The Carer Digital - Issue #172

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




Issue 172

Anger as Autumn Statement Leaves Social Care “Left Out in the Cold”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement has once again left questions unanswered with many social care providers accusing the government of leaving adult social care “out in the cold” and the sector facing an uncertain future. The only mention of social care in Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement was to “reaffirm” the commitments made at the 2022 statement, when the Government

pledged to make available up to £14.1 billion for the NHS and adult social care. Age UK noted the 2019 pledge by then-prime minister Boris Johnson to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” and said Wednesday’s statement was “a reminder of how desperately short the Government has fallen”.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! There was, in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's recent Autumn Statement, a conspicuous absence of any substantive mention of adult social care, which has, understandably, left the sector in a state of uncertainty. While the Chancellor did take a moment to "reaffirm" commitments made in 2022, the lack of new pledges raises concerns about the government's commitment to addressing the pressing issues facing the adult social care system, as highlighted in our lead story. One notable omission was the absence of a comprehensive strategy to support care providers Editor grappling with the forthcoming increase in the national living wage. Nobody denies that co-workers often described as unsung heroes deserve better remuneration and any responsible employer endeavours to pay the best possible wages to the staff. However, it is “all well and good” raising the minimum living wage when somebody else has to foot the bill. There was no mention whatsoever of where this additional cost to labour will come from. The Chancellor's silence on this matter leaves care providers in a precarious position, as the rising costs associated with staff wages are set to impact the already strained budgets of care homes and service providers. Without adequate government support, the viability of many care services hangs in the balance. Equally disconcerting is the failure to allocate additional funding to local government associations, which play a pivotal role in coordinating and delivering adult social care services. The ripple effect of insufficient funding will undoubtedly be felt at the grassroots level, affecting the quality and accessibility of care services across the nation. As you’ll see in our lead story Industry organizations throughout the sector have expressed their disappointment at the lack of concrete commitments in the Autumn Statement. Their concerns echo the sentiments of many within the sector, emphasizing the urgent need for a comprehensive and sustainable funding solution to safeguard the future of adult social care. Moreover, the silence on investment in the care sector is a missed opportunity to unlock the tremendous growth potential emerging in the field of technology in care. With the right support, the integration of innovative technologies could enhance efficiency, improve patient outcomes, and elevate the overall quality of care services. A more positive narrative could have emerged from the Autumn Statement, with investment in the care sector creating a domino effect of opportunities. Increased funding would not only support the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, but also open

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avenues for apprenticeships and the professional development of the care workforce. As

EDITOR Peter Adams

the demand for care services continues to rise, such investments are not only prudent,


but imperative for the sustainable growth of the sector.

Sylvia Mawson

In conclusion, the lack of decisive action and tangible commitments in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement leaves the adult social care sector in a continued precarious position. The repercussions of inadequate support for care providers, local government associations, and the overall industry could be far-reaching. It is crucial that the government recognizes the urgency of the situation and takes swift and meaningful steps to ensure the stability and growth of adult social care in the UK, otherwise the government will, I suspect, pay a high price at the ballot box in 2024. Once again we have this week had some wonderful uplifting and heartwarming stories from care homes throughout the UK birthday celebrations with some residents enjoying

David Bartlett Guy Stephenson PRODUCTION & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION & WEB ADMIN Charlene Fox

a staggering 104 birthday celebration, we’ve seen intergenerational connections between schools and care homes, several awards for care homes and the staff, and a wonderful story about a care home manager winning a bodybuilding contest! So please do keep them coming. We are always delighted to share the stories! I often say the sector, particularly in mainstream press, is often held in the court of public opinion and quick to jump on negative stories. Mainstream media seldom, if ever, report on the hard work and dedication that staff and care homes around the country demonstrate on a daily basis, so as I say please do get your stories across to us to share! I can always be reached at

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Anger as Autumn Statement Leaves Social Care “Left Out in the Cold” (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE The Independent Care Group (ICG) said providers had been left out in the cold, with worries on how they will meet the new minimum wage and the statement these providers facing an uncertain future. The ICG said the Chancellor could at the very least have put some funding into the pockets of local authorities to help meet an unexpectedly large rise in the National Living Wage. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Another Autumn Statement and another kick in the teeth for social care. “Once again, an opportunity has been lost to make some inroads into the reform of social care that the country has been crying out for this past 30-plus years. It seems help for social care is just one of many issues sacrificed as the Government looked instead to cut taxes, ostensibly to get the economy moving but really with a view to the looming General Election.” “Everyone, especially providers, wants to see the social care workforce properly paid – they deserve much more than that minimum wage. But it will have to be paid for. Providers had expected the increase to be to around £11 an hour but the increase to £11.44 is almost 10%, a huge extra financial burden for social care providers who are struggling to survive in the post-covid, high cost of living period we are struggling through.” “Unless that increased minimum wage is matched by more generous funding for local authorities who can pass that money on to the social care providers, they commission care from, the situation is going to get worse. We will see providers who are currently on the brink pushed over the edge by this increased cost. And that will mean a further loss of care provision at a time when we need it most. “The Chancellor could at least have put some funding into the coffers of local authorities to address that.” When Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was its Chair, the Health and Social Care Committee said social care needed an extra £7bn a year as a ‘starting point’. Mr Padgham added: “Nobody knows better what is needed for social care than Mr Hunt himself and so we looked to him to tackle social care in the statement. “Not for the first time we have been left disappointed, out in the cold and looking at an uncertain future. “The crisis in the sector deepens, with fewer and fewer people getting care, less and less homecare, residential and nursing care available and delayed discharges from hospitals rising once again.”


Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund said: ‘The Autumn Statement appears to have offered nothing significant beyond the relatively small amount of additional funding for the health service recently announced, which we cannot pretend will be enough for the NHS to do everything needed to give patients the care they deserve and expect this winter. The government’s NHS funding announcements have now become caught in a vicious cycle of inefficient emergency cash injections and unrealistic expectations of what the NHS can deliver in return. To avoid the NHS facing a crisis every winter, ministers need to make long-term decisions that can bring demand, capacity, and efficiency back into better balance. ‘One area in desperate need of longer-term thinking is investment in health and care infrastructure, with the buildings and equipment maintenance backlog currently standing at £10bn.” ‘Local authorities are also under intense financial pressure, with a forecasted £2.4 billion funding gap for 2023/24. The majority of council directors of adult social services are worried that they cannot fully offer the minimum social care support required by law, and new data published last week shows that the waiting list for people to have their care needs assessed is rising once again. The increase to the minimum wage will be welcome for many people working in social care on low pay, but it will be vital that local government and social care providers are properly funded to meet these increased costs. ‘To really get services back on track and show it is serious about improving the nation’s health, the government should take further bold action to make health and care a more attractive career, bolster out-ofhospital care such as primary, community and social care services, and help people live healthier lives through a focus on prevention.’

HERO TO ZERO Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and co-chair of the CSA says: “With this Autumn Statement the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has gone from hero to zero on social care. Last year we applauded him when he ordered a significant increase in funding to keep services from collapsing but this year, despite clear warnings from local government about the likelihood of further cuts to care, he has offered nothing. And what's more, even though the rise in minimum wage is thoroughly welcome and deserved, without additional funding the cost of providing, or buying social care, will be going up. "Boris Johnson was cheered by his colleagues when he pledged to ‘fix the crisis in social care’ some four and a half years ago but the Statement was a reminder of how desperately short the Government has fallen. Transformational reform is still badly needed in social care,

but for now the prospect of it has disappeared out of sight, and millions of older and disabled people, and their unpaid carers, are paying a very high price.”

SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive of MHA: “We’re disappointed that care for older people has once again been overlooked when it matters most. Critical services for older people are facing multiple challenges which urgently require the Government’s attention. As well as higher operational costs, due to increases in both inflation and energy prices, and an ongoing recruitment and retention crisis, people are also waiting far too long for social care assessments.” “The Chancellor has missed an opportunity to invest in these essential social care services and better support people’s care needs.”

HUGE GROWTH POTENTIAL Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO commented: “We welcome the minimum wage increase which will be a vital boost to care workers income but recognise that this does not address the fundamental lack of appropriate pay, terms and conditions for those working in this sector.” “What is notably missing from the Chancellor’s ‘110 measures for growth’, is any mention of adult social care and its untapped potential to unlock economic growth, empower individuals and communities and support unpaid carers and those accessing social care into the workforce. If he was instead to think social care first, then the huge growth potential being created around tech in care, opportunities for further apprenticeships and the development of the care workforce would be obvious. Meanwhile, the announcements about welfare and Work Capability Assessment reforms risk achieving exactly the opposite of the intended outcome. It risks increasing the health inequalities and exclusion from the labour market experienced by many of those receiving care and their unpaid carers. A better way to enable more people to return to the workforce is to invest in direct and tailored support for them and their potential employers, and support longer-term population health and wellbeing measures, which well-resourced social care provides. “The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement fails to recognise that social care matters to us all. Without long-term investment in adult social care and local government, we will simply continue to see the widening of profound health and care inequalities as identified in the Care Quality Commission State of Care Report. Long-term investment must also be accompanied by the co-production of a clear set of mutual rights and responsibilities of citizens, families, communities and the state.”


Hydration in the Elderly Matters: WHA offers Advice and Guidance Encourage older, vulnerable people to drink by having water readily available Recent studies have underlined the importance of hydration for the elderly. Now the WHA (Water Dispenser and Hydration Association) has put together a leaflet with detailed advice and guidance, called ‘Why Water Matters for elderly People.’ It is available to download from the WHA website at When Age UK Norwich and the University of East Anglia (UEA) researched the issue, they said that one in four elderly people are dehydrated, many without realising it. A key issue is that as we age we tend to drink less water. Although fluids from other sources also contribute to hydration, such as tea, cold drinks, soup and salad, many elderly need to avoid excess sugar so drinking water is a good habit to get into. The WHA leaflet describes some of the benefits of good hydration in the elderly, such as better kidney health and greater cognitive ability. Dehydration on the other hand can have serious consequences, including potential harm to the liver, kidneys, muscles and joints. The Age UK/UEA research warned of the risks of strokes, infections and falls. How can carers tell if their elderly people are dehydrated? The WHA has a Healthy Hydration Chart, which is also available to download from its website. It’s more familiarly known as the pee chart, because the colour of urine is an easy way to check hydration.

The chart shows the differences in colour of urine, from healthy (pale straw) to poorly hydrated (dark). One way to encourage the elderly to take more water on board is to have it readily available to drink – which is where water dispensers come in. “It’s essential to make drinking water accessible,” says Phillipa Clow, general manager of the WHA. “Having water that is convenient and easily dispensed, which tastes good, is cool, and is safe and hygienic, helps entice elderly people to hydrate more frequently.” The leaflet then gives advice about the choice of dispensers. “It’s always best to get expert advice before making a decision, especially when working with vulnerable people” says Clow. “WHA members are audited and must adhere to strict quality standards, so they can deliver the best in terms of accredited expertise.” There’s a full list of members under the ‘find a member’ tab at The WHA (Water Dispenser and Hydration Association) is the voice of the water dispenser and hydration industry. Its members are committed to offering the very best in terms of quality, trust and standards. For more information visit

Care Home Veterans Receive Special Message From The King His Majesty The King passed on a special message to Royal Star & Garter residents when he met Nurses working for the charity. King Charles III asked Walter Chikanya to pass his regards to all veterans living at Royal Star & Garter, during a Buckingham Palace reception he was hosting to celebrate Nurses and Midwives working in the UK. Walter, who is Head of Care at Royal Star & Garter, was one of three Nurses from the charity present at the event, held on 14 November. High Wycombe Home Manager, Reggie Ballos, and Surbiton Clinical Nurse Educator, Grace Nabus, were among the other Royal Star & Garter Registered Nurses attending the reception, which was part of NHS 75 celebrations and fell on His Majesty’s 75th birthday. Over 400 Nurses and Midwives attended from the multitude of backgrounds and cultures which contribute to the UK’s Health and Social Care sector. In addition to British Nurses and Midwives, His Majesty also met a selection of international Nurses and Midwives currently working in the UK. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.

Walter was invited to represent social care Nurses. Reggie and Grace, who qualified in the Philippines, were part of a group representing internationally educated Nurses. Walter spoke to His Majesty about his 1982 visit to the charity’s old Home in Richmond, which The King said he clearly remembered. It was during this conversation that King Charles III gave Walter his message for Royal Star & Garter veterans. The reception ended with a surprise Happy Birthday song, performed by the NHS choir. Walter later said: “I wasn’t expecting a message from The King to our veterans, and I’m very happy to pass it on. It was an incredible experience, and an honour to talk to The King about my work with the charity, and the importance of the social care sector. I was proud to be there, representing the sector, and representing Royal Star & Garter and its residents.” Reggie said: “It was wonderful to be in a room full of so many Nurses. It was an honour and I felt very proud to sing Happy Birthday to The King. It’s good to know he recognises internationally trained Nurses.” Grace attended the event wearing traditional Filipino dress. She said: “It felt very special that The King would choose to spend his birthday with us. It was an amazing night.”

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TRANSPARENCY AND SAFEGUARDING Cleva goes beyond financial efficiency and fosters a safe and transparent environment for both carers and organisations. With complete accuracy and visibility in the app and management platform, false allegations of theft become a thing of the past. When surveyed, 100% of organisations felt more confident in safeguarding their employees at work thanks to Cleva. Crowned winner of the 2023 National Care Awards, in the Tech Innovation of the Year category, Cleva really is showcasing the power of technology merged with care experts in an underserved industry. Ready to find out more? Click here:


Providers’ Plea over Overseas Worker Changes

CARE providers are urging the Government not to make changes to the rules on employing overseas workers because they are providing a lifeline. There are reports that the Government is considering banning or limiting overseas workers from bringing dependents with them to the UK. There are also reports that the Government is looking at increasing the salary threshold for workers’ visas, which might prevent some social care posts meeting the criteria. The social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) is urging the Government not to alter the system at “a very delicate time”. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “This would be the worst possible time to make it harder for social care providers to recruit from overseas. “Restricting dependents would undoubtedly put many people off from coming to our country and given the current financial hardships in social care, raising the salary threshold would mean many posts in the sector would not be eligible. “Care providers fought long and hard to get access to visas so that overseas workers could come and help us ease the chronic shortage of care workers that has been devastating the delivery of care. “If there has been abuse of the system then that cannot be condoned and should be addressed. But the vast majority of social care providers have adhered to the rules and found overseas recruitment a lifeline. “I know from my own experience and that of fellow providers that we could not fill our shifts without them at the moment. It would be an absolute disaster if overseas recruitment were to be hampered or reduced

and the care of the most vulnerable would suffer.” “NHS care delivery is already being hampered by a lack of available social care. If this went ahead then the NHS would be impacted upon too.” The ICG says long standing underfunding of the sector, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, has left the sector in its worst ever staffing crisis. Providers fought to get the Government to allow care workers to get visas to come to the country to try to alleviate a staffing crisis which has led to 152,000 vacant posts. “Social care provision is on its knees,” Mr Padgham added. “The last thing we need is someone cutting the lifeline of overseas workers that we have been thrown. “Long term, we have to find a way to get more people – from this country and from overseas – into the social care sector and that should be the Government’s real priority not hampering us from functioning today. “They need to reform social care and give the sector parity with the NHS. They must properly fund the delivery of care so that we can give social care workers the pay, terms and conditions they deserve and that match those of their counterparts at the NHS. “Then we might see a reduction in the workforce shortage that is threatening proper, safe care delivery. “Until the Government wakes up and delivers on that long overdue promise, we will need all the help we can get to keep providing care and not unwanted change.”

Share Your Christmas Celebrations with THE CARER to Win! Christmas is coming and we here at THE CARER are offering care homes the opportunity to win A PRIZE FOR YOU AND YOUR CARE HOME. We invited Care Homes around the UK to share your Christmas celebrations with us here at THE CARER for Christmas 2022 and we are inviting you to do the same this year! This years’ prize is £100 in Marks & Spencer vouchers for a lucky care home winner! A no-frills competition, nothing complicated, or we invite you to do is send

in your Christmas celebrations, anything between December 24 and 31st, parties, menus, activities, fundraising and we will pick a winner - it really is that simple! So please do send to with a small paragraph of what you did along with some photos and we will share them with our readers in a special Christmas care Home supplement! One of our lucky entrants will then be chosen to receive the grand prize! Entries close at midnight on Friday 5th January 2024.


The Dichotomy of Adult Social Care in 2023: Progress Amidst Persistent Challenges By Suhail Mirza, non executive director at Newcross Healthcare ( and Executive Director at FuturU ( given macro economic cost pressures with one in six saying they expect adult social care demand to outstrip capacity this year. This is to be understood within the broader context of what constitutes fair funding for the sector; Analysis of Local Authority Market Sustainability Plans by Care England (“Care for our Future” Report) revealed a gap (between average fees paid by local authorities and the “true cost of care”) of over £2.1bn annually. Professor Martin Green, CEO at Care England warned that the sector “ in an extremely precarious state”.


“GREEN SHOOTS” FOR THE SECTOR? The adult social care sector employs more people than the NHS and is one of the most significant segments of the economy contributing £55.7bn to it in 2022/23 according to Skills for Care “The State of Adult Social Care Report” published in October this year. Oonagh Smyth, Skills for Care CEO, spoke of seeing “some green shoots” for the sector this year alluding to reductions in the vacancy rate from 10..7% to 9.9% and also in the turnover rate for staff from 28.9% to 28.3%; the Report also unveiled a boom in international recruitment to the sector with 70,000 overseas workers joining the social care workforce (up from 20,000 the previous year) The Government set out a 10 year vision of major reform for the sector in December 2021. In its Autumn Statement of November 2022 the Government set out a headline additional £7.5bn of funding for the period up to the fiscal year 2024/25. And in September this year Helen Whatley, Minister for Social Care, honoured the sector with a celebratory video message and addressing its workforce said “ You are an inspiration to me. What you do matters”

“AN EXTREMELY PRECARIOUS STATE” FOR SOCIAL CARE Yet for many within the sector the her words stand in stark contrast to the bleak reality stakeholders face. The NAO in its “Reforming Adult Social Care in England” Report from November pulls few punches: “ The sector remains challenged by chronic workforce shortages, long waiting lists for care & fragile provider and local authority finances” It highlights that 25% of local authorities are struggling with budgets

Martin also mentioned the decision this year to halve the £500m earmarked (in April 2022) to support the social care workforce as an “insult” ; and whilst he welcomed the further £570m announced in July 2023, he highlighted this was repurposed funds from the 2022 Autumn Statement and equated to an uplift of 9.6per hour for the nations care staff over two years. The pressures on workforce in adult social care remain profound. The CQC annual State of Care report from October 2023 laid bare the threat that England is heading toward the reality of an unfair care system but affirmed that over 50% of providers in England stated they were having challenges recruiting staff and 31% faced a retention challenge. Despite the green shoots, the Skills for Care Report shows a sector struggling with 152,000 vacancies, 390,000 leaving posts (a third left the sector completely) and a potential ticking time bomb of 29% of its workforce aged 55 or over. With 440,000 additional workers needed in the sector to meet demand by 2035 and the potential loss of a similar number (due to reach retirement age over the next decade) this is a grave danger to the sector. The absence of a long term workforce plan for the sector speaks volumes perhaps of how much social care workers matter to the Government. Skills for Care’s stated intention to lead on the creation of a new workforce strategy for the sector could hardly be more timely. At the heart of social care sector debate, the issue of fair funding and ultimately fair remuneration remains the biggest challenge. With 90 % of large supermarkets paying their staff substantially more than social care workers receive in pay and 80% of jobs in the wider economy paying higher salaries it is easy to see why Care England scream “ A sector wide pay rise for care staff in England is long overdue”

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POLICY PRIORITIES The omission of social care in the King’s Speech was another disappointment to the sector and seems especially perverse given the potential policy (and political) points that could accrue to the Government by addressing the above challenges. The Future Social Care Coalition for example has called for the economic power of care to be unleashed (“Carenomics”) in its September 2023 Time for a Fair Deal report. The Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell was vehement stating “The economic case for further investment in social care is clear and compelling” and the Report states that for every £1 invested in the sector £1.75 of economic value is generated. With current sclerotic economic growth, this is surely something the should act upon? The Report claims that such investment is likely to help the “Levelling Up” agenda given that the economic contribution of social care is notably greater in areas most in need to levelling up. Policymakers are not short of some immediate steps that can be taken to address the above challenges in the sector. The Care England report claims that zero rating welfare services could inject £350million into front line services.

TIME TO RE-IMAGINE REALITY Despite the substantial challenges facing the sector there remains passion and vision across it. This has been evident in comments from the likes of Dr Jane Townson, Raina Summerson and Zoe Fry , to name a few, in recently published episodes of the Voices of Care podcast; each pointing to innovative use of technology and growing collaboration to drive best practice across the sector. With an election almost certain to take place within the next 12 months will politicians be attune to what the sector contributes and the potential it has to transform lives? Professor Vic Rayner attending the Liberal Democrat conference in September referred to the 8 million unpaid carers, the 1.6million workforce and the millions benefiting from their care spoke movingly of them: “They don’t think anyone is listening. So parties must talk social care first and they will hear you.” As someone who has been an operator, commentator, partner to and speaker within the sector for over two decades I can but echo all the calls to honour the sector and its workforce and afford it the parity of esteem it has long deserved. It matters. A great deal. To us all.


