The Carer Digital - Issue #180

Page 1


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




Issue 180

Government’s £500m Social Care Boost “Short Term Solution to A Long-Term Problem”

The government has announced an extra £500 million set to be allocated to enable councils to provide crucial social care services. In total councils across England will receive a £600 million support package,

progress” on its economic priorities of halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt. The support package will primarily see an additional £500 million added to the

in addition to funding outlined at the provisional settlement, to help them deliver

Social Care Grant to bolster social care budgets, a key concern raised by

key services, the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has announced.


The government said that the support package comes following “significant



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Navigating the Murmurs of Relief: A Critical Look at the £500 Million Boost for Adult Social Care Would take this opportunity to remind you that we “refreshed and updated “ our postal database earlier this month, (the beginning of January 2024 ). This is actually done by a company who provide and manage both our digital and postal database and, if for whatever reason, any care home has been inadvertently missed off our printed issue sent out earlier this month please do email me at and we will make sure you are added back on immediately. And I would also take this opportunity to offer our Editor sincere congratulations and warmest wishes to Mary Watkins, a resident at Brendoncare Stildon in Dorset Avenue, East Grinstead, (See page 29) who at the grand age of 103 has finally received medals for her top secret services when she worked in military intelligence during World War 2. These are the stories that deeply humble us all, and ones that we her at THE CARER are privileged to share. We have over the years received the most heartwarming and uplifting stories and this particular story is most definitely worth sharing so, once again, congratulations Mary! I would draw your attention to our lead story - the government’s announcement last week of a £500 million boost to empower local councils in addressing the critical needs of adult social care - which brought a collective sigh of relief from industry organizations. Undoubtedly, any additional funding is a step in the right direction, but it is crucial to scrutinize whether this is as some commentator’s fear, a mere band-aid on a chronic wound or a genuine effort towards a sustainable solution. While welcoming the injection of funds, stakeholders in the adult social care sector are unanimous in expressing their concerns about the short-term nature of this financial relief. The perennial issue of underfunding in adult social care requires a long-term commitment, not just a momentary reprieve. The government must recognize that a lasting solution demands a comprehensive and strategic approach, going beyond quick-fix injections. Local councils, acting as frontline responders to the growing demands of adult social care, need more than just a financial infusion. The additional support should encompass a multifaceted strategy that addresses the root challenges faced by councils in delivering quality care. Firstly, there must be a renewed emphasis on training and development programs to ensure that the caregiving workforce is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the evolving needs of service users. Recruitment in the care sector remains a persistent challenge, and the government

Peter Adams

should explore innovative ways to attract and retain talent. Offering competitive salaries, enhancing professional development opportunities, encouraging further overseas recruitment, and fostering a positive work environment are essential elements in overcoming the recruitment crisis. Moreover, the escalating energy costs further burden care providers, diverting funds away from essential services. The government's support should extend to mitigating these costs, whether through targeted subsidies, tax incentives, or energy efficiency initiatives. A sustainable care sector depends on the financial viability of care homes, and alleviating operational costs is paramount to achieving this. Beyond the immediate financial concerns, the government should collaborate with industry experts to develop a long-term strategy that aligns funding with the evolving landscape of adult social care. Engaging with care operators at the coalface is pivotal to understanding the nuanced challenges they face daily and tailoring solutions accordingly. So, while the £500 million boost is a commendable step towards addressing the immediate crisis, it must be viewed as a catalyst for more comprehensive and enduring change. The government's commitment to adult social care should extend beyond periodic financial injections, focusing on strategic, sustainable solutions that empower local councils and support care operators in delivering the highest standards of care to those who need it most. One more thing; we are exhibiting at UK Care Week at Birmingham’s NEC on March 2021. We are on Stand F16, so please do pay us a visit, we’re always interested in your feedback! As always, I can be contacted at

The Carer is published by RBC Publishing Ltd, 3 Carlton Mount, 2 Cranborne Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5BR. Contributions are welcome for consideration, however, no responsibility will be accepted for loss or damage. Views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial team. Whilst every care is taken when compiling this publication to ensure accuracy, the publisher will assume no responsibility for any effects, errors or omissions therefrom. All rights reserved, reproduction is forbidden unless written permission is obtained. All material is assumed copyright free unless otherwise advised.

PUBLISHED BY RBC Publishing Ltd 3 Carlton Mount 2 Cranborne Road Bournemouth Dorset BH2 5BR


01202 552333 (6 lines)

Fax: 01202 552666 Email:

WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson PRODUCTION & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION & WEB ADMIN Charlene Fox Published by


Government’s £500m Social Care Boost “Short Term Solution to A Long-Term Problem” (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove said: “We have listened to councils across England about the pressures they’re facing and have always stood ready to help those in need.” “This additional £600 million support package illustrates our commitment to local government. We are in their corner, and we support the incredible and often unsung work they do day-to-day to support people across the country.”

MORE TO BE DONE Welcoming the announcement Care England also expressed concerns that the extra funding will not address the sectors long-term issues. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “This injection of funding is a welcome recognition of the challenges faced by local authorities and care providers alike. However, the Government must move away from short-term sticking plasters and towards strategic allocations of money that will truly benefit the sector.” “The 2023 Sector Pulse Check found that 84% of care providers felt Government funding made no difference to their sustainability, the ambition to manage service performance and reduce wasteful expenditure is to be welcomed.” “The National Audit Office report, Reforming Adult Social Care in England, showed significant inadequacies and delays in the Department of Health and Social Care’s delivery of reform plans. Care England has called on the Government to mirror their request to local authorities and publish their own ‘productivity plans,’ with tangible success measures.” “The new money announced today still falls shy of mitigating the 10.4% impact that the rise in NLW will cost providers. With 39% of providers considering exiting the market, according to the 2023 Sector Pulse Check, there is still more to be done.” Professor Green added: “Against the backdrop of the rises in the National Living Wage, rising utility costs, and the gap from the Fair Cost of Care being largely unaddressed, this new money in isolation runs the risk of being another short-term solution of money in the face of a problem that needs long-term funding to resolve.”

FAIR BALANCE All councils will, the government says, alos see an increase in Core Spending Power of at least 4% through the Funding Guarantee before any local choices on council tax, efficiencies or reserves – an increase from the 3% announced at the provisional settlement. The

Government’s manifesto commits to continuing to protect local taxpayers from excessive council tax increases. The proposed referendum principles strike a fair balance. Local authorities must be mindful of cost-of-living pressures when taking any decisions relating to council tax. This funding builds on the £64 billion package already announced at the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25 and has been welcomed by leading local government organisations including the Local Government Association, County Councils Network and District Councils Network.

CASH STRAPPED COUNCILS Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of National Care Forum (NCF) also welcomed the announcement but again called for a long-term solution, and said: “It is positive that the government seems to have listened to the united voices of local government and the social care sector about the drastic consequences of the underfunding facing councils for social care. It is important to note though that the Local Government Association has been clear that there is a £4bn funding gap in local budgets across this year and next – this additional funding, while welcome, doesn’t touch the sides. But there is a more fundamental issue here. The announcement of this emergency funding clearly highlights, yet again, that the partnership between central and local government in relation to social care is broken. We need a significant overhaul of how local government and adult social care are funded to deliver longterm sustainable care and support services to millions of people. “We have long been arguing for a sustainable funding solution and longer-term vision for social care. The Chancellor must not miss the opportunity in the Spring budget to address these huge funding pressures with the announcement of a sustainable long-term funding solution for care – we simply cannot carry on with short term, emergency injections of funds to cash strapped councils, many of whom seem to be facing section 114 bankruptcy. “This announcement does however highlight what can be done when over 40 Conservative MPs and Conservative local government leaders realise that this is the time to speak up for care and call out funding shortfalls. We now need the voices of people drawing on care, their families and care workers, alongside politicians across the political spectrum, to join that call and speak up for care as we head towards the next general election.”

WORKFORCE CRISIS Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive, MHA said: “With thousands of people waiting for care services, it is critical that the £600m in additional funding which the Government is providing to local authorities reaches

adult social care services as soon as possible.” “This short-term injection of cash for the sector will provide a good news headline for Government ahead of an anticipated General Election later this year. However, what the sector desperately needs is more sustainable and long-term solutions.” “The funding won’t help care providers to resolve the continued pressures they are facing, which include eye-wateringly high utility bills and a workforce crisis.” “To meet the care needs of the population – both now and in the future – while providing greater certainty to the sector, the Government must show it is committed to long-term funding. The Spring Budget offers it a great opportunity to put these firmer plans in place.” Minister for Local Government Simon Hoare added: “This injection of funding will help ensure services which people rely on can continue – and demonstrates how important we view local government. We have listened to various organisations and considered their views seriously and I’m grateful to those who reached out to me.” “The funding offers something for all of our hard-working councils, with additional funding for social care as well as help for rural authorities to deliver essential services.” “In light of the exceptional circumstances, the Treasury will be providing £500m with further details set out at the upcoming Budget whilst details on the distribution of this funding will be included in the final Local Government Finance Settlement early next month.”

LISTENING TO CONCERNS Councillor Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils, said: We strongly welcome the government listening to our concerns, and today’s (January 24) announcement of an additional £0.5 billion will go some way to easing the pressures and in particular addressing the escalating demand and costs of delivering social care and home to school transport. Whilst this extra funding will undoubtedly help us protect valued frontline services, councils, of course, still face difficult decisions when setting their budgets for 2024/25. Looking further ahead, reform of local government finance and the way in which we are expected to provide services is imperative. Councils require a long-term financial settlement to enable us to plan for, and meet, the demand from our growing elderly populations and the more complex needs of residents requiring social care. This must be coupled with a comprehensive reform programme to bring in line the funding envelope available to enable us to deliver effectively our statutory responsibilities.


Taking The Stress Out of HR in Care

To be attributed to Gill McAteer, director of employment law at Citation (

This can lead to issues being initially ignored and snowballing into more serious problems that cause stress. So, with that in mind, making sure you build-in resource to train your managers when promoting them into that role is critical. They will inevitably have a huge influence on maintaining high performance, and also, retention. Equally, being prepared to support new employees in their role can make the world of difference to their long-term performance. It goes without saying that they need a thorough induction that outlines all of their responsibilities, but also making sure you create an opportunity for them to ask questions will be really beneficial in the first few months. On an ongoing basis, the promoted employee should also have regular catch ups with their line manager, and potentially a buddy - not to introduce them to the basics of the role, but to ensure they feel supported during the vital first few months in a new position.


The care sector being under significant pressure is not news - skyhigh demand combined with an enduring skills crisis makes for unprecedented workloads and over-stretched services, all of which are putting a squeeze on everyone in the industry. Few people have a better view of the fallout than managers, who are under pressure, tasked with finding solutions when things fall apart. The larger factors affecting care are unlikely to change in the near future, but the new year is an opportunity for management teams to review current policies and procedures to ensure they align with the requirements of the business and also new and upcoming legislation, so that they don’t feel that they’re fighting one fire after another.

CLARITY IS KEY The key to the taking the stress out of HR is intervening early and consistently in order to address problems before they become big enough to cause stress for employees and managers. This includes putting processes in place for inductions, and regular line manager catch ups to address issues like a lack of understanding of job responsibilities, poor performance or potential health and wellbeing problems. In sectors experiencing a labour and skills shortage, such as the scenario impacting care, employees can be quickly promoted into management positions, and that means there’s the potential that they won’t have the experience or skill set to address challenges with confidence.

Establishing a high-performance culture isn’t just about setting clear expectations. Recognising great performance is key and motivates people to give their best. Those performing at a high level in the care industry are doing so under enormous pressure, so their work deserves to be recognised. The pressures of the sector will still be having an impact on these high performers, and these will be become all the heavier if they feel under-appreciated.

PROACTIVE LEADERSHIP To build a strong team that can continue to deliver high quality care for service users, it’s important that employees feel supported at all times – not just when something goes wrong. An easy way to achieve this is to ensure regular catch-ups happen between employees and their line managers, even if there is ostensibly nothing to discuss. A quick ‘how are things going’ meeting provides space for people to raise small issues, and make managers aware, even if there’s nothing to do just yet. This is also helpful for newly promoted employees, helping them to feel more comfortable with asking for the support they need. Proactive policies act as a useful guide through everyday challenges of HR and people management, and this is especially true in today’s increasingly digitally connected working environments. For example, the use of platforms like WhatsApp to contact employees outside of working hours can be a great way of notifying teams quickly, but employees shouldn’t feel that they’re constantly on call, and managers should hesitate before messaging them outside of working hours to

protect employee wellbeing. In this situation, a proactive policy around communications and channels ensures that everyone knows where they stand. The importance of having HR policies in place cannot be understated - to tackle problems quickly and effectively, managers need to understand what they need to do and be confident in how to do this fairly and consistently. For small businesses in particular, like care homes, this can feel unnatural or uncomfortable, pushing against a friendly, close-knit atmosphere. However, when issues are often tackled informally, or overlooked, the behaviour can escalate and cause further problems. Some robust guidelines could be a saving grace that stops a serious problem from doing damage to relationships within the business. Most importantly though, these policies need to be implemented and followed correctly by the management team. An induction to HR policies should be mandatory for all employees – but particularly new managers, as well as providing the training needed for them to implement it confidently. This means giving them the tools and opportunities to handle challenging situations, with support of experienced leaders and creating space and permission for them to ask questions.

THE VALUE OF GETTING HR RIGHT Putting the right policies in place from day one will help everyone work proactively to create a positive working culture, which in turn encourages better employee retention and ultimately improves the quality of care that service users receive. Poorly managed HR issues can be financially and reputationally devastating. Grievances, longterm absence, poor performance andmisconduct can be extremely expensive to manage – and it can be hard to bounce back from the damage to your reputation, both internally and externally. Similarly, smaller problems can quickly become a headache if employees don’t feel comfortable asking for support or admitting that they need help or training. Proactive leadership, including the creation of robust policies and thorough training is key to building a strong, healthy and happy team that can deliver outstanding levels of care. The sector is under pressure, with changes to funding and legislation, so policies should be under constant review to ensure they suit your team’s current needs. Managers can consult a HR checklist or consider taking advice from a HR consultancy service if they’re unsure what this looks like.

Three Cheers For Thame Group Crowned ‘Local Heroes’ By Care Home A Thame organisation has been named the winner of a care home’s ‘Local Heroes’ competition. Thame Good Neighbour Scheme, which offers services to those in the community who need additional help and support, was awarded the top prize of £500 by the team at Care UK’s Cuttlebrook Hall, on Stock Road. The organisation is led primarily by volunteers from the local area who are all driven by a passion to give something back to their community. The volunteers offer support with a variety of tasks which may be difficult for some local people, including transport, shopping, looking after pets, and gardening, as well as befriending services. Judges were impressed by the efforts of the group’s volunteers, who give up their time to promote involvement and wellbeing for the local community

Jane Webster, Co-Ordinator at Thame Good Neighbour Scheme, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the amazing work our volunteers do – it’s fantastic to have their hard work recognised and be called ‘local heroes’. I’d like to extend a big thank you to the whole team at Thame Good Neighbour Scheme, as well as to Cuttlebrook Hall for this wonderful recognition!” Alana Corr, Home Manager at Cuttlebrook Hall, said: “We’re thrilled to have crowned Thame Good Neighbour Scheme as the winners of our ‘Local Heroes’ competition to help celebrate the opening of our new care home. “Supporting people to remain independent is an ethos we share with Thame Good Neighbour Scheme, and the work they do as an organisation is invaluable to the local community who benefit from the service of the volunteers, so we’re pleased to reward the group’s efforts – well done to our winners!”

Cornerstone Healthcare Group Announces New CEO Cornerstone Healthcare Group, provider of specialist and complex care in the UK, has announced the appointment of Paul Hayes as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Paul has a proven track record built over 3 decades in the healthcare industry, making him the ideal candidate to lead Cornerstone into a new era of innovation and growth. Paul started working as care assistant in a care home for people with dementia aged 16. He fell in love with it from the first moment and has spent the subsequent 30 years working across both the public and independent sector. During his career Paul has worked senior leadership positions for some of the largest providers in the UK including Voyage, Barchester, Swanton Care, Four Seasons and CareTech working in both operational and commercial roles. Most recently Paul was the CEO of a community complex care provider. Paul has been a Non-Executive Director of Care England and Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Working Group for Adult Social Care. Paul has an MBA and is a graduate from Harvard University having completed the Global Healthcare Programme in Boston, US.

“Speaking about his appointment Paul said “I am delighted to be joining Cornerstone to work alongside our dedicated and experienced colleagues across the organisation who make Cornerstone what it is. I look forward to supporting the organisation as it moves into the next part of its journey whilst continuing to focus on delivering the very best care and support for our residents, families and commissioners who we are proud to serve.” Forbes Stuart, Partner at Ignite Growth LLP, the private equity house behind Cornerstone, said, “We are delighted to welcome Paul as CEO of Cornerstone. His energy, enthusiasm and experience will resonate with our colleagues across the business and our commissioning partners. We have no doubt that Cornerstone will thrive under Paul’s management.” Cornerstone Healthcare Group is set to open two new services this year. First, 74bed Cale View in Wincanton, Somerset this Spring followed by The Burren, the group’s new 80-bed, BREEAM Excellent standard, development in Bristol later in the year.


