The Carer Digital - Issue #175

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




Issue 175

£64bn Funding Package for Councils “Bitterly “Disappointing”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has announced the provisional local government settlement 2024/25, confirming that the government will provide no additional funding beyond that already planned. The County Councils Network, (CCN) which represents England’s largest councils, said that county authorities will be ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the announcement. CCN are warning the absence of additional funding leaves its councils with ‘no choice but to implement more severe reductions to services and to levy higher council tax rises’, while ‘an increasing number of local authorities will struggle to deliver a balanced budget next year’. The provisional settlement offers almost £4 billion more to councils - an

increase of 6.5%, overall, a funding package worth over £64 billion to support councils in England to deliver frontline services has been announced by the Levelling Up Secretary. The Funding Guarantee introduced last year will be maintained to ensure every council in England sees at least a 3% increase in Core Spending Power before any local decisions are made around council tax. This decision has been taken in recognition of the pressures being faced by local authorities despite the recent drop in inflation. And to continue to support councils providing essential adult and children’s social care services, we are making available £1 billion in additional grant funding for social care in 2024-25 compared to 2023-24.




Merry Christmas from everyone at The Carer! As the festive season wraps its warm embrace around us, it is with immense joy and gratitude that we here at THE CARER extend our heartfelt thanks to the incredible readers and care homes who have shared their heartwarming stories of Christmas celebrations. Once again we have witnessed a tapestry of joy, kindness, and community spirit that exemplifies the very essence of care homes during this special time of year. From the aroma of freshly baked treats to the harmonious melodies of carol singers echoing through the halls, the stories we've received have painted a vivid picture of the vibrant and compasEditor sionate communities thriving within care homes across the UK. It's inspiring, not to say rather humbling, to see the creativity and dedication that goes into making the festive season truly magical for residents. The generosity and selflessness displayed by care home residents and staff are particularly noteworthy. Beyond the tinsel and twinkling lights, many care homes have gone above and beyond, extending their festive spirit to help the homeless, fundraising for charities, and embodying the true meaning of community. These acts of kindness not only warm our hearts but also serve as a testament to the incredible impact care homes can have on the wider world. We also want to take a moment to acknowledge the unsung heroes of the care sector—the dedicated staff who often sacrifice their own festive celebrations to ensure the well-being and happiness of the residents they serve. Your commitment and compassion do not go unnoticed, and we are profoundly grateful for the sacrifices you make, ensuring that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well within the walls of care homes. In the midst of the challenges that the care sector faces, the festive celebrations in care homes stand as beacons of light, radiating joy and comfort to residents who may be missing the warmth of family gatherings. The importance of these celebrations in fostering a sense of community, belonging, and well-being cannot be overstated. So with the festive season almost upon us let this be a resounding applause for the incredible care homes and their residents who continue to embody the spirit of Christmas. The Carer is immensely thankful for the privilege of sharing in your stories, and we look forward to continuing this journey of celebration, resilience, and community spirit in the years to come. May the joy and kindness witnessed within care homes during this festive season continue to echo throughout the entire year, reminding us all of the power of compassion

Peter Adams

and community in the world of care. Thank you for making The Carer a part of your celebrations, and here's to a new year filled with continued warmth, hope, and the spirit of giving. One story this week deserving comment is the announcement from the The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) which has unveiled the provisional local government settlement for the upcoming fiscal year, leaving the residential and nursing care sector in a state of uncertainty. The news that no additional funding will be provided beyond the preexisting plans has sent ripples through an industry already grappling with unprecedented challenges. The implications of this decision are profound and far-reaching, raising concerns about the ability of care providers to deliver the high-quality services that our elderly and vulnerable citizens deserve. One of the pressing issues exacerbated by the absence of additional funding is the potential strain on workforce resources. Staffing shortages have often reported, have long plagued the care sector, and the added pressure of maintaining quality care without the promise of increased financial support is a significant hurdle. Adequate staffing levels are essential to ensure that residents receive the attention, care, and dignity they deserve. Furthermore, the lack of additional funding raises questions about the long-term sustainability of care facilities. Without adequate financial support, providers will I suspect be forced to make difficult decisions, potentially compromising levels care or even facing closure. The impact of such decisions would be keenly felt by residents, their families, and the dedicated professionals working tirelessly in the sector. I thought with 2024 being a general election year that the government would have recognised the vital role played by the residential and nursing care sector and to reconsider its stance on additional funding. The challenges faced by care providers are not only financial but also moral and ethical. The dignity of our elderly and vulnerable citizens should never be compromised due to budget constraints. I did say in a previous column that as soon as the dates for the election are announced we will be contacting mainstream parties to give them an opportunity to set out their adult social care agendas to our readership, so please do watch out in the New Year. Once again we have this week had some wonderful uplifting and heartwarming stories from care homes throughout the UK, so please do keep them coming. I can always be contacted at

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£64bn Funding Package for Councils “Bitterly “Disappointing” (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Councils will be able to increase council tax by up to 3% without a local referendum with a further 2% for those responsible for adult social care services, with additional flexibilities for some authorities. It is for councils to determine council tax levels, but they should always be mindful of cost-of-living pressures when making any decisions.

VITAL SERVICES Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: Councils are the backbone of their communities and carry out tremendous work every day in delivering vital services to the people they serve. We recognise they are facing challenges and that is why we have announced a £64 billion funding package to ensure they can continue making a difference, including through our combined efforts to level up. Minister for Local Government Simon Hoare said: It is good news for our local government sector that we are presenting an above-inflation increase in funding. We are, and will, continue to work alongside councils to ensure quality and reliable services are provided to those who need and use them, while also keeping a weather eye on ensuring value for the taxpayer.

SEVERE REDUCTIONS Responding to the announcement, Cllr Barry Lewis, Finance Spokesperson and Vice-Chairman of the CCN said; “The announcement of the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement today will be bitterly disappointing for England’s county authorities. The County Councils Network (CCN) had put together a strong case for emergency funding next year to address the significant financial headwinds councils face which are outside of our control.” “But despite constructive discussions with ministers over recent days the government has chosen not to act. “With no additional funding announced, our councils will have no choice but to implement more severe reductions to services and to levy higher council tax rises. This will undoubtedly be a double whammy for residents during a cost of living crisis, while an increasing number of local authorities will struggle to deliver a balanced budget next year. “We know that government finances are tight, but there is a value in investing in public services, so we will now be making our case to county MPs ahead of the parliamentary vote on the final local government settlement to ensure that they are aware of the extent to which highly valued local services will have to be cut next year unless further funding is provided.”



In the lead up to this week’s announcement, the CCN had warned that its member councils were in a significantly worse’ financial position than before the Autumn Statement, with a survey revealing that its local authorities now plan more severe cuts and seven in ten were no longer confident they can balance their budget next year – up from four in ten in September. In a joint letter outlining their concerns on 6th December, 33 county leaders of those councils had written to Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove outlining that failure to rectify the situation at this provisional local government settlement and provide additional funding for children’s services would mean councils are likely to face the prospect of outlining painful reductions to frontline services, raising council tax to the maximum permitted and using reserves – leaving them at unsustainable levels – to balance budgets. Despite these warnings and several meetings with Ministers over recent days, this settlement, CNN says, provides no additional funding beyond adult social care funding already announced in last year’s Autumn Statement, alongside the ability to levy council tax increases of up to 4.99% without a referendum.

Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “The writing is on the wall for Local Government. Without a paradigm shift in the Government strategy for social care, many care services will close. With inflation at 6.7 per cent in September of this year and with a National Living Wage increase of 9.8 per cent in April next year, a 6.5 per cent uplift is a long way from what the sector requires to even stand still.” “Put simply, current Government investment in the sector is not enough. The Local Government Association analysis shows funding gaps of £2.4 billion in 2023/24 and £1.6 billion in 2024/25 who also report 1 in 5 councils now fear issuing a Section 114 in the next year. This is a 100% increase in the last twelve months. Care providers are operating on unsustainable margins having already absorbed inflationary pressures over multiple years due to insufficient Government funding but we cannot continue to be called upon to fill the funding gap left by Government.”

SERIOUS CHALLENGES Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association, said: “The funding uplift announced by the Government today assumes that

all councils will increase their council tax bills by the maximum allowed in 2024/25. This means councils are again left facing the difficult choice about raising bills to bring in desperately needed funding. “Today’s settlement does not provide enough funding to meet the severe cost and demand pressures which have left councils of all political colours and types warning of the serious challenges they face to set balanced budgets next year. Councils in England continue to face a funding gap of £4 billion over the next two years as today’s announcement does not change the funding gap facing councils this year and next. “It is therefore unthinkable that government has not provided desperately needed new funding for local services in 2024/25. Although councils are working hard to reduce costs where possible, this means the local services our communities rely on every day are now exposed to further cuts. “No council is now immune to the growing risk to their financial sustainability. The Government urgently needs to address the growing financial crisis facing councils and come up with a long-term plan to sufficiently fund local services through multi-year settlements." The provisional local government finance settlement includes: • A substantial total funding package for councils worth more than £64.1 billion for the next financial year – an increase of £3.9 billion or 6.5% in Core Spending Power compared 2023-2024. • The most relatively deprived areas of England will receive 18% more per dwelling in available resource through this settlement than the least deprived areas. • A real-terms funding boost across England. Local government has seen a real terms increase in the funding available through local government finance settlements over the period since 2019. • Support for social care. We are providing £1 billion in additional grant funding for social care compared to 2023-2024. • An extension to the Funding Guarantee to ensure every council sees at least a 3% increase in Core Spending Power before any council tax decisions locally. • Stability for councils by maintaining our approach to other grants, such as continuing to increase the Revenue Support Grant in line with the Consumer Price Index. • The consultation on the provisional settlement will be open for 4 weeks, closing on 15 January 2024.


Top Tips for Supporting Someone with Dementia at Christmas

Colourful decorations, carol singing, exchanging gifts, and catching up with friends and family – it’s all part of what makes this time of year special for so many. with your loved ones and reminisce. However, be mindful that there may be events or memories the person may not wish to reminisce about.

Christmas should be joyful, but sadly for the 900,000 people living with dementia the festive period can be a really challenging time. One in three people born in the UK today will go onto develop dementia in their lifetime and currently 900,000 people in the UK are living with the condition. This Christmas, Alzheimer’s Society is providing help and hope to everyone affected by dementia, gifting them with the knowledge, support and guidance they need to help everyone feel included. Here Angelo Makri, Alzheimer’s Society’s Senior Knowledge Officer for Wellbeing, gives his top tips to supporting a loved one living with dementia during the festive period.

6) BE MINDFUL OF FOOD A plateful of food can be daunting for someone who has difficulties eating. Try to keep to the same size portions and types of food the person normally likes. If they prefer finger foods to a large meal, consider ways to accommodate this. Don’t hurry the person, give them enough time to eat and enjoy themselves.

7) BE FLEXIBLE It’s easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions and how things have always been done in the family, but your festive season might begin to look different as dementia progresses. It's always worth having a ‘plan B’ and be prepared to change your plans if a particular element isn't working.

1) PUT UP DECORATIONS GRADUALLY We all love Christmas decorations but a sudden change in environment can be confusing and distressing for someone living with dementia. Introduce decorations gradually so it doesn’t come as a shock to the person living with dementia.


8) PLAN AHEAD favourite song for a festive playlist or doing a spot of Christmas shopping.

For someone living with dementia, Christmas can be an overwhelming time, but keeping activities low-key may help your loved one stay relaxed. For example, if your loved one usually goes to midnight mass but is unable to this year, consider alternatives such as a televised or online service. If they have dinner at the same time every day, stick to the same timings at Christmas and in a familiar setting.

Lots of guests over the festive season can be overwhelming for people with dementia. If things do get busy, designate one room a ‘quiet space’, where the person living with dementia can retreat to and relax in.



There are plenty of ways to get your loved one involved in Christmas, such asking them to hang a bauble on a tree, choosing a

Treasured photos, songs or activities can be a great way to engage with people with dementia. Take time out of the busy day to sit down


If the person with dementia is living in a care home, it can be helpful to ask the home in advance what their plans are for Christmas Day, particularly if there are restrictions in place. Planning can also allow for staggered visits during the day so the person is not overwhelmed with lots of visitors at once. Alzheimer’s Society provides help and hope to everyone living with dementia, supporting people living with dementia through the toughest and most frightening times. For more information and support this Christmas, visit or call 0333 150 3456.

