The Carer Digital - Issue #181

Page 1


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




Issue 181

Government Confirms Additional £1.5bn Funding Package for Social Care Bringing total to £8.7bn for 2024-25

More than £64 billion to bolster council budgets in England and ensure they can deliver frontline services has been confirmed by the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove including an additional £1.5 billion earmarked for adult social care, which will bring the total adult social care grant funding for 2024-25 to almost £9 billion. The final local government finance settlement for 2024-25 makes available up to £4.5 billion more for councils in England in 2024-25, an above-inflation

increase of 7.5% on the previous year – with £64.7 billion for local government overall. The package includes the £600 million in extra support to bolster council budgets, including £500 million for social care, announced on 24 January. This support was announced following the consultation on the provisional local government finance settlement.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! I am at a trade event this week, so a smaller editors comment piece due to the fact I am currently manning our stand! I am a follower of an American economist who once famously said: There are no solutions only trade-offs”

Peter Adams

01202 552333 (6 lines)

Fax: 01202 552666 Email:

In the wake of Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove's announcement of an additional £64 billion for councils, including a notable £1.5 billion allocated to adult social care, there is once again concerns that is is nowhere near enough.

Undoubtedly, any injection of funding into a system that has long been under strain is welcomed, but we must scrutinize whether it adequately addresses the pressing issues at hand. The increase in funding signals acknowledgment of the challenges faced by councils, particularly in the realm of adult social care. However, it falls short of comprehensively tackling the deep-rooted problems embedded in the sector's financial framework. The Local Government Association (LGA) echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that while the additional funding is a step in the right direction, it merely serves as a band-aid solution to the larger issue of sustainable funding for adult social care. Charities like Hft, who work tirelessly to support individuals with learning disabilities, stress the urgency of addressing the financial instability within the system. They highlight the profound impact inadequate funding has on the quality of care and support available to vulnerable adults. Without sufficient resources, the sector struggles to meet the diverse and complex needs of those it serves. Moreover, the ongoing staffing crisis in adult social care exacerbates these challenges. The shortage of trained workers within the sector has reached critical levels, putting immense pressure on existing staff and compromising the quality of care provided. The proposed funding boost presents an opportunity to address this

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


Is this the longe term case with adult social care? Will there ever be enough money to satisfy its growing demands?



WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES crisis by investing in the recruitment and training of a domestic workforce.

Sylvia Mawson

This is where I feel that despite the multitude of demands, prioritising initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining skilled workers, the sector can enhance the quality of care while simultaneously alleviating the strain on existing staff.

David Bartlett

Additional funding, and the sector needs much more than our lead story indicates, could support comprehensive training programs, competitive salaries, and improved working conditions, thereby making a career in social care more attractive and sustainable.


While the announcement of increased funding is a positive step, it is imperative that we view it as the beginning rather than the culmination of efforts to reform adult social care. Sustainable solutions must be pursued to ensure the long-term viability and effectiveness of the sector in meeting the needs of those it serves. One more thing; we are exhibiting at UK Care Week at Birmingham’s NEC on March 20-21. 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.

Guy Stephenson

Matthew Noades PRODUCTION & WEB ADMIN Charlene Fox Published by


Government Confirms Additional £1.5bn Funding Package for Social Care (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The additional funding was welcomed by leading local government organisations such as the Local Government Association, County Councils Network and District Councils Network. The additional funding has been made possible because of the government sticking to the plan and making the right long-term decisions to deliver on our economic priorities of halving inflation – which has already more than halved – growing the economy and reducing debt. The government is also supporting all councils through the sectorwide Funding Guarantee, ensuring that all councils will see an increase in Core Spending Power of at least 4% before any local choices on council tax – an increase from the 3% announced at the provisional settlement. Councils will be able to increase council tax by up to 3% without a local referendum, with a further 2% for those responsible for adult social care services. The government’s manifesto commits to continuing to protect local taxpayers from excessive council tax increases. The referendum principles strike a fair balance and we have been clear local authorities must be mindful when taking any decisions relating to council tax.

FAILING COUNCILS The Secretary of State has also confirmed additional council tax flexibilities today for some failing councils, reflecting the most serious of circumstances. This decision has been taken in light of the scale and nature of these failings, the individual council’s financial situation, and the need for ongoing government intervention to drive improvement and recovery. We have been clear to each of the councils that in implementing any additional increases, they should take steps to mitigate the impact on those least able to pay. Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “I set out the final Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25. This makes available up to £64.7 billion for local authorities in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of up to £4.5 billion, or 7.5% in cash terms, on 2023-24.” “This settlement, and the changes we have made to address concerns raised through the consultation, will provide local authorities with the tools to support their local communities, continue to reform their services for the long-term, and to help communities prepare for the future.” The final local government finance settlement includes: • A total funding package for councils worth £64.7 billion for the next financial year – an increase of up to £4.5 billion or 7.5% in Core Spending Power compared with 2023-24. The most relatively deprived areas of England will receive 18% more per

dwelling in available resource through this settlement than the least deprived areas. • £1.5 billion in additional funding for social care compared to 2023-24, bringing the total grant funding for social care through this settlement to £8.7 billion. • An extension to the Funding Guarantee to ensure every council sees at least a 4% increase in Core Spending Power before any council tax decisions locally. • A £15 million increase in the Rural Services Delivery Grant, rising to £110 million in 2024-25, in recognition of the additional costs faced by councils serving dispersed populations. • An additional £3 million for the Isle of Wight and £0.15 million for the Isles of Scilly, in recognition of the unique circumstances facing island authorities. • Stability for councils by maintaining our approach to other grants, such as continuing to increase the Revenue Support Grant in line with the Consumer Price Index. Mr Gove added “As part of our efforts to return the sector to sustainability in the future, we are also asking local authorities to develop and share productivity plans.” “We ask for plans to be published by July 2024 before the House rises for the summer recess. Plans must be agreed by Council Leaders and members and published on local authority websites, together with updates on progress.

HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING Charity Hft has described the announcement as “highly disappointing” saying that the Government has chosen not to address the pressing financial challenges in adult social care through the Local Government Finance Settlement, and is clearly illustrated by a difference of more than 2% between the settlement and the upcoming National Living Wage increase. “This discrepancy between the increase to the settlement of 7.5% and the upcoming National Living Wage increase of 9.8% means it is highly unlikely that Local Authority fees will be able to cover the cost of care, leaving care providers to foot the bill,” says Steve Veevers, CEO of learning disability charity Hft. “This chimes with our latest Sector Pulse Check report, written in partnership with Care England, which reported that 79% of adult social care providers said that Local Authority fees did not cover the costs associated with the increasing National Living Wage. This is likely to remain the status quo,” Mr Veevers continues. “We are mindful that it is positive that, in comparison to the provisional settlement, social care will receive an additional £500m, but as we have already highlighted, this amounts to just £2-3m for each Local

Authority, split across Children’s and Adult Social Care, so in real terms this is a paltry amount for our sector. “The Government doesn’t seem to realise the gravity of the situation. When will they properly support and recognise our sector with the financial sustainability it so desperately needs?

LIMITED RESOURCES Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Although any real terms increase is positive news, this settlement continues to leave local public health teams with limited resources to maintain essential services such as specialist community public health nursing for the next year. “Public health teams have faced an unprecedented period of pressures, with funding levels not keeping pace with demand. Sufficient ongoing funding is needed to ensure all local authorities can continue to meet their statutory public health responsibilities. “It is vitally important that the Government continues to address challenges which arise over the coming months and years. “We will continue to make the case for multi-year settlements and for more long-term certainty around public health funding for all councils. “An increased focus on prevention through an uplift to the public health grant is urgently needed, as well as a wider review of the adequacy of public health funding. This will support the Government’s wider aims by improving health outcomes, reducing health spending and putting social care and the NHS on a better footing for the long term.”

FINANCES “PUSHED TO BRINK” Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, Chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA), said: "While it is welcome to see the additional £600m of funding within the final settlement allocations, this extra funding is not sufficient to prevent councils from being forced to make further cuts, or provide local Government with long-term stability "The financial viability of the sector is at risk, and many of the pressures councils face will have worsened by the time of the next settlement. Council finances have been pushed to the brink - more funding will be required within the next financial year to stop more councils from issuing section 114 notices, while many of our members will be forced to make impossible decisions about the vital local services they provide. "As recognised in the recent report from the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities committee, it is critical that the Government tackles the £4bn funding gap for local government, and delivers serious reforms to fix the broken local government finance model."


£75m Health & Social Care Career Investment Welcomed An expert in Health & Social Care sector training, development and retention has welcomed the Government’s £75m investment to help people progress in their careers – but warned more must be done to avoid catastrophic staffing shortages. The Government recently set out plans for a new accredited qualification and a national career structure for the adult social care workforce. It says the qualification will benefit around 37,000 workers within the sector, while the defined career pathway will help people plan their future progression. Lesley O'Connor is Head of Strategic Development at Realise, a leading training provider which offers numerous qualifications in the sector. She said while the funding package would make adult social care a more attractive proposition, it would likely only make a small difference to the 152,000 vacancies within the sector. “This Government investment to add accreditation to the Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate is very welcome and it will give the qualification additional value,” said Lesley. “A clearly defined career pathway is also something I have championed for a long time and it offers people a clear route to progress their careers. “It will also help to improve perceptions of adult social care as a whole. People still think of adult social care as looking after old people and everything that goes with that but the opportunities are far more varied,

including helping young people with disabilities and assisting with treatment and recovery from addiction. “I hope it will encourage school leavers to consider adult social care as a viable, skilled career with progression opportunities rather than a stop-gap. It will undoubtedly help to raise the profile of the sector and will give people with limited qualifications the chance to build their skills. “It’s well-known that people stay longer at places where training is available.” People in adult social care jobs will be able to enrol on the new Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification between June this year and March 2025. There will be other training initiatives available, including a new digital leadership qualification to help managers in the sector with the implementation of technology. But Lesley warned that this funding must be followed up with decisive Government action to plug the gap in care sector vacancies. She said: “There is a bigger conversation to be had at a time when there are 152,000 vacancies within adult social care. It is predicted we will need 440,000 care workers by 2035. “While this is a good starting point, the Government must pledge future funding to support the long-term sustainability of the sector to attract many more people into roles at all levels. If decisive action is not taken soon, we could be facing unimaginable consequences over the next decade. “Valuing the current workforce and giving them opportunities to upskill is important, but ultimately pay and conditions need to improve to attract new blood into the sector rather than going into retail or hospitality.” Realise is one of the country's leading training providers, working with more than 1,000 employers and more than 10,000 learners a year throughout apprenticeships and adult education courses. For more information, visit

Report Calls For More Ordinary Lives For 2,000 People With Learning Disabilities And/Or Autism In ‘Long Stay’ Hospital Settings An in-depth report into the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people trying to leave ‘long-stay’ hospital is published in full for the first time today, offering solutions from the point of view of people with learning disabilities, families and front-line staff. The final ‘Why are we stuck in hospital?’ report presents research conducted by the University of Birmingham and the rights-based organisation Changing Our Lives who interviewed people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people in hospital, their families and front-line staff to investigate things that would help more people leave hospital. The lived experience and practice knowledge shared with researchers have informed a suite of accessible training materials and a good practice guide that could help more people leave hospital. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). There are currently 2,035 people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people in hospital at any one time. Over half have had a total length of stay of over 2 years, including 360 people who have been in hospital for more than 10 years. Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Birmingham, who led the project said: “We’ve known about these issues for more than a decade. Just last week we saw the sentencing of four carers convicted of abusing patients at Whorlton Hall, and yet progress continues to be painfully slow. Deep down we can’t help but think that if this was happening in any other similar healthcare setting, more immediate action would have been taken.”

“Our research not only identifies the barriers keeping people trapped but also offers a way forward, drawing on the expertise of people in hospital, families and staff.” Barriers to leaving hospital identified by the research include: a lack of urgency from everyone involved, complicated services and funding, and a failure to plan support after hospital around the needs of individuals. While people, families and staff were all frustrated with this situation, many felt helpless to bring about any positive change. Jayne Leeson MBE, Chief Executive at Changing Our Lives added: “The injustice of people being needlessly kept in long-stay settings for such lengthy periods of time is one of the biggest health and social care scandals of our time. Being stuck in hospital is more often than not down to failures across the whole health and social care system. Getting people out of these hospitals and into their own homes is one of the priorities of Changing Our Lives, and being a partner in this research is one of the ways we can bring this issue to the attention of policy makers and practitioners alike.” As part of the research project conducted by the School of Social Policy at University of Birmingham, Birmingham-based artist and activist Foka Wolf’s installation Why Are We Stuck in Hospital? was produced by Ikon. Originally displayed at Ikon Gallery in March 2023, the installation tours in 2024 to Site Gallery in Sheffield (21 March – 7 April) and Fabrica in Brighton (7 – 14 August). The exhibition comprises an impossible maze, with no end, graphic design and declarative captions to illustrate the invisibility of people with learning disabilities and autistic people in long-stay hospitals. Foka Wolf’s artwork is also displayed on Jack Arts billboards around Sheffield and Brighton.