Report Sets Out How Hospital Admissions Can Be Avoided Ahead of Winter Period A major new report has set out how the health and social care system can work better this winter – by avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and improving patient flow. Published ahead of what is expected to be another challenging winter period for the NHS and social care, the new study from the County Councils Network (CCN) and Newton explores how the system to admit and discharge older people from hospital and support their care needs could work better , potentially improving the lives of tens of thousands of over 65s and reducing costs to the NHS and local government over £2.5bn. Instead of buying up short-term residential care beds to discharge over 65s from hospital, which can inadvertently reduce independence, the report outlines that the government should this winter instead look to broader solutions, particularly greater investment and then use of home-based care, community and reablement services – as well as reforming NHS ways of working. The report argues that if additional funding is to be made available to health and social care systems this year for community capacity, it should be directed towards councils to enable the expansion of home-based reablement and rehabilitation and specifically support development of the therapy workforce. This would allow more adults to return to their own home following a stay in hospital. The report, Finding a Way Home: how health and social care can optimise hospital flow and discharge this winter, finds that: • Around 175,000 fewer older people each year could avoid being admitted to hospital through improved decision-making from frontline health professionals with patients instead supported in the community. This would involve building trust and awareness in such community services. For example, if an over 65 suffered a minor injury, they could instead be treated in the community rather than sent to an acute setting. • With the NHS facing 1.6m admissions from over 65s each year, this represents one in 10 admissions and could free up thousands of beds and reduce costs by £600m a year. • 6m bed days could be saved by reducing delayed discharges, including 500,000 from ‘simple’ discharges. This could be achieved by utilising more criteria-led discharges, and by improving capacity in intermediate care services (such as reablement and rehabilitation at home). For those discharged from hospital, over 80,000 elderly people could live more independent lives each year – such as in their own home– if improved decisions are made by professionals and there is more investment into intermediate care and therapy within these settings. This could reduce local authority costs by £1bn a year. Government efforts have previously focussed on the role of social care in slowing down the system – particularly at the point of discharge from hospital. However, the report illustrates that a more significant impact could be had by focussing on avoiding admissions and on simple discharges. For those over 65s that do require social care support after discharge, the report finds that investment in short-term care beds to get those patients out of hospital quicker may not be the most effective solution for a large number of those individuals. Many that stay in short-term settings become more reliant on care, and are then often unable to return home as their ability to care for themselves – and their confidence to do so – has declined. At a local level, the report says that a better understanding of community offers, focusing on delays caused during hospital treatment, and investing and optimising community and home-based care will help ease the discharge logjam, provide better outcomes for patients, and could reduce costs by billions each year. By improving the flow and discharge of older adults, there is the opportunity to stop tens of thousands of unnecessary admissions in each year, reduce the amount of time spent in hospital, and ensure individuals

are discharged to the best setting for their needs and promote the ability for older people to live in their homes for longer. Cllr Martin Tett, Health and Social Care Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said: “We are facing into one of the most challenging winters ever for the health and social care system, with immense pressures that have built up over the last few years showing no signs of abating. Every bed in each hospital will be vital as acute and emergency admissions rise over the coming months, and we need to ensure we maximise the most effective use of social care services to speed up discharges and improve outcomes. “Last year the government was proactive in responding to the severe challenges of winter. But despite the best will in the world, this did not dramatically improve discharge rates, and for those who were discharged, it was not always the best option them. Our report today sets out a different way: one where patient outcomes are improved and costs are reduced significantly for both the NHS and councils. “By investing more in the right community and intermediate care, as well as enabling improved decisionmaking across the system, today’s report sets out a clear pathway to creating a more sustainable and effective system, helping to avoid tens of thousands of unnecessary admissions each year and speeding up discharge rates. For those that then leave hospital, it also outlines how they can get the best possible health outcomes.”



Balancing Act Needed to Tackle Immigration Woes and Staff Shortages in the Care Industry By Avinav Nigam, Co-Founder and CEO of TERN Group, a pioneering tech company ( Recent revelations about scam visas in the sector highlight the need for a more effective immigration system. With net migration at a record 745,000, addressing the political, ethical, and practical dimensions of this issue is crucial, compounded by the immovable staff shortage issue across the industry. Balancing this critical need with the politically sensitive task of managing immigration figures presents a complex but essential challenge for the government, requiring significant collaboration from recruiters and other facilitators. The vulnerability of the care industry to exploitation is a grave concern. The exposure of migrant care workers being charged illegal fees by recruiters is a stark reminder of systemic issues requiring immediate redress. These documented accounts highlight how vulnerable individuals, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, fall prey to scams, paying exorbitant amounts for visas only to find nonexistent job opportunities upon arrival. To compound the issue, recent Home Office figures, released last Thursday, reported a doubling of visas granted to foreign health and social care workers to 143,990 in the year to September, bringing in a total of 173,896 dependents, significantly impacting the net immigration figure. The pressing issue of staff shortages in the care industry further complicates matters. Warnings of the potentially ruinous impact of tightening visa requirements for social care and health workers by the Cavendish Coalition of leading care organisations, and even the chair of the official Migration Advisory Committee underscore the delicate balance that must be struck. Migration remains an integral part of the solution, with over 50% of sponsored visas currently allocated to the health and care sectors, according to Migrate UK. The path forward involves a multifaceted approach. Recruiters must adopt stringent measures to ensure transparency and ethical practices. The human trafficking of care workers due to exploitative immigration

laws and agents necessitates a collective commitment to eradicating such practices and operators. Enhanced scrutiny of businesses applying for sponsor licences would be a practical step to curb visa scams. Transparency throughout the end-to-end journey is also crucial, as many recruiters lack visibility into who they are bringing across. Migrants are often misled about the job they are walking into, sometimes ending up in the wrong type of role or even the wrong city. Greater transparency from the outset will empower migrant workers to make more informed decisions, improving employment stickability once placed. However, the political nature of this issue complicates the way forward. The government, constrained by the right of the Conservative Party, has limited room for manoeuvrability. Rishi Sunak's alleged migration deal with Suella Braverman, pledging to increase the minimum salary for skilled workers and limiting extended visas for graduates, highlights the political direction of travel. Striking a balance between political concerns and ensuring a steady influx of skilled workers is imperative. The government should resist kneejerk reactions that could undermine the essential contributions of migrant workers to the care sector. Instead of solely focusing on reducing net migration figures, a more nuanced approach is required, emphasising the positive contributions of migrant workers. Acknowledging the ageing population and impending economic challenges, the government should view migrants as assets essential for filling critical skill gaps in the care industry. Moreover, the Department of Health and Social Care needs to work more strategically with partners in this arena. While unscrupulous actors exist, many firms contribute positively to filling the job shortage gap with highly trained, motivated, and skilled workers. Technology can play a significant role. It can facilitate collaboration on a grander scale among key stakeholders, both in the UK and abroad in source countries. Technology can help reduce the opaqueness for recruiting care providers, where often it is challenging to ascertain legitimate operators and workers. Connecting across borders prior to any appointment will reduce the relative blindness that some care operators currently work within, allowing all parties to make more informed decisions. Recruiters, employees, and the government must collaborate to build a system that safeguards against exploitation, ensures transparency, and addresses the critical need for skilled healthcare workers. Striking a delicate equilibrium between managing net migration figures and sustaining the life force of the health and care sectors is essential for the benefit of our society's most vulnerable members and those dedicated to their care.

Care Homes’ Sweet Move To Brighten Up Xmas For Hundreds of Children Generous care home residents, families and community supporters have been praised for collecting hundreds of chocolate gifts to brighten up Christmas for less fortunate children. Voluntary group Chocolate Elf Hampshire spoke of their ‘enormous gratitude’ to the residents, families, team members and other well-wishers at seven Colten Care homes who supported an appeal. More than 300 selection boxes and advent calendars have been gathered at the homes’ collection points this year, triple the number in 2022. Chocolate Elf has now taken the gifts for distribution to children across south Hampshire via partners such as the city council children services’ teams in Southampton and Portsmouth, respite homes, refuges, faith groups and the young carers’ charity, Honeypot. Colten Care’s New Forest homes Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge, Linden House, Woodpeckers and Kingfishers all acted as collection points this year along with Winchester homes Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View. As he visited Belmore Lodge in Lymington to pick up the New Forest gifts, Chocolate Elf representative Peter Orme said: “Every single donation will transform a child’s day. It’s a humbling experience to see the amount of gifts these amazing care home residents, staff and contacts have amassed. Along with my fellow volunteers, I can only offer the most enormous gratitude.” Peter added: “To have increased the number of gifts by so many this year is truly outstanding, even more so when you think of the tough times people are seeing right now with the cost of living. I’m glad I brought the bigger car to collect everything!”

Belmore Lodge residents Brenda Close and Linda Fudge spoke of their reasons for wanting to help. Brenda said: “I used to work in a women’s refuge as a volunteer and met lots of children who had nothing. Some of the children we’re helping today won’t have any other present this Christmas. This will be their only gift. It’s lovely to do something but help is always needed.” Brenda’s thoughts were echoed by Linda who said: “This is a marvellous initiative for Christmas. There are so many children in need and, after all, they didn’t ask to be put in that position.” The Colten Care donations will go towards a grand total of more than 5,000 gifts that Chocolate Elf expect to distribute this year. The gathering of selection boxes and calendars at Colten Care was coordinated by the homes’ team of Customer Support Advisors. Working closely with Home Managers, the advisors act as the first point of contact for prospective residents and relatives, supporting, informing and advising them on all aspects of the journey into care. Tracy Baker, Customer Support Advisor for Belmore Lodge and Court Lodge, said: “Our residents and their families, and our colleagues and friends in the community, understand the fantastic work that Chocolate Elf does for children in Hampshire and we always want to do our bit to help. “After we reached out on social media, one lady we know in Brockenhurst dropped off more than 30 calendars from herself and neighbours while another handed in 20. “Supporting such a worthwhile cause is a further way our residents maintain their community connections.”

Blueleaf Launches Christmas Furniture Campaign and Urges Care Homes to Beat the Rush Blueleaf, the nationwide business that helps care homes deliver better outcomes, has launched a new campaign to encourage care homes to consider their Christmas furniture needs now, so that orders can be delivered, and be in place, ready for the festive period. Ellen Brown, Sales & Marketing Director of Blueleaf, says that it’s important for care managers to consider their Christmas needs well in advance: “Furniture plays a huge part in not only making the right impression for visitors, but also ensuring the comfort of residents and their families during their stay,” she explains. “We know that Christmas is a busy period for all care homes, so if any homes think they may need to replace or add furniture to prepare for an increase in visitors, now is the time to place an order.” Ellen says that furniture is in high demand at Christmas: “Some items have extended

delivery times and others will be subject to availability, and that’s another reason to get in touch with us now so that we can help your care homes to plan its needs and avoid being disappointed.” The campaign reflects Blueleaf’s continued focus on providing products and support for care providers to enhance resident comfort. Earlier in the year Blueleaf relaunched its Stock 7 range – an updated range of bedroom refit solutions that can be delivered and installed from UK stock within seven working days. To view Blueleaf’s full range of furniture, or to book an appointment, please visit: our-services/products/care-home-furniture


Long-Term Work Needed To Solve Hospital Discharge Delays, Says The King’s Fund Report Local heath and care systems lack a shared understanding of the causes of hospital discharge delays in their area and of the best ways of tackling them, says a report from The King’s Fund. The report, Hospital discharge funds: experiences of winter 2022-23, looked in-depth at six health and care systems. The authors spoke to local authorities, integrated care system leads, acute trusts, Healthwatch and local care provider associations. Despite system partners saying that relationships were good, the report finds they were often insufficient to develop a shared understanding of the causes of delays or to bring about meaningful, co-ordinated action to reduce delays. The report looks at systems’ responses to two tranches of Adult Social Care Discharge Funding in 2022/23: one of £500m from the Department of Health and one of £250m from NHS England. Although local systems welcomed the extra government funding, they noted that it came at too short notice, had burdensome reporting requirements, and had to be spent over too short a period to be effective. The report recommends that short-term, one-off funding to tackle the issue of delays to hospital patient discharge should be provided only on an exceptional basis, rather than becoming an annual fixture. The reports notes that recipients of the funding also said that some of the terms related to the funding left them feeling frustrated, as they could not be used to prevent hospital admission in the first place.

Simon Bottery, co-author of the report, said: ‘Delayed hospital discharge is a widespread and longstanding problem that affects thousands of patients, their families and loved ones. The underlying reasons for delays are often complex and vary between local systems, though workforce issues are often at the root of them. ‘Our research shows that it is essential local heath and care partners go beyond good surface relationships to develop clear, shared understandings of the causes of delays and the priorities for dealing with them. Short-term funding is not the best way to encourage this process so government should only use it in exceptional circumstances and instead focus on ensuring that systems have the underlying funding they need to develop and implement effective long-term strategies.’ In response to the report, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England said: “Delayed discharges from hospital remain one of the biggest problems facing our country. This problem is not new. There has been little improvement over the last decade in overcoming this issue. The adult social care sector has called for long-term, transparent funding, joint strategy planning and shared learning time and time again. It is incumbent not just on systems to build strong relationships across health and care, but also on central government to provide a funding strategy to allow for long-term planning and facilitate the strengthening of partnerships locally and nationally.”

West Sussex Care Home Hosts Community Spring Bulb Planting Event Deerswood Lodge care home in Crawley has hosted a spring bulb planting event as part of its ‘rewilding project’. The mayor of Crawley, Jilly Hart, family and friends were invited to the home to join the residents and staff to plant over 400 bulbs. The outside space marks the fourth area in Deerswood’s transformational journey and when complete will include a wildflower meadow, prairie border, vegetable patch, sensory trail and a mini orchard. Last year, the care home hosted a successful treeplanting day during National Tree Week. Wan Illman, service manager of Deerswood Lodge, said: “We had such a fantastic day with the mayor, friends and family for our spring bulb planting event. The rain didn’t stop us – we’ve certainly got some green fingers among us.

“Our rewilding project is very much still ongoing, with the seeding of our wooded area with wild flowers, new water feature, new raised beds for the residents to personally garden, a new wooden gazebo and more to come! “The residents absolutely love having an outdoor space to explore and spend time in, so we are very thankful to the Friends of Deerswood for all their help in making this a reality.” Brian Baker, volunteer and ‘Friends of Deerswood’ community group member who has been spearheading the project, added: “This project has been all about designing an environment that promotes Shaw healthcare’s key values; wellness, happiness, and kindness. We’ve focused on activities and pastimes to promote healthy minds, well-being, creativity and enjoyment, and it’s been a real joy to see all that come to light.”


Almost One In Five Scottish Care Homes Close In Past 10 Years

ALMOST one in five care homes in Scotland has closed down in the past decade while the number of residents has fallen by just 6%, new figures indicate. Statistics published by Public Health Scotland on Tuesday revealed that the number of adult care homes fell from 1,282 in 2013 to 1,037 in March 31 of this year. The number of local authority care homes dropped by almost a third in the same period, from 199 to 137, while those in the voluntary or nonprofit sector fell by 37% from 367 to 231. Despite the substantial decrease in the number of care homes available, the estimated number of residents, as of March 31, fell by just 6% from 36,578 to 34,365. Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie criticised the Scottish Government, claiming the sector was “at breaking point”. She said: “This collapse in care homes will deprive people of the local care they need and pile pressure on the rest of the social care system and the NHS.

“The sector have been sounding the alarm for years, warning that homes will continue to close if the Scottish Government fails to act. “We need a national care service that is truly fit for purpose and is equipped for the challenges of an ageing population. “The SNP must act now to prevent disaster and support care homes, workers and residents.” Scottish Care, a membership organisation representing the independent social care sector in Scotland, said the figures did not “tell the full story”, and said that smaller care homes have been closing and re-registered by larger organisations in many cases, and that there is a unequal loss of care homes in rural areas which makes local care “impossible”. Speaking on BBC radio Scottish Care chief executive Donald MacAskill said: “What we’re finding increasingly is particularly rural, remote and small care homes and charitablerun care homes are having to close at a rate that we’ve never

Crystal Sound Bowl Session Makes for a Zen Afternoon at Okeley Care Home Adding variety to the activity schedule is something the team at Okeley Care Home is committed to. Introducing residents to new experiences and seeing how they are received helps to tailor the activity planner to the things people enjoy. Relaxation sessions are especially popular as they provide people with time to reflect and ease emotional tension. They also have positive benefits to health and well-being, especially for people who live with dementia. So, when the team found out about sound bowl therapy and the benefits it can have, they were eager to see how residents would respond to it. A local lady named Jill was invited in to host a sound bowl

session with residents. She brought a variety of crystal and metal bowls, each with an instrument to play them with. Jill started the session by laying the bowls on the floor and telling the group some information about them before starting to play. The sounds of the bowls were each very different but soothing in their own way. As Jill was playing, some people decided to meditate with their eyes shut, while others enjoyed watching Jill create the sounds they were hearing. The sounds mimicked the relaxation songs they regularly listen to in multisensory sessions but having them played live made for a much more immersive and relaxing afternoon.

experienced before.

“Data may indicate just a marginal change but it’s the story which lies behind that of care homes being taken over by other organisations, the changes that that brings because smaller and family- run and charities aren’t able to make the sums add up.”


Care Home Provider Reveals How Animals Can Boost The Well-Being of the UK’s Older Population their pets into care homes. Nick Belson, who visits care homes with his dog Ghillie, explains, “On a typical visit we’ll be in the communal lounge, where residents can pet Ghillie and chat with me. Some residents like to give him a treat and some like to brush or stroke him.” When residents engage with their animal visitors through stroking, grooming and feeding, they use movements such as bending and stretching. The use of animal therapy in care homes encourages these small movements which can have a big effect on health, as they help to promote blood circulation and reduce swelling throughout the body.


The UK is a nation of pet lovers, with 57% of households reportedly owning a pet in 2023. Pet ownership can provide health benefits to any age group. Luxury residential and dementia care home provider Ideal Carehomes ( reveals how pets can help older generations improve their well-being.

It’s not just physical benefits that animals can bring to an older generation, they can also help to improve overall emotional well-being. Studies show that interacting with animals for as little as ten minutes can reduce the level of stress hormone cortisol within the body. At Woodthorpe Lodge, a care home run by Ideal Carehomes in Loughborough, 88-year-old resident Maria Daly lives with her pet dog Juno. Maria says, “The most beneficial effect of having Juno living with me is that she has got me walking again. In just three months my health and strength have improved considerably, and I have more energy now, finding the days less tiring.” Lorna Cowan from Pets As Therapy (PAT) comments, “A friendly PAT visit to a care home is a chance for residents to chat and reminisce about past experiences whilst improving mental health and overall well-being. It comes down to a very simple truth: pets just make us feel happier.”



Pets offer a great opportunity to help us stay active as we age. Those who have a dog to walk benefit from increased activity levels, with some studies suggesting dog owners are four times more likely to meet physical activity guidelines suggested by the British Heart Foundation Centre for Physical Activity and Health. This aids joint, muscle, and cardiovascular health, increases flexibility and improves balance, which are increasingly important in later life. Residents in care homes who have pets or opportunities to engage with animals benefit from increased activity levels. Pets As Therapy, a national charity that uses pets to enhance the well-being of communities across the UK, has volunteers who take

Animals can also be hugely beneficial for those living with dementia, helping them to reminisce about memories of pets, sparking engaging conversations and bringing a sense of calm due to their stress-reducing abilities. As a residential and dementia care home provider, Ideal Carehomes sees this benefit in action during their care homes’ animal visits. During a spring lambs visit at Handley House in York, the residents enjoyed reminiscing. 92-year-old resident Dorothy Myers said, “It was really nice to see the lambs and be able to feed them. It reminded me of when I was young when we used to visit a farm near Reeth on holiday, and the

farmer would take us to see if any lambs had been born.” Charlie Parker, Home Manager at the home said, “It was such a pleasure to see the lambs and the residents’ faces were a picture! They absolutely loved interacting with the animals and couldn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the day.” Pets are a great way to boost well-being in later life, bringing both physical and mental benefits to those who interact with them. Ideal Carehomes regularly run various animal activities across their homes, inviting people from the community along and helping to enrich the lives of their residents, allowing them to connect with a wide variety of creatures. Previous visits have included dogs, lambs, miniature ponies, snakes and more. Lisa Harding, Regional Director for North Yorkshire at Ideal Carehomes, says, “We’re always looking for new and exciting experiences for our residents, and since so many of our residents are animal lovers, it's always a great day when animals come to visit. It’s wonderful to see the reactions of our residents and the visits are some of our most popular activities.”


Proactive Recruitment Solutions Needed To Address Skills Shortages With the UK still facing significant skills shortages, particularly in sectors such as healthccare, specialist workforce acquisition and management firm, Comensura, has urged employers across the country to not only take a more proactive approach to inclusive recruitment, but also focus attentions on the contingent labour market. In its latest whitepaper, Navigating Skills Shortages Through Inclusive Workforce Solutions, Comensura highlighted that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) is often unnecessarily limited to the permanent workforce, warning employers that they are missing out on a significant number of potential hires as a result. This latest call comes at a time when the CBI reports that more than two-thirds of businesses have been hit by labour shortages. Ex-offenders, women and over 55’s prime target audiences Referencing remits which continue to face worker shortages such as Care, Hospitality and Facilities Services, Comensura has highlighted why employers across the board need to take a more proactive approach to inclusive recruitment strategies, focusing particularly on specific demographics that remain largely untapped. According to the insights, ex-offenders, the over 55’s and women remain significantly under-represented in those sectors hardest hit by skills shortages, suggesting that ED&I efforts aren’t yet creating meaningful and long-lasting changes.

Aaron Wawman, Sales Director at Comensura, explained: “If ED&I is to become a serious part of talent strategies – which is how real progress will be delivered – then it needs to be a regular element of the everyday role of hiring teams. That includes bringing the contingent workforce into equity, diversity and inclusion strategies. While a temporary employee may only be part of a brand for a limited timeframe, they leave a lasting impact on the culture, are likely to return again, and will influence future contingent workforce hiring. “Data will play a significant role in supporting this shift, but firms do need success models they can use as guidelines if they are to push ahead with truly strategic solutions. That’s where we believe that focusing on exoffenders, women and the over 55’s – and the progress that others have made in attracting these groups – can be valuable. While these demographics remain under-represented in most permanent and temporary workforces, there are examples of how new approaches to engaging with these workers can change views in skills acquisition. From getting more women into waste, to improving job satisfaction for older workers and working directly with prisons to support more ex-offenders into employment, there’s so many ways businesses can improve access to resources and their reputation as an employer of choice. But our insight suggests there is still significant room for improvement that we hope the examples in our report will help address.”

