The Carer Digital - Issue #178

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




Issue 178

Government Launches New Care Workforce Pathway But Providers Warn That It Ignores Social Care Pay

New qualifications and investment in apprenticeships have been announced as part of a £75 million initiative in an effort to boost the domestic workforce in social care in a Government attempt to change perceptions of employment within the sector. Social care minister Helen Whately said jobs in social care have not always been seen as a “career choice” as she set out plans aimed at ensuring the occupation is recognised “as the skilled profession it is”.

The Department of Health and Social Care said a national care career structure, with defined roles and professional development, will be introduced for the first time. The sector has continually struggled with workforce shortages, with the most recent report in 2023 from Skills for Care noting a vacancy rate of about 9.9%. That equates to around 152,000 vacancies on any given day.




Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital!


Peter Adams

In December we asked our readers, residential and nursing care homes throughout the country to share your Christmas celebrations with us, and once again you haven’t disappointed! We have been thrilled and humbled at the massive response we received, which we have often said before is a testament to the commitment and dedication the sector and staff demonstrate to enhance the lives of the residents. As always, a simple “no-frills competition” - we just invited care homes to send in some photographs with the description of how the home was celebrating the festive season. We were overwhelmed and had to burn the midnight oil to find a winner and, once again, we have added a number of small token “runners-up prizes” since it was virtually impossible to pick an outright winner (which

we had to do)! We had it all - Santa visits, reindeers, choirs, baking competitions, wreath making, strictly come dancing competition, sleeping out to raise funds for the homeless, pantomimes, drag shows - you really pulled out all the stops to make it a wonderfully enjoyable festive season for your clients and residents, so very well done and would draw your attention to our feature on pages 24 – 29. Regular readers will know that we periodically offer up a small prize inviting homes to share celebrations for Christmas, Easter and Afternoon Tea Week, which, to my mind, demonstrate all the wonderful attributes of the sector. I would draw your attention to our lead story. We here at THE CARER regularly highlight the sector’s ongoing staffing shortages and the urgent need for rejuvenation. The government's ambitious Care Workforce Pathway aims to address these issues head-on, offering a glimmer of hope for a sector grappling with significant challenges. However, as we delve into the details, concerns emerge that the strategy, while wellintentioned, might fall short in some critical areas. Data from Skills for Care paints a stark picture of the current state of affairs. The vacancy rate in the care sector stands at a staggering 9.9%, translating to approximately 152,000 vacant positions on any given day. This glaring deficit not only jeopardizes the quality of care delivered but also places an unsustainable burden on existing care workers, leading to burnout and a decline in the overall standard of service. The government's initiative to boost the domestic workforce through targeted training programs is a commendable step forward. Encouraging individuals to consider a career in care can potentially breathe new life into the sector and address the persistent staffing crisis. However, the devil lies in the details.

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WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams One glaring omission in the Care Workforce Pathway is the absence of a concrete plan to address the financial aspect of the care profession, as care providers and industry observers have pointed out. Astonishingly, concerns loom large as the scheme neglects to include provisions for increased pay for care workers, a critical factor in attracting and retaining talent in this challenging field. While the government's initiative may pave the way for a fresh influx of skilled professionals, the concerns raised by care providers are hard to ignore. Without an improvement in pay scales, the scheme might do little to alleviate the pressing staff shortage. The very core of the issue remains unaddressed, leaving care providers skeptical about the tangible impact of the pathway on recruitment and retention. As we applaud the government's commitment to addressing the workforce crisis in the care sector, it is crucial to recognize that a holistic approach is needed. A comprehensive strategy must not only focus on training but also ensure that care workers are justly compensated for their invaluable contributions. Without tackling the pay disparity, we risk building a pathway that leads to a dead-end, failing to entice the skilled workforce we so desperately need. As the Care Workforce Pathway unfolds, it is imperative for policymakers to listen to the concerns echoed by care providers and industry experts. Only through a harmonious blend of training opportunities and competitive remuneration can we hope to build a sustainable and thriving care sector that meets the growing needs of our aging population. As always, I can be contacted at

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Government Launches New Care Workforce Pathway (CONTINUED ON PAGE 3...) The plans being rolled out include: • The launch of the Care Workforce Pathway: For the first time, there will be a national career structure for the adult social care workforce, covering the breadth and complexity of care. • Over £50 million of funding for a new qualification: This will support up to 37,000 individuals in direct adult social care roles to enrol on the new Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification between June 2024 and March 2025. • An investment of over £20 million for apprenticeships: Local authorities and adult social care providers will be able to use the money towards training and supervising hundreds of new social work and nurse apprentices. • Subsidised training places: An uplift to the Workforce Development Fund will expand access to learning and development, creating opportunities for the workforce to become experts in their field or progress into new roles. • A new digital leadership qualification: This will help equip social care leaders and managers with the confidence and capability to lead the implementation and use of technology in the delivery of care.

WELCOME OPPORTUNITY Welcoming the announcement Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “This package of measures, including the Care Workforce Pathway, is an opportunity to be an asset to the sector and has the potential to make it a more attractive sector to work in. The value of enhancing our domestic workforce can’t be understated, particularly as we lost over 50,000 domestic workers last year which were replaced by 70,000 international recruits. This value has only become greater in light of the changes made by the Home Office to the international recruitment route late last year.” Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of NCF said: “Today’s announcements are important first steps in adult social care workforce reform and will be welcomed by providers who have paused progression routes and activities in anticipation of the arrival of the pathway. The news that additional funding will become available for training and development in the sector is also welcome, although without details of what this will mean in practice it is difficult to determine impact.” “The commitment to train nearly 40,000 staff is a step up from the current position but represents under 10% of all new starters in the sector, and of course none of these commitments come with any focus on moving us closer to a set of pay, terms and conditions that match the skills and expertise laid out in the new pathway. The role of a care worker is complex and skilled – and a pathway without an accompanying properly funded pay structure will do little to attract and retain people to progress through the career structure.”

“There are over 17,000 organisations delivering care and support across England – and it is vital that we have a workforce infrastructure that allows all organisations of all sizes to benefit from the changes outlined today. Social care delivers publicly funded services needed by millions of people each and every year. The government must make the strategic decision to ensure that it adequately funds the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce to ensure we have the care and support we need both now and in the future.”

“PAY IGNORED” SOCIAL CARE providers also welcomed the announcement but warned that the vital issue of giving the workforce proper pay is still being ignored. The social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG), welcomed the measures but warned that a continuing failure to address pay in the sector was critical. And it fears the measures will do little to tackle the 152,000 vacancies in the sector that are crippling care. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We have long campaigned for measures to establish a career path within social care and for more funding to go into training and qualifications – so these measures are to be welcomed.” “Our major concern remains the elephant in the room and that is pay.” “Until we can find a way to pay staff properly for the fantastic job that they do, everything else will be just tinkering at the edges of the problem.” The ICG is concerned that the Government is failing to tackle a severe staffing shortage that has 152,000 vacancies and homecare agencies and care and nursing homes struggling to fill shifts. Some 1.6m people currently can’t get the care they need. “Sadly, the Government isn’t doing enough to reform and properly fund the sector and make it an attractive place to work and build a career,” Mr Padgham added.

SPENDING HALVED “We have said it many times, the failure to properly fund commissioners like local authorities is starving the sector of funding and that shows itself in the industry’s inability to match other jobs when it comes to recruitment. We have seen in recent days a supermarket chain significantly increasing the pay of its employees. Without better funding for social care, we simply cannot compete. “At the end of last year, the Government introduced measures that will make it harder for social care providers to recruit from overseas but without making any efforts to support providers to recruit in this country. “We want to recruit staff and build a professional, committed and motivated workforce to provide excellent care to meet current and

future demand. But without the proper support over funding, we cannot do so.” He said it was also worth remembering that the Government had halved a £500m pot earmarked for workforce training to just £250m last spring.

SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA said:”The launch of the Government’s Care Workforce Pathway is an important step forward in improving the value and perceptions of social care as a career. We welcome its commitment to training and development and the impact this can have on those who already work in social care, as well as the sector’s ability to attract and retain new talent.” “At MHA, we have been very clear on the need for a long-term strategy that will futureproof the workforce. With an ageing population and increasing strain being placed on the sector, we need social care to be seen as a strong career choice for more young people.” That’s why we’re encouraging the Government to go even further, by creating a Social Care Council that will professionalise the sector and act as an independent body examining issues such as pay scales, working hours, recruitment and training on an ongoing basis. Crucially, it would also advocate for the people who care for and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society.

REWARDING CAREERS The funding, totalling £75 million, forms part of previously announced investment under the Government’s People at the Heart of Care plan, a white paper publishing in 2021 setting out a 10-year vision for adult social care providing information on funded proposals that the government proposed to implement up to 2024. The plans include the launch of a national career structure for the adult social care workforce, known as the “care workforce pathway”, and more than £50 million in funding to support up to 37,000 people in direct adult social care jobs to enrol on a new level 2 adult social care certificate qualification between June this year and March 2025. The department said over £20 million will be available for local authorities and adult social care providers to put towards training and supervising “hundreds” of new social work and nurse apprentices. The workforce development fund will get a further £5 million to “expand access to learning and development”, while a new digital leadership qualification aims to “help equip social care leaders and managers with the confidence and capability to lead the implementation and use of technology in the delivery of care”. Social care minister, Helen Whately, said: “The workforce is the heartbeat of the social care sector and staff should be given the recognition and opportunities they deserve. These changes will give brilliant care workers the chance to develop rewarding careers in social care.


Adult Social Care: Insights into the Year Ahead from RWK Goodman

RWK Goodman’s Health and Social Care team look at some key areas which may impact the Adult Social Care Sector in 2024.

DATA PROTECTION, CYBER SECURITY AND CQC • CQC’s new single assessment framework which was first implemented but only for a few providers in November 2023 will be rolled out to all services in 2024. This methodology retains some of the old (the five key questions, the current regulations and risk-based monitoring) and combines it with the new (six evidence categories, scored numerically to provide a rating). CQC have been slow to provide details about how the new system will work. We have been keeping a watching brief on developments and have created a Care Directors’ Network to share information as things change. We will publish updates over the course of the spring and the rest of the year to help providers manage these changes. • We anticipate the use of technology in care services continuing to increase meaning robust data protection and cyber security measures will be more important than ever. Providers are likely to see more scrutiny from CQC in these areas which will be assessed through the responsive and well-led questions under the single assessment framework. Data breaches are a case of when, not if. • We will continue to see a significant increase in requests for information being made to providers. These include data subject access requests and requests for medical records after someone has passed away. Different rules apply to different types of request.