Lovett Care Introduces Alfred – The New Robotic Team Member at their Flagship Home - Fairfax Manor Growing Northwest care provider Lovett Care ( has collaborated with Bear Robotics and introduced Servi+ to their new home in Harrogate. The innovative robot helps support residents with maintaining independence and providing an additional “team member” in a fun and interactive environment. Alfred, as named by the home, can be seen weaving his way through the home’s Orangery or Dining areas where residents and team members can return cups and plates back to another part of the home or even send a cup of tea to a bedroom. Recent visitors to the home have received a demonstration of this cutting-edge technology and the home has shared the benefits of how this will enhance resident’s time in the home. Chief Operating Officer Debbie Baker said. “As a forward-thinking organisation, we remain committed to continuously enhancing our services through the adoption of innovative technologies that improve the quality of care and support for our residents”.

Head of Sales Emea for Bear Robotics, Malachy Ryan said. “We understand the importance of helping care home residents live their lives to the fullest. That is why we have worked so hard in developing smart solutions to enhance the quality of communal senior living experiences.a Servi + is our state-of-the-art foodservice solution to help make any dining experience exceptional”. Fairfax Manor in Harrogate, acquired from Angela Swift Developments in 2023, and will shortly be open to new residents. The home has been thoughtfully designed to offer an exceptional living environment with a range of outstanding facilities. The newly recruited team are in place ready to warmly welcome new residents. Lovett Care also has homes under construction in St Helen’s, South Manchester and Kent. With the growing demand for quality elderly care these will all be welcome additions to their local communities. For further information visit or


97% of Social Care Employers Faced Skills Shortages Last Year Survey Reveals The majority (97%) of employers across the social care sector experienced skills shortages last year, according to new research released by leading specialist in workforce solutions and recruitment, Hays. The research, which received nearly 380 responses from employers and professionals across social care, reveals that competition from other employers is the main cause of skills shortages (66%) followed by pay levels (54%). The skills gap is reportedly having a negative impact on employee morale (65%), care delivery (65%) and productivity (45%), so what can hiring managers do to overcome these shortages and attract and retain the top talent?

PAY AN EVEN GREATER PRIORITY FOR PROFESSIONALS TODAY According to the research, over half (52%) of social care professionals intend to move jobs in the next 12 months and almost two thirds (65%) say they are dissatisfied with their current role as the salary is too low. The top reason professionals want to move jobs is due to their salary and benefits package (27%). The economic landscape is impacting career plans across social care, as close to half (45%) of professionals are more inclined to move jobs due to the rising cost of living, and social care employers say the cost of living is currently posing the greatest external challenge (74%).

AN ORGANISATION’S PURPOSE CRUCIAL TO ATTRACT TALENT Whilst pay is important to social care professionals, working for an organisation with a strong sense of purpose is also essential and was cited by 97% of professionals as a deciding factor when assessing a new role – a slight increase from last year (95%).

When it comes to demonstrating an organisation’s purpose, social care professionals want employers to showcase that their company works with charities (48%), has clear goals and achievements for meeting ESG targets (41%) and recognises awareness days with a clear call to action (40%).

DIFFERENT HIRING METHODS KEY TO COMBATING SKILLS SHORTAGES With skills-based hiring on the up, nearly seven out of ten social care employers (68%) say it’s not important for potential employees to have a degree. Hiring for potential is another solution; most (88%) social care employers say they are likely to hire a professional who does not possess all the required skills, with the intention of upskilling them. To help directly address skill shortages, over half (52%) of organisations are actively hiring older workers over the age of 50 and more than half (56%) of employers have adopted flexible working approaches in an effort to attract and retain staff. Brendan Ryan, Director at Hays specialising in Social Care, comments: “Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen the ongoing skills shortages across social care intensify the competition for talent, and grappling for talent is expected to remain a challenge for employers in the year ahead. As our research demonstrates, offering an attractive salary and benefits package, being open to alternate ways of hiring and having a strong purpose that is communicated throughout the employee life cycle are all effective ways to attract

Care Home Hosts U3A New Craft Group The Wingfield care home, in Trowbridge are delighted to be working in collaboration with the Trowbridge branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) to host their regular new craft group Five Star Crafts. Taking place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month the members of the craft group meet at the home to work on a range of crafts, currently there is an ongoing bunting project as well as recently creating gift cards. The group have kindly put craft packs together so The Wingfield residents are able to take part in

the group. Everyone is greatly enjoying the opportunity create and chat. The hospitality team at the home serve a spread of teas and cakes for all to enjoy at half time! General Manager, Ansitha Sasi at The Wingfield said: “We are so pleased that we are able to host this new craft group, it was particularly important for this group to have accessible access. The social aspect of these groups is so important for visitors and residents alike and the crafts they are creating look beautiful.”

the top talent today. Talent retention is another internal challenge social care employers must contend; offering career development opportunities, so professionals have the chance to upskill and progress, is a tried and tested way of holding on to staff and creating, rather than solely consuming, talent.”


Changes to Skilled Worker Visas

By Jane Biddlecombe, Head of Immigration at Paris Smith solicitors (

April 2024. However, the government has confirmed that those already employed in the Skilled Worker

A variety of changes to the Skilled Worker visa system have recently been announced by the government, including an increase to the minimum salary that must be paid to skilled workers; a prohibition on health and social care workers bringing their dependants with them to the UK; and an end to the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations.



above increase in the minimum salary threshold, the immigration rules will be changed so that people

From 4 April 2024, sponsors will need to pay the overseas workers they wish to sponsor on a Skilled Worker visa a minimum of £38,700 per year. This is a huge increase of nearly 50% from the current minimum salary of £26,200 per year. In addition, the ‘going rate’ for each eligible occupation will increase in line with the average full-time wage for equivalent jobs. This salary increase will have a particular impact on those companies which are seeking to sponsor workers in less skilled jobs where the ‘going rate’ of salary for the role is lower than the minimum salary threshold. For example, the current ‘going rate’ for a chef is £17,100 per year but, from 4 April 2024, a chef being employed on a Skilled Worker visa will need to be paid a minimum of £38,700 per year. In the light of this upcoming change, sponsors should consider their need to recruit overseas candidates in the near future, particularly those whose proposed salary would be considerably less than £38,700 per year. Sponsors should consider issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship to these candidates as soon as possible so they can make their own individual Skilled Worker visa application before the changes take effect on 4

route will be exempt from the new salary levels when they change sponsor, extend their visa or apply for

HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE VISAS Although the health and social care visa (a sub-set of the Skilled Worker visa) will be excluded from the applying for this visa after 11 March 2024 will not be able to bring their dependent family members to the UK with them. This has already led to concerns about care homes being unable to recruit into this sector after the rules change in March. The government has confirmed that those already employed on this route before the rules change will still be able to apply to extend their current dependent family visas or apply for dependent family members to join them in the UK. In addition, from 11 March 2024, care providers in England will only be able to sponsor skilled workers if they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

SHORTAGE OCCUPATIONS The government has also announced that the 20% salary discount for those skilled workers employed in shortage occupations will come to an end on 14 March 2024. A new list, to be known as the Immigration Salary List, will replace the Shortage Occupation List in early April 2024. The above changes, taken together with the increase in the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge payable by skilled workers to £1,035 per year of the visa (increased from £624 per year), will have a huge impact on the ability of some sponsors to employ skilled workers in the UK going forward.

Heartwarming Visit From Barn Nursery Children To Redbond Lodge Redbond Lodge care home in Great Dunmow, recently had the pleasure of hosting a delightful visit from the Barn Nursery Children in Stanbrook on the 23rd of January. The event was organised in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. During the visit, the Barn Nursery Children actively participated in crafting bird feeders using a mixture of fat, seeds, and fir cones. The engaging activity not only added a creative touch to the day but also aligned with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch initiative, promoting awareness and appreciation for local birdlife. Residents of Redbond Lodge worked together with the children as part of the birdwatch weekend. Mixing the seed and fat became a collaborative effort that bridged the generation gap and fostered meaningful connections between the

children and residents at the care home. Interactions between the younger and older generations hold immense importance, providing an opportunity for the children to eagerly contribute to the community while bringing happiness and companionship to the residents. Karen Briggs, Well-Being Leader at Redbond Lodge, said: “It gives the residents so much pleasure when the Nursery Children visit, as sometimes they cannot see their own grandchildren as often as they would like. It is wonderful to see their eyes light up when the children walk into the room, and they become so absorbed in watching and listening to them chatter; it’s just pure delight. The children are so comfortable visiting our Home and are so happy to take part in our activities.”

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


Guarded Welcome For Labour Social Care Plan SOCIAL CARE providers have given a guarded welcome to the Labour Party’s reported priorities for the sector at the coming General Election. They have welcomed plans to make pay for social care workers a priority, to tackle the severe staff shortages that are crippling care delivery. But they have also expressed concerns about Labour’s ‘cautious’ timetable for more radical reform, including the creation of a National Care Service. The social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) says it applauds Labour for focusing on staff. ICG Chair Mike Padgham is due to meet Shadow Social Care Minister Andrew Gwynne to discuss the crisis in the sector shortly. He said: “We have always said that paying staff properly and tackling the severe staffing shortages has to be the number one priority and so welcome reports that Labour shares this concern and would address it in its first term, if elected. Tackling social care workers’ pay will inevitably bring greater funding into the sector, which has to be welcome.

“We understand Labour’s cautious approach given the current financial climate and the problems that have befallen other political parties when they have set out reform of social care for an election. “Reform is going to take time and we would prefer to see it done and done properly, rather than repeat the broken promises, from all political parties, that we have seen over the past 30 years. “However, we do have concerns that this cautious approach will not deliver the changes the sector needs, quickly enough. Experts agree that social care needs investment and it needs it quickly if it is to start providing care to the 1.6m people who currently can’t access it and the many thousands more who will need it in the years to come. Estimates range from an extra £7bn a year upwards, as a minimum. “There is also widespread agreement that a National Care Service, bringing both NHS healthcare and social care under one roof is the best way forward as we try, as a country, to get

Local Care Home Donates To Bath Cats And Dogs Home Cepen Lodge care home in Chippenham recently presented Bath Cats and Dogs Home with a cheque for £183.00. Residents and Staff visited Bath Cats and Dogs home, and were able to take a tour around the shelter to see all the animals that they currently care for. Cepen Lodge Care Home are regularly holding events and activities for residents and surrounding neighbours to help support their local community. Jade Hodge Senior General Manager at Cepen Lodge said: “We are always keen to show as much support as we can to local charities. Bath Cats and Dogs Home do a brilliant job in our community and we wanted to give back to them in any way possible.”

both sides working properly. “We would like to see proposals for major funding reform, allied to creating a National Care Service in all parties’ manifestos for the General Election, with a promise that work will begin immediately after the election. “We agree that reform cannot happen overnight but politics at the moment is a fickle and ever-changing landscape and which of our parties can say with confidence that if elected they will govern for one, two or more parliamentary terms? “If reported correctly, Labour is saying all the right things. But we need to see bold reform and a sense of urgency from all the political parties. Social care has waited long enough.”


Solving The Annual £3bn Recruitment And Retention Cost To Adult Social Care Providers Care England has launched an end-to-end solution to help care providers and Local Authorities solve the adult social care workforce recruitment and retention conundrum. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “The adult social care workforce remains in a deep-rooted and systemic crisis. In the absence of meaningful Government intervention, it is incumbent upon the sector to explore innovative solutions to support their workforce and open doors to new opportunities for staff. Care England is pleased to have developed a unique initiative to help bring more domestic staff into care roles and support them to remain in the sector. With a third of the workforce leaving their roles every year, at a cost of over £6,000 per rehire, there is an annual £3bn cost to the sector which is simply unsustainable. We hope that our endto-end solution will go some way in supporting care providers to navigate workforce challenges.” The care sector faces unprecedented challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified professionals, exacerbated by demographic change and increasing demand for care services. Care England and Hft’s 2023 Sector Pulse Check report cited workforce costs as the most significant financial pressure for adult social care providers in 2023. Staffing shortages are having a profound impact on the viability of care providing organisations, staff and the people we support – due to staffing shortages in 2023, 44% of adult social care providers turned down new admissions, over half (54%) increased agency use and 18% had to close services altogether. These challenges are likely to be compounded by the introduction of new measures that will restrict the flow of international recruits into the sector.