Care Home Managing Director Named Businesswoman of the Year Staff and residents at Barchester’s Austen House Care Home in Lower Earley, Reading are ecstatic because their powerhouse Managing Director has been named Businesswoman of the Year in the Women Achieving Greatness in Social Care Awards 2023. Over 85% of the social care workforce is female. Many of these hard working, dedicated and talented women juggle the challenges of family life with their career. The purpose of the Women Achieving Greatness in Social Care Awards is to highlight and celebrate the incredible achievements of female leaders in all roles and from all corners of the sector, and create a platform to support rising stars and future leaders. The winners were announced at a Gala Awards ceremony on 21st November at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel. Natasha Lazovic is Managing Director of Barchester’s South Division where she oversees more than 80 homes. She came to the UK in 1994 from Serbia and commenced her training as a nurse. Extremely caring by nature, Natasha

has had a trail-blazing career, with dedication and determination she has progressed from a registered nurse to Managing Director. Natasha joined Barchester in 2014 as Regional Director leading 10 homes, which then doubled to 20 as Senior Regional Director, and now she is in charge of more than 80 care homes. Handling an extremely challenging role, Natasha leads her teams with a calm can-do attitude, she is the winner of the Businesswoman of the Year category in recognition of her phenomenal success in leading her division. Barchester’s CEO, Dr Pete Calveley, comments: “I could not be prouder of Natasha. She has had an amazing career and she is a shining example to all her teams that with hard work, you really can achieve anything. I have had the privilege of working alongside her for over 18 years now and there’s no one who deserves this award more. She is an exceptional leader and businesswoman.”


How Colour and Design Can Support Dementia and Elderly Care Care home residents have a wide range of needs, and as such, it is vital that the design of care homes meet the requirements of all who live there. When specifying paints and coatings for this sector, its important to consider how colour and design can be used to make the environment both practical and homely. Andrew Cleaver, National Sector Manager for Healthcare at Dulux Decorator Centre, explains more about care design principles and the resources available.

with sight issues, dementia can make it more difficult for people to distinguish between surfaces and to navigate around a building. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that critical surfaces – walls, floors, doors and ceilings – are painted in contrasting colours. Selecting tones that are 30 light reflectance values apart will help residents establish where one surface stops and another begins, which can support wayfinding and independence. For example, contrasting walls and floors helps guide people through the space. Colour can also be used to make features like door frames stand out, helping residents locate them easily. Colour and contrast can be utilised elsewhere to ensure key features and hazards are highlighted. For example, if the end of a corridor contrasts with the corridor’s walls, residents can clearly determine their route. Specifiers can refer to the Dulux Trade Colour and Contrast Design Guide if in need of advice when it comes to creating colour schemes that are aesthetically pleasing, but also comply with visual contrast guidelines et out in the Equality Act.


There are many factors to consider when designing care homes, and one of those is potential sight issues amongst residents. In fact, studies show that nearly 80 per cent of people registered blind or partially sighted are aged over 65, and around 60 per cent are over 75 . Sight loss causes colours to become ‘washed out’ over time, making it more difficult to distinguish shades from one another – and therefore surfaces. Whilst not every resident will have sight issues, it is important that care comes are designed to cater to those that do. In addition, statistics from the Alzheimer’s Society suggests 900,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and 70 per cent of those in care homes have either dementia or severe memory loss. Like those

Colour is also a great tool in helping residents understand a space’s purpose. Using different colours on different storeys of the building can help people identify where they are. In addition, visually zoning spaces acts as a smart visual prompt that lets people know what room they are in. To aid mobility, handrails should contrast with the walls to make them easily visible. Similarly, alarm panels, sanitary ware, and furniture should also differentiate enough from the rest of the space to ensure they are easily identifiable. In contrast, to prevent residents from entering areas like supply cupboards and staff rooms, it is recommended that the doors are painted in the same colour as the walls to make them less noticeable.

COMBATTING SLEEP LOSS Dementia can often affect the ‘biological clock’, causing confusion about appropriate bedtimes. Using soft greens or sea blues in the bedroom can help residents to feel at ease. Blackout blinds and softer golden lighting also help to instil a sense of calm, fostering healthier sleep patterns.

TARGETING MEMORY LOSS To help residents recognise what is theirs, it is important to make a space familiar – this is especially key for those with memory loss. Where possible, memories and preferences of the resident should be considered in the design process for spaces like bedrooms. Personal photographs can be added outside the door, and displaying their name clearly on the door is good practice to make it more recognisable as their own. Each of these aspects combine to help maintain residents’ independence; placing them at the centre of the design, and ensuring the building is easily navigable gives residents freedom in their living space. To support inclusive design, Dulux Trade’s Commercial Colour Services team collaborated with the British Research Establishment to develop the Dementia Friendly Colour Palette. This makes make care home design all-encompassing for residents with dementia – and the principles can be adapted for other residents too. For more information on the Dulux Trade and BRE Dementia Friendly Colour Palette, please visit: Advice OCCD Hub | (

Hartford Care Honours Lady Sally Grylls at its Care Home, The Elms in Bembridge Hartford Care welcomed Lady Sally Grylls to its care home, The Elms, in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, earlier this month, to present her with a plaque in recognition of her continued dedication and contribution to the care sector on the Isle of Wight. Lady Grylls, who lives locally to The Elms, has been an enthusiastic campaigner for people living with dementia and was an instrumental figure in the introduction of Dementia UK Admiral Nurses to the Isle of Wight. Admiral Nurses specialise in dementia, helping family carers gain the necessary skills to assist with dementia care and promoting positive approaches to living with and improving the quality of life for everyone involved by providing medical, emotional, and psychological support from diagnosis through to end of life care and bereavement. Lady Grylls’ connection to The Elms goes back over 50 years; Sally used to

stay there with her father when it was a boutique hotel and when the building later became a care home, her father was the first resident and he lived there for 12 years until his death in 2000, aged 94. Sally also has further links with Hartford Care, having stayed at Highfield Nursing Home in Ryde in 2014 – another of the care provider’s homes – for rehabilitation care following a broken leg; she has been a great supporter of Hartford Care ever since. Lady Grylls, comments: “I’m thrilled to be presented with this plaque, The Elms carries many special memories for me and it’s wonderful to see many of the original staff again – two of my father’s carers, Caroline and Ann, are still working at the home now. I’m very proud to have helped introduce Dementia UK Admiral Nurses to the island and it’s been a pleasure to give my time to help the care sector – it is the ‘love’ link which connects every generation together.”

New TV Hearing Loop Offers Personal Entertainment For Residents with Hearing Loss Residents who struggle to hear can enjoy in-room entertainment, in clarity and without disturbing their neighbours, thanks to a new ‘home’ hearing loop. An estimated 75 % of care home residents have a degree of hearing loss. The HLD4 from Contacta amplifies programmes from the television or music from a sound system meaning residents don’t have to turn the volume up to unacceptable levels. The HLD4 hearing loop driver is a sleek, compact unit that sits easily alongside a TV. It sends an audio signal directly to a resident’s hearing aid via a loop pad placed underneath their seat cushion. It cuts out background noise allowing them to enjoy high quality, clear sound at their preferred volume and tone settings. Residents who don’t use hearing aids but who could still benefit from the HLD4 can tap into the sound using Contacta’s newly launched RX-30 hearing loop listener, a rechargeable unit used with headphones. “Communal living can be challenging when people have hearing loss and the HLD4 is a perfect solution,” said Shelley Rolfe, Head of UK Sales at Contacta.

“It is an attractive addition to a resident’s room and gives staff peace of mind that residents can enjoy their favourite programmes, music or audio books without causing a disturbance to their neighbours.” The HLD4 can also be used with a room loop - cabling discreetly laid just beneath the carpet edge or along the top of skirting board - allowing residents to get the same sound quality no matter where in the room they sit. Straight-forward to install, the unit memorises the user’s personal sound settings and even has an optional external microphone that will amplify voices of other people in the room, a phone ringing or a doorbell. “Having these units could be a great selling point for care homes,” added Shelley. “Being unable to hear clearly can be very frustrating but the HLD4 gives residents comfortable, independent listening. Our installation team of trained engineers can install any number of these units and can provide a regular maintenance programme to make sure these, and other hearing loops homes may have installed, work as they should at all times.”


Redefining Care – Resilience, Best Practice & Professionalisation

by Sue Jones - Director of Social Care, Institute of Health and Social Care Management (

With governments, both past and present, failing to deliver what the UK needs in terms of a social care that is fit for purpose, the focus must change. Social care needs to be brave and take control of their own destiny. This was the discussion during my recent episode of Redefining Care on Apple podcast with Anisa Byrne, Marketing Director, HSC, The Access Group. To support the need of the UK, care businesses must be both profitable and resilient to survive. Additionally, taking steps to professionalise the care workforce to enhance public perception and value of care, is equally important. The priority therefore needs to be: To build resilience and create a sustainable business model. To collaborate and share best practice across the UK. - To act to ensure care is seen as a profession, everyone working within it, knows it is.

BUILDING RESILIENCE The fact is the cost of care is increasing and at the same time, many care providers are not being paid enough through local authority contracts to build profit within their business. Some care businesses being heavily reliant on these contracts. The UK needs viable care businesses to support the ever-increasing demand. We cannot afford to lose them. The business model of distributing care to care providers via local authority contracts does not work for many, which is why we need to look at other sectors. Financial services went through a similar transition with the Retail Distribution Review, as they too had to change their business model, so what can care business learn from that process e.g., implementing a change management

process. Additionally, there are many home care providers that are part of a franchise group, again what can independent care businesses learn from that model e.g. How to attract private customers, understanding your finances, business strategy and planning.

SHARING BEST PRACTICE Every day great, innovative work is being done by many care providers. The Institute of Health and Social Care Management, a forward-thinking membership organisation that is built “for our members, by our members” know many of the answers to the problems can be, and are, found through working collaboratively via their membership. They have a range of Special Interest Groups that cover topics from workforce development to greener care, with subject matter experts. These special interest groups are driving social care forward. The People Plan highlighted good/outstanding practices, with the aim that this can be replicated and built upon. Instead of waiting for change, taking steps to own the issues and solve the problems that are being faced now.

PROFESSIONALISATION Care work has for far too long been seen as low paid (which it often is) & low skilled (which it definitely isn’t). To meet the demand for care in the UK, then we need to build a world where care is seen as a profession that people aspire to work in, and be part. There have been calls by some professional bodies to have a mandatory carer register but as the UK government does not appear to have social care as a main focus, this is unlikely to happen in the near future. NACAS (National Association of Care and Support Workers) believes we cannot wait for governments to make this happen. They have taken it upon themselves to create the Voluntary Care Professional Register (VCPR). This is because it is the right thing to do. By taking action to share best practice in terms of how we operate and build the much-needed resilience within social care; by professionalising care work through a mandatory care professional register to enhance the role of care work, would take social care great strides forward. Is social care brave enough to embrace this? You can find out more by listening to the podcast here. #redefiningcare #socialcare #homecare #carehomes #innovationincare

“Eat Lots Of Ice Cream” and “Belt Up and Get On With It”: Care Home Residents Share Their Pearls of Wisdom for the Younger Generation The older generation are known for having wisdom beyond their years. Their wealth of experiences means they are the perfect people to offer the younger generation insights and advice on a range of topics. Elmfield Care have asked their residents at Flowers Manor care home what advice they would give to the younger generation, with advice such as “take care of your health”, “enjoy every moment”, and “eat lots of ice cream” being shared. Health and happiness were two common themes that appeared amongst residents. Ray, 90 and Pauline, 89, shared the advice “be happy” and “enjoy your life and have fun”. Whereas residents Miriam, 79 and Mary shared “keep healthy” and “keep fit and mix with the older generation.” Max, 79, Brenda, 79 and Jock 76 all had advice around our outlook on life. Max shared that the younger generations should “always look on the bright side of life, Brenda shared “your life is as good as your mindset.” and Jock shared “live your life to the full”

If you’re feeling demotivated, you’re in luck as three residents had motivational advice. With Joyce, 93 advising the younger generation to “belt up and get on with it” and George, 92 and Pat, 91 saying “just keep going my friend.” A mix of advice ranging from dietary to friendships came from the other care home residents. Di, 74 advised the younger generation to “eat lots of ice cream”, Eileen 96 shared the lovely advice of “be kind to each other” and Vera, 93, shared “make life more simple.” Rachel Gittins, Head of Lifestyle for Elmfield care said: “Our residents have lived through a variety of experiences and have firsthand experience with how our actions can impact our lives. "We find with age comes perspective and wisdom, so we wanted to ask our residents what advice they would share with the younger generation. "We loved the advice our residents shared, and that it had a focus on happiness, health, and eating lots of ice cream!”

Digitising a Wellness Culture in Care People prefer to visit care homes with a wellness culture. The pervading peace of mind improves mental health, leading to a sense of well-being, reduced staff sickness, happier residents and better productivity. Wellness culture is a catalyst with real business benefits, while directly contributing to stability and better continuity of service. Culture is engendered from the top, often being a management strategy and forming part of quality programmes. It may seem surprising to some, but digital tech can have a major part in delivering a wellness culture. Care Homes are frequently bombarded with wellness ideas and opportunities but, how many wellness service providers deliver physical wellness monitoring as part of a wellness strategy. For some, having a wellness strategy is a tick in a policy box which is a shame as it is so much more valuable and can deliver smiles, well-being, peace of mind and better profitability. Wide, inclusive wellness programmes incorporate physical wellness monitoring as this is the basis of well-being and is a demonstration of a wellness culture. Delivering physical wellness checks has become so much easier with systems such as HealthCheckerPro™ from Flourish PPI which incorporate digital wellness monitoring facilities that automatically alert to symptoms associated with more than 37 different illnesses. This rapidity can be crucial by

reducing medical response times, leading to faster recovery. HealthCheckerPro™ is completely contactless, effortless to use and really, really fast, completing a wellness check in under 1 second, helping to keep the duty Care Home Manager alert to sickness. This digital system stores the data from every check and has a real management benefit for care home operators with multiple homes as all wellness checks can be monitored live, simultaneously across every home together with any alerts. There are even automated daily reports, and, as the system can also be used for access control, all attendance data can form part of fire records. This new digital technology presents new opportunities which not only include true wellness monitoring but provide a host of efficiencies that make the care workplace a better one for all . Taking this approach is not expensive either as HealthCheckerPro™ systems start at just £12.82 per week so, true wellness monitoring is a ‘no brainer’ and helps to bring smiles and joy every day, everywhere. Steve Hathaway is Business Development Director for Wincheeter based company, Flourish PPI, a brand of Dijital Technologies Ltd, a pioneering digital tech organisation in the Care Home sector. See the advert on the facing page for details.


NCF Announces Election of New Board Members

The National Care Forum (NCF) has announced the appointment of four new board members at its AGM earlier this week. Professor Vic Rayner OBE, Chief Executive Officer, said, ‘We are very pleased to welcome Brian James, Chief Executive of Cedarmore Housing Association, Maria Mills, Chief Executive of Active Prospects, Martin Rix, Chief Executive of Belong and Alison Waller, Managing Director of Corserv Care to our board. We also congratulate Andy Cole, (Chair) Chief Executive of Royal Star & Garter and Oona Goldsworthy, Chief Executive of Brunelcare who were re-elected. “Our new board members will increase the breadth of knowledge and experience of our board and ensure the further representation of the diverse range of services provided around the country by NCF members.’ The new board members, and re-elected members join the existing board comprising Sarah ClarkeKuehn of Sanctuary Care, Maxine Espley of Green Square Accord, Dan Hayes of The Orders of St John Care Trust, Rachel Jones of Jewish Care, Rob Martin of Anchor Hanover and Marianne Wanstall of Brendoncare. The AGM also heard from a variety of speakers starting with Rachel Sylvester, Chair, The Times Health Commission who shared insights into the work of the Commission. She informed the meeting that submis-

sions from social care providers are still being welcomed for the next two weeks and they can be sent to with the report set for publication in February 2024. Cynthia Bullock, Deputy Challenge Director, Healthy Ageing, UK Research and Innovation, together with Karen Hedge, Deputy Chief Exeuctive, Scottish Care and Professor Vic Rayner OBE then delivered their reflections on the Social Care International Workforce Summit which took place in Glasgow on 6th September as part of the Global Ageing Conference. The Summit highlighted differing and common global workforce challenges, trends and solutions. A report will shortly be published summarising the discussions and making a series of recommendations. NCF also published its 2022-23 Impact Report, outlining the various activities and influence NCF has brought on behalf of its members over the last year. The impact report highlights the significant efforts of the NCF team, Board and members during 2022 and 2023. Download the Impact Report at More information about the NCF Board of Directors can be found here:

Dementia Dogs: The Four-Legged Friends at Vida Healthcare Very little compares to the unconditional love of a dog, a loyal companion who is always happy to see you. They bring joy, love, and comfort to our lives and the responsibility that comes with owning a dog offers a strong sense of meaning and purpose. Research has shown the positive impact of owning a dog and interactions with dogs on human psychological health and functioning. Recurrent interactions with a dog have been associated with positive psychological outcomes across an individual's life, with this link between pets and improving mental health being found to be especially strong for seniors. A four-legged companion can be a source of support and comfort for an individual living with dementia. Interactions with animals

can improve self-esteem and confidence in someone with dementia and can also promote a better quality of life. The friendly and non-threatening nature of many animals can help residents be more interactive and the very presence of animals can help reduce dementia symptoms including anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression and loneliness. At Vida Healthcare, the UK’s leading provider of specialist dementia care, there are several resident pooches strolling around the company’s three dementia care homes, always waiting for a cuddle or a treat! Whether residents or staff members want to play with them, talk to them, or simply enjoy their presence, the dementia dogs are always ready and waiting.


Former Scottish International Backs Call to Classify Heading as Industrial Injury This recognition would enable affected individuals to receive increased support. The call for such a reform is part of a larger campaign seeking to improve preventive measures, and possibly change the game rules to protect the health and safety of football players. If successful, the move would result in ex-players receiving social security payments to help with living costs. Mr McLeish, a celebrated figure for the Aberdeen and Scotland teams, has passionately spoken about his personal health concerns after a career marked by numerous heading of footballs. Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme, McLeish said: “Having seen Billy McNeill pass away, Gordon McQueen, guys like that, you know that it’s a huge part of football. “A few years ago Jeff Astle at West Brom started the ball rolling in England. “So I guess it is industrial injury.”

Former professional footballer and manager, Alex McLeish is supporting the growing demand for heading a football to be classified as an industrial injury. The call follows increasing concerns over the damaging long-term neurological effects of repeatedly heading the ball, a major aspect of the sport. Earlier this year, research commissioned by the Football Association and Professional Footballers’ Association revealed that former football players are almost three-and-a-half times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than the general population. The findings supported previous research in 2019 by experts at Glasgow University, which investigated fears that heading the ball could be linked to brain injuries. Mr McLeish’s endorsement adds weight to a campaign led by Labour MSP Michael Marra, which aims at recognizing dementia among former footballers as an industrial injury.

Boutique Care Homes Crowned Care Home Group (Small) of the Year at 25th National Care Awards been acknowledged at a national level.” Over its five-year history, Boutique Care Homes has set a benchmark for quality care, ensuring that each resident is treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. The unique identity of each home, deeply connected with the local community, reflects the ethos of Boutique Care Homes. Following the awards, Jodie Pike, Associate HR Director at Boutique Care Homes said: “This award is a reflection of the pride we have in our entire team, whose commitment to quality care and the well-being of our residents is truly exceptional.” This honour is not just an award; it’s a celebration of the genuine care and commitment that defines Boutique Care Homes. As we celebrate this achievement, we renew our pledge to continue providing unparalleled care, making a positive impact on the lives of our resi-

In a significant moment in the care providers history, Boutique Care Homes has clinched the prestigious Care Home Group (Small) of the Year award at the 25th National Care Awards 2023. Organised and hosted by Caring Times at a gala black-tie event at the Platinum Rooms in the Excel, London The National Care Awards celebrates the very best in the care home sector with over 800 care professionals attending the event. Ameet Kotecha, the Founder and Managing Director of Boutique Care Homes, expressed profound gratitude for this recognition, saying, “This award is a celebration of the commitment and passion of our entire team. At Boutique Care Homes, we have always believed in creating a warm and loving family where everyone feels at home. It’s heartening to see that our dedication to personalised, family-centred care has not only enriched the lives of our residents but has also

Ex WAAF Care Home Resident Celebrates her 104th Birthday Celebrations were in full flight at Elm Bank care home in Kettering as one of its residents reached her 104th birthday in style. Elsie Miles, the ‘Pearly Queen’ of Elm Bank was born on 21st November 1919 in London, within the sound of the Bow Bells making her a true cockney! At the age of 4 Elsie and her family left London to make their home in Bournemouth. In her twenties Elsie joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and took great pride in welcoming and mentoring girls as they too became a vital part of the Royal Airforce’s war effort. She’s always been an active lady who loved running with others in her younger years with her sporting passion being football, Elsie remains an avid supporter of AFC Bournemouth. In 1944 Elsie married the love her life; Arch who was one of the first prisoners of war to be repatriated by the British Red Cross following his time in North Africa. After many happy years together Arch sadly passed

Violet Home Care Ltd. WHO ARE WE? We are an established domiciliary care agency in the UK. We understand that many individuals would prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving into a care facility. That's why we offer a range of home care services, tailored to meet the unique needs and prefer-ences of each client.

OUR SERVICES: Our team of compassionate caregivers are trained to provide a range of services, from assistance with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing, to managing medication and providing specialized care for those with dementia or other health conditions. We work closely with each client and their family to develop a personalized care plan, designed to meet their specific needs and goals.

away in 1992, due to complications arising from his original wounds. Elsie and Arch’s son John, wife Maureen, Granddaughter, son in law, and two of the Greatgrandchildren joined her on her big day for a special Birthday Tea. Elsie has two Grandchildren and four Greatgrandchildren of whom she is very proud. Loving the simple things in life, after having her hair done and getting ready for the party, Elsie requested a plain Victoria Sponge cake from Senior Head Chef Sharntelle as she’s never liked cream and all the extras that usually decorate birthday cakes! Marvellous Bindura, General Manager of Barchester’s Elm Bank care home added: “We’re delighted to be celebrating a truly remarkable women as she reaches this amazing milestone. Elsie is such a beautiful lady who brightens our home on a daily basis.”