Powys Care Home Strikes The Right Note With Perfectly Pitched Gift For Newtown’s Nobby 88-YEAR-OLD Aneurin Davies, known by most as ‘Nobby’, has received a bespoke gift ahead of Christmas following his recent award win at the annual Shaw Star Awards 2023. Nobby, who lives at Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown, received a ‘Resident/Relative Award’ and joined TV personality and recent Celebrity Masterchef winner Wynne Evans on stage to sing the Welsh national anthem. Taken by surprise and honoured to be asked to sing at the event, Nobby said it made his night and is something he’ll remember forever. Knowing how much it means to Nobby, the home gifted him a framed photograph of him and Wynne Evans. Nobby said: “I have always been singing since I was a child. I remember competing against six girls in a soprano competition and winning, and have always loved performing in concerts in a mixed choir as a hobby. “For Wynne to ask me to sing with him on stage was a real

honour – I’m going to keep my framed photograph in pride of place.” Nikki Hughes, Plas Cae Crwn manager who nominated Nobby to be recognised with the Resident/Relative award, added: “Everyone will tell you that Nobby brings lots of joy and laughter to the home and always puts everyone else first. He is known for his kindness and is always around to give a helping hand to anyone who needs it and if anyone is struggling, he is there. “He has recently taken on the role of ‘Plas Postman’ where he collects any post from the office and distribute it to the other residents and he always stops and spends time to chat with them. He also helps us with small tasks like collecting cups and clearing away tables.” “Nobby – thank you for everything you do, we are so lucky to have you as part of our Shaw family.”

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For vulnerable users who want to spend their own money, Cleva provides access to choice and a way for them to spend in a monitored and safe environment, with no risk of becoming overdrawn or overwhelmed. Bespoke spending controls can be added to each vulnerable users’ card, and their carer or support team can also have a Cleva card to help with spending, if needed.

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’ Anger Over Overseas Recruitment Claim

CARE providers have reacted angrily to claims that they are “broadly relaxed” about changes in overseas recruitment which will hamper them from bringing vital staff to this country. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins told the Health and Social Care Committee that she had been told the social care sector was broadly relaxed about the measures the Government has put in place, including a ban on care workers bringing over dependents. The social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the remark showed how out of touch with the social care sector the Government was. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “This comment beggars belief and illustrates how little the Government understands the current situation in social care. “To say we are ‘broadly relaxed’ could not be further from the truth – the sector has been plunged further into crisis by these latest measures. “The banning of dependents will deter many people from coming to work for social care when we have 152,000 vacancies and desperately need overseas staff to keep delivering care to older and vulnerable adults who rely upon us on a daily basis. “The Government is taking draconian and knee-jerk actions to cut overseas workers but failing to do anything to help us recruit more from this country.

“At the moment many providers would not be able to fill their shifts without their overseas staff, who we should be welcoming with open arms. Instead, the Government is putting measures in place to reduce numbers without having an alternative in place to provide us with the staff we need. “By reducing available community care, the Government will undoubtedly increase the number of people who cannot be discharged from hospital, also contributing to rising hospital waiting lists.” 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. “Social care provision is on its knees,” Mr Padgham added. “The last thing we need is tinkering with the lifeline of overseas workers that we have been thrown. “Damaging social care provision goes against the Government’s desire to cut delayed discharges and reduce waiting lists. “Of course we want to recruit in this country but we need to see a proper workforce strategy that brings sufficient funding into social care that makes it an attractive place to work compared to other sectors and on a par with the NHS. “Then we might see a reduction in the workforce shortage that is threatening proper, safe care delivery.”

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.


ChatGPT and the Adult Care System - We Need To Be Aware Of The Limitations

Nourish Care’s Chief Product Officer Jeremy Baldwin on why the care sector should be careful in rushing to adopt AI

There are many great examples of AI being used to positive effect in health and social care leading some care providers to look at open platforms like ChatGPT to generate care plans and make calls on tech providers to build into their systems. I get the attraction but we shouldn’t rush in. Yes, plans created through ChatGPT can read really well and appear person-centred, saving time, and improving the perceived standard of the plans generated, but there are significant data privacy, clinical safety and quality issues to consider. These relate to how and when the AI is being used, who or what is making the decision and who is responsible if something goes wrong. A single care provider deciding to accept these risks in their own clinical safety cases is one thing while setting best practice by integrating into systems such as Nourish that are used at scale across the sector is quite another. A common understanding of AI is technology performing human tasks and decisions. At the most basic level, asking the AI to perform a specific, usually administrative, but cognitive task like writing a report through to the AI automating decisions or tasks based on a set of rules and then to autonomous applications where the AI is doing both the decision making and action without intervention - care delivering robots, which begs the question, will the human be replaced? Can you take the human out of health care? Or perhaps put another way can the AI care? In reality, this is all a long way off in the care sector, if it happens at all. The careful, considered and responsible adoption of AI will reap benefits but, as always, will take longer to manifest than we think. Automation in our digital systems is nothing new. It’s core to Nourish and how we are developing best practice to help ensure that the right things happen at the right time. What’s changed is the availability of open language models like ChatGPT. They are trained to understand natural language, intent, and context for the action or decision and can respond with human-style conversation. This makes them useful and attractive. Using ChatGPT to give better structure to a care plan, and make it easier for others to consume is fine as is using it as a starting point for personalised care plans but not if it’s being used to generate the plan from scratch.

A ChatBot that makes it easier to access and understand information from a defined source — such as an individual’s personalised care plan and record — and is really powerful, but caution should be applied if this ends up being advice or recommendation based on data from multiple, open sources. Where is this data coming from? What happens if there is a conflict? Which fact (or more likely opinion) should I use? Nourish is advancing rapidly and one of the biggest areas of growth is integrations. What will revolutionise care is the use of devices and wearables, along with home automation devices that allow us to improve care in community settings, particularly in people’s homes. It’s a huge technological leap. All of these things become part of the puzzle in being able to identify what normal looks like for this person and to be able to identify and monitor anomalies. This makes it easier to identify those at greatest risk, or urgent need and manage resourcing accordingly. AI will continue to grow and Nourish is effectively creating a model of what good social care looks like. We’re ideally placed to do that as we’re instrumental in providing digital care support in almost a quarter (24%) of the market, which gives us access to a huge dataset that is growing all the time. AI modelling of these data sets over time, will inform better practice but we still need human beings to make those important care decisions. Automations that reduce the burden on care teams for administrative, reporting and compliance have to be a good - and safe thing. Automated workflows that guide and nudge on the next best action will lead to faster and better interventions, but caution is needed if this strays into the generation and application of treatment plans or response to an event. This need to keep decision-making in human hands won’t hinder advancement. Those predicting that we will be cared for by robots and automated systems in a few years' time will be proven wrong. It’s not going to be futuristic care of the imagination, it will be slow because the system is slow. There is still a very long way to go and one thing I predict is that we’ll seriously underestimate the impact that AI will have on social care in the future.

ABOUT NOURISH CARE Nourish is the leading provider of digital care management software in the UK. Nourish was one of the first digital social care record suppliers to be recognised as an NHS Transformation Directorate Assured Supplier at launch and is accredited by PRSB as a Quality Partner. The easy-to-use technology provides care teams with person-centred tools, timelines, assessments and more to drive outstanding care and improve outcomes for those with support needs. Nourish works with more than 3,500 care services in the UK and overseas within residential homes, nursing homes, learning disability services, mental health services, and other care settings.

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UNISON Publishes Report On The Future of the Minimum Wage UNISON has produced a report on UNISON publishes report on the future of the minimum wagehe future of the national Minimum Wage (NMW) and how further advances can be made in a new report. Titled Delivering greater security for the low paid: a collection of essays on the future of the minimum wage, the report features contributions from the Resolution Foundation, TUC, the Living Wage Foundation, Citizen’s Advice and Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It also includes a piece from the union’s head of health at UNISON Sara Gorton, focusing on the issue of low weekly pay, which remains a big problem for around one in four workers, including many social carers.

A SURVEY OF SOCIAL CARE WORKERS CONDUCTED BY UNISON REVEALED THAT: - 77% of staff said that they would take more hours if they were available - 73% of staff said that they would you prefer a typical full-time working week of approximately 37 hours if it were available - Contracted hours varied from week to week for three quarters of staff. In comments on their working patterns, the dominant issue was the stress and worry caused by inadequate hours, which leaves workers unable to pay bills on time. Many respondents referred to the high fixed costs of rent and energy bills leaving them to juggle the frequently inadequate remaining income on food for them and their families. The report reveals social care workers want flexibility, like most workers do, and they want a decent work life balance, however, they want it within the bounds of the contractual security that many better paid workers take for granted. UNISON therefore maintains that, while it’s important to push for an increase to the minimum hourly rate, unions should also be looking to ensure that people have secure contracts guaranteeing weekly hours too. Labour’s commitment to scrap zero hours contracts and give workers the right to a contract for the hours they do will help significantly. But as UNISON policy officer David Arnold, who edited the collection, points out, it is the party’s plan to introduce sectoral collective bargaining and fair pay agreements, with the first in adult social care, that could have the greatest impact on the low paid: “This should enable trade unions to negotiate with employers and to address the too few hours problem “In many ways this represents a shift in emphasis to a more joined up approach to addressing low pay. This is a theme that runs through the report. Agreements, living hours, better sick pay provision and an improved benefit system, will all make the minimum wage even more effective in helping the low paid.”



The Employment Landscape and How to Tackle the Big Changes By Stephenie Malone, Legal Director at Harrison Clark Rickerbys ( As 2023 draws to a close the impact of Brexit and Covid may still be felt in the care sector, but new threats to workforce stability are on the horizon. Recruitment and retention of skilled care workers continues to create challenges for care sector employers. There are no signs that those recruitment pressures will be alleviated any time soon. With the Government proposals on immigration controls announced on 4 December 2023 that care workers will (from Spring 2024) remain on the Home Office’s Shortage Occupation List is, on the surface, continued support for the sector, the abolition of overseas care workers’ ability to bring family dependents with them to the UK is predicted to discourage many candidates from moving here. For those undeterred by the changes, it is easy to predict a candidates market against those providers recruiting from overseas. Overseas recruitment challenges is only one factor employers need to have on their radar. Taken in conjunction with the future workspace landscape of employee desires in their chosen employment, care sector employers must take heed: employees in 2024 and beyond are looking for greater flexibility, adaptability and growth opportunities in their careers. Care work offers flexibility in hours of work (24/7 services; compressed hours), but often changes to working location and remote working are, for those in the front line, not viable in service delivery. The contraction of an already reduced pool of candidates is a serious concern for providers seeking skilled and committed staff. With the difficulties of attracting younger generations to join the care sector as a career, providers who imaginatively capture the need to be truly competitive to recruit and retain good staff will be frontrunners in attracting and keeping their skills and loyalty.

Reflection by employers will be key to understand what motivates their current workforce and how to maximise their own connections, often demonstrated by attrition rates in the sector. Many care workers – UK based or overseas – will have friends and family working in similar roles who can be tempted to move to employers with a good reputation, both in terms of pay rates/additional benefits, personal development and training opportunities, and pathways to progression into supervisory and management roles. Referral incentives are sometimes an easy win in that regard. The importance of incorporating business protection provisions into care workers and managers contracts of employment to deter poaching, and having an awareness of potential restrictions on activities for a limited time period when recruiting has never been more relevant. Whilst taking steps to litigate on breach may be less attractive for care providers given the associated cost in resources and time, a large scale move of a team – which may also lead to service users following – may warrant legal action to enforce post termination restrictions and to demonstrate mass migration of staff to another provider will not go without action. For those employers with service gaps to fill but currently without sponsor licenses, it is noteworthy that employees can work in secondary employment from their sponsored position, subject to eligibility criteria. Many providers are looking to these employees in need of overtime as a viable option where they have resource gaps. They gain skilled workers without the commitment and cost of recruitment from overseas. They may also consider moving towards sponsorship if the workforce makes it an attractive option. On the flip side, sponsoring employers should be keeping track of their sponsored workers and their activities in additional employment, both in the context of immigration requirements but also with regard to working time considerations and to risk assess the worker’s skill, care and judgment where working additional hours which may create exposure to errors. An awareness of the investment in overseas workers is essential, as whilst not as easy as non-overseas staff changing to another provider, it is real threat. Recouping the costs of relocation and upskilling – both in clinical and cultural considerations is largely impossible from a new employer. The same applies for leakage of staff resource to the NHS given lure of broader packages of pay and reward on offer compared to private care providers.

