The Carer Digital - Issue #63

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 63

Fears Over Lack of Staff to Provide Care Care providers fear they may soon not have enough staff to care for the country’s oldest and most vulnerable as a recruitment crisis depends. Provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) is calling for Government help as the number of people needing care continues to rise. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We are approaching crisis point where there simply won’t be enough people to go out and provide care to people at home

and to those living in care and nursing homes. “Care providers are facing a daily battle to cover home calls and care home shifts and it can’t go on. We need short-term measures to support care providers and of course a long-term plan to reform care and tackle the underlying causes of the long-standing staffing shortage.”



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! The issue surrounding staffing in social care is, over the next 10 weeks, set to become one of the countries most contentious topics. Anyone connected with the sector knows it has suffered staff shortages for many years. Now with the government’s mandatory vaccine scheme for people working in the sector the prospect of further shortages is becoming increasingly concerning. Staff sickness and those isolating has been followed by a loss of staff to the sector due to plans to Editor force all employees to have the vaccine and, along with the end of freedom of movement after Brexit, this is leading to the perfect storm. I was alarmed to see in a report this week (see our front page story) that 1.4 million people over the age of 65 had had requests for social care in England turned down. One of the biggest issues facing the care workforce is that the population is ageing. By 2040, it’s estimated that there will be 15 million people aged 65 or over living in the UK, compared to 8.7 million under 16s. Skills for Care estimates that we need an additional 130,000 carers every year, amounting to 650,000 by 2035. Furthermore, the care workforce is ageing too. A fifth of all care workers are over 55 years old, meaning that approximately 300,000 carers will be retiring in the next decade. And it’s not just that there will be more elderly patients requiring care. With an estimated 90,000 UK residents expected to live to be over 100 years old by 2034, people in care will likely have more complex health problems, leading to more demand for live-in or even round-the-clock. These figures could possibly be dwarfed given the announcement that, according to a study, dementia cases are set to triple by 2050. I have often said in the past my own mother suffered a very aggressive form of Alzheimer's in the mid 80s at a relatively young age (early 60s). The disease and the consequences we're not as universally known then as they are now. Alarmingly, in another study, researchers from the Netherlands looked at the number of new cases of young-onset dementia. Young-onset dementia is a classification applied to cases where people develop dementia symptoms under the age of 65, which is the category my mother fell into. Staffing issues really are the elephant in the room for adult social care. With a workforce that’s already struggling with high staff turnover rates, there needs to be a drive towards recruitment and career progression for existing care workers,

Peter Adams

and the government will at some stage I suspect have to rethink its policies on overseas workers, and mandatory vaccines, it simply cannot allow an exodus of trained dedicated staff. We here at THE CARER- have teamed up with employment law specialists Paris Smith Solicitors, who will be conducting a live Q & A session on the ongoing challenges the pandemic has created further details can be found here (See page 5 for further details) UNSUNG HERO We would also draw your attention to our Unsung Hero award. As you probably already know, in past years we have been proud to offer a “no frills” recognition award to someone working in the residential and nursing care sector who has gone that extra mile and has been nominated by the line manager. Please accept our sincere apologies - readers will be aware that we were due to pick a winner on Friday July the 23rd. Unfortunately, the day before I went down with Covid and was rather ill for 14 days! We were once again overwhelmed with the number of nominations, and the heartwarming and uplifting stories we received. We are delighted to say we have now picked the winner which will be announced in next week’s digital issue. It was once again so difficult we have added on a couple of extra runner up prizes which will also be announced next week. Watch out once again for our next Unsung Hero award coming soon!! Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “leading lights” for insight, advice guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” we receive from care homes and staff around the country so please do keep them coming! I can always be contacted at

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Fears Over Lack of Staff to Provide Care (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Providers say an already dire staffing shortage – some 120,000 vacancies – has been exacerbated by Covid-19. Staff sickness and those isolating has been followed by a loss of staff to the sector due to plans to force all employees to have the vaccine. The end of freedom of movement after Brexit has also cut off a valuable source of recruitment for the sector. “All of this comes at a time when we know demand for care is rising and occupancy levels are recovering slowly after the pandemic,” Mr Padgham added. “It is a perfect storm of rising demand and falling supply and the people who are going to suffer are those vulnerable people who need the care. We are getting good support here in North Yorkshire, from our local authority and the CCGs, but we need more to be done by Government to support the sector. “We know there are at least 1.5m people who cannot get the care they need and we should be addressing that. Instead, we are struggling to keep our heads above water. Without urgent help we are going to see care levels fall and more people going without.” Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson was urged to fulfil his promise and fix social care “once and for all” as a damning report shows how the system is failing.