OUR VALUES: We believe in a person-centered approach to care, which means that we focus on the unique needs and preferences of each client, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Our caregivers are trained to provide support with dignity and respect, and to encourage clients to remain as inde-pendent as possible, while still receiving the care and assistance they need. We also understand the importance of companionship and socialization, especially for those who may be living alone. For this reason, we offer a range of social activities and outings, to help clients stay engaged and connected to their community. At our domiciliary home care agency, we believe that everyone deserves to live with dignity and re-spect, and we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Whether you or a loved one are in need of long-term care or just a few hours of assistance each week, we would be honored to provide the support and care you need to live your best life at home. Contact us at: 01372 700315 See the advert on the facing page for details.


Juggling Work and Unpaid Care Causes Carers to Leave the Workplace Caring responsibilities for relatives or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill are having a significant impact on people’s capacity to work and earn a full-time wage, research from Carers UK shows. There are 2 million carers who are employees – according to the recent ONS Census in England and Wales – but without support from employers, many are at risk of giving up work to care. 40% of carers surveyed in the charity’s State of Caring 2023 survey – many of them caring for more than 50 hours a week – said that they had given up work to provide unpaid care, and 22% had reduced their working hours because of their caring role. Over half (57%) of people who had stopped working or reduced their hours at work to care said they had done this because of the stress of juggling work and care. Carers said this had impacted career progression and household finances. Nearly half (49%) of carers who had given up work or reduced their working hours had seen their income reduce by over £1,000 per month. For Carers Rights Day (Thursday November 23rd, 2023) Carers UK is highlighting new legislation set to give carers further support and protection in the workplace. The Carer’s Leave Act, coming into force in April 2024 at the earliest, will give carers the right to take up to five days of unpaid carer’s leave. A new law boosting flexible working rights, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act, which could also come into effect in 2024, will also give employees the right to ask their employer for flexible working from day one of their employment. Helen Walker, Chief Executive at Carers UK, said: “Many carers want to stay in work – even more so now when the cost-of-living is so high – butsometimes juggling work and many hours of care can become too much to manage. “Employers can play a pivotal role helping their staff with caring responsibilities stay in work by introduc-

ing carer-friendly policies and offering five days of carer’s leave. They will see the benefits too – those employers who have already introduced carer’s leave have seen reduced recruitment costs and improved staff retention and wellbeing. Employers can make a valuable difference when it comes to retaining carers in employment, with 53% of carers who are employees saying that flexible working helps them balance work and care. Energy company Centrica estimates that UK companies could save up to £4.8 billion a year in unplanned absences and a further £3.4 billion in improved employee retention by adopting flexible working policies to support those with caring responsibilities. Yet, over two thirds of carers (67%) were unsure if their employer had started to prepare for new rights under the Carer’s Leave Act, and over a quarter (28%) said they didn’t know anything about unpaid carer’s leave. Carers UK is sharing recommendations for employers to: • Recognise the range of skills that carers gain through their caring role, to retain existing employees and support carers returning to work. • Consider becoming early adopters of unpaid carer’s leave before providing five days becomes law – or go one step further and provide paid carer’s leave, making it even more accessible to their employees with caring responsibilities. • Adopt Carers UK’s Carer Confident benchmark, run by Employers for Carers, to move towards becoming a carer friendly employer.

Tudor Bank Nursing Home Wins at National Awards The team at Tudor Bank Nursing Home in Southport, which is part of the We Care Group, are celebrating following their success of their home being named ‘Care Home of the Year’. The home was nominated for Care Home of the Year Award at the National Care Awards which was held in London on Friday 24th November 2023 and was absolutely delighted to be announced as the winner, against tough competition from homes across the UK. Joshy Abraham, Manager at Tudor Bank Care Home and Bernie Suresparan, Chief Executive Officer at We Care Group were delighted to be presented with the Award by TV Presenter Kate Garraway. Joshy Abraham, Manager at Tudor Bank Nursing Home said “I was absolutely delighted when they announced Tudor Bank Nursing Home as the winner Care

Home of the Year Award, which is testimony to the hard work and dedication of all the team in the home,” He continued “It is wonderful that the home has been recognised at such a prestigious event as the National Care Awards.” Bernie Suresparan, We Care Group, Executive Chairman said “We Care Group has been operating for over 16 years and we have been working hard to build a good reputation in the local areas we serve as part of our drive to become care home provider of choice.” He continued “It is wonderful for Tudor Bank Nursing Home to be awarded Care Home of the Year 2023 at the 25th National Care Awards. This prestigious award is a fantastic achievement and testament to the excellent reputation that we continue to build.”

Maintain and encourage healthy living and a good quality of life. Violet Home Care are an established domiciliary care agency in the UK. We understand that many individuals would prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving into a care facility.

That's why we offer a range of home care services, tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of each client.

At Violet Home Care we aim to provide quality health care service, to enable people stay in their homes. We recognize that everyone has different needs and hence require personalized care. Some of the many services that we can provide:

• Live in Care • Overnight Care • Sleep Patterns Evaluation • Shopping e.g. grocery or personal • Help with medication • Meal Preparation • Washing & Ironing • Outings to friends, family, and walks • Cleaning the home


“Our Aim Is To Support And Unite The Social Care Sector Under One Roof”

Written By Maisie Bull (

The social care staff shortage existed way before the COVID-19 pandemic. This definitely isn’t a fix for that, but if it can help care staff members feel appreciated by their employers whilst also being able to save a few pennies and pounds, it is the bare minimum. At Blue Sky Social Care Card, we are wanting to do more than provide ID and discounts, our aim is to support and unite the social care sector under one roof by giving them an online platform, just for them, something to belong to. We are a small team of four people who do it all; production, events, marketing, you name it - anything to get the card to the people who need it. All whilst providing national recruitment support, direct payments and HR. All these funds go to our charity, Disability Direct, which provides support to disabled people, their families and carers. We ran head-first into this in March this year with the intention of getting the word out to as many people as possible. We have been attending lots of events across the UK and listening to so many carers, managers and unpaid carers, telling us how this card would benefit them. Hearing their wants and needs around a product like this has made us make some changes for the better, after all this is a user-led product. We never expected for the card to be used on the high-street, we thought it would be strictly digital. However, the fact that it is already being accepted in high-street stores across the UK is huge for us and our members. We are taking on new discounts online and on the high-street regularly. It’s a very exciting time for society to be recognising and showing their appreciation for social care! Watch this space!

When The Blue Sky Social Care Card was first in the works, it was all because we noticed the astonishing lack of societal appreciation of social care staff during the COVID 19 pandemic. Everyone had been banging their pots and pans for NHS staff for their hard work and sacrifice (deservedly so), but society were unaware when it came to the hard work and sacrifice of the social care workers, almost as if they forgot the scenes and stories shared on the news from inside care homes. The same social care workers who worked the same hours as NHS staff, saw the same devastation, and faced the same risks. NHS staff get discounts with other big-name cards on the market, but these cards only cater to a tiny section of the social care world. You have to be CQC registered, or they are not interested. All social care staff deserve to have access to the same discounts as NHS staff. Especially since the average annual social care worker wage is between £21k - £23k and NHS staffs average wage is around £35k plus all the NHS benefits. We decided that we could no longer stand by and watch, as the social care sector continued to be forgtten and treated as an afterthought to the NHS staff in the UK. When thinking about who was going to be eligible, we knew quickly that we were not going to be militant about our criteria. At the end of the day, whether someone is an unpaid carer or a care home administrator, both work hard within the care sector to keep it going and deserve to be celebrated for their contributions to our communities. We also wanted to make it easier for care businesses to show their staff appreciation.

Shaw Healthcare ‘Stars’ Recognised at National Award Ceremony Mill River Lodge for ‘Service Support’, Gavin Henderson from Shaw’s Head Office for ‘Central Support’ and the team at The Grove care home in Ystradgynlais for the ‘’ award. Recognised for their ongoing support was resident of Plas Cae Crwn in Powys, Aneurin Davies (known to everyone as Nobby) and Linda Wilson, a relative of Lancum House and friends of Deerwood Lodge in West Sussex, Sirikhwan Thompta and Tony Thompta. Russell Brown, CEO of Shaw healthcare, added: “The Shaw Star Awards are always the highlight of our calendar and this year’s event was no exception. The quality of submissions was terrific, and it was – as always – extremely hard to pick a winner from the incredibly talented pool of finalists. “As an employee-owned company it is important that we celebrate the Shaw family, so I want to say a huge congratulations to all the winners and also all the nominees – all of whom exemplify Shaw’s ethos of going above and beyond to provide the best possible care to our residents.”

Eight care home workers, residents and relatives have been recognised for their outstanding contribution during the past year at the annual Shaw Star Awards 2023. The 14th Shaw healthcare national awards ceremony took place at The Tortworth Court Hotel in Gloucestershire on Thursday 23 November and was hosted by Welsh singer, TV presenter and actor Wynne Evans, best known as the face of GoCompare, and the recently crowned winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2023. The night saw eight people win individual awards and another five be recognised for making a significant difference to people who either use, work or are affiliated to a care home. The award winners were Susan Kulik from The Laurels for the ‘Care and Compassion’ award, Sarah Lees from Pembroke Dock for ‘Outstanding Management Contribution’, Sonam Thapa from Wood House for ‘Shining Star’, Anastasiia Muzychenko from Croft Meadow for ‘Rising Star’, Anita Bell from

Bentley Birthday Treat For Care Home Resident Raymond Tunbridge Wells Care Centre resident Raymond King enjoyed a very special 104th birthday recently…. with the help of a fabulous Bentley Flying Spur! Raymond, who moved into the home in December 2021, is coincidentally the same age as the luxury car company. When asked how he would like to celebrate his birthday, car enthusiast Raymond lost no time in saying that he would like to sit in a Bentley. The home immediately set about making his dream come true with the help of Sales Manager Sarah Ledden and Sales Associate Harry Sermbezi from Bentley Tunbridge Wells. Raymond was able to not only sit in the car and talk about its finer points with Bentley Tunbridge Wells’ driver Peter Constable, but he was also taken for a quick spin before joining other residents and staff for a slap-up birthday tea at the home. He is also now the proud owner of a cuddly

Bentley Bear! Born in November 1919, Raymond grew up in London and fought with the Army during the Second World War. When the conflict ended, he moved to Cranbrook and became a master baker at the family bakery where he worked for most of his long life. Rachel Ticehurst-Richardson, the home’s Head of Activities, said: “Raymond loved his birthday treat. When he heard that the Bentley was worth £250,000, he joked that he ‘only had £50 on him and would that do?’ That really made me laugh! It was great to see him enjoying himself so much on his big day.” Bentley Tunbridge Wells’ Sarah Ledden added: “It was an absolute pleasure to play a part in Raymond’s very special day. Clearly, 1919 was an exceptional year. Happy birthday Raymond, from all of us at Bentley Tunbridge Wells!”

Making Chat Work in Independent Care Homes Rising costs and staffing pressures are weighing on independent care homes, and regular breaks may not be, well, quite that regular. That’s why the comfort of a coffee break is now more important than ever. NESCAFÉ has been a constant in homes up and down the country for years, and it may not only be a trusted companion for staff needing a moment, but equally, a tradition of joy and connection for residents.

GOOD PEOPLE Independent care homes are demanding, and good people are the heartbeat that keeps them going. From the staff who create the warm, welcoming atmosphere, to the residents and visitors whose chatter make it feel like home. But as the median hourly rate for care workers decreased by 1.5% between March 2021 and March 20221, keeping staff motivated is crucial. NESCAFÉ can not only provide that warming comfort in stressful times, but spark conversation when it’s needed most. It’s important for staff to take those deserved moments of respite and enjoy the coffee chats that can help transform co-workers into friends; and get any concerns off their chest.

GOOD COFFEE 80% of UK households buy instant coffee, particularly those aged 65 and older.2 When placed inside the care home – whether in a cosy lounge or on a corner table in a staff room – that welcome aroma of coffee fills the air. As the nation’s favourite coffee,3 NESCAFÉ champions meaningful coffee break conversations, helping the wellbeing of care home staff and residents alike. Because good people deserve good coffee.

GREAT CARE Research says that taking part in meaningful social activities helps people maintain thinking skills better in later life.4 What NESCAFÉ does, with its rich history and warm presence, is provide a catalyst for such meaningful moments to happen. So, in the midst of care home challenges – from financial to emotional – the promise of NESCAFÉ surpasses just coffee. It can create a homely environment which makes for a happier team, happier residents, and ultimately, a happier home. TRY NOW AND CLAIM at


Longstanding Staff Share Stories As Notts Care Home Celebrates 40th Anniversary Nottinghamshire nursing home Field House, which is part of dementia and nursing care specialist group Church Farm Care, marked its 40th anniversary with a celebration to honour its longstanding staff and family members, while recognising the company’s heritage and commitment to care. Field House located in Radcliffe-on-Trent, was founded in 1983 by Ronald and Pat Pring. In 2016 it was taken on by their daughter, Lucy Atkinson and her husband Patrick who now run the specialist care group Church Farm Care. Operating as one of four Church Farm Care locations, Field House is currently home to 52 family members and 92 registered nurses and staff. The Field House home hosted a huge celebration with speeches to showcase the history of the care group, singing performances from singer songwriter Stacey Lynn Crowe, as well as celebratory cakes, welcome drinks, and an array of buffet food. The home also honoured its two members of longstanding staff as they shared their memories and experiences at the home. Head of the kitchen Debbie Croucher has worked at Field House for 36 years alongside housekeeper Beverley Moore who has worked there for 13 years. Debbie said: “When I joined Field House, I was originally just helping out and just like that, 36 years later I now head up the kitchen, looking after all the catering and a team of six. “I have always loved caring for people, from babysitting children for my friends, to caring for our family members at the home. Although kitchens are often a high-pressure environment, the most rewarding part is when people ask for a second serving of food – it really puts a smile on my face knowing that I might’ve made a difference to their day. “I’m due to retire soon, but I want to stay working at Field House for longer to continue helping out the team.”

Church Farm Care Group has four nursing homes across Nottingham, specialising in both dementia, palliative and residential care. Beverley said: “From looking after my own family at a young age, I always knew the care sector was for me. Originally, I joined the team as a cleaner and have worked my way through the ranks to my head housekeeper position. “Field House has grown so much, and I now look after a team of six. Although the care sector has its challenges, no two days are ever the same. I’m retiring in December, but I’ll never forget the number of lifelong bonds I’ve created with my family members.” Lucy Atkinson, director at Church Farm Care said: “We’re so pleased to be celebrating 40-years of our Field House home. While it became officially part of our Church Farm Care group more recently, the home has been part of my life since I was a child. As our oldest home, we’re so grateful to be able to look back while also continuing to plan for the future as the home continues to thrive. “Everyone at Field House really does go above and beyond with the care and activities they provide for family members. We’re so thankful to everyone for all their work over the past 40 years, and we can’t wait to celebrate many more.” Pat Pring, former owner of Field House said: “I’m so proud that my daughter Lucy and son-in-law Patrick were able to take on the home and continue my passion for caring. “As you’d expect over time the home has changed a great deal. It’s been surprising to look back at old photos to see staff wearing formal uniforms, which fitted the model of care at the time. Yet this would seem alien to anyone visiting the home today, where staff wear everyday clothing to make family members feel at home. This is just one of the changes Church Farm Care has implemented to progress forward and make its homes truly stand out.”

Six-Year-Old Girl’s Kind and Generous Birthday Wish Sees the Community of Red Roofs Residential Care Home, In Newark, Treated to Fish and Chip Supper The six-year-old daughter of the fish and chip shop manager of ‘The Fryer’s Club’ in Newark warmed the hearts of its local care home community by gifting them a fish and chip supper as part of her birthday wish. The surprise visit to Red Roofs was orchestrated by Vijesh John, manager at The Fryer’s Club, whose daughter, Liora, was celebrating her 6th birthday. As part of her celebrations, he wanted to share the importance of being kind to others. He said: “As part of our family’s culture and tradition, we like to give to others, particularly on our birthdays. We have always had a wonderful relationship with Red Roofs, and we wanted to thank them for the kindness and compassion they show to their community with some fish and chips. I wanted my daughter to experience the good feeling that comes when we are looking after others and demonstrating acts of kindness in our community. “It was so lovely to see them tuck into their fish and chips, it brought a smile to everyone’s faces, and it was lovely to see the warm interaction with my daughter.” Regular visits from youngsters to the Red Roofs community are a joyful experience, and being positive is one of the key ways to ensure their well-being. From nursery children coming in and singing their favourite songs to acts of kindness, such as that of Liora, are gratefully welcomed into the community. It is activities like these which offer up the opportunity to build successful bridges across generations.

Red Roofs Residential Care Home, part of the Red Homes Healthcare group, knows how important being part of a community is and has built up long-lasting relationships with many local organisations such as The Fryer’s Club. Red Roofs’ deputy manager Danni Mew said: “We are so proud of our lovely Liora. What an absolute sweetheart and how amazing of her father, VJ, to encourage and support such a generous act of kindness. “We all love our food here at Red Roofs and we have a wonderful team of cooks that serve delicious and nutritious food everyday including firm family favourites. However, who doesn’t love the occasional ‘fish and chip’ supper straight from the local chippy! “The aroma was divine, as was the taste, and the looks on our residents’ faces as they reminisced about their ‘fish and chip’ stories was wonderful. “They always love a visit from our community friends but especially from our children. “We have a lovely relationship with VJ and The Fryer’s Club. They are all so friendly and helpful.” “It was a pleasure to see how much joy she brought them. The owner Sunny (Sunil Mehta) and manager VJ (Vijesh John) are treasured members of our community.”

Blueleaf Partners with Lisbeth Nursing Home to Deliver Better Outcomes in Continence Care Lisbeth Nursing Home, an award-winning care home in Great Wyrley near Walsall, is making significant improvements in continence care for its residents after signing a new partnership agreement with Blueleaf Care, the nationwide supplier of care home products, services, and supplies. Incidents of moisture lesions, which cause distress to thousands of residents across the UK every day, have been virtually eliminated at Lisbeth Nursing Home, not only delivering better patient outcomes, but also reducing the need for additional creams and cleaning products, reducing unnecessary costs, and supporting a more sustainable operation. Opened in April 2021, Lisbeth Nursing Home has already made its mark in the local community and beyond, meeting the needs of three local authorities in Staffordshire, The Black Country and Wales. Most recently it featured in the list of the Top 20 care homes in the West Midlands following a survey by Care Home Manager Andrea Walker, who has run the 40-bed home from the beginning, says the decision to switch to Blueleaf has helped further improve an already exceptional level of resident care: “We use the complete range of TENA products from Blueleaf, having assessed the individual needs of all of our residents on a one-to-one basis,” she explains. “Blueleaf has not only helped us in delivering a quality product, but also in guiding us to select the right prod-

ucts for each resident and training our staff to get the most out of the products they use. It is this partnership approach, and a shared goal of delivering better outcomes, that is having such a positive impact on our residents.” In terms of the home’s association with Blueleaf, as well as continence care it will, in the future, be sourcing all of its products via the Blueleaf team. This includes all paper products (toilet rolls, hand towels etc), hand soaps and sanitisers, cleaning products for the laundry and kitchen, and various medical consumables (such as wipes, gloves, needles etc). “Online ordering is easy, and by creating a ‘favourites list’ within Blueleaf’s shop I can re-order products very quickly,” Andrea continues. “Anything I need, Blueleaf can source and deliver on time, when I need it. The team, led by Roy Edwards, is also always on hand if I need any product advice.” Roy Edwards, Business Development Manager at Blueleaf Care, say that the collaboration with partners Essity, and the strength of the TENA brand, are having a positive impact on improving clinical and financial outcomes for Lisbeth House: “We take great care choosing the right partners and products to support our clients,” he says, “and it is a pleasure to work with them to help Andrea and her team deliver an even greater quality of care to their residents.” For further information please visit


Waiting Lists and Patient Services are Casualties of Growing £1.7bn NHS Financial Black Hole New analysis from the Nuffield Trust think tank warns that despite an additional £450m of additional funding being made available to the NHS earlier this month, the current financial situation within the NHS is precarious with patients likely to feel the impact, with slower progress than hoped for on tackling waiting lists and initiatives to improve care quality and access stalled. The Nuffield Trust also warns that the situation could rapidly deteriorate further if more junior doctor and consultant strikes are called before the end of the financial year. The NHS has since been forced to scale back its spending on efforts to clear record waits by reducing its target for planned care from the waiting list from 105% to 103% of pre pandemic activity levels and directing stretched financial resources towards protecting urgent and emergency care over winter. The loosening of this target is intended to encourage NHS organisations to cut back on funding extra shifts and outsourcing work to the independent sector during the remainder of this fiscal year, in the hope of returning budgets to balance by April 2024. The overspend is a result of NHS outstripping its day-to-day budget, covering staff pay and clinical supplies, in the first half of this financial year by some estimated £3bn, and the staffing and logistical costs of strike action by NHS staff groups has overwhelmed this further. The analysis forms part of the first instalment of the Health and Care

Finance Tracker, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which will follow the financial health of the NHS and adult social care services as we head towards the next UK general election. It reveals: • If additional strikes by doctors to the scale seen in the first half of this fiscal year do take place, then the deficit could grow to almost £2.4bn, meaning the NHS would almost certainly need to seek additional funding in the Spring. • If strike action remains off the table for the remainder of the financial year, NHS England estimates suggest the NHS could expect to save around £700m due to a reduced overtime and temporary staff bill, as well as through being able to make better progress on planned efficiency savings. That would bring the deficit for the year down to £1.7bn but savings beyond that are very uncertain and virtually impossible to achieve without real impacts on patients. • There was already a £720m financial gap at the start of this financial year due to the gap between original budgeting and projected spending for local NHS systems. In the coming weeks, local NHS systems will set out revised plans for winter and to help return to financial balance and meet high demand. Difficult decisions will be inevitable as the NHS reprioritises already stretched resources and staffing. Nuffield Trust Senior Policy Analyst Sally Gainsbury said:

“Given the NHS budget was already overstretched at the start of this financial year, with little room to manoeuvre, it is not a surprise that the combination of long running strike action and underwhelming financial support from central government have left the NHS finances in an extremely precarious position. Without additional financial support from government, the NHS faces an uphill battle to balance its books this year without severely impacting the level and standard of care the public expect. “Even without further strike action, the NHS is now on track to have a near £1.7bn black hole in its finances, but this could be even higher, around £2.4bn, if we see more strike action continue to the scale that we have already seen this year. “Ultimately it is patients that feel the effects of the NHS having to tighten its belt and raiding one priority to pay for another, with efforts to tackle record waits and improve services the immediate casualty. “In the short-term, it may be rational and sensible to point limited resources towards protecting access to urgent and emergency care over the almost certainly busy months ahead. However, more pillaging of healthcare improvement, technology, capital, and maintenance budgets, in the long run further chips away at the resilience and efficiency of hospitals and NHS services.”

