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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

Issue 50

THECARERUK

Reform of Social Care “Doomed” Unless Issues of Fragile Provider Market are Addressed

A report from the Nuffield Trust warns that years of delay to social care reform and a fragmented market has left provider services unstable and without support for innovation. Social care providers in England have been thrown into the spotlight over the last year as they were hit by Covid-19, however, providers are still too often ignored in the increasingly intense discussion around reforming our failing system says the report which outlines the systemic problems with the way our market for social care operates, and argues that

unless they are resolved, funding reforms alone will fail to deliver sustainable change. The report states that reform of the social care sector will fail if the government’s long-promised plans focus solely on funding and ignore the fragile state of the provider market, adding that years of delay to reform, costs from the pandemic and a lack of understanding and priortisation of social care have eroded an already precarious and fragmented market for organisations providing social care services. Social care providers have been left without support for

innovation, the structures of some large providers leave services unstable and the regulator lacks powers to manage risk or drive improvement, argues the Nuffield Trust. Fractured and forgotten? The social care provider market in England identifies a number of long-standing deficiencies besetting the complex social care provider market, made up of more than 14,000 different organisations in England.

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 3...)


PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Feedback we have had clearly shows a divided sector. Not divided about the vaccine itself, but divided as to whether it should be compulsory for staff. It places employers in the most precarious of situations. Should an employee be forced as a condition of employment into taking a vaccine against their wishes and suffer adverse effects it would inevitably lead to costly litigation and compensation. There are I have to say Mike Padgham, chairman of the also concerns regarding discrimination and breach of human rights. Independent Care Group has a point. I saw this on the Personally, speaking I cannot see it becoming “compulsory” and part of terms of BBC website this morning (Wednesday the 21st). employment. Therefore the government has a massive job to support the sector in per“Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host a meeting of suading staff. officials from UK football's governing bodies later to disHere, I think, lies the solution. According to the latest medical evidence the vaccine is cuss the planned European Super League (ESL).” beginning to show effectiveness in preventing coronavirus transmission and infection. “Mr Johnson described the new league, which includes This is where the government needs to swiftly as it has regarding the football consultasix big English clubs, as "ludicrous". tions. Consultations with care providers leading to advice guidance and best practice sup“He will meet with the Football Association - which is in porting providers in communicating with staff reassuring them with as much empirical charge of the sport in England - the Premier League, as evidence will have a far better outcome than any government imposed laws for “compulwell as fans' representatives.” sory” vaccinations. I too am astounded at the speed in which Boris Johnson sought to intervene. Don’t forget our latest “Unsung Hero Award”! In our front cover story a report by Nuffield Trust “warns that years of delay to social A small token on care reform and a fragmented market has left provider services unstable and without our part to reward support for innovation”. somebody who has Policy director Natasha Curry said: “There is political and growing public consensus that gone that extra mile in the social care system is in urgent need of reform. We have seen years of promise with no in the residential and delivery. Now the Covid-19 pandemic has made our social care system’s fundamental nursing care sector. flaws even more clear to see.” While mainstream We have seen years of promise with no delivery! And yet within 48 hours the Prime media sometimes, it Minister mobilises himself to tackle a proposed European super league, immediately would seem, “relishes” arranging meeting football’s governing bodies! the opportunity to In January the Prime Minister promised there would be social care reform before the dwell on negative end of the year. Appearing before the House of Commons Liaison Committee on 13 news surrounding care January, Boris Johnson said: “The pandemic has highlighted the difficulties that the social homes, we have care sector is in - it clearly needs reform and it needs improvement. 'We will be bringing always done the forward plans later this year'. opposite! And it is an absolute travesty that these feel-good stories and initiatives never seem to make mainThe Government said it would try to reach a consensus on the long-term reform of stream news. social care for elderly and vulnerable people, but, and certainly to my knowledge did not supply any details of what it planned. The nominations are coming in we are absolutely thrilled to say! I would respectfully remind the Prime Minister that in my time here at THE CARER, forSo, once again a luxury hamper will be delivered directly to a “UNSUNG HERO” at their mer Prime Ministers including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May care home, nominations are open until April 30 so please get nominating with a small have pledged to reform social care, and each provided as little information as has been paragraph of what your nominee has done and why you think they are worthy of recogniprovided now! tion nominate@thecareruk.com If the Prime Minister can clear the decks to meet with football governing bodies, he can Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “ leading lights” for insight, advice clear the decks to meet care sector industry leaders and governing bodies! guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” We also reported last week about the suggested compulsory vaccine for those working 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 in the residential and nursing care sector.

“Government moves quicker for football than it does for social care” is the headline for a story seen here in this week’s issue (see page 3).

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 3

Reform of Social Care “Doomed” Unless Issues of Fragile Provider Market are Addressed (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER...) The report finds: • The response to Covid-19 has highlighted a poor level of understanding of the provider market and a historic lack of prioritisation of social care within central government. A lack of clarity over responsibility for social care, which is split between local government and several central government departments also complicated the covid-19 response. • The risk of collapse of large private equity-backed providers remains a constant threat to stability and continuity of care. The CQC does not have the capacity nor the powers to intervene and prevent financial collapse. • Data on who receives and provides care is poor, especially for people who pay themselves, and there is limited accessible information on the finances of many providers. • Substantial real-terms cuts to council budgets over a decade of austerity have led to providers of social care being paid fees below a sustainable rate leading

to a lack of innovation or investment, uncertainty for care organisations and inconsistent care for those who require services. • Individuals struggle to navigate this hugely complex market, particularly at times of crisis, so the market forces of choice and competition are weak. In the absence of other strong drivers of improvement, it is notable that there has been little improvement in some poor performers over time. • Severe workforce issues weigh down the sector with a high vacancies and turnover of staff. Low pay, inadequate representation and working conditions mean the sector struggles to find sufficient staff. Full structural change is now needed to get social care on stable ground and ensure those most in need of care can access high-quality services. But to move to a more sustainable model of care in the long term, the report clarifies that there needs to be a better understanding among policy-makers of how the market works and an acknowledgement that any reform to funding also needs to address the

Govt Moves Quicker for Football than Vulnerable THE Government moved far quicker to tackle the threat of a new football super league than it has in reforming the care of older and vulnerable people, campaigners said today. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it wished the Government could show the same intensity of action in bringing forward long-promised reform of the social care sector. ICG Chair Mike Padgham: “Tackling a threat to the national game happened in the blinking of an eye, whilst reform of social care is going at glacial pace. “We have seen in the past 48 hours that the Government can move extremely quickly when it wants to when it comes to tackling an emergency. “Whilst I can see that sport, and in this case, football, is very important to the country it is a shame that the Government cannot show even a tiny

amount of the same passion in tackling the social care issue. “Some 1.4m people are living without the care they need every day and reform of social care has been promised not for days, weeks or months, but for decades – right back to when Tony Blair and Gordon Brown promised to tackle the situation after they were elected in 1997.” He said care providers and those needing care had waited patiently behind other crises – most recently Covid-19 and Brexit. “But it is really galling to see that care was pushed further down the pecking order very quickly when football was in crisis,” Mr Padgham added. “I love football, but I just want to see a little of the same enthusiasm turned towards reforming care now that the immediate threat to its future is receding.”

structural faults. The report also highlights a series of priorities for reform and considerations for policy-makers. These include the need for stronger mechanisms for driving improvement, whether stricter rules could be imposed on the social care provider market itself to limit risk exposure, and steps that need to be taken to ensure sustainable and long-term staffing for the sector. Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Policy Natasha Curry said: “There is political and growing public consensus that the social care system is in urgent need of reform. We have seen years of promise with no delivery. Now the Covid-19 pandemic has made our social care system’s fundamental flaws even more clear to see. “There is now more than ever a need to enact

meaningful change. The prime minister has already promised to ‘fix’ social care, and we are expecting the sector to feature in the Queen’s Speech next month, making a clear commitment for the parliamentary year ahead. “But ultimately, unless we move beyond the sticky question and singular focus on funding and financing, then future reforms are doomed to fail. Too frequently forgotten in discussions of reform is the need to address the complexities and the structural problems of the social care provider market, which money alone will not fix. “It was striking that not a single interviewee within our research felt that the social care market is functional as it is currently structured. Comprehensive and wide-ranging reform to the entire system is required to ensure a sustainable footing for the long term.”


PAGE 4 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

Are You a Registered Manager Moving to a New Role? Then Start with a List!

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

Most of us have experienced a sense of deep satisfaction that comes from landing a new job. For many care managers, however, this initial euphoria can quickly give way to anxiety on day one. That seems to be the view of many Quality Compliance Systems’ subscribers at least, who have chosen the QCS platform for their content, guidance, standards and compliance needs. As Head of Care Quality at QCS, I know this because our fantastic customer care team, which is constantly talking to our 5,000-plus subscribers, says that one of the greatest challenges managers face when starting a new role is seamlessly hitting the ground running due to incompatible managerial frameworks and admin systems, which are radically different to the ones they left behind. This means that care managers who leave their role for a new one often struggle to quickly identify what areas need to be addressed and, also, the content that staff and service user’s files should contain. There is also compliance to consider. Regulation 17 of the CQC’s Good Governance, for example, dictates that providers must meet specific criteria. They must maintain “an accurate, complete and contempo-

raneous record” of each service user they care for. Secondly, they should keep accurate and up-to-date records of staff, and thirdly, providers must show that all regulated activities are managed effectively and efficiently. The question is, if the work environment is very different to the one that you left, where do you begin? The answer is very simple – with a list of course. Whenever I left one job for the next – I would start with blank and conduct in-depth Gap Analysis. Put simply, the analysis enabled me to establish the staff and service user documents that were already in place and the documentation that was missing. Take staff documents, for instance. The first point to consider is whether there is comprehensive set of policies and procedures in place to recruit new starters. The key is to think laterally. When a new staff member arrives at work on their first day, what completed documents should you already have in place? Right to Work Information, proof of NI number and completed references should have already been collected, checked or filled out. But, in addition, it’s important to be able to scope out what the new recruit will actually be doing. Does their role require a driving license? If so, the provider may need to check to ensure MOT documents are in place and also confirm they have the correct levels of insurance. Training is another key area. And I think the most important point is to think of all the different roles that people working in a care home will do. There are myriad of roles to think about. Have all staff, for instance, received the most up-to-date training? Do those whose job it is to order and administer medication have the right skillsets? Do kitchen staff know how to lift supplies with the correct technique. If not, then they will

require specialist H&S training. There’s IPC, Mental Capacity Act training, Safeguarding and training around Data Protection and cyber-security to also consider. Nutrition and Hydration, food hygiene and Health & Safety are areas which are in constant flux. They not only need to be on the list, but Registered Managers must ensure that the service is compliant but that the staff have access to the latest best practice guidance and content. Away from training, there are other documents too that need to go on the list. So what are they? Managers should consider creating a Recruitment pack that includes an application form and all documents needed to start the onboarding journey of a new employee. And what about Service Users? When setting up a service user file, it’s important that the information about the person using the service is at the front. The first document, therefore, should be devoted to ensuring that staff are able to correctly log service user details. From a wider compliance perspective, there should be files contracts and Local Authority/CCG Plans. The Service User Checklist should also include care plans lists, Audit lists and a Communication list. Finally, I would advise making room for a specialist checklist for the Coronavirus and lists should also include a ‘Complaints Log’ and a ‘Reviews checklist’. If you’re a manager reading this and want more information or advice, it’s something that we at QCS have thought about a great deal. Our content team has created a Staff and Service User Files Checklist document. It includes every document that managers need and links those files to up-to-date policies and best practice guidance. You can download it by clicking https://tinyurl.com/388jpsw7 Happy filing!

Survey Reveals Public Perception of Social Care The Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM), delivering and supporting health and care, has published the results of its Social Care Perception Survey carried out amongst those who work in the sector, those with first-hand experience and those with limited or no knowledge. The IHSCM survey, supported by Championing Social Care and TAP (Thank And Praise), was initiated by the members of the social care special interest group to understand the perception gap between those inside and outside the social care sector. Key survey insights (March 2021): • 64% of all respondents would consider a career in social care, while those with first-hand experience (54%) are much more likely than those with limited or no knowledge (19%) • Most respondents believe that social care exists to support and care for

the most vulnerable in our society, in particular the elderly • Respondents were most aware of Care Homes (97%) and Home Care (92%) and least aware of Extra Care Housing (54%), especially those with limited or no knowledge of social care • 75% of respondents said they were aware of NHS services in the care sector which suggests a level of misunderstanding between healthcare and social care services • Respondents cited the CQC or equivalent (86%) and word of mouth (74%) as the best ways to find out the quality of a care organisation, with the Media (23%) scoring the lowest • 86% of all respondents stated that care workers didn’t receive the recognition they deserved, rising to 90% from those working in social care The findings of the survey are being shared to understand how to make the public more aware of social care services, including how to obtain reliable information, as well as highlighting the importance of

social care to society and as a rewarding career choice. “It’s revealing to see that those people who have had some firsthand experiences of social care are three times more likely to want to work in our sector. This is a positive finding and demonstrates a greater need to introduce social care as a career option to young people, graduates and those in careers with transferable skills,” said Jane Brightman, General Manager of Social Care at IHSCM. “Care workers have been going above and beyond to deliver the best support that they can give, while making personal sacrifices. This survey highlights the need for better public awareness of our sector in order to break down any remaining barriers and ensure care workers get the recognition they truly deserve,” said Adam Purnell, Domiciliary and Quality Lead for Kepplegate and Chair of IHSCM’s Public Image of Social Care subgroup.

Can The Care Sector Recover Without The Vaccine? By Matt McDonald, partner and employment disputes specialist at law firm Shakespeare Martineau (www.shma.co.uk) Individual companies are still able to put in place their own vaccination policies, for example, making them mandatory for all employees. However, if businesses choose to go down this route and impose sanctions on those employees who refuse the jab, they must also realise that they are likely to receive employment tribunal claims. Care homes could argue that they cannot operate safely without the vaccine and given the higher risk to vulnerable people, care providers have a better chance than most of being able to justify sanctions for those who don’t want to take the jab. However, that is not to say that it’s a low risk option.