ANNIVERSARY OF DILNOT REPORT Marking the 10-year anniversary since the ground-breaking Dilnot report which laid out a plan to provide fair care for the countries elderly

population, data indicates staffing vacancies have in fact almost doubled. Many more people are needing care and fewer are getting it while thousands more are forced to hand over their life savings to fund a place in a care home. An alliance of 76 charities behind the report is demanding Mr Johnson fulfil the pledge he made last July in his first speech as Prime Minister. Caroline Abrahams, co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance and director of Age UK, said: “This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Dilnot Commission’s report and it’s galling to think what a wasted decade this has been for social care here, when so many other countries have put their social care provision on a firm financial basis and brought it up to date. “In many respects social care has got worse here over these ten years and the huge rise in staff vacancies is a big part of the reason why, since it is impossible to deliver consistently decent, reliable care if there aren’t enough care workers to do the job.” “Now we are starting to emerge from the pandemic, which has taken such a toll in social care, it’s time for the Prime Minister to stand by his word and for politicians in all parties to demonstrate leadership on an issue which should be above politics.”

1.4 MILLION CARE REQUESTS TURNED DOWN New analysis from the charity Age UK has found that in the two years since the Prime Minister made his promise to “fix social care once and for all”, over 1.4 million requests for social care from people aged 65+

Hartford Care Celebrates Julymas! Hartford Care’s care homes have been in a festive mood, celebrating Julymas with parties and barbecues in the sunshine instead of the snow. The care homes staged their events during the last two weeks of July but most of the activities took place over the weekend of 24th to 26th July. Several held specially themed parties. Springfield Nursing Home in Ryde, Isle of Wight, went full-on festive with a barbecue featuring Christmas elves and a visit from Mrs Claus. It was aloha at The Laurels & Pine Lodge in Poole, Dorset, who held a Hawaiian-themed party while at West Cliff Hall in Hythe, Hampshire, everybody wore tie-dye tee-shirts to go with their Santa hats. Woodlands House in the New Forest enjoyed a Christmas themed

games afternoon and at Malden House in Sidmouth, Devon, they organised an Australia Day barbecue. Emma Jones, Hartford Care’s Operations Director explains: “Most of our care homes were not able to properly celebrate Christmas in December because of the visiting restrictions which meant their relatives and loved ones could not join them during this special time. “We saw that the supermarket Aldi was advertising Christmas food in June so we thought having a Julymas would be a wonderful way for our residents and teams to enjoy a little bit of festive cheer during these very challenging times. It was fantastic fun for everyone, and we are delighted so many of our care homes put on special events for the occasion.”

have been turned down in England. This equates to nearly 14,000 older people a week not getting the vital care and support they believe they need. In some of these cases an older person was found by their local council not to meet the tight eligibility criteria set for the social care system and that was the end of it (24% of all requests for help); while in others the older person was found ineligible but their council then referred them onto other services in the hope that they could assist them instead, including their local Age UK (26% of all requests for help).

FURY AT REFORM DELAY The ICG has repeatedly called for reform and was furious after reported plans to begin it were delayed until the autumn. “We need the Government to set a date for reform and stick to it, otherwise this is going to go on and on and reform will never come,” Mr Padgham added. The ICG has long campaigned for: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care • Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.


Afternoon Tea Week

By Barry Price of QCS (

WHY THE HUMBLE TEA LADY IS A BAROMETER OF PERSON-CENTRED CULTURE How do you ensure that service users are happy? It’s a question that Registered Managers should always ask themselves, frontline workers that they manage, and most importantly, the service users who they care for. As a former Registered Manager of 15 years, the answer cannot be found in the CQC’s key questions and the KLOEs that underpin them. Meeting these goals is the very least I would expect of my peers and it does not guarantee happiness. Instead, the key to contentment – for both staff and service users - lies in embedding a strong, open, positive and interactive culture that engages with people at every single level of a service. Perhaps, a better question is what does such a culture look like and how do you instil it within your service? The cornerstone of any culture must be anchored to person-centred care. As for establishing person-centred culture within a service, it’s not easy to do and can take years to get right. Part of the reason is that to many people culture is mysterious in the sense that it is indescribable and difficult to put into words. But it’s most definitely there.