Chesterfield Student’s 12 Days Of Singing For Dementia Charity A DERBYSHIRE schoolboy has been singing in care homes across the region in the run up to Christmas to raise funds for a dementia charity. Preston Bird, 14, who attends Brookfield Community School, in Chesterfield, has been singing 12 songs at 12 care homes on 12 days ahead of the festive holiday. His latest visit was to Springbank House Care Home, Ashgate Road, where he performed Christmas hits from the likes of Michael Bublé, before taking requests from the elderly residents. During the encore Preston channelled his inner-Elvis to perform several of The King of Rock and Roll’s classics before finishing with a singalong of Sweet Caroline. Wendy Cole, 74, was among the residents who enjoyed Preston’s performance. She said: “He was really good for such a young lad. He

really kept our attention and had a lovely way of talking to older people. He was great.” Louise Spooner, regional manager for the Hill Care Group, which operates Springbank House Care Home, said: “The residents of Springbank really enjoyed the performance by Preston. “We were very touched that he was raising money in this way for such a worthwhile cause, and in memory of his late grandma.” Preston’s festive fundraising performance was inspired by his grandmother, who passed away earlier this year. He said: “Early on in 2023, we unfortunately lost my grandma and I wasn’t able to sing those songs for her. “So now I have decided to share the joy of my singing with as many care home residents as possible over a 12 day period – hence my title: 12 songs, 12 care homes, 12 days of Christmas.”

RECREO VR Launches Virtual Reminiscence Tool To Improve Wellbeing In Care Homes Care home residents across the UK are experiencing captivating, personalised virtual environments to improve their mental and social wellbeing with the launch of innovative VR technology built specifically for the care sector and supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s innovation programme. With Recreo VR residents can experience environments that reflect their own personal histories, hobbies they’ve enjoyed and places of interest from their past, such as favourite holiday destinations. Bespoke content can be requested by individuals, promoting person-centred care and empowerment while helping to stimulate memories. The easy-to-use headsets and software, which come with full training and support for staff, have proven successful in trials, with 90 out of 100 people living with dementia enjoying their experience. Feedback from residents and care home staff has been hugely positive across the trials as Danielle Savage Care Home Manager at Wrawby Hall said: “To see the smiles on their faces was just wonderful. We can't recommend Recreo VR enough.” “A lot of what the residents were seeing on the headset prompted memories for our residents, which they were then able to discuss and reminisce about. Such a truly wonderful experience. My heart could burst and I did have a few tears, it's amazing our residents can have these wonderful experiences.” Founders Alex and Sam were inspired to create Recreo VR after seeing the transformation a journey to a familiar beach had on Sam’s grandmother towards the end of her life. Joyce, who lived with dementia and had been non-verbal for a long time, began to smile and engage in conversation during the trip. This experience is what Sam and Alex aim to replicate using VR technology, as they said: “We believe that virtual reality has the power to transform the lives of residents, build social connections and enhance their quality of life.

We want to empower care organisations to embrace new technology and create experiences in their settings that have a noticeable impact on both residents, their families and staff that go beyond the traditional approaches.” Recreo VR, is supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s Accelerator Programme, a service that champions dementia innovation. Simon Lord, Head of Innovation at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’ve been blown away by the impact Recreo VR has had on people living with dementia and the incredible feedback from the care sector. We believe in the power of technology to help improve and personalise care for people with dementia, which is why we chose to support the founders to develop the product and use our testing panels to help shape the experiences. It’s vital that those living with the condition are able to still do things that bring them fulfilment, for as long as possible. And that’s exactly what products like Recreo VR can provide.” The headset, which was rated comfortable by 97% of residents during trials, is lightweight and counterweighted for increased comfort. When it is turned on the Recreo VR app immediately loads and is easy to use, with sessions led by carers making it accessible for residents to engage with. The software doesn't require the use of controllers and difficult interfaces, reducing barriers for engagement for both carers and the people they support. Recreo VR creates experiences using strict filming criteria to ensure the environments are suitable for older people, and the reminiscence content has been co-designed with individuals living with dementia. To discover more about Recreo VR and its ability to enhance the lives of residents and empower caregivers visit


NICE Gets Ready To Assess New Dementia Treatments Recent breakthroughs in our understanding of the disease have begun to shed light on its complex nature and new treatments have begun to emerge including DMDTs (disease-modifying dementia treatments). These treatments aim to alter the course of disease progression and reduce its substantial impact. While there are currently no licensed DMDTs in the UK, several are at varying stages of development and regulatory approval. Two of these, lecanemab, made by Eisai and Biogen and donanemab (made by Eli Lilly and Company), are scheduled to be appraised by NICE next year. Both treatments target mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Working with the NHS and patients, NICE have already begun work in readiness for the companies submitting their evidence. This includes work done by NICE’s Health Technology Assessment Innovation Laboratory (HTA Lab) to identify the key issues that might arise during planned and future evaluations, based on current knowledge, publicly available evidence and in-depth discussions with researchers, patient groups and NHS colleagues. The report has identified a number of issues that need to be considered as part of a robust appraisal process. The key issues include the uncertainty over how many people may have mild cognitive impairment, and the current need for invasive tests to identify people who may be eligible for the new treatments.

Another key issue is that there is also no published data on the longterm treatment effectiveness of DMDTs at this stage. Extensive assumptions will be needed to extrapolate results from current research trials to infer the lifetime benefit of DMDTs in terms of quality and length of life. Economic modelling considerations are also raised. DMDTs are expected to be given by intravenous infusions in hospital. The economic models will need to include these additional costs for this and any associated injection site reactions and complications. Additionally, monitoring for side effects known to be associated with using these drugs will need to be considered. However, overall, this work found that despite these challenges, NICE’s methods and processes for technology appraisal continue to be appropriate for assessing these innovative new treatments the report states. Alzheimer’s currently affects an estimated 850,000 people in the UK – 1 in every 14 people aged 65 years and over. The development of disease-modifying treatments for dementia represents a long-awaited change in the management of a condition associated with a considerable burden of illness. The UK is at the forefront of this research, and these new treatments represent potentially significant advancements in the field. It is important, however, that the value of these treatments in terms of their clinical and cost effectiveness compared to currently available options can be properly assessed – an essential step towards a future where Alzheimer’s can be effectively treated or even prevented.

Poole Care Home Residents Left Spellbound By School Pupils’ Talent Show Care home residents in Poole were left in awe and amazement after being invited to visit their local school’s talent show. Pupils from Cornerstone Academy in Hamworthy encouraged residents from Dorset House care home, on Coles Avenue in Hamworthy, to join them for the special event which featured children performing dance routines, singing performances, magic tricks, and cookery demonstrations. Following the special show, which was designed especially for the Dorset House residents, the children sat down with the care home residents to talk about what their school life is like, what their favourite subjects are as well as their hobbies, and they compared their school experiences with the residents. Sam Baker, Activities Lead at Dorset House care home, said:

“Our day at Cornerstone Academy was fantastic and our residents have been talking about it ever since. They were so impressed with the talents of the students, and we cannot thank the pupils and staff enough for the hospitality that they showed to us, and for the lovely way that the pupils interacted with our residents. It was showstopping from the moment we arrived through to the moment we headed back to Dorset House.” The residents and pupils also enjoyed chatting over lunch together. The school’s choir has previously visited Dorset House care home to perform for the residents, as part of the care home’s efforts to build links in the local community. Iris, a Dorset House resident, said: “I couldn’t believe how fantastic everyone was and I loved being able to have a sing and a dance with the students. It was so nice to get to know them all.”


Strikes Set To Severely Disrupt The NHS Over The Holidays Warns Top Doctor The NHS is facing weeks of major disruption at a time when services are already under significant winter pressure, England’s top doctor has warned. Junior doctors take strike action from today (Wednesday) at 7.00am until 7.00am on Saturday (23 Dec). The NHS will prioritise urgent and emergency care as consultants step in to cover for junior doctors, who make up 50% of the medical workforce. After Christmas and New Year, the longest action ever by junior doctors is also planned from 7.00am on the 3 January to 7.00am on the 9 January, meaning that in the coming three weeks, only four weekdays in the NHS are unaffected by holidays or industrial action. In more than a full calendar year of action, strikes have seen more than 1.1million inpatient and outpatient appointments rescheduled. Despite extensive planning and cover arrangements in place, the latest strikes by junior doctors are expected to cause widespread disruption – from the impact on almost all routine care, to an extra admin burden and difficulties with discharging patients. The NHS is reminding people that they should continue to use services as they normally would when they need urgent medical help – using 999 and A&E in life threatening emergencies. Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “These strikes come at a time that will cause huge disruption to the NHS, with services are already feeling the strain of winter pressure. “When you factor in the Christmas and New Year break, these strikes will prolong that period of reduced activity and it also puts the health service on the back foot into the new year, which is a time where we see demand start to rise significantly. “Over the holiday period, I would encourage anyone who needs medical help to continue to come forward – in a life-threatening emergency, call 999 and use A&E in the usual way. For everything else, use 111 online.” Speaking as junior doctors across England prepare to strike Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the impact on frontline services is likely to be significant and could further jeopardise efforts to recover services and tackle waiting lists.

It comes as a new analysis by the NHS Confederation has found our members are worried about the hazardous position the system is in due to a cocktail of viruses, industrial action and operational flow issues. Matthew Taylor said: “There is no doubt that these strikes are coming at the worst possible time, with the NHS entering the most difficult period of the year. As the level of winter viruses continues to ramp up in hospitals and more staff go off sick the last thing leaders wanted was for junior doctors to stage more walk outs. “We know that the strikes in January will take place during one of the busiest weeks of the year for the NHS. The absence of national derogations for emergency and other life-critical services is an extra worry for health leaders as this could leave patient safety in a more precarious state. “More than a year of industrial action have led to more than a million appointments and operations being cancelled. Patients are the ones being left to pick up the pieces of this ongoing dispute. “While the NHS will still be there for people in an emergency the impact on frontline services is likely to be significant and could further jeopardise efforts to recover services and tackle waiting lists. Over the periods of industrial action patients could face longer waits, planned appointments and non-urgent treatments being rescheduled and some consolidation of services. “Leaders and their teams will be focused on responding to higher than usual A&E attendances and trying to safely discharge patients who are well enough to leave hospital so that beds can be prioritised for those with the greatest clinical need. “Extensive planning has also taken place to sort staff cover during the strikes, while health leaders have done their best to make sure patients whose planned appointments have to be rescheduled are given as much notice as possible and

patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital can leave. “Health leaders do not want their patients and staff to be put in this situation again, which is why it is vitally important the government and BMA get back around the table.”


How to Approach Patient Handling In A Disability Care Setting By Nick Horton, Managing Director, Select Lifestyles ( Moving and handling is a complex and sensitive element of care giving, requiring care providers to be as knowledgeable and thorough as possible to get it right. This applies in all settings, but even more so in disability settings when clients are often vulnerable and non-verbal. When it comes to patient handling, care providers must respect their clients’ dignity – a fundamental aspect of quality care – and have the ability to adapt to clients’ changing needs to maintain a person-centred approach. What’s more, key health and safety elements must be considered for all parties to remain safe and to reduce injuries. There are many risks involved when it comes to patient handling, but having comprehensive processes in place will allow care providers to apply best practice at all times.

BEING AWARE OF THE RISKS When undertaking patient handling tasks, there are a multitude of potential risks for both carers and clients. For example, both parties could experience physical harm such as skin, tissue or ligament damage if processes aren’t followed and actions aren’t carried out with care. For clients, there is the additional risk that, without successful patient handling, they could become isolated in their homes or rooms, unable to be a part of the community they live in. To avoid this, care providers should always work in partnership and communicate with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, doctors, and dentists, to minimise this risk and ensure that clients receive the best possible care. Another risk to consider is understaffing and busy workloads for carers who are trained in patient handling. This must be avoided at all costs, as the quality of client care is greatly compromised if people rush tasks or can’t complete them at all due to not having capacity. To minimise this, care providers should have good rota planning to ensure the right staff are always in place, as well as ensuring that patient handling

training is provided to the necessary people.

CLEAR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES In a disability care setting, carers should be aware that they are expected to follow the policies and protocols of patient handling for safety purposes. This includes carrying out risk assessments and a responsibility to follow support plans for individual clients, so everyone receives personalised care. In addition, carers have a responsibility to communicate with clients and explain what they are about to do, even if they are non-verbal and unable to respond, as this maintains the client’s respect and dignity. Carers also need to make sure the correct equipment is always used – not only to reduce risks but to make the job easier. People should be able to properly use equipment such as hoists, slings, standing aids, shower chairs, grab rails, slide sheets and wheelchairs – to name a few.

THOROUGH LEARNING AND TRAINING Perhaps the most important element in the steps towards successful patient handling is training, and this should be done yearly so that information stays relevant and up to date. The best approach for moving and handling training is through practical lessons. It’s a very hands-on element of personal care, so giving people practical experience will allow them to become familiar with the correct processes and methods – something that is vital to ensure they pass the training. Not only this, but in-person training allows learners to get immediate clarification on any questions they might have. Compliance with patient handling training should also be monitored through practical assessments and regular on the job training, as well as through reviews and client feedback forms. At Select Lifestyles, we support our staff responsible for patient handling by having a dedicated health and safety team, who are on hand to answer any questions and ensure we are maintaining correct practices across all sites. We also keep track of any incidents, no matter how small, in our accident logbooks to ensure staff are supported to learn from these and ensure they don’t happen again. Patient handling is such an important element of care giving – it promotes the safety, dignity, and wellbeing of individuals with disabilities, at the same time as safeguarding the physical health and professional wellbeing of caregivers.


