The Carer Digital - Issue #110

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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 Issue 110

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

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

THECARER_UK

Social Care Workforce Crisis Risks Patient Safety Leaders Warn

NHS leaders across England say staffing gaps and a lack of capacity in social care are putting the care and safety of patients in the NHS at risk. Almost 250 NHS leaders responding to an NHS Confederation survey say that patients are being delayed in hospital much longer than they should, with the knock-on impact resulting in higher demand on A&E departments and longer ambulance response times. NHS leaders stand in support of their social care colleagues and are urging the Government to increase investment in care services, including by boosting

wages for care workers. They say failure to act will leave more and more vulnerable people without the care and support they need, as well as piling further pressure on front-line NHS services. The stark results from the survey of NHS providers, primary care and integrated care system leaders paint a picture of a social care system struggling to cope with demand and a pressing need for a long-term pay and funding strategy for the sector.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Once again, we lead with a story that really gives “food for thought”. The social care workforce crisis compromises patient safety. No real surprise there. However, as you will see in the news story, 10 years ago the average hourly wage for a care worker was 13p more than those working in the sales and retail sector. By last year that had fallen and an opposite trend in wages saw social care workers paid around 21p less than those working in supermarkets. The story also reveals that England lags behind other UK nations, with both Scotland and Wales having already introduced minimum wages near or well above £10 an hour. When one takes time to examine that, and this is no disrespect to supermarket workers, the difference between the two jobs in terms of responsibility, training, unsociable hours and hard work is immense and the fact that supermarket/retail workers are being paid more confirms just why there is a crisis in adult social care staffing. We are now in the midst of an election battle for the position of Prime Minister. Although I am not holding out much hope (due to pressures of time on their part, since I am sure they are already heavily committed) I have written both camps asking if they would like to provide an article, or take part in a Q&A session on what their plans/proposals are for adult social care. It would be very interesting indeed. Both have pledged to make more funding available for adult social care if they become the next Prime Minister during a hustings with councillors last month. Although I must be honest, that is about as much as I can find! I have conducted a rather detailed search and can see both candidates’ policies on taxation, immigration, Brexit and the EU, law and order, defence, the NHS, climate change, foreign affairs, housing and infrastructure, education and even Scotland, but I can see precious little, if anything, on adult social care. The biggest elephant in the room in modern times, well, at least in my opinion. Is it yet again a can that both candidates are looking to kick down the road? I sincerely hope not! As our lead story states the staffing crisis in the adult social care sector is severely impacting on the NHS, and a continuing crisis will eventually lead to a total collapse of the sector. A great initiative we were delighted to publish appears on page 21 where Age Cymru delivered a Welsh Government funded pilot project to recruit and train volunteers to help visitors with PPE and other safety guidelines when visiting loved ones in care homes. After which of the volunteers have moved across to support residents with a range of

Editor

Peter Adams

activities, hobbies, and interests. A wonderful initiative and one that I hope spreads further afield! This is just one of the positive news pieces we like to publish here at The Carer and this week we have seen stories involving schoolchildren, landmark birthdays and anniversaries, fundraising, a care sectors got talent competition, garden festivals and even a wet sponge throwing charity fundraiser! Thank you once again and please do keep them coming in! A date for your calendar! It is Afternoon Tea Week coming up August 8-14. A quintessentially British tradition celebrated in every care homes throughout the UK! We have a wonderful feature with some interesting statistics and fun ideas, also highlighting how important nutrition and hydration We are also inviting residential and nursing care homes to send in stories and photographs of their celebrations for Afternoon Tea Week for a chance to win a super prize courtesy of The Carer. A luxury hamper will be on the way to the winning entry when Afternoon Tea Week ends, so please do send your entries to nominate@thecareruk.com and see the feature on pages 28-31.

YOUR CARE HOME’S CHANCE TO WIN A LUXURY HAMPER!

Afternoon Tea Week is coming up on August 8 -14

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Social Care Workforce Crisis Risks Patient Safety Leaders Warn (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Nine in ten leaders report that the pressure from the fall out of a lack of appropriate and timely social care pathways for people leaving hospital is having the biggest impact in A&E, with almost the same number (86%) saying this is having a huge knock-on effect on ambulance response times. Almost three quarters also say their efforts to bring down waiting lists are being hampered by a lack of social care capacity. Almost all who took part in the survey said that the one immediate single change the Government could make now to alleviate the pressure on the social care system would be to increase pay for social care staff.

IMPLEMENT NATIONAL CARE WORKER MINIMUM WAGE NHS leaders recently calling on the Government to immediately implement a national care worker minimum wage of £10.50 an hour. They warned that without an increase above the hourly wage seen across many other industries, including that paid to staff working in supermarkets and across retail, as well as the NHS itself, the social care sector in England will continue to haemorrhage staff. Commenting on the survey results Lord Victor Adebowale, chair of the NHS Confederation, said: “Decades of delay and inertia have left social care services chronically underfunded and in desperate need of more support. “NHS leaders stand alongside their sister services in social care in wanting a rescue package for the sector. They are sounding the alarm and sending a clear message to Government that the social care system has not been ‘fixed’. “This failure to invest in services and wages for care workers has led to huge vacancies and a lack of capacity. This is contributing to the big problems we are seeing in A&E departments, in terms of longer ambulance handover times, and when it comes to hospitals not being able to discharge medically fit patients when they are ready to go home or into a care home. “We now urgently need the Government to take decisive action and commit to making it attractive to work in social care and increase the numbers of social care staff. “The NHS and social care work side by side, when one service is struggling, the other suffers, and the pandemic has served to shine a stark light on how fragile and severely under-resourced the country’s social care system has become.

“Without immediate action, both the NHS and social care could face an endless winter of people being failed by the very systems that should be there to support them at their most vulnerable.”

GROWING CRISIS Nadra Ahmed OBE, chairman of the National Care Association, added: “Further proof, if needed, that there is a growing crisis in health and social care in relation to staffing challenges which impact service delivery. Social Care services are an essential part of the solutions to ensure that citizens requiring care and support have access to it when they need it. “It feels inconceivable that the light bulb hasn’t gone on in the hearts and minds of those who can work towards a sustainable resolution to the challenges. Our NHS colleagues need social care to support them in creating a seamless service but without investment in social care and our workforce this feels unattainable. “This survey lays bare the facts, with NHS leaders calling for investment in social care so that acute beds can be freed up for clinical patients. There is the clear recognition that social care is the backbone that holds up our NHS and care providers are keen to step up and create a pathway to recovery for our NHS. The only challenge we face is that decades of under-investment by successive governments and the pandemic has eroded any resilience in our sector which needs remedial action as a matter of urgency.”

IMMEDIATE EXTRA FUNDING Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “The NHS Confederation’s social care workforce survey highlights the enormous impact the funding and workforce crisis in social care is having on the NHS. The Government must understand that health and social care are two interdependent systems and social care needs immediate extra funding to improve pay and conditions and then a long-term workforce strategy that aligns with the NHS workforce plan. If the Government fails to focus on the social care workforce, the impact on the NHS will be catastrophic”.

HUGE PRESSURES Professor Vic Rayner OBE, chief executive of the National Care Forum, said: “This survey of NHS leaders comes on top of two Health and Social Care Select Committee reports this week and confirmation of 165,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector by Skills for Care last week. “The resoundingly stark message from both healthcare and social

care leaders is that urgent action is needed now. This survey is clear – the lack of social care capacity is causing huge pressures across the healthcare system and having a very real human impact on people, their families and the entire health and care workforce. “When healthcare and social care leaders stand side by side to urge the Government to increase investment in care services and boost wages for care workers, then it really is time to listen. Alongside urgent action on pay, terms and conditions, there is also an urgent need to create a dedicated and fully funded social care workforce plan to enable a long-term approach to workforce development, recruitment and retention, to meet significant demographic change.”

UNMET MANIFESTO In June the NHS Confederation, on behalf of healthcare leaders, penned a letter to the Prime Minister, warning that their social care counterparts simply do not have “the financial headroom…to respond to the labour market pressures they are facing.” A decade ago, the average hourly wage for a care worker was 13p more than those working in the sales and retail sector, by last year that had plummeted and an inverse trend in wages saw social care workers paid around 21p less than those working in supermarkets. England also lags behind other UK nations with both Scotland and Wales having already introduced minimum wages near or well above £10 an hour. NHS leaders fear that the knock-on effect of a social care sector left with only skeleton staffing will continue to risk patient safety, further exacerbate waiting times, and drive demand for health services ever higher. They are warning that the social care system is in need of urgent and radical reform and are urging the next Prime Minister to commit to significant investment in the sector, with the accusation that the social care system is far from ‘fixed’. The Health Foundation projects the Government will need to spend an extra £2.5 billion just to meet future demand and over £9 billion to improve access to care by 2024/25. They are now calling on the Government to rapidly deliver on its so far unmet manifesto pledge to transform the struggling sector. 1.4 million older people are currently estimated to have an unmet need for social care, yet despite this there have been dramatic falls in spending on social care in England, with figures showing a 12 per cent decrease per person over the decade to 2018/19.


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Bolder Government Action is Needed to Address Inequalities in Dementia Risk Research presented today at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in San Diego links socioeconomic deprivation, including neighbourhood disadvantages and persistent low wages, to higher dementia risk, lower cognitive performance and faster memory decline. The findings, from four separate studies, also show that people who experience high socioeconomic deprivation are significantly more likely to develop dementia compared to people who live in more affluent areas. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Addressing health inequalities is a key part of the challenge of tackling dementia. These findings add to the growing body of evidence that the environment people live and work in affects their dementia risk, which government plays a key role in helping to shape. “There has never been a more pressing need to identify, understand and develop interventions against risk factors for dementia. Of the leading causes of death, dementia is the fastest rising health condition facing the UK, with numbers set to increase to over 1.6 million by 2050. “By adopting ambitious population-wide measures, the government can improve the environments that people live in, and which in turn enables people from all backgrounds to make positive lifestyle changes to support their brain health and reduce their risk of developing dementia. This effort must involve government departments beyond those responsible for health – for example housing, communities and education – and be backed with sufficient funding. “We urge government to make dementia prevention a key priority in its aim to level up healthcare across the country, and hope the forthcoming health disparities white paper lays the foundation for a fairer, healthier nation.”

SOCIOECONOMIC DEPRIVATION ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED DEMENTIA RISK In this large-scale study, researchers at the University of Luxembourg examined data from 196,368 participants’ records – including brain scans – from the UK Biobank. All included participants had also had their genetic risk for developing dementia assessed. Researchers investigated the effect of ‘individual’ socioeconomic deprivation — such as low income — and ‘area-level’ socioeconomic deprivation — such as employment rates — to participants’ risk of developing dementia, and compared it with their genetic risk of the condition. They found that both individual and area-level socioeconomic deprivation were linked to an increased dementia risk. For people with moderate or high genetic risk, greater area-level deprivation was associated

with an even higher risk for developing dementia. Analysing data from brain scans, they found that both forms of socioeconomic deprivation were also linked to a higher incidence of ‘white-matter lesions’ – an indication of brain ageing and damage. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “These findings are a stark reminder of the health gap between the most and least deprived in society, with the most deprived at a higher risk of developing dementia. “Ultimately, these inequalities are profoundly unfair, but they are also avoidable. The government has a key role in addressing inequalities through a range of measures to improve poverty, employment, housing and education. Furthermore there are steps people can take to boost their brain health and reduce the risk of dementia, including staying physically, socially and mentally active, which also need government support to ensure everyone can adopt these changes. “Further research into the social determinants of brain health, including socioeconomic status, will be vital for helping government bring in effective public health policies that help everyone reduce their risk of dementia.”

ECONOMIC ADVERSITY AND NEIGHBOURHOOD DISADVANTAGE RELATED TO LOWER COGNITIVE TESTING SCORES In a second study, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern examined perceptions of neighbourhood physical environments and socioeconomic status, alongside a measure of thinking and memory in 3,858 individuals from the Dallas Heart Study. They found that lower-quality neighbourhood resources, poorer access to food, heating and medical care, and exposure to violence were associated with lower scores on cognitive tests among Black and Latino individuals, compared to White participants. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The impact of socioeconomic status on cognition in Black and Latino populations is particularly worrying, as we know that historically, dementia has often been misunderstood and highly stigmatised by many in in these communities. “Studies like this are good for highlighting links between people’s environment and their health, but this research didn’t look at whether people went on to develop dementia. As diseases like Alzheimer’s develop in the brain over many years, larger studies with a longer follow-up are needed to determine whether these changes are linked to dementia.”

PARENTS’ HIGHER SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED IMPACT OF ALZHEIMER’S LATER IN LIFE In this study, researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical

Center looked to determine whether the socioeconomic status of people’s parents could protect against the impact of higher levels of a protein called ptau-181 in their blood. The protein is used in research as a marker of brain ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. Socioeconomic status was measured by the number of years people spent in education. The researchers found that in people with higher blood levels of ptau-181, having parents with a higher socioeconomic status was linked to a slower rate of decline in memory, language and executive function as they got older. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “These findings indicate that the conditions we grow up in may influence our brains’ ability to withstand the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. More research must be conducted to understand the exact mechanisms behind this link, to help inform policies that could help to reduce dementia risk. “No matter what your age, it is never too early or too late for action to reduce your risk of dementia. Only a third of people in the UK are aware they can reduce their dementia risk – we need government action to help change that and promote the benefits of looking after our brain health.”

LOW HOURLY WAGES ASSOCIATED WITH FASTER MEMORY DECLINE IN OLDER AGE To study whether earning low hourly wages over a long period of time is linked to memory decline, researchers at Columbia University School of Public Health used data from a long-term national study of American adults in midlife, and examined the relationship between their employment and memory decline over 12 years. Compared with workers who never earned low wages, sustained low-wage earners experienced significantly faster memory decline in older age. They experienced approximately one excess year of cognitive ageing per 10-year period. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We know that employment status is a key factor in determining a person’s socioeconomic status, which can have a cross-cutting impact on our health. These findings add to a body of evidence highlighting the links between low incomes and health inequalities across the globe. “Studies like this should help inform the development and implementation of social policies aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of low-income communities. “We don’t know from this research whether the people in the study went on to develop dementia and, longer-term studies will be needed to explore the links between low wages and dementia risk.”


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LGA Responds to NHS Confederation Report on Social Care The Local Government association has responded to a report which highlights that staffing gaps and a lack of capacity in social care are putting the care and safety of patients in the NHS at risk. Last week almost 250 NHS leaders responding to an NHS Confederation survey say that patients are being delayed in hospital much longer than they should, with the knock-on impact resulting in higher demand on A&E departments and longer ambulance response times. Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Councils, care providers and hospitals all work incredibly hard together to get people being discharged from hospital home with the correct support as soon as they can. However, this process is increasingly difficult with rising demand for social care and community health care, workforce shortages and budgets under significant pressure. The social care system is suffering from long-term underfunding, and the situation continues to worsen with increasing unmet and under-met need.

“We fully endorse the report’s view that social care is not simply a means of alleviating pressure on the NHS and is instead “critical to the wellbeing of the nation”. The report is right to point out that high vacancy levels across the workforce inevitably impact on social care’s ability to help mitigate the demand facing the NHS – whether that’s supporting people out of hospital or preventing their admission in the first place. “We have been calling for higher pay for social care staff for many years, to guarantee workers get properly compensated for the critical work that they do and to retain and encourage more talent into the workforce. Social care certainly does need a “rescue package” to deliver an increase in pay for staff, a long-term workforce plan, increased overall investment in adult social care. “Investing in social care now will create long-term saving throughout the NHS as well as the overall public purse, giving patients and people who draw on care better services, treatments and improve the wellbeing of our communities.”

Musician Helps Belong Warrington Make Melodies Music therapy sessions that help people connect, communicate and engage, have hit the right note with residents at Belong Warrington, who are enjoying the benefits of creative expression as part of a flourishing relationship with the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins. Pam Thomson, an experienced music therapist and Goldsmiths, University of London alumna, is working with the not-for-profit dementia specialist’s customers in small groups and one-to-one to translate their personal experiences, memories and observations of the world through the power of music. Supporting the residents as they contribute as they please using instruments including tambourines, drums and their voices, she matches their energy and tone of voice to build a connection. Pam explains: “It’s very person-centred and ability doesn’t matter; it’s about going with their flow and as the narrative unfolds, the residents become more confident with their playing and singing. The result is a sense of social connection, purpose and having an identity, and this impacts positively on people’s wellbeing.” Belong enlisted the charity as part of its ethos of promoting the wellbeing of customers through mean-

ingful occupation in line with their interests. Both organisations share the same approach using music and the arts to unlock memories, reduce isolation and help people regain their sense of identity, no matter their stage of dementia. Pam continues: “Making music together offers companionship without any pressure of conversation or the need to pick-up on social cues. It can help to access memories, foster feelings of connection and belonging. The experience has been very encouraging, so far, and it’s been a pleasure working with everyone. It’s especially worthwhile working with residents whose health means they are confined to their beds. It’s been rewarding to be able to take the music to people wherever they are in the village and they have responded very well.” June Newton, experience support worker at Belong Warrington, added: “It’s wonderful having Pam with us; her presence has been wellreceived, particularly by our customers further along their dementia journeys who are less able to access social connection or are non-verbal and find it hard to express their feelings. We’ve seen a number of remarkable outcomes, such as a gentleman who was able to recall his previous session – for him, it's quite a special achievement.”


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National Minimum Wage (NMW) Compliance Checks Are Back On HMRC’s Agenda. Are You Prepared? By Dale O’Reggio, Technical Lead - NMW Specialist and Vicky Robertson, Principal - Tax Healthcare Specialist at BDO (www.bdo.co.uk)

Last year’s Mencap sleep-in Supreme Court case dominated media headlines with a focus on how the NMW should be applied within the care sector. Although some caution should still be applied when operating sleep-ins, this article will instead focus on other common but less well-publicised pitfalls to help you prepare for increased HMRC NMW compliance activity following the coronavirus pandemic. With many care sector workers paid at or close to NMW rates, establishing appropriate employment policies is crucial to achieving NMW compliance. Common care sector pitfalls • Travel time – Whether that be from care home to care home or client to client, the essential information to keep in mind is that travel for work purposes is deemed to be working time under NMW rules.

• Paying new starters on time – There are strict rules around when NMW payments should be made following work carried out. Payment must be made within the pay period in which work was carried out or the following. Any later than this may cause an NMW breach, depending on the specific circumstances. • Uniform – If the policy requires workers to wear certain clothing or footwear which incurs the worker costs, HMRC will consider this a cost that reduces NMW pay if not reimbursed by the employer. • Admin fees – Any admin fees charged for deductions that are allowed under NMW rules such as court orders or DBS checks are likely to reduce NMW pay. • Unpaid working time – We often see cases of unpaid working, such as workers arriving before or leaving after their allocated shift time or being asked to come in early or stay late for handovers, as well as the rounding down of clock in times, disputes over breaks which weren’t taken deducted from time worked and incorrectly operated time off in lieu (TOIL) policies. • Deductions from pay – Many employers inadvertently breach NMW rules when making deductions from workers relating to things such as Christmas savings schemes, the purchasing of goods or services (including meals), uniform and recovering training costs when leaving the organisation.

EXPENSIVE MISTAKES In addition to making good any underpayments, if HMRC finds an employer to have underpaid their workers, they can issue penalties of up to 200% of the underpayment. Reputational damage from being

publicly named and shamed can also prove extremely detrimental.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR ORGANISATION? It is important for employers to understand what constitutes working time for NMW purposes, the relevance of travel time as a core component of this, and the need to ensure there are systems in place to properly record this. The importance of this was prominently highlighted in the recent House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee report, published on 26th July 2022, which issued a recommendation to the Government that HMRC’s enforcement team must be proactive in ensuring care workers receive NMW for all time spent working and traveling. Assessing the impact of any pay deductions made outside of tax and National Insurance, regardless of any perceived benefit to the worker, in addition to considering any work-related charges your worker may incur is essential. Effective communication with employees and a strong policy suite with robust controls and processes are also particularly valuable. In our experience, providing employees with an opportunity to seek clarification on areas that might concern them can help prevent potential whistleblowing to HMRC or ACAS. The above scenarios cover the most typical cases we encounter when supporting employers in the care sector with NMW compliance, but it is not exhaustive and the risks for your business will depend on your specific employee policies and procedures.

MHA Kenbrook Nominated For Two Awards

The home and home manager have both been nominated A Brent based care home is up for two nominations ahead of the Brent Adult Social Care Awards. MHA Kenbrook and home manager Marian O'Hara have both been nominated for their services and efforts in supporting adult social care in the Brent area. The home provides 24-hour specialist nursing and dementia care for up to 51 older people The awards ceremony will take place on 3 August 2022 at Brent Civic Centre from 1pm to 6pm. Speaking on the nominations Marian said: “Any recognition you receive is always good and of course it does feel nice.

For 10% discou nt on all woven an d iron-on nametapes, ad d CARE2022 at the checkout ! Valid to 31/10/20 22

“I was made aware of the nominations earlier this month and it was a very proud moment for me and the home. “Whether we win the awards or not it doesn't really matter and I will continue to feel proud of my home and the way we work together as a team. “I have been working in Brent for the last 20 years so I know the area really well, and on a personal note, winning the award will be a nice accolade for my retirement “MHA Kenbrook is a well-established home and has been here since the 1950s so the award will help to enhance the reputation for MHA. “The pandemic was a very tough time for everyone involved in social care so everyone who has been nominated deserves it.”


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Diet High in Ultra-Processed Foods Linked to a Higher Risk of Dementia Researchers in China have found a link between a diet containing ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of developing dementia. The findings were published in the journal Neurology today (Wednesday 27 July). Researchers analysed data from 72,083 people over the age of 55 without a diagnosis of dementia, who were part of the UK Biobank cohort. Participants provided at least two web-based 24-hour dietary assessments that were used in this study. The researchers then looked at health records to find out which of the participants developed dementia over an average follow up period of 10 years. Out of 72,083 people involved in the study, 518 went on to develop a type of dementia with 287 being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and 119 with vascular dementia. People who consumed ultra-processed foods had an increased risk of developing dementia compared to those who did not. The researchers estimate that replacing 10% of ultra-processed foods in a diet with minimally processed or unprocessed food could reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia by 19%. Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This study is the first to look at associations between dementia risk and consuming ultra-processed foods, such as pre-packed meals and snacks, breakfast cereals and soft drinks. “We don’t know for sure why people who eat ultra-processed foods show an increased risk of dementia. The researchers suggest it could be because these diets involve lower levels of important nutrients like fibre, because they include too much sugar and sodium, or because they may lead to high blood pressure or inflammation, which can be bad for longterm brain health. “While the researchers have run a careful analysis, it’s impossible to be certain that this link is down to differences in diet rather than other lifestyle factors that may go along with eating more ultra-processed food. “The research took the total calorie intake of the participants into account, so the link shouldn’t be a result of people who eat ultraprocessed foods simply eating more. “We know that what is good for our heart health is also good for our brain health, so we encourage people to stay active, socially connected and involved in activities and hobbies that they enjoy. It is also important to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. You can find out more about how to look after your brain health at www.thinkbrainhealth.org.uk.”

Football Loving Care Home Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday A football loving resident from Wickmeads care home in Tuckton near Christchurch enjoyed a very special 100th birthday celebration with a VIP visit to AFC Bournemouth. Former professional footballer, Stan was treated to a guided tour at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium with Assistant Club Secretary and Club Historian, Neil Vacher. Stan played professional football in the 1940s and 1950s for clubs including Brockenhurst FC and Sway FC and both clubs sent their best wishes and gifts to mark his special day, including a picture of Stan and his Sway FC teammates winning the cup in 1947/48. Staff and residents at Wickmeads joined in the celebrations, throwing a garden party for Stan at the home which was attended by many of his friends and family. Performer Steve Shappelle kept everyone entertained with jokes and songs, including some of Stan’s favourites. Particularly poignant was his rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’ with which Stan happily joined in. During the Second World War, Stan was lucky enough to meet Dame Vera

Lynn whilst serving out in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and exchanged communication with her and her family in later years. Wickmeads Activities Coordinator, Hudson, who helped arrange the celebrations for Stan, was pleased to present him with a mounted display featuring their letters, as well as a newspaper clipping of Dame Vera’s visit to the troops and photos of her, which really brought a tear to his eye. Stan was also thrilled to receive a birthday card from the Queen. Tracey Walker, Home Manager at Wickmeads, said: “Turning 100 is a real milestone birthday so we were delighted to help Stan celebrate his big day, firstly with the garden party and then a trip to the Vitality Stadium. He certainly lives life to the full, as do all the residents in our care at Wickmeads.” Please find accompanying video of Stan’s special birthday celebrations here: https://we.tl/t-uCeNgtwRRQ or find the Vimeo link here: https://vimeo.com/734410454


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The Challenges of Pioneering the UK’s First Net Zero Care Home

By Mike Toft, Head of Care Homes at Octopus Real Estate (https://octopus-realestate.com)

The real estate industry has a hugely important role to play in meeting the UK’s wider net zero targets in order to combat some of the impacts of global warming. Around 80% of the buildings which will be around in 2050 have already been built, so there is a pressing need for us as an industry to take action within our own portfolios. But acting sustainably has its challenges.