CONTENT AND BEST PRACTICE So, where do you start? Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, policies and standards for the social care sector, has produced care plans based on the core principles of person-centred care, which meet NICE guidance and standards. QCS’s toolkit includes assessments and policies and procedures on dignity, respect and choice, which form the building blocks of a person-centred culture. QCS’s raft of resources also demonstrate how to support independence through meaningful activities, while constantly gathering feedback from each service user. It is this personalised approach to care that sews the seeds for emotional and spiritual wellbeing to take root. However, QCS can only provide a steer. It needs a leader with clear vision, direction and courage to take affirmative action and ingrain a person-centred environment within a service. In a nutshell, everyone – whether they are senior managers, domestics or tea ladies - must feel that they are included and, most crucially, that they add value to the culture of engagement.

AFTERNOON TEA WEEK That brings me nicely to Afternoon Tea Week, which takes place next week. A minority of you reading this article might be wondering what tea ladies, handy men and domestic staff, who aren't trained to care for service users, can add to the culture of a home. In addition to working to exceptionally high standards, it is the

deep and meaningful bond that they often form with service users, due to seeing them every day, that really helps to set a culture apart from other services. Of course, up until a few years ago, these interactions were often difficult to track and were almost impossible to measure. That was until the arrival of smart care management technology, which tracks staff engagement with service users. In the care services I worked in, it shone a spotlight on these interactions and really helped me to gain a unique insight as to just how invaluable a role non-clinical staff play in a care service.

GOING THE EXTRA MILE Take tea ladies and handy men, for instance. The people that I employed had the gift of the gab that only comes from working closely with clients. They knew how to engage with service users and quickly built up a strong rapport with them. That enabled them to understand the little nuances that come to the surface when someone might not be mentally, emotionally or physically in the right place. Whenever they sensed that something wasn't quite right, they would always alert a member of the frontline care team. Given that recruitment and retention has always been a major challenge for the sector and is likely to remain so, the visibility, knowledge and insight that those staff possessed made them indispensable. Domestic staff, that feel invested in a personalised care culture, are also invaluable too. When I was a Registered Manager at a learning disability provider, I realised their intrinsic value lay far beyond maintaining and exceeding Infection, Prevention & Control standards. So, I made the decision to provide them with a comprehensive grounding in diabetes and epilepsy awareness. The instruction given was almost identical to the training received by professional carers. That is not to say that domestic staff were doing the work of clinically trained staff. They were not. Instead, they were an extra pair of eyes, which dramatically improved observation levels in the setting, thus strengthening the person centred-culture within the service.

STAFF MUST POSITIVELY EMBRACE A PERSON-CENTRED CULTURE The most important point to make, however, is that all non-clinical staff feel that they have a person-centred role in whatever setting they work in. So, kitchen staff who have bought into the culture will make an extra effort not just to serve food, but to work alongside activity staff to involve service users in its preparation. There was a service user that I supported who loved to replenish salt and pepper shakers. As the kitchen staff were fully invested in the culture that we had established, they always looked to ensure that she could offer around the condiments at meal times. A central part of the culture too is ensuring that staff and service users have the chance to increase their skillsets. On this note, QCS has produced training plans that enable non-clinical staff to widen their skillset and further develop new talents. It may be that within such a dynamic culture, where career progression is celebrated, Registered Managers find that staff want to explore new careers within the service. QCS’s vast array of resources, which include appraisal and personal development plans, can help to support and facilitate this process. Best practice content and up-to-date policies also help to sow the seeds for person-centred environments to flourish. Recognising the invaluable role played by the humble tea lady, the skilful handy man and the gregarious domestic staff member is a tangible measure of progress. To find out more about QCS, contact our compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email Alternatively, if you're seeking a new challenge, QCS is hiring. For a list of current vacancies, click here

Devoted Home Manager Recognised in Prestigious Industry Awards Sharon Field, home manager at Bull Point and Annex House in Devon, has been named as the winner of The Care Home Registered Manager Award in the Great British Care Awards for the South West. Sharon has a wealth of knowledge in the industry, having worked for Modus Care for 17 years. Two years ago, Sharon was promoted to manager of the care home for adults with autism and challenging behaviour. She completed her level five diploma in management for health and social care, helped by Salutem’s learning and development team. The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout the UK and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. The awards pay tribute to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding work within their field. Sharon said: “I was honoured to be nominated for this award, and I am even more delighted to know that I have been named as the winner.

“Though I would love to take all of the credit for this award, it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of all our staff. “It is very important that the people that my team and I care for receive the same opportunities, love and home life as everyone else, so I am thrilled to have been recognised for our efforts.” John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, said: “On behalf of the whole Salutem family, I’d like to congratulate Sharon and the team at Bull Point for this extraordinary recognition. “Their dedication has really come to the fore over the past 18 months when they have gone above and beyond to offer every opportunity for the people we support to live their best lives.”

