The Carer Digital - Issue #58

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

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 58

'Act Now' and Deliver Social Care Reforms Leaders Tell Government

Social care leaders have written to the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care asking them to ‘act now’ to reform the social care system and to publish its proposals before the Summer Recess. Organisations including the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care England, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Care Provider Alliance have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock setting out three priority areas for action.

1. Funding for short-term stabilisation As a first step, the government must urgently address short-term funding challenges, which have been worsened by Covid, to prevent further deterioration in the access to and quality of care. An immediate injection of funding is needed to enable short term stability and avoid serious risks to support during the next phase of the pandemic and beyond. Work by our organisations and others has identified the most serious challenges to support which will require funding.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! The row surrounding mandatory vaccination for care staff is intensifying and, frankly, who did not see that coming? The issue is clearly divisive and will lead to challenges in the courts and as many observers fear an exodus of staff the care sector. On Monday we reported that 50,000 people had signed a petition opposing mandatory vaccination for care staff. Now, 24 hours later, that number stands at 57,000. Editor Many operators, observers and governing bodies are well aware of the staffing crisis that has dogged the industry for years, with 112,000 unfulfilled vacancies every day. The policiy is being seen as yet another unfair burden placed on the care sector, and threatens to become a “logistical nightmare”, (rightly) said the NCF. They have identified 35 other types of key workers, from entertainers to legionnaires’ disease inspectors, which care homes will not be allowed to admit unless they are double jabbed. The NCF fears the new regulations will leave care homes legally responsible for verifying vaccination status of people, over whom they have no employment oversight. The government appears to be adopting a rather heavy-handed approach, which I suspect will add to the conflict. I read reports this week that one operator that had previously introduced a “no jab no job” policy has already lost 100 staff. I hope the government can find a more conciliatory approach to an issue which is causing genuine concern among the care sector workforce. Staff ,particularly those with long-standing careers in the sector, deserve to be treated with a bit more respect and dignity. We are delighted to report an absolutely wonderful initiative by the staff at British Telecom, an initiative which BT are now rolling out nationally. The Care Home Companions will now be rolled out to over 300 care homes across the UK. (See page 14) BT staff are using their personable and local communication skills to chat with care home residents who

Peter Adams

might not have anyone else to talk to on a regular basis. We often say here at THE CARER that the pandemic has brought out a wonderful public spirit, with people and businesses rallying to support the sector, and staff undertaking additional duties, and initiatives to make residents lives that little bit better. I remember being at a seminar many years ago where loneliness was once described as a modern-day epidemic in itself. Numerous studies have shown a correlation between loneliness and deteriorating health. Social isolation is estimated to be a comparable early death risk factor to smoking 15 cigarettes each day, making it worse than more broadly publicised factors such as obesity and lack of exercise (Campaign to End Loneliness). A ‘high-degree’ of loneliness has also been found to double the risk of a person developing Alzheimer’s disease (Age UK). So once again well done the staff of BT a wonderful initiative and one that we hope to be reporting on in the future as it gains momentum. Don’t forget our latest “Unsung Hero Award”!!!! A small token on our part to reward somebody who has gone that extra mile in in the residential and nursing care sector. While mainstream media sometimes it would seem “relishes” the opportunity to dwell on negative news surrounding care homes, we have always done the opposite! And it is an absolute travesty that these feelgood stories and initiatives never seem to make mainstream news. The nominations are coming in we are absolutely thrilled to say! So, once again a luxury hamper will be delivered directly to a “UNSUNG HERO” at their care home, nominations are open until July 9 so please get nominating with a small paragraph of what your nominee has done and why you think they are worthy of recognition nominate@thecareruk.com Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “leading lights” for insight, advice guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” we receive from care homes and staff around the country so please do keep them coming!

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'Act Now' and Deliver Social Care Reforms Leaders Tell Government

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2. Urgently bringing forward investment and reform proposals needed to ensure the sustainable long-term future of social care The government should bring forward proposals for longer-term investment and reform as an immediate priority to create a simpler, fairer system. However, any additional funding that is made available to social care, should not simply be used for ‘more of the same’ and the pre-COVID-19 status quo. It should be targeted on action to shift towards the above vision, such as more home, housing and community focused, asset-based, inclusive and preventative models of care.

3. Investment in the short term to speed the shift towards a system of social care that is both sustainable and fit for the modern age. This includes: • A targeted fund enabling councils and their partners to make a rapid shift towards prevention. • A new deal for the care workforce, including personal assistants and other non-traditional workforce roles. • Funding support for action on inequalities and levelling up. • An innovation fund to enable local authorities to harness the true potential of

technology. • Transformation and improvement support to councils and providers and to ensure a new funded transformation and improvement framework for adult social care.

DON’T “PIN YOUR HOPES” The CEO of Care England has warned providers not to pin their hopes on the government publishing reform proposals this year and urged them to take matters into their own hands. Speaking at the Future of Care conference in London Professor Martin Green called for a “new vision for social care”, but said he didn’t expect the government to deliver it. “I don’t think the Department of Health and Social Care has a proper vision for social care and I see little evidence that the department has moved on from being what it always was, which is the Department for the NHS. “What we really need is a vision, but don’t hold your breath. I’ve been in this game for a long time and I’ve not got very high expectations for [the department], so that’s why we need to lead this vision. “We’ve been through a war on COVID, but we must not let our guard down because our future has got to be redefined.”

Professor Green also expressed concerns that the debate around

social care reform is “too narrow” and primarily focus on funding. “I do not want us to talk about the funding package until we are absolutely clear about what we are going to fund and why it’s important. In conversations in the past, we have always talked about the money, but we haven’t connected with what the outcomes are and why this is so important to citizens who receive support, as well as their families and communities,” he said. The CEO said a new vision must focus on reconnecting with people who use services and asking them what makes a difference to their lives. “Instead of talking about a range of services, what we’ve got to start saying to people is ‘what can we do to help you live well, despite the fact that you may have a range of social care or medical needs?’,” he explained. “This enables people to have the control of their lives. When we craft a new vision for social care, it needs to be about giving people a life, not a set of services.”

Care Providers Facing Impending Staffing Crisis Following ‘No Jab, No Job’ Decision The Department of Health and Social Care is set to give social care providers just 16 weeks to vaccinate all staff. If confirmed, all unvaccinated staff will have to be redeployed from frontline roles or face losing their job. The decision will see care providers facing no option but to dismiss significant numbers of staff, further deepening the sector’s staffing crisis, warns social care lawyers Royds Withy King. James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King comments. “There is increasing evidence towards the efficacy of the govern-

ment’s vaccine programme, and it is perhaps understandable why the Government is set to make the vaccine mandatory for care home staff. However, the Government does not seem to have considered the catastrophic implications for staff retention and recruitment in the sector. “Vaccine take-up by care staff varies across England. Nationally 80.4% of care home staff have had the vaccine, but recent data also indicates that 76 of 149 local authority areas do not have 80% of care home staff vaccinated, 17 local authority areas have less than 70% vaccinated and the lowest rate of uptake is 52.4%. “The Government believes that those who choose not to take the

vaccine can be redeployed, an approach adopted by the NHS, but that is simply not possible in the care sector. This decision will leave care providers with no option but to dismiss, on average, 20% of their workforce, and for some providers it would be significantly more. “The prospect of losing such a significant proportion of care home staff when the sector is already facing a jobs crisis, with over 100,000 existing vacancies, increased restrictions on overseas recruitment, and growing demand for staff from retail, hospitality and leisure sectors emerging from lockdown, is unthinkable.”


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Maintaining Momentum In Social Care During Covid-19 National Care Group’s astonishing growth and achievements since its creation just five years ago are a tribute to the dedication and passion of its colleagues and the support of the organisations it works with in caring for vulnerable adults. James Allen, CEO, reflects on how National Care Group has navigated one of the most challenging years in the history of social care. Looking back on the past year, it’s incredible to think how much our company has maintained momentum and moved forward despite the challenges presented to us by the pandemic. I’m incredibly proud of how, as colleagues, everyone has come together to keep people safe at such a remarkable time. Central to this success is the commitment and care shown to the people at the heart of National Care Group, the individuals we support, which enables them to live full, rewarding and happy lives by unlocking their potential.

lives of the individuals we support and our colleagues. Many in our team would say the early days of the business were something of a rollercoaster journey, and while some people thrive in that kind of environment, it was important to steer ourselves into calmer waters and to achieve the right balance. The pandemic has, unsurprisingly, tested the changes we have made to our organisation but we’re proud to have seen significant results in several areas, including: • An increase in the number of individuals we support across our services; • A reduction in staff turnover rates; • An increase in learning and development opportunities; • Opening new services across the country; • Refocusing our efforts to ensure that the living environments we provide are maintained to the highest level; and, • Rebranding and relaunching our website. It would be impossible to achieve our goals alone, which is why we’ve built partnerships with the people we support, their families, our colleagues, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, housing associations, charities and local communities - and these will continue to help us go from strength to strength.

GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

We are committed to growing our organisation and there are several ways we intend to do this, from supporting more people and driving up our quality ratings, to harnessing new technology and attracting the right talent to the industry and more. As for the individuals we support, we want to instil confidence in them so that they can start re-engaging with their communities while maintaining an awareness of safety – an opportunity that’s incredibly exciting for us after a year of lockdown. National Care Group may only be five years old but we’ve come such a long way in that time. Only last year we were named as one the UK’s top three fastest-growing private companies in the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table. But that doesn’t mean momentum can slow down, we need to continue to innovate, to develop our services and to do the very best for the people we support. And on a personal level, I want our colleagues to feel that they are growing together and for the pride they have about working for us to become even more evident than it is now. To find out more about the National Care Group, please visit: www.nationalcaregroup.com

We work hard to provide high-quality support to an ever-increasing number of people across the country. And it’s important that we continue to grow, improve and grasp the opportunities that the future presents to ensure this momentum continues. There’s no doubt in my mind that, as a result of the pandemic, we’re a more resilient organisation and there is nothing to hold us back. After such an extraordinary year, we wanted to find a way to say thank you to all our colleagues, which is why we were thrilled to be able to host our first ever virtual National Care Group Annual Awards. Almost 1,400 people from across England and Wales tuned into the live event, making it the biggest celebration the company has ever had. The theme we decided upon was ‘unlocking your potential’, and we celebrated the colleagues across our services who have not only done this for the people we support but also for themselves.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE When I look back at my two years with National Care Group, the first year was about setting out a vision, building on what had been achieved since our inception in March 2016 and adding even more value to the

LOOKING AHEAD

Ready Steady Garden – Lilian Faithfull Care In Bloom Lilian Faithfull Care have launched their very own summer garden competition across their five care homes and two adult day care hubs in Gloucestershire. And the care home Charity is on the lookout for donations of garden items and for people to judge the patches in August. As the care sector steers it’s our way out of what has been surreal times during Covid-19, this garden project gives their staff and those they care for, the chance to have some fun together in their lovely green spaces. The garden project competition will give all residents and day guests the opportunity to get green fingered and be outdoors. Including staff as well across all job roles – Carers, Activity Co-ordinators, Domestic, Catering, Maintenance and Management. The project was inspired and created by Rita Harris their new Care Quality Manager, and will be led by each Manager – with a little healthy competition. Each of the homes and day care hub sit within beautiful grounds and gardens which give a lovely safe space for residents and day guests to enjoy. The gardening clubs are one of the most popular activities in the charity and with this in mind the gardening competition will create a new focus for the ongoing interest of residents, day guests and staff alike

The care homes and day hubs will create and grow a patch in their garden using everyone’s talents, skills and team work. There will be ways that everyone can contribute whether indoors, by helping with planning, research and seed sowing, or outdoors with planting, watering and nurturing. Those with garden experience will teach those that haven’t gardened before. Those that are creative will help design the garden patch. We know that there is a well-spring of knowledge and experience amongst our residents, day guests and staff. Gardening is known to have many benefits including improved mental well-being, increased physical activity and a great way to bring people together. The project is encouraging innovation and different elements of conservation; including wonderful plants, creative upcycling, and encouraging more birds, bees and butterflies into their beautiful gardens. The project also includes an edible element, with suggestions from their catering teams of vegetables and herbs to grow which can be included in future menus. Some are expected to be really competitive with trying to grow the largest vegetables.

Queen’s Official Birthday Celebrations at HC-One Care Homes HC-One care home across the UK celebrated the Queen’s official birthday on Saturday 12th June. In Penrith at Winters Park Care Home, Residents and Colleagues celebrated Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday with a socially distanced afternoon tea party. The lounge was decorated with union jacks and bunting as Colleagues dressed the tables and supplied a selection of delicious cakes, biscuits and sandwiches for Residents to choose from. Residents also played games, looked through books about The Queen and shared their favourite stories about The Royal Family. Winters Park Home Manager, Kate Lewis said: “I am pleased that everyone enjoyed the afternoon tea party, there were smiles and laughter all around at Winters Park. Residents and Colleagues had a wonderful time.” At The Westbury Care Home in Wiltshire, Residents and Colleagues decorated the home in honour of The Queen’s birthday so that everyone could get into the spirit, with flags, bunting and pictures of The Queen and her corgis on display. Everyone at the home had a great time celebrating the special occasion. Residents joined together in the lounge to watch the Trooping of the Colour on television. Tea and cakes were served in the afternoon, with Residents chatting and reminiscing together. Residents particularly enjoyed seeing The Queen at The Trooping of the Colour. Dana Sandu, The Westbury Care Home Manager, commented: “A lovely day enjoyed by all, and it lifted peoples’ spirits.” At Barton Brook Care Home, located in Eccles, the Residents of the Brindley House community enjoyed

celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday in style. Residents enjoyed watching the Trooping of the Colour in the morning, and in the afternoon, they sang karaoke followed by a delicious cream tea. Everyone enjoyed singing along to both modern and old-time music. Michelle Labador, Home Manager at Barton Brook Care Home, said: “What a fun afternoon, everyone enjoyed the cream tea of sandwiches and scones.” Residents at Dukinfield’s Yew Trees Care Home in Greater Manchester celebrated the Queen’s birthday by watching the Trooping of Colour on the television, followed by word puzzles and colouring. Lynda Bulley, Wellbeing Coordinator at Yew Trees Care Home, added: “We have been colouring plain biscuits with edible colouring felt tips and having a nice milky coffee to go with them. “It was so much fun and a great discussion about the Queen was had by all.” An afternoon tea party was held in celebration of the Queen’s birthday at Dove Court Care Home, in Burnley. Lots of cups of tea and coffee, various sandwiches and cakes and a birthday cake was presented to everyone. Residents sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and the national anthem to commemorate the day, which everyone really enjoyed participating in. Residents loved the assortment of cakes on offer and singing to The Queen. Catherine Brierley, Care Home Manager at Dove Court Care Home, said: “It was lovely to see the Residents enjoying themselves.”


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No Trust In Social Care Services From Older People As They Rally For Urgent Change Just 5% of over 55s have full trust in state care services and believe they would be cared for appropriately if necessary, according to new research from Audley Villages that sheds light on how older people feel about the UK’s social care system. 37% of over 55s think the Government needs to seriously rethink how it manages care in the UK. A quarter (26%) of over 55s think the UK’s attitudes towards care of those in later life needs to change, while 17% admit that they don’t trust the state care services to look after them sufficiently. Two fifths (40%) of over 55s agree that people shouldn’t have to sell their home to fund care, yet well over a quarter (28%) don't think that the resources are in place to support the growing older population in the UK. When asked how urgently the Government needs to reform the social care system, over half (52%) of over 55s said very urgently. An overwhelming

84% of all UK adults think that the Government needs to reform the social care system at least somewhat urgently. Paul Morgan, Managing Director of Audley Villages, commented: “The Government has missed numerous opportunities to make fundamental change and now people have little faith in the UK’s social care system. As people get older, they shouldn’t feel that adequate support is out of reach, and certainly not feel like they have no choice but to sell their home to fund care. The focus now needs to be on providing more appropriate housing for an ageing population, with care and wellbeing services attached. Keeping people healthy and supported in their own homes will reduce the pressure on hospitals and local care services and enable older people to live well and stay well, for longer. A holistic approach to housing and care also creates an environment where people can build positive relationships with care teams and establish a strong support network, which is only a good thing.”