Vital Talks Over North Yorks Social Care as Funding Crisis Deepens CARE providers in North Yorkshire are holding top-level talks with the local council to tackle a funding crisis which threatens the care of vulnerable people across the country. The Independent Care Group (ICG) is meeting North Yorkshire Council to discuss the fees the local authority is offering to providers to give care to people who need support in their own home, supported living or in care and nursing homes and other settings. The ICG is also balloting its members over the proposed fee increase for 2024-25. The ICG argues that the offer provides no increase in fees for many providers on recent and current placements, whilst for others it offers an increase that is less than the 9.8% rise in the National Living Wage from April. The provider body says care providers are struggling to survive as they face ever-increasing costs, severe staffing shortages and a lack of proper funding for the care they provide. The talks come as the Government announces an extra £500m for councils specifically to pay for children’s and adult social care. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We have a great relationship with North Yorkshire Council and very much hope that we can reach an agreement on fees that supports local providers and enables them to keep providing an excellent standard of care across the county. “We appreciate that local authorities are suffering severe cutbacks themselves and we have every sympathy with the plight that North Yorkshire Council finds itself in. However, we long ago reached the point where, in many cases, the base price paid for care by the local authority does not meet the actual cost to providers of meeting the ever more complex needs of service users. “To keep delivering proper, responsible and sustainable care to older and vulnerable people in this county we need a fee increase that recognises the true cost of providing care. “It is vital that, aided by its share of the extra £500m from the Government, the council recognises the issues we have in maintaining adult social care in North Yorkshire and that we can reach a positive agreement.” Research by the charity Hft and Care England reveals that 40% of

adult social care providers were in deficit in 2023. Some 43% closed services or handed back contracts; 18% offered care to fewer people and 39% considered exiting the market altogether. A total of 84% of providers said Government investment in the sector had made no difference to their financial sustainability. The Government is to provide an extra £500m to local councils following a survey by the Local Government Association, which revealed that one in five councils fear they could go bust in the coming year. Mr Padgham added: “This injection of £500m whilst welcome, is just a drop in the ocean compared to the wholesale funding reform that is required to save social care. It is also a one-off payment when what we need is the long-term stability of proper funding so staff can be paid fairly and properly. “We must ensure that the extra £500m reaches frontline social care providers and makes what difference it can. However, divided as it will be across many councils, its impact is likely to be modest. “It is another tiny sticking plaster for social care when what is needed is major, life-saving surgery – a minimum of an extra £7bn a year just to get the sector back on an even keel and to begin addressing the 1.6m people who currently can’t get the care they need and the hundreds of thousands more who will need care in the years to come.” Cathie Williams, joint chief executive of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has urged the Government to stop treating the symptoms and start addressing the causes of social care challenges. Decades of underfunding, neglect and broken promises have left social care on its knees, with care and nursing homes and home care providers closing down, leaving more and more people without care. Rising costs, including the cost of implementing a biggerthan-expected increase in the National Living Wage, are heaping further pressures on providers. The ICG is campaigning for social care reform to be included in the main political parties’ manifestos ahead of the next General Election. It wants to see fresh thinking on social care reform, the creation of a National Care Service and better funding into the sector so that social care workers can be properly paid.

The number of people aged over 65 will rise from 10.5m to 13.8m by 2035 and the sector will need an extra 480,000 people in the social care workforce to provide care to meet extra demand.


Expert Shares Tips on a Career in Care Danforth Care’s chief of staff Jess Blythe shares her top tips on a career in care ( It can be hard to know where to start when deciding on a new career, and daunting to know what qualifications you may need and how to apply. Jess Blythe, chief of staff at the care home provider Danforth Care shares her top tips for those considering a career in care.

WHAT TYPE OF PERSON SUITS A CAREER IN CARE? A person working in care needs to be patient, attentive and kind-hearted. It is a rewarding role, however, it can be demanding and requires dedication and passion to providing the best care for the vulnerable people being looked after. Care roles suit empathetic and proactive people who are positive and motivated. “In order to work in care with older people, you have to be extremely respectful and encouraging,” says Jess. “A career in the care industry is about delivering care with dignity, treating the residents fairly and empowering them to make their own choices. If you’re a great team player and are passionate about delivering care to ensure residents feel meaningful, comfortable and safe, you’ll fit right in.”

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED FOR A CAREER IN CARE? There are no legally required qualifications for working in a care home, however, there are industry recognised qualifications which will help you with the role, and help you get hired. One of the qualifications which may help get you hired is the Care Certificate qualification. The certificate comprises of 15 standards, which acts as an induction to working in care. This qualification can be done online, and costs £49.99. The NVQ is another qualification which may help you when looking to get a job in the care industry, and there are seven levels in care. You can complete an NVQ at school, university or whilst you are working. Some workplaces support their staff to complete care qualifications if desired, such as Danforth. “We offer a variety of NVQ qualifications for all our team members, as well as a fully funded enhanced DBS check” says Jess. “You will be inducted into the organisation thoroughly and receive in-depth training. You can work at Danforth on a competitive salary and still progress your care career.”

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A JOB IN CARE? To get started in the industry, look for entry level care roles by searching online. For lots of roles, you’ll need experience working with older people or others who need care, and you may need other skills such as communication and IT skills. You can demonstrate these skills and experiences in a C.V. and cover letter, as well as discussing them if you get an interview for the job. “Look for care facilities which are not only making the homes great places for the residents to live, but also amazing places for their team members to work,” advises Jess. “The staff are the beating heart of any

residential care home, and you will quickly become part of the care home family.”

DANFORTH CARE MANAGERS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS SURROUNDING CHALLENGES IN CARE SECTOR RECRUITMENT Jessica Blythe, Chief of Staff at Danforth, says “when it comes to overcoming challenges such as meeting building completion deadlines, a good knowledge for the local area has been imperative. Having the support of a good team and a home manager who can be on board from the start of the commissioning process is also very helpful”. Hiring staff who are completely in line with Danforth’s values is a must for the group. The first care home openings have been a success and have prompted positive reviews, but the main thing for Danforth is the longevity of excellence. Staff will have constant training and will always be held to Danforth’s high standards and values. Tamara Crosswell, Home Manager from Broadlands Care Home in Norwich, says “Broadlands Care home has become a great influence on the local community establishing close connections with various professional and local community groups. We have developed close networks with a mother and baby group, who visit us once a week. We are also working closely with two local dementia groups.” Other care homes have set up and are continuing to establish ongoing projects with local primary schools, charities, community groups and local churches. “It has been a great success watching someone's life being enhanced with their individual care and wellbeing and the team being part of that journey. The staff have embraced the high standard of training and they have kept this at 100% over all with completion in all fields”, says Tamara. “The reviews have been very positive, and the home is now rated ‘10’ out of ‘10’ in care home reviews and also in the East of England it is currently 15 out of 1,566 care homes.” Andi Barker, home manager of Primrose House in East Riding, adds: “Through interview and induction processes combined, we ensure staff are delivering the high standard required. High standards of care and service are then maintained through vigilant and robust quality systems,” “We provide every support to staff we can to create a positive environment for both staff teams and residents”. “The industry is not appealing to many compared to an action-packed accident and emergency dept, and we lose out in some areas due to summer season jobs ”, says Hazel Madden, Home Manager of Heath Lodge in Norfolk. However, with the rise of groups like Danforth providing purpose-built care facilities where residents can live comfortably and safely, the future for care isn’t bleak. Overall, people can expect the standard of care to improve in years to come across the UK. “Residents and family’s expectations of service are much higher than they used to be, with demand for activities and outings are high on the agenda, as well as fine dining and 1:1 care,” adds Hazel. Talking to those who are considering a career in care and finding the perfect team, Hazel says:“It’s hard work, overwhelming at times, but can be so rewarding. It’s finding those who have passion and commitment and drive to care for those who need a voice and someone to hold their hand.”


Best prices paid all ages & condition Large stock of new & used accessible minibuses

H.W.Pickrell Ltd

Gardiners Lane North, Crays Hill, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2XE

Mobile: 07860 894 331 • email: Telephone: (01268) 521033


Government Funding Failing To Reach Majority Of Providers Says Care England Despite record investment in the 2022 Autumn Budget, the social care sector is buckling at the knees. Care England’s Spring Budget representation outlines a series of pragmatic asks that can be introduced immediately with no additional expense to the taxpayer and sets out long-term solutions to address systematic issues facing social care. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Our Sector Pulse Check report with Hft put the writing on the wall. It’s time for the Government to take note. With Government funding last year not making a difference to the sustainability of 84% of care providers in England, we can’t continue with more of the same. The Government has given the sector more money than ever before, but the sector has not been able to benefit as it should have. We need to impose a new reality. The sustainability of the sector is compromised. This may well be the last chance for this Government to demonstrate their commitment to fixing social care.” Recently, the National Audit Office report, Reforming Adult Social Care in England, found significant inadequacies in the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) delivery of reform plans. The DHSC has scaled back its short-term plans for system reform and associated funding to £729 million, compared with the £1.74 billion agreed with HM Treasury in 2021. This is equivalent to a 58% fall in the budget for social care reform and comes in the face of an ageing population with an increasing need for care. Care England and the national learning disability charity Hft published the 2023 Sector Pulse Check in January which found that the

Government’s ‘record investment’ is simply not reaching providers, with 84% stating that financial initiatives from government – such as the Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund and International Recruitment Fund – made no difference to their financial sustainability. The 2023 Sector Pulse Check report can be found here. A strong social care should be the backbone of a society, and of an economy, and in its current state, social care is set to break under the strain. In the short-term, Care England’s Spring Budget submission calls on the Government to zero-rate VAT for welfare services, better standardise commissioning practice to reduce complexities and inefficiencies in the system, introduce an annual fee uplift deadline of 31 March to bolster financial fore planning, and streamline funding at a Local Authority level for social care providers. On a long-term basis, Care England encourages the Government to close the Fair Cost of Care gap and repeat the exercise at a sector-wide level, better ringfence Government funds for adult social care, introduce a government-funded £15 minimum wage for care staff and move towards a longterm vision for social care funding settlements. Professor Martin Green continues: “Intervention from the Government must be immediate and substantial. Almost half of care providers have had to close a part of their organisation or hand back contracts to their Local Authority as a result of

Century Celebrations For Local Care Home Resident Celebrations have been in full swing at Ashfields, as one of its residents reaches her centenary in style. Gwen was joined by staff, relatives, friends and other residents as she received a telegram from the King and Queen in recognition of her landmark birthday. A buffet reception was held at the home and guests enjoyed a special birthday cake made by the home’s chef Dave. Gwen was a book keeper in her working years then enjoyed retirement before coming

to Ashfields, The photo is Gwen and the broach she is wearing is an RAF badge given by Eric her husband when they were courting and he was away in the Second World War. Gwen enjoys listening to classical music and watching Ginger Rogers’s films Among those relatives attending the celebrations was John her son, and her daughters Jane, Maggie and Caroline. On this very special day you could see how proud she makes them feel.”

the cost pressures they find themselves operating against. Adult social care is an economic powerhouse. Research has found that for every £1 invested in social care, £1.75 is generated in the wider economy. Our sector is crucial to the financial and physical health of the nation, and unless the Government acts now, we won’t have a social care fit for the future.”


Calls for Aging Offenders to be Housed in Secure Care Homes The governor of a Scottish prison has called for new secure care facilities to meet the needs of elderly inmates. HMP Glenochil governor Natalie Beal described the ageing innate population she houses at the Scottish prison, as increasingly challenging requiring personalised health plans to meet the growing care needs the prison is having to accommodate. Ms Beal said that 50 of the facility’s 730 inmates had some sort of healthcare plan in place, but the prison was not designed to meet the needs of an aging population. As the Scottish prison population ages, there are demands to meet complex needs such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. The older prisoners’ medical issues, including mobility problems, hip replacements, dementia, and neurological conditions, also require extra care. The Scottish Prison Service funding for social care, which was £636,000 in 2018, rose to to £2.1 million in 2022, confirming that additional resources are needed to address

the problems faced by inmates. Of Scotland’s estimated 8,000 prisoners, almost 700 are aged 60 or over, with the percentage of prisoners over 50 doubling in the past 10 years. As a result, Ms Beal has suggested the creation of a secure care home solely for the elderly prison population. Following this, a spokesman for the Scottish government has expressed that the government has increased the Scottish Prison Service’s budget by up to 10% to solve the complex prison population problem. HMP Glenochil’s oldest resident is in his 80s, Beal said, adding that that care needs across the prison included help with dressing, washing and eating, as well as the use of hoists and wheelchairs. The governor commented: “We were not built with an ageing population in mind. We don’t have enough space. We don’t have enough accessible cells “We need to think about something like a secure care home. We have people whose needs are wider than a secure prison regime.”

Handford House Hosts Ipswich Town FC Handford House, a member of the Healthcare Homes group, recently enjoyed a fun filled day with two special guests from Ipswich Town Football Club. The event, held at Handford House Care Home, saw team members from Ipswich Town Football Club engaging with the residents in chair-based activities. Among the activities was a magnetic fishing game, which sparked lots of laughter. Residents, some of whom are avid fans of Ipswich Town, had the opportunity to chat with the football club team members, sharing stories, memories, and their passion for the sport. The exchange of experiences between the resi-

dents and the Ipswich Town guests was heartwarming and has such a positive impact on the well-being of individuals within home. The genuine smiles and visible enjoyment on the faces of the residents spoke volumes about the success of the day. “We were so happy to host Ipswich Town Football Club at Handford House, and the residents were so excited for their visit,” said Rebecca, Activities Co-Ordinator at Handford House. “We really see firsthand the positive impact that activities and visits have on the residents’ well-being. They didn’t stop smiling and are asking about another visit already!”


Win A Gardening Bundle For Your Local Care Home Or Hospice With Westland Westland Horticulture, home to brands such as Big Tom, Boost, Resolva, Unwins, and Kent & Stowe, is excited to announce the New Horizon Fund that will support community garden projects across the UK and Ireland in 2024. Is your local care home’s outdoor space in need of some love and care to help ensure its accessible to all? At Westland, we believe everyone deserves to get closer to nature, and a thriving garden has a vast array of physical and therapeutic benefits, whatever your level of mobility. From awakening the senses of touch, sight, and smell with an abundance of thriving plants and flowers, to simply sitting in the fresh air surrounded by beauty and wildlife, everyone deserves to enjoy an outdoor space. The New Horizon Fund aims to create a greener future for all, and will support community garden projects, from schools, allotments, hospices, and care homes, across the UK and Ireland. The funding will comprise of a collection of gardening essentials from Westland, from compost, seeds, tools, plant feed and much more, to the value of £1,000 or Euro equivalent. Each prize bundle will be individually created based on the project’s needs to help them transform their space.

HOW TO GET YOUR LOCAL CARE HOME INVOLVED If your local care home could benefit from receiving a donation from Westland’s New Horizon Fund to help its outdoor space thrive, nominate them at There will be multiple prize draws throughout the year, in March, June and September, with at least five

bundles being awarded at each stage, so there’s plenty of opportunities for your local care home to be gifted a bundle. The sooner you enter, the better chance you have. The final closing date will be 1st September 2024.

HELP WESTLAND GROW THE FUND Growing media, which includes composts, is the No.1 consumed gardening product. With every bag sold of Westland’s New Horizon peat free compost, the fund grows and grows. Every time you buy a bag of New Horizon, you’ll know you’re contributing to community projects that will greatly benefit from an improved outdoor space.

NEW HORIZON PEAT FREE ORGANIC ALL PLANT COMPOST Success in gardening all starts with compost, and with Westland’s New Horizon compost, you can be sure it is great for the garden, and great for the planet. Our relentless pursuit of excellence in ingredients, processes, and quality has resulted in our most environmentally friendly and highest performance compost range ever. It provides everything plants require for optimal growth and health. The New Horizon compost is our most sustainable variety and is the leading sustainable brand in our growing media category. It’s naturally peat free, it’s 100% sustainably sourced, and helps all plants and nature thrive. New Horizon has been specially created to be the perfect blend for vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The ingredients start to nourish plants immediately and continue to feed for up to 6 weeks.

Violet Home Care Ltd.

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.



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

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

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

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:, or 01372 700315 See the advert on the facing page for details.


More People Able To Take Part In Dementia Research Thanks To New Government Funding and delivery of clinical trials. Industry, world-class researchers, and people affected by dementia will also be “vital” to building expertise, capacity and support in a unified network of trials sites, said Dr Mummery.