Norwich Care Home Manager Wins World Body Building Competition A manager of a residential care home in Norwich is following in the biceps of Arnold Schwazenegger in becoming a World Champion as a body builder. Emily Carrasquillo from Black Swan’s Laurel Lodge care home on Ipswich Road in Norwich can usually be found managing the care home which supports 31 residents and nearly 40 staff. But outside of work, her passion is fitness and body building, taking part in competitions with her fiancé and the support of her coach Brad Whymark. In August 2023, Emily qualified for the British Finals at the UK Ultimate Physique regional competition in York by winning the overall competition and gaining her Pro Card. At the British Final, she also took first place which came with an invite to the Mr/Miss Universe 2023 competition run by the World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA) at the Palau Firal i de Congressos de Tarragona” competition in Barcelona in which she competed against some of the best physiques in the world.

Incredibly, Emily beat all the competition, coming first for Team GB and being crowned Miss Universe Figure 2023 in the Miss Shape 163cm+ category. Emily performed her routine wearing an individually created bikini, encrusted with a sparkling crystal Black Swan Care Group design, reflecting the Norfolk-based care group who sponsored her for the event. After the event, Emily talked about her passion: “It’s incredible, I just can’t really believe it. To be crowned Miss Universe is just amazing. My passion for bodybuilding began about 7 years ago and this year’s competitions couldn’t have gone any better. “Obviously, there’s been lots of hard work – I start training at 3.30am and then go straight to work at Laurel Lodge care home. I’m very grateful to Black Swan for sponsoring me and supporting me to combine my passions of being a care home manager and a bodybuilder.”

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The Oaks Care Home Encourages Intergenerational Connections Through Reading Sessions with Reaside School The Oaks Care Home in Rubery has welcomed children from Reaside School, to take part in making some intergenerational connections and enjoy reading, and wellness sessions together. Recognising the value of intergenerational interactions, The Oaks has collaborated with teachers at Reaside School to create a unique connection that brings together residents and young students. The aim is to promote literacy, social engagement, and understanding between different generations. The reading sessions will take place every month and continuing throughout the academic year. A small group of students from Reaside School visit The Oaks for each session, where they will have the opportunity to read books together, share stories, and engage in conversation with the residents. These sessions provide a platform for meaningful interactions, fostering respect, and a sense of community across generations.

The Oaks strongly believes that intergenerational activities have numerous benefits for both seniors and students. The residents of the care home benefit from increased mental stimulation, companionship, and a sense of purpose, while the students can gain valuable life lessons, empathy, and an understanding of aging and the challenges faced by older adults. In addition to the reading sessions, The Oaks plans to organise various other activities and events throughout the year, such as arts and crafts sessions, gardening projects, and Christmas celebrations. The Oaks and Reaside School are excited about the positive impact this program will have on the lives of residents and students. They hope to inspire other care homes and schools in the community to consider similar intergenerational initiatives, creating a network of support and connection for seniors and students alike.

Royal Star & Garter and Florence Nightingale Foundation to Collaborate Over Social Care FNF’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Greta Westwood CBE, came to Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton to meet its Chief Executive Andy Cole, Head of Care Quality Walter Chikanya, and Home Manager Helena Maher. She was also given a tour of the award-winning care home. During the visit, Professor Westwood, Andy and Walter discussed ways in which the FNF can work together with Royal Star & Garter to collaborate on the development of new leadership programmes for nurses in social care. Walter, who himself recently graduated from an FNF leadership programme for Chairs of Social Care Nursing Advisory Councils

(SCNACS), said: “We’re very proud and excited to be exploring, with the Florence Nightingale Foundation, ways in which we can improve the provisions for nurses in our sector. It was an honour to welcome Greta to the Home and initiate these discussions.” Professor Westwood said it was an “absolute privilege” to visit Royal Star & Garter. She said: “My goodness, the place is wonderful. As soon as you step foot in the door you get the sense that this is where you’d like your mother or father to spend their final years. I’m delighted Walter invited me to the Home, and I feel really positive that Florence Nightingale Foundation and Royal Star & Garter can do something amazing for the nurses that work in the social care sector.”

Lynda’s Weekly Pamper Sessions Help Relax and Rejuvenate Care Home Residents In recognition of this month’s National Spa Week, at Friends of the Elderly’s residential and dementia care home, RNNH in Bournemouth, Dorset, Lynda Tilsed, has been talking about her love of bringing happiness, interactions and relaxation to the residents with her weekly hairdressing sessions. Lynda, who has been the care home’s Hairdresser for three years, has actually worked for Friends of the Elderly at RNNH for 33 years. “I was originally one of the team of carers at RNNH, after working as a Hairdresser for many years. In fact, I qualified as a Hairdresser back in 1975,” said Lynda. “One day, I was chatting to our Care Home Manager about hairstyles and we got on to my previous career in hairdressing. Once I’d told him all about my training and experience, he asked if I’d like to become RNNH’s Hairdresser as, following the Covid pandemic, the original Hairdresser decided not to return. It was such a lovely opportunity to spend more individual, quality time with the residents, I couldn’t say no,” Lynda added. Rob Paton, RNNH’s Activities Coordinator wasted no time in giving the existing onsite hair salon its very own makeover. “I wanted to relaunch our hair salon to welcome Lynda as our new Hairdresser,” said Rob. “For all our residents, especially those living dementia, I wanted to ensure our revamped salon was a soothing and therapeutic space, with a bit of a retro twist. I did this as a visit to the hairdressers can provide sensory cues such as a certain smell, the scent of

a shampoo or perfume, which can spark memories of happy, past experiences; so it’s a wonderful way to reminisce.” For older people living with dementia, hair care can help enhance their identity and self-expression. A visit to the hairdresser can also help boost self-confidence and provide some normality in a world that they might find unclear or puzzling at times. “Our residents love our salon and their weekly hair appointments. It’s a great way for them to feel pampered and that they’ve been made to feel extra special,” added Rob. “There’s always a lot of chatting and laughter coming from the salon and everyone – both our lady residents and our gentlemen residents - leave looking and feeling good.” Barbara Barry, who has been a resident at RNNH for seven years, is one of Lynda’s regular visitors. “I thoroughly look forward to my weekly hair appointment,” Barbara said. “It’s so nice to sit, relax and have a chat with Lynda and I always leave looking so glamorous. It’s wonderful.” “I make every appointment special,” continued Lynda. “Each one of the residents who comes along for their regular, weekly hair-do, loves to chat and fill me in on what they have been up to since our last meeting. “Many of the ladies tell me of how they used to get their hair done when they were younger. Beehives, Bobs and French Pleats seem to have been very popular. In fact, even now, alongside a traditional Set, my most requested hairstyle from our lady residents is for a Bob. Some styles just don’t go out of fashion,” Lynda concluded.

Saying Hola and Bonjour to Memories A pioneering language learning programme, recently launched in London, is set to open up new opportunities for residents in care and retirement homes. Developed and operated by Speak Like A Native, this innovative initiative has been on hold for three years. CEO Stuart Rubenstein says, “We’ve been running language courses in nurseries and schools for years but Covid meant we’ve had to wait until now to start in care homes. It’s very exciting to begin rolling it out and seeing how positive the initial reception is.” He explains that what makes this course so special is that it’s not about turning up and teaching a few words in Spanish or French. “We create a space where residents can connect the language with memories, which might be food or culture, school experiences, family or holidays. The lessons are very fluid and follow the pace of those participating. We personalise everything and make it a very special hour for all involved.” Among the early adopters of Speak Like A Native is Alan Morkhill House in North Kensington, part of the Gold Care Homes group, which now has Spanish for beginners as one of its regular weekly events. Suraiya Islam, activities co-ordinator at Alan Morkhill House, explains why she’s become a fan of Speak Like A Native. “The language sessions benefit our residents

in numerous ways; they help them grow, stimulate their brains, increase their desire to learn and try something new, improve their attention span, slow down cognitive issues, improve memory function, boost their self-esteem and give them a sense of pride.” Rubenstein and his wife, Greta Grinfeld, set up Speak Like A Native to take away the fears of language learning for people of all ages and to promote the positive benefits of being multilingual. “However,” as Grinfeld points out, “this course is different to what we offer children or young adults. In care homes, it’s obviously not about passing exams or career prospects but about reminiscing and the joy that can be found today in learning and discovering something new. We all like challenges and all deserve to feel proud of what we can accomplish.” Grinfeld adds that the most important aspect is that the residents have fun whether it’s sharing stories or having a go at Spanish or French pronunciation. Islam agrees and says that “Our residents look forward to the sessions every week.” She puts this down to the good rapport the Speak Like A Native teacher has built up with the participants. “They’ve become friends with the residents, and the experience has had a positive effect on everyone taking part.” Care homes interested in finding out more about setting up a taster should get in touch with Speak Like A Native at


Care UK Opens The Door To Inspire Future Workforce Care UK has partnered with the Careers & Enterprise Company on their ‘Open Doors’ project, which provides secondary school students the opportunity to learn about the careers available to them within a care provider and explore working in a care home ‘behind the scenes’. The first ‘Open Doors’ event at Care UK was hosted at Silversprings care home in Thorrington, Essex. Year 10 students learnt about the variety of careers available within a care home, as well as careers across the company, including within Care UK’s Colchester based Support Centre. Twenty students from St Helena’s School were welcomed to Silversprings with a full care home tour, where they met residents and Care UK colleagues with different academic and career backgrounds. Students met with carers and nurses, spoke to those working in the kitchen and within hospitality and discussed career pathways and individual journeys with managers. Following the tour, the students engaged with various Care UK colleagues, from both the Support Centre and care homes, to learn more about the different opportunities and career development routes available at Care UK. Students were able to ask questions and have an in-depth discussion about the potential professions available to them, as well as hearing colleagues’ stories from their own work experience, early job roles, and the lessons they’ve learned over the course of their careers. Having met with students during ‘Open Doors’, Omar Taylor, Care UK’s Regional Director for Essex, said,

“I am delighted for us to have hosted this opportunity for local students, so that they can learn more about a career in care and how care homes operate. I am proud that, as a region, we are working hard to pilot a formalised work experience programme to further allow those interested in a career in care to learn more and experience the workplace. We have a number of early career initiatives that we are developing, and we are also working with SEND schools and disadvantaged groups to raise awareness of what they can achieve, and the support on offer to them.” Speaking about the event, Samuel Mort, Hotel Services Manager at Care UK, said, “I am passionate about raising awareness of the company and the early careers programmes we offer, such as apprenticeships and our sector-leading Chef Academy. It is rewarding to show young people of all backgrounds and academic abilities that you can have a meaningful career regardless of whether or not you leave school with straight A’s. “I left school with a U in Maths and with other grades below C, and I have various learning challenges including ADHD. My first role after leaving school was a Kitchen Assistant. I worked very hard and applied myself to all the learning opportunities that were available to me. I now have the responsibility to support around 40 homes within four regions, whilst managing and developing teams who work in kitchens, hospitality and housekeeping. This is all in order to ensure that colleagues are achieving their potential and have a fulfilling career at Care UK.”

Local Man Inspires Choir To Raise Over £700 For Alzheimer’s UK A man who inspired the Taunton Male Voice Choir in Somerset to stage a fundraising concert in aid of Alzheimer’s UK in Oake on Saturday (25 November) has said he is delighted that over £700 was raised by the event. Peter Vann, whose wife Carole has been living with dementia since 2015, contacted the choir in June to suggest Alzheimer’s UK as a beneficiary for one of the 10 charity concert they aim to perform each year and was delighted to have his proposal adopted. He also suggested to the team at Camelot House and Lodge, where Carole has been living for the past four years, that tickets for the concert would be a great way to thank staff for what he described as the “wonderful” way they care for their residents. As a result, a group of 10 staff and residents travelled to Oake for an evening of rousing choral singing, enjoying many classic favourites such as Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. Peter Vann said: “Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease and having supported Carole myself for the first four years of her illness, I know how challenging it can be to care for people who are affected.

Peter (82) supported Carole (79) at home until his own heart issues required an operation and a period of respite, at which point things changed. While Peter was convalescing, Carole was cared for in three different institutions, which was difficult for both of them, before she was eventually admitted to Camelot House and Lodge. Peter Vann said: “We will have been married for 60 years next year, but Alzheimer’s changes so much about the person you love, and it just isn’t always possible – especially when you have health issues of your own – to provide the right level of care for a loved one who is affected, however much you want to. “The team at Camelot House and Lodge are so caring and provide such wonderful support for Carole that I know I can relax in the confident knowledge that she is receiving the best of care.” Sam Paddon, head of care at Camelot House and Lodge, said: “We had such positive feedback from the group who went to Saturday’s concert, and were grateful to Peter Vann for suggesting the outing, and in awe of his dedication in getting the choir to adopt Alzheimer’s UK as their charity of choice for this concert.”

More Than a Millennium of Experience as Nurses Celebrate Clinical Excellence Around 70 Colten Care nurses, with a combined total of 1,206 years of experience, came together for a team conference focused on learning and the continual delivery of clinical care excellence. All 21 of the south coast provider’s care homes, including its four dedicated dementia settings, were represented at the Clinical Excellence Day, held at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. The event was designed to celebrate nursing and consolidate professional development and learning through discussions and presentations. Among the agenda topics requested in advance by those attending were wound care, NMC revalidation, self-help and the requirements of MCA/DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Standards under the Mental Capacity Act). The day represented the restart of an annual series of Clinical Excellence conferences which Colten Care had paused during the Covid pandemic. Clinical Manager Lee Houston said: “I found it humbling to see so many nurses together in one place sharing their commitment to nursing. It was lovely to see them as engaged as they were, taking the opportunity to learn and get together with each other, meeting colleagues across the board. We had a really successful day and are already looking forward to the next one.” Representatives from Colten Care’s training partner Bournemouth University were on hand to exhibit information about nursing as a career and the trainee and student nursing courses it runs. Among external presenters, senior NMC manager Nicola Moreton gave a talk on revalidation and motivational speaker Rosie Mead discussed ways to achieve self-care and wellbeing while meeting the many challenges of a nursing role. On the in-house side, Colten Care’s Senior Clinical Trainer Cephanie Keightley highlighted the latest with approaches to wound care. Attendees included Verena Thomas, a Registered Nursing Associate at Wellington Grange, Colten Care’s Chichester home. She was a participant on the inaugural Trainee Nursing Associate course which Colten Care launched with Southampton Solent University in 2019. Verena said: “I enjoyed the conference. It was well organised and really helpful. I have my revalidation

coming up so it was great to hear the NMC presenter go over some pointers on that. It was also useful to see colleagues working through the MCA exercise and discuss how we deal with assessing someone for mental capacity. The session on wound training was also a helpful refresher course.” Another attendee was Ligia Dragoi, who started with Colten Care as a part-time Healthcare Assistant more than a dozen years ago. Supported by the company’s Learning & Development team, she took on extra responsibilities and became a Senior Care Lead for several years. Like Verena, she successfully completed the first two-year Nursing Associate course. After she graduated in 2021, Ligia worked in the Nursing Associate role for a year at Colten’s Avon Cliff home in Bournemouth. She then did an 18-month top-up course to complete a BSc in Adult Nursing and become an RGN. It included intensive study on a six-month bridging module coupled with a year’s practical nursing experience on placement at Poole Hospital. After she graduated with first class honours, Ligia returned to Avon Cliff and finally received her NMC Pin in September 2023. Putting the Clinical Excellence Day in the wider context of her training, Ligia said: “I always wanted to progress to eventually become a Nurse. I do feel it is a massive accomplishment to have gone through all the training and achieved that goal. I am very privileged that Colten Care put me through this training and I am already endorsing others to take this path. I am happy to share my experience and help supervise and assess others. Nursing is such a rewarding profession but you have to be determined about learning and you have to have a goal. I’m looking forward to developing my nursing career and making a difference to residents’ lives.” In a feedback survey after the conference, 84% of respondents said they were ‘very satisfied’ it had exceeded their expectations. Fourteen per cent said they were ‘moderately satisfied’ it had. At the same time, 87% said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the level of interaction and engagement in the event sessions. Thirteen per cent were moderately satisfied.


Why Care Is An Incredible Vocation By Fionna Cannon, Care & Wellbeing Director at Wallacea Living ( One of the questions I am often asked in my role is, what makes a good carer? And the answer is really very simple – ultimately its somebody that you would want to look after your own family. It’s a job that can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure, but for me, it has been an overwhelmingly fulfilling vocation throughout my working life. It’s a job that has people at its heart, and requires solid communication and listening skills, along with buckets of empathy and passion. Above all else, it requires someone with the right character and attitude, because the truth is, skills can be learnt and developed, but attitude is more inherent.

TACKLING THE SHORTAGE OF CARE WORKERS Despite care being such a rewarding career path, the UK is today facing a severe shortage of carers. The industry body Skills for Care revealed that, in the year to March 2022, there were 1.79 million posts in adult social care, of which a staggering 165,000 were unfilled, an increase of 52 per cent on the previous year. This deficit of carers is one of the reasons why we see hospitals overloaded with patients, ready to be discharged, but unable to leave due to insufficient support and care available to them. It’s a problem that continues to hinder the NHS, but that needs to be resolved if we’re ever to cut hospital wait times and improve the health care system. Integrated Retirement Communities offer a real solution to owners who need rehabilitation, with on-site care available to support residents in their homes, enabling them to leave hospital quicker and providing tailored support to suit their needs.

ENCOURAGING MORE PEOPLE INTO THE CARE PROFESSION In order to attract more workers into care, we must start with recruitment and encouraging potential carers in the right way by giving them something back. It’s not just about money (although this is undoubtedly a big consideration), but it’s also about the way in which carers are managed and supported in their role. This could be as simple as regular check ins with their manager and wider team to discuss their workload and

any challenges that arise. But it’s also important to provide pathways for training and development to support their career progression, whether that’s skills in health and social care or to achieve a managerial position. This is about a concerted effort to keep people in the profession and prevent a high turnover of staff.

FOSTERING A SUPPORTIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE Building and nurturing the right workplace culture is a vital part of employee retention, and arguably none more so than within care. This is a job that often requires many hours spent on the road, visiting patients in their homes and ultimately working alone. Without a solid system of support, it can be a lonely job with carers often feeling under-valued and unsupported in the work they do. Years ago, carers would be required to go to the office every week to collect their rota and talk with their colleagues, sharing experiences and advice and having the opportunity to discuss any problems they faced or issues that had arisen. However, as the world has moved online, the vast majority of carers now receive their rotas online and as a result no longer go to the office regularly, meaning they are missing out on invaluable face time with colleagues and managers. No longer feeling part of a team, their sense of belonging and camaraderie erodes, so that when they have a particularly difficult day at work, they feel isolated, anxious and experience low self-esteem. And the tragedy is, all this can ultimately result in them deciding to leave the profession. Far too many carers are now providing care, yet not receiving the care they need from their work.

INTRODUCING A ONE-TEAM APPROACH At Wallacea Living, we will be delivering care on site by our dedicated team of carers, all of whom are employed directly by us. This one team approach will enable seamless communication between our carers, so that they can best support the owners who require care, while also building a strong and supportive team culture. They will spend their working days visiting owners on site, meaning they will have ample opportunities to offer advice to one another when needed, being part of a network of colleagues to share experiences with. Sometimes it’s as simple as that morning hello, or afternoon coffee break, just to enhance team morale and camaraderie. Throughout my career I have always felt a strong sense of fulfilment from the work I do. With such a great need for more carers to join the profession, it’s vital that we provide the right support, training and working environment from which to nurture the next generation of carers. Only then will we begin to resolve so many of the challenges facing the UK’s health and social care sectors.

Memories for Mo as Care Home Celebrates 20 Years On Site of Family House An 84-year-old Hampshire woman whose care home occupies the exact spot where her family’s house used to be joined fellow residents and guests for a 20th anniversary celebration. Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington opened in 2003 following the demolition of two houses originally on the Milford Road site. One of them, number 20, was the four-bedroom family home, from 1978 to 2001, of Maureen Marks’ in-laws Adrienne and Ted and niece Sandra. Maureen, known as Mo, and her late husband Bill were regular visitors, enjoying family gatherings including barbecues in the back garden. Maureen also lived there for several weeks in 1994 when she was between house moves herself. Number 20 and the next-door property were sold in 2001, after which Colten Developments demolished the buildings to pave the way for arts and crafts-themed Belmore Lodge. Twenty years on from its official opening, Maureen, Adrienne and Sandra joined Belmore Lodge residents and well-wishers for an anniversary celebration. The centrepiece was the opening of a week-long exhibition in the home’s Botanical Lounge, with photos, news cuttings and other memorabilia charting two decades of community care and local Lymington history.

Maureen, whose family members ran the Lymington bakers’ business Marks Bakery from 1972 to 1996, moved to Belmore Lodge eleven years ago. “This is a really nice, homely place to live in,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been so long. I feel like I’m part of the furniture now.” The exhibition was launched by former Lymington Mayor Jane Clarke who, in her Mayoral capacity, officially opened Belmore Lodge in 2003. “I remember thinking it was a lovely home then,” said Jane. “I recall I had just opened some public toilets in Lymington earlier in the day and thinking this was rather more upmarket!” Also attending the launch was Ian Hudson, Colten Care Executive Director, who said: “Colten Developments originally had planning permission for a block of flats but we were told that local doctors wanted more nursing homes in the Lymington area. That was the thinking behind Belmore Lodge being developed, owned and run by Colten Care, offering 55 bedrooms. It was the 13th home we opened.” The exhibition launch party coincided with Ian’s 75th birthday so Home Manager Janie Wilkins took the opportunity to arrange a cake and presentation for him. A professional accountant, Ian said: “I joined Colten Care aged 40 and so have spent 35 years at the company. I love working for Colten Care. It’s happy days because it doesn’t feel like work.”