Residents Get Suited Up To Commemorate Father Figures A CARE home is celebrating Father’s Day by decorating personalised ties with its residents inspired by photographs of their loved ones. Residents at Belhaven House in Troon, South Ayrshire, have spent the last week making paper ties inspired by photographs of their own father figures and role models. Staff at the Mansfield Care home have helped source the photographs by spending time with residents to talk about special memories and the important men in each of their lives. Come Sunday residents are set to enjoy afternoon tea organised by the care staff with family members visiting throughout the evening to mark

the occasion. Fiona Hunter, Manger at Belhaven House said: “It’s really important for the residents to spend time to reflect and commemorate those who impacted our lives in so many ways. “We felt making ties would be both creative and symbolic; revisiting fond memories by talking about them while working with the photographs. “Many of the residents are father’s themselves so it was great to hear about special days spent with their own children” “There is something really special about holding a photograph; it stimulates memories but conversation too which we value highly here.”

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Mental Wellbeing - Avoiding the Pandemic “Hangover” By Carolyn Hobdey, author, media commentator and mentor specialising in life change (www.carolynhobdey.com)

Never has the spotlight been so brightly shone upon our mental wellbeing as it has throughout the covid pandemic. In fact, the normalisation of speaking more openly about our psychological welfare has been one of the glimmers of light that has come out of the situation. As restrictions continue to ease and we regain parts of our lives we have been denied for many months, the ongoing coronavirus mental health ‘hangover’ should not be underestimated. It remains vital that we continue to safeguard our mental wellbeing by taking conscious steps to shore it up. A few simple changes to our everyday lives can make a significant

difference to our mind hygiene. In case that sounds like hard work, the focus here is not about adding more things to our already busy lives, but instead eliminating those things (or people!) that don’t serve us well and making small changes to pre-existing routines. Here are six top tips to keep you in a mentally positive place: H: Hello! - the power of connection with others has really been highlighted whilst we’ve been kept away from friends and loved ones. Make regular time to speak or meet with people who positively impact on you. Laugh, offload and instantly reduce your stress. As an added bonus to yourself, say ‘hello’ to a stranger and see how good that spontaneous act feels. E: Exercise - the power of exercise is well known for improving our mental health as well as our physical health. That doesn’t change the fact that starting a new exercise regime or going to a public gym can be daunting, so just move - dance around at home, walk briskly outside, run up and down the stairs - it all helps… no-one is asking you to become an athlete. A: Achievements - at the end of each day think about three things you’ve achieved that day - however small. If you want, write them down, but it’s also ok to do this exercise whilst you clean your teeth before bed

at night. Take those couple of minutes to think about what those achievements say about you and your values - and congratulate yourself for them! L: Listen - consciously noticing your self-talk (how you talk to yourself in your own mind) can make a notable difference to how you feel. Catch yourself when you speak negatively and look for ways to turn those into positive thoughts. Ask yourself - what’s the upside that I’ve learnt from that mistake/failure/issue that I’m beating myself up about? T: Time-out - our ‘always on’ society can leave you exhausted. So set aside a regular time each week when you turn off your technology, give yourself a break from the news & media and go to do something positive for you instead. Meditate (it can take as little as 10 mins and there are lots of free Apps to guide you), make yourself a drink and sit quietly for a while or spend quality time with a loved one. H: Help - getting good at asking for and accepting help is great for reducing stress. Remember that when you ask someone for their help you’re saying, “you have something that I value” - which makes them feel good too! When asking for help, increase your chances of a ‘yes’ by being specific about what help you need and when as well as why they are the best person to assist you.

Quantum Care Resident Receives Award From The Royal British Legion For decades now Les has been selling poppies for the Royal British Legion. He started this charitable work by going from door to door with his wife Penny selling poppies to local Stevenage residents and eventually they became a regular and much loved sight doing charitable work outside Coreys Mill Sainsbury’s. Year after year, come rain or shine, Les has plied his charitable trade without missing a beat and even deteriorating health and a global pandemic have been unable to break his stride. Now a resident at Quantum Care’s Jubilee Court care home in Stevenage, Les turned his hand to the online world with the help of the Activities Team at the home, raising money for the Poppy Appeal through a Just Giving web page. The page raised over £1,700 in donations last year, breaking through his intended target of £500. On the 17th June, in recognition of his tireless contribution, Les received three visitors at Jubilee Court care home. Two visitors were

from the Royal British Legion and they were there on official business. For his outstanding support, Les had been awarded the Poppy Workers 25 Year Badge by the Royal British Legion’s Board of Trustees and a beautifully framed Certificate of Appreciation by the Stevenage branch of the charity. To deliver these awards in person were Poppy Appeal Organiser (Stevenage Branch) Retired Major Keith Greenough QVRM TD and Pat Jeffery, Royal British Legion Treasurer for Stevenage and Hertfordshire County. The other visitor was Pat Holding, his long-time friend who he met during his charitable work. Les and his wife knocked on Pat’s door one cold and dark evening and were very quickly invited in for a hot cup of tea and refreshments, which was the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. Pat attended Buckingham Palace with Les at the invitation of the Queen in 2014 for their services to charity.


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Petition Against Mandatory Care Sector Vaccinations Launched Over 50,000 people have signed a petition against proposals by the government to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for care home workers. The petition which is live until September 19 says “ We, the people, demand that health and social care workers are given the right to exercise free will in relation to any medical procedure and so to be able to refuse to take the covid 19 vaccination without fear of facing discrimination at work or in wider society.” The government announced last week that everyone working In care homes must be fully vaccinated under new laws. The new legislation means from October – subject to parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16 week grace period – anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption, anwill apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home. Those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors will also have to follow the new regulations, unless they have a medical exemption. Proposals of drawn concerns from industry observers. Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said: “Clarity around contentious policy proposals is always welcome, particularly when details of policy intent become public via media reports before any official government announcements are made. “Given the potential divisiveness of this proposal, we would urge the government to tread carefully and work with people who use services, the workforce, providers, and commissioners to fully understand how

best to implement. Alongside this, the sector needs sufficient resources and guidance. The government must also be alert to the ethical and professional issues at work and should seek to closely monitor impact. Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said today: “Unite strongly opposes forcing any health and social care workers to have a vaccine or risk sacrificing their job. “Encouragement, not compulsion is the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the very good reason that such an approach is shown to work. “A checklist of reasons behind the shocking level of infection in care homes points to a stack of government failures. It is invidious that social care staff should be singled out in this fashion – it smacks of the government trying to divert attention from its massive failure at the begin-

ning of the pandemic to protect elderly residents from coronavirus. Approximately one in six care workers – around 52,000 – have not had the vaccine. There are also ongoing consultations over whether to make jabs compulsory for NHS staff, with 151,000 NHS workers – just over one in 10 – unvaccinated. Azeem Majeed, Professor of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London, cautioned that making the vaccine compulsory could increase conflict. “Compulsory vaccination may harden anti-vaccine views,” he told i. “People may also view this as the ‘thin end of the wedge’ and the first step in making vaccination compulsory for other groups, such as NHS staff and teachers.” “I would prefer employers, the NHS and government to engage with staff to build trust to address the reasons for their vaccine hesitancy.” ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “I can understand why the Government has taken this decision as it is vital that we get as many people protected against Covid-19 as possible. The vaccine is very important and playing a crucial role in the pandemic. “However, I do not like the idea of forcing people to do something against their will and would prefer it to remain a matter of personal choice rather than be compulsory. “I think the Government hasn’t gone far enough in its efforts to persuade people of the value of the vaccine and is using the blunt instrument of legislation. “This will without doubt create another barrier to recruitment at a time when social care providers are facing an employment crisis and struggling to fill one shift at a time. To view the petition visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/577842

West Sussex Care Home Celebrates Nutrition and Hydration Week With Hawaiian Themed Afternoon A care home in Yapton arranged a Hawaiian themed mocktail afternoon for its residents to mark Nutrition and Hydration Week (14 – 20 June). The annual event aims to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in the provision of nutrition and hydration locally, nationally and globally. Warmere Court residents enjoyed trying different flavour beverages which were tailored to their dietary requirements. Those who require higher fat content in their diet sipped on tasty mocktails with cream. Mary Latter, service manager for the Shaw healthcare operated home, said: ‘Getting the correct nutrients has an impact on how we feel and also

how well we concentrate. We made sure each resident had something to enjoy and to stay hydrated in the wonderful weather we have been having. It was a lovely afternoon that everyone enjoyed.’ Also in attendance was chief financial officer (CFO) of Shaw healthcare, Russell Brown, and operations manager Clare Gibson, who both spent time with all of the residents and staff. Mr Brown steps up from his current role as CFO in November to chief executive officer (CEO) of Shaw healthcare when the present CEO and Shaw’s founder, Jeremy Nixey, retires at the end of October after more than 40 years at the head of the organisation.


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Mandatory Vaccines in Care Homes: “No Jab, No Job” To Become Law including the following: • how to manage refusals; • how to police those entering the home; • what new policies and procedures may be required; and • whether changes are required to commercial terms with tradespeople and employment businesses supplying agency workers.

WHY ARE THE NEW LAWS BEING INTRODUCED?

Lucy Gordon, Director in the Employment Team at leading law firm, Walker Morris (www.walkermorris.co.uk), discusses the announcement that covid-19 vaccinations will become mandatory for all workers in care homes. The government announced on 16 June 2021 that new regulations to be laid before Parliament will require all workers in CQC-registered care homes to receive two doses of vaccines against Covid-19 unless medically exempt. This follows a period of consultation in which views were sought from providers, workers and families about how best to protect those in care homes given the disappointing initial uptake of vaccinations in care home workers. Draft regulations are to be placed before Parliament as soon as possible with the new laws intended to apply from October 2021. Workers will have a grace period of 16 weeks in which to receive both doses of a vaccine unless medically exempt. This will apply to all employees and workers directly employed or engaged by care home providers, all agency workers engaged in such settings, and volunteers. The requirement also extends to those individuals coming into care homes for other reasons, such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers, beauticians and CQC inspectors, amongst others. The development raises significant practical concerns for employers,

The Social Care working group of SAGE advised earlier in 2021 that a vaccination uptake rate of 80% of staff and 90% of residents would be required in order to provide a minimum level of protection in care homes. As at April 2021, 94.1% of all eligible people living in older adult care homes had received at least one dose of a vaccine. However, the national statistic for staff was 78.9%, which hid a number of significant regional variations – some regions had take-up of under 70% and all 32 London boroughs had take-up of under 80%. There are a significant number of homes (around 35%) that do not meet the SAGE requirements.

WHICH CARE HOMES ARE IMPACTED BY THE CHANGES? Whilst the consultation originally proposed that the rules would only apply to care homes with residents aged 65 and over, the intention is that the new regulations will apply to all CQC-registered care homes providing nursing and personal care. Will this be extended to other health and care settings? The government is proposing to announce further consultation regarding extending mandatory vaccination to other health and care settings such as the NHS and domiciliary care.

WHAT DO CARE HOME PROVIDERS NEED TO DO NOW? The new laws will present significant challenges for an already stretched and weary sector. The British Medical Association has said that the changes will bring “new ethical and legal implications” and the National Care Forum, which represents not-for-profit care homes has said that the rules relating to other individuals entering care homes amount to an “unworkable door policy”. There are reports that many staff, in a sector already suffering chronic resource shortages, would rather quit than receive the vaccine. The priority for care homes will be to use the period prior to October 2021 to push education about the vaccine and to try to encourage vol-

untary take-up as much as possible, rather than having to consider legal processes to redeploy or potentially even dismiss staff in the event that they do not consent to receiving the vaccine once the grace period has ended. The government has produced useful materials for employers to share with staff [1]. Employers could also consider inviting medical professionals to talk to staff about their concerns. Difficulties may arise around those who are medically exempt, and employers will need to treat such cases with caution and remind staff not to discriminate against those who may be suffering from disabilities and serious medical conditions. Information should be treated in the strictest of confidence and employers will need to examine and perhaps refresh their data protection policies and procedures regarding handling and processing such data. Religious or personal reasons are undoubtedly going to play a part in the reluctance of some workers to receive a vaccine and again these will need to be addressed sensitively and carefully. If, ultimately, employers are left with employees refusing consent to a vaccine after the grace period expires, they will be required to consider re-deployment to other roles before considering dismissal, albeit those available roles are likely to be rare in the care industry. If there are no viable alternatives, employers would need to ensure that they followed a fair process before potentially dismissing employees for “some other substantial reason”. Employees would receive notice, and perhaps outstanding holiday pay, but no other termination payments, such as a redundancy payment. The new rules will inevitably present recruitment challenges and employers will need to make vaccination requirements clear in advertisements and offer documentation, but are unlikely, due to disability discrimination legislation, to be able to check vaccine status of applicants until the offer stage.

WE CAN HELP At Walker Morris, we have specialist lawyers in our employment, regulatory and commercial teams who are experienced in advising on issues in the healthcare sector. We can help you with queries about the new rules, putting new policies and procedures in place, how to amend terms and conditions with third parties and how to ensure that you do not fall foul of data protection requirements.

Newark Care Homes Collaborate With Talented Local Baker To Support Small Businesses Two Nottinghamshire care homes have teamed up with a local cake business to provide support during the pandemic. Red Rose Care Community and Red Roofs Residential Care Home situated in Newark have been working with Ringrose Cakes to help kick-start the economy. Over the last few months, it has been very difficult for businesses to get back on their feet and this is why Red Homes Healthcare Group has decided to give back to the local community. Throughout the pandemic, businesses from across Newark have generously donated a number of edible goodies, toiletry hampers, bouquets of flowers and gardening supplies to the care homes and this has not gone unnoticed. Trish Smith, general manager at Red Roofs Residential Care Home said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from the local community over the last year. It has been tough, but we’ve come together as a family and got through one of the hardest periods in our lifetime.” “We were really excited to receive the cupcakes from Natalie because it’s very rare we have branded cakes delivered to our door. We are very fortunate to have such a

talented baker in the local area.” “Nothing was too much trouble for Natalie and each of our residents received their very own Red Roofs and Red Rose branded cupcakes. This is just one of the many ways we make all who reside with us feel included and part of the Red Homes family.” “We are proud to have been able to support Ringrose Cakes and are very much looking forward to working with the business again in the near future.” Natalie Connett, owner of Ringrose Cakes said: “Back in January I was contacted by Red Homes Healthcare and asked to provide cupcakes as a special treat to each of their care homes. I agreed immediately and started planning what the cupcakes would look like as they wanted a red theme.” “For the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of delivering the cupcakes and meeting the care home staff. It has been lovely to be so warmly welcomed – after all everyone loves a bit of cake!” “It’s been a difficult year or so with care homes being at the sharp end of the pandemic and it has been lovely to help put a smile back on a few faces.”