As the UK’s vaccine program continues being rolled out and the care sector eases its visitation policies, there are growing concerns around how to best protect both staff and residents. Thanks to the vaccine the sector could operate more safely, however, making vaccines compulsory for current or future care sector employees is fraught with risk. Requiring employees to have the vaccine is still a grey area – we are in uncharted territory after all - and all employers face a dilemma in the coming months. So, what should care home operators consider before implementing a compulsory vaccination program? Current guidance does not support mandatory vaccination, instead it states that employers should aim to support their employees’ decisions, whether they decide to take the vaccine or not. The current government consultation may provide more clarity in due course, but we are still several weeks away from any outcome and most employers in the sector need to make difficult choices sooner rather than later.

Should an employee refuse the vaccine on any grounds, the best course of action for a business in the first instance is to attempt to understand the employee’s reasons with a view of persuading them to change their mind. Employers must also be sympathetic and maintain confidentiality, before then deciding whether to proceed with further action, including dismissal. There may be many reasons not to have the jab and dismissing these concerns outright can increase the legal risks and leave employees potentially feeling unsupported. If employers do decide to dismiss those who refuse the vaccine, there is the potential for tribunal claims to be brought. In this case unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, including on the basis of gender or religion, are likely to be the main risk areas. For example, at the moment, the government advises against pregnant women having the vaccine, as it has not yet been tested in this group. Asking a pregnant carer to take the vaccine and, on refusal, dismissing them could lead to a sex discrimination claim. Another often cited reason is the current lack of knowledge around the side effects of the vaccine. With more information coming to light around the blood clotting risks of the AstraZeneca jab, this is now a very credible reason for employees to give, thereby increasing the risk of a dismissal in these circumstances being unfair. Seeking professional legal advice at an early stage is a wise move in

order to understand the degree of risk in any given scenario. Alternatively, if a business wants a vaccinated workforce but doesn’t want to make vaccines compulsory, they can and should provide information about the vaccine and promote and facilitate its uptake across the business. However, employers should be careful not to put undue pressure on reluctant employees to take it. If employees are hesitant to take the vaccine, there is always the option of redeploying certain roles to be home-based of suggest working from home for longer, or look at changing responsibilities so that non-vaccinated employees have minimal contact with residents. Even simply temporarily moving some employees from resident-facing roles to cleaning or back of house tasks could help in the short term. Lastly, businesses should be pre-emptive and re-evaluate their recruitment contracts to mandate the vaccine or request an employee’s vaccine status. However, even this approach isn’t without risk and, although there are no unfair dismissal risks here, there is chance that discrimination claims in connection with recruitment could be brought by job applicants. To protect and guide business planning, companies should begin formulating a vaccine policy as soon as possible, regardless of their approach to vaccination. This will give employees an overview of what the company stance is on vaccination, give them an outline of what processes are in place to deal with this new reality and various satellite matters, such as time off for vaccination. Care homes are at a crossroads, reopening to visitors is crucial for residents’ mental health and will go a long way to bringing back a sense of normality. Compulsory vaccination will protect the sector, but this comes with an increased risk of potential claims from employees. Care homes need to assess their options and carefully understand their unique situation, but above all, they must keep residents and carers at the core of their decision-making.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 5

Urgent Action Needed to Address Chronic Undersupply of NHS Staff The NHS urgently needs billions of pounds of extra investment to shore up staff numbers, and head off a haemorrhaging of doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers. The NHS Confederation, NHS Providers, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges and Unison have penned a joint letter to the Prime Minister warning of the ‘very real risk’ that if NHS staff leave a vicious circle will be created where ‘staff vacancies are the greatest threat to the retention of NHS staff’. The six organisations, which together represent most of the NHS workforce and the organisations who employ them, are calling on the Government to take rapid and speedy ‘action to address the chronic undersupply of NHS staff’, highlighting the ‘compelling case for investment which starts to deliver sustained and impactful increases to workforce numbers by the end of this Parliament.’ They also call on the Government to clearly outline the workforce requirements for delivering the NHS Long Term Plan across different parts of the country, as well to set out the areas of both ‘greatest risk and greatest need’ across the NHS workforce to effectively deliver services to patients and more transparency on which staff groups need to be bolstered. The representative bodies say the extra funding is needed to ensure staff can deliver and do more for patients as well as covering the additional workforce costs created by the fall-out from COVID-19 fall-out including a national programme of rolling vaccinations and the growing

demand for support and treatment for patients with long COVID. They say additional investment in workforce capacity is imperative to tackling the huge and ballooning elective care backlog – which currently stands at 4.7m – as well as enabling the NHS to deliver on its commitments to patients as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. Increasing staff numbers will also help to beef up mental health services, where it has been predicted that up to 10 million people – almost a fifth of the entire population – will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of this crisis and the consequent economic downturn. Elsewhere, the letter asks the Government to be candid about how much it will cost to educate and train more staff, how long this will take and whether new staff will be recruited from the UK or abroad. It says that, to date, the Government has not developed a plan to address these ‘important questions’ because it ‘has not been able to commit to funding [their] implications’ and calls for this to rectified without delay. Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: “We desperately need the government to give the people working in the NHS hope that the gaps in their teams will be filled in the longer term. It is deeply worrying that far too many NHS staff feel that they are unable to do their job properly because they simply do not have enough colleagues to support them. This, combined with the working conditions they have found themselves under during the pandemic, as well as the pressing need to tackle both the long-term impact of the

pandemic on people’s physical and mental health and waiting times, means staff the NHS and its people cannot meet the needs of their patients and that we start to see a haemorrhaging of our staff. “In terms of staffing numbers, the NHS did not go into the pandemic match fit and this fact has been thrown into even greater relief by the experience of our workforce over the past twelve months.” Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said: “Improved clarity on workforce planning now would make a huge difference to the way healthcare systems and the staff within them are able to operate in future. This can only be a good thing for patients and the quality of care provided to them in the longer term, and I have no doubt that’s why so many organisations have united in calling for this.” Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers said: “NHS staff have delivered for patients this past year. The government now needs to deliver for NHS staff by addressing longstanding workforce shortages. We must see a fully costed and funded national workforce plan, so we stop asking NHS frontline staff to bear an unsustainable workload shift after shift, week after week. “The plan can’t just cover existing workforce gaps. It must set out the level of staffing needed to make the NHS a great place to work. Currently, the NHS cannot consistently give its staff a reasonable workload and the work life balance they need and deserve. That has to change.”

Increase in Social Care Funding as Starting Point for Reform Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “We hope that the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s second inquiry into the long term funding of adult social care proves a catalyst in the Government implementing funding reform. The sector cannot wait. Funding alone will not however remedy the dysfunctionalities which have emerged concerning adult social care funding. As we advance, we must seek to override those cultures and processes which mean care is often not commissioned at sufficient rates.” Care England has submitted evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government inquiry into the long term funding of adult social care. The submission sought to stress that a new reality has been imposed upon the adult social care sector

as a result of COVID-19. In turn, any future funding reform must take account of the new realities imposed upon the sector and England’s population. Care England argues that future strategies must a holistic approach towards the long term development of adult social care including: 1. Outcome and evidence-based funding and provider models. 2.Commissioning. 3.Workforce development. 4.The impact of Covid-19 upon adult social care and England’s population. Martin Green continues: “It is now or never. We want to work with the Government to ensure that it can deliver on its promise of reform”.

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PAGE 6 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

Employer-Mandated Vaccinations In The Care Sector Lucy Gordon, Director in the Employment team at leading law firm,

Walker Morris (www.walkermorris.co.uk), discusses whether employers

can require staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

risks for private –sector employers looking to adopt a mandatory approach in the meantime?

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

The UK government has confirmed that it will not embark on mandatory vaccination for UK residents, which leaves open the question of whether employers could require staff to be vaccinated as a condition of attending work. The legality of this approach, and the fairness of taking disciplinary action in the event of non-compliance, like many things in employment law, is a question of what is reasonable. On 14 April, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a five-week consultation period regarding a proposal to require care home providers to only engage staff who have had the vaccine, unless they are exempt for medical reasons. This represents a significant change from the early messages about encouraging take-up, but stems from the fact that only 53% of care homes currently meet the SAGE recommendation to have 80% of staff and 90% of residents vaccinated. If adopted, the requirement would apply to all staff, including agency workers and volunteers, and those engaged in ancillary functions such as cleaning and catering. At present, the proposal only relates to those working in care homes with at least one resident over the age of 65. It doesn’t apply to those working in the NHS, those working with younger adults or those in hospices. Given that a final decision is unlikely before the summer, what are the

Assessments would need to be undertaken to determine whether a vaccination programme is a proportionate method of addressing the risk posed to staff and residents/care users, or whether other options are available. It may constitute a reasonable management instruction to have the vaccine where, for example, it is difficult to employ other safety measures such as social distancing and frequent hand-washing, but situations such as these in the wider employment context are likely to be rare, and employers would need to be mindful that any blanket approach could indirectly discriminate against certain groups, such as on the basis of disability or religion. In healthcare in particular, employers would need to be mindful of the distinction that the government has drawn by limiting its proposal to care homes with residents over 65, and consider whether a requirement for vaccination in other settings is justifiable in this context. A key battleground would be “anti-vaxxers” and whether an objection to vaccination could be considered to be a philosophical belief. Employers would need to consider how they would provide for these exemptions and whether these would reduce the effectiveness of the programme overall. Prioritising certain groups within a workforce for vaccinations could also give rise to risk for employers if based on perceptions or assumptions about the level of risk of infection. For example, well-meaning employers hoping to offer priority vaccinations to those in certain agegroups or with particular risk factors could face discrimination claims if they inadvertently make assumptions that turn out to be incorrect. Regarding new entrants to the profession, it appears that a grace period would be permitted during which the individual can arrange a vaccination. Otherwise, such policies risk indirectly discriminating against younger applicants who may not yet have been offered a vaccine. One particular area of pressure for employers could be third parties requiring that staff are vaccinated - for example, prior to accessing their sites. It has been suggested that members of the public may be

required to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated to access public spaces such as air travel and sports events. Businesses providing individuals to work at such locations may also be asked to ensure that their staff also comply with this requirement. At present, the consultation is seeking views on whether others attending care homes for reasons relating to care provision should also be required to have been vaccinated. Employers in the meantime would need to be mindful that they should not acquiesce to any instructions to discriminate, and that it might be necessary to make exceptions for some and/or reasonable adjustments for disabled employees who may not have been able to be vaccinated. Such circumstances will require careful discussion with third parties.

WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE REFUSED A REQUEST? If an employee refused consent for a vaccination, the employer would need to decide whether it was reasonable in the circumstances to take disciplinary action and/or to consider redeploying the employee to another role, if available. This would depend on the reasons given for the refusal and the employer’s justification for requiring vaccination in the first place. A further potential for discord would be employees refusing to work with non-vaccinated colleagues if they themselves are unable to be vaccinated. Employers would need to bear in mind the competing interests of employees and consider whether alternatives, such as changing either or both employees’ duties or work stations could resolve any disputes.

WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO? It is likely to be far safer and less contentious for employers generally to promote take up of vaccines rather than to enforce roll-out, just as the government will be doing. Employers should be mindful of different viewpoints and take positive action to encourage reliable, fact-based information being given to employees. Employers could consider inviting in healthcare specialists to answer employees’ questions to allay any concerns. For those in healthcare, the government has produced a full pack of supporting documentation, including posters and leaflets that can be used to encourage take-up of vaccination.

Dedicated Training Helps Care Home Get Ship-Shape ments and renovation projects within the home, and am always supported by the Society to further my knowledge through training, qualifications or just getting stuck into something new!”

Surrey-based charity The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society is reaping the rewards of its dedicated staff training programme, delivering career opportunities for team members and improving facilities for residents and tenants.

Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, Chief Executive of the Society, said: “Our commitment to training and development fosters a culture that keeps talented, caring individuals with the Society long-term, which contributes to the comforting environment we’ve created for residents and tenants and helps us save money on everything from recruitment to maintenance.

The Society, which cares for 68 residents and up to 28 tenants at its 14-acre Weston Acres estate in Banstead, invests heavily in training to deliver long-term career opportunities for its team, with many choosing to dedicate years of their careers to the charity. This includes an inhouse trainer and upskilling across the Society’s teams, which has been key in supporting the development of team members and delivering efficiencies for the charity. This focus on upskilling has allowed the Royal Alfred’s teams to learn a range of new skills, removing any additional costs of hiring subcontractors and reducing waiting times. The Society’s dedicated maintenance team now complete 95% of all jobs on-site and have been key in supporting the charity’s ambitions to reduce the home’s reliance on fossil fuels. One member of the maintenance team identified the opportunity to renovate a number of flats in the Society’s sheltered housing unit to deliver value for tenants and ensure ongoing modernisation. The project included all electrical work, tiling and redecorating, without the need for external contractors. Another member of the team joined the Society as a general assistant on the housekeeping team before showing an interest in joining the maintenance team; with support from the Society, he was able to complete an electrical course and has since helped complete renovation projects for the home, delivering huge

cost efficiencies. The Society installed solar panels which have cut electricity bills by around 15% and introduced a sustainable pellet-fired biomass boiler which has reduced gas usage by around 20%. Their latest environmental initiative was sinking a 135m borehole to supply fresh water to the home which, now up and running, will save the home £8,000 a year, allowing for even more investment in facilities for residents. Maintenance Technician Nick Potroanchenu joined the Royal Alfred in 2012 after carrying out work at the home as a building contractor. Nick said: “I have always liked a challenge and working at the Society has allowed me to build on my skill set to learn new things that can make a real difference for residents and tenants day-to-day. I’ve done everything from carpeting to tiling, carrying out complete refurbish-

“As a charity, we have to manage the challenge of keeping costs down where possible while delivering an outstanding level of care to all our residents and continually innovating and improving our facilities. The work the Estate management team have carried out shows the benefit of internal training and support provided to our colleagues. “Our Estates staff are one of the main cogs that keeps the Society moving. From groundkeepers to maintenance staff, the team are incharge of the day-to-day running and upkeep of both Belvedere House Nursing Care Home and Weston Acres House for independently living tenants. As well as improving the standard of living for our current residents and tenants, the maintenance team are also working towards a lasting legacy for the Society.” To find out more about the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society please visit the website: www.royalalfredseafarers.co.uk. To keep up to date with the latest news from the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society you can follow and like the official Society Twitter (@RAseafarers) and Facebook pages.