TRANSACTIONS, DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDING • The initial market shock from the hike in interest rates settled during 2023 and we saw plenty of activity across all aspects of the market, with appetite from investors returning. There continues to be substantial appetite for growth, as evidenced by the significant number of transactions and refinancing we completed in 2023 for groups looking to expand. We expect this to continue through the course of 2024, albeit against the uncertainty that an early budget and General Election will create. • With high interest rates affecting the market last year, some borrowers struggled to obtain funding from the High Street lenders, who were favouring existing customers. However, the proliferation of alternative lenders in the care sector has come to the rescue as has the market’s expectation that interest rates will be reducing in the midterm.

• For those looking to exit to borrowers with bank funding, expectations will need to be managed. We have seen timescales for completions extended for several months from those agreed at heads of term stage whilst buyers obtain their formal credit offers. Careful thought needs to be given to agreeing exclusivity periods and commencing legal work to ensure that sellers are not over-committing before funding is agreed. • For estate management and development, an early budget and General Election could have a number of consequences. Positive steps would be new green deals for renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures, reform of the planning process and increased legislative steps to move to net zero for new developments. It is a good time to look at planning future energy efficiency measures for existing properties so providers can be reactive to possible future legislative changes. Our estate management audit can help with this.

WORKFORCE • In 2023, the chronic shortage of care workers was partially alleviated by significantly increased levels of international recruitment (c. 70,000 over 12 months). However, the recently announced restriction on care workers bringing their dependants to the UK, could make com-

ing to the UK less attractive. The use of international recruitment has resulted in reduced vacancies for some operators and others have benefited from the additional capacity created in the system. Some have continued to struggle with recruitment and have faced increased agency spend as there remains a significant shortage of workers in the domestic workforce. This is likely to continue in 2024. • International recruitment is not without its risks and considerable concerns have been reported about modern slavery practices and noncompliance with sponsor licence requirements. In 2024, it will be critical for providers to audit their recruitment practices, re-fresh their compliance training, and ensure that they are operating ethically to avoid significant penalties and reputational damage. • In 2024, providers will need to grapple with the recent and significant changes to the rules on holiday entitlement and pay for workers with irregular hours, and implement a raft of new employment law rights, including increased protection from redundancy for employees on maternity leave, new carers’ leave rights, a requirement to take ‘reasonable steps’ to protect against sexual harassment, increased flexible working rights and a new right to request predictable working hours. Look out for our webinars on these changes.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BOTTOM LINE • The challenging economic situation will continue to focus providers on financial health, particularly in relation to negotiating fees, managing funding streams (specifically in nursing care), evaluating source of funding for new admissions, ensuring client contracts are robust, maximising top ups, and proactively dealing with unpaid debts. We expect increased uptake for the financial health package we offer to providers to assist with these issues. Hazel Phillips, partner and head of health and social care at RWK Goodman comments: “We are optimistic for Adult Social Care in 2024. It remains a market where significant investment is being made by UK and overseas investors, which will continue to drive improvement and innovation. Whilst the challenges around funding and staffing remain, perhaps this is the year when a change in Government could finally trigger reform of the system, we hope so!”

Jazz Court Residents Knit One Purl One For Scarborough Hospital A knitting group at Jazz Court, a retirement community run by Sanctuary Supported Living in Eastfield, near Scarborough, have shown their generosity and creativity by knitting a blanket and raffling it off to raise money for a local hospital project. The residents have been meeting regularly for knit and natter sessions, where they enjoy socialising and sharing their skills. Over the past year and a half, they have been knitting squares for a blanket, which they finished just in time for their Christmas fayre. They decided to raffle off the blanket by asking people to guess the number of knitted squares it contained. The lucky winner correctly guessed an impressive 72 squares, and then kindly donated an extra £10 to the cause, bringing the total amount raised to £70. The money was then donated to the Autumn project at Scarborough hospital, which supports people on end-of-life care. The fundraising team at the hospital were delighted with the donation and sent a thank you letter to the residents, saying it would go a long way to helping the people they support.

One of the residents who contributed a knitted square for the blanket is 78-year-old Alan Hiscox. He learnt to knit in primary school, where the boys did knitting and the girls did woodwork, but he had not knitted for 70 years until he joined the sessions at Jazz Court. Alan said: “I was a bit rusty at first, but I soon got the hang of it and I enjoyed making a square for the blanket. I think it’s a wonderful idea to raise money for the hospital’s Autumn project, as they do a great job of looking after people and their loved ones at a very challenging time. I’m still better at knitting than I am at woodwork, though!” Yasmin Cox, one of the Wellbeing and Inclusion Assistants at Jazz Court, said: “We are so proud of our residents for their amazing achievement. They worked hard to knit a beautiful blanket and they’ve shown great kindness by donating the raffle money to the Autumn project. Knitting is not only a fun and relaxing activity, but it’s also great for improving mental and physical wellbeing. Our knit and natter sessions are always a highlight of the week, and we look forward to continuing them in the new year.”

Cleva: Simplify Expenses and Boost Your Income with an Award-Winning Shopping and Expense Card Cleva, an award-winning shopping and expense card provides an easy way for organisations to shop on behalf of their vulnerable and elderly clients. Through ‘single card switching’ technology, it allows carers or support teams to effortlessly handle the finances of multiple clients with just one card. This not only simplifies processes but also reduces administrative burdens significantly – Cleva clients are now saving over 70 minutes of admin time, per client per month!

UNLOCK NEW REVENUE STREAMS Cleva is also proven to boost revenue by enabling organisations to offer a chargeable shopping service to clients, creating a valuable additional income stream. With time and resource saving as well as an extra income opportunity, it makes Cleva an indispensable tool for enhancing the financial health of organisations.


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:


Covid Inquiry Opens Sixth Investigation - The Care Sector The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has opened its sixth investigation: the Care Sector across the UK (Module 6). Public hearings are planned for Spring 2025. Module 6 will investigate the impact of the pandemic on the publicly and privately funded adult social care sector in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will consider the consequences of government decisionmaking – including restrictions imposed – on those living and working within the care sector, as well as decisions concerning capacity in hospitals and residents in adult care and residential homes. It will also address the steps taken in adult care and residential homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and examine the capacity of the adult care sector to respond to the pandemic. More details are included in the provisional scope for Module 6, which is published on the Inquiry website. The Core Participant application window will be open until 19 January 2024.

A Core Participant is an individual, organisation or institution that has a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry. Core Participants can access evidence relevant to this investigation, make opening and closing statements at Inquiry hearings and suggest lines of questioning. The Inquiry is aiming to hold preliminary hearings for Module 6 in early 2024. The hearings will take place at the Inquiry’s Hearing Centre, Dorland House, London. All hearings are open to the public to attend. Information on how to attend can be found on the website. At preliminary hearings, the Inquiry Chair makes decisions about how investigations will run. The Inquiry does not hear evidence at these hearings. There will be submissions from the Counsel to the Inquiry and Core Participants to help prepare for the public hearings, where evidence is heard.

“Have Fun, Stay Active & Keep Young At Heart” Secret To A Long Life For Resident At Norwich A resident at a Norwich home celebrated his 100th birthday and says his secret to a long life is to have fun, stay active & keep young at heart” Charles ‘Bill’ Capp lives at MHA Cromwell House and was treated to a birthday party to celebrate his landmark. He was accompanied by his daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren with a buffet tea provided and included his favourite chicken drumsticks. Bill’s wife, Pauline who he met and married whilst living at MHA Cromwell House was also present. An Elvis tribute act was arranged as both Bill and Pauline are huge fans of the King of Rock and Roll. Bill also received a telegram from King Charles III.

Speaking after the party Angie Apurado, activity coordinator said: “Bill had a great day and was overwhelmed with the occasion. “He said he never expected anyone to make such a fuss for him and knew about his birthday but wasn’t aware of the party and everything else. “It was a great day for all at the home. We had such a great time celebrating Bill’s birthday and everyone was very happy. “I asked him what’s his secret to a long life and his initial response was quite funny as he loves to joke around so he answered, “breathe!”, but then said “have fun, stay active & keep young at heart. “Bill is such a charmer and a very popular resident, he is a huge fan of Peterborough United and I hope to arrange a trip to see them play for him.”


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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Government Clarifies Migration Dependent Measures The government has moved to clarify is policy surrounding overseas workers and their dependents following concerns expressed within the health sector. Overseas workers who apply for their Health and Social Care visa prior to new immigration rules coming into effect will still be able to bring in dependants, the government has announced. The Home Office said care workers and senior care workers already in the UK will be able to remain with their dependants when extending contracts and changing their care employer and applying for settlement. On Monday 4 December 2023, the Prime Minister and Home Secretary announced the plan to curb immigration abuse and cut net migration, which, alongside the package to restrict student dependants, is expected to mean around 300,000 people who would have been eligible to come to the UK under last year’s rules, will now not be able to.

THE PACKAGE CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING MEASURES: - Stopping overseas care workers from bringing dependants and requiring social care firms in England who wish to sponsor care worker visas to be providing services regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). - Increasing the minimum earnings threshold for Skilled Worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 and raise the individual occupation ‘going rate’ thresholds in line with the median full-time wage for equivalent jobs in 2023. - Those coming on the Health and Social Care Visa route will be exempt from the £38,700 salary threshold applied to skilled workers, so that we can continue to bring the healthcare workers that our care sector and NHS need. We are also exempting education workers on national pay-scale occupations. Reform the Shortage Occupation List into an Immigration Salary List (ISL), ending the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations – commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the composition of the list in line with the increased salary thresholds. -Raise the minimum income requirement for family visas. Our intention remains to bring this in line with the new minimum general salary threshold for Skilled Workers, £38,700. This will ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can support financially and will apply to all British and settled sponsors under the five-year partner route. - We will raise the minimum income for family visas incrementally, in stages, to give predictability to families. - In Spring 2024 we will raise the threshold to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs at the skill level of RQF3 [1], moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500) and finally the 50th percentile (currently £38,700 and the level at which the General Skilled Worker threshold is set). - There will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement, to ensure that British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants who are required to meet the General Skilled Worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored. - The government will also ask the MAC to review the Graduate route. However, the government has announced that until the Immigration Rules are amended, the current thresholds and policies remain in place. Full details of transitional provisions will be set out next year when further policy details will be announced; however, in order to provide further clarity for those currently in the UK on routes that will be subject to change the government has confirmed the following:

CARERS AND SENIOR CARERS – THESE CHANGES WILL BE INTRODUCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IN THE NEW YEAR - Care workers (SOC code 6145) [2] and senior care workers (SOC code 6146) already in the route will be able to remain with their dependants, including extending, changing employer (within these SOC codes) and settlement.

