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T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 47

Infections Fall By 62% In Care Home Residents Five Weeks After First Jab

Coronavirus infections in care home residents fell by 62% from five weeks after they received their first vaccine dose, Government-funded research has revealed. Residents in England who were infected after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit the virus, according to preliminary findings from the Vivaldi study. A national study launched to research the rate of COVID-19 infections in care homes is led by Dr Laura Shallcross, and will run until November this year, in collaboration with Four Seasons healthcare and the Department of Health and Social Care. The aim of the study is to find out how many care home staff and residents have been infected with COVID-19, to inform decisions around the best approach

to COVID-19 testing in the future. Researchers tracked in excess of 10,400 care home residents in England, average age being 86, between December and March, comparing the number of infections occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups using data retrieved from routine monthly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. The study calculated the risk of infection was 56% lower from four weeks after a single dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and 62% lower after five weeks.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital!

Editor

Peter Adams

It is a pleasure to report the positive news that the death rate in care homes continues to fall and is now at its lowest level for 6 months - fantastic news! The Prime Minister has issued a “proceed with caution” warning, and rightly so. This will be a very critical time for the sector and the country as a whole. As we begin to ease out of lockdown people are anxious to return to a normal way of life, and this is particularly evident within the social care sector with families anxious to reunite and meet with loved ones for the first time in many months. This makes the approaching days very critical. We are approaching Easter, and there is a spell of good weather ahead. Unfortunately, when restrictions were eased previously there was a spike in infection rates, particularly in the residential and nursing care sector, so the need for

caution cannot be overstated. That said, the sector is immeasurably more prepared, staff are more aware, experienced, trained, and the government has been providing PPE to care homes, and yesterday announced it was extending this provision of free PPE to health and social care providers until March 2022 as the expectation of usage will remain high throughout the next financial year. The vaccination programme is proving to be a huge success. Between 8 December 2020 and 11 March 2021, 90.2% of all residents in England aged 70 years and over had received at least one dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, and the vaccination rate for people living in a care home is 86.4%). Furthermore, as our lead story indicates, coronavirus infections in care home residents fell by 62% from five weeks after they received their first vaccine dose. A single dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine was effective at stopping 62% of coronavirus infections in care homes! A remarkable achievement! But lost in all this, once again, is the dedication and hard work of staff from all departments who have really rallied and gone far beyond their normal expected duties. The lockdown had huge implications on the mental well-being of residents in residential and nursing care settings. Lockdown restrictions irrespective of individual circumstance have had a huge impact on their physical and mental wellbeing. Social isolation and activity curtailment have led to exercise being replaced by inactive behaviour, which according to studies can increase the risk of stroke, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia and other ailments. Furthermore, the loss of regular social contact with other residents and visitors, together with restrictions on free movement, has left residents vulnerable to loneliness and depression. And this is where care homes and their staff have absolutely excelled! We have been reporting on a regular basis initiatives, events and activities all designed to help alleviate/reduce all the above for care residents. We have seen and reported virtual holidays and cruises, engagement with the local

community and local schools, themed days and evenings, art classes, allotments and vegetable growing, recitals, baking competitions (if I’ve left anything out please do remind me) all going on behind the scenes and to me equally as important as the vaccination programs themselves although I suspect there will be many in the scientific community who will disagree with me! Which is why once again I would draw your attention to our latest “Unsung Hero Award”.

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WEBSITE: www.thecareruk.com EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson A small token on our part to reward somebody who has gone that extra mile in in the residential and nursing care sector. While mainstream media sometimes it would seem “relishes” the opportunity to dwell on negative news surrounding care homes, we have always done the opposite! And it is an absolute travesty that these feelgood stories and initiatives never seem to make mainstream news. We last did an award before Christmas, which received, we are delighted to say, a phenomenal response, with some of the most wonderful, delightful, inspiring nominations for staff working in numerous roles within the sector who had gone that little bit more (often a lot more) in their daily duties which can sometimes go unnoticed. So much so in fact that we tagged on an extra couple of runner-up prizes! We only opened for nominations last week and already are receiving nominees throughout the UK we are absolutely thrilled to say! So, once again a luxury hamper will be delivered directly to a “UNSUNG HERO” at their care home, nominations are open until April 30 so please get nominating with a small paragraph of what your nominee has done and why you think they are worthy of recognition nominate@thecareruk.com Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “ leading lights” for insight, advice guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” we receive from care homes and staff around the country so please do keep them coming! I can always be contacted at editor@thecareruk.com

TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Shelly Roche Published by


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 3

Infections Fall By 62% In Care Home Residents Five Weeks After First Jab (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The “substantial protection” lasted until at least seven weeks after vaccination, which the researchers say “provides some evidence” to support the UK’s decision to extend the dose interval. Researchers also found samples from positive coronavirus tests taken at least 28 days after a first dose of the vaccine contained less viral material, which suggests a lower level of transmissibility. Dr Maddie Shrotri (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) said: “Our study suggests that both vaccines currently in use in the UK are effective at reducing infections in frail, older adults. This new evidence is important because there is currently limited data about vaccine efficacy for this vulnerable population.” Researchers estimated the effectiveness of the vaccine by looking at the number of infections within specific time periods after vaccination (e.g., 0-6 days, 7-13 days, 14-28 days, up to seven weeks) and comparing these to the number of infections that occurred before vaccination. From this, they calculated that the risk of infection was 56% lower four weeks after vaccination, and 62% lower after five weeks.

Among care home residents who had previously been infected by SARS-CoV-2, a single vaccine dose appeared to have little impact, suggesting people who have a prior infection are already well protected. However, only 11% of people in the study had been infected with SARSCoV-2 before, so these early findings require further research. The researchers also looked at the Ct values of the PCR-positive tests. The Ct value is the number of cycles it takes to detect the viral DNA – a higher Ct value means there is less viral material to detect and suggests a lower level of infectiousness (transmissibility). The researchers found a higher average Ct value for positive tests 28 days after vaccination compared to positive tests before vaccination (an average Ct value of 31.3 compared to 26.6). Laura Shallcross, from UCL’s Institute of Health Informatics, said: “Our findings show that a single dose has a protective effect that persists from four weeks to at least seven weeks after vaccination. “Analysis of lab samples suggests that care home residents who are infected after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit the virus.” The study also found any residents in England who were infected

after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit the virus. Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said: “These data add to the growing evidence that vaccines are reducing Covid-19 infections and doing so in vulnerable and older populations, where it is most important that we provide as much protection from Covid as possible.” Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “This virus sadly has the most serious and profound effect on older people living in care homes and making sure they are protected has been our priority for the last year. “It is brilliant to see this is having the positive effect the science suggested, not only by preventing death, but also reducing the chance of infection. “This is particularly important in keeping those most at risk from the virus safe." Dr Shallcross added: “This timely evidence on the real-world effectiveness of vaccines shows the value of collaboration between care homes and research teams. We would like to thank the healthcare providers who shared their data with us.”

Gardening Club Blooms at Grosvenor Manor in Chester A group of green-fingered residents at a Chester care centre have formed a new gardening club, with the aim of further enhancing the home’s beautiful outdoor space and creating a new kitchen garden to provide fresh produce for the catering team. Led by resident Gwen Lewis, the team at Grosvenor Manor on Hatchmere Lane in Chester has rolled up its sleeves and is getting its hands dirty to prepare the garden for the forthcoming spring and summer months. Borders are being weeded, existing shrubbery is being pruned and the home’s large outdoor planting pots are being re-developed with an assortment of new bulbs that will flower at staggered times to provide a variety of blooms throughout the seasons. In addition, the talented team has created a superb new kitchen garden; planting a variety of herbs, fruit and vegetables that will hopefully result in fresh organic produce that can be used by the chef within the home’s menu. Wellbeing coordinator at Grosvenor Manor, Lisa Forth, said: “Like most people, our residents have had plenty of time to appreciate their surroundings during the pandemic and have benefitted from the home’s beautiful garden

which has provided a constant source of joy over the last 12 months. “With many commenting on how much they used to enjoy gardening, Gwen suggested that they get more involved. The project has blossomed from there; residents’ families have donated plants, bulbs, gloves, spades and forks and we’ve also bought a greenhouse to help nurture the seedlings as they grow and provide shelter for the team when outside.” Gwen said: “I always enjoyed gardening at home, it was a place where I went to relax and loved looking after it through the changing seasons. It’s great to be able to carry on with this now I’m at Grosvenor Manor and we’re excited to see the results of our hard work as the garden comes to life in the springtime.” Lisa Forth concluded: “For our residents, the benefits of the gardening club are immense. It offers positive social engagement and entertainment, enhanced wellbeing, improves dexterity, reduces depression and provides relaxation, sensory experiences and satisfaction. "It’s proving to be real passion project and it’s wonderful to see the residents really enjoying themselves.”


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The CQC Should Use its Updates To Explain as Well as To Inform

By Philippa Shirtcliffe, Head of Care Quality, QCS (www.qcs.co.uk)

Last week, the CQC provided a much anticipated update. The statement, which was published on its website, was keenly awaited. So, was the update worth waiting for? For anyone working in domiciliary care and Supported living, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’. At QCS, the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, around half of our clients work in home care services. It was a forward step, therefore, when the CQC has announced that it would “adapt” its “care home IPC method to use in community settings such as supported living and extra care”. Many providers, who work with us, tell us that it is right that the CQC has acknowledged that such services have been challenged by the Covid pandemic, while, on the other hand, inspections will reassure worried families that services have robust IPC measures in place. I am pleased too that the CQC plans to inspect and re-rate services. I agree with the CQC that introducing this important step will create muchneeded “additional capacity”. Thirdly, the CQC is right to use its inspection and assessment powers to help free up “capacity in acute care”. But, from a social care perspective (the update also covered the health sector, which I do not wish to comment on), those were the highlights of an otherwise prosaic and uninspiring missive. Most underwhelming was that for the majority of residential care providers, there wasn’t really anything new in the messaging. Take the second par, for example. “Throughout the pandemic,” the CQC states, “our regulatory role has not changed.” Our core purpose” it continues, “is to ensure that the public receive safe, effective, compassionate

and high quality care has remained at the centre of activities – and this will continue.” It’s not just that every provider knows this, it’s more the fact that many are crying out for direction regarding the CQC’s wider strategy, which lacks detail. This statement would have been a good opportunity to set the record straight. Take the CQC update message, for instance. It talks about the need to regulate “in a more dynamic and flexible way - moving away from using comprehensive on-site inspection as the main way of updating ratings”. But what does this actually mean? While the language is quite difficult to interpret, for some, this new ‘person-centred’ approach to inspection, means placing more emphasis on feedback - both from inside and outside of the service. While building as clear a picture as possible, is a positive step, some wonder if there is a risk – albeit a small one - that the CQC might, as a result of this directive, place a little too much weight on the feedback it receives about services prior to inspection. You don't have to be in the care sector, for instance, to know that people rarely call a company to say they are happy with the service it provides. On the contrary, the majority of calls made register dissatisfaction. If this is the case, there is a danger that the CQC, might not receive a balanced view of the service in question. This, I believe, would not be fair and in the worst case scenario, it may lead to some providers prioritising a defensive strategy, one that is heavily weighted towards mitigating risk, rather than championing a culture of care that promotes kindness, compassion and dignity above everything else. In my opinion – and I don't wish to speak for providers – it’s the subtleties and the nuance of the new inspection strategy that providers really need a steer on. So why not use future statements to shed much needed light on exciting new regulatory strategies? Over to you, CQC.

Vera Lynn Remembered In Hampshire Care Home’s Musical Tribute Iconic forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has been fondly remembered during a tribute afternoon at a New Forest care home. Residents at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst wanted to mark what would have been the late singer’s 104th birthday. It was an opportunity to sing along to some of Dame Vera’s famous songs, share memories of life during and after the Second World War and wave Union Jacks. Resident Barbara St John Frost had special reason to reminisce as she used to live in the next village to Dame Vera in East Sussex. Barbara said: “I have fond memories of her and her husband Harry Lewis. They both used to come to all local events and festivities. They were lovely people.” Fellow Woodpeckers resident Frank Coumbe said: “Vera Lynn boosted the nation’s morale during the war and fully deserved her status as Britain’s sweetheart.” We’ll Meet Again, one of Dame Vera’s most enduring songs, featured strongly during

the afternoon. The lyrics are familiar to Woodpeckers residents as they recently performed it for sign2sing, a fundraising event run by the deaf health charity SignHealth. They joined residents at several Colten Care homes in learning Makaton signs so they could sing and sign along in a video available to watch at www.youtube.com/coltencare. Just before she died last year, Dame Vera sent a letter to another Outstanding-rated Colten home, Canford Chase in Poole, thanking residents for sending a card for her 103rd birthday featuring photos of them holding flowers. The card was sent just as the nation began observing the first lockdown in March 2020. One of the lines in her letter of reply recalled a lyric from We’ll Meet Again, when she wrote: “It was very special to see your happy faces and to know that you ‘keep smiling through’”.

The National Association of Care Catering Launches its Care Chef of the Year 2021 Competition The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has officially launched its search for the best chef working in the care sector. The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 competition opened for entries. All chefs and cooks working across the care sector1 can enter the prestigious culinary competition that recognises, showcases and celebrates their talent and sector-specific knowledge and skills. The entry brochure can be downloaded at www.thenacc.co.uk/events/care-chef-2021 and the deadline for entries is Friday 30 April 2021. The NACC is also delighted to announce that Unilever Food Solutions is the new main sponsor of the competition. The Worshipful Company of Cooks remains an event sponsor, continuing its support of 11 years. Focusing on the importance of food, nutrition and positive mealtime experiences as part of quality care, entrants are challenged to create an appealing and delicious two-course menu (main and dessert) appropriate for people in a care setting. The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also feature a product from Unilever Food Solutions’ sector-relevant portfolio2. In addition, in a move that highlights the importance of cleanliness and hygiene best practice in the care sector and as a key factor for success in the competition, the NACC has reintroduced the Hygiene Award, which will be sponsored by the Unilever Professional Cleaning range. All paper entries will be judged by a central judging panel and successful chefs will be invited to compete at the regional heats in June 20213. Here they will have 90 minutes to produce their dishes and demonstrate their skill set and knowledge under the watchful eyes of the competition judges. The judges will be looking for clear nutritional understanding of the foods they are using and how they benefit the needs of their clientele, plus culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presentation, and, of course, hygiene best practice. The two highest-scoring competitors from each regional heat will secure a coveted place in the national final on Wednesday 6 October 20213 at Stratford-upon-Avon College.

Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to announce the launch of the NACC Care Chef of the Year competition for 2021. And what’s even better, is that there is also the real hope that this year’s event will unfold in person. “This fantastic competition is so important to our work that raises awareness of the value of the care catering sector and the profile of the incredibly talented, knowledgeable and dedicated chefs within it. This has never been so important. It has been a challenging year for everyone, especially those on the frontline. As well as propelling the importance of the care sector to the forefront of consciousness, the pandemic has put a much-needed spotlight on the vital link between good food and nutrition and good care and wellbeing. It is important that we keep the momentum around this conversation and that’s exactly what our competition can do, whilst also celebrating care chefs and giving them the opportunities to develop both professionally and personally. “We are also delighted to be working with Unilever Food Solutions as the main sponsor. Our sponsors are essential to the ongoing success of the competition and we are grateful to Unilever Food Solutions for joining us and to the Worshipful Company of Cooks for their continued support. I look forward to an exciting competition ahead!” Alex Hall, Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions, said: “We are very excited and proud to sponsor the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Care Chef of the Year competition in 2021. This competition provides a great opportunity and platform for care chefs around the country to showcase their skills and raise the profile of care catering. Our team at Unilever Food Solutions is delighted to be working alongside chefs within the care sector to ensure that every mealtime is the highlight of the residents’ day, be that supporting with activities to nutritionally analysed recipes, training, inspiration and competitions like this. We look forward to seeing how this year's competitors rise to the challenge and wish them the very best of luck.” Bev Puxley, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Cooks, said: “We’re delighted to continue our sponsorship of the NACC Care Chef of the Year competition. Care catering is a hugely important sector of the foodservice industry and it’s vital that we recognise and celebrate the enormous talent and dedication of care chefs in this way. As longstanding head judge for the competition, I am also pleased that the Hygiene Award has been reintroduced. Hygiene best practice in the kitchen is crucial and has always been a key judging criterion, which the formal recognition now highlights.” For more information on the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 competition and to download an entry form visit www.thenacc.co.uk/events/care-chef-2021 Dates are subject to change in line with Government Covid-19 guidance on events.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 5

Social Care Needs A ‘1948 Moment’ To Secure Its Future

Immediate action is needed on social care as part of a new longterm plan in the spirit of the post-war reforms, if we are to build back better from the pandemic and ensure everyone is able to live their best life, councils have said.. In a new pamphlet setting out the issues and priorities for social care in light of the pandemic, the Local Government Association said we need to reimagine the purpose and value of great social care for all people in all our communities, with the same zeal and spirit of hope which led to the creation of the NHS. This year’s Spending Review and the Government’s expected publication of its proposals for the future of care should also address some fundamental questions, including about what we want social care to be and what kind of care we want for ourselves and each other. Social care also should be recognised as part of the solution to building flourishing and connected communities, in the wake of the pandemic. The LGA, which represents councils, said the experience of the coronavirus pandemic has shown the consequences of underfunding and the often hidden nature of social care. The tragic situation in care homes, along with the disproportionate number of deaths of people

with learning disabilities and those of black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds in the care workforce, are just some of the ways that a historic lack of national attention has played out in our communities. Immediate priorities include funding to meet the continuing costs of COVID-19 on social care, particularly on the care workforce and unpaid carers, as well as investment to tackle the funding gap between the cost of providing care and what councils pay. This should help pave the way to a more properly funded, personcentred form of care that puts people in control of their lives and recognises their agency. Working closely with communities and the NHS to invest in prevention, reduce health inequalities and build on new health and care partnerships announced in the recent White Paper, this should ensure health and care services best support people to live the lives they want to lead in their own homes and communities. Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “A better future for adult social care must be one of the legacies of COVID-19, which should include action on funding, workforce, meeting demand, improving choice and quality of care.

“We need a ‘1948 moment’ which inspired the creation of the NHS for the long-term future of social care, especially in light of the devastating consequences of the pandemic for those drawing on and working in care and their families. “Over the last year, social care has proven that it is not simply a set of services needed by some because of age or disability, but a vital way of ensuring all people are supported to live a full life and maintain relationships and connections, whatever their circumstances, spanning various organisations, volunteers and staff. “Social care has also shown its value as an inherently local service, with councils playing a valuable leadership and coordination role in their communities. Emergency funding to cope with COVID-19 costs to date has been helpful, but we need to move beyond ‘more of the same’ and the pre-coronavirus status quo, to a new era of care which puts more trust in people who draw on social care, better supports wellbeing, and enables everyone to live the lives they want to lead. “We call on the Government to recognise this in the forthcoming Spending Review and publish its proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, before the summer parliamentary recess.”

World War II Hero Celebrates 100th Birthday By Meeting Great-Great-Grandnephew For The First Time A Women’s Auxiliary Air Force veteran who fixed Spitfires and raised barrage balloons during the blitz has met her great-great-grandnephew for the first time to celebrate her 100th birthday. Kitty Taylor was able to meet seven-month-old Rupert Marshall through a Covidsecure screen and reminisce about her incredible life with two of her nephews at St Mary’s Court care home in Braintree after more than a year of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kraig Donald said: “My auntie’s an amazing woman who has seen so much over 100 years. Although she has developed dementia, she remembers much about World War II and the vital role she played.” Kitty was born and raised in West London and was 19 when war broke out. She joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force upon its formation and was assigned to raise barrage balloons over Borough High Street to stop the advance of German bombers

during the blitz. Kraig said: “She remembers vividly running across London Bridge during an air raid as flak rained down over the city. During the day, she’d be on the rooftops spotting for planes. She’s an incredibly brave woman.” Kitty was transferred to Liverpool to train other women in barrage defences during the Liverpool Blitz and became recognised for her technical skills, so was sent to Oxford to help fix Spitfire and Mosquito aircraft for the rest of the war. Julia Clinton, CEO of Sonnet Care Homes, said: “Current social distancing rules allowed Kitty to hold hands with Kraig and see his brother, Kier, and the son of their niece through a Covid-secure screen, which made her very excited. She was also over the moon to receive a letter from the Queen. “We are blessed to have Kitty as part of the St Mary’s Court family and are pleased we were able to help her celebrate reaching 100-years-old with those close to her.”


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Covid Compliance – Significant Vs Serious Risk With the roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions now in place, the Health & Safety Executive continues to come under pressure to increase its risk classification of COVID19, which would make it easier to serve prohibition notices for businesses that fail to meet their obligations. Peter Hampson, head of regulatory at law firm Gordons (www.gordonsllp.com), examines what this could mean for employers in hospitality. The roadmap is now in place and hospitality businesses are preparing for phased reopenings in April, May and June. Caterers and hoteliers – like those businesses in many other industries – continue to cross their fingers that the data will keep supporting the roadmap so that they can reopen to customers in line with the roadmap. In the meantime, there is plenty of work going on behind closed doors to make sure they are ready. One of the biggest challenges to hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic, including through the periods of stop/start reopenings in 2020, has been in getting the right hygiene measures in place. The Government, Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Food Standards Agency (FSA) have all published guidance to support businesses in the last 12 months, with support also on hand from local authorities. Increased hygiene and cleaning processes have been a pre-requisite, together with social distancing, mask wearing, signage and other in-venue measures to help reduce the risk of transmission.