NET ZERO PLEDGE In late 2021 we pledged that every new care home we build will be net zero by 2030, which means investing in technology and processes now to help us develop properties to meet this standard. But, just as importantly, we also want to improve our existing portfolio by retrofitting buildings in order to improve energy efficiency so that every care home we own will be net zero by 2040. Doing this work on an operational care home means working out how to change the way energy is generated, for example, while maintaining the same standard of care for residents. It’s a fine balancing act, and at the moment we are concentrating on eradicating gas from the portfolio by changing traditional gas boilers for air source or ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels. We will be working closely with operators to minimise disruption to residents. We’re also partnering with our energy business, Octopus Energy, to provide operators with a blueprint to transition to renewable energy generation on-site, making these changes as easy as possible for them to implement.

GREEN PREMIUM All this sounds great on paper, but without a model in the sector to learn from or refer to, there are inevitably bumps along the road. As technology improves, we’re likely to see better ways of working, a wider choice of net zero and energy efficient materials, and the cost of making these improvements will decrease. At the moment though, we have limited options in terms of building material, and the cost pressures that come with going greener can be off-putting for some developers. We’re concentrating on easy wins, such as making sure the power coming into the homes is renewable generated, and we’re seeing increasing num-

bers of operators across the sector factoring this into their future plans. The newer the care home is, the easier the retrofitting, but even so there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Similarly, the potential to improve the construction of new care homes is huge. We’re currently developing what we believe to be the UK’s first net zero care home, and we want to assess every material we use, where we are sourcing it from, whether it has a recycled element, and its lifecycle carbon analysis. We’ve determined that adopting more environmentally friendly materials will reduce the embodied carbon by approximately 30% when compared with traditional build methods. This includes those with higher recycled content, or those that allow more efficient build methods. There are also a number of design increments we can test to potentially reduce that further, for example increasing the use of timber and maximising the efficiency of the procurement process. We’re utilising recycled steel frame construction, green walls, photovoltaic power and air source heat pumps, all whilst also reducing our reliance on concrete. The aim is that when we hand the care home over to an operator, it will be operational net zero from that point, protecting the operator from utility price volatility.

THINKING LONG TERM All this is possible because we have control over the process and can design it from a blank piece of paper through to the finished building. Without that freedom, we would struggle to slot in green elements among the myriad other decisions that need to be made during the design and construction process. Our approach is evolving every day, but we’re determined to meet our targets and impart our learned wisdom in the future, for the sake of the sector and society at large. We know that meeting these net zero targets will come at a cost, and that there may be lower returns for investors in the short term, so why are we pursuing this? Firstly, because we think that in the long term, reducing our carbon footprint is absolutely the right thing to do in order to help protect the future of the planet. Secondly, because we think sustainability is increasingly important to investors, staff and residents. Finally, in the medium to long term, we believe that buildings constructed to higher environmental standards will be more valuable – which is something we are beginning to see now in how buildings are valued. These net zero targets are at the forefront of what we do at Octopus; we want to reimagine real estate investment to benefit the generations to come, and we know that sustainability is going to be increasingly important to the care sector in the years ahead. We want to lead the charge in influencing this change. We’re keen to make these decisions easy for operators; we are working alongside them to create greener care homes, with any barriers to adopting better energy sources removed. While that may save them some money on energy bills in the immediate future, ultimately we believe it is the right thing to do, and will attract residents who are increasingly alert to the pressures our world is under.

New Allotment Delights Adults with Learning Disabilities in Bromley A group of 34 adults who are part of the Diagrama Foundation Supported Living Service in Bromley are thrilled to have secured an allotment in Orpington The allotment in Orpington will benefit 34 adults with learning disabilities who are part of Diagrama Foundation’s Supported Living Service in Bromley. It is well documented that allotments not only bring people together to reduce loneliness but offer many other benefits including growing and cooking fresh fruit and vegetables and increased physical exercise and fresh air improving wellbeing. The many benefits of having an allotment will be celebrated between 8 -14 August during Allotment Week. Marina Rubio, Manager of Diagrama Foundation’s Supported Living Service, said,

“Everyone is delighted that we finally have our own allotment where everyone from our Supported Living service can come together to grow flowers and vegetables and socialise. The allotment is perfectly located close to car parking and disabled toilets facilities so we couldn’t be more pleased. We are really looking forward to meeting our neighbours on the other allotments and joining in the regular events which they hold on site. Fortunately, one of the allotment holders has already offered her help to get us on the right path so that we can have an allotment that we are very proud of. We have a few tools, but we are hoping that the local community will help by donating additional gardening tools, chairs, seeds, or plants.”

Good Oaks Home Care Celebrates A Successful Year With Awards And Annual Conference Care teams from across the UK were celebrated at the glittering Good Oaks Home Care Awards and Annual Conference. The conference and awards, held at the Hilton Hotel in Bournemouth, was a celebration of the hard work and dedication of their UK home care teams over the past year. The conference was also a chance for the visiting and live-in care provider, which has its headquarters at Bourne Valley Road in Poole, to announce its innovative plans for the coming year as well as provide indepth training to the team. Amongst the new developments unveiled at the conference were a behind the scenes look at the new website currently in development, an introduction to the new branches joining the home care family in the next few months and also the new talent acquisition toolkit. Franchise directors and care managers also had additional training and workshops in the latest developments in specialised dementia care and advanced leadership. The Good Oaks Home Care team heard from Dr Jane Townson from the Homecare Association about funding in the care sector, developments currently underway and the future of home care in the UK. The talk looked at the value of home care to clients and their families, the role home care plays in reducing pressure on the NHS – especially in light of the UK’s aging population, and how ultimately, health care at home saves money for clients.

In the evening the team held their 2022 Good Oaks Home Care Awards, with many winners being chosen by the teams themselves. The awards were a chance for a double celebration as Good Oaks Home Care is now an associate member of the British Franchise Association. It was established more than 40 years ago and is the largest not-for-profit trade association for franchising in the UK. BFA CEO Pip Wilkins said: “We are pleased to welcome Good Oaks Home Care to the BFA as an Associate Member. The BFA are the leading voluntary self-regulatory body for franchising in the UK. We have a set of standards and criteria a brand needs to meet to come into membership. This is based on a franchisor’s business systems, ethical practices, marketing materials and the contract between themselves and their franchisees. By putting themselves forward to be measured against these standards, Good Oaks Home Care have shown their commitment and long-term investment to ethical franchising.” Directors of Good Oaks Home Care, Darius Mitkus and Ben Ashton said: “We are very proud of our teams and their achievements. For us, home care is all about providing a great service and reflecting our PRIDE values, to always be professional, respectful, to have integrity, dedication and empathy, and our teams display this each and every day. Home care is a wonderfully rewarding career that changes people’s lives every day for the better. We are excited about the new innovations we are developing for this year, and proud to be working with such talented and caring professionals.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 9

Without Vaccines, Healthcare Staff Absence Could Have Been 69% Higher Study Reveals The rapid covid-19 vaccine rollout from December 2020 averted infection in a large proportion of NHS hospital workers in England during the second wave of the pandemic, suggests research published by The BMJ. Without the vaccine rollout, which prioritised frontline healthcare workers, an extra 10% of all patient facing hospital workers would have been infected – and staff absence due to covid-19 could have been 69% higher. What’s more, the survey reveals, the odds of infection increased by 2% every day a healthcare worker went without vaccination. Another study published by The BMJ compared the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccines against infection in 317,341 health and social care workers in England vaccinated between 4 January and 28 February 2021. Using data from the OpenSAFELY research platform, the results show strong protection from both vaccines and no substantial differences between the two vaccines in rates of infection or covid-19 related hospital attendance and admission. Together, these findings provide essential insights into SARS-CoV-2

infection in health and social care workers that can be used to guide further infection prevention and control measures. Healthcare workers were among the first groups eligible for covid-19 vaccination from December 2020. During rollout, coverage varied between healthcare worker groups, potentially leading to disparities in exposure and protection across the workforce. Infections peaked in late December 2020 and decreased from January 2021, in line with rapid vaccination coverage among healthcare workers and a national lockdown. Factors increasing the likelihood of infection in the second wave were being under 25 years old, living in a household of five or more people, having frequent exposure to patients with covid-19, working in an emergency department or inpatient ward setting, and being a healthcare assistant. Mathematical model simulations indicated that an additional 10% of all patient-facing hospital healthcare workers would have been infected were it not for the rapid vaccination coverage. The researchers say this study “reinforces the importance of vaccination among healthcare workers during a significant wave of the SARS-

CoV-2 pandemic in England.” They add: “Greater understanding of transmission dynamics among healthcare workers, particularly according to role and setting, will support NHS trusts in protecting their workforce and patients from SARSCoV-2 infection and potentially other seasonal winter viruses.” These findings remind us that some categories of staff remain at higher risk of occupational covid-19 (and presumably other respiratory infections), despite using personal protective equipment as advised at the time, writes an expert in a linked editorial. This raises the question of whether vaccines and immunity are a good enough defence, or whether more stringent measures such as better personal protective equipment and ventilation are still required in high risk healthcare settings. The NHS now faces a dilemma, researchers add, “It is unclear what living with covid-19 means in a healthcare setting, and whether we should now tolerate spread of a much milder infection in our hospitals. Further surveillance and research will help inform this debate, but ethical and political considerations are also likely to play a part.”

Bournemouth Care Home Staff Receive British Citizen Award to Praise Efforts During the Pandemic All staff members at RMBI Care Co. Home Zetland Court, in Bournemouth, have been awarded a British Citizen Award Certificate of Recognition for their ‘exceptional endeavours in the Workplace Community.’ The care home supports older people with residential care, nursing and residential dementia support. Receiving the award, Iain Slack, Home Manager at Zetland Court, said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised for the work that we

do, as well as each of our dedicated staff members, who go over and above every day to support the residents within our care. It has been a challenging few years, but we have emerged stronger and closer as a team.” The British Citizen Awards help to recognise individuals doing extraordinary things in the local community. Anyone can be nominated for an award, providing they have had a meaningful impact on those around them.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 11

Landmark Inquiry Appeals for Mental Health Staff to Come Forward to Drive Change The Chair of a landmark public inquiry into mental health care deaths says doctors, nurses and other staff can play an “essential” role in shaping services in the future. Dr Geraldine Strathdee, who’s leading the Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry, has issued an urgent appeal to staff to come forward, to share their experiences and insights. Recommendations from the Inquiry – the first of its kind to have been held in England and commissioned by a Government Minister – will affect mental health treatment and care across the country. Dr Strathdee said: ”This is your opportunity to tell the Inquiry about your experiences and what you’d like to see changed in mental health care. “By providing information or evidence you will allow the Inquiry to better understand the care and treatment provided to patients, to hear first-hand what it’s like to work in mental health care, and to develop proposals for lasting improvements”. The Inquiry is examining cases of people who died while they were mental health in-patients at NHS Trusts in Essex from January 2000 to December 2020. Mental health in-patient deaths in Essex are the focus of the Inquiry’s investigations but it will also be making recommendations regarding

the wider mental health system. Staff or volunteers who have experience working in any aspect of mental health are invited to contact the Inquiry team, via the website, https://www.emhii.org.uk/. The Inquiry would like to hear from doctors, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists, as well as care workers, social workers, pharmacists, catering staff, cleaners and porters. Evidence provided will be treated as confidential and employers will not be informed, but staff will also have an opportunity to give their evidence in public, should they wish. “Nobody gets up in the morning or goes into mental health work wanting to do a bad job – we know staff want to do a good job,” said Dr Strathdee. “We want to hear about the things staff are proud of and the things that might prevent them from being able to deliver excellent care. “Their voice is absolutely essential,” she said, adding that everyone would be treated with “dignity and respect”. So far, the Inquiry has received evidence relating to 65 cases, including from families of those who’ve died and people who have been inpatients themselves. Investigatory bodies have supplied information and a number of staff have made contact. Evidence sessions are con-

tinuing. The Inquiry has been made aware of around 1,500 individuals who died while they were a patient on a mental health ward in Essex over the 21-year period or within three months of being discharged. Some of the deaths are likely to be unrelated to the treatment and care they received, but others may not be. The Inquiry team is trying to establish as much information as possible about those who died; so far, it has been given the cause of death in only around 40% of cases. Earlier this year, the Chair said the Inquiry had heard details of compassionate, effective care that had transformed patients’ lives – as well as unacceptable examples of dispassionate behaviour that families believed had contributed to the death of their loved one. She said she had identified some common areas of concern: • A lack of basic information being shared with patients and their families about their care and treatment, their choices, and the plans to get them better • Patients and their families voicing serious concerns about patients’ physical, mental and sexual safety on the ward • Major differences in the quality of care patients receive – in the attitude of staff and in the use of effective treatments The Inquiry is expected to conclude in 2023.

Care South Awards Lewis-Manning Hospice Care with £3,000 Chairman’s 2020 Fund Award Care South, a not-for-profit provider of residential and care at home services across the south of England, has selected charity partner, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, as one of the beneficiaries of its Chairman’s 2020 Fund, awarding the charity £3,000. Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is a charity helping people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across East Dorset. Its mission is to provide the local community with outstanding hospice care and support by helping as many local people as possible, who are dealing with a life limiting illness, to live their precious lives well. The Chairman’s 2020 Fund was set up with the aim of supporting ‘Care South’s Friends’ and has been established with the aim of benefiting Care South employees, volunteers and community groups that provide a community service to the residential care homes, care at home offices, clients and/or residents. Simon Bird, Care South’s Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted to be able to support such an important local charity in Lewis-

Manning Hospice Care with a number of initiatives across all our care homes. One of the upcoming initiatives that we get involved in is Afternoon Tea Week, which takes place in August and last year, our homes raised just under £600 for the charity. The two charities have worked closely together for some time now and the award made from the Chairman’s 2020 Fund is a further way of supporting Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.” CEO at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, Clare Gallie, added, “We are so thankful to Care South for this incredible donation and for the continuous support that we generously receive from Care South. Our partnership with the care homes and entire organisation is going from strength to strength which is fantastic to be part of. They share the same values as Lewis-Manning Hospice Care and this collaborative partnership is so important to us so that we can continue helping more people and their loved ones in our community.”


PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

Small Visa Fixes Could Help Address Care Worker Staffing Shortages By Amy Stokes, a partner specialising in business immigration and employment law at Forbes Solicitors (www.forbessolicitors.co.uk) A recently published report provides a stark reminder of the staffing shortages facing health and social care and implies clear and urgent Government action is needed to address workforce planning. If this is the case, immediate recruitment benefits could be achieved by making small changes to temporary Visas.

WORKFORCE CRISIS On 25 July 2022, The Health and Social Care Committee published a report; Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care. This describes the sector as facing its ‘greatest workforce crisis in their history’. Such a statement comes amidst research showing 490,000 jobs are needed in social care by the early part of the next decade. A combination of pressures including growing demand for services, the impacts of Covid and existing understaffing is accelerating the workforce crisis. Staff are stretched to the limits, which risks burnout and mental health problems leading to sickness or workers exiting the profession. The report references that one in three care workers left their job in 2020-21. This is driving calls for urgent and decisive workforce planning at Government level, with emphasis placed on the delayed workforce strategy that the Secretary of State had promised in Spring 2022. Publication of the workforce strategy has been pushed back until Autumn this year, and although this will cover short and long-term projections and plans, one of the most immediate solutions for addressing staffing shortages could be to improve temporary Visas.

UK-based organisations to recruit a range of qualified health and care workers from overseas. The changes have been largely welcomed by care providers. However, there still seems to be opportunity to streamline the Visa process to enhance recruitment.

SMALL, SHORT-TERM FIXES One of the biggest drawbacks of Visa schemes is often the time it takes to process applications. An employer must apply for a Sponsor Licence and a candidate also has to go through the application process. With the right guidance and preparation, employers can expediate this process. Organisations can ensure they and their prospective candidates meet all the necessary eligibility criteria and the correct information is properly submitted to avoid unnecessary delays. Despite this, the Home Office is facing wider Visa application pressures, which means it can take eight weeks to process a Sponsor Licence application. Applicants can pay £500 for a priority service to speed-up the process, but the availability of this service is not guaranteed. Removing this express option could help simplify the flow and processing of applications and reduce the cost burden for care providers. Changes to the application process could also be made to English language requirements – often one of the biggest hurdles that employers come up against. Currently, to satisfy eligibility criteria, a qualified worker must reach at least English level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Language ability on the CEFR is scored on a six-point scale and B1 requirements could, practically, be reduced to A1 for care professionals. Essentially, this lower level is a beginner standard. To put this into context, A1 is the minimum level required by a spouse applying for a UK Visa. Based on our experience of working with care providers on Visa applications, A1 would suffice to fulfil day-to-day duties and interactions with patients and staff. Lowering the language requirements would open-up recruitment to a wider pool of qualified overseas workers. In addition to these small changes, the temporary Health and Care Worker Visa arrangements could be

HEALTH AND CARE WORKER VISA

extended beyond February 2023 for at least 12 more months. Extra time would provide a short-term fix as

In response to significant staffing issues following Brexit and Covid, the Home Office established a set of temporary changes to the immigration rules required for the Health and Care Worker Visa. The changes were made on 15 February 2022 and last for 12 months. They are designed to make it quicker and easier for

impact of the temporary measures. If they have been successful, there’s no reason why they can’t be made

Government considers and implements its workforce strategy and provide conclusive insight about the permanent in the long-term.

Avid Traveller and Activist Celebrates Her 102nd Birthday Molly Walkers, a resident at RMBI Care Co. Home Cadogan Court, in Exeter, has

Molly loves to travel and has enjoyed an around the world trip. She has arranged

recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. To mark the special event, Molly was pre-

educational sea trips for groups of children, attended foreign conferences, visited

sented with birthday cards and flowers from family and friends, and the Home’s

friends in various countries and even went on adventurous holidays.

staff decorated her room for the occasion.

“I’ve visited too many countries to mention,” she claims proudly. “I’ve been on 65

Molly was born on 24 July 1920 and has lived in Devon all her life. Although she spent her early years in Dawlish, she lived in her house in Exeter for 80 years before moving to Cadogan Court. She was married to Dudley, known to many as Lee, and had two children: a son and a daughter. Molly worked at the board of the Inland Revenue, whereas her husband was a policeman. Molly was only 19 when the Second World War broke out. At that time, young

cruises throughout the years, the last one being in 2016!”

A TIRELESS ACTIVIST Molly has played a crucial role in Exeter throughout her life. She has been an active member in many organisations, including the Well Women’s Clinic, the Exeter Federation of Business and Professional Women and the Exeter Twinning Circle,

Molly had to endure a 12-mile restriction, which made it difficult to see family and

among others. In 2016, when she was 96, she completed and published Hello, Molly,

friends. When asked how she coped during the conflict, Molly said: “You just got on

an account of her life. All proceeds from the sale were donated to Age UK.

with it. Everyone helped each other and the mentality of people was different back

When asked about her secret to a long life, she said: “Being a perky sort of person

then. Everyone abided by the rules.”

and being fairly optimistic!” Molly also has a piece of advice for younger generations:

AN AVID TRAVELLER

“Be honest, be happy and look after each other.”

Quality Compliance Systems Welcomes Lindsay Rees as Head of Social Care Content Lindsay joins QCS as Head of Social Care Content after working as a senior leader in adult social care for over 17 years. She is a Registered Adult Nurse and has worked in a number of operational leadership roles. They include Registered Manager, Regional Support Manager, Regional Clinical Quality Manager, Head of Quality Assurance and Director of Health. As QCS’s new Head of Social Care Content, Lindsay will bring a wealth of operational experience to the role. Working cross-functionally while utilising her vast knowledge and experience of coordination, collaboration and consolidation. Lindsay will ensure that the QCS product continues to evolve, remains focused on the needs of our customers, and always meets their ever-changing requirements. Damaris Daniels, QCS’s Director of Content and Operations, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Lindsay to the QCS team. She has dedicated her career in social care to leading, supporting and mentoring teams to provide exceptionally high standards of care for people in social care. Lindsay’s role at QCS presents the organisation with an exciting opportunity to utilise her extensive operational knowledge and insight to drive forward quality and innovation, while transforming customer content. While she brings with her invaluable experience in commercial operational leadership, clinical governance quality assurance and quality improvement in social care, we hired her because she has an innate ability to join the dots

between the different functions in our organisation, which will inevitably provide richer customer content as we continue to grow and scale.” Lindsay added, “Having spent the majority of my career working in operational roles in social care, I’m excited to be leading a team that is responsible for creating QCS content for thousands of customers. The key to creating better content is to understand the complex and ever-changing challenges that our customers face. Therefore, in addition to collaborating with several teams across the organisation, I’ll be spending one day each month working on the frontlines, so that I can continue to keep my finger on the pulse and keep a real-world picture of the sector constantly in view. I know, by doing so, we will help more services deliver an incredible standard of care to those they support.”

ABOUT QCS Quality Compliance System (QCS) provides a high-quality, bespoke Care Quality Commission management service for Adult Social Care providers. Across the social care sector, QCS is widely trusted and respected brand which is specifically designed to conform to the CQC Fundamental Standards set out by the CQC. To find out more about QCS, call 0333-405-33-33 or visit www.qcs.co.uk/free-trial


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 13

Government’s Disregard for Public Health Made Pandemic Worse, says BMA The BMA has published the last two instalments of its major review into the Covid-19 pandemic. They are part of a series of five, which together, examine the UK and devolved Governments’ public health response to the virus and the impact of the crisis on population health and health inequalities. Informed by real-time BMA tracker surveys, freely accessible data, and evidence from members and stakeholders, the reports reveal that, in particular, the UK Government’s slow response to the virus, its underfunded public health systems, and unaddressed health inequalities made the impact of Covid-19 worse than it should have been. In the fourth report, the Association explains that shortages of public health staff limited the availability of public health expertise, both at a national and local level. In fact, the number of public health specialists is significantly lower than the recommended target in all four UK nations, which had a huge impact on the UK’s ability to effectively respond to the pandemic. And in the fifth report, the BMA concludes that the pre-existing inequalities and levels of poor population health before the pandemic contributed to worse health outcomes for people with disabilities and ethnic minority groups. Black African men in England, for example, experienced poor health outcomes before the pandemic and were then almost four times more likely to die from the virus in the first wave. Meanwhile, many disabled people also suffered poorer health outcomes before the pandemic due to lack of access and discrimination within healthcare settings. Disabled people across the UK were not only much more likely to die of Covid-19 than non-disabled people, but also more likely to experience worse mental health. For children living in deprived areas, school closures often meant limited access to free school meals in some parts of the UK, an inability to access school health services, and the reduced ability of teachers to

identify those whose health may have been at risk from violent or abusive home settings. The final reports come just days after the launch of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, and will form part of the BMA’s formal submission of evidence. The reports also outline key recommendations for change, as well as questions the Inquiry must seek to answer, such as: • Why was there such a high number of excess deaths in the UK, why were these inequitable across different groups, and what could have been done to avoid these outcomes? • To what extent did the UK Government’s poor pandemic preparation, slow public health response, and failure to address poor population health and health inequalities ahead of and during the pandemic worsen its impact? • What can be learned from the enormous success of the vaccine rollout and critical role played by the NHS and medical profession to better facilitate future public health campaigns? Professor Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said: “The extent to which the UK Government failed to respond to Covid19 quickly enough and seek to address existing health inequalities made the pandemic worse for thousands of people, and makes for shocking reading in these reports. “The UK Government’s failure to prepare and take charge of the evolving crisis meant that the success of the vaccine rollout, for example, was undermined by avoidable mistakes. As set out in our fourth report, locking down too late, on more than one occasion, inconsistent public messaging about the virus, and decisions to ‘reopen’ society too early, for the sake of political narrative, all hindered the ability to contain the spread of the virus – things the BMA repeatedly advised against. “We then saw more people get Covid-19 or Long Covid, unnecessari-

ly stretching the NHS further on top of normal pressures. As a result, we are now left with a mammoth backlog of elective care, particularly in areas that were already difficult to access – like mental health services. Longer waits will not only exacerbate poor public health and health inequalities for patients, but also contribute to an even more exhausted NHS workforce. “The BMA also consistently raised concerns about the number of ethnic minority healthcare workers who were being disproportionately affected by Covid-19, and fought for risk assessments to be introduced to protect those working on the frontline. It shouldn’t have taken as long as it did for the UK Government to take note of these issues, but because it did, these existing inequalities have now got worse. As our fifth report highlights, this was a much wider problem, underpinned by long-standing and deep-seated inequalities that then impacted the effectiveness of the UK Government’s response. “It’s undeniable that decades of underfunding and under-resourcing meant that our public health systems were not properly equipped to handle a pandemic, and a chronic reluctance to address worsening health inequalities led to a gross imbalance of suffering across the nation. The consequences of these mistakes will be felt for years to come, and the UK Government, as well as being ashamed, must be held accountable. We know what needs to be done and Government must act on the recommendations we’ve set out to make things both right and fair for the future. “The BMA has undertaken this comprehensive review ahead of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, and we look forward to presenting our findings in full to Baroness Hallett. We hope our reports go some way in ensuring that lessons are learnt, questions are answered, and most importantly, that the mistakes of the past are never repeated.”