Health Innovation West Midlands Shares Details Of Transformative Health And Care Projects Representatives from across the health and care sector descended upon Birmingham, to take part and learn from the transformational health innovations and projects spearheaded by Health Innovation West Midlands (HIWM, formerly known as the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, WMAHSN). HIWM hosted its inaugural Stakeholder Conference at Conference Aston on the 28th of November, where it showcased how it helps transform health and care through collaboration across academia, industry and healthcare. Healthcare innovation investment and collaborative projects, such as the ones showcased, are vital to the sector as they support the development of life-changing medical innovations, improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare, and lead to improved outcomes for patients.

THE PROJECTS SHOWCASED AT THE EVENT INCLUDED: - Heart Failure – The project creates tools and resources that systems can utilise to enable improvement in heart failure care. As part of this, HIWM has supported Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board to receive funding for the NHS Managing Heart Failure @ Home programme, and results show that 47 hospital admissions have been avoided so far, saving the system approximately £60,000 in six months. Managing Deterioration in Care Homes – The project worked with 1,679 care homes across the West

Midlands to support the training, adoption and sustainability of deterioration management tools. Between January 2021 and September 2022, there were 3,232 fewer emergency admissions as a result of the project, resulting in a cost saving of £13,590 per care home. Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) – Aims to create the optimal conditions for encouraging patient safety improvement across health and integrated care systems. Outcomes to date have included the delivery of workshops and facilitated sessions, and a four-part webinar series which has enabled healthcare staff to gain knowledge to cultivate a positive safety culture, ultimately making workplaces safer and more efficient. The event welcomed delegates from sectors including social care, public health, integrated care systems, academia and industry. Tim Jones, Acting Chief Officer at Health Innovation West Midlands, said: “It was a pleasure welcoming so many of our stakeholders and sharing insights into how HIWM has accelerated the adoption and spread of new, important improvement solutions which have been demonstrated to deliver true patient benefit. “Following the recent relicensing of the Health Innovation Networks (previously known as Academic Health Science Networks) for a further five years by NHS England, we are more committed than ever to highlighting the need for innovation in health and care, and the positive impact it can have on patients, communities and the economy.”

‘Lucky’ Muriel Celebrates 100th Birthday at Dorset Care Home A Dorset care home resident who spent a happy childhood in 1920s-and-30s India has celebrated her 100th birthday. Muriel Caley, who has lived at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton for the past year, was the centre of attention at a party with family, friends and fellow residents. And on her special day, she revealed her secret of longevity, saying: “I’m just very lucky. I can’t believe it.” Muriel is well known at the Colten Care home for her sense of humour, love of puzzles and skin that staff describe as ‘beautiful’. “My secret for still having beautiful skin at my age is not covering it in silly creams and makeup,” Muriel said. Among the party guests was Muriel’s daughter Faye who said: “Mum has happy memories of her young life in India. She was born in Calcutta, now Kolkata, in December 1923. “She had two sisters and they were all very close. When they eventually went their separate ways, the three of them continued to write to each other weekly. Both her sisters ended up liv-

ing in the USA with American husbands. “Mum also loved her days at boarding school in India, at the Loreto Convent in Shillong.” Muriel met her husband Arnold in Bombay, now Mumbai. When she was 24, the couple moved to the UK as India went through the 1947 Partition and changed political borders after the dissolution of the British Raj. Settling with Arnold in Sheffield, Muriel had a career as a school secretary while she brought up Faye and son Tim. In later life, the great grandmother relocated to Dorset after a hospital stay to be nearer her family, moving to Newstone House in early 2023. “Muriel is a lovely lady with a great sense of humour,” said the home’s Companionship Team Leader Kate Seck. “She recollects with fondness her boarding school years in India and her adult life in Sheffield. “It was an honour and a privilege to help her celebrate such a landmark birthday along with her family.”


Assessing the Impact of the UK's Five-Point Plan on Healthcare Immigration and Talent Attraction By Avinav Nigam, Co-Founder and CEO of TERN Group, a pioneering tech company ( In the wake of the recent Home Office announcement of a five-point plan to reduce UK immigration, the country stands at a crucial juncture. The need for regulation is evident; migration figures are unsustainable at current rates. However, as the government seeks to implement its new initiatives to address this concern, questions arise about the impact on the nation's ability to attract high-quality, high-skilled labour and ensure a safe and ethical immigration process. The decision to raise the salary threshold to £38,700, while exempting health and care workers, is seen by many as a step in the right direction. It ensures that the UK continues to welcome essential talent. However, for this strategy to be effective, it must be accompanied by an extensive upskilling and training programme for the local population. While a vocational upskilling exercise in the long term is crucial, the immediate critical need remains, exemplified by the NHS's staff shortages of 121,000 and 152,000 vacancies in adult social care, and justifies the policy of sourcing of foreign talent. The contentious issue of restricting dependents for those falling below the £38,700 threshold elicits a more negative response. Nurses, often joining at the Band 5 range (£28,407-£34,581), face a potential barrier to immigration. The concern here lies in the possible deterrence for skilled professionals who may choose not to relocate if separated from their families. Although there have been previous reports of visa abuse, this announcement raises profound concerns about deterring skilled professionals moving forward. Initial responses from foreign key workers indicate that many may indeed be deterred by the prospect of a future without loved ones by their side. Speaking in Economic Times, an Indian English-language business-focused daily newspaper, Dr Ramesh Mehta, founder of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), the UK's largest representative body for nearly 80,000 doctors and 55,000 nurses of Indian origin, expressed concerns. Of the news of the rule change on dependents, he stated, "We hope that this does not include doctors and nurses because if it does, we can assure the Home Office that the number of doctors and nurses coming to the UK from India will be nil." Notably, India is the largest source of healthcare migrant workers for the UK.

In addition to not just the economic fallout, a policy like this exposes the UK to the risk of substantial reputational damage, portraying the country as unwelcoming to foreign workers. The elimination of the 20% discount on the salary threshold for health and care workers, if as stated proves effective in curbing an additional 300,000 immigrants annually, it may be a reasonable and pragmatic decision. However, the impact on an already strained healthcare sector needs further monitoring in the coming months. Bringing the care home sector under the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a logical step forward. Reports of unregulated activities in some of the UK’s 17,000 care homes highlight the importance of standardising clinical delivery and ensuring consistency in patient care. This oversight is a positive development, yet it raises the question of whether these measures alone are sufficient. Further efforts are required to establish robust checks and balances in the process, ensuring the UK can continue to attract talent globally through a transparent, fair, ethical, and legally-protected migration framework. Regrettably, these announcements overlook underlying issues, including the persistence of unscrupulous middlemen exploiting individuals seeking to contribute to the country and assist in caring for the ageing population. Enhancing accountability and implementing safeguards is crucial to provide adequate support for migrant workers. The NHS, its Framework operators, and the private sector bear a significant responsibility beyond just the final 'transaction' stage of international recruitment. Their duty extends across the entire supply chain—from the initial sourcing of talent through the various stages leading up to their introduction. Current measures fall short in protecting these individuals from exploitation. Merely restricting the influx of migrants does not alter the fundamental requirement for implementing checks and balances. It is imperative that corporate and government responsibilities encompass a wider scope of transparency and not just limited to narrower interpretation. While the recent Home Office announcements represent progress on certain issues, a nuanced and comprehensive approach is essential. Balancing immigration concerns with the immediate demand for skilled workers in critical sectors presents a significant challenge. The UK must navigate these complexities carefully, ensuring that its immigration policies underscore a commitment to fairness and transparency. The challenge of an ageing population and staff shortages is not unique to the United Kingdom, as other Western countries also face similar issues in industries crucial for their support and maintenance. Recognising the global competitive nature of the marketplace for health and care talent is crucial. The upcoming months will play a vital role in gauging the impact of these changes, particularly whether the shift in policy regarding dependents will significantly hinder the attraction of such vital talent.

Hartford Care Donates £5,000 To Local Charities This Christmas Hartford Care has launched this year’s Christmas charity initiative, donating a total of £5,000 to local charities across its 19 operating care homes and Head Office in Basingstoke. Each care home, as well as the team at HQ, were gifted £250 to give to a local charity of their choice. In Basingstoke, £250 was donated to The Camrose Centre, which provides an open-access service to homeless and vulnerably housed people in the community. It is the only homelessness charity and the only day centre specifically available to these people locally. Hartford Care’s central support team delivered the donation personally.

Kevin Shaw, Chief Executive of Hartford Care, comments: “Our wonderful teams work hard throughout the year to fundraise for dozens of local causes and charities. We hope these additional Christmas donations will have a positive impact on families in the communities of which we are a part, helping those who need it most this festive season.” Hartford Care’s ethos is ‘Creating Caring Communities’; its philosophy of care is underpinned by creating communities that are friendly, kind and welcoming of everyone, caring for each other and celebrating individuality by recognising that everyone needs something different to thrive.

Former Nurse Turns ‘Undercover Boss’ In Efforts To Improve Care Quality A former nurse has turned ‘undercover boss’ in an attempt to improve quality and standards in care homes. Sathi Raghavan, who worked as a registered nurse and midwife in both India and the UK before establishing her own business in the sector works shifts in homes to check care quality and suggest improvements. The founder of Millennium Staffing which supplies staff to care homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings across the West Midlands joins care home teams and works alongside her staff who are oblivious she’s, their boss. Sathi said: “It all started when I was working as a nurse in a care home and got fed up with agency staff coming in, many of whom refused to carry out the tasks they were needed to do to provide the best care. “That’s what led me to set up my own specialist employment business. And when I got my very first call from a care home asking for shift cover that evening, I rang the small team I’d recruited, and noone was free. “So, I put on a uniform and turned up and worked the shift. It gave me the opportunity to really understand the home, how the team works, their procedures and care levels so it’s something I’ve done ever since. “I spend one or two days with all new homes so I can prepare and train my staff to meet the exact needs

of that home, everything from the home layout to the full variety of tasks they should be willing and able to do.” And last month Sathi joined a care home night shift at 1am with agreement from the manager to shadow the team and watch her staff perform through the night and into handover. She said: “I love it and it’s really inciteful. Not just as a way of seeing the team first hand but also at bringing an outside perspective and a chance to suggest ways for a home to improve its care and safeguarding.” And her undercover missions have led to improvements across multiple homes including improved CQC inspection outcomes and using her medical background to improve care plans. She has also suggested changes to staffing levels to improve care quality even if this means her staff are no longer needed. Sathi added: “As a nurse I want to deliver the best care possible, so I’m personally invested in every care home and every resident. And that extends to my team.” Now providing nurses, care and kitchen assistants, social workers, and other staff to care homes, hospitals and social care providers Millennium staffing has grown from Sathi on that first shift to almost 400 employees in under three years. For further information visit


How Marketing Can Help Dilute the Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Care Homes Cheryl Luzet, CEO, Wagada Digital ( offers her insights into the approaches care homes could take to their marketing, as the cost-of-living crisis bites. Post-covid, the care home sector is badly hit, this time by the cost-of-living crisis, with a downturn in enquiries. The ability to cut through the noise to ensure care homes’ marketing strategy offers more engagement touch points, builds trust, and highlights their benefits, has never been more important.

A RECRUITMENT/EMPLOYER BRAND STRATEGY: As part of a marketing strategy, a focus on employer branding, which includes intangible qualities that set a company apart and make it appealing to current and potential employees, delivers several advantages: • Attracts top talent. • Increases turnover. • Boosts productivity. • Gains a competitive edge in the job market. • Ultimately, it also contributes to cost reduction, positively impacting a business's bottom line. • Recruiting and retaining people in the sector is a big issue, which the industry is engaged with. But in our experience, there is a need to humanise the brand to support not only the recruitment strategy, but also to help fill beds, in a very people-led industry. Selling ‘the people behind the brand’ is a key tactic for both recruitment and generating more sales.

It is important to balance an increase in leads for service users at the same time as raising their visibility for jobs, as care homes cannot grow without the right staff so this must go hand in hand; any good marketing campaign will identify this issue.

ONLINE PRESENCE/WEBSITE TARGETING CAREERS IN THE SECTOR: Target new recruits by ensuring content is targeted on different user groups and offer up experiences to build up trust, engagement, and positive reviews. Tactics include targeted content, blogs, key word research, social media engagement. One benefit of this approach is it allows recruitment teams to work on other projects as they move away from using costly recruitment agencies.