The government announced that £49.9 million will go towards expanding the number of dementia research sites across the UK. This will give more people the chance to take part in clinical trials, ultimately helping fuel our journey towards a cure for the diseases that cause dementia. This new pot of funding will be used by the Dementia Translational Collaboration Trials Network, an initiative run by The National Institute for Health and Care Research, to offer more people with dementia the opportunity to take part in early phase clinical trials. By doing so, it will “accelerate therapy development for dementia, enable participation for all regardless of location or demographic, and reframe the UK as the ‘go-to’ place for gold standard conduct of early phase trials” said Dr Catherine Mummery who will lead the initiative. Working closely with the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission, a government initiative CoChaired by Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Chief Executive Hilary Evans, the Dementia Collaboration Trials Network will also help accelerate the set up

• Accelerate set up and regulatory processes for dementia trials. • Increase industry engagement for early phase dementia trials. • Enhance recruitment, support and diversity in dementia trials. • Increase capacity and expertise for early phase dementia trials, thereby increasing the number of people with dementia in the UK who can participate. David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, welcomed the funding, adding the new investment “puts us on the right track” to making sure the nation is an attractive place to carry out clinical research. ‘’At Alzheimer’s Research UK, accelerating clinical research is a central part of our strategy for a cure for the diseases that cause dementia. We look forward to working closely with Dr Mummery and the wider Network to make this shared ambition a reality” he continued. Later this year there will be an open, transparent application process for selecting where and when the new research sites will open, the government said.

Maintain and encourage healthy living and a good quality of life. Violet Home Care are an established domiciliary care agency in the UK. We understand that many individuals would prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving into a care facility. That's why we offer a range of home care services, tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of each client.

At Violet Home Care we aim to provide quality health care service, to enable people stay in their homes. We recognize that everyone has different needs and hence require personalized care. Some of the many services that we can provide: • Live in Care • Overnight Care • Sleep Patterns Evaluation • Shopping e.g. grocery or personal • Help with medication • Meal Preparation • Washing & Ironing • Outings to friends, family, and walks • Cleaning the home


The Importance of Plants and Green Spaces In Healthcare

by Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy -

There’s no doubt that exposure to plants and green spaces has health benefits for people of all ages. Even just looking at green spaces can improve health, and being outside in a garden space, allows we humans to connect with nature. Medical research has been accumulating to show this is indeed the case. Take a look at some of these surprising findings -

LOOKING AT PLANTS ALTERS BRAIN WAVES AND LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE In a 1990 Japanese study, the authors discovered that simply looking at plants altered brain wave (EEG) patterns. While observing plants, people also expressed less fear, anger, sadness and stress, along with lower blood pressure, a slower heart rate and lowered muscular tension.

SEEING PLANTS THROUGH THE WINDOW SPEEDS RECOVERY AND LOWERS PAIN In another 1984 hospital-based study, when patients could see plants and trees through the hospital windows, they had a shorter hospital stay and needed less pain relief.

VISITING GREEN SPACES LOWERS STRESS In a 2021 Chinese study, the physiological and psychological responses of a group of young adults ages 22-28, visiting green spaces, were recorded. The Perceived Restorative Score (this measures ‘being away from it all’), showed significant improvements in autonomic nerve function, with less sweat gland activity, reduced respiratory sensation and improved blood circulation. The investigators emphasised the importance of visiting green spaces. They recommended increasing the richness of plant species and water landscapes, as a means of aiding stress recovery.

LIVING NEAR GREEN SPACES IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH The Mental Health Foundation has commented on the ‘fascinating link between access to green space, such as fields, forests, parks and gardens, and a reduced risk of mental health problems, improved mood, and increased life satisfaction.’ Deprived areas where there is little greenery or access to green space tend to have higher levels of men-

tal ill-health. Indeed a 2021 systematic review suggests that those from lower socioeconomic groups benefit more from access to green spaces than those who are more advantaged.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TREES FOR HEALTH Trees and forests play a protective role in human health as they remove environmental pollution through their leaves. A single maple tree removes 48 lb (22 kg) of particulates and 100 lb (45 kg) of carbon per year from the atmosphere. It also removes toxic metals, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. There may be a link between dementia and exposure to environmental pollutants such as exhaust fumes.

GARDENING CAN HELP IMPROVE MEMORY In a 2019 study, 41 older people, with an average age of 76.6 years, were enrolled in a project to spend 20 minutes a day building a vegetable garden. This involved digging, planting, fertilising, and watering. Blood samples were taken before and after the project. There was a significant increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) after performing the gardening activity. BDNF is important for brain function and memory. PDGF is important for blood vessel formation and growth. A 2016 meta-analysis of 22 case-control studies published since 2001, concluded a positive association between gardening and a wide range of health outcomes. It’s been estimated that a 10% increase in physical exercise would prevent 6000 deaths per year. Doing more physical exercise is linked to a reduction in diagnoses of dementia, mental health problems, cardiovascular disease and cancer. This does not need to be high-intensity exercise. Gardening is a very realistic option to get people outdoors and moving more. Gardening combines physical activity with being outdoors, increases exposure to natural sunlight, and can be a social activity. Being outside in the sun has the benefit of lowering blood pressure and increasing levels of vitamin D.

FINAL THOUGHTS Investing in a garden in your care establishment can do wonders for your residents. In some projects, residents have been involved in planning, digging and planting, as well as setting up bird feeders, for example. Doing this may not be high on your priority list, but we know that making the most of your outdoor space will do wonders for your resident's quality of life and well-being. - Are you making the most of your plants and green spaces? - How could you improve exposure to plants and trees, and the outdoor spaces, for your residents?

Kailash Manor's Networking Breakfast: Uniting Professionals for Growth and Collaboration Kailash Manor Care Home, part of the esteemed TLC Care group, welcomed over 25 professionals to its recent Professional Breakfast Networking Event. The event, held in the spirit of fostering connections and collaboration, provided a platform for like-minded individuals from various industries, including healthcare and finance, to come together in a warm and welcoming environment. Kailash Manor Care Home, known for its commitment to delivering highquality care in a home-from-home setting, took pride in facilitating these connections. The event served as an opportunity for attendees, including Raj Kerai, Business Development Manager, members of the home leadership team, relatives of residents, and the local community, to establish key contacts and promote growth within their businesses. Ruth Kigaa, Home Manager at Kailash Manor, expressed the importance of such gatherings, stating, "Kailash Manor takes pride in facilitating these connections, recognizing the significance of a united professional commu-

nity. As we continue to host these breakfasts, we aim to create a supportive ecosystem where businesses can thrive through shared insights and collaborations." The event took place in the thoughtfully designed Kailash Manor Care Home, where colours, objects, and design elements are carefully chosen to evoke cherished memories. The person-centred approach of the care home ensures a familial atmosphere that stimulates cognitive abilities and fosters a healthy and enriching lifestyle for every resident, especially those with dementia. The Professional Breakfast Networking Event is part of Kailash Manor's commitment to embodying its core values of truth, love, and compassion. By hosting bi-monthly gatherings, the care home aims to contribute to the growth and success of the local professional community through meaningful connections and collaborations.

What To Consider When Choosing A Staff Attack System For Care Settings With reports revealing up to 85% of care workers experience abuse each year and thousands of serious attacks on carers recorded, the need for reliable, efficient staff attack systems in care settings has never been greater. Protecting care workers is vital for staff morale and productivity, but also patient care and long-term treatment outcomes. Choosing the right staff alarm system, therefore, requires careful consideration, and the weighing up of the following factors.

Staff alarm systems for care workers should be simple-to-use and easily accessible. In the face of hostility or violence, carers should be able to activate their personal alarm quickly and without alerting the aggressor. This was a key factor in the development of Pinpoint’s new P2 System, which benefits from a more sophisticated, discreet design. Worn on the staff member’s uniform, the P2 personal alarm is lightweight and easy to use. Employees simply press a button on the device to call for assistance and in more high-risk situations where a service user is becoming aggressive, the worker pulls a pin from the bottom of the device to sound an emergency alarm.

EFFICIENCY & SPEED Quick intervention is crucial when preventing a violent attack. In care settings, patients may become aggressive suddenly, with little to no warning. The most effective staff attack systems work rapidly, allowing employees to summon assistance quickly and easily should they face abusive behaviour from a service user.

ROBUSTNESS Vandalism of safety systems is not uncommon in high-risk work settings, as service users can tamper with or abuse the devices out of frustration. Choosing a robust safety system is therefore an important and cost-effective measure for


care homes.

Equally, the accuracy of a staff safety system is a key consideration. When an alarm is triggered, the response team should be informed of the exact location of the call – allowing for rapid intervention and thus prevention of harm. This is particularly true for large facilities with multiple floors and rooms, and in cases where multiple alarms have been activated simultaneously. Pinpoint’s latest P2 Graphical Display Unit, for example, clearly demonstrates the call level and precise location of incidents on rotation, enabling responders to allocate support as required.



When looking into staff attack systems, it’s wise to consider how much follow-up support is offered by the provider, the length of the warranty period available, and whether repairs or assistance with maintenance issues is available. Doing this from the outset will prevent problems later down the line! As rates of violence toward staff in Care settings increase, so too does the need for powerful, efficient staff safety systems. Choosing the right system will depend on the environment in question, the security needs of the staff and the threat posed by service users. Keeping the above factors in mind will serve as useful guidance for facilities looking to make the best choice for the safety of their employees. Interested in learning more about Pinpoint’s P2 System? Visit


Challenging Misconceptions of the Care Sector: How Marketing Plays A Role By Nick Horton, Managing Director, Select Lifestyles ( The care sector often suffers a great deal of adverse publicity in mainstream media, resulting in low recruitment rates and a reluctance from the general public to consider care for their loved ones. However, in reality, many care environments are the total opposite – with dedicated staff who are committed to making clients happy and giving them fulfilled lives. To challenge the stigma and misconceptions surrounding the industry, care providers must do more to market themselves to prospective residents and staff. But what’s the best way to do this? And what tactics should be used?

BE SAVVY WITH SOCIAL Social media is a great way to market your care business and show people the best of what you offer. But having a solid social media strategy is paramount, because the ever-changing environment means something that works on one channel will not work on another. You should also consider that different social media channels have different audiences. For example, LinkedIn has a much more business-focused, corporate audience whilst TikTok is heavily consumer based, with a generally younger audience. A great way to reach future employees on LinkedIn is to use testimonials from your current employees – they’re one of the best assets in marketing and will show jobseekers how great it is to work for you. On the other hand, to impress future clients and their families, social media is a great way to share information about any accreditations you’ve achieved from industry bodies or awards you’ve won.

WOW WITH YOUR WEBSITE For any business, your website is a virtual shop window which should be targeted directly at your target audience, and this is particularly important for care providers. People looking for care for their loved ones will get an instant feel for your business on your homepage, so you need to make them want to learn more

and navigate through all your pages. The best way to draw people in and catch their attention is by communicating all the topline information about your business through visual elements. This can be done through a moving carousel, images, animations or interactive elements – or all of the above! However, it’s important to make sure you’re still being informative. The visual elements should clearly communicate who you are, what you do and what your values are – not just look pretty. Another great way to shout about the amazing work you’re doing is through website blogs. When it comes to content topics, think about what makes you stand out from the crowd – why should future clients and staff choose you over your competitors? It might be that you go above and beyond to give clients a varied and fun-filled life with trips out, holidays or access to free treats like vouchers. At Select Lifestyles, one example of this is our annual funfair which both clients and staff get free access to, as our way of giving back and saying thank you.

IMPRESS THROUGH THE PRESS With mainstream news outlets often playing a role in the adverse publicity the care industry receives, care home marketers should be making an effort to contradict this narrative and show what working and living in care is truly like. Gaining positive coverage in local, national and care trade publications can help to grow the reputation of your care business and, if readers are aware of the positive impact you’re having on clients’ lives, the message will soon spread. Similar to social media, different press outlets will have different target audiences, so you can use this to your advantage to share all your news with the relevant people. Local and national media outlets are generally keen to hear people-focused stories, whereas trade media outlets are better suited to company announcements such as new hires and CQC ratings. There are many marketing tactics you can use to promote your care business and shout about how you go the extra mile – you just need to make sure the ones you chose work for you. What’s more, by collectively marketing the positive aspects of care, we can work together to change perceptions of the industry and make sure it gets the recognition it deserves.

Dorset Cancer Charity Thanks Care Home for Year of Kindness A Dorset charity that provides essential financial help for people with cancer has thanked residents of a Poole care home for gifting more than £1,100 to support its work. Recent fundraising at Colten Care’s art deco themed Bourne View in aid of the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) has featured a quiz night, gala lunches and dinners, games afternoons, raffles and jigsaw sales. At a party in the Sandbanks sitting room of the Langside Avenue home, DCCF representatives were presented with a giant cheque to mark the culmination of a year of activity involving residents, families, team members, friends and community contacts. The exact amount raised, £1,142.95, was also spelt out in meringue piped icing on a fruit cake specially baked for the occasion by Colten Care Chefs and sisters Lorna Parsons and Annabell Bryer. Party guest Irene Whyment, who lives at the home, said: “Everyone has got on board with supporting this most worthy cause and helping local families. The money is definitely going somewhere it’s needed.” Irene’s comments were echoed by fellow Bourne View resident John Broomfield who added: “Our events have been excellent and very enjoyable and we’ve had a lot of fun.” To help the appeal, residents went hands-on at a number of events, for example making decorations for

a gala, making up goodie bags and helping count the number of chocolate eggs in a jar for a guessing game. DCCF representatives at the party included Trustee Di Bird and Fundraising Manager Jannine Loveys. Di said: “We are so grateful to the residents for very kindly choosing us as their main charity to support in the past year. “Our aim is to raise money in Dorset for people facing often extreme financial hardship because of cancer and we rely on donations. “Our support helps in a whole range of ways. It goes towards the costs of expenses such as transportation, childcare, home modifications, respite care, general household bills and specialised treatment, always with the endorsement of qualified practitioners. “We are the only charity of our kind in Dorset in that we focus on financial help for people living with cancer. So far, we have raised more than £700,000, helping around 800 individuals.” Di added: “Bourne View is the most amazing home. It’s like a 7-star hotel. The residents are clearly so happy and thrilled with the facilities.” Gemma Parkin, Bourne View Home Manager, said: “Our residents choose the charities we support and we are proud to have helped DCCF in its vital work this year.” For more information on DCCF, visit

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


The Importance of Dementia Training Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at leading provider of specialist dementia care, Vida Healthcare, discusses the importance of specific training for dementia carers and the useful initiatives that can be put in place to support staff. THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION Education is essential in equipping carers with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to the unique needs of each person they’re caring for, especially people living with dementia. It not only allows for staff members to advance and grow within their careers but ensures that residents living with dementia are receiving the highest standard of care. Respect, dignity, fairness and equality are the core values that underpin everything we do at Vida Healthcare, and these values are attributes that all our carers must carry through into all aspects of the care they deliver. They are supporting individuals who are going through a challenging and very personal journey, each of which is unique and different from the next, and this must be fully understood from the outset. Staff must adapt their ways of working to cater for a person’s needs and routines. With valuable training and education carers can provide person-centred care, promoting independence and respecting the dignity of individuals with dementia. At Vida we recognise the importance of each individual staff member and are committed to ensuring that our team members meet their personal responsibilities and professional growth. It is through education and support that carers can become dementia ambassadors, capable of providing compassionate and informed care to the highest standard.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN STAFF? Supporting staff through education initiatives and opportunities is critical and will help care organisations

become learning organisations, where all staff members are involved in their growth and development, creating more opportunities and diversifying the workforce. Using coaches, mentors and ambassadors to work closely with staff will generate an environment of trust, mutual respect and confidentiality. Staff are more likely to feel able to discuss value at work, competencies, confidence and any other areas that they might be concerned about or keen to focus on. Nurturing new and aspiring managers through education and career development is also crucial to ensure that the next generation of dementia carers are up-to-date on new care methods and are empathetic and knowledgeable about the individuals they care for.

WHAT CAN OTHER CARE PROVIDERS BE DOING? Finding the right support for people living with dementia can make a big difference to their quality of life, which is why a robust recruitment process is non-negotiable when hiring carers who will be looking after those living with the condition. Ask yourself, do the possible employee’s values echo those of the business? Do you think the individual will be willing to learn and grow? Change is constant in social care and we have to be willing to pivot and adapt. Staff need a wealth of knowledge to care for individuals with dementia, so it's vital to have the proper training in place. Care providers should implement specialist training courses and inductions, so carers feel confident and well equipped.