Residents At Eston Care Home Embrace Their Latest Canine Recruit Residents at Astune Rise care home in Eston have welcomed the latest addition to their family – Mitsi a 9-year-old Papillion. Mitsi has quickly become part of the home and even has her own care plan which stipulates unlimited cuddles, lots of treats and the odd bone. Her human Kelly works at Astune Rise and is happy to share Mitsi with the residents. Celebrity dog trainer Graeme Hall, from Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly, recently endorsed the benefits of dogs in care homes saying that ‘spending time with a dog can reduce resting heart rates and indicate lower stress levels’.

Caroline Bowstead, home manager, said: “Many of the residents have had dogs during their lives and enjoy Mitsi’s company. It’s lovely to see how much they love having her around, even walking her up and down the path. Just the other day she was laid watching cricket with one of our gentlemen and he was chatting away to her explaining what was happening. “It’s amazing how much of an impact animals have on residents’ mood. Mitsi is a very good girl and absolutely loves meeting everyone. “There’s been lots of studies showing that bringing animals into care homes can help improve residents’ sense of wellbeing and increases social interaction and that’s certainly been the case with Mitsi.”

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Adult Social Care Reform: A Deliverable Solution? The UK is preparing for the biggest reform of the adult social care system it has ever undergone, says Deborah Nicholson, Head of Crime and Regulation at Markel Law (www.markellaw.co.uk), a law firm that specialises in the care sector. Funding crisis for adult care in reaching crisis. The situation has forced Department of Health Social Care to design a new blueprint which delivers a cap on the costs people will be expected pay for their future care, in the hope of delivering a greater degree of certainty. The blueprint is a ten-year vision for how adult social care will be reformed across England, with some saying it is over ambitious. At its core are three objectives: supporting people to have “choice, control and independence”, providing “outstanding quality of care”, and ensuring that care is provided “in a way that is fair and accessible to everyone who needs it”. While the blueprint is centred on providing a better level of care, it is the numbers that have dominated the debate over whether it is achievable. The housing objective is for a £300 million fund to “integrate housing into local health and care strategies”, with a focus on increasing the range of new supported housing options available. The plans require huge investment by the private sector in order to provide the level and scale of services that will be required to meet the expected demand in the years to come. Those expectations, however, are set against a backdrop of an ever-deepening recruitment crisis. In the last quarter of 2021 Third Sector reported that there were more than 110,000 vacancies, while 74%

of providers in an NCF survey reported an increase in staff exits. The proposals acknowledge recruitment is an issue. As such, the government is to set aside £500 million to support the workforce through initiatives such as training. However, for some the figure falls significantly short of expectations. Karolina Gerlich, CEO of the Care Workers Charity, says while training is always welcomed the biggest barrier to solving the recruitment crisis is salaries. The white paper also pledges to support carers’ mental health. But providing adequate pay in the first place would be a better way to achieve this, as well as helping carers to do their job better, says Gerlich. However, at the heart of the white paper’s proposals is the system which will cap the amount of money people will be required to pay for care. From October 2023, the government will introduce a new £86,000 cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care over their lifetime. In addition, the upper capital limit (UCL), the point at which people become eligible to receive some financial support from their local authority, will rise to £100,000 from the current £23,250. As a result, people with less than £100,000 of chargeable assets will never contribute more than 20% of these assets per year. The concern remains as to how this will be funded. A Health and Social Care Levy designed to take a big bite out of the additional cost burden, will be implemented. While £5.4 billion is being set aside for the next three years, this is only about 18% of the £30.3 billion total forecast to be raised by the Levy, most of which will go to the NHS. While there are many who still believe that the proposals are not workable in the long term, the Government has announced it is to prove the plans work in the lead up to the national implementation in October 2023. It intends to assess the implementation of these charging reforms with a small group of volunteer local authorities that will implement the reforms in advance of the national roll-out. There remains huge questions over this ambitious government proposal and it is likely the answers will not be delivered until the system is implemented.

Festival Fever Takes Over Care Home Residents at a local care Poole care home experienced a taste of the music festival feeling, holding a small scale evening festival within their grounds. Upton Bay Care Home, in Hamworthy, organised the outdoor evening fiesta to make the most of the heatwave, bringing a taste of the likes of Coachella to their residents. Headlining the ‘main stage’ was local ukulele octet, Frayed Strings. Comprised of 8 members of the University of the Third Age, Frayed Strings tour at events across Dorset, as well as private functions, sampling their broad repertoire of hits on the 4 stringed instruments. With a set up to rival those of the big bands, Frayed Strings lead singer Roy Floyd commented, “We treat every gig as though it were Glastonbury.”

The audience, made up of residents, staff, families, and guests from the community spent the late sunny hours sipping on gin & tonic’s galore, and glasses were topped up with Pimms a-plenty throughout, adding to the summer holiday atmosphere. “I had a marvellous evening,” resident David shared, “It was reminiscent of the old Woodstock festivals back in the day.” Mevin Sohorye, general manager, detailed the variety of activities and life enrichment at the care home. “Music never fails to lift the spirits of our ladies and gents. From traditional sing-a-longs to afternoons relaxing in our rock n’ roll themed music room,” “It was a real treat for us at Upton Bay, we get to enjoy a private festival concert in our own back garden!”

Why Maintaining Good Vision and Eye Health is Important for Your Residents Jason Scaife, Specsavers Home Visits director and optometrist, based in Cardiff speaks to The Carer about the services Specsavers can offer to care homes. Q. Can you provide a bit of a summary of the services provided to care homes? At Specsavers Home Visits our aim is to improve the lives of those who can’t leave home unaccompanied through better sight and hearing. We serve many different types of care centre, from community houses to residential homes, to dementia specialist nursing homes and everywhere in between. We provide routine sight tests using equipment similar to that in a high street store but specifically designed to be portable and for use in the home; we supply NHS and privately funded spectacles; we deliver and fit them in person and we will always go back to provide aftercare for all our spectacles. We tailor our service to best suit each care home, some prefer us to come and see two or three residents who are new to the home or have reported vision problems; others prefer us to come for a whole day and provide routine sight tests to every resident who would like one, as long as they’re due. We will of course attend to see just one individual who is having problems. When we supply glasses to care homes we engrave each frame with the patient’s name and whether the glasses are for distance or near, which can really help busy care staff to know if someone is wearing the correct glasses, or who the glasses belong to if

they are left lying around the home.

Q. Why is it important for care home residents to maintain good vision and eye health? Maintaining good vision is a key part of any person’s quality of life, but perhaps more so for care home residents because they often have limited mobility and so most of their hobbies and pastimes will involve visual tasks. Sight loss can be very isolating and for those already struggling with memory problems or dementia, any confusion and disorientation is exacerbated by impaired vision. This can lead to a loss of engagement in social activities and sometimes increased risk of falls. Providing regular eye care can minimise or even eliminate these issues for people living in care homes allowing them to enjoy being able to do the things they want to do.

Q. We know hygiene and safety is a top priority, particularly since the pandemic. What precautions do you take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the patients you visit in care homes? We take our responsibility as healthcare professionals seriously and we are conscious that Optometrists have to get very close to patients when examining their eyes. We continue to wear PPE, we’re maintaining Infection Prevention and Control measures and we still take a Lateral Flow Test before each care home visit. Our Infection Prevention and Control policy is continually updated in line with guidance from the NHS and the College of Optometrists to ensure that we are always providing care in the safest and most appropriate way. Care homes can be confident that we are still operating at a standard exceeding that recommended by the profession in order to protect them and their residents.

Q. In care homes some patients have more complex needs and may struggle to communicate, including those who suffer with dementia. How do you deliver your eye health services in these circumstances while also keeping the patient feeling comfortable? Our team of Optometrists and Optical Assistants are a wonderful group of people, dedicated to looking after the eye care needs of some of the most vulnerable and isolated individuals in society. It’s not only the clinical training that enables them to gather the results they need, but it’s their kindness, patience, experience and skill that leaves patients with a smile. Using objective assessment techniques which don’t rely on responses from the person being examined are a key part of providing eye care to those with communication or cognitive difficulties and these techniques allow us to provide suitable spectacles and an assessment of the health of the eyes for everyone, regardless of their ability to communicate. We provide training for our staff on dementia and how to successfully communicate with those living with cognitive impairment, and we always take our lead from carers who know the individuals best.

Q. How affordable is this service, particularly in the current cost of living crisis? The main service we provide for care home residents is an NHS funded sight test, free for those people over 60 or on state benefit who are unable to attend their opticians unaccompanied, due to their mental or physical health. We carry a broad range of spectacle frames to suit most shapes, styles, sizes and budgets, from £19 and we share the same promotions and discounts that you see at Specsavers on the high street. See the advert on the facing page for details.



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NACC Training & Development Forum 2022 Programme Confirmed The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is returning to the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, on 5-7 October, for the NACC Training & Development Forum 2022. The tailored and unique training event has been specifically designed to give professionals providing catering and related services within the care industry information and practical techniques to support and develop their care establishments and services. Attendees will be inspired, informed, updated and connected with two days of keynote speakers, training workshops, live cookery demonstrations, meet-the-buyer meetings, supplier exhibition and networking. Relevant topics to be discussed include the social care policy landscape, reducing food waste and costs, mental health, allergens and labelling, recruitment and retention, social media, menu enhancement, and much more. This year, the NACC Friday Morning Kitchen is back by popular demand. Described as the NACC’s take on ‘Ready Steady Cook’ vs ‘Saturday Morning Kitchen’, two expert industry chefs, Louise Wagstaffe, Director of Delicious by Design, and Colin Wheeler-James, Culinary Director of Ground Up Cookery School and European Development Chef IMCD, will discuss and demonstrate two hugely important areas of focus – plant-based and gluten-free recipes. Masterfully presented by renowned food and drink broadcaster, Nigel Barden, the session will be both informative and entertaining. The NACC Training & Development Forum will also bring the NACC Care Chef of the Year competition and the NACC Awards to their grand finales, as the winners for both prestigious events are revealed and celebrated. Sue Cawthray, National Chair, NACC, said: “I am very much looking forward to returning to Nottingham in October to meet with fellow care catering professionals and suppliers and support each other in what continues to be very challenging times. On top of the traditional challenges of care catering, the impacts of Covid-19 are still being felt, there are industry-

wide staff shortages, ongoing supply chain issues and rapidly increasing costs, all against a backdrop of an ever-increasing older population that deserves to receive the best care possible. The need for care caterers to be informed, innovative and agile remains and our programme has been designed to support this. “The event is an opportunity for people to come together, share knowledge and learning, and benefit from the experiences of like-minded people. It is also a cause for celebration as we recognise excellence through the crowning of the NACC Care Chef of the Year and the highly anticipated NACC Awards 2022. I urge everyone working in or associated with care catering to come along and learn from our excellent speakers, presenters and culinary experts, and of course, from each other, whilst also having some fun. I truly believe that we are stronger together and this collaboration will give us the tools and energy to continue to overcome ongoing challenges.” Supplier support Innovative suppliers and strong, supportive relationships are essential to the care catering sector. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with suppliers one-to-one and learn about the best options for their business during the ‘Meet the buyer’ session. In addition, they can explore the supplier exhibition, running alongside the forum, where practical solutions, new ideas and innovations, and delicious produce and dishes will be on show ready to taste and test. NACC Awards 2022 The prestigious NACC Awards 2022 recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation, dedication and outstanding contributions within the care catering sector. This year’s winners will be announced and celebrated at the gala dinner and awards on the evening of Thursday 6 October, in front of NACC members and industry colleagues, partners and guests. NACC Care Chef of the Year 2022 The winners of the esteemed NACC Care Chef of the Year competition will also be announced and celebrated as part of the gala dinner and awards evening on Thursday 6 October. The NACC Care Chef of the Year culinary competition showcases the incredible talent, skill and knowledge of chefs working within the care sector. For further information and to book a place at the NACC Training & Development Forum 2022 visit https://bit.ly/tdf2022

Simply UK Moves Up a Gear in Bid to Become Leading UK Care Home Provider Simply UK has launched the Portland Care Group and the acquisition of six care homes in the north of England, investing quarter of a billion pounds in the last two years in care home acquisitions and new developments and aims to have 60 care homes and 4,000 beds under its ownership by 2026. The latest deal to acquire the assets of Horizon Care Group was supported with funding from offshore funder Gazcob and French real estate investors Pierval Sante and includes homes in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. The company already own, develop and operate premium care home group Morar Living, which has six five-star facilities between Inverness and Musselburgh, and has plans to open another two in Scotland, extend its reach into England with five new homes, and has started its first development in Ireland in a move which will open up the European market to the brand. Horizon Care Group is well-established with 498 beds under its care in Sheffield, Pontefract and Worksop, and two development sites included in the deal are being appraised for future use. All 511 Horizon staff, including the local management teams at each of the homes, will transition to the new entity which will recruit additional staff at it prepares for further growth. Neil Dobbie, Land Director of Simply UK, said: “The launch of Portland Care Group and the acquisition of these six homes marks the start of an exciting new phase in our growth strategy and underlines our ambition to become one of the largest quality care providers in the UK.

“Simply UK’s business plan will add between 800 to 1,000 beds every year to our portfolio and with excellent relationships with funders and confidence in the brand, we are confident that this is not overly ambitious. “We will grow the Portland Care Group and Morar Living brands in tandem, with a combination of strategic acquisitions of existing care providers, and developing new-build sites in areas where there is a clear demand for the highest quality of care. “Horizon was a well-respected care home provider and under the Portland brand there will be a seamless transition of customers and staff, with substantial funds available to improve the offering and to take it to another level. Working in partnership with the Care Quality Commission, our expertise, skills set and high standards, will ensure residents benefit from exceptional quality of care.” Rob McDonald, Managing Director of Portland Care Group, said: “All of the care homes now under the Portland banner will benefit from a review of existing services and a general upgrade programme to improve the facilities. “We are delighted to have retained all the 500-plus skilled and committed staff, including the senior management teams in each home, ensuring there will be no discernible change in the relationships with residents or the standards of service provided. “As Portland Care Group continues to grow we will be looking to fill a variety of positions and to offer the high-level training and mentoring required for people interested in taking up rewarding careers in the care sector.”

Companion Initiative Crafting Connections for International Friendship Day Following on from International friendship day last month, the national charity for creating joyful intergenerational experiences, The Together Project, is encouraging multi-age friendships between children and older people in a friendly, creative concept Crafting Connections. With 1.4 million older people in the UK admitting to feeling lonely*, the idea allows friendships to form across the generations using arts and crafts. Since March 2022, 80-year-old Eric from Hazelgrove Court Care Home has been combatting loneliness by establishing a friendship with 3-year-old Saskia from Surrey through the form of arts and crafts. The newfound friends have been mailing their artwork back and forth to one another each month along with notes and photographs. On Sunday 24th July 2022, after months of communication, Crafting Connections facilitated a meet-up for Eric and Saskia to share stories and laughter over a real conversation. Eric is currently living at Hazelgrove where unfortunately a nearby case of covid meant that the meeting had been moved to online. However, we were able to capture the moment via photos and videos and would love to share it with the nation to spread some much-needed positivity. When asked how he feels about meeting with his new friend, Eric said: “I really love being part of Crafting Connections and it has been amazing getting to know Saskia through the questionnaire and pictures. now that I have met her properly through Zoom it means so much more to me.” The feeling is reciprocated with Saskia’s mum, Jenni, commenting:

“The ethos of Crafting Connections is one we hold very close to our hearts. Bringing generations together to share and communicate in creative ways has been such a pleasure in our home. Saskia looks forward to the envelope every month and takes great joy in sending her new friend Eric something special.“ Crafting Connections has formed 90 friendships so far in a great attempt to boost the well-being and mental health of the care home residents. Bought to us by the charity, The Together Project, the not-for-profit aims to improve lifestyles through encouraging intergenerational friendships. Individuals are encouraged to have fun, get creative and reduce loneliness by creating artwork for their new friend every month as part of an arts and crafts exchange pairing with Children and Care homes across the UK. A spokesperson for The Together Project as well Saskia’s mum Jenni, Eric’s carer Sharron or Eric are all available for interviews should this be requested. As well as Crafting Connections, The Together Project also has a programme called Songs & Smiles which will continue after the Summer break, allowing children 0-4 years old and their grown-ups to visit care homes and enjoy singing, dancing, playing and making friends with the residents. The aim is to boost wellbeing, reduce loneliness and foster stronger, happier communities. The Together Project is constantly encouraging people to reach out and participate, to find out more information or to get involved head to www.thetogetherproject.org.uk or www.craftingconnections.org.uk . As well as that, you can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.



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Alzheimer’s Society Receives £120,000 Donation as Part of The FA’s Community Shield This year’s Community Shield (Man City v Liverpool) held at the home of Leicester City FC will see The FA donate £120,000 towards Alzheimer’s Society’s crucial work, supporting players and fans affected by dementia. In the UK alone, 900,000 people are living with dementia. That’s enough to fill the King Power Stadium more than 27 times over. Great sport should be unforgettable – football creates incredible memories for millions, in grounds and on screens across the country. But sadly many people with dementia in the UK slowly lose these memories of the game they love. This is why Alzheimer’s Society is The Football Association’s official charity partner for the upcoming season. Alzheimer’s Society and The FA are teaming up to: • raise vital funds towards crucial support services • refer players, former players and fans to expert dementia support

• help tackle the stigma surrounding dementia, by raising awareness among the footballing community • create a network of dementia-friendly facilities, so people living with dementia and their families can continue to enjoy the game they love • work with The FA to better understand the cause of dementia and its risk factors, to best protect players for generations to come Alzheimer’s Society’s partnership with The FA is raising awareness and challenging stigma Kate Lee, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society added: “We are hugely grateful to The FA for supporting our crucial work as we kick off the football season.” “Together, we can raise as much money as possible to make the biggest difference, changing the conversation around dementia and reaching thousands more people with our life-changing support.”

Mayor Salutes Veteran Care Village The Mayor of Greater Manchester hailed the ‘tremendous’ standards of care and facilities at the UK’s first Veteran Care Village during a tour of the recently-completed £12.5m development at Broughton House in Salford. Andy Burnham met residents and staff during his visit to Broughton House, where he was shown round by chief executive Karen Miller. The Mayor is chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which provided part of the funding for the scheme. He gave a glowing seal of approval to the redevelopment, saying: “I could not be more pleased by what I have seen. It’s tremendous, I’m very impressed. “You would want people who have served our country to have the very best that we can offer, and the new Broughton House is THE very best when it comes to standards of care and facilities. “We are proud as the GMCA to have played our part in helping Broughton House develop a home for the 21st century.” Broughton House has cared for more than 8,000 veterans since it opened its doors to the ex-service community in 1916. Its transformation into a modern Veteran Care Village was completed

earlier this year. The complex features a 64-bed care home and six retirement apartments for independent living. Facilities include a museum, a gym, hairdressing and barber’s salon and a veterans’ mess. Broughton House is also home to an Armed Forces Support Hub, which provides welfare support and counselling for ex-service people of all ages living in the local community. Mr Burnham met Hub manager Jackie Cornmell, who told him the service has seen an increase in the number of referrals, particularly during the pandemic, with 66 in the last 12 months alone. Mr Burnham met several residents, including World War Two veteran Derrick Corfield, 95, who served in the Merchant Navy and showed the Mayor his medal collection, and David Teacher, 98, who took part in the Normandy Landings on D-Day and later received the MBE for charitable work. David told Mr Burnham the Care Village was a ‘first-class place to live”. “It’s fantastic, we are well looked after and well fed,” he added. Mr Burnham also chatted to other staff members, including household manager Erica Wright. Chief executive Karen Miller said: “The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has been integral in helping us to create this amazing facility and we are proud that we have in this area the only care home for veterans in the north west. “Staff and residents were really honoured and thrilled that the Mayor came to visit, taking time out of his busy schedule to tour the facility and meet and chat with them.”

Meet The Care Home Residents That Shared Their Heartwarming Friendship Stories For World Friendship Day 2022

Now more than ever, friendship must be treasured. To mark this year’s International Day of Friendship (30th July), care home residents across the country shared their wisdom on the best parts of friendship in your younger years - and beyond. Some of the best friendships form in care homes: from looking after each other after loss, to taking part in activities together, residents across the country have also shared their best friendship memories made in their new homes. With an average age of 83, Lottie’s care home residents share their advice for friendship for the younger generations: - Do not talk about one another behind each other’s backs (Lucy Pope, 90) - Never tell secrets or pass on any gossip and keep friends who make you laugh (Joyce Trice, 91) - No matter how many friends you have, you always retain your own personality (Barbara Court, 87) - To be patient with one another (Jacqueline McDougall, 80)

- Gossip about your partner! (Pauline Bird, 90) - Make sure you’re always loyal (Carol Hodgetts, 64) - Always support your friends through everything (Ann Barlow (65) and Valerie Evans, 85) - You need to trust and care for your friends - it doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re from (Olive (85) and Betty, 96) Residents Barbara Court, Joyce Trice and Lucy Pope at Birkin Lodge Care Home in Tunbridge Wells have certainly formed a firm friendship over the years - they’re known as ‘the calendar girls’ in the home! Lucy and Joyce met first after Joyce came to the home for a short stay. When Joyce left, Lucy hoped every day that she would come back. She was overjoyed when she came to live at the home permanently only a short while later. When Barbara joined the home she was introduced to Joyce by the staff team who thought they’d get on, the three have been inseparable ever since. Commenting on their friendship they said “No matter what your age you can meet friends later in life. We all like each other for who we are.” Another trio - 64-year-old Carol Hodgetts, 65-year-old Ann Barlow and Valerie Evans (85) - at Bourn View Care Home in Birmingham all shared how important it is to look out for one another. After being diagnosed with dementia, Carol moved to the home and she found two special friends in Ann and Valerie. They do everything together and look out for one another, as they describe helping each other if they need to brush their hair, have forgotten their glasses, or even have food around their mouth! Valerie is deaf, so they help her with day-to-day activities and make sure they go to lunch and supper together. She described how grateful she is to have her friends around her. When asked about the friendship advice they would give others, they all mentioned loyalty, stating how important it is to look out for and support your friends In support of World Friendship Day, Maureen and Pauline have shared their friendship story after striking up a close bond at Wisbech’s Lyncroft Care Home. Maureen said, “I met Pauline at the lunch table, she wanted my cauliflower, and I didn’t want her to have it!” Pauline went on to explain: “I moved into Lyncroft a few months after Maureen. She was very welcoming (besides the cauliflower incident)! I had a difficult time adjusting at the start as moving into a care home was a big change, but it was the right decision due to my decrease in

mobility and I wanted to be with my husband, James. As you can imagine there was a lot of emotion when James passed away, but having the support of Maureen has really helped me.” From combating loneliness to boosting your happiness levels, there’s some surprising health benefits of friendship, according to Lottie’s Co-Founder and Care Expert Will Donnelly: “Over the last few years, our friendships have been more important than ever before. Having strong relationships with your friends can reduce any feelings of loneliness and anxiety, as well as keeping you motivated to achieve your goals. There’s something so special about hearing about these new friendships in our care homes, alongside the valuable life lessons for the younger generations. You’re never too old to form new friendships, and this is something that’s so apparent when you visit a care home. New friends can increase your sense of belonging, boost your happiness and improve your self-confidence,” shares Will Donnelly.