DEVELOP AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION: Explain to employees and potential recruits the value of working for a care home and the potential benefits on offer, so they themselves feel valued and they have a purpose. One client, has developed an employee wellness app, see here to help retain employees in the care home sector.

IDENTIFY KEY AUDIENCES: It is key to understand what different audiences need and want. It is important that care homes continue to keep a close eye on factors such as: • Reading the economic landscape to ensure preparedness for different scenarios. • Ensure buildings are maintained and up to date. • Consider seasonal factors, with the summer and Christmas being times when they often see an increase in respite care.

LOOK AHEAD: Care homes need to use forecasting to work out the percentage of beds they need to fill, and consider if their objectives are achievable and realistic.

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, wellbeing, 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.

Marr Procurement: Continuing to Invest In Resourcing Solutions for the Care Sector Introducing Dan Ashenden our new head of M-Resourcing M-Resourcing are delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Ashenden to lead our M-Resourcing service with effect from 1 December 2023. M-Resourcing offers a multi-faceted approach to solving complexresourcing problems facing the care sector. Whether you facespiralling staffing costs and pressures, or simply require a newapproach to managing this critical area for your organisation, ourcomprehensive resourcing solution reduces costs, brings controland allows you to plan for the future with confidence. We knowfrom talking to our clients that managing their resourcing costs isstill a key priority and this important appointment underlines ourcontinuing commitment to the sector. Christoph Marr, CEO of Marr Procurement: “Dan is a highly-capable leader and has incredibly valuable experiencefrom his years in the care sector, managing and delivering complex temporary labour

agency programmes. We areexcited to bring that experience to our clients.” Dan spent 6 years at Priory Group "During my rewarding six-year tenure at Priory, I had the privilege of beingappointed as the inaugural UK Agency Manager, where I honed my skills in enhancing their PSL offering. Thisexperience has provided invaluable insights into the principles of effective temporary agency management,reduction, and control. Now, as the Head of M-Resourcing at Marr Procurement, I aim to leverage this knowledge tointroduce innovative strategies for temp agency reduction to benefit our clients. My goal is to ensure the delivery ofa cost-effective and compliant offering, especially in the face of increasing sector costs. With a rising demand andour commitment to fairness, our offering at Marr Procurement is poised to become even more beneficial.". Marr Procurement is a professional procurement organisation serving the care sector, and founded on the values ofIntegrity, Fairness

and Quality. In everything we do, we believe in doing things better, ensuring fairness for clientsand suppliers alike, and always doing the right thing. Marr Procurement was set up in 2008 and has since servedmore than 50 care clients in delivering savings through sourcing over £1bn of spend. Christoph Marr, CEO Marr Procurement: “At Marr Procurement we believe in seeking to level the playing field forclients, ensuring they have equal access to the best procurement services and outcomes. This is what drives us everyday in serving our clients. The team I have built are each highly capable leaders in their speciality but, importantly,they all share a common belief in fairness and transparency. This means they are always seeking the right solutionfor our clients, where trust is at the forefront. Dan is a great fit for our business and for our clients and I amdelighted to welcome him to the team.” Find out more at


NHS Waiting List Falls but Backlog of 7.7million Still Cause for Concern Waiting lists for routine NHS ops have fallen, in a sign that hospitals are finally getting a grip on the massive backlog. Over 7.7million procedures like hip replacements and cataracts surgery are currently booked in, including hundreds of thousands of patients who have been stuck in the system for over a year. Professor Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said: “With today’s figures showing the waiting list falling for the first time in months, the Government’s claim that strikes are to blame for high waiting lists is beginning to unravel, and to be exposed for what it is: a political attack on hardworking doctors exercising their legal rights to take industrial action. “Not only were waiting lists at record high before any strikes took place, but it is thanks to the expertise of these doctors, not politicians, that we have seen this small fall in the number of patients waiting for care in October, despite unprecedented joint strikes between junior doctors and their consultant colleagues that same month.

“The numbers waiting are still too high. The failures to meet cancer and A&E standards, and unacceptable delays getting patients in ambulances through hospitals doors, are due to bed and staff shortages that we see year in year out in winter. The Government should not be let off the hook for its persistent underinvestment in the NHS and undervaluing of staff, which has led to this point. Separate figures today show that the maintenance backlog for England has risen again this year, by 13.6% to £11.6bn – this is money needed just to bring NHS buildings back to a safe standard. How are colleagues meant to make headway in improving wait times, when the buildings they’re working in are not safe, let alone efficient and up-to-date? “We’re on the brink of an incredibly difficult winter, with junior doctors forced once again to take strike action that can still be headed off – it is for Government to resolve. While there may be some improvement in today’s figures, the Government should not be taking credit, nor should there be cause for celebration from politicians.”

Southport Home Appeals To Community In Bid To Get 100 Cards For Resident Turning 100 A Southport home is calling on the support of the community to help reach 100 birthday cards for one of their residents. Amelia ‘Millie’ Goddards lives at MHA Connell Court and will be turning 100 on the 7th of January 2024. The home is appealing to members of the local community to get at least 100 cards for Millie by her birthday. There will be a party at the home to celebrate the big day with Millie expected to receive a telegram from the King.The deputy lieutenant of Merseyside, Julie Lawson BEM will be visiting the home and will present Millie with the telegram. The home has put a post on social media to gain the attention of the public. Anna Harvey, home manager said:

“We did something similar a few years ago for one of our other residents, Agnes and it proved to be very successful. Agnes was Millie’s best friend so we decided to do the same for her. “We are asking for the community to get behind us and support the cause by either posting or dropping off the cards. “Millie is a delight and we are looking forward to celebrating her birthday. “There will be some live entertainment on the day and Millie’s niece will also be joining us. “Her husband Fred also lived at MHA Connell Court, they were both married for 63 years and we are confident we will reach our target before the deadline of her birthday.”


Care Group Recognises Workforce’s Outstanding Care At Internal Superhero Awards Ceremony A Surrey care group has hosted its annual ‘Superhero Awards’ for staff members, highlighting the outstanding work that its care staff do throughout the year. CHD Living, a family-owned and operated group of care homes, rehabilitation, and home care services in Surrey and South London, has hosted its very own internal awards ceremony – where care workers who have gone above and beyond were recognised and rewarded for their efforts. At the heart of this year’s event was choreographer and television personality, Arlene Phillips, who joined forces with drag queen, Ms. Caera Lott, to co-host and present the awards. Despite its 800-strong workforce, nearly 900 nominations were received by the Superhero Awards judges, giving them the hard job of whittling the entries down into the winners of just 18 awards. One of the staff members recognised was Simmy George, winner of ‘Health Care Assistant of the Year’, who was nominated by colleagues as an exemplar of kindness and responsibility. She was described as having “extraordinary qualities” that extend far beyond conventional caregiving, with a remarkable ability to listen attentively coupled with an incredible team spirit that has set a benchmark within the organisation. Her reliability, patience, and commitment have made her the go-to person in delicate situations. When

residents face challenges in accepting personal care, Simmmy’s calm and compassionate approach has been instrumental in easing their resistance. Similarly, Martine Garden, winner of the ‘Care at Home Worker of the Year’, was recognised for her work beyond her primary duties, taking on the role of mentor and generously sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge with new staff. Her guidance and support were named as “invaluable”, shaping the development of new team members and ensuring a high standard of care delivery. Arlene Phillips, co-host of the awards, said: “I’ve really loved being at the awards tonight. We’re in a beautiful hotel having a fantastic dinner, but these awards are celebrating people working in the care sector at every single level. It’s just so important. Care is all about what can be given to people who need the help of others, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it.” Discussing the Superhero Awards, Liakat Hasham, founder of CHD Living, said: “At our awards ceremony, we honour our everyday superheroes – the heart and soul of our organisation. Their dedication, compassion, and resilience have shaped the lives of those in our care. This awards ceremony celebrates the selfless actions that define our incredible team.”

Hillcrest Care Home in Norwich Celebrates Five Star Hygiene Rating and Exceptional Culinary Experience Hillcrest Care Home, part of the Larchwood Care family, is proud to announce its recent achievement of a five-star hygiene rating awarded by Norwich City Council. This significant accomplishment highlights the home's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. The recent success can be attributed to the outstanding efforts of new head chef, Rob Connor, and his dedicated kitchen team. Their hard work and culinary expertise have not only ensured compliance with the highest hygiene standards but also transformed the dining experience for the residents. Rob said, "This recognition is a testament to the incredible team we have here. Their commitment and hard work make all the difference." His culinary skills have been particularly appreciated by the residents, who are delighted with the quality and variety of meals served. Residents have shared their heartfelt appreciation: "I'm so happy with how Rob goes out of his way to make our meals special," said one resident. Another commented, "The food is always presented very well, making every

mealtime a delightful experience." "Always happy with the choices we're offered. There's something for everyone," shared a third resident. "My favourite is the curries. They're just superb!" exclaimed another. "The chef does a very good job. We're lucky to have him," a resident added. These glowing testimonials reflect the positive impact Rob and his team have made in a relatively short time. Leona Fitch, home manager of Hillcrest Care Home, added, "These heartwarming words from our residents truly showcase the positive impact Rob has made. His dedication goes beyond preparing meals; he's enriching the lives of our residents every day. “Food and mealtimes are a very important part of a care home’s day and Rob goes out of his way to make them special for everyone.” Hillcrest Care Home is part of Larchwood Care and holds a 'Good' rating from the Care Quality Commission, reaffirming its commitment to providing high-quality care and services.

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 preferences 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.

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.



RCN Scotland Calls For Budget To Prioritise Health And Care Services The Scottish budget must prioritise health and care services and set out investment to grow and develop Scotland’s nursing workforce, according to the Royal College of Nursing Scotland. Nursing workforce challenges across health and care services remain as acute as when the RCN called for urgent action in its second Nursing Workforce in Scotland Report published in May this year. In an update published today (14 December) the RCN has reviewed progress on the 10 recommendations made in May’s report and concluded that despite some gains, progress has been ‘much slower than needed, given the scale and severity of the workforce crisis’. The update shows that: • Nursing vacancy rates remain stubbornly high across the NHS and social care. The latest NHS statistics show that 5,400 (7.7%) nursing and midwifery posts remain unfilled. Meanwhile 65% of care homes for older people report nursing vacancies. • For the second year in a row the number of places to study nursing at Scotland’s universities have not been filled. This month, UCAS reported an 11% drop in acceptances onto nursing programmes in Scotland in the last year. Commenting, Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director, said:

“We believe our recommendations are key to helping tackle the nursing workforce crisis. But, as we say in our reveiw of progress, the challenges remain stark. The NHS vacancy rate continues to run at an unsustainable level and social care is still facing major recruitment challenges. Two years of not hitting the target for new nursing students is a significant concern because of the impact on registered nurse numbers in the future. “We won’t give up our efforts to press for meaningful improvements. Last month, the Agenda for Change review process reported on its recommendations for reform for the NHS-wide pay scheme. We are calling on the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care to approve the funding required to implement the recommended outcomes quickly and in full. “We’re also calling for the Ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce to recommend actions to directly address these workforce challenges. Any recommendations must be backed by the financial resources needed to deliver change and ensure nursing is positioned as a career of choice. Next week’s budget announcement is the Scottish government’s opportunity to show how much it values our hard-pressed nursing staff and the future of our health and care services.”

Bucks Masonic Bowling Association Host Day Filled With Warmth and Generosity On October 12th, 2023, Kayleigh Jones, Lifestyle and Wellbeing Lead, had the privilege of representing the Fremantle Trust at a Luncheon and Presentation event. This occasion was organised by the Buckinghamshire Masonic Bowling Association, and it was a day filled with warmth and generosity. During the event, Kayleigh Jones was introduced to the members of the association, and they all gathered for a delightful 4course meal. The highlight of the day was the presentation of a £500 cheque to the Fremantle Trust by Jim Lumsden, the Secretary of the group. This contribution was aimed at supporting the trust’s initiatives and activities that enhance the lives of its residents. Jim Lumsden, expressing the reason behind their choice, said, “Thank you so much for accepting our invite and accepting our Donation to The Fremantle Trust. We wanted the funds we have raised over the last year to go to a charity where it can make a difference, even just a small one.” As well as the donation to the Fremantle Trust, Jim Lumsden also presented a cheque to the Scan Appeal, their second chosen charity of the year. The event continued with the presentation of trophies and

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.

prizes to the winners of the bowling season, followed by a charity raffle, where funds were further raised to support important causes. Jim Lumsden reached out to Sue Faulkner, Community and Lifestyle Manager, to extend the invitation to accept the donation. His decision was influenced by the remarkable activities and events he saw on the Fremantle Trust’s website, which demonstrated the trust’s dedication to improving the quality of life for its residents. With this, Sue Faulkner expressed her gratitude, stating, “The funds donated will go towards a new project buying equipment whereby the residents will be able to record their wonderful memories and share them with each other and families. Reminiscence is very important for older people, reliving past events during their lifetime restores their sense of self and belonging, as well as keeping the memories alive for the family”. Finally, Kayleigh Jones, reflecting on the day, remarked, “It was an absolute honour to be a part of the day and to receive the donation.” Her words exemplify the appreciation and respect felt by the Fremantle Trust for the support provided by the Buckinghamshire Masonic Bowling Association, which will undoubtedly have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of its residents.