Charity Goats to Get Scarves This Christmas This December the ‘Guardians of the Goats’ at Duckyls Farm have enlisted their fellow residents help to provide scarves for their herd. Residents Jason and Simon are very proud to be ‘Guardian of the Goats’ for the eight goats who live at Duckyls Farm, a home for adults with learning disabilities in West Sussex. This Christmas while compiling their own gift lists, they asked if they might also be able to provide their goats with Christmas gifts. As well as asking Santa for goat food and the equipment to make a goat adventure playground Jason and Simon have enlisted the help of fellow residents Polly and Glen who will be very busy sewing knitted squares together to make scarves for their goats. The herd of eight goats, Arthur, Ben, Bill, Chewy, Mr G, Sarah, Sky and Sonny live on the 100 acre Duckyls Farm which is owned by the care provider Diagrama Foundation and is home to eight residents with learning disabilities. As well as goats, the farm has rabbits and sheep which the residents take care of.

Karen Tolton, Manager Duckyls Farm said, “Our residents enjoy having the responsibility of looking after our animals. Jason and Simon really enjoy caring for the goats and we have christened them the ‘Guardians of the Goats’ adapting the name from the Marvel superheroes. The Guardians have added goat food and some equipment to make a goat adventure playground, to our Amazon wish list and are delighted that fellow residents Polly and Glen are going to help them provide each goat with a scarf.” David McGuire, Chief Executive, Diagrama Foundation said, “At the heart of all our care services we use Montessori principles to develop the potential of everyone we work with. Our charity believes that when someone has time and belief invested in them, they come alive, because they feel valued and worthy. Hearing that Jsaon and Simon put the goats ahead of themselves at Christmas was wonderfully heartening and we are very proud of the Ducklys Farm Guardians of the Goats.”



Why You Should Consider A Cybersecurity Strategy In Your Care Facility

Cyberattacks are on the increase and the healthcare sector is one of the most targeted industries. According to a recent survey conducted by email security firm Agari, 67% of healthcare organisations in the UK have suffered a cybersecurity incident over the last 12 months. Of all healthcare cyber incidents in the last year, 48% have been the result of malware or viruses introduced to the network by third-party devices. To help protect your care home or care facility from the threat of a cyber related incident, we recommend putting a robust cybersecurity strategy in place to sit alongside your insurance programme. You should create a cyber risk assessment and action preventative measures including a best practice guide. This will help to reassure your employees, customers, suppliers and any third parties, that you are as ready as possible in the event of a cyber threat. To identify areas of weakness or vulnerability, you should assess

the security of your information or data. Prevention is always better than cure, so review your current security strategy to ensure that you have the proper policies and best practices in place to meet any required standards or obligatory regulations. This should include a review of your security operations, network and data security to check that you are protected from exploitation and have prevention and monitoring procedures in place. Carry out a cyber security assessment to identify the types of attack that you may be vulnerable to and assess how prepared your business is to respond to an incident. Consider your ability to detect malicious activity, the procedures you have in place to contain an attack and what your incident response process is. Create a best practice guide to help prevent your exposure to cyber threats and share with all employees. This should include the use of strong passwords which are updated regularly. Software and systems should also be checked regularly, and updates actioned when due. The use of two-factor authentication, when available, should also be implemented. Ensure you are following the most up to date guidance on GDPR and that your data protection officer has all the latest information. It’s a legal obligation of any business to ensure appropriate and proportionate security is in place to protect any personal data held, to safeguard the rights of individuals. You must also report any data breaches to the ICO within 72 hours of discovery. Provide your staff with Cyber Security Awareness Training so they can spot suspicious looking communications, understand how hackers get in and the importance of strong passwords. Educating your entire organisation helps to minimise potential attacks and can also help to reduce internal security incidents. It’s also a good idea to create a robust reporting procedure to ensure that all employees are aware of any potential or recent cyber-attacks. With more of us working from home, you should make sure your remote working methods are protected and procedures are adhered to by all.

Put together a business continuity plan and share with key employees for a coordinated, calm and fast reaction to an unexpected cyber event. Your immediate response to an event will be key to the overall impact on your business. Consider how you will contact everyone that may have been affected as a result of a data breach to help retain your customer database, customer confidence, brand reputation and trust. Don’t wait until you have experienced a cyber attack to put measures in place, be proactive and help protect your business now. We can help you to develop a robust cyber security strategy as part of your complete insurance programme, managing your exposure to cyber risks. Speak to us about arranging cyber liability insurance or carrying out a cyber risk assessment by calling us on 01480 272727 or emailing Find out more about cyber liability insurance at


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors Serve Afternoon Tea in

HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors protect the elderly and disabled people from fall-related hip fractures. Designed to protect elderly people from fall related hip fractures, HipSavers are a leading brand of soft hip protectors. Used in the NHS since 2002, HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors are user friendly, affordable and cost-effective personal protective garments. Soft, comfortable, effective and compatible with incontinence protection, HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors are perfect for use in care homes and by elderly people living independently. HipSavers should be worn day and night for 24 hour protection and especially during physical and recreational activities, when accidental falls, slips and trips can lead to hip fractures.

Available as comfortable underwear or long casual pants in several sizes for men and women, HipSavers feature soft protective airPads permanently sewn into the garments over the hip areas prone to injuries and fractures. HipSaver TailBone models have an additional protective airPad over the coccyx on lower back for protection during swaying, accidental knocks, bumps and backward falling. Machine washable at high temperature and tumble drier friendly, HipSavers are practical, hygienic and durable. HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors - affordable protective garments for the elderly and disabled people! For more information, contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 - See the adverts on page 3 and the front cover.

Yeoman Shield Fire Door Services 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. 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 or visit or see the advert page 10.

C&S Seating Ltd

limb is required. Our popular and vibrant range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 colours, provide a softer alternative, ideal for the colder seasons and are designed to fit snug over our waterproof rolls for maximum protection and comfort. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 6.

C&S Seating Ltd have provided postural control equipment to residential homes, hospices, medical equipment services and NHS trust hospitals nationwide since 1991. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls, in a removable and machine washable Waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C&S Seating Ltd is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support – also available in two sizes, which has removable side cushions and middle pommel for when more control of the abducted lower

Fire Resistant Wallcoverings with 24/7 Anti-Bacterial Protection Muraspec is an international leader in wallcoverings, with a remarkable heritage dating back to the 1850’s. We take great pride in catering to a diverse clientele worldwide, including care homes and residential sectors. All our wallcoverings use up to 30% recycled content, and are designed & manufactured in our UK factory, with Euroclass B fire ratings - the highest fire certification for the UK and Europe. Any Muraspec wallcovering can contain antimicrobial protection (if requested), which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, and moulds. It's also effective for the lifetime of a product and doesn’t wear off or leach out. Additionally, we're thrilled to offer a range of dementia-friendly wallcoverings, which were developed in consultation with the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling. According to the DSDC, getting a design right can

make a fundamental difference to the lives of people with dementia. It improves their life experiences and can even increase their life expectancy. We are committed to designing and producing market-leading and innovative wallcoverings, and the DSDC-selected ranges are the first in the UK to be approved as dementia friendly. The ranges also suit different budgets and interior spaces, as well as providing a unique combination of choice, durability, quality, and sympathetic-yet-stylish designs to work with. Furthermore, if you're facing a tight deadline for your wallcovering project, you can count on Muraspec for the shortest lead times in the industry. Contact us now to arrange a visit from one of our friendly Key Account Managers on 03705 117 118 or See the advert on page 13 for further information.

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 to see the full range. Or see the advert on page 23.

Baron Medical BARON MEDICAL has provided a wide range of services to the Care Industry, both at home and abroad since 1987, originating as a Consultancy in 1987 to Yorkshire Regional Health Authority, and probably one of the oldest Companies in this sector. Now working alongside Western Equipment Supplies in Bristol our combined 60+ years enables to have unique purchasing arrangements with various bodies within the industry. We have close links to the NHS, giving back much needed revenue, whilst also working with diverse clientele at home and abroad to countries less fortunate than ours. Understanding the financial constraints often faced by care organisations and individuals, we offer flexible

pricing options. Whether you're looking to hire or purchase our beds, our prices are available on request and we absorb VAT costs to ease your financial burden. For those considering bulk purchases, we can offer generous discounts on orders of 5 or more beds, or to help cash~flow, rent a bed for as little as £35 pw, reducing further for quantity or a long-term extended payment term. Call 0800 954 8801 - Text 07768 800 188 Or email: Maureen (or) See the advert on page 15 for further information on how Baron can help your business.

Exclusive Antimicrobial Scrub Technology by Grahame Gardner and Micro-Fresh® The range, exclusive to Grahame Gardner, incorporates cutting-edge technology MicroFresh® to help keep healthcare workers safe whilst maintaining unrivalled comfort. The garment fabric, which is 65 per cent polyester and 35 per cent cotton, is incorporated with innovative Micro-fresh® technology at point of manufacture. The antimicrobial technology not only kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria beyond 50 washes but is also proven to reduce the spread of human coronavirus by 99.2 per cent. With wash resistant antibacterial protection, Micro-Fresh® also boasts odour prevention, providing longer lasting freshness for the wearer. The scrubs are hypoallergenic, gentle on skin and vegan friendly. The exclusive scrubs are available in two fits – unisex and female – the scrub top is available in six colourways: Oasis, Navy, Eau de Nil, Bottle, Smoke

Grey and Blue 18 each with a classic contrasting white trim, the trousers are available in core colours Navy, Bottle and Black. Grahame Gardner also offer all six scrub colours in their Made to Order range with a bespoke choice of trim colour. The scrub top design features multiple pockets, including two waterproof chest pockets and a wearers right hand hip pocket, which also has a pen divide and an elastic loop for a clip-on hand sanitiser. The trousers have a drawstring waist, and also side and a back pockets. The range is exclusively available to purchase here: microfresh-scrubs.html See the advert on page 7 for further details.

MOWOOT II for Life Free from Constipation MOWOOT II for Life Free from Constipation MOWOOT II is a groundbreaking non-invasive and non-pharmacological solution to chronic constipation. Developed by a team of doctors and other healthcare professionals, the MOWOOT II performs gentle abdominal massage that speeds up intestinal transit in people suffering with chronic constipation. Clinically proven, safe and effective, easy to use, relaxing and side-effects free, the MOWOOT II Abdominal Massage Therapy System combats constipation, allowing the sufferers to enjoy the freedom of a healthy life. Easy to use and comfortable, MOWOOT II treats and manages chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease patients and when constipation is caused by drugs and pharmacological interventions. MOWOOT II also helps people combat idiopathic chronic constipa-

tion, such as suffered by menopausal and postmenopausal women and the older and elderly people. In clinical studies, MOWOOT II was found to increase evacuation frequency, soften stools, improve regularity, reduce gasses and bloating and relieve abdominal discomfort. Just 10 to 20 minutes per day of relaxing abdominal massage therapy with MOWOOT II produces noticeable improvements. Significant results are experienced few days after the first treatment. Regular applications ensure lasting improvements and better quality of life. MOWOOT II – the effective solution to chronic constipation and the way to a healthier life! For more information, contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 - See the adverts on page 3 and the front cover of this issue.


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Skin Health and Surface Hygiene Expert, GOJO Urges Organisations To Be Prepared This Germ Season Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO urges organisations to be prepared this germ season. GOJO, THE INVENTORS OF PURELL™, and the hand sanitiser category itself, is advising organisations, particularly those in the care sector that look after the elderly and the vulnerable, to take steps to lessen the impact of seasonal viruses this winter. Preparedness can save lives – last year’s influenza programme prevented around 25,000 hospitalisations in England . This autumn and winter, COVID-19, flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are likely to be co-circulating which, according to Dr Marc-Alain Widdowson, who leads WHO's High-threat Pathogen team, ‘would increase the risk to vulnerable populations and put further pressure on health services.’ Whilst flu vaccines are a powerful weapon, good hand hygiene is a critical measure in the battle against winter infections. For healthcare and long-term care settings, which support vulnerable patients, GOJO recommends paying extra attention to their specific needs. Chris Wakefield, V.P. European Marketing and Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd. comments: ‘As a founder member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, GOJO is a strong advocate of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone. Hospitals and care homes need to ensure that the protection solutions they select are suitable for everyone with a facility – staff, visitors, and patients alike. ‘For example, consider touch-free dispensers that are easier for the elderly and infirm to operate, and ensure that the formulations are suitable too. They must not only have proven efficacy against germs, but should be gentle enough to care for resident’s delicate skin as well as that of busy healthcare workers, who clean their hands repeatedly during a shift.’ Widely used in the NHS, PURELL® is a trusted brand in healthcare facilities around the world. Its solutions

edencleen from Cleenol

Over the course of our history, we at Cleenol have always produced products that offer a perfect balance between cleaning performance and efficiency with an attention to reducing the environmental impact that our products may carry. Edencleen has been designed to reflect in part our vision for a cleaner, safer world, that touches not only the environmental aspects of sustainability, but has as an aim, a social ambition to leave the planet in the safe care of and for future generations. The range covers the essential needs to cover 80% of daily cleaning and include: a washroom cleaner and toilet gel cleaner and urinal deodoriser, an allpurpose surface sanitiser, a degreaser and a washing up liquid, a no rinse floor degreaser, a window cleaner and a laundry detergent and fabric softener. edencleen products have been developed around the following principles and ingredients • RSPO certified palm oil derivatives • No animal derived products • Cruelty free • Minimal petrochemical derived products

Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with 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

• No parabens, formaldehyde, CMI/MIT, triclosan, phosphates, chlorine bleaches, optical brighteners, quaternary ammonium compounds • VOC free and phosphate, EDTA, NTA free • Recyclable / recycled packaging • 100% bio-based surfactant - made by using biobased ethylene oxide which is manufactured from biomass ethanol. • Bioethanol, naturally derived acids, sugar-based surfactants, bio-based solvents, low impact preservatives Combining carefully formulated products, with appropriate packaging, using recycled material or recyclable componentry, the range’s mostly colourless liquid and low fragrance usage are designed to convey a transparency and straightforwardness of our approach which will be a hallmark of all edencleen products and associated services. edencleen’s new range represents just the start to a fully refreshed solution to meet the most demanding of customers expectations. See the advert on this page for further details.

encompass fast-acting, effective formulas that care for skin, state of the art dispensers, and dedicated support such as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) accredited training. For a tailored, effective, total solution for your setting, or for more information on the benefits of partnering with GOJO, please call +44 (0)1908 588444, email, or visit



Accessible Bathing in Nursing and Care Environments op appropriate care plans. The risk assessment should take into account the resident's physical and cognitive abilities, mobility, sensory impairments, medical conditions, medication, and history of falls or injuries. The assessment should also consider the design and layout of the bathing facilities, including the type of bath or shower, flooring, lighting, temperature, water pressure, and grab rails. Based on the assessment, the care team can develop a care plan that addresses the resident's individual needs and preferences, such as the frequency and timing of bathing, the use of aids and equipment, and the involvement of family or caregivers.


Accessible bathing in UK care and nursing homes is essential to provide residents with the best possible care. It is vital to ensure that the bathing experience is safe, comfortable, and respectful of their dignity and privacy. In this article, we will explore various aspects of accessible bathing in care and nursing homes, including health and safety, risk assessment, training, injuries, aids and equipment, technology, flooring, infection control, and patient dignity and guidance.

HEALTH AND SAFETY The safety and health of residents are crucial in accessible bathing. Bathing environments should be free of hazards that could cause harm to residents or staff. Regular checks should be carried out to ensure that the facilities are safe, and any issues should be promptly addressed. Loose or broken tiles, damaged or worn flooring, and broken fittings should be fixed or replaced immediately. Appropriate signage should be used to remind staff and residents of the safety guidelines when using the bathing facilities.

RISK ASSESSMENT A risk assessment should be carried out before residents use the bathing facilities. This assessment should identify any potential risks or hazards, including mobility and other health conditions that may affect the resident's ability to use the facilities safely. The risk assessment should also consider the type of equipment required for residents to use the facilities safely. For example, some residents may require handrails, shower chairs, or other equipment to assist them in the bathing process.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS Bathing is a routine activity that most people take for granted. However, for people with mobility or sensory impairments, bathing can pose significant risks of falls, injury, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a thorough risk assessment of each resident's bathing needs and capabilities to identify potential hazards and devel-

Providing safe and effective bathing requires specific skills and knowledge, such as manual handling, infection control, first aid, and communication. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all care staff who are involved in bathing residents receive appropriate training and support. The training should cover topics such as: • The importance of hygiene and cleanliness • The risks of infection and cross-contamination • The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) • The use of aids and equipment, such as hoists, shower chairs, and bath lifts • The techniques for assisting residents with personal care, including washing, drying, and dressing • The management of challenging behaviours or communication difficulties • The monitoring of the resident's health and well-being during and after bathing • The reporting and recording of incidents or concerns. The training should be delivered by qualified and experienced trainers who can tailor the content to the specific needs of the care home and its residents. The training should also be regularly updated and reinforced to ensure that staff maintain their skills and knowledge.

INJURIES AND ACCIDENTS Despite the best efforts to promote safety and minimize risks, accidents and injuries can still occur during bathing. The most common types of injuries are falls, burns, scalds, and skin tears. Therefore, it is essential to have robust procedures in place for reporting and managing incidents, including first aid, medical treatment, and investigation. The care home should have clear protocols for responding to emergencies and incidents, such as the availability of first aid kits, defibrillators, and emergency contacts. The staff should be trained in basic first aid and emergency procedures, and there should be designated first aiders and fire wardens on duty at all times.

TECHNOLOGY Technology can play a significant role in accessible bathing, with innovations such as digital showers and temperature-controlled taps providing increased comfort and safety for residents. For example, some taps can automatically turn off if the water temperature gets too high, reducing the risk of scalds.

FLOORING The flooring in accessible bathing facilities should be slip-resistant to reduce the risk of falls. It is essential to ensure that flooring is regularly maintained and replaced if necessary to prevent accidents.

INFECTION CONTROL Infection control is crucial in accessible bathing. Staff should follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of infections, such as regular cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and surfaces. Residents with infections should be isolated to prevent the spread of illness to others.

PATIENT DIGNITY AND GUIDANCE Residents' dignity and privacy should be respected at all times during accessible bathing. Staff should ensure that residents are treated with respect and that their dignity is maintained throughout the bathing process. Residents should also be given guidance on how to use the facilities and any equipment to ensure that they feel comfortable and safe.

CONCLUSION Accessible bathing is an essential aspect of providing quality care to residents in UK care and nursing homes. Health and safety, risk assessment, training, injuries, aids and equipment, technology, flooring, infection control, and patient dignity and guidance are all crucial considerations when designing and maintaining accessible bathing facilities. By prioritizing these aspects, care and nursing homes can ensure that residents receive safe, comfortable, and respectful care during the bathing process.

AIDS AND EQUIPMENT Accessible bathing requires the use of specific equipment and aids to assist residents. These may include handrails, shower chairs, bath hoists, and walk-in baths. It is vital to ensure that the equipment is regularly maintained and that staff are trained in its correct use.

NEW: Omnicare Digital Shower for Level Access Bathrooms Triton has unveiled its new Omnicare Digital solution, designed for safer showering in level access bathrooms. Expanding its industry-leading collection of Omnicare electric care showers, the latest launch from Britain’s leading shower manufacturer has Bluetooth compatibility, enabling it to automatically pair with a Whale Instant Match pump, evacuating wastewater from showers where gravity cannot do so. Ideal for both new build and retrofit applications, the product joins Triton’s existing Omnicare, Omnicare Ultra and Omnicare Design products to form a complete range of inclusive thermostatic showering solutions. Packed with innovative features, the Omnicare Digital switches off instantly if power to the pump is cut for any reason, preventing flooding. Quiet in operation, the unit controls the pump’s speed based on flow rates, so gulley suction noise is minimised. With a small footprint, the pump can be installed in various locations, including bathrooms, airing cupboards and other accessible locations – making it easier and faster for contractors to fit and maintain. A 7m pairing distance through Bluetooth wireless technology also offers flexibility for the pump to be sited outside the bathroom area. Triton’s latest launch has been developed to support the continuing trend of multi-generational living amid an ageing demographic. Last year, CBRE found that 1.8m UK households now contain two or more adult generations. Ashley Cooper, Marketing Director at Triton Showers, said: “An increasing number of people are living in multi-generational households, whether due to a shortage in housing stock, cost-of-living crisis, or the population living longer. Therefore, properties must be adapted accordingly, allowing people of varying ages with different needs and abilities to share facilities.