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Two Thirds of UK Care Home Staff Admit Resident Quality of Care and Nutritional Needs are Being Overlooked Due to Outdated Procedures

A new, independent survey commissioned by eProcurement technology firm Zupa, has raised several concerns from care home professionals across the UK, with 86% admitting that vital aspects of care provision are suffering at the hands of outdated and time-consuming procedures, with many staff struggling to fulfil their day to day roles. The new data also highlights several care management challenges that need to be addressed to improve staff retention, morale and the overall quality of residential care. The study, which polled hundreds of care home professionals across the country, found that two thirds of care home staff (66%), admitted the quality of resident care and the ability to cater properly for dietary and nutritional needs, are some of the key areas being side-lined as a result of obsolete practices. The study also revealed that more than half (54%) of care home workers felt staff happiness was overlooked, and 44% of workers attribute the high turnover of staff in the care industry to low levels of pay. Specifically, 40% of care home workers felt they couldn’t provide the quality of care that they would like to due to the time they spend on admin. Over half (52%) of respondents, agreed that care home inspections simply add further pressure to their role, and would welcome a way to improve this process. More than a third of care home managers (32%) also said that keeping up with time intensive processes like day to day menu planning, allergens management, and recording resident data around nutrition and hydration, worries them. A further 41% were understandably concerned about the rising costs of food, energy and inflation, while 30% of care home workers identified supplier issues, food shortages and running out of supplies as a growing concern.

Importantly, 63% of care home managers link much of their day to day concerns to the wear and tear stresses placed upon their teams. Lack of staffing and resource also continues to be a worry for the sector, with 67% of care workers citing this as a key challenge. Only 6% of care home professionals said there is nothing that worries them in the day to day running of their care home. Lack of time available to improve day to day quality of care is a clear issue. When asked what aspects of their working day they would spend more time on if they could reduce the amount of paperwork, more than half (56%) of care workers say they would like to improve the standard of resident care if they had more time in their day. Likewise, almost half (49%) of care professionals said they would improve staff satisfaction, suggesting that reducing admin would free up more time to focus on staff morale and happiness. A further 49% would like extra time in their day to be more creative with resident social events and 42% of care home professionals said they would be keen to spend more time on individual care planning. Ollie Brand, CEO at Zupa explained: “Caring for the vulnerable and elderly is time-consuming and demanding. It requires specialist skills and knowledge. This study highlights that care home staff are having to deal with multiple challenges with little resource, and only so many hours in the day. There is also a direct correlation between what worries care home staff day to day and the quality of care they are physically able to deliver. Patchy reporting, outdated processes and a heavily reliance on manual updates, simply adds to the frustration and puts greater pressure on already stretched staff.” This latest research highlights a clear relationship between what aspects of care are being overlooked and what staff would prioritise if they had more time in their day. Almost three quarters (73%), of care home professionals who said they would improve staff satisfaction if they had more time, also said staff happiness is side lined. A further 55% of those who would like to improve the quality of resident care with more time, also said care quality is overlooked due to time wasted on outdated processes. Brand added, “Lack of staffing and resource is still a key concern for care homes. It’s clear that in many cases, that the adoption of automated, fit for purpose technology could help alleviate many of these day to day pressures and interestingly, those care professionals who said they would

implement new technology if they had more time, are most likely to say that staff happiness, productivity of staff and quality of care are being side-lined.” See www.zupa.com for further information.

“I Still Love My Job As Much As When I First Started” Says Staff Member At Derbyshire Based Care Home After 18 Years In Role A staff member at a Derbyshire based care home has recently celebrated 18 years in her job and says she “still loves the job as much as when I started”. Sheila Fowkes started working at MHA Maple Leaf House, in Ripley in 2004 as an activity coordinator, something she did as part of a 10 year career in a previous job. To celebrate her achievement, there was a small ceremony at the home, which provides nursing dementia care for 48 residents Sheila says the challenge of being an activity coordinator and tailoring activities to suit the needs of individuals is what drives her to keep going. She added: “I love my job, I love coming into work every day and there's always something different to do which is why I don't think I will ever get bored. “Every resident is unique and being able to help contribute towards their

day in the form of the activities is a great feeling. “During the pandemic it was tough and at times the challenges were difficult, but with the great team of staff we have here at the home we managed to work through it as best we could. “I can honestly say I can see myself doing this job until I decide to retire. I am 63 years old and my husband has said I can stop working but I said no. “I love working at Maple Leaf House, the staff and residents are great and I wouldn't change it for anything, I Still love my job as much as when I first started. “For me the key to working in care is getting to know the residents, the more you get to know them the easier it is to relate with them and that does go a long way in building the right relationships.”

Baby Boost: Carer Delights Residents at Beccles Care Home by Bringing in Baby for Surprise Visits A care home worker has delighted residents at a family-run Beccles care home by bringing in her baby for regular visits — helping to prompt reminiscence and evoke feelings of nostalgia. Gemma Snowden, a care assistant at Wellbeing Care’s St George’s home, has recently returned to the branch whilst on maternity leave to introduce the residents to her baby girl, Arabella. During the visits, the residents take turns to hold and cuddle the baby whilst reminiscing on the days in which they first became parents — recollecting fond memories and funny stories of their children’s younger years. Many studies demonstrate that babies and younger children can greatly benefit older people, with intergenerational care reducing depression, increasing mobility and fostering better communication and language. Discussing the reason behind her regular visits, Gemma said: “The residents were interested in my pregnancy, and so I promised them I would bring Arabella in to visit them. I thought this would be something great for them to look forward to after the challenges the past few years have brought.

“I consider the residents like my extended family, so I had to introduce them to our brand-new addition! It’s lovely to see them smile and comment on how lovely she is and how big she’s gotten each time they see her.” Joy Henshaw, Registered Manager of Wellbeing Care, added: “The residents have responded very positively to visits from Gemma and baby Arabella. The bond they are establishing is lovely to witness, and they always look forward to her visits. “We have also noticed that the visits help residents recount memories from when they first became parents, which is particularly beneficial for some of our residents with dementia. We greatly welcome visits from Gemma and baby Arabella and look forward to seeing our residents continue to bond with them over the summer period.” St George’s is a purpose-built care home offering accommodation for up to 33 people in need of residential care or dementia care. It is part of the family-run Wellbeing Care group that operates a range of care services providing first-rate, person-centred care to older people living in Suffolk and Northamptonshire. The group provides residential care, nursing care, dementia care, respite care, day care and supported living services.


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Age Cymru Seeks Volunteers to Work in Care Homes Across Wales During the height of the pandemic, Age Cymru delivered a Welsh Government funded pilot project to recruit and train volunteers to help visitors with PPE and other safety guidelines when visiting loved ones in care homes. Now that restrictions have been lifted some of the volunteers have moved across to support residents with a range of activities, hobbies, and interests. And both the care home sector and Age Cymru believes that care homes across Wales could benefit enormously from making better use of volunteers. The charity developed a toolkit to support care homes and other organisations who manage volunteers. It was designed to help them recruit, retrain, and develop their volunteers with a range of guidance from safeguarding and the induction process to understanding the needs of residents and becoming dementia aware, and everything else in between!

BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING Volunteering provides an opportunity to meet new people, improve personal skills, take on a new challenge or simply have some fun! It can also provide an opportunity for people to give something back to their community,improve their feeling of self-worth, and gain self-confidence.

For others, volunteering can be an important part of the transition into retirement from paid work, whilst for others it can be a route back into paid work. Volunteering can also provide opportunities for leading employers as part of their wider corporate social responsibility commitments, which is good for the company’s brand reputation as well as improving staff motivation and levels of satisfaction. Age Cymru’s Care Home Network Manager Suzy Webster says: “Care Homes, their staff and residents and visitors suffered more than most during the pandemic. Many of the staff are still exhausted from having to cope with the unprecedented challenges, while many residents had to survive the period often without seeing their loved ones and without access to many of the social activities they would normally undertake. “It is therefore up to all of us to help care homes recover from the pandemic and one of the best ways we can do this is through becoming an activities volunteer.” For more information about becoming a care home volunteer please email suzy.webster@agecymru.org.uk

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Dare to be Different Person-centred care is the ‘buzz’ word of the social and care sectors. Everyone knows about it; everyone supports it, and apparently everyone does it. But if that’s the case , then why is it not the everyday lived experience in our care culture? MCM recognises that individual well-being is not an ‘individual’ matter. Our relationships with the people, places and things that have shaped our life journey make us who we are and sustain our sense of personhood. Engaging in moments, experiences and activities that resonate with who we are and meet our needs for love, attachment, belonging, agency, occupation, comfort and attachment makes life meaningful. Individual ill-being occurs when these relationships are undermined and life lacks meaning and pur-

pose when such connections are absent in our daily lives. Meaningful relationships make us feel secure, free and able and help us to feel at home in ourselves. Having a diagnosis, disease, cognitive or physical impairments does not take these feelings away from us, it just makes these relationships matter even more. Nurturing these person-centred relationships is therefore key to sustaining individual well-being and developing an emotionally resilient culture of care. Collaboratively; we can achieve improved care cultures which are meaningful without compromising compliance and best practice. A culture where people are ‘ Free to be Me’ Do you dare to be different? We do. www.meaningfulcarematters.com Email : admin@meaningfulcarematters.com Phone: 01273 242 335 See the advert below for further details.


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How to Care for Your NHS Uniform A clean and defect-free uniform provides the first step towards adequate infection prevention and control, something which has been a heightened priority since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many NHS Trusts have since changed how staff uniforms are laundered, with many onsite laundries now only being used for uniforms soiled with highly contentious substances (e.g. surgical gowns). All other garments should now be washed at home. As a result of this change, we caught up with Peter Gretton, Senior Fabric Technologist at Alexandra, a leading uniform provider in the healthcare sector, to help staff understand how they can properly care for their NHS uniforms.

Caring for your uniform now extends to your daily responsibilities. Our top tips to ensure you maintain hygienic and professional-looking garments include: • Wear short-sleeved tops and do not wear white coats during patient care activities. This is because wrist cuffs quickly become contaminated and often contact patients. • Change into and out of uniforms at work, or cover your uniform entirely when travelling to and from work. While no research indicates a higher infection risk from travelling in uniforms, public members believe it to be unhygienic. • Maintain short, clean and unvarnished fingernails because long nails are harder to clean and can be hazardous. • Don’t wear any jewellery or wrist-watches on the hands or wrists during direct patient care activity (some Trusts may permit a wedding ring). Accessories can harbour microorganisms and make effective hand hygiene more difficult. • Wear soft-soled shoes closed over the foot and toes because they offer protection from spills and dropped objects.

IS IT SAFE TO WASH MEDICAL UNIFORMS AT HOME?

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CARE FOR YOUR NHS UNIFORM?

Recent studies have shown that every washing cycle element helps remove microorganisms from uniform fabric, including detergents, agitation, and temperature. The expert report, which is still regularly cited by the NHS, concludes that there is little effective difference between domestic and commercial laundering in removing microorganisms from uniforms and workwear. How should you clean your NHS uniform at home? When it comes to washing your uniform at home, it isn’t much different from washing any of your other garments. However, for best results, in line with NHS guidance, we recommend washing at 60ºC to remove almost all microorganisms and washing uniforms separately from other clothing items. How to maintain your uniform hygiene when washing clothes at home To reduce the risk of contamination, we have several measures that you can put into place when cleaning your uniform at home. These include: 1) Starting every day with a new uniform and always bringing a spare change of clothes to work just in case. Should your uniform become visibly soiled, you’ll then be able to change into the extra set before helping other patients. Maintaining your washing machine and tumble dryer properly according to the manufacturer's 2) recommendations, and cleaning both out regularly. Ensuring not to overload the washing machine when washing soiled uniforms because an over3) loaded machine will not clean the clothing effectively. 4) Washing your hands often with soap and warm water before and after handing the uniforms.

HOW DO YOU LIMIT CONTAMINATION OF CLOTHING & PERSON IN DAILY DUTIES?

There are three reasons why properly caring for your NHS uniform is essential: patient safety, public confidence and staff comfort. 1. Patient safety Maintaining good hygiene to prevent the transmission of infections is a top priority for healthcare staff. Therefore, the clothing staff members wear should enable the practice of care and minimise the risk of infection to patients. The NHS states: “Uniforms and workwear should not impede effective hand hygiene and should not unintentionally come into contact with patients during direct patient care activities,” so any unnecessary accessories, tools or jewellery should be removed when on shift. 2. Public confidence The way medical staff appear has a significant impact on the patient perception of the care standards they receive. As patients should have complete trust in the cleanliness and safety of the hospital, staff uniforms must remain clean and professional at all times. 3. Staff comfort The NHS advice states: “As far as possible, subject to the overriding requirements of patient safety and public confidence, staff should feel comfortable in their uniforms.” Under these conditions, ‘feeling comfortable’ includes respecting colleagues' cultural practices and wearing breathable NHS uniforms that regulate the wearer’s body temperature. Find out more about Alexandra and how to care for your garments at www.alexandra.co.uk/garment-care

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WWW.THECARERUK.COM/SIGNUP Dementia Management Tool ‘Vera’ Launches on Apple’s AppStore Deploying the World’s Largest Music Catalogue from Universal Music Group Vera announces strategic collaboration with Universal Music Group, allowing its users therapeutic access to the world’s largest music catalogue

Music Health, a Music Wellness Technology innovator, has developed and launched Vera, an intuitive music intervention tool designed for the care of people affected by dementia. Through a strategic, industry-first agreement, Vera App users are able to access the entire catalogue from Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music-based entertainment company, to develop personalised music stations specifically designed to improve the lives of people living with dementia every day. As an exclusive launch partner, UMG brings a diverse and comprehensive global music catalogue to Vera users. Vera is now approved by Apple for download via the AppStore in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, with the cross-sector Music for Dementia campaign welcoming the launch to help improve the lives of people impacted by dementia. The launch is the culmination of Music Health’s rigorous three-year development process which involved global research and development of the underlying technology that allows Vera to curate the perfect song at the right time for every individual listener. The announcement follows the launch at Universal Music UK of the Power Of Music, a report from UK Music and Music for Dementia, which outlines a blueprint to use music to help transform communities and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. It includes a commitment from Universal Music UK to develop a dynamic online resource which will serve as a music and dementia information hub. Grace Meadows, campaign director, Music for Dementia, says, “Research shows that music is much more impactful for people living with dementia when it holds meaning and is associated with moments from

someone’s life. In our recently launched Power of Music report, which sets out how we can be harnessing the power of music more to support health and wellbeing, we emphasised the need for a personalised approach to embedding music in health and social care, and the Vera App helps carers to do that.” The power of personalised music to affect a significant improvement in cognitive function for people in dementia care is evidenced by international scientists and neurologists, including award-winning neuroscientist and best-selling author, Daniel J. Levitin; the late physician, best-selling author and professor of neurology, Dr. Oliver Sacks; and Ronald Devere, M.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center in Austin, Texas. Vera analyses the age of the dementia affected person, where they grew up, and how they react to certain music. It uses these criteria to autonomously curate the right songs at the right times to effectively manage the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). More than 80 percent of people living with dementia experience BPSD, manifesting as agitation, aggression, depression, or confusion. Vera stimulates the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory to help manage the impact of BPSD, easing the care routine of those living with dementia. Listening to personally significant music - all the noteworthy songs from our own life - is shown to effectively decrease the effects of BPSD helping to improve mood, cognitive function, motor functions and brain plasticity. Vera curates songs from UMG’s unrivalled catalogue, the world’s largest, most diverse and culturally rich collection of blues, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and soundtracks. The songs are autonomously curated and played directly from the Vera app via speakers or headphones. With more than 20,000 hours of observation and rigorous analysis, combined with research from the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, confirms that Vera has a significant positive impact on the quality of life of people dealing with BPSD. While not a cure, Vera is a tool that can temporarily improve the cognitive function and mood of the person living with dementia making it easier to care for them. Stephen Hunt, Music Health co-founder, says, “We’ve built Vera to know and find the music that means the most and has the biggest effect for each person living with dementia. It acts like a music detective, that seeks out tunes that they used to love a long time ago but may have forgotten about, which their carers may have never heard of, and their families may not even know.” Vera is a product of Australian collaborative innovation. Music Health

credits Barossa Village, Dementia Australia, the Australian Department of Health and the Global Centre For Modern Ageing (GCMA) for helping realise the innovation since 2019. Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, says, “From rigorous workouts to peaceful meditation to restorative sleep cycles, music is deeply integrated into numerous innovations promoting health and wellbeing. Now, scientists are finding that music is also a powerful tool for helping those suffering from the effects of dementia and memory loss. At UMG, we are working with a wide range of companies to develop therapeutical applications of music and we ’re proud to partner with Music Health on Vera to help improve the lives of so many around the world.” Barossa Village, an aged care organisation, worked with Music Health to refine the app and validate the impact Vera has on people living with dementia. This included daily monitoring of the changes Vera had on the people being cared for at Barossa Village as listening sessions were integrated into the daily routine of care. Findings from the studies showed an overall increase in quality of life for participants, especially after using Vera for several months. You can view a video of Barossa Village’s experience here. “Vera provides playlists that are targeted and tailored to how each of our residents relates to their favourite songs. It’s an amazing innovation. And family members love it as they can participate in a shared experience with mum or dad, grandad or nanna,” says Matt Kowald, General Manager, Integrated Care at Barossa Village. Vera is currently in trials with BUPA, an international healthcare company headquartered in the UK serving more than 31 million customers across the world, as well as several of Australia’s most innovative health and aged care providers offering hospital care, residential care and community services. Vera is available in the U.K. for GBP £69.99 for a 12-month care plan. Visit www.veramusic.com for further details.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 23

£2bn Cost of Mental Ill Health in the North of England Mental health in England was hit badly over the course of the pandemic. But people in the North performed significantly worse in their mental health outcomes compared to those in the rest of the country. The report, complied by the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and northern National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaborations (NIHR ARCs) found: • People in the North under 35 were more likely to have developed a psychiatric disorder over the course of the pandemic, an increase of 2.5% compared to a reduction of 1.3% in rest of England. • There was a 12% increase in the numbers of anti-depressants prescribed during the pandemic in the North. During the pandemic, people living in the North were prescribed more anti-depressants proportionately than those in the rest of England(5.3 compared to 4.3). • Before the-pandemic, people from ethnic minorities and those from a white British background had similar mental health scores, Over the pandemic people from ethnic minorities had a larger fall in their average mental health (1.63 points compared to 0.87) and this was greater for those of an ethnic minority in the North (a fall of 2.34 compared to 1.45 for the rest of England). • Women from ethnic minorities in the North had the worst mental health in the country. Their mental health scores fell by 10% at the start of the pandemic and their scores were 4% lower throughout the pandemic. • Mental health fell equally in the North and the rest of the country during the pandemic (5% decrease), but it recovered more quickly in the rest of the country (to 1.3% decrease) than in the North (2% decrease). • The report conservatively estimates the reductions in mental health in the North during the two years of the pandemic have cost the UK economy £2bn in lost economic productivity. This is £2bn more which has been lost than if the North had suffered the same mental health outcomes as the rest of the country. • The gap between the lowest and highest earners increased during the pandemic and remains large. Report co-author Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University, said: “These findings reiterate that the pandemic has been very unequal. People in our most deprived communities have suffered most, in terms of death rates, dying younger and in on going ill-health such as long covid. These health inequalities reflect long-term inequalities in the social determinants of health, how we live, work and age.” The report urges that more needs to be done to address inequalities in mental health in the North, if ‘levelling up’ is to be achieved. Among its key recommendations, the authors are calling for an increase in NHS and local authority

resources and service provision for mental health in the North, along with an increase to the existing NHS health inequalities weighting within the NHS funding formula. Dr Luke Munford, Senior Lecturer in Health Economics at the University of Manchester and NIHR ARC Greater Manchester, who also co-authored the report, said: “Our mental health is important for us as individuals but is also important to our society. We have shown, again, that the pandemic was not equal – people in the North of England fared worse. We need to act urgently to address this or these unfair inequalities will grow and as already hard hit individuals and us as a society will unfairly suffer.” Hannah Davies, Health Inequalities Lead at the NHSA and report co-author, said: “Increased deprivation in the North of England has added to a decline in mental health in the North of England over the course of the pandemic. “The reasons for this are many: increased time spent in lockdowns, the type of work people in the North do but the driving factor is poverty. “To reverse these outcomes immediate action should be taken to provide funds to mental health suppliers proportionate to the need in those areas and measure to reduce deprivation – particularly as the cost of living crisis tightens its grip further on the most vulnerable.” The report is backed by the NHSA’s mental health trust members: Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust. Brent Kilmurray, Chief Executive of TEWV, said: “During the pandemic we saw not only an increase in demand for our services, but an increase in acuity – with people presenting to us with more severe mental health conditions. “We provide services in some areas of very high deprivation, and we’re working with partners from all sectors across our region to find new ways to support these communities with their mental health. Community mental health transformation is hugely important and will help to provide more joined-up care, taking a person-centred approach to find new ways to support people with mental health issues. “We know the impact that COVID-19 has had on people’s mental health and if you feel your mental health is being affected, please seek help and support as soon as possible.”

Local Care Home Team Member Scoops Coveted Care Title Laura Renalson at Cubbington Mill Care Home in Leamington Spa has been crowned Customer Experience Champion for Central Division in the Barchester Care Awards 2022 and is through to the national round of judging. The Barchester Care Awards celebrate the staff who go the extra mile for the benefit of the 12,000 residents living in Barchester’s 248 care homes and private hospitals across the country. Categories range from ‘Registered Nurse of the Year’ and ‘Carer of the Year’ to ‘Dementia Care Champion’ and ‘Activities Coordinator of the Year’. More than 2,950 nominations were received from homes and hospitals across the UK. All entries were a very high standard and Laura is over the moon to have been named the winner for the Central Division beating hundreds of other nominees. Laura said: “I’m so pleased, I didn’t expect it, what an honour! I love my receptionist role at Cubbington Mill, I get to meet so many different people, it’s lovely to be in a position to help our residents and visitors, and make their day better in any small way

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I can.” As the winner for Central Division, Laura is through to the national finals in which the overall winner is decided. They will join winners from across the UK at a special awards event in October to celebrate their outstanding achievements and discover if they have won a national award. General Manager, Laura Russell said: “This is an amazing achievement and the whole home is supporting Laura. We are so proud of her. Laura has been amazing throughout 2022, her customer service is first class, and no job is too much for her. She took on the task of making our ‘109 year-old’ resident; John Farringdon’s week long birthday surprises extra special by organising a vintage car rally, and even made his day by pushing him up Broadway Tower’s hill as he carried the Queen’s Baton!”


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Whitstable Care Home Raises More Than £650 to Support Home by Hosting Summer Sale A Whitstable care home managed to raise more than £650 to support their amenity fund for activities for residents. MHA Bradbury Grange hosted a summer sale and raised £678 which included various stalls such as arts and crafts, bric-a-brac and a cake sale. The home, which offers residential and residential dementia care for 50 residents, organised the sale in the front lawn of the home. It was an open community event, with local people also coming forward to sell items to contribute towards the cause. Aside from the items to sell, there was a barbeque with burgers and also a tombola and raffle sale. Sadie Porteous, home manager, said: “A summer sale is something we used to do quite frequently here

at MHA Bradbury Grange but due to the pandemic we haven't been able to do so for a couple of years. “We started planning this a couple of months ago and it was great to see so many people come out and support us. “The weather was nice and we had plenty of people wandering in and out during the course of the day. “The money raised will go a long way in supporting other activities and events at the home and we are very happy with the amount raised. “Our residents really enjoyed the day and had plenty of fun participating in whatever they could “I would like to thank all the staff members and volunteers who helped to make it a success and it was a very enjoyable day.”

Mountaineer Will Help Respite Centre To Scale Up RECORD -breaking Everest mountaineer Kenton Cool will launch an innovative new event that promises to take a Scottish respite centre to new heights. The "Leuchie Long Lunch" aims to become an annual fixture in the corporate fundraising calendar, and is being organised to raise vital funds for Leuchie House. Leuchie House is a renowned respite centre based in East Lothian providing transformational breaks for people from all over Scotland who are living with neurological conditions such as MS, MND, stroke and Parkinson's. It is hoped the annual lunch event at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, will help to further raise its profile, showcasing its incredible work while also raising vital funds to expand its reach. While a new theme will be announced annually, the inaugural event will focus on Leadership & Laughter. Kenton Cool, the first non-Nepali to reach the 29,032ft peak of Mount Everest 16 times, has been announced as the main speaker delivering the leadership element. Edinburgh magician Kevin Quantum will provide the laughter and Natasha Raskin Sharp, the presenter of BBC1 show Bargain Hunt will be the MC on the evening. The accomplished antiques and fine art expert will also host the auction. Mark Bevan, CEO at Leuchie House, said: “This promises to be an amazing event with a brilliant line up of entertainment being laid on. We are grateful to have Natasha and Kevin on board. “We support people from all over Scotland from our base in East Lothian but like Kenton Cool, we want to scale new heights, with higher expectations of ourselves. Our aspiration is to reach anyone who could benefit from access to Leuchie House.”