THE IMPACT OF NON-COMPLIANCE For some months now, businesses have faced the threat of improvement and prohibition notices if they fail to meet their obligations. Notably, the HSE has repeatedly warned of spot checks across all industries. In Parliament in February, Mims Davies, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said that the HSE has carried out over 110,000 COVID-19 spot checks and responded to over 18,000 concerns since the start of the pandemic. Its evidence, Mims Davies said, shows that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for enforcement notices.

What these statistics fail to highlight is that the HSE had issued just two prohibition notices for breaches of workplace COVID-secure standards up to 19th February 2021, both in the oil and gas industry. There has, of course, been other action taken. Up to the same date, there had been 6,429 COVID-19 related cases resulting in an outcome of verbal advice (2,030 in service sectors), 1,422 COVID-19 related interventions resulting in an outcome of written correspondence (367 in service sectors) and 212 improvement notices served (53 in service sectors).

RECLASSIFYING RISK? Part of the reason for the lack of prohibition notices and prosecutions has been the HSE’s classification of COVID-19 as a “significant” risk, rather than “serious” within its Enforcement Management Model (EMM), which makes its far harder to justify such actions. With retail and hospitality preparing to reopen, there have been calls to reclassify that risk and put greater pressure on operators to meet their obligations. Trade unions and the Labour Party in particular have been calling for change, concerned about employee welfare after various reports of employees being forced into work against their will. The Observer reports that there have been 3,500 outbreaks in UK workplaces since the start of the pandemic. If that happens, there is every reason to expect that more improvement and prohibition notices will be served. However, while businesses should be aware of any change, there is no reason why they should be concerned if they are implementing the correct procedures.

COVID-SECURE MEASURES My advice now is the same as it has been throughout the pandemic. Irrespective of classification in the HSE’s EMM, strong hygiene procedures and best practice measures will enable any business to reopen safely and lessen chances of the spread. It will also prevent any enforcement action by the HSE or local authority. It is important for any employer to recognise that things are not like they were in 2019. All employers have obligations under the Health & Safety Act 1974 to ensure the safety of their own employees and non-employees. Whilst it is true that this requires more effort now than it did pre-pandemic, it certainly doesn’t mean it is not achievable. Use the guidance available on the HSE and Gov.uk websites, undertake the necessary risk assessments and put the correct measures in place. If you follow the correct procedures, you can be confident of compliance if and when the HSE undertakes a spot check – however it classifies risk.

One Year On From Lockdown: The Evolution Of The Care Sector

ONE year ago, the UK was plunged into its first nationwide lockdown and, as coronavirus cases surged across the country, care homes closed their doors to visitors. For Nottinghamshire’s specialist dementia care group, Church Farm Care, this meant establishing brand-new ways of working to ensure the safety of the people living and working with them. In addition to closing doors to visitors and investing in more PPE, both changes that are public knowledge, there have been many more

internal adaptations to ways of working that people aren’t necessarily aware of when it comes to way the group has navigated the pandemic. Helen Walton, head of operations, said: “The past year has had a tremendous impact on ways of working in the care sector. Before COVID-19, certain team members would regularly move around our four homes, however, this was something we immediately stopped when the severity of the pandemic became apparent, meaning that each home had its own team. Then even within that team, there are dedicated ‘households’ caring for different groups of residents to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus.” These immediate changes paid dividends at the height of the pandemic last April, when the team at Church Farm’s West Bridgford home, Skylarks, successfully managed to contain an outbreak and, ultimately, save lives. There were 13 family members at the home who tested positive for COVID-19 but made a full recovery thanks to the hard work of carers and staff - led by head of nursing, Maria Spollin. However, it’s not just people’s physical wellbeing that has been a top priority. Maria said: “In times of pressure people pull together, and our team has gone above and beyond in that respect. However, we’ve seen a

significant increase to our existing wellbeing offering during the pandemic, to ensure everyone feels valued and can continue to deliver excellent care to the people who live with us. The last year has shown just how important those connections with other people and our hobbies are now that they’ve been taken away from us.” While in-person visits have been strictly prohibited, use of video conferencing software such as Zoom and Teams has skyrocketed, as relatives strived to maintain a connection with family members living in homes. However, before the pandemic, this was something that had never had to be considered and, therefore, wasn’t in place. Now it’s firmly entrenched in every home’s day-to-day activity. Patrick Atkinson, director, said: “Going virtual has broadened people’s ideas about how they can connect and allowed family members who live all over the UK - and indeed the world - the opportunity to stay connected with their loved ones in a way they couldn’t before. “From one-to-one calls through to group meetings, it’s been a real lifeline for the people who live with us and has left us asking ourselves why we didn’t think of this before. It’s undoubtedly something that will remain part of our processes forever as we navigate our way out of the pandemic.”.

Care Home Celebrate Their Very Own Prima Ballerina On World Theatre Day Honouring and celebrating a person’s life journey, their passions and experiences is at the core of the person-centred care that Withen’s Nursing Home is passionate about. Which is why on the 27th March to mark World Theatre Day the home is celebrating their very own star of the stage and screen, Jeanne Palmer or more affectionately known as ‘Bill’. The dedicated team at the Nursing Home in South Fleet, Dartford know the importance of getting to know the life history of those who live at the home and how it is equally important to involve the residents loved ones in piecing their history together. “Jeanne has always been a performer, loves to share her fascinating stories with staff who intern also love to listen to them too!”- Sara Morrissey Activities Co-ordinator Jeanne started dancing at the age of 10, dancing may well have even been in Jeanne’s blood; as the descendant of William Lusby who ran a Music Hall on the Mile End Road in London. She entered many exams as part of her early years training. Jeanne received her Elementary Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance at the age of 11 and went on to complete her intermediate and advanced certificates. She didn’t just dance ballet, but also has medals for Character, Operatic, National, Musical Comedy, Tap, Greek and Duet dancing. She was recommended and accepted into the Bush-Davies School under Victor Leopold and Noreen Bush at the age of 14 and at the age of 16 she got her first professional contract in a touring dance troupe. During the War Jeanne was invited to become a member of the International Ballet. This was a touring company that performed throughout the UK, working under world renowned Russian Ballet Master, Nicholas Sergeyev.

The International Ballet toured relentlessly, regularly performing from 8 different ballets and up to 16 shows in two weeks; however, for Bill “these were some of the happiest times of my life”. It was at the International Ballet that she met and fell in love with Principal Dancer Denys Palmer. As Husband and Wife, they spent many happy years dancing together across the United Kingdom and Europe. It was one of the European tours that Jeanne particular remembers, “that tour was not only the most relentless but also the most incredible experience to share with my husband and the rest of the company. We toured Italy and Spain playing at some of the most famous Opera Houses. In Verona we danced in the Roman Arena. During that tour we played to over 220,000 people!” Another highlight of Jeanne’s career was performing with the with the International Ballet at the opening of the Festival Hall during the Festival of Britain in 1951. The International Ballet carried on until is closure in 1953. Jeanne went on to dance on various television shows in the ’50s such as “Cool for Cats” a pop music show. The 1960s saw Jeanne do ‘the best job of my life’ – become a mother to Nick and Lucy, and she’s been an expert at that ever since said her son Nick! Withen’s Manger Amadu Timbo spoke about Bill and their plans for World Theatre Day, “In the summer of 2020 Jeanne helped us to choregraph a synchronised swimming wheelchair routine for both residents and staff, she loved giving us all pointers on our dance moves! For World Theatre Day we will be screening a performance of one of Jeanne’s favourite Ballets, Adolphe Adam’s Giselle. Here at the Withens we understand the importance of knowing the individual life stories, histories and interests of each person who lives here. We ensure that we regularly reminisce and acknowledge those aspects through our person-centred approach to all aspects of care.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 7

Lack Of Long-Term Plan “Hampering” Social Care Says Report Short-term funding and the lack of a long-term vision has hampered planning, innovation and investment in adult social care. The current accountability and oversight arrangements are ineffective for overseeing the care market, according to a report by the National Audit Office. The Department of Health & Social Care (the Department) is responsible for setting national policy for adult social care and for the overall performance of the care system. The Care Act 2014 places a range of duties on local authorities. Under the Act, local authorities are responsible for commissioning adult social care from around 14,800 registered providers, most of whom are independent. In 2019-20, local authorities spent a net £16.5 billion on care. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government oversees the distribution of funding to local government and the financial framework within which local authorities operate. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates care providers for quality and oversees the financial resilience of the largest and potentially most difficult to replace providers. Current accountability and oversight arrangements for adult social care are ineffective. Although the CQC rates most care as good, the Department lacks visibility of how effectively local authorities commission care and the outcomes achieved. It has no legal powers to intervene or hold individual authorities to account. This limits the Department’s ability to assess how well money is being spent, or what additional funding is needed to support care users. The Department has increased its focus on adult social care in response to COVID-19; it has taken steps to increase its capacity and address data gaps, and in February 2021 published a white paper with proposals to improve the data it collects and its oversight of local authority delivery of social care. The Department has not met previous commitments to tackle recruit-

ment and retention challenges for the 1.5 million people who work in care. It has not produced a workforce strategy since 2009, despite committing to do so in 2018. The Department told the NAO that a workforce strategy would be dependent on the next spending review and wider reforms committed to in the recent white paper. The Department does not have a clear strategy to develop accommodation for adults with care needs and does not monitor the condition of current accommodation itself. Uncertainty about future funding and care policy mean providers are reluctant to invest in accommodation. Funding for new investment is ad-hoc with no co-ordinated, long-term vision across government about how new accommodation will be developed or existing accommodation adapted to meet care needs. Short-term funding settlements have hampered long-term planning for adult social care. The NAO has previously emphasised the importance of clarity over funding beyond the end of a spending review.1 Uncertainty has made it difficult for local authorities, facing significant financial pressures, to plan how much care they could purchase beyond the current financial year, constraining much needed innovation and investment. For 2019-20, the Department assessed that most local authorities pay care providers below a sustainable rate for care. Stakeholders lack visibility of provider finances across the care market. Pre-COVID-19, many care providers were not financially resilient, and the impact of COVID-19 could have further consequences. In view of local authority responsibilities for care and CQC’s market oversight role, the Department does not collect additional information on provider finances. Analysis by CQC of the large providers indicates that government support has helped to stabilise the market. Falls in occupancy from around 90% pre-pandemic to 80% in February 2021, raises con-

cerns that ongoing support may be required. In 2019-20, 839,000 adults accessed long-term support arranged by local authorities. Pre-COVID-19, Carers UK estimated there were around 7.3 million unpaid carers in England.2 Around 24% of adults aged 65 and over have unmet care needs.3 There are likely to be large increases in future demand for care, leading to rising costs. The Department projects that around 29% more adults aged 18 to 64 and 57% more adults aged 65 and over will require care in 2038 compared to 2018. Over this period, the total cost of care is projected to rise by 90% for adults aged 18 to 64, and 106% for adults aged 65 and over. These projections are highly uncertain and will also depend upon any changes to the way care is delivered, which the Department has not yet assessed. Despite many years of government papers, consultations and reviews, the Department has not brought forward a long-term plan for care. The pandemic has delayed promised reforms as government prioritises the COVID-19 response. The Department will be leading reform plans and has committed to bringing forward proposals in 2021. Reforming the sector will be a significant challenge and will need a whole system, cross-government approach. “The lack of a long-term vision for adult social care coupled with ineffective oversight of the system means people may not get the care that best supports them. “The Department of Health and Social Care has increased its focus on adult social care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It needs to build on this to ensure that its long-awaited reforms deliver affordable, high quality and sustainable adult social care for the future.”

Reflect & Grow: New Campaign Encourages Reflection and Sharing Royal Star & Garter is inviting people to grow sunflowers this summer to support the charity. The Reflect & Grow campaign aims to bring together families to reflect on their experiences in the pandemic, while sharing the joy of growing plants. Donations will support the charity, which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It has care homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. Supporters are invited to make a £10 donation to the charity to receive a family-fun activity pack. This includes five sunflower seeds with step-bystep planting instructions, colouring-in sheet, markings to measure your flowers as they grow and a table to chart their progress. As Royal Star & Garter celebrated its 105th anniversary earlier this year, it is aiming to have at least 105 people take part in the Reflect & Grow campaign. The packs also make ideal gifts for friends and loved ones, while sup-

porting a worthy cause. Participants will be encouraged to share photos of their soaring sunflowers on social media, tagging Royal Star & Garter. On the National Day of Reflection on 23 March, each Home planted a cherry blossom tree in its gardens to create a living memorial for residents who died last year and also to recognise the efforts of staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure residents continue receiving exceptional care. Senior Community Fundraiser Lauren Baker said: “We hope that while planting and watching these sunflowers grow, our supporters will have an opportunity to reflect on what we have been through over the past year. Reflect & Grow can also bring together families and friends who have been separated for so long, and provide a summer-long project for all to enjoy.” To get your Reflect & Grow activity pack and seeds, and for further details, please visit: https://starandgarter.org/reflect-and-grow/

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PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

Businesses Must Realise Not All Bullying Is Visible By Tina Chander, partner and head of the Employment law team at leading Midlands law firm, Wright Hassall (www.wrighthassall.co.uk)

Claims of bullying and harassment in the workplace have once again grabbed the headlines in the national media, on both sides of the Atlantic. But even for those who do not work in palaces, the impact of personal attacks by colleagues, can be devastating. One such common issue is ‘invisible' workplace bullying, when an employee has a feeling they are being talked about behind their back. For those organisations that ignore it or do not take adequate steps to prevent it, the outcome could be costly, both monetarily and reputationally.

BULLYING AND HARASSMENT – WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES? Harassment is defined as; ‘unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual’. The protected characteristics include; age, disability, gender reassign-

ment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy or maternity. If an employee is able to demonstrate that they have suffered harassment that is related to a protected characteristic, they will be eligible to bring a claim for discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 (“the Equality Act”). In the event an employee is unable to link the harassment to one of the nine protected characteristics listed above, such a route of redress via the Equality Act will not be available to them. Unlike harassment, bullying does not fall under the Equality Act. Therefore, a claim on the basis of discrimination is not an option in respect of an employee who has been bullied, unless they are able to show the bullying also falls under the definition of “harassment”. This does not mean that employees who suffer from workplace bulling have no means of redress however, it can be more difficult for these employees to ascertain the appropriate route forward given there is not one single piece of legislation which deals with this.

DRAFTING A THOROUGH POLICY From a business perspective, it is crucial that steps are taken to prevent such behaviour, as this will show colleagues that you take such matters seriously and measures are in place to deal with accusations. One of the most effective ways to prevent it is to develop and circulate a well drafted bullying and harassment policy, ideally using some of the advice and guidance that is offered by an experienced legal team. Before drafting the policy, it is crucial that the senior management team is on board and committed to enforcing it. This means recognising that harassment and bullying exists and understanding the impact it can have on individuals. Within the policy, it should be made clear that bullying and harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated under any circumstances. By

providing examples of behaviour that might constitute bullying and harassment, you can remove any grey areas, warning that a breach of the policy could result in disciplinary action.

DON’T IGNORE THE PROBLEM Of course, all organisations want to resolve accusations of bullying and harassment quickly, so that the complainant(s) can put the issue behind them and focus on work. However, some incidents may be serious and demand more of the employer’s time. If this is the case, it is important to work through the complaint with the cooperation of all the involved parties – don’t make the mistake of thinking it has been sorted after one conversation. If you fail to take the complaint seriously, then you immediately show the employee that this type of behaviour is acceptable, which is detrimental to the emotional wellbeing of the individual, who may then escalate the issue to senior management. Not only this, but dealing with a Tribunal claim can be lengthy and costly and is capable of damaging the reputation of your business, especially if it becomes clear that the issue was not handled properly.

IN CONCLUSION No business wants to believe that incidents of harassment or bullying would take place, but inevitably, there will be employees that suffer from some form of inappropriate behaviour. Whilst it is important for organisations to introduce policies that reduce the risk of such incidents occurring, senior management must do all they can to educate employees and ensure complainants are supported when issues come to light. If your business is finding it difficult to draft a comprehensive policy or it requires legal guidance with a recent incident, then it is important to contact an experienced legal team to provide assistance before the problem worsens.

Staff and Residents at Paddock Stile Manor Care Home Receive Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccinations Staff and residents at Paddock Stile Manor care home in, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear, were delighted to receive their second and final vaccinations following a challenging and disruptive year. With these jabs comes a much brighter outlook as everyone is thrilled to welcome back their loved ones into the home in the near future. Both residents and the entire staff team are looking forward to getting back to spending time surrounded by their family once again. Home Manager, Julie Thompson, said “We are all feeling really positive about receiving our 2nd covid vaccine today. We’re hoping this brings some normality back into our lives, especially our residents so that they can see more of their families.”

Offering specialist dementia, residential and short-term respite care, Paddock Stile Manor is part of Orchard Care Homes’ network of residences situated across the North of England and the Midlands. Hayden Knight, CEO at Orchard Care Homes, commented “The COVID-19 vaccinations will provide better protection for everyone and pave the way for families to reconnect with their loved ones. We continue to have the wellbeing of all residents and staff at the very front of our thoughts, while taking a cautious and considered approach to getting ‘back to normal.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 9

New Office for Health Promotion to Drive Improvement of Nation’s Health The new Office for Health Promotion will lead national efforts to improve and level up the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity. The Office will recruit an expert lead who will report jointly into the Health Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty. The Office’s remit will be to systematically tackle the top preventable risk factors causing death and ill health in the UK, by designing, implementing and tracking delivery policy across government. It will bring together a range of skills to lead a new era of public health polices, leveraging modern digital tools, data and actuarial science and delivery experts. The Office for Health Promotion will sit within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and will lead work across Government to promote good health and prevent illness which shortens lives and costs the NHS billions every year, building on the work of Public Health England. It will enable more joined-up, sustained action between national and local government, the NHS and cross-Government, where much of the wider determinants of health sit. A large proportion of people’s health outcomes (around 80%) are not related to the healthcare they receive but due to wider preventable risk factors (such as diet, smoking, exercise). The new Office will help inform a new Cross-Government agenda which will look to track these wider determinants of health and implement policies in other departments where appropriate. This Office and approach will be modelled on successful methods to this agenda internationally, such as in Singapore, which has a Health Promotion Board, and has pioneered new digital public health schemes, such as their ‘National Steps Challenge’. The Office will address and tackle important public health issues, including obesity and nutrition, mental health across all ages, physical activity, sexual health, alcohol and tobacco, amongst other areas. As England cautiously eases restrictions over the coming months, preventing the onset of avoidable physical and mental illness and protecting the nation’s health will be the top priority for this government. From today, outdoor organised support resumes as part of the roadmap, and the government is urging people to get outside and get active to help improve their health and prevent some illnesses. The new office will recruit expert leadership, ensuring it is informed by high-quality data and evidence to support decision-making and delivery to improve health across the nation. The new Office will combine Public Health England’s health improve-

ment expertise with existing DHSC health policy capabilities, in order to promote and deliver better health to communities nationwide. By combining and enhancing these functions, the Office will play a vital role in helping the public lead healthier lives. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “The new Office for Health Promotion will be crucial in tackling the causes, not just the symptoms, of poor health and improving prevention of illnesses and disease. “Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of physical health in our ability to tackle such illnesses, and we must continue to help people to lead healthy lives so that we can all better prevent and fight illnesses.” Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Good physical and mental health are central to our happiness and well-being. Yet so much of what keeps us healthy happens outside of hospital and the health service. “By establishing the Office for Health Promotion we will bring health promotion into the heart of Government, working to the Chief Medical Office, so we can level up the health of our nation, working across national and local government. “Prevention is better than cure. By putting in place innovative prevention measures, we can help everyone to live longer, healthier lives as we ease back to normality, and relieve pressures from our NHS.” The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many of the vulnerabilities in the health of the population – from obesity to mental ill health, and it is more important than ever to support people in achieving healthier lives. Ill-health amongst working-age people alone costs the economy

around £100 billion a year. By focusing on the prevention of poor health and improving health outcomes, this will reduce the pressures on the NHS, social care, and other public services. The plans set out today will ensure there is a focus across the whole of government to deliver greater action on prevention of ill health. There will be a new cross-Government Ministerial board on prevention, which will drive forward and co-ordinate action on the wider determinants of health to level up inequalities. Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “Preventing ill health and supporting our communities to live healthy lives is very important. “The non-direct harms of COVID on the public’s health will not be trivial. We need an evidence-informed and collaborative approach to health promotion and to support this recovery. “The Office for Health Promotion will work across both national and local government as well as with the NHS, academia, the third sector, scientists, researchers and industry to develop evidence informed policies.” The government will also be strengthening the national focus and capability of NHS England and the focus of local health partners on supporting better health, as part of a drive to put better population health front and centre for the whole health and care system. This forms a key part of the planned Health and Care White Paper, with Integrated Care Systems bringing together the collective resources and strengths of the local system, the NHS, local authorities, the voluntary sector and others to improve the health of their area. By joining up care, this will level up inequalities across the country and address the many determinants of health and wellbeing, to prevent or intervene early in ill health. Important progress has been made in recent decades enabling people to live longer, healthier lives, but evidence shows that, on average, 20% of people’s lives are spent in poor health. The announcement follows the establishment of the new UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), set to launch in April. With the UKHSA leading on health security, the Office for Health Promotion will focus on health improvement, leading at a national level to exert influence across the health and care system and beyond. The Office for Health Promotion will be established by the Autumn. The government will set out more detail on plans and ambitions for improving the public’s health later this year.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 11

Government to Extend Free PPE Until March 2022

The government has extended the provision of free PPE to social care providers by a further nine months until the end of March 2022. The Department of Health and Social Care said the extension from the end of June is due to the expectation of clinical experts that usage will remain high throughout the next financial year. “In order to protect the health and wellbeing of health and social care workers, as well as their patients and clients, the continued provision will ensure front-line workers can access rigorously tested and high-quality PP”, it added Care England welcomed the Government’s decision, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: "PPE is one of the main barriers in a care setting to limiting the spread of COIVD-19 thus Care England is pleased that the Government has listened to its pleas for an extension to free PPE as it will help protect some of society's most vulnerable as well as our staff at the frontline" This week the Government confirmed that it was extending the provi-

sion of free PPE to health and social care providers until the end of March 2022 as the expectation of clinical experts is that usage will remain high throughout the next financial year. As the Government has made clear, the vaccine is not a silver bullet and the care sector must remain astute by maintaining high levels of infection prevention and control. PPE plays a huge role in this. Although setting up free PPE via a centralised mechanism took some months, the current system means that providers can order and receive PPE thus maintaining a high level of sustainability and resilience in relation to PPE supply. Equally as significantly, there is the ability for the system to respond nimbly to the ever-changing Covid landscape. Martin Green continues: “PPE also plays a critical role in the wider COVID-19 response, such as enabling visiting to care homes. We do not know what the winter this year will bring but free, rigorously tested PPE gives providers a chance to be prepared”.