- Where a care worker or senior care worker is in the route before the Immigration Rules change, but has not yet brought dependants, they will be allowed to bring dependants during their sponsorship (on this visa). - Individuals who are in the UK on any other route, including where that route permits dependants, who switch into the care visa as a care worker or senior care worker after this date, will not be able to stay with (or bring over) dependants. - Care providers who were sponsoring workers in exclusively non-regulated activities (and therefore not required to be registered with the CQC) before the rules change should be able to continue to sponsor these workers, including for extensions to their visa on those terms, but not hire new ones. UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said: “This partial climb down on visa rules will bring some relief to migrant care workers already here with families. “But ministers should have been clear from the start. Overseas care staff could have been spared weeks of worry. “The muddled and chaotic approach points to panic at the heart of government. It remains the case that ministers’ reckless changes to immigration policy spell disaster for social care. “Migrant care workers are now more likely to shun the UK in favour of parts of the world where their skills and families will be more welcome. “That isn’t good for a social care system that’s become reliant upon their support. Ministers should now row back completely and still allow care workers to bring dependants here. “It’s also high time the government did what it’s long promised. Fix the care sector. That means boosting wages significantly above the minimum wage. Only when care jobs are paid.



How to Better Support Those with Hearing Loss Article written by Paul Harrison – Audiologist and Founder of Hearing Aid UK ( IMPROVING THE MANAGEMENT OF HEARING LOSS AMONG CARE HOME RESIDENTS Supporting care home residents with hearing aids and hearing loss requires both a thoughtful and proactive approach from care staff. Here are some simple key strategies to enhance the well-being of residents with hearing impairments:

IT ALL STARTS WITH AWARENESS Like with most things, education opens doors to better awareness, empathy, and understanding. Providing relatable training to care staff on the challenges associated with hearing loss will instigate a more trusting relationship between staff and residents. It will also improve communication and confidence for all involved. This may include understanding the different types of hearing loss, the importance of communication strategies, and the right care and maintenance of hearing aids. Offering training sessions to residents and their families about hearing aid use and hearing loss is just as important. Topics such as maintaining hearing aid hygiene, battery changing (if needed), how to navigate charging systems, and how to spot any issues. This is a great way to promote better holistic well-being of residents.

ENCOURAGE HEARING AID WEARING AND SOCIAL INTERACTION A lot of care home residents might find it a struggle to remember to wear their devices or might not like the idea of wearing them, especially if they are a new concept. It can take a while for people to adjust to hearing devices, therefore it is important to emphasise the benefits of consistent hearing aid use. You can do this by offering support and knowledge of how to put them in and out comfortably (or assist if dexterity is an issue), how to get the most out of the hearing aid features, and how they can assist in better communication. Encourage social interaction among residents by arranging activities that are accessible and accommodate those with hearing loss. This could be group discussions with visual aids or subtitles on film nights. Encouraging this way will ultimately promote a sense of community and tackle any feelings of isolation and loneliness.

CLEAR COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES, INCORPORATING ACTIVE LISTENING, AND CREATING A HEARING-FRIENDLY SPACE Make training care staff in effective communication techniques for residents with hearing loss a priority. Such as encouraging face-to-face communication, speaking clearly, rephrasing information when needed,

and using gestures or visual aids to support verbal information. Active listening also has a role to play. Such skills may involve giving full attention, making eye contact, and responding appropriately. This can help with effective communication and allow the residents to feel more valued and understood. Creating a hearing-friendly environment in common rooms and living spaces will also aid in better communication and will help residents feel less anxious. It will also cater to those who prefer a quieter more relaxing environment. You can do this by minimising background noise, using acoustic-friendly materials, and arranging furniture to facilitate clear communication.

CONSIDER VISUAL ALERTS AND PROVIDE ASSISTIVE DEVICES WHERE POSSIBLE Implementing visual alerts for important information sessions or special events within the care home assists messaging. This could include visual cues for meal times, scheduled activities, or emergency notifications. For instance, visual signals, such as flashing lights, can effectively convey information to residents with hearing loss better. Offer additional assistive devices to enhance communication such as amplified telephones, vibrating alarms, or captioned television. These tools can significantly improve residents' ability to engage with their environment and maintain a sense of independence.

SUPPORT REGULAR HEARING CHECK-UPS AND HELP MANAGE CARE PLANS Help family and health care professionals roll out regular hearing assessments for residents to monitor changes in their hearing health. Early detection of hearing issues allows for quick interventions and adjustments to hearing aids, ensuring better hearing support. Establish a weekly routine for checking residents' hearing aids to ensure they are functioning correctly. Make a note that batteries have been replaced (or charged), and the devices are clean and properly fitted. Regular hearing aid maintenance prevents avoidable issues and ensures residents receive consistent help assistance and advice. Support personalised care plans with hearing healthcare professionals that reflect each resident's unique hearing needs. Include information about preferred communication methods, any specific challenges they face, and strategies to make daily activities more accessible.

SUPPORTING RESIDENTS WITH HEARING AIDS AND HEARING LOSS IN A CARE FACILITY INVOLVES A MULTI-FACETED APPROACH From staff education to helping with personalised care plans and the incorporation of assistive technologies, care staff can play a key role in enhancing the quality of life for residents with hearing impairments. Creating a supportive atmosphere that promotes the well-being and engagement of all residents will help with communication struggles, social isolation, frustration, and low confidence. If residents are not supported the right way, it can increase the risk of dementia and other mental health conditions.

Excelcare Residents Share their Resolutions for 2024 As we welcome the start of the new year, residents living in Excelcare Homes have been looking ahead and setting resolutions and goals they would like to achieve this year. Setting a resolution is a great way to be positive about the year ahead and support the goals and ambitions each person has. For people living in care homes, resolutions help team members to find out the personal goals of the people in their care and can therefore help each person to make them

come true! Across the Excelcare Family, team members have been supporting residents to think about the year ahead and set some resolutions, hopes, aims or goals for the year – something they can focus on to achieve. Supporting residents to do this has made for some interesting conversations and has helped people have a positive start to the year. Whilst most people opted to think of a goal for the year, others decided to be a little more tongue- in-cheek!

Eligible Groups Urged To Get Vaccinated Against Flu And COVID-19 The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is reminding all those eligible that it’s not too late to book their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Cases are expected to continue to rise over the next few weeks following increased travel and socialising that occurred over the festive period. Those at greater risk of serious illness from flu and COVID-19 should get vaccinated to reduce their chances of needing medical care or hospitalisation, reducing pressure on health services. Children who take up the flu vaccine also help to reduce spread to vulnerable friends and family, ensuring communities across the UK make the healthiest start to 2024. For pregnant women, uptake for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines has decreased when compared to the same time last season. Vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions, are particularly urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. As it can take several days to boost your immunity after the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, now is the time to get vaccinated to start the new year in good health. Temperatures are forecast to drop later in January, with more mixing indoors increasing the possibility of further rises in flu and COVID-19. Eligible groups can book their vaccine by contacting their local GP surgery or pharmacy to make an appointment. Vaccinations against COVID-19 are being offered until 31 January, while flu vaccinations are available until 31 March.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: Flu and COVID-19 levels are on the rise, so get your vaccine now to make sure that you are winter strong. Pregnant women, their unborn babies and those in clinical risk groups are at higher risk of complications and severe illness from flu. Taking up both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines provides the best protection for both pregnant women and their baby. Vaccinated women have a lower risk of stillbirth, prematurity and needing intensive care. If you are the parent of a child aged 2 or 3 don’t forget that they are also eligible for the flu vaccine and this can be booked via your GP – the nasal spray vaccine will help prevent hospitalisations, reduce the spread of flu in the community and avoid you having to juggle a sick child with work and other commitments. It’s not too late to get your vaccines – eligible people can still speak to their GP, or alternatively a local pharmacist about getting their vaccination. If you are showing symptoms of a respiratory illness like flu or COVID-19, you can help reduce the spread of these infections by washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding mixing with others where possible, particularly those who are more vulnerable.


HFT Calls On Labour To Join The Dots Between The NHS And Adult Social Care Social care was once again notably absent from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s New Year’s speech and is indicative of a disappointing start to what is likely to be a year of seismic change in politics, despite Keir previously committing to social care reform only a few months ago. Responding to the speech, ironically made just a mile from learning disability charity Hft’s headquarters in Bristol, the charity’s CEO, Steve Veevers, says: “Although it’s encouraging to see that getting the NHS ‘back on its feet’ was highlighted as a priority, this will never succeed without a plan to address root and branch challenges in adult social care alongside it. “This simple and undeniable fact is one that so many politicians don’t seem to take on board and this speech would have been the perfect opportunity to align the two,” Steve says. “Where adult social care struggles to meet the needs of those who require support due

to funding and workforce challenges, pressure is piled upon the NHS. The two are intrinsically linked. “As our most recent Sector Pulse Check – written in partnership with Care England – highlights, our sector remains in crisis, with 82% of providers reporting either being in deficit or experiencing a decrease in their surplus. “Another important element to add in to the mix as a General Election looms is that one in 20 people who are economically active work in social care. They are likely to be part of the voting population and will want to see social care recognised and supported by a prospective Government. “It is imperative that whomever forms the next Government takes adult social care seriously. But, as usual, we are still awaiting detailed plans from all parties to illustrate that we have any hope of this happening.

Daughter Of Staff Member At Oxford Home Creates “Process Of Ageing” Portrait Of Resident The daughter of a staff member at an Oxford home created a portrait of a resident with a twist. Talulla Purchess is the daughter of Victoria Davidson, who works as an activity coordinator at MHA Brookfield. Talulla studies Foundation Art at the Oxford Brookes University and hopes to do a fine art degree later this year and as part of her A-Levels studies produced a painting on the process of ageing. Talulla created the painting as part of her final A-Level Exam and received an A* for it. After having a conversation with her mum, she was introduced to 103year-old Alice Kitnar, a resident at the home. Alice has a picture of herself from when she was 19 years old which caught the attention of Talulla and after speaking with Grazyna, Alice’s daughter she decided to do the painting. The painting shows a combination of Alice aged 19 and how she is now, with a mirror looking into Alice in her younger days.

Talulla says she was “inspired” by Alice’s story as she had to flee Poland during the Second World War She added: “The picture of Alice from when she was 19 really inspired me as she was only one year older than me and had to flee her home for her and her family’s safety. “I was always looking to combine Alice now and then and showcase her life through her own perspective. “In total it took me 15 hours to complete the painting and when I presented it to Alice and her family they were very impressed. “I am very proud of how the painting has finished and the response from Alice’s family has been very positive.” Grazyna Cooper, the daughter of Alice said: “I am amazed at the creativity of Talulla and it really is an incredible painting. “It showcases a very powerful story of the transition of a human and the painting is so true to my mum. “The painting is displayed very proudly at my house. I want to thank Talulla for creating such a beautiful lasting memory of my mum and I wish her all the best.”


Skills For Care Is Supporting Providers To #Keeplearning This Year Throughout January and February Skills for Care is running a campaign to inspire social care workers to #KeepLearning. The campaign follows on from the success of the same campaign run in January-March 2023. Titled ‘Keep learning for success’, the campaign aims to promote the benefits of learning and development for staff at all levels and raise awareness of opportunities available for ongoing learning. Learning and development is key for an organisation’s success. Staff at all levels, including leaders and mangers, should have the opportunity to access learning and development if the highest standards of quality in social care are to be met and maintained across the sector. Our data also shows that investing in learning and development for your team can support with keeping staff. There was a 31.6% turnover rate for those workers with training recorded compared to 40.6% for those who did not have training recorded. Care workers with social care qualifications were also less likely to leave their roles, with a 37% turnover rate for those with no relevant qualification, compared to 26.5% of those that did have a qualification.