VIDA ACADEMY Vida Academy is a training facility designed to support all of Vida Healthcare’s staff, including new starters and senior managers. It was established to support the career development and aspirations of its staff, all the while promoting lifelong learning across the organisation, establishing staff as dementia ambassadors. The facility was launched with our current and future staff in mind. We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to support our workforce in their career progression, and provide the highest quality of care to our residents. There are several courses available including a mentorship programme for staff to support new starters and a house managers development programme. For more information on the training initiatives that can be put in place to educate the next generation of dementia carers, along with further details of Vida’s training centre, please visit

A Care Home In Hythe Has Been Awarded A Prestigious Care VIP Accreditation The accreditation has been awarded to Care UK’s Carpathia Grange, on Southampton Road, and recognises the team’s work alongside residents and families to improve the lives of those living with dementia. Developed in 2004, the Care Fit for VIPS framework was introduced by dementia experts and is centered around four key aspects: valuing those living with dementia, treating everyone as an individual, showing empathy towards those living with the condition, and recognising the need for a stimulating social environment Carpathia Grange achieved the accreditation by offering an extremely high level of care for those living with dementia, impressing with a score of over 90% across all elements of care. Carpathia Grange was praised for its “truly person-centered care”, and the meaningful engagement shown between team members and residents during activities and conversations. The report noted that Namaste care sessions have been integrated into daily life within the home, further supported by the home’s new Namaste Hub. An important aspect of dementia care, Namaste sessions promote a holistic approach to caring for someone living with dementia. It was noted that in just 30

days, Namaste care had been delivered 174 times, colleagues were positive about the benefits of this activity and the way it helps residents to feel cherished. The report also highlighted the team encouraging those living with dementia to regularly participate in daily activities and providing a strong sense of purpose while enjoying the benefits of a social setting. The care team were praised for the high level of support given to residents at all times, highlighting the team as being ‘gentle’, ‘encouraging’ and ‘kind’. The team actively ensure they are engaging in meaningful conversations with residents and supporting them to reminisce about their life Pooja Dhoot, Home Manager at Carpathia Grange, said: “We’re delighted that our hard work has been recognised with the Care VIP accreditation. Everyone here at Carpathia Grange works hard to ensure we provide person-centered care to the highest standard possible and that every one of the residents feels supported, valued and safe. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole team, as well as the residents and relatives who make Carpathia Grange a wonderful place to call home.”

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


National Care Charity MHA Encourages Public To Support Annual Awareness Event MHA, the largest care provider in the UK are asking members of the public to get behind them and show support to their annual event, MHA Sunday. MHA Sunday is an annual event held on the second Sunday in June each year – in 2024 this falls on Sunday June 9th, however If that date is inconvenient for a particular church, we encourage them to set their own date any time that fits with their schedule. The purpose of the event is to encourage churches across Britain to hold a service to raise awareness of Methodist Homes (MHA).

MHA SUNDAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR: • Celebration of the work of MHA and the value of older people • Awareness of future needs and ways to respond • Fundraising to make a difference to the quality of life for older people • Volunteers to work together • Recognition of the Church in action for older people There have been some amazing success stories through our telephone befriending service, where befriending volunteers take time out of their day to have conversations and offer emotional support, encouragement and reassurance to our befriending members.

Dot Lander, a member and Grace Bryan, a volunteer have developed an immense friendship following their Befriending journey. Grace says Dot reminds her “of her own nan” and is part of her life. She added: “Dot is someone I see as family and she brings so much to me, in terms of how I feel at the end of the conversation.” Abigail Ogier, head of chaplaincy said: “Our links with the Methodist Church are highly valued at MHA, and MHA Sunday is one of the key times when we come together to give thanks for our work, to give local churches and congregations insight into a particular part of our work and to reflect, pray and worship together. “The gifts that congregations give at their MHA Sunday services also make a massive contribution to supporting our charitable work. “This year, I am especially excited to share the story of Grace and Dot’s friendship, and how our telephone befriending service has facilitated this to blossom. “Meeting them as they met one another face to face for the first time was a very powerful and moving experience, and I hope everyone will experience a little of this as they watch our video.”To see Dot and Graces story go to

Belong Celebrates Best Of The Best In Social Care The spirit of compassion and devotion is well and truly thriving as carers at dementia specialist, Belong, scoop accolades at its annual Champion Awards, recognising exceptional performance within its teams who support older people to live an active and fulfilling later life. Winners from across the organisation’s villages and their corresponding home care service, Belong at Home, collected their trophies to rousing applause from colleagues from across the North West and West Midlands at the iconic Hallé St Peter’s venue in Manchester. Later, they relished the chance to let their hair down and celebrate success with their peers.

THE WINNERS OF THE BELONG CHAMPION AWARDS 2023, ARE: – Newcomer of the Year – Erin Duffy, support worker, Belong Warrington – Leader of the Year – Dean Pepper, lead senior support worker, Belong Crewe – Mentor of the Year – Caroline Clifton, admiral nurse – Team of the Year – Duke Household team, Belong Crewe – Compassion Award – Samantha Smith, community support worker, Belong at Home Warrington – End-of-Life Care Award – Cedar Household team, Belong Wigan

– Made-My-Day Award – Jackie Green, lead hairdresser, Belong Macclesfield – Community Engagement Award – Experience Team, Belong Morris Feinmann – Innovation Award – Jessica Butler, Belong Crewe – Volunteer Award – Cavell Meakin, Belong Crewe – Central Services Award – Lisa Armstrong, recruitment business partner – Belinda Jones Dementia Champion – Jessica Moore, community support worker, Belong at Home Wigan The winners were determined by a panel of independent judges who interviewed finalists chosen from nominations from customers, relatives and colleagues. All were presented a handmade trophy, designed by Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme customer, Beryl Cadman as part of a creative competition. Summarising the event, Belong’s chief executive, Martin Rix, said: “It’s been another year of hard work and dedication from our teams and so we’re pleased to give them the recognition they deserve. To all our finalists and winners: thank you and congratulations for making Belong the best place for our customers to live and for our colleagues to work.”


Healthcare Industry Among Worst For Offering Paid Volunteer Work, Study Shows New research has found that the healthcare industry is one of the worst in the UK for giving paid leave to employees for volunteering opportunities, as businesses look to utilise their skills and time to support charities. The Access Group, a business software provider, analysed 1,000 UK companies across 20 sectors to find out which ones are most likely to run volunteering initiatives. Of all 50 businesses analysed in the report, only 12% of warehouse and logistics businesses in the UK offered paid-for volunteering opportunities, at an average of 0.18 days per year for each employee in the sector. This could be due to the industry having a higher proportion of temporary or agency workers who don’t take part in company activities beyond their work. The healthcare industry has also been faced with a number of challenges in the last year, including strikes, and a worsening mental health crisis, exacerbated by the cost of living. This could mean that businesses’ have put charitable initiatives on the back foot, instead prioritising workload and efficiency. The legal sector came first in the report, with over three-quarters of legal firms (78%) offering charity days, followed by telecoms and building and construction. At the other end of the scale, no company in the travel and tourism sector suggested they offered paid time off to volunteer. Shaf Mansour, senior product manager at The Access Group’s not for profit division, said: “Embracing the spirit of corporate responsibility, companies that generously offer paid volunteering days

not only invest in the growth and well-being of their staff but also weave a tapestry of positive impact within the very fabric of our society. It's a symbiotic relationship where the company flourishes, employees thrive, and communities are enriched, showcasing the true power of business with a heart.” Commenting on the findings, Caroline Fanning, chief employee success officer at The Access Group, said: “Many charities need your skills more than your money, and good relationships with the local community are important for improving employee morale. Staff who don’t have time to volunteer or support their chosen charities outside of work, might really appreciate a volunteer-based scheme to dedicate at least a day a year to an individual charity. “As well as helping staff to support good causes, healthcare businesses may also end up not reaping some of the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving staff recruitment, engagement and retention. But it was clear from our research that other sectors face significant barriers to volunteering. She added that there are steps companies can take to make volunteering achievable: “Every sector has its own challenges, but it’s possible to start small and go from there. Business software can help because it’s designed to reduce onerous admin and free people up to concentrate on the more rewarding aspects of their job, as well as time to volunteer. “Technology also makes it easier for HR teams to deliver initiatives, by providing a central hub for employees to nominate good causes and then inspire them to arrange or get involved in activities.”

Bedhampton Court Showcases a British Sign Language Course Bedhampton Court, part of Healthcare Homes Group, is delighted to announce the flourishing success of its 'British Sign Language' (BSL) introduction course. The program, led by Wendy, who has learned Level 2 BSL, has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community and stimulate learning among residents. This initiative, spearheaded by Wendy (Bedhampton Court’s Activities Co-ordinator), has garnered enthusiastic participation from a group of residents. Weekly sessions have seen residents diligently practice the basics of sign language, showcasing their commitment and eagerness to learn, as well as spend valuable time with each other and the team. A particularly heartwarming development is the recent enrolment of a resident's mother into the course. This not only enhances the overall learning experience, but

provides a beautiful opportunity for the mother and daughter to share in this educational journey together. By offering diverse and inclusive activities, the facility aims to contribute to the overall well-being and quality of life of its residents. "I had the idea back in December to introduce sign language as a chance for residents to try a new hobby. It’s wonderful to see how much our residents are enjoying the course, and even more special to have family members joining in." said Wendy, Activities Co-ordinator and organiser of the BSL introduction sessions at Bedhampton Court. As Bedhampton Court continues to prioritise innovative and inclusive programs under the Healthcare Homes umbrella, the success of the British Sign Language course underscores the facility's commitment to enriching the lives of its residents.

Former Nurse Turns ‘Undercover Boss’ In Efforts To Improve Care Quality A former nurse has turned ‘undercover boss’ in an attempt to improve quality and standards in care homes. Sathi Raghavan, who worked as a registered nurse and midwife in both India and the UK before establishing her own business in the sector works shifts in homes to check care quality and suggest improvements. The founder of Millennium Staffing which supplies staff to care homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings across the West Midlands joins care home teams and works alongside her staff who are oblivious she’s, their boss. Sathi said: “It all started when I was working as a nurse in a care home and got fed up with agency staff coming in, many of whom refused to carry out the tasks they were needed to do to provide the best care. “That’s what led me to set up my own specialist employment business. And when I got my very first call from a care home asking for shift cover that evening, I rang the small team I’d recruited, and no-one was free. “So, I put on a uniform and turned up and worked the shift. It gave me the opportunity to really understand the home, how the team works, their procedures and care levels so it’s something I’ve done ever since. “I spend one or two days with all new homes so I can prepare and train my staff to meet the exact needs of that home, everything from the home layout to the full variety of tasks they should be willing and able to

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

Chestnut Manor Care Home Travels Down Under for Australia Day Chestnut Manor Care Home residents celebrated “Australia Day” in style, creating themed decorations and enjoyed traditional Aussie food! Residents were pleasantly surprised to see Wilson the white wallaby, jumping around the home. Wilson enjoyed exploring, and like so many animals he had real intuition as he calmly sat on residents’ laps for therapeutic cuddles. “We believe in creating an inclusive and vibrant environment for our residents, and Australia Day provided the perfect opportunity to cater to diverse needs and preferences, ensuring that everyone could participate and enjoy the celebrations. From patriotic singalongs to storytelling sessions about Australian history, the event

aimed to engage residents in meaningful ways that spark conversation. The presence of this adorable marsupial provided comfort, companionship, and a sense of wonder to our residents” says Rosie Monger, Manager at Chestnut Manor Care Home. Residents were also able to hold and stroke Didi, the Bearded Dragon, pet to one of our Senior Nurses. A family member said “Thank you, thank you, our Mum had a gorgeous afternoon with the wallaby! We all agree that we struck gold in finding Chestnut Manor. We feel incredibly lucky that Mum is in your care and are immensely grateful to you and to each and every one of your staff.”

Elevate Your Employee Benefits Program With Blue Light Card

Blue Light Card is offering those working in the social care sector the opportunity to take advantage of thousands of exclusive deals, discounts and savings from big name brands as part of its exclusive membership. More than just a discount provider; Blue Light Card is a testament to your commitment to supporting staff wellbeing both inside and outside of working hours, by offering staff a vast array of benefits and perks. Offering a portfolio of over 13,000 partner retailers including big name brands such as Jet2Holidays, Nike, Apple, Schuh and, Blue Light Card membership presents a surefire way of enhancing your employee benefits program and standing out as an employer of choice. Encouraging a healthy and sustainable work-life balance, Blue Light Card also grants members access to the hottest tickets in town. Blue Light Tickets hosts members only ballots, as well as first-come-first-served ticket launches to events up and down the country - offering your staff a chance to get free access to attractions, gigs, music venues, sporting events, festivals and more.

As the UK’s number one discount service for emergency services, NHS, armed forces and social care workers, Blue Light Card allows over three million members across the country to take full advantage of savings, discounts and benefits that are often unavailable to the general public. In 2023, Blue Light Card saved its members a huge total of over £330 million across retail, travel, entertainment, and more. With more than 850,000 Blue Light Card members already registered as working in the social care sector, don’t miss out on your chance to partner with the country's leading specialist discount provider, aligning your organisation with a brand that resonates with the values of care, appreciation and recognition. Registering for Blue Light Card membership as part of your employee benefit scheme is quick and easy. A card costs £4.99 and includes access to the Blue Light card app where members can easily find information about all live offers. Membership is valid for two years, giving members access to exclusive offers and discounts on shopping, tech, meals out and more, all year round.

If you’re working within social care for a company that appears on one of the below registers, you’re eligible for a Blue Light Card


‘He Understood People’: Care Home Residents Honour Rabbie Burns On Festive Day Hundreds of residents at 21 Colten Care homes across the south savoured a taste of Scotland as they celebrated Burns Night in honour of 18th century bard Robert Burns. Poetry recitals, songs, games, whisky tasting and dancing were the order of the day along with festive lunches and suppers featuring haggis, neeps and tatties. Nowhere was the celebration more heartfelt than at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury. Burns enthusiast Annie Miller, who was born and brought up in the same county, Ayrshire, as the worldfamous poet, had the honour of saying the traditional pre-supper Selkirk Grace watched by fellow residents, team members and visiting guests. Annie read out the words of the prayer: ‘Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be Thankit!’ Asked about the enduring importance of Burns Night, Annie said she had celebrated it here and overseas throughout her life, adding: “He was a young man who died in 1796, before he was 40, yet in every country of the world, more than 200 years later, his birth is celebrated. “I am very fond of him and his poetry. He really understood people. Burns Night is a great excuse to get together.” The ceremonial haggis was piped into Braemar Lodge by Pipe Sergeant Keith Turner of the Wiltshire Caledonian Pipes & Drums. Wearing a kilt of Stewart Grey tartan, Keith played a rendition of Burns’ song ‘A Man’s A Man for A’ That’ and, clapped along by the assembled company, ‘Scotland The Brave’, often considered Scotland’s ‘unofficial

national anthem’. Keith said: “Burns Night is a very significant occasion, honouring one of Scotland’s best known people. It’s a unique Scottish tradition.” He added that the Wiltshire Caledonian Pipes & Drums currently has members aged from twelve to 72 and is always on the lookout for new pipers and drummers to join. “I’d say it generally takes a year to learn how to play the bagpipes,” Keith said. The ceremonial address to the haggis was performed by Graham Ballard, Companionship Team Leader, who said afterwards: “It was a joy to get into the spirit of the occasion. Burns Night is a firm favourite with residents whether they are from north or south of the border.” In Dorset meanwhile, Colten Care’s Brook View in West Moors welcomed a visit by a resident’s husband, Jimmy McCracken, who used to play the drums in a pipe band and once performed for Queen Elizabeth. Jimmy gave a talk and showed off his ceremonial knife, the dirk, with residents admiring its craftsmanship. Brook View resident Paula Marels said: “It was a wonderful afternoon of fun and knowledge.” Among Burns Night celebrations at other Colten Care homes, Kingfishers in New Milton, Hampshire, welcomed a performance by the New Forest Scottish Country Dancers while at Linden House in Lymington, party goers sampled the traditional Scottish dessert of Cranachan. And at Whitecliffe House in Blandford, residents and team members turned a Burns poetry reading into the first meeting of a new poetry club at the home.

Penicuik Care Home Celebrates Burns Day with Creative Activities Residents at Aaron House, a grand converted mansion in the heart of Penicuik, Edinburgh, took part in a series of engaging and health-promoting activities in celebration of Burns Day. These activities not only honoured the famous Scottish poet Rabbie Burns but also played a significant role in enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of the residents. The residents have been deeply involved in creating paper tartans, a craft that involves weaving various colours together to form traditional Scottish patterns. This activity, particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis or muscle pains, improves dexterity and fine motor skills. The meticulous process of weaving aids in hand-eye coordination and colour recognition, offering therapeutic benefits to those engaging in the craft. In a grand tribute to Rabbie Burns, residents have collaboratively created a giant

picture of the celebrated poet. This masterpiece, a culmination of individual efforts in painting, drawing, and colouring, symbolises the essence of companionship and sociability – key elements in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our residents. Such group activities foster a sense of community, encouraging social interaction and the sharing of creative ideas. Embracing both tradition and modernity, the residents have also ventured into creating their own ‘mash-ups’ of classic Rabbie Burns poetry. This innovative approach to literature not only stimulates cognitive functions but also encourages lifelong learning and cultural engagement. Home manager Stephen Van-Putten said: “This activity demonstrates our residents’ ability to learn something new and embrace modern culture, all while paying homage to our rich Scottish heritage.”

Burns Night ‘Piper’ Hits the High Notes at Kettering Care Home Elm Bank care home in Kettering prepared a traditional Burns Night Supper to the tune of bagpipes and the fun continued well into the night. Staff and residents at the home were in awe of professional Scottish piper; Mark McLaughlan as his 27 years’ experience shone through when he lead the home’s time-honoured address to the ‘Great chieftain O’ the pudding race’ – the haggis. General Manager, Marvellous Bindura, at Elm Bank, thought Mark’s piobaireachd was the perfect accompaniment to an evening steeped in age-old tradition in celebration of the poet Robert Burn’s. She said: “Burns Night is always a fantastic event at Elm Bank, it’s so important to continue these traditions particularly as many of our residents have connections to Corby known locally as "little Scotland". Our residents enjoyed a hearty meal of Scotch broth, Haggis with neeps and tatties all prepared by our stellar senior head chef; Sharntelle Hall.” Shelia, resident of Elm Bank said: “I love Scotland and the sound of the bagpipes, it brought back so many fond memories". Resident Betty remarked “The piper even took requests, the gentlemen really enjoyed singing along - it was simply amazing!”