Are YOU The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero? Once again we here at The Carer are looking for an Unsung Hero! A super Deluxe luxury hamper for the lucky winner!! We have to gain absolutely wonderful, uplifting and heartwarming stories from residential and nursing care homes around the country, and as always a delight to publish them! Fundraising, engaging with local schools and communities, baking, candlemaking, knitting, poetry, recitals, fancy dress, Chinese New Year you name it we and have been receiving fun stories! Behind the scenes we have also received stories of the dedication commitment and devotion staff have shown in particular during these testing times. However, this the hard work and dedication that those working in the sector often in extremely challenging situations can go unnoticed!

Over the past couple of years we have sought to redress that by inviting residential and nursing care homes to nominate somebody in their home who they believe is that “unsung hero” Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, and often receives little recognise or reward, and, since we launched our unsung hero award we have always had a phenomenal response, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories. They can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration we will leave that up to you. We will be drawing a winner on April 30, so please get your nomination with a short paragraph on what your nomination has done deserve recognition and please send to:nominate@thecareruk.com

Martyn Davies, our last Unsung Hero


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 13

Politicians and Leaders Call for Urgent Action on Older People’s Housing and Care Cross-party group of MPs and Peers have joined forces with leaders from academia, finance, local politics, and housing to call for urgent Government action to improve housing and care options for older people, in a new ‘Housing with Care Grey Paper’. The Grey Paper, which features essays and policy recommendations from 14 high-profile authors including politicians from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and SNP, says “the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the urgent need to provide better support for older and more vulnerable people”, and that “we have a duty to transform our housing and care provision so that it provides security, dignity, health and flourishment in later life”. The report’s authors set out a series of concrete policy actions for the Government to improve housing and care provision, including: • A cross-government Housing with Care Task Force • Greater clarity in the planning system to define different types of older people’s housing, including a new planning category for housing with care • Better financial incentives for older people to ‘rightsize’ into more suitable properties • Expanding the number of ‘lifetime homes’ fit for all ages • Securing a better deal for paid and unpaid care workers • A sustainable funding formula for social care, including a Universal Care Entitlement The Grey Paper is published at what it calls a “critical juncture” for the UK’s support for older people. While the Government is currently con-

sulting on its ‘Planning for the future’ White Paper, social care reforms are expected late in the year, both of which will have a significant impact on the lives of older people. The housing with care sector, which the Grey Paper focuses on, combines independent living for older people with the provision of onsite care and support if needed. Housing with care providers have helped support older people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing high-quality care and helping to reduce loneliness. Yet the sector only provides a home for 0.6% of over-65s, considerably less than the 5-6% seen in similar countries like New Zealand, Australia, and the US. The Grey Paper’s recommendations aim to redress that imbalance. You can read the full Housing with Care Grey Paper here. Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said: “The new Housing with Care Grey Paper demonstrates just how much cross-party and cross-society support there is for better housing provision and expansion of care options for older people. “We’re delighted to have received 14 thoughtful and incisive contributions from figures across politics, academia, finance, housing and more, and we urge the Government to take their recommendations seriously. “What unites the pieces is the sense that bringing about change is going to require cross-government action, and that’s exactly why we’re calling for a Housing with Care Task Force to be set up with immediate effect.”

Bob Blackman, Conservative MP and Member of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, said: “There is growing interest from both the public and private sector in housing with care for older people – but a number of policy obstacles are currently holding growth back. “There are a staggering number of terms used to describe housing with care, and we’ve got to get a lot clearer with definitions so that policy-makers and older people alike know what different housing options are. Targets need to be set for each type so that we increase supply quickly. “Only by taking action now will we create housing and care options which provide independence, health and social integration for older people.” Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive of Anchor Hanover, said: “In the next 15 years, 4.4 million more people will be aged 65 or over. We cannot wait any longer to secure a positive future for today’s and tomorrow’s older generations. “The Government has got to finalise its ‘clear plan’ to resolve social care as soon as possible – including measures to boost housing with care which improves the independence, health and wellbeing of older people. “There are challenges for us all; for businesses, for public services and for each one of us as individuals. Action now can positively change how we age.”

Devizes Residents Video Chat With Children From Local School Residents at HC-One’s Market Lavington care home, in Wiltshire, have had the opportunity of building up relationships with the local junior school through video calls this week. A few weeks ago, during the promotion of ‘Intergenerational Week’, Wellbeing Coordinator, Riaz Ali, contacted the headteacher, Lindsey Clough, at St Barnabus, the local junior school, with the idea of video calls to be set up between their children and the Residents. Yesterday this was finally achieved and a fun-packed hour was spent with three year 6 children and several Residents, including Angela and June (pictured) at Market Lavington. The children were utterly delightful, asking questions about favourite foods and favourite places to go. At one point they held up a whiteboard and suggested games of hangman or noughts and crosses with the Residents. The feedback from St Barnabus was extremely positive with the class teacher, Liz Orr, stating the children loved it so much, it filled them with confi-

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dence, and the school would like to make this a regular weekly meeting. The Residents were full of positive comments too, with one remarking, “It was such a lovely experience, I would like to do it again!” Another Resident added, “They were so funny, but I think they let me win at noughts and crosses!” Lindsey Clough said “After it ended, those other children were asking to be signed up for the next video chat session – we now have a waiting list of children eager to chat to the Residents of our local HC-One home!” Riaz commented, “The opportunity of talking to children of that age, was something the Residents relished and were very aware of. They loved hearing about the children’s favourite lessons, and their likes and dislikes in general!” “I am so grateful and thankful to St Barnabus and the teachers and headteacher for making this possible, and I am so glad it was a success and that we have future meetings to look forward to!”

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PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

Technology Is Reshaping The Delivery Of Care By Dr Simon Bourne, CEO and Founder, my mhealth (https://mymhealth.com) support the NHS through a global pandemic. Over the past year, with COVID-19 we have seen first-hand how tech and digital progress has enabled the industry to better manage challenges such as population scale remote monitoring, diagnosis, management and patient outcomes. It has alleviated pressure from the NHS by supporting patients through technology to manage conditions remotely, minimising the risk to themselves and those around them. This has allowed healthcare workers to prioritise patients with health issues that require in-person attention and help provide uninterrupted healthcare access. Technology also has a huge role to play in supporting the implementation of specialist referrals and personalised patient care at a large scale. Digital therapeutics can deliver evidence-based interventions using software, including NHS-approved digital platforms, which are used by providers across the UK. Technology empowers patients and clinical teams to manage longterm conditions, such as Asthma, COPD, Diabetes and Heart disease, as well as COVID-19, using digital therapeutics and specific management tools. It is well worth noting that at least 25% of patients have two or more of these conditions. This places a huge burden, financially. Asthma care alone, for example costs the NHS £1.1bn, and one of the greatest challenges we have is patients not taking their inhaled medication correctly, or at the appropriate prescribed frequency. I have seen the implementation of digital therapeutics and medical education correct inhaler adherence by up to

While some industries have been less eager to adopt, invest and incorporate technology into the workplace, most recognise the great potential and opportunity it offers. In fact, the past decade has proved for many that there is a lot at stake if you don’t embark on a digital transformation. The incorporation of tech into medicine, and digital therapeutics specifically, improves efficiency, productivity and accessibility. More intrinsically, the implementation of cloud-based operating systems does just that. Rather than putting jobs at risk, technology empowers healthcare providers (HCPs) to prioritise and target patients most at need and efficiently deliver care at a population level, thereby helping HCPs free up their time to see more patients. Digital acceleration has impacted the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. It has navigated population growth, contributed to longer lifespans, and helped manage new and complex health issues. Most recently it has helped to manage doctor shortages and more generally,

80% and reduce readmission rates. These interventions increase the capacity of conventional services to improve the health of all patients, intelligently, rapidly, and efficiently, and at a time when patients need it most. Another important point to consider is that technology increases accessibility across the board. On average, patients receive only 15 minutes of clinical time per year. This is not enough time to optimise treatment in our patients, reduce the risk of complications and improve their symptoms. Digital therapeutics opens the doors to a world of opportunity, allowing access to hours of educational sessions and medical guidance and gives patients the time and attention they require. Technology also enables teams to manage and prioritise their patients remotely at a population level, using customised integrated consultation platforms. Digital monitoring and personalised support offers easier access to care and helps hospitals better manage resources. Providing patients with rehabilitation and educational courses, as well as condition specific self-management and medicine optimisation tools to help support and manage their condition. This is a new approach to dispersed healthcare provision, enabling remote monitoring, and medication management which delivers better outcomes, improves patient engagement and decreases the burden on the NHS. Technology is reshaping the delivery of care. In utilising technology, and digital therapeutics, the gap between patient need and clinical capacity can be bridged to ensure an entire patient population has access to best-in-class interventions.

Top Tips! Former Great British Bake Off Contestant Michael Chakraverty Spills the Tea on How to Create the Tastiest Treats for Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day Podcaster, writer, and former 2019 Great British Bake Off contestant Michael Chakraverty has revealed his top tips to perfecting those oh so delicious treats, all in aid of supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day on Thursday 17th June. Although 2020 saw a rise in baking, it also saw one of the worst years for people affected by dementia. Over a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths in the UK were people living with dementia , thousands have faced an increase in symptoms and mental health decline and it’s been a heart-breaking time for families, who have either been cut off from loved ones or facing a lack of respite from caring duties. As an active Dementia Friends Champion Michael, who has firsthand experience of having a family member living with dementia, knows just how much of a difference your donations can make, which is why he is sharing all we need to know to achieve those star baker quality bakes! An Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Champion runs Dementia Friends' information sessions, helping to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding about dementia that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and isolation. There are currently over three million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends in the UK. Using Michael’s tricks of the trade will mean anyone and everyone can get involved in Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day whether you’re a piping queen or baking newbie. You could organise a delivery ‘drop off’ of goodies to your neighbours, host a driveway bake sale in your area or have a virtual ‘bake-off’ with colleagues, friends, and family however you like to do it, you will be raising vital funds in support of people affected by dementia. Michael’s baking top tips: • Cure to curdling: A really easy way to prevent curdling is to ensure that all your ingredients are the same temperature - this means that they'll combine a lot more easily. I tend to leave all the ingredients on a countertop overnight before baking in the morning so that I can be sure they're at the right temperature. Make sure you add your eggs one by one, beating them to combine fully before adding the next - and if it curdles, just add a

little bit of flour which will bring it back together. And if all else fails, just don't worry too much - it'll probably sort itself out in the oven! • Miracle meringues: To achieve the perfect meringue don't over-beat it! Start whisking lightly, or on a low speed, until bubbles form, before increasing the speed gradually. Once you've got to the 'soft peaks' stage (where the mixture is white and frothy, and when you remove the whisk it folds over onto itself but maintains its shape) you can add a dash of lemon juice or a pinch of cream of tartar to stabilise it, before whipping to stiff peaks (when you remove the whisk it stands to attention!). Always bake meringues low and slow! • Sugar secrets: Sugars can generally be substituted for one another the main difference between light brown sugar and white sugars is that light brown sugar lends a caramel-like taste to the bake, and brown sugar can also make the bake's crust a deeper/darker colour. The one exception to this rule is icing sugar, which is in a league of its own - but if you happen to have a spice grinder handy, you can always whizz some white sugar down to a powder! • Baking or Bicarbonate: With Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda, you can't substitute one for the other! Bicarbonate of soda (or in American

recipes, baking soda), is an alkali - meaning that it needs to react with an acid within the recipe (lemon juice, vinegar, sour cream etc) - whereas baking powder contains both an alkali and an acid - which activates when mixed with other ingredients. If you are really struggling and don't have baking powder, I'd suggest adding a third of the amount of baking powder as bicarbonate of soda, and add a good pinch of cream of tartar. Then cross your fingers. • Decorative designs: For simple but effective decorating, buy a piping bag! It looks a lot more intimidating than it is - and piped buttercream looks SO much more professional! If you're really worried, a glace icing always looks good too (just mix icing sugar with a little water) with sprinkles on top! • Fruity fun: You can replace fresh fruit with frozen. Frozen fruit actually retains its shape better within bakes - though it does lower the temperature of the bake slightly so you may need to lengthen the baking time slightly. I always coat my frozen fruit with a bit of flour to prevent it sinking in the bake - the flour 'grabs' the mixture and holds the fruit in place! Money raised will go towards Alzheimer’s Society’s vital support services, like its Dementia Connect support line. Our services have been used over 3.6 million times since March 2020 and have been a lifeline to thousands, but there are so many more who urgently need help. Michael Chakraverty said: “It has been heart-breaking to hear about the devastating impact the pandemic has had on people affected by dementia. Being the worst hit in terms of deaths, cut off from loved ones and struggling without any social interaction for so long, it’s never been more important to fundraise for such an amazing charity. I always knew baking can bring people together but this past year especially, knowing your baking can make a difference to someone does make it that bit sweeter. I’m calling for as many people as possible to get in the kitchen then get out delivering your baked goods and start raising money on June 17th for this important cause.” To sign up and find out more please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/cupcake-day

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PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

Why More Help Should Be Given To Care Homes To Help Prevent Scalding By Derek Aaronson, CEO of Hart Home Group, the umbrella company for three retail websites; NotJustTaps, Lime Kitchen and Bathroom and Hart Plumbing Spares. (www.harthomeinteriors.co.uk) The risk of scalding in bathrooms and kitchens is one which affects all ages, from small children through to those with sight problems or dementia, yet it’s not widely talked about, or even considered when planning bathrooms or indeed kitchens. Many care homes are in older buildings which can mean water temperatures are erratic at best. Traditional system boilers often either pump out scalding hot water instantly or take forever and a day to bring through hot water and then when they do, go immediately to hot. The introduction of combination boilers and systems has helped to manage the flow of consistent temperature-controlled water with management at source. However, if left on for too long, it’s still easy for water to get too hot. Combination boilers allow you to control the temperature of the water to an extent, but it’s not enough to fully alleviate the problem. There are changes which can be made, and which are advised as part of Managing The Risks from hot water and surfaces in social care published by the HSE* The guidance advises Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMV’s) should be introduced which manage the temperature of the water. However, this can end up being an expensive addition and one which requires involved plumbing. If the pipework is older it can also mean updating pipework while changing the valves, and undertaking a powerflush to flush through the system, creating more expense. The valves also tend to work better with upgraded heating systems and modern combi boilers and also require an annual service to ensure they’re working correctly. The introduction of TMV’s tends to be when the entire system is overhauled and all valves in both bathroom and kitchen settings can be changed, together. The HSE recommends that all valves are TMV’s within a setting where residents have access to hot water, unaided. However, this is purely guidance, not law.

Using long arm taps which allow for space between the user and the tap can also help. The simple act of distance can allow for you to know, before your hands even reach the flow, if the water is hot, however this does require good sight to see the steam. Long armed taps in the kitchen are a particularly great addition and one which can be teamed with special basins for wheelchair users if needed. **According to NHS Hospital Episode Statistics for England, the CIPHE has found that from 2017-2018, 755 finished consultant episodes were allocated to people who were treated in hospital for scalding from taps, up from 713 (nearly 6%) on those admitted the previous year.* These types of burns are up from 914 the previous year and 840 the year before, leading to a 14.5% rise in just three years. Clearly, scalding is a problem and one which should be being addressed in care homes. However, with little guidance and no official requirements, it can easily be overlooked. The additional expense, when things are already tight, can also mean changes are put off. Other ideas which can help reduce the risk of scalding are to introduce certain colours, like red. This can make it easier for users to identify the tap itself and know which way to turn it for hot or cold. New products, such as a Thermassure tap, have also been launched which shut off the water at a safe 45 degrees meaning the risk of scalding is eliminated completely. The advantage of replacing a tap, over installing a TMV valve, is that the caretaker or home staff can easily undertake this themselves without the need for a plumber. While the risk of hot water and scalding is clear, information on how to prevent it, and the necessary funding to make the changes, is not. The guidance on other products or alternatives that can be used in addition to TMV’s is also unclear and needs to be addressed to give homes the best chance they can to alleviate the problem in a safe and cost-effective way. It’s vital that this becomes a more talked about subject, that new products available are offered to care home managers and that policy reflects the advances in technology, but also the varying forms of requirements for different people’s needs. *https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis6.pdf ** https://www.ciphe.org.uk/newsroom/Press_Releases/scalding-burn-injuries-rise-pwd/

Redcot Care Home Offers Local Family Emergency Respite Care to Tackle Loneliness for Local Resident Felicity Friends of the Elderly’s Redcot Residential Care Home in Haslemere, Surrey answered the call for 82-year-old Felicity - who lives with Parkinson’s Disease and who has been living independently throughout the COVID pandemic and lockdowns but, unfortunately, due to a non-COVID related illness, had been admitted into hospital to receive treatment. When well enough to be discharged, Felicity’s family did not want her to return to her own home where she’d be alone and isolated as they were concerned that she may suffer a decline in her health and wellbeing, due to the continued lockdown. Instead, they wanted her to recoup further, be with other people and take a respite stay in a caring, comfortable home from home environment. The family contacted Jan Daly, the Home Manager at Redcot to see if the care home had capacity and availability to care for Felicity on an immediate respite basis. Without delay, Jan ensured she could accommodate Felicity as part of the charity’s emergency admissions policy. Jan and her and her team quickly made

the necessary arrangements and welcomed Felicity into the care home. Since arriving Felicity has now settled in amazingly well and loves her stay at Redcot. She’s made new friends and is enjoying the activities and social interactions. Commenting on the Respite care at Redcot, Jan said: “Throughout these challenging and unprecedented times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to be committed to our respite offer, where it has been safe to do so, and have continued to give the highest quality standard of care to everyone we care for.” Felicity’s daughter said: “Mum has really settled into Redcot and has received an unrivalled level of respite care. Since being with Jan and the Team, I can see she has made great progress with her recovery, has built up her strength, is happy, cared for and supported. Mum is joining in with the other residents and has made some lovely friends. It was the best decision we made bringing Mum here.”