Running across our website, social media, and other communication channels, the #KeepLearning activity will cover what learning and development opportunities are available in 2024 – from training to continuing professional development to events; the benefits which learning and development has for staff and people drawing on care and support, and the importance of learning and development for new, aspiring and experienced managers. It will include blogs and real life insights from learning and development experts and social care providers with a strong ethos for ongoing learning. You can follow the campaign and join in on discussions on social media using #KeepLearning. Oonagh Smyth, CEO, Skills for Care says: “Ongoing learning and development is absolutely vital for staff at all levels – from people who are brand new to care to experienced senior managers. There are so many benefits of a strong learning culture for organisations and individuals. Crucially ongoing learning and development supports the best quality of care for people who draw on support. The sector is currently facing major retention challenges and so the positive impact which

Local Care Home Get On Their Blue Suede Shoes Austen House care home in Lower Earley, Reading was transformed into Graceland to mark what would have been Elvis Presley’s 89th birthday on 8 January. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide so to honour the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, the staff and residents enjoyed a fantastic day of music, fun and dancing. General Manager, Simona Cioinac, said: “Lots of our residents are big Elvis fans and love his music. We’ve had a fantastic day listening to all his hits, finding

out about his early life and what influenced him and watching old Elvis movies, he was such an incredible talent. This afternoon we had a live music show with Gary as Elvis, and everyone enjoyed singing and showing their dance moves. It is amazing how many songs he recorded and we all surprised ourselves by how many we remembered!” Maurice, a resident said: “I loved Elvis growing up. Listening to all his old hits has brought back so many memories. We’ve all had a brilliant time reminiscing about our dance hall days!”

learning, and development has on staff retention must be utilised. We’re excited to again start the new year with our #KeepLearning campaign, highlighting the many learning and development opportunities available for social care workers in 2024.”


UK Government’s Changes To Skilled Worker Visa Salary Levels Set To Impact Care Sector By Siobhan Owers and Ian Bell, Fragomen LLP ( In a plan to slash migration, the Home Secretary James Cleverly, announced on 5 December 2023 that overseas health and care workers would no longer be allowed to bring dependants with them to the UK. A Health and Care Worker visa is a category within the Skilled Worker route which allows medical professionals to come or stay in the UK to perform an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or within adult social care. Benefits of the Health and Care Worker visa include fast tracked entry to the UK, reduced visa fees and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge. The UK immigration system admitted an unprecedented number of overseas health and care workers in the year ending September 2023; almost 101,000 Health and Care Worker visas issued to senior care and care workers, with an estimated 120,000 visas granted to associated dependants. Further announcements delivered by James Cleverly that will also impact workers in the Health and Social Care Sectors: • Care providers in England will only be able to sponsor workers where their activities are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. • The discount available on the ‘going rate’ for occupations listed on the Shortage Occupation List will be abolished and the Shortage Occupation List will be revised in line with new salary thresholds and replaced with an Immigration Salary List. • Increased minimum income requirement for family applications, rising from £18,600 to £38,700. An increase to the minimum salary threshold for the overseas workers by 47.7%, from its current position of £26,200 to £38,700 was also proposed, but Health and Care Worker visas are exempt from this increase; however, it is not yet known whether the current threshold will remain in place.


Whilst these proposals may contribute to the UK government’s aim to reduce net migration, it will likely deter care workers with families from moving to the UK, leading to further staff shortages in an already fragile sector. In addition, longer term, sponsored care workers who have settled in the UK or acquired British citizenship may now struggle to bring across foreign national family members due to the increase in the financial threshold under the family route.

CONTINUE OVERSEAS RECRUITMENT Despite the changes announced, the government believes there will still be high demand from overseas workers for care roles in the UK, despite not being able to bring family members with them. To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa an applicant must meet the following requirements: • Sponsorship: The individual must have an employer sponsor who holds a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. • Role: The job must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional and be working within an eligible health or social care role. • English Language: The individual must demonstrate an ability to speak English. • Minimum salary requirement: The minimum salary requirement for a Health and Care Worker visa or the going rate for the job type (if that is higher). Consideration could also be given to other non-work sponsored visa routes which do allow for work in the health and social sector. These include but are not limited to: • Youth Mobility Scheme: persons aged between 18 to 30 (or 18-35) from participating countries • British National (Overseas): British National (Overseas) status holders and their family members • UK Ancestry: commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent born in the UK or Islands • Graduate: post study visa, although this route is being looked at as part of the announcements to ‘prevent abuse’ • Partner of a Settled Person/British citizen • Family member of an EEA national with status under the EU Settlement Scheme • Dependant family members of work sponsored visa holders As the new provisions will not come into force until spring, businesses may wish to review their headcount and workforce planning to consider whether any proposed moves could be brought forward, paying particular attention to salary levels. Businesses could also consider whether training programmes to fill vacancies with settled or British workers are a viable alternative to sponsorship.


Next Crucial Step for the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 as Implementation Date and Draft Regulations Published Crucial details relating to the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 have been published, after the draft regulations were laid in Parliament on 11 December 2023. This includes the announcement that the Act will come into force on 6 April 2024. The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 will give employees who are unpaid carers up to five days unpaid leave from work a year in support of their caring responsibilities, something that Carers UK has worked towards for years. The draft regulations set out important detail relating to the Act, confirming previous Government documentation published as the legislation was introduced into Parliament. The draft regulations confirm that to be entitled to the provision, employees need to be providing long term care – the definition of which is clearly set out in the law – and that the appropriate notice period an employee needs to give to take the leave is twice the length of time that needs to be taken in advance of the earliest day of leave. The explanatory note to the draft regulations also confirms that the legislation does not require an employee to notify their employer in writing regarding their request to take Carer’s Leave, although they can do so if they wish to. As expected, leave will be able to be taken in half or full days, up to and including taking a block of a whole week of leave at once. The draft regulations set out how to calculate a week’s leave, including for employees with less regular working patterns. The draft regulations confirm that the legislation will cover employees in England, Wales and Scotland. Importantly, employees taking Carer’s Leave will have the same employment protections as associated

with other forms of family related leave (i.e. Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Parental Bereavement, Shared Parental and Parental Leave). This includes protection from dismissal or detriment as a result of having taken the leave. The draft regulations still need to be passed by Parliament and Carers UK will provide further updates when this happens. We also expect guidance to be made available in advance of the legislation coming into force on 6 April 2024. Responding to the publication of the draft regulations, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “It’s really exciting to get the implementation date set out in the draft regulations, as well as the other details that we’ve been waiting for. Next April, we’re expecting over 2 million employees to be entitled to the new rights contained in the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 – something that we’ve been working towards for a long time. “Our most recent research with carers builds on our strong evidence base to show that this will make a significant difference to their lives – helping with some of the stresses which come when juggling work and care. “Employers we work with through our Employers for Carers forum, like Centrica, have demonstrated that supporting unpaid carers makes a real difference to both retaining staff and to the productivity of their business. Within a tight labour market, this makes all the difference to also be able to recruit from the widest possible pool of talent. “I urge employers to get in touch and work with us to make the most of this new legislation – which is good for employers and good for employees alike.”

Elderly Get Active With Rotherham United Community Trust ELDERLY care home residents in Rotherham have been getting active with Rotherham United FC Community Trust (RUCT). Giant Jenga, skittles, hula-hooping, and bean bag games are among the activities getting residents at Broadacres Care Home, on Naylor Street, Parkgate, moving. The fun and games activity sessions are being delivered by Lynsey Walker, from RUCT, with the sessions designed to get residents active, moving and playing while having fun in the process. One participant, Christine Steer, 77, said: “I didn’t think I could still hula hoop. I haven’t done this in years.” Pat Brewer, activities coordinator at Broadacres Care Home, said: “Everyone has enjoyed pitting their skills against the giant Jenga, knock-

ing down the skittles and bean bag games. Residents’ favourite has been relearning how to hula hoop. “We can’t thank the team from Rotherham United Community Trust enough. Lynsey has been absolutely fabulous getting to know residents, gently persuading them to try different activities. “Everyone took on the challenge of hula hooping with gusto and had a huge laugh. Staff also joined in the fun as residents taught them how to keep the hoops up. We all want to thank RUCT for the sessions. They’ve been brilliant.” Emma Schofield, health and wellbeing manager for RUCT, said: “ The RUCT team has delivered these sessions previously and feedback is they are very well received by all associated and really do have a profound impact.”


How Can The Care Sector Maintain Robust Infection Control While Driving Sustainability? Article by Christina Larkin, JLA's Chief Data and Marketing Officer (Website: Email: Phone: 0800 591 903) Christina Larkin is JLA's Chief Data and Marketing Officer, shaping the organisation's decision-making through analytics and insight. As ESG lead, Christina also inspires JLA's teams to put customer and sustainabilityfocused thinking at the heart of their actions. As managers across the UK’s care sector continue to navigate the triple challenge of infection control, rising utility costs, and the drive for greater energy efficiency, what innovations and practices can be adopted to help futureproof care homes, protect residents and staff, and still enable organisations to meet their short and longer-range sustainability targets? In this piece on finding the balance, JLA’s Chief Data & Marketing Officer, Christina Larkin shares her thoughts on an increasingly pressing question.

WHY SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CARE SECTOR MATTERS The Covid-19 pandemic has rightly seen the care industry – and the Care Quality Commission – place renewed focus on infection control. From the laundry room to the kitchen, care home hygiene and safety are rightly non-negotiable, while compliance and residents’ safety remain everyone’s top priority. At the same time, initiatives to drive efficiency, reduce waste and decarbonise the sector continue to gather pace, with net-zero targets and more accessible alternative technologies allowing organisations to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising care standards. The good news, then, is that energy savings are still highly achievable in care settings, and can even help to demonstrate to your residents (and their families) that you are taking steps to becoming a more sustainable business, which in turn enhances your reputation. Of course, practically meeting these expectations will usually mean adopting a range of measures. These could be as simple as switching to more sustainable everyday consumables and reducing waste sent to landfill. It could mean upgrading boilers and associated heating equipment to more efficient, hydrogen-ready units. Or it could mean investing in more energy-efficient washing machine systems, which, thanks to technological innovations, will use considerably less electricity and hot water to disinfect a laundry load, and actually lower your day-today running costs. Whatever the path you take, improving sustainability brings a myriad

of benefits – and not only in operational efficiencies or cost savings. In fact, it’s increasingly the case that committing to sustainability means investing in your people’s wellbeing as well. By making positive changes and working on sustainability together, you can help to improve morale and reduce staff turnover, which allows residents to build even deeper relationships with your care team. You’ll also be a more attractive proposition to talent across the industry, which further drives up standards. And as more and more families begin to consider the environmental impact of facilities while making crucial care decisions, such a commitment to sustainability could well become the key difference between you and your competition.