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


Local Care Home Donates Christmas Gifts The Wingfield care home, in Trowbridge were delighted to drop off the Christmas gifts collected by the home for the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal for the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Resident Mair went along with the team to hand over the wide selection of gifts, she said “it must be so hard for children to be in hospital over Christmas, I really hope the gifts we have delivered will bring some smiles on Christmas day”. General Manager, Ansitha Sasi at The Wingfield said: “The home is com-

mitted to continually supporting a range of local charities and when we saw the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal for Christmas we all wanted to be part of brightening Christmas for children in hospital”. The Wingfield care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering personalised care across its care homes and hospitals. The Wingfield provides residential, nursing and dementia care from respite care to long term stays.

‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly at Local Care Home Barchester’s Moors Manor care home, in St Leonards, got in the Christmas spirit by hosting a carol concert for residents and the wider community. Moors Manor Christmas carol concert was in full swing with our performers the “Ashley Bells” from Ashley Heath Women’s Institute group who performed a selection of Christmas songs and carols for residents, family members and our local community to join in with. Everyone enjoyed our famous mince pies and mulled wine prepared by the home’s chef, Moray Henderson. General Manager, Jenna May said: “Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year and our fantastic residents love to get festive so we’ve pulled out all the stops. It is so lovely to see them all getting into the Christmas spirit,

it’s definitely my favourite time of year.” Marianne Timberlake, resident at Moors Manor Care Home said: “It has been a lovely day. It was wonderful to see everyone go to so much effort to get into the Christmas spirit. “I really enjoyed singing along to the Christmas Carols as I used to be in a choir when I was younger and I also loved the homemade mince pies.” Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities.

Local Dunelm Store ‘Delivers Joy’ to Care Home Residents Elm Bank care home in Kettering would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Dunelm Kettering for making their residents Christmas wishes come true with a sleigh full of joy! Dunelm’s “Delivering Joy” campaign is a charitable initiative that aims to spread festive cheer to people in the local community who might otherwise go without. The staff and residents of Elm Bank care home were overwhelmed with happiness when the Dunelm Community Champions arrived bearing Christmas gifts for their residents. Marvellous Bindura, General Manager at the home, said: “We would like to send a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of the Dunelm Kettering

team and all the amazing local people who have contributed to this wonderful campaign. The generosity, love and thoughtfulness behind each gift has made us all believe that Christmas miracles really can come true!" Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at Elm Bank Care Home Barchester Healthcare. Elm Bank care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering personalised care across its care homes and hospitals. Elm Bank provides residential and dementia care for residents from respite care to long term stays.

Santa Has Made His Delivery at Cadbury Hall Care Home Last week Cadbury Hall Care Home, Yatton, welcomed a special visitor ahead of the big day. Father Christmas arrived early to meet children from Stonecroft Nursery, Yatton on Wednesday and Thursday, and other local families visiting on Sunday. A grotto was created at the Cadbury Hall Care Home in Yatton where children had the opportunity of meeting Father Christmas and spending time talking to Santa and sharing what they wanted for Christmas. During their visit, the children also visited residents and their families while they were at the Cadbury Hall Care Home. Jake Ronaldson, Home Sales Advisor, Cadbury Hall Care Home, said: “We were delighted when Father Christmas was able to visit ahead of the big day and surprise our young visitors. It was a very magical experience for all of those involved. It was heartwarming to see the inter-generational connections

taking place when the children were signing carols to residents. “A very special thank you to Bristol Airport’s, World Duty Free team in donating the wonderful Teddy Bear presents. “Families who visited the Grotto made voluntary donations which will be gifted to Young Carers charity.” David, a parent of one of the children said “It was a great idea, and its helped to spread seasonal magic throughout the community” Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities. Cadbury Hall is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Cadbury Hall provides residential and respite care.

100 Years Of Christmas: Care Residents Recall Favourite Festive Memories From The Past Century With up to 100 years of Christmas celebrations behind them, care residents within a family-run care group were asked about their experiences of the festive period and how celebrations have evolved over the years. ACI Care, a group of care homes which specialise in residential, respite and dementia care, have a busy Christmas schedule, treating its residents to a fun-filled festive period of baking, singing and crafts. These activities served as a great conversation starter and encouraged residents to share their fondest memories of Christmases past. Christine Palmer, 83, a resident of Mountside Care Home in Hastings, reflected on the changing dynamics of the festive season over her lifetime, remarking: “I think far more people go on holiday abroad now, which wouldn’t have happened when I was young. There wasn’t the money for that! It’s more commercial, but it's still a family occasion.” One of the main changes over the years noted by the residents was the evolution of presents. A hundred years ago, the emphasis was on thoughtful, small items — a time when personal effort and creativity were central to giftgiving and when money was sparse in wartime Britain. As the years progressed, technological advancements paved the way for a new era of presents, introducing a wide array of commercially produced and accessible goods.

Mavis Dowell, 97, from Fairways in Kent said: “A tangerine was a luxury”, an item that can now be bought cheaply and easily on a daily basis. Whilst, Laurel Brooks, 100, from Gabriel Court in Kettering, struggled to remember any gifts other than receiving chocolate and when asked what she would like for Christmas this year, she laughed and said: "I would still like those chocolates.” Despite the changing holiday traditions, one thing that has remained a constant over the years is the enduring significance of spending time with loved ones. Arline Goodman, 87, from the Old Rectory in Kent, summarised the consensus among residents and said: “Christmas means spending time with the family and sharing love.” Reminiscence is crucial for elderly individuals and those living with dementia as it helps to offer a bridge to their past, evoke emotional connections, and stimulate cognitive function. Sharing memories also helps to maintain a sense of identity and contributes to maintaining independence and an enhanced quality of life. You can watch the video of Mountside’s residents reminiscing over Christmas past here:

Christmas is Coming!

Share Your Christmas Celebrations with The Carer £100 Marks & Spencer Vouchers for the Lucky Winner! Christmas is Coming and We Are Adding Some Festive Cheer with a Chance to Win a Special Prize! We just want to know what you've done to push the boat out over the festive period. A no-frills competition, nothing complicated. All we ask you to do is share your Christmas care home celebrations with us. Anything you do in your care home between now and December 31st - whether it is parties, menus, baking, activities, fundraising, carolling and concerts, local community initiatives - just share your activities with The Carer and we will pick a winner. It really is that simple! Please do remember to send a small paragraph of what you did and who was involved, along with any photographs to and leave the rest to us! Entries close at midnight on Friday 5th January 2024.

Simply email your entry to TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 1. By entering the competition, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and that you are eligible to receive any prizes that may be awarded to you. 2. There is a limit of one entry per person and the competition is completely free to enter. 3. RBC Publishing Ltd's decision on any aspect of the competition is final and binding, and no correspondence will be entered into about it. 4. The prize is non-transferable and non-exchangeable, and no cash alternatives will be provided. 5. You agree that any personal information that you provide when entering the competition will be used by RBC Publishing Ltd for the purposes of administering the competition and for the other purposes as specified in our Privacy Policy. 6. RBC Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for any damage, loss, injury, or disappointment suffered by any entrants as a result of participating in the competition or being selected for a prize.


Mayor of Islington Joins in Christmas Celebrations at Islington Care Home Councillor Gary Heather, The Mayor of Islington, visited Cheverton Lodge Barchester Healthcare’s care home to attend their Mulled Wine and Mince Pie Community event. The Mayor was welcomed by General Manager Krisztina Vadnai and Regional Director Wayne Hughes, and was introduced to members of the Care, Nursing and Lifestyle team. The events was attended by the residents of Cheverton Lodge, their loved ones and members of the local community. The Mayor spent time chatting with residents and guests and sang along to the Christmas entertainment per-

formed by Ian James. Chef Kamilla, prepared a delious array of home baked Christmas treats and Mulled Wine for all to enjoy. The Mayor, Councillor Gary Heather made a speech and thanked the team at Cheverton Lodge for their hard work and commented on what a warm welcome he had received. General Manager at Cheverton Lodge, Krisztina Vadnai said: “The residents and team were delighted to meet The Mayor and we all had a wonderful afternoon. I am so very proud of my team and our beautiful home.”

Cuffley Manor Care Home's Joyous Christmas Fair Spreads Festive Cheer Nestled in the heart of Hertfordshire, Cuffley Manor Care Home in Potters Bar recently hosted a heartwarming Cuffley Christmas Fair, transforming the residence into a festive haven for residents and the community alike. As an award-winning example of residential care, Cuffley Manor's elegant decor, spacious en-suite bedrooms, and vibrant community atmosphere set it apart as an exceptional living space. In line with TLC Care's commitment to award-winning care, Cuffley Manor's highly experienced team ensures each resident feels heard, understood, and well-taken care of, fostering a warm and supportive environment. Communication is a priority, with personalized rooms, tailored activities, and meals, creating a strong sense of community and belonging. The Cuffley Christmas Fair, held on Saturday December 9th, featured delightful stalls offering an array of Christmas sweets, treats, aromatic

delights, and self-care items. Residents and guests enjoyed warm winter woollies from the Cuffley Manor Sweetheart Shop, knit by Gill Bransby one of the resident’s daughters with proceeds donated to St Barnabas Homeless Shelter. Entertainment included the enchanting carols of the Watford Church Choir, fostering a festive atmosphere, while live entertainment by Matthew West Care Entertainment had everyone dancing. Mince pies and mulled wine added to the seasonal delight, and the salon was transformed into Santa's Grotto, spreading extra magic. The Cuffley Christmas Fair was a joyous celebration, bringing together residents, families, and the community to share in the festive spirit. Cuffley Manor Care Home remains dedicated to providing exceptional care while fostering warmth, community, and a sense of belonging.

Withernsea Care Home Takes The Crown In Mince Pie Bake Off Care homes from across the region came together to take part in a Christmas-inspired baking competition. HICA Group residents from care homes in Hull, Grimsby, Goole and Bridlington as well as those from North Lincolnshire participated in a groupwide mince pie competition that was judged by a panel of four judges from HICA’s leadership team. Withersea-based care home Tamarix Lodge secured the top spot for the best-baked and most tasty mince pies. Goole-based Prospect House earned a well-deserved second place, with their expertly crafted pies and

taste to near perfection. Elm Tree Court, in Hull, wasn't far behind, securing the third spot with their mince pie entry, while Wolds Care Centre, in Louth, secured fourth place. Health and Wellbeing Manager Mark Midgley, one of the judges, said: “The quality and presentation of all of the pies was exceptional and highlighted the baking skills of our residents. “Baking is an excellent activity for both physical and mental wellbeing, developing fine motor skills which are vital for maintaining independence. “It also helps to relax residents with many finding it therapeutic and feeling a sense of accomplishment when they have made creations from scratch. “Every pie brought a taste of Christmas to the table and the residents’ hard work and dedication to create the perfect mince pie was clear to see. “It was incredibly tough to choose a winner and we appreciate everyone’s efforts. Well done to everyone who was involved.” The winners were presented with Christmas hampers, kindly donated by HICA Group’s catering partner apetito, which included an assortment of Christmas treats such as cookies, preserves, cheese nibbles, pates, nuts and wine. Ruth Mountain, the manager at Tamarix Lodge, said: “Winning this competition is more than just baking; it’s about the teamwork, engagement, and sheer joy these activities bring to our home, especially at Christmas time. I am over the moon that Tamarix Lodge came first place - it’s a great way to end the year.”

Jumper Joy At Local Care Home Raises Funds For Charity Residents and staff at in Upton Bay care home are helping to make the world a better place by wearing a festival jumper on Thursday 14th December in aid of Save the Children’s annual fundraising event, Christmas Jumper Day. All residents and staff at Upton Bay have been encouraged to buy, borrow or decorate their own special Christmas jumpers and donate to Save the Children. Some of the residents have been very creative and decorat-

ed their own glitzy knitwear even decorating one wheelchair with tinsel. In total the home managed to raise £50 towards this worthy cause. Mevin Sohorye, General Manager, said: “Today has been a whole lot of fun with some of the most outlandish Christmas jumpers I have ever seen! This event has really showcased the creativity and fun-loving spirit of all our residents and staff. We are proud to take part in Christmas Jumper Day and show our support for Save the Children.”