Local Care Home Group Enjoy Trishaw Rides From Local Charity ‘Cycling Without Age’ Residents at Whitebriars Residential Care Home, specialist dementia care based in Bexhill, East Sussex, had a wonderful sunny afternoon enjoying trishaw rides along Bexhill promenade. ‘Cycling Without Age’ are a wonderful initiative who provide trishaw rides to local care home residents. The voluntary organisation wants to give the elderly “personal interaction, put the wind in their hair and smiles on their faces”. Whitebriars residents took it in turns to be picked up from their home and were taken along the seafront in style. This is something that Coast Care Homes has been involved in in the past but because of the pandemic it has been two years since their last trishaw experience. The Whitebriars residents had a fantastic afternoon, One resident said “Oh my, I can remember being in a tuktuk in Sri Lanka, it must have

been 50 years ago, it was Ceylon in those days”. She is still talking about it today. Another resident exclaimed “We are out, we are out” with a huge smile. Activities Co-ordinator Martha Linfield said, “It brought instant joy to the residents, they were smiling and waving to passers by the whole time” Lynda and Kevin Dewhurst, the owners of Coast Care Homes said, “At Coast Care Homes we aim to make day-to-day life in our homes as fulfilling as possible for every individual resident. Our core belief is to promote choice and independence within a loving and stimulating environment. The trip along the seafront by this unusual mode of transport, from a great bunch of volunteers has been wonderful. We really appreciate their hard work and efforts, particularly on one of the hottest days of the year! We are always looking for great stimulating activities for our much-loved residents, this was certainly a big hit”


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Care Leaders Call on PM to lift EU Settlement Scheme Deadline to Avoid Risk of Criminalisation The Care Workers Charity has joined with 4 of the UK’s main care representatives writing to the Prime Minister to warn that EU care workers are at risk of losing their legal status and rights in just 1 weeks time on the EU Settlement Scheme deadline of June 30th. Other signatories include Care England, National Care Association, Scottish Care and the Institute of Health and Social Care Management, representing hundreds of care providers and thousands of care workers in all parts of the UK, from countries all over the world. Traditionally considered an ‘unskilled and undervalued workforce’, signatories write that the pandemic ‘has shone a light on the vital role care workers play in keeping this country going’. Yet now they stand to lose everything in just under 3 weeks. Signatories are calling on the Government to lift the EUSS deadline or offer EU care workers an exemption to avoid criminalisation of EU care workers and their employers. Caitlin Boswell, Project Officer (EU Citizens’ Rights) at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants: “In less than 3 weeks the EUSS deadline will force tens of thousands of EU citizens out of status and into the Hostile Environment. EU citizens who miss the deadline will lose the right to rent, access free healthcare and could be criminalised for working. EU care workers and other key workers – the very people we have relied on over the past year – are in

Signatories are also concerned that care workers will not meet the threshold for late applications to the EUSS. They write that even in cases where the guidance provides a route back to status, this is not a solution to making people undocumented. ‘Loss of legal status, barriers to accessing services, liability to criminal penalties for continuing to work and exposure to potential detention and removal creates huge and potentially life-ruining risks.’ “The Care Workers’ Charity is extremely concerned about the impact of the immigration policy on the social care workforce- there are already huge staff shortages in the sector, and the additional shortages caused directly by this policy will have a devastating impact of on the wellbeing of existing care teams, and on the quality of care provided. It is therefore real danger of slipping through the cracks in the scheme. Significant numbers of EU care workers falling out of status will devastate the care industry in the middle of a pandemic. It’s more urgent than ever that the Government acts now to lift the EUSS deadline.” Research from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants found that 1 in 7 EU care workers surveyed online did not know or were not sure what the EUSS was, and 1 in 3 did not know there was a deadline or were not sure when it was.

urgent and necessary for the policy to be changed.” – Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity The letter urges Prime Minister to consider the future of the care sector which is at stake without immediate action. The UK’s adult social care sector relies heavily on its migrant workforce yet currently has a shortfall of 120,000 vacancies. Signatories write that ‘the pandemic has shown that to simply rely on a domestic workforce is no more than a wishful fantasy.’

Harry Redknapp Surprises Fan At Bournemouth Care Home Footballing icon Harry Redknapp has paid a surprise visit to a fan with terminal cancer, thanks to quick thinking care home staff. After spotting Harry while driving through Bournemouth, the care home’s manager asked him to meet with life-long West Ham fan, Frank McHale. The 57-year-old has been living at Bupa’s Queensmount care home since May, following a terminal diagnosis of lung sarcoma – a rare type of cancer. Claudia Carvell, manager at the care home, explains: “Whether they’re with us for weeks or years, our job is to make residents smile. “Frank is a huge West Ham fan so, when I saw Harry in town, I knew I had to ask him to visit. He must have thought I was crazy as I ran down the street to catch him, but I hadn’t even finished explaining before he agreed. “Harry was wonderful and the visit has had a huge impact on Frank – he’s been beaming ever since.” Speaking at the care home, Harry joked: “I’m here as the care home manager ambushed me on the street! I’ve got to be truthful though, this place is amazing. I can’t believe the atmosphere – people are so friendly.

“Frank is a great guy. I’m so pleased I could take the time to come and chat to him today.” During the visit, the pair took time to talk about football and family, sharing their favourite stories about West Ham, whilst also talking about what had drawn them both to Bournemouth. Born and raised in London, Frank is one of seven siblings – all of who supported rival club, Queens Park Rangers. However, Sir Bobby Moore caught Frank’s interest as a youngster, leading him to break the family tradition and become a lifelong Hammers fan. Frank recounts many happy memories with the club, including taking his daughter to see them play at Upton Park. Speaking about the visit, Frank said: “Meeting Harry gave me a huge boost. I never thought I’d meet him like this, and it was amazing to reminisce about the Hammers and share stories about living in Bournemouth. He is a such a great bloke.” As well as chatting with Frank, Harry also took time to meet staff at the home – thanking them for everything they do for local residents.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 11

Everyone Working In Care Homes To Be Fully Vaccinated Under New Law To Protect Residents Following reports in last week’s Carer digital that the government was due to announce that people working in care homes will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now confirmed that this will be required under new laws. The new legislation means from October – subject to parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16 week grace period – anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption. It will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home. Those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors will also have to follow the new regulations, unless they have a medical exemption. The responses to the consultation made a case for extending this policy beyond care homes to other settings where people vulnerable to COVID-19 receive care, such as domiciliary care and wider healthcare settings. Based on this evidence, the government will launch a further public consultation in due course on whether or not to make COVID-19 and flu vaccination a condition of deployment in health and care settings. This is a complex issue and the government is looking for a wide range of perspectives from across the health and care sector about whether this should be introduced and how it could be implemented. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Vaccines save lives and while staff and residents in care homes have been prioritised and the majority are now vaccinated we need to do everything we can to keep reducing the risk. “Through our consultation we have listened to the experiences and concerns of providers and people living and working in care homes to help shape our approach. “We have a responsibility to do all we can to safeguard those receiving care including in the NHS and so will be consulting further on whether to extend to other health and social care workers. “This is the right thing to do and a vitally important step to continue protecting care homes now and in the future. I’d urge anyone working in care homes to get their jab as soon as possible.” There will be exceptions for visiting family and friends, under 18s, emergency services and people undertaking urgent maintenance work. Data from Public Health England indicates the COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented 14,000 deaths and around 42,000 hospitalisations in older people in England (up to 30 May). The new regulations follow an extensive consultation with the social care sector, staff, residents and their families on the issue. Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “People working in care homes have played an incredibly important role throughout the pandemic caring for those most at risk from this terrible virus. “The vaccine is working, with over 14,000 lives saved so far. It’s only

right that we take every possible step to protect those most at risk now and in the long term. “I want to take this opportunity to urge everyone working in social care to take up the jab if they haven’t already to protect those they care for, themselves and those they work alongside.” The Social Care Working Group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advises an uptake rate for one dose of 80% in staff and 90% in residents in each individual care home setting is needed to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks of COVID-19. While the majority of care home workers have now been vaccinated, only 65% of older care homes in England are currently meeting the minimum level of staff uptake for one dose needed to reduce the risk of outbreaks in these high-risk care settings – falling to 44% of care homes in London. Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy said: “I would like to thank all our social care workers for continuing to provide incredible care and support during the last very difficult year, for having the vaccine and supporting those in social care to be vaccinated. “We are seeing vaccines are important in saving lives and it is absolutely vital that anyone who has not yet taken up the opportunity should do so to keep themselves and those they care for safe.” Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said: “Vaccines are the most important tool we have against COVID-19 and they have already saved thousands of lives. “Having a high level of protection in care homes will reduce the risk to this very vulnerable population. “Evidence shows that 2 doses of the vaccine offers high levels of protection against hospitalisation from COVID-19. We also know that getting both doses of your jab reduces your risk of unknowingly passing the virus on to others. “That’s why it is vitally important to get both doses of your vaccine as soon as they are offered to you, to protect you and those around you. The more people that get 2 doses of the vaccine, the more lives will be saved.” Dr Pete Calveley, CEO of Barchester, said: “We believe that we should all do whatever possible to protect the most vulnerable of society, there-

fore we welcome the Government’s proposal to require everyone working in a care home to be vaccinated against Covid-19. “We took the decision in February that staff working in a Barchester care home or hospital must be vaccinated and we have carried out extensive engagement programmes with staff, as well as 1-1 support to encourage this. As a result we are seeing strong uptake and positive engagement with COVID-19 vaccination, and we are delighted that the outcome is that 99% of our staff are willing to have the vaccine.” There has been a very high level of engagement with the consultation from care home staff, providers, stakeholders, residents and their families, in addition to the wider public. Over 13,500 responses were received for the consultation and they have been comprehensively analysed and carefully considered. The original scope of the consultation proposed applying this to only those care homes who look after someone aged 65 and over, though following the consultation it became clear of the need to extend this to all CQC-registered care homes providing nursing and personal care. There was significant support for broadening the scope of the policy to include all those coming into close contact with residents; and some support to include all those entering care homes, in any capacity. We have carefully considered a range of options regarding the extent to which the policy should be extended to other working or visiting adults in care homes. Regulations will be laid before Parliament as secondary legislation at the earliest opportunity. If approved by Parliament, there will be a 16-week grace period from when the regulations are made to when they come into force to enable staff who haven’t been vaccinated to take up the vaccine. A majority of adult social care staff will be eligible for their second dose 8 weeks after their first. People may not yet have taken up the offer of a vaccine for a number of reasons including availability, being within 28 days of having COVID-19 or for personal reasons. The government has been working to make the vaccination accessible to people living and working in care homes – the NHS has visited all eligible care homes in England and offered vaccines to all staff, and the government continues to work closely with the care sector, independent healthcare providers and local leaders, to maximise vaccination numbers and save lives. For those workers who may not have been present when the vaccination team visited the home, access via other vaccination services have been available, including through an online booking platform where people can book a vaccination at the time and place of their choosing. More than 1.2 million social care workers, (78%) in England have now taken up the vaccination – an important step in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and the people they care for from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. Working together with the NHS and PHE, the government is providing advice and information at every possible opportunity to support those getting the vaccine and to anyone who might have questions about the vaccination process to encourage people to come forward and get a jab when the offer comes.


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New Appointment Helps Care Home Residents Find Artistic Flair

CARE home residents are exploring their inner Picasso through art therapy thanks to a new lifestyle coordinator. Art-enthusiast Athena Liakeas has joined the team at Cramond Residence as a Lifestyle Coordinator and will be responsible for planning and implementing a range of activities. Athena has a passion for art and has been encouraging residents to express themselves via a range of art therapies, including colour therapy and painting. Starting out as a Food Services Assistant with Cramond Residence in 2020, Athena has had an ambition of joining the lifestyle team since and knew the benefits art therapy could have on residents, particularly those living with Alzheimers. Edinburgh born and bred, Athena said: “The lifestyle team has always impressed me as they continually strive to go above and beyond to ensure residents are living life to the fullest. “In the last two months, I’ve been building relationships with residents whilst getting to know their likes and dislikes – and I can honestly say no two days have been the same since starting at the beginning of the year. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed painting and appreciate the joy and self-expression that can come from art.

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

“Art can allow people to communicate things that cannot be expressed via words and functions as a strong and important medium between the verbal and the visual. “Some residents living with dementia have limited verbal communication, so art therapy is a great way for them to express themselves in a delicate way.” A new activity on offer is colour therapy, where residents are shown a sheet of coloured paper and asked to identify how it makes them feel, tapping into repressed emotion. Athena added: “The introduction of art therapies has been well received and while art therapy is a passion of mine, this does not take away from the importance of the other activities. The key thing is to keep activities as diverse as possible.” Lifestyle Coordinators at the home aim to offer new experiences to support residents’ wellbeing, independence and to make life fun and fulfilling and have a month long planner of activities. For the duration of lockdown, residents were confined to Cramond Residence’s nine individual houses within the wider home, with Lifestyle Coordinators using technology to keep residents connected. With restrictions lifted and the home now fully connected again, residents are enjoying a variety of activities together. 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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Since The PM Promised To ‘Fix Social Care’ 2 Million Requests For Formal Care Services Have Been Rejected New analysis for the Care and Support Alliance as found that since the Prime Minister stood in Downing Street and promised to “fix social care, once and for all”, approaching two years ago now, a shocking two million requests for formal care and support from adults aged over 18 have been turned down by their local council. This is equivalent to about 21,000 requests being turned down each week, or 3,000 every day. To put these figures in context, it is well established that social care is chronically underfunded and that many local councils are struggling to meet the care needs of their communities. We have an ageing population and growing numbers of disabled people of working age, for example, but central Government funding has not kept pace with the consequent growing demand for care. Unfortunately, the pandemic threatens to make an already bad situation even worse; research recently published by Age UK found that being stuck at home for long periods, largely immobile and without the stimulation of company, is demonstrably accelerating and intensifying some older people’s need for care . This new finding is being published on the day that the leaders of 50 charities and not for profit organisations belonging to the Alliance have written to the Prime Minister, calling on him to act this year in order to fulfil the promise he made to the country to ‘fix social care’, when he first entered office on 24th July 2019. Nearly 100 weeks later there is still nothing to show from the Prime Minister’s promise. What’s more, people who rely on social care have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. As the leaders say in their letter: “During the pandemic tens of thousands died before their time in care

homes from COVID-19. The best possible legacy we can give all those who have lost loved ones would be to ensure that we fix the care system so that a similar tragedy cannot happen again.” The signatories are leaders in organisations that support older people, disabled people, those with mental ill health and other long term health conditions, and their unpaid carers. They include Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Carers UK, Mencap, Mind and many others. The letter explains that these organisations were delighted when they heard the Prime Minister make his pledge and that now, after everything social care has been through during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that he stands by his word. Caroline Abrahams CBE, Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance and Charity Director of Age UK, said: “The fact that two million requests

for care have been turned down by local councils over the last two years or so is mind-blowing. Although this enormous group of our fellow citizens will no doubt demonstrate many different needs, some care will have been essential for all of them to live well and with dignity. Without it, their lives will have been diminished in quality and sometimes quantity too, with huge pressure placed on families and friends to try to compensate for the absence of properly funded support. We can’t go on like this, it is simply too unfair on everyone involved. “The responsibility for reforming and refinancing care lies squarely with central Government, so it was fantastic to hear the Prime Minister pledge to “fix social care once and for all”, when he entered No 10 in July 2019. Now, if this terrible pandemic doesn’t make the case for determined Government action on social care I struggle to think what will. Sadly, we can’t bring back the more than 40,000 lives lost in care settings, but we can at least do everything possible to prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again. That means a thorough overhaul of social care, with the funding to match, starting this year. “As charities and not for profits that see the positive difference good social care makes to people, and the misery and distress caused when it’s not there, our message to the Prime Minister is simple: it’s time for you and your Government to deliver on the promise you have made.” Social care enables people to lead independent and fulfilling lives. It includes help with personal care (washing, dressing and eating), support with everyday tasks (shopping, managing money, cooking) and for disabled adults of working age help with socialising, going to work and taking part in local activities. Even before the pandemic at least 1.6 million people went without the care they needed .