Technology-Enabled Care Should Be Central To Good Care – And The Social Care White Paper The use of technology to support care has increased rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic – a trend that the National Care Forum (NCF) wants to encourage because we know it can make a major contribution to the future of care. However, not all care providers feel able to take advantage of technology. Many do not know where to start or how to navigate the whole process of introducing technology-enabled care (TEC) into their services. The Hubble Project – developed by the NCF with funding from NHS Digital’s Digital Pathfinders Programme – enables care providers to learn from others who have introduced tech into their service. Liz Jones, Director of Policy at the NCF explains: “Technology-enabled care is here to stay. But care providers are not techies. The Hubble Project demystifies technology and allows care managers and owners to follow other services full tech journey – warts and all. From being clear about what they want to achieve, selecting the tech and building the business case – through to implementation, training and evaluation. “The Hubble Project clearly demonstrates the value of investing in technology for the long term. The tech that we have seen clearly benefits people who use services, care workers, management and leaders.” For example, unobtrusive monitoring systems and circadian rhythm lighting, aligned to our natural body clock, are enabling residents at Parkhaven Trust’s specialist dementia care home, The Beeches, to get a

better night’s sleep – improving their quality of life, and helping them to be more active during the day. And it is freeing up night staff to focus on those in most need of support. Elsewhere at Spey House – an extra care housing scheme managed by Johnnie Johnson Housing – wearable technology which incorporates GPS systems is enabling people to remain independent outside of their own homes, but with support on hand when needed. And at Elizabeth Finn’s Rashwood nursing home, mobile care records connected to electronic medicines administration have reduced medication errors, provided better joined up data to improve care and freed up more time to care. Liz Jones continues: “NCF and our partners at NHS Digital and Digital Social Care, are encouraging all care providers to consider technology as an inherent part of care. It is intrinsic to improving the quality of care offered and liberating staff time to spend with the people they support. Everyone in our sector has a role to play in this journey. Commissioners of care should be exploring how they can support the effective use of technology, both in terms of ambitions and funding. And we encourage policy makers to ensure tech-enabled care is a core element of the Social Care White Paper.” Based on a series of virtual visits to three innovative care providers, the Hubble Project has now published a series of films, information

packs, templates and guides. Senior leaders, managers, care staff and family carers share their experiences of planning, implementing and using technology. Parkhaven Trust, Elizabeth Finn Homes and Johnnie Johnson Housing share their insights and experiences. Kim Crowe Chief Executive at Parkhaven Trust said: “Our aim with the Hubble Project is to inspire other care providers to embrace digital technology in their own care settings in order to improve people’s lives. We found a whole host of benefits for our clients with the use of the newest technologies and we want to share that with others. ‘We’re always asking ourselves ‘what will make people’s lives better’ and it’s this that drives us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in care to ensure that every day is well lived.” The Hubble Project resources are available on Digital Social Care – a dedicated space to provide advice and support to the sector on technology and data protection. Visit www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/hubble The Hubble Project was developed by the National Care Forum with funding from NHS Digital’s Digital Pathfinders Programme. Care providers who would like to discuss the technology or the care providers featured in The Hubble Project, can contact the National Care Forum at: hubble@nationalcareforum.org.uk


DO YOU KNOW THE CARER’S NEXT UNSUNG HERO? Regular readers will know we here at the Carer have been awarding an Unsung Hero each Summer and Christmas since 2016! Now, in these unprecedented and testing times we are Say hello looking for another to some Unsung Hero! previous (How we wish we could winners! reward you all!)

Care Home urst of Cloverfield Marion Brockleh

Debbie Day of Cedars Care Home

A Super Deluxe Luxury Hamper for the lucky winner! ro r last Unsung He Martyn Davies, ou

Tina Higginson of Sam brook care home

A no-frills, no glitz or glamour competition - all we ask is for you to send us a paragraph or two nominating your Unsung Hero from any department with a brief description of how they've gone that extra mile and deserve to be recognised.

✓ Do you know our next Unsung Hero? Email your nomination to us by April 30th 2021 at

nominate@thecareruk.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 19

It’s Time To End The Hospice Funding Crisis Says Sue Ryder Sue Ryder, provider of specialist palliative care in England, is calling on the Government to commit to more sustainable funding for the hospice care sector having commissioned an independent report looking into the rise in demand and cost for end of life care services over the next ten years. The charity says that without a commitment from the government to fund 70 per cent of the costs for the palliative care sector, there is a serious risk it will collapse. Despite the Health Secretary repeatedly stating in Parliament that the government is committed to investing in ‘high quality palliative care’, no sustainable funding has as yet been forthcoming. • Currently 245,000 people in England are expected to receive palliative care in the coming year. Sue Ryder’s research shows this is expected to increase to 379,000 people per year by 2030. • Independent hospices only receive around one third of the money required to fund their end of life services from the government. • The running costs of the palliative care sector are estimated to be £947 million a year between now and 2030 and if government funding remains the same, the hospice sector will be required to fundraise £597 million every year in order to keep hospices open. • Sue Ryder is calling on the government to end the funding crisis facing the palliative care sector and commit to covering 70 per cent of the costs of hospice provision. The statutory funding increase will cost the government an additional £313 million per year. However the alternative, which will most likely see the end of the independent hospice sector, will result in the NHS having to provide end of life care services which would be an additional cost of £484 million each year for the government. Not only that, the NHS would not have the capacity to provide the same level of specialist holistic support that hospices offer, so patients and their families would lose out. Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said: “I think it will come as a surprise to many that their local hospice is reliant on the generosity of members of the public who choose to donate or fundraise.

“Put plainly, in order to pay the salaries of our doctors and nurses who provide expert care, pain and symptom management to people at the end of their lives, we rely on people buying second hand clothes from our charity shops or running a marathon and asking their friends and family for sponsorship. It is unfathomable that such a critical part of our healthcare system is hanging by a thread. “Whilst the government has provided some oneoff funding in the past year to allow hospices to support our NHS during the pandemic, the hospice sector has papered over the cracks for as long as possible. The country’s hospices can no longer operate with ad hoc financial ‘top-ups’ that do not fundamentally address the serious long term funding crisis facing the hospice sector.” Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South and member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, said: “Hospices are a vital part of our healthcare system, allowing people to spend the end of their lives in a supportive and caring environment with their family and loved ones. Despite this, the Government provides only a third of the funding hospices need to function. “Essential healthcare services should not be reliant on fundraising and donations from members of the public to remain open. The Government’s approach of offering short term financial packages which are not adequate to the needs of the sector cannot continue. “Failing to invest in our hospices now risks muchloved institutions closing their doors for good, leaving people without the access to high-quality end-of-life care which they deserve.”

World Piano Day Is Music To The Ears Of Dorset Care Home Residents Talented care home residents in Dorset took to the keyboard to show off their musical skills on World Piano Day ( 29 March 2021). The annual worldwide celebration saw the lounge at Colten Care’s Whitecliffe House in Blandford filled with live music. Resident Maureen Smith, who has played the piano since she was just six years old, performed a series of classical favourites in a solo recital. And she was joined for several duets by Companionship Team Member, pianist and cellist Caroline Pugh. The pair played pieces including Greensleeves, the Love Story film theme, Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie and various compositions by Chopin. Maureen, who is from the Dorset village of Sixpenny Handley, had got out of the habit of playing until she moved to Whitecliffe more than a year ago and saw the piano in the lounge. Maureen said: “I learned by ear when I was six and took lessons as I got older. I always memorised the music by heart and remember being told off by my teacher for not reading as I went. I’ve

always played for fun and Whitecliffe has rekindled my interest.” Also performing at Whitecliffe for World Piano Day were residents Lois Ramsden and Sylvia Drew. Proving it is never too late to learn something new, Sylvia said: “We had a piano in our house when I was growing up but no-one knew how to play. I took on the challenge of a New Year’s resolution this year to learn to play Happy Birthday in time for my own birthday celebrations in February.” Praising each resident, Caroline, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, said: “Playing the piano is a great opportunity to have fun while keeping your hands active and your mind alert. It can be calming and inspirational and it’s a real treat for fellow residents and staff to hear.” World Piano Day takes place on the 88th day of the year, reflecting the number of keys on a conventional piano. The annual celebration was founded in 2015 by the German pianist and composer Nils Frahm. Discuss the project on Twitter @DigiSocialCare @NCFCareForum using #NCFhubble

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PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

Covid-19 - Time to Reflect: Care Home Manager Says Virus Is ‘The Toughest Thing I’ve Had To Deal With Professionally’ A Home Manager at Royal Star & Garter has spoken about the pressures and stresses she experienced during the first wave of the Covid19 pandemic. Helena Maher said there were times she felt unable to cope with the weight of the situation, when residents at the charity’s Surbiton Home were contracting the virus in April and May 2020. She was speaking as part of Royal Star & Garter’s Time to reflect campaign, marking one year since the first lockdown. Seven residents died at the Home between April and May last year. Some of these residents had Covid-19 listed on their death certificate. Remarkably, nine residents who tested positive went on to make full recoveries. The first resident tested positive after returning from hospital, with the virus moving through the Home in April and May. “I’m an experienced nurse, and I really struggled to work out what I could do to prevent it [spreading]. We ramped up training on PPE and

handwashing and we instigated regular deep cleans,” said Helena. “During that time, I was finding it really hard personally. I had a lot of

sleepless nights worrying. There were times when I felt I couldn’t cope. I remember saying to my husband ‘This is too big for me, I can’t do it, I don’t know what I’m dealing with.’ I spent quite a lot of those evenings in floods of tears. I felt really responsible.” Seeing residents die without family members with them was one of the hardest things she had to deal with. Praising staff, she said: “The team have worked so hard, they’ve all pulled together and been incredible.” Residents at Surbiton have had both doses of the vaccine, and Helena says the Home is in a far better position than it was 12 months ago. During her career, Helena has worked in A&E, ITU and paediatrics. She was a student nurse at an A&E in Sheffield when the Hillsborough disaster unfolded. But looking back on those days in April and May, she said: “Professionally, it’s absolutely the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with.”

New Overview Of Adult Social Care Statistics Is Published By NHS Digital A new report has been published which uses NHS Digital’s adult social care statistics to show trends over time. Adult Social Care Statistics in England: An Overview brings together data from a range of sources covering different aspects of adult social care which are supported by local authorities. The report aims to draw out the key trends around different aspects of social care that have previously been reported separately by NHS Digital. Presenting the data together in one place will highlight common themes and changes over time. This publication includes a five year time series for most measures, covering from 2015-16 up to the latest available figures. In most cases this is to the end of the financial year 2019-20, but some statistics reflect the first half of 2020-21.

The report includes time series data on: • New requests for support received by local authorities • Adults receiving short-term and long-term social care support from local authorities • Local authority expenditure on adult social care • The local authority social care workforce • Experiences of adult social care • Outcomes for those in receipt of adult social care and their carers Future versions of this report will be updated and improved to reflect feedback and additional data sources.

Open Your Fire Doors to Residents When someone is no longer able to live alone their self-esteem can be severely affected and can sometimes lead to depression too. This is turn can have a negative impact on general health and happiness. Promoting independence within your care setting can have a massive impact on someone’s happiness, health and wellbeing. Care facility providers for the elderly have to make some incredibly important decisions to ensure that residents are safe and often make decisions on behalf of residents too. Providing a care setting that ticks all the right boxes to offer independent living can sometimes feel like a bit of a juggling act. On the

one hand you must adhere to fire safety legislation and on the other hand heavy fire doors that close automatically when opened, hinder your goals of promoting the highest levels of independence for your residents. Finding a solution that achieves both of these goals is not as hard as you may think. Fitting battery-operated door retainers, such as Dorgard, Dorgard SmartSound and Freedor SmartSound could not be easier and they provide you with a legal solution to holding your fire doors open. Easily installed by your own handyman they can be fitted to existing fire doors. These devices ‘listen’ for the sound of your fire alarm and on hearing it

will automatically activate and allow your heavy fire door to close, preventing the spread of fire. Heavy fire doors can pose a problem for frail and less mobile residents, as they try and negate heavy fire doors just to move from one room to another. By fitting a fire door retainer, your fire doors will open with ease or be held in the open position to make corridors and rooms easily accessible, even for those who are wheelchair users or who use walking aids. To ensure that you can fit the right fire door retainer for your setting Dorgard have a range of products to chose from. For quieter areas, such as bedrooms or snugs Dorgard is ideal and for areas that are a little noisier, such as recreation rooms or dining rooms the Dorgard SmartSound is ideal and Freedor SmartSound offers the ability for a fire door to behave in the same way as a normal door, and can be pushed open with ease or will stay open at any angle. Open your fire doors to your residents to give them their independence back. If you would like to discuss your needs further with our knowledgeable customer care team please call 0800 612 6287 or visit www.safelincs.co.uk/dorgards.

Crewe Care Home Worker Wins Regional Award for Her Dedication The Clinical Lead at HC-One’s Hollymere House care home, in Haslington, has won a regional award for her dedication to her role, having worked at the home for a huge 21 years. Colleagues are helping her to celebrate the wonderful achievement. Nova Belen, has won an award for her outstanding contribution at the Cheshire East Adults and Children’s Safeguarding and Dignity Awards. She was nominated by a Relative for how she managed her mum’s end of life care and consistently receives good praise from Relatives and Colleagues. Nova has an incredibly vibrant personality, passionate and so kind with everything she does especially with communicating effectively with the team, residents and relatives. She is an incredible ambassador for care home nursing and is always looking to get

younger people interested in nursing. As a result, many young Carers and Nurses look up to her as inspiration and as a role model. Nova is, “Really, really proud” of herself and joked that she would like to laminate her certificate and wear it as a necklace! Robert Wheatley, Area Director commented, “Throughout her career at HC-One, Nova has been instrumental in supporting Residents to lead their best lives and it is inspiring to see how fulfilled our Residents are.” “Nova has so many positive attributes that have shown her to be an outstanding nurse and I couldn’t be prouder to have her guiding the clinical team at Hollymere House.”


PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

Data Security In Care Homes Practical Advice For Front Line Staff

Steve Turner is a nurse prescriber, Managing Director of Care Right Now CIC (www.carerightnow.co.uk)

All nursing and residential homes in England are now recommended to complete the annual NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit [DSPT], which is a legal requirement for NHS funded services. The DSPT is an online self-assessment tool that measures performance against the National Data Guardian’s 10 data security standards. It links to General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] and the Data Protection Act 2018. Whilst larger organisations will be able to pool their resources and share policies, training, operating procedures & related monitoring across their homes, for smaller organisations complying with the DSPT may seem a daunting task. There is help available although some of this, in my opinion, makes the changes needed sound more complicated and onerous than they are. Here are some tips based on my experience in supporting Community Pharmacies with the DSPT to help you make sense of some of the most important areas of data security, that will help keep your residents safe. There are two aspects to the DSPT. Firstly, the rights of residents as

summarised in this chart:

Secondly, keeping the residents’ information safe & secure. Based on our experience with Community Pharmacies here are four areas of specific advice for front line staff: 1. Be alert for suspicious emails. It is possible for emails to display a fake name of someone you work with. Check the name against their full email address. Scammers can seem very credible, sending a message that gives the impression they are a professional, even someone you know. Often these messages are flagged as ‘urgent’. Do not let someone else’s claim of urgency affect the speed of your response. Also, never open attachments or click on links in emails unless you are sure they are safe.

As part of the DSPT all homes must have up to date anti-virus protection in place on all computers and IT systems. 2.There have been a number of telephone scams recently where callers ask you to put the ‘phone down and call them back to verify they are genuine. Again, be careful. It is possible for scammers to stay on the line and give the impression you have called them back. 3.If you receive a request for patient information from the Police (or other official body) , you must verify this. They must be able to tell you why they are asking for information, specifically what information is required and under what law they are requesting this. This should be in writing. 4.When your record information about residents on any system, your system supplier must be DSPT complaint. This compliance includes sharing a ‘privacy statement’ which meets UK requirements, being registered with the Information Commissioner, having successfully completed their DSPT and (in my opinion) having a named individual as their Data Protection contact. It is important to note that this applies to the use of Apps as well. So, for example, sending sensitive personal information via an App (even one that claims to be ‘GDPR compliant’) to a colleague may pose a risk and be outside your local policy. Complying with the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit is not about box ticking it is for the benefit of our residents’ safety, part of what we already do. Reference: NHS Data Security & Protection Toolkit www.dsptoolkit.nhs.uk

Pubby McPubface? New Cheshire Care Home Asks Public To Decide The Name Of Its In-House Pub A Cheshire care home has teamed up with a local brewery to launch a competition for the general public to name its new in-house gastropub – with no suggestions barred! Set to open its doors in early June, Priesty Fields, a 78-bed purposebuilt nursing care home, in Congleton, has partnered with the town’s The Cheshire Brewhouse to launch the pub naming competition for its authentic gastropub. The ten best suggestions will be put to a public vote with the overall winner set to have their chosen name adorning the new pub ahead of its June opening, with the winning entry also incorporated as part of a traditional pub sign. Furthermore, the winner will also receive a special gift box from The Cheshire Brewhouse’s microbrewery. Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale, said: “With Priesty Fields’ development reaching its final stages, we wanted to involve the public in naming what will be an authentic gastro pub in the care home’s ‘high street’. We’re hoping for a name that will really resonate with the residents, and we believe the community will be able to help us in providing one. While we’re open to all suggestions, we’re aware we could end up with another Boaty McBoatface scenario on our hands,

Priesty Fields will include 78 spacious en-suite bedrooms, along with a gastro pub, farmers market, cinema, spa, salon, gym, library, private dining room, garden lounge, and GP office. The home will be operated by the Handsale care group, which runs eight residential and nursing care homes across England, Scotland and Wales. The group prides itself on empowering its staff to provide outstanding care by putting wellbeing and community at the centre of its operations. Founded in 2012, The Cheshire Brewhouse is a multi-award-winning microbrewery in Congleton, best known for its bitter, pale ale, stout, IPA, and porter. Rishi concluded: “We look forward to reviewing the suggestions and seeing how creative the public can get. Whether it’s tapping into so we do have to put a precautionary element in there, but we’re confident the public can pick the perfect name. Having said that, we are open to weird and wonderful suggestions – so feel free to let loose with your creativity!” Nestled in a green residential area close to Congleton’s town centre,

Congleton’s rich heritage or playing on pun-laden themes, we’re excited to see what ideas emerge.” To submit a pub name suggestion, visit https://bit.ly/3v0U79H. Deadline for entries is midnight on Wednesday, April 7th, with the top ten suggestions will be announced shortly after.

Vision Direct Donates Over £10,000 Worth of Laptops to Vulnerable Children Homeschooling During Lockdown Following England’s third national lockdown and a return to remote learning, Vision Direct (www.visiondirect.co.uk) has donated over £10,000 to deliver 50 laptops to schools in need. The donation has come at a time when many students are struggling to maintain their education during the pandemic, as Ofcom estimates that up to 1.8 million UK children don’t have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. The brand new laptops have been delivered to six schools across London: St. Dunstan’s Cheam, CofE Primary School, Highams Park School, All Souls C of e Primary School, Rhyl Primary School, Hackney New School and Ruislip Gardens School. While the government has supplied a number of laptops to schools in England, it has struggled to deliver the amount needed to meet demand. Vision Direct stepped in to fill this gap by purchasing £10,000 of new laptops and donating them directly to the schools in need, who will then distribute the laptops to families on their lengthy waiting lists. "I am very grateful for the devices." says a parent from Rhyl Primary School "It has helped me form routines for home learning. I can support

both my girls now as they have their own devices. I found it very stressful before but now it is calm. The children look forward to their live lessons to meet their teacher and they can see their friends everyday. Thank you Vision Direct." “It’s vital that everyone has access to laptops during this pandemic,” says Ashley Mealor, Chief Marketing Officer at Vision Direct. “Like countless others, we’ve made the switch to operating remotely and our business would not have been able to continue functioning without the proper technology to keep us connected. We want to ensure that all children have that technology too, as they battle the challenges of remote learning.” The ‘digital divide’ that the pandemic has created has had a negative impact on children’s education. If families don’t have enough devices, they’re forced to make hard choices about their children’s educational needs. Despite these challenges, expectations of home-learning are high. The

Department for Education states that schools must provide between three and five hours of learning per day, depending on age. Many of those hours come in the form of live or prerecorded video, powerpoint presentations, and submitting work virtually to be checked, meaning that the child’s education is next to impossible without a device and access to the internet. “The donation of laptops from Vision Direct to Rhyl Primary School pupils has been invaluable,” says Helen Connor, Headteacher at Rhyl Primary School in Kentish Town. “Over 60% of our pupils do not have a device of their own to use at home and have to share with siblings or use a parent’s mobile phone. It is more important than ever that every school-aged child is able to access remote learning. For too many children this is not possible and as a result the gap in learning and achievement for our most disadvantaged children is becoming wider and the impact on their future educational outcomes will be significant. Every child has a right to be provided with a device of their own to support their learning and education and this donation will mean more of our children are able to learn at home and have the support from their teachers that they deserve.” This isn’t the first time brands have used their resources for good during the pandemic. During the first lockdown, many brands donated goods and services to key workers. Vision Direct gave away 4,000 packs of free contact lenses to people working for the NHS, police and fire service, social care staff and teachers to wear comfortably under their PPE. For more information, visit www.visiondirect.co.uk


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Recruitment - Addressing the Challenges With an existing workforce crisis across social care and with the impact of increased demand for health and social care workers throughout the pandemic, the challenges of recruiting in this sector can not be underestimated. According to The King’s Fund, COVID-19 has only ‘highlighted the inadequate workforce pay and conditions experienced by social care staff’. They recognise that while demand for these roles and individuals willing to work in the sector may have increased temporarily, the focus on recruitment and retention needs to continue. With workforce pay and conditions flagged as one of the key reasons someone would leave the sector, Kings Fund state ‘care providers already need to fund (2020’s) 6.2 per cent increase in the National Minimum Wage and COVID-19 has brought new challenges to an already fragile market.’ While it might sound all doom and gloom, what can be done to tackle the recruitment needs here and how can we attract more staff to this struggling profession?