Registered Care Home Manager Required Imagine waking up to spectacular countryside views and beautifully landscaped gardens. If you are a Registered Care Home Manager who wants to make a real difference, then this could be you. Situated in the rural village of Hatch Beauchamp, nestled in the stunning Somerset countryside, Beauchamp House is a Grade II listed Georgian manor house that has been beautifully refurbished and extended in recent years by Care South. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a registered Care Home Manager with a proven track-record to lead an exceptional team, including nurses, and successfully manage an exceptional care home. Are you passionate about care and want a different pace of life in a beautiful location? Stop imagining and contact us today! Our competitive package includes: • Exceptional salary for an exceptional manager and substantial and achievable on-target bonus • Relocation package (for geographical moves)

• An excellent induction programme and an ongoing commitment to your career development • Life Assurance (3x annual salary) • Contributory Pension Scheme Care South is a not-for-profit charity and leading provider of quality nursing, residential and dementia care across the south of England. Call us now on 01202 712448 or visit


Skills for Care Launches New 3-Year Strategy “Supporting the Creation of a Fair and Just Society” Skills for Care has launched a three-year plan setting out how the workforce development and planning body for social care in England will deliver the organisation’s vision of “supporting people who draw on services to live the lives they choose" The strategy focusses on four strategic areas for investment and growth over the next three years, which will guide us to help shape the skills and knowledge of the social care workforce, support reform of the sector, and ensure that social care is seen as a valued and worthwhile career. The four strategic areas are: • Increasing workforce capacity to make sure we have the right number of people, with the right values and behaviours, working in social care now and in the future. • Supporting workforce capabilities to ensure staff have the right skills, knowledge, competencies, values and behaviours to meet current and future needs in our communities. • Supporting culture and diversity to ensure the workforce is treated equally, feels included and valued, and is supported to stay well and pursue their careers in social care. • Improving the social care system to ensure it’s well funded, supports people to live the lives that they choose and attracts the right people to the workforce. Each strategic priority is of equal importance to us, and only by achieving success in each area will we

build a social care system that’s fit for the future and delivers on our vision. The new strategy was developed in recognition that the way social care is delivered needs to adapt to reflect a society in which people live longer, often have more complex needs, and have different expectations about how and where care should be delivered, and aims to make sure people have access to the care they want, at the point of need and, wherever possible, people are supported to live independently, in their own communities, surrounded by the people they love. Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth says: We are delighted to launch our new strategy and excited about the impact it will have on people drawing on care and support and working in social care over the next three years. This new strategy was created in recognition that the way social care is delivered in England is changing so it won’t be a static strategy but will evolve based on feedback and changes in social care. Skills for Care believes that social care needs to adapt to these changes so that everyone has access to care and support that is focussed on their unique needs and aspirations, now, and in the years to come. Equally, people who work in social care have to be recognised as carrying out a vital role in society. We want social care to be seen by the public as a professional and skilled career that has real value for people in our communities who draw on services, supported by our committed and skilled workforce.

FREE HR and Employment Law Webinar for Care Sector Professionals PARIS SMITH SOLICITORS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CARER

fessionals and managers. This is your chance to hear from Paris Smith employment law experts Clive Dobbin, Claire Merritt and Tabytha Cunningham on the topics that most affect your sector. There will also be a live Q&A session where you can ask for advice on specific issues that you’re facing.

• EU workers and your responsibilities • Q&A session

EVENT DETAILS Wednesday 22 September 2021 11:00 – 12:30pm The coronavirus pandemic has affected the care sector in a profound and unique way. In an industry where employment issues can be complex, staff turnover high and procedures difficult to manage, the effects of the pandemic present on-going challenges for HR pro-

AGENDA: • The Covid-19 vaccination programme: employee rights and your obligations • Managing mental health of staff

Book your place: WN_UkGUuGr9TFKyG1R1YOS4bw


Care Homes Must Meet Mandatory Care Worker Vaccine Deadline By November 2021 Care sector employers are now under a legal obligation to ensure all care home workers in England are fully vaccinated by the cut-off date in 16 weeks, as employment lawyer Paida Dube explains. New legislation requiring care home staff in England to have received the double Covid-19 vaccination comes into force on 11 November 2021. While other industries grapple with the employment, discrimination and even criminal implications of introducing 'no-jab, no job policies', the UK government has made the decision for the UK care sector by introducing a new mandatory vaccination law, on the grounds of protecting care home residents from the risk of death and serious illness due to Covid-19. The amendment to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 has been passed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and is now law. Care homes that breach the new regulations face regulatory action from the Care Quality Commission. For employers in the sector, meeting the new compliance obligations by the deadline is likely to be far from straightforward, with low vaccine take up among staff an issue for many organisations and with multiple legal issues to be navigated.