Leuchie House provides families with a break from caring responsibilities and is set across three floors, offering 18 ensuite fitted bedrooms. It offers physiotherapy, nutritious meals, activities and outings, and the chance to socialise and meet new people. Mr Bevan added: “The breaks are genuinely transformational for individuals with daily intensive caring responsibilities. For people living with these kinds of conditions and their loved ones, a short break can be an absolute godsend and provides much-needed respite. “The fact that we can offer a regulated environment offers additional reassurance, thanks to our in-house neuro-experienced team of nurses, physiotherapist, occupational therapists, technology experts

and carers.” Leuchie House also offers a wide range of assistive technologies and fundraising events help it to keep investing, with tech seen as the key to helping it expands its reach to more people who can benefit from its services Mr Bevan added: “Like many charities, the past two years have brought significant challenges. Our focus is now on creating a lasting legacy while upholding our high standard of service. “Events like the Leuchie Long Lunch will enable us to continue our work to transform the lives of people living with neurological conditions.” With Scotland's aging population and an estimated one million people in the country already living with a neurological condition, it means a fifth of carers report not having a break in over five years, showing why the service provided by Leuchie House is a lifeline for many. Confirmed sponsors include Progeny, Allied Surveyors, Pure Spa and Hamilton Waste. The event is set to bring together 450 business professionals including entrepreneurs, professional advisers, financial institutions and SMEs to Prestonfield House on 25 November. Tables of 10 are available at £1200 and offered on a strictly first come, first served basis. The ticket includes lunch, a glass of champagne on arrival and all the entertainment. It is hoped the Leuchie Long Lunch will build on the charity’s existing fundraising activities including The Big Ascot Bash and Gourmet Golf Day. Tickets are available at: http://www.leuchiehouse.org.uk/LLL

Efficiencies in Sluice Room Design As one of the most common sources of preventable harm, healthcare-associated infections are among the leading threats to resident safetyi and are common, costly and often fatal.ii Good infection prevention practices are vital to keeping residents and healthcare staff safe. So choosing the right equipment for human waste disposal processes is essential to minimise the transmission of preventable infections.iii

THE PLANNING OF A SLUICE ROOM Planning the workspace is crucial when designing a sluice room, it should be equipped with a collection point for soiled goods, a hand washbasin, a flusher disinfector, and storage for clean goods. These are the four cornerstones to maintain good infection control routines. Clean hands on clean goods should be the dominant rule for all working procedures. Eliminating the need for manual cleaning, flusher disinfectors effectively empty, clean, and disinfect receptacles such as bedpans, urinals and commode chair pans. Automated operation features such as infra-red door operation (as shown in Figure 1), to avoid contaminating the device exterior, can help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination while delivering highly effective cleaning and disinfection results. A Figure 1 © 2022 Arjo – showing the Arjo Typhoon™ flusher disinfector well-planned sluice room, along with a good hand hygiene programme, are both key to an effective infection control program.

In the sluice room, some additional considerations are as follows: • Locate the soiled utility room close to point of care to avoid long transport routes • Good ventilation is required to keep the room cool and dry, and to help remove odours • Floors and walls should be made of a water-resistant material along with surfaces which are easy to clean and disinfect • The hand washbasin should be placed close to the entrance and equipped with dispensers for soap and disinfectant, disposable paper towels and a waste paper bin. The mixer tap should be easily operated touch-free or with an arm / elbow • Plan for sufficient power supply, hot and cold-water inlets, and suitable drainage for the flusher disinfector, sink and slop hopper (optional) Minimising caregiver exposure to human waste during its disposal in the sluice room is fundamental. Caregivers can be exposed to splashes and aerosolsiv during manual cleaning of bedpans and urine bottles or when emptying waste, which can lead to caregiver illness or cross-infection with residents. For this reason, having an efficiently designed sluice room, flusher disinfector and an efficient waste management process are key to minimise the risk of cross-infection. References i Ahrq.gov, 2021. AHRQ’s Healthcare-Associated Infections Program. Available at: www.ahrq.gov/hai/index.html accessed June 2022 ii European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 2018. Healthcare-associated infections: Clostridium difficile infections. ECDC. Annual epidemiological report for 2016. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/AER_for_2016-C-difficile_0.pdf accessed June 2022 iii Arjo Clinical Whitepaper. Flusher Disinfectors: Reducing the risk of cross contamination, 2019 iv Knippenberg-Gordebeke, G., 2012. Bedpans and healthcare-associated infections - Hospital Healthcare Europe. Hospital Healthcare Europe. https://www.hospitalhealthcare.com/news/bedpans-and-healthcare-associated-infections/ accessed June 2022

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PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

Gallery Treatment Celebrates the Art of Dennis A retired Cornish farmer has been encouraged to pursue his life-long hobby of drawing after staff at his Dorset dementia care home staged an exhibition of his latest work. Dennis Edwards spoke of his disbelief and joy at the behind-the-scenes efforts of fellow residents and team members at The Aldbury in Poole. Together, they mounted a collection of his pen drawings from the past six months on a corridor wall alongside views into a courtyard at the Colten Care home. The works, done in biro pen, illustrate a mix of flowers in the courtyard and scenes from Dennis’s childhood and working life in St Michael’s, Cornwall. They include life on the farm, his beloved dog Smudge, horses he used to shoe, and motorbikes, bicycles, tractors and cars he maintained and repaired. The Aldbury Arts Exhibition – the home’s first such showcase devoted to an individual resident – prompted staff, fellow residents and visitors to come along and view the pictures. Dennis said: “I couldn’t believe the interest in my drawings and I was overwhelmed that people put so much effort into creating the show. It was just like being in a real art gallery. I thank everyone involved.”

The exhibition was held in The Aldbury’s ground floor Elgar living area, one of four small house group sections named after great composers. The others are Strauss, Beethoven and Mozart. Cara Duroe, Companionship Team member, said: “We know how much Dennis loves drawing and we thought it would be a lovely idea to show some of his work. “We wrote up a biography, just like galleries do when featuring an artist, and we mounted the drawings on card. “Fellow resident Joyce Holden helped decide in what order and how the drawings would be displayed while Tina Thorne helped write the wording for a promotional poster and invitations, which we gave out to residents. We also invited Dennis’s family along. “All our residents came for the grand opening and we celebrated with Dennis’s favourite drink of lemonade. He thanked everyone for coming and shed a few happy tears. “It was a great success and hopefully we can showcase another resident’s work in the future.”

Resident at Stafford Based Care Home Celebrates 61st Wedding Anniversary with Surprise Party A resident at a Stafford based care home was treated to a special party to celebrate his 61st wedding anniversary. Roy Griffin, (85) lives at MHA Weston and Queensway House and celebrated his 61st wedding anniversary to wife June (84). The pair married in 1961 after meeting at evening dance classes in Uttoxeter and have three children Sandra, Lorna and Hayley. Roy moved into the home in May and staff at the home were alerted to the anniversary when June mentioned it earlier this month. The home provides dementia nursing care for up to 70 residents and organised a surprise party, with an anniversary cake being baked by one of the staff members. peaking after the party June said: “It was a lovely surprise, one both I and Roy really enjoyed.

“The home and all the staff are amazing, they look after Roy really well and we as a family are very impressed. “I only mentioned the anniversary as I wanted to bring in our wedding album and for the home to notice that and act on it was really nice. We had a lovely time, the cake was amazing and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the day.” Anupa Saruwar, care assistant said: “It was so lovely to celebrate such a special day and for them to have reached 61 years of marriage we just had to do something for them. “The cake was made in our own kitchen and the card was made for June by Roy. Everyone had a great time and I have it on good authority that the cake was delicious!”

Introduction of Peracide™ from Sky Chemicals to Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust Carol Scholey (RGN, BSc (hons)) Liam Grimshaw (BSc (hons) MSc by Research) INTRODUCTION In the transfer of an NHS Trust from one disinfectant to another, there are many factors to consider from ease of use to efficacy against healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). For many years, Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust (DBTH) used a chlorine dioxide (ClO2)-based product as their universal, one-application, quick kill rate disinfection solution. When the supplier announced it was to cease production, they had to find a replacement solution. Whilst scoping the market, it was found that most trusts were using chlorine-based disinfectants or a different brand of ClO2-based disinfectants. Most other solutions were complicated in their mechanism or required a cleaning and disinfecting clean (two stage), which would be time consuming. Information was sort from the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) to see what products were commonly used throughout the country and this is where DBTH were informed about Peracide™, an in situ peracetic acid (ISPAA)-based disinfectant. After further discussion with the company, it was agreed that a trial should take place to confirm the claims of the product. The product was introduced to the microbiologist and Director Infection Prevention & Control (DIPC) our Facilities management team and Health and Safety advisor. The process of using the product needed to meet the needs of facilities and Health and Safety, and the approval of the DIPC that the product had a successful kill rate to reduce HCAIs. DBTH did plate assays to ensure its efficacy and when satisfied, trialled Peracide™ on two wards to test its efficacy and ease in use. In recent years, the need for rapidly efficacious, high-level disinfectants has increased as HCAIs have become a significant issue. HCAIs negatively impact the patient recovery, turnover and average cost by increasing the length of patient stays, increasing costs associated with care, increasing pathogenic effects and increasing the risk of spread to another patient.

MATERIALS AND METHODS As an alternative to a ClO2-based disinfectant, Peracide™ was selected. Peracide™ is a broad-spectrum biocide, reacting to produce peracetic acid in-situ which is a high-level disinfectant that boasts strong, oxidizing properties. Peracide™ is extremely effective against a

wide range of healthcare-associated pathogens including spore forming Clostridium difficile, MRSA, Norovirus, Legionella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas etc. and will work to destroy established biofilms. Peracide™ is both safe to use and environmentally friendly and is suitable for high level sanitising and disinfecting on porous and nonporous surfaces. Unlike other disinfectants, Peracide™ is minimally affected by organic matter. Upon breakdown Peracide™ is completely biodegradable producing carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen. Two side rooms on the same ward were selected. The occupants were of similar admissions reasons and neither of which had any alert organisms so did not occupy the room for isolation purposes

RESULTS Cleaning had not been performed on either side room with Peracide™ prior to this test. The results show that the ClO2-based disinfectant showed no effect at the intervals measured.

From this data, routine cleaning CFU counts with Peracide™ can be predicted. Since there were slightly fewer CFUs than the pre-clean, it can be predicted that Peracide™ will lead to a cumulative effect over time as shown in Figure 2: Predicted cumulative effect of daily cleaning with Peracide This emphasises the absolute importance of regular routine cleaning and shows that Peracide™ is effective both in short- and long-term use.

DISCUSSION Overall, it was found that the ClO2-based disinfectant was almost entirely ineffective and was not suitable for use. There are many possible reasons for this. It could be a case of error in preparation as the formulation can be difficult to use correctly, or that the solution was no longer efficacious as there is no indicative mechanism for the user. It may also be an issue with the ClO2-based disinfectant in solution. ClO2 exists as a gas which readily diffuses out of liquid solution, with a diffusion coefficient of 0.145cm2s-1 at room temperature (Lee, Burgess, Rubino and Auras, 2015) On the other hand, Peracide™ was considerably more effective and had lasting effect in a high-traffic environment. Peracide™, coming in a simple tablet form, is easy to use, is indicative of efficacy and is stabilised in solution. This accumulates to an easy to use, visibly efficacious disinfectant with cumulative effect that supports long-term infection control.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The results show that there is no cumulative effect of cleaning from the ClO2-based disinfectant as the counts at the end of the day were no different from before or after the clean . The ClO2-based disinfectant showed approximately no efficacy overall. In comparison, Peracide™ showed good efficacy to begin with and an overall reduction prior to the next clean.

Thank you to the participants at DBTH for engaging in this trial, and to the laboratory team who performed the necessary assays.

REFERENCES

Lee, Y., Burgess, G., Rubino, M. and Auras, R., 2015. Reaction and diffusion of chlorine dioxide gas under dark and light conditions at different temperatures. Journal of Food Engineering, 144, pp.20-28.

For further information see page 40.



YOUR CARE HOME’S CHANCE TO WIN A LUXURY HAMPER! Afternoon Tea Week is coming up on August 8 -14

Afternoon Tea Week celebrates that great British tradition of Afternoon Tea served with the most delicious delicacies, bringing a little bit of “elegance and pomp” to brighten the day! The CARER is offering one lucky care home the chance to win a luxury Hamper packed full of all those artful little extras for a truly memorable occasion. Presented in a traditional wicker hamper, this selection makes the ideal gift for any occasion that demands special attention.

All you have to do is tell us all about your Afternoon Tea Week celebrations, planning, events, treats, delicacies, and we will pick a winner!! Simply email us at nominate@thecareruk.com for your chance to win!


Afternoon Tea Week is Coming Up So Let's Celebrate in Style!

THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 29

This year's Afternoon Tea Week will take place from 8th - 14th August and venues, in particular care settings across the UK, will pay tribute to the nation's favourite pastime.

Afternoon Tea Week is the perfect opportunity to take part in a range of activities that celebrate this wonderful tradition; to meet people, chat, dance, laugh and eat a lot of cake – that is washed down with some delicious tea served in a fine China cup. Furthermore, it serves an important social and emotional role that is necessary for overall resident wellbeing, enabling those in social and health care settings, who may otherwise feel isolated, to interact with staff, visitors, and fellow residents, service users or patients.

A WORLD-WIDE TRADITION

Now a world-wide tradition, taking afternoon tea is integral to British culture, but you may be surprised to hear that the custom only dates back to the 1840s. Originating amongst the upper social classes in England, the invention of afternoon tea is widely credited to Anna Maria Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford and a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria.

Anna Maria Russell became the Duchess of Bedford in 1839, after her husband, Francis Russell, became the 7th Duke of Bedford. While on a visit to the fifth Duke of Rutland, Russell became rather lethargic and hungry, however, in the nineteenth century, it was normal to have dinner served and eaten between the hours of seven to nine at night. Since this was rather late into the evening, a small meal called ‘luncheon’ was created. However, this too, after long afternoons with no refreshment, also failed to keep the hunger pangs at bay. This is when she came up with the notion of “afternoon tea”. Tea paired with savoury sandwiches and sweet cakes became the Russell’s go-to midday meal. She also started inviting her friends for an afternoon tea session. This custom was soon picked up by people from the upper- and middle-upper classes. Today, afternoon tea is enjoyed by many all over the world, thanks in part to Queen Victoria, who was also a friend of Russell’s, started having afternoon tea. Eventually, having afternoon tea became a social event of sorts. Members of the elite would dress up and assemble to share sumptuous treats like finger sandwiches, scones with jams and clotted cream, pastries, and various cakes and teas, or share a more informal afternoon tea with just close friends.

THE PERFECT TEA TREATS

A 2021 Sass & Belle survey which asked UK consumers to rank a range of popular afternoon tea treats to rank the nation’s perfect spread, revealed that aside from the scone - a classic component in any afternoon tea – we British huge fans of chicken and mayonnaise sandwiches, sausage rolls and brownies! When it comes to our favourite tier, it seems we’re a nation of dessert lovers, with 42% rating the cakes and sweet selection the best, followed by the savoury selection and scone tier, with only one in five (21%) claiming ‘the middle tier’ as the one that makes their mouth water the most.

HYDRATION

Afternoon Tea can also be a key focal point to demonstrate how this traditional occasion is ideal for promoting and improving nutrition and hydration. As well as offering a number of nutritional benefits, it can also be easily adapted to a wide variety of social and health care settings, care homes, community meals rounds, in day care settings, at Luncheon Clubs, during community support worker visits, and within NHS settings such as on hospital wards, cafés and day rooms.

From a nutrition and hydration perspective, Afternoon Tea undoubtedly supports the ‘three meals and two snacks a day’ message, helping with boosting calorific intake if required, and it can be adapted for all groups, including those with specific dietary needs, texture modification and eating problems. Hydration refers to the drinking of adequate amounts of fluid to keep the body healthy. It recognises that having an adequate fluid intake is an important part of maintaining a balanced diet and is essential for health and wellbeing. In this respect, the care service implements the recommended daily intake for an adult of six to eight glasses of water or other fluids (about two litres), also recognising that most people do not drink anywhere near that amount, particularly the elderly. In adult social care settings, severe dehydration makes frail people more vulnerable to infections, dizziness and confusion, and to falls, from which may have a lasting effect. Studies in care settings where a campaign of positive encouragement to maintain hydration has been run have identified a number of positive outcomes, including fewer urinary infections and fewer falls. So, a wonderful opportunity to afford service providers the perfect platform to put on their own activities and events to further highlight the absolute need for fun, good nutrition and hydration, and promote the good work they are doing.


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Celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week with Cuppas That Show You Care With lots of refreshing fruit and herbal blends as well as Orignal and decaf black tea, Tetley has a solution for everyone celebrating National Afternoon Tea Week! Here at Tetley, we understand the challenge of keeping your residents hydrated and the important role a quality cuppa can play. A significant 20% of care home residents are dehydrated1 which can lead to hospital admission. This is easily preventable by keeping hydrated.

ity cuppas to the nation for the past 185 years. Operating globally, we source, buy and blend the finest tea leaves, so you can promise residents a deliciously refreshing cuppa with every sip. Whilst we are tea masters, we are also environmentally conscious and committed to operating our business in a way that supports the people and environment it touches. With every Tetley cuppa, you and your residents drink, you’re helping us in reaching our sustainability and environmental goals.

EVERY CUPPA COUNTS

MORE THAN JUST TEA Designed with care professionals and caterers in mind, the Tetley Hydration Handbook and Hydration Help Sheet offer insight and advice to help keep residents hydrated in all care environments! We have a range of free POS and specially designed care activity pack materials available to encourage extra drinking opportunities and have some fun at the same time. Get your free POS and activity pack today: www.tetleyfoodservice.co.uk/channels/care Sources:

With our range, we have a tea that suits every one of your residents’ needs throughout the day. As well as choice, Tetley provides a familiar feeling of comfort for residents to help them feel more relaxed and settled. For the love of tea, for the love of Tetley. Maximise the opportunities to maintain hydration levels by offering our wide range of flavoured tea alongside black tea. With tea counting towards the daily fluid intake and the recommended water intake being between 1.5L to 2L, our range will help you make sure your residents stay hydrated.

FOR THE LOVE OF TEA Tetley is the nation’s favourite tea brand2 and No1 in the foodservice sector.3 We’ve been serving qual-

Safer Drinkware and Catering Products for Staff and Residents

Who are BBP Marketing Ltd?

BBP Marketing is a familyowned company based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire established in 1882. BBP is recognised leader in the design and manufacture of reusable drinkware and catering products. We have a large range of styles & sizes and continually expand our range in order to meet our customer’s needs.

Why use BBP Marketing? We understand the importance of taking care of our planet, which is why we take pride in our products being reusable, as well as recyclable at end of life. They are machine washer safe, virtually unbreakable and can last a lifetime. Not only are our products helping the environment, they are also designed with you in mind. Whether it be a bowl with easy grip handles either side for better stability or a plate with cover to keep your food fresher for longer, we strive to make products that are suitable for everyday use. The benefits of using Polycarbonate over glass are endless. Not only does it eliminate opportunities for injuries which can occur during glass breakages, it also ensures a safer environment that we know is important within the care sector as well as the hos-

pitality industry. Polycarbonate, whilst being lightweight, is also a great insulator of hot or cold liquid. It serves as a thermal barrier to protect the user’s hands from hot or cold contents, whilst keeping the liquid at the desired temperature for longer. You may have seen already our patient water jug designed specifically for the NHS in hospitals around the United Kingdom. We worked closely with the NHS Nursing Team and in-turn successfully created a product that meets the needs of both patient and staff. We always welcome the opportunity to work with clients who hold new and exciting ideas, that fill a gap in the market. Branding, logo printing and further bespoke work can also be implemented upon request.

How do we purchase? We have a reputable list of distributors across the globe, who can supply our products along with other complimentary items to suit your needs. Please ask your distributor for our products or email us and we will be happy to recommend a suitable distributor. See the advert on the previous page for details.

1. Open Access Government (2022), “Eradicating dehydration in the elderly with Aquarate”, openaccessgovernment.org 2. Kantar World Panel No. of Households Buying Dec 2019 3. Kantar World Panel L52W to April 2022

Serve Afternoon Tea in Style with Euroservice Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple? Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Visit the website at www.euroservice-uk.com to see the full range.

Make Tea a Special Occasion with Bidfood's Afternoon Tea Guide “Afternoon tea is a great social occasion for residents, bringing them together with the opportunity of meeting others for a chat, dance and singalong. It can improve their nutrition and hydration, as it’s a great way of getting calories and fluids into their diet. Everyone loves a scone - whether it’s sweet or savoury! “We’ve recently created an afternoon tea guide, especially for carehomes, complete with a tempting set of inspiring recipe ideas, printable activities, decoration ideas, and top tips for throwing the ultimate summer celebration. The menu builds on-trend flavours into the afternoon tea occasion, with the aim of inspiring chefs with traditional dishes that have a modern twist. For example, katsu in a Spam Katsu Sando, and sriracha in a Sriracha Prawn Vol-au-Vent. It offers everything from bite-sized snacks to substantial sandwiches and of

Manufactured in the UK

course irresistible sweets like Lemon and Raspberry Scone with Lemon Curd Cream or our Black Forest Gateau Pots. The menu works not just for the jubilee, but will bring excitement to any afternoon tea occasion. You can find the guide here: https://view.bidfood.co.uk/the-queens-jubileerecipe-guide/. We’ve have also developed a range of afternoon tea inspired cocktails to go with the recipes, created by our Unity Wines and Spirits team. For example, Strawberries and Cream, Bakewell Sour, A Messy Chase and the Cucumber Martini. Find them here: https://www.bidfood.co.uk/blog/4-afternoon-teainspired-cocktails/.

Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com sales@euroservice-uk.com

PROVIDING PRACTICAL AND STYLISH TROLLEYS TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple?

Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Euroservice trolleys are an attractive and practical alternative to clinical aluminium trolleys given that antibacterial spray can be used freely to sanitise them.

Get in touch with our friendly, experienced sales team

Visit the website at

www.euroservice-uk.com to see the full range.



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DYSPHAGIA Don't Let Dysphagia Ruin Your Resident's Mealtimes Meals are often the highlight of the day in a care home, but when you have dysphagia, and struggle to swallow, the risk of choking and food or fluid entering your lungs, can present a real challenge and even make the meal itself a danger. In fact, dysphagia is a common reason for hospital admission. Nor is it a problem that is limited to the elderly, dysphagia can affect people of all ages. However, it doesn’t have to spoil mealtimes, which can still be a pleasure as well as safe, as long as meals are prepared and presented in the right way. Just pureeing meals can reduce their nutritional content, and the dish may end up being less appetising to the eye. This is where specialist ranges of texture-modified dishes can help, for example Simply Puree which is available through Bidfood. This range is created especially for people living with dysphagia, and each dish is consistent in the nutritional content it provides, and compliant with IDDSI textures. The International IDDSI Diet Standardisation tool is a global standard providing terminology and definitions that describe the texture of modified food and thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings and for all cultures. The Simply Puree IDDSI guide is a free easy to use tool to help you understand and cater for the different IDDSI textures. You can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/bdz2kktx This is a great online tool, which not only gives a refresher on IDDSI lev-

els for chefs who are already knowledgeable about dysphagia, but it’s also a great learning tool for those with less experience, who may be new to the industry. It takes you through the journey of how to adapt a range of different dishes to meet all levels within IDDSI – the cooking, blending and serving processes that ensure a dish is safe for residents with different needs. This makes dining a fun and sociable experience for those living with dysphagia, covering all their needs from nutritional to hydration. It means they can get involved with all meal occasions, which is good for their wellbeing, and presenting really appetising dishes will, of course, encourage them to eat more. Many of those living with dysphagia find it difficult to consume enough calories throughout the day, so you may need to fortify recipes to maximise the calorific value of each spoonful. An easy way to achieve this is to switch water for full fat milk or cream, melted butter or oil, sauces, gravy, honey, or juice for dilution. It’s important to ensure that dishes are visually appealing too, so it helps to make up modified consistency foods separately, and then pipe them onto the plate while still hot, so that you can serve them immediately. If you are diluting or pureeing food, it’s also important to use stronger flavours so that the food is still flavoursome. As with any dish, do a taste check before you serve to make sure it meets the same high standards you aim for with the rest of your menu. When it comes to caring for those living with dysphagia, its key to regu-

larly monitor their intake very closely, with a nutritional assessment and weekly weight check, to ensure they are not losing weight and are getting enough nutrition and fluids. Make sure those who are preparing food are fully trained and aware of the risks associated with dysphagia, as well as the correct way to prepare modified consistency foods, and to thicken fluids for patients who need this. To help with this, Bidfood have put together a new e-learning platform, called Caterers Campus, which is a fun and interactive training resource that takes the hard work out of supporting your team. The modules are aimed at helping them consistently create nutritious and delicious meals that are tailored to residents’ individual requirements. There are seven modules available, which include one on Dysphagia and IDDSI, as well as Fortification, Hydration, Dementia, and Cost Control amongst others. You can find more information about it here: https://www.bidfood.co.uk/caterers-campus/ Bidfood have developed the programme exclusively for their customers to help their teams learn in bite-sized modules, in a way which works for them - anytime, anywhere, on any device. Knowledge is checked on completion of each module, and each person taking a module gets a certificate of achievement for their records - but if it’s not a pass, it’s not a problem, you can take it again! There are also no sign up fees for the programme.

myAko Develops Dysphagia Online Courses For Carers Swallowing difficulties are common in people residing in care homes. Early identification, assessment and management by care home staff may result in a decrease in the incidence of pneumonia and death. Therefore, it is important for staff to be aware of the signs of dysphagia and what to do in order to prevent further deterioration in a resident’s condition. Dr. Elizabeth Boaden is a fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has spent over 30 years working to improve the quality of life of those living with dysphagia. Dr. Boaden has created a set of courses on dysphagia. These courses have been researched and developed for the benefit of all healthcare workers and nurses, and are due to be available on myAko.com.