Ice Cream Van Heralds Arrival of Spring Residents living with dementia at care homes in Somerset and Devon are enjoying a first taste of spring thanks to Ilminster ice cream van operator Darren Harley doing the rounds of the Camelot Care Group’s homes in Somerset and Devon.

Darren’s delicious freshly-made ice cream.

The ice cream van tour was the brainchild of Richard Dempslake, activities co-ordinator for Camelot House and Lodge, who had arranged for Darren to visit the home where he works in Wellington over the Easter weekend.

After ice cream man Darren had finished serving everyone at Camelot House and Lodge, Richard Dempslake put to him the idea of visiting Camelot Care’s other homes, and sharing the same pleasure among all the people living with dementia who they support. Seeing how much pleasure his ice creams had brought to the residents, Darren was happy to agree.

“Our residents were so excited to hear the music that meant the van was coming,” said Richard, “And their faces when it pulled up outside were a picture. “They crowded over to the lounge windows so they could see the ice cream concoctions being put together, and were absolutely delighted with

“They especially loved being able to choose their own toppings. “Every single resident received an ice cream of their choice, which was a big task but it worth it for all the smiles.”

His second visit was to Butterfly Lodge in Plymouth on 12 April, where the van’s arrival created every bit as much excitement as in Wellington, and his trip to Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater is scheduled for May.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 7

10 Million People in UK Receive Second Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine Over 10 million people in the UK have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Health services across the UK have now administered a total of 43,084,487 million vaccines between 8 December and 18 April, including 32,932,448 million people with their first dose and 10,152,039 million with their second. The milestone means over 19% of all UK adults have received both vaccines. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Vaccines offer us the best possible protection from the virus, so it is fantastic that 10 million people have now received their second dose. “This is another remarkable milestone in our vaccination programme, which has already saved thousands of lives. “I want to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers involved in the rollout, and urge all those who are called to keep coming forward. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is another terrific milestone, meaning over ten million people who are the most vulnerable to COVID in the UK now have double protection from this awful virus. “Second doses are crucial to maximising the strength and duration of your protection from COVID-19 and I’m urging everybody eligible to get their jab as soon as possible. “This milestone is thanks to the dedication and tireless efforts of our NHS workers, volunteers, civil servants and everybody working on the frontline to save lives and stop this virus in its tracks.” The government has already hit its target of offering everybody in cohorts 1

to 9 – those aged 50 and over, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers – a first dose of the vaccine by 15 April and remains on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July. Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Vaccines have already saved more than 10,000 lives and they are the best way to protect you and your loved ones from this dreadful disease. “We want to send this virus into retreat. No matter who you are, where you live, your race or your religion, I encourage everyone to get both doses when offered and help this country return life to normal.” All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. Rolling reviews are underway by the MHRA to assess the Janssen and Novavax vaccines. The speed and breadth of the UK vaccination programme means even more people will soon develop strong protection from serious illness from COVID-19 infection, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS. Data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving more than 10,000 lives between December and March. Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums. To date, the government has invested over £300 million into manufacturing a successful vaccine to enable a rapid roll out.

Care Home Residents Make Tribute To Prince Philip Susan Thiel, 74 assisted by a couple of other residents has created part of the Duke’s personal coat of arms as a tribute to The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on 9 April. The residents used a variety of crafting materials including buttons, glitter, cotton wool and crepe paper. Their interpretation of the Prince’s personal crest was proudly displayed on the wall in the lounge for his funeral on 17 April 2020. Muhammed Neeliyath, Manager, Edensor Care Centre, said, “The Edensor residents were very keen to do something in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, so our Activities Coordinator, Donna Morton,

spoke with them and together they decided to take inspiration from the Prince’s coat of arms and create a tribute for the Home. “One of our resident’s Susan Thiel, used to be a Nursery Teacher and absolutely loves crafting and led the project assisted by a couple of other residents. They have been working on the crest for a few days and Susan has been singing while crafting much to everyone’s delight. “The finished work is now proudly displayed on a wall in the Lounge so everyone can see it and we will be sending a picture of the completed project to Her Majesty the Queen and we do hope she likes it.”

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PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

One Year On: Care Sector Challenges Arising from COVID-19 By Shannett Thompson, Partner and Lucinda Soon, Lawyer, Kingsley Napley (www.kingsleynapley.co.uk)

COVID-19 has presented a number of challenges for all walks of life, including the care sector. According to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 28,975 care home residents in England and Wales were reported to have died from a COVID-19 related death between 10 April 2020 and 9 April 2021. Tragically, ONS data also reveals that by the end of December 2020, COVID-19 had claimed the lives of almost 900 care workers. In this article, the first of three in a series, we focus on how the vulnerability of the care sector population, the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (‘PPE’) and comprehensive testing, and chronic workforce pressures have contributed to the scale and severity of the impact of COVID-19 in the care sector.

VULNERABLE POPULATION GROUP Care sector service users make up one of the most vulnerable population groups in society. Older people are more likely to present with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems, making them particularly susceptible to developing serious manifestations of

COVID-19. A study published by Lancet Global Health found the risk of severe illness and death arising from COVID-19 is closely linked to frailty and underlying health conditions such as dementia, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. Coupled with this, care homes present a vulnerable environment with residents requiring personal contact with others on a frequent basis to meet their needs.

The early months of the pandemic were fraught with issues around the lack of availability of PPE. In addition to this, many care homes raised concern about service users being discharged from the NHS to their care without up-to-date test results. Further, inflated costs meant that providers were simply unable financially to provide staff with the most basic and essential protection. Free PPE provision to the care sec-

WORKFORCE PRESSURES

tor was introduced in September 2020 as part of the government's win-

The care sector has for a long time struggled with chronic workforce pressures in the form of inadequate funding and pay, leading to high employee turnover. The pandemic has made these challenges even more acute. In response, the Department of Health & Social Care (‘DHSC’) established a Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce in June 2020 to oversee the delivery of two support packages for the care sector: the Social Care Action Plan and the Care Home Support Plan. Notably, the taskforce reported an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 arising from staff movement across multiple sites, and that this was owing to poor working terms and conditions, absence of contractual sick pay and high turnover rates.

ter care plan, and this scheme has now been extended to March 2022. In addition to this, care homes can now access testing for all their residents and staff, regardless of whether they are displaying symptoms, via a new digital portal for care home testing.

WHERE NEXT? Throughout the pandemic, care sector staff have demonstrated incredible resilience and dedication in their work. Amidst turmoil, they have continued relentlessly to deliver care to the most vulnerable members of our society. This is despite the multiple growing pressures and enduring issues the sector has faced, many of which pre-date the pandemic. As we emerge from the third lockdown, alleviating immedi-

On 1 April 2021, the DHSC announced a campaign to recruit an additional 20,000 people into the care sector by July 2021 and pledged up to £3 million to support free rapid online training for new recruits, existing staff, and volunteers. It remains too early to tell how much these measures will alleviate the workforce pressures the sector faces, but they are clearly a move in the right direction.

our next article in the series, we will discuss the CQC’s evolved

AVAILABILITY OF PPE AND COMPREHENSIVE TESTING

approach to regulating the care sector during the pandemic.

ate pressures within the care sector is understandably the focus of the measures introduced by DHSC. We can only hope that the recent policy-level acknowledgment of these issues and the renewed support we have witnessed in this area will continue much further into the future. In

Surprise Party For Former Swansea Olympic Gymnast Glyn Hopkins of HC-One’s St Martin’s Court care home, in Morriston, was overwhelmed when Colleagues through him a surprise Olympic party to celebrate his time competing for his country. At the age of 4, Glyn attended the old Swansea Boys Gymnastics Club. And after 14 years of hard practise, at the age of 18, Glyn was champion gymnast and went on to compete in the 1948 London Olympics, finishing in an impressive third place. During the event at St Martin’s, Colleagues, including Emma Copp, held an afternoon tea and decorated the dining area with Olympic flags and photos of Glyn taking part in the Olympics for all to enjoy and admire. Wellbeing Coordinator, Angela Croft, put together a booklet containing newspaper cuttings, photos and a story, in Glyn’s own words, about the Olympics, for him to keep. Angela said, “Glyn was very overwhelmed by the event as it was set up as a surprise. He was extremely grateful. A special day for a special man.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 9

Providers React To Vaccine Consultation CARE providers today reacted to news that the Government is to consult over whether to make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory for those working in care settings. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says it would prefer people to have the vaccine voluntarily rather than be forced to. It hopes the five-week consultation period will enable people to make up their own mind to be vaccinated before it is possibly made a condition of employment. ICG Chair Mike Padgham: “We agree that the vaccine is very important in care settings and that it has undoubtedly saved many lives. “The message coming out from the Government seems to be in favour of legislation but I think we ought to consider all sides of this argument very carefully. “My view would be persuade, cajole and convince rather than legislate. We don’t want any more barriers to recruitment into the care sector. “I have always been of the belief that we shouldn’t force someone to have an injection and it should be voluntary. “The Government must work harder to persuade everyone to have the injection to help move the country back to normality. “We must also remember that if it is to be made compulsory in care settings then it must surely be the same in NHS care settings and in other areas too. The question is, where might this stop?” Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum – the leading association

for not for profit care provider says: “There has been much speculation about the Government’s plans to mandate vaccination for care staff working in older people’s care settings. It is not clear how it can be possible to focus mandatory vaccines on only one cohort of staff working with older people when older people are very likely to experience care and treatment interventions from health staff and a range of other professionals. This consultation has very significant implications for the older people living in care homes and their families, the organisations who run care homes and the staff who work in them, so we urge them all to respond to the consultation to make their views heard. Our shared aim must remain to focus on what works to make sure that as many people as possible in social care are able to have the vaccine.“ Nathan Donaldson, employment solicitor at Keystone Law said: “The consultation from the government on making Covid-19 vaccinations a condition of employment for those in the care sector is a welcome step as it will provide further guidance and hopefully certainty on what an employer can require from its staff. Care sector employers have a balancing act between ensuring the safety of both their residents and staff, whilst also respecting employees’ freedom of choice. Furthermore, in absence of further statutory intervention by the government, it will be difficult for employers (even in the care sector) to make vaccinations legally compulsory for its staff. As evidence by the NHS (the U.K.’s largest care provider) not making vaccinations for Covid-19 mandatory.

It is for these reasons that the government has rightly moved to consult on this topic, so that care sector employers will have statutory certainty as to what they can require of their staff in terms of vaccination. It is hoped that the outcome of the consultation will result in legislation that will support providers to make long-term and pragmatic decisions to ensure the welfare of its employees, residents and their families. It is also assumed that any steps to make vaccinations mandatory will have associated safeguards, through requiring informing and consultation obligations upon the employer and for legitimate exceptions to apply where vaccination would not be appropriate. Such as relating to those employees who have a disability, pre-existing medical condition or are of an age or religious/philosophical belief that would afford them reasonable grounds to refuse vaccination.” Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “We have been really impressed how care providers have worked with their staff to listen to their concerns about the vaccine and this has had a very positive effect with a good take up. The sector is divided on whether or not vaccination should be mandatory, but it is wholly united in its support for the vaccine and has done everything it can to persuade its residents and staff to have it. Should the vaccine be mandatory for adult social care staff working in care homes for older people it begs the question whether it should not be mandatory for the NHS, those working in other care home settings, supported living, hospices, etc as well.”

Brendoncare Froxfield Staff Pedalled 4,000 Miles From Froxfield To Fargo Staff at Brendoncare Froxfield are delighted to have achieved their goal of cycling 4,000 miles on an exercise bike. During the 31 days of March they cycled the equivalent distance of Froxfield to Fargo in United States. And raised over £1300 too. The staff team cycled an average of 129 miles per day between them. They pedalled through lunch breaks, before and after hours, on their non-working days and even attached their keyboards to the bike with elastic bands! They were cheered on and supported by the nursing home residents whilst they turned the pedals thousands of times to reach their goal. The challenge raised funds for a homely refurbishment of the lounge space at Brendoncare Froxfield for residents to enjoy. The lounge is the heart of the home and they wanted to make it extra cosy by installing a bigger television, homely furnishings, new curtains and an electric log burner. Resident Iris Cooper commented, “They all kept on going, all of them having a go. I really enjoyed watching and cheering them on.”