“We launched Omnicare Digital for this type of application, further strengthening our collection of thermostatic care showers. The new model helps users with reduced mobility and can be specified in wet room applications, while still offering all the safety features that are included across our Omnicare range.” British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) Care Mark approved, all models in the Omnicare range have a maximum temperature setting of 43°C and are equipped with thermostatic temperature control to prevent scalding and sudden drops in water temperature, regulating within +/-1°C. Additionally, to help users of all abilities wash easily and safely, Omnicare products are Royal National Institute for Blind (RNIB) accredited and included audible feedback and tactile controls such as a looped lever handle and soft press start/stop button. There are additional accessories that can be paired with the Omnicare range to mitigate against slips, trips and falls, including multi-purpose grab riser rail kits and remote start/stop controls. Triton’s Omnicare Digital shows the manufacturer’s continued commitment to sustainable showering solutions. In Triton’s latest research, it found that an electric shower can cost nearly a third less than a mixer. Ashley added: “We’re always looking at impact on the planet, whether that’s from our own manufacturing processes or changing the behaviour of those using our products. For more information about Triton’s Omnicare range, please visit: Contact details: Call: 02476 324 776 Email: Web:


WASHROOMS & ACCESSIBLE BATHING Access And Mobility Bathrooms Access And Mobility Bathrooms is a family owned and run bathroom adaptation specialist that offers a design, supply and installation service for walk in Showers, Wet rooms and Walk in baths. • Specialist in maintenance free wall panels. • All building works carried out. • Free home visits, consultations and quotations. Installed within 8 weeks of order. As Member of the British Health Care trades associ-

ation, we abide to a code of practice that protects you from pressure selling, over pricing and ensures quality of work and products. Enquiries welcome from privately funded customers and business to business. For further information call 01626 903181, email or visit

Upgrade Your Air Freshener System To Keep Washrooms Constantly Fresh

The challenges with current air fresheners Washrooms are the biggest source of complaints, accounting for over 45% of the complaints that facility managers receive.1 In addition, recent research from Tork tells us that 67% of employees say they’re more likely to complain about a washroom than any other aspect of their office.2 Therefore, it’s crucial that washrooms are run efficiently to ensure a standard of cleanliness that makes people feel cared for. A new air freshener that distributes scent evenly and continuously Tork has launched a new system that makes keeping your washrooms constantly fresh much easier. It uses a unique, high-tech technology that is propellant free to neutralise odours continuously and evenly. Research shows that the most important factor customers state when selecting an air care product is the “long lasting performance”3. The Tork Constant Air

Freshener can last for up to 90 days before needing a refill, with a range of scents that eliminate bad odours, creating a consistent, fresh washroom experience, which helps facility managers to avoid washroom complaints. A system that is easy to maintain and refill 71% of cleaning staff agreed that if washroom dispensers were quicker and easier to refill, they would have more time for other cleaning tasks2. The Tork Constant Air Freshener dispenser is certified ‘Easy to use’ for speedy refilling.4 Its flexible placement at reachable heights also allows for easy maintenance. Refills and battery changes can also be planned into existing cleaning routines to save staff valuable time. IoT connected dispensers With Tork Vision Cleaning, the world’s leading data-driven cleaning solution, cleaning staff will now know exactly when and where to refill all Tork dispensers in the washroom. The new air freshener dispenser will enable them to keep the dispensers replenished and save time by avoiding unnecessary checks. It’s easy to provide a great washroom experience with smart, sustainable hygiene management from Tork. For more information, please visit For more information on Tork air freshener, please visit




How Care Homes in the UK Can Save Money and Improve Residents' Mental Well Being Gary Seale, MD of iDry Ltd, manufacturer of in shower body dryers is baffled. It's fantastic to hear about iDry's success and the growing demand for its innovative products, but the success isn’t being seen in the country of manufacture! The company's expansion into international markets, especially securing its largest ever export order heading to Holland, speaks volumes about the global appeal of their technology, the ever present demands to cut costs and improve patients well being, all well documented and accepted. Gary Seale, is optimistic about the overseas reception, especially in the care sector. Yet the UK seems to lag behind Europe. Gary asks, don’t UK care homes want to reduce care hours, improve the well being of patients and reduce costs too? The emphasis on cost savings and environmental impact is noteworthy. iDry's technology not only provides efficient drying solutions but also addresses economic and ecological concerns. The comparison of the cost of laundering towels versus the cost of a five-minute session with the body dryer highlights the practical benefits. The case study below highlights how a 30 room assisted living complex actually had a payback on their iDry Apres units of only 7 weeks, releasing over 117 hours of direct care every month, Surely that sort of saving should be snapped up by Care home owners? Gary continued, out of a study of over 800 people in Bury Town centre over 93% had never heard of an in shower body dryer, out of the remaining 7% I genuinely think most were being polite and hadn’t got a clue. Whether direct contact, assisted bathing or attended bathing, the iDry can provide users with amongst other things their DIGNITY being returned even in miniscule amounts.

CASE STUDY When Tonnie Bieleman wants to vacuum his apartment in the De Klokkenbelt residential facility in Almelo or turn on the lights, he tells his Google Home. He is dependent on care 24/7 I can do my thing quietly and don't have to hurry because someone is waiting who has to go to the next resident.'

THE INSTALLATION ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH The Klokkenbelt is a residential location of InteraktContour, an organization that provides care and support to people with NAH in a large part of eastern and central Netherlands. The former care home in

Almelo has recently been completely redesigned and made suitable for future-proof habitation. Large-scale use of modern technology has been made with the help of the Innovation Impulse for Full Life. This helps make the lives of clients like Tonnie more attractive, more independent and safer. The innovations also save employees time, giving them more time to focus on clients. 'By conducting a needs survey among clients and by actively participating in healthcare, we discovered how technology can support healthcare, Because the installation alone is not enough. It turned out to be a project in itself to make innovations part of the healthcare process.' The iDry Apres Body Dryer saves per patient over 23 hours of direct care every month Because people like Tonnie are becoming more self-reliant, technology also influences the way healthcare is organised. For example, in unplanned care, the number of calls from residents for everyday minor matters decreased by hundreds per month. After all, no one has to come for simple things like operating the lighting or curtains anymore. But it also turned out that many hours could be saved in planned care, sometimes with larger and less mundane adjustments. For example, with the Body dryer that Tonnie received in his bathroom, he can now dry himself after showering. This saves over 23 hours of direct care every month. Employees now spend that time on other things. "They now help me get out of bed in the morning, for safety reasons," says Tonnie. 'I can then shave independently in 45 minutes, take a shower and dry myself with the help of the Apres body dryer. Only then do I alert care again, and then they come and help me get dressed. Previously, a healthcare provider had to be present all the time. In the meantime, he can now work with someone else.' Apart from the time savings and the regained independence, the innovation in his bathroom also helps Tonnie feel better physically and more important mentally , he has got back a sense of dignity 'I have a lot of cramps in my arm and leg. It's nice to have warmth there and to be able to do that calmly and relaxed, without feeling rushed.' Tonnie cannot emphasize enough how important it is for him that he is once again in control of his own life, partly thanks to technology. He went through a deep valley after two cerebral infarctions and a double pulmonary embolism destroyed him eight years ago. 'I was a project leader and managed many people every day. And suddenly I was completely dependent on others, after 49 years of being able to do everything myself. Then you really go crazy.'

Tonnie moved to an InteraktContour residential location in Lelystad five years ago, now lives in the Klokkenbelt and is very happy with the innovations he has there.

THE MORE INDEPENDENT THE RESIDENTS, THE MORE POSITIVE 'Things are really going better now. My disability no longer changes, but this technique makes my life enormously more pleasant. I can regain some of my dignity. It may seem simple to others, but it really means a lot to me. Now when my wife comes to visit in the evening, it's fun again. And it also changes the relationship you have with the employees. I no longer have to call them for every little thing, and because of the time savings that everything yields, there is also time for a conversation. That is real progress.' Marieke van den Berg, e-health task holder at Klokkenbelt, also sees this. And it works both ways, she says. 'The more our residents regain their independence, the more positive they become. This makes them feel better about themselves. Cutting costs and saving time by innovating is a bonus, but the fact that residents can do things again that they could do before also gives us a lot of satisfaction. This leads to less stress and improves the quality of care.'

For further information on iDry and how they can save your facility money while also improving your residents' wellbeing , visit or call 0800 933 0020.



Revolutionising Care Homes with Forbes Connect: A New Era in Commercial Laundry In the fast-evolving landscape of care homes, Forbes Professional takes a significant step forward with the introduction of Forbes Connect; featuring state-of-the-art Miele washers, dryers, and dishwashers. This innovative new offering seamlessly integrates technology to deliver an unparalleled connected laundry experience for care facilities. At the heart of Forbes Connect is a ground-breaking 24/7 intelligent remote monitoring system, providing both our engineers and our clients with real-time insights into the operational status of Miele laundry machines. This transformative feature ensures a pro-active approach to maintenance, further reducing any downtime and enhancing the overall efficiency of laundry operations. Our dedicated team of engineers operate from an expansive network around the UK and are ready for intervention should issues be digitally identified. This proactive approach minimises disruptions and helps us remotely identify faults to increase first time fix rates. It also optimises the lifespan of Miele commercial laundry machines, offering care homes peace of mind and uninterrupted service. When a fault is detected, Forbes Connect ensures a prompt response by sending notifications directly to

our customer service team. Leveraging advanced logistics, our team efficiently allocates engineers based on proximity and availability, guaranteeing a swift resolution to any laundry machine issues. In line with the global push for sustainability, Forbes Connect goes a step further by monitoring temperature and water resource usage. This invaluable tool not only aids care homes in achieving their sustainability targets but also sheds light on the true efficiency of Miele commercial laundry machines. Care facilities can now make informed decisions to reduce their environmental impact without compromising on the quality of service. Forbes Connect is another step in our commitment to revolutionise the laundry experience in care homes. By harnessing cutting-edge technology, we empower care facilities to deliver impeccable service seamlessly, ensuring that residents' comfort and well-being remain at the forefront of every operation. Welcome to the future of commercial laundry with Forbes Connect and Miele – where innovation meets care. www, 0345 070 2335

Laundry Specialists Lavamac Receive Sustainability Award Chester based Laundry professionals Lavamac Ltd, official distributor of Lavamac industrial laundry equipment has received the prestigious Bronze Sustaibnability award in recognition of their policies and procedures based commitment to maintain a sustainable business for ourselves or customers and the environment The three main points Lavamac have been recognised for are: 1. Air source heat pump dryers , connected load 3kw as opposed to 30Kw for a 16kg electric dryer and 25-30 kw for Gas , clean efficient and saving the planet available from £10995 fully refurbished to £16995.00 new both with 24 months parts and labour warranty and the option to extend and cost effective annual premium ? 2.Refurbished Equipment, we completely rebuild any current model of Primus , Lavamac or Ipso washers , dryers and ironers . I full ground up restoration leaves these machines as good ( if not better than ) New ! sold , rented of leased these machines are between 40-50% of cost of their new equivalent with a warranty as new 24 months parts and labour ( see attached literature on our product range ) 3.Intelligent washings machines ( In conjunction with our partners ) we can potentially reduce chemical usage by up to 35% and labour by 30 %

Additionally • Our offices in Chester utilise Solar Panels and we create more electricity than we consume • In 2024 we are committed to replacing all service vehicles with Hybrid models • In 2024 all cars will be upgraded to EV models • We have implement a new software system ( Big Change ) removes paper documentation and utilising smart technology will reduce road mileage between calls and improve response times A delighted Jeremy Hartigan CEO of Lavamac Ltd said: “I am extremely proud to announce that Lavamac have been awarded a prestigious Bronze Sustainability Award by the UK Groundworks Trust. This award demonstrates our commitment to promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility within the sector. This award is renowned for honouring businesses that demonstrate exceptional dedication and innovation, and we are thrilled to be recognised for our resolute focus on offering sustainable products and services while raising awareness about the importance of environmental concerns within the sector”. See the advert below for further information on Lavamac.


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Washing Machines for Care Homes MAG Laundry Equipment, suppliers of commercial washing machines & tumble dryers, is proud to have supported more than 10,000 care homes across the nation. Clean laundry and bedding is critical for care homes, hospices, nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare organisations. With a nationwide fleet of accredited engineers MAG Laundry Equipment has successfully assisted over ten thousand care homes with their products, services, information and support. MAG’s product range includes commercial washing machines, tumble dryers, ironers, presses and detergents. For 100 years, since 1922, MAG’s products have been developed and improved to become some of the

most reliable, energy-efficient and affordable machines on the market. Care homes have peace-of-mind that their laundry machines can quickly be maintained and repaired as MAG Laundry Equipment supply, install and service equipment across England, Scotland and Wales. If you are looking for high quality wash results that remove stubborn stains then speak with MAG for their recommendations. Complete thermal disinfection is a standard feature on their washing machines for nursing homes. To find out more about how MAG can support your care home telephone 01353 883025 or visit the website.

Preserving Identity and Preventing Loss: Cash's Apparel Solutions' Century-Long Legacy


Cash's Apparel Solutions has been at the forefront of manufacturing woven nametapes for over a century, serving the nursing home sector and beyond. Their nametapes have become synonymous with preserving identity, preventing lost garments, and delivering personalised identity items and gifts. Preserving dignity Cash's woven nametapes provide a simple yet effective solution to labelling clothing in nursing homes minimising distress caused by lost garments, fostering an environment where residents are seen and respected for who they are. Cash's has earned a global reputation for reliability and quality. Their woven nametapes are sold and utilised worldwide, serving as a testament to their effectiveness. In addition, Cash's Apparel Solutions goes beyond their renowned nametapes. Their expertise in weaving and personalisation allows them to create a diverse range of identity items and gifts. From personalized badges to custom keyrings and promotional products, Cash's demonstrates their versatility in meeting unique customer needs. By offering tailored

solutions, they celebrate individuality, making a significant contribution to the spirit of personalisation and fostering a sense of belonging. A Century of Excellence: Cash's century-long presence in the industry showcases their enduring commitment to excellence. They have adapted and innovated, embracing modern technology and evolving customer demands. Cash's unwavering dedication to their craft and the nursing home sector demonstrates their genuine concern for residents' well-being and comfort. In conclusion, Cash's has established itself as a leader in manufacturing woven nametapes, personalised identity items and gifts. With their century-long legacy of quality, reliability, and attention to detail, Cash's continues to make a significant impact in the nursing home sector and beyond. By preserving identity, preventing loss, and embracing personalisation, Cash's Apparel Solutions truly embodies their commitment to enhancing safety, dignity, and individuality in care facilities worldwide. Visit


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Improving Laundry Sustainability An efficient and effective laundry operation is essential for the hygienic operation of every care home. It remains nonetheless a considerable and unavoidable user of water and energy. Reducing energy and water consumption offer the potential to reduce environmental impacts and improve the long-term sustainability of the home. Realistically though, how much room is there for improvement? Some of the latest laundry tech offers a lot. Girbau’s next generation Genius smart washers are designed to lower water, detergent and energy consumption while boosting productivity. These innovative high spin washers can achieve up to 450G extract force for astounding levels of water extraction, faster drying and lower energy use. Tests on the Genius GS7018 found that it used 2.5 kWh for a full 18kg load cycle, compared to 3.5kWh for a comparable washer from a leading competitor. For a typical machine completing eight cycles per day, that’s a saving of over £900 a year, based on an electricity price of 31p per kWh. An optional integral weighing system measures every load and automatically adjusts programs to further optimise cycle time, lower water and chemical usage

and improve productivity. The new unique Care Plus Drum extends linen life and decreases tangling. The drum perforations also provide faster dispersion of water. Genius washers offer unmatched durability and a high degree of programmability with high-speed spinning and automatic chemical dosing. The impact-resistant, full colour 10.5-inch waterproof screen is the industry’s largest. It features user-friendly icons that can be used while wearing gloves. Girbau’s Sapphire remote-control software that is standard on Genius washers gives easy, flexible and versatile control. You can manage the laundry, compile production reports and analyse data remotely in real time from any device. Sapphire can also be used to configure washers to operate and record the use of thermal disinfection programs, essential in every care home. For energy efficient drying, Girbau’s premium ED series dryers ensure all items are dried safely, uniformly, efficiently and cost-effectively. Their unique Transflow technology combines radial and axial airflow for maximum efficiency, reduced cycle times and lower energy costs. Cabinet insulation and a double-glazed door also prevent heat escaping. Girbau is also currently working with care providers looking to entirely decarbonise their laundry operations by switching from gas to electric dryers and sourcing 100% renewable electricity. Tel: 01462 427780 | Email: | Website:

MAG Laundry Detergents Gillman’s Appliance Specialists When it comes to maintaining cleanliness and comfort in care homes and nursing homes, it is crucial to choose the right laundry products. That's why many care homes in the UK trust MAG Laundry Detergents for their laundry needs. Their specially formulated commercial laundry detergents, stain removers and fabric softeners are designed to tackle the most common soils found in senior care facilities. MAG's laundry solutions are unmatched in ensuring that your laundry and linen remains clean, bright, and soft. With the high-quality laundry products found at www.maglaundry- you can provide your residents with the freshness and cleanliness they deserve, helping you uphold the highest standards of care for your organisation.

A true family run business established in Gloucester in 1969 by Erika and John Gillman. We pride ourselves on product knowledge, customer service and being a truly family run independent business. We work closely with our commercial manufacturers to provide the highest quality service.

purchase or lease purchase basis.



We provide commercial and industrial washing machines to many industry sectors such as Care homes, Schools and Colleges, Vets, Holiday parks and the Hospitality sector. We can supply machines from 6KG upwards on a rental, purchase or lease purchase basis and even put maintenance on your existing machines, contact us to learn more.

We provide rotary ironers from 1 meter wide to 3.2 metres wide with Gas, Electric or Steam heat and can provide feedings, folding and stacking machines. In addition to rotary ironers we can also supply vacuum ironing tables, formers and drying cabinets.


With a team of 18 in house service engineers equipped with vans containing a comprehensive stock of spare parts we have a very high "First Fix" rate meaning a fault is diagnosed and repaired on the first visit. Fully trained installation team with CHAS, Gas Safe, Construction line and F-gas commercial refrigeration accreditation. For further information, please see the advert below.

We can supply commercial and industrial dryers that are Electric, Gas or Steam heated; and commercial heat pump and condensing models for sites where ventilation proves a challenge. We work with Care homes, Schools and Colleges, Vets, Commercial laundries, Holiday parks and the Hospitality sector and can supply machines from 6KG and upwards on a rental,

COMMERCIAL LAUNDRY & DISHWASHING CHEMICALS As well as providing the machines we can also provide a complete range of laundry chemicals such as detergents, conditioners, destainers, emulsifiers and even Electrolux Professional Lagoon wet cleaning chemicals.



DEMENTIA CARE Rise & Shine Game Promotes Mobility and Wellbeing In an effort to combat the nationwide issue of reduced mobility among senior citizens, an exciting game called "Rise & Shine" is making waves in healthcare and social care communities. Developed with the goal of encouraging physical activity in elderly individuals, this innovative game consists of 30 uniquely designed tiles, adorned with playful illustrations by renowned artist and sculptor Bob Olley. The game is designed to be played in group settings, with healthcare staff identifying participants who would benefit from engaging in physical activity. After receiving their tiles, participants join in activities suited to their needs, such as chair exercises or walking. Once the activities are completed, tiles are placed into the "Rise & Shine Post-

box." As the game progresses, a draw determines the winner, who receives a small prize. Rise & Shine has been trialled successfully at Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital. Feedback from both patients and staff has been overwhelmingly positive, with improvements in mobility and morale noted among participants. By incorporating Rise & Shine into their routines, caregivers and healthcare providers can play a crucial role in keeping our elderly community active, engaged, and mobile, ultimately enhancing their wellbeing and independence. or see the advert on the front cover.

Activities to Share

Tired of the same old song and dance when it comes to planning engaging activities? Well, fear not! Activities to Share is here to sprinkle some excitement into your daily routine. If you've been feeling like you're stuck in a creative rut, we've got the antidote. Picture this: a wonderland of activity ideas, free downloads that are basically the golden ticket to fun, and a treasure trove of products that'll make your heart skip a beat (in a good way). We get it – after a while, even the most fantastic activities can start feeling a bit blah. That's why we've scoured the corners of creativity to bring you fresh, fabulous ideas that'll have you and your crew grinning from ear to ear. Our website,, is your go-to haven for all things fun and engaging. Need a burst of inspiration? We've got your back. Looking for

activities tailored to different abilities? We've got that covered too! But wait, there's more! We've teamed up with carers and activity coordinators across the land to ensure that every product and idea we offer is topnotch and practically oozing with fun. And if you've got a creative itch that needs scratching, we're here to help you bring your unique ideas to life! So, don't let boredom sneak in. Join us on this adventure of "going the extra smile" because, let's face it, smiles are the best currency around here. See all of the above here at

Inspired Inspirations: Revolutionising UK's Care Sector with the Tiny Tablet In an era where technology infiltrates every aspect of life, it's paramount for care establishments to harness its potential for enhancing the quality of life for those they care for. One pioneering name stands out in this endeavour - Inspired Inspirations. This innovative company has been leading the transformation of care

through its state-of-the-art Tiny Tablet touch screen activity tables. The impact of the Tiny Tablet across the UK's care sector is nothing short of transformative. Crafted with precision, these activity tables are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals in care settings. The interactive features and user-friendly interface offer residents an engaging experience that transcends the limitations often associated with traditional care environments. From stimulating cognitive functions to enhancing social interactions, the benefits are manifold. Residents can revisit old memories, connect with loved ones, explore the world, and engage in enriching activities, all with just a touch. But what truly sets Inspired Inspirations apart is not just their groundbreaking product but their holistic approach to integrating technology into care. Recognising that the most advanced tools are only as effective as the hands that wield them, the company prioritises the training of care staff. They believe in empowering caregivers with the skills and knowledge required to maximise the potential of touch screen devices. Their comprehensive training modules ensure that care professionals are well-equipped to provide those being cared for with meaningful, enriching interactions using the Tiny Tablet. Further amplifying their commitment to quality care through technology, Inspired Inspirations has penned an invaluable guide titled "Project Wellbeing: Unleash the Power of Technology in Care". This book is a testament to their deep expertise and dedication to the cause. It offers readers insights into the best practices for integrating technology into care settings and ensuring that residents reap the myriad benefits. By sharing their vast knowledge and experiences, Inspired Inspirations is fostering a care community that is both tech-savvy and deeply compassionate. This can be ordered from Amazon, or Inspired Inspirations own website In conclusion, as the UK's care sector faces unprecedented challenges, companies like Inspired Inspirations are paving the way for a brighter, tech-enabled future. Their remarkable Tiny Tablet touch screen activity tables, coupled with their dedication to staff training and knowledge dissemination, position them as true trailblazers. For care establishments looking to embrace the future and offer unparalleled experiences to the people they care for, a partnership with Inspired Inspirations is not just recommended, it's essential. See the advert on the facing page for further details.