Birkdale Park Nursing Home Celebrates Pride in Colourful Style Birkdale Park Nursing Home in Southport celebrates LGBT+ Pride day. With a colourful fanfare of flags, bunting, cakes, music, dance and immense Pride in celebrating ‘love is love’. Birkdale Park has had the honour of looking after numerous gay and lesbian residents over the years. Birkdale Park Prides itself on being a loving place to celebrate people’s love for each other regardless of gender. Registered Care Manager Jonathan Cunningham who on numerous occasions has assisted in the large event management and delivery of Liverpool Pride said, ‘this is an immensely important day for all of us at Birkdale Park, it is an honour to celebrate today all those members of staff and residents who love people of their own gender. We have a fabulous day planned of music, dance and general silliness as we rejoice in all things rainbow coloured!’ Activities and Wellbeing Coordinator Helen Jones [Pictured] dressed in her rainbow dress, said ‘It is so much fun planning and delivering this Pride Celebration, many of the staff are dressing in multi colours, head scarfs and many even have rainbow tattoos’. It is a fabulous occasion for us! Let the celebrations commence.


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BT Announces National Rollout of Care Home Companions Service to Help Tackle Loneliness in Care Homes BT is announcing the national rollout of its employee led initiative, Care Home Companions to over 300 care homes across the UK. Since 2020, BT, EE and Plusnet contact centre colleagues have been volunteering to regularly chat with care home residents to keep their spirits up during the pandemic. Following a successful launch in the North East, BT is expanding Care Home Companions to over 300 care homes nationwide with their partner HC-One, with the ambition to have 1,600 volunteers making 15,000 calls to care home residents over the next year. BT colleagues are using their personable and local communication skills they’ve learnt as customer service advisors to chat with residents who might not have anyone else to talk to on a regular basis. During lockdown, the Office for National Statistics found that those who are “always or often” lonely reached 8 per cent* of UK adults. Care Home Companions is helping to tackle the loneliness epidemic by giving volunteers from nearby UK based BT, EE and Plusnet contact centres the opportunity to give back to their local communities. Call centres taking part in this initiative include Darlington, Sheffield, Leeds and Doxford Park, and will be expanding to a total of 30 centres, with additions including Accrington, Blackburn, Lancaster, Liverpool and Warrington throughout the year. In line with BT’s mission to Connect for Good, the original idea for Care Home Companions was born out of an existing project set-up by a group of BT employees in 2020 to help tackle loneliness in the UK. The scheme was hugely successful, with around 140 volunteers making over 1600 calls to care homes in the North East during 2020. The series of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures has had a devastating impact for residents in care homes, and now in 2021, BT volunteers together with HC-One are taking the project one step further to help even more residents across the country to combat loneliness for

this vulnerable part of society. Nick Lane, MD of service, BT’s Consumer division said: “Giving back to local communities is so important, so when we heard there was a group of people who’d appreciate a chat, our volunteers jumped at the chance to help. I couldn’t be prouder of them. Being local and personal is such a big part of who we are now, meaning that we’re uniquely placed to be making these calls to those in our communities who need it most. The feedback from the residents, carers and care homes has just been overwhelmingly positive and our people love it too.” Colleagues who volunteer to take part are given full training on top of their professional customer service skills on how to help their care home companions feel more connected. Matching companions in the same area means volunteers can bring in their own personal and local

experience to build friendships and help residents feel comfortable and supported. Robi Roccella, Head of Quality of Life at HC-One on how the weekly calls help as part of their overall activities: “Our wellbeing programme aims to enhance the quality of life of the People we care for, by providing a range of meaningful activities that can stimulate their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. During the coronavirus pandemic we’ve had to adapt the way we do things, and for the People we care for, their relationships with the outside world and community links have become even more important. We are grateful to be working with BT and EE, for not only the time their volunteers have given to help the People we care for to stay connected, but also helping them through their weekly calls to lead active and fulfilling lives. This programme is also promoting the use technology which is also key to enable People to be stimulated and engaged.” Lauren Proctor, Wellbeing Coordinator from HC-One’s Kirkwood Court care home in Newcastle said: “We cannot thank the BT volunteers enough and everyone who has used their free time to chat. Our residents look forward to the calls and enjoy telling stories about their past. They love getting to know the volunteers’ and learning more about the people they’re talking to – one resident said, “It’s lovely to match a face to the voice”. “Our ambition is to help combat loneliness and this initiative is definitely helping. From the numerous calls we’ve had, one little chat makes a resident’s day. For example, George, looks forward to his call every week and enjoys talking about his life, his family and especially history. BT sent George The Magnificent 7 DVD and sweets as a birthday present, as he mentioned when his birthday was on a call once – it made his year.”

‘Practically Perfect’ as Care Homes Remake The Magic of the Musicals Residents at Colten Care homes have found ‘the most delightful way’ to enjoy favourite musicals during the pandemic, by staging their very own versions. Mary Poppins, Calamity Jane, The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady have all been given the DIY treatment with residents and staff making props, learning lines and playing character roles. The homemade shows went down a treat at Dorset homes Castle View in Poundbury and Outstanding-rated Canford Chase in Poole. After watching team members and fellow residents rehearse and perform Mary Poppins, Canford Chase resident Joan Kraszenen said: “It was just lovely, practically perfect. I laughed so much.” There was similar praise for a Castle View variety afternoon ‘extravaganza’ from residents George Clarke, Jill Kember and Enid Deakin. They watched a Calamity Jane section featuring a staff member dressed as a horse while The Sound of Music saw in-house actors don nun costumes and there were chimney brushes all round for Mary Poppins.

“It was so wonderful and creative,” said Jill. “Everyone enjoyed themselves, I know I certainly did.” George’s comment was: “It’s remarkable how much talent was on show, so entertaining.” And Enid said: “They all had so much energy, I don’t know how they do it, to keep going like that. I really enjoyed it.” The hands-on initiative was co-ordinated and led by Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music & Arts Partner, with help from colleagues. Fiona said: “It was wonderful to see residents and staff come together and have a great time on a whirlwind trip through the musicals. “Putting on favourite shows is all about enabling our residents to continue doing and enjoying the activities they love. “A great deal of preparation went in to make it all happen, including prop making and learning scripts, but as Mary Poppins would say, ‘in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun’ - and we certainly found it!”

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 58 | PAGE 15

4 In 5 UK Adults Receive First Dose Of Covid-19 Vaccine More than four in five adults in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale. With 72,891,861 doses administered in total, 42,216,654 people across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose (80%), while 30,675,207 people have had both doses (58%). New analysis by Public Health England (PHE) shows for the first time that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.61.2) variant. The analysis suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses. The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July, two weeks earlier than planned. By 19 July, all those aged 40 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable, who received their first dose by mid-May, will have been offered their second dose. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Now that four in five adults in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than half of adults have had a second jab, we are entering the final furlong in our race against the virus. “Vaccines save lives and have enabled us to restore many freedoms that we cherish. To allow us to ease restrictions fully, it is more important than ever that people come forward for their jabs when eligible and book a second dose to receive the fullest possible protection. “We’re accelerating our vaccine programme by reducing the time between doses for all people aged 40 and over to eight weeks and the NHS will open invites for everyone aged 18 and above later this week. So if you get the call, get the jab to fight this virus.”

Our successful vaccination programme is weakening the link between cases and hospitalisations. The latest evidence shows that two doses are needed to provide effective protection against the Delta variant. To ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19, second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks. The move follows advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to counter the threat of new variants of concern. The government and its scientific experts are monitoring the evolving situation and rates of variants closely, and will not hesitate to take additional action as necessary. Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK has reached yet another important milestone on the road to recovery by vaccinating four in five of the UK adult population with a first dose. “The NHS continues to work tirelessly to save lives through the largest vaccination programme in its proud history. It is vital people continue to come forward when eligible as we redouble our efforts to offer second doses and provide the fullest possible protection.” Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others. Data from PHE’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving 14,000 lives and preventing 42,000 hospitalisations in England. Data published by YouGov shows the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated. ONS data published on 9 June, shows that more than 9 in 10 (94%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine. Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.

Your Chance to Nominate The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero Once again we here at The Carer are looking for an Unsung Hero! A super deluxe luxury hamper will be the prize for the lucky winner!! Since the beginning of the Covid crisis we have been inundated with absolutely wonderful, uplifting and heartwarming stories from residential and nursing care homes around the country. It is always a delight to publish them! Fundraising, engaging with local schools and communities, baking, candlemaking, knitting, poetry, recitals, fancy dress, Chinese New Year – you name it we and have been receiving fun stories! Behind the scenes we have also received stories of the dedication commitment and devotion staff have shown in particular during these testing times. However, this the hard work and dedication that those working in the sector often in extremely challenging situa-

tions can go unnoticed! In previous years we have sought to redress that by inviting residential and nursing care homes to nominate somebody in their home who they believe is that “Unsung Hero”. Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, and often receives little recognise or reward. Since we launched our Unsung Hero award we have always had a phenomenal response, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories. Your Unsung Hero can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration – we will leave that up to you. We will be drawing a winner on July 9th, so please get your nomination with a short paragraph on what your nominee has done to deserve recognition and please send to:nominate@thecareruk.com

Thelma O’Leary of Fernhill House Care Home


PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

VAT Tribunal Decisions Highlights Tax Challenges Facing Specialist Healthcare Providers, says Hillier Hopkins the local authority, and not the CQC. “LIFE and The Learning Centre argued that the services were exempt from VAT and HMRC disagreed. The Court of Appeal agrees with HMRC.” The Court of Appeal said in its decision that what “is required is that the institution or agency is ‘approved, licensed, registered or exempted from registration in respect of the supply of welfare services by any Minister or other authority.” “Membership of a professional or trade body does not meet this requirement,” says Ruth Corkin. Day care services open to everyone and laboratory testing facilities providing tests for businesses are not required to be regulated under law and cannot, therefore, register with the CQC. In Scotland, however, day care services are regulated under the devolved government, making VAT treatment that much more complex.

The Court of Appeal has delivered a judgment against specialist healthcare business LIFE Services and The Learning Centre (Romford) that highlights the VAT challenges facing private healthcare providers which are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or who do not have a charitable status. The decision concerns the treatment of VAT on the provision of day care services to vulnerable adults by private companies yet, says accountants Hillier Hopkins, equally applies to businesses providing Covid PCR tests, blood tests, and nursing and care homes where day care is provided. The Court of Appeal was asked to determine the liability of VAT on healthcare services provided by private companies. The Court of Appeal upheld HMRC’s position that VAT is only exempt where providers are charities, public bodies or regulated by a relevant body, such as the CQC. Ruth Corkin, VAT and Indirect Tax Principal at Hillier Hopkins said: “In this case, LIFE and The Learning Centre provided care plans agreed and funded by a local authority. The provision of that care was monitoring and inspected by

Notts Care Home Residents Enjoy a Taste of the Mediterranean FAMILY members living at Skylarks care home, part of Nottinghamshire-based care group Church Farm Care, have enjoyed a trip across Europe this week, thanks to a three-day cruise with a difference. The mock-cruise, which took place from 15 June to 18 June, took people on a short voyage to France, Spain and Italy through a whole host of different activities and foods, culminating in a captain’s dinner at the end of the cruise. The first destination, France, saw both staff and family members dress up in traditional French outfits and participate in various activities throughout the day, such as painting and grape squashing, ending with a Parisian-inspired menu. Liz Norton, former training, learning and development manager at Church Farm Care who left her role earlier this year, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see the cruise come to fruition, after coming up with the idea during the pandemic when travel was completely postponed, and I couldn’t be more proud of the whole team for pulling the event together, it has truly been fantastic. “This event has rounded off my career at Church Farm Care perfectly, the five years I spent at Skylarks were wonderful and the family members have been a pleasure to care for, so I like to think that this trip is my way of saying thank you and ‘au revoir’ to everyone.” The next stop saw the cruise dock in Spain, with arts and crafts including sombrero and garland making and Spanish cuisine, and then, on the final day, the ship arrived in Italy where family members spent the day

making their own pizzas and tiramisu. The end of the cruise brought the typical captain’s dinner, where Skylarks team members donned white shirts and bow ties to serve a three-course-meal to family members. Each day, the home was decorated to tie in with the country’s theme and traditional music was played to really transport those living at Skylarks to the different locations and completely transform the home. Nikki Foster, house leader at Skylarks, said: “We wanted to start of the summer with a bang and, even though we can’t enjoy a real European cruise, we’ve been able to offer a taste of the Mediterranean to both family members and staff alike. The captain’s dinner was a real highlight as we had hairdressers and makeup artists come in on the morning of the meal to get everyone glammed up for the big night. We even brought in two local musicians, Lady Rose, who provided live music throughout the night to make it as magical as possible.” Patrick Atkinson, director at Church Farm Care, said: “The European Cruise has been a resounding success and I’m so proud of Liz, Nikki and the whole team at Skylarks for coming together to create such a wonderful event for our family members. At Church Farm, we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for those living with us, even to the point of making boarding passes and passports for everyone, so they truly felt like they were travelling to France, Spain and Italy.”

HC-One Celebrate the Opening of Their New Nottingham Care Home HC-One has just yesterday celebrated the opening of Fosse Way View, their new state-of-the-art, luxury care home in Nottingham. Built on the site of a former police station in Grantham Road, easily accessible to the town centre and close to community facilities, the new Fosse Way View Care Home located in Bingham, was created by senior living developer, Charterpoint and specialist care and nursing home construction company, Lawrence Baker. The home is HC-One’s second care home in the area and will provide high-quality residential and memory care packages for up to 70 Residents, appealing to individuals’ wide ranging needs. The opening of the home has also created new jobs for the local community, with Colleagues at Fosse Way View benefitting from HCOne’s multi-award-winning learning and development programme, with roles across care, property maintenance, housekeeping and food service. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the 16th June 2021 to mark the completion of the home with 30 attendees, in line with COVID-19 restrictions. The Mayor of Bingham, Councillor Andrew Shelton and Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, attended to officially open the home, with the Commissioner announcing:

“We are here to mark this very special occasion, and I’m sure everybody will join me in congratulating all those involved, to a job very well done.” James Tugendhat, Chief Executive Officer of HC-One, also attended the event, and he added: “At HC-One, we are incredibly proud of buildings like this, the investment we are able to make, and it’s always the team that helps build a

home, so we extend our thanks to Home Manager Liz, Deputy Home Manager Renata and all our Colleagues.” Refreshments were provided for all to enjoy, alongside canapés and homemade treats which included cakes, sandwiches, pastries and fresh fruit, as Relatives, Residents and Colleagues of HC-One came together in celebration of this luxurious new home. Residents of the home were delighted to be involved in the ribbon cutting ceremony, with some being overcome with emotion at how lovely the ceremony itself was and how excited they were to meet the Mayor. Liz Wood, Home Manager at HC-One’s Fosse Way View Care Home, commented: “It was such a pleasure to meet the Police Commissioner and the Mayor of Bingham alongside everyone that was involved in the building process. We are so pleased to have our home now open to Residents.” The state-of-the-art care home consists of four independent living communities, depending on the level of residential and memory care required to meet their needs. It also includes hotel services and facilities so that members from each community can meet up to socialise in the Buttercross Bistro, enjoy leisure and wellbeing sessions in the dedicated hobby room, watch a movie in the Robin Hood Picture House or be pampered with a beauty or spa treatment in the Belvoir Hair and Beauty Salon.