Care England has partnered with four organisations – Care Character, Care Friends, Jobtrain and Vivup – which, in isolation, have been shown to significantly improve recruitment and retention rates across the sector. By bringing these services together, they collectively offer an end-to-end solution to address the current sector-wide vacancy rate, the quality and development of carers, lower turnover rates and significantly reduce costs for providers. The whitepaper can be found here Professor Martin Green continues: “Workforce recruitment and retention is the single biggest issue affecting our sector, with serious implications for the quality of care and knock-on effects across the NHS and wider economy. Time and time again, national campaigns have sought to generate an interest in social care with limited results. Care England’s end-to-end solution has the potential to fundamentally shift the recruitment and retention practices in the social care sector, improving outcomes for those who draw on care and support, staff and care providers.” Will Shepherd, CEO of Cohesion (Social Care Recruitment Specialists) & Founder of Care Character says: “Recruitment and retention challenges in social care are deep rooted, presenting ongoing hurdles for care providers of all sizes and settings. At Care Character, we are proud to have developed a psychometric assessment tool tailored to the unique demands of the care sector, which is delivering positive transformations in both recruitment and retention. We are delighted to share a platform with other innovative organisations thanks to Care England’s determination to make a difference in this field, welcoming a comprehensive end-to-end solution that focuses on quality and results.”

Lovett Care Announces Further Expansion With New 60-Bed Facility In Chelmsford, Essex Care provider, Lovett Care, have unveiled the latest addition to their pipeline, having exchanged contracts on a site in Essex. The 60-bed home situated on the edge of Chelmsford will be a welcome addition to the growing demands for residential and dementia care in the local area. Designed by Harris Irwin, plans are underway to go our to tender within the next three months to secure a reputable contractor. Having recently announced the upcoming opening of their flagship home in Harrogate, the group also has homes under construction in St

Helens, Kent and South Manchester. CEO Keith Crockett said; “The past few years have seen Lovett Care grow from 2 to 10 homes and we are looking forward to expanding our portfolio of homes across multiple regions, including in the South of England. This venture marks a significant milestone in our long-term strategy, aligning with our commitment to provide high quality care in desirable locations that support the aging population.”


“An Extension Of The Community”: Manager Sets Out His Vision For Biddenham’s Newest Care Home As Bentley Grange, Biddenham’s new £13.5 million care home, prepares to open next month, Home Commissioning Manager Michael Zinaka, sets out his aim that it should be an integral part of the community it serves. The state-of-the-art home, opening its doors for the first time in March, will provide a luxurious living environment with 60 en-suite bedrooms across 3 floors, and outstanding facilities such as a cinema, wellness suite offering holistic therapies, cinema, salon, outdoor 2nd floor terrace and bar. It also brings 75 new jobs to the local area. As well as offering the best possible environment and care for those moving into the home, the aim is that it will bring wider benefits and become a valued part of the local community, explains Home Commissioning Manager Michael Zinaka: “We are so grateful to have this beautiful purpose-built setting with incredible facilities, but what is most important for me is that this home becomes a true part of the Biddenham community. “A thriving care home is one that is outward-looking, made up of individuals who are valued within and without, and the relationships we build and the role we play in this community are vital in achieving that. “We want to empower those living with us to lead fulfilling, meaningful lives - to follow hobbies and interests, maintain and develop relationships and continue to feel part of and contribute to the life of the community they belong to, as well as the life of the home.” Michael joined Maria Mallaband Care Group (MMCG) in December bringing with him a decade of care industry experience across roles including General Manager, Regional Director and Business Development Executive. He has brought together a new team which has already been forging connections within the community, including sponsoring the dog show at the 2023 Biddenham Show. Bentley Grange is also looking to work with small businesses interested in making use of the amazing facilities on offer to benefit the lives of those living there, for example hairdressers, beauticians, nail technicians, and holistic therapists. Adds Michael: “I'm passionate about how our home can be an extension of the community, so we will be prioritising local

suppliers, recruiting locally, opening up facilities and partnering with small businesses in the area, planning community events, and building relationships with schools, charities and groups. “Happily, we have already enjoyed the warmest of welcomes, and I am excited to build on that foundation over the coming months and years.” Bentley Grange is the latest home to be developed by the MMCG, which has over 80 care homes across the country. It will feature landscaped grounds, with both private and shared patios and quiet terraces, with planting to encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife to visit. Inside the multiple lounges, restaurants, communal areas and social spaces will include Grandchildren’s spaces, designed to encourage multi-generational visits and keep family connections as strong as possible. MMCG’s group-wide lifestyle programme More…. will be very much in evidence at Bentley Grange. Its aim, as the name evokes, is giving people more to enjoy, with a raft of flexible, personalised lifestyle opportunities to meet the needs of the mind, body, and soul of every individual. The Bentley Grange lifestyle team will begin by getting to know everyone living with them - creating a personalised lifestyle plan for each, capturing their likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests, and the activities they would like to try or continue with. The home’s rich resources, programmes and activities will include Just Bowl indoor bowls programme - adapted to meet the needs and abilities of those living within care settings, and More…Movement exercise sessions, alongside use of ‘Oomph! On Demand – an online resource created for the care sector, offering a choice of live and recorded exercise sessions, virtual tours, language lessons, history talks, music concerts, interactive quizzes and more. Adds Michael: “MMCG has poured all its years of expertise and experience into Bentley Grange – it is an exemplar of all their know-how. “I am thrilled to be at the helm at the start of this journey and I cannot wait to open those doors and see this community within a community come to life.”

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.


Stern Letter Expresses Deep Concern Following New CQC Inspection Regime

The National Care Association (NCA) has expressed “deep concern” at care regulator the CQC, saying it does not have adequate empathy towards care providers. Calling for a more empathetic approach from the regulator, the NCA has demanded that the CQC answers why the document they had worked on together, How to have a Good Inspection, is not followed by inspectors. Nadra Ahmed and Ian Turner, co-chairmen of the NCA, have written a letter to the CQC, voicing concerns and describing the culture within the CQC as “hostile at the ground level” and highlighting the stress imposed on care providers during CQC visits, comparing them to OFSTED school inspections, which received widespread criticism following the tragic suicide of a headteacher. In the letter, the NCA leaders say that the stress of CQC inspections, as well as ongoing pressures, are affecting home manager recruitment. They urge the CQC to adopt a similar approach to Ofsted and recognise the stresses associated with an inspection. In addition, the letter asks the CQC for clarification on the following points: 1. What training does CQC offer inspectors in relation to recognising triggers which may cause concern about the mental health of the Manager during the inspection, and the consequences that their actions may have on the Home Manager when carry-

ing out an inspection? How, if at all, do they risk assess this? 2. What redress is there for the Home Manager who feels that they need to raise concerns during their inspection about the conduct of the inspector/inspection and to possible pause the inspection? How is this enabled? 3. The Single Assessment Framework places additional pressures on Home Managers pre, during and post inspection in relation to documentation, analysis, and application. We are aware that the CQC IT systems are creating problems for services post inspection and despite data being provided the IT systems are not working as effectively, thereby adding further pressures onto Home Managers, what outcomes have been established as a consequence of this to help and protect Home Managers and their mental health? 4. It is important that you introduce an independent appeals process for, factual accuracy, ratings reviews, and complaints about the conduct of individual inspectors, assessors, and their managers. It is inconceivable that this remains an ‘in-house’ process. We believe that the factual accuracy, ratings review and complaints system and process currently in place is deliberately designed to make it all but impossible to challenge or have a fair appeal. This lack of an independent judicator that can call CQC to account means providers, RMs, employees have no recourse to complain about their treatment by CQC and so significantly adds to the feeling of being isolated and helpless in the face of an aggressive and potentially, deeply unpleasant regulator inspecting the service. The NCA describes it as “inconceivable” that appeals remain an ‘in-house’ process. The letter can be seen here

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


Data and Privacy Considerations of Installing CCTV in Care Homes As campaigners increase pressure on care homes to install CCTV cameras following reported isolated incidents of abusive behaviour from staff, Heather McKay, Senior Associate at Browne Jacobson ( specialising in data protection, explains the data and privacy issues that must be considered.

reasons – then cameras may only be necessary in certain rooms, such as those inhabited by highly vulnerable residents.


The question of whether care home operators should seek to use surveillance technology such as CCTV cameras to help protect residents’ safety from the risk of unsafe care or treatment is one that won’t go away anytime soon. There have been a string of reports in the media of abusive behaviour from carers against vulnerable residents, with some families setting up hidden cameras to capture incidents. This type of covert surveillance poses a challenge to managers of care homes, who may be looking to implement a more proactive approach to tackling the problem. Campaigners continue to call for the implementation of independently monitored camera systems in communal areas and private rooms. While this may assist care home operators in their ultimate goal of keeping residents safe, it also throws up a number of privacy issues.

Once an operator has made the decision to install CCTV, they must consider their obligations to comply with data protection law. Video surveillance is covered by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), which concerns the handling of personal data. As CCTV footage of individuals can enable an identification of individuals, it will fall under the UK GDPR. The care home management, as surveillance operator, will be collecting personal data and must comply with GDPR as a ‘data controller’. When starting a project like this, it is important to bake privacy by design into the early stages of the planning process. This means understanding your obligations as set out in the UK GDPR. A Data Protection Impact Assessment, which can be supported by law firms such as ours, is a good starting point to identify and minimise the data protection risks of a project. This will help ensure compliance with the data processing principles of fairness, accountability, transparency and respect for the rights of individuals, and that you are clear on your lawful basis for processing the CCTV footage. There are other things that operators must think about. For example, organisations must tell people they may be recorded, usually by displaying clearly visible signs, as well as control who can see the recordings and make sure the system is only used for the purpose it is intended for. Data subjects can also ask to see the images recorded of them under subject access requests. This is not a comprehensive list, and there are other things to consider. The Care Quality Commission and Information Commissioner’s Office also provide CCTV guidance and checklists on their websites to help operators in navigating their legal obligations.



As CCTV becomes increasingly available and accessible (particularly with the use of covert surveillance being popularised in mainstream media, such as the recent Netflix drama, Fool Me Once), it’s crucial for a care home operator to fully consider all the potential pros and cons of installing CCTV systems. It's important to understand and clearly define the problem they are trying to solve by installing CCTV. For example, do they suspect a problem with carers’ behaviour, is it to address demand by families of residents or is there another need for round-the-clock monitoring? Whatever the reason, the first step is getting a clear idea of the purpose CCTV would serve. Surveillance can intrude on people’s privacy, and a care home operator will need to consider the rights (and potential concerns) of staff, residents and visitors who may be captured by the cameras. It must balance its duty to protect the rights of its ‘data subjects’ – the individuals whose data is being collected by the data controller – against its obligation towards the safety of its residents and staff. There may be other steps that can be taken first to mitigate any challenges faced in these areas. But if they do decide there is a compelling case for installing CCTV – which should be backed up by very clear

Robust governance systems would need to be introduced along with any new surveillance system. This should include policies and procedures for how data is handled, who can access it, how long it is stored for, and what would happen in the event of a data breach. Staff will need to be trained on their obligations and this training will need to be kept up to date, a challenge given the existing pressures on the care sector. There may also be employment law implications – for example, whether existing contract terms include allowance for staff to be brought under surveillance, and considering amends to future contracts. More practically, care homes should consider the impact of this on recruitment and retention, which is already a significant challenge across the sector. It is likely there may be some staff opposition to this type of project, so senior managers must be prepared for how they respond. Ultimately, this is a balancing act between protecting residents, staff, third parties and indeed the care home operator itself. With much to contemplate, thinking everything through carefully and making adequate preparations to ensure compliance is vital should CCTV be installed.

88-Year-Old John Enjoys His First Boro Match In 40 Years AYRESOME Park was the last place 88-year-old Middlesbrough FC fan John Hobday saw his favourite team play – until one his carers got lucky on a raffle. The resident of The Beeches Care Home, Green Lane, Stocktonon-Tees, hasn’t seen The Boro live and in person since the 1980s. He started attending games during the 1960s with his friends, when they would sometimes sneak into the ground because they couldn’t afford tickets. More than 40 years since his last game, John received a pair of tickets from care home assistant practitioner at The Beeches, Simone Weighell, who had won them in a raffle. Having heard John had never seen The Boro at the Riverside, Simone wanted to treat him to a match, which he attended with activities coordinator Thomas Knight. John donned his Middlesbrough FC home shirt for the occasion, having received one from an anonymous gift-giver to the local Dunelm store’s Christmas Wish List campaign.

On the day of the match, Middlesbrough FC v Ipswich Town, John was “excited from the moment we left”, according to Thomas. He said: “Once we arrived, John was amazed by the size of the stadium. Outside the ground, he was talking to the away fans and they were exchanging predictions of the upcoming game. They were really friendly but John was certain to remind them of how Middlesbrough were going to win.” After entering the stadium for kick-off, John proclaimed: “This is a big difference to Ayresome Park.” Inside he met former Boro player and now commentator Neil Maddison, who talked to John about the upcoming match. Unfortunately, the score ended 2-0 to Ipswich. John said: “I’ve had an amazing day but I could have ran more than some of the players today. Next time I’ll bring my boots with me.” On returning to The Beeches Care Home, John recalled his favourite football memory: “When England beat Germany in the World Cup final in 1966”.