WHAT DOES THE NEW LAW SAY? From 11 November 2021, Care Quality Commission-regulated service providers of nursing and personal care services in England must not allow entry into care homes for anyone who has not been fully vaccinated, unless they fall within one of the limited exemptions. The most onerous impact of the new regulations on care providers is ensuring all care home staff have both vaccine doses to be able to work under the new legislation. The new rules apply to frontline healthcare workers, including employees, agency workers, volunteers as well tradespeople. The government is also considering whether vaccinations should be compulsory for other health workers, including those in the NHS.

WHO IS EXEMPT? Care providers will also have to familiarise themselves with the exemptions to the requirement. These include individuals who are med-

ically-exempt from the vaccine; emergency services personnel; relatives, friends and visitors of care home residents; under 18s; and those providing emergency assistance or urgent maintenance work within the care home. The government has also stated guidance will be provided regarding pregnant women, as vaccination may not be clinically appropriate during pregnancy. Anyone refusing to take the vaccine for religious reasons would not fall under the exemptions. However, it would be prudent for employers to be aware of the 'protected characteristics' which continue to be protected from unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

PREPARING FOR THE CHANGES Employers have been given only a 16-week grace period to prepare for the new requirements and ensure care home workers must have had their first and second vaccines. This is not a lot of time given the complexity of the legal and practical implications of the new legislation. Care providers are advised to take action immediately to ready their organisation and their workforce with the following steps.

ENGAGE WITH STAFF & REPRESENTATIVES Responsibility now lies with care sector employers to communicate and engage with workers and any trade union representatives, and ensure their staff are aware of the new requirements. Employers should direct workers to government information about the new rules and make clear to workers the potential for disciplinary action or dismissal for refusing to comply with the legislation.

DEVELOP A VACCINE POLICY A workplace vaccination policy should be developed stating the employer’s and workers’ rights and responsibilities. This should include the disciplinary consequences for not being fully vaccinated.

CARRY OUT A VACCINE AUDIT Conducting a vaccine audit will help identify the vaccine status of those workers affected by the new regulations. With this information, employers can tailor and focus engagement with those workers who are not yet fully vaccinated. For example, if a worker will have only received a single dose by the implementation date, discussions will need to take place with the individual as they may need to be redeployed or placed on unpaid leave until they have been double-vaccinated. Employers will also need to ensure they are GDPR compliant in handling and storing data relating to vaccination status as this is classed as special category personal data for GDPR purposes.

TRAIN MANAGEMENT & HR Care providers are also advised to ensure HR and management are trained on the new regulations and the implications for their recruitment and health and safety practices and general workforce management


WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE IS REFUSING THE VACCINE? In cases where a worker is refusing to be vaccinated and they are not exempt under the regulations, it may be appropriate to first consider redeploying the individual into a role away from frontline care duties, if possible, or to consider temporarily ceasing their duties until they are fully vaccinated. In light of the regulations, dismissing frontline care staff who refuse to comply with the requirement by not having the double vaccine, and where they do not fall within one of the exemptions, may be deemed lawful, provided the employer has followed a fair dismissal process. Where a discrimination claim is brought against the employer, employers will need to be able to argue that their vaccination policies serve a legitimate aim and any discrimination caused is proportionate to meeting that aim.

RECRUITING CARE WORKERS UNDER THE NEW RULES While initial focus for employers will be on meeting the new rules by 11 November, the regulations create a long term issue when recruiting care workers. Care sector employers should proceed with caution if implementing a policy of hiring only fully vaccinated workers. Since workers may be exempt from the requirements, such as being medically exempt from taking the vaccination, employers must ensure their candidate selection process does not risk unlawful disability discrimination, for example when choosing between a vaccinated and medically exempt unvaccinated applicant.

COUNTDOWN TO THE DEADLINE Care home providers have reacted to the new law with frustration and discontent. Those with low vaccine uptake among workers face further strain on staffing levels and existing care worker shortages being exacerbated as people opt to leave their jobs rather than have the vaccine, or where employers find they have no option other than to dismiss workers for refusing to meet the requirement. This could plausibly result in care home closures on