Scottish Government Urged to Act Now to Secure Scotland’s Nursing Workforce Royal College of Nursing members in Scotland formally notified Scottish government and NHS Scotland employers that they are in a trade dispute over pay. This follows the Scottish government’s decision to impose the single-year NHS pay offer for 2021-22 for NHS Agenda for Change Staff without further discussion about RCN members’ rejection of the pay offer. In a letter to Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Julie Lamberth, Chair, RCN Scotland Board, wrote that members have ‘serious concerns regarding the recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce in Scotland ’ and the impact this has on patient care. Nursing pay has not kept pace with the cost of living and the Scottish government NHS pay offer falls far short of the RCN’s call for a significant pay rise that applies equally across all bands. In the circumstances, Julie

Lamberth wrote, ‘you have left us with no choice but to notify you of this dispute’. Commenting on the notification of the trade dispute, Julie Lamberth said: “The Scottish Government has relied on the good will of nursing staff for too long. For years, we have been responding to the challenge of delivering safe and effective patient care, in the face of increasing demands, staff shortages and low pay. These issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Nursing staff are exhausted, with worrying numbers considering leaving the profession. “Every patient needs and deserves the best quality of care, this can only be safely achieved with the right number of nursing staff with the right skills and expertise. “Today’s action - writing to the Cabinet Secretary to lodge our trade dispute – is a formal expression of our members’ frustration and concern for patient safety. We are sending a clear message that the time to value nursing as a safety critical profession is now.” The RCN is calling on Scottish government to engage in further discussions.


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

nominate@thecareruk.com


PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

New Data Strategy Launched To Improve Patient Care and Save Lives Millions of patients are set to benefit from a revolutionary use of technology and life-saving lessons learned during the global coronavirus pandemic, as a new draft data strategy will be published next week ahead of public and stakeholder consultation. Over the last 18 months, data has saved lives and helped ensure the NHS could provide better care to people suffering from COVID-19 and other health issues. This ensured doctors and nurses could deliver innovative support in the most effective and efficient way. By empowering frontline staff to share data for patient care in a secure way that preserves privacy, ground-breaking clinical trials were approved in record time and new services to care for people in their own homes were set up via remote digital monitoring, avoiding lengthy hospital stays. This enabled rapid research into COVID-19 treatments such as dexamethasone, which has saved over one million lives across the world. By rapidly speeding up the process to grant approvals for trials to get underway – which previously have taken around 100 days – and giving researchers access to data in a safe and secure way, this world-leading trial led to the discovery of the first proven treatment to reduce coronavirus mortality. The proposed strategy will ensure people are able to view their medical records, and empower them to keep a track of their health information. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Data saves lives. We need to learn from the pandemic to improve

the way our health and care system processes data, giving power to patients and enabling clinicians to use data in new ways to improve patient care and support research for innovative treatments. “This pandemic has shown us just how many lives can be saved through effective use of data – we must do all we can to harness this potential and the changes brought about through this strategy will no doubt go on to save countless more lives in the future.” The strategy will promote innovation such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which looks at using bots to automate back office

processes, saving the NHS more than half a million hours a year in staff time by 2025. The Data Strategy also includes proposals to make the UK a leader in innovation-friendly regulation of AI technologies, developing unified standards for the efficacy and safety testing of AI solutions and streamlining the path to market AI technologies. Trials being supported include those which aim to replace the need for two radiologists to review breast cancer scans by instead using one radiologist and the AI, making the process faster and more efficient. Looking to the future, the draft data strategy seeks to learn the lessons of the pandemic so the health and social care sectors can use data to design and deliver better services for the public and improve care when we are not in a pandemic situation. Martin Landray, Professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford and the clinical trials lead at Health Data Research UK, said: “Within 100 days, the RECOVERY trial found that a low-dose steroid treatment called dexamethasone reduced the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. It was the world’s first coronavirus treatment proven to save lives. Estimates are that it may have saved many hundreds of thousands of lives. “Pre-COVID, it would have taken 100 days to even get permission to go ahead with the trial. We cannot go back. It is a challenge, but one we have to take on, because the future of all of our care depends on robust knowledge on whether treatments work or do not work.”

Open Study College Announces 39% Increase In Students Aged 60 And Over Leading distance learning provider Open Study College has revealed a significant shift in its demographic, with a 39% increase in new student enrolments from those aged 60 and over. The statistic is based on figures comparing 2018 enrolments with those in 2020 during the global pandemic. As part of research undertaken by Open Study College, there are a number of reasons people typically choose to follow the distance learning route including: those who are unable to physically attend a college or university due to suffering with mental or physical health; caring for family and home responsibilities whilst learning; individuals looking to upskill; or students that need to learn new skills and gain necessary qualifications for a new or change in career. More recently however, a pattern has emerged as a significant number of older students have joined Open Study College purely because they want to keep on learning in their later years about subjects that are of interest to them, providing purpose and keeping their minds active. John, 74, from South Gloucestershire said: “It's important to keep the intellect alive in later years and completing a course and receiving the accreditation acts as a tremendous boost to one's mental health.” Marilyn, 70, from Truro said: “I am 70 going on 29 years old. Physically I am doomed but will not be mentally. This is my tenth course with Open Study College, and I hope there will be more. To retirees thinking about taking a course online I would say ‘go for it’.” Linda, 75, from Worcestershire said: “I am enjoying the course at Open Study College and I’m lucky to have been able to choose, for the first time, what it is I study.”

CEO of Open Study College, Samantha Rutter, said: “Learning new skills shouldn't stop when retirement starts. We couldn’t be prouder of all the students in the Open Study College family, and those that are continuing to study and excite their minds well into their years of retirement really help solidify our ethos of making education accessible to all. “It’s interesting to see how life-changing events such as the global pandemic can contribute to how people chose to spend their free time, and in our research it’s clear that some of our older students are keen to keep on learning about subject matters that really interests them or was once integral to their careers and lives. “This increase in older generations studying proves that learning is more accessible than ever before. We work incredibly hard to ensure that we adapt our courses for the young and young at heart. Many of our courses come with the option of studying online or via a paper-based study pack where course materials are sent to your home. We know that this is often a preferred method of studying with our more mature learners. "Our student support team and personal tutors are also on hand to guide students through their course, and for those with additional needs we can provide our materials in larger fonts or on coloured paper where required. Making learning more accessible is always going to be one of our top priorities and we hope to see more retirees benefit from learning with us.” To find out more or to register for a course visit www.openstudycollege.com or follow Open Study College on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Introducing Panodyne Covid-19 Rapid Test Kits You Can Trust The Panodyne range of rapid test kits is designed for visitors and staff screening in the workplace, public and private settings, including care homes, schools, places of worship or entertainment venues:

ANTIGEN TEST For rapid detection of Covid-19 infection.

SALIVA TEST A non-invasive and user-friendly rapid test to minimise discomfort, easier for vulnerable and disabled people to use.

ANTIGEN & INFLUENZA FLU VIRUS TEST For regular testing during the winter months.

NEUTRALISING ANTIBODY TEST For effective evaluation of the body’s immune response to the vaccine.

ANTIBODY TEST Measures the protection provided by antibodies post infection. All tests are CE certified for use under supervision of trained staff, company nurse and occupational health personnel.

Contact sales at info@multibrands.eu.com Tel: 01274 307310 Visit: https://panodyne.eu.com/test-kits/



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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.

Residents Celebrate Nutrition & Hydration Week with Pride-Themed Activities Residents and staff at Lofthouse Grange & Lodge Care Home in Wakefield, West Yorkshire took to the sunny garden this week to show their support for Pride month, combined with their Nutrition & Hydration week celebrations. Throughout the week, the entire care team pulled out all the stops to create innovative rainbow-coloured treats that focused on keeping the residents smiling, refreshed, and fully hydrated during the hotter, summer conditions such as brightly coloured jellies and ice lollies. Orchards’ other residencies have also dedicated this week’s activities to Nutrition &

Hydration week, ensuring the homes are fully stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables. Hydration stations are situated in high visibility areas, offering fruity mocktails to keep residents feeling revitalised and revived. As well as achieving high standards of nutritional and tasty meals, Orchard has also designed an informative infographic that displays top tips for supporting older people with their nutrition and hydration needs, such as adding extra butter to mash potato and vegetables and using fortified milk in hot drinks, cereals, porridge, or milkshakes to pack in extra vitamins and minerals.

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/.



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“Tread Carefully and Consider All Consequences” – VODG Responds to Mandatory Vaccinations in Care Homes Staff working in all CQC-registered care homes must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed. The announcement follows a public consultation, to which VODG submitted a representation, on making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. The policy will apply from October 2021 to workers employed directly by care homes or care home providers (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency, and volunteers. Workers must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they are medically exempt. Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said: “Clarity around contentious policy proposals is always welcome, particularly when details of policy intent become public via media reports before any official government announcements are made. “VODG supports any move that strengthens safety and safeguarding for people who draw on social care services. We welcome a consistent approach in the policy response to COVID-19, which has been much lacking over the last year. This new approach recognises that the risk of transmission in residential or close con-

tact settings is an issue not just for older people’s care homes. “The government consultation response highlights that views on the proposal among the social care sector is mixed, which echoes the response from our own engagement on this issue with VODG members. “Given the potential divisiveness of this proposal, we would urge the government to tread carefully and work with people who use services, the workforce, providers, and commissioners to fully understand how best to implement. Alongside this, the sector needs sufficient resources and guidance. The government must also be alert to the ethical and professional issues at work and should seek to closely monitor impact. “As such, we call on DHSC to issue guidance that has been properly consulted upon by key groups of stakeholders from across the sector to ensure it is fit-for-purpose first time round. “Without considering and mitigating against significant implementation issues and potential unintended consequences, such as the knock on to workforce supply, particularly in regions where there are higher levels of vaccine hesitancy, there is a risk that this proposal, while noble in its intent, will only serve to create much larger problems for services already under strain.”

Surrey Care Home Installs Age-Busting Signs As It Looks to Reimagine Older Stereotypes A Surrey care home has invested in a new set of signage in a bid to reimagine perceptions of older people – with traffic signs along its drive now depicting dancing couples, as opposed to the common image of stooped backed pensioners slowly crossing the road. The Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead, which is made up of two specialist family-run care homes offering high-quality residential, nursing and dementia care, has replaced its previous signage to reflect the fact that age is no barrier to a joyful life. With the estate accessed by a long driveway, the team wanted to create an early impression that would be seen on first arrival, which saw the signs commissioned to replace more traditional ‘elderly people’ signs. The sign designs were inspired by the winning entry of a competition hosted by Centre for Ageing Better, which saw SwaG Design recreate the crossing sign with energy enthused older people. Running with the theme, the Huntington & Langham Estate opted for people dancing together to emphasise the energetic, jubilant lives enjoyed by many of those living on the estate. Charlie Hoare, Director of the Huntington & Langham Estate commented: “Older people are all too easily pigeonholed as being frail, slow-moving and often simply weary of life. The truth is though that’s far from the case. In fact, if you had driven down our drive last week, you would have had to be mindful of dozens of people dancing in our car park during a lively outdoor concert. There’s no such thing as being over the hill when you have so much life

left to live and we wanted to emphasise that.” He continued: “We loved the sign examples that won the Centre for Ageing Better’s competition and wanted to pay tribute with our own versions here on our private road. They’re amongst the first things people see when travelling up our drive and we like to think it sets the tone for the rest of their visit, or indeed their residency, should they choose to live with us.” The signs are reflective of the estate’s approach to how it envisions health and safety in general, which even applies to elements such as infection control and COVID. Within the homes themselves, the team look to apply an imaginative spin to create a more homely, resident-friendly effect. For instance, when it comes to the clinical hand washing signs, the team have adapted them to look like a picture in a frame, with the hand washing instructions bordering a black and white image from an old movie. This helps to take the clinical edge off the signs, whilst still conveying the necessary instructions. Charlie Hoare added: “When you take a step back and reflect on your approach to care it helps to open up your mind to ways of adapting all sorts of things. It would be easy to simply take health and safety signs, print them out and put them up, thereby ticking the necessary boxes. The truth is though, whilst necessary in a care setting, people don’t have health and safety signs scattered around their homes under normal circumstances. By doing this, we look to ensure we deliver safe care but in a way that enhances a space rather than detracts from it, helping to create a truly homely environment.”

Care Home Residents Sing and Dance as They Savour Musical Fun in the Sun Music-loving care home residents sang and danced away during an exclusive gig provided by two world class orchestra performers. Dozens of residents and staff at Pendine Park’s Hillbury and Gwern Alyn care homes in Wrexham enjoyed some fun in the sun, as they savoured listening to an array of familiar favourites and were treated to ice creams. The music was voluntarily provided by David Petri and Caroline Abbott of the renowned Hallé orchestra, who have regularly staged musical workshops with Pendine Park residents for more than a decade. The Covid-19 pandemic has limited the pair’s visits in recent months, but they were delighted to be reunited with residents and staff for the gig outside Hillbury. David and Caroline hit the high notes while playing the keyboard and violin respectively, with audience members hailing their performance as “first class”. The neighbouring care homes on Hillbury Road and Percy Road in Wrexham joined forces to relish a repertoire of musical favourites from across the British Isles and beyond, such as Delilah, Drunken Sailor, What a Wonderful World and, appropriately for the sun-kissed conditions, Bring Me Sunshine and You Are My Sunshine. Among the residents who had a ball was Valerie Barnett, who lived in Flint for more than 30 years before moving to Gwern Alyn two years ago, and she passionately sang along to the tunes performed throughout the afternoon. David and Caroline obliged when Valerie requested a rendition of The Beatles classic Hey Jude, which she sang with gusto. “I love music and I have really enjoyed it today,” said Valerie, 72. “I particularly love The Beatles. “It is nice to be able to sing along to the music. They are very good. “I like living at Gwern Alyn and it is nice when we get to do things like this.” Not only were residents and staff able to enjoy listening to the music as they sat in the sunshine, but they were able to tuck into complimen-

tary ice creams. Among those enjoying the afternoon’s festivities was 85-year-old Hillbury resident Peter Hodder. “It has been excellent. The music really has been first class,” said Peter, originally from Holywell. “I have enjoyed all the songs. I really like what they are doing and I would like to see them come here again. “It has been very enjoyable.” The sight of residents singing along or dancing with carers brought delight to David and Caroline, who were applauded by the audience after each song. The duo staged a performance for residents at the homes at Pendine Park’s other Wrexham site on Summerhill Road on the same day, as they enjoyed reviving their long-standing partnership with the visionary care organisation that continually promotes residents engaging with the arts. David said: “I think the residents here are fantastic. It has been great to see them joining in.

“It is a joint effort between us and the audience. I should also praise the carers here for how much they get involved in the performances. “We have been coming here for about 13 years and it has been a long journey. Pendine Park showed extraordinary foresight in supporting music in care homes. “They started something that is now becoming mainstream and accepted. “We are very grateful to them. We have wanted to come here today and see our friends again and it has been fantastic.” During the pandemic the Manchester-based pair have kept in touch with the care homes, having kindly sent a series of ‘musical postcard’ videos to residents during lockdown. Having first made an emotional return to Pendine Park last summer, they now hope to be back on a more regular basis should lockdown restrictions continue to ease. Caroline said: “It has been so good to see the way the audience have been involved today. The more they participate the better. “It’s so lovely to see the smiles on their faces. When they start singing and they remember the words to the music that’s been in their lives for many decades, that is good to see. “It feels like we are getting nearer to normality and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can be holding workshops again.” Sarah Edwards, Pendine Park’s artist-in-residence, conveyed how delighted everyone from the homes was to welcome the duo back. “We are absolutely thrilled that David and Caroline have continued to think about us throughout the pandemic and have wanted to do stuff for us,” she said. “The residents really engage with the music and it’s an important part of our enrichment programme. “It has been a lovely day and we hope David and Caroline come here again soon. “They have come here voluntarily in their own time and we are can’t thank them enough for what they have done.”