NURSE CALL AND FALLS MANAGEMENT Frequency Precision - Sensors and Pressure Mats to Monitor Those in Care Technology has made people more connected with the world around them and the revolution in assistive care devices has made it possible for the elderly to spend their last years in a comfortable and familiar environment. These devices have also made it easier for home carers to provide quality care for their loved ones while managing their own lives. They allow you to care for your elderly whether they are travelling in the city for errands, staying alone at home, or staying in the same home as you. They are also helping nursing homes provide better care for them with discrete monitoring and quick responses to emergencies. If you’re looking for these kinds of assistive care devices for your loved ones or nursing home, Frequency Precision produce some of the best sys-

tems available to help you with elderly care and mobility monitoring, ranging from bed, chair and floor sensor mats through fall monitoring and GPS tracking to fully integrated nurse call plug or wireless systems. Phone: 01837 810590 Email: Website:

point then add a 2-1 adapter 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. And carries a 12 Month guarantee 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 our NEW WEBSITE at for details.

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. 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. This Nurse Alert Mat can be placed typically at the bedside or at the door threshold and plugged into the call socket of the Nurse Call system or the mobile Floor Sentry Monitor. It can then alert staff for example before the resident is up and about, sounding the alarm with a small amount of pressure thus enabling staff to investigate. Need to add a pear push lead in the same call



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


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

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


The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor

sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors. 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

Medpage Advanced Domestic and Blaucomm Ltd Telecommunications & Networks Commercial Fall Prevention Systems Blaucomm’s Nurse Call Messaging Service (NMS) is the market leading solution to remove the dependency on noisy nurse call panels and pagers, through its intelligent software, which delivers the alerts straight to the care staff who need them. Care homes are rapidly introducing smartphones for digital care planning and eMar - now, the same devices can be used to receive the nurse call alerts they need for the residents under their care. Furthermore, Blaucomm NMS is deeply linked into Person Centred Software MCM, so call bell data is linked straight to care plans. This unlocks a huge benefit to care homes to enhance the staff performance with how they accept and respond to residents, which ultimately promotes better response times and visibility for management to audit their performance. The best part is that Blaucomm NMS links into your existing nurse call system - we work with all major brands such as Aidcall, ARM, Courtney Thorne, C-TEC, ENS, Intercall, Medicare, SAS and TeleAlarm. Care operators are constantly recognising Blaucomm NMS for its reliability and dependability to

their care operations, which is why we’ve been chosen time and time again over other solutions. Head of IT Trudi Harrow at WCS Care had this to say about Blaucomm NMS: “We find Blaucomm is a genuinely fantastic company with a reliable product. "We would highly recommend this to anybody who wants to replace expensive pagers and silence those annoyingly loud nurse call screens!” To find out more about Blaucomm NMS, visit See the advert on the front cover for more details.

Medpage Limited has manufactured care aid technologies for 40 years and our brand is widely used in hospitals and commercial care establishments. We supply fall prevention and detection systems to suit most requirements to ensure patient safety and regulation compliance. We are a major contributor and supplier of equipment to the hospital patient discharge project, where Assistive Technology items are issued to aid independent living and keep people safer at home. We offer expert technical advice, support, and product guidance for customers unsure of their requirements. Our reputation for delivering quality services, quality products, competitive pricing, and our passionate commitment to developing new and improved technologies is acknowledged by the majority of Local Authorities in the UK.

Our latest fall prevention system based around our MPCSA11 sensor controller was successfully tested in Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Enfield and Barnet NHS, Potters Bar, Edgeware, and is now adopted and implemented as part of their falls management programmes. The CSA11WBCK system is unique in that it allows a patient with mobility to freely transfer from bed to chair and into a monitored area, such as the washroom, without causing an alarm so long as the patient is detected by a sensor, bed, chair, or movement. If the patient fails to return to their bed or chair the alarm outputs become active alerting radio pagers, nurse call trigger, or dispersed alarm dialler. To find out more about Medpage fall prevention systems visit Professionalwandering-falls.



Arquella - Connected Technology, Connected Care ARQUELLA, a leading care technology provider, offers solutions to enhance the quality of care in nursing and residential homes across the United Kingdom. Arquella is passionate about making a difference in the quality of care provided to nursing and residential homes across the United Kingdom. Through the power of technology, we have developed cutting-edge solutions that are accessible and supportive, putting people at the forefront. As part of a nationwide initiative driven by a £25m UK government funding pledge to enhance the quality of care and support individuals’ independence, Arquella is proud to be at the forefront of the digital transformation in the care sector. Falls in care homes are a significant concern in the UK, with residents three times more likely to fall than older people living in their own homes. Arquella’s innovative solution, Arquella Sense, utilising sensor-based technology, and Arquella Call, a digital nurse call system, will improve reactive care and reduce risk.

Arquella Sense uses discreet wall or ceiling-mounted sensors to monitor fall risk behaviour 24 hours daily, alerting carers via mobile handsets. The technology aims to intervene before falls occur, increasing safety and providing a cost-effective solution to cumbersome mats. Arquella Call is an app-based digital nurse call system that delivers in-depth digital records and future-proof functionality. It integrates seamlessly with other software applications, offering actionable data to help shape care delivery and adjust staffing levels. Arquella is at the forefront of a digital transformation revolution in the care sector. Technology is more important than ever in providing insights and actionable data to inform decisions and improve lives. For more information about Arquella’s products and how they can benefit your care home, please call 0333 242 7505 or visit their website at

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, emedication, 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: or see the advert below.



Providing Next Gen Data For Next Gen Residents The next generation of tech-savvy residents will play a vital role in shaping digital care. Phil Brown, Chief Product Officer at KareInn (, discusses how a focus on prevention, and person-centred care planning, will further help accelerate the digital transformation of social care. Today’s generation of residents are the first to see the benefits digital can have on the quality of their care. Although care homes across the country are still at very different stages of their digital transformation journeys, the sector agrees that technology can change experiences and outcomes, for the better. From streamlining information management, improving care coordination, and enabling more personalised and efficient healthcare services, we are seeing every day, how digital is improving outcomes for people. But as new, or ‘next gen’ residents enter care homes – residents with a different understanding, experience and expectation of digital – how can we ensure technology will continue to accelerate the transformation of care delivery?

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY NEXT GEN RESIDENT? The tech-savviness of the older generation can vary significantly depending on several factors. Things like exposure to technology and access to learning opportunities, all play a part in a resident’s understanding of, and attitude towards digital care. Generally, older adults have been adapting to technology at a faster pace in recent years due to its increasing prevalence and user-friendly designs. Many have embraced tech in their everyday lives with enthusiasm. Like younger demographics, they use smartphones, tablets, and other devices to stay connected with family and friends, access information online, and engage in social media. Many even understand how and why their data is collected.

DRIVING TRUE PERSON-CENTRED CARE The CQC’s Regulation 9 says that care providers must make sure that each person receives appropriate person-centred care and treatment, that is based on an assessment of their needs and preferences. Engaging residents and their families in the digital process, and showing them the benefits of it, will help to

Pass Profile 2023 PASS supports over 1,000 care providers every day, giving them access to market leading care management tools hand in hand with unlimited 24/7/365 support from our dedicated and friendly PASS team.

Assured by NHS Transformation Directorate, PASS provides a secure platform that allows you to plan, record and evidence the care you deliver. The only assured solution built specifically for the home care sector, it provides comprehensive real-time functional-

gain their support and feedback throughout a care home’s transformation process. This is person-centred care in its truest form, and involving people in all decisions about their health is the best approach to ensuing the next gen resident is engaged with digital care. Many forward-thinking care homes are now using resident and family portals – a secure online place where family and friends of those being cared for stay informed about the care they’re receiving – to capture and share the critical information that deepens the positive outcomes for residents. Portals promote inclusive and transparent care, they also promote resident-led care as needs, concerns and wishes can be communicated and available to care providers in real-time. Portals also enable a more fluent and meaningful dialogue with family members, putting records and precise information about care and wellbeing at their fingertips. It also can help communicate about mealtimes, activities and what the resident got up to that day, their mood, and what actions were taken to address any issues.

PREVENTION RATHER THAN PROBLEM SOLVE We know that digital care planning in care homes can lead to a more efficient, coordinated, and person-centred approach to residential care, enhancing the overall quality of life for residents and improving the working environment for staff. But we also know that a lot of the challenges care staff are facing can’t be solved by digital care planning apps. We all know care providers are doing all they can to become more digital, but the adoption of technology in care homes may vary depending on factors such as budget, regulations, and the willingness of both the workforce and residents to embrace the new. Some care homes, particularly in rural areas or with limited resources, might face challenges in providing robust internet connectivity. Concerns about data security and privacy may also influence the decision to implement internet access in some care facilities. Because of these and many other challenges, we need to be more focused on prevention. Our aim is to arm people with all the necessary information so that they can identify potential risks and address them proactively. Whether it’s early identification of health issues, more efficient medication management, fall prevention, better insight into nutrition and hydration, digital care is designed to promote a person-centred approach to prevention. The next generation of tech-savvy residents is poised to have a significant impact on shaping digital care. By driving adoption, expecting personalised care and actively participating in care innovation, their impact will help accelerate the digitisation social care and help it achieves its integrated, digital care planning ambitions. platform, designed to: • Save you time • Increase the efficiency of your teams • Improve the quality of care • Deliver better outcomes

ity and allows you to share progress against outcomes with customisable, exportable reports.

CARE PLANNING AND ROSTERING FROM A SINGLE PLATFORM To meet the wider needs of the PASS community Allin-one PASS has recently been launched , bringing advanced rostering functionality to our established digital care planning platform. As a result advanced staff scheduling, payroll and invoicing functionality is now seamlessly linked with care planning and reporting, reducing the technical complexity, risk and overhead associated with integrating two separate systems. As a result, PASS now provides an all-in-one suite of digital care management tools, available from a single

INTEGRATED HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE Our commitment to the continual evolution of PASS is further illustrated by the addition of GP Connect. The first product of its type to offer this feature, PASS is still one of only a handful of digital care management solutions to have completed this NHS Digital integration, and is the only one offering it to the home care market. PASS GP Connect provides authorised social care staff with realtime access to their client’s GP records. It makes medical information available when and where

it is needed, leading to improvements in both care safety and outcomes: • Visibility of allergies, vaccinations and medications, especially useful for clients unable to reliably share their personal information • Using medical information to inform care planning • Ensuring that the right medication is delivered to the right person in the timeliest manner. In one case, this allowed the administration of antibiotics on a Friday evening, aiding the service user’s swift recovery from infection Available to all PASS users at no additional cost, PASS GP Connect is significantly more efficient than waiting for a GP response. It’s also a positive step forward on the path to the DHSC’s goal for widespread digitally enabled care and is in full alignment with their ambition for joined up care for everyone. Get in touch:


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Taking Control of Time and Attendance in Social Care The social care industry faces unique challenges when it comes to managing time and attendance. Ensuring that the right skilled care worker is in the right place, while also juggling staff absences, can be a daunting task. However, there is a solution that can streamline these processes and give you greater control over absence management: Advanced Time and Attendance software. One of the key features of time and attendance software is skills mapping. In social care, it's not always possible to simply roster in another employee to cover a shift. With skills mapping, you have the ability to set parameters that ensure the replacement staff member has the necessary skills for the specific client. So, when a care worker calls in sick or can't make it to their next client, you can seamlessly find and allocate another staff member with the right skillset. Shift swapping is another valuable tool offered by our time and attendance software. If a care worker is unable to fulfil their shift or make it to their client visit, the shift can be easily swapped with another equally qualified care worker. This ensures continuity of care without disrupting the rest of the schedule. Additionally, team members may even be able to trade shifts between themselves with approval, reducing the administrative burden on care coordinators.

To make the management of schedules and absences more efficient, time and attendance software offers self-service capabilities. Employees can access cloud-based software at any time to manage their schedules, sickness, and annual leave. This empowers them to take ownership of their own time and reduces the time and effort required for managers to keep tabs on who is where, when, and for how long. Managing rosters, absence, and payroll in the social care industry can be complex, but it doesn't have to be complicated. With Advanced Time & Attendance solution, you can efficiently configure your rotas, update shifts, and track absences. The software provides real-time data and productivity insights, helping you make informed decisions and optimise your workforce. Taking control of absences in social care is crucial for maintaining the quality of care provided to clients. Advanced’s Time and Attendance software offers the tools and capabilities needed to streamline processes, allocate skilled staff members, and empower employees to manage their own schedules. By implementing a Time & Attendance solution, you can prioritise client needs while ensuring efficient and effective workforce management. For more information on Advanced Time and Attendance, you can visit our website or call 0330 311 6077. See the advert on the back cover of this issue for details.

WhosOffice Online success Helps Care Sector with Shift Planning and Staff Leave Management Kent -based is helping the care sector manage staff shifts and leave planning. Currently used by many businesses to manage staff holidays and shift rotas online. WhosOffice’s CEO, Reg Groombridge, has seen a noticeable shift in the way companies are managing essential HR tasks like coordinating staff time off and shift patterns. “All companies, including large care homes, hospital pharmacies and the care sector generally are more sensitive than ever to key staff not being available at vital times during a shift. Management, including local managers, need to have a clear vision of whos on shift, day off, who’s on leave or even off sick and be able to plan tasks accordingly to the correct staff.”

“As there continues to be pressure caused by the shortage of skilled and qualified personnel, you need online systems that your whole team can use to see accurate information, wherever they’re located – at head office, care home based, onsite or on the move.” Knowing who’s on shift or available to cover a shift is the key to success along with who’s qualified to cover certain essential roles and tasks. “The switch to digital shift planning is driving investment in HR tools like WhosOffice because there can be less face-to-face interaction between staff. Its easier to have an online system that gives everyone from the ground up a clearer picture of who’s on shift, who’s available and qualified to take on tasks that must covered. Particularly in the care sector you can’t just lean across the desk and ask someone if they’ve booked next week off or when they are next on shift. “There’s also a need for companies to provide a good employee experience. When recruitment is a challenge, you can’t afford to lose your most valuable people – and a basic mistake like miscalculating someone’s holiday allowance or not logging their time off request can have a huge impact on people’s loyalty to your business.”

“Likewise, it’s important to protect the health and wellbeing of your workforce, to mitigate the risk of someone going off long-term sick. We’re seeing more companies using the WhosOffice absence management feature to track staff sick leave, so they can identify people who may be struggling with their physical or mental health and offer appropriate support.” Ever-rising employee expectations have created a stronger business case for investing in HR technologies. When WhosOffice launched in 2015 it was one of the very first online staff shift and leave planners, and many businesses still used paper forms or spreadsheets to track time off. Now, companies of all sizes are modernising their operations to help them attract and retain the best people. “Fortunately, essential HR tools have become much more affordable in recent years, which means SMEs can use the same, sophisticated software as much larger companies.” Contact details +44 (0)1227 812938



• In H1 2023, 45% of closed care home deals we were sold to care providers for ongoing care use and 55% were purchased for residential conversion

OPERATIONAL COSTS Analysis of our consultancy data - which looks at profit and loss accounts from the hundreds of formal valua-

By Rob Kinsman, Regional Director - Healthcare, Christie & Co ( tions - shows a significant increase in costs for care home providers between 2021 and 2023. This clearly reflects We recently launched our 2023 Care Market Review report which analyses a range of topics relating to the UK healthcare business market. Here are some of the key highlights…

HEALTHCARE CAPITAL MARKETS Entering 2023, the care market adapted, with buyers returning albeit with yields adjusting to reflect higher costs of capital and the changing market environment. Positively, despite the macro-market challenges, there is good demand for care home opportunities, with investors attracted by the strong needs-driven underpin of the sector coupled with long-term index-linked cashflows.

LAND AND DEVELOPMENT The underlying business case for purpose-built care homes remains robust, with a continued need for future-proof market-standard beds in many locations across the UK. Despite operators still facing significant headwinds, the UK care home development market remains active and continues to transact a high volume of new-to-market beds. Sentiment remains positive, with more operators prepared to take leases on new build assets as a way of achieving growth, resulting in an upward movement in rental levels over the 12 months to June 2023. We are starting to see more domestic and international capital entering the market, attracted by the defensive characteristics of needs-driven Operational Real Estate and the excellent ESG credentials new care homes offer investors. This additional liquidity, accompanied by the continued imbalance between demand and supply of market-standard beds to cater for the rapidly ageing demographic, will support sustainable levels of transactional activity for consented care home development sites in both the short and long-term.

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS When analysing the UK’s elderly care going concern market between 2019 and H1 2023, we found: • Instruction volumes had rebounded, sitting 70% ahead of where they were in H2 2022 • There was a rise in the number of larger care homes (60 beds or more) going up for sale • Only 3% of our transactions were to first-time buyers, this is around a third of the proportion in 2022 • There was an increasing number of transactions concluded by the larger companies and corporates • Independent buyers remain our most active buyer group, accounting for 34% of Christie & Co healthcare deals in 2022 and 36% in 2023 • In 2022,13% of the sales we completed were on a closed basis, this increased to 18% in H1 2023

Policies and Procedures Within Social Care The delivery of safe care is the paramount responsibility of social care providers. Central to achieving this is the governance framework adopted by service providers. And at the core of this framework are policies and procedures. These enable the provider to comply – and evidence compliance – with relevant legislation and regulations, as well as facilitating best practices, supporting business needs, and assisting in recognising and managing risks. Good governance care itself is an integral part of health and social regulation, Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 stipulates that care providers must have systems and processes in place that ensure they can meet the requirements of Regulations 4 to 20A. Policies and procedures not only ensure that providers are compliant with this regulation and working within the law; they also enable providers to drive improvement and protect the people who access services and receive care. Providers also have a legal duty of care to the people they employ. Policies and procedures should provide clear guidelines to staff on how the organisation operates, as well as informing them of best practices and processes to be followed.

the wider economic challenges with labour supply constraints and rising energy prices, and the care sector has a greater exposure to a material shift in these costs. We found that registered managers’ salaries, on average, increased by 13% between 2021 and 2023. There are even greater wage pressures on kitchen staff, with head cook wages increasing by an average of 14%. The situation with maintenance staff is also acute, with wages rising by 18%. An analysis of utility costs shows that heat and light costs have also increased by an average of 19% on a per-occupied bed basis.

LOCAL AUTHORITY FEE RATES We conducted and analysed a Freedom of Information Act survey - covering all local authorities across England, Wales, and Scotland. This revealed: • An average residential fee increase in England of 9.5% compared with 5.4% in 2022/23 • An average nursing fee increase in England of 8.1% compared with 6.8% in 2022/23 • Fee rate levels remain a challenge in some areas, with the increases being insufficient to offset inflationary cost pressures • The burden on the self-funded client base is likely to rise, with the majority of providers achieving private fee increases of 10% or more

OPERATOR SENTIMENT We also interviewed a cross-section of local and regional providers and found that 46% of operators have achieved a reduction in agency usage over the last 12 months, whereas 28% stated agency usage had increased. Private fee rates increased across all country regions, with 43% of operators reporting a 10% or above increase in private fee rates. Only 9% of respondents reported increases of under 5%, compared with 31% with local authority fees. Additionally, 38% of operators said that their occupancy levels have increased, while 70% stated that it has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

THE FINANCE LANDSCAPE Historically, whilst in low interest rate margins, lenders have applied a higher interest rate or a ‘stressed margin’ to calculate affordability. However, we are now operating in a new stressed rate environment, which has made lenders look in greater detail at a business’s ability to service their current levels of debt, as well as any potential increases. Results of a survey of local and regional providers conducted by Christie Finance in July 2023, found that 38% of respondents are looking to buy a care business in the next 12 months, 30% of which will seek finance to do so. When asked about the confidence they have in lenders to support their plans, 46% said they are very confident, 18% said not confident, and 36% remained neutral. Policies should be reviewed annually as a minimum to ensure they are still fit for purpose and align with legal and regulatory requirements. They should be reviewed not only by employees of the business, but also by experts in various subject matters (e.g., infection control or medicines management). For many small- to medium-sized providers, there may not be the in-house skills, knowledge, and experience to complete such a robust annual review. Many choose instead to purchase their policies and procedures from a reputable provider like W&P Compliance & Training, who will also complete reviews and ensure their policies and procedures remain up to date. This way a provider not only ensures they remain compliant; they also benefit from best practice policies and procedures that provide a solid foundation for safe working practices and – ultimately – protect and support service users and staff. Ben Erskine – Director at W&P Compliance & Training | Tel: 01305 767104 See the advert on page 2 for further information.


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT Immigration Tightrope: Do You Need Permanent Keeping Care Homes Compliant and Reliable Care Staff?

Rising costs and operational challenges are putting care homes and domiciliary care providers under strain, as they try to comply with Home Office sponsor licence regulations. A growing concern is the disparity between the work hours stated on foreign workers' Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) and the actual hours given, which can adversely affect their visa status. According to Gavin Webster,

Director of Immtell, this issue reflects the sector's broader pressures rather than deliberate neglect. Non-compliance with CoS terms can lead to severe Home Office sanctions, potentially causing staff to find new sponsorship or leave the UK, and disrupting the provider's services. Inadvertent breaches often result from the sector's tough conditions and confusion over compliance rules. Webster emphasises the importance of careful navigation of sponsor duties to avoid significant consequences. He suggests that regular audits by immigration consultancies can prevent issues from drawing Home Office attention. To remain compliant while providing essential services, care providers are advised to seek expert advice. Immtell offers support through and online at Proper guidance helps balance operational sustainability with legal responsibilities, preserving their vital community role.

In Dire Need Of Experienced Health Care Assistant, Senior Carer Or A Nurse? JJ Recruitment has the large database of well

At Caring People Recruitment we specialise exclusively in finding the RIGHT PEOPLE to work on permanent contracts in the UK healthcare industry.

RECRUIT OVERSEAS: For companies with a sponsors license, we can provide the highest calibre English speaking candidates. You can choose to recruit face to face in the Caribbean (in Jamaica or St Lucia for example) or via video call from your own office. We offer free flights and hotels for our clients for all overseas bulk recruitment drives. Candidates are all FULLY QUALIFIED in the care sector with a minimum of 2 years PROFESSIONAL care experience. Retention rates of above 98%.

RECRUIT LOCALLY: If it’s local staff that you are looking for, then look no further. Our team can assist to fill your vacancies fast and reduce those agency costs. We

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recruit from top to bottom; regional managers, care home managers, nurses, carers, chefs, kitchen staff and cleaners. We are a family business committed to providing our valued clients with a complete and personal service. We guarantee that our candidates will enhance the levels of care that being provided by your business. CONTACT US NOW: Email: TEL : 0785 24 29 294 See the advert on page 9 for further details.

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

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