TRAINING Social care staff are expected to undertake complex tasks for vulnerable young people and adults and often, don’t receive sufficient training or support to be able to do this. It is important for employers and recruitment agencies to review the training they offer to their candidates and workers and ensure that it is preparing the social care worker for the role they are in. Whilst several locations have already implemented registration schemes, the everchanging external environment, particularly with a pandemic, needs to be taken into consideration and the training programmes need to evolve accordingly. Robert Horton, Regional Manager at Randstad Care (www.randstad.co.uk/care), a national health and social care recruiter, gives us an insight into how Randstad has changed their training offering to candidates upon reflecting on the changing needs of the sector. With the

covid crisis likely having a lasting impact on children’s mental health, Randstad have introduced a new training module on mental wellbeing in children and young people via their training partner - EduCare. This will better equip both short and long-term staff working via Randstad with being able to identify some common issues faced by young people with regard to mental health and recognise some of the signs that indicate mental health issues.

REWARDING SECTOR Whilst the media may not always portray the social care sector in the best light at times, the sector has much to boast about when it comes to job opportunities. Regarded as a fulfilling profession, it is a job in which an individual can make a huge difference. One day could make your heart soar and another could challenge you but you can take comfort in knowing that no two days are the same. The emotionally rewarding aspect and the passion to help individuals of the community continue to attract many to the sector but there is a long way to go yet and we must keep shining a light on the positive stories that come out of social care.

FLEXIBILITY Offering flexibility in social care roles can also be a great way to attract and retain talent. Flexible working could be allowing your staff to work different hours, supporting them to work from home when possible and allowing a better work-life balance as a result. Whilst flexible working can raise concerns around team morale and team management, the benefits are many. The lack of flexibility from a handful of employers can push workers to consider other routes. Sometimes that might mean leaving the sector or employer or sometimes opting to go down a different path and taking up agency work to regain control over their time and placements. All-in-all, nobody doubts the difference one can make in this meaningful and fulfilling profession. However, there are gaps to be addressed - gaps in pay, gaps in training and gaps in work-life balance to ensure that employers find the right talent and that those choosing to work in social care feel that they are in the right career for them.

One Year On Since Lockdown: Renaissance Care General Manager Reflects On Life In Lockdown One year ago, on 11th March 2020, Renaissance Care, one of Scotland’s leading care home providers made the choice to shut its doors to visitors and go into self-imposed lockdown ahead of government enforced restrictions. It seemed cautious at the time, however looking back it was one that was vigilant and wise. Throughout the past year care homes have been in the headlines every single day. Staff in care homes have been at the front line of the pandemic caring for the most vulnerable in our society, but despite the constant flow of numbers, stats and case studies on the sector, the experiences of those living and working in it, and the true impact on these people, cannot be quantified. As indoor visits begin again, and roadmaps to ‘normality’ are laid out, Jozie Stables, general manager at Renaissance Care’s Glencairn Care Home in Edinburgh tries to give us glimpse into the true reality of what life has been like for care professionals. Jozie (31) has been managing Glencairn Care Home, one of 15 Renaissance Care Homes throughout Scotland since 2019. She said: “No one will really know what it’s like unless they’ve been through it.

And even as I speak from my own experience, I know that each and every other resident and member of staff have had their own personal challenges and moments of joy during this year that I cannot express on behalf of them. “The main thing I think is important for people to remember after everything is that we are all human. It can be hard to keep that in mind when there are so many headlines focused on carers or nurses, and these titles become faceless making it easy to forget that they are real people who, although are experienced professionals, are facing one of the most emotionally, mentally and physically draining events of their life. “Indoor visits started on a restricted basis this month, almost a year after we initially stopped them. It has been a complete joy being able to reunite families after so long and it is something that we have been striving towards since the day we closed our doors. “Having gone into lockdown before the government guidelines was difficult, as although it was absolutely the right thing to do for the safety and protection of our residents, it was hard for many of our residents to understand why, all of a sudden, they were no longer to see their loved ones. “Talk of the pandemic is now a part of everyone’s daily life and throughout Renaissance Care residents and staff are constantly updated on new guidance and information, but at the start we had to strike a really fine balance of explaining to our residents what was happening without creating a sense of panic and upset. “I think I can speak for my colleagues throughout the sector here when I say in March 2020, we were fearful. Fearful of the unknown: how do you explain something that we, never mind scientist and

world-leaders, don’t understand? “Before the pandemic we cherished our relationships with our resident who we often refer to as our ‘second family’, but the true meaning of these relationships were not known until we faced the virus together. “The teamwork and the love which was shared amongst us all was profound. Staff were also isolating away from their own families to reduce the risk of infection, so we also came to rely on the connections and friendships we have with the residents and with each other. If I was to look for a silver-lining to this pandemic it would be this. “Finally, there is a sense of relief as we can begin to reunite our residents with their families. For a year they have connected through Facetime facilitated by staff, so to physically see, touch and hug their children, husbands, wife, grandkids, or whoever it is that they have missed so much, is immensely exciting. “As a sector, we have all experienced loss this year, and I believe we will feel the impact of this for some time. It’s human nature to look for a reason and closure on something so dreadful as what we’ve all been through, but unfortunately, until the virus is eradicated, we will have to continue to lean on each other and push forward looking to the future and the positives it holds. “I would like to thank my colleagues throughout the sector, the residents we care for and the families who we have become so close to throughout this year. I am proud of the humility, the support, the love and moments of joy you have brought to one another during this long and difficult year. I know this will continue hereafter, and I believe it will get us through until we can welcome back normality.”

Charity Springtime Sing-Along Concerts Bring Music to the Ears of Care Home Residents The Not Forgotten, a British Armed Forces charity which supports serving and ex-servicemen and women is delighted to announce the launch of a nationwide outdoor concert tour to lift the lockdown spirits of care home residents. Launching in March, The Not Forgotten Springtime Specials will bring music, song and dance to 1000’s of UK residents during a tour that will visit an incredible 100 care homes over ten weeks. Abiding by the current social distancing regulations in UK care homes, the concerts will entertain, boost morale and create new, joyful memories for residents who have been among some of the hardest affected by loneliness and isolation under lockdown measures. The Not Forgotten’s professional entertainment team will bring a party to care home residents as they perform a set of familiar feel-good favourites and popular hits from the 60’s and 70’s. From ABBA to Elvis and the Beatles, there will be

something for everyone to sing along and dance to as they enjoy a wonderful afternoon of entertainment. Come rain or shine, the socially distanced concerts will be enjoyed by residents and staff together in communal areas within care homes or if weather permits, outside in the springtime sunshine. Commenting on the launch, Brigadier James Stopford, CBE, CEO of The Not Forgotten said: “We’re thrilled to embark on this morale boosting tour, building on the enormous success of last year’s events which had such a positive impact on so many care home residents during the pandemic. According to Age UK there are 1.4m chronically lonely older people in England, and many more across the rest of the UK. Our Springtime Special tour will enable us to connect with many of these people, bringing joy and entertainment into their homes as sadly, extreme loneliness and isolation is set to endure throughout 2021.

Music provides such a boost to individuals emotional wellbeing and over the years we have seen incredibly positive reactions from residents who delight in the entertainment and the connection of interacting, at a safe distance, of course, with our performers. One hundred years ago soprano Marta Cunningham founded The Not Forgotten based on the principles of providing entertainment and recreation to those who have worn their nation’s uniform and now suffer and we are delighted that to this day, a big part of our work continues to bring entertainment to those we support across the UK.” The Not Forgotten combats isolation and loneliness amongst the Armed Forces community through social activities and challenge holidays. If you are a serving or ex-member of the Armed Forces or you know of someone that could benefit from the help of The Not Forgotten, please get in touch by contacting Tel: 0207 730 2400


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Covid Care Home Resident Deaths Fall to Lowest Level Since October (22.5% in Week 10). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 8.2% of deaths, a decrease from

Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales have fallen to the lowest level since October 2020, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. The latest ONS figures reveal that there were 151 COVID related deaths in care homes in the week ending 19 March down by 39% from the 249 deaths recorded in the week earlier. On a year to date basis, there were 31,685 deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to 19 March. This latest figure is the lowest since 220 Covid-related deaths were recorded in the week ending 29 October (week 43, 2020). Of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020 and up to Week 11 (week ending 19 March 2021), 69.1% (94,570 deaths) occurred in hospitals, with the remainder occurring in care homes (31,685 deaths), private homes (7,575), hospices (2,018), other communal establishments (495) and elsewhere (487). Between Weeks 10 and 11, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in hospitals (390 fewer), care homes (98 fewer), private homes (39 fewer), hospices (11 fewer) and other communal establishments (1 fewer). Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals fell to 15.6% in Week 11

Week 10 (12.5%). Independent Care Group (ICG) Chair Mike Padgham: “Seeing today’s figures it is heartening to see the death rate coming down. That is good news and we pray that it continues. “But we must echo the Prime Minister’s ‘proceed with caution’ message as restrictions are eased, people begin to mix more freely and more risks are taken. “The coming days will be critical, with good weather encouraging people to be out and about there is a real risk that infection rates will rise again and that is a real concern for care settings. “We saw last time restrictions eased that care and nursing homes suffered. We must be extremely cautious to prevent that happening again. We must keep encouraging staff to be vaccinated, particularly as visiting gathers pace. “The pandemic hasn’t gone away and is still claiming the lives of loved ones we must take care.”

Care Residents Judge Local School’s Photo Competition RESIDENTS at a care home in the Scottish Borders have judged a photography competition for youngsters at a local primary school. Pupils from St Peter’s Primary School in Galashiels held a school competition to capture images of their favourite part of Galashiels, with residents at Mansfield Care’s Galahill House invited to act as the judges. Over 30 children across three age groups entered the contest, which was then judged by residents at the home. Lucky winners of the primary one to three age group, and primary four to seven age group received ASDA gift vouchers; while the winner of the nursery age group received their very own mini gold trophy. Activities coordinator at Galahill House, Tracy McGeown, found the residents were extremely committed to finding a winner and were delighted to take part. Tracy said: “All the residents who took part in the judging were blown away by the diverse entries, and the talent displayed by every pupil. “It was a difficult competition to judge with so many high quality photographs on display, and so our judging panel certainly took a lot of time in picking their winner. “Having a strong relationship with the local school is very important to our residents. Not only does the interaction with the school fill them all with joy, but it is inte-

gral to bridging the gap between the young and the old in our community.” Galahill House has had a relationship with St Peter’s Primary School for many years enjoying a host of activities with the pupils such as Christmas concerts, scavenger hunts and Halloween parties. Recently the home received positive notes and cards from the pupils sharing inspirational and motivating messages throughout lockdown. Richard Bramhall, Deputy Head Teacher of St Peter’s School, also believes the interaction is valuable to the school pupils’ development. Richard said: “During lockdown we’ve had the children at home learning via iPad. This photo competition was one of the ways to encourage the children to get out and about, and away from screens. “We’ve had an excellent relationship with Galahill House over the last three years, and thought it would be a good idea to get the residents involved in judging the photo competition. “Engaging with the home ensures the children are getting involved with the wider community out with the school itself. It adds an important dimension to their learning.”

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Ten Ways For Care Workers To Support Grieving Families By Dr John Wilson, an experienced trainer in loss and grief and Director of the Bereavement Service at York St John University Counselling and Mental Health Centre. His two books are Supporting People through Loss and Grief and The Plain Guide to Grief. When a resident passes away, it is often one of the most difficult and upsetting periods of their loved one’s lives. But there are lots of things you can do to help them through the grieving process. Here are ten ways to support them.

1. MAKE SURE THAT THE FAMILY HAVE ALL THE FACTS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO BE PRESENT AT THE END. People need to understand the cause of death, as well as learn what happened in the last days hours and minutes of life. Making sense of events in this way is the most important aspect of grieving, which helps in coming to terms with the loss. In normal times, family members would have been present, or would have got the story from relatives. Sadly, that has not been possible in the past year. Even if the account is traumatic, it’s best if families know the truth. Anger is often an early part of grief, and the grieving person may get angry with you. Don’t react defensively, listen carefully. This helps diffuse any anger. Often, once things are calmly explained, the anger goes away.

2. RETURN PERSONAL ITEMS RESPECTFULLY Having been on the receiving end of precious items returned in a bin liner, I know It hurts. Several people bereaved during the pandemic have shared similar stories. Possessions can be returned in attractive boxes, taking time to go through the items with the family.

3. RISK ASSESSMENT The grieving person may tell you that that don’t want to go on anymore. Gently ask them what they mean. For most people, it means they would rather not wake up in the mornings, but they wouldn’t do anything to bring that about. If someone tells you they have considered suicide (many bereaved people briefly do), check out whether they have a plan, and the means to carry it out. If in doubt, tell them they need to speak to their GP, and make sure they have the Samaritan’s number. Other risks are not eating properly, or overeating. Check if the person’s weight has changed significantly since the loss. Ask about alcohol use and non-prescription drugs. Suggest they talk to their GP if they are

concerned.

4. REASSURE THAT GRIEF IS NORMAL, NATURAL AND THE PRICE WE PAY FOR LOVING DEEPLY. Bereavement is confusing and frightening. Professionals can reassure that the thoughts, feelings and behaviour that come with grief are normal. Many people find that once the numbness wears off, the funeral is over and all the paperwork is sorted, the grief seems to get worse. Reassure that this too is normal, common and part of moving healthily through grief.

5. DON’T MINIMISE GUILT It’s tempting to tell people not to “be silly” or reassure them they were not to blame. Listen, and don’t try to change their thinking. Folk need time to process their guilt and come to terms in their own way.

6. EXPLAIN HOW IT HELPS TO TAKE TIME OUT FROM GRIEF Grieving individuals who do best, take time out from their grief by distracting themselves with work, hobbies, pets and family involvement. They need grieving time too.

7. SIGNPOST TO SUPPORT The Good Grief Trust website lists a range of supportive bereavement charities. My book, The Plain Guide to Grief is written for bereaved people, but professionals find it useful too. My other book, Supporting People through Loss and Grief is written for health & social care professionals.

8. HELP BUILD MEMORIES An excellent book, Talking with Bereaved People, by Dodie Graves, will teach you how to help families talk about their lost loved one. Sitting with a person and going through photographs is a good way to build memories.

9. CREATE A MEMORIAL SPACE A wall of plaques, a brick path with etched names, rose gardens and a tree sculpture onto which metal leaves inscribed with names. These are all ways of creating a memorial that relatives can visit, knowing that their loved one has not been forgotten.

10. ANNIVERSARY CARD All grieving people dread the coming of the first anniversary of the death. It helps to be remembered with a card.

Strong Support for Health and Care Reforms But Clarity Needed on Ministerial Involvement in NHS

Health leaders have warned that any inappropriate involvement from ministers in the running of local NHS services could undermine confidence in the legislation expected to be announced in the Queen’s Speech next month, which will require local health and care services to work together for the benefit of their patient communities. In a new report, Legislating on the future of health and care in England, out today (Wednesday 31 March), the NHS Confederation explains that health leaders across the country have strongly welcomed the Government’s White Paper from February on its key proposals for new primary legislation covering health and care since the last Act of Parliament a decade ago. They support the move towards greater collaboration within the NHS and with other public services through new integrated care systems (ICSs), which, from April, will cover the whole of England. Also, they support the move to give more decision-making responsibilities to local leaders, building on the achievements of the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. However, leaders fear that these goals could be at risk without clarity and transparency around the Secretary of State’s intended level of intervention, including how local services should be delivered and also how senior NHS appointments should be made locally, both of which already follow established processes. The report cites the Secretary of State’s decision to overrule local plans supported by clinicians to reorganise urgent and emergency care in Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, as well as comments made to the Health and Social Care Select Committee about intending to jointly approve and veto local NHS appointments – later clarified to mean ICS chairs – as a concerning indication of what could follow in future. They have called for the law to describe the obligations the Secretary of State will have to consider local clinical advice and to set out the reasons for any decision he or she makes. As much as possible, these matters should be left to local discretion and consultation. Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The experiences of recent years, and especially during the pandemic, have shown the very real benefits of collaboration, both within the NHS and with other public services, which is why there is such strong support from our members for the direction of travel set out in the Government’s White Paper. “There are complex challenges facing health and care, such as addressing the impact of the pandemic, bringing care closer to patients’ homes and tackling health inequalities, which will require even closer collaboration and integration over the coming years. “While the need for accountability of the NHS as the nation’s largest public service is absolutely under-

stood, the vital contribution that local leaders make to responding to the specific needs of their patients and communities must not be undermined by political interventions remote from local circumstances. The health and care bill should be an opportunity to reset what is already an overly centralised national system and create more opportunities to let local leaders lead. “Overall, the Government’s proposals are very welcome and on behalf of our members, we look forward to assessing the content of the draft legislation against the recommendations in our report, as well as working with NHS England and others on the accompanying implementation guidance.” Alongside welcoming the direction set for the NHS in the White Paper, the NHS Confederation has outlined four key concerns, which are felt across its membership spanning NHS trusts, integrated care systems, primary care networks and clinical commissioning groups in England, and that warrant the Government’s careful consideration. These are: 1. Increased powers for the Secretary of State over the NHS including strengthening the obligations around powers of intervention and workforce planning 2. Governance and accountability – in particular, the need for clarity around the statutory functions of the ‘ICS NHS Body’ and the ‘health and care partnership’, as well as the required local representation on both. 3. The duty to collaborate – in particular, the need for specificity on where collaboration is needed and to what purpose, with local systems determining these themselves 4. Pace and timescales – with ICSs expected to become enshrined in law from April 2022, arrangements should be in place to allow some flexibility on this for less developed systems. Lou Patten, director of the NHS Confederation’s ICS Network, and chief executive of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said: “A decade on from the last piece of primary legislation for health and care and it is clear the challenges facing the NHS will not be addressed adequately through the 2012 framework, which is rooted in competition and individual organisational performance. New legislation that promotes, supports and incentivises collaboration between services is needed, which ICSs across England are working hard to progress already to positive effect. “Integrated care systems will need clarity and reassurance in response to the concerns we have raised in our report, as well as the support and freedom to deliver what is best for their populations, particularly as the timescales for the bill’s passage through Parliament are expected to be so tight. “Also, there will be limits to what this bill will go on to achieve. Much of the success of ICSs will depend on other factors, including social care reform, NHS capital investment, and a long-term workforce strategy. Beyond acting on the recommendations we have made, we expect the Government to give these important matters the attention they need without delay.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 27

Another Call To Arms For Social Care Care providers have welcomed a new report which they say adds to the call for urgent reform of the care of older and vulnerable people in this country. A report from the National Audit Office says too many adults have unmet care needs and identifies a lack of a long-term vision for care and short-term funding as issues to be tackled by long-awaited reform. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the new report is the latest of many to call for change. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said today: “In welcoming this report, we have to say that this is the latest in a long line of reports to highlight the need for total, root and branch reform of the social care sector. “We don’t know how many times the Government needs to be told that this reform is overdue before it does something about it.” The NAO reports concludes: “High-quality care is critical to the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable adults in society. Yet levels of unpaid care remain high, too many adults have unmet needs and forecasts predict growing demand for care. The lack of a long-term vision for care and short-term funding has hampered local authorities’ ability to innovate and plan for the long term, and constrained investment in

accommodation and much-needed workforce development.” The report says Covid-19 shone a spotlight on the problems within the sector but praises “substantial efforts from those across the sector to deliver these essential services in such challenging circumstances”. It concludes that the collaborative approach shown during the pandemic should be “capitalised upon when government finally focuses on the long-awaited social care reforms.” Mr Padgham added: “We welcome these conclusions and hope that the Government makes good on its long-overdue promise to reform the social care sector. “It is time we put social care at the front of the queue and serve the millions of frail and vulnerable people with the care they need and give those providing that care the pay and recognition they have worked so hard to merit.” As a matter of urgency, the ICG wants to see: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance

• Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT The ICG points to 1.4m people going without the care they need, £8bn cut from social care budgets since 2010-11 and 100,000 vacancies in the care sector on any one day as evidence that social care needs urgent help. Mr Padgham added: “Reform is long overdue; the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised it and it is time to deliver. Unless we get more funding into the sector to support care, ease the staffing shortages and improve the terms and conditions of the staff providing amazing care, the sector will continue to be extremely fragile, as it was when Covid-19 struck last year “If people had lived as long as they do now when Nye Bevan created the NHS in 1948, the care of older people would have been included in the system then. It is time to put that right now by carrying out the sort of reform Bevan did for healthcare on the way we care for the country’s most vulnerable and in need of support.”