ADOPTING BEST PRACTICE SOLUTIONS With commercial energy costs at record highs, we often hear of care homes seeking cheaper domestic washing machines for their laundry rooms. However, research shows that this can be a false economy. For one, domestic machines are much less robust, needing more regular repairs, while their smaller load capacities add up to needing more washes, at greater expense. More importantly, it is unlikely that they can achieve and maintain the thermal temperatures required to keep you compliant with the requirements of HTM 01-04. A commercial washing machine is far more likely to control temperatures effectively, as well as providing the correct holding time to achieve the full penetration of a load for disinfection. Alternatives to thermal laundry infection are becoming increasingly widespread, too. One example is ozone disinfection technology, which uses the power of natural ozone gas to eliminate infection from laundry loads on an energy-saving cool wash. During a study with Leicester’s De Montfort University, JLA’s own ozone disinfection system, OTEX, was found to completely remove the coronavirus. It also helped to cut hot water usage by up to 80% and electricity by 60%. As expected, regular servicing and proactive maintenance are more likely to extend the working life of your equipment. But when washers, dryers and other appliances reach the end of their life, it is always worth considering the latest developments to understand what they could save you in time, energy and money. This is because the most up-to-date technologies are likely to come with enhanced energy-saving features, and help you spread savings across the year. Further utility savings can also be achieved through comparatively low-cost investments such as swapping double-headed taps for single-lever taps to help control hot water consumption, installing showerheads that use aeration to save water, adding reflective heat film to your windows to reduce energy loss, and – a classic – powering down any unused appliances.

ENERGY-SAVING INNOVATIONS ARE BECOMING MORE ACCESSIBLE As technology for the care sector continues to evolve, embracing it will be key to staying ahead. Enabled by internet connectivity and state-of-the-art sensors, remote monitoring systems are now allowing providers to keep a watchful eye on your equipment, spotting issues

early and dealing with them before they can cause disruptive downtime. Similarly, customers are getting fresh insights into the way their laundry rooms are running; from one dashboard, managers can easily view real-time data without having to be on site. By creating a fuller picture of a laundry room’s daily use, these systems offer a smart way to plan resources, save time, and make decisions that reduce energy use. And as this technology expands, we expect to see more and more use cases opening up. JLA’s own Connect service offers always-on monitoring for compatible laundry equipment. Some of its features include improving efficiency by estimating the amount of energy and water machines use, in addition to suggesting better times to run them for maximum savings. On top of that, JLA Connect offers a handy way to quantify and potentially reduce environmental impact with estimates of CO2 emissions. JLA has also introduced its own Energy Smart Hub, which combines practical tips, data-driven insight and actionable advice that is already helping customers tackle rising energy costs and stay energy smart. We view this hub as a crucial resource offering honest comparisons between products while ensuring customers have the full picture on costs and benefits when they come to explore or invest in more energy-efficient equipment. Our recently published sustainability report – a first in the commercial equipment industry – expands this transparent approach. The report not only explains the steps we’ve taken to save our customers 8 million kWh in electricity, and 276 million litres of water through OTEX, but formalises our sustainability strategy. We believe it is vital to outline our future goals as we continue to support thousands of organisations, like yours, that are the bedrock of the UK’s social infrastructure. It is our hope that by adopting best practices, embracing new innovations, and sharing inspirational success stories, the sector can navigate today’s challenges while working towards a future of excellence in care and environmental responsibility.

Inter-Generational Chess Duo Discover Special Bond at Chartwell House A heartening and intellectually stimulating friendship has blossomed between an 89-year-old Chartwell House resident Gerald Gold, and a 10year-old local prodigy, Laurence Cross. United by the ancient game of chess, the duo has been engaged in captivating weekly battles since September 2023, forging a unique connection that defies age barriers. Gerald Gold, who hadn’t touched a chess piece in decades, now finds himself immersed in the strategic dance of the legendary game, all thanks to his young counterpart, Laurence Cross. In Gerald’s own words, “I’ve found it very enlightening. I hadn’t played chess for many, many years, and Laurence is a very bright lad. I don’t look on him as being a youngster; I look at him as being not even equal but superior to me in chess. I play chess for the enjoyment of it. He plays to win and therefore always wins.” For Gerald, the experience goes beyond the chess board; it’s a mental exercise that rejuvenates his mind. “It was nice to play chess again. It’s something you get really involved in, and it keeps your mind alert. That is the main thing. It keeps that mental agility there,” he shares. Reflecting on the benefits of the game, Gerald points out the unique bonding experience it offers. “I think you can communicate more easily when you’re playing chess. You have a common denominator, and you talk, which I think is very, very nice.” Laurence Cross, the 10-year-old chess enthusiast, expresses his love for the game, highlighting concentration as his favourite aspect. “Probably the concentration and when I first started, I mainly play with dad

and grandad,” he says. When asked about his favourite move, Laurence notes “en passant” which adds a layer of sophistication to his playing style. In chess, ‘en passant’ allows a pawn to capture an opponent’s pawn that has moved two squares forward from its starting position. Laurence’s chess journey with Gerald began through a thoughtful introduction by Aunty Helen, a receptionist at Chartwell House. From this simple act, a bond fuelled by shared passion and strategic thinking developed, leading to weekly encounters that have become a cherished routine. “We come down nearly every week now,” Laurence mentions. Helen Orry, witnessing the burgeoning friendship, remarks, “It’s heartening to see the joy on their faces when they engage in these matches. Chess is truly a universal language that bridges generations.” As the two continue their weekly chess battles, the Chartwell House community celebrates the power of inter-generational connections and the positive impact of chess on mental agility and social bonds. Diane Collins, Home Manager at Chartwell House, emphasises the significance of intergenerational activities, stating, “We believe in the enriching power of activities that transcend age barriers. The bond between Gerald and Laurence is a testament to the vibrant community spirit we cultivate at Chartwell House.” For budding chess players, Gerald offers sage advice, “Be determined, have the courage of your convictions, and look the other person square in the eye when you call out, checkmate!”


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.

Joanna Killian Named As Next LGA Chief Executive

Joanna Killian has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Local

ing the LGA continues to be a strong and united voice for local government in the

Government Association (LGA). She will join the LGA in March from her current role as

debates that matter. The LGA’s political group leaders and I are all delighted that Joanna

Chief Executive of Surrey County Council.

will be joining us soon.”

Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the LGA, said: “As we head into a General Election year,

Ms Killian said: “Local government plays a vital role in communities up and down the

and with councils facing financial pressures like never before, the experience, skills and

UK, making a real difference every single day. It’s a sector I feel very privileged to work in,

insight Joanna brings to the LGA will be a huge asset for the organisation and our mem-

and I’m glad to be continuing that journey with the LGA.


“I know from my time at Surrey that councils are full of wonderful people, with bright

“Her local government expertise, networks and knowledge developed in previous high-profile roles – both in councils and the private sector – will be invaluable in ensur-

ideas and huge energy, working hard to improve people’s lives. I look forward to working closely with local authorities of all types and political colours in my new role.

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 Struggling To Cope Amid Rising Winter Viruses And Junior Doctor Strikes Responding to the latest winter sitrep data from NHS England Rory Deighton, director of the NHS Confederation’s Acute Network, said: “The NHS is clearly struggling to cope in the midst of winter pressures and ongoing walkouts by junior doctors and these figures show just how much strain services are under. “Health leaders and staff have pulled out all the stops to prepare knowing that strikes could exacerbate what is already one of the busiest weeks of the year. The fact that things are not as bad as last year is testament to all the earlier planning and hard work that has been put in, but the data clearly shows this is one of the worst winters the NHS has ever faced. “Flu and other winter virus levels continue to climb, while high numbers of staff are off sick. Multiple trusts have declared critical incidents this week and our members are worried about how much capacity they have to deal with rising demand. Ambulances are still being delayed outside of hospitals and too many patients who are fit enough to go home are stuck in hospital beds. “On top of this the recent severe weather and storm Henk is impacting on local resilience teams, and on NHS staff as they deal with impact of flooding. “With a cold snap on the horizon this could pile yet more pressure on services and delay the recovery

from the longest strike in the NHS’s history. Millions of patients are languishing on waiting lists with more than 1.2 million appointments and operations cancelled due to industrial action in the last year. This shows patients are the ones paying the price for the dispute. “We hope the BMA and NHS can cooperate over time critical recall requests and that the recall process runs smoothly in the best interest of patients.” - There was an average of 1,312 patients in hospital with flu each day last week, up 39% from 942 the previous week; - But this is much lower than the 5,441 during the same week last year - Some 377 adults were in hospital with norovirus every day last week on average, down by 16% from 451 the previous week; - Staff absences stood at an average of 47,779 on each day last week, down 4% from the previous week; - The proportion of ambulance handover delays of more than 30 minutes was 29% last week, up from 23% the previous week, but well below the 44% reported during the same week last year; - Some 11,478 beds each day were filled with patients no longer meeting the criteria to reside in hospital on average last week, up slightly from 11,439 the previous week.

Longridge Hall Care Home Opens Its Own Pub For Residents Residents of Longridge Hall Care Home don’t have to travel far to enjoy a pub experience – they only need to nip into the next room. For the care home near Preston in Lancashire has just opened its own in-house pub for its residents. And it is proving a big hit. Christened The Lodgers Arms and complete with its own bar, lounge furniture, pub games and a range of alcoholic and soft drinks, the venue was the idea of staff and residents. Registered Manager Tracey Hartley said: “We had a chat with residents and family members about an unused space on the ground floor that we wanted to do something a bit different with. “It was agreed that a traditional pub would benefit a lot of residents and would also create a great social space that can be used by all. “We’ve spent the past few months decorating the room and getting it all ready for its official opening over the Christmas period.

We’ve had a brilliant response from residents and their families who love its atmosphere. It feels just like going to a real pub, is a real social occasion, and it is bringing back some lovely memories for our residents. “Everyone in the home who wants to pop into The Lodgers Arms can do so and if anyone needs care assistance then we’re right at hand.” Resident Arthur Fowler, 88, said: “Having our own in-house pub is a fantastic idea and a great addition to the care home. I don’t have to go far for a good pint and it’s also a great place to meet my friends in the home.” Resident Edward Platt, 86, said: “It’s grand in The Lodgers Arms and I’m looking forward to spending more time in here!” The home’s Activities Coordinators are planning weekly gentlemen’s afternoons to be held in the pub throughout the year.