And Rachel Smith, House Keeper, at Brendoncare Froxfield, said, “This challenge was very hard work. It was worth giving up my own time for our residents to have a new look lounge; I can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces!” Laura Brown, Activities Coordinator, said, “What a challenge! What a team! We did it, our amazing team here at Froxfield all pedalled through. It was hard going but the support from everyone was awesome and what an achievement! To see the residents faces when we ‘make over’ the lounge for them all to enjoy will be priceless. It will just go to prove it was all worth it in the end. Go Team Froxfield! “Thank you to everyone who has supported us and donated to our challenge. We are absolutely delighted to have raised £1300 towards the refurbishment of our lounge space. The residents are already deciding on designs and colours for the new furnishings and curtains, they are really excited. “We will now take a rest and look forward to taking on another challenge soon!”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 11

UK and EU Risk 'Act of Self-Harm' Unless They Lift Vaccine Patents UN Human Rights Commissioner and former Irish President, Mary Robinson, has called on the UK and the EU to support a waiver of intellectual property for Covid-19 vaccines in an article for The Times Red Box this morning, joining calls of 174 former world leaders and Nobel laureates. This was prompted by news that US President Biden is considering supporting a proposal at the WTO that would temporarily suspend Covid-19 vaccine patents. Mary Robinson asks European leaders “to put the collective right to safety for all ahead of everything else – and come together to end this pandemic.” This refers to Europe’s decision to block efforts led by South Africa and India and supported by over 100 countries to share the vaccine recipe. She warns the health and economic costs of refusing a patent waiver “risks a senseless act of self-harm by Western Europe upon its citizens.” Women and girls will “disproportionately bear the burden of vaccine inequity” as women “dominate informal sectors most harshly hit by the pandemic and who do the lion’s share of increased unpaid care” while girls “miss out on transformational educational opportunities”. “Entrenching these problems for years threatens to undo decades of progress tackling gender inequality”, she warns.

Looking to the climate crisis, Mary Robinson said: “If European leaders are not willing to temporarily diverge from trade rules to end a pandemic, citizens will rightly ask how the international community can face up to the scale of action needed to save our planet.” Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has said “it is not enough to find a vaccine. We must make sure that citizens around the world have access to it.” Europe now needs to walk the talk and stop prioritising pharma profit over people. It can do this by reconsidering its position at the WTO table, and instead back worldwide calls to share the vaccine recipe. Global Justice Now, as part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, is calling for equal access to vaccines for everyone. This is the right thing to do, morally as well as politically. Choosing not to vaccinate low income countries could cost the global economy $9.2 trillion in GDP, leading the UK’s economy to contract by 5 per cent, and the EU by 6 per cent. It also increases the risk of new mutations springing up. Women have also gotten the short end of the stick with many taking on disproportionately heavy loads of unpaid work. By backing the worldwide call to share the vaccine recipe, Europe will not only save millions of peoples’ lives in and outside of Europe, but also mitigate the risk to our economies and the current backslide in workplace gender equality.

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 will be the prize for the lucky winner!! Since the beginning of the Covid crisis we have been inundated with absolutely wonderful, uplifting and heartwarming stories from residential and nursing care homes around the country. It is 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 situa-

tions can go unnoticed! In previous 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. Since we launched our Unsung Hero award we have always had a phenomenal response, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories. Your Unsung Hero 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 nominee has done to deserve recognition and please send to:nominate@thecareruk.com

Martyn Davies, our last Unsung Hero


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 13

Supreme Court Ruling Could Save Care Homes “Retrospective” VAT Charges Organisations including care homes that have used leaseback arrangements will not be subject to retrospective VAT charges, a Supreme Court has ruled, which means that and could now save millions of pounds says tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg. Alan Pearce, VAT partner at the firm said: “This is great news for owners and operators of new relevant residential properties (such as care homes and student accommodation) and certain properties used for a relevant charitable purpose. “When these properties are first constructed, they qualify for zero rating. This is normally an absolute saving for the owners or operators as they are unlikely to be entitled to recover most of the VAT they incur.” He added: “However, where the construction costs have been zero rated, there is a self-supply charge that can be can retrospectively applied where there is a dispose or change of use of the zero-rated

building within 10 years of its completion. This can effectively reverse some or all the VAT savings and result in a significant payment of VAT to HMRC. “Many owners and operators of these buildings will enter into sale and leaseback arrangements in order to fund the construction of the property or fund possible future construction projects. HMRC saw these arrangements as disposals and, in the case of Balhousie Care, sought to recover over £800k of VAT and interest payments.”

neously taken back a 30-year leasehold interest and continued to operate the property as a care home. There was in effect no moment in time when Balhousie had no interest in the property. As a result, the assessment of VAT tiggered by the self-supply rules did not apply.” He added: “ This is long-awaited good news for those organisations that have used leaseback arrangements to finance new residential or charitable buildings. As this is now settled case law, HMRC cannot appeal further.”

Alan said: “Balhousie appealed to the VAT Tribunal way back in 2016 and the case was finally decided by the UK Supreme Court when it issued its decision on 31 March 2021. It ruled in favour of the taxpayer with all five judges agreeing that the VAT charge only applied to a disposal when the taxpayer was left with no interest in the property.

should be reviewing their arrangement to ensure they fall into line with

“While Balhousie had disposed of its freehold interest, it had simulta-

the Balhousie decision and are not susceptible to challenge by HMRC.”

Alan said: “ HMRC has not yet commented on the practical implications of this decision. However, charities, care homes other organisations in similar circumstances (including some schools and universities)

Wellingborough Care Home Receives Award from Local Care Committee place at that time and little to no sick pay, good food was hard to come by. As Tuberculosis became less of an issue in society, the committee started helping people with different illnesses and was funded then, as it is now, by donations. During the pandemic, the committee has helped lots of people in Irthlingborough and, as the home has done also, the committee wanted to reward the home for all the work they had done too. On 7th April, the home received their reward along with some lovely chocolates and cards of congratulations.

After being nominated by a member of the local community for all of their hard work and dedication during the pandemic, Colleagues at HC-One’s Acacia Lodge care home in Wellingborough won an award from their local Irthlingborough Care Committee. Originally named the Irthlingborough Tuberculosis Care Committee, it was one in eight of such committees in Northamptonshire, set up to help Tuberculosis patients all those years ago, when the only cure was bed rest, fresh air and good food. With no benefit system in

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PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

How Technology Can Help Navigate the Complexities of an Unexpected Death By Bernerdine Noronha, innovator of digital personal storage platform, myFRP (www.myfamilyrecoveryplan.com) life planning is the need for access to important personal details. Many often forget that in order to file for probate or letters of administration, loved ones will need access to bank account details, property details, pension plans, passwords and other necessary documentation, which is why it’s vital that you make gaining access as easy as possible. Worryingly, the survey found that 27% of over 55’s write their passwords down on a piece of paper. With this in mind, we need to raise awareness of how technology can offer a helping hand in not only keeping our information more secure, but also making it accessible to those around us when our time comes. Instead of opting for an unreliable paper solution that can easily be misplaced, damaged or even stolen,, we can now go paperless and employ online tools that help to collate and store private information safely. For instance, personal storage platforms are a particularly beneficial tool in keeping personal data in one simple, manageable and secure place. The information uploaded cannot get lost or damaged and some of these platforms even allow users to nominate specific people to be granted access to various types of their private information in the event of a sudden tragedy. These digital platforms can also store details of insurance plans, pensions and investments which are essential in protecting families of the deceased, ensuring that family finances are never jeopardized. Yet, at present, a mere 27% of the UK keeps track of their pension plans and investments. It’s quite common for information regarding pension providers and life insurance plans to get lost, particularly if the deceased has worked at multiple organisations or abroad during their

Facing the death of a loved one is never an easy experience, particularly if it is an unexpected one. Whilst we grieve, the last thing we want to think about is the admin, which is why it’s so important to plan ahead and ensure our affairs are in order so that when our time comes, we can relieve those around us of the administrative burden. Organisation of affairs is key when it comes to end-of-life planning and what many don’t realise is that technology can play a huge role in making the process far simpler and safer. Without a proper organisation and storage system, the bereaved often find themselves faced with unnecessary and stressful obstacles including difficulties winding up estates, accessing inheritance and executing wills. In fact, in a recent survey with Censuswide, myFRP found that disorganisation has left much of the UK unprepared, with 1 in 4 Brits admitting that they lack the information they need to wind up their partner’s affairs if they died. One of the most common issues that is often overlooked in end-of-

career. Therefore, by keeping this information in one secure place and updating it regularly as you move on to your next role, you save the bereaved from facing any financial obstacles. In addition, in the event of a sudden loss, those left behind will be required to settle any outstanding payments and also cancel ongoing utility payments - from mortgage payments, to phone bills and direct debits. The family or executors of the will often need to sift through mounds of paperwork and correspondence to find the appropriate providers and billing history. However, digital storage platforms can ensure that all these details of household affairs are noted down clearly so that those around you can notify providers and cancel these payments in an efficient and stress-free way. Technology can ensure that we are prepared for whatever is around the corner. Online tools can be a great way to leave your family a message, record your wishes and advise on more personal requests, like funeral arrangements - who you’d like invited, the songs to play or how much to spend. It’s important to note that with a will, every time you make a change, there needs to be a witness; however, by recording your personal wishes digitally, you can constantly make adjustments and ensure that those around you are aware of your most up to date wishes when the time comes. To conclude, by implementing innovative digital storage solutions, an unexpected death need not come with any additional stress and anxiety. By keeping a secure record of assets and efficiently filing personal and household affairs, technology is able to guarantee the deceased the opportunity to support and protect their loved ones in a time of need.

Growing Demands for Jabs for Jobs in Wales There are growing calls for care home workers in Wales to have a Covid-19 jab as a condition of their employment.

recruit anybody who has not been vaccinated. “It is clear that, quite understandably, the families of residents will want assurances that the staff looking after their loved ones are vaccinated so that they are less likely to be able pass on the infection.”

The plea from Care Forum Wales, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers, was given added momentum after the Department of Health and Social Care announced a five-week consultation on the idea in England.

It was a sentiment echoed by Care Forum Wales Council member Sanjiv Joshi.

It will effectively make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for staff working in care homes with older residents across the border.

He said: “If you’re working in a care home, your mission is to care and protect your residents – that’s your solemn promise.

Like the UK Government, Care Forum Wales believes that making vaccines a condition of employment would protect vulnerable residents from the virus.

“The science is very clear that the vaccine reduces serious symptoms and the number of deaths. “Not only are you protecting the residents, but you are also protecting yourself and your family.

Experts say 80 per cent of staff and 90 per cent of residents in care homes need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection.

“Why would you not have the vaccine if it reduces the chances of you having a serious illness or dying.

According to Care Forum Wales chair Mario Kreft MBE, care homes were duty bound to do everything in their power to protect their residents and staff.

“If we were dealing with smallpox nobody would be arguing about the need to have a jab – let’s not forget in the UK, we have already had 25,000 deaths related to Covid-19 in care homes.

Evidence, he said, had shown that even a single dose of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines cuts transmission by two thirds. Mr Kreft added: “It is good news that the consultation is occurring in England because hopefully this can pave the way for a similar approach here in Wales. “The roll out of the vaccine has been a huge success but it would be a big mistake to think we are out of the woods just yet. “Experts keeping telling us that a third wave of this terrible virus is now inevitable – it’s a case of when not if. “In terms of staff being inoculated, some homes are doing incredibly well, we’ve heard stories of 100% take up but others are struggling. “It only takes one person to bring one of the new strains of the virus into vulnerable people. “We know the more contagious Kent variant is now the dominant strain in Wales and there is also some evidence that it is also more

lethal. We are also having to contend with the dangers posed by other mutant strains which may be more resistant to the vaccine. “I think everybody who works in social care should, unless there's a very good reason otherwise, get the jab and importantly be ready for a culture where we might have to have this each year for some years to come. “At a time like this, we really need to be thinking of other people, not just ourselves – rather than potentially putting residents, colleagues and possibly members of our own families at risk. We should use every lever at our disposal to ensure this does not happen. “Care Forum was ahead of the curve at the beginning of the pandemic in calling on care homes to lock down long before this was required by the Welsh and UK governments. “We believe we now need to be proactive again so that we can continue to protect our residents and staff from this deadly virus. “It is clearly sensible that care homes should be allowed to refuse to

“If one of your relatives is going to be in a care home, you would be more comfortable if the residents and staff were vaccinated.” Some care home companies have already introduced the requirement for staff including Barchester Healthcare, which has eight care homes in Wales. Chief executive Dr Pete Calveley said: “Barchester believes the vaccination programme has transformed the outlook for the vulnerable residents in older people care homes, a significant proportion of whom will not acquire full immunity despite being vaccinated. “We have not lightly introduced our vaccine policy, but we take the view that providing safe care for those we care for is our paramount obligation. “As the chief medical officer has said, it is a professional duty for care home staff to accept the vaccine unless there is a medical reason they should not.”

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PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

Utilising Gamification To Improve Healthcare Training By Michelle Gorringe, COO Newcross Healthcare (www.newcrosshealthcare.com)

If you use a smartphone, you might not know it but you’ve probably encountered something called gamification – as in, game-ification – which applies video game principles to learning in general. For those of us in the healthcare sector, this begs the question, could best-practice gaming technologies and techniques be employed to improve the way we train the nurses and carers? The answer is yes. We’re using gamification principles to enhance our clinical training in the healthcare industry to help provide our staff with the skills required to work in a range of establishments including care homes, hospitals, prisons and schools. Technically speaking, ‘gamification’ can simply mean leaderboards or other basic elements seen in computer games. Yet at its most advanced, gamification can allow for virtual simulations of the real-life settings in which nurses and carers work. ‘Characters’ with their own stories can be created, to whom users (i.e., nurses and carers) can strongly relate. These characters and their narratives are built on a variety of real-life situations, all blended to provide the best learning possible in a simulated environment. And scientific study into how the brain learns best shows that gamification increases the effectiveness of information recall and retention. The ways in which gamification can be used are myriad; ‘Lifesaver’ from the Resuscitation Council UK puts

you at the heart of the action when someone has a cardiac arrest, Melbourne’s Metro Trains went viral after they used gamification to promote rail safety and, closer to home, Newcross Healthcare has adopted gamification to create a ‘virtual shift’. The benefit of a virtual shift is that it can provide a number of scenarios, each centred on a different character with each scenario not only covering physical, clinical and emergency situations but also an individual’s emotional needs. If, for example, an elderly person has a fall, a carer needs to know how to handle that situation practically; but if the person also has dementia, their care must also take into account the communication challenges that person’s dementia poses. People love stories, and tend to remember them better than facts. In a healthcare setting, this means that healthcare staff embarking on the educational experience are immersed in the world of the character in a way that’s interactive, engaging and fun, instead of reading information following which they are then tested on, as is the case with much eLearning today. ‘Characterisation’ can also build a rapport between user and character, proving that the caring aspect of the job translates well to the virtual-learning environment. And nurses and carers can learn in a safe environment, too – immediately seeing the consequences of their decisions, and gaining from instant feedback. Put simply, gamification, when used in a healthcare context, lets you learn in a place where it’s safe to make mistakes – and learn from them. However, when using gamification techniques in the context of learning, you need to be clear on your desired learning outcomes. Once these are identified, the course content and experience as a whole can be engineered to meet that outcome and meet the requirements of a care certificate. For example, users should come away with the precise skills they need to work in a particular environment, whether it be schools, hospitals, prisons or, in our case, care homes.

