Richard Millard. In today’s world, hospital and healthcare facilities must ensure that heightened hygiene risks are managed with no concessions for efficiencies and sustainability targets. Meeting sustainability KPI’s is crucial for Healthcare Facility Managers with responsible and recycled products increasingly in demand. Meeting such a demand, the new Scott® Control™ Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue is produced from 100% recycled FSC certified fibre, with roll packaging also 30% recycled and 100% recyclable. Additionally, the controlled dispensing of the new system reduces paper use and reduces the need for storage and transportation of supplies. Washroom waste is avoided with this highest capacity system which has a roll change indicator to alert staff when supply is running low. Domestic Managers need worry less about the hygiene and maintenance headaches of toilet blockages. The Scott® branded quality toilet tissue has excellent paper disintegration avoiding disruptive blockages. “The Scott® Control™ range offers a complete washroom solution for the hospital and healthcare sector, delivering increased hygiene without compromising on washroom efficiency or sustainability,” adds Richard Millard. “As with all our washroom systems, the Scott® ControlTM Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue system delivers unmatched market leading hygiene and efficiencies, so our customers can provide facilities that support the safety, health and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors during these challenging times now and uncertain ones ahead.” To register your interest for a trial or find out more, visit https://home.kcprofessional.com/uk/scottTwin To see the system in action, watch our video here https://youtu.be/D1re4N1Bc_E
Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with
Haigh Engineering Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe
silver ion technology and which is exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.
methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched allinclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or email@example.com
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 27
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CleanRite, Proves Efficacy of Hypochlorous Against SARS-CoV-2 to Offer New Generation of Alcohol-Free Sanitisers Launching in the UK CleanRite sanitisers, a new dermatologically advanced solution to keeping surfaces and hands guarded against COVID-19 is launching in the UK in April 2021. CleanRite is a new generation disinfectant range to ensure surfaces, the air in areas such as care homes, as well as hands - are all protected from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
THE ‘WONDER’ OF HYPOCHLOROUS The CleanRite range of sanitising products are Hypochlorous-based (HOCl) which is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial solution, proven to kill 99.9% of germs on contact. Specifically, Hypochlorous has been proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 in an independent lab test carried out by Richard Stanton, a Reader in Division of Infection & Immunity at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. Fully regulated and child-friendly, CleanRite, which dries quickly and leaves no sticky residue, is perfect for use in care homes - as well as being dermatologically tested and suitable for use from birth. Caroline Fogarty, Managing Director, CF Pharma, said, “In laboratory tests we were able to show that the Hypochlorous ingredient in CleanRite killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 30 seconds. Hypochlorous is a ‘wonder’ ingredient because not only is it free of alcohol and harmful chemicals, it is hypoallergenic and skin friendly. It is as natural as water and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. So not only is it people-friendly, but it is planet-friendly too. “I believe that Hypochlorous is the future of everyday sanitisation. As we learn to live with the need for heightened sanitisation even after lockdown is eased, choosing something that is gentle on your skin, eyes, lungs and even the environment makes CleanRite ideal for long-term usage.”
CLEANRITE – BOTH POWERFUL AND SAFE CleanRite is an alcohol-free hypoallergenic sanitiser. It is highly effective without dehydrating, irritating, stinging or damaging skin or eyes making it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin. CleanRite is highly effective on multiple surfaces and equipment including kitchen worktops (since it is food safe). And unlike most alcohol-based products, CleanRite is non-flammable. Clare Hughes (MPSI BSc PHARM), Founder, CF Pharma said, “The advanced CleanRite formulation based on Hypochlorous, makes this ‘nature’s powerful disinfectant’. Indeed, Hypochlorous, which is produced naturally by the body’s white blood cells to support the human immune system in fighting infection and bacteria, has been used in wound-healing for decades.” Caroline Fogarty said, “It looks like we are going to be living with the need for increased sanitisation for some considerable time. So being able to offer a sanitisation range that has a skin friendly pH for family use, from birth, makes CleanRite an essential tool for everyone as we navigate the new normal.”
AVAILABILITY CleanRite is manufactured in various sizes from 60ml to 4500ml with convenient 60ml and 150ml finger sprays for travel available, which are for sale on Amazon For further information, to view the full range of products or to place an order for your business, visit CleanRite CF Pharma http://cleanrite.ie
Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifiers Certified to Remove 99.9% of Airborne Coronavirus and H1N1 Flu Leading commercial air purification manufacturer, Fellowes, is pleased to announce its AeraMax Pro air purifiers have shown a 99.99% airborne reduction of a coronavirus surrogate within 60 minutes of operation. With the recent, intensified focus on the reduction of airborne transmission of viruses, a number of worldwide bodies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASHRAE, as well as ‘healthy building’ scientific advocates, have recommended that portable air cleaners using HEPA filtration can help in the protection against SARS-Cov-2. This is particularly key for settings such as care homes, where occupants have an increased level of vulnerability to the spread of disease and therefore require this additional protection. In response to this, air purification expert, Fellowes recently arranged for its AeraMax Pro purifier, which has a four-stage TRUE HEPA filtration system, to be independently tested for efficacy in the reduction of two of the most healththreatening airborne-transmitted contaminants seen in recent times – coronavirus and the H1N1 virus.