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PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

Leading Social Media Platforms Unite To Support Covid-19 Vaccine Drive Leading social media platforms popular with young people including Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok, and YouTube, are supporting the vaccination programme by encouraging their users to get COVID-19 jabs. The partnerships come as all adults aged 18 and over are invited to receive a vaccine in England as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale. Snapchat users can use NHS stickers, a filter, and later this month, an augmented reality lens that all read ‘I’ve had my vaccine’ for UK users to share on their accounts. The platform is also hosting a series of Q&As with medical experts on the Prime Minister’s snapchat account. The most recent took place on Saturday 19 June with Dr Kiren Collison, the interim Deputy Medical Director for Primary Care for NHS England, who answered questions from the public about the vaccine. Snapchat has also expanded its ‘Here For You’ feature which provides in-app resources to people looking for more information around health, mental health and wellbeing. When someone searches for ‘COVID-19’, ‘vaccine’, ‘NHS’ and ‘vaccination’, they will have access to expert NHS resources on the vaccine to make sure they are well informed, build confidence and tackle mis-information. The activity supports the NHS ‘every vaccination gives us hope’ campaign encouraging younger people to get their vaccine and join the millions of people who have already received their jabs. The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July, two weeks earlier than planned. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to all adults. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted that Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube – some of the most biggest social media platforms – are coming together to support the most successful vaccine effort in NHS history. “The vaccine programme has put us on the road to recovery and I urge everyone to come forward for the offer, roll up their sleeves and join the millions that already have the fullest possible protection from two doses.” Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our vaccine rollout has been a great success story and is now available to all adults. “We have worked closely with social media platforms throughout the pandemic to promote life saving vaccine information, and this new initiative with popular platforms will help drive take-up even higher. “We are also tackling misinformation online through our new Online Safety Bill to make sure people are not bombarded by harmful content.” The community network platform Reddit has hosted two live ‘ask me anything’ sessions on its Coronavirus forum, featuring experts such as Dr Amalina Bakri answering questions from Downing Street. Reddit will

continue to host Q&As over the coming weeks to help people access factual and reliable information from a range of experts. TikTok’s support for the vaccine rollout includes adding the NHS ‘I’ve had my COVID vaccine’ stickers to its library for users to share, and working with Team Halo – a group of scientists using the platform to provide the latest information on vaccines with entertaining and shareable videos. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “I’m thrilled that some of the leading social media platforms are joining forces to boost vaccine uptake among younger people. This is another incredible asset to our vaccination programme, which is already saving lives. “The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and we have made incredible progress so far with more than four in five adults receiving at least one dose and all adults being invited. “I encourage everyone to get the jab – it could stop you becoming seriously ill and protect your loved ones.” Ed Couchman, UK Regional General Manager at Snapchat, said: “With Snapchat playing a key part of the lives of young people around the world, we’re thrilled to collaborate with the government to make sure they have accurate and trusted resources to stay safe, healthy and informed. “As well as creative tools, it’s great to be expanding our in-app health and wellbeing support portal with NHS resources about the vaccine and to host Q&A sessions with key government officials from the Prime Minister’s official Snap Star account. “As we enter this next phase of the COVID-19 recovery in the UK, we continue to explore new ways we can collaborate with trusted partners and organisations to help support the health and wellbeing of our Snapchat community.” In collaboration with the NHS, YouTube has rolled out a video campaign with the tagline ‘Let’s Not Go Back’ to remind its core 18-34 year

old audience of the importance of being vaccinated through messaging that speaks to their personal experiences from a year in lockdown. The campaign is running YouTube, and on national billboards and bus stop advertising, and on social media. Collectively, these information panels have served over 400 billion impressions worldwide. Ben McOwen Wilson, UK Managing Director at YouTube, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the NHS with our ‘Let’s Not Go Back’ campaign to encourage young people to get vaccinated. From billboards to bus stops, online and off, we reached young people wherever they are to raise awareness of the key role they have to play. “It has been fantastic to witness the public response to our national initiative and to have seen the rates at which young people have stepped up. We will continue to work to combat the pandemic by using YouTube’s extensive reach among young people to help in this critical national effort.” Dr. Jessica Ashooh, Director of Policy for Reddit said: “Building bridges between policymakers, industry experts, and online communities is central to how we elevate authoritative vaccine information on Reddit. “Our partnership with 10 Downing Street has enabled us to promote quality COVID-19 resources for Redditors in the United Kingdom.” Last year Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden and Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock agreed new measures with social media platforms to limit the spread of false vaccine information and help people find the information they need about any COVID-19 vaccine. At a virtual roundtable, Facebook, Twitter and Google committed to the principle that no company should profit from or promote false information about COVID-19 vaccines, to respond to flagged content more swiftly, and to work with authorities to promote scientifically accurate messages. The Government has also developed a toolkit with content designed to be shared via WhatsApp and Facebook community groups, as well as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, to tackle false information about the vaccine. Earlier this year we announced that Facebook and Instagram are backing a new nationwide social media campaign launched by the Government and the NHS for people to show their support for the vaccine roll out. The initiative allows users to update their profiles with a range of specially-designed profile frames and graphics. People can use these to show “I’ve had my vaccine” or make a pledge that “I will get my vaccine”. The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July, two weeks earlier than planned. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to all adults.

Fun and Positive Atmosphere at Tiptree Care Facility Praised by CQC Staff at Morley Road care facility in Tiptree have been praised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for providing a fun and positive atmosphere, as well as promoting the independence of the people with learning disabilities who live there. The Morley Road bungalows were inspected by the CQC for the first time since they came under the management of the new provider, Salutem Healthcare after the company purchased all the registered care services from the charity Scope in 2018. The service received a “Good” rating for the care it gave to people living with a learning disability and or physical disability, who told the CQC they “felt safe” and “happy”. One resident told the CQC: “All the staff are kind and caring. “They help me when I want them to.” People’s bedrooms were personalised and decorated in their chosen colour and the CQC noted staff had created a positive atmosphere at the service and promoted people’s independence. The service has an improvement plan which includes the communal areas of the home being redecorated and people who live there will be choosing the colour schemes and furniture. Two easy chairs had recently been purchased for the lounge in the colours people had chosen by looking through magazines. The report states: “We saw people and staff interacting with each other throughout the inspection and enjoying each other’s

company. “Staff obviously knew people well and were able to talk to us about each person’s individual needs.” On the day of the inspection, people were busy playing board games and joining in a karaoke and the CQC noted they were “clearly enjoying themselves”. The CQC also noted that people were supported to have maximum control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests, with detailed and person-centred care plans in easy-to-read formats. The report also states relatives feel able to speak to the staff team at any time if they need to know about their loved one and people living at the care facility are also supported to keep in touch with their relatives, who told the CQC they “felt fully informed about any issues”. During the COVID-19 pandemic people had been supported to maintain contact with family and friends through telephone calls, video calls and garden visits, in line with Government guidance. The CQC also noted people living at Morley Road are supported to take part in activities they are interested in and use a secure social media page to share photographs of their activities with family and friends. These are also used as a talking point for the people who lived in the service. The CQC report states: “The facility promotes a positive culture that is person-centred, open, inclusive and empowering, which achieves good outcomes for people. “People and their families, where appropriate, were involved in the planning and ongoing review of their care.” Information is given to residents in a format they can understand for example, large print, pictures and symbols and staff speak with people at a level and pace they could understand, giving people time to process the information and to give a response. “Throughout our inspection, we observed staff supporting people showing kindness, patience and empathy,” the report states. “People were given the opportunity to provide feedback about the

service and the care they received. “This included regular house meetings.” The CQC also noted staff receive regular supervisions to discuss their progress and professional development - and staff observed their manager was easy to talk to and ask about anything. Jane Hare, manager at the care home, said: “We are delighted to have received a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC during the first inspection since Salutem took over the service. “More importantly, we are pleased that it has been acknowledged that we provide a fun and positive atmosphere for the people we support, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives in a safe and supportive environment. “Our staff know all of our residents extremely well and treat everyone with respect and dignity, giving them the care and support they need when they need it, but also respecting their privacy.” John Godden, CEO of Salutem Healthcare, said: “This ‘Good’ rating from the CQC is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff at Morley Road, who treat our residents like their own family, providing them with the support they need, at the same time as promoting independent living at the facility. “This external validation that our residents are safe and happy is extremely pleasing and we look forward to working with our them – and their families – in what will be a positive future for all.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 25

Call For Wales To Follow England’s Lead and Make Jabs A Must For Social Care Staff A social care leader has made a renewed call for coronavirus vaccinations to be made obligatory for care staff who work with elderly and vulnerable people in Wales. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said the idea had been given fresh impetus after it was revealed that vaccinations would in future be mandatory for care home and domiciliary care workers in England. According to Care Forum Wales, the Welsh Government should be taking a stronger line and insisting that people working in care homes should have the jab unless they have a medical or religious reason not to. A number of independent social care providers in Wales have already made vaccination a condition of employment for new recruits entering the profession. Mr Kreft said: “We have been concerned about this issue for some time and have been pressing the case with the Welsh Government because an overwhelming number of our members want this to happen. “The roll out of the vaccine has been a huge success but it would be a big mistake to think we are out of the woods just yet. “The emergence of the new Delta variant which is so much more transmissible than previous strains had added real urgency to this matter.

“In truth, the numbers in Wales are much better than in England and the Welsh Government must take credit for that. “But this variant and any other mutant strains that might follow are posing a real risk to the health and well being of our residents, the majority of whom are elderly and vulnerable. “While virtually all care home residents have been vaccinated, the inoculation is not a 100 per cent guarantee that they will not be infected. “I think everybody who works in social care should, unless there’s a very good medical or religious reason otherwise, get the jab and importantly be ready for a culture where we might have to have this each year for some years to come. “If the Welsh Government do not make it compulsory, there should be absolute clarity that people should take responsibility. “At the very least, the code of conduct for people working in social care should make it clear there is an expectation for them to be jabbed. “We’re going to need vaccine passport and we’re going to need boosters. This is going to go on for some years so we have to make sure that people realise their responsibility. “At a time like this, we really need to be thinking of other people, not just ourselves – rather than potentially putting residents, colleagues and possibly members of our own families at risk. We should use every lever at our disposal to ensure this does not happen. “Care Forum was ahead of the curve at the beginning of the pandemic in calling on care homes to lock down long before this was required by the Welsh and UK governments. “We believe we now need to be proactive again so that we can continue to protect our residents and staff from this dreadful virus.”

Dignity Protectors Gifted to Residents at Etheldred House Care Home A short while ago Etheldred House Care Home in Histon (Cambridgeshire) had posted a “please help article” to see if anybody would be able to help them make some dignity protectors from men’s and women’s shirts. These pleasing handmade dignity protectors make the resident feel less conscious as it just looks like they are wearing a shirt or blouse during mealtimes. Etheldred House were overwhelmed when they received 40 of the dignity protectors from “Scrubs for Cambridgeshire.” Scrubs for Cambridgeshire started at the beginning of the pandemic helping to make scrubs for the NHS and Care Homes. They have grown and going

from strength to strength with many more volunteers helping with the cause. They also make a variety of items such as hats, face masks, bags that are needed throughout this pandemic. Etheldred House have received many scrubs for the care staff from Scrubs for Cambridge, they love wearing them and the residents say it is nice to see the variety of material that is used to make the scrubs. The residents have enjoyed wearing their new dignity protectors and love the fact that there is so many different colours and patterns to choose from. Thank you again Scrubs for Cambridge you really do make a difference.

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NCF Responds to Announcement of Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in CQC-Regulated Care Homes Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) hasresponded to the government’s announcement that two doses of a COVID vaccine will be a condition of deployment in CQC-regulated care homes: “The government’s decision to mandate vaccinations to all those who work in care homes is likely to create significant challenges in implementation. The policy extends much wider than the original consultation brief – bringing in care homes for working age adults as well as older people and encompassing almost everyone who crosses the care home threshold. This means that the policy applies as much to the registered manager running the home as it does to the person carrying out the annual audit of fire extinguishers. Whilst this may be seen to be a logical step, it is a logistical nightmare for care homes who will find themselves legally responsible for checking and verifying the vaccination status or exemption of people

whom they have no employment or personnel oversight. “The government has announced this policy without the detail that all employers need to start to have a detailed conversation with their employees who are yet to take up vaccination. All the time that this policy is in the public domain without the detail that sits behind it is time that is wasted in enabling these vital discussions. “Whilst the government has described a 16 week ‘grace’ period, the policy requires people to have a full course of vaccination. This means that in effect all those who wish to work within a care home, whether as staff or from other organisations, will have to begin their vaccination journey within the first 8 weeks of that grace period – or find themselves ineligible to work. The notional idea that this is around ‘deployment’ is not a reality for the majority of care homes, as if you are employed by a care home, then you work in the care home – so the idea that homes will be able to redeploy those who are not vaccinated and not exempt is not meaningful. This is unhelpful when the sector is already facing at least 112,000 vacancies. “The NCF response to the government consultation made clear that if this policy was to move forward it would be essential that there was a robust programme of support to ensure that employers were able to

implement this. This included providing indemnity from any associated claims, to ensure prioritised vaccination of all staff – particularly new recruits – providing legal support and HR support for employers to ensure that decisions around contracts and ongoing employment are made sensitively and within the law, and supporting access to the type of occupational health services that would enable detailed and specialised conversations with employees who are concerned about the potential impact of the vaccine on their health now and in the future. However, none of this is available, nor is there any support to manage the very wide-ranging additional responsibilities that compliance with this regulation will place on the shoulder of already overburdened managers as they step forward once more to manage in the face of a new wave. Vic Rayner goes on to say; “All care providers want to see staff vaccination rates as high as possible and have been working towards this aim. However, unless more detail and support are rapidly provided, the government runs the risk of making what appears to be the right path into an impenetrable maze in which there are real risks of creating further staffing pressures and unwittingly placing managers in the role of bouncer as they try to operate an unworkable vaccination door policy.”