CQC Rating Upgrade for Alexandra Nursing Home The Alexandra Nursing Home in Poulton-le-Fylde is proud to announce an overall "Good" rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This success is rooted in the dedicated efforts of the entire team over the last year or more. The Alexandra Nursing Home is registered for 117 residents and holds a prominent position in Lancashire's care landscape. The listed home with its ornate architecture is dedicated to offering a safe and nurturing environment for its residents, and the latest CQC rating is testament to the collective commitment of all its staff. Norman Kampiyawo, Registered Manager at Alexandra Nursing Home, says, ‘I am privileged to head up such a wonderful nursing home located in a splendid setting with all its inspiring history. I would like to thank all my team, residents, and external stakeholders who have all contributed to our “good” accreditation. This is a continuous improvement journey for the Alexandra as we strive to be not only one of the biggest homes in the northwest, but also one of the best.’ Over the last two years, the directors have created a strong senior management structure. The recent additions of Quality and Compliance Manager Adam Purnell and Operations Manager Nicola Kemp are the latest key acquisitions for the company. Their experience is helping translate and communicate the value of improvements within the home to outside accreditation bodies.

Amar Singh, Managing Director, says, ‘We have added key management positions, but recognition must be given to the entire squad. Success extends beyond the managers and goes to our dedicated nursing and care department. It also includes the unsung heroes in domestic services, kitchen, training, and maintenance. Their collective contributions have been instrumental in achieving this milestone, highlighting the collaborative spirit that defines Alexandra Nursing Home. I am proud of the entire team and am excited by the prospect of future continuous improvements.’ The notion of teamwork features heavily in the Alexandra Nursing Home’s ethos. There is a rigorous sense of purpose, infusing the values of kindness, passion, curiosity, trustworthiness, and pride throughout the organisation. The Alexandra has committed itself to fostering an environment where residents feel secure, cared for, and respected. Quality and Compliance Manager Adam Purnell emphasises the team dynamic, saying, ‘The transformational journey the entire team has committed to is inspirational. Their dedication to enriching the lives of our residents, while supporting each other in their careers is setting us on a path to achieve “outstanding”.’ With the new "Good" rating from the CQC, Alexandra Nursing Home is poised to continue its journey of providing compassionate and top-quality care for its residents.


A Guide to Fire Safety in Care Homes In care homes, the dedication to 'care' is thorough, covering every part of a vulnerable resident's life. It involves careful planning, starting from the design phase before the construction begins, especially focusing on fire safety. The aim is to make sure residents have a safe, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Ian Poole, Head of Sales at Firechief (, who had 15 years of experience in the care sector before joining Firechief, spoke about the challenges found in care homes in the event of a fire:


National Fire Chief Council attests to their effectiveness, emphasising the importance of approved thirdparty certification.

PRIORITISING ONGOING TRAINING Comprehensive fire safety training, including the selection of fire wardens, ensures staff readiness in emergencies. Regular drills and a commitment to fostering a culture of continuous improvement contribute to a robust fire safety strategy. What’s more, a lot of care homes have a high rate of temporary staff (agency workers). Regular training is critical to ensure ongoing staff awareness and understanding of the protocols around what to do in a fire, especially in care homes using agency workers.


The unique environment of care homes presents specific challenges in terms of fire risk, demanding careful consideration to protect vulnerable occupants and their families. Beyond the immediate threat to life, the stress induced by sudden displacement from a familiar environment can be profoundly harmful. Recognising the gravity of this, fire resilience becomes paramount. A significant fire safety audit conducted by the London Fire Brigade in 2019 exposed critical shortcomings in 177 care homes, signalling the need for urgent attention. Nearly half of the homes lacked adequate fire risk assessments, with assessors often lacking the requisite skills, according to the Fire Protection Association. Widespread confusion surrounding fire evacuation strategies was also identified, emphasising the importance of a robust and informed approach.

SHORTCOMINGS IN BUILDING REGULATIONS It is vital to understand the shortcomings in the UK Building Regulations, which become apparent when addressing the survival of the property and the protection of its occupants. Current regulations primarily focus on evacuating occupants before structural collapse, neglecting measures to extinguish fires, prevent their spread, or ensure recoverability. In a strictly compliant structure, the essence of 'care' provisioning, which ensures occupants retain a familiar living space, becomes apparent that true care integration necessitates voluntary, proactive measures beyond compliance with regulations.

Given the critical role care homes play in society, it is imperative to conduct sufficient fire risk assessments led by competent assessors. Seeking third-party accreditation for contractors ensures adherence to best practices, safeguarding lives and mitigating financial risks. In the pursuit of ideal fire safety measures, care homes must prioritise comprehensive assessments, leveraging specialised knowledge to safeguard vulnerable residents effectively.

MORE ON REGULATIONS The regulations say each workplace, including care homes, should have an established fire safety plan which every staff member is made aware of. As part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, several different fire safety signs should be utilised on-site to provide the following: - Information on emergency exits and escape routes - Visual markers for where firefighting equipment is located - Practical ways of raising the alarm All fire safety signs fall into one of four main categories, each with a distinctive colour associated with their respective area of fire safety.

TYPES OF FIRE SAFETY SIGNS Location of firefighting equipment – Red Red signs signify the location of firefighting equipment and allow for easy identification in an emergency.


This includes fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire hoses and fire buckets. These signs may also carry addi-

Recent fires reveal the repercussions of weak regulations, as care homes increasingly opt for cost-effective lightweight construction materials. While immediate evacuation may be achieved, the aftermath may result in extensive damage or building loss.

methods of operation.


tional information about the correct usage of the respective firefighting equipment, such as prohibited

Location of evacuation routes – Green Green signs convey the location of doors, exits and escape routes used for emergency escapes. Some of

Recognising care homes as high-risk premises with varying dependency levels among residents necessitates a nuanced approach to fire safety. Similarly, those responsible for fire safety exhibit varying levels of skills and competency. To address this diversity, care home businesses must implement tailored fire safety measures, encompassing key steps to fortify their defences.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUILDING'S COMPOSITION Limiting the use of combustible building materials and comprehending the principles of compartmentation form the foundation of effective fire safety. Identifying the materials used in construction, including any renovations, aids in understanding potential fire spread, and facilitating proactive protection measures.


these will be backlit to allow for better visibility in the dark and ensure people can find escape routes in almost any condition.

Location of potential hazards – yellow Yellow signs indicate a dangerous substance in the vicinity which you should be cautious of. These will typically carry the words ‘Danger’ or ‘Caution’ to reinforce their importance, as the substances can cause major damage if improperly handled.

Relevant safety information – Blue Blue signs provide notice of instructions relating to fire safety, including what to do in the event of a fire. Sometimes called ‘Fire Action Notices’, they provide vital information on what to do in the event of a fire,

Legislation mandates a comprehensive fire risk assessment for every business, tailored to the unique needs of care homes. Recognising varying dependency levels among residents, a person-centred approach ensures effective arrangements, including suitable staff levels and personalised evacuation plans.

including colour-coded instructions of where to do and what to look for. Normally, blank spaces are left on


Prohibition signs – White with red

A bespoke evacuation plan, considering the building's layout and residents' vulnerabilities, is essential. Regular reviews and fire drills help identify potential challenges, allowing for continuous improvement.

Not’ symbol over an image. The most common one of these signs you’ll see is the ‘No Smoking’ sign, which


these signs to allow workplaces to write bespoke locations for assembly points and who to report things to. Prohibition signs are made up of a white sign with a red circle and diagonal line, creating the classic ‘Do will be especially prominent in areas where there are flammable materials nearby. As mentioned in the Fire

Sprinkler systems, when correctly designed and maintained, significantly increase evacuation time. The

Action Notices, you will see prohibition notices when outlining what not to do in the event of a fire.

Resident Turns 101 Years Old at Camberley Manor A care home resident in Camberley, Surrey, has turned 101 and celebrated in fashion this week with her nearest and dearest. Mary Stock, resident of Camberley Manor, home to 60 residents in Deepcut, turned the grand age of 101 on Thursday 1st February 2024. Mary enjoyed a day of visits from loved ones before the care home threw her a party with a delicious home-made cake, balloons and flowers, whilst guests enjoyed a traditional cream tea. Mary tells us the secret to living a long life is a combination of “good diet, pleasant sleep, being happy and pleasant with family and friends.”

After singing happy birthday and cutting the cake, Mary delivered a wonderful speech. “I know all of your faces but don’t recall all your names. Thank you everyone for taking the trouble to come and wish me a happy 101st birthday”, which was met with a resounding applause, cheers, and a hip hurray. Business Development Manager, Jo Anderson-Woodley, commented “we love to celebrate our resident’s birthdays of any age here at Camberley Manor, but it is so inspiring to see Mary at this grand age have such a spritely attitude, sense of humour and love for life. On behalf of the home team, we hope Mary had a very special day.”

Shirebrook Care Service Teams Up with Local Charity to Reduce Food Waste A Shirebrook care service which supports men with learning disabilities has teamed up with a local charity to reduce food waste and provide meals to those most in need. Cygnet Manor, on Central Drive, is part of the Cygnet Health Care division and is a 20 bed high dependency complex care service for men with learning disabilities. BLAST – Building Lives Around Shirebrook Town – is a local Shirebrook charity which seeks to improve opportunities for all of its residents and to provide friendly and welcoming spaces for people to connect. Service users from Cygnet Manor will soon be getting involved with activities run by the charity including craft sessions and coffee mornings. Head Chef at the Cygnet Health Care service, Natasha Starkey, has been a volunteer with BLAST for a number of years and saw an opportunity to combine food wastes from both organisations to produce microwavable meals which could be shared to those in need. She explained: “I’ve been volunteering at BLAST for a few years with my family and I know they have a lot of fresh food donated from our local supermarkets. “This is then distributed to the less fortunate and vulnerable in our local area. However I also know that what doesn’t get used, has to be thrown. “We have tried really hard at Cygnet Manor to reduce food waste and I saw an opportunity to work with the charity to make sure any potential waste was going to a good cause.”

Natasha had the idea to combine any food waste from Cygnet Manor and BLAST to produce microwave meals. Not only does this prolong the shelf life of the food, but it also means the prepped meals can be frozen. These meals are then placed in a community fridge or freezer at the charity base where people can help themselves or they can be delivered to the vulnerable and elderly that are unable to get out or struggle to cook for themselves. BLAST are providing Natasha and her catering team with all containers and labels for her to share the use by date, cooking advice, ingredients and allergens. She added: “Cooking is my passion and I love the idea of helping more people who are in a vulnerable position, as well as doing good for the environment. “It feels like a win-win situation for all concerned.” Ricky Holland, Regional Operations Director for Cygnet Health Care, said he was impressed with Natasha’s initiative and wanted to explore similar opportunities across the organisation’s other services. He said: “Across our Cygnet Health Care and Cygnet Social Care services, caring is in our DNA and that extends not just to our service users and their loved ones, but to the communities in which we serve. “We are a proud partner in our communities and equally, are conscious about our environmental responsibilities. This initiative, led by Natasha, is fantastic and one I am keen to replicate as good practice so we can continue improving lives for the better.”