UK Care Homes Use Groundbreaking Health Technology to Maintain Clean Air and Surfaces
Care home owners have been among the first customers to purchase air and surface sterilisation products from Medklinn, the international health technology company, which recently launched in the UK. Following confirmation from scientists from Fujita Health University in Japan, that low concentrations of ozone gas can be used to neutralise coronavirus particles without causing harm to humans, UK care homes have an alternative method to sterilise the air and surfaces in their premises without the use of chemicals. According to the university research, low-level ozone gas in concentrations of 0.05 to 1.0 parts per million (ppm) could be key to neutralising the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings such as examination rooms and waiting areas. Medklinn International, the health technology company that has pioneered research and development into negative ionisation and ozone in the sterilisation process, already provides air and surface sterilisation solutions in ASIA, the USA, Canada, Australia and Germany. Now the business has launched in the UK. Daniel Lu, chief technology and innovation officer of Medklinn International, said: “We are pleased to be bringing our health technology to the UK. The announcement from the team at Fujita Health University in Japan further demonstrates that ozone sterilisation technology is a viable alternative to the use
of chemicals for disinfection.” In addition to the latest breakthrough in neutralising coronavirus particles, Medklinn products are also proven to be effective in: • Killing 99.9% of harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria, mould and fungi by destroying their RNA and DNA structure • Eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including those with adverse health effects • Neutralising allergenic organic compounds such as pet dander and the protein in the faeces of dust mites, which are often the cause of allergies Steve Jones, Brand Manager Medklinn UK, said: “We’re really excited to be launching Medklinn UK. Our products are already used by some of the leading global brands in the healthcare, travel and tourism, retail, education, F&B and hospitality sectors, including Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental and Singapore’s Changi Airport. We believe that they will be particularly useful as we make gradual steps towards easing restrictions and reopening the UK following the lockdowns over the past 12 months.” Medklinn UK offers a consumer range of products suitable for the home and for use in vehicles. It also offers a range of air and surface sterilisers designed for business use including: • Permanent units for spaces up to 1,000 sq ft such as hotel guest rooms, washrooms, offices and classrooms • Permanent units for large spaces of 3,000 sq ft or more such as hotel corridors, washrooms, restaurants, halls, offices, exhibition centres, supermarkets, food processing and manufacturing plants • Portable units for ad hoc treatments of indoor odours recommended for hotel guest rooms, restaurants and facilities management It will also offer ozone water systems (for washrooms, industrial kitchens, food processing factories) and integrated sterilisation systems (for public washrooms, food processing and F&B outlets and supermarkets). For further information about Medklinn UK please visit uk.medklinn.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified by Shanghai WEIPU Chemical Technology Service Company, Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the aerosolised airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber, reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within one hour of operation. As it is not yet possible, or ethically responsible to aerosolise Sars-CoV-2 for airborne testing in the current climate, the coronavirus 229E was used as a surrogate to SarsCoV-2. Furthermore, AeraMax Pro air purifiers have also been proven to remove 99.9% of the H1N1 virus within 35 minutes of operation, as certified by Airmid Health Group Limited in Dublin, Ireland. When installed in a care home environment, AeraMax Pro therefore offers outstanding protection against the transmission of coronavirus 229E and the H1N1 virus between staff, visitors and vulnerable residents. For more information about Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers, visit www.aeramaxpro.com/uk
PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
CATERING FOR CARE
Dysphagia Call to Action
By Sophie Murray, Head of Nutrition and Hydration, Sunrise Senior Living (www.sunrise-care.co.uk)
In the industry we know that the numbers are rising for those who have swallowing problems and the skills required to modify foods are greatly needed in some sites as catering staff need much more than an ability to use a blender to break food down. This is as a result of the safety framework which ,many of us know called IDDSI, standing for International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative which has been built upon research of swallowing to be able to give very precise levels which comprise of very specific food and drink test to deduce if it is safe for the Level. Most foods can be modified but not all and the modification process requires equipment, techniques and knowledge. As foods themselves vary in texture, it is not as simple as adapting a recipe – a banana or an avocado are 2 examples of foods which can vary greatly in their ability to be soft enough to push a fork through with little pressure, and other foods such as white fish do not blend smoothly to a puree so may need to be replaced with an oily fish for a person who requires a pureed diet There are publicised cases of fatalities such as in 2017 when a care home was prosecuted and closed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after a resident choked on porridge twice in one day and died. Protocols and processes between care and catering teams needs to be watertight so that only those trained correctly modify the foods and this includes all snacks too – careful management to ensure safety as well as choice are prime considera-
tions – in itself this has challenges as a persons may have recommendations for Care homes seeking to buy in ready modified food need to ensure that this matches the menu properly and meets needs and choices so that there aren’t There IS only one qualification that can formally train and accredit Chefs called the Level 2 Award for Chefs in Healthcare but there are few providers offering this due to poor uptake and awareness https://www.cthawards.com/qualifications/culinary-programmes/cth-ioh-level-2-specialist-award-chefshealth-social-care/ There is also a framework for care teams called the Inter-professional Dysphagia Framework (IDF) which sets out the knowledge and skills care staff require to do safely care for a person with swallowing problems. The IDF should be implemented in every care home to ensure residents receive safe and effective care but in reality care homes don’t all know about it and it needs translating to a workable process with solid training although it is written with good clarity. Speech and Language Therapists are a great source of knowledge and support for care teams as they are the identified professionals who can diagnose a swallowing condition and recommend appropriate IDDSI Levels. IDDSI has set up a UK reference group so that best practice can be shared across the UK and organisations such as the NACC can provide support to care homes needing traning and awareness When risks are fatalities as a result of poor practice, there is much to do to ensure amazing food and choice is offered and residents are safe from harm as a result of choking or aspiration. The high risk is choking and aspiration.
Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *
*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.
Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.
HOW CAN THIS TRAINING HELP YOU? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction pro-
gramme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at email@example.com. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)
Coping with Food Refusal
By Jane Clarke, Dietitian and founder of www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com
activities, leading to a reduction in wellbeing and quality of life. They will become weaker, increasing risk of falls, confusion and infection. Recovery from illness or surgery will take longer. If they are already vulnerable or living with a health condition, they may deteriorate faster. But there are strategies that can help break the cycle of food refusal and encourage someone to begin eating again, while at the same time treating them with dignity and respecting their right to choose not to eat certain foods – after all, we all have our favourite flavours, as well as tastes and textures we can’t easily stomach. Here are some ideas…
MAKE EVERY MOUTHFUL COUNT If portions are small, it’s essential they contain as much nourishment as possible. Enriching foods with additional vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates and calories can be as simple as adding extra vegetables to a tomato sauce, grating some Cheddar cheese into mashed potato, or adding extra lentils and a swirl of cream to a soup.
DON’T SIT AT THE TABLE From childhood to old age, the rhythms of our day tend to revolve around mealtimes – and that doesn’t change once we move into a care setting. Breakfast, lunch, teatime and supper bring residents – and carers – together around the table, and can provide precious moments of sociability, fun and connection, as well as healthy food to help maintain strength and resilience. That changes when a person refuses to eat, or is reluctant to have more than a few mouthfuls. There are lots of reasons for this – living with a condition such as dementia; feeling unhappy in a new setting; grief or illness. As a carer it’s important to tackle food refusal as soon as possible, because the less a person consumes, the less their body and mind seems to feel a need for food. Without the nourishment their body needs, an individual’s health will suffer. They will have less energy to be engaged in physical and social
This sounds controversial and I am a huge advocate for the pleasure of shared mealtimes, but they can feel overwhelming for some people and this is when the habit of refusing to eat can set in. Instead, try serving a small plate of food on a tray while they watch TV or listen to the radio. It can take the pressure off having to ‘perform’ at the table, and you may find they nibble more than expected.
SERVE A NOURISHING DRINK A ‘meal in a mug’, like a cup of soup, a fruit-filled smoothie, or an allnatural meal replacement Nourish Drink, is a good option for anyone who feels overwhelmed when a full plate of food is put in front of them. You’ll have the reassurance that the person you are looking after has had the equivalent nutrients of a complete meal but in a form that slips down more easily than a plate of cooked food. You could try this mid-morning or mid-afternoon, instead of the usual tea and biscuit.