Care Home Manager, Lizzie Leads Christmas Dinner Delivery Service To Tackle Loneliness Care manager Lizzie of Rheola Care Home and Fitzwilliam House Care Home based in Cambridge, is spreading some Christmas cheer with a wonderful initiative to combat loneliness at Christmastime. Managing two care homes takes up a lot of time, but at Christmas, Lizzie still finds time to support people living in the local community who face spending Christmas on their own. Back in 2019, Lizzie came across a post on Facebook, from an individual asking if anyone was offering a Christmas dinner delivery so her relative who was spending Christmas time alone could receive a hot meal. After seeing this, Lizzie couldn’t ignore their plea for help and offered to deliver a delicious Christmas dinner to their door. Knowing there may be other people spending Christmas on their own, Rheola Care Home officially launched its Christmas Dinner Delivery service. To help spread the word about her offering, Lizzie uses the power of Facebook and local community groups she is a part of to get nominations from people who

may know of someone spending Christmas on their own. When they first started the service in 2019, they only received two nominations for meals, but this year, they so far have 15 nominations and counting! Lizzie also ensures the doors to her care homes are open on Christmas day, so people working in the emergency services or healthcare industry can pop in for a hot lunch and be a part of their festive celebrations! Speaking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this week, Lizzie said many of the people she visits are just happy to receive a meal at their doors, whilst others welcome her in for a chat. Every person Lizzie and her team visit is very grateful, and it fills her with joy and happiness knowing she has helped to raise a smile during the festive period. If you know anyone who lives locally to Cottenham in Cambridge and is spending Christmas on their own this year, please call 01480 375 163 or email and a Christmas meal will be delivered to their door.

Leicester City Players Spread Festive Cheer to Residents at Graysford Hall Care Home it’s not an easy job. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, there are too many people to mention individually but they deserve huge credit. “I had the biggest shock I’ve had for a while seeing my old teammate Gerry Summers in Graysford Hall. I made my debut at Sheffield United and he was an experienced first team player there. He guided me as a young 17-year-old in my early days as a professional.” Rukmi Silva, Home Manager at Graysford Hall, said: “We had a truly unforgettable evening at Graysford Hall. Leicester City players brought joy, Christmas presents, and shared delightful moments playing carpet bowls with our residents. Our sincerest thanks to Harry Souttar, Danny Ward, Kasey McAteer, Alan Birchenall, James and the wonderful team for organising such a memorable occasion.”

Leicester City players visited Graysford Hall care home in Stoneygate this month to help the residents celebrate Christmas. Alan ‘The Birch’ Birchenall was joined by Danny Ward, Harry Souttar and Kasey McAteer, donating gifts to the residents at the care home, and enjoying a game of carpet bowls during their visit. The trio also posed for photos with residents and their family members and donated gifts, funded by the Men’s First Team squad. The visit was part of the Club’s festive schedule to businesses across Leicester. Alan Birchenall, former English footballer and club ambassador said: “There are a lot of people in the background at the Club who work incredibly hard in organising these kind of visits and days –

Residents Do Christmas Bauble Cake Bake Off For Local Foodbanks The Great British Bake Off might be over for another year but try telling that to staff and residents at Barchester’s Elgar Court residential home, in Malvern, who have been baking up a storm and decorating with such finesse! Elgar Court’s residents and staff have been busy creating many Christmas Bauble Cakes to gift to the local three community Foodbanks in Malvern and Upton Upon Severn. Our Residents took great delight handing over their gifts of Brandy soaked Christmas cakes and decorated as Christmas baubles for Food bank recipients to enjoy over the festive period. General Manager, Sarah Cadwallader said: “Christmas is a time for giving and it is so important to give back – we hope

our Festive Christmas Bauble Cakes bring lots of joy to everyone.” Joan, resident at Elgar Court said: “I have always loved baking and we had so much fun making and decorating these cakes. It makes us all so happy to think that people will be enjoying our cakes, and after all is there really anything more delicious than a home-made Christmas Cake?!” Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities.

Christmas Spirit Fills Royal Star & Garter’s Homes Residents at Royal Star & Garter are enjoying the buildup to Christmas. Residents have been helping decorate the Homes, in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe, and taking part in festive arts & crafts and cookery activities, concerts and enjoying yuletide outings. In Solihull, residents were helped by staff at the Home to put together their own carol service, which took place on Friday, 15 December. As well as Christmas classics including Away in a Manger and We Three Kings, it also featured readings from residents. There has also been Christmas cake-mixing and Christmas card-making, while later in December residents will welcome entertainers, including bell-ringers. Residents at the High Wycombe Home have been enjoying Christmas movie afternoons, and there was intergenerational fun when they watched a Nativity play at nearby Little Kingshill School. Cooking activi-

ties have seen them make delicious mince pies, and closer to the big day itself, they will watch a pantomime and take part in a Big Christmas Quiz. In Surbiton, residents helped decorate Christmas cakes, and enjoyed pottery sessions. Children from Ellingham Primary School brought the spirit of Christmas with them to the Home when they sang carols, while the am-dram group St Paul’s Players also sung for residents. There was more fun with a Jack and the Beanstalk panto. Shirley Hall, Royal Star & Garter’s Director of Care & Wellbeing, said: “Christmas means a lot to many residents, and staff work really hard to make the festive season magical for residents, their loved ones and the local community. It’s a joy to see so much cheer in our Homes.”


Maryport Carers Who Have Worked The Last 48 Christmas Days Between Them Are Bringing More Festive Fun To Their Residents Two team members at Four Season’s Riverside Court Care Home in Maryport are helping to make another Christmas extra special for the residents who live there. Trish Robinson and Lisa Fort will be working their 29th and 19th Christmas Days in a row, having never missed one since they started working at the care home which provides residential, nursing and dementia care. December 25th starts early for the pair, who run the Magic Moments Activities programme for the residents at the home. The tables in the dining room are dressed with festive decorations ready for breakfast and preparations made to welcome the local choir who kick off the celebrations at the home with a rendition of carols. A quick change sees the ladies transformed into Santa’s helpers ready to greet residents in the lounge and deliver presents to those who prefer to spend the morning in their rooms with visitors. Then it’s time for everyone to come together for lunch, including residents’ families who are invited to join in. Trish and Lisa are kept busy making sure glasses are topped up,

crackers are pulled and jokes read out. Lisa explains: “Our residents are our second family and they are the reason we have worked every single Christmas day. We both have daughters who are grown up now, but when they were younger, they used to come into work with us on Christmas Day. They loved spending time with our residents and of course our residents loved making a big fuss of them! “We both feel very lucky to spend the day celebrating with those that we help care for and their families. Whether it’s handing out presents, organising party games or sitting quietly with someone who wants a chance to reminisce about Christmases gone by, we just want to make the day as special as we can.” Trish and Lisa have been running a packed timetable of activities leading up to the big day, with visiting singers and musicians, including the Flimby Saxhorn brass band, pantomime performers and children from local schools coming to sing carols. Residents have also been enjoying trips out in the community including a dinner dance at The Royal British Legion and parties and nativity plays at local schools.

Flurries Of Snowflakes Cover Care Home at the heart of the local people, and we encourage everyone to use the services they can provide when possible”. Alice a resident at Elgar Court said: “It takes me back to my childhood when the whole family used to decorate the tree together with all kinds of different home-made baubles and paper chains, it was always such a special time. I just love to see all the Snowflakes up, and if I had my way we’d never take them down!” General Manager, Sarah Cadwallader said: “Christmas is such a magical time and our residents have loved putting up Christmas decorations around their new home with staff. It is so special to be able to share these rituals and we all love to see the home decorated and filled with twinkly lights. It has been made all the more magical having local children help out and making these wonderful snowflakes!”

A flurry of beautiful snowflakes landed on Elgar Court residential home in Malvern this week! In November, the residents launched a Snowflake competition with The Friends of Malvern Community Hospital, asking local school children to create their own unique Snowflake designs to decorate around Elgar Court residential care home. The Residents have already had a lot of fun getting out the tinsel and unravelling the fairy lights, ready for a whole host of celebrations for their first Christmas at Elgar Court, and these Snowflakes are just the spectacular icing on top! Elgar Court joined forces with the Friends of Malvern Community Hospital, to highlight and promote the excellent work the hospital does for our community, including the frequently used Minor Injuries Unit service by local families. Andy Sayers, Chairman of the Friends of Malvern Community Hospital said, ‘Malvern Community Hospital is

Local Business Makes Resident’s Christmas Wish Come True Resident at Ashfields Care Home had a lovely surprise when local business Crown commercial services delivered lots of gifts for all the residents. Staff at Ashfields said ‘we have had the most amazing visit from Crown Commercial this afternoon delivering some wonderful Christmas presents with Santa. We were approached by Crown Commercial Services asking if we would be ok accepting some Secret Santa presents from their wonderful team. We were so delighted and proud to be considered. ‘Santa came and delivered the presents to the residents and went round the rooms and the

look on the resident’s faces was truly priceless. What a wonderful afternoon’ In response to this wonderful surprise, a resident, said: “I was on the verge of tears. It is such an amazing feeling to know that such a loving group of people care so much about me – and I didn’t even ask.” Raaj Purohit, General Manager at the home, said: “We believe that every moment is worth cherishing, especially at this time of the year. It was wonderful to see how happy residents were – and the staff loved being a part of this as well.”

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


Its “Christmas Cheer” at Millard House Care Home Staff and residents at Millard House Care Home have embraced the Christmas spirit with a wonderful showcase of Christmas Lighting and decorations! Staff, with the help of the home’s residents went above and beyond to create a festive and heartwarming atmosphere, with both our indoor and outdoor spaces adorned with beautiful decorations, including dazzling lights, festive ornaments, and seasonal displays. The festive display and Christmas decorations were made possible through a collaborative effort by staff, who dedicated several weeks to planning and gathering all the necessary items for the event, and the home extended invitations to the families and friends to join them on December 7th from 2:30 pm to 5 pm for a joyful celebration. The highlight of the day was the enhancing Christmas lighting ceremony. which was followed by delightful refreshments and dancing accompanied by special entertainment. Manager Mishell Perez said: “We believe that featuring our Christmas lighting and

decorations on your website would not only highlight the efforts of our dedicated staff but also serve as an uplifting and inspiring story for your readers. It would showcase the importance of creating a warm and inclusive environment for our residents and the positive impact it has on their well-being.” “The heartwarming feedback from our residents truly made the event special, they expressed their immense pleasure and amazement at the Christmas lights and decorations, describing the atmosphere as incredibly festive and lively, It was evident that the holiday spirit had truly enveloped our home and our residents felt the warmth and joy of the Christmas season.” “As the manager, I am thrilled with the overwhelming success of our Christmas lighting event. It was truly heartening to witness the collaborative efforts of our staff and the enthusiastic participation of our residents, their families and friends. the Joy and festive spirit that illuminated our home on that special day were truly remarkable. Our goal is to create a delightful experience for our lovely residents this festive season.”

Ponies Bring Christmas Magic to Surrey Care Home Staff and residents at Surrey-based maritime care home The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society have been getting into the Christmas spirit with a visit from the Kingswood Shetlands and Friends, among other festivities this December. An annual tradition at the Society’s care home Belvedere House, the Christmas ponies visit is part of an animal therapy session designed to help reduce anxiety and improve communication skills in the elderly residents. The sessions are particularly beneficial for those living with dementia at the home and are a continuation of the other animal therapy sessions that the Society holds throughout the year, which include dogs and guinea pigs. According to Bupa, stroking, brushing and grooming an animal can act as a form of therapy. Actions like these can improve the control of fine motor skills and can help with tasks like eating, writing, and picking up objects. The Society has a full calendar of Christmas activities planned for residents that includes Christmas carols performed by the Royal Alfred staff, Christmas card making, and festive quizzes and movies. Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, Chief Executive of the

Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, said: “The annual festive visit from our old friends at Kingswood Shetlands is one of our favourite events here at Belvedere House, and we are delighted to have welcomed them back again this year. We always have lots of different activities and trips planned throughout the year and the festive period is no different. Our team provides excellent care for residents living in our care home, but we also know the importance of providing different experiences to keep residents active, promote wellbeing and combat loneliness.” Sarah Lopez Founder of Kingswood Shetlands and Friends said: “We have been visiting the Royal Alfred for many years now and it is always a pleasure to bring the ponies and see how much joy they bring to the residents. It is fantastic to know how much of a difference these animals can make to the lives of elderly people. Equine therapy has proven to be a powerful antidote to the feelings of loneliness, dependency and isolation often experienced by seniors who are unable to live in their own homes or with family members, and the ponies love all of the attention they get on the day – we already can’t wait for next year’s visit!”