Body Clock Lighting Can Protect and Improve the Lives of Residents in Care Homes

Body clock expert and founder of Circada (, Sam Lewtas discusses how the choice of circadian lighting in care homes can reduce fall risk, aid wayfinding, and improve the sleep-wake routines of residents. When designing care home interiors, safety is often the number one priority, and when considering what a care home might look and feel like, the specific vulnerabilities of the people who live there steers design choices. While specific features will vary between care homes, there are some design choices that are non-negotiables – non-slip flooring, spacious communal areas, accessible exits and entrances and hygienic furnishings are just some examples. Design choices all relates to how

people interact with their environment in a safe, comfortable way. But the use of poor lighting can inhibit how these safety features are perceived by people with poor eyesight, or the 70% of people in care homes who have some form of dementia. So how exactly can the right light lead to a better lifestyle for care home residents? Fall prevention Worsening vision is unfortunately part and parcel of growing old. However, for people in care homes with dementia or other forms of visual impairment, the need for better lighting is paramount to be able to navigate confidently and safely. Low levels of light can affect the ability to distinguish colours, notice hazards that could lie in the pathway or notice the separation between areas and stairways – all of which carry the risk of falling. Research suggests that upgrading ambient lighting to use brighter white light in the daytime and lower intensity overnight reduced the number of falls in care homes by 43%. It represented a passive and effective way to reduce long-term fall risk through a simple act of changing the lighting in the daytime and evening. A more natural indoors This pattern of brighter light in the day and dimmer light in the night aligns in time with the sun, ensuring the indoor aesthetics give a more natural, outdoorsy feel. As people age, they tend to spend more and more time indoors, and for care home residents in particular, the clinical indoor lighting can seem worlds away from the natural rising and setting of the outdoors. “When we feel at our most alert or sleepy, to when we’re hungry or feeling our best mentally is in part down to our circadian rhythm, more commonly known as our body clock, which aligns in time with the sun

or light in the environment,” explains Sam Lewtas, body clock expert and founder of Circada. “For care home residents who aren’t able to get outdoors to set this routine, having indoor lighting that reinforces their circadian rhythm is crucial.” Finding your way The care home environment should be distinctive and recognisable, with visual clues helping residents to create an enduring memory of the space. And even when nothing can be changed about the structural layout of the building, lighting can be used to boost wayfinding ability. With research revealing how people with Alzheimer’s disease who have difficulty orientating themselves are still able to find their way around where their environment is supportive of wayfinding, choosing lighting that enables perception of surface and depth of floor and walls is key. Bright daytime lighting will enable people to better notice the contrast between surfaces and confidently navigate their way around. Better sleep “Sunlight exposure helps to set the natural sleep-wake cycle and regulate key hormones such as melatonin and cortisol, the timing and levels of which in part dictate when we feel sleepy or alert, and is crucial for healthy and regular sleep,” says Sam Lewtas, body clock expert and founder of Circada. “This is often complicated in care residents who may be largely or entirely dependent on the indoor lighting, so it is therefore crucial to consider how best to optimise this for their health.” While the jury’s out on how much sleep affects dementia, people with dementia often have trouble sleeping, and a routine will help to reduce wakefulness and provide proper rest.”

Care Home Residents Seek Pen Pals To Support Language Learning Care home residents have put out a call for their foreign care home counterparts to get involved with an engaging new pen pal scheme. This cross-cultural endeavour aims to promote language learning and build meaningful friendships among seniors in both communities. The call comes after residents at Renaissance Care Group homes engaged in foreign language lessons with Glasgow based charity, Lingo Flamingo. Residents are now eager to expand their horizons and delve into the language learned through correspondence with pen pals from a care facility across the globe. The initiative not only provides an enriching language learning experience but also creates an opportunity for residents to share stories, experiences, and foster lasting connections across borders. Two residents of Renaissance Care’s Glencairn Care Home, Edinburgh, Tom Caskie, 83, and Charles Menzies, 86, started German lessons three months ago, building on a lifelong love of languages. Tom, 83, a retired civil engineer from Islay, first developed his love of languages after emigrating to

Canada to pursue a career in civil engineering. He became fluent in French and picked up a good understanding of Italian and Spanish as he travelled the world, living in a variety of exotic locations, including East Pakistan, Tanzania and Nigeria. Joining Tom on his language learning mission is 86-year-old Charles Menzies. For Charles, the Lingo Flamingo sessions are a refresher on the German language, which he originally picked up while working in Germany as a teacher. A true language aficionado, Charles is also fluent in French and Russian, along with having a strong understanding of Spanish and Polish. Jozi Stables, care home manager at Glencairn said: “Charlie and Tom are proof that it is never too late to learn a new skill. “At Glencairn, we pride ourselves on catering to residents’ actual interests and hobbies. It’s all about creating meaningful activities that residents can fully engage with and feel fulfilled by. We try and facilitate any activity that our residents would be interested with – even if that is creating new friends across borders. No ask is too big or small for us.”

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


Care UK Lights the Way for D-Day Commemoration in Care Homes Across the UK Care UK’s 155 homes will be commemorating D-Day this summer as part of DDay 80. One of the many acts of commemoration this year is the Light Lamp of Peace initiative, which the provider will be leading on for the sector. The campaign will see different settings come together – from care homes to hospital trusts, and across the health and social care sector – to encourage people across the UK, including families at home, to light their own lamps in memoriam of those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy eight decades ago. D-Day 80, of which this campaign is part of, is being led by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR, who has led Royal and international celebrations for nearly 40 years. D-Day 80 has partnered with The Normandy Memorial Trust, The Royal Naval Association, ABF The Soldiers Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association. At 9:15pm on 6th June 2024, to coincide with the lighting of the ceremonial beacons throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and in UK overseas territories, Care UK’s homes will light their lamps in tribute. Andrew Knight, CEO of Care UK said: “Many residents living in care homes across the country will have lived through this poignant period, making their own sacrifices; whether they had family members serving, or if they themselves served in the Armed Forces or as part of the Home Front. “At Care UK, we are dedicated to showing our continued support and admiration for those who served, as well as those who still serve today. Those who fought on the shores of the Normandy beaches represented a ‘light of hope’ during a grievous period of war, therefore we encourage all Health and Social Care communities throughout the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to join with us in the ceremonial lighting of the ‘Lamp Light of Peace’ at 9.15pm on 6th June 2024, in this significant tribute.” Cavell Court in Norwich was the first home to take the delivery of their Lamp Light of Peace on Monday 29th January, which was delivered personally by Mr Peek. In addition to being greeted by the team from Cavell Court, he was joined by Jennie Rodgers, Regional Director for Suffolk, and a number of residents. Cavell Court resident and RAF veteran Ken, aged 98, officially received a Lamp Light of Peace from Pageantmaster Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR, who is leading the initiative. The lamp itself is a tribute to those who fought on the shores of Normandy and represented a ‘light of hope’ during the war. Mr Peek also shared D-Day 80 medals with Ken and 90-year-old resident John, a Royal Navy veteran, before presenting a commemorative pin from the King’s Coronation to Betty, whose husband was an RAF pilot, for her to “pass

down for generations to come.” Ken said: “I enjoyed receiving the lamp, and it was similar to the ones used during the war. I am proud I served in the RAF, and it is important to remember.” Karen Curle, Home Manager at Cavell Court, said: “Many residents at the home were in the armed forces, or have lived through World War II – so to them, the D-Day anniversary is an incredibly significant occasion to pay tribute. “Ken especially was honoured to be the recipient of our Lamp Light of Peace and meet Bruno Peek; it was a truly special day for him. We couldn’t be prouder to be part of an initiative that celebrates residents like him, as well as thousands of others who have served, and continue to do so today. “We’re now looking forward to join over 100 of Care UK’s homes in the ceremonial lighting of our Lamp Light of Peace later this year – and we’d like to encourage the people of Norwich to get involved too.” In 2023 alone, veterans from the Lancaster Bombers, the Women’s Land Army and the Royal Navy were all in the spotlight to share their stories. Clifford Storr, who lives at Seccombe Court in Banbury, and who is one of the last surviving Lancaster Bombers, celebrated his 100th birthday in 2023 with parties involving the Banbury ATC military band, and the Military Wives Choir from nearby Brize Norton. In the lead up to Remembrance Day, and as part of Care UK’s Wishing Tree initiative, Clifford was accompanied to the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) so that he could pay his respects to fallen colleagues. Liberham Lodge resident Joan Johnson, who joined the Women’s Land Army after her college in Westminster was bombed, was reunited with a Bedford army truck she hadn’t seen since WWII. Joan and her colleagues would drive the 3-ton trucks to undisclosed locations in the south of England so that they could be later transported to Normandy for D-Day. Geoff Weaving, a resident at Skylark House in Horsham, shared his memories of interpreting and sending morse code messages in the Royal Navy as part of his 100th birthday celebrations in September. This included his role in D-Day, where the ship he was a part of, the HMS Astral, was awarded the Battle of Honour Normandy 1944 for its role in the historic event. More information about the D-Day 80 campaign can be found at The final date of ordering a Lamp Light of Peace via their website – – is May 23rd 2024.


Revolutionising Reablement: Sector-wide Advancements Reshaping the Healthcare Landscape By Chris Hornung, MD of Public Sector at Totalmobile ( In the world of healthcare, reablement services have emerged as a pivotal component, demanding attention and innovation from industry leaders. In this article, Chris Hornung, Managing Director of Public Sector at Totalmobile, explores the broader landscape of reablement services and the sector-wide initiatives that are shaping the way we approach care in the UK. The evolving nature of healthcare demands a comprehensive examination of reablement services, focusing on the collaborative efforts and advancements that define the sector. Professionals and stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem are navigating uncharted territory, seeking to redefine the standards of care provided to individuals on the journey to regaining independence post-illness or injury.

COLLABORATION One of the key themes emerging is the imperative for collaboration. Across the UK, healthcare providers, local authorities, and frontline workers all recognise the importance of working together to create a seamless and integrated network of support. This collaborative approach is essential for ensuring that individuals receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. It also helps to prevent duplication of services and reduce the likelihood of individuals falling through the gaps in care. With cross-functional working, intelligent technological systems must be put in place to manage demand and support effective communication and information sharing. The systems need to be accessible and userfriendly for all stakeholders, including patients and their families. Using technology to digitalise health records and optimise scheduling can enhance workflows and improve care quality.

EMPOWERMENT In the pursuit of improved reablement services, a central aspect is the empowerment of the workforce. The challenges faced by frontline workers are diverse and demanding, driving a focus on equipping them with the tools and resources needed to deliver effective care. The sector is witnessing a shift towards technology-driven solutions that provide real-time information, enabling healthcare professionals to make informed decisions at the point of care. This shift towards technology has led to the development of a variety of digital platforms and tools aimed at improving the delivery of care. For instance, mobile apps and digital care plans are now being used to streamline communication and collaboration between healthcare workers, ensuring that patients receive personalised and coordinated care. By empowering the workforce with the right tools and resources, we can improve the quality of care delivered to patients and ultimately, enhance their overall health and well-


INTELLIGENT INSIGHT Data-driven decision-making has also taken centre stage in the sector's narrative. Analysing data to gain insights into service delivery, resource allocation, and overall effectiveness is becoming increasingly crucial. By harnessing the power of analytics, reablement services can identify trends, optimise workflows, and improve outcomes for patients. For instance, it can help to identify areas where resources are being underutilised or where additional support is needed. By using intelligent data to inform decision-making, reablement services can ensure that they are providing the best possible care to their patients, while also making the most efficient use of their resources. Ultimately, this leads to better outcomes for everyone involved, from patients and their families to the reablement service providers themselves. As the sector continues to evolve, the importance of data-driven decision-making is only set to grow, and those who embrace this approach will be well-placed to succeed in the years ahead.

R&D IS KEY As the sector continues to evolve, research and development are becoming pivotal components of the reablement services landscape. The commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements reflects a forward-thinking approach that acknowledges the dynamic nature of healthcare. Professionals are actively engaging in initiatives that contribute to the collective knowledge base, ensuring that the sector remains adaptable to tackling ongoing emerging challenges and opportunities. Moreover, R&D initiatives are instrumental in identifying and addressing gaps and limitations in the current healthcare system. By working collaboratively and sharing insights and best practices, professionals can develop more effective interventions, streamline processes, and optimise resource allocation. This collective effort towards continuous improvement is essential for ensuring that reablement services are able to meet the evolving needs of the communities they serve.

SUMMARY This outlook on reablement services underscores the broader movement towards enhancing patient outcomes and reshaping the future of care. The focus is not on individual capabilities but on the collaborative initiatives that define the sector, emphasising the shared responsibility of stakeholders in driving positive change. As the demand for reablement services continues to grow, it is important to recognise the efforts of those working tirelessly to make these services accessible to all who need them. It is a testament to the collaborative spirit, innovation, and commitment of healthcare professionals, local authorities, and service providers in revolutionising the landscape of reablement services. The collaborative spirit and innovation of these individuals and organisation have allowed reablement services to evolve and adapt to changing needs and requirements. Technology plays a crucial role in supporting and enhancing these services, providing valuable insights that healthcare professionals can use to personalise their approach for each individual's unique needs. With continued collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to inclusivity, the future of reablement services is promising.

Former Member Of Women’s Royal Airforce Celebrates 101st Birthday At North London Care Home A former member of the Women’s Royal Airforce (WRAF), or Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as it was known at the time, has just celebrated her 101st birthday at Minchenden Lodge in Southgate, North London. Pamela Dyson was born on 26th January 1923, just over four years after World War One came to an end. And, at the age of 20, she joined the WAAF as a clerk during the second world war. The WAAF was formed in 1939 to support the Royal Airforce (RAF) in World War Two. Whilst the WAAF did not recruit aircrew, a large selection of ground trades were open to woman, including providing administrative duties. It was here that Pamela carried out secretarial support for the RAF, and was also where she met her husband, RAF server, Sydney. Fast forward to 2024, and with plenty of stories to tell, Pamela has reached another milestone birthday at the Southgate care home, and staff at Minchenden Lodge ensured the 101-year-old had a celebration to remember. Pamela was treated to a cake and balloons on her special day and was

given flowers and cards from family and friends. The inspiring woman said she was thrilled to mark the occasion with everyone at the home in Southgate. She said: “I had my 100th birthday here last year and everyone has made by 101st just as special. Thank you so much.” Home Manager Rahima Mulindwa said: “Pamela is a lovely lady and extremely popular with everyone – she’s very witty and has many amazing stories to tell. It’s been fantastic to hear about her life and career and be able to celebrate another birthday with her here.” Minchenden Lodge is part of AgeCare and Director of Care, Jo Mason, is pleased to hear that the team gave Pamela the birthday treatment she deserves. She said: “For Pamela to be celebrating her 101st birthday is remarkable. At Minchenden Lodge we foster a family approach, focussing on enabling residents to live well. I’m so glad to hear that Pamela enjoyed her special day.”