SWAP MEALTIMES AROUND
If the person you care for has a bigger appetite in the morning but feels too tired to eat later in the day, then provide a more substantial breakfast and take the pressure off the evening by providing a smaller snack for supper. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to having dinner for breakfast or lunch at 4pm – it’s what works best for the individual and their appetite.
EAT TOGETHER Some people don’t like to eat alone. If some meals take place in a resident’s own room, rather than a dining room, try to take the time to sit and chat with them while they eat rather than getting on with a job elsewhere. It can make meals feel a lonely, challenging time for the person you are caring for, and you may find they eat more when you are with them, rather than you returning to a plate of uneaten, cold food. If residents do sit at the table together, place the reluctant eater next to someone with a heartier appetite, as it may prompt them to follow suit and eat more.
FOLLOW THEIR CUES We all have favourite foods so it’s worth trying to find out the dishes a person really loves. Even if they’re no longer able to enjoy the same meal, you could capture the flavours in a more accessible alternative – a roast chicken soup instead of a roast chicken dinner, say. Depending on the cognitive abilities of the resident, you could try creating a food and memory moodboard together, with photos of foods that remind them of happy times – ice cream on the beach, roast dinner on a Sunday, kippers for breakfast… It’s a great way to tempt the appetite and spark conversation.
BE ENCOURAGING If you ask a reluctant eater if they’d like potatoes or a pudding, the answer is likely to be ‘no’. Instead, respectfully cajole them to eat by saying, ‘Let’s try a potato, or a spoonful of ice cream…’ By encouraging a few mouthfuls, rather than giving a yes or no option to a meal, it’s amazing how many people will be tempted to take a bite, and then another, and before you know it, a good portion will be eaten.
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CATERING FOR CARE Activities & Ideas For Your Vegetarian Care Home Residents Charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) has plenty of inspiring ideas to help you cater for your vegetarian or vegan (veg*n) residents and celebrate their lifestyle choice. Even if you don’t have veg*n residents at present, it's always a good time to introduce new foods. You’ll likely find your residents are happy to try some meat-free options.
Here are VfL’s top tips: Host a vegetarian supper club, planning and serving a three-course meal. Here’s a suggested menu: Starter: Carrot, Ginger & Orange Soup (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recip es/budget-recipes/carrot-gingerand-orange-soup) Main: Mushroom, Nut & Cranberry Wellington (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/mushroom-nut-cranberrywellington) Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/cakes-and-puddings/sticky-toffee-pudding) Run a veg*n food tasting session: e.g. vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, plant milks, faux meat products, tofu, or hummus and veggie dips. You could even make score cards and pick a winner at the end. Experiment with more unusual ingredients, such as banana blossom ‘fish’, or jackfruit curry. You might even use silken tofu to make a mousse, quiche, or scrambled tofu. Play ‘guess the ingredient’ first, and let residents suggest what you might make with it – a great way to start discussions and share experiences. It’s also a good sensory activity because people can see, touch, smell and taste the different foods. If the weather is good, why not host a vegetarian picnic or BBQ? Here are some recipe ideas: Black Bean Burger (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/black-bean-burger) Sandwich Platter (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/soups-and-sandwiches/sandwich-platter) Coronation Chicken Pastries (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/lighter-meals/coronation-chicken-pastries)
Whether vegetarian or not, many people have a favourite meal that just happens to be meat-free. Those that do consider themselves veg*n will likely enjoy being able to reminisce and share why they follow this lifestyle. Print photos of common vegetarian products from years gone by or find old vegetarian cookbooks to encourage conversation. Here’s an example of some products that one older vegetarian misses. Visit VfL’s website (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk) for some suggested questions/conversation starters. Invite a VfL chef to deliver a virtual or in-person cookery demo for your residents. They’ll take the pressure off your chefs and activity co-ordinators, and deliver a themed demo for you. Here’s what recent participants have said: “It was brilliant, well presented, and the demonstrator was very likeable and did a great job.” “I’ve taken part in lots of video cook-alongs recently and have found them quite stressful. However, this one was really informative and easy to follow.” For a novel activity for residents, VfL runs a ‘virtual vegan lunch club’ on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It’s open to vegetarians, vegans and meat reducers, aged 65+. Recipes are sent in advance. Buy your ingredients, and cook the dishes on the day ready for the Zoom chat at 1pm. Talk cookery, recipes and more, and meet likeminded people from across the UK. For residents that are less tech savvy, but keen to connect, VfL runs a veggie pen- and phone-pals scheme (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/pages/pen-andphone-pal-scheme). The scheme has linked tens of like-minded people from across the UK, and many lasting friendships have been forged. One member said: “I love it, I really do. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long, long time. I speak to a few people from the scheme and I’m delighted with how well it’s going” Caterers can get ahead of the curve with VfL’s accredited training. Topics include what veg*ns eat; plant-based nutrition and fortification; meal planning; and alternatives to meat and dairy. Each bite-sized module includes easy-to-follow recipe videos and fantastic, tasty recipes. What’s more, it’s British Dietetic Association accredited.
Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup
Serves: 4 Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Halal, Kosher, Vegan Ingredients Good glug of olive oil 4 small onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2–3 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated Zest and juice of 2 oranges 8 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 litre water with vegan stock or 4 tsp vegetable bouillon Couple of pinches of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (optional) Sea salt and pepper to taste To serve Coconut yoghurt or vegan crème fraiche (optional) Chopped coriander leaves Instructions • In a saucepan, gently cook the onion in the olive oil until softened. • Add the garlic, ginger and orange zest. Cook for a minute or so and then add the carrots, stock, and cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if using). • Simmer until the carrots are tender. • Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. • Add the orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Blend again briefly to mix. • Reheat gently. Serve with optional dollop of coconut yoghurt or crème fraiche, and a sprinkle of chopped coriander on top.
LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups A national care group needs to know that they are delivering a consistently high standard of care and in order to do this they need to ensure that they are working with service partners that they can trust. When it comes to laundry provision, centralised procurement and management teams want to know that they will have access to a streamlined process for all on-going account and service management. Forbes Professional offers a nationwide delivery of a localbased service, with the security and reliability that comes from being a long-established company. Our expansive network of depots and field engineers enables a highly responsive service and maintenance response, which is mobilised via a dedicated hotline at our head office. We work closely with clients to devise the solution best suited to their requirements; conducting comprehensive site-surveys, offering detailed CAD designs and always specifying the most
appropriate, industry compliant machines. We choose our manufacturers extremely carefully to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of both product and service. For the care sector, hygiene is always of paramount importance and our commercial laundry equipment fully adheres to the relevant WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. All of our laundry equipment is available for rent, lease or purchase with maintenance. Our Complete Care rental solution gives access to premium equipment without upfront capital outlay and with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. National care groups are always assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their point of contact, centralising all account management for a highly efficient process that keeps things simple for both procurement teams and care management staff. www.forbespro.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0345 070 2335
Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name”
At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protec-
tion to our customers' brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Burlington Uniforms Burlington Uniforms are proud to provide healthcare uniforms to a variety of Healthcare professionals. With our friendly, dedicated Team always ready to help, their combined wealth of knowledge within the Healthcare sector covers everything from your first enquiry right through to managing your account after despatch and beyond. Supplying high quality garments to our customers is our passion, in an array of colours and sizes, our extensive healthacre ranges can provide everything you need, making us your one stop shop. We can also take care of personalisation through our talented embroidery team, giving you a final look you'll be proud of.