The Beatles Adorn Care Home’s Competition Winning Christmas Tree THE BEATLES have helped a Liverpool care home win a Christmas tree competition – with baubles, cut outs and guitar decorations in tribute to the sixties sensations. Paul, John, George, and Ringo cardboard cutouts all adorn the tree at Aaron Grange Care Home, on Blacklow Brow, Huyton. There are also musical instruments and signs for The Cavern Club, Penny Lane, and Mathew Street, which were made famous by the band. Other Liverpudlian cultural icons also adorn the tree, including the Liverpool and Everton football club logos and several of the region’s comedians, such as former resident of the care home Stevie Faye, Stan Boardman, Paul O’Grady, Kenn Dodd, and singer and TV presenter Cilla Black. The Christmas tree was named the North West winner of the Hill Care Group “Spruce Me Up! Christmas Tree Competition”, which saw almost 30 care homes take part. Resident Jenny Monks, 72, said: “So we should win the competition. It’s a beautiful tree and a brilliant idea.” Alan Kitchin, 69, added: “I’m delighted we won. It’s a tree like no other. Very creative yet still festive.” Sarah Davies, home manager at Aaron Grange Care Home, said: “The residents

decided on The Beatles and Liverpool culture theme for our Christmas tree this year, due to the wide range of stars and landmarks we have in the city. “We decided to incorporate The Beatles, landmarks such as famous streets, artists, comedians, football teams, our very own Mr Stevie Faye, one of Liverpool’s best showmen and comedians, and Stan Bordman, as we looked after his mum here at Aaron Grange a few years back. “We also have landmarks such as the two cathedrals, The Liverpool Empire Theatre, the Royal Albert Dock, the famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles originated, and artists such as Cilla Black, Paul O’Grady, Kenn Dodd and his Diddymen. We also included the famous strawberry field, Brookside Close, Mathew Street, and more.” Amy Muscatelli, activities coordinator at Aaron Grange Care Home, said: “We were delighted when we found out we won the Hill Care Group competition. A lot of thought, preparation and dedication has gone into our Liverpool themed Christmas tree, which has been enjoyed by all involved. “Everyone has enjoyed the creative arts and craft sessions to produce the decorations and bring our ideas to life. The tree has had lots of lovely comments from family, friends and professional visitors, who congratulated us on a well thought out and put together Christmas tree.”



Minimum Price For Homecare 24/25 Published The Homecare Association has published its Minimum Price for Homecare for April 2024 to March 2025. They have calculated this minimum fee rate for purchase of homecare by local authorities and the NHS at £28.53 per hour. This allows for full compliance with the new National Living Wage (£11.44) in April 2024 and the delivery of sustainable, good quality, regulated homecare services. The minimum price has increased from last year (£25.95 per hour) because of a 9.8% increase in the National Living Wage from April 2024, and inflation in operating costs[JT1] . The Homecare Association stresses the importance of paying care workers much more than the legal minimum. This is to recognise the skill and responsibility of their roles and to improve retention and recruitment of staff. Also reported are the equivalent fee rates required in England, based on the Real Living Wage, the London Living Wage and for NHS Band 3 with 2+ years’ experience (including a supplementary figure for this band in Outer London). A fee rate of £30.31 per hour is required to pay careworkers an equivalent wage to an NHS Band 3 Healthcare Assistant with 2+ years’ experience (or £34.34 per hour for Outer

London). The Government set aside money in the Autumn Statement 2022 explicitly to improve fee rates for care providers via the Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund. They expect that this will amount to £683 million in 2024-25. However, to allow the homecare sector to pay similar wages to the NHS for equivalent roles would cost over £2 billion per year (without considering rising demand for social care, changes in terms and conditions or associated costs in other parts of the social care sector, such as in care homes). Homecare Association’s CEO, Dr Jane Townson said: “Too many local authorities and the NHS continue to commission homecare at fee rates far below the true cost of delivering care. Persistently underestimating providers’ costs risks diminishing the availability of services, the experience of the workforce, and providers’ ability to comply with the legal requirements placed on them. “Low fee rates from councils and the NHS lead directly to homecare workers receiving poor pay and terms and conditions of employment. It’s hardly surprising there is a shortage of homecare workers.

“Without adequate investment in homecare by central and local government, providers cannot maintain and grow the workforce to meet rising demand. Over 400,000 older and disabled people are already sitting on council waiting lists, unable to access the support and care they need. At the end of October, over 12600 people were stuck in hospital ready for discharge, of which about 1 in 4 were waiting for homecare. Delays in discharging people back home are contributing to lengthening ambulance response times and waiting lists for NHS treatment of over 7.8 million, which affects all who need medical help. ‘’We call on the government to recognise the value of homecare and the vital role it plays in enabling people to live well at home. Delivering high-quality care at a fair price to all those that need it is within our grasp. This requires investment and coordinated effort across central government, local government and the NHS, as well as commitment by providers to delivering excellent services. ‘’With adequate funds for home-based and community support, we could help to extend healthy life expectancy, reduce inequalities, take pressure off the NHS and reduce costs for the health and care system.”

MHA Hosts Annual Award Ceremony To Highlight and Appreciate Their Staff Methodist Homes (MHA) recently held their annual OSCARs awards. The OSCARs awards ceremony was part of the organisation’s managers conference and was the first in person event held since 2019. The MHA OSCARs is an annual awards ceremony where MHA acknowledge and celebrate the exceptional contributions made by individuals and teams to the ongoing success and care of older people. Managers from central support, homes and schemes attended The Hayes Conference Centre, in Swanwick, Derbyshire. More than 250 colleagues attended the conference and awards ceremony and there were 430 nominations for the awards. There were 13 categories, and all the winners were presented with a certificate, award and prize in their respective categories. Anna Marshall-Day, Director of people and communications said: “MHA’s OSCARs recognise and celebrate the amazing work our fantastic colleagues and volunteers do across our homes and schemes. “We received hundreds of nominations demonstrating that outstanding service takes place across our charity every single day. “Selecting winners is always tough when every entry is heartwarming, so it is also a great occasion to

celebrate all our colleagues and volunteers who are crucial in ensuring we continue to support our residents nd members live later life well.”

BELOW IS A LIST OF THE WINNERS - Care Home Person of the Year (North) – Diana Bellusci (Beechville) - Care Home Person of the Year (South) – Bruce Finn (Bradbury Grange) - Care Home Person of the Year (Midlands) – Pawel Wisniowski (The Homestead) - Retirement Living Person of the Year – Sasha Williams (Grace Court - Communities Person of the Year- Michelle Williamson (Farsley) - Central Support/Specialist Services Person of the Year – Dee Van Gellecum (Epworth House) - Volunteer of the Year – Alexander Young (MHA Communities Gateshead West - Learner of the Year – Amy Armsden (Epworth House) - Leader of the Year – Stephen Hill (Stratton House) - ED&I Person of the Year – Jaide Foster Howarth (Pennystone Court) - Walter Hall Award – Lynn Weaver (Herondale and Kingfisher) - One MHA Award – Beth Ward (MHA Communities Gosport and Fareham) - Team of the Year ( MHA Rushden Park)

Manufactured in the UK

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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-

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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

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

Let us help you to protect your business with a no obligation risk review today!

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Barnes Commercial Limited trading as Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a Company registered in England and Wales, registration number 11909011. Our registered office is The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, London, United Kingdon, EC4N 8AW. Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under register number 844370 for Insurance Distribution activities and as a Credit Broker and does not charge any fees to customers in relation to Credit Broking activities.


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Swiftclean Puts Your Care Home in Control of Grease and Legionella Swiftclean is a family-run business which has been established for over 40 years. Formed to provide specialist compliance cleaning services for ventilation system hygiene, Swiftclean is now one of the UK’s foremost providers of kitchen extract fire safety cleaning, legionella control services, fire damper testing, indoor air quality monitoring and ventilation system cleaning.

WHY SWIFTCLEAN? We do the job properly, giving you peace of mind: We tackle many new projects where dirt or grease has been allowed to build up - all our ventilation cleans are carried out to comply with BESA TR19® or TR19® Grease. Our legionella control services provide clean water: We provide legionella control services to ensure L8 regulations compliance, preventing legionella outbreaks and maintaining a healthy water supply. We help safeguard your insurance: Our unique cloud-based digital delivery system produces detailed compliance documentation to help safeguard your insurance, preserve your business and protect your brand reputation. We save you time and money: By using us for both ductwork and water hygiene services, you can make the best use of your budget, as well as your valuable time.

We’re big enough to reach you, small enough to care: We provide nationwide coverage in England, Wales and Scotland, through one team with the same exemplary high standards. We’re highly experienced, we know what we’re doing: Our expertise has been built up over more than four decades and we’re at the cutting edge of industry progress. Our Managing Director is directly involved with BESA and we’re an award-winning, ISO registered company. We’re experienced and reliable; you can count on us to do the job properly. We would love to hear from you. Please feel welcome to contact one of our team members on 0800 243 471 option 1

Angloplas - 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


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 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

edencleen from Cleenol

• No animal derived products • Cruelty free • Minimal petrochemical derived products • 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 bio-based 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.

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 all-purpose 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



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.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE First Free E-Learning Resource on Data Security and Protection for Care Staff Launched Care providers can now improve and assess their staff’s knowledge of data security and protection using a new elearning resource, specifically designed for the care sector. Better Security, Better Care – the national programme supporting adult care providers with data security - has developed the course in response to a gap in the market. Speaking about the new course, Michelle Corrigan, Programme Director of Better Security, Better Care, said: "Care providers told us that they struggle to access relevant training for their staff on data protection and cyber security. Our course content reflects all care settings and staff roles – from home care and residential services, to frontline care workers and administrators. There are lots of videos, case studies and interactive elements which enable staff to understand their role in keeping both print and digital data safe. “Care providers also said that it can be challenging to meet the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) requirement to train at least 95 per cent of staff on data protection in the previous 12 months. This course has been specifically designed to meet that requirement. “We have made the course completely open access, without any need to register or login because we want to maximise the number of people using it – especially staff in small care services. But it is also available as a SCORM compliant resource for providers who have a Learning Management System." The course, which reinforces the Data Security Standards and the Care Certificate, includes four modules and one online assessment. Each module takes around 10 – 20 minutes to complete, and there is one single

assessment covering topics from all four modules. Staff can complete the modules in any order and over the course of several days. Care managers, trainers and staff can access the course and corresponding user guides at The course modules are: Module 1: Data protection rights and responsibilities covers the importance of data security and protection in the care system and staff’s personal responsibility to handle data safely. Module 2: Keeping data secure covers the importance of keeping data secure through good record keeping and data disposal, and how to share confidential data securely. Module 3: Threats to data security looks at the threats to data security that employees might encounter, including common types of fraud and scams and how to safely use and keep digital and paper records. Module 4: Data breaches explains what data breaches are, the causes of data breaches and what to do in the event of a breach. Assessment quiz: The assessment includes 20 questions relating to all four modules. Trainees are required to get 80% or more correct in order to download the certificate. The course, which was developed and tested in partnership with care providers, has been welcomed by the sector. Dr Jane Townson, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance representing the 10 national care provider trade associations, encourages members to use the course saying: “Care providers are increasingly aware of how important it is to train their staff on good data and cyber security practice. But until now, there hasn’t been anything really tailored to the specific needs and circumstances faced by our sector’s staff. “This new elearning course from Better Security, Better Care is the missing piece of the puzzle – and it complies with the training requirements in the Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

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 functionality 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 All-in-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

“The Care Provider Alliance encourages all care providers to use the resource to improve and assess their staff’s knowledge.” Tom Rottinghuis, Data Protection Officer at The Forward Trust who was on the Working Group that developed the course said: “Our safeguarding manager and two of our counsellors … were particularly pleased to see that there is a focus on the need to share – as well as the need to protect – people’s information, and it really shows that data protection is not the enemy of safeguarding and care, but a crucial part of it. You can and must share information in order to ensure people get the support they need.” “One of the most valuable aspects of the new resources is that they are short... Given the pressure our staff are under, and the high turnover, it is so valuable to have something that is clear, straightforward and flexible to use.” Care staff who were involved in testing the course fed back: “This will help train all staff easily and at no cost. Very clear and easy, I look forward to using these modules for our staff!” “I think it is really digestible, and has managed to strike the balance of including all relevant and necessary information whilst the training does not feeling too info heavy to digest.” “These modules are tailored to the social care context and reflect real situations that a diverse variety of care workers face in different settings. It’s visual and in plain English so it is very accessible to a wide range of staff including those with English as a second language.” Visit

single platform, designed to: • Save you time • Increase the efficiency of your teams • Improve the quality of care • Deliver better outcomes

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.

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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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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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