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

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


HC-One Celebrates Annual National Apprenticeship Week 2024 HC-One is proud to be participating in the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) between 5th – 11th February 2024. HC-One apprenticeships are offered to both newly recruited and existing colleagues to help develop their skills, knowledge, and confidence. HC-One currently offers over 20 different apprenticeship programmes from Level 2 through to Degree and Masters level programmes and currently has over 600 colleagues undertaking an apprenticeship in England. HC-One apprenticeship programmes offer early career opportunities and clear career progression routes. The scale of HC-One’s apprenticeship programme highlights the extensive range of career opportunities that exist across the health and social care sector and the many other job roles that support the provision of high-quality care services. HC-One will be marking National Apprenticeship week by highlighting the hugely positive impact that apprenticeship opportunities can have. The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Skills for Life’ focusing on how apprenticeships are helping to develop the skills and knowledge of individuals to access rewarding careers, which in turn helps organisations to develop, build and maintain a talented workforce that is equipped with the right skills to meet the current and future demands. During National Apprenticeship Week, HC-One will be sharing soundbites across their social media channels from HC-One’s rising stars who have successfully completed their apprenticeships and in conjunction with Lifetime Training (HC-One’s main apprenticeship training provider) will be celebrating success across HC-One homes. Inspirational stories will be shared on HC-One’s Careers website and colleagues will also be participating in Webinars hosted by Lifetime Training sharing their apprenticeship journeys and how these have improved their skills and provided them with opportunities to follow their career aspirations.

Last year, HC-One added to its apprenticeship opportunities by welcoming non-registered care colleagues in England to train as Registered Nursing Associates and Registered Nurses, through the apprenticeship route which came into place from Autumn 2023. In 2023, HC-One saw 162 colleagues successfully complete their apprenticeship programmes, 49 of which achieved distinctions) and are currently supporting over 900 colleagues across England, Scotland and Wales to complete an apprenticeship and qualification programme within the next two to three years. Susan Beasley, HC-One’s Apprenticeship and Qualifications Manager, stated: “It is important to us that our colleagues feel valued, and they are provided with opportunities to progress in their careers. “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved at HC-One over the past year, which saw the launch of our nursing apprenticeships and widening opportunities for our colleagues to access degree and Masters level apprenticeships. “We are so proud of our colleagues’ achievements in 2024 and are looking forward to expanding our apprenticeship opportunities further during 2025.” Kate Brett, Head of Partnerships Care at Lifetime Training, commented: “HC-One and Lifetime Training are proud to celebrate the incredible achievements of HC-One’s dedicated colleagues this National Apprenticeship Week 2024. Our life-changing partnership is committed to providing valuable apprenticeship opportunities, and empowering colleagues to forge meaningful career paths. “This collaboration not only highlights the remarkable accomplishments of HC-One's apprentices but also demonstrates the ongoing commitment to fostering professional growth and delivering the kindest possible care.”

Twelve Months of Care So Good, It’s Unexpected at Chartwell House Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes is delighted to commemorate its first anniversary. Since warmly welcoming its first residents on January 30, 2023, Chartwell House has been dedicated to providing care that goes beyond the ordinary, leaving residents feeling truly valued and empowered, and their loved ones at ease and content. Over the past 12 months, Chartwell House has achieved remarkable milestones, including welcoming over 70 residents to the home and employing over 65 exceptionally talented team members. Leanne General, Head of Housekeeping, comments, "I love the feel that it is a home away from home, and seeing everyone’s smiling faces every day." Echoing this sentiment, Helen Orry, Receptionist at Chartwell House, said, “I am totally fulfilled in my role at Chartwell House; it is like being with family every day. It is such a lovely environment to work in, and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful job! I am looking forward to many more happy years at the home.“ Chartwell House's commitment to delivering high-quality care resulted in Chartwell House Care Home being finalists at both the National Care Awards and Leaders in Care Awards for its exceptional design. The home also clinched 'Care Home Group (Small) of the Year' as part of the Boutique Care Homes Group at the 25th National Care Awards 2023. One of the pillars behind Chartwell House’s success is their Life Enrichment Programme, which encompasses the six principles of well-being. Involving their team, residents, family, friends, and the community, this program supports wellness, emotional, social, spiritual, physical, and educational elements of living a fulfilled, personalized life within the home. The success of this program complementing exceptional residential, dementia and short stay care, is illustrated by achieving the astonishing accolade of scoring 10 out of 10 on the independent customer review website, Barbara Wallace, niece of Chartwell House resident Teresa, writes; “Wow! My aunt is since she moved into this wonderful care home. She is engaging with all the fun activities and has a new lease of life. Everything is done with love and laughter. She is and energized in a way we haven't seen for a long time.” Over the past year, Chartwell House has given opportunities to residents to truly connect and contribute to the wider community. One such example was a heartening and intellectually stimulating friendship that has blossomed between 89-year-old resident, Gerald Gold, and a 10-year-old local prodigy, Laurence Cross. United by the ancient game of chess, the duo has been engaged in captivating weekly battles since September 2023, forging a unique connection that defies age barriers. As Chartwell House celebrates its first anniversary, Home Manager, Diane Collins, shares her reflections on a year of success and expresses her deep pride in the dedicated team that has made Chartwell House a place where quality care and genuine connections thrive. "Reflecting on the success of the past year fills me with immense pride. Chartwell House has become a place where quality care and genuine connections thrive. Our dedicated team has worked tirelessly, and I couldn't be prouder of their commitment to making every resident feel valued and at home." Chartwell House, also has given residents the opportunity to be a part of the wider community, from trips out to local places of interest to residents having the opportunity to take part in radio broadcasts through their partnership with 107.8 Academy FM. In the summer of 2023, Chartwell House residents took part in a groundbreaking event during Folk Week. The first-ever 'Dementia Friendly Folk' concert, a collaborative initiative between Chartwell House and Broadstairs Folk Week 2023.

The event took place on Thursday, August 17, at the Sarah Thorne Theatre on Fordoun Road. With a focus on inclusivity and the transformative power of music, the event's success showcased the positive impact it had on those living with dementia. Under the spotlight were the talented Krista Bubble & The Ceilidh Shapes, who took the stage with their enchanting folk melodies and lively rhythms. The event's atmosphere was electric, resonating with attendees of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. The energy was contagious, and the sense of togetherness was palpable. Chartwell House has also had a profound impact on the wider community over the past year. Key highlights have included intergenerational initiatives with local primary schools, fostering genuine connections between residents and young minds. Dementia Friends Information Sessions in local schools and colleges, educating children on dementia and community support, and launching community events such as Refresh and Respond for emergency service workers, the Nostalgia Café for dementia support, and the Festive Food Pantry to support those living in food poverty at Christmas. Chartwell House is not just providing care but shaping a supportive community that extends its positive influence beyond its doors. Jude Coveney, Admissions Manager at Chartwell House, reflects on the profound community impact the care home has had in its first year. "Our community impact at Chartwell House has been profound and heartening. The intergenerational initiatives, educational sessions, and community events have created a ripple effect of positive connections. We're not just providing care; we're shaping a supportive community that extends beyond our doors, touching lives and making a lasting impact." To celebrate the success of the last 12 months and to mark this special anniversary, Chartwell House hosted a Black-Tie Gala celebration on Friday, February 2nd, 2024. The day commenced with a performance for residents and their families from Harry Kersley, a highly sought-after classical singer across the UK, who has had the opportunity to perform at arena venues and to VIP guests, including members of the British, Saudi, and Bahraini royal family. Following this exceptional performance, residents enjoyed a silver service lunch, hosted by the hospitality students of Broadstairs College, followed by a relaxing afternoon of cocktails and great company. The celebrations then finished in a climax of joy and festivity with a special black-tie gala featuring live music, dancing, canapes, and prosecco. In true Chartwell House style, the event was not without its charitable focus, and a special fundraiser took place during the evening in the form of the Chartwell Casino, raising money for a community defibrillator. Commenting after the celebrations, Ameet Kotecha, Founder and Managing Director of Boutique Care Homes, commends Chartwell House for fully embracing the ethos of being 'a warm and loving family where everyone feels at home. "Chartwell House has truly embraced our ethos of being 'a warm and loving family where everyone feels at home.' Witnessing the team's dedication to creating an environment that goes beyond care to foster a genuine sense of belonging is truly heartwarming. It exemplifies the spirit of our vision for Boutique care homes." His reflections highlight the dedication of the team in creating an environment that goes beyond care, fostering a genuine sense of belonging. As we look to the future, Chartwell House wants to thank everyone who has supported the growth of their incredible community during the past 12 months.


RCN Scotland Sounds Warning Over Cost of Living Impact Scotland’s nursing staff are continuing to struggle to make ends meet during the ongoing cost of living crisis. In a survey of Royal College of Nursing members in Scotland, 62% have thought about changing their current role due to the cost of living and of these, 60% said they have been forced to think of leaving nursing altogether. Over 60% of respondents to the survey, which was carried out in January this year, described themselves as being responsible for paying all household costs or as the main contributor. Three quarters said they were financially worse off when compared to 12 months ago. The results come in the run up to the budget debate in the Scottish parliament later this week. The budget debate is happening at a crunch time for health and care services. Health boards are being asked to make hefty efficiency savings or budget cuts. Some of the approaches health boards are looking at to deliver these savings – including recruitment freezes – are causing nursing staff serious concern. The Scottish government is also yet to announce when it is going to implement the recommendations from last year’s Agenda for Change review, which was agreed as part of the 2023-24 pay deal. At the same time, the Ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce is working on its recommendations to improve retention of experienced staff and attract new people into nursing while health boards are continu-

ing preparations for implementation of Scotland’s safe staffing legislation from 1 April this year. Commenting on the survey results, Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director, said: “These results are really concerning. I feel for all nursing staff who, at the same time as they try to hold together services under extreme pressure and provide high quality care, are struggling to stay afloat financially. “Since the pandemic we have seen growing numbers of staff quitting nursing altogether. Our results show that those numbers could rise even more steeply. That’s a trend health and social care services cannot afford to see with nursing vacancy rates already at stubbornly high levels. “While budgets are tight right now, this is not the time to be pulling resources from the nursing workforce. We believe there are solutions but they require investment now. “We’re calling on the Scottish government to act now. To fund the recommendations from the Agenda for Change Review quickly and in full and provide the financial resources to deliver the recommendations that emerge from the Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce. And to boost the financial support package for nursing students to help those currently in training to stay the course and attract the next generations of students. The Scottish government must also make sure employers have the resources they need to deliver safe staffing and to meet their duties under the Health and Care (Staffing) Act.”

Senior Carer Celebrates 10 Years Of Service with Chacombe Park Care Home

A Senior carer at Chacombe park in Banbury has received a prestigious 10 Year Service Award in celebration of working at Barchester Healthcare for 10 years. Donna Phillips, now Senior carer started at Barchester in 2014 and has worked with residents and their relatives to ensure that their needs have been met over the years. Adele Keenan, Employee Services Director at Barchester said: “I’m always pleased to hear stories about the long service of Barchester staff and am delighted Donna Phillips has achieved this milestone. It is dedication like this that ensures our residents are pro-

Manufactured in the UK

vided with a happy place to live.”

Jude Shibu, General Manager of Chacombe park care home said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating 10 years of loyal service with Donna Phillips. She has demonstrated her dedication and loyalty to this home and its residents year after year. I speak for all of us here at Chacombe park care home when I say that I’m looking forward to many more years of working with Donna Phillips!”

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.


New Disability Action Plan To Make UK Most Accessible Place In The World The government has launched its new Disability Action Plan – 32 steps it is taking to make the UK the most accessible place in the world for disabled people to live, work and thrive. From helping to ensure more disabled children can use their local playground to supporting assistance guide dog users and aspiring disabled politicians, the Disability Action Plan outlines concrete changes designed to make a real difference now and in the future.