We can cater to the public and private healthcare sectors, so our collection of healthcare uniforms has been expertly designed with all medical settings in mind. Offering comfortable scrubs, dresses, tunics and coordinated trousers, our medical workwear is suited to every area of your industry. Designed for comfort and flexability, these garments ensure staff enjoy ease of movement and are unrestricted throughout their shifts. Besides our extensive stock service, our experience in manurfacturing and our wealth of textile expertise allows us to also provide end to end bespoke solutions for our customers, contact us for more details about working with us on bespoke requirements. Call 08707 300 150 Sales@burlington-uniforms.co.uk www.burlington-uniforms.co.uk See the advert on page 11.
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. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.
Mendabath UK uses high quality bath resurfacing and bathroom repair products that are trusted all over the world. Aligned with our expertise, we offer a service that is simply unparalleled in the UK. Our experienced team is comprised of experts that will deliver a service that will exceed your expectations. From minor cosmetic repairs to bringing an old bath back to life, we can restore any suite. We offer resurfacing and repair services for baths, sinks and showers for care homes, private residences and commercial properties across the UK. Commercial bath repairs and resurfacing Discoloured and damaged baths can be resurfaced with a turnaround time of just twenty four hours, keeping lost occupancy days to a minimum. This is more environmentally friendly than replacing your bath and will save you both time and money. Slip resistant application We apply slip resistance the day
after the bath or shower tray resurfacing. This works well in busy hotels, where there is a strong duty of care to customers yet time is of the essence. For this process the room will be out of commission for a further twenty four hours while the surface cures and hardens. Basin repairs and resurfacing We can repair and resurface cracked, stained and chipped basins, making them look new again. Cosmetic bath and basin repairs Sanitary ware with minor chips and scratches can be cosmetically repaired. Our technicians fade-in each repair so that they are almost invisible to the naked eye. Shower repairs and shower tray resurfacing We can fully restore any stained and cracked shower tray, giving it a fresh, new look. See the advert on page 9 or visit www.mendabath.co.uk
CareZips Dignity Trousers Bath Resurfacing and Chip Repair ™
CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down. CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They
are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com
Spotta’s Early Warning System Prevents Bed Bug Infestations Smart pest monitoring system marks one year of real-world operations, detecting bed bugs in 94.2% of cases
In its first year of operation, Spotta’s monitoring and detection system identified bed bugs in 94.2% of cases, significantly reducing the number of encounters between bed bugs and residents in multi-room properties. The ‘always-on’ monitoring service uses advanced recognition technology to identify insects and provide real time alerts. Spotta enables multi-room properties such as sheltered and residential housing accommodation and their pest control partners to identify occurrences of bed bugs and treat the problem early, limiting the damage caused and spread of the pests. In its first year of real-world deployment in customer properties Spotta serviced over 91,000 room nights. Of
the detections made by Spotta, over half (52.2%) were in rooms with no recent history of bed bugs, proving the system’s effectiveness as an early warning against new infestations. Repeat detections in rooms help property managers assess whether extermination treatments are successful or if further, more extensive treatment is needed. “For accommodation providers, most of the overall financial impact of bed bugs comes from contact between the occupant and pests, which leads to complaints, disruption and high treatment costs,” says Robert Fryers, co-founder and CEO of Spotta. During the Bed Pod’s first year, 94.2% of cases were successfully detected by Spotta, with room residents reporting bed bugs accounting for just 3.3% of cases and staff identifying the remaining 2.5%. Fryers continues: “The first year results of Bed Pod show we have a credible, proven solution with realworld efficacy. This represents a transformative step for pest controllers, accommodation providers and property managers by allowing them to proactively monitor for bed bugs, rather than just reacting when problems are reported.” Find out more at www.spotta.co See the advert on page 15.
Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:
Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499. See the advert on page 6.
Adaptawear Iona Nightie: Full Opening-Back Nightie Ideal for those bed-ridden, struggling with mobility or needing palliative end of life care - the Iona nightie from adaptawear.com has been specifically designed with these people in mind. This unique product comes with a fully opening back, shoulder openings on both sides, and easy poppers, which fasten quickly with limited effort. As the nightgown opens up completely flat, it can be put on from a lying or seated position, ensuring less stress for both the wearer and carer. The open back function with a generous overlap also ensures dignity when toileting and a quick drying cotton fabric is
comfortable and practical. As well as the Iona adapted nightie, Adaptawear have a range of other back opening nighties, including their popular Petal Back range, and also fully front button nightwear. Their men and women's ranges feature a full range of adaptive daywear, including front fastening bras and comfortable cotton underwear; with a customer recently sharing they had ‘regained their independence with such helpful items.’ All items can be found at www.adaptawear.com or call 0800 051 1931 for more info. Don’t forget to use code CR10M at checkout for 10% off your order.
Evaness 100% Biodegradable Consumables Range EVANESS is the only full range of biodegradable products for the care and health sector, from various sizes and strengths of bin liners, to clingfilm and food/freezer bags. EVANESS is a derivative from the word ‘Evanesce” meaning to vanish and the technology used in the biodegradable range is scientifically proven to degrade the material if it gets into the open environment and then facilitate the secondary process of biodegradation, without causing micro-plastics. New recent additions to the product range include compostable bin liners which are manufactured to EN13432 certification for home and industrial composting, and the UK’s first ANTI-VIRAL Grip Seal bag, which although are non-biodegradable are specifically designed to combat the transmission of viruses and bacteria. The pandemic brought about many concerns over how to store and handle a range of items, which were handled by many a person to avoid the transfer of viruses
and bacteria. Consumable Supplies created a Grip Seal bag which incorporates an advanced British technology D2P by Symphony Environmental, which provides protection to the surface of the Grip Seal bag against microorganisms or viruses for the lifetime of the bag and offers a 99.9% Anti-Viral reduction after 1 hour of contact. Although the bag can be used for the storage and handling of any items you wish to protect, such as medicines, PPE equipment, laboratory samples, cash, keys etc, as the product is Food-Safe, it also offers its use to storing food. The initial bag size offered is 150mm x 200mm, so useful for smaller items and can form part of your existing health and hygiene protection routine. Consumable Supplies strives to offer unique quality environmentally friendlier products at reasonable prices with a great no-quibble customer service. Free delivery on any order. See the advert on page 21 or visit www.consumablesupplies.co.uk
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 33
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 rigorous clarification processes concluding with written
The New MPCSA11 from Medpage Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in
several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11 Or see the advert on page 15.