Technology Enabled Care Will Be A Priority In 2024 By Steve Sawyer, Managing Director, Access Health, Support and Care

The demand for care services continues to rise. Budgets are tighter, staffing levels are difficult to maintain, and services are under greater scrutiny, and yet the health and care journey largely remains a disjointed, analogue process, with unnecessary administration and repetition. However, the journey that individuals embark upon when receiving care, whether in their home or in a residential setting is often a largely disjointed, analogue process, with unnecessary admin-heavy elements. The key issues social care has been facing are capacity, cost, and complexity. None of these issues will be fixed by funding alone and staffing issues in the care sector are an ongoing issue, made even more challenging by the increased demand for services. Using technology is proven to help mitigate these issues. However, there are still some social care providers with very little technology in place, with a lot of processes being managed and recorded on paper. Looking forward to 2024, there are many opportunities to innovate across the care pathway, from streamlining commissioning, to predictive in-home monitoring and producing personalised care plans for individuals. All of these changes will help to provide more person centred care. We’re seeing it happen already, but I’m hopeful that this year is where we will see it scale. The vast and often untapped potential of integrated technologies in the social care system, if realised, will all help to provide more person-centred care and free up time for staff to spend where it is most needed.

health and wellbeing, but receiving community care for another issue. The instances provide multiple opportunities to deliver interconnected, seamless interactions which provide the visibility to understand, prevent and intervene to improve individual outcomes, avoiding or slowing a persons decline. This creates capacity in the system and reduces cost. There are already examples of this happening. The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution has made it possible for individuals living with dementia to live more independently in their care homes, by creating personalised dementia plans with Access Care Planning software. This has made it possible for their staff to better understand what interventions are working best for each individual, and their plan can continue to be shaped to suit their needs. But 2024 is the year I hope to see more organisations realise this potential. With the target for 80% of social care providers to have a digital care record in place by March 2024, the pressure is on.


An integrated system across the care continuum can help to solve the challenges of capacity, cost, and complexity by focusing on prevention, and delivering services in the right place at the right time. Technology enabled care is synonymous with person-centred care. In 2024, capacity challenges associated with low staffing levels and difficulties with retention are likely to persist as they have in 2023, and finding ways to innovate can and will help with these issues. The sooner we view care as a continuum, with services that centre around the individual, the sooner we can unlock capacity in social care at scale.

However, the most important step to take is to consider the whole care continuum and the ever changing needs of the individual. Care is not linear, and all parties involved in caring for an individual should be given the tools to work in a joined up way. This view is person-centred, recognising that an individual may need to access support at different points of the care pathway at the same time. A person could be engaging in self-care to manage one part of their

ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL Technology enabled processes are the necessary catalyst for preventative, predictive care. RMBI has shown as much, taking an approach underpinned by digitalisation, innovation and integration. However, this is just one example of what technology enabled care can do. In both care home and home care settings, this analogue to digital process can take many forms, such as replacing analogue alarms with digital ones, wearable technology, and sensors. However, rather than using these tools to replace people delivering care, it only intends to enhance their ways of working, supporting them with more intelligent systems. Home sensors could show that a person who is usually scheduled for home visits at 8am to help them get up and eat breakfast actually wakes up at 6am, and would prefer visits earlier in the morning. When this information is integrated into the digital care record, care providers have a more holistic picture of the person and can adapt their care plan appropriately, caring for them in the way that suits them.


A Right Royal Tea Party for Kettering Care Home Resident Celebrations have been in full swing at Elm Bank Care Home in Kettering, as Royalty loving resident; Raymond Spruce was joined by close friends whom he had not seen for a while, for a surprise birthday High-Tea in recognition of his 75th birthday on 9th January 2024. A right royal; red, white and blue reception was held at the home for Raymond who became ‘King for the Day’ as guests gathered to enjoy a Royal themed afternoon tea with centrepiece speciality cake made by the home’s chef Sophie Taylor. Surprise guests included friends Shirley and Ray who Raymond lived with for many years before coming to Elm Bank, where he is enjoying a new chapter of his life. Amongst the visitors was an extra special a long lost friend; Adrian that Raymond had not seen for several

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.

years. Speaking about the party Raymond said “I had no idea, this is the best surprise, I thought everyone had forgotten, it’s one of the best day’s I’ve ever.” Marvellous Bindura, General Manager of Barchester Elm Bank added: “We’re delighted to celebrate Raymond’s birthday in such a majestic way. He adores the Royal family and has always had a particular fondness for the late Queen Mother. Raymond loved receiving the book ‘Her Majesty, a Photographic History 1926 –Today’ meaning he can reminisce at any time on her amazing life. We look forward to hearing each of the historical facts he finds.”

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.


Disrupted Sleep May be Associated with Changes Memory Later in Life Study Reveals New research from the University of California published in Neurology has shown an association between quality of sleep and changes to cognitive function in midlife adults. Over 500 people with an average age of 40, had their sleeping patterns tracked using a device worn on the wrist. They also completed thinking and memory tests to measure cognitive function at the beginning of the study and again just over a decade later. The researchers found that those who had a higher level of disrupted sleep, were twice as likely to perform worse in memory and thinking tests than those who had the least disrupted sleep. They did not find a link between duration of sleep and cognitive performance. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK says: “Many of us have experienced a bad night’s sleep and know that it can have an impact on our memory and thinking in the short term. But there are still gaps in our knowledge around whether sleep disturbances in midlife can increase our risk of developing dementia in the future.

“Previous studies suggest that how long we sleep each night can affect dementia risk. But less is known about disrupted sleeping patterns, so this study gives us interesting insight into how this may be affecting cognitive function. “However, without a detailed picture of what’s going on in the brain, we don’t know whether the disrupted sleep patterns are causing the decline in cognition, or if a decline in cognition is causing the disturbances. “Future studies looking at sleep disturbances in midlife, and whether they are linked to dementia risk in later life, are needed to get a clearer picture of cause and effect. Deeper insight into sleep and dementia could also be gained by studies looking at how levels of key Alzheimer’s disease proteins, such as amyloid or tau, are affected by sleep changes. “While there is no sure-fire way to prevent dementia, there are things within our control that can reduce our risk, including keeping active, challenging our brains and keeping connected to the people around us. It’s never too early or late to start making positive changes.”

“Financial Difficulties” Force Dorset Care Home Closures

TWO Dorset care homes are set to close, as the company that operates them announced it is to cease trading. Hantona Ltd, which operates The Old Rectory Care Home in Langton Matravers and Delph House in Broadstone cited “financial difficulties and circumstantial factors” for the decision. The homes are registered to care for more than 70 residents in total, who will now need to find alternative accommodation. Company director, Jacqueline Haigh, said: “We have taken the difficult decision, at this time, in order to protect all the residents of the homes, their families and all that work at the homes. “The local authorities are aware of the situation, and we are working closely with them to support all the residents and their families to find

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.

new places to live and to ensure that people are able to move quickly and safely.” A BCP spokesperson said: “BCP Council is working closely with Hantona Limited to support residents and their families to move safely to an alternative accommodation.” The Old Refectory received a good rating from the CQC in March 2023 after a £800,000 renovation on the building. A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: “Dorset Council is aware of the situation and will work closely with Hantona Ltd to support the company, residents and families, through this process.” The group regularly enjoyed four and five star ratings on care home rating website

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


NHS Faces Challenge Of Recovering After Latest Junior Doctor Strikes sible. “It is too early to say what the full impact of the longest strikes in NHS history has been and how many patients have had their vital appointments or operations postponed. What is potentially more worrying is we do not know how many patients avoided coming forward for care due to the strikes and what kind of backlog this could create for already overstretched services. “The NHS will take time to recover, but it is still the middle of winter and with a cold snap on the horizon services could face yet more pressure. Consultants who covered for their junior doctor colleagues could also be taking time off now, which may lead to a further drop in productivity. “Now that the strikes are coming to an end the government and BMA should re-start negotiations and end this dispute which is having such an impact on patients and the NHS.”

Longest NHS walk-out in history comes to an end as junior doctors return to work. The walkout has come to an end this morning (January 9). Junior Doctors have been on strike as part of a long running dispute over pay Speaking as the latest wave of junior doctor strikes comes to an end Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said “NHS leaders will be relieved that this round of industrial action is coming to a close but their teams now face the mop-up challenge of rebooking the tens of thousands of patients whose planned care was displaced. These strikes came during one of the busiest weeks of the year for the health service, as seen in number of trusts having to declare critical incidents or calling for junior doctors to return to work. “Health leaders and their staff carried out extensive planning to prepare for these strikes, and their incredible hard work over this period has kept services from buckling completely and maintained services as best as pos-

Flutters Of Excitement At Brendoncare Froxfield Care Home Brendoncare Froxfield care home welcomed back one of its favourite visitors, Jason Ashcroft of Falconry UK on Monday (8th January). This time, he brought with him seven of his beautiful, rare birds – three owls, two falcons, a kookaburra and vulture. The residents and team at Brendoncare Froxfield were fascinated by each of the birds, especially resident Diane Bailey who met her namesake, Bailey the white faced owl. Everyone a chance to see the birds close up. He gave everyone lots of facts and figures about each of the birds, some of

which are very rare. He also told a story about when some of the birds were used in a film starring John Travolta and Tom Cruise. Lesley Marshall, Brendoncare Froxfield’s Deputy Manager, said afterwards: “It is always a joy when Jason and his birds come to visit us. We never know which members of his flock we will be meeting. Our residents love seeing the birds especially the cheeky ones like the kookaburra. “We are very grateful to the Froxfield League of Friends for supporting us with this visit. We hope Jason will be back in the summer to see us again.”

Chesterfield Care Home Launches Specialist Dementia Care Community Orchard Care Homes has announced the Riverdale Care Home in Chesterfield is now offering specialist Reconnect dementia care. The home on Sheffield Road has been established in its city-centre location for over a decade. It is already a specialist dementia care, residential care and short-term respite care home, but has now introduced a ‘Reconnect Community.’ These innovative communities adopt a person-centric approach to dementia care in a therapeutic environment, aiming to understand why people exhibit the behaviours they do and adapt support to reduce distress. Over 900,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK and long-term specialist dementia nursing placements are essential to cope with growing demand. Riverdale Care Home will be able to provide the local community with a more holistic solution for those living with dementia, introducing environmental and care approach changes to foster positive outcomes. Orchard’s Reconnect model succeeds by offering genuine inclusion. To reflect a homely atmosphere and

promote choice of activity, Riverdale has adapted its environments to include areas found in a typical family home, including DIY work rooms, kitchens, a laundry room and gardens. Residents can choose to use these spaces as they would in their own home, and family members are encouraged to be as involved as they would like to further feelings of identity and ownership. The launch of a Reconnect community also involves an increase in staff specialist dementia training – ensuring residents have the support needed to thrive in their own space and have the freedom to spend time in warm company or enjoy the solitude of solo activity. Michelle Rose, Registered Home Manager, said: “We’ve seen people’s lives transformed within Reconnect communities and we are excited to be now able to offer this along with our existing care services in Chesterfield. This tailors care towards ‘reconnecting’ people with their past life and experiences. Meaningful occupation and engagement is key, and we are thrilled that people who live here have the chance to maintain life skills and derive meaning from each day by living as normally as possible.”