SPECIFIC ACTIONS INCLUDE: • a new fund to support disabled people who want to be elected to public office • building an online information hub for local authorities on creating accessible playgrounds • a new working group to educate businesses on the legal rights of assistance dog owners and make it simpler to report when they are refused access to a business • leading new research into emerging issues affecting disabled people in the UK over the next 20 years The Cabinet Office’s Disability Unit will also be working with other government departments to explore bidding to host and deliver the 2031 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The publication of the Disability Action Plan is just the latest chapter in the government’s drive to improve the lives of millions of disabled people. This has included seeing 1.3 million more disabled people in work now than in 2017 – delivering a government commitment 5 years early. We have also increased funding for the education of children and young people with more complex needs by more than 50% over the past 4 years, and we have passed 2 landmark pieces of legislation – the British Sign Language (BSL) Act and the Down Syndrome Act. Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Mims Davies MP, said: We are building on this government’s really strong track record of supporting and delivering for disabled people by using their key feedback to deliver vital, everyday changes to their lives and we have listened to their asks and are truly determined to deliver on them. This new wide ranging plan means disabled children can rightly enjoy the fun of the playground, disabled customers can use the services they’re entitled to and businesses who break laws around assistance dogs will be firmly held to account amongst other impactful changes. I look forward to seeing the immediate impact of the Disability Action Plan while we deliver on long-term

reforms to make this country the most accessible and importantly equal place to live in the world – so everyone can live their lives to the full and thrive.

FURTHER DISABILITY ACTION PLAN PLEDGES INCLUDE: • ensuring disabled people’s experiences are fully taken into account during resilience planning for emergencies • publishing research into the accessibility of private sector products and services in Spring 2024 • holding a conference on climate adaptation and disability • addressing concerns that the Ultra Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zones have led to some disabled people feeling excluded from city centres and across London Steve Veevers, CEO of Hft, says: “The publication of the Disability Action Plan is a positive step. It’s great to see cross-departmental action on, and the prioritisation of, the needs of disabled people. “We welcome many of the commitments set out in the plan. The commitment to explore the possibility of the UK hosting a special Olympics is really exciting, and it’s brilliant that the Government will be making their publications and communications more accessible. “However, there are some serious omissions and we, like others, seriously doubt the ability of the plan to make a tangible and sustained difference to the lives of learning disabled adults. “It’s hard to ignore that salient issues such as social care, housing and employment are notably absent from the Disability Action Plan. We know that learning disabled people want to see change in these areas so they can live their best life possible, as highlighted by our very own campaigning plan, Voices for Our Future. “We hope that whoever takes office after the general election seeks to put forward a more comprehensive, far-reaching and ambitious plan to support all disabled people to thrive. The Disability Action Plan sits alongside the National Disability Strategy which outlines the government’s long-term vision for transforming disabled people’s lives for the better. It also builds on the government’s employment and welfare reforms – including the new £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan which will help thousands more disabled people and people with health conditions to start and thrive in work. Meanwhile, our Chance to Work Guarantee will tear down barriers by getting rid of the fear of reassessment that we know many disabled people who want to try work still face.

Civitas Deploys £113 Million in H2 2023 into Fast Growing, Vital UK Social Infrastructure Sector Civitas Investment Management Limited (“Civitas”), the U.K.’s largest provider of community healthcare and specialist education facilities with £3.5 billion of assets under advisory, announces that, following £73 million of acquisitions in December, it deployed £113 million of equity in the second half of 2023, acquiring or forward funding 22 UK specialist healthcare assets across 14 transactions. Representing a continuation on the first half of 2023, the activity furthered Civitas’ commitment to the high growth and specialist sector with strong social impact credentials and which offers secure, long income real estate or infrastructure characteristics. The proceeds from the disposals will enable a mix of capital recycling into new development, business growth and reduction of indebtedness. The rental income is 100% government backed and benefits from annual indexation. The properties will enable 487 individuals to live in, or receive specialist education within, specialist real estate. The investments included: Specialist supported multi-occupancy properties leased to a mix of existing and new operators. Acquired in separate transactions on behalf of Civitas’ Forward Funding Supported Housing strategy, the assets are located in Coventry, Margate, Newark, Worthing, Dunstable and Nottingham. The purpose-built properties were all constructed since 2020 with a minimum EPC B rating, and provide c. 100 adults with significant physical and mental health conditions with safe, lifelong accommodation. Supported living properties, acquired on behalf of Civitas’ Social Healthcare Properties strategy from a mix of existing and new operators, two of which are located in Leicester, as well as Stoke-on-Trent, Arlesey and Colchester. The properties have been specially adapted for use as supported living homes for adults with specific care needs. Special Educational Needs (“SEN”) schools, acquired via sale and leaseback, providing for children

between the ages of five and eighteen with specialist education support. Neuro rehab homes located in Northampton, the highly specialised properties provide accommodation for adults with diseases, injury, or disorders of the nervous system, where they can undertake doctor-supervised programmes. A learning disability care home in Wales provides accommodation for 15 adults over two stories, spread across three wings with an EPC rating B. Each resident benefits from ensuite facilities and access to external gardens, there is also staff accommodation and dedicated medicine rooms onsite. Civitas currently manages a £3.5 billion portfolio of over 1,285 specialist healthcare and education assets in the UK and Sweden, with the capacity to provide community-based living and specialist education to over 9,360 individuals. The care, support and education are provided by 219 best-in-class operators in a combination of supported housing, residential care homes and specialist schools. Andrew Dawber, Group Director of Civitas, commented: “Against a backdrop of generally volatile markets and low transaction volumes across most real estate classes, Civitas has continued to drive forward its investment programmes on behalf of institutional clients, in an asset class that demonstrates strong social and environmental credentials, and which benefits from indexation and visible long-term income. “Our programme of new build housing continues to expand to meet exceptional levels of demand. Working closely with specialist local developers and with local authority commissioners, Civitas seeks to deliver designated properties that meet specific identified needs within each local authority area. Our pipeline of projects remains strong as we enter 2024 and this reflects the evidence on the ground of increasing need for high quality community-based facilities with an emphasis on working closely with local commissioning services and with leading care providers, housing managers and specialist developers.”

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.


Times Healthcare Report Highlights Mounting NHS Issues A report commissioned by The Times revealed the considerable pressures that the health and social care sector is facing. The Times launched the Health Commission in January 2022 to consider the future of health and social care in England in the light of the pandemic, the growing pressure on budgets, the A&E crisis, rising waiting lists, health inequalities, obesity and the ageing population, consulting with panel of expert commissioners, chaired by Rachel Sylvester, of The Times, and receiving evidence from more than 600 witnesses including within healthcare, is the sector, policy experts and government officials. The report has recommended that very NHS patient should have their health information digitally stored in one place so that any doctor treating them can access their records irrespective of where they are. The report’s findings include its findings the support for patient passports, faster mental health treatment for the young and writing off student loans for doctors who stay within the health service, the full report can be viewed here Responding to the report Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Thea Stein said: “In an election year the final report from the Times Health Commission should provide plenty of food for thought. The breadth of the report illustrates that across health and care services we need innovative and bold action. The Commission puts a lot of stock in role of new technology to bring about improvement, but serious questions remain about how we fund and properly invest in the talented people we need to provide these vital services to patients and the public. “The Commission is right to point to the need to act on workforce concerns, and we are pleased that the Commission, and public polling, has backed the sensible and realistic proposal to gradually write off the student debt of healthcare professionals, put forward by the Nuffield Trust last September. The government’s plan to increase clinical training places are ambitious, but without a realistic plan to keep people within the workforce, the benefits will not be felt as hoped. We continue to argue that writing off the debt is affordable, credible and the benefits will be felt immediately. “The failure to implement limited proposed reforms to social care funding is the latest delay to taking steps to pull the care sector back from the brink. The proposals set out by the Commission propose a new system based on principles of sustainable funding, a consistent and clear offer, stable provision of services and a strong and valued workforce. The commission also proposes much needed ideas to improve the perception of social care careers by encouraging medical students to spend some time during training in these care settings. The

funding model suggested still requires politicians to step up and make the tax and funding decisions needed and sadly this remains the biggest barrier to any progress. “While many of these ideas are of individual merit, political leaders will remain faced with the difficult question of how to bring the changes needed together while health and care services and their workforce remain under severe pressure. That inevitably includes how to fund the change and accepting the need for long-term investment rather than expecting quick fixes.” Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘Our health and our health care services are at a crisis point. This report is a welcome contribution to the debate about the solutions and confirms there is much agreement about what needs to happen. This includes creating policies that address health rather than just healthcare, shifting the focus to prevention and early intervention services, maximising the potential of innovation, and ramping up efforts to retain staff and boost the workforce. ‘Many of these solutions have been known about for years, but not implemented. Successive governments have focused on short term solutions to immediate challenges, not fully grasping the wider opportunities to improve the health of the nation. The impact of these decisions is clearly visible in the challenges now faced by our healthcare system with people struggling to access the care they need when they need it, and in the overall health of the population. While public support for the NHS remains rock solid, public satisfaction with the health service is at its lowest since it first began to be tracked 40 years ago. ‘There is precedent to show that when political will exists, and a long-term approach is taken, significant improvements to health and to healthcare services can be made. To improve the nation’s health, politicians should focus on making health and care a more attractive place to build a career, bolstering out-of-hospital care such as primary, community and social care services, and helping people live healthier lives

through a focus on preventing illness.’ Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: “This new report, which we have worked closely with the Times Health Commission to shape, makes a number of important recommendations about the future of the health service. “Many of these suggestions will align closely with the views and aspirations of health leaders. “It is very welcome to see an emphasis on the vital role that technology can play in healthcare and in this fast-moving digital age, it is more important than ever that the NHS keeps pace. “We know that not only can greater and more streamlined use of technology benefit the NHS in terms of bringing better quality and faster care to patients, in can also do much to relieve the multiple pressures faced by health service leaders and their staff. “However, there are still some IT issues within and across NHS organisations where data is not able to link up yet. While the vision of having shared health and care records in one place is important for both patients and staff, the process, infrastructure and support need to be set up to make this a reality “The NHS is recognised as one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the developed world, but we know that more can be done to improve productivity, and health leaders and their teams are always looking at ways to generate even greater efficiencies. “One of the crucial ways that this productivity challenge can be addressed is by providing the NHS with the capital investment it needs, which has not been covered in this comprehensive report. Specifically, in England, capital funding needs to increase to at least £14.1 billion annually, a £6.4 billion increase from the current level of £7.7 billion. This is vital if we are to increase productivity and reduce waiting lists. “Elsewhere, we know the importance of good mental health for the next generation. If we don’t treat children early enough, they are much more likely to develop lifelong issues and so our members are focussed on ensuring that all children and young people who need care are seen as promptly as possible. However, with demand for services rocketing this is not an easy task.” “What we also need to see, and recognise is not an easy task, is to see sustained efforts to, on the one hand steady the ship and address the current very real pressures the NHS is under, while at the same time, look clearly to a future where the public health of the nation is improved. “This means that health must be considered in all government policies so that we shift towards a future where people live longer, healthier lives.”

Professional Pamper Day Is Wish Come True For ‘Radiant’ Lillian, 89 One of the south’s top professional makeup artists made a wish come true for an 89-year-old Dorset care home resident. Lillian Ledger told staff at Colten Care’s Avon Reach in Mudeford that she would love a little indulgence and pampering to brighten up the winter. The team invited award-winning Jess Robinson, who runs Model Makeovers in Bournemouth, to come in and give Lillian a special, one-to-one session. A guest room at the Farm Lane home was transformed into a pop-up health and beauty salon for a relaxed afternoon of luxury. It included careful application of natural skincare cleansers, creams and lotions as well as nail treatment. Afterwards, a fresh and invigorated Lillian said: “I loved it. It was something so out of the ordinary for me, a real treat that made me feel so special.” Jess said: “I spoke to Lillian beforehand and was completely guided by her choices. She said she wanted to look radiant. We went for a natural daytime makeover. “It was all about making Lillian feel pampered and special and creating a natural radiant look for her, a little bit more glam than everyday but still so she felt like herself. “She chose high-quality pink blusher, pink lips, red nails, shimmer mousse eye shadow and eyebrows shaped naturally.

“I found it very humbling to meet her. Her and her best friend Val who was there were both very sweet. It was like spending the afternoon with good friends. It didn’t feel like work. “It was heartwarming. They were so welcoming and grateful. I enjoyed it so much.” Companionship Team Leader Denise Marks said: “The pampering was lovely for Lillian, a true feel-good experience. She was indulged with natural makeup that enhanced her looks and added to her beauty. Jess explained all about the products she used, including how they are made and how ingredients are sourced.” To complement the makeup artistry from Jess, Denise and colleagues laid on a sumptuous afternoon tea complete with bubbly and chocolates. Afterwards, Home Manager Ruth Wildman presented Lillian with a framed photo from her makeover photoshoot. Jess has more than 20 years’ experience as a makeup artist and works only with cruelty-free products. As well as one-to-one pampers for individual clients, she regularly provides makeup services for weddings, commercial photoshoots and film sets. Among a string of accolades in the wedding and beauty industries, Jess was recently named Best Wedding Makeup Artist in the South West at the LUXlife Global Wedding Awards.