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.
Andy Bridgewater Expands Alarm Radio Monitoring's Team
Market Leading manufacturer of wireless nurse call and staff alarm systems, Alarm Radio Monitoring Ltd (ARM), has announced the appointment of Andy Bridgewater as its new Head of Sales & Marketing. Former Royal Engineer with Her Majesty’s forces, Andy joined the business in late April, having over 15 years experience within the sales and engineering industry. Andy’s appointment to the senior management team comes at an exciting time for ARM with numerous new products and systems being launched throughout the year, none more so than the Bed Angel, an innovative wireless bed occupancy monitor.
Stuart Ibbs, Operations Director for ARM, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy to lead our sales team during what is an exciting period of growth for the business. With numerous new products entering the market over the coming year, his appointment is a big part of the company’s commitment to provide high quality products to the care and staff alarm industry” “Andy’s drive and passion for team management will strengthen our sales division, he will be crucial in mentoring our sales team to roll out the new products we are due to roll out” Andy’s role as head of Sales & Marketing will see him lead sales growth for ARM as their product range continues to expand throughout the UK. The Bed Angel, new monitoring software and 7’ touchpad display are either currently available or due to enter the market shortly. Andy commented: “I am delighted to join ARM at such an exciting time as it continues to grow throughout the UK and innovate within the Health Care industry. He continued : Alarm Radio Monitoring’s focus on people development and working as a team is something I firmly believe in, and I am looking forward to working with the sales team to exceed targets whilst continuing to deliver the outstanding customer service that ARM is renowned for” See the advert on page 31.
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NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION
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 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.
www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
Nurse Call from 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 antibacterial 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.
Features include: Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 35
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Make Your Nursecall Data Work For You and Your Residents Using your ‘Call Bell’ data can help improve the care you provide and even aid in getting an “outstanding” CQC rating. Yet, quite often this data is only used to help investigate an incident and ignored for the rest of the time. A lot of care homes still rely on a printer to record event logs making data analysis time consuming and difficult. KAM Systems Limited have launched their Kloud Care Home data logging service. Kloud can be connected to any existing nursecall system using a Kloud shuttle that has a printer or paging interface. All events are logged by the Shuttle & synchronised with the Kloud on any internet enabled device. The service then analyses the data into an easy to understand report which can even be automatically emailed to a home manager’s inbox. The data can include KPI’s such as Average Response Time, Top Five Rooms that ‘call’ the most, Busiest Hours In The Day, No. of Night Checks and much more.
Longer response times during certain hours may indicate that not enough staff are on duty. The data can also show that a resident has started to ‘call’ for help much more than usual and this can be investigated and appropriate measures put in place. Users can login from any connected device to access the Kloud and create custom reports or investigate a specific incident if required. Care Group administrators have a dashboard of all their care homes in one place making it simple to manage. Harpal Momi - Managing Director says “When we asked our customers about Nursecall Data logging most of them said that it was too difficult to analyse or they didn’t have the time. We developed Kloud to help them deliver better care based on the data analysis. The ease in which it can be implemented and the simple subscription model makes it suitable for anyone”. Contact 0330 321 1040, email@example.com or visit www.kamsystems.co.uk
Alarm Radio Monitoring Alarm Radio Monitoring (A.R.M) is a UK based manufacturer of wireless Nurse Call and Staff Alarm systems; offering a comprehensive range of Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm, and Door Access bespoke systems. With over 30 years experience in the design & development of wireless Nurse Call & Staff Alarm systems, A.R.M has established itself as a key player within the wireless solutions market to the public and private healthcare sectors. Wireless solutions are ideal for environments which do not lend themselves to running cables, for example listed buildings or busy environments. Wireless systems can be fitted while your home remains operational, so you do not have to close rooms off and they offer greater flexibility and ease for future expansion. Care Homes choose A.R.M nurse call systems because they: • Are quick and simple to install. • Make it easier for staff to identify the source of calls
because they give full text descriptions. • Give management the tools they need to monitor and control best practice. The system provides a full audit trail of which buttons are pressed and response times. • Failsafe eg alerts you in the event of a system fault or batteries are running low. • Carry a year’s guarantee. • Are supported 24/7, 365 days a year by specialist engineers over the telephone or online. No matter how demanding your environment, A.R.M believes everyone – whether you’re a customer in a care home or team member – should be within safe reach. Whether you need a combination of a Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm, Door Access system, we have a team to help design a package that will meet your requirements. For further details call 01568 610 016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 37
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE 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.
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.
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.
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
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.
PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Care South Invests In Ground-Breaking Care Planning Technology A not-for-profit charity in the South of England is the latest UK care provider to invest in ground-breaking technology proven to boost operational efficiency, reduce errors and dramatically improve care delivery. Care South, which provides residential, nursing and dementia care to residents across its 16 care homes, also help people to live independently in their own homes. Working with service users and their families, Care South tailors personal solutions in which all parties can feel secure and confident, with the dignity of those needing care central to the charity’s goals. To ensure that the highest levels of care are maintained, Care South’s care home portfolio benefits from ongoing investment and in-depth training programmes all year round. Care South’s latest investment will see staff go paperless, using Person Centred Software’s award-winning Mobile Care Monitoring to evidence and monitor care interactions in real-time, in a move that will also save each carer up to 3 days per month on paperwork. The gradual rollout will see Care South’s Sussexdown care home receive the software first, with the wider plan being to onboard up to two locations per month until all services are fully equipped with the software. Using Person Centred Software, Care South will be able to make the
most of its unrivalled ecosystem of partners, which includes electronic medication management.