Burns Celebrations at Parley Place Parley Place care home in West Parley held a traditional Burns Celebrations to the tune of bagpipes, the fun continued well into the afternoon with all the community coming together. Staff, residents and guests from the local community were welcomed into the home to be involved in a fabulous afternoon to mark the Scottish institution, including giving the time-honoured address to the ‘Great chieftain O’ the pudding race’ – the haggis. General Manager, Gina Smith at Parley Place, thought it was a perfect occasion to celebrate an age-old tradition, as well as getting in a spot of haggis with a dram of Scotch or two! Of course we had some sweet treats

as well! Gina said: “Burns Night is always a fantastic event at Parley Place it’s so important to continue these traditions. Our residents enjoyed a trying Haggis with neeps and tatties all prepared by our stellar Chef, Hayley. We also had great fun reading poems by Robert Burns, our resident ambassador, Jan, choose a fitting one to end the event with” Carolina, resident of Parley Place said: “I enjoyed my role of presenting the haggis to the piper, I felt very privileged to be asked to do this, the piper was amazing and I had a great afternoon”

Burns Night Celebrations at Ashcombe House Ashcombe House care home in Worting road, Basingstoke celebrated Burns night with a variety of activities to suit all. Dress code was kilts, sporrans and Tam o’ shanters all round before we marked gave the time-honoured address to the ‘Great chieftain O’ the pudding race’ – the haggis. General Manager, Louise Lambert at Ashcombe House thought it was a perfect occasion to celebrate an evening steeped in age-old tradition Louise said: “Burns Night is always a fantastic event at Ashcombe it’s so important to continue these traditions. Our residents enjoyed discovering how much, or in some cases how little we knew about Scotland before live singing performance by Dave Hudson in the lounge.” Residents always enjoy themed days at the home, dressing up and celebrating these national days. We pride ourselves at Ashcombe house on providing a varied life enrichment program to enhance the quality of life for our residents.


Residents Mark Burns Night at Royal Star & Garter Burns Night has been celebrated with bagpipes and a traditional supper at Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes. Residents washed down their haggis, neeps and tatties with a dram or two of whisky, as they marked Burns Night in the charity’s Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe Homes on Thursday, 25 January. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and has new services reaching out into the community. The Homes were decorated with bunting and Saltire flags, with bagpipers also present in Surbiton and Solihull. In each Home the famous Robert Burns poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ was read out to residents, before they tucked into their meals. At the Solihull Home, circle dancers performed traditional Scottish

dancing. Afterwards Alasdair, a resident who was born in the Highlands and went on to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps, said: “I’m a proud Scotsman, and I was amazed to see the effort staff put in to make this a special day. Hearing the bagpipes and seeing the Burns traditions brought back many happy memories.” In Surbiton, residents also enjoyed a whisky-tasting session, while in High Wycombe, singer Kuran provided the live music entertainment on the day. Residents also made shortbread, and took part in a Scottish quiz and wordsearch. Royal Star & Garter celebrates special days in the calendar such as Burns Night, Valentine’s Day, and UK patron saints’ days, as residents enjoy these traditions.

Tatties For All! Sundial Care Home Sparks Joy With Burns Night Celebration Sundial Care Home in Tipton St John, East Devon recently hosted a vibrant and memorable Burns Night celebration for its team members and residents, who are fondly referred to as family members. The event, held on the 25th of January brought the spirit of Scotland to Sundial with traditional Scottish cuisine and day of togetherness. Family members and team alike immersed themselves in the traditions of Burns Night, enjoying a carefully curated menu that featured iconic Scottish dishes. The highlight of the evening was the serving of the classic Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, accompanied by cabbage, ensuring a flavorsome experience for everyone in attendance. As the evening unfolded, the culinary journey continued with a cranachan for pudding, a sweet and creamy dessert that complemented the savory flavors of the main course. The celebration also featured the renowned Cullen Skink, a traditional Scottish soup, paired with a delectable whisky cake for supper, offering a unique twist to the festivities.The day was aimed to evoke positive feelings and emotions as well as celebrating the national day for those with Scottish Heritage.

Burns Night Celebrations at Burns Night Celebrations at Middletown Local Care Home Upton Bay care home in Hamworthy prepared a traditional Burns Night Supper to the tune of traditional Scottish music and the fun continued well into the night. Staff and residents at the home helped to mark the Scottish institution by drinking a dram of whiskey and giving the time-honoured address to the ‘Great chieftain O’ the pudding race’ – the haggis. Mevin Sohorye, General Manager said: “Burns

Night is always a fantastic event at Upton Bay, it’s so important to continue these traditions. Our residents enjoyed a hearty meal of Fish broth, Haggis, Cheese and biscuits, along with Scottish shortbread all prepared by our Head Chef, Alain. Karen, our Activities’ lead said: “I enjoyed addressing the Haggis acting out the part of the whisky-bearer and asking everyone to raise a dram to toast the haggis. Burns Night is always a brilliant night here.”

Manufactured in the UK

Freephone: 0800 917 7943

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

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

Get in touch with our friendly, experienced sales team

Visit the website at to see the full range.

Middletown care home residents in Hailey had a fun and full on day celebrating Burns Night. They started off the day by writing their own humorous poetry together, which brought a lot of laughter and fun in the room. It was then followed by a hearty Traditional Haggis Lunch. We then had our very own Scottish Volunteer come to visit us to read out some Burns Poetry along with singing some sottish songs topped off with a lovely cup of

tea and cake. We then ended off the day with a Scottish Bagpipe show and lots of festive music which the residents thought was very relaxing. What a fantastic and unique way to celebrate Burns night! Alexander, a resident said: “I am Scottish so it is really important for me to continue celebrating these traditions, it reminded me of all the good old times I had in Scotland. Although I’m not the biggest fan of Haggis, I really enjoyed the Poetry reading and Bagpipe Music.”


Care England Welcomes New Chair and Board of Trustees

Care England has announded the appointment of Angela Boxall as the new Chair of its Board. Angela succeeds Avnish Goyal CBE, Chairman of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, who has held the post for the last 9 years. Avnish will remain on the policy board and continue to provide vital knowledge and expertise to the strategic direction of Care England’s policy-focused work. Angela has extensive knowledge and depth of experience in the social care sector. Having served in various roles from direct care, operations, and executive leadership, Angela’s experience gives her a 360-degree view of the challenges faced in social care. Angela is also an advocate for change within the social care sector, lending her expertise to several organizations and charities, such as Championing Social Care and Access Social Care as well as being involved with various initiatives across the sector. Angela Boxall, CEO of Majesticare and Chair of Care England says: “As the new chair of Care England, I see not just a seat at the table but a responsibility to steer the course of positive change within the sector. This is an exciting opportunity for me to work with an organisation that is committed and passionate about the continuous growth of the sector for those that live and work in it.” Majesticare says: “We are proud to be influenced by such a passionate, dedicated leader, who genuinely cares about making the care sector a better place to work and live. We could not be more pleased for Angela now sitting as Chair of Care England, andwe know she will continue to drive excellence and face change head-on for continuous growth in the sector.” Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England said: “In the year of a general election, it is now more important than ever that social care remains a key component of the public and political agenda.

At this crucial juncture, Care England moves from strength to strength with a new Chair and Board of Trustees. There is an overwhelming sense of optimism, to champion change in the sector- highlighting the dedication of those who work in the care, and achieve tangible changes to help providers continue to deliver high-quality care.”

CARE ENGLAND IS ALSO PLEASED TO WELCOME OUR NEW TRUSTEES: • Joanne Balmer, Chief Executive Officer, Oakland Care • Aneurin Brown, Managing Director, Hallmark Care Homes • Russell Brown, CEO, Shaw Healthcare (Group) • Simon McCall, Commercial Director, Barchester Healthcare • Jake Rollin, Director of Commissioned Care and Commercial Support, HC-One They will be joining our existing Trustees, James Allen, Chief Executive Officer of National Care Group, and Vishal Shah, Founder and Managing Director of Banyan Care Group. Avnish Goyal, Chairman of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, and outgoing Chair of Care England, said:“It has been an immense honour to serve as the Chair of Care England for the last nine years, where our collective efforts have significantly contributed to the advancement and betterment of care services. During my tenure, we have navigated challenges and celebrated numerous achievements, always keeping the welfare and dignity of those we serve at the forefront. I would like to thank the Care England team led by Martin Green for all the support over this time.” “As I pass the baton to Angela, I am filled with optimism and confidence. Angela brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective that will undoubtedly steer Care England towards new heights. Her commitment and vision are vital for our continued success, and I look forward to seeing the organisation thrive under her capable leadership and continue to make a difference and shape social care into the future.”

Old Friend Back Behind the Wheel at Blairgowrie Care Home Muirton House, part of Larchwood Care, has welcomed volunteer driver Malcolm James McKay, affectionately known as Mick, back to its dedicated team. His initial involvement at Muirton House, Blairgowrie was deeply personal. Witnessing the quality of care his brother John received, he felt compelled to contribute his time and effort to the home. His dedication and rapport with staff and residents did not go unnoticed, leading to his appointment as a part-time gardener, while he continued to drive the mini bus for residents, facilitating their participation in local events – a task he believes significantly enhances their wellbeing. The bonds Mick formed with both staff and residents at Muirton House are a testament to his warm, engaging personality and his commitment to the community. However, following the passing of his brother in July, Mick made the difficult decision to retire, intending to spend more time with his wife, Christine, who also retired from her role as Lead Activities Coordinator at the home. Mick’s return has enabled more regular trips for residents with a tour guide they are extremely fond of at the wheel. His decision stems from a deep-seated understanding of the residents' needs and his desire to continue enriching their lives. In his words, "It is lovely to be back to share time with residents who I now consider as

friends and who very much appreciate what is done for them." Sandra Reilly, the home manager, warmly welcomes his return. She said: "We are thrilled to welcome Mick back to the Muirton House family. His return is not just a boost for our team but a source of great joy for our residents. Mick's dedication is a shining example of the spirit of care and camaraderie that we cherish here. His presence brings an added layer of warmth and familiarity that enriches the lives of everyone in our home." Muirton House has a longstanding history of more than 30 years in providing exceptional dementia (EMI), nursing, and residential care. The team of dedicated care staff, supplemented by registered nurses available 24 hours a day, ensures the highest standard of care for residents. The recent upgrades in the dementia unit, with themed areas including sport, farming, music, and film, alongside the staff's completion of champions training run by Alzheimer’s Society, underscore the commitment to creating a nurturing and stimulating environment. Mick's return to Muirton House is not just a reunion but a reinforcement of the home's dedication to community, care, and the wellbeing of its residents. His presence is a reminder of the impact that individual contributions can make in the lives of many.

Wippet For Care Wippet For Care is the simplest and most versatile way to procure everything you need for your care home. Wippet is your gateway to fair prices from known and trusted suppliers. Wippet is not a supplier, we have sourced many different suppliers onto our platform. Any healthcare business, small or large, can buy from Wippet. At Wippet, our purpose is to provide fair market prices to all care operators. So, we have pre-negotiated prices from known and trusted suppliers to the care sector giving instant savings across your purchases. Our platform and 3 unique services, designed by care procurement specialists, Club, Partner and Fuse are adaptable to the smallest and largest care operators. - All suppliers routinely, independently checked and vetted. - Care procurement specialists negotiating with suppliers on behalf of

Wippet Club is our core service offer, we provide the power and technology to make extraordinary prices accessible to all our registered and approved customers. Our ongoing commitment to work with suppliers negotiating fair prices for you is what we do best.


our customers. - Bolt-on functionality and additional services as you need them. - More than 50 suppliers and 50,000 products and services already available. - One login, one basket, one invoice - with streamlined supplier payments.


Through Wippet Partner you will turbo-charge your procurement with support from our care procurement experts as and when you need it. From simple benchmarking, via our range of suppliers and partner affiliations, to multiple category tenders. Using the Wippet platform technology to manage your procurement projects more efficiently allowing you to focus more time on other areas of your business. Wippet Fuse Wippet Fuse is the simplest, yet most powerful, purchasing platform for care. Take your procurement to the next level with powerful technology that brings you P2P functionality at a fraction of the cost. Register to gain access to our 3 services and improve all aspects of your procurement. Find out more and register today at: See the advert on page 8 for details.

LeisureBench Ltd is Proud to Introduce its New Sister Company SGM Recycled Plastics Ltd LeisureBench Ltd, is proud to introduce its new sister company SGM Recycled Plastics Ltd. Made from 100% recycled plastic, our new ranges are designed and manufactured at our new premises in Granthan using the latest technology. From picnic tables to planters, the growing range of products are ergonomically designed for the commercial sector at affordable prices and most items come with a 25-year construction guarantee. Introducing our new stylish side chairs available in several colours, they are both comfortable, and at a starting price of just £99.45 +vat in black, they represent excellent value for money. Our new website has automated muti-buy discounting. Discounts start from as little as two of the same product for exceptional

value. We believe we are the most competitive in the market. Our in-house design team can design bespoke products for our clients and no job is too small or too big. Customer service is key to our success. We welcome visitors to our factory showroom at Old Wharf Road, Grantham, Notts, NG31 7AA. SGM T: 0333 0112314 Calls charged at local rate. E: SGM W: LeisureBench W: We all want to see less waste plastic and sustainability; our products are a small, but not insignificant, step in right direction. Thank you. See page 10 for details.


BMA Gives Government Chance To Improve Consultants Pay Offer The BMA is asking the Government to discuss how to improve its pay offer to consultants in England after members voted against it. BMA consultant members in England voted 51.1% against the offer in a referendum that took place between 14 December and 23 January. The BMA’s consultants committee has therefore rejected the offer but is giving the Government an opportunity to improve it to a point that may be acceptable to members. Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair, said: “The vote has shown that consultants do not feel the current offer goes far enough to end the current dispute and offer a long-term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis for senior doctors. “It backs up conversations we’ve had with colleagues in recent weeks, who felt the changes were insuffi-

cient and did not give them confidence that pay erosion would be addressed over the coming years. In addition, they were concerned about the fairness of the offer and how it impacted different groups of doctors. There were also clear concerns about changes to professional development time, and time dedicated to teaching and research. “However, with the result so close, the consultants committee is giving the Government a chance to improve the offer. “In the coming days we will be further engaging with consultants, and seeking talks with Government to explore whether the concerns expressed by our members during the referendum process can be addressed.”

Well Known Locals Unveil “Words of Wisdom” Bench at Falmouth Home Two local well-known sisters unveiled a “Words of Wisdom” bench at a Falmouth home. June Burfitt and Gloria Richards are known to almost everyone in the Falmouth area and unveiled the bench at MHA Langholme, where their late sister Betty was a resident. The opening ceremony was just after Christmas and the home arranged for a ribbon to be cut by the two sisters. Despite the cold weather there were plenty of people in attendance and were served whether prosecco or orange juice. The bench contains quotes from residents and has become the talk of the town with onlookers and members of the community taking a big interest in it. Teresa Beard, deputy home manager has the perfect view with the bench being almost right outside her office window. Speaking after the ceremony she said: “June Burfitt and Gloria Richards are both very well-known local ladies. “Nearly all of our residents know them, and they have a connection with the home due to the eldest sister Betty, who passed away in 2021.

“They were the perfect fit for our Words of Wisdom bench, and we chose them because this is what the bench represents, our local community. “It's a thank you to people who live around this area and who have supported us in various ways especially during the pandemic. “Not only is it a bench with messages and quotes from residents, we also asked them what advice they would give to their teenage self, or what they would say to younger people in our community. “Some of the quotes are funny and cheeky, which showcases the sense of humour our residents have. “It's also a great place for residents, staff and members of the community to just sit and reflect and even think about their loved ones who are no longer here. “The members of the community have really enjoyed stopping, taking a look at the bench and it's been great to see its members of the community from all ages. “We will continue to keep adding more comments as time progresses and look forward to seeing what the residents have to say.”