Charity Workers Take On Coast To Coast Challenge For People with Learning Disabilities A team of dedicated charity workers are preparing to put their best foot forward for a 45-mile coast to coast walk to fund a new creative space for the people they support. Hoping to raise £10,000, the ten-strong team from Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, will hike from Saltburn by the Sea to Filey Beach over the course of two days. The group is headed up by Area Manager Ryan Trueman, who has worked at the charity for four years. The 36 year old was inspired to organise the fundraising challenge in the hope of raising enough money to build a ‘Smart Hub’ for people with supported by Hft in Bradford. The new space will encompass a range of technologies, and aims to build create an immersive environment and build technical skills for people with learning disabilities to engage with. After setting off on 8 July, Ryan and his team will spend two days walking along the coast, covering 45 miles of the renowned Cleveland Way trail. Passing through fishing villages and along the Yorkshire coastline, the route includes numerous steep inclines, and is estimated to take around 18 hours to complete. The team, which consists of three managers and six hub leaders, are no strangers to fundraising challenges, and have previously climbed the three highest peaks in the UK to raise money for Hft. They’re currently hard at work training for the challenge ahead, and are being cheered on by people supported at Hft services in Bradford, who are planning their own local walks to coincide with the team’s challenge. All funds raised will go towards converting a building already in use by Hft into a multipurpose Smart Hub. Designed to support 20 people as part of the charity’s provision of day opportunities in Bradford, the

providers (77%) cited a lack of digital skills among those they support as a large barrier. Ryan Trueman said: “I’m really excited to be taking on this challenge, which will see us exploring North Yorkshire to raise money for a project close to all of our hearts. We’re all busy training at the moment to ensure we’re in great shape for July and prepared for any challenges the trek throws at us, whether that’s difficult weather conditions or steep climbs! “The last year has demonstrated to all of us the importance of technology, and how critical it is to keeping people connected with their loved ones. We’re hoping that the Smart Hub will boost the digital skills of people we support, helping us get one step closer to bridging new space will provide accessible devices and enable people to build their technical skills, enjoy a creative and sensory environment, and use technology to maximise choice and engagement. The ambitious project aims to support a wide range of needs and interests, and will feature a specialist communication station with talking tiles and support for non-verbal people, as well as a kitchen area with assistive technology, a sensory exploration space where people can reduce anxiety levels, and even a gaming room, where people can access new hobbies and potential interests such as driving and e-sports. Earlier this year, Hft released its Sector Pulse Check research, which provides a snapshot of the financial health of the sector and an insight into the challenges facing social care providers over the last twelve months. This year’s report highlighted digital barriers, and that while nearly all providers surveyed (98%) had made extra efforts to keep people they support connected during the pandemic, three out of four

a digital divide often felt by people with learning disabilities. The people we support will be inspiring us every step of the way, and we’re so excited to see them enjoying the Smart Hub in the not too distant future.” Emma Macdonald, Sports and Challenge Events Fundraising Manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see Ryan and his amazing team taking on this epic challenge. As well as providing critical support to people with learning disabilities over the course of a really difficult year, the team are now going above and beyond to raise funds for a project that is set to provide vital resources to people we support, allowing them to develop new skills and enjoy a stimulating new environment. We’re wishing the team all the luck in the world.” To donate to the challenge, visit the team’s fundraising page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bradford1-coast2coastwalk

Well Pharmacy Partners with The Access Group to Support the Delivery of Outstanding Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Access Group, the largest provider of software to UK care and nursing homes, designed to support the delivery of outstanding care. This partnership will highlight Access’ innovative Medication Management solution, which has already been successfully implemented in a number of care homes serviced by Well Pharmacy. Access Medication Management is the UK’s most widely used eMAR system and is proven to reduce medication errors and make manual time-consuming processes like ordering medication and stock checking much more accurate and efficient. Cited in CQC reports as helping clients achieve ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ ratings, Medication Management is a quick and efficient way to introduce technology and help ensure residents safety. Access Medication Management offers everything care home organisations need to support patient safety including all equipment, installation, training and technical support. They also provide the full range of solutions needed for care homes to transition to fully digital care provision. Key benefits of Access’ Medication Management solution:

Access’ market leading electronic care planning system gives care and nursing homes a unified record of both medication and care notes/activities. Full integration with Well Pharmacy making data transfer more efficient and improving communication between the local pharmacy and home. Reduction in medication errors using pro-active alerts, alarms and best practice workflows to make sure medication compliance and safety for residents. Greater visibility and compliance - provides all staff and management with a clear picture of medication administration. Ben Smith, Care Homes Sales Manager for Well Pharmacy said: “We are pleased to highlight Access’ Medication Management solution to over 350 care homes we serve across the UK. At Well Pharmacy we are always looking for new ways to help and support our care home

customers. Patient and resident safety is our number one priority and we’re pleased to be working with The Access Group offer new solutions to give residents the best possible care.” Steve Sawyer, Managing Director, Access Group’s Health and Social Care Division said: “At Access, we pride ourselves on supporting care staff to provide the highest quality of care to their residents. Access Medication Management reduces the risk of medication errors, while giving everyone in a care home more time back to interact with residents or focus on work that will improve care, capacity, and occupancy at their homes. We're proud to be working with one of the largest pharmacy chains in the UK, who share our vision of using software in health and social care, to better manage all medication processes, encouraging fellow organisations so that this becomes a standard way of working across all UK care homes.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please contact: carehomes@well.co.uk For more information about Access’ Medication Management software visit: https://www.theaccessgroup.com/health-socialcare/care-management-software/medication-management/



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First Look Inside the Care Home of the Future Vida Healthcare, a national provider of specialist dementia care, has cause for celebration as it announces the launch of its new state of the art care home, Vida Court, which has been built to transform the care available to people living with dementia. The home is set to officially welcome residents through its doors in November 2021. Dubbed the care home of the future, Vida Court has been designed with innovative and industry-leading facilities to enhance resident’s daily living activities and wellbeing to the optimum potential. The 12 seater cinema, convenience store, hair salon, florist and coffee shop are included in the home of the future to provide residents with a level of normalcy and consistency with their previous home beyond the realms of a traditional care home. The 68,000 square foot care home, located in the hamlet of Harlow Carr on the outskirts of Harrogate, will create over 200 jobs and has capacity for 100 residents. The bespoke design of Vida’s homes has led to the care provider becoming one of the leading specialists in dementia care, and receiving Outstanding status from the Care Quality Commission which places it in the top three percent of care home operators in the country. Following the impact of Covid-19, the home has been designed so that each bedroom has a large glass window and every house within the home has a garden room to ensure good ventilation. Air exchange has been included to ensure clean air constantly flows throughout the building. The natural light and views from the windows and garden rooms will also maintain a good level of mental wellbeing for both staff, residents and their family members when visiting. A continuous walkway has been incorporated into the design of every house within Vida Court as a crucial aspect of specialist dementia care provision. The walkways will enable residents to move freely throughout their home, and walk with purpose which supports individuals who like to keep active during their time with Vida Healthcare. Technology will play a crucial role in facilitating an energising and positive living environment. Sensory TV

windows, walls and artwork will provide residents with opportunities to interact with different environments and stimulate memories and positive behaviours which may have been buried due to their dementia. Circadian lighting has also been installed to help residents prepare naturally for sleep and waking to maintain a regular routine which supports effective caregiving. James Rycroft, Managing Director at Vida Healthcare, commented: “At Vida we’re committed to delivering the highest quality care to people living with dementia from across the UK and beyond. We hope that Vida Court, which integrates the most cutting edge facilities and technology, will end the perception of care homes as a last resort. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our new staff members and residents to our home of the future and leading the way in care delivery to some of our most vulnerable people. We hope that as more care home operators develop cutting edge care homes, the UK will become the global leader for high quality care for people with chronic conditions and the elderly.” Vida Court has been designed by specialist interior designer, Nanu Soda, and built by Caddick Construction and offers an inviting and homely environment for residents to minimise stress, and support them as they transition from living at home to moving into a care home. Alongside providing people living with dementia with specialist environments and care, Vida Healthcare also ensures that its staff are supported with a bespoke professional development training pathway. This not only ensures resident needs are met everyday, but provides staff with opportunities to achieve promotions and learn valuable caring skills. James Rycroft added: “We believe that our staff are the lifeblood of Vida Healthcare and it’s essential that we continue to support them. The 200 new staff members who will be working at Vida Court will have access to the best training and development, which we provide in partnership with Vida Academy. This promotes lifelong learning across our homes and establishes our staff as true dementia ambassadors.”

MHA Appoints Digital Chaplain In First For A Care Charity Methodist Homes (MHA) has appointed of Eleanor Puttock as its first ever Digital Chaplain in a role unique to a care provider. The new role fits into MHA’s positive approach to ageing, supporting Spiritual well-being and living later life well while embracing developments in the way interactions, relationships and communities are formed. Chaplaincy services have always been a central pillar of the MHA’s care homes and retirement living services. With many of the support services for members of MHA Communities going online, the charity sought to create a digital chaplain role to help facilitate and develop content. The role of digital chaplain will enhance and support existing chaplaincy services, offering new ways for communities to interact, complementing existing skills and reaching audiences further afield. The role is funded through charitable giving, most especially in 2021 through the charity’s annual MHA Sunday. This year’s event, held on 13 June, goes towards supporting the work of MHA Communities including the new offering of Digital Communities along with national telephone and digital befriending service

and community groups across Britain. Eleanor describes herself as a ‘facilitator of information and people’ and sees this role as combining her understanding of religion and digital communication with her personal vocation to chaplaincy. She brings experience from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (University of Cambridge) and the Diocese of Ely, where she supported the central team, clergy and parish churches to develop and sustain their digital presence and outreach. She will shortly complete her training to become a hospital chaplain through London South Bank University. Eleanor said: “I see this role as creating content which can be accessed by a diverse range of people, from residents and members to relatives and colleagues. It will help upskill MHA’s chaplains so they can use the benefits of digital media to complement their roles and therefore be able to help support more people. It is an exciting role and one in which I am looking forward to helping make a difference to the lives of the people MHA supports by listening to what their needs are and then creating content to meet this.” MHA Communities Development Manager Beth Finch said: “There was huge interest in the role of digital chaplain and we are delighted to welcome Eleanor to the team. She will help enable us to bring the chaplaincy service to the people we support in the community, something we have wanted to do for a long time.”

Preventing Infection In Care Homes with Effective, Sustainable Waste Disposal

The removal of human waste in care homes is a critical part of reducing the cycle of infection, and the global pandemic has highlighted the ease of transmission between healthcare workers and patients, and every effort should be taken to minimise the risk of infection to save residents lives. The world health organisation estimates that “with good infection control practices and careful hygiene, Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI’s) can be reduced by up to 30%” Human waste disposal is being overlooked when it comes to infection prevention in care homes, with methods including manual handwashing and reusable receptacles still being used. According to the Department of Health, a mechanical system is the recommended decontamination method for bedpans and urinals in care homes. SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) can survive 1-2 days in urine and faeces therefore

reusable methods must be avoided. “94% of hospitals in the UK adopt the system of using mechanical macerators and disposable pulp products for collecting human waste on ward environments, especially those with bed bound patients, and care homes should be no different.” “Using pulp with macerators is a safe, environmentally friendly way of disposing of bodily waste. It maximises healthcare workers time and having reviewed the evidence and used most of the methods throughout my clinical career, it is by far the most effective” Gary Thirkell, Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation recommends that "all equipment should be single use and disposable to minimize the risk of transmission” The Vernacare human waste disposal system, features mechanical macerator machines which are installed into the home. Using a disposal pulp system for collecting human waste, the pulp items and associated maceratable wipes and gels are then put into the macerator and processed into a thin pulp which can be disposed of via the usual drainage system. The sustainable single-use system uses 100% recycled newspaper to create all pulp products; manufactured in the UK, including urinals, bed pans and wash bowls. Carole Hallam has worked as a lead nurse in the UK NHS and is now an independent infection control specialist, she commented on her

experience. “On personal experience of different systems, I wouldn't choose anything other than pulp bedpans with disposal in a macerator as this method is both efficient and easy to use with no worry of a failed disinfection cycle" Vernacare are global suppliers of innovative healthcare solutions. Creating quality products which help to improve the lives of patients, residents and healthcare professionals whilst reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Vernacare is the market leader and inventor of the single use disposable system, with a history of over 50 years. Vernacare currently has a presence in more than 60 countries with over 20,000 macerators installed worldwide. Vernacare is the only company in the world to manufacture an integrated human waste management and infection prevention system. Their products are used by 500,000 patients every day worldwide. They manufacture over 170 million medical pulp containers per year. Vernacare pulp is medical grade, as it guarantees fluid retention for a minimum of 4 hours. It is composed of 100% cellulose fibres that make it 100% biodegradable in just 6 weeks. When macerated they break down to a similar size as flushed toilet paper A macerator machine consumes 60% less water and up to 96% less electricity than a bedpan washer. For further information please visit www.vernacare.com or call 01204 529494


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 27

Supporting Care Staff Wellbeing By Richard Latham, CEO, Wellmind Health (www.wellmindhealth.com) The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on our wellbeing, with a particularly heavy burden placed on health and care professionals. A recent poll carried out by the NHS Confederation’s Health and Care Women Leaders Network in February and March of this year reveals the extent of the impact on female health and care staff in England. The results show a significant rise in women working across health and care reporting a negative impact from their work on their mental and physical health as a result of the pandemic. There can be a reluctance to share if people are struggling emotionally, for fear of it damaging careers and due to the stigma still attached to mental health. It’s important to build and maintain open lines of communication, so people feel able to reach out if they are struggling. Open cultures also help us to work proactively and preventatively, helping people maintain good health and wellbeing in the first place, not just providing interventions if they are suffering. Sharing personal stories can be a powerful way of changing culture, breaking the taboo, and opening that dialogue around mental health. For some, it can be uncomfortable speaking with managers about these issues, and managers don’t always have right knowledge, skills and confidence to support. Managers can be trained in mental health first aid and awareness, and their needs must be considered too. Making time to slow down and focus on our personal needs is not

always easy, even at the best of times. Providing flexible working opportunities can help care staff to avoid burnout, be better able to cope with outside caring responsibilities, and to find the space and personal time to exercise and reconnect with themselves. Physical activity and being amongst nature and green spaces can greatly aid both our physical and mental health, so providing flexibility and encouraging staff to get outside regularly and partake in exercise

are simple but effective ways to help maintain physical and mental wellbeing. Just ten minutes of brisk walking can improve mental alertness, energy and boost our mood. The benefits of meditation are wide-ranging, from reduced stress, anxiety and fatigue to improved sleep, better emotional wellbeing and increased attention span. Group in-person or online meditation times can be organised, and digital meditation aids can help beginners. Be careful not to overload people with group sessions or make them feel like they have to participate as not everyone is comfortable with such activities. Apps can be particularly useful here, allowing people the freedom and privacy to manage their own mental wellbeing. The use of apps and digital therapeutics accelerated dramatically when lockdowns commenced and have been extremely valuable in helping to maintain and improve wellbeing. They are available 24/7, can be completed at your own pace, and offer privacy for people. There are many apps on offer to aid physical and mental wellbeing but there are variations in the levels of quality and effectiveness so it’s important to find which ones work best for your team’s needs. Some apps are NHSapproved, which can provide a level of reassurance. It’s vital that as many effective lines of support as possible are made available to our health and care sector staff, especially with females making up the vast majority of the workforce and often having to contend with significant caring responsibilities outside of work too.

Care Home Team Members Chosen to Enjoy a Night of Glamour Seven excited team members from two Braintree care homes have been chosen at random to represent the homes at a glittering awards ceremony and gala dinner. Sonnet Care Homes, which runs The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court in Bocking, was shortlisted for three regional Great British Care Awards in 2020 – but the awards ceremony was postponed because of social distancing restrictions. With the team having shown commitment and dedication to residents and colleagues throughout the challenges of the past year and a half, Sonnet CEO Julia Clinton said the rescheduled awards ceremony in Peterborough in July provided an opportunity to celebrate. “I am so proud of the team for maintaining amazing collaboration throughout the pandemic and a bright outlook each day,” said Julia. “We offered the whole team the chance to represent the Company at this fantastic event.” The seven team members will join Julia and shortlisted finalists Joan Sirett, Matron, shortlisted for the Palliative Care/End of life Award and Jo

Whitehouse, Activities Manager, shortlisted for the Frontline Leaders Award. The Sonnet Care Homes team was also shortlisted for the Social Care COVID Hero Award for all their efforts to keep residents and the team safe. To build excitement, Julia asked St Mary’s Court resident Doreen Frost to draw seven names from a hat. Care team member Irina Cocu, who was one of the seven, said: “I have been praying that I would be picked, I have been part of this amazing team for five years and the awards evenings are the best.” Leanne Scott, who was also chosen, added: “I am really happy but shocked that my name was picked out for the award night, but I am really looking forward to going.” Others drawn to attend include three members of the activities team, a Senior Carer and a catering assistant. The team has been waiting since autumn 2020 for the awards ceremony and the winners to be announced.