Discussing their reasons for adopting Mobile Care Monitoring, Aaron Whitehead, Director of Residential Care at Care South, said: “We first heard about Person Centred Software through word of mouth and, upon doing our research, it seemed the perfect solution for us. Being fully mobile and icon-driven, the software is incredibly easy to use and saves our carers time that had previously been spent completing paperwork. “We’re delighted with the benefits that the software has delivered people living and working within our homes so far. We look forward to working directly with Person Centred Software as we complete the software roll out over the coming months,” Aaron concluded. Having launched in Australia in 2018, Ireland in 2019 and the Netherlands in 2021, Person Centred Software’s innovative technology is improving systems used in social care globally and has won numerous prestigious industry accolades. In 2020, Person Centred Software was placed on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and top 10 SME in Digital Leaders 100, and the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 list in 2019. Furthermore, its new coronavirus-specific features were recognised at the Health Tech Digital Awards 2020 for Best COVID-19 Software Solution. For more information about the benefits of moving to a digital care management system, please visit www.personcentredsoftware.com
First Installation of Game Changing Software for the Care Industry Installed at Nyton House in Chichester The first intelligent tech system that helps both carers and residents has been launched to market by Arquella and successfully installed at cutting edge care home Nyton House in Chichester. Sheffield based Arquella was founded in 2019 –and provides innovative digital solutions for the care industry allowing the focus to be on the care of residents. Combining modern nurse call equipment with advanced software they have created a higher quality of care and improved reporting system to help raise CQC ratings. Paul Howell and Reuben Timoney are the very passionate and entrepreneurial drivers behind the care home gamechanger that is Arquella. CEO and COO respectively, they met by chance in 2018, changing their futures and the future of care home tech. So, what is the digital system? AIDA Assist is an advance nurse call system, a digital care reporter and a whole lot more! The new system is a link between call-logging and care plan software with the most comprehensive automated compliance reporting available. Most nurse call manufacturers use pagers to alert carers to a call on their system. Arquella’s wireless nurse call systems integrate with smartphones without the need for extra equipment to be installed. This allows carers to be alerted to call location instantly. So long pagers! On top of that it can be used to provide evidence for care cost adjustments and supply in-depth specific and overall care analysis during an investigation. In conjunction with good quality home management, it provides unambiguous compliance data that shows the care home is doing
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more than just meeting the regulatory requirements. Paul Howell, CEO of Arquella says: ‘It is not enough to be exceptional at looking after the needs of vulnerable people anymore. Alongside the hands-on care, you need to keep detailed care plans, compliance reports, in-depth care analysis, day by day monitoring of care delivery, accident and incident trend analysis, KPI monitoring against performance standards and so much more. The job of recording care is now so complex that some care facilities employ full-time compliance officers, a luxury that many other care homes don’t have. Our goal is to build a fully integrated digital world of care that helps the care homes take control.’ Arquella believes that their system will also help care homes with their CQC ratings which are often rated lower because of the recording of care, rather than actual performance. Howell says: ‘To achieve a rating of ‘good’ or higher is not a matter of simply meeting the standards of the regulator. We all know how a classification of ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’ can damage a facility’s reputation and income. It gives potential clients the perception that the level of care being provided is somehow substandard. However, the reality is that more often than not, it is the recording of care that has broken down.’ Along with care plan information, AIDA Assist provides global information for the care home. Average response times for each shift pattern, average staff attendance times and frequency and time of emergency calls. The data can be easily mined quickly for patterns and trends and key point indicators can also be entered into the system. Harvey Hillary is a second-generation care home owner and owns Nyton House in Chichester, the first care home to have the system installed. After a successful career as Head of High Performance & Innovation for the British Sailing Team he came back to work with the family business and is a huge advocate of the Arquella system. ‘The vision at Nyton was to provide a ‘home-like’ experience by encouraging a ‘freedom to roam’ and for residents to spend less time isolated in their rooms and more time in communal areas. Arquella enables us to provide location-based calling from unique user pendants.
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Just think of a giant Andr Android oid tablet built into a solid oak surr surround, ound, on a base that houses a lar large ge battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rooms rooms in your care care home. ! “This amazing bit of technology is making a huge di!erence di!e !errence to ou our ur rresidents” esidents” Melanie Dawson, Manager, Manager r, The Lawns L at Heritage Manor The screen screen is 5mm temper tempered ed glass for your residents ingress residents safety and sealed against fluid uid ingr ess meaning a spill of a cup of tea won’ won’tt ruin your ! equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.! cleanerrr..!
‘Removing the clinical feel was one step but removing the triggers of challenging behaviour was a key focus. Our Coach House unit has been designed around people with Dementia and removing Nurse Call Alarms was a massive win. Arquella allows us to notify staff of a ‘Call’ using a mobile device and for a staff member to accept the call and then cancel the call once they have attended to the resident. ‘A huge frustration for me as a care provider was the inability for Nurse Call systems to inform care planning. Most systems can provide a list report of time and frequency of calls and the response time from staff. From my perspective, this is a very limited data set that is missing the most obvious opportunity for the carer to log the ‘reason for call’. Working with Arquella we are developing a carer input screen that will code all alarms and enable us to identify trends and inform care plans. This will be followed by a Task scheduling functionality for prompting medication, pressure areas care, night checks and fluids. Using API exports, we hope to streamline the point of care records keeping that is recorded in or Electronic Care Planning system. ‘As a care home, ultimately, we all want to achieve an outstanding rating from the CQC, but it’s often the accuracy of recording the data that lets us down. This takes time, is labour intensive or has us juggling platforms when we have more important things to do! That is all solved with the Arquella system and we’re thrilled to have it in Nyton.’ The modern call units can be wall mounted or portable for maximum freedom and have been designed with practicality and user-friendliness in mind. Key benefits include… Call alert to mobile Nurse Call Panel Fall sensor Nurse call reporting dashboard Reports, CQC and Call logs For more info. see the advert on page 13 or visit the Arquella website: www.Arquella.co.uk Or call: 0333 242 7505
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See the advert on page 32 for details.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 41
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE StackCare UK Expands Offering with Launch Of Two New Client-Monitoring Systems – One for Care Homes CARE VISION and One for Home Care Professionals
StackCare UK, the market leading homemonitoring system provider, has expanded its product range with two new systems for the professional care industry - StackCare Pro and StackCare for Carers. Building on the original StackCare @home system that was launched earlier this year, the new systems provide care home managers and professional carers with up to the minute details on their clients’ wellbeing and activity levels, offering unrivalled extra levels of detail and resource to care packages. Managers and agencies can monitor their clients both centrally, in their office using an online dashboard, and/or through an app on carers’ mobile phones. The systems allow staff to view the status of multiple clients, and, as with StackCare @home, managers and carers can monitor activity levels and data including the number of bathroom visits the client makes, room temperatures and sleep patterns, with alerts sent if a client’s behaviour patterns change. Door sensors and help buttons are also available as optional add-ons to both systems for clients who would benefit from extra monitoring and /or a direct communication link to their care team.