Award-winning Care Provider, Lovett Care, to Develop Major New Purpose-Built Site in Manchester, Following Loan from OakNorth • Founded in 2009, Lovett Care provides high quality residential, dementia and nursing care in the North West and Wales; • The Group’s current portfolio consists of over 500 beds, with the past three years having seen the business grow to nine homes; • The bespoke loan from OakNorth will support Lovett Care’s latest purpose-built care home, situated in Northern Moor, Manchester; • Those aged 65+ in England and Wales is forecast to grow by a further 2.3m to 13.9m by 2031, highlighting the growing demand for high quality care homes. OakNorth – the digital bank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs – has provided a bespoke loan to Lovett Care, the award-winning care home provider. Founded in 2009, Lovett Care specialises in offering residential, nursing and dementia care across England and Wales. The past three years has seen the business grow to nine care homes, with the Group’s current portfolio now consisting of over 500 beds. With a core focus of enabling older people to continue living an active and enriched life, regardless of their needs, Lovett Care have built-up a strong reputation in all the areas they operate in. The bespoke loan from OakNorth will be used to support the development of Lovett Care’s latest purpose-built care home situated in Northern Moor, Manchester. The new site will consist of 59 en-suite rooms,

lounge and dining facilities, hair and beauty salon, café, and activity room, and will specialise in offering nursing and dementia care, as well as treatments for other mental health conditions. The facility follows OakNorth’s initial loan to Lovett Care in March 2023, that was used to support the group’s future growth. Keith Crockett, CEO of Lovett Care, commented: “We were delighted to once again work with OakNorth. This is a further milestone in our longterm growth strategy and consistent with our commitment to deliver the best quality care in attractive market locations.” Dale Cowdell, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth, added “We were delighted to once again support this well-regarded care home operator. With those aged 65+ in both England and Wales set for a substantial increase over the next decade, this further highlights the importance of building new sites at locations across the UK. With a robust expansion strategy, the upcoming site will be a valuable addition to the community, enhancing Lovett Care’s overall success.” Website: Email: Phone: 07954205166

Uniting the Care Community: UK Care Week 2024 In its third edition this March 20th-21st, UK Care Week stands as a beacon of inclusivity, bringing together care professionals from across the UK to address challenges, celebrate talent, and advocate for positive change within the care sector. This dynamic event will feature industry-defining content, live product demonstrations, and interactive features designed to equip attendees with the skills to enhance the lives of those under their care. At the heart of UK Care Week is the commitment to providing care professionals with invaluable resources. With a free ticket, attendees gain access to over 100 CPD conference sessions and workshops, allowing them to immerse themselves in cutting-edge knowledge and best practices. The event also hosts more than 150 leading care suppliers, providing an opportunity to explore innovative products and services that can revolutionize care provision. The diverse line-up of industry thought leaders will explore the key themes for 2024 including business & facilities, environments, workforce & skills, wellbeing and technology in care. Expect to hear from the likes of Avnish Goyal CBE and Aneurin Brown from Hallmark Care Homes, Dr Jane Townson, CEO of Home Care Association, Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, James Bullion, Chief Inspector at the CQC and Laurence Geller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Geller Capital Partners. One of the event's key features is the CQC Inspector Hub, where care professionals can receive free,

tailored advice to ensure their care provision meets the highest standards. This hub addresses registration and inspection queries, offering guidance crucial for maintaining quality care services. Additionally, the Virtual Dementia Tour provides an immersive experience, allowing social care business owners and management teams to gain insights that enhance their approach to dementia care. For attendees seeking interactive experiences, the apetito Lounge continues to be a standout feature at this year's event. This feature allows visitors to taste popular dishes and discover award-winning, texture-modified meals and Finger Food Bites specifically designed for residents with dementia. The event's inclusivity is further highlighted by its commitment to networking opportunities. With over 2,500 care, home care, nursing, and residential homeowners, directors, and senior management teams in attendance, UK Care Week provides a platform for collaboration and idea-sharing. To ensure that the event remains tailored to the needs of its attendees, UK Care Week conducts an annual National Care Awareness Survey. Drawing insights from over 700 care professionals in 2023, the survey informs the themes of the show, ensuring that it aligns with the goals and concerns of those within the care sector. Attendees of UK Care Week 2024 can expect not only to gain valuable skills and knowledge but also to be part of a transformative experience that celebrates the dedication and talent of care professionals nationwide. Register your free ticket at


Ex-Scottish Health Secretary Expresses Deep Regret at Care Home Covid Deaths Former Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman has told the UK COVID-19 Inquiry she will ‘regret for the rest of her life’ care home deaths caused by Scottish government decision-making. More than half of the deaths from coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic occurred in residential care settings. The former MSP acknowledged that no public warning was issued by the government over the imminent threat of coronavirus until March 2020 despite health experts indicating serious concerns in January. Ms Freeman was also questioned on the guidance issued to care home operators in the weeks before lockdown. Her term in office directed key decisions such as discharging patients to care homes without testing them for COVID first. In an email from March 2020 read out at the inquiry, one care home manager alerted industry body Scottish Care that “no care home has the appropriate equipment”. Adding: “A low grade face mask, a plastic apron and a pair of latex gloves is not the appropriate equipment for barrier nursing a potential carrier transferred from a high risk area in the middle of a contagious pandemic by a care assistant with no training in high risk infectious diseases in a care home not equipped or designed for such.” Under questioning Ms Freeman said it was inaccurate to say there was a lack of urgency or prioritisation of the issues posed by the care sector. She said she had “two-fold” concern on moving people into care homes, including the urge to ensure

patients who were ready to leave hospital were not kept in any longer, leading to additional risks of diminished muscle capabilities or contracting the virus. “Against that was the risk of transferring people to care homes who had not been tested,” she said. It led to ministers introducing social distancing in care homes, prohibiting communal meetings between residents and restricting external visits. Ms Freeman said: “None of this was a risk-free choice. I understood very well the distress that might be caused by asking for physical distancing and communal associations and ending external visits. “I understood that. But I also believed that to allow that to continue was to increase the risk of transmission into and within the care home.” She said: “I would like to say that this point, I have said it before, but I want it read into the record here, that I was personally very concerned about our care sector, both our residential care sector and the care at home sector for adults and regret very much and will do for the rest of my life, any deaths that occurred there because of action that the Scottish Government didn’t take or did take but could have done better.” Inquiry KC Jamie Walsh put it to Freeman that the Government’s response to the care home crisis had been “completely inadequate”. “It was not as adequate as I would have wished it to be.” Ms Freeman replied

Age UK Worcester, Malvern Hills, Hereford Localities Dementia Music Group Connects Community And Care Worcester Malvern Hills, Hereford Localities, have been running their successful music group at Elgar Court Residential Home over the last few months in Malvern. Led by Kirsty Hughes from Age UK Worcester, Malvern Hills and Hereford Localities, the music group is open to all members of the community who may be experiencing symptoms of living with and without diagnosed memory loss. Kirsty said, “At Age UK, we support people in our local communities living with mild to moderate memory loss, to stay connected with their community by continuing to do the things they enjoy. Our music group members bring their own instruments and have a morning ‘jamming session’ as well as singing. We have people of all abilities play and we welcome all new friends wanting to have a go!”. Elgar Court provides expert dementia care to residents in their newly opened dedicated dementia wing. Dementia Care teams at

Elgar Court, understand that singing, dancing or playing instruments, can help people with dementia develop and maintain relationships with others and improve their wellbeing. Which is why Elgar Court has partnered with Age UK Worcester, Malvern Hills and Hereford Localities, to encourage those living with memory loss to come together, make new friends and play their instruments together. Elgar Court provides expert dementia care to residents in their recently opened dedicated dementia wing. Sarah Cadwallader, General Manager of Elgar Court said: “It has been a real joy to see the incredible interaction between residents and community guests coming to this music group. Both our residents with and without dementia, have shown absolute delight joining in and singing along to music and playing the instruments”.

Frome Community Comes Together

Catherine House Care Homeopened its doors to the local Frome community on Saturday, January 27th, for a Craft Fair that showcased the town’s talented small businesses and fostered community connections. The event, which feature dan array of stalls from local artisans like Helli Bakes, Bespoke Flowers Somerset, Arty Farty Crafts, and many others, provided an opportunity for residents, who are fondly referred to as family members, and visitors alike to explore and support the creativity thriving within the community. Highlighting the care home’s dedication to promoting community engagement, Chef Palden delighted

visitors with a spread of hot dogs, burgers, and fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies throughout the day. The smoothies, a refreshing addition to the fair, were made possible through the collaboration with Frome Nursing Home’s Chef Ben, who lent his expertise in crafting delicious recipes sourced from local fruit and veg supplier SK Fruits. Support and camaraderie extended beyond the care home’s walls, as the team from Frome Nursing Home joined in the festivities. Embracing their “Healthy Juice January” campaign, staff from Frome Nursing Home walked the streets, distributing freshly made juices and spreading cheer to residents and passersby. “We are thrilled to have welcomed the Frome community to our Craft Fair,” said Sherin Home Manager at Catherine House Care Home. “Events like these not only show case the incredible talent within our community but also provide invaluable opportunities for our family members to engage with their neighbours and support local businesses. We are immensely grateful for the support of Frome Nursing Home and all those who contributed to making this event a success.”


East Grinstead Care Home Resident Receives Medals For Intelligence Work During World War 2 A 103-year-old East Grinstead care home resident, who worked in military intelligence during World War 2, has finally received medals for her top secret services. Mary Watkins who is a resident at Brendoncare Stildon in Dorset Avenue, East Grinstead, only received a lapel badge in recognition for her intelligence work at Bletchley Park during the war. However, her daughter Bobby Cadwallader discovered about six months ago that she could apply to the Ministry of Defence to finally receive the medals. Initially, Mary received a veterans’ pin badge similar to the lapel badge she had already been given for her services. Then Bobby had a call to say she was entitled to the medals, one inscribed as a defence medal, the other a war medal that includes the dates of World War 2. Mary, who was born in 1920, got a job as a

bookkeeper when she left school, but her life changed when, with the outbreak of war, she volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the women’s branch of the Army. Because of her love of solving puzzles and crosswords, Mary was selected for special duties with MI8, the Military Intelligence, at Scotland Yard in London. She was told her work would be top secret and she would never be able to talk about it, nor would there be any formal recognition for what she did. As a result, as a member of the ATS, she started work on a punch card system of coded letters and numbers, which came from the German code device, the Enigma Machine. After being promoted to sergeant, she then went on to work at Bletchley Park, supporting the team that finally cracked the Enigma Code. Bobby said: “We were thrilled when we got the call to say she was entitled to these medals. “She is delighted with these medals now, especially she was told when she was 19 and about to sign the Official Secrets Act, that she would never get any recognition, receive any thanks or be able to tell anyone what she did. She is still very reluctant to talk about her work. We are all so proud of her.”

Langdon House Knitters Get Creative For A Good Cause

A small group of dedicated individuals at Langdon House care home, gather regularly to share their passion for knitting and make a positive impact on the lives of others. At the forefront of this inspiring initiative is Alice Zeitlyn, a remarkable woman who, at almost 100 years old, continues to use her skills to spread joy and raise funds for charity. Alice is a prolific knitter who loves to get involved and remains an active force within the Langdon House community. Her knitting endeavours extend far beyond personal enjoyment, as she consistently channels her talents into meaningful projects. During the Christmas season, Alice crafted 46 miniature stockings, each a labour of love for every member of the Langdon House staff. Her other projects have included knitting red, white and blue bunting for the coronation last year and crafting numerous tiny bee brooches in various colours for football supporters and rainbow versions for the Pride month celebrations.

Currently, Alice is directing her creative energy towards knitting adorable chicks for Easter. These will be filled with a chocolate egg and sold for charity. Alice and fellow resident Maureen Barker form an unstoppable knitting team at Langdon House. While Maureen passionately knits squares, Alice takes on the role of joining them together. Their collaborative efforts have resulted in over 100 blankets, all destined to benefit the Cambridge-based Arthur Rank Hospice where Alice used to be a volunteer. The dynamic duo’s enthusiasm for their hobby echoes through Langdon House, embodying the companionship and sense of purpose that the shared hobby brings to their lives. Langdon House’s Lifestyles Coordinator, Kerry Taplin, said they would love to expand the knitting club to include members from the broader community. Welcoming new faces and talents into the home, the knitting club at Langdon House aims to create a space where individuals can share their knitting projects, collaborate on charity initiatives, and make new friends.

89-Year-Old Resident Has Fun At Paintballing Proving Age Is Just A Number A young-at-heart resident living at a care home in Cassington, went on a paintballing adventure with her friends at the home. Sheila Woodley, who has been a part of Churchfields Care Home for four years, fulfilled her wish of doing something adventurous before she turns 90 years old. As part of the home’s Magic Moment scheme, activities coordinator at Churchfields, Faye arranged for Sheila to fulfil her wish of going paintballing. It was a successful event and Sheila had a wonderful time. The 89-year-old said: “Doing activities like this makes me feel young again. We had so much fun but made such a mess that I felt terrible watching them clean it up! “I love being mischievous and having fun with Faye, she’s one of the best people I know.” The idea came about when some of the residents at the home were talking about how age can make them feel restricted but Faye believes that age has no limits and

wanted to prove this to them. She came up with a list of adventurous activities for the residents to choose from and they all agreed on paintballing, especially Sheila, who was very excited to try it. Faye Tanner, who manages the activities programme at Churchfields, said: “I think age shouldn’t limit anyone and all our residents should be able to live their life to the full. It was amazing seeing Sheila have fun and relive her childhood.” Sharon Rhodes, deputy home manager at Churchfields, said: “Our lifestyle team do the most amazing things for our residents. They ensure our residents have an exciting and engaging lifestyle programme that includes activities, events and surprises. “We are so pleased that we could make Sheila’s wish come true and look forward to being able to do the same for our other residents this year.”


Racism Causes Poor Mental Health and Prevents People Accessing Support, Says New Report Experiencing racism increases a person’s chances of having poor mental health but also makes it harder for them to get the right support, according to a new report from Centre for Mental Health. The report, Pursuing racial justice in mental health, is based on research in Bradford District and Craven on the ways in which voluntary and community organisations locally support people with their mental health. It finds that racism not only causes poor mental health in the first place, it also stops people getting into services, and it impedes their recovery. Research shows that racism, in its many manifestations, can cause psychological trauma, anxiety and depression. But it also stops people from getting help when they need it. Pursuing racial justice in mental health finds that people from racialised communities can face sometimes insurmountable obstacles to support, for instance where service information is not offered in community languages, or where interpreters are not provided. The report also finds that the mental health impacts of racism are compounded by poverty and poor housing, with some people struggling to pay for public transport to get to mental health appointments. Stigma can deter some people from racialised communities from accessing support before they reach crisis point. Participants explained that visiting a GP surgery enabled them to access mental health support without facing the stigma attached to mental health services. Commissioned by Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, the report says that the voluntary sector – with established links to communities most in need but least likely to get support – has a significant role to play. The report shows that health and care services across the country can build stronger

partnerships with community organisations to design and deliver mental health support that overcomes the harms and barriers caused by racism. Unless these are acknowledged and addressed, the NHS will fall short of offering equitable health care. Sasha Bhat, Priority Director for Healthy Minds for Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “We’d like to thank Centre for Mental Health for working with us and welcome the publication of this report. While the findings will be stark for many, I want to assure local people that we have already been working to transform local services so they most closely meet local need. The work we’ve done with Centre for Mental Health has supported us when we’ve been developing our refreshed healthy minds strategy. “Across our West Yorkshire integrated care system, and locally here in Bradford District and Craven, we have made a strong and demonstrable commitment to being actively anti-racist in all that we do. This is demonstrated through our West Yorkshire-wide’s award winning Root Out Racism movement. The findings from this report have helped shape a new ethnically and culturally appropriate service for people from our diverse communities and will be shared with wider partners to continue to challenge any kinds of racism.” Andy Bell, chief executive at Centre for Mental Health, said: “Racism is endemic in our society and is toxic to people’s mental health. We heard from people living and working in Bradford District and Craven about their determination to tackle this stark inequality, and the essential role of voluntary and community organisations working alongside statutory services to make a difference. We urge system leaders in other parts of the country to make a similar commitment, to work in partnership with their communities to challenge racism and racial injustice in and around their mental health services.”

No More Stuck In The Basement, Family Gatherings Restored! S-Max liberates Mel and Phil S-Max has restored the freedom to get out and about for Mel and Phil Sanderson after months of being confined to living in their basement. In 2022, Mel lost much of her mobility. Unable to cope with stairs, she and her husband Phil ended up living in the basement of their three-storey home in Hull town centre. With no internal staircase, only a narrow turning flight of stone steps outside and strict building/alteration constraints (the property is Grade II listed), it became nigh on impossible for the couple to get out- whether for daily essentials or leisure- nor to socialise at home with friends and family. Phil was having to physically lift Mel up and down the stone steps, putting them both in danger of falling. Phil was determined to find an answer. His research led him to AAT and its top-selling S-Max Sella stairclimber. Under the control of the care-giver, the mobile battery powered unit transfers its passenger safely and at a consistent rate up and down the steps- and beyond.