Care England Joins New Centre To Research Adult Social Care Care England will be partnering with the University of Birmingham, as part of a broader consortium of key stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK, to develop a brand new Centre for adult social care, which will aim to put evidence into practice to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing. The new Centre called IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together) has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Health Foundation, and will be the first Centre of its kind in the UK. The Centre will: • Lead the way in helping people working in adult social care, carers, and the people they support make better use of high-quality, practice-based evidence to support innovation in adult social care • Build capacity and skills in the adult social care workforce • Help develop sustainable and productive relationships between all of those working across adult social care • Improve our understanding of what helps or hinders when putting evidence into practice The Centre will receive funding of £15 million over the next six years, with equal contributions from ESRC and the Health Foundation. Care England will be part of the IMPACT consortium, working with a wide range of academic, policy and practice partners and with people

with lived experience of using social care services to help develop and lead a programme of innovation and improvement. Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Birmingham who has been appointed as IMPACT’s director and will be working with a range of partners from across the UK to lead the codevelopment, establishment and delivery of the centre said: “Adult social care touches people’s lives in such important and intimate ways, and it’s crucial that it’s based on the best possible evidence of what works. “Good care isn’t just about services, it’s about having a life – and the ESRC and the Health Foundation are providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference.” Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England says: “The adult social care workforce is our best resource and the IMPACT study is a very welcome means to help ensure that social care becomes a career of choice, not just a job. Our sector needs more evidence and data and Care England is delighted to be part of the study”. ESRC Executive Chair, Professor Alison Park, said: “The complex nature of the social care system means that frontline practice does not always benefit sufficiently from the evidence we already have about what works. “The increased implementation of evidence-based innovations and

improvements in adult social care are crucial to ensuring better outcomes for the many people who use these services, and their carers and families. Finding a way to make this happen is challenging – but the prize, in terms of improvements to adult social care, makes it essential.” Will Warburton, Director of Improvement, the Health Foundation, said: “The fragmented nature of the adult social care sector poses real challenges for ensuring the consistent provision of evidence-based, high quality care and support. “The IMPACT Centre will work alongside people with experience of care, carers, commissioners and providers to develop practical support that will increase the use of high-quality research evidence in the adult social care sector across the UK.” Recognising the combined value of good practice and robust evidence from different sources, the Centre will bring together people with lived experience of social care, those providing unpaid care, people working in adult social care, experts in the mobilisation and implementation of evidence, social care providers, commissioners and policy experts, and academic teams from across the UK. Together with stakeholders in adult social care and beyond, the IMPACT team will agree priorities and design, establish, deliver and evaluate the Centre’s work programme, aiming to lead to sustainable change in the use of evidence in adult social care.

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PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Re-engineering HVAC Units for a Post-coronavirus World By Mark Kaufmann, senior copywriter at ADK Kooling (https://adk.co.uk/) As you likely know, a disproportionate number of global Covid-19 deaths occurred in care homes. And given the virus’s semi-airborne ability to drift through enclosed spaces on respiratory droplets, it’s no wonder that a growing amount of experts are calling for a review of ventilation practices in order to better protect people living and working indoors. This is especially important as we approach the ‘new normal’ life; one back to the regularity of frequent visitors — most of whom will need protecting before visiting to keep themselves and the most vulnerable safe. Because ventilation plays a role in how the virus can spread, the European Federation of Heating and Ventilation Engineers (REHVA) has set out some guidelines to help specialists and employers, so that they can optimise their HVAC units to limit the spread of the virus.

HEPA filters work by sucking viruses, fungi, dust and other pathogens through millions of particle-grabbing layers. This combined with a frequent flux of fresh air often means that an indoor environment can experience a near-total change of air up to 30 times an hour. HEPA filters are not currently a common feature in care homes or indeed in any environment beyond ultra-specialised situations such as planes and hospitals. But that’s not to say their implementation isn’t being discussed. At present, the biggest challenge is working out a way to implement them into traditional HVAC units in such a way that their many filters won’t “drag” on and reduce the efficiency of the airflow — a consequence that would actually be self-defeating. So watch this space.

AIR-CON FOR SAFER INDOORS

BLOWING VIRUSES AWAY A lot of people tend to think that if air conditioning units can help with the spread of viruses, then they should be turned off. But the opposite is true. They should be turned up. Way up. And that is the advice of REHVA. The ‘internal air’ of indoor areas should be diluted as much as possible to blow viral particles away before they can settle on any surface. What’s key is that air conditioning units be optimised to increase the rate at which air is pulled in from outside and supplied quickly and readily throughout the interior space, to get a good air exchange and frequent recycling of air. In short: if your air-conditioning system is normally on recirculation mode, then it should be configured to run on full outside air — if that’s possible. Of course, many experts argue that simply opening the windows will

also do the trick. But in care homes, we have to consider that this is not really possible during the colder months or in areas of high air pollution, and could do as much harm as good. And in some buildings, depending on the window type, it just isn’t practical. But even if you have the optimal environment to keep the windows open, air-conditioning units should still offer a better and cleaner alternative.

HVACS WITH HIGH-EFFICIENCY PARTICULATE AIR FILTERS The most efficient air-conditioning units have high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These filters operate on planes and in surgical theatres.

In the meantime, does coronavirus even spread via air-conditioning units? Actually, there is no confirmed evidence at present. But scientists have every reason to suspect it does. For example, in February of last year, when the Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined, many scientists suspected the ship’s air-conditioning to be behind the rapid spread of the virus on board. There are other outbreaks over the last year where scientists have pointed the air-conditioning as a likely assistant in the spreading of coronavirus. What is important, then, is that care needs to be taken going forwards, in how we optimise and adjust our HVAC units. For safety and efficiency, it is the duty of care home owners and engineers to carefully calculate the rate at which viruses have the potential to replicate, and to counter this with a more than appropriate rate of incoming, freshly circulated air. In short, adjust settings, and turn it up.

Care Home Industry Facing Customer Exodus Due To Infection Fears As care homes continue to contend with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, new research reveals that care homes across the country are facing millions more in lost revenues due to customer fears around infection risk. According to the nationally-representative survey into 2,000 members of the public, more than one in three Brits (34.5%) are less likely to trust care homes with their loved ones’ care due to fears around infection. The findings also revealed that the overwhelming majority of the public (80.5%) would be reassured by visible proof that a care home takes cleanliness and infection control seriously. Significantly, 10.7% would be less likely to use a care home that did not have this proof, and 6% would no longer use a care home that could not prove that they adhered to the highest standards of hygiene and infection control. The research was carried out by infection control specialist JLA, a trusted partner to thousands of care homes across the UK, as part of its “Infection Insights” campaign to improve industry standards, customer reassurance and peace of mind across the care sector. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was revealed that the events of 2020 have prompted a nationwide change in attitudes towards hygiene and infection control, with 77% of the public holding greater concerns in this area than a year previously – attributing this change directly to COVID-19. Concerningly, over a fifth (20.4%) of the public also currently hold a poor opinion of hygiene and infection control in care homes, and do not believe standards are currently at the levels required. Just under a third

(30.1%) of Brits feel confident that care homes are clean and sanitised, and a further 10.7% reported that they believed standards are “excellent”. According to the research, 87.6% of Brits now deem it important that a business has a good reputation for hygiene and infection control, and 58.1% of these proclaim a positive standing for hygiene “extremely important”. This indicates that hygiene ratings – traditionally a significant indicator of quality for many care home customers – have also become more important than ever before in the eyes of the public. Ben Gujral, CEO at JLA, commented: “The events of the past year have laid bare the need for care homes to do everything they can to reassure anxious residents over the coming weeks, with major growth opportunities in store for those that do invest what is needed now. “Expectations of the businesses customers will trust their money – and their loved ones’ health – with are virtually unrecognisable from even a year ago and, at a time where care homes need the continued loyalty of their customers more than ever before, it is crucial that they action all possible infection control measures to put the public’s minds at ease. “Care homes that take the time to do this now will reap the benefits over the coming months, providing reassurance to those who need it, and ensuring the loyalty of customers both old and new for years to come.” For more information about JLA, the research findings and for products which can help with infection control, please visit: https://jla.com/knowledge/icir-2021-care

ASAP Innovations Ensures Medi-Inn’s PPE Supply to UK Healthcare Sector is Maintained Throughout Pandemic Certified PPE manufacturer and leading supplier of medical and hygiene consumables join forces to ensure the UK healthcare sector continues to have access to certified PPE Following an unreliable and sporadic PPE supply during the beginning of the pandemic, supplier of medical and hygiene consumables, Medi-Inn partnered with ASAP Innovations, a leading manufacturer of medical PPE for the healthcare industries, to ensure dependable and trustworthy supply of critical equipment. Throughout 2020, Medi-Inn – which manufactures and distributes medical and hygiene products to the UK healthcare sector – saw its supplies of medical gloves became sporadic and unreliable due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many central governments were buying PPE directly from manufacturers and as a result, manufacturing companies were bypassing distribution companies, even suppliers they had worked with for years. At the same time, demand continued to increase throughout the summer of last year and Medi-Inn was in need of a reliable and certified PPE provider that could ensure it was able to keep serving its customers at this difficult time. Wayne Dobson, Managing Director, Medi-Inn explains, “In 2020 we were approached by ASAP Innovations as it was seeking a glove distributor in the medical field. While the brand was fairly new to us, we were familiar with its impressive presence in Asia and everything we had heard about the manufacturer was very positive. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as a partnership with ASAP Innovations meant

we were able to continue supplying certified and high-quality PPE to our loyal and longstanding customer base, at a time when they needed our supplies the most. “ASAP Innovations’ packaging stands out from other products on the market and it also incorporates a grading system so that the different glove types are easily identifiable, which – as far as we are aware – is fairly unique. In fact, this design feature of the products is something we leverage in our marketing activities as the colour coding certainly increases brand awareness. We have been particularly impressed with ASAP Innovations’ development initiatives and are looking forward to supplying its soon-to-be launched vitrile gloves and children’s face masks. “Despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in, the support levels we have received from ASAP Innovations has been second to none which has made our partnership run that extra bit smoother.

PPE is the sort of product where customers would complain if they had problems with the quality of the products and seeing as we have had no complaints about ASAP Innovations products, we have the reassurance that our customers are more than satisfied with its products. “When ASAP agreed to fulfil our requirement for the rest of 2020 and up until October 2021 we were delighted, and I believe this is just the beginning of a long-term relationship where Medi-Inn can help establish the brand in the medical and hygiene sector in the UK. We are excited for what’s to come from our partnership with ASAP Innovations and we look forward to expanding business with the manufacturer in the months ahead,” Wayne concludes. Sean Keller, Managing Director, ASAP Innovations adds: “We are delighted to have entered a partnership with a highly regarded supplier of medical and hygiene consumables to the UK healthcare sector. It goes without saying that healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to serve the public throughout what has been a very challenging year and we are very glad we have been able to continue supplying PPE to the people that need it the most, through our trusted partner, Medi-Inn. This is just the beginning of our partnership and we are thrilled to be able to continue providing certified PPE to the UK’s healthcare sector.” For further information, visit Medi-Inn at www.medi-inn.co.uk and ASAP Innovations at www.whyasapco.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 29

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL GermErase Launches to Give Confidence to UK Businesses and Hospitals, With Efficacy Against SARS-Cov-2 First British commercial product to be tested on live SARS-Cov-2, the virus causing COVID-19 Multi-surface protector kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens in under 30 seconds and provides a protective barrier for up to 48 hours British scientific breakthrough can turn the tide against hospital infections and superbugs, while supporting vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 and saving the NHS billions GermErase, a new brand at the frontline of protecting against COVID19, infections and superbugs, has today launched its first product range. Available as a cleaning spray and a hand spray with wipes, with aerosols and hand wash to follow, GermErase is a unique formulation that kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19, in under 30 seconds – faster and more effective than the next best product. It bonds to surfaces to provide total protection without any reduction in performance for up to 48 hours and remains effective for 28 days. GermErase has been tested to global standards in independent facilities at the University of Southampton, including on live strains of SARSCov-2. The British business has invested £1m in testing the product. As 99.9% water, GermErase is safe and has low toxicity, meaning it

does not irritate skin in the way alcohol gels can and, unlike alcohol gels, is not flammable. It uses common ingredients that have already been approved for medical and cleaning purposes and is ready to distribute at scale across the country via specialist cleaning supplier, Denis Rawlins Ltd. Professor Bill Keevil, Professor of Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, comments, “An invention like this does not come across your desk very often. We have found that GermErase demonstrates remarkable breadth of efficacy against bacteria and viruses, speed of kill, residual efficacy and shows no evidence of antimicrobial resistance.” GermErase is more effective than alcohol gel and, alongside vaccines, can help to turn the tide against COVID-19 and a broad spectrum of other dangerous pathogens. While alcohol gels and sanitisers – products recommended by the World Health Organisation – are dependent on concentration levels and a lengthy period of application, GermErase is easy to use and completely kills the virus within seconds with a simple spray. The products can be used by medical professionals in hospitals but are also quick and easy to use by private sector businesses – giving employers and employees the confidence to return to work safely and unlock the economic recovery in the UK. GermErase will launch a consumer product range for the general public in Spring 2021. The urgency of antibiotic resistance is well known among the medical community and increasingly by wider society. GermErase provides a defence by preventing infection, instead of relying on the development of new cures and antibiotics. Inspired by the most human of stories, GermErase was invented by

Rob Scoones, a former retail business owner. After losing someone very close to him, Rob dedicated his life to eradicating the superbug crisis in our hospitals and worldwide. Through the relentless pursuit of this vision, Rob developed the GermErase product, combining common ingredients in a way that has delivered remarkable efficacy against all known pathogens, including SARS-Cov-2. It has been estimated that a 10% reduction in infections and superbugs in hospitals would save the NHS £1bn annually. GermErase can kill and protect against all known infections and superbugs and is available to use throughout healthcare facilities immediately. Matthew Higdon, Chairman of GermErase, comments, “Our intention is for GermErase to become the first line of defence against infection for hospitals, businesses and families across the country. This product will allow us to get our freedom back and live with peace of mind that we are protected against pathogens like Coronavirus. Our ambition is for this British breakthrough to represent a landmark moment in the fightback against COVID-19, infections and superbugs.” GermErase is the new British brand at the frontline of protection the fightback against coronavirus, infections and superbugs. It provides a new multi-surface protector proven to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 within 30 seconds and provides protection for 48 hours. Clinically proven to be more effective than alcohol gel or existing disinfectant, GermErase products are the breakthrough Britain needs to get back to work, turn the tide against the Coronavirus in healthcare and save the NHS billions of pounds handling infections and superbugs. GermErase is available from Dennis Rawlins Ltd at www.rawlins.co.uk/brands/germerase.html

Regular Cleaning Plays a Vital Role In Limiting the Transmission of Covid-19 In 2020, TCFM completed over 500 nationwide Covid-19 decontamination and electrostatic sprays, in 4-hour response times National Coverage Over the last six months we have completed specialist Covid-19 cleans across a dynamic, nationwide portfolio of sites for clients in a variety of industries, ranging from retail, distribution to corporate. All calls for our Covid-19 cleaning solution have been attended to within 24 hours. Our electrostatic sprays kill Coronavirus on contact and offer up to 4 weeks protection from pathogens, providing you with: • A safe working environment • Employees which feel valued

• Credibility with your clients • Peace of mind TCFM is proactively working with a diverse portfolio of national customers to keep their sites safe including: Tesco, Yodel, Makro, RS Components, Travis Perkins, Wincanton and many others across a range of industries including distribution, retail, telecommunications and finance. TCFM’s national coverage is key to responding promptly to calls for the Covid-19 decontamination solution, which mitigates disruption to BAU at even their most remote sites. See the advert below for further details.

In 2020, TC Facilities Management (TCFM) completed over 500 nationwide Covid-19 decontamination and electrostatic sprays, in 4-hour response times. As we enter Lockdown 3.0, TCFM is continuing to keep their customers’ sites safe across the UK with their Covid-19 decontamination solution. The electrostatic spraying technology that TCFM offers provides 360° coverage to the premises, in contrast to traditional fogging methods which only protect surfaces. Environmentally f riendly, human and food-safe chemicals kill Coronavirus on con-tact, offering up to 4 weeks’ protection f rom pathogens. This solution provides TCFM’s customers with: A safe working environment;

Credibility with their clients;

Employees who feel valued;

Peace of mind.

Working tto Working o Minimise Disruption A Across cross a National Portfolio P ortffolio TCFM is proactively working with a diverse portfolio of national customers to keep their sites safe including: Tesco, Yodel, Makro, RS range of industries including distribution, retail, telecommunications and finance. TCFM’s national coverage is key to responding promptly to calls for the Covid-19 decontamination solution, which mitigates disruption to BAU at even their most remote sites.

Ho How wT TCFM CFM C Can an Suppor Supportt You You Thr Through ough Th The e Developing Developing C Covid-19 ovid-19 Cr Crisis isis TCFM is committed to supporting customers across the country to safeguard sites against Coronavirus as the situation continues to develop. To ensure they can deliver a solution tailored to the requirements of your premises, TCFM offers a f ree site visit and quote for their Covid-19 decontamination solu-tion and a certificate on completion. As many of your colleagues will be site-based, this will give them the peace of mind that you are committed to safeguarding their health and safety. This identifies TCFM as a trusted partner in the fight against Coronavirus. Haris Niksic, TCFM’s Head of Specialist Services, comments: “Our specialist service colleagues wor work extremely hard to prevent disruption d to y your our business while saffeguarding a saffe ew wor orking environment ffor or your colleagues and customers.”

To book your free site assessment & Covid-19 quote please visit: https://tcfm.online/return-to-work-safely-with-covid19-decontamination-cleans/ or contact Nicola Heywood directly on: 07920 539 265


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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 www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.

Safe Infection Control Solution Gives Day Centre Residents Increased Reassurance Award-winning First City Nursing, provider of nursing care that is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, was swift to develop a robust Covid-prevention protocol prior to re-opening its day-centres following the first lockdown of the current pandemic. Central to this protocol is MicroSafe® disinfectant, a new arrival in the UK, making First City Nursing one of the pioneers to adopt this 100% toxin-free, highly effective disinfectant and one that sets the gold standard in safe sanitisation. Covid-19 has forced us to look at infection control in a new way; none more so than in the care home and day-centre setting. There is mounting concern that many commonly used disinfectants may not be up to the job of dealing with a pandemic; contact time may be too long, efficacy questionable with often a moderate pathogen control and many include chemicals that could be harmful to health and the environment, especially when used with the frequency required to prevent spread of the virus. The vaccination programme has brought down levels of the virus substantially and in turn a reduction in cases; but with the opening of care homes to one visitor per resident from the 8th March, there is still a risk that residents could be exposed to a new variant which may be resistant to vaccines. Following the first lockdown, First City Nursing needed a disinfectant

that was effective, safe and easy to use around elderly and vulnerable residents in their care, particularly in day-centres where they gather for meals and socialising. It also needed to be kind to the environment and able to be stored safely. The day-centre environment, with a number of residents coming and going, could be a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria as well as contributing to the spread of Covid-19, therefore infection management is a top priority for First City Nursing. “The day-centres are essential to the residents’ mental as well as physical well-being and it is important that they feel safe, especially within the current climate. We are careful to disinfect everything that is touched by staff and residents right down to their bingo chips, cutlery and handrails so we have a handy spray for intermittent treatment between fumigation sessions before and after new groups enter the centres. It is super easy and time saving; we simply spray and leave it to dry naturally within about a minute. We will be relying on MicroSafe to help us reopen the day centres as soon as possible post lockdown” says Kerry Harris, Community Living Manager. MicroSafe is 99.9999% (Log 6) effective in killing viruses, bacteria and other pathogens within a contact time of 30 seconds, and has a proven track record of combatting epidemics around the world (MERS, SARS,

Ebola) as well SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in Australia and the Middle East. Purazine introduced MicroSafe to the UK in 2020 in direct response to the pandemic. The result of 20 years’ research, the patented and internationally approved Microcyn® technology that makes MicroSafe so unique, uses an electrochemical process to produce Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) similar to the natural HOCl produced by the human immune system to fight pathogens. This process results in a pH balanced disinfectant, that is free of harmful chemicals. MicroSafe can be ‘fogged’ as a fine mist to ensure that no surface is left un-sanitised. Historically, HOCl disinfectants’ shelf life was very limited but uniquely, MicroSafe remains shelf-stable for two years, needing no special storage, handling or disposal and is kind to the environment. Dr Hugh Martin, recent former Head of Agricultural Science at RAU and consultant with HOCl Trust said: “With this level of efficacy, contact time, shelf life and being non-corrosive, MicroSafe sets the gold standard in disinfectants making it ideal for use in clinical and care home settings as well as for general disinfection application.” Dr David Cox of Purazine who distributes MicroSafe in the UK says; “It is clear, with new variants still being discovered, that we are going to have to learn to co-exist with Covid-19 and other viruses in the future but it is vital that our solution to the virus does not cause additional problems. Increasingly, care homes are using MicroSafe as they have embraced the importance of putting measures in place to prevent Covid-19 that are free of harmful chemicals, efficient and easy to use, and most importantly limit the interruption in the vital care they provide for their residents.”