WHAT IS DYSPHAGIA?

Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulties swallowing. Difficulties may range from a decrease in chewing ability to food and drinks going onto the lungs causing aspiration pneumonia and death. Dysphagia is a common feature of many congenital and acquired structural and neurological difficulties. It is not possible to provide accurate figures regarding the prevalence of dysphagia, as it is often unrecognised and underdiagnosed. Dysphagia affects approximately 8% of the global population. Although swallowing difficulties are seen in the paediatric population, the greater incidence is in adult client group. The incidence of

commonly occuring elderly neurological diseases in the older population are stroke (45-78%), Parkinson’s disease (75-100%) and Alzeimer’s disease (90%). Swallowing involves six cranial nerves and over 26 pairs of muscles, with the oesophagus opening within a fraction of a second of airway closure. It is therefore unsurprising that everyone has experienced at least one incident where just a slight incoordination of the swallow has caused coughing and choking as food and drink enter the airway. It is therefore to be expected that dysphagia occurs in approximately 35% of the normal aging elderly population owing to weakness in the muscles for swallowing. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 74% of residents in care homes will present with swallowing difficulties of some description.

AWARENESS AND EDUCATION

The training, available on myAko.com, helps healthcare workers to better understand the impact of dysphagia and how to help those in their care. The nurses training helps them support Speech and Language Therapists with remote dysphagia assessments, without the need for face-to-face visits. Utilising remote teleswallowing techniques helps to reduce current NHS waiting lists and nurses and carers are able to improve early diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia.

MOVING FORWARD

It is imperative for care staff to be able to quickly and effectively screen for dysphagia, as a delay in doing so may have devastating effects. It is a care worker’s duty to ease the struggle presented by dysphagia; not only to avoid the possibility of death, but to simply ensure that a resident’s later life and emotional well-being is as comfortable and content as possible. Visit www.myako.com, email help@myako.com or call 01202 283383 for further details.



PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES How Efficient and Compliant Is Your Laundry Operation?

When choosing dryers, it is notable that care homes are increasingly turning away from gas appliances due regulation changes and safety concerns. Changes to industry requirements can necessitate considerable investment in order for gas appliances to meet the current standards. Forbes Professional advises care homes on all relevant WRAS and industry requirements and helps clients ensure complete compliance with the latest regulations. Many care homes would need to reconfigure their entire laundry room to enable the newly requisite two metre distancing between gas appliances and doors. When such issues are coupled with safety concerns and the increasing costs of running

gas appliances, Forbes would generally recommend that electrical appliances should be the product of choice. Miele’s new heat pump commercial dryers are particularly highly rated for their safety, functionality and energy efficiency. They do not require any make-up air, which enables the laundry function to be installed in the basement or in a central location within the care-home, and saves on costly vent-ducting. Miele's Ecoplus technology guarantees that both energy consumption and drying times are kept consistently low. Due to the effective interaction of the Miele filter system and the maintenance-free heat exchanger, fluff cannot clog the heat exchanger or adversely affect the exceptional drying efficiency. Miele’s heat-pump tumble dryers’ employ a highly efficient and economical filter system and heat exchanger to keep run times low and enable an energy saving of up to 60% when compared to vented dryers. Forbes Professional provides a range of options for commercial laundry equipment, including the PT 8337 and the Little Giant PT 7137 heat pump dryers. All of their Miele commercial laundry is available on a purchase, rental or lease basis, with access to a comprehensive service that includes installation, commissioning, user training, and a first-class repair and maintenance response. www.forbespro.co.uk Telephone 0345 0702335 info@forbes-professional.co.uk See the advert on page 19.

BIOFROST Cold Therapy Gels for Drug-Free Pain Relief ®

BIOFROST® Relief and the BIOFROST® Active are natural topical gels that effectively relieve pain, reduce inflammation and diminish swelling without drugs and drug-related side-effects. Safe for people of all ages, including the elderly and disabled people, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels work as standalone therapeutic modalities or alongside other interventions (i.e. drugs, physiotherapy, massage, etc.), providing affordable and long term cost-effective solution to pain and discomfort. BIOFROST® Relief Cold Gel contains only natural ingredients (i.e. ethanol, menthol, eucalyptus, pep-

permint, MSM) for instant pain relief and to activate body’s own healing. Benefits are better joint movements, lasting pain relief, comfortable sleep, fewer cramps, calmed nerve pain, reduced joint and muscular discomfort, less muscle fatigue, puffiness and swelling. BIOFROST® Active is a fast-acting dual-action cold gel with heat sensation for relief of muscular and joint aches (i.e. upper and lower back pain). Enriched with 10 herbal extracts, BIOFROST® Active stimulates local blood flow, releases muscle tension and joint stiffness and combats chronic pain. Benefits include improved joint movements, greater mobility, pain relief in treated areas (i.e. back, neck, shoulders, knees), discomfort-free sleep, less cramps and stiffness. CE marked Class 1 Medical Devices, the BIOFROST® gels are made in Finland by Viking Lab Oy. Distributed in the UK by Win Health Medical Ltd. Win Health Medical Ltd. / T: 01835 864866 / E: biofrost@win-health.com / W: www.win-health.com See the advert on page 5 for details.

Yeoman Shield Fire Door Services Taking the Guess Work out of Fire Doors Fire Doors are an imperative part of fire safety and are considerations of the design and maintenance of any building, but especially residential. Article 17 – RRFSO states fire safety provisions (includes fire doors) must be maintained in a suitable condition and working order. If you are the Responsible Person, it’s imperative you appoint a competent person to assist in meeting your duties under the fire safety order to ensure fire safety measures including fire doors are kept in working order. Yeoman Shield’s Fire Door Services can help to take the guess work out of fire door maintenance by providing fire door inspections, condition reports, remedial work and fire door installation all carried out by FDIS and/or FIRAS accredited team members Having a good maintenance routine will dispel some needs of fire door replacement therefore being more cost effective.

The implementation of Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Protection products can also be in the long term financially beneficial by halting impact damage from the start eliminating many repairs in the future and again will extend door lifecycles. Installing Yeoman Shield door protection products such as, door protection panels, door edge protectors and PVCu glazing bead units will not affect the integrity of the fire door as all products have been tested, in situ, to the current standard required. Vulnerable frames and architraves can also be protected from impact with Yeoman Shield to prevent dangerous splintering and splitting as well as abolishing the time-consuming, repetitive need for repainting. For a complete repair and protect service contact the team today frdp@yeomanshield.com or visit www.yeomanshield.com

Renray Healthcare Renray Healthcare has been producing high quality furniture for over 50 years and is one of the UK’s largest and leading suppliers to the healthcare sector. Whether you require a fast efficient delivery of quality

furniture or a full room installation and fitting service, we have the experience and resources to handle your contract. We manufacture and assemble our products in our own purpose built factories in Cheshire and Europe to British Standards. Hence we are able to ensure your furniture is produced to the highest quality, working with you to plan and meet your projects time schedule and budget. We understand you are purchasing furniture that is fit for purpose, stylish and will continue to perform well into the future, which is why we design and build our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456, Email: info@renrayhealthcare.com, www.renrayhealthcare.com or see the advert on page 3 for details.

Raising the Standard of Stair Climbing Solutions The Stair Climbing Company is one of the leading providers of powered Stair Climber solutions, which have been specifically designed to assist those struggling with mobility and independence issues facing people with disabilities. The Stair Climbing Company offers an excellent range of compact, easy to use, powered Stair Climbers that are ideal for use in both home and commercial settings. Offering innovative designs, all of the company’s Stair Climbers can be separated into two pieces, for safe storage and are easily transported and charged. In addition, all of its Stair Climber’s come with a two year manufacturer’s warranty. The Stair Climbing Company maintains one main

mission; to improve quality of life, through its range of high-quality and custom devices with built-in seats. The safety and comfort of its customers is of the utmost importance to the company and it ensures that each wheelchair carrier model is designed to cater to individual customers’ specific needs, and works with all stair types. Furthermore, the company provides Stair Climbers for all ages, making them suitable for everyone, and offers a free assessment for customers. If you would like to find out any more information, please see the details below: T 01787 379160 www.thestairclimbingcompany.com See the advert on page 13.

Furniture That Improves Health For Residents… And Staff

Mobility furniture has come on leaps and strides over the last few years. Gone are the dreary semifunctional chairs and beds of the past. Today’s generation of rise and recline chairs and adjustable beds look smart, last for years and are better designed and more comfortable than ever before. Even people without mobility problems are buying them, especially when they are made to measure, giving that perfect fit.

Some adjustable beds and rise and recline chairs even come with wheels, a thoughtful touch for when residents struggle to walk between rooms. And many come with wipe clean upholstery in case of unfortunate spills. All of these features reduce the workload for busy staff and improve the comfort of residents.

HOW DOES MOBILITY FURNITURE BENEFIT CARE HOME RESIDENTS?

Mobility Furniture Company is one of the biggest mobility furniture companies in the UK. Its wide geographical spread of representatives takes furniture to care homes for managers, staff and residents to assess. “Care home managers, owners and staff, know what their residents need,” says James Mitton, Managing Director of Mobility Furniture Company. “When we visit care homes, we always gain valuable insights about real life situations for which our company can make a difference. Working with these key members of staff, we find solutions for residents – and care home employees – that make life more comfortable for everybody involved.” Call free today on 0808 265 1373 for a free brochure, or visit us at www.mobilityfurniturecompany.co.uk/sale See the advert on page 17.

Research has found that elevating the legs – one of the main features of a rise and recline chair or adjustable bed – reduces swelling of stiff and painful joints and enhances healing of injuries and wounds. In fact, experts have found that failure to elevate a limb can actually delay healing. Another advantage of mobility furniture is that it helps care home residents sleep deeply and for longer stints, which we all know is crucial to quality of life, both physical and emotional. Why? Because it allows people access to a range of sitting and lying positions that traditional chairs and beds simply do not have.

WHAT ABOUT CARE HOME STAFF? Mobility furniture improves health of care home employees because it results in less lifting/weight bearing. Press a button on the rise and recline chair and it supports the user to their feet. Some adjustable beds have the same feature. Most residents need to avoid pressure sores and again, mobility furniture helps by pressing a button on the chair or bed to gently ease people into different positions. The alternative is a member of staff shifting the resident to a new position, at risk to their own health.

WORKING WITH EXPERTS Dr Rob Hicks, popular celebrity media doctor, acts as medical expert for Mobility Furniture Company. “Mobility furniture can make life that little bit easier for people, particularly those who struggle to do things that we often take for granted, like sitting down and standing up,” Dr Hicks says. “It is great to be working with a forward-thinking company that celebrates improving quality of life for older individuals.”

AN UPBEAT APPROACH


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 35

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Odorous Waste Inspired FREE Anti-Litter Pack Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” more people venture outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. Not only is public waste emitting unpleasant smells, it can attract unwanted pests such as flies, insects, birds and vermin. Whilst these pests could be a potential hazard to the public, the litter could also be a threat to local eco-systems and wildlife.

ANTI-LITTER PACKS

The Summer season is upon us, with lighter nights and warmer weather. No matter what season we enter, waste is guaranteed and must be handled appropriately, however, the change in seasons should prompt us to take additional waste management steps.

SCENTS OF SUMMER Rising temperatures will heat waste, producing profound odours from bins. The increase in temperatures and heat exposure to the waste allows bacteria to grow faster and odours to intensify. Although loose waste is often affected first – captured and contained rubbish will soon follow in emitting stronger odours. Summer Litter The summer season not only sees a rise in temperatures but also a potential increase in litter levels as

Cromwell are proud to be an independent, familyrun group, committed to the recycling, manufacture and distribution of polythene and compostable materials. In their aim to be the most resourceful company in plastics, Cromwell has developed an anti-littering promotional pack, free to download and used by all, developed specifically to help educate and deter litterers. The pack consists of posters, social media content and an infographic leaflet. The posters and social media posts have 4 different designs, all of which are targeting hotspot litter areas or problems, these include dog waste, Flytipping and littering in areas such as beaches and streets. All the material is FREE to use, and Cromwell welcomes anyone to download and use the material – helping to reach their goal of a cleaner, greener, and more resourceful planet, this new anti-litter pack is a step towards this sustainable vision. View, download and share FREE from Cromwell’s website www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk/free-downloadableanti-litter-pack/

Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment 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 1.

Reduce Your Operating Costs!! Opeque can assist in reducing energy bills, complying with legislation, managing health and safety and achieving a sustainable operation. Over years, Opeque has worked with various industry sectors, from tyre manufacturing to laundries, schools to hotels and hospitals to care homes, optimising their manufacturing procedures and facilities man-

agement. Applying industrial engineering principles, we address productivity, resource efficiency, quality control, health and safety and asset management, bringing people, utilities, equipment, and buildings together to realise product excellence. We have worked with many care homes to provide laundry services and water hygiene and it is from these close relationships that we believe we can further assist your CARE HOME to reduce operating costs. Call or Email NOW: 07831 873355, email admin@opeque.com or visit www.opeque.com See the advert on page 23 for details.

Safeguard Your Care Home with InVentry Care homes are crucial for our society, so it’s important to ensure they’re a safe setting to help staff carry out the best possible care. With many family members and friends visiting their loved ones daily, InVentry is essential to track who’s entering and leaving your care home. Visitors are met with a simple signing in process and their information is stored directly in the system. This not only allows you to track who is onsite at any given time, but it ensures an even faster sign in during repeat visits. You can also ensure that the contractors you have onsite have the skills to do the job safely by asking custom questions before they sign in, with options to include documents they may need to read upon arrival, ensuring health & safety and the security of

your site is always maintained. InVentry can even help you become CQC and Care Inspectorate Compliant as our software allows you to receive star-rated feedback from those who have visited your care home. You can store this feedback within your system and note any actions taken to improve your processes and procedures! Head to our website: www.inventry.co.uk or see the advert on page 6.

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 protection 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. Visit www.cashslabels.com or see the advert on page 6.

Know What You Are Asking From Contractors After attending some recent Care Industry Conferences, it was interesting to hear how some of delegates are confident and have an understanding of the importance of Passive Fire Protection. However, many are still unsure of what is required and what they should be asking and expecting from a contractor. We recently attended a care home; the owner had commissioned a very detailed Fire Compartmentation (Passive) report but in appointing a contractor they failed to ask vital questions. When we inspected the work, it was clear to see the work was poor quality, had been incorrectly installed and large areas of work had been left incomplete. Unfortunately, the owner didn’t ask for a scope of works detailing what was going to be done and how. It should have asked how the work was going to be recorded so that they could demonstrate, if required, to local authorities or assessors at future assessments/surveys, that the work had been correctly installed. Also, they failed to check if the contractor was UKAS third party accredited. Care must be taken when appointing a contractor to complete these specialised works. As a UKAS third party accredited company, we will always make sure

we understand your requirements and that you understand the service we are going to provide. We catalogue every repair and installation, taking multiple images of each stage. The product details and how it was implemented/installed will also be recorded. When the works are completed, you will receive a detailed report of each and every item repaired, accompanied with a certificate of conformance. UK Passive Fire Solutions work with you from start to finish. Call or email today to get more information and receive your information pack; email info@ukpassivefiresolutions.co.uk or call: 01262 469872 or see the advert on page 9.

Memory Lane Games - Reminiscence Games To Trigger Positive Memories For Those Living With Dementia Hi, where are you from? Asking where someone is from is such a common opening question for a stranger and universal small talk. Where we live and where we come from is fundamental to most people’s sense of self, identity and history and perhaps that’s why it’s a powerful topic in reminiscence therapy. Reminiscence therapy involves simple techniques to help those with memory loss or dementia to recall their memories. This can improve self-esteem and provide a sense of fulfillment, improve mood and reduce agitation, all of which are so valuable in the care of those living with a condition which doesn’t have positive outcomes. It’s where the founders of Memory Lane Games started when they decided to make games for their elderly Mums to enjoy using their favourite old photographs. After quickly realising they were onto something, the Memory Lane Games app now delivers professionally curated reminiscence and speech and language activity games across a range of topics such as music, film, food, hobbies and pets. All of our games are designed to be frustration free and encourage communication and socialisation, not to test.

SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL. Beneath its simplicity the Memory Lane Games app

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

is a powerful tool. Carers, families and friends are able to enjoy interactions generated by playing the games with those in their care and can even create personalised quizzes using old family photos and create questions such as “Mum where did you go on your first holiday?" or “Where did you get married?”. In addition to our popular free app (available in the usual app stores) we serve international care home groups with a SaaS platform enabling alerts based on their residents' game play: highlighting changes in 7 clinical data sets which are all game-play related and have been established in our RCT Clinical Trial (underway). This data can be used to alert earlyinterventions needed to address potential health issues like mini-strokes or urinary tract infections for example. The benefits to users and care homes are immediately evident. Improved resident and staff wellbeing, improved quality of family visits and a differentiated care home business. If you would like to create a Memory Lane Game for your residents or to find out more about us please get in touch or download the app for FREE from the usual app stores. Helpforcarehomes@memorylanegames.com See the advert on page 4.


PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

CONTINENCE CARE Top Tips For Healthy Skin When Living with Incontinence Healthy skin is a physical barrier against the external environment. The pH balance of skin should be between 4.5 and 5.5 to discourage bacterial growth.

HOW TO ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN A NORMAL PH BALANCE: • Prevent changes to normal skin pH by cleaning up quickly after each episode of urine loss. • Choose mild skin cleansers, moisturisers and sealants. • Be aware that perspiration, in combination with continence pads and briefs, creates an extra risk factor for skin problems.

DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN CARING FOR YOUR SKIN • Always use the pads prescribed for you and make sure that they are fitted correctly • Tell your nurse if your skin is wet when you change your incontinence pad • Tell your nurse if you have eczema or psoriasis or are prone to other conditions that affect your skin • Note the condition of your skin whilst using incontinence pads • Tell your nurse if there are any changes to your skin. • This would include if your skin becomes red, sore or broken. • Tell your nurse if you are using any ointments or creams

• Wash your hands before and after changing your pad • Don’t apply ointments or creams unless prescribed by your doctor or nurse. • Don’t use talcum powder on your bottom or groin area. It can cause friction which may damage the skin and also affect how well your pad works. • Don’t wear more than one pad at a time

Important advice Oil based barrier creams may reduce the performance of the pads. If barrier creams must be used, they should be applied sparingly and only on areas that require treatment. Used products should be disposed of in the appropriate manner, they cannot be flushed down the toilet. The iD range of products is available to buy from www.id-direct.com or via Ontex - See the advert on below for details.

Help To Manage Your Incontinence Issues Independently The Bendi Bag is ideal for wheelchair users who can sometimes find toilet access difficult The Comfort Leg Bag range comes in variety of materials from velvet smooth, real cotton and flock backing The Children’s Bag with smaller capacity and proportions comes with a discreet and secure twist tap that will not open accidentally while moving, or out and about

Urinary incontinence affects millions of people in the UK. Although a widespread problem, incontinence remains a taboo topic. Embarrassment often stops people from talking about it, let alone feeling able to access products and services that can help them. So, without the correct help and support, the problem often remains unsolved, which has a negative impact on people’s lives.

COMFORTABLE AND EFFECTIVE Since 1976 Manfred Sauer have provided a range of innovative urology products to help sufferers of urinary incontinence. But unlike other providers, our products are often designed and tested by both end users and healthcare professionals to ensure effective and user-friendly solutions that work. This means your incontinence issues can be managed independently, without worrying about frequent emptying or toilet access and do not impinge on your ability to live life to the full. Read about four of our most popular product ranges, which are all available on prescription.

SHEATHS We offer 5 types of urinary sheath to facilitate the drainage of urine away from the body into a drainage bag. They are made from either latex, or synthetic materials and available in a range of sizes. We also offer skin friendly tapes, straps and adhesives, hair guards, measuring tape as well as Preventox, which cleans and protects the skin, so you are always comfortable and have the best fit possible.

IQ CATHETER

LEGBAGS We supply four main types of leg bags with varying capacities. Perfect for being outdoors, and packed full of unique features and benefits, you now have a choice when it comes to managing your incontinence issues. The shape of our Discreet Thigh Bag allows for it to be worn high up on the thigh area and can even be hidden under shorts, skirts and even swimwear

Thousands of people across the country must perform Intermittent Self-Catheterisation (ISC) to effectively empty their bladder and having something that is simple to use, soft, flexible and easy to lubricate is essential. That’s where our IQ-Cath shines, plus, new for 2022 are male/paediatric and female single-use hydrophilic catheters which are immersed in saline and ready for immediate use. Nephsys For people who have had a Nephrostomy, and tubes are already in place, our NephSys system can drastically improve their lives. As well as providing a secure and sterile solution, which consists of an adjustable, elasticated belt; drainage bags and suspenders to secure the bag to the belt in the chosen position, the system is also comfortable and discreet. For help, support and advice, call 01604 595696, email helpline@manfred-sauer.co.uk or visit www.manfred-sauer.co.uk for more information about each product, or to order a free sample.



PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Colour Activated Disinfectant Tablets Peracide is an effective and rapidly stable sporicidal disinfectant tablet that tackles the transmission of C.difficile and other HAI. Peracide is the result of many years continuous development, testing and collaboration with, Prof Peter Wilson and Dr Shanom Ali of UCHL microbiological laboratory department. The development cycle has included laboratory and onward testing to validate effectiveness and useracceptability. Peracide has been tested against C.difficile spores 027 modified BSEN 13704, MRSA, Klebsiella Pneumoniae, Modified BSEN 1276 and Norovirus EN 14675 among others. A prominent novel feature is its built-in colour indicating system that alerts the user with a change of colour of the solution when it can be used and alerts them again with a second change of colour when it cannot be used and should be discarded. Other features and benefits include the following: • Destroys C difficile 027 spores in 30 seconds • Remains active over 24 hours • Fragrant non-pungent odour

• Unaffected by organic soil • Biodegradable, non- corrosive, non- toxic • Superior cleaning property • Higher efficacy than comparable chlorine based solutions Peracide is benign; it does not present any adverse risk to the environment or the user. It can be used on porous and non-pours material; and suitable for use in trigger sprays, buckets, microfiber cloths and mops for safe disinfecting of beds, washrooms and floors, surfaces & medical equipment, computers & office equipment. PERACIDE, ward trial and Laboratory testing was performed by Environmental Laboratory at University College London Hospitals NHS foundation trust. Available via NHS Supply Chain - Product Code: Peracide 3g: MFB1002 or Peracide 6g: MFB1005 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PERACIDE INCLUDING TRIALS, TRAINING AND DEMONSTRATIONS CALL US NOW www.percacide.co.uk info@peracide.co.uk 0114 278 0222

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. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with 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.

www.percacide.co.uk info@peracide.co.uk 0114 278 0222

Win the battle on Infection

Control

With a new generation of disinfection technology 10 reasons to change to Peracide 1

Kills all known microorganisma including C. difficile spores, E. coli, MRSA, Legionella, Norovirus, Klebsiella, Influenza and many more

22

Innovative Colour Activation System

3

Greater oxidiser than Chlorine and Hydrogen Peroxide

4

Clean, disinfects and deodourises in one operation

5

Works in the presence of organic salt

6

Environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non-toxic and non-corrosive

7

Safe for use on patient mobilitiy and shared equipment

8

Non-sticky and leaves minimal residue

9

Full microbiology test report

10

Long lasting solution

Available via NHS Supply Chain Product Code Peracide 3g: MFB1002 Peracide 6g: MFB1005

MORE EFFECTIVE THAN VAPOURISED HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (VHP) & UVC


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 39

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL SEBO XP – Power with Responsibility The XP range of upright vacuum cleaners from SEBO are ideal for these health conscious times. They feature independently proven filtration, hygienic dirt disposal using sealable bags and are exceptionally quiet and light to use. Clearly, a vacuum cleaner’s number one task is to clean. The XP range harnesses the power of an onboard computer to measure performance on the floor and continuously adjust the floor head to the optimum cleaning height, completely automatically. The powerful brush action pulls the vacuum cleaner forward so that the pushing force required to manoeuvre it is close to zero, helping to make it light and easy to use for extended periods, but also giving deep cleaning performance. The integrated wand and hose mean that cleaning above the floor and reaching into awkward places is easy. The computer can also advise when the bag needs changing, or when there is a blockage, and the multiple access points and cassette style brush roller make the XP easy to maintain. Of course, once dirt is picked up, it is essential that it is retained in the vacuum cleaner and not released back into the air. The Health and Safety Executive states that we never assume that any dust is safe and that all uncontrolled dusts are potentially hazardous. Virtually all the dust and dirt which is picked up by an XP vacuum cleaner is safely trapped in the high filtration bag, which can be sealed and hygienically disposed of. The filtration of the XP has been independently tested by the DMT Test Institute in Germany to filter 99.97% of particles of 0.3 micron. Above this particle size, the filtration level is very close to 100%. Many professionally cleaned facilities operate 24/7.

M.S.B. Hygiene M.S.B. Hygiene Ltd has over 25 years experience in Water Treatment and operate throughout the UK. Our Engineers have the skills & expertise to carry out water systems risk assessment, sampling, cleaning and disinfection. Our samples are taken to UKAS accredited laboratories for testing. Certificates of disinfection and sampling are provided upon completion.

Water Treatment & Legionella Specialists

It is therefore not always possible to vacuum when no one is around. In these cases, low noise levels are imperative. Although there are regulations limiting the sound power level that a vacuum cleaner can reach, subjectively the sound generated can still be unpleasant, even where the vacuum cleaner meets the regulations. SEBO sound engineers have successfully muted the harsh frequencies to which the human ear is sensitive. This has the result that with any form of background noise, the sound from the XP virtually disappears, making it suitable in many cases for daytime cleaning. Indeed, in any situation where low noise levels are important, the XP range is ideal. Last, but not least, at SEBO we believe that vacuum cleaners should be built to last, and should be easily repairable. Our vacuum cleaners are built to be durable and reliable; to have a long service life using few replacement parts. Component parts are identified with the material they are made from, so that they can be recycled more easily when their service life is over. For more details contact commercial@sebo.co.uk

We are members of the Legionella Control Association and are CHAS (Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme) accredited We provide a highly professional but friendly service together with comprehensive & straightforward advice – we aim to be easy to do business with. We’d also like to think we are “the 4th emergency service” for your water treatment & legionella control needs. 01925 758995 enquiries@msbhygiene.com www.msbhygiene.com

• Hot & Cold domestic water services • Pipework flushing & disinfection • Tank cleaning & maintenance • Legionella risk, sampling, lab testing • Attention to individual apartments • Communal areas / toilets / showers • Restaurants / Cafés • And... Heating System flushing

01925 758995 enquiries@msbhygiene.com www.msbhygiene.com

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


PAGE 40 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL A Revolutionary Hand & Cleaning Specialists Small Object Sanitizing BioBax Acquire Aqua Air System For Care Homes EZISAN have invented a “NO TOUCH” sanitizer system in response the worldwide coronavirus pandemic to improve hygiene and assist the prevention from cross contamination. EZISAN will help to improve the process and convenience of hand sanitizing, it also reduces contamination on mobile phones, keys, credit cards and other small household items, that can be passed through the sanitizing mist.

EZISAN CAN ELIMINATE THE USE OF EXPENSIVE, MESSY AND MOSTLY IRRATATING GEL HAND SANITIZERS THE PROBLEM:- There are many issues with using WET or gel sanitisers and upon entry to many buildings, you are met with various sanitising options, usually a gel or liquid dispenser, paper towels and a bin, this often gets “messy” and needs regular topping up, cleaning and tidying. This can also be a slip hazard. Most Alcohol gel sanitizers are also known to irritate the skin, especially for regular users like NHS staff, care workers. Sufferers of eczema and other sensitive skin conditions are also well documented. The real financial cost to business and public venues are substantial, we also have to factor in the fact that staff have to maintain and replenish the current method, the man-hours wasted are a genuine cost. The Solution:- EZISAN uses a “semi dry sanitizing spray mist” to help solve many of the problems, you simply place your hands into the mist, rub them together and turn them over, this will effectively sanitize the majority of bacteria, viruses and other germs. EZISAN converts approved and certified water-based sanitizers fluids into “semi-dry spray mist” and there is no waste. These fluids are also known to be gentle to

the skin. The key solution is that it is truly “NO TOUCH” unlike most other systems. • Environmentally friendly fluids and big savings on single use plastic bottles, we estimate Ezisan saves 85% single use bottles over Alcohol Gel and 69% in cost. * or £624 per year • Designed and Manufactured in the UK with supply chain localised wherever possible, this will reduce our carbon footprint by minimising transportation. We intend to be carbon neutral by 2025. • Recyclable materials are used as much as possible, we also try to minimise plastic packaging and be environmentally aware of every aspect of the manufacturing process. See the advert below for further details.

BioBax of Skelmanthorpe, West Yorkshire has acquired Cheshire-based Aqua Air as part of a strategic move to expand its range of environment-friendly cleaning products and solutions. The acquisition follows a period of growth for BioBax with increased demand from customers looking to buy more eco-friendly products, including Zybax microbiological products and Meleco, the magic eraser. Kate Pawson and Dominic Barnes started BioBax in 2019, to develop and grow the Zybax and Meleco brands which are now 22 years old. BioBax products are manufactured in-house at their state-of-the-art facility in a rural setting in Huddersfield. “Aqua Air is the perfect partner for BioBax”, said Kate Pawson, Sales and Marketing Director, “they have very similar values to BioBax’s. I am looking forward to meeting Aqua Air’s customers and working with them over the years to come.” Aqua Air Ltd, was founded in 1994, by Barry Bladon and latterly co-owned with his son Simon. Barry has obsessively developed each one of the

Aqua Air products to respond to the specific cleaning challenges and needs of their clients, with the result that each product offers added performance relative to the competition. Each one of their Xtra range of cleaning solutions is designed, manufactured, and bottled in the UK, contains biodegradable components and packaging, and avoids harsh chemicals which can damage skin and surfaces. Barry Bladon said: “It has been key for us to join forces with a company who share our philosophy and passion for solving our customers cleaning. BioBax already have a strong reputation for the supply of environmentfriendly cleaning products and expanding the Aqua Air portfolio with a range of kitchen, hospitality and janitorial solutions and cleaning machines will mean that BioBax and Aqua Air customers will now benefit from the expanded range of world class products and service.” For further information visit www.biobax.co.uk or call 01484 868 970.

FOR ALL THE LATEST HYGIENE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR VISIT

WWW.THECARERUK.COM


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 41

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING Silent Running Tranquility in Care Homes Quiet and calm care homes ensure that residents are able to live in a more relaxing and pleasant home environment. Similarly, carers and staff find that they too benefit from reduced stress when working in a home where noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are many environmental factors that can affect those sensitive to their surroundings, particularly those suffering from dementia, these can be fluctuations in ambient temperature, light, and of course noise. Repetitive and high levels of noise can originate from a number of internal and external sources, for example, telephones ringing, loud conversations in corridors, and call bells sounding, often one of the largest contributors to increasing the levels of stress and discomfort in residents. A published study by the University of Stirling stated that unanswered Nurse Call (Call Bell) alarms can be one of the most common causes of stress in dementia sufferers. The University recommends “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate what the matter is. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to

concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are separate alarm types used depending upon the location of the call. In these circumstances, dementia sufferers and those vulnerable to noise can be located in one “zone” whist less vulnerable residents live in an alternative “zone”. Each “zone” can operate different call tones, warning lights or other methods to alert when help is required Reducing noise levels is essential to create a tranquil environment for residents. Pagers have been around for many years, are a relatively simple and cost-effective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call system. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered immediately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the residents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the positive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and more tranquil environment. For more information email us at: info@c-t.co.uk

Nurse Alert Mats Designed to combat the problem of residents who are inclined to walk undetected, the Nurse Alert Mat can help protect residents especially at night that are at risk of falls and accidents. When connected to a Nurse Call system or the mobile Floor Sentry Monitor it will then alert staff, sounding the alarm with a small amount of pressure thus enabling staff to investigate.

• Nurse Call Systems • Fire Alarm Systems • Door Access • Staff Attack • CCTV • Infection Control • Dementia Care • Electrical Contracting

In addition The Floor Pressure Mat has a heavy non slip backing, It comes professionally sealed so can easily be cleaned for liquid spills and is fully serviceable.

INCLUDES A 12 MONTH GUARANTEE

sales@lctuk.com 0800 8499 121 www.LCTUK.com

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Medpage Falls Monitoring Solutions Management Products Medpage T/A Easylink UK have manufactured and distributed fall prevention and detection products for over 25 years. We specialise in products for one-to-one care, or small groups in a Care Home or Hospital. Our systems are robust, easy to set up and use, and have a proven track record in helping to reduce falls, in domestic and professional care establishments. How can they help reduce falls? Many falls occur when a person at risk from falls leaves their bed or chair, particularly during the night. By detecting an exit from the bed or chair early a carer or guardian gains time to attend and help the person, usually preventing the fall.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE

Medpage supply a diverse range of equipment for detecting bed and chair exit. There are for example, simple bed alarms, chair alarms, or multiple use products for combining bed and chair monitoring, to allow the person to move from their bed to their chair. There are systems that use a cabled pressure mat sensor connected to an alarm controller, or pressure mat sensors with a self-contained alarm transmitter to signal a radio pager. Carer alarm notifications can be by a single or multiple user pager or alarm receiver, or an external alarm device. You can find out more on the advert on page 13 or at www.easylinkuk.co.uk/product/ product-fall-detection

Lotus Care Technology The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls. Having many years of experience in fitting and

maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit www.lctuk.com for details.

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.

Benefits include:

Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button Pager Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

TREADNOUGHT

®FLOOR SENSOR PAD

The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.

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 or visit www.fallsavers.co.uk.

FOR ALL THE LATEST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR VISIT WWW.THECARERUK.COM


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 43

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Positive Solutions Launch New eMAR Solution – HxCare Positive Solutions are set to launch an innovative, cloud-based medicines management system, HxCare, which will be showcased in October at the Care Show. Positive Solutions are the leading provider of PMR solutions to the community pharmacy sector. For 30 years their innovative software has helped automate workflows, increase efficiencies and enhance patient safety whilst many of the 2,500 pharmacy sites they support already work with care homes across the UK. It is estimated that around 80% of care homes in the UK are still using paperbased Medication Administration Records (MARs) to do their rounds. The delivery of medication in this way is prone to error as well as being cumbersome for both care homes and community pharmacies. HxCare aims to digitise workflows, reduce errors and free up care providers to spend more time delivering care to their residents. Designed to be truly mobile, HxCare will be tablet based and has been developed with significant input from care homes around the country. HxCare features will include medication and round management, scanning for booking in with automated ordering linking into a full stock management system. The team at Positive Solutions have given specific attention to extensive auditability at the click of a button whilst workflows have been designed to increase efficiency, remove errors and provide full traceability. It will offer robust reporting which will be invaluable for both CQC and Care Inspectorate purposes. Steve Russell, Positive Solutions Chief Commercial Officer comments “Critical to the product development of HxCare has been a commitment to making the user experience as intuitive and easy to use as pos-

sible. Simple menus and navigation facilitate adoption, training and roll out to care providers irrespective of their technical literacy.” HxCare also has an extensive product development roadmap and Positive Solutions are keen to involve users in shaping that roadmap with a feedback function for customer development requests. HxCare will be showcased at the Care Show at the NEC in October (stand B20) where care home owners will be able to see the product first hand and register their interest, sign up for the pilot or pre-order for launch. Steve Russell, adds “HxCare from Positive Solutions will raise the bar for healthcare technology in the sector and ushers in an exciting new era for the care home community. Positive Solutions has led the way for the last 30 years in the design, supply and management of robust patient medication record systems. Bringing that expertise and pedigree to the care home sector, those adopting HxCare can expect a product that delivers exceptional value, performance and enhanced compliance and safety standards.” “Our team have worked closely with care homes across the UK for two years to ensure that HxCare offers the functionality and benefits missing elsewhere with a strong focus on intuitive user interfaces and decluttered workflows. With an exciting roadmap of new developments already scheduled, HxCare is set to transform eMAR for years to come.” For more information on the benefits of HxCare, visit the webpage at www.positive-solutions.co.uk/hxcare/

Cloud Finance Software That is Helping Care Homes Thrive Healthcare organisations face unique challenges from cost containment and multi-entity reporting to new billing models and product offerings and a cloud-based accounting system allows you to better understand your organisation and succeed in the future. At Sage Intacct, we’re passionate about building accounting software that helps you better understand your business, maintain compliance, and succeed in the ever-evolving healthcare industry.

ciency gains, and taken departmental reporting from 10 days to 10 minutes.

BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE

TRUE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH OPEN API

As healthcare grows in complexity, so does your organisation. You’re managing multiple locations and practices, navigating changing reimbursement methods, and initiating cost reduction initiatives, while manual processes are draining your productivity. You need insight into your growing breadth of financial and operational data, and we’ve built our healthcare accounting software with you in mind. We provide compliant financials with continuous consolidation across multiple offices, practices and locations. Sage Intacct healthcare customers have increased profitability by 30% with better insight for informed decisions, realised 25% improvement in effi-

REAL-TIME VISIBILITY AND INSIGHTS Sage Intacct’s real-time reporting allows you to understand and measure performance for both financial metrics and operational outcomes. Because every transaction in the system can be tagged with dimensions, finance professionals can sort, view, filter, and report on the specific information they need. With greater insight, our healthcare customers have reduced board budget reporting from three weeks to one hour and have improved revenues by 25% without adding additional headcount. True cloud technology with open API As an innovator in the cloud space, Sage Intacct’s multi-tenant, true cloud foundation brings robust technology infrastructure to your organisation, without the high costs of managing servers. Our open API lets you connect to existing systems or those you are considering in the future. This means you can leverage key data from electronic medical records, payroll, budget, CRMs (including Salesforce), and other systems to track key performance indicators. For more information on how Sage can help your business please visit: www.sage.com/en-gb/cp/intacct-carehomes/


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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE 10 Reasons To Go Digital With Electronic Care Planning and Medication (eMAR) Systems TIME More time to care Carers never have enough time to care but going digital can provide more. There are so many time-consuming tasks such as writing care notes, completing paper assessments, filling in charts, preparing handovers, and countless other administrative tasks. Going digital can automate many of these tasks and enable recording care interactions in real-time, ensuring nothing is left undocumented and saving time that can be better spent providing care.

CONTROL Better Control Controlling paper-based systems can be an onerous job. It generates reams of paper that can easily be lost, copied, and, potentially, fall into the wrong hands. Digital care systems are safe and accessible, maintaining the security and confidentiality of your data. This is difficult to achieve with paper because sensitive information must be locked away when not in use per GDPR. Furthermore, digital allows you to determine who can access and what via permission controls. Staff only see what they need to see based on their role. AutumnCare has a number of tools that assist in maintaining security and confidentiality, including this lock screen functionality for use in medication administration rounds!

PROTECTION Protect your business Social care is a highly regulated industry and going digital can help you safeguard your business. With multiple regulatory bodies, such as the CQC, CIW, Care Inspectorate, RQIW, Local Authorities and Safeguarding Teams, not to mention families and the justice system. Any of whom can make enquiries or perform inspections at any time and without notice. Going digital makes it easy and efficient to evidence the quality of care you provide. In addition, as a digital system has a complete audit trail, you can be assured the information you are providing is accurate and complete.

and confidential waste bin collection. These costs all add up very quickly and are enhanced by the savings in the administrative overhead. Furthermore, going digital reduces paper use and the carbon footprint of regular deliveries. Therefore, going digital can help you become more environmentally friendly.

RISK Reduced risk Manual systems carry many risks. It is challenging to manage, analyse and keep data and there is a lack of security. Going digital with your care planning and eMAR can significantly reduce your risk. Using inbuilt alerts ensures that nothing is missed, whether that’s a care plan change or a fall report. Using an eMAR will help reduce medication errors and ensure that the 6 Rs are always met. Going digital also allows the collection of data at the point of care, which can be analysed to identify trends and risks, and demonstrate corrective action. AutumnCare Mobile allows staff to perform clinical assessments and capture notes at the point of care for increased accuracy and care recipient involvement.

RETENTION Improve staff retention Staff recruitment and retention remain long-standing challenges for the care sector, and many factors contribute to the successful retention of staff. Morale is a crucial factor in retaining staff. Using electronic care systems to change the focus from the administration to the delivery of care helps stage engage more with service users. Additionally, providing smart tools like care planning and eMAR software to reduce the administrative burden will decrease staff stress.

QUALITY Improved quality of care

COSTS Costs and environment

With pre-built assessments covering all aspects of health, you can get to know your service users intimately. But it’s not just health; other characteristics such as emotion, likes/dislikes and how they correspond to a wide range of activities can be recorded. Because any changes can be affected at the point of care, updates become a true reflection of the care (rather than a delayed update at the end of a long shift). This information is then easily accessible by other system users, supporting a personalised care experience.

The most considerable cost saving that going digital can provide is time. While the amount of time saved will vary between service types and roles, this alone makes going digital worthwhile. Additional cost benefits include savings on printing, paper, stationary

While the delivery of person-centred care is paramount, care providers must also provide evidence of the care they deliver, and regulatory bodies

EVIDENCE Demonstrate quality of care delivery

actively encourage the use of technology. For example, the CQC states that the care provider should look to embrace technology that helps monitor care delivery. During an inspection, under the Effective key line of enquiry (KLOE), question E1.3 asks How is technology and equipment used to enhance effective care and treatment delivery and support people’s independence? Digital care plans are the best way to achieve this!

VISIBILITY Improved visibility Electronic care systems ensure that managers have real-time access to notes and information to instantly understand the care provided and help identify changes that need to be made to improve the quality of care. On an electronic care system, it is much easier to see what is going on if you are contacted out of hours or on the go. A digital system allows you to log in remotely to see what has been happening across the entire care service at a glance. AutumnCare contains a customisable Dashboard to provide Managers with a snapshot of what is occurring across the care service at any point in time.

USERS Happier service users Last, and by no means least, going digital can make your service users happier. Digital systems enable you to spend more time caring and less time on administration. There are benefits to happy service users, including positive reviews from family and friends, which may help grow your service.

WONDERING HOW TO GO DIGITAL? If you’re unsure of how to get started in your digital transformation, AutumnCare can help! AutumnCare provides specialist digital care planning and eMAR software, enabling providers to migrate to a digital system and providing the foundations for outstanding care. We can walk you through what is required step by step, as well as provide training and support every step of the way. To realise all of the benefits above, plus many more, get in touch with us today. Contact Chris Sharman Email c.sharman@autumn.care Call 0800 009 2121 Website uk.autumn.care


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 45

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Predictive Technology, Can It Really Help Reduce Care Costs? Article supplied by Karantis360 (www.karantis360.com) Unlike NHS healthcare, adult social care in England isn’t free. While some of our loved ones will be eligible for local authority support when they’re older, others won’t qualify, or you may feel they need more care than they’re offered. It’s no secret that we’re all living longer. In 10 years’ time, the number of people aged over 85 will have risen by nearly half in England alone, and the population of 65- to 84-year-olds will have increased by more than a quarter over the same period. Therefore, covering the cost of care for our parents or other family members is a growing concern. While we can’t predict what the future holds, we all want those we love, or even ourselves, to have access to the care we need to live well in later life. Being able to plan ahead for this means getting to grips with typical home care costs and nursing fees, as well as understanding how local authorities assess needs. As anyone who has had to navigate the social care system will already know, it’s a daunting task and isn’t always straightforward – and things are set to change when a new cap on the cost of care paid over a lifetime comes into force in 2023, in turn, additional hurdles are likely to occur. Helen Dempster, Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of Karantis360 discusses this concerning topic further.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS The challenge associated with supporting and funding the care for an ageing population continues to escalate. According to Age UK, the numbers of people aged 85+ in England increased by almost a third over the last decade and will more than double over the next two decades. And these people need care and support; by their late 80s, more than one in three people will have difficulties undertaking five or more tasks of daily living unaided, and between a quarter and a half of the 85+ age group are frail. With current care services under extraordinary strain, it is estimated that 1 in 8 people are caring for loved ones, many with increasingly complex needs – and this number will continue to increase, creating huge financial and mental stress for often geographical distant family members.

Combine that with the implications stress has on family members, quite often their health decreases and the dual cost therefore on the NHS. Of course, most people don’t want to go into a care home; according to Age UK, 97% of the population would like to receive care in their own home. But the funding gap in social care – predicted by the Local Government Association to reach £3.5 billion by 2025 – is creating a devastating knock on effect on the NHS, with thousands of elderly patients stuck in hospital when they are well enough to go home because there is nobody to look after them. With the cost of delayed discharges now at almost £290 million per year, the Chief Executive of the Health Service, Amanda Pritchard, said that “despite the delays of discharges, the priority is to tackle backlogs that have inevitably built up in the face of rising Covid infections.”

REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION One of the most fundamental roles that technology must play in the

future is to enable carers to undertake their primary function – care! This means minimising the admin burden they face and instead, releasing carers to spend more time with VIP’s. This stretched resource is under huge pressure to meet escalating care needs, and yet carers are still compelled to spend upwards of 20 minutes in a 30 minute patient visit filling in manual forms. In addition to the sheer waste of essential, one-to-one patient time, this paper-based information is simply not stored in a way that enables easy sharing with other stakeholders, from other carers to health providers and family members. Technology has a huge role to play in improving the quality and personal aspect of care – Imagine being armed with real time data to ask the right questions and ensure the VIP receives the right type of care on your visit. Data can play a huge role in the quality of care; data insights give you historic information which helps but real time data with predictive and preventive capabilities is where we need to be aiming. With the adoption of easy-to-use apps proven to reduce the administrative time spent by up to 75%. Combining a simple user interface with voice recognition, an app not only minimises the admin burden, but also makes it easy for carers to record more personal patient information – such as patient mood, important dates including birthdays or the anniversary of a spouse’s death – which can then support a far more personal care experience. In addition, this technology ensures the carer’s report is automatically shared not only with the local authorities and/or care agency, but with the individual’s family members, addressing one of the huge causes of stress for those tasked with overseeing the care of a loved one – stress that often leads to time off work or ill health. In this way, the traditional challenges of information sharing between agencies can be overcome and ensure the most up to date medical and personal facts are always available to those who need them.

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Care Control - Care Home Software You Can Rely On Developed by an award-winning care home in Devon, our unique software for care homes provides a modern and highly effective solution for nursing homes and care organisations. Delivering an all-in-one solution, our care planning software is used by more than 30,000 carers in the UK daily. A proven success in both nursing and residential home settings, we aim to help your care home deliver the best

care possible – efficiently, simply, and cost-effectively. Our software modernises your office processes and completely digitises your paperwork and care plans. If you’d like to learn more about how our care management software could benefit your business, please call us on 01822 738100 to speak with a member of the Care Control team and book your personalised demo today!