South East Care Group Takes On Cohort Of Nurses From Its Indian Training Centre With 100% Pass Rate A South East care group has welcomed a cohort of 24 registered nurses from its Indian training centre to work across its homes after passing their Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).

recruitment in the social care sector.” The OSCE is used in nurse education to assess clinical skill proficiency at pre-registration and postgraduate level. The exam is made up of six separate stations using simulated patients in a clinical setting.

Nellsar, a family-run group of 13 care homes throughout Kent, Surrey and Essex, recently took on the nurses from its overseas training centre in Kerala, India – with the programme achieving a 100% pass rate since its set-up last year.

To ensure candidates are given adequate time to prepare, they are granted 12 weeks from the start date on their certificate of sponsorship to complete the exam. Nellsar supported the nurses through the process by providing isolation housing, training, guidance, and transportation.

Driven by a shortage of nurses in the UK, the highly successful programme was formulated in late 2020 to enable carers from overseas to gain their Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration to work in the UK.

Jinu Jose, Recruitment and Resources Manager at Nellsar, said: “We’re very proud of our OSCE training for yielding a 100% successrate. At Nellsar, we’re delighted to have such a diverse group of qualified nurses who have all performed an integral role throughout the pandemic. They are now crucial team members in their respective homes and that’s testament to their commitment to care, as well as our trainers who have supported them throughout their journey with us.”

After passing two exams in India, the nurses took part in OSCE training at Nellsar’s Princess Christian Care Centre, in Surrey, and Hengist Field Care Centre, in Kent, under the stewardship of Paula Persaud, Registered Nurse Development Manager at Nellsar. Paula said: “We invested in our own training programme to emulate the high quality and high standards championed across all our homes. Our support system provides high-quality training that prepares students for a prosperous and successful career as a qualified nurse. “The OSCE nurses are supported in passing their exams with the

NMC, before continuing their registered nurse induction with us. It’s a practice that incorporates more futuristic development and support to

Paula added: “The training programme will help to strengthen the nursing pool in the UK. The nurses coming through our training centre have proven to be a vital resource and we look forward to welcoming more in the near future.”

Plaid Cymru Set Out Vision To Make Social Care ‘Free At The Point Of Need’ Plaid Cymru has set out its vision for delivering social care that is “free at the point of need”. The party’s leader, Adam Price said that one of the first acts of a government he leads would be to establish a Commission to explore ways in which it could source extra money to fund the creation of a seamless Health and Social Care Service. He added that the pandemic had “shone a light” on the invaluable contribution of care workers and reiterated his party’s pledge to guaranteeing a £10 an hour minimum wage for all care workers. Adam Price said: “For those of whose loved ones are currently in contact with our excellent care services, the dedication of the staff is no surprise. “But Covid-19 has shone a light on the hard work, innovation, and challenges of providing home care support, nursing care in the community and quality of life for residents in care homes. “I’ve seen with my own eyes the struggle that many families face. For my mother, caring for my father with dementia and so many others in the same position, free social care would be truly transformational.

‘Extra money’ He added: “That is why one of my first acts as First Minister leading a Plaid Cymru government would be to establish a Commission to explore ways in which we could source extra money to fund the creation of a seamless Health and Social Care Service, free at the point of need. “The Commission would report within a year and consider Plaid Cymru’s preferred option of using general taxation and also a levy-based Social Care Fund along the lines suggested by economist Gerald Holtham. “A new National Health and Care Service would ensure the seamless integration of delivery on a local level, bringing together local government and health boards in new Regional Care Partnerships. “Care assessment processes should and would focus on identifying personal care need, rather than the arbitrary definitions of ‘health’ or ‘social’ care. “For the new Service to be a success it must work for the carers as well as the cared for. “This is why a Plaid government would also invest in the range and quality of care in the community by increasing the number of district nurses and nurses with a community masters’ degree and increasing nursing students’ placements in care homes alongside the development of career pathways in care for Older People and dementia care. “We have also set out plans to bring care workers’ pay progressively into line with those of NHS staff, starting with making a £10 minimum wage mandatory for care workers.”


PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

Intergenerational Care Delivering Stimulation and Purpose Throughout the Pandemic By Judith Ish-Horowicz MBE, Co-founder and Director, Apples and Honey Nightingale CIC (www.applesandhoneynightingale.com) & Nuno Lopes, Director of Care, Nightingale Hammerson (www.nightingalehammerson.org) or nursery parents and carers who regularly attend sessions with their children and chat to the residents. 3. Child-like setting: Some have found that the space filled with toys and music from early childhood particularly comforting and pleasurable to be in. 4. The activity itself: The intergenerational sessions are designed to deliver the Early Years Statutory Framework and so have learning and development at the core. This is an entirely new experience for older care home residents and stands out from the other engagement experiences on offer to them. 5. Leader of the session: Qualities of the professional leading the activity as an early years professional, who bring different skills to an intergenerational session. 6. Religious ceremony and celebration: As a care home for Jewish faith people, we found that some residents, particularly those with advanced dementia, had a strong reaction to either reliving a religious task or singing traditional Hebrew songs.

ADAPTING OUR PROGRAMME TO THE PANDEMIC GUIDELINES ‘It makes me so joyful when we all get together’. So said one resident after an intergenerational zoom session at Nightingale Hammerson Care Home in South London. Like many care homes across the world, we are always striving to push the boundaries and find the best ‘home from home’ approach we can. In 2017, we launched the UK’s first intergenerational care provision at Nightingale House by partnering with Apples and Honey Nightingale children’s nursery. Since the pandemic began, we have worked hard to maintain the friendships that had built up over the past 3 years since the pre-school opened and new relationships have been formed across the ether as children join the setting and Nightingale House welcomes new residents. The benefits of intergenerational engagements have become even more apparent during this dreadful pandemic year when Care Home residents have suffered the loneliness and isolation that has resulted from the need to protect them. We have been in the privileged position of having daily interactions with our young pre-school friends who have continued to bring laughter and energy into our lives.

When the pandemic first struck, everything stopped. The country was in lockdown and everyone was in shock. But as soon as the government permitted early years settings to re-open last June, the nursery and care staff began adapting their programme to ensure that we could continue to come together safely, in whatever medium or setting was both legal and safe. We started on zoom but soon progressed to socially distanced programmes in the garden. If rain interrupted play, we met in adjacent rooms with glass doors separating us physically, but not emotionally. Nursery families made videos of the children dancing and

THE SIX FEATURES OF INTERGENERATIONAL CARE In studies we have done, we have identified six features of the intergenerational sessions that residents particularly respond to. And it is important to note that we have found this to be regardless of cognitive ability, underlying health, or age. 1. Children themselves: Some residents really enjoy developing a relationship with the children and it is the simple interaction with them that has had the greatest impact. 2. Middle age demographic: The early years teachers, parent volunteers,

singing at home with messages for their friends in the home and residents learnt to use technology to research topics to help with the children’s learning. Whilst not perfect, we know that these sessions have been crucial in raising the residents’ spirits, helping them to feel that they are not separate from the world around them, providing stimulation, variety, purpose and relationships. The impact on the emotional and physical wellbeing of the residents is clear to see. These intergenerational engagements have provided stimulation and purpose. The therapeutic value is undeniable. The children, who have not been able to visit grandparents and great grandparents are also still benefitting from living in a multi-generational community. But they are not the only ones for whom these intergenerational engagements are a reassurance and relief. Nightingale Hammerson has been able to reassure the families of the residents, who have been unable to visit their loved ones, that they are still experiencing a dynamic and varied programme of interactions, despite the limitations of Covid. The home has been able to assuage feelings of anxiety and guilt at not being present and able to hug them'. And, for the care staff, our intergenerational sessions help them to provide the therapeutic stimulation of a varied programme within the confines of lockdown. Our approach is that you are never too old to adapt or too young to ‘have a go’. We can’t wait till we can all come together again feely as before, singing on the minibus on our way to the Wetlands Centre or the library, cuddling on the sofa for our buddied reading sessions and having tea and cake in the café. With the support and determination of our residents and children, our intergenerational programme will continue to grow and evolve and respond to all challenges.

Encore Care Homes Staff And Residents Fully Vaccinated Against Covid All staff and residents at Encore Care Homes have now received the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against the Covid virus. The first care home to receive a visit for the second vaccine was Great Oaks in Bournemouth, which welcomed in the team from Talbot Medical Centre to administer the second dose of the vaccines to the residents and team. Staff from Encore Care Homes who were not on duty queued outside the building before being welcomed into the designated room one at a time to receive the jab three months after receiving the first dose in January. Residents and staff at Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole, and Hamble Heights in Fareham, have also now received the opportunity to have their second dose of the vaccine, with high uptake, from their respective local NHS GP surgeries. As well as weekly Covid-19 tests for residents and staff, Encore Care Homes uses Lateral Flow testing for the team and visitors, which provides results within 30 minutes, to identify any asymptomatic cases. Speaking after having the vaccine, Machala Allen, Care Practitioner at Great Oaks, said:

“There’s a really positive feeling amongst staff to receive the second dose of the vaccine. It’s a relief to know that our residents have had the second dose too, which means they are protected from Covid, and we know that our home is now safer from infection and the possibility of an outbreak. “The last year has been really tough mentally and emotionally for all our residents, their families and our team – so it’s great to be able to start to move forwards again with the rollout of the vaccine, and for residents to be able to see loved ones.” Lindsay Rees, Director of Health and Care at Encore Care Homes, said: “The date to get the second vaccination felt a long time away when we stood in a long line in the rain at Great Oaks in January earlier this year. It is such a welcome relief to know staff and residents at last have their second dose and can now feel more protected against this awful virus that has changed our lives. “Although it was very cold, the sun was shining at Great Oaks on the day. We are all feeling happier and brighter now that we are able to welcome relatives to safely visit their loved ones inside the care homes once more, and I have no doubt that this is having a

Creating An Icon – Care Home Residents Tour V&A Dundee Staff and residents at Barchester’s Hugh Myddelton House care home in Southgate were treated to a photographic tour and talk about the creation of V&A Dundee by Peter Nurick, the Museum’s Communities Producer. The talk forms part of a series of six talks and virtual tours that V&A Dundee is hosting for Barchester Healthcare’s care homes and private hospitals across the UK. V&A Dundee is Scotland’s design museum, it showcases Scotland’s outstanding design achievements and features world-class exhibitions alongside the permanent Scottish Design Galleries, and a changing programme of commissions, events and activities. Peter’s talk and photographic tour of V&A Dundee described how the history of the city and site inspired the architect to draw from a range of unusual sources to create a thoroughly modern museum that is as intriguing as it is complex. Residents discovered the building’s secrets and followed the entire design and construction process – from initial concept to opening celebration

– with incredible images that show the challenges involved as well as the ingenious solutions that the designers and construction teams required to bring V&A Dundee to life. “The story behind how V&A Dundee was created is absolutely fascinating, right from the initial concept through to completion. Everyone involved in the project, and all of us who work at V&A Dundee feel incredibly lucky to be part of the latest iconic addition to the country’s list of instantly recognisable buildings,” Peter said. Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager for Barchester Healthcare, commented: ““We have been using technology to keep our residents and patients connected with their loved ones as well as offer virtual events, entertainment and activities throughout the pandemic. We are excited to work with our wonderful partners like V&A Dundee to bring a wide range of fantastic experiences into our homes for all to enjoy.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 19

Combination of Hearing and Vision Problems Linked to Dementia Risk Researchers in Korea have found that people with both vision and hearing problems are more likely to experience cognitive decline and develop dementia than those without sensory impairments. The study was part of the Korean Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Aging and Dementia (KLOSCAD), which aims to evaluate cognitive ageing and dementia in older Koreans. This research involved 6,520 people aged between 58 and 101, from urban and rural settings. The Researchers asked participants whether they had hearing or vision problems and 932 reported having normal sensory function, 2,957 had a single sensory impairment (either hearing or vision problems) and 2,631 had both hearing and vision impairments. Participants took part in memory and thinking tests at the start of the study and these were repeated every two years. In this study, the researchers have analysed data collected over six years. The researchers found that having both hearing and vision problems was associated with an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The presence of either visual impairment or of hearing impairment alone

was not linked to dementia risk or a faster decline in memory and thinking skills. Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: Sara comments on morning sleep and dementia: “With no treatments yet able to stop the progression of dementia, it is crucial that we understand the different factors that impact risk and what we might be able to do to change them. “Over the last decade, research has revealed a link between hearing loss and dementia risk, but this study finds that only hearing loss and visual problems together worsened cognitive decline. Future studies need to consider how different lifestyle, health and genetic factors interact to affect dementia risk. This could help us to identify people at risk earlier and empower individuals to take targeted steps to reduce their risk of dementia. “Alzheimer’s Research UK has made the UK’s largest charitable investment in dementia risk reduction research, including a study investigating whether treating hearing loss could lower dementia risk. To find out more about your brain health and how to protect it, visit www.thinkbrainhealth.org.uk”

Hamilton Care Home Hatches Fluffy New Residents Avonbridge care home in Hamilton has been exploring the joys of spring and has hatched eight fluffy chicks at the home. Residents received eight eggs from an ethical hatching company, Incredible Eggs. They were shown how to care for them by a professional, and successfully hatched all eight. Many of the staff at Avonbridge care home, based on Old Avon Road, keep chickens of their own, and are experienced in how to care for them. The home now has a purpose-built chicken coop in the garden ready for the new fluffy residents. The Avonbridge chicks have been a hit with the residents, and two of the ladies who have taken a particular liking to them are Rosina Fagan, age 79, and Shonda McMillan, age 77. Rosina said: “I think the chicks are beautiful and have loved being able to watch them grow. It’s great to have them in the home, we love to care for them and it’s a very different activity for us to take part in.” Shonda said: “They are very soothing, and they have kept us all busy. I can’t wait until they are bigger

and can peck around in their outdoor chicken coop, hopefully we can get lots of yummy eggs from them.” Lesley Kelly, home manager at Avonbridge care home, said: “We were given lots of advice from Incredible Eggs, and we successfully hatched all the eggs into beautiful little chicks. We’re all really looking forward to watching them grow up and be big enough for their chicken coop!”