To book your Covid prevention protocol consultation please email staysafe@purazine.co.uk or telephone 03300 880660 or visit www.purazine.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 31

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL React-Air Pathogen Neutralisers

React-Air pathogen neutralisers have helped to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff in Britain’s care homes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain. Designed for use in virtually any indoor environment, the React-Air range utilises the power of UVC, HEPA 13 and activated carbon filtration to clean air and surfaces, killing viruses such as Covid-19, norovirus, flu and the common cold. Manufactured in the UK it is the only system of its kind and has already been successfully utilised in the fight against coronavirus in many care homes across the country. There are 4 products in the React-Air range including

the React-Air X - a portable air sanitiser designed for use in hospital and care environments. Using a unique UV-C light array, powerful fans drive the airflow through the decontamination chamber, neutralising bacteria, viruses, pollen and odours, delivering clean and sterile air to a room. It can be used whilst people remain in the room and generates no harmful gasses, and at a fraction of the price of leading portable ozone generators. When used in conjunction with normal cleaning techniques, it is highly effective in the fight against bacteria and viruses. Deborah Blick of Parmenter Care said, “We realised it was a way of keeping our rrsidents, staff and visitors safe, primarily during the pandemic but going forward when this does pass. It won't just be Covid it can deal with, but other pathogens - flu, norovirus and many others.” For further information, see the advert on this page or contact the Reaction Group Limited: www.reaction-grp.com or Tel: 0203 885 2299

Haigh Engineering Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the

Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched allinclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or info@haigh.co.uk


PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 33

CATERING FOR CARE Made For You Softer Foods For Dysphagia Made For You Softer Foods is a softer foods range of frozen ready meals. We offer a wide range of dishes, that are beautifully shaped and made with quality ingredients to provide a nutritious and satisfying meal, suitable for people who experience chewing or swallowing difficulties known as dysphagia. The Made For You range includes 80 dishes to choose from including chicken, beef, lamb, fish and vegetarian recipes. We also offer a tasty selection of lighter bites, desserts, and breakfast

options as well as mini meals for those with smaller appetites. All our meals have been prepared in line with the IDDSI Framework. • Delicious softer foods frozen ready meals • 80 dishes to choose from • IDDSI compliant • Suitable for a Level 4 Puréed, Level 5 Minced & Moist, Level 6 Soft & Bite-Sized diet. • No contracts – secure online or telephone ordering process • Clear and easy to use cooking instructions on every sleeve To find out more about Made For You and our softer foods range at www.itsmadeforyou.co.uk

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Radnor to Launch First Vitamin D Spring Water Drink in Tetra Pak Packages Wales’ leading family owned branded soft drinks company is launching a new product to help customers to get their daily vitamin D dose. Radnor Vits, which will launch on March 1st, is the first vitamin D flavoured spring water in Tetra Pak® packages. Designed to be strawfree, you can drink it straight from the pack. Public Health England and NICE advise that 10 micrograms of vitamin D are needed every day for healthy bones and muscles. Everyone is advised to take a vitamin D supplement between October and March, when the sun is too low in the sky for our bodies to naturally make vitamin D from sunlight. Vits is a low-calorie sugar-free drink which is also suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. It comes in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Apple & Raspberry. Radnor is targeting listings in supermarkets and health stores as well as care homes and hospitals. Vits is also available to buy as a three-pack from Radnor’s own online shop and also from Amazon. Radnor Vits’ benefits include: Vitamin D – Contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function, cell division, teeth and bones. Copper - Contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues. Folic Acid - Helps make healthy red blood cells

Selenium - Contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, nails, immune system, and thyroid function. Zinc – Contributes to metabolism, brain function and normal. William Watkins, Owner and Managing Director of Radnor, said: “When we heard that 20 per cent of the British population is deficient in vitamin D, and that this is a growing problem thanks to Lockdown and people staying indoors, we decided to create a new daily drink to help tackle the problem. “Radnor Vits is the first functional drink of its kind in Tetra Pak® packages and, as well as providing your daily dose of vitamin D, it also contains other vital vitamins and minerals to help support a balanced diet. “Our new drink, designed as your once-a-day vitamin and minerals boost, increases your daily intake of vitamin D and other recommended vitamins and minerals up to 200%.” Over the past 12 months, there have been reports about vitamin D potentially reducing the risk of coronavirus and the Government is keeping a close eye on the results of trials currently underway. Trade samples are available on request by emailing sales@radnorhills.co.uk Radnor’s online shop https://www.radnorhills.co.uk/shop/ Radnor’s Amazon shop https://www.amazon.co.uk/Radnor-Hills/s?k=Radnor+Hills

Planning Your Catering Budgets with allmanhall Alain Bremond-Torrent mused, “Sardines or not sardines, that is the question.” Or indeed, some salmon, but what should it all cost? In the face of unprecedented and extraordinary cost pressures, planning your budgets for the coming year is challenging. allmanhall (www.allmanhall.co.uk) can help. Covid-19 has brought enormous pressure, with operational compliance costs and additional PPE taking their toll. Then there is Brexit – although a trade agreement has been struck, food costs are rising. All exacerbated by escalating business rates. Food and catering related costs are a significant element of any care home or group’s budget. Scrutiny of key areas will enable planning and ensure good due diligence. You may not have benchmarked your suppliers’ pricing for months if not years. How do your suppliers compare? Recipes should be accurately costed and areas for greater efficiencies and savings identified.

These unprecedented times present an opportunity - now may be the time to challenge long established ‘norms’, rethinking and reviewing your budgets for the better. Contact independent food procurement specialists, allmanhall to arrange your free of charge benchmark via www.allmanhall.co.uk See the advert on the facing page for details.

DISCOVER THE NEW MATCHING TOOL THAT WILL SHOW YOU WHICH BOUILLON IS BEST FOR YOUR NEEDS When it comes to creating great dishes for residents living in care settings, a quality base is key. With a good bouillon or stock at the base, chefs can transform everyday favourites into rich, flavoursome dishes. Knorr® Professional is the UK’s number one brand for bouillons in foodservice*. They’re passionate about providing chefs in the care sector with the building blocks to creating dishes which make mealtimes memorable. They believe that, when it comes to choosing a bouillon, getting the right format for your needs is fundamental. Their range includes Powders, Jellies, Cubes and Pastes – which are also available in a Rich and Roast formats for an even stronger flavour. But how you use each of these formats will depend on a number of factors. If you’re not sure which bouillon is right for your menu, then why not try Knorr® Professional’s new online matching tool. By answering just a few simple questions, the tool will help you discover the right bouillon for you in less than a minute.

Visit ufs.com/knorrprofessional to find out more

*Aggregated UK wholesaler value sales 52 w/e 21st August 2020


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 37

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS

Laundry is Critical as Covid-19 Survives on Healthcare Uniforms for Up To 3 Days As reported below, scientists at the De Montford University have been conducting an in-depth study of viruses with similar structures and survival patterns to Covid-19. The research was led by a team of microbiologist and virologist experts who monitored the stability of virus traces over 72 hours and evaluated different infection control methods. The results strongly reinforce the need for all healthcare workers’ uniforms to be washed on-site and using appropriate commercial or industrial washing machines. The University discovered that the virus can survive on polyester for 72 hours, on cotton for 24 hour and on poly-cotton for 6 hours. The scientists contaminated various textiles with virus traces and analysed different wash methods, using varying temperatures with both domestic and commercial/ industrial laundry machines. The results demonstrated that domestic machines did not fully remove the virus from contaminated textiles and that the water dilution and agitation was insufficient as a means of infection control. Their findings concluded that it necessitated detergent and a temperature of at least 67C for the virus to be efficiently killed. Encouragingly, the research showed that the virus did not transmit to other items within the wash load. However, traces can transfer from uniforms to other surfaces and consequently it is crucial that uniforms do not leave the healthcare environment

and are processed in laundry machines that will reach the requisite high temperatures to ensure that there is no onward transmission. Dr Laird, Microbiologist and Head of Infectious Disease Research Group, is quoted on the University’s website as saying, Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk of transmission of the virus. If nurses and healthcare workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of virus on other surfaces. Forbes Professional provides healthcare compliant commercial laundry equipment to the NHS, care homes and private hospitals across the UK. As proud partners of Miele, we offer premium laundry solutions that adhere to WRAS and CQC guidelines whilst enabling both sluice and thermal disinfection. Our commercial washers hold validated temperatures of 71°C for 3 minutes and 83°C for 15 minutes, killing viruses and bacteria in adherence with the most stringent hygiene requirements. With our Complete Care solution, all laundry equipment is supported by our multi award-winning service support, with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. Forbes Professional Telephone 0345 070 2335 info@forbes-professional.co.uk www.forbespro.co.uk

Infection Control and Laundry Cash’s Labels- “The Name Study Published Behind the Name” In a study looking at how coronavirus behaves on three fabrics commonly used in the healthcare industry, scientists at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have warned tthat traces can remain infectious for up to three days. Led by microbiologist Dr Katie Laird, virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar and postdoctoral researcher Dr Lucy Owen, the research involved adding droplets of a model coronavirus called HCoV-OC43 – which has a very similar structure and survival pattern to that of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 – to polyester, polycotton and 100% cotton. The results showed that polyester poses the highest risk for transmission of the virus, with infectious virus still present after three days that could transfer to other surfaces. On 100% cotton, the virus lasted for 24 hours, while on polycotton, the virus only survived for six hours. “When the pandemic first started, there was very little understanding of how long coronavirus could survive on textiles,” said Dr Katie Laird, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at DMU. “Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk for transmission of the virus. If nurses and healthcare workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of the virus on other surfaces.” In response, she advised the government that all healthcare uniforms should be laundered in hospitals to commercial standards or by an industrial laundry. She has since co-published an updated, fully comprehensive literature review which evaluates the risk of textiles in the transmission of disease, highlighting the need to for infection control procedures when handling contaminated healthcare textiles. “After the literature review, the next stage of our work was to evaluate the infection control risk of washing healthcare uniforms contaminated with coronavirus,” she continued. “Once we had determined the survival rate of coronavirus on each of the textiles, we turned our attention to identifying the most reliable wash method for removing the virus.” Using 100% cotton, the most commonly used healthcare textile, the scientists conducted a number of tests using different water temperatures and wash methods, including domestic washing machines, industrial washing machines, on-premise hospital washing machines, and an ozone (a highly reactive gas) wash system. The results showed that the agitation and dilution effect of the water in all of the washing machines tested was enough to remove the virus. However, when the team soiled the textiles with an artificial saliva containing the virus (to mimic the risk of spread from an infected person’s mouth), they found that domestic washing machines did not fully remove the virus and some traces survived. It was only when they added a detergent and increased the water temperature that the virus was completely eliminated. Investigating the tolerance of the virus to heat alone, findings showed that coronavirus was stable in water up to 60°C, but was inactivated at 67°C.

Next, the team looked at the risk of cross contamination, placing clean items of clothing in the same wash as those with traces of the virus. They found all wash systems removed the virus and there was no risk of the other items being contaminated. Dr Laird explained: “While we can see from the research that washing these materials at a high temperature, even in a domestic washing machine, does remove the virus, it does not eliminate the risk of the contaminated clothing leaving traces of coronavirus on other surfaces in the home or car before they are washed. “We now know that the virus can survive for up to 72 hours on some textiles and that it can transfer to other surfaces too. “This research has reinforced my recommendation that all healthcare uniforms should be washed on site at hospitals or at an industrial laundry. These wash methods are regulated and nurses and healthcare workers do not have to worry about potentially taking the virus home.”

With the support of the UK Textiles Trade Association, Dr Laird, Dr Shivkumar and Dr Owen have since shared their findings with industry experts across the UK, USA and Europe. “The response has been very positive,” said Dr Laird. “Textile and laundry associations around the world are now implementing our key messages in their guidance for healthcare laundering, to prevent further transmission of coronavirus.” David Stevens, CEO of Textiles Services Association UK, the trade association for the textile care services industry, said: “Going into a pandemic situation, we had the basic understanding that textiles were not among the top transmission media for coronaviruses. “However, we really had a lack of information about the stability of these viruses in different fabric types and in different wash programmes. This resulted in several misinformation floating around and excessive recommendations for washing. “We have considered in detail the methodologies and research practices used by Dr Laird and her team and find this research to be reliable, repeatable and reproducible. The conclusion of this work completed by DMU reinforces the vital role of contamination controls – whether it is domestic or industrial settings.” To further the research, the team is also working on a project in collaboration with DMU’s Psychology team and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, surveying nurses and healthcare workers about their knowledge and attitudes towards washing their uniforms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protection to our customers'

brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

MEDICATION MANAGEMENT

Omnicell's eMAR Solution Helping Care Homes to Manage Their COVID-19 Vaccination Programmes As the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out across the UK, Omnicell’s eMAR solution has recently been enhanced to help support care homes to manage recording of the medication in terms of timings, dosage as well as the type of vaccination used. As with any other medication, this vaccine needs to be managed and administered safely. New features to the eMAR care home solution have been introduced to ensure that staff can easily record the type of vaccine, when it was administered and whether it was the first or second injection. As with all medication, residents have the right to refuse and should that be the case, the Omnicell eMAR solution also captures this information too. The Omnicell eMAR system automates the entire medication management and administration process for each care home resident, ensuring they receive their right medication at the right time. Now, care home management and staff can have the COVID-19 vaccine status of each resident at the touch of their fingertips as part of the eMAR Reporting Suite. The eMAR system gathers information, provides prompts and accurate instructions for staff and managers in real time at the touch of a button. Each individual medication is identified through a barcode, normally applied in pharmacy, which can then be tracked at all stages from check in at the care home through to administration to a resident. It provides an invaluable medicines history for each patient and includes a simple alert and verification system to minimise the risk of medication errors in the home. Residents in care homes take an average of 7.2 medicines per day. With each additional medicine comes an increased risk of errors in prescription, monitoring, dispensing or administration, adverse drug reactions, impaired medicines adherence which can lead to compromised quality of life for

patients. CQC’s annual state of care report found that safety was the biggest concern with one of the main contributing factors being poor medicines management.1 Recently, Omnicell UK, the market leader in medication and supplies automation, and Nourish Care, a leading electronic care planning provider, came together to provide a new integration that gives care staff greater visibility of a patient’s medication regime as part of their overall care plan. Managing and monitoring resident’s medication regimes effectively can significantly impact the delivery and quality of care. Historically care plan-

ning and medication administration systems have been managed completely separately. This can potentially contribute to failings in support of residents’ care. The new integration means that Omnicell eMAR can now share data related to medication with the Nourish Care system, giving greater insight and driving best practice into the safety and individual care of each resident in the home. Heather Bethune, Care Home Manager at Abbeyfield House Care Home, comments; "The new COVID-19 recording feature has been a huge help for our care home. All of the vaccine information is recorded in one place and it's presented alongside all the medication that we've administered - where it should be, so it's great to have a simple overview of everything that’s medication related. We can record the type of vaccine that resident has been given and the date they were administered it, this allows us to know when the second vaccination is required for each resident. The system allows you to input information retrospectively which is a great help when we have new residents join the home who have already had the vaccine. It's a really simple and easy to use system that is helping us to manage the COVID-19 virus.” Cyrus Hodivala, Medicines Adherence Sales Director at Omnicell UK & Ireland, comments; “Here at Omnicell we are constantly looking at new ways to respond to our clients needs with innovative solutions. And as such, we are pleased to announce the new features and enhancements to our eMAR solution which will help support care homes to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programmes. We anticipate that this will help to drive much needed times efficiencies for staff during this difficult time, as well as ensure patient safety within the care sector.” For further information contact www.omnicell.co.uk/products/emar

ATLAS eMAR - The Only Proven eMar for Care Homes in the UK ATLAS eMAR is the only independently evaluated medication administration system that has been shown to eradicate 21 out of 23 medication error types, save 65 staff hours per month on medication, representing over £1500 savings per month and improve accountability by reducing missing entries by 85%. There are four unique features of ATLAS eMAR: 1. Use of barcode validation to ensure all the rights of medicine administration are checked. This feature eradicates most common medication errors. 2. Automatic two-way link between the pharmacy and care home. This ensures that the pharmacy is aware of therapy changes made at the home and can sort out discrepancies with prescriptions before they become errors. The pharmacy can also see all prescription requests and the actual stock counts of each medicine at the care home. This leads to efficiencies in ordering, booking in and returning of medicines.

3. The data from ATLAS eMAR on medication administrations can now be viewed on most e-care planning platforms through our open API. This means that all aspects of resident care including medications can now be viewed in one place. 4. ATLAS eMAR can now be used on any suitable android device. This means that if you already have an android device for e-care plans, then you can run ATLAS eMAR on it, making it a very cost effective option. ATLAS eMAR has a national network of enabled pharmacies and can work with any pharmacy, as long as they agree to support the care home with the technology. The implementation is detailed and fully supported. Training is via on-line elearning and webinars. Over 95% of care homes who implemented ATLAS eMAR indicated that they would never go back to their traditional medication system. Visit www.atlasemar.com or see the advert on page 44 for further details.

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Well Pharmacy Partners with PainChek to Promote Person-Centred Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is pleased to announce a partnership with PainChek®, the world’s first AI-powered pain assessment tool to help people who are unable to verbalise if they have pain, such as those living with dementia. Sadly, pain often goes un-detected and under-treated in people with communication difficulties from medical conditions. The Well Care Home Services Team are actively signposting more than 350 care homes across the UK to use PainChek® as an effective solution to help measure pain in residents and promote the highest standards of care in residential homes. This secure medical device is simple and straightforward to use via mobile or tablet. It uses artificial intelligence (facial detection and analysis technology) and smart automation to detect and score pain in real time allowing informed clinical decisions around appropriate and effective pain management to be made. This partnership further highlights how Well Pharmacy are committed to offering a local community service with a real focus on person-centred care, quality and safety. Tandeep Gill, Care Home Business Lead at Well Pharmacy said: “Well Pharmacy is delighted to partner with PainChek®. At Well we strive to offer an outstanding local service to care homes and their residents. PainChek® uses innovative technology to help residents who are not able to communicate for themselves to identify

the presence of pain. “We’re delighted that through this partnership we are able to pass on an exclusive discount to benefit our care homes customers across the UK, so they can help improve the quality of life for their residents and offer person-centred care.” Pete Shergill, PainChek® UK&I Country Director said: “About half of people living with dementia suffer from pain, but they are often unable to verbalise they have pain, and sadly, it goes unmanaged and untreated. “Ensuring residents’ pain is assessed effectively is critical for care home operators, healthcare professionals and carers but it can be challenging. Therefore, we are really pleased that Well Pharmacy is partnering with us to promote and deliver a quick and easy-to-use solution that will allow carers and healthcare professionals to measure pain in residents, document checks and make informed clinical decisions for effective pain management. “By harnessing the power of medtech, care providers can deliver more efficient and effective care, streamline processes, and ultimately cut costs and save time – allowing staff to focus on delivering the highest standard of care.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please visit www.well.co.uk/carehomes For more information about PainChek® email: info@painchek.com or visit: https://painchek.com/uk/


PAGE 40 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics Adaptawear Iona Nightie: Full Opening-Back Nightie for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics, Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics,

vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so please ask. Choices include print base-cloths, plain and woven designs. All Skopos fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high standards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viralreducing and anti-fungal properties. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team: sales@skopos.co.uk. www.skoposfabrics.com

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down. CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They

are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com

Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:

Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499.

Write Your Life Story! With Reminiscence Journal Game Imagine you’re playing a board game with your family and carers as you write the story of your life. You can do this Our mission is to help the silver seniors to become more creative in the using use of their imagination. To help them stay focused with their memory activity. To help them interact and avoid the feeling of loneliness and aloneness. To Help the seniors Preserve their stories through Print, video and Online publishing, keep record of their oral history with legacy building for future generations. To continue in making the life of the silver seniors relevant to the society. To help in bring out the hidden skills the Silver seniors may never know or recognize they possess. The Pack includes a 120 paged journal, 40 cardboard game, a timer, two reusable maze games including a water marker. Playing the 40 cards prompts seniors to write in their life journal. includes:, Moviefy 360 Website, 20 pictures flipbook photo album, 10 minute video, Life story flipbook with 4 paged Quiz. Visit https://storytellingforsilverseniors.com or Email: info@storytellingforsilverseniors.com Call Jean On +44 791 630 6888 today

Ideal for those bed-ridden, struggling with mobility or needing palliative end of life care - the Iona nightie from adaptawear.com has been specifically designed with these people in mind. This unique product comes with a fully opening back, shoulder openings on both sides, and easy poppers, which fasten quickly with limited effort. As the nightgown opens up completely flat, it can be put on from a lying or seated position, ensuring less stress for both the wearer and carer. The open back function with a generous overlap also ensures dignity when toileting and a quick drying cotton fabric is

comfortable and practical. As well as the Iona adapted nightie, Adaptawear have a range of other back opening nighties, including their popular Petal Back range, and also fully front button nightwear. Their men and women's ranges feature a full range of adaptive daywear, including front fastening bras and comfortable cotton underwear; with a customer recently sharing they had ‘regained their independence with such helpful items.’ All items can be found at www.adaptawear.com or call 0800 051 1931 for more info. Don’t forget to use code CR10M at checkout for 10% off

Care Homes Pilot Diagnostic Telemedicine Developed by GPs video consultation platform allows clinicians and their patients to communicate easily, discuss test results and agree next steps. The Hub reduces the need for clinicians to visit care homes and the need for residents to visit healthcare settings. In addition to improving patient safety, associated costs such as PPE and travel time and mileage are minimised. Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and MP for Copeland (including Millom), said: “I’m delighted that some care home residents in my constituency will be among the first to benefit from remote diagnostics consultations with their GPs. Tools such as Teki-Hub have the potential not only to reduce infection risk during a pandemic Pathfinders Specialist and Complex Care centre for but also to help deliver care to more patients more physical health needs in Nottinghamshire and quickly and it’s great to see more organisations triKirksanton Care Home in Millom, Cumbria, are the lat- alling these new innovations.” est care homes to trial an innovative telemedicine unit To date Teki-Hub has been used to conduct which allows GPs to complete detailed assessments approximately 180 remote consultations. Initial evaluaon patients remotely – saving time and improving tion by NHS Arden & GEM CSU shows clinicians have patient safety during the coronavirus pandemic. been very satisfied with the quality of the audio and The Teki-Hub telemedicine solution, developed by images, and ease of system use, with an average satpioneering GPs Dr Stephen Katebe and Dr Omobolaji isfaction score of 4.7 out of 5. Over 90% of patients Iji, is already providing a solution to the additional risks who have responded to a post-consultation survey of in-person consultations during the COVID-19 panrated the overall treatment experience as excellent. demic in 18 care homes in England and Scotland,. Initial trials also indicate that use of Teki-Hub can Unlike standard video consultations, the Teki-Hub reduce the need for ambulance callouts and emerunit includes high quality diagnostic equipment, gency hospital admissions. enabling GPs and other clinicians to undertake virtual Dr Stephen Katebe, co-founder of Tekihealth care home rounds, and respond to emergencies Solutions, said: “As GPs ourselves, we fully understand quickly, safely and efficiently. Teki-Hub can use WiFi, the barriers to providing swift and comprehensive care mobile or satellite networks to connect reliably to GP to care home residents – particularly during COVID-19. practices, community services or hospitals, with care With Teki-Hub installed, clinicians can see up to six home staff administering tests as directed by the clini- patients an hour, with no lost time spent travelling, cian. and without the additional risks currently associated The equipment includes a no-touch infrared basal with in-person consultations. We’ve seen a significant thermometer, and set of digital stethoscope, otoscope increase in demand for pilots as NHS organisations and tongue depressor attachments, allowing GPs to look to enhance the quality and safety of care, particconduct thorough assessments of a patient’s respiraularly during the pandemic.” tory, ear nose and throat, and heart health. The in-built Visit www.tekihealth.com or @tekihealth

Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated

with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 41

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Reliant Care Solutions Ltd WHY SHOULD CARE HOMES MOVE FROM PAPER TO ELECTRONIC TIME SHEETS

The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.