PAGE 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Predictive Technology, Can It Really Help Reduce Care Costs? (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) SUPPORTIVE TECHNOLOGY If these innovative solutions are combined with IoT-based sensors, the care ecosystem can be extended to provide a 24-hour safeguarding service. Using AI-powered tools, carers can track habitual behaviour and spot changes in real time, allowing them to intervene when it is needed - thus alleviating the burden on caregivers and families alike. Its real-time nature provides a platform for the complete digitisation of healthcare, bringing together local authorities, healthcare providers, NHS Trusts, ICS’s, general practitioners, registered nurses, and care homes. Real-time, accurate information will not only make the social care model more transparent by including family members but will also enable it to

become preventive as opposed to reactive. And, the smart use of technology means organisations have a chance to rethink the way care is delivered, better matching care to specific patient needs. Would a patient be better served by shorter daily sessions plus continuous monitoring? With a 24x7 system that monitors and picks up abnormal behaviour, the care ecosystem has a chance to operate in a very different, preventive and personal manner whilst alleviating the pressure of carers to be there physically.

CONCLUSION From releasing beds to the pressure on carers and the extended family, it’s time to tackle the social care ecosystem in its entirety. We cannot keep using the NHS as an expensive care home. Technology is now

Staff Retention in the Care Industry Staff retention is a significant challenge in the care sector – making it even harder for the existing workforce to keep up with the ever-growing demand. Skills for Care predicted that by 2035 the care workforce will need to increase by a minimum of a third, to keep up with the ageing population and demand for new carers. In the same report, it was estimated that staff turnover within social care is 30.4%. To put this into perspective, approximately 23% of independent sector workers have a turnover rate of less than 10%. This prominent level of shift indicates that organisations within the care sector are struggling to find and retain suitable candidates. Working in care comes with many challenges, and an insufficient number of workers within the industry creates problems for both service users, workers, and organisations. Ongoing issues within the sector have meant that care providers have needed to adopt a range of new strategies to support and retain their employees. Technology, especially over the COVID-19 outbreak, has proven to be extremely successful within the healthcare industry. It has shown how embracing paperless methods can improve organisation, boost work ethics and morals, encourage communication, and reduce the number of hours completing admin.

THE IMPACT OF STAFF TURNOVER

Intelligent Care Software (ICS) If you are looking for a care management system which answers all of your quality, monitoring and compliance needs, then looks no further than Care is. Care is provides the intelligent software solution for care home and domiciliary care managers and owners looking to roll all of their care and management functions into one electronic platform. We know this to be true because unlike some other CMS’s Care is was conceived, designed, built and is managed by nurses, registered managers and care home owners.

advanced, user friendly and cost effective enough to make a real difference. People want to stay in their own home and it is widely believed they are healthier and happier in that familiar environment. By leveraging technology, carers are equipped to provide an increasingly personalised care experience - and minimise the administrative burden; while family members are relieved to have immediate information on their loved one's health and well-being. And, the technology makes financial sense: for local authorities, enabling just a handful of individuals to remain safely and happily at home, rather than in a care facility, justifies the investment in new technology; while for the NHS, the ability to address bed availability will unleash vast resources. What is truly exciting is that this is just the start; from IoT to AI we now have the chance to better understand patient activity, to intervene early, even predict potential problems, to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and allow more patients to stay safely at home for longer.

High staff turnover can be incremental to an organisation’s service and reputation. It can lead to lower levels of patient satisfaction, increase the number of risks to both employees and service users, and make meeting CQC (Care Quality Commission) and Care Inspectorate standards even more challenging. The care industry is extremely valuable to our economy, contributing over £50 bn to the UK economy and equating to 5% of all employment. It is vital for the wellbeing of our ever-growing and ageing population that the high turnover rate is minimised. In addition, a high staff turnover means there needs to be a larger investment in recruiting, training, and retaining quality employees. But how can technology help take some of the pressures off both providers and employees?

HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY ASSIST? Useful technology, like Radar Healthcare can assist staff turnover issues by increasing efficiency and boosting morale. Radar Healthcare partner, ECL said: ‘By streamlining the compliments logging process, the number of compliments logged rose from 9 per year to 1,500 per year! Being able to communicate this level of engagement from our service users has had a hugely positive effect on morale and encouraged our team to always strive for better performance.’ Maintaining and tracking records of employees’ training, appraisals, supervisions, and compliance requirements shows that an organisation values their individual workers and is invested in supporting and retaining them. Technology can also significantly alleviate the daily administrative pressures faced by those working in the care sector, as one partner of Radar Healthcare said: ‘Our evolution of health and safety and quality wouldn’t have happened without Radar Healthcare. We haven’t grown our team, yet we’re doing about 60% more than we’ve ever done before thanks to the software.’ www.radarhealthcare.com

The ‘CARE is’ suite includes care and support, care planning platform, our policy app with over 200 high quality policies which are updated regularly and which also includes our supervision, appraisals and training record apps and our audit app which templates all the essential audits and includes a record of inspection visits. At Care is we can get you started on your journey from paper or another care management system with minimum fuss, plenty of support and all for what we believe to be good value for money. With eMAR, mandatory training and a complementary care certificate coming in 2022, there has never been a better time to get on board. https://careis.net



PAGE 48 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Peace of Mind is One Thing - Security is Another Sign up today at https://bit.ly/3OeaXKj

In these challenging times threats to care workers / healthcare professionals has increased. Fuelled by frustration of not being able to have in person appointments or having to wait an ‘eternity’ for a consultation, attacks on staff are sadly becoming more frequent. In these situations urgent assistance is critical and the systems used have to be quick, secure and reliable. KAM Systems have developed a range of solutions that can be easily adapted to suit GP Surgeries, Health Centres, A&E, Rehab Clinics and other Care Settings. These can be quickly and easily implemented from a simple push button on the wall to a Pager with built in attack alarm & location. Harpal Momi - Managing Director of KAM Systems says, “It is a sad reflection of the current times that

care staff are being threatened and in some cases attacked. The solution we provide is completely wireless and can be installed quickly, with minimum of disruption. Staff using the system are reassured and have peace of mind that help is always on hand.” Anti Vandal / Anti Ligature Call Points make them suitable for mental health environments. The Pager has multiple alarms, push button, rip cord, tilt and is waterproof. Once an alarm is initiated, within a few seconds a message can be discretely delivered to colleagues so that they can respond. The message will contain the exact location of where assistance is required. All alarm activity is logged for audit purposes. Call today on 0330 321 1040, visit www.kamsystems.co.uk, email sales@kamsystems.co.uk or see the advert on page 11.

Fife Firm Unveil New Staff Safety Alarms As Violence In Healthcare Settings Surges A family-owned business in Fife has announced significant upgrades to its award-winning staff safety systems, which can be found in all NHS healthcare Trusts across the UK as well as Ireland and the US. Pinpoint, the leading provider of staff safety systems, was initially set up to address increasing rates of violence toward hospital workers which had an impact on staff morale, absenteeism, and retention. The business, which employs 43 people, many at its HQ in Leven, Fife, is marking its 30thyear in business by releasing a major upgrade to its security technology. The advancements will provide even greater protection for healthcare staff working in a variety of high-risk settings, including hospitals, mental health facilities and correctional facilities. The launch of P2 comes at a critical time for the healthcare sector. A 2022 YouGov survey found that 67% of healthcare workers experienced physical abuse in the last 12 months, while 20% reported being subject to violence once a week. Hospital staff need advanced, reliable, and effective security solutions to meet their complex needs.

Daniel Waring, CEO of Pinpoint, said: “Over the last 30 years, we have continued to develop and enhance our systems to ensure we deliver the very best results for the workers who need it most. I am incredibly proud to be able to launch the P2 System on our 30th anniversary” More information about the new collection can be found on Pinpoint’s website at www.pinpointlimited.com



PAGE 50 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

W&P Training W&P Training supply comprehensive sets of CQC care policies and procedures that are personalised to your business. Whether it’s Residential Care Homes, Domiciliary Homecare, Nursing Homes, Learning Disabilities or Supported Living – We cover it all.

RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME POLICIES Are Your Current Policies Up To Date? There have been many recent changes to employment law, vaccinations, covid-19 guidance plus the CQC’s new strategy and regulatory approach. W&P’s team track these changes for you to ensure customers receive up to date CQC compliant documents.

DOMILICIARY HOMECARE POLICIES Over 130 comprehensive Domiciliary Care Policies and Procedures for Homecare / Domiciliary Based Services that are researched and written to meet all the CQC regulatory, legislative and good practice guidance within the Health and Social Care sector.

Skills, Knowledge, and Confidence Delivered Online Covid19 reminded us all just how important the NHS and care home staff are to our society. We are grateful for their hard work and bravery, and feel honoured to support them through our Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. Working in the care sector is certainly demanding, so our objective is to make it convenient and straightforward for workers to upskill and acquire confidence in the process. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their

progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to equip staff with highly-relevant skills and knowledge so they can tackle new challenges or progress in their career. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and spread of infection’ and ‘Infection control and prevention’ – were very popular during the pandemic. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager, or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on info@lasersys.co.uk or +44 (0)1753 584 112.

CLINICAL PROCEDURES FOR NURSING HOMES CQC compliance for new and established Nursing Homes. W&P’s clinical procedures include 70 comprehensive and upto-date documents for your nursing home. These clinical procedures complement our full set of Care Home Policies and Procedures.

SUPORTED LIVING / LEARNING DISABILITIES POLICIES Designed for Supported Living and Domiciliary providers that deliver CQC regulated activities to adults with Learning Disabilities and/ or Autism. W&P’s Policies and Procedures for Supported Living Services will assist with your CQC compliance. Looking for Supported living Policies with NO Personal Care? Visit https://www.wandptraining.co.uk/policies-and-procedures/non-registered-care-policies/ W&P’s policy and compliance team are constantly scanning and reviewing all the statutory websites and regulatory publications to track the very latest developments in the Health & Social Care Sector. Policies and Procedures are updated every 4 months or immediately if there is a critical change to regulation, good practice guidance, case law outcomes or just feedback from customers. To find out more about what we offer go to www.wandptraining.co.uk or see the advert on page 2.

Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate? So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

So why choose Step Up Training and Care?

It can be tempting to think that once the Care Certificate has been achieved it’s the end of training. The Care Certificate can demonstrate that staff have the minimum level of required training. Training to Level 2 and beyond will therefore improve abilities to cope with the challenges presented by working in a difficult sector. Obviously one of the most significant challenges was dealing with Covid but there will be new and different challenges ahead However, it is the clients who will benefit from the improvement that additional training will bring. Whilst these may include advances in the treatment of dementia, or changes to the legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with.

We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 9-5 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning programmes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : info@stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 51

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Staff-Short Care Firms Have No Time For Training Connect2Care’s latest research shows how misconceptions around apprenticeships could be impacting their potential to fix industry-wide staff retention problems Following the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 – when employees around the UK left their jobs in record numbers – a new survey has revealed that 100% of care managers continue to find it hard to retain staff. Yet while almost 90% believe that further training investment would help with recruitment and retention, less than 40% of care businesses offer apprenticeships to staff at all levels. Over a third have been deterred from offering training opportunities for new and existing employees due to the time investment needed. A further 37.5% of care managers are put off by the risk that an employee would leave after completing their training, even though more than 90% of people working in the sector have said they would be more likely to stay in a role if their employer invested in their training from the outset. Commenting on the research, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at Connect2Care, said: “Since the pandemic began, staff shortages have been rife across a wide range of sectors, culminating in the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021. And the care sector is among the hardest hit. “Yet while most care operators see the value in training when it comes to attracting and retaining staff, too many believe they don’t have the time to invest in this. But with the sector continuing to strug-

unlock skills quickly and fast-track staff into positions where they can make a real impact. New flexible training models under consideration by the Government are set to make this process even quicker. For example, front-loaded training will be invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and operate efficiently for their employers from the very beginning.” The study showed that most care operators are interested in flexible training options, with 75% of employers in the sector saying they would consider front-loaded training to help speed-up the process. Over 90% of employees in the field would be more willing to start an apprenticeship or training course if they could condense learning into a shorter period. Connect2Care has released a toolkit answering common questions about apprenticeships, with advice on how businesses can maximise them through flexible training options. gle with staff shortages, they can’t afford not to. “As well as playing a role in attracting and retaining valuable team members, apprenticeships have always been one of the best ways to

Find out which apprenticeship pathway will work best for your business with Connect2Care’s See the Opportunity toolkit, which can be downloaded for free. Visit https://connect2care.net/resources/see-the-opportunity/

Workforce Challenge - The Eden Alternative – A Modern, Proven Model of Care for Staff and Resident Wellbeing WHY DO THIS? The Eden model, is built on what people say they want, in a Home or a workplace, which therefore attracts residents and team members alike. As an Eden Home builds its reputation upon the quality of life it offers to the people that reside there, it follows that occupancy improves. As a programme that empowers staff and focuses on their wellbeing, It follows that staff retention improves. With a positive culture, a motivated and dedicated workforce, It follows that positive innovation becomes more possible, sustainable and continuous.

When demand for services increase, it follows that viability improves. As a cohesive cultural progression programme, it follows that innovation, modernisation and positivity increase. The model is efficient, cost effective and the training is delivered by experienced practitioners in Care Homes. Homes are very busy places, and the programme is therefore run on line for 1 hour per week for 6 weeks, and people can do this at work or at home. The 6 weekly sessions are run online, with a workbook, with links for further optional reading or viewing and should not be a burden to busy Homes, teams and managers. It is however effective. You can try without obligation.

It is designed to make business sense to providers. It is designed to enhance viability. It is designed to support recruitment and retention. It is designed to motivate Care teams and is open to any individual to add their CV.

WHAT IS IT. It is a training programme which leads to accreditation and focuses in detail on 7 domains of wellbeing, 10 principles, and is particularly designed to address instances of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Geoffrey Cox The Eden Alternative Call today on 01626 868192 or visit www.eden-alternative.co.uk

STEP UP Training and Care At Step Up Training and Care we offer:

An inspiring approach to care As experienced Care Home practitioners we provide training to care home teams in sustainable innovation and positive leadership that empowers people to embed companionship, partnership working and vibrancy to build enriched quality of life into care homes. Develop a culture of care with wellbeing and positive relationships at its heart, with our 6 week online training programme. Discover how to replace loneliness, helplessness and boredom with wellbeing, companionship, and meaningful activities, in just one hour of training a week. Validated Eden Alternative associates can benefit from continuing support from our expert team.

Sign up today and join the care evolution

Call today on 01626 868192 or visit www.eden-alternative.co.uk

• Tailored learning journeys and programmes • A flexible blended approach of one to one, in-house, classroom, practical assignments and online assessment methods • Training that will lead to higher quality of care delivery • Training led by tutors and assessors who are specialists in health and social care • Level 3 diplomas that are accredited to Highfield Qualifications

T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : info@stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk


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PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT Why Equipping Returning Adult Learners With The Skills They Need To Enter The Social Care Sector Is The Best Solution To The Recruitment Crisis By Jonny Rees, Head of Professional Development at the College Development Network (www.cdn.ac.uk) MOTIVATED BY COMPASSION

The size of the skills gap in the care sector is startling – Skills Development Scotland estimates that 17,100 roles will need to be filled by 2024, while Skills for Care’s latest figures reveal that there are an average of 105,000 job vacancies on any given day in England. Filling that gap means the care sector needs to cast its net far and wide to find recruits. Attracting the attention and interest of school leavers, and ensuring their parents are informed about the rewarding and potentially life-long career that can be forged in caring is indeed a valuable use of resources. Young people are a recognised and important stream of talent and skills for the sector. However, it is essential that the care sector taps into the pool of adults who are either considering, or are in the process of, returning to education. They include people who may have left the workforce to start a family, people who have been sick or injured but have now recovered, or simply people who did not get the chance to study at college earlier in their lives and now want to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to start a new career. To help address the skills gap, Scotland’s further education colleges, with the help of Scotland’s national college skills agency, the College Development Network (CDN) recently developed and launched the “Introduction to a Career in Social Care” course, which can now be studied at 18 of Scotland’s 24 colleges.

MIXING THEORY AND PRACTICE Colleges work hard to tailor their courses to fit employers’ needs. Today, courses include plenty of case studies, site visits, and extended work experience placements, so that students understand the roles within the care sector, which will help to reduce turnover and increase retention in the long run, helping to address the skills gap.

Adults returning to education can bring a wealth of skills and experience to roles within the care sector. Often, they’re motivated by their own experiences of care, whether it’s having been cared for themselves or having seen the high-quality support that relatives or friends have received. Just like young people who enter college care courses straight from school, adults returning to education want to give something back to their communities. The pandemic has shone an even brighter spotlight on why it’s important to have a strong care sector.

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER Having a mix of adults and young people in classrooms can change the dynamics of a course in very positive ways too. You can’t teach life experience, and so adults regularly act as mentors to school leavers often in an adhoc, informal manner, while young people – without falling into stereotypes here – will often help their older classmates with the digital skills that have become so important in so many roles within care homes and clients’ houses. Recruiting adults isn’t about simply filling the void in entry-level jobs. Instead, adults will often bring with them experience from supervisory or management roles within their previous careers, helping to fill skills gaps at all levels throughout the care sector.

DEVELOPING LIFE-LONG LEARNING College lecturers can walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk because they’ve usually worked within the care sector. That means they have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to help to develop the courses that care providers need to train their staff at all levels throughout their careers, helping businesses to “grow their own” recruits. Being anchor institutions within their communities means that colleges are ideally placed to help fill the skills gap within the care sector. And adults returning to education are a key part of that mission.

Care Control - All-in-One Recruitment System Here at Care Control, we are empowering customers to execute a more structured hiring process to improve efficiencies and overcome the challenges that recruitment presents. By using our all-in-one recruitment module organisations will be able to clearly evidence to regulatory bodies their full recruitment process.

Never lose track of a candidate again! Seamlessly track candidate interaction, as well as request references and complete full DBS checks - all stored within your candidate’s profile.

CANDIDATE AUTOMATION Automate the entire hiring journey. Easy to use tools such as interview schedules and onboarding workflows enable you to improve processes, reduce timeto-hire and greatly enhance the candidate experience. There’s more! Your new employees’ profile will automatically be created on your Care Control hub!

JOB APPLICATION BUILDER Save time and build your own job application with Care Control’s custom form builder and store templates ready for the next vacancy.

TALENT POOLS Fill roles faster by streamlining the hiring process of all your talent pools. Become more efficient as processes are automated. Gain greater visibility of available talent across all vacancies with our simple scoring system.

SMART SCREENING

EASY SHARING Increase your job exposure and attract the best candidates. With one click, post your job on our very own integrated careers website, FindMeACareJob.co.uk You can even share your application form on multiple job boards, social media channels and your website. No more copy/pasting job specs! If you’d like to learn more about how our recruitment module could benefit your business, please call us on 01822 738100 to speak with a member of the Care Control team.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110 | PAGE 53

PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT

In Dire Need Of Experienced Health Care Assistant, Senior Carer Or A Nurse? JJ Recruitment has the large database of well qualified applicants with experience in the healthcare industry, such as health care assistants, senior carers, and nurses from overseas. We also have an expert team of solicitors for the necessary legal proceedings and advices.

WHY JJ?

• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 808227 www.jjcarerecruitment.co.uk admin@jjrecruitment.co.uk

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 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

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


PAGE 54 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 110

PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT Are You A Care Home Owner with Staff Vacancies?

ARE YOU A CARE HOME OWNER WITH STAFF VACANCIES?

GET IN TOUCH NOW! Apply for a sponsor licence allowing you to employ foreign workers

Fill your staff vacancies with skilled foreign workers

Switch your part time foreign student employees into full time work permit holders Let us help you to navigate your recruitment and immigration needs

We have access to skilled workers already in the UK ready to be employed by you.

CONTACT US: 020 8571 6889 0121 525 8899 INFO@GLSSOLICITORS.CO.UK WWW.GLSSOLICITORS.CO.UK

As recently highlighted in the media there are currently over 100,000 vacant roles in the care sector. Some 78% of providers who responded to the exclusive survey, carried out by the ITV News in conjunction with the UK Homecare Association said recruiting carers is the hardest it has ever been. Many describe being at a “breaking point”. Out of the respondents, 95% said they are unable to take on all the new clients in need of their help. 2 years ago a relative of my friend with care homes in Lincolnshire came to see me. He knew I was an immigration lawyer. He was distraught and on the verge of packing it all in. The issues? ’We can’t find the workers’….’nobody wants to work full time as they will lose their tax credits’….’the British workforce are just not interested’…’nobody wants to relocate to the sticks to work for us’… His plea “Harjap help me”….my solution? ‘have you thought about recruiting foreign workers? Or students already in the UK who are already working part time in the sector?’….he did it…and today his staffing problems have been solved… So how do we go about doing it? The UK Immigration system can be complex but with the right guidance can be navigated to benefit the care sector. In order to recruit foreign skilled workers, whether they are already within the UK or directly abroad, your company needs to be regulated by the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration). This involves being licenced by the UKVI so that your business can successfully recruit foreign workers without fear of being fined or breaching any immigration rules set by the UK governments stringent policies. Many potential employees are already within the UK on various types of visas however, and may already be

working part time (20 hours a week) for you, in order to work for you they would need to be successfully sponsored by your company through your sponsor licence. This would involve making a complex application to the UKVI and in essence asking them for permission for you to employ the worker full time. Once permission is granted, you then have the benefit of a full time employee tied down exclusively to your company for at least a 5-year period. This is often referred to as a ‘Work Permit’. If you wish to employee multiple foreign workers then we would need to convince the Home Office to grant you an appropriate allocation under the terms of your licence. Under this licence you can also recruit carers and nurses from abroad. The solution to current staffing crisis is clearly to recruit foreign workers and it is not as daunting as people often make out. There are many specialist firms of lawyers who can do the whole process for you and you can also save on hefty recruitment fees of employment agencies. If you urgently need staff then you should definitely consider applying for a UKVI sponsor licence in order to employ qualified foreign workers and help your business grow. No business should be turning away / down work due to a staffing problem which has a solution. Harjap Singh Bhangal is a Director at Immigration Specialist firm GLS Solicitors (Global Legal Solutions) and is often seen on Sky News, BBC News, and is referred to as the “Immigration Guru”. CONTACT US: 020 8571 6889 0121 525 8899 info@glssolicitors.co.uk www.glssolicitors.co.uk

National Minimum Wage and Working Time: The Legal Issues By Tom Draper, Employment Partner at Freeths (www.freeths.co.uk) Buckle in for a whistle-stop tour of some of the current employment law considerations businesses in the care sector are grappling with, including some tips on how to avoid an HMRC National Minimum Wage investigation and your obligations to your workers in respect of their working hours. With ongoing staffing shortages in care homes there is a heightened risk that workers will be working extra hours to ensure that residents and vulnerable service users cared for properly. This creates legal risks for employers regarding payment of the national minimum wage and under the Working Time Regulations. National Minimum Wage (NMW): One glance at the current news headlines is enough to see the ongoing issue of the disparity between wages and the cost of living. However, little attention has been given to the substantial rise in the NMW which came in April or the cost and risks this may cause employers. For those aged 23 & over NMW now sits at £9.50 per hour. This means that the NMW does not only cause concern for employers in relation to hourly paid workers now anyone engaged on a salary of around £20,000-£24,000 who is regularly working extra hours could now pose an NMW risk. Workers need to receive the NMW for each pay period they work meaning that if they are paid weekly, they need to receive at least NMW for all the hours they work each week. All hours worked in addition to a worker’s contracted hours will be considered when calculating if NMW has been paid so it only takes a few additional hours to cause problems. STEPS TO MITIGATE RISK: • Identify workers whose salaries are close to NMW; • keep a record of hours worked for all employees, this is a legal obligation and would need to be provided if HMRC ever come calling; • each pay period, whether that be weekly or monthly, consider the hours worked by the workers in question

and calculate whether it sits above NMW. • include deductions made from salaries for things like uniform or training as these can inadvertently reduce a worker’s salary below NMW. The NMW regulations are complex so you should and always take professional advice if you are unsure about how to calculate the NMW. Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR): Unhelpfully there is a different legal definition or “time worked” under the NMW regulation and “working time” under the WTR. The key difference is that the definition of working time for WTR purposes is wider. Working time for WTR includes time where the employee is at the employer’s disposal, such as where a worker is on call if the worker must be at a set location, such as the workplace. Under the WTR employers must ensure that their workers are provided with the following rest breaks: • at least 20 minutes when working more than six hours a day; • 11 hours’ uninterrupted rest per day; and • 24 hours’ uninterrupted rest per week (or 48 hours’ uninterrupted rest per fortnight) Employers must also take all reasonable steps to ensure average working time does not exceed 48 hours per week (judged over a 17-week reference period) and there are heightened obligations for night workers. While employers are able to agree an opt out from the 48-hour working week, if a worker is regularly working over 48 hours per week then it could cause concerns that the worker is not receiving adequate rest breaks under the WTR. With workers often being asked to work longer hours due to the current labour shortage in the sector it is sensible for employers to have renewed focus on these issues.