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PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

Engineering Wellbeing into the Community By Rick Mallett, Associate, Perega (www.perega.co.uk) To say the pandemic-related lockdowns throughout 2020 and 2021 have taken their toll on mental health and well-being would be an understatement. People living in care homes have been particularly hard hit, often having even less contact with loved ones than the rest of us. Staff have also been affected, bearing a heavy mental and emotional load as they care for our country’s elderly and most vulnerable. As we navigate the roadmap out of lockdown, the construction industry has a role to play in improving care home design to support occupant and worker wellbeing. Crucially, developments of this nature need to be considered holistically. Alongside carefully specified and curated interiors, well-planned outdoor spaces also present a prime opportunity to create soothing environments, which can have a positive impact on both resident and carer welfare.

SPACE TO THINK High ceilings are known to cultivate a sense of freedom and creativity. So, having a communal, high-ceilinged space can help alleviate mental strain, allowing the ‘grey matter’ to operate with less constriction. A few extra feet above can make all the difference, and residents will feel less

physically, and mentally, bound. However, to prevent heating costs from creeping up, rooms with high ceilings should, where possible, incorporate south-facing windows to optimise solar gain and enjoy the health benefits of more natural light. With effective passive design, these spaces harness the elements to stay warm during the day and cool off at night. Where this option isn’t available, low-energy infrared and radiant heating solutions can help keep occupants comfortable without losing heat to convection. Alternatively, sunrooms are another great addition which can help people feel less restricted, bringing the outside in during miserable or cooler weather.

located near pre-existing municipal infrastructure and thriving neighbourhoods. This ensures seamless integration with the wider community and allows residents to stay close to a familiar locale, preventing the costly, logistical challenges of establishing supporting systems for new villages.

GREEN TINTED GLASSES The design and construction of outdoor areas is just as important as a care home’s interior. Blue skies, ample greenery and fresh air can work wonders on mental and physical wellbeing. Furthermore, as warmer weather approaches, visits will take place primarily outside, in line with government guidance. So, providing pleas-

STRONG CONNECTIONS

ant al fresco areas will be essential to ensure residents can see friends,

Few people would repudiate the importance of video calling and the internet throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, a strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal is not guaranteed nationwide. Especially during stay-at-home orders, location can make all the difference between community and isolation. Easy access to shops or deliveries, helping hands and internet access all play a vital role beyond simple convenience. They keep people connected to one another.

family and loved ones with minimal risk.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Residents’ needs should be carefully considered and catered for within the landscaping design. Wheelchair friendly access, for example, helps everyone move around freely with minimal constraints. Additionally, seating areas should be designed to encourage socialising within social distancing guidelines to protect residents. Water features, such as swales, rainwater gardens or ponds, can help create a more peaceful, restorative environment. They also bolster the

Before modelling a new care home, consider if the chosen area for development will provide residents with the support necessary to ensure their well-being and comfort. It’s not such an impossible task, despite the density and popularity of many towns and cities. In greater London, the South East and East alone, there are approximately 22,000 hectares of brownfield, representing a third of such sites. These are valuable resources and ones which should be considered wherever possible. Along with minimising embedded carbon, brownfield sites are often

property’s green credentials, offering water storage, reducing flood risk and mitigating pollution at source.

CONSTRUCTING FOR CONNECTION At its core, a community is its people. However, it is much more accessible with the help of good location, access and amenities. Working closely with engineers, architects and specifiers when building a new care home or seeking to improve an existing one can ensure occupant, and staff, wellness are kept at the heart of the design.

Captain Sir Tom Moore Inspires Royal Signals Soldiers to Raise Money for Royal Star & Garter Three soldiers who were inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore are raising money for Royal Star & Garter. Lance Corporals Declan Gaffney, Niten Gurung and Duncan Smith, serving in the Royal Corps of Signals, are each running a hundred miles over three days as part of the national Captain Tom 100 campaign. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. The Captain Tom 100 campaign seeks to build on the legacy of Captain Tom, who raised millions for the NHS in 2020 by walking in his garden, and died earlier this year, aged 100. Organisers are encouraging fundraisers to take part in their own challenges around the number 100, between 30 April and 3 May – the weekend on which Captain Tom would have celebrated his 101st birthday. The soldiers, aged between 26 and 31, will each run 100 miles in

Staffordshire, where their barracks are based. Challenge leader LCpl Gaffney, who has been serving for nearly six years, is looking forward to the challenge. He said: “It’s great to be able to do this for Captain Tom 100 – if he could do it at his age then there’s no reason we can’t complete ours.” He said Royal Star & Garter’s service to the nation’s military family was a key reason for raising money for the charity: “I have always wanted to fundraise for charity. I did my research and Royal Star & Garter appealed because of the support they give veterans living with disability and dementia. It’s a great charity for us to fundraise for, as one day they might support us.” Lauren Baker, Senior Community Fundraiser, said: “As a charity which has cared for veterans such as Captain Sir Tom Moore, we are proud that Declan, Niten and Duncan are supporting his legacy by raising money for Royal Star & Garter. It will help us continue providing exceptional care to

Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Skin and surface hygiene specialist, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd, supports the WHO’s annual ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign

Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO Industries-Europe, is proud to be part of the global movement to improve hand hygiene and is once again supporting the World Health Organization’s annual ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign. Its worldwide advocacy day falls on 5th May, and this year it is focused on achieving appropriate hand hygiene action at the point of care. Its ‘seconds save lives – clean your hands!’ slogan reinforces the message that taking a little extra time to practise hand hygiene makes all the difference. To achieve this, healthcare workers should have access to goodquality alcohol-based hand rub products, clean water, soap, single-use towels and an adequate number of functioning sinks within patient zones. This enables hand hygiene practise at the five key moments: before touching a patient, before clean/aseptic procedures, after body fluid exposure/risk, after touching a patient, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. 2021 has also been designated the ‘International Year of Health and Care Workers’, so focusing on their protection is just as crucial. The PURELL brand’s focus on ‘formulation without compromise’ means that products in the range have been proven to maintain skin health and have high antimicrobial efficacy. In fact, in scientific tests, PURELL Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub was found to kill 99.99% of the most common germs that may be harmful, including Coronavirus, with a contact time of just 30 seconds.

Chris Wakefield, Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO IndustriesEurope Ltd comments, ‘As a founder member of the WHO Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, we are strong advocates of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone – this past year has shown how this is more important than ever. We hope that this year’s campaign encourages everyone to do their part, as it takes commitment from all for hand hygiene programmes to be successful.

‘We strongly encourage everyone in the healthcare industry to unite in support of hand hygiene improvement. As well as healthcare workers cleaning their hands, IPC practitioners need to continue mentoring and championing the act, facility managers must ensure that supplies are available at every point of care, and policy makers should invest now to enable hand hygiene for all. Everyone, the general public included, must make clean hands a habit. It protects us all.’ Backed by a wealth of scientific expertise, and specialist formulations, GOJO has the technology and experience to work in partnership with healthcare managers to implement effective hand and surface hygiene regimes, and promote hygienic and compliant hand hygiene behaviour. Assets, such as posters and product placement guides are available to download from GOJO’s dedicated ‘Hand Hygiene Day’ page at www.gojo.com/WHO-May-5 from mid-April. Free advocacy toolkits to support the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign are available on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/ WHO invites everyone to use the hashtags #CleanYourHands #HandHygiene #InfectionPrevention on social media to ensure Save Lives: Clean Your Hands posts are picked up by the campaign. For more information, call +44 (0)1908 588444, email infouk@GOJO.com or visit www.GOJO.com


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


PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

New British Nutrition Foundation Resource Shares The Secrets To A Healthy Immune System For Older Adults A new resource, launched by the British Nutrition Foundation, will inform older adults, who may be experiencing low appetite or finding it hard to eat well, about what to eat to get all the vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy immune system. With increased interest in the impact of nutrition and diet on immunity during the past year, ‘Nutrition and Immunity for Older Adults’, aims to provide practical insights to help older people get all the nutrients needed for a properly functioning immune system. As we age, our immune system begins to work less effectively, making us more susceptible to diseases and infections, such as colds, flu and pneumonia. This, combined with a loss of interest in food and poorer appetite that may occur in later life, can make it harder to eat well and get all the nutrients needed for good health. The new British Nutrition Foundation resource profiles 10 key nutrients the body needs throughout later life to support the immune system and provides handy hints on the foods that can provide these vitamins and minerals. Some examples of important nutrients and where to find them include: • Vitamin A; which can be found in foods such as eggs, cheese and liver. Soups that are made from vegetables, such as butternut squash, sweet potato or carrots can also be delicious providers of beta carotene that the body converts to Vitamin A. • Vitamin B6; can be found in poultry, fish (for example canned tuna) and in some fruit and vegetables, such as bananas and avocados. • Vitamin C; can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit, as well as vegetables, such as cabbage,

peppers and tomatoes. Serving a meal with a portion of green cabbage and a portion of cauliflower will provide you with all the vitamin C needed for the day. Vitamin D; can be found in oily fish like canned sardines and salmon. • However, our main source of vitamin D is sunlight, not food, and it is recommended that we take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D between October and early March when sunshine is limited, or all year round for people who are not able to get outdoors that often. Copper; which can be found in wholegrain breakfast cereals, pasta and • quinoa. Adding pulses to dishes such as stews and curries can provide a great source of copper too. Sara Stanner, Science Director at the British Nutrition Foundation comments: “The immune system is a complex network of cells and chemical compounds that help defend the body against infections. There are a number of different nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fats and many vitamins and minerals, that are involved in supporting our immune systems to work normally, and these are found in a wide variety of foods – there’s no single nutrient or food that can ‘boost’ immunity. This means that having a healthy, varied diet is key for getting the nutrients that are most important for our immune system, as well as all the other systems of the body. “Our new Nutrition and Immunity for Older Adults resource has been developed bearing in mind the challenges we face when trying to eat well and stay healthy later in life and it is important to remember that our bodies and nutritional needs alter as we age.” To download the British Nutrition Foundation’s ‘Nutrition and Immunity for Older Adults’ resource and to find more information, please visit: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/covid19/nutritionimmunityallages.html

Bridgwater Residents “Cycling Around the World” memories for residents. Videos also have music playlists, so residents can listen

Residents from a Sanctuary Care home in Bridgwater have been cycling around the world on a new exercise bike.

to their favourite genre music as they cycle.

The Rosary Nursing home has been trialling Motiview which sees residents use a specially adapted bike and visual technology to take them to their favourite destinations locally and around the globe.

using the latest innovative technology to enrich our residents’ lives and this

Developed by Motitech, the innovative tool stimulates cycling trips with sound and over 1,700 videos across 38 countries.

of health benefits as they virtually travel the world.”

The bike has been supplied to the home by the British Cycling Foundation and brings several key benefits to residents including improved mobility, strength, sleep, physical and mental wellbeing, and increased appetite. In addition, using the bike offers opportunities for social connection as videos can be custom made to show local regions or areas which stimulate special

Natali Edwards, home manager at The Rosary, said: “We are committed to equipment allows them to take part safely in fun exercise which brings a range

Resident Tony Pryde, aged 85, commented: “I love the bike because it helps me exercise and make my legs stronger.” While 87-year-old Margaret Edwards added: “I like the bike as it gets my arms and legs to move and I want to improve my walking.”

Belong Care Village Celebrates 10th Anniversary In 1920s Style Residents of the state-of-the-art Belong care village in Atherton, Greater Manchester, didn’t let Covid-19 restrictions stop them marking the village’s 10th anniversary in style with 1920s-themed celebrations, shared across households using Facebook Portal video messaging to enable residents to connect with each other safely. On the day, the village was strewn with Art Deco banners and bunting, colleagues and customers accessorised with feather boas and headpieces to take part in Charleston dance-themed chair-based exercises, led remotely by village experience coordinator, Chantelle Crawley, and each household enjoyed a 1920s-themed buffet and birthday cake. Entertainment, which was screened live in the households,

came from Anna Beamont, known as the Golden Age Songbird, who sang classic songs from the roaring 20s to the 1950s. The village team also created displays of photographs from the ten years since the opening of Belong Atherton. Commenting on the festivities, Rebecca Woodcock, general manager of Belong Atherton, said: “It was wonderful to look back on shared memories of the past ten years and see how the community has developed. Although we couldn’t celebrate with the wider community as we would have liked, technology meant that we could come together as a village safely, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more people to the village as lockdown measures are eased.”