FLEXIBLE, COMPREHENSIVE CARE SOLUTION
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
Developed in Silicon Valley, and using enhanced AI and machinebased learning, both the StackCare for Carers and StackCare Pro systems use discreet wireless smart motion sensors placed in key locations around the client’s home, or care home room. There are no cameras or microphones, thereby ensuring privacy for clients. A central hub gathers the data from the sensors which is analysed and reported back to the carer / agency. The data is anonymised and held in line with GDPR rules. The founder of StackCare UK, Noel Verbruggen, commented, “These StackCare systems give care providers an unrivalled resource that brilliantly compliments existing care packages. The cutting edge technology means carers can know that their clients or residents are OK even when they can’t physically be with them. “We all know that carers often can’t be with their clients for as long as they would like to be, and for busy carers and care homes time pressures are a real issue. It’s here that our smart tech comes into its own. Having instant access to StackCare’s data essentially gives carers an extra pair of hands and gives reassurance to carers, clients and clients’ families”. StackCare is offering agencies the option to partner with them to promote the use of the system to clients as an addition to the agency’s care package offering. To learn more about StackCare UK’s solutions visit www.stackcare.co.uk with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functionality within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-to-strength 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 768 9809
PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55
RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Five Employment Law Changes Care Providers Should Be Aware Of Last month saw the introduction of a raft of new changes to employment law, including some crucial details that Care Providers should keep in mind when it comes to minimum wages and contracting. Alison Gill, HR Manager at advo outlines the employment law changes which Care Providers need to be aware of:
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE The National Living Wage now applies to those aged 23 and over. Previously this was for those aged 25 and over. Workers aged 23 and over: From £8.72 an hour in 2020, increased to £8.91 an hour (National Living Wage) Workers aged 21-22: From £8.20 per hour in 2020, increased to £8.36 an hour Development rate for workers aged 18-20: From £6.45 an hour in 2020, increased to £6.56 an hour Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: From £4.55 an hour in 2020, increased £4.62 an hour Apprentice rate: From £4.15 an hour in 2020, increased £4.30 an hour
FAMILY FRIENDLY STATUTORY RATES OF PAY Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) - First six weeks – 90 per cent of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% per cent of earnings if lower. Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) - First six weeks – 90 per cent of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% per cent of earnings if lower. Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) – paid for two weeks. £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90 per cent of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower. Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) - £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90 per cent of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower. Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) - £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP) The same weekly SSP rate applies to all employees. However, the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they’re off
work due to illness (the daily rate) depends on the number of ‘qualifying days’ they work each week. The current rate is £95.85 per week since 6 April 2020 and is set to rise to £96.35 from 6 April 2021. The lower earnings limit in relation to eligibility to statutory payments is to stay the same at £120 per week.
ET COMPENSATION AWARDS AND RATES It has been confirmed that employment tribunal compensation rates are set to increase from 6 April 2021. As of this date, the maximum week’s pay for redundancy pay purposes will increase from £538 to £544. However, statutory guarantee pay will be staying at £30. This is important for the purposes of tribunal claims because it means that the maximum statutory redundancy pay, as well as unfair dismissal basic award pay, will both now be £16,320. The unfair dismissal compensatory award, which is set to compensate the claimant for past and future lost attributed to the dismissal, is a maximum of 52 weeks’ pay, subject to a new maximum of £89,493. The maximum amount of additional award for unfair dismissal, set to compensate claimants when employers fail to adhere to a tribunal instruction to re-engage them, taking into account average weekly earnings, will rise to £28,288.
FAMILY LEAVE The weekly rates of statutory family leave – eg Maternity/paternity leave, etc. – will increase by 77p per week on 4 April 2021, from £151.20 per week to £151.97 per week.
IR35 The IR35 legislation, which aims to ensure that contractors are paying the appropriate amount of tax, is also changing for some private sector businesses. The majority of contractors are required to determine their own status as employee or contractor. From 6 April 2021, this liability will pass to medium and large-sector clients. Smaller clients will be exempt from this obligation and the contractor remains liable for determining their own tax status. Lucy Pearce, Commercial Director of advo comments: “There are many changes for Care Providers to adjust to from April 2021 onwards and they should seek further advice if they are unsure on any aspects of the new employment legislation. “To help employers understand each element of these new changes and to ensure full compliance with employment legislation, we have launched the UK’s first, fully integrated platform – advo-one - which enables employers to control their payroll, HR and employee benefits, through a single, secure login.
“Unlike many self-service employer portals, every advo-one client journey is fully supported by advo people. advonians are experts dedicated to providing advice and guidance across the range of services, every single step of the way. “Care providers can access detailed reporting for HR and payroll, including contract reviews; easy-to-use online holiday and sickness reporting; and essential news and legislation updates. “advo-one also features BACs approved payroll software compliant with HMRC, RTI and auto enrolment. It helps employers to fully manage furlough claims submissions; calculates pension contributions and auto enrolment; gives employee access to online payslips through advo-one; and provides access to detailed payroll reporting. advo-one is supported by dedicated payroll experts on hand to provide support and guidance. “advo-one can be accessed anytime from anywhere and care providers can have their own portal, company branded, supported by access to advo experts. There is also a huge choice of benefits on offer, including employee perks, health insurance and wellbeing, which make managing staff simple, connected and effective. “The advo platform is designed for the modern workplace - it’s a hire-to-retire people solution.” “The advo platform is designed for the modern workplace - it’s a hireto-retire people solution.” advo-one is more than software as it features qualified advice built in, providing employers with support in areas that they need it. The platform also offers simplified access for employees – a single login to see HR docs, Payslips, P60’s, P11d’s, available benefits and staff discounts. Designed to increase efficiency and employee engagement, advo-one provides the expert support and software needed to manage each service individually, or together. Since 1997, advo has focused on quality of service and advice and has grown to be one of the UK’s largest independently owned advisory firms, providing all-encompassing services to support employers, throughout the employee lifecycle. With Payroll and HR added to the firm’s expertise, advo can now deliver all the essential employee support services. advo currently manages staff benefits and payroll for just under 1,500 employers and the health insurance needs of countless individuals. Over the years, advo has developed a reputation for cost control and customer service excellence, leading to the firm being recognised as the UK’s ‘best’ advisory firm by peers on numerous occasions. For further information, please visit http://www.advogroup.co.uk or telephone 01622 769210.
Should Care Home Professionals Be Concerned About Criminal Liability In Respect Of Covid-19 Cases? By Jonathan Grimes (Partner) and Sophie Wood (Senior Associate, Barrister) in the Criminal Litigation team at law firm Kingsley Napley LLP (www.kingsleynapley.co.uk)
In late February 2021 it was reported that a care home worker had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after a patient died of COVID-19. Then in March, two further care home workers were arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect following a COVID outbreak at a care home in Sidmouth, Devon. Should those working in care homes be concerned about criminal liability in respect of COVID-19 cases and on what basis can care home workers be prosecuted for incidents involving COVID-19?