Minister of State in the Department for Health and Social Care to Address Care Community at UK Care Week in March UK Care Week has announced their surprise guest for the 20th & 21st March at the NEC, Birmingham. Helen Whately, Minister of State in the Department for Health and Social Care, will deliver a keynote address set to ignite discussions on the current state of the care sector. Appointed as Minister of State in the Department for Health and Social Care on 26 October 2022, Helen Whately brings a wealth of experience and a passion for driving positive change in the healthcare landscape. Her dedication to public service is evident in her previous roles, where she served as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and as Minister of State (Minister for Care) at the Department of Health and Social Care. Notably, Helen Whately also contributed significantly

as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Her diverse background reflects a deep commitment to enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities. Key takeaways will include insights into the future of health and social care policies, innovative strategies for improving the quality of care and delivery of the government’s vision for the care sector. This addition to the programme makes UK Care Week 2024 an event not to be missed! Across the 2 days, care professionals have the opportunity to dive into the latest innovations, learn from industry leaders, and celebrate the collective efforts to enhance the quality of care. Tickets are free, to register or for more information visit


Development And Sale Of Alzheimer’s Drug, Aducanumab, Ceased The pharmaceutical company, Biogen, announced this week that it will stop developing and marketing the Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (commercially known as Aduhelm). Aducanumab is designed to target and clear amyloid, one of the hallmark proteins that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, at an early stage of the disease. This is similar to the mode of action of newer Alzheimer’s drugs, lecanemab – also made by Biogen – and Eli Lilly’s donanemab. Aducanumab was made available to people living with Alzheimer’s in the US in June 2021, but was not approved for use in Europe and the UK after the EU drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), declined to licence it. The EMA ruled that results from clinical studies were conflicting, and did not show overall that the drug was effective at treating people with early Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, concerns were raised that the studies did not show that the medicine was sufficiently safe. Biogen says it will now “reprioritise resources allocated to aducanumab to advance lecanemab and to develop new treatments.” Biogen is a co-developer of lecanemab, which was granted full approval in the

United States last year. A regulatory decision on lecanemab for use in the UK is likely to be made in the first half of 2024. Commenting on the announcement, Katie Puckering, Information Services Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “this means that all patients currently taking aducanumab will end their treatment, including those accessing the treatment through medical services in the US, and those currently taking part in the global ENVISION phase IV clinical trial.” A Biogen representative said that patients currently taking aducanumab will be able to continue until November 2024. There are about 2,500 people worldwide taking the drug, including 12 people in the UK who are currently enrolled on the ENVISION study. “Whilst the withdrawal of aducanumab from the market may appear negative, we have seen with many other diseases that early generation of drugs are often replaced by more effective successors,” said Puckering. “Lecanemab, which is marketed in the US under the name Leqembi, may be available to patients currently taking aducanumab in the US. Lecanemab works in a similar way to aducanumab, but clinical trials showed it is more effective at slowing down cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s.”

Introducing Whispers: A New Era in End-of-Life and Palliative Support In a significant step towards enhancing end-of-life care, Whispers Care Solutions has proudly announced the launch of Whispers Specialist Care, a new dedicated end-of-life and palliative care service. The Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Nick Couldrey, joined staff on February 2nd for the official launch, marking a new chapter in compassionate care for the Hampshire and surrounding counties. Whispers Specialist Care aims to redefine the approach to endof-life and palliative care, offering a range of services tailored to meet the unique needs and wishes of individuals during their most challenging times. The service focuses on providing comfort, dignity, and emotional support to both clients and their families. The Mayor, in his inaugural address, applauded Whispers Care for their commitment to the community. “Whispers has been a beacon of hope and support in Eastleigh. With the launch of Whispers Specialist Care, they extend their compassionate reach, ensuring that end-of-life care is accessible and

empathetic,” said Councillor Couldrey. Adding to the enthusiasm, Sean Brewer, Marketing Manager at Whispers, shared, “We are excited to launch Whispers Specialist Care, a service that embodies our ethos of care and compassion. Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of those in their most vulnerable phase. This service is not just about medical care; it’s about providing a supportive, understanding environment where individuals and their families can find comfort and peace.” The initiative has been met with widespread appreciation, signalling a positive impact on the community’s healthcare landscape. Whispers Specialist Care not only offers medical support but also focuses on psychological and emotional well-being, recognizing the holistic needs of end-of-life care. The Mayor’s involvement highlights the community’s support for this vital service, underscoring the importance of compassionate care not just in Eastleigh, but throughout Hampshire and surrounding counties.

Misty The Therapy Dog Gives Abbeyfield House Residents Pedigree Experience Residents at Abbeyfield House care home in New Malden have been enjoying spending time with a seven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Misty. Misty is a therapy dog, whose handler Chris is a volunteer for the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN). TDN arranges one-off and regular visits from therapy dogs to places that support a wide range of vulnerable clients, including older people, people with disabilities and SEN schoolchildren. The animals provide emotional support, stimulation, and a distraction from the problems that these people face in everyday life. Every Wednesday, Misty visits Abbeyfield House to spend time with the residents. They love spending time with her and, for some, it stirs up memories of when they used to own dogs as pets. One resident, Charles, says, “Misty is a lovely dog. Seeing Chris make her do all the tricks she can is really enjoyable to watch. Having had dogs all my life, it is great to see one come visit us. Misty reassures me and makes me calm, just like my own dogs used to do.” Abbeyfield House’s Activities Coordinator, Jamie Ward, believes that Misty

brings unparalleled benefits for the residents. “Our residents here at Abbeyfield House in New Malden get a lot out of seeing Misty,” he explains. “I have seen how their behaviour and mood changes when they see her. Having cuddles with an animal is one of the best ways to help improve people’s mental health and general wellbeing. I have noticed certain residents get very happy when they see Misty and can’t wait to pet her. “They especially enjoy feeding her carrots, that Chris brings with her. We are very lucky to have Misty and Chris come to the home and be with our residents.” For Chris, she enjoys making a difference to the lives of the older people that Abbeyfield supports. She says, “For me, as the therapy dog handler, I love to see the smiles on the faces of the residents, staff and visitors, and the joy that Misty creates. It is the most rewarding experience, and I am very proud to be a volunteer for TDN.”

Bath Home Trials Residents to Grow Their Own Fruit Veg and Herbs with Exciting Growing Kits The PotGang trial has been a big hit with residents at MHA Stratton House A Bath home is encouraging residents to plant and grow their own fruit vegetables and herbs. MHA Stratton House is one of 10 homes part of the trial with PotGang, an organisation set up in lockdown to encourage members of the public to grow their own fruit, veg and herbs and is sponsored by Efoods. It's a six-month trial with homes receiving a new delivery every month from PotGang who will provide the resources they require to grow and plant the seeds they receive. Each box contains all the seeds, pots, compost and guidance needed to grow seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs. The home has found it very successful with residents getting stuck in and enjoying the process. Stephen Hill, home manager said: “We were always looking to implement the Green Care strategy into our home so to be a part of this trial is great. “In our first delivery we received seeds for pepper, aubergines and parsley and they have gone down really well. “Our maintenance worker/gardener Aniz made it into an activity which some of our residents really enjoyed.” Rob Cuming - Head of Projects, Pot Gang "We're really pleased to provide our Veg Growing Kits to multiple MHA homes as part of a project sponsored by EF Group. “When we first started Pot Gang our aim was to break down any barriers to inclusion for gardening and

open up the activity to a wider demographic in society, so we can get more people benefiting from the wonders of growing your own produce. Our kits make it possible for absolutely anybody to grow their own produce regardless of experience, knowledge, equipment, space, or confidence. “The uptake and engagement from the MHA care homes has been fantastic! “The individual homes have run growing sessions with their residents as part of their ongoing activities itinerary. “ We're very grateful for the support of EF Group in this project and hope that we can continue to reach even more homes going forward.” Karl Evans, national hospitality manager said: “Pot Gang is a fun way for our residents to plant, grow and harvest our very own fruit, vegetables, and herbs. “Every month our homes receive a couple of boxes with everything in to start the planting process from seeds. “The box also includes peat-free coconut compost, pots for different stages within the growing process unless these are then moved to homes growing beds, detailed growing cards, as well as characters for every fruit, vegetable and herbs provided with a story behind each one “There has been real positive engagement with this where our residents have been digging in to work with staff in setting these up and share their experiences within internal publications “We will also be looking at where this home-grown produce can be used to create special dishes for use in our menu for the residents within our homes and are looking forward to seeing the fruits of our labour.”


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.


PRODUCTS AND 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 S-Max 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 impeccable safety record built up over 20+ years for the thousands of units in use nationwide. Class 1 Medical Device certified the S-Max 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 @

LeisureBench Ltd is Proud to Introduce its New Sister Company SGM Recycled Plastics Ltd 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.

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

Encanto and Cuba – Fabrics for Well-designed Contract Interiors Adding to the family of impervious contract upholstery solutions from Skopos, Encanto provides a burst of colour and texture into commercial spaces. Marrying the key attributes: antimicrobial, impervious, soil and stain resist, the 3 designs offer amazing performance without compromising on style. Following in the footsteps of Chamonix, Moritz and, most recently, Chamonix Deuxième, the choice within the collection is designed to compliment a range of different interior choices. With 38 new Skus, each design works beautifully alone or in combination, to create simple, contemporary and stylish contract furniture pieces. The fractured herringbone, Onda, injects a familiar yet unique texture, alongside a flexible small-scale check and our familiar Cuba linen design. The palette provides pops of colour or a choice of classical neutrals. The three designs are provided are Halogen-free, Oeke-tex 100 compliant, with Crib 5 Flame Retardant backing, with 50,000 Martindale rubs, offering a beautiful choice for any contract interiors, whether office, education, care or high-end hospitality and cruise interiors. Along with many other Skopos upholstery fabrics, this collection comes under the Skopos Protect+ banner. Perfect for flagship interiors, with colours that compliment Skopos

drapery and bedding designs, view the full palette on-line and order a shade-card. The collection meets the requirements for Flame Retardancy standards across the UK and Europe, and meets IMO standards with the added benefit of the MED wheelmark, confirming suitability for marine/cruise-line interiors. Available immediately, with short lead-times for larger order quantities, Skopos are pleased to add this collection into their Accents range. For a copy of our Encanto shade-card pls contact our customer service team:, or for free samples of our collections, visit our website: Skopos are looking to become a ‘Carbon Neutral’ organisation in 2023, working towards PAS2060 status, as part of our drive towards a more sustainable future. For further information, please visit our website. Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has more than 50 years’ specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high-performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality sector. Images show Marmotte Magenta and Slalom Olive/ Orelle Elm, provided by Barons Furniture.

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.


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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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

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 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.

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.

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.

PRECISE 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.

USER-FRIENDLY 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.

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.

FOLLOW UP SUPPORT 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 See the advert on page 13.



Silent Running - Tranquility in Care Homes Quiet and calm care homes ensure that residents are able to live in a more relaxing and pleasant home environment. Similarly, carers and staff find that they too benefit from reduced stress when working in a home where noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are many environmental factors that can affect those sensitive to their surroundings, particularly those suffering from dementia, these can be fluctuations in ambient temperature, light, and of course noise. Repetitive and high levels of noise can originate from a number of internal and external sources, for example, telephones ringing, loud conversations in corridors, and call bells sounding, often one of the largest contributors to increasing the levels of stress and discomfort in residents. A published study by the University of Stirling stated that unanswered Nurse Call (Call Bell) alarms can be one of the most common causes of stress in dementia sufferers. The University recommends “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate what the matter is. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are separate alarm types used depending upon

the location of the call. In these circumstances, dementia sufferers and those vulnerable to noise can be located in one “zone” whist less vulnerable residents live in an alternative “zone”. Each “zone” can operate different call tones, warning lights or other methods to alert when help is required Reducing noise levels is essential to create a tranquil environment for residents. Pagers have been around for many years, are a relatively simple and cost-effective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call system. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered immediately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the residents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the positive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and more tranquil environment. For more information email us at: or see the advert below.

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

Blaucomm Ltd Arquella - Connected Technology, Connected Care 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.

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.

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

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

TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the

sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors. FEATURES INCLUDE: Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details or visit

Medpage Advanced Domestic and 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 Professional-wandering-falls.



Frequency Precision Sensors and Pressure Mats to Monitor Those in Care Technology has made people more connected with the world around them and the revolution in assistive care devices has made it possible for the elderly to spend their last years in a comfortable and familiar environment. These devices have also made it easier for home carers to provide quality care for their loved ones while managing their own lives. They allow you to care for your elderly

whether they are travelling in the city for errands, staying alone at home, or staying in the same home as you. They are also helping nursing homes provide better care for them with discrete monitoring and quick responses to emergencies. If you’re looking for these kinds of assistive care devices for your loved ones or nursing home, Frequency Precision produce some of the best 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:



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.