Vaccine Milestone Reached at Colchester Care Home as Residents are Fully Vaccinated Residents and staff at a care home in Colchester are overjoyed as they have now received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccinations. Marking a crucial milestone in the fight against the pandemic, Crouched Friars Residential Home was visited by two general practitioners, who immunised residents and staff with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Paulina Eagle, Home Manager at Crouched Friars, commented: “This past year has been so difficult for us all, so I am beyond happy and relieved to share that we have now reached this huge milestone for our home. “Since March, we have gradually been able to reunite residents with their loved ones which has been truly amazing, but now having our second vaccine definitely adds towards getting back to some normality.” Following the recent Government guidance regarding visiting rules, the Colchester-based home continues to follow strict safety procedures and are now allowing Residents to nominate two family members or friends to make repeated visits to the home.

Visiting is taking place either in the dedicated COVID-secure visiting area behind the screen, indoors in resident bedrooms or if weather permits, family and friends are able to sit outside and enjoy the spring sunshine in Crouched Friars garden. Testing is only required if visitors decide to visit in the bedroom and will be asked by a member of staff to do a COVID test on the day of the visit. Crouched Friars are pleased to be still welcoming new residents to the home. They have specific procedures in place, to continue to support families who are looking for care for a loved one, whilst minimising the risk for residents and staff. Crouched Friars Residential Home is a specialist home with a team of dedicated care staff who provide around the clock dementia and residential care for residents. For more information on Crouched Friars, or to take a look around the home, please call 01206 572647 or visitwww.crouchedfriars.co.uk.


PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

UK University Project Could Boost Arthritis Drug Availability A project led by the University of Edinburgh and global biotech company FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK (FDB) could make effective drugs more easily available to people with arthritis, a condition that is particularly common among the elderly.

support for the research came from one of the nine Prosperity Partnerships announced by the government on April 2nd, which was funded by a £75 million investment from UK Research and Innovation, business and academia.

Biological drugs, which bring together genetic material from a range of sources – a method known as recombinant DNA technology – have contributed to better treatment of life-limiting diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and haemophilia.

Susan Rosser, professor of synthetic biology at the university, said: “The award of this grant unlocks the power of new technologies we have developed and applies them to this key industry challenge.

Researchers from Edinburgh, Manchester and York universities will work with FDB on a five-year, £8.7 million partnership to study and modify cells commonly used in biotechnology. The ultimate aim of the collaboration is to make biological drugs cheaper and easier to manufacture, meaning they could become more widely available to those who would benefit from them.

“The aim is to better understand and improve one of the key cell-based manufacturing platforms of biopharmaceuticals. Ultimately it will mean that treatments and vaccines used by many millions of people worldwide will be easier and cheaper to manufacture.”

Elderly people are among the most likely to be severely affected by arthritis, often experiencing limitations in mobility that could lead to them requiring additional care and support with everyday tasks. The University of Edinburgh has led the project with FDB since 2018. Further financial

Ongoing growth and innovation in biopharmaceuticals could lead to new treatments and help to improve quality of life for the more than ten million people in the UK with arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis – the second most common type of the disease after osteoarthritis – affects more than 400,000 people across the country. It is the result of the body’s immune system targeting affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.

Harrogate Care Home Residents’ Fury Over Care Home Covid ‘Imprisonment’ Guidelines Residents living in a Harrogate care home have reacted with fury to new Government guidelines which say they must isolate for two weeks for simply stepping out of their front door.

“They are seeing pictures of groups enjoying a beer outside the pub and they are being told they can’t even go for a walk around the block. “They have all had both vaccinations, have individual risk assess-

The ‘arrangements for visiting out of the care home/visits out of care homes’ states that residents should not leave care homes, apart from going to medical appointments or visits in exceptional circumstances, such as visits to relatives at the end of life.

ments and know the importance of hands, face, space (and fresh air!) “They, and we, feel this is a breach of their human rights. They have had an awful year. Not only have they been locked down, they have been locked down in an environment with people they have not cho-

It goes on to say that if they do go out of the care home, they should isolate for 14 days on their return, effectively making them prisoners in their own home.

sen to live with and their main interactions each day is with staff wearing masks. “As the rest of society is easing out of lockdown and enjoying fewer

Customers at Disability Action Yorkshire’s residential care home on Harrogate’s Claro Road, who have had both their covid vaccinations, have said they will defy the order citing it as a clear breach of their human rights. The charity’s Chief Executive, Jackie Snape, has written to the town’s MP, Andrew Jones, warning him that he will be on the receiving end of a barrage angry emails from furious residents. Mrs Snape said: “For the people that live at 34 Claro Road this is

restrictions, our care home residents are having even more imposed on them.” Mrs Snape has now invited Mr Jones to visit the charity’s Claro Road home so he can talk to some of the people that live there. “Mr Jones has always been a good friend to the charity, and I hope devastating. They are young people who just want to have the same freedoms as everyone else.

he sees the merit in coming to meet our customers, and find out firsthand how this guidance is a form of house arrest.”

Artificial Flower Adorn The Pots At Primrose Croft Care Home In Cambridgeshire The weather has been extremely kind for us all on National Gardening Day as the sun shone brightly in a blue sky for most of the morning before clouds began to form. It was warm in the sun and a few residents at Primrose Croft accepted the offer to help with making their garden look more colourful for the upcoming of summer. The weather has been extremely changeable now, so it was decided to hold off from planting any plants at the moment as we did not want the frost and snow to kill them off. Instead residents have enjoyed looking through a variety of donated artificial flowers to put them into their outside pots. Asking each other’s opinions on the

name of some of the flowers. First in the sunshine the pots were all sorted out picking off the dead leaves from the geraniums and cutting the plants back. There were many pots that were empty, so the soil just needed a turnover. Residents then chose which flowers they wanted to put into the pots and pushed the wire stem into the soil arranging them like they would in flower oasis. Everyone thought how lovely they looked, and Mary even said, “we don’t even have to water them, they look so realistic.” It certainly makes the garden look very summery now while the geraniums have time to grow.

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.


PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

How Digital Can Break the Legacy Of Covid-19 on Mental Wellbeing in Residential and Nursing Care By Dr Simon Bourne, founder and CEO of my mhealth (www.mymhealth.com) The pandemic has seen care homes coming under incredible strain and pressure. From limited resources, staff and patients falling sick and the impact of residents not seeing friends or family for almost a year, the consequences have taken a toll on emotional wellbeing across the UK. COVID-19 cases have worsened not only patients and staff health but also their mental wellbeing too. Social isolation and little interaction have been detrimental, and the invisibility of the mental burden has meant treatment has been less urgent and under-resourced. We need to reach people quicker to help stop the pandemic leaving a lasting legacy on both care staff and patients. Homes and operators have been some of the worst hit by the virus. Daily bad news, weekly changing guidelines and little time with loved ones have driven fear of the unknown. We must look at the lasting effects of this on both the mind and body. Carers play an essential role in keeping our vulnerable and elderly safe. Without the necessary support for their mental wellbeing, we are losing a vital function for those in need of care. The past year has thrust these individuals into the role of the carer, friend and family member whilst restrictions have limited contact with loved ones. This has been profoundly felt by health workers who are themselves suffering stress, anxiety and burn out. Providing the care sector with simple, accessible help based on cognitive behav-

ioural therapy will drive recovery as we adjust to the ‘new normal’. There is no denying society’s recovery will take time. The effort and investment must start now. We are in the midst of an intense period of demand for help for those encountering difficulties with their mental health. To address this, we must look at how to mitigate overwhelming the already strained NHS service. Capitalising on the use of digital therapy to nurture the recovery of the residential and care sector at scale will be fundamental in moving forward. The integration of technology to support the diagnosis and treatment of mental health is long-awaited not only by the residential and care industry but society at large. Technology can work quickly to present users with answers to specific questions, helping to analyse the issues they may be battling. Apps developed to help with anxiety, for example, are extremely promising, as they provide patients with instant, continuous support at their fingertips. That said, while digital health is tackling these issues, there is still work to do and improvements made. To ensure that patients receive optimum mental health care, they must have access to the right information. Mental health diagnosis requires intrinsic questioning and an in-depth discussion. Technology can offer respite when services lack the capacity and resilience to provide patients with interventions at short notice. Keeping residents and staff engaged through digital therapy will help to mitigate poor mental health. Offering highly effective support and guidance delivered at a pace determined by the individual will play a substantial role in helping people manage their recovery. We must address the issues present in the residential and care sector while staff and patients are still suffering. The government now needs to prioritise nursing homes and caregivers. Offering the care sector the support to navigate the mental impact of the pandemic will make or break as we begin to physically and mentally rebuild beyond the pandemic.

New Manager Shares Her Vision For ‘Expansive Living’ At Soon To Open Care Home Zoe Miller, the new care home manager at Windsor Court Care Home, set to open in Great Malvern in July, has set out her exciting vision for an exceptional home where people ‘continue to live expansive lives.’ Zoe has taken the helm at Windsor Court, a private care home, designed for residential, nursing, and dementia care, on course to be opened this summer by the Maria Mallaband Care Group (MMCG). She has more than two decades’ experience in the health and social care sector, including four as an adult social care inspector then promoted to inspection manger for the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and brings with her a powerful combination of experience, insight, high standards, and boundless energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. A resident of Great Malvern for more than 20 years she also comes equipped with longstanding connections to the local community. Zoe said: “I feel like this job was meant to be. To be part of something amazing from the start is an absolute gift. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to build the team and to set up the expectations, standards, and values right from the beginning. “We’re looking for people who will bring energy and creative thinking, who share high standards and expectations for themselves, and who want to be proud of their work and the home. “I’m so excited about what this home is offering – something I know isn’t available elsewhere locally. I feel so proud of Windsor Court already – we are going to give people what they want, need, and deserve.” The new home, under construction on the site of the disused Malvern Community Hospital, will provide an unrivalled five-star care environment, with 51-ensuite rooms, lounges restaurants, and communal areas. There will also be a bistro and bar, hair salon, and eight-seat cinema which will be open to the community

as well as residents (Covid restrictions permitting). Added Zoe: “What I want to create here is home where people continue to lead their lives and lead expansive lives; I don’t think their world should shrink because they come into a care home. “That doesn’t just mean bringing entertainers in – it means going out and being part of this bustling community, and allowing everyone living here to continue to do what they enjoy, and try new things too. “That might mean being a member of the bowls club, joining Malvern Wine Society if they want to, still going to the theatre if that’s something they love. Even just going to the pub and sitting in the beer garden. “I don’t believe in shutting people away in a care home – they should be very much part of the community. So I want to listen to what people living in the home tell us - what’s important to them, what they want to do - and then find a way to make it happen.” Zoe left a role as a CQC inspection manager in 2019 to return to the front line, taking up a role as a care home manager at a care home in crisis in Broadway, Worcestershire, transforming it in 18 months into a thriving home with a waiting list of staff wanting to join its team. She said: “Having seen hundreds of homes over the years I know that the care home manager sets the tone – everything evolves from that. “I’m very hands-on and I will get to know everyone inside and out. And I want to build a happy home – for the people living here, their relatives and staff. I want team members to stay on and develop and grow. MMCG has great career pathways, and I’ve already identified some additional training opportunities through the highly regarded dementia studies team at the University of Worcester to support staff to become dementia expert practitioners, as well as end of life specialists.’ While still a few months away from completion, Maria Mallaband has created a showroom on nearby Church Street, where a mock-up of a bedroom and the corner of a lounge have been created to give people a sense of how the new home will look and feel. The showroom, which is operating in a COVID-safe way, remains open as per the current lockdown restrictions and the care home group is already taking enquiries about places. Said Zoe: “We’ve already had so much interest; some rooms are already taken, and lots of people have booked visits once we’re open. We are creating something very special here, building incredible facilities, bringing on board the best team, and embedding the right ethos from the very start. I couldn’t be happier to be part of it.”

Going for Gold as Dorset Care Home Residents Let the Games Begin Sports fans at a dedicated dementia care home in Poole have held six days of Olympic-themed competitions.

last minute to win the tournament.

Residents of The Aldbury, owned and run by Colten Care, enjoyed gentle rivalry across 12 separate tournaments.

and curling, said: “I didn’t think I would win anything!”

These involved games such as shuffleboard, hoopla, balloon tennis, keepie-uppies and even magnetic table-top curling. To put everyone in the mood beforehand, staff decorated corridors and lounges with flags and pictures of the famous five coloured rings. They also displayed an electric flame to mimic the traditional torch used to symbolise continuity between the ancient and modern games. Different house groups at the Parkstone home competed in two activities each day with scores tallied to reveal the 12 overall winners. There was a final-day medal ceremony featuring gold, silver and bronze badges and ribbons, with medallists donning laurel-leaf crowns in front of an Olympics-inspired backdrop. Shuffleboard proved to be the most keenly contended game with spectators cheering on the competitors throughout.

In the end, Connie Davis managed to pip two fellow residents at the very Delighted Connie, who also achieved medals in floor darts, keepie-uppie Companionship Team Member Wendy Harrington said: “Connie was doubting her shuffleboard ability at the start but then proved to be a bit of a whizz after all. Given her success in multiple games, she became our queen of competitions.” Wendy added: “Team Aldbury thoroughly enjoyed six fantastic days of fun and laughter. “Staying active is so important, especially during these extraordinary times, and this was a brilliant way to lift people’s spirits. “It got better and better over the six days and it was great to see the interaction, encouragement and teamwork among residents and staff. It made quite an impression on many of our residents. “Judging by all the smiles, everyone’s a winner at The Aldbury.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 27

Keeping Care Homes Clean: Practical Advice for Preventing Infections By Professor Neil Bacon, Medical Director of GermErase and CEO of JVS Health (www.germerase.com) For care homes across the country, the Covid-19 pandemic gave “cleanliness” a new meaning. While hygiene has always been a priority - vital in ensuring that residents are both comfortable and well protected against infections - Coronavirus has given it a newfound importance. As the Covid-19 infection rate continues to decline and more and more healthcare workers are vaccinated, we now face a pivotal moment in determining practices going forward. Will we continue to follow the “hands, face, space” mantra, or simply go back to the way we were working before? Looking forward, it is clear that it would be a missed opportunity to revert to old hygiene standards - and not just due to the lingering threat of a coronavirus resurgence. Across the globe, the risks posed by superbugs, antibiotic resistance and future pandemics is growing, and we must ensure that the hygiene practices implemented during the past year due to COVID remain in place in order to minimise risks of new, potent infections. For care homes, maintaining scrupulous levels of hygiene does not need to be an additional source of stress on already pressured and busy carers . A few simple steps can ensure that residents have protection from infections, even those which pose as large a threat as COVID.