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


Cause For Hope Or Concern? What Social Care Will Look Like In 2024

By Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive of MHA

The Prime Minister recently confirmed that we will see a General Election in the UK, at some point in 2024. What an opportunity that is to shine a spotlight on social care – but will the sector get the attention it so desperately needs and deserves? Regardless of the colour of the next government, now is the time for all parties to prioritise social care and build a more coherent and sustainable plan for its future. Our sector continued to face significant challenges in 2023, including higher operational costs due to inflationary increases and high energy prices. We are also still seeing unacceptably long waiting list times for social care assessments. On top of this, there are ongoing issues around staffing, and an estimated 150,000 vacancies remain across the sector. Care providers are struggling to both recruit and retain staff – and the latest rulings on overseas care worker visas will do nothing to alleviate these problems. We have long called for professionals working in our sector to be better valued and recognised. This would help us find, train, and retain the best people. Better pay and working hours, alongside access to relevant training and qualifications were also identified by Skills for Care as critical factors that would help to retain staff in future. Unless we see significant investment from the Government in 2024 and beyond, these workforce pressures will continue to mount. The UK has an increasingly ageing population, so more and more people will

rely on support in their homes or in permanent care settings, to avoid hospital admissions. Aside from these ongoing issues, it’s important to recognise that the sector has made plenty of progress. Social care organisations have rallied to share experiences, discuss their collective needs -and collaboratively we have put forward some great ideas for change. I heard many of these ideas exchanged first-hand during party conference season, as we joined social care fringe events for all three of the major political parties. I had the opportunity to sit on panels at both the Labour and Liberal Democrat conferences, where valuable and hugely positive conversations were had around what the future of the sector could look like. We’ve also seen encouraging support for our own concept of a Social Care Council, which we’re proposing that the Government funds and enables as part of our Fix Care For All campaign. This would act as an independent body, representing the 1.5 million skilled, professional people working in social care. It would examine issues such as pay scales, accreditation, training, and recruitment – and would invest more into changing public perceptions around what it means to choose care as a profession. Working together as a sector gives us a much stronger voice as we push for social care reform to be a key focus in the manifestos of all the major political parties. But we want to see commitment, not rhetoric, from policy makers in return. This means a vision, a strategy, and a properly costed plan to build real and lasting change for the most vulnerable people in our society and those who care for them. We want young people to see social care as a rewarding career path, with potential for development and progression; flexibility that accommodates the various patterns of peoples’ working and family lives; fair pay - in line with other healthcare providers. And we want everybody who needs it to have access to good quality care. In the build up to an election, like many other social care organisations, we will continue to push for the reform and investment that the sector deserves and requires – and we are committed to working with our peers and partners to ensure this is made a reality.

Registration for the Care Show London, on 24-25 April at ExCeL London, is Live The Care Show will be bringing its celebration of the care sector to the nation’s capital for the first time this spring. Free to attend for those who work for a social care provider (including but not exclusive to care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care), in addition to healthcare, allied healthcare, NHS, public sector professionals, architects and interior designers, the Care Show London will be an opportunity for the entire care sector to come together, to learn and work collectively to find solutions that will shape a brighter future for social care. The conference programme will delve into the latest updates in the sector, including funding, the future workforce, change management, the impact of the upcoming election for the care sector, implementation of sustainable practices, and the latest technologies for patient care and business management and much more. Care Show London will provide attendees with over 75+ hours of further education to choose from, hundreds of exhibitors across all areas of care, and dedicated networking spaces to forge valuable connections with peers. Michael Corbett, Portfolio Director at CloserStill Media (organiser of the Care Show) said: “It is exciting to bring the Care Show brand to the capital. We believe the Care Show is built around the needs of social care providers and this is their event. The team have listened to stakeholders over the last few years to create an educational, inviting event with hundreds of suppliers and thousands of products to help improve the level of care offered, help boost the business acumen of senior teams and help the personal

development of those within the sector.” FREE tickets are available at The Care Show was awarded “Best Trade Event over 2000sqm” in April at the Exhibition News Awards 2023, and Best UK Tradeshow 4,001sqm – 8,000 sqm in June at the AEO Excellence Awards 2023. The organisers, CloserStill Media, specialise in global professional events within the healthcare and technology markets. The healthcare portfolio includes some of the UK’s fastest growing and award-winning events, such as The Clinical Pharmacy Congress, The Dentistry Show, The Pharmacy Show, Best Practice and Acute & General Medicine. It is a market leading innovator. With its teams and international events, it has won multiple awards, including Best Marketer – five times in succession – Best Trade Exhibition, Best Launch Exhibition, and Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For – four years in series – among others. CloserStill Media delivers unparalleled quality and relevant audiences for all its exhibitions, delivering NHS and private sector healthcare professionals from across occupational therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, primary and secondary care with more than £16m worth of free training. For more information please contact – Exhibition and speaker enquiries: Adam Camel – Matthew Moore –

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


% Of Over 65s Living In Care Homes Higher In Worthing Than Anywhere Else In England And Wales New research has revealed the percentage of over-65s living in care homes is higher in Worthing than anywhere else in England and Wales. For this study, Guild Care analysed data from the Office of National Statistics ‘Older people living in care homes and changes over time’ report. Overall, Worthing has the highest percentage of people 65 and over living in a care home, with 4.70%, or 1,168 out of 24,953. That’s almost double the average, which is only 2.5%. Blackpool and Hastings have the second-highest numbers, with 4.30% of over-65s being in care homes. Eastbourne, Lincoln, and Reigate and Banstead came in third with 4.10%.

Kevin Burke, Director of Care Homes and Dementia Services at Guild Care, says: “The data supports our experience that there is an increased need for high-quality care home placements in the Worthing area. It comes as no surprise as we face an ageing population, living with complex comorbidities, raising the need for quality care home placements across England and Wales. Moving to a care home is a very difficult decision but done at the right time and to the right home can be a very positive experience, enabling loved ones to live fulfilling, safe, and secure lives. You can rest assured that relatives will be provided with expert nursing along with person centred care, where they’ll also gain a sense of community, reducing loneliness and isolation.”

Care Horizons Marks Expansion As New Member Joins The Team South Gloucestershire care provider Care Horizons has marked an exciting new chapter, as it welcomes new Care Worker Andrew Johnson. Andrew has come to Care Horizons following a momentous career change. He originally trained as a chef, starting work in the catering sector at 16-years-old, and undertaking a 20-year career in restaurants and schools. During his time working as a school chef, he became aware of how much he loved working with children. “I had got to the point where I really felt that I didn’t enjoy my job, but I knew that I liked working with kids, so this was where I started. Following extensive research, I felt that a career in social care was the right direction for me. “Within my hometown, the Cadbury Health area of Bristol, I saw children and families that needed help every day. I was drawn to the idea of a career in social care, having seen how many people, and especially families, needed support in their local area. I therefore began exploring how I could pursue a meaningful move to the sector. “I began my six-year degree in Social Care with the Open University in 2022, which truly opened my eyes to the variety of outputs and joy the sector can bring. At the beginning of my course, I had an epiphany – I knew that to ensure I got the most from the experience and to truly embed myself in the sector, I needed to be working in social care as well as studying.

“Initially, I explored working with an agency which supported those with autism, which really opened my eyes to this area of social care. Having achieved my autism accreditation, I was keen to explore more of the sector and the care system in general. “On seeing a role with Care Horizons, I felt very drawn to the way the company worked within the care sector, offering at home support to those with varied needs in South Gloucestershire, whilst ensuring clients maintain their independence. I was thrilled to be offered the position and have really enjoyed getting to know the team and the clients so far.” Andrew is working with a variety of clients, with a varying spectrum of needs. “I have already learnt so much in my limited time, which has been an eye-opening experience. I am really looking forward to embedding myself within the Care Horizons team and building relationships with our wonderful clients.” Vierka Hiscock, CEO of Care Horizons, is very excited to be expanding the social care team. “Andrew has made a wonderful addition to our team and we have already received fantastic feedback from our clients about his genuine and caring manner. We feel so encouraged to have welcomed a new face to the team, especially as he has chosen to make the big career change to social care later in life. It is a fantastic industry, which we hope will continue to attract new, bright faces.”

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Care Homes Share Their Christmas Celebrations with The Carer For Our Christmas Competion. And the winner is... We are delighted to announce that Queens Court Care Home Buckhurst Hill, Essex are the winners of our Christmas activity competition, launched once again to bring some festive cheer following a rather challenging 2023. All we asked was for care homes around the country to show their Christmas celebrations with us, activities, events, wonderlands, carol singing, pantomimes fundraising, anything that will put a smile on residents faces with staff, residents, families and communities joining forces to create a very special celebration. Congratulations to the team at Queens Court who brought Santa and reindeers, a gospel choir, held a residents and families Christmas party, brought in students from the local community as part of their enrichment program, went out into the local community to give out gifts, and brought in the "Jingle Bell Singers“ from a local community theatre company. A £100 Marks & Spencer voucher is on its way!

That said it was an almost impossible task to pick out a winner once again we were overwhelmed not only with the number of entrants but the quality! We had some heartwarming and enriching nominations from care homes all over the country spending an enormous amount of time and energy undertaking a variety of activities and fundraising efforts which once again humbled us all here at THE CARER. So once again we have had some small consolation prizes, I do wish we could reward you all since all the nominations were truly wonderful (but unfortunately our budget doesn’t stretch that far)!

• Christian Mason and his team at Thornhill House in Barnsley, Yorkshire • Ann Norris and her team at Chandos Lodge in Hagley, West Midlands • Sandra Joyce and her team at Linden House Wellington, Somerset • Lianne Sturmey and her team at the Oaks Birmingham, Midlands A £25 Marks & Spencer voucher is on its way! Once again thank you all for your magnificent nominations, if anybody ever wanted an example of the dedication, hard work and commitment care homes and their staff provide to enhance the well-being of the residents than they need to look no further than these pages!

So a big shout out to:



Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill

Birchwood House Rest Home, Speldhurst, Kent Residents at Birchwood House have enjoyed a month of original festive fun, including an array of Christmas-themed arts and crafts, magical book club sessions and a special visit from the Chamber Choir who performed Christmas carols for residents.

Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill near Winchester celebrated Christmas by creating a beautiful Advent House, complete with festive flashing lights, for its residents. Every day, a resident was invited to open one of the doors of the Advent House. In each room, there was a personal present.

Kings Lodge Nursing Home, Chichester Activities included a wonderful Victorian Christmas market where all residents families and friends were invited to enjoy it. Not long after Christmas market followed our magical pantomime The Wizard Of Oz, which was a HUGE success.