HOW IS TIME AND MONEY SAVED BY DOING THINGS ELECTRONICALLY?

Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".

THERE ARE MANY SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET WHY FACIAL RECOGNITION IS IMPORTANT AND HOW IT WORKS

Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.

HOW IS DATA PROTECTED? With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. For further information visit www.rcscare.net or call 03333 444 562.

WristPIT from Pinpoint The WristPIT from Pinpoint,is a bespoke patient call transmitter designed to be worn on the wrist. This wrist-worn personal infrared transmitter (WristPIT) is easily accessible and allows patients to activate a call for even if they are away from their bed or a fixed call-point. Pinpoint’s renowned PIT technology (usually worn by staff for personal safety) has, for the first time, been designed around patient use. The WristPIT can withstand showering and brief submersion in water and also incorporates antimicrobial product protection, reducing the ability for bacteria to grow. According to figures published by the National Reporting and Learning System, around 250,000 incidents where patients required assistance in hospital were reported in 2015/16. In many cases, nursing staff remained unaware that a patient had had a fall for quite some time. Pressing the clearly labelled call button on

the WristPIT notifies the personnel on duty that a patient is requesting help and informs staff exactly where the patient is. The call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. Pinpoint Alarm Systems are installed in thousands of medical facilities throughout the UK and USA. The new WristPIT is backward compatible and easily integrated into existing Pinpoint Systems. A green LED indicates the WristPIT is ‘activated’ with good battery level. When the battery requires changing, the LED flashes red until the battery is changed and the device has been retested. In addition to being water-resistant, the WristPIT has been designed to withstand harsh environments and user tampering, meaning suitability for facilities where service users may be at risk of selfharm. For more information: www.pinpointlimited.com or see the advert on this page.

Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

PINPOINT WRISTPIT The WristPIT is a wrist worn Personal Infrared Transmitter designed exclusively for patient use. The latest call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. It is also backward compatible, allowing seamless integration into existing Pinpoint Systems.

DID YOU KNOW? Biomaster Technology is incorporated into all surface areas of the product during manufacture, inhibiting the growth of contaminating bacteria 24/7 for the lifetime of the product.

www.pinpointlimited.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 43

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Imagine a Piece of Equipment for Your Care Home CARE VISION That Can Enhance the Experience of Your Residents Mentally, Physically and Also Emotionally Inspired Inspirations have been working directly with care homes in developing their interactive touch screen activity tables over the last few years, to provide a range of screen sizes and units to suit every care setting. Just think of a giant Android tablet built into a solid oak surround, on a base that houses a large battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rooms in your care home. "This amazing bit of technology is making a huge difference to our residents" Melanie Dawson Manager, The Lawns at Heritage Manor ' The screen is 5mm tempered glass for your residents safety and sealed against fluid ingress meaning a spill of a cup of tea won't ruin your equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.

How to enhance your residents experience Mentally - Brain training apps, memory apps, quizzes, board games, reasoning challenges.

Physically - Exercise for the elderly online classes, hand eye coordination, increased movement to move hands around a large screen. Emotionally- Reminiscence tours on Google Earth, past and present clips on YouTube of hobbies or interests, religious services and Group ZOOM calls to loved ones who cant get to visit in your residents person! "We use it daily and would not be without it now, even the residents find it easy and fun to use. Thank you!" Sandie Evans, Registered Manager, Oakland's Care Home, Crickhowell All tables are made to order, if you'd like to enquire on a price guide and time scales for deliveries, just visit their website www.inspiredinspirations.com or scan the QR code on the right. "We've noticed that quieter residents who didn't interact too much with others have suddenly been more active and more vocal." Lindsey Davies, Home Manager,Cwrt Enfys See the advert on page 10.

Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their services have

live, up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010 with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functional-

ity within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-tostrength with exponential growth.  We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit www.carecontrolsystems.co.uk or see the advert below for further details.

At Care Vision we believe care may never be the same again. Outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything we do, with a clear purpose of Less Admin, More Care. Growing up and working in a family owned care home, Rishi Jawaheer saw at first hand the main needs in the care sector; to cut down on the burden of manual paperwork while maintaining good practice and to encourage people to become more involved in care. Using his experience as a registered manager, with some of the smartest minds in tech, Rishi was driven to create Care Vision, an all in one cloudbased care management, system incorporating all your care and admin into one easy to use system. Presently the care industry has our work cut out to keep in line with statutory and legislative compliance in addition to the essential everyday tasks of looking after our clients. Care Vision acts as a bridge which uses technology that organises care work, ensures a safer, better and more intimate experience for every member of the community, from administration, the carer to family, friends and the people we care for. Care Vision provides An easy to use system for carers, managers, relatives; bringing care and admin into one platform; to manage time, attendance, rota, HR, housekeeping, maintenance and much more An E-mar system, fully compliant with NICE, reducing medication errors and keeping people safe An intuative daily notes section that can be completed at the point of service quickly and accurately A pictorial food order system that allows the individual to choose from a menu even if they forgot what a meal looks like Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual

Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”.

Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at info@care-vision.co.uk or call 0208 768 9809


PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Lotus Care Technology The New MPCSA11 from Medpage The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls.  Having many years of experience in

fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit lctuk.com for details.

Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while

also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11 Or see the advert on page 2.

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 antibacterial 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.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 45

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION

A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era The New Year brings good news and light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with the roll out of vaccination programs, despite this the UK has been forced into stricter lockdown regulations. Health and care sectors are acutely aware of their responsibilities and the importance to look after technology that is fundamental to caring for the vulnerable and their carers. Should systems fail, technology suppliers should provide help and assistance remotely with telephone support and using remote diagnostic tools. At Courtney Thorne we find that most issues are resolved over the phone, where this proves difficult and further checks or reconfiguration is necessary this is done by remotely accessing systems and running diagnostics. 95% of the service inquiries we receive are resolved this way reducing the need to physically attend the site. Inquiries that cannot be rectified remotely will require an engineer to visit. To ensure the safety of residents, staff and the engineers themselves, service providers need to adopt stringent policies with rigorous

clarification processes concluding with written confirmation that there is no COVID-19 on site or where there is, that those suffering are suitably isolated. In the case of Courtney Thorne our process includes asking authorised care home management to fill out a questionnaire prior to our engineer turning up. We also insist that our staff are regularly checked, including logging daily body temperature. Finally equipping field staff with necessary PPE, making sure it is always used and includes a hand washing regime before, during and after any site visit. Courtney Thorne provides our fieldbased engineering staff with overalls, gloves, face masks and plenty of hand sanitiser. By diligently observing these protocols, and despite our staff visiting care homes and hospitals on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, not one of them has developed any COVID-19 symptoms at any time. For further information visit www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert on this page.

Nurse Call from Edison Telecom We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain? We may have just the part and

expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further extension to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.

www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47 | PAGE 47

TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Skills, Knowledge, and Skills Gaps in Health and Social Care Confidence Delivered Online By Nicole Bewley, Learning Curve Group (www.lcgonline.co.uk/carermag-skillsguarantee) It has been highlighted in recent years that the skills gaps within health and social care are set to be at an all time high with increasing numbers of vacancies across the sector. Nicole Bewley, Director of Skills at one of the largest providers of health and social care training, Learning Curve Group, explores the true impact that Covid-19 has had on the sector and ways that employers can adapt. I don’t think anyone can argue that the work of those across the health and social care sector has never been more appreciated. As Covid-19 has devastated care staff in many ways, it has also increased solidarity as our care workers across the country faced the crisis head on. For many years, health and social care has been tarnished as low skilled and low paid. Although care workers have not been afraid to show the harsh realities of Covid, with long shifts wearing PPE and losing patients and residents who haven’t seen their families in months, clapping for carers and praise for key workers has arguably glamorised the sector. University applications to study nursing were reported to be at a record high in February, increasing by almost a third. The work that carers have been doing for centuries has been under the microscope for all to see, and whilst the sector is incredibly rewarding, I think it would be wrong to suggest that it isn’t equally hard, both physically and mentally.

The Government launched a recruitment campaign to encourage people to re-skill and join the health and social care sector. Many sectors have been particularly hard hit from the pandemic; hospitality, aviation, travel and tourism, and it’s likely that they’ll take significantly longer to recover as we work through the easing of restrictions. With an aging workforce, and skills gaps left by brexit, if we don’t act now to fill vacancies, the sector is really going to struggle in the next few years. As vacancies are left unfilled and we see an increasing strain on services as people are living longer, Skills for Care have estimated a need for 650,000 to 950,000 new adult social care jobs by 2035. Employers across the sector need to look at how they are going to bridge the gap, and upskilling and reskilling is going to be key. Supporting individuals to transition into the sector would support the recruitment drive, however, a holistic approach to their training to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge for the job is vitally important. The government has announced a range of incentives for employers looking to support their staff with high quality training, and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee could be a lifeline for care providers looking for free training. Aimed at levelling up adults without an existing level three qualification, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee initiative from the government offers funding for a range of health and social care courses to individuals looking to progress their knowledge over and above the already free Level 2 qualifications. This is extremely welcome news from the government, as it means that employers in the care sector can really focus on upskilling any staff who aren’t already qualified to level three, and also recruit new members of staff who might not have any care experience, but want to get into the sector, narrowing skills gaps and providing better overall care. See the advert on the facing page for details.

With COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing and staff/employers looking ahead to a safer and more normal future, the Laser Learning team are proud to have supported both the large numbers of furloughed staff, as well as those in Care Homes and the NHS, who bravely worked on the frontline during the lockdown. Through the Laser Care Certificate course and Skills For Care endorsed CPD short courses, we are continuing to deliver skills, knowledge, and confidence online, to the sector which was undoubtedly affected the most during this pandemic. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course

and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to help the ongoing development of skills and expertise of both furloughed staff, who had the silver lining of time on their side, as well as those working through the pandemic amidst concerns of job security. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and Spread of Infection’ and ‘Infection Control and Prevention’ – were especially popular during this period. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on info@lasersys.co.uk or +44 (0)1753 584 112.

Engage With Your Residents - In-House Practical Training Workshop Scripts Bring About Happy Days Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design has created a new range of engagement training scripts for residential care and dementia homes. The workshops are designed to be presented in-house, saving time and costs. Easy to follow training scripts are practical in nature and help care teams engage with elderly and people living with dementia. Through activity, discussions, role-play and practise with nostalgic materials, carers can feel more equipped to engage and enrich social care. Packages include demonstration materials to use during your workshop. Training Scripts and engagement materials can be created to suit your organisation, care team requirements and resident interests. Ideal for home care services too - Help your carers engage and create meaningful

moments during visits. With Covid19’s restrictions and safety procedures, it makes sense to train your care teams on site. ‘Bringing your care teams together can build carer confidence, boost morale and uplift mood. If a carer feels good, this will reflect on the the person being cared for’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design. Passionate about helping people living with dementia to live well, Happy Days also supplies nostalgic displays, reminiscence baskets, conversation prompts and more - See The Carer front page or Shop Online: www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk - We accept NHS purchase order numbers and care home accounts. Phone Gillian direct on: 07971-953620 or see the advert on page 1.


PAGE 48 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 47

TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Thinking of Hiring Senior Carers or Nurses from Outside the UK?

By Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors (www.astonbrooke.co.uk)

The New Immigration Points-Based System introduced on the 1st January 2021 treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforms the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK. Free movement has ended, and the new points-based immigration system has salary and language requirements that change the way you recruit from outside the UK. The recent Government U-turn to place senior carers on the shortage occupation list has meant there has been an increase in recruitment for that role within the care sector. The main reason for this is that the majority of overseas candidates are staff nurses within hospitals across Europe, Asia and Africa and have extensive work experience with a good standard of English. The pay rate set by the Home Office for senior carers is £10.10 per hour for a 39-hour week, which equates to an annual salary of £20,482. This means

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance 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 through to allowing groups to grow significantly in size we assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at enquiries@globalbusinessfinance.net

that care providers are able to recruit high calibre nurses as senior carers. Moreover, the majority of overseas senior carers will have ambitions to complete their CBT and IELTS when they arrive in the UK and then the OSCE to become NMC pinned nurses. However, you can only benefit from this change in the rules if you hold a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. Given the significance of the changes from 1 January 2021, Aston Brooke has found that there has been an exponential increase in sponsor licence applications. Care providers must be proactive and take swift action to apply for a sponsor licence as soon as possible. In order to apply for a sponsor licence you have to satisfy the following criteria: • You must be a genuine business operating legally in the UK • You must be able to offer employment skilled to at

least RQF Level 3 (A level) • You must be able to meet your immigration compliance responsibilities • You must complete an online application form with supporting evidence You must also submit mandatory documents with your licence application. In the care sector, the documents include company bank statements, office lease, PAYE reference numbers, employer’s liability insurance certificate, CQC certificate and certificate of incorporation for the company. The processing times can vary but during the current pandemic, the Home Office have introduced a priority service for sponsor licence applications and Aston Brooke have been able to receive licences within as little as five days. Many care providers already hold a sponsor licence and have been able to take advantage of the recent changes in the rules to recruit senior carers. However, it is crucial that existing sponsors review their corporate structures to determine whether individual licences are more beneficial as opposed to just one single licence. If your business does not currently hold a sponsor licence then we strongly recommend that you act now and apply for a licence. The sponsor licence is valid for four years and will prove to be an invaluable asset for your recruitment needs. This is particularly relevant, as non-resident EU nationals who are entering the UK for the first time from the beginning of January 2021 will need sponsorship in order to work in the UK. For any further queries or to make an application for a sponsor licence, please contact Mr Kashif Majeed on km@astonbrooke.co.uk See the advert on page 17 for details.

Giving Learning and Development the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ Treatment Jane Brightman, social care lead at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management gives some practical advice to help modernise approaches to learning and development. Hands up if you remember the BBC programme Tomorrow’s World? Back in the sixties and seventies it was accurately predicting that we’d all have home computers, mobiles phones and the information superhighway. In one episode in 1989, they told us that in 2020 we would have smart homes. Impressive to be predicting this pace of advancement 30-60 years before it happened. It leads me to think – what could happen if we gave the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ treatment to social care; in particular to learning and development in the sector? It’s an area we have allowed to become stale and outdated whilst the world that has changed so much. I’m really talking about all learning and development for everyone working in social care, but for the purpose of this article, let’s narrow that focus down to leadership and management. Firstly, we should ask why leadership and management development is seen as something important for those in charge only? Everyone, at every level of an organisation, should be supported to be a leader. If we only ever provide management development when people become managers, how on earth can we identify potential and expect people to be able to do a great job from the off? If we really examine the current offering for our social care leaders and managers, it is fairly limited. We also know that many managers struggle to find the time (and sometimes budget) to undertake training and development for themselves. They often feel responsible for ensuring the boxes are ticked for their staff to be trained, leaving little room for their own personal development. I’d go even further and say that many programmes available, for example qualifica-

tions and apprenticeships, are no longer fit for purpose, both being around five years old now. There are big gaps in content – digital and technological skills, entrepreneurial knowledge, confidence to support workforce wellbeing and a better understanding of green and sustainability issues to name a few. Training programmes can also fail to support innovation, creativity, collaboration, and often don’t look outside of the sector or explore the future. It’s time to remedy this and to demand more from learning for our social care leaders and managers, at all levels. And there are actions we can take in social care now: Spend time reviewing your current programme of leadership and management development, be brutally honest, what impact is it really having? Have conversations internally and externally. Talk to other care providers or leaders. Listen to staff teams, the people using your services and their loved ones. Find out what people want from learning and development in 2021 and beyond. Seek out learning opportunities that are different. Talk to training providers, colleges and universities but widen that field too, learning can be found in many places such as webinars, conferences, blogs and podcasts. Identify the things that people need to learn and then search for the solutions. For example, reverse mentoring, where someone in a junior role mentors a colleague more senior to them. This works really well for topics such as using technology or social media. Remember that often the best learning comes when things go wrong. Learning from mistakes (events, incidents, or failures) is incredibly powerful. Consider future skills and development needs. The past year has taught us to be prepared for the unexpected and unprecedented. It’s time to gaze into the future of social care. What do you want it to look like? Resolve to stop repeating training. It’s expensive, time consuming, frustrating and has no impact on practice or confidence. Look for different ways to reinforce or build on learning. Let’s apply the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ lens to social care learning and development and grow our ambition for the sector, its workforce, and the people we support.

Workshops & Webinars: Empowering Social Care with the Tools To Be Outstanding Meaningful Care Matters is a leading care and organisational development group that specialises in helping health and social care providers to access a variety of support services. The group helps to facilitate the creation, reinvigoration and sustainable implementation of person-centred care cultures where people matter, feelings matter, and we are ‘Free to be Me’. Currently, care providers can make use of the group’s range educational and innovative online tools, including:

• Finding ways of balancing infection control and quality of life • Enhancing individual problem solving and communication skills in a safe environment What does the course involve? • Six 60-minute zoom sessions over a six-week period with teams of 8 to 10 participants • Specific resources and tools from Meaningful Care Matters to support learning and outcomes • Wellness and mindfulness support with tools from The Coach Approach

BACK TO PERSON CENTRED CARE – THE IMPORTANCE OF SELFCARE

These webinar sessions offer support materials on 5 key topics unique to each home The weekly group support sessions can accommodate teams of up to ten. A facilitator will oversee the live discussion, exploring the impacts COVID-19 and other lifestyle factors that can result in decreased resilience and compassion fatigue. Based on 5 sessions over 5 weeks, the forums cover ideas, strategies, and support mechanisms for how to achieve a meaningful connection. The group sessions are split into two parts: 1. Connections Matter A 40-minute session where five key challenges unique to each home are reviewed, before looking at how they have impacted the team and how members can make positive changes to improve their well-being. 2. A Practical Approach A 20-minute session where practical implications are explored before looking at how to support the learnings from the aspect of the live webinar. For more information on these online training sessions and other services Meaningful Care Matters provides, please visit www.meaningfulcarematters.com/

This online workshop will focus on the compassion fatigue that has become prevalent with frontline teams in this COVID pandemic. The course is all about person centredness and coming back to the heart and soul of what care culture is about. Achieved through an action learning process, participants can: • Reflect - consider the feelings and emotions as well as the practical implications of operating in a person-centred way • Recharge - look at strategies that will energise and maintain mindfulness and well-being to help support individuals and teams • Regenerate – refresh the passion, vision, and structure of a personcentred approach in a tangible, practical and meaningful way Key outcomes include • Renewing the care team by bringing members together and having space to reflect on the emotional impact of working in the climate of COVID-19 • Building an emotionally intelligent and self-aware leadership team that has the confidence and clarity it needs to support person-centred approaches in challenging times • Establishing resilient and reflective care teams

ACTION LEARNING TO IMPROVE PERSON CENTRED CARE THROUGH MINDFULNESS


Profile for The Carer

The Carer Digital - Issue #47  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

The Carer Digital - Issue #47  

The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week.  This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...

Profile for thecarer