CHOOSE THE MOST EFFECTIVE SANITISER, AND ENSURE THAT IT IS SAFE Over the past year sanitising hands has become a regular part of our daily routines. Care homes have encouraged the use of sanitisers amongst both staff and, when permitted, visitors, in order to prevent Covid transmission through contact. Regular sanitising will be just as vital in protecting against infections in the future. However, staff must carefully consider the sanitisers used in the care home setting order to keep vulnerable residents as safe as possible. The standard alcohol-based sanitisers widely used in care homes hold a number of risks when used by vulnerable residents. Not only can they exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, but if accidentally ingested they can cause alcohol poisoning resulting in serious illness. During the pandemic cases of alcohol poisoning due to hand sanitiser have increased dramatically, particularly amongst children and older people. A lower-risk option for care homes is ultra-low toxicity, non-alcohol based sanitisers. These carry fewer risks, meaning that staff can keep sanitisers in accessible spaces without worrying about residents. This also promotes more frequent use of sanitiser, increasingly high cleanliness standards and efficacy of

hygiene practices.

DISINFECTING SURFACES WITH PROTECTIVE DISINFECTANTS Staff must also consider the disinfectants used on surfaces in care home settings. Opting for a disinfectant with the highest efficacy possible against the broadest range of microbes will ensure protection against the widest range of infections, whether transmitted through droplets, spores or blood. Looking at the percentage of micro-organisms killed by a disinfectant is one good indicator of its efficacy. Although a disinfectant killing 99.9% of microbes may sound highly effective, it is vital to remember that one eliminating 99.9999% of microbes has 1000x higher efficacy. Care home managers should also look for protective disinfectants, which not only kill the pathogens on a surface at the time of application but continue to kill those that come into contact with the surface for a specified period afterwards. This is particularly important for communal spaces such as reception desks or dining tables, which may be coming into regular contact with different people, and so would need to be disinfected with a traditional disinfectant more regularly than possible in order to best protect against bacteria and viruses.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE AND VENTILATE SPACES WHERE POSSIBLE The phrase ‘social distancing’ has become synonymous with Coronavirus, but social distancing and maskwearing do not only reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they can also give protection against airborne infections such as TB and MRSA. Even when social distancing and mask-wearing are no longer legal requirements, care homes should continue to consider ways to limit physical contact between staff, visitors and vulnerable residents, so far as this is possible without affecting the mental health of staff, residents and visitors. This may include mask-wearing by those non-exempt, or limiting physical touch as and when necessary. The past year has demonstrated the devastation that viruses can cause. Going forward we must learn from the pandemic and deploy the knowledge gained about infection prevention to reduce risks of further harm.

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PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CleanRite, Proves Efficacy of Hypochlorous Against SARS-CoV-2 to Offer New Generation of Alcohol-Free Sanitisers Launching in the UK CleanRite sanitisers, a new dermatologically advanced solution to keeping surfaces and hands guarded against COVID-19 is launching in the UK in April 2021. CleanRite is a new generation disinfectant range to ensure surfaces, the air in areas such as care homes, as well as hands - are all protected from the SARS-CoV2 virus.

THE ‘WONDER’ OF HYPOCHLOROUS The CleanRite range of sanitising products are Hypochlorous-based (HOCl) which is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial solution, proven to kill 99.9% of germs on contact. Specifically, Hypochlorous has been proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 in an independent lab test carried out by Richard Stanton, a Reader in Division of Infection & Immunity at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. Fully regulated and child-friendly, CleanRite, which dries quickly and leaves no sticky residue, is perfect for use in care homes - as well as being dermatologically tested and suitable for use from birth. Caroline Fogarty, Managing Director, CF Pharma, said, “In laboratory tests we were able to show that the Hypochlorous ingredient in CleanRite killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 30 seconds. Hypochlorous is a ‘wonder’ ingredient because not only is it free of alcohol and harmful chemicals, it is hypoallergenic and skin friendly. It is as natural as water and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. So not only is it people-friendly, but it is planet-friendly too. “I believe that Hypochlorous is the future of everyday sanitisation. As we learn to live with the need for heightened sanitisation even after lockdown is eased, choosing something that is gentle on your skin, eyes, lungs and even the

environment makes CleanRite ideal for long-term usage.”

CLEANRITE – BOTH POWERFUL AND SAFE CleanRite is an alcohol-free hypoallergenic sanitiser. It is highly effective without dehydrating, irritating, stinging or damaging skin or eyes making it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin. CleanRite is highly effective on multiple surfaces and equipment including kitchen worktops (since it is food safe). And unlike most alcoholbased products, CleanRite is non-flammable. Clare Hughes (MPSI BSc PHARM), Founder, CF Pharma said, “The advanced CleanRite formulation based on Hypochlorous, makes this ‘nature’s powerful disinfectant’. Indeed, Hypochlorous, which is produced naturally by the body’s white blood cells to support the human immune system in fighting infection and bacteria, has been used in wound-healing for decades.” Caroline Fogarty said, “It looks like we are going to be living with the need for increased sanitisation for some considerable time. So being able to offer a sanitisation range that has a skin friendly pH for family use, from birth, makes CleanRite an essential tool for everyone as we navigate the new normal.”

AVAILABILITY CleanRite is manufactured in various sizes from 60ml to 4500ml with convenient 60ml and 150ml finger sprays for travel available, which are for sale on Amazon For further information, to view the full range of products or to place an order for your business, visit CleanRite CF Pharma http://cleanrite.ie

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 MediInn 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 50 | 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.

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 50 | 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


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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | PAGE 33

CATERING FOR CARE

Nightingale Hammerson’s Approach To Good Nutrition and Hydration mealtime observation tool: the Dementia Mealtime Assessment Tool (DMAT), specifically designed by a dietitian.

in the wider care team, which enables us to maintain the best interests of the resident.

We trialled the DMAT and selected several residents living with dementia and who were identified as having some mealtime difficulties. The in-house dietitian and OT team spent time observing the residents while eating, allowing us to identify specific problems. We were then able to select interventions and generate a person centred care plan to support eating and behaviours at mealtimes. It also provided access to practical, evidenced based, assessments and interventions. When implemented, this also helped to empower the carer and reduce anxiety associated with mealtimes.

‘MEALTIMES MATTER’

These observations and interventions have had a beneficial effect on the overall mealtime experience and have gone a long way to help maintain good health, independence and dignity of our residents.

INTRODUCTION

IN-HOUSE DIETITIAN

Malnutrition affects 3 million people in the UK and accounts for 35% of care home admissions. Eating and drinking is an important part of residents’ wellbeing and a basic foundation for their good health. We take nutrition and hydration seriously, not only for good health but also because of the enjoyment and social benefits that mealtimes bring. Weight maintenance, nutritional status and adequate hydration, without medical intervention, depends on a person’s ability to eat and drink. Therefore, identifying nutritional risk as early as possible is an important aspect of our nutrition and hydration care.

Crucially, because our dietitian is based within our home, it means that if a care team is concerned about a resident, they can be called upon the same day. An assessment is immediately then carried out, often followed by a mealtime observation, and measures are quickly put in place to rectify difficulties. Being in-house also ensures regular and clear communications between teams and the ability to make changes quickly, should the original measures need changing. It also allows a resident’s care plan to be immediately updated and interventions put in place.

WHY REGULAR MONITORING IS IMPORTANT Maintaining residents’ independence with eating and drinking is hugely important. This requires close monitoring of residents if they begin to display any difficulties. To monitor our residents, we use a

Working closely with the catering team, the dietitian manages specific diets, meal planning, nutritional intervention, prescribing textured food, providing additional nourishing drinks and snacks or oral nutritional supplements. Regular interventions and discussions take place with-

The dietitian also covers nutritional training for the wider care teams and volunteers who support our ‘mealtimes matter’ programme. They will sit with a resident through the duration of a meal and help with eating and drinking. This is a hugely important element to ensure residents have time with one-to-one assistance during their meal. The environment is calm and the meal is not rushed. Feedback to the care team ensures they know if a resident has eaten and drunk enough during a mealtime. If this is not the case, measures are taken to ensure the resident is provided with additional food and drink a little later.

TEAMWORK A great amount of teamwork is involved when overseeing residents’ nutritional and hydration requirements. The benefit of having a dietitian and OT team permanently based within our homes, allowing for precise monitoring and intervention, has seen great success within the mealtime environment. In fact, it is a crucial part of succeeding in helping residents to maintain and even improve their nutrition and hydration status. Having an in-house dietitian and OT team not only benefits our residents. Our care teams value their support and advice, as it is clear this can really enhance a resident’s experience during mealtimes. The aim of our dietitian’s work is to ensure residents are able to eat and drink the right amount of nutritional food to ensure their good health. However, by supporting independence with eating and drinking, residents can enjoy mealtimes. Consequently, this has significant benefits for overall wellbeing.

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

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.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | 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 50

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.

®

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 50

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 50 | 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 self-harm.

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 50 | 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 50

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 50 | 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 50 | 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 50

TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Looking For Finance For Your Business? Find Out What Your Main Options Are! “Many smaller businesses rely on established relationships when considering finance options” – this is a direct quote from a recent report from the British Business Bank, which states that 75% of SMEs only considered one finance provider in the last year.   That is great if you have a relationship with a lender who can provide your business with the right finance – but not so useful if you don’t.   Many small businesses are not always aware of the different options that could be available to them, and therefore can miss out on finding the right finance – simply because of this information gap.  The commercial finance market is extensive, and some products are not always easy to understand, but knowing what type of products are available is a first step to accessing them. We set out some of the key options below:  Working Capital Loans: You have heard the saying – “Cash is King”. A

By Johan Da Silva, ASC Finance for Business (www.asc.co.uk) business needs working capital to operate, whether it is for growth, or simply to pay for stock, wages, or other expenses. Working Capital Loans advantage is that they can be drawn down quickly.   are useful when looking to improve immediate cash flow and can be proInvoice Discounting: Invoice discounting is a specific type of finance vided on a secured or unsecured basis.  which helps businesses with their cashflow. The business effectively sells Secured or Unsecured Business Loans: A secured loan will have your an invoice to the lender, to get their payment up front. The lender is then property (or building, equipment, or anything high value) as a security in repaid once the business receives their income from their customer. This case you are not able to keep up with the repayments. Unsecured loans form of finance can be particularly useful for businesses whose clients are similar but riskier for the lender as there is nothing to back up your loan have long payment terms.  repayments. Many business loans are unsecured, but to ask for higher Asset Finance: Helps businesses acquire an asset and spread the cost amounts it is generally required to have a ‘security’.  over time. Asset finance can also free up valuable working capital.  Overdrafts: Some lenders can provide a business with an overdraft facilPeer-2-Peer: P2P Finance is a newer way of raising capital. Instead of ity. The limit is often reviewed every year and it has a pre-agreed interest borrowing money form a single lender, the business effectively takes out rate. Businesses will be charged only on the amount they use.  multiple small loans from lots of individuals – the provider simply ties all Commercial Mortgages: A commercial mortgage is similar to any other the loans together.  It is a way of accessing finance without the need of mortgage but targeted to commercial purposes. It can be possible to a traditional bank.  secure lower interest rates as lenders are keen on the security provided by There are many options available to small businesses, but it is important commercial property.  to know which ones are right for you. Applying for finance can be really Bridging Loans: A bridging loan is a form of short-term finance where confusing and this is why it is important to have someone you trust working the borrower is awaiting future income (e.g. from the sale of a property, or on your side. Having a broker can help you navigate the process more easa long-term loan), but wants to access finance quickly and therefore needs ily, and there are different hurdles that having a broker can help you overto “bridge” the gap. Bridging loans can be quite expensive, but the key come.   

Workers Added To Shortage Occupation List By Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors (www.astonbrooke.co.uk) The Social Care Sector has long called for senior care workers among other key roles to be added to the Shortage Occupation List. Aston Brooke Solicitors has worked with Care England to ensure that the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations are adopted by the Government. Initially, the Secretary of State refused to add the role of senior care workers to the shortage occupation list and she was faced with widespread criticism from the sector. This prompted calls from the sector to legal challenge the decision. This recent announcement means that the Government has finally recognised the voice of the sector and this important change builds on the government’s delivery of the new points-based immigration system introduced in January 2021. Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “Every year we welcome healthcare workers from across the world to our United Kingdom, with many having played a key role on the frontline of the NHS during the recent pandemic. This latest set of changes, combined with our Health and Care Visa, will ensure they can easily get the immigration status they deserve.” Professor Martin Green OBE said: “I am pleased that the Government has acknowledged the challenges of recruiting senior care workers and residential day managers, this is something we have long called for with our partner law firm Aston Brooke Solicitors. We hope that this is the

start of a process towards the creation of a migration system which supports rather than undermines the development of the adult social care workforce”. Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors welcomed the announcement and said: “The addition of the senior carer position to the shortage occupation list means care providers are now able to recruit suitable candidates outside of the UK on a minimum annual salary of £20,480. Prior to this announcement, the minimum annual salary payable for this role would be £25,600, which is unsustainable in the sector.” As part of the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must reach 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a work visa. A job on the Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points. Combined with the mandatory criteria – having an acceptable standard of English, an offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, which are worth 50 points – will ensure people in these roles reach the 70 points necessary. 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.

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 #50  

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 #50  

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

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