The Porterbrook Care Home, Sheffield

Stroud Court Community Trust, Longfords Minchinhampton Tickford Abbey Care Home, Newport Pagnell Resident's activities included carol concerts, church services, story writing, arts and crafts, marshmallow snowman-making, and chocolate barmaking. They had a visit from the Mayor of Newport Pagnell and even made their own version of the famous song 'The 12 days of Christmas'.

Activities included a design a Christmas card competition, Christmas wreath making, Christmas card bingo and Christmas baking, with entertainment including a carol concert. while Tickled pink productions come to do a pantomime for us called Christmas spectacular.

Before making the decision to move into The Porterbrook one of our ladies, Jennie, was a member of the Trinity Bell Ringers and her husband used to run the group. On the 6th December 2023, we had an extra special visit from the Trinity Bell Ringers, to entertain our lovely residents with some beautiful music.

St Fillans Care Home, Colchester Clifton House, Oldbury At Clifton House all of our Clients took part in the 12 days of Christmas with different activities each day, which they thoroughly enjoyed, including making Christmas cards, a cheese board and wine day and a Christmas Party buffet.

At St Finians Maizie Crooks and other staff member held their annual Christmas Fete for Autism Anglia. The Fete, included stalls, a Santa’s grotto, and a raffle as well as an auction. Over £4000 was raised for the charity, by hosting the Fete as well as other events such as a Pier to Pier walk, Quiz Night and a bingo night.


Avocet Court in Ipswich

Linden House Nursing Home, Wellington, Somerset We crafted our own Christmas trees (made from cut up cardboard boxes) and our own Christmas table centrepieces using foliage from our garden. We had a residents’ Christmas party, full of music, laughs, mulled wine and mince pies. We had a Christmas Carol sing-along We’ve listened to fabulous music from Fruity Flutes, Chris Clark, Anne & Teri and our very own Santa (aka Jackson) delivered presents to all the residents.

Monkscroft Care Centre, Cheltenham Residents and staff at Monkscroft care centre in Shelley Road, Cheltenham, wrote a winter carol and released a video on social media to share Christmas joy with the local community. The video features residents, managers, and volunteers at the home run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT).

Avocet Court was awarded second place in the annual Best House Decorations category of the Light Up Ipswich competition for 2023. Staff also had a Christmas pyjama day – even though they were busy at work spreading smiles for our residents.

Abbotsford Care Home, Ardrossan Residents have enjoyed many activities over the festive period, including visits from the local nursery and school nativity play, church services and carol singing. Also, outings to the garden centre, and a variety of entertainers. The grand finale was Christmas lunch for all the residents and their relatives with a visit from Santa.

Springwood House, Sheffield

Regis House, Rowley Regis

One of our residents, Jean, enjoyed a visit to the Sheffield Christmas Markets, including a fun ride on the carousel with our amazing care support worker Lauren from Springwood Residential Home in Sheffield. As Jean's keyworker Lauren went above and beyond, and in her own time arranged this very special trip so Jean could truly get into the festive spirit and they both had a blast.

Activities included own German market day, making calendars ready for 2024 and soft dough ornaments to paint. We held our very own Christmas party where everyone had a great time, full of laughter enjoyed the food and music and all got up for a dance. During this party we also raised £287.50 for our service user’s activity fund through a Christmas tombola and raffle.

Compton View Residential Home, Yeovil

Dudbrook Hall, Brentwood At Dudbrook we created a special “enlighten garden” for all our residents and relatives to walk around and enjoyed Christmas carols with a difference with a steel band performing festive favourites for all to enjoy. Residents also enjoyed a canal boat ride supporting canalability a local charity making cruise accessible to wheelchair users.

At Compton View Residential Home staff taught The Twelve Days of Christmas to the residents ahead of Christmas dinner. The residents have loved learning the hand actions, it's been fun and beneficial as an armchair exercise. We follow this up with balloon ball, and the advent calendar.

Anchorstone Nursing Home in Farnham We had activities from Parties, Children singing from a local school, Santa and Mrs Claus visiting us and of course the elf delivering the gifts to the residents on christmas day. The atmosphere for the whole of December was magical and the residents and families were enjoying themselves on each and every occasion.


Excelcare Care Homes across the Excelcare Group were simultaneously lit up with residents, relatives and members of the community invited to attend each switch on event - it was a truly magical moment as all the lights switched on together!

Jubilee Lodge, Chigwell

Briardene Care Home, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The Christmas and New Year period was a special time for us and our guests. Our centres were decked in their top festive forms and transformed into a festive flurry of winter fun. Guests at Revitalise were treated to festive-themed activities, excursions to popular Christmas markets and the best holiday shows on the West End. The guests enjoyed the Yuletide season, filled with feasts and live evening entertainment.

Festive activities included a bus trip to the local community to see the Christmas lights, a party featuring singer Shirley Mac and a pantomime performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. The home also hosted a Christmas Fayre with stalls, a tombola, raffles and refreshments, raising a total of £1,500 for the Residents’ Fund.

Henley House Care Home, Ipswich We couldn't resist the call to action from Ipswich Greyfriars Roundtable when they needed a backup sleigh for Rudolph! Henley House proudly provided our trusty minibus to help Santa's furry friends deliver magic and raise valuable funds for local charities.

Priory Court Care Home, Epsom

Old Prebendal House, Shipton under Wychwood On the 21st of December, the residents of Old Prebendal House in Shipton under Wychwood received an early visit from Father Christmas. Everyone was in good spirits, especially our wonderful resident Patricia (pictured here) enjoying some festive jokes with Santa.

At Priory Court in Ewell, Surrey, we had a visit from Frosty the snowman at the Christmas Parties and then on Christmas day Father Christmas, His Elf and Frosty the snowman came and visited all the residents and gave out presents with the Lifestyle team. The atmosphere was fantastic and a joy to see the faces of the residents.

Bricklehampton Hall Nursing Home

Butterfly Lodge, Plymouth

Here at Bricklehampton Hall Nursing Home we invited a local choir group called ‘Mums Aloud’ to sing to our residents. The group sang along the coridoors for all residents to hear. Residents also attended a local carol service and enjoyed a morning of movement to music.

Residents enjoyed in-house and outside events that have taken place in the run-up to Christmas, including Festive baking and a visit to the Eden Project for the festive light extravaganza.

Ashfields Care Home, Heanor Our Activity Co Ordinator’s Dot and Jane provided a wide variety of fun and activities through December, including a visit from the Cottage Nursery children, Elf Day, Christmas Parties, Christmas quizzes, a Christmas fayre, Christmas Bingo, Baking, entertainers, Christmas Jumper day, Christmas reminiscence, a visit from Santa and his reindeer and a sing along on Christmas Day to mention a few!


Paddock Stile Manor Care Home, Houghton-le-Spring At Paddock Stile Manor, we had a local Cycling Without Age rickshaw take our people on a cycle ride with a difference, with Santa.

Norfolk Lodge We have a had a wonderful holiday season here at Norfolk Lodge we have had lovely party where santa dropped by to have a dance and we ate mince pies and enjoyed a baileys. We have been doing a lot of arts and crafts creating our own decorations and we visited the Christmas fair in Hunstanton with was such a treat.

The Oaklands, Warsop Christmas at The Oaklands in Warsop is truly the most wonderful time of the Year! We had a Ball (literally), we held The Great Oaklands Bake Off and we had a visit from Mansfield Town FC Youth team, who brought gifts and delighted us by singing carols. Our Residents attended a Christmas Party at the Hostess in Mansfield for a fabulous Christmas Dinner.

Hazel Lodge Care Home, Battle At Hazel Lodge we had a fun filled December! With residents baking and decorating their own Christmas Cake, making Gingerbread Houses,, beautiful carol singing with the pupils from Claverham school, a visit from Battle U3A Ukulele group, Carol Service with St Mary’s Church, our Residents & families Christmas Party and so much more.

Hunters Down Care Home, Huntingdon

Leadon Court Care Home, Cwmbran

The home was filled with Christmas festivities. Mrs Claus, our Care Manager Myrna, and her working elf, our Lifestyle Coordinator Kristine, went around the home giving Christmas presents to the residents. Jodie, a Royal Academy of Dance graduate and ballet teacher, led the ballet workshop where they performed different dances from the Nutcracker.

A highlight of December were our family festive afternoon teas and we arranged a wide range of performers for our residents to enjoy. Between taking residents out to do some of their own Christmas shopping, holding cheese and wine events for family and friends and all the while still keeping everyone in fresh manicures and hair do's, December was a busy month but all worth it to see the smiles!

Three Bridges Nursing Home, Harrogate Edensor Care Centre, Clacton-On-Sea In the days running up to Christmas we held Breakfast with Santa with our residents. This is a regular annual event for our residents, and gave each person the opportunity to meet Santa, receive gifts and have breakfast in his grotto.

Residents of Three Bridges Nursing Home were treated to a day filled with music and joy. The home welcomed two choirs from local schools, filling the air with the harmonious melodies of Christmas carols. They also held a Christmas party, filled with music, laughter, and good cheer, which was a testament to the power of community and the joy of the holiday season.


Thornhill House, Barnsley Camelot House and Lodge, Wellington, Somerset Santa did his rounds in the run up to Christmas at Camelot House and Lodge, where residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Celebrations at Thornhill House were led by care home manager and public relations lead Christian Mason's alter ego Lady Bacardi. Residents also celebrated with a Family Christmas meal and enjoyed the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime. Staff member Amanda wright said, "I've done 17 years at Thornhill House and I will be here till I retire. This is not a care home, this is our residents' home we care for them in."

Hermitage House Care Home, Thrapston

The Oaks, Bromsgrove At The Oaks, part of Bracebridge care group, the 12 Days of Christmas were celebrated giving back to the local community, including taking part in The Big Sleep Out, running a soup kitchen, giving gifts to children at a local childrens' home and contributing to community food banks, as well as a local school and church visits.

Hermitage House Care Home in Thrapston was transformed into a festive wonderland for their Christmas Fair. The home saw around 150 local people attend from the town and surrounding villages. On the day there were local business stall holders, live entertainment, a Santa grotto, and festive food and drink throughout.

Riverwell Beck, Cumbria Both residents and staff at Riverwell Beck, Carlisle, enjoyed a wonderful Christmas celebration, with next of kin also invited to join in on the fun. One resident's wife, Mary, expressed her delightful experience, sharing, "I had a lovely visit, topped off with a delicious lunch and a glass of Fizz! It was all so relaxed and friendly, creating such a wonderful atmosphere!".

Whinnieknowe, Nairn We brought the pantomime, Jack Frost, to Whinnieknowe as our activities co - Ordinator is part of the cast for the residents to enjoy. A great afternoon had by all with much hilarity.

Chandos Lodge, Hagley Our residents, managers, staff, relatives and supporters have had a wonderful festive season. We asked our residents before Xmas started what they would like over Xmas....they told us they liked singing, music, family, parties, nice drinks and bingo!! We made sure they enjoyed all the above and more!



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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.

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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

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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 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

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.



• 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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