AAT visited Phil and Mel to assess the situation, that the SMax Sella would safely deal with the steps and that Mel and Phil were both comfortable using it. Phil was so impressed he ordered one on the spot. AAT delivered it, set it up to their personal preference and trained Phil in how to use the equipment correctly and safely. Under Phil’s control, with its integral seat and battery-powered kinematic climbing capability, S-Max Sella safely gets Mel around her home again. It gets her out of the house and into town. “It really is a fantastic piece of kit,” says Phil. “Before we got the S-Max, we were basically trapped in the basement. “Once trained it is very simple to use. Now we can go out for leisure and appointments after months of being stuck inside. It even means we can have family occasions upstairs as we used to, with ease! I would recommend the S-Max for anyone who needs help getting up and down stairs.” S-Max is the UK’s top-selling stairclimber, with an impecca-

ble safety record built up over 20+ years for the thousands of units in use nationwide. Class 1 Medical Device certified the SMax executes over 300 steps from a single charge. Its unique ComfortStep feature delivers a smooth, comfortable climb or descent, automatically adjusting to variation in riser height and gently braking on the edge of each riser to facilitate the process for the operator. The standard S-Max unit attaches to most wheelchair models to enable them to be safely moved up, down almost any flight of steps. The S-Max Sella features an integral seat for people who are not confined to a wheelchair. AAT has developed a Universal Back for the units to achieve optimal flexible safety and physical support for the passenger. AAT offers a comprehensive support service, including free no obligation assessment, setting up of the S-Max, training of its users, plus ongoing service & maintenance. Full details including videos of the Sella stairclimber can be found @

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

proven Antimicrobial PVC with 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

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 safe-

guard 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



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 sustainability-focused 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 future-proof care homes, protect residents and staff, and still enable organisations to meet their short and longerrange 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-to-day 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 lowcost 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-ofthe-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.

MAG Laundry Detergents Maintaining cleanliness and comfort in care homes and nursing homes requires selecting the right laundry products. That's why many UK care homes trust MAG Laundry Detergents for their laundry needs. MAG's specially formulated commercial laundry detergents, stain removers, and fabric softeners are designed to address the most common soils found in senior care facilities. MAG's laundry solutions stand out in ensuring that your laundry and linen remain clean, bright, and soft. By washing with the high-quality laundry

products available at, you can offer your residents the freshness and cleanliness they deserve, helping you uphold the highest standards of care for your organisation. To explore how MAG can support your care home, contact them at 01353 883025 or visit

Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups In the realm of national care, maintaining an unwavering standard of service is of paramount importance. The key to achieving this lies in forging partnerships with trusted service providers. Established in 1926, Forbes Professional offers a cutting-edge solution that helps both small care homes and national care groups establish a streamlined process for all on-going service and account management. At the core of Forbes Professional's offering is a nationwide delivery model with a localised response; fortified by the security and dependability that comes with being a well-established company. Our extensive network of depots and field engineers ensures a highly responsive service and maintenance capability, activated seamlessly through a dedicated hotline at our headquarters. Collaborating closely with clients, we customise solutions aligned with their unique requirements. Our approach involves comprehensive site surveys, detailed CAD designs, and the meticulous selection of industrycompliant Miele laundry appliances. Recognising the paramount importance of hygiene in the care sector, our

commercial laundry equipment strictly adheres to WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. For those in the care sector, Forbes Professional offers flexibility in acquiring laundry equipment through rental, lease, or purchase options, all accompanied by comprehensive maintenance services. Our Complete Care rental solution stands out by providing access to premium equipment without upfront capital investment, coupled with a commitment to cover all repair or replacement expenses throughout the contract's duration. National care groups partnering with Forbes Professional are assigned a dedicated account manager, streamlining all aspects of account management for a highly efficient and simplified process. This approach ensures a seamless experience for procurement teams and care management staff, reinforcing Forbes Professional's commitment to elevating the standards of care provision in the national landscape. | | 0345 070 2335

Laundry Specialists Lavamac Receive Sustainability Award

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 % 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 later in this feature further information on Lavamac.

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


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Washing Machines for Residential Care Homes MAG Laundry Equipment, the award-winning supplier of commercial washing machines and tumble dryers, takes pride in its extensive support to over 10,000 care homes nationwide. Maintaining clean laundry and bedding is of utmost importance for care homes, hospices, nursing homes, hospitals, and various healthcare organisations. MAG Laundry Equipment’s nationwide team of accredited engineers has successfully served thousands of care homes with their products, services, information, and support. MAG's comprehensive product range encompasses commercial washing machines, tumble dryers, ironers, presses and detergents. With quality products dating back to 1922, MAG has continuously developed and

enhanced its equipment, making them some of the most reliable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective machines in the market. Care homes benefit from the peace of mind that their laundry machines can be promptly maintained and repaired, as MAG Laundry Equipment supplies, installs, and services equipment across England, Scotland, and Wales. For those seeking high-quality wash results capable of removing stubborn stains, MAG is the go-to choice. Their washing machines for nursing homes feature complete thermal disinfection as standard. To explore how MAG can support your care home, contact them at 01353 883025 or visit

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


ACCESSIBLE BATHING Accessible Bathing in Nursing and Care Environments 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. 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 develop 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 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. 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. 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. 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.

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:



The Huge Impact of Catering in Care Article by Laura Tighe, managing director for health, care, and retirement living, Caterplus ( Food and drink served at care facilities have a huge impact on residents. Meals must provide all the right nutrients to keep residents healthy and satisfied and the portion sizes need to be fulfilling, but not overwhelming, and service goes far beyond the basics of keeping residents fed. Food is also a social vehicle; mealtimes see residents interact with each other and with care staff, providing important socialisation and relationshipbuilding time. The type of meals served can also be impactful, helping residents remember memories through their different senses. Continuous improvement should be at the core of any food service provider’s approach in a care setting. By dedicating substantial resources to enhancing menu planning, nutrition, taste, flavour, hydration, food presentation, and technology, catering in care can become something beyond simply providing sustenance to residents. An in-house dietician should work closely with care staff to understand the bespoke needs of the residents in each location, helping to build the most appropriate menu. This representative needs extensive knowledge about the specialised dietary requirements to support illnesses such as dementia and dysphagia, ensuring that the food is delicious and supports residents’ health needs.

WHAT TO SERVE Fresh, seasonable ingredients should be used to prepare nutritious meals, creating a selection of familiar, traditional favourites and exciting new dishes for residents to enjoy, including residents requiring texture-modified and specialist diets. Menus are always aimed at meeting the dietary, nutritional, and cultural needs of residents. It’s important to keep traditional choices that customers love but it is also nice to present something new. Themed meal events are a lovely way to bring people together, introduce new flavours and add value and enjoyment for residents. Working closely with managers at homes, you can plan, manage, and deliver regular special events typically centred around food themes, creating an enhanced social experience at mealtimes.

ENGAGING RESIDENTS AT MEALTIMES Integrating employees within the community at the care homes during meal times is key. When mealtimes take place, employees can engage with residents and enable better social relations. Using this time to interact is essential for residents’ health and well-being, and also means staff are always on hand to help residents. Ultimately, food is a wholly social vehicle, and it can be used to help integrate with the wider local community. Afternoon tea sessions are a great way to invite people, such as families, friends, and young people into homes. The research around intergenerational relationships demonstrates fantastic results, a popular idea includes inviting children from local schools to come in and spend time with the residents, promoting learning and positive socialisation for all generations. Sensory tables are fully portable projection systems that can be used on any surface, and can also do a great job of engaging residents. With emphasis on motionactivation, the inclusive sensory activities reward any level of participation and help to engage and motivate all generations. By looking to different, innovative ways to enrich residents' days, there can be inspiration for the catering teams and how they use food as a similar vehicle. Residents love to see refreshed decorations too. Reimagining the dining rooms depending on the celebration can help make meal times that much more exciting and interactive for the residents, with menus reflecting the celebration where applicable, creating a full experience.

BUILDING BETTER Research from the British Nutrition Foundation helps catering teams understand in wider terms the importance of nutrition in older adults. By sharing the work from inside care homes with these organisations, we can help enable further research in this field and make more informed decisions about food choices for residents. In healthcare catering the priority is always to share positivity through food and for residents to be happy and comfortable.

Is a Sustainable Diet a Nutritious and Healthy One and Is It Appropriate for Older Adults? Tess Warnes, Dietitian at food procurement experts allmanhall (, explains “In the most general terms, as a population our current diet is not sustainable or healthy. The most recent UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) data shows our intakes of saturated fat, sugar and salt are above the Government recommended levels. Whereas intakes of fibre, fruit, vegetables, and oily fish are too low. In the UK, the Eatwell Guide provides a model for a healthy, varied diet. It is estimated that if everyone adopted this diet, nationally, it would lead to reductions in associated GHGE (-45%) and land use (-49%). It includes eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, wholegrain and higher-fibre starchy foods, and diversifying protein intake more towards plant sources such as beans and other pulses, as well as plant-based meat alternatives. A recent study found increased adherence to the recommendation on reducing red and processed meat consumption was associated with the largest decrease in environmental impacts and carbon footprints.

This same study found if everyone in the UK consumed a diet in line with these recommendations, it would lead to significantly less type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, strokes and cancer. All the evidence shows moving to a more plant-based diet means a positive impact on our health whilst meeting nutritional requirements and sustainable eating can absolutely include small amounts of meat, fish and diary. Is this suitable for older adults? Aside from specific requirements, if it is healthy, safe and appropriate for the individual, this is all very relevant for over 80s wanting to support the planet. David Attenborough is a good example!” Learn more by watching allmanhall’s interview with ITN: References:


PRESSURE CARE AND PATIENT HANDLING How to Approach Patient Handling In A Disability Care Setting 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.

By Nick Horton, Managing Director, Select Lifestyles ( be a part of the community they live in. To avoid this, care providers should always work in partnership and communiunable to respond, as this maintains the client’s respect and dignity. cate with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, doctors, Carers also need to make sure the correct equipment is always used – and dentists, to minimise this risk and ensure that clients receive the best not only to reduce risks but to make the job easier. People should be able possible care. to properly use equipment such as hoists, slings, standing aids, shower Another risk to consider is understaffing and busy workloads for carers chairs, grab rails, slide sheets and wheelchairs – to name a few. who are trained in patient handling. This must be avoided at all costs, as THOROUGH LEARNING AND TRAINING the quality of client care is greatly compromised if people rush tasks or The best approach for moving and handling training is through practical can’t complete them at all due to not having capacity. To minimise this, lessons. It’s a very hands-on element of personal care, so giving people care providers should have good rota planning to ensure the right staff practical experience will allow them to become familiar with the correct are always in place, as well as ensuring that patient handling training is processes and methods – something that is vital to ensure they pass the provided to the necessary people. training. Not only this, but in-person training allows learners to get imme-


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

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

diate 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. 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.

Prevent and Treat Pressure Ulcers with Levabo The Pressure Problem Leading lower limb and pressure care distributors Algeos has announced the launch of a new, innovative automatic lateral turning system, The Turn All. Designed and manufactured by Danish pressure care experts, Levabo, The Turn All was developed to support clinicians and carers in the regular turning of primary immobile patients with minimal disruption to the individual. The new system fits between any standard care bed and mattress, is easy to install, and can be set to 30, 60, or 90minute increments across a 24-hour period to suit the service-users needs. Supporting the body along its entire length, the Turn All utilises a 30-degree lateral positioning – as recommended by the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel guidelines – to relieve tissue compression and

restoring blood flow. Furthermore, a 5-degree lift on the opposite side of the Turn All counteracts shear, a tissue injury that can occur when the tissue between the bone and subfloor is displaced. The Turn All system is the latest product to join the Levabo range at Algeos. Other products include the Heel Up, the Seat All, and the All Up all made from soft, flexible, heat and moisture absorbent non-woven material that stimulates the microcirculation of the skin. Developed with Danish wound-care nurses and backed by a plethora of European data, each of the Levabo products is single-patient use, machine-washable up to 60 degrees, and can be reused for six to eight weeks, making them a cost-effective solution for the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers. To find out more about the range of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment products from Levabo, visit the Algeos websiteat or call 0151 448 1228.

Shockingly, pressure ulcers cost the NHS more than £3.8m every day; 1% of the total NHS spend in 2022/3. Moreover, the NHS paid out £23.5m in associated litigation damages in 2021/22. Pressure ulcers are blisters or open wounds, forming when pressure is applied to the same area of skin for a period of time. Annually, around 700,000 people in the UK will develop a pressure ulcer. As older people are a distinct risk group, they have a particular impact in community care settings, where individuals aged 65 and over make up 82.1% of the population. They also result in longer hospital stays, by 5 to 8 days. This is especially detrimental for elderly patients, leading to an increased risk of falling, sleep deprivation, infections, and even mental and physical deconditioning. Overall, pressure ulcers are regarded as a measure of care quality. However, prevention education is minimal, care is time consuming, and suffers from staff shortages, which negatively impacts staff morale. Fortunately, SSKIN is embedded in the NHS for pressure ulcer prevention. In particular, at risk individuals should be repositioned every 4 to 6 hours. Many care settings are therefore required to manage repositioning schedules, and provide advice and assistance to those at risk.

Unfortunately, the physical strain of moving patients can significantly impact staffing levels, with back and musculoskeletal problems accounting for 17% of staff sickness days in the NHS. Physical repositioning also deprives patients of sleep, impacting recovery, as sleep is vital for maintaining healing, and is essential for quality hospital experiences. Encouragingly, implementing sufficient prevention can reduce pressure ulcers by up to 87%, with a cost saving of £513,000, and a 362-day reduction in the number of bed days per centre. This reduces the impact on staff, while addressing overall quality of life. At Wellell, we’re dedicated to raising societal and healthcare quality. Our range of air mattresses prevent pressure ulcers while decreasing caregiver workload, automating labour-intensive procedures and complex therapy workflows. Our Optima Turn turning mattress, one of our Optima Series products, provides automatic and timer-controlled turning up to 30° supported by alternating pressure, multiple pressure relief therapy options and manually deflatable air cells for heel relief care, all easily accessible through the intuitive pump interface, streamlining patient handling and caregiver workload. Contact us to learn more about this innovative pressure injury solution. Let’s work together to provide better treatment.


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES BIOFROST Cold Therapy Gels The New “Jolly Journey” for Drug-Free Pain Relief from Little Islands ®

BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are natural drug-free topical cold therapy gels for muscular and joint pain, chronic arthritic pain, postactivity muscle tension, general aches and overuse disorders. Easy to use and fast acting, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels relieve pain, reduce inflammation and swelling without drugs and drug-related side-effects. BIOFROST® Gels: • BIOFROST® Relief Cold Gel for pain relieving cold therapy • BIOFROST® Active Dual-Action Cold Gel with Heat Sensation combining cold with natural heat effects to treat back pain BIOFROST® Relief provides instant pain relief and activates body’s own healing through an optimal combination of natural ingredients, including ethanol, menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint and MSM. Reported benefits of BIOFROST® Relief include lasting pain relief, improved joint movements, comfort during sleep, fewer cramps, calmed nerve pain, reduced joint and muscle discomfort and faster post-activity recoveries. BIOFROST® Active is a dual-action fast-acting cold gel with heat sensation for effective relief of muscular

and joint pain. Containing 10 natural herbal extracts (i.e. Arnica, Burdock, Roman Chamomile, Garlic, Watercress, Ivy, White Nettle, Pine, Rosemary, Menthol), BIOFROST® Active relieves chronic pain, releases muscular tension, loosens stiff joints and effectively treats back pain. Benefits of BIOFROST® Active include easier joint movements, effective pain relief in treated areas, discomfort-free sleep, fewer cramps and reduced post-activity muscular and joint fatigue. BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are usable standalone or alongside other pain relieving therapies (i.e. medication, physiotherapy, etc.). BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are suitable for people of any age, including elderly and disabled people living independently or in nursing care. Made in Finland by Viking Lab Oy, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are Class 1 Medical Devices registered with MHRA. Win Health Medical is the UKRP for BIOFROST® products. T: 01835 864864866 / E: / W: See the advert on page 3 and the front cover of this issue for more products.

C&S Seating Ltd

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

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

Baron Medical BARON MEDICAL in Bredhurst Kent & WESTERN EQUIPMENT SUPPLIES in Bristol, have provided a wide range of services to the Care Industry, both at home and abroad since the mid-eighties. So, with a combined 60+years’ service to the Care Sector, we are probably two of the oldest supply companies in the UK, which enables us to have unique purchasing arrangements with various trade and public 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

Oxford Up

Joerns Healthcare’s Oxford Up is an active manual stand aid, supporting assisted standing, seated transfers, and patient rehabilitation. Suitable for clients who require some assistance when standing but are able to participate and contribute effort to the process, the Up can also be deployed as a useful rehabilitation aid. With a safe working load rating of 200kg (31st), the Up quickly and conveniently disassembles into three separate components, significantly easing storage and onward transportation, making it truly portable. Reassembly takes a matter of seconds, and its ready for use again.

pricing options. As a Trade Customer, whether you're looking to purchase just one or many beds, for hire or purchase, we can offer generous discounts to help cash~flow. Our current range of Alerta Beds is a testimonial to those savings whilst current stocks last, but we can always deliver on value. Prices are INCLUSIVE of VAT to ease your financial burden, along with subsidised delivery. Call 0800 954 8801 - Text 07768 800 188 Or email: Maureen (or) See the advert on page 15 for further information on how Baron can help your business.

The new “Jolly Journey” from Little Islands is designed to simulate an old-fashioned travel carriage, featuring real wood panelled wall, brass luggage racks, ornate wall lights and table lamp, opposite-facing seating for four, including cushions, ‘First Class’ antimacassars and period memorabilia. The Jolly Journey creates a familiar and stimulating environment for ‘passengers’ to return to their fondest memories, sparking conversations of time gone by. Reminisce about travel and holidays with loved ones and friends over afternoon tea in your exclusive cabin, then maybe top it off with a jolly good ‘Sing Song’ on the way home.