THE APPLICABLE LEGISLATION There are three separate offences which may be relevant to such a situation. 1) Under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
(“HSWA”) care home staff are required to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Failure to do so is an offence punishable up to two years’ imprisonment. 2) If a resident dies, in rare circumstances a care home worker may face prosecution for ‘gross negligence manslaughter’. This may arise where the death is considered to have resulted from a breach of the worker’s duty of care towards the deceased. The worker will only be liable if they breached that duty of care through a negligent act or omission; at the time of the breach there was a serious and obvious risk of death, which was reasonably foreseeable; and the negligence, which caused or significantly contributed towards the death, was so bad that it amounted to gross negligence and therefore requires criminal sanction. 3) Following the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, new legislation was enacted making it an offence for care workers to ‘ill-treat or wilfully neglect’ an individual in their care (section 20 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015). ‘Wilful neglect’ means deliberately neglecting to do something which should be done in the treatment of a patient. It is no defence for a worker to argue that even if they had administered the treatment, it would have made no difference to the patient’s health. ‘Ill-treatment’ means deliberate conduct which can be described as ill-treatment (irrespective of whether it actually damaged, or threatened to damage the health of the patient). The worker needs to appreciate that they were illtreating the patient, or to have been reckless as to whether they were acting in that way. If found guilty, a person can be sentenced up to five years’ imprisonment.
ARE WE GOING TO SEE MORE ARRESTS OF CARE HOME WORKERS RELATING TO COVID-19? Potentially yes. At the beginning of the pandemic the understanding of how COVID-19 was transmitted and what could be done to protect residents was limited. One year on however, there is a better, albeit not perfect, awareness of how staff can help safeguard against outbreaks and deaths. For example, if a care home worker recognises a number of now-known signs of COVID-19, and fails to call a doctor, they could be accused of wilful neglect. Equally if that worker, after recognising the symptoms, fails to isolate that patient, they could be accused of a section 7 HSWA offence. Due to this improved understanding of the disease, it will increasingly be possible to measure behaviour against a common standard. It will be easier to establish what was reasonable for the care worker to be doing at the time and/or demonstrate a causal link between the acts or omissions of the worker and the illness/death. The arrests so far indicate that law enforcement no longer sees COVID-19 as a novel disease about which the risks are not fully understood. They suggest there is a confidence about what standards care home staff should be meeting when managing COVID-19, and where those standards are thought not to have been met, allowing an assessment of where criminal liability comes into play. Therefore irrespective of whether these arrests lead to successful prosecutions, they indicate a change in approach by law enforcement and so care home staff and their employer organisations should expect more enforcement action in this area in the future.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 55 | PAGE 43
RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Supreme Court Rules Sleep-In Shift Workers Not Eligible For National Minimum Wage By Hollie Watkins, Banner Jones Solicitors (www.bannerjones.co.uk) To the dismay of employees, but a decision arguably welcomed by employers, the Supreme Court has recently ruled in cases Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad and another (T/A Clifton House Residential Home) that sleep-in shift workers are not ‘working’ when they are asleep. This in turn means that care workers should only be paid the National Minimum Wage hourly rate on sleep-in shifts when they are awake for the purposes of actively working. Here, Hollie Watkins of Banner Jones Solicitors, discusses the case and its implications in more detail. The ruling brings to an end a strenuous four-year legal battle which centred around Mencap, a UK based charity working with people who have learning disabilities. The case threatened to leave care providers with a potential £400 million back-pay bill that would have potentially jeopardised the care of the most vulnerable people in the country.
The cases were brought by two care workers who were sleep-in workers. This means that as part of their shift, they were permitted to sleep either at work, or at a place near work, in case they were required to assist. Whilst working at night, the care workers were to be present in case of any emergencies and provide assistance when required. In relation to the case of Tomlinson-Blake, The Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), found that she was working throughout the entirety of her shift regardless of the number of hours spent sleeping. Therefore, it was confirmed that each hour of her sleepin shift were to be included in the National Minimum Wage calculation when calculating her pay. However, in the Shannon case the Tribunal and the EAT dismissed the claim. Further appeals in both proceedings were heard by the Court of Appeal, which held that neither was entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for all the hours of their respective sleep-in shifts. The Government now faces pressure to reform care laws following the Supreme Court ruling which has caused unrest and disappointment amongst care workers. Whilst Mencap is relieved not to have to pay the huge back payment that could have crippled the charity, Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society, stands with employers who demand the Government ‘do a thorough and meaningful review of the social care workforce’. Whilst the ruling has provided some sort of clarity for employers and
has mitigated the potential huge costs payable in relation to back payments, employees now face uncertainty as to their pay. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, this has added extra pressure to care workers across the UK. If you are an employer or an employee who would like guidance on sleep-in shift work, please contact the Banner Jones Employment Law team.
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Considering A Career In The Care Industry? Here's What You Need To Know... With a wealth of experience recruiting for this sector, Jon Mason, Recruitment Manager at Maria Mallaband Care Home Group fills us in on what you need to know when considering a role in the care home industry.
WHAT ROLES ARE ON OFFER IN THE CARE HOMES SECTOR? Whilst direct care is the key purpose of course, care homes are also mini communities where there really is something for everyone. There are plenty of creative, practical and management roles in the team too, with positions in catering, wellbeing and social activities, administration, housekeeping, management, maintenance, quality control, and even transport.
DO YOU NEED SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS? Whilst there are some roles that do need specific qualifications there are many that don't. In fact, in many cases getting hands on experience whilst studying can be a much more effective way to learn plus some employers actually value the opportunity to align your learning to their own methods and practices. For example, Maria Mallaband currently has a number of Trainee Nurse Associates studying with universities across the UK alongside their current roles. Being able to earn and learn like this gives them the opportunity to become fully qualified nurses without having to worry about funding.
ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR SECTORS THAT ARE WELL SUITED TO A CAREER IN A CARE HOME? With the pressures of the ongoing pandemic on
certain industries, many are needing to look elsewhere for reliable employment. We've seen more applications for those who want to completely change their career path and are now looking to build a long-term future in the care sector. Many of our most recent hires have come from completely different sectors, including project management, children's activities, hotels, and even personal training. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality have developed great interpersonal skills and are able to work as part of a team. In sectors that are struggling, people are now considering where those skills could be applied elsewhere, and care homes have a lot to offer.
WHICH ARE THE RELEVANT SKILLS THAT YOU WOULD LOOK FOR? One of the most important skills you can bring to this field is passion! After all, it might be your place of work, but it is home for those who live there. It’s also important that people who choose this career are confident communicators and empathetic, whether they engage directly with those living there or not. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality often cultivate great communication skills and have learnt to work well as part of a team. As well as customer facing roles I have already mentioned, there are plenty of other roles that could provide relevant skills. Experience in the food industry could lead to a career in the catering team, or perhaps a role co-ordinating hobbies and activities for those with creative or artistic inclinations. More practically minded individuals may be well-suited to general maintenance, cleaning or transport positions. A passion for people and companionship as well as the work you do can make such an impact on your role and those around you. With each home operating as its own community accommodating every need for those who live there - the possibilities really are endless.
assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at email@example.com
The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...
Published on Jun 2, 2021
The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...