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PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

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 info@haigh.co.uk

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 31

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 medklinn@tunnelight.net.

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


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CATERING FOR CARE

Foods to Ease Home Visits

By Jane Clarke BSc (Hons) SRD DSc, Dietitian and founder of www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com

The new Government guidance that residents can leave care settings to visit their families at home is much welcomed, as we know how difficult these past months of separation have been for so many and the impact it has had on health and wellbeing. But we mustn’t forget that this sudden immersion into a new environment may be unsettling for anyone used to the familiar routine and steady rhythm of their care home. Relatives, too, may worry about what food and drink to give their loved one, particularly if they have an eating challenge they know is well catered for in their care setting. The following tips will help take the pressure off a home visit. Do share them with relatives to help give them more confidence, so they can focus on the pleasure of having their loved one with them again. Pack a lunch Provide a small lunch with familiar foods you know a resident is happy to eat. The ideal is that they will be able to share a meal or snack with their loved ones, but this is a useful standby if they’d prefer their usual foods and means they won’t go hungry and run out of energy on their day out. Discuss the menu in advance It can be disappointing for everyone if a much-anticipated meal goes uneaten. Chat with relatives and highlight any eating challenges their loved one may have, then you can discuss ways a meal might be adapted to make it easier to swallow, for example.

Remember to pack any adapted cutlery or tableware they prefer to eat with. Go for a picnic Sitting down to a big meal at the dinner table and being served a plateful of food can feel overwhelming for someone used to eating in the dining room in their care setting, or even on a tray in their room. A picnic or buffet can be less pressure, allowing them to pick and choose their preferred options in smaller portions. You may find they actually eat more this way, as they graze the tempting tastes on offer. Just be sure that the foods are those everyone can enjoy – cut crusts off finger sandwiches if chewing is difficult; watch out for ingredients that may cause choking, such as nuts; and include protein-rich foods such as hummus and mackerel pate, plus chopped salads and fresh fruit, for a balanced plate of nourishment. Stroll down memory lane With loved ones who have a poor appetite, or whose eating may be affected by a condition such as dementia, rekindling memories of favourite dishes or special family occasions can help to tempt the appetite. Bring out photographs and recipe books (especially handwritten recipes handed down through generations), talk about foods you remember them loving and incorporate familiar tastes and ingredients in the dishes served. Don’t forget drinks Staying hydrated is very important, as lack of fluids will result in loss of energy, poor digestion and potentially cause constipation and even confusion once the visit is over. Ask relatives or friends to offer beverages and ensure they have any straw or special cup the individual may need to help them drink. Having one or two meal supplement drinks on hand, such as my all-natural Nourish Drinks, is a great way to guarantee both nourishment and hydration on a day out.

leaves from 2 fresh basil sprigs 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra if necessary juice of half a lemon ground black pepper Method 1. Steam the broad beans for 2 minutes until they’re cooked but not mushy. 2. Rinse and cool thoroughly under cold water and remove the skins by squeezing the bean at one end – the bright green centre should just pop out. 3.Toast the pistachio nuts in a dry pan for 2 minutes over a gentle heat, being careful not to let them burn. 4.Put them into a food processor or blender and blend to a fine nut powder. 5.Add the beans and the basil, oil and lemon juice, and whiz to a mash. 6.You can add a little extra oil or lemon juice, if you like, depending on how smooth and tart you want the hummus to be. 7.Season with pepper. TIP Serve as a sandwich filling, or on jacket potatoes or pasta. Or make a delicious salad with romaine lettuce leaves, new crisp baby carrots and sliced raw vegetables, which you can dunk into the hummus.

SMOKED TROUT & DILL PÂTÉ Trout is very rich in omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which benefit heart and circulatory health. This pate is fabulous slathered on toast or used as a dip with crudités. PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES Ingredients 400g smoked trout fillet 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard pinch of freshly ground black pepper 100g ricotta cheese or cream cheese 100ml crème fraîche

BROAD BEAN & PISTACHIO HUMMUS Hummus is a real favourite for a picnic tea. While the traditional chickpeabased hummus is delicious, broad beans feel lighter on the gut and the pistachios provide a great source of protein. PREP TIME: ABOUT 5 MINUTES COOKING TIME: ABOUT 5 MINUTES SERVES: 4 Ingredients 1kg (2¼ lb) frozen broad beans 2 tbsp shelled pistachio nuts

juice of 1 lemon large handful of dill Method 1. Remove the skin from the trout fillets and check that there are no remaining bones. 2. Place in a food processor with the mustard, black pepper, ricotta, crème fraîche and lemon juice and process until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash with a fork, but the consistency won’t be as smooth. 3.Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.

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 resourcecentre@nutricia.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)

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 considerations – 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-chefs-healthsocial-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.



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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 info@forbes-professional.co.uk 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.



PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

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 58 | PAGE 37

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.

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.

Call us on 01252-330220 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 58 | PAGE 39

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, info@kamsystems.co.uk 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 sales@arm.uk.com

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



THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 41

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.

www.pinpointlimited.com


PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

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

The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly thecareruk.com/backissues

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.

How to enhance your rresidents esidents experience -! -!

Imagine a piece of e equipment for your car care home that can enhance the experience of your ts mentally y,, rresidents esidents mentally, physically and also emotionally

Mentally - Brain training apps, memory apps, board challenges.!! quizzes, boar d games, rreasoning easoning challenges. Exercise Physically - Exer cise for the elderly online coordination, increased classes, hand eye coor dination, incr eased around large movement to move hands ar ound a lar ge screen.! scr een.! Emotionally - Reminiscence tours on Google present YouTube Earth, past and pr esent clips on YouT Y ouT Tube of ! interests, eligious services and hobbies or inter ests, rreligious Group Gr oup ZOOM calls to loved ones who cant get person!!! to visit in your rresidents esidents person! ! w,, “We now, “W We use it daily and would not be without ut it now even the rresidents esid nd it easy and fun to use. esidents find Registered Manager, Thank you!” Sandie Evans, Register red ed Manager r,, Oakland’s Oakland’ ’s Care Car Ca arre e Home, Crickhowell

Inspir Inspired ed Inspirations have been working dir directly ectly with car care e homes in developing their interactive touch scr screen een activity tables over the last few years, to pr provide ovide a range of scr screen een sizes and units to suit every car care e setting. setting.!!

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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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All tables are are made to order, orderr, if you’d like to enquire enquir e on a price guide and time scales for www.inspireddeliveries, just visit their website www .inspir spiredinspirations.com inspirations.c com or scan the QR code on the right. For general enquiries, please email ! ! info@inspired-inspirations.com! info@inspir ed-inspirations.com! “We’ve didn’tt “W We’ve noticed ed that quieter rresidents esidents who didn’ interact too much with others have suddenly more more been mor re e active ctive and mor re e vocal.” Lindsey Manager, Davies, Home e Manager r,, Cwrt Enfys

See the advert on page 32 for details.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 45

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 info@care-vision.co.uk or call 0208 768 9809


PAGE 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58

RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Maintaining Financial Flexibility In The Care Sector By Alison Smith, Associate at Duncan & Toplis (www.duncantoplis.co.uk)

Over the last year, the care sector has found itself at the epicentre of one of the biggest crises of a generation and it’s put a struggling sector into even greater difficulty. At the start of the pandemic in the UK, care homes had to transform in an instant to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society from a virus which has gone on to cause tens of thousands of deaths. But the initial sprint to secure PPE, to adapt to the rapidly changing lockdown rules and government guidance while also caring for the mental and physical wellbeing of people in care and those who look after them has become a marathon. It would have been hard for any sector to rise to challenges of this scale, but when the virus hit, the UK’s care sector was already facing a financial crisis which meant many care providers had resources stretched to breaking point. As a result, for care home managers and owners, as well as leading their organisations through this crisis, one of the most important tasks has been to maintain the financial flexibility to react to further unexpected costs. Financial flexibility means having the means to meet any new costs or outgoings which might arise and being able to invest the money required to seize new opportunities which can’t be foreseen. Even before the pandemic, this was a tall order for many care

you may consider taking on unsecured loans. However, this carries a risk as it will increase the financial burden you face in future as it is generally more expensive and has a shorter repayment term, so this may not be a suitable option for many care providers. It may be helpful to book an access to finance review which will help you identify the appropriate funding streams available to you; and, at Duncan & Toplis, we can provide these free of charge. As care sector leaders may need to invest their time in fighting fires, it may help to secure the services of an adviser who can take an objective view of your business; carrying out financial health checks, supporting business planning as well as structuring your debt to reduce repayments and improving your overall cash flow. Financial health checks can help to identify areas where additional working capital could be released, enabling your cash to go further and ensuring finances are structured appropriately to maintain enough cash to run the business and make a profit. Finally, business planning will help you to better anticipate future challenges and opportunities while making the most of the resources you have so you can deal with them. Clearly, it may be hard to anticipate what might be next when it comes to coronavirus, but it’s easy to forget that the pandemic isn’t the only thing to contend with and many of these other issues can be predicted in advance. Making sure that everything which can be foreseen is taken into account will mean you have more time and resources to deal with the unexpected matters which you may encounter, whether it’s more complications with coronavirus or something else entirely.

providers: Last year, it was forecast that 6,500 care homes were at risk of closure over the next five years as an aging population puts greater demand on a sector which has struggled with relative decreases in government and local government funding. Meanwhile, staffing pressures were growing and providers were struggling to recruit enough carers to meet demand. Now, COVID-19 has exacerbated every problem the sector was facing, so there is a real difficulty in ensuring that there is any money left to deal with whatever might be round the corner. Fortunately, there are several options which may help you to build and maintain financial flexibility, even while you’re responding to a pandemic. First, you may be able to access business asset finance, which is a core lending facility which enables a business to release cash from the value of the assets they already own. Mostly, this is for businesses which are investing in new assets to expand, but business asset finance can be used to refinance unencumbered assets to replenish cash balances and support working capital or other investment. You can also refinance your existing current assets: In the case of care homes, this will be stock and debtors. Stock will be minimal, consisting of medicines and provisions whereas debtors include local authorities or private individuals who usually pay quite promptly. This can complement core borrowing and overdrafts from a bank, which can help to cover any timing differences, and it can be invaluable because funds can be provided against security in specific assets. Despite short term financial challenges, if your business is growing,

Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify (www.capify.co.uk) from this crisis?

THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Care home workers have been at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, and the sector has faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic. As the world struggled to control the spread of the virus, care homes were amongst the worst hit and had to prioritise protecting resident’s health above all else. Now, as we begin to emerge from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 we are beginning to see the true financial impact this has had on the sector. Reduced revenue due to a drop in the number of residents; an increased need for workers; high staff turnover and the additional cost of PPE and other safety measures within care homes has had a significant impact on cash flow for these businesses. Care England estimated that the cost for adequate PPE during the coronavirus outbreak to be a huge £253 per care home resident, per week. This is an enormous increase on pre-pandemic costs, which were reported to be around £4 per resident, per week. The pandemic has highlighted just how crucial care homes are and the important role they play in supporting our loved ones at the end of their lives. However, there are fears now that without further financial support, the sector will suffer, and so will the level of care residents have access to. We recently completed a survey of SME owners – many of which are in the care sector – and 43 per cent of businesses believed the support offered by the government throughout the pandemic has not been good enough. On top of that, our survey showed that more than 80% were still looking for finance to support them, despite the many different support schemes that have been introduced. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and the country starts to reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover

Unlike NHS-run hospitals, care homes are often privately owned businesses and therefore their revenue comes from patient fees. In an effort to help the sector in its recovery, the Government announced additional financial support for care homes, including a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. However, this funding was distributed across local authorities and deployed at their discretion, and therefore wasn’t readily available to every care home business. However, as of March 2021 the government had lent over £76 billion to businesses, including many health and social work companies, through its four main financial loans schemes; Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Larger Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Future Fund. The statistics show that the government’s BBLS has now provided more than £46bn in funding to more than 1.5m businesses, while the CBILS has lent more than £24bn to almost 100,000 businesses. According to a House of Commons report, health and social work businesses made up four per cent of the total loan value of both the CBILS and BBLS, totalling more than £2.3bn provided to more than 60,000 businesses across the UK. The figures are huge, and although it was announced earlier this year that the new ‘Pay as You Grow’ scheme would give businesses with a Bounce Back Loan more time to repay their loans if they need it, the problem is much bigger than that. Businesses we speak to have either accessed the schemes already and now need a second injection of capital, or they were not able to access the scheme in the first place, so are facing the challenge of determining what they can do now. For many businesses that did access the schemes, we know that money has already been used to help them through what was a hugely challenging period, so very little if any has been carried forward to look at future growth or investment. Boosting cash flow was the top priority for 57% of businesses in our survey, proving there is still huge demand for working capital. For adult care homes having working capital to ensure high-quality care can be given to all residents and that they have the staff needed to deliver this is absolutely key. Cash in the bank is a necessity. On top of all of this, the pandemic has put enormous pressure on

workers within the care sector and as a result, many businesses have experienced high staff turnover and sickness, leading to a shortage of key skills. The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care report gives an indication of the toll the pandemic has had on the social care workforce with 7.5% of working days lost to staff sickness, compared with 2.7% pre-COVID-19. We know that there's a huge amount of resilience and determination amongst the UK's small businesses, which really are the backbone of the UK economy. But it's clear that SMEs, and especially those within the care sector are still in desperate need of finance this year despite the huge amounts of money that have been lent through the BBLS and CBILS. The Pay as You Grow scheme will provide some welcome relief for many businesses, but it does not address the fundamental issue, which is that SMEs still need finance.

THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL BANKS Traditional banks continue to make it difficult for SMEs to get the finance they so desperately need to get back on their feet properly, which I believe means that alternative lenders like ourselves will have a crucial role to play in the months that lie ahead. We’re seeing increasing demand from SMEs across the care sector, where we have a strong customer base already, as well as lots of other industries, which is linked to the £50m Small Business Fund we created to help businesses get moving again. The majority of the UK’s ‘big banks’ are much happier lending to larger businesses with a long track record of profitability. But that doesn’t help SMEs and the impacts of the pandemic will have damaged the chances of many smaller businesses getting finance from a big bank. That’s where I think the fintech industry will need to step up more than ever before to help companies bridge the gap. There’s already been huge growth with more and more business owners looking to get finance more quickly; with a simpler approach and with more flexibility. For these reasons, I expect 2021 will be a big year for alternative lenders with the support for the care sector set to be high on the agenda. Capify is an online lender that provides flexible financing solutions to SMEs seeking working capital to sustain or grow their business. The fintech company has been operating in the UK market for over 13 years and also has a sister company, Capify Australia, which provides similar services to Australian SMEs for over 13 years. For more details about Capify, visit: http://www.capify.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 58 | PAGE 47

RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 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.

Under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 1) (“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. If a resident dies, in rare circumstances a care home worker may 2) 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. Following the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, new legislation was enacted 3) 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 ill-treating 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.

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

Global assists clients throughout the U.K. who specialise in the healthcare sector to achieve their objectives of purchase, development and refinance. We have organised over £1.8bn for clients in the past 30 years, providing clients with competitively priced funding to refinance existing debt, ease cashflow and develop businesses further. From helping clients make their first purchase through to allowing groups to grow significantly in size we

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 enquiries@globalbusinessfinance.net