Our Journeys begin with Steam Train rides through Britain, with other destinations being planned as the World opens up again. Bespoke Journeys can also be created, just let us have your ideas and we’ll see if we can fit them in with our filming schedule. In just one day our Little Islands Team can efficiently install and furnish your opulent ‘First Class Carriage pod’ with all accessories and footage. All we require is 2.5M of clear wall space, a power socket and good access, to create your very own Jolly Journey. For more information please contact Little Islands: 01828 869802 or see the advert on the front cover.

Where To Start Caring For The Environment To help achieve climate-neutral building stock by 2050 the care sector is being challenged to reduce operational energy use. By increasing the use of renewable energy supply and prioritising on-site renewable energy sources the hope it to reduce both harmful carbon emissions and operational costs. There is no doubt that being more sustainable comes at a cost. Whether in the form of new build projects or the refurbishment of existing, yet ageing facilities, understanding the necessary capital investment, operational savings and payback periods is key to developing a workable sustainability strategy. Because of ubiquitous need for hot water, from basins to baths and showers, catering and wash down, addressing how this resource is secured is one of the best ways of making active carbon savings today. Addressing the efficiency of domestic hot water (DHW) systems - whether through the implementation of heat pumps, solar thermal, direct electric water heating or even simple modernisation of existing gas appliances - helps properties meet sustainability goals in a practical and cost-effective manner. It also deliv-

ers improved year-round conditions for residents and staff, providing spaces better suited to delivering quality care. For buildings already on gas and that rely on large amounts of DHW silent solar preheat is the preferable option. For new build properties, the expectation is for specification to default to a mixture of heat pumps and direct electric afterheat. New system approaches, including prefabricated packaged plant rooms, also provide for better use of the spaces that already exist, without the need to undertake expensive and disruptive building projects. This is especially valid as demands for larger accommodation space comes at a premium. Adveco can help achieve emission reduction targets. With more than 50 years of specialised expertise in designing, supplying, and servicing hot water systems for residential healthcare, Adveco is the single resource you need for independent expert technical guidance on choosing pre-sized or bespoke sustainable applications today to get you on the right path towards net zero operation. See the advert on page 5.

Serve Afternoon Tea in Style with Euroservice Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple? Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Visit the website at to see the full range. Or see the advert on page 17.

An over-sized multi-point push handle eases manoeuvrability for the caregiver, and the foot push pad provides a means of generating forward momentum when moving a patient. Optimum positioning of the swing-away seat pads and knee support help ensure comfort for the patient. Adjustable leg opening allows closer access around furniture, promoting improved patient positioning and general ease of use. Where additional seated support is required, the Oxford Deluxe Standing sling (With Clips) is fully compatible with the Up and available in three standard sizes: small, medium, and large. The Oxford Up is available to order now with a standard 5 year warranty for peace of mind! For more information, contact Joerns Healthcare on 0344 811 1158, send an email to or visit our website at See the advert on page 7.

Consort Claudgen Introduces Wi-Fi Enabled Heaters to LST Range Consort Claudgen’s innovation in the electric heating industry takes another leap forward by introducing Wi-Fi-enabled heaters to their low surface temperature (LST) range. These cutting-edge heaters offer unparalleled convenience and efficiency. The heaters connect directly to Wi-Fi, enabling users to control heating through the digital control panel on the heater or via the Consort Connect app. With a comprehensive 7-day timer, which allows 24 individual heating periods per day, and features such as a lock function, open window detection, and custom automation, users can tailor their heating needs to their preferences. Adding to the ease of use, users can view the ener-

gy consumption statistics of all connected heaters, providing insights into usage patterns and potential savings. The LST heaters with Wi-Fi and occupancy sensors have a selflearning control ability. They utilise in-built occupancy sensors to detect and learn a user’s weekly presence in a room, creating an intuitive heating schedule. When the space is unoccupied, the heater conserves energy by switching to a setback temperature or frost protection mode. BIM (Building Information Modelling) objects for the heaters are available for download from Consort’s website. 01646 692172 | | See the advert on page 7.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Mainteno - Award-Winning Maintenance Management Software Mainteno is a complete, cost-effective CAFM software solution designed to simplify the day-to-day maintenance of any organization. Whether you're managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving you time and money. With Mainteno, you can keep everyone in the loop and archive all your communications and documentation in one place, allowing for total control of your organization's assets. The software also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking for added convenience.

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

Mainteno's interface was designed with practicality in mind, allowing basic operation to be learned in minutes and making it easy to become a power user in just one afternoon. Despite its elegant usability, Mainteno is surprisingly affordable, with no set-up fee or lengthy contracts. Mainteno adapts to any organization's maintenance needs and offers a FREE TRIAL, so you can see how it can benefit your organization before committing. Try Mainteno now and experience the time and cost savings it can provide for your facilities management. With Mainteno, you can enjoy a complete CAFM software solution that simplifies your maintenance processes and saves you money, all while providing the flexibility and ease-of-use you need to stay productive. Visit

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:




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.

Better by Design: A Fee Income System especially for Residential and Nursing Care Homes We've analysed every aspect of fee income processing to the nth degree and developed a bespoke solution that delivers simplicity and ease of use coupled with speed, flexibility and accuracy – all in one outstanding application package. SFIncS r/3 is the ultimate fee income management and control system. • Unlimited sponsor and charge code assignments allow complete flexibility of service user billing profiles. • Perfect for all types of care homes - Nursing, Residential, Mixed, Specialist. • Unique continuous billing functionality provides the most efficient charge definition possible. Only charge start points need to be maintained and all sponsor charges for each service user (including historic) are shown on just one screen. • Completely flexible invoicing. Invoice any sponsor at any time for any charges for any service user for any period of time. • Super fast receipt entry including ‘Six clicks’ copy functionality. • Balance forward accounting means you can forget laborious invoice matching. • Ad hoc charges functionality. • Cashbox module included. • Works for multiple or single home operators. • Integrates with any accounting system. • Plus all the reports, views and graphs you’ll ever need. • In use for over 12 years. • Free training and help with system set up. • Historic data loading option available (charges may apply). • 30 day free trial.

For a demo, free trial or for further information please email or visit


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

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

Better by Design: A Fee Income System Especially for Residential and Nursing Care Homes We here at Intracare have analysed every aspect of fee income processing to the nth degree and developed a bespoke solution that delivers simplicity and:• Ease of use coupled with speed, flexibility and • Accuracy – all in one outstanding application package. SFIncS r/3 is the ultimate fee income management and control system. • Unlimited sponsor and charge code assignments allow complete flexibility of service user billing profiles. • Perfect for all types of care homes - Nursing, Residential, Mixed, Specialist. • Unique continuous billing functionality provides the most efficient charge definition possible. Only charge start points need to be maintained and all sponsor charges for each service user (including historic) are shown on just one screen. • Completely flexible invoicing. Invoice any sponsor at any time for any charges for any service user for any period of time.

• Super fast receipt entry including 'Six clicks' copy functionality. • Balance forward accounting means you can forget laborious invoice matching. • Ad hoc charges functionality. • Cashbox module included. • Works for multiple or single home operators. • Integrates with any accounting system. • Plus all the reports, views and graphs you'll ever need. • In use for over 12 years. • Free training and help with system set up. • Historic data loading option available (charges may apply). • 30 day free trial. For a demo, free trial or for further information please email or visit See the advert on the facing page for details.


Blaucomm Ltd - Telecommunications & Networks 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.

Earzz Limited - AI-Powered Acoustic Monitoring Solutions Earzz Limited is a British business making AI-powered acoustic monitoring solutions that help the vulnerable and those who care for them. Built with a deep commitment to enhancing the well-being of residents, ‘Earzz’ listens, recognises, and alerts for critical sounds, making it an invaluable addition to residential homes and supported living facilities. Earzz listens and proactively alerts carers for critical sounds detected in resident rooms, including gasping, screaming, coughing, and also sounds of movement - like footsteps or thuds - that can help carers pre-empt a fall even before it happens, all without violating resident privacy. Unlike ANY existing acoustic resident monitoring solutions in the market, Earzz offers advanced sound recognition AI that detects specific sounds, not just anomalies, reducing false alerts and facilitating quicker, personalised responses to residents’ needs. The system also does not recognise speech or relay raw audio; it only recognises and alerts for important sounds that may be cause for concern as chosen by carers, offering

unmatched privacy protection to residents. Carers are alerted within seconds on mobile devices that they may already use to help administer care, helping: • Reduce chances of falls through timely proactive response; • Minimise disturbances in residents’ sleep; • Reduce unnecessary physical night-time checks; • Save costs as a direct result Earzz also keeps digital records of sounds captured, helping carers uncover behavioural trends when the carers are not in the room (especially at night), helping proactive fall management whilst providing insights into worsening health for residents that may otherwise go unnoticed. And all this at a price point substantially lower than competitors - starting from £7.99/monitor/month, billed annually. See pricing information at or see the advert on page 19.



Prevent 55% of Night-Time Falls with Ally Ally, an AI-powered resident monitoring system is revolutionising night-time care with its immediate advantages for care home owners, staff, and residents. Ally uses a wall-mounted sensor, easily retrofitted into rooms which send alerts to the Ally app. The AI processes sound and motion signals to notify staff when attention is required, for example if resident’s call out in pain, panic, or are moving. The result is enhanced safety, reduced disruptive checks, and improved sleep and well-being for residents. In collaboration with NHS Digital, ICB’s and customer feedback, Ally demonstrates remarkable results: • 40% increase in night staff efficiency • 55% reduction in resident falls • 20% drop in hospital visits This leads to a substantial 9x return on investment, primarily achieved by affording staff more time for personalised care. Customer testimonials echo Ally's transformative impact:

“Ally’s Resident Monitor solution exemplifies how technology can deliver personalised remote monitoring that is proactive rather than reactive to incidents, ultimately enhancing the well-being of residents.” Melanie Dawson, Home Manager at The Lawns “The first indicator of a resident who contracted Covid was Ally picked up that she was coughing a lot in the night. She still had Covid, we still had to manage that situation, but because we were aware of it a little bit earlier, it helped us to feel more in control of the situation." Robin Hall at Oaklands Care Home The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recognises Ally's positive impact on care stating in their State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2016/17 report “Acoustic monitoring enabled staff to respond more promptly and appropriately to people’s support needs during the night.” Ally enhances care outcomes but also positions care homes using this as preferred choices for new admissions and staff. Join the revolution in night-time care, visit and follow us on LinkedIn at

Medpage Advanced Domestic and Arquella - Connected Technology, Connected Care Commercial Fall Prevention Systems 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, 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 sensorbased 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 or the advert on the facing page.



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

Frequency Precision Silent Running - Tranquility in Care Homes 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 systems 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:

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.” 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 costeffective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call system. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered immediately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the residents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the positive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and more tranquil environment. For more information email us at: or see the advert on the facing page.




PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT 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.

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 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

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.

Elevating Healthcare Staffing with Meridale In the complex world of healthcare, the backbone of any healthcare facility is its dedicated team of nurses, healthcare assistants, support workers, and many others. The quality of care provided to patients hinges on the expertise and commitment of these professionals. At Meridale, we understand this fundamental truth and have made it our mission to revolutionize how healthcare recruitment is handled.

EXCEPTIONAL RECRUITMENT SERVICES Meridale stands at the forefront of healthcare staffing because we recognize that the heart of healthcare lies in the people who provide it. Our commitment to excellence extends beyond mere lip service; it’s embedded in every facet of our recruitment services. We specialize in connect-

ing healthcare facilities with the finest talent available.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS We understand that every healthcare facility has unique needs and constraints. Meridale takes the time to listen, comprehend, and collaborate with you to find solutions that align with your budget and meet your specific requirements. Our commitment to tailoring our services ensures that the candidates we recommend are highly skilled and a cultural fit for your institution.

FULFILLING STAFFING GAPS EFFICIENTLY In healthcare, time is of the essence. Staffing gaps can disrupt operations and impact patient care. With Meridale’s extensive network of

healthcare professionals, we can swiftly and adeptly fill these gaps. Our goal is to ensure that your facility operates seamlessly and that your patients receive nothing short of the best care possible. In these challenging times, when the healthcare industry faces unprecedented demands, having a reliable and dedicated team is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Meridale stands ready to support healthcare facilities in their mission to deliver exceptional care. We are more than a recruitment agency; we are your partner in elevating the standards of healthcare staffing. Contact 01902 240019 or see the advert below for details.

Do You Need Permanent and Reliable Care Staff? At Caring People Recruitment we specialise exclusively in finding the RIGHT PEOPLE to work on permanent contracts in the UK healthcare industry.

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

RECRUIT LOCALLY: If it’s local staff that you are looking for, then look no further. Our team can

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



Grey Matter Learning Set To Support Over 180 Care Leaders Thanks To Skills For Care Funding Multi award winning eLearning provider, Grey Matter Learning, has kicked 2024 off with a bang after receiving funding from Skills for Care to deliver their suite of leadership and management online courses to over 180 care leaders. The funding, which has been awarded by Skills for Care, will enable the training provider to offer their courses free of charge to social care professionals in leadership roles to support their career development and overall standard of care. Their Lead to Succeed, Well Led and Leading Change Improving Care (LCIC) courses will run between January – March 2024, across a multitude of cohorts, with the first having already kicked-off. Talking of the initiative, Commercial Director of Grey Matter Learning, Phil Hitchcox commented: “Normally, care providers must pay upfront for these Skills for Care courses, and we then support them to claim back the costs through the Workforce Development Fund. But, this year, Skills for Care have taken a slightly different approach and released pots of money to enable training providers like ours to deliver this training at no cost to the care provider. “We have seen a huge demand for these courses, mainly, we suspect, due to the ability to access this training with no upfront costs. We all know the struggles facing the social care sector right now, and the cost-of-living crisis has hit this sector like all others meaning budgets are stretched. So, Skills for Care taking this approach has been really well received by the sector and I hope to see such initiatives again in the future. With an average turn-over rate of 28.3% and circa 152,000 vacant posts (Skills for Care), developing and retain-

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

• We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 808227

ing existing talent is key for the success of the social care sector. Only be showing clear career progression and opportunities will the sector attract and retain professionals. Phil went on to say that: “It’s alarming to read in a recent report published by EveryLIFE, Leaders of Tomorrow, that of those leaders they surveyed, a staggering 31% are not aware of any leadership training but 58% cite recruiting skilled/experienced staff as the biggest challenge faced by care leaders. That’s why we are so passionate about initiative such as these, as they are helping to tackle these issues head on.” Through their online delivery model, Grey Matter Learning can offer care leaders the opportunity to access sector specific professional development, but in a way that works around their busy schedules and other commitments. With over 3,000 social care managers having successfully completed the Lead to Succeed programme alone, the training provider is no stranger to delivering high volumes of training at scale and pace. Grey Matter Learning is a leading eLearning provider for social care, supporting thousands of care professionals annually to gain new knowledge and skills to help drive quality of care in the sector. Working with care providers and local authorities, Grey Matter Learning pride themselves on delivering a suite of courses that address the pain points within the sector, as well as equipping professionals with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need. More can be found here Skills for Care is the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England.

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

legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with. So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

So why choose Step Up Training and Care? We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 95 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning pro-

grammes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E : See the advert on page 11.


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT How you can help your clients pay for care?

If they are over 55 and a homeowner then a lifetime mortgage might be the answer to paying for care. It can release cash from their homes and use it to pay for care. They could have extra visits or services they can’t presently afford, or install stair-lifts, hoists, wet-rooms etc. to make life easier. Ideally suited to domicillary care but can be used to fund the needs of one party living in care. Best of all clients keep ownership of their home. What’s in it for you? More money! More services, longer care periods.

To find out if it could work for you contact: 07789 885611 or e-mail is a trading style of The Later Life Lending Network which is an Appointed Representative of The Right

Mortgage Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales no. 09832887 Registered address 70 St. Johns Close, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0NH.

Recruiting Success with CVMinder ATS Care recruiting is currently challenging. So, why is CVMinder ATS a great choice for Care Providers? Stuart Haddow, MD, suggests that its Ambassador Customers make the biggest difference. Ambassadors include senior HR leaders from the Care sector. “They have proven to be great at overcoming recruiting headwinds” says Stuart. CVMinder’s Ambassador Customers also guide CVMinder product improvement programme. Using that great guidance delivers a competitive advantage for all CVMinder Care customers. Jack Morgan of Local Solutions agrees. “CVMinder has made the process as smooth and as streamlined as possible. That’s is critical when recruiting in a

demanding sector like care. It gives us central control of everything and the management information we generate from CVMinder has helped to improve our recruiting approach. Without CVMinder our recruiting costs would be much higher and good candidates would be lost in the administration clutter.” Donna Newell of The Kent Autistic Trust says “CVMinder ensures that we are being responsive to applicants and the demands of our managers. Having a one stop shop means that we can post and update jobs at the touch of a button. Receiving all applications online and using filter questions enables our recruiters to shortlist batches of applicants swiftly.” T: 01634 202 101 E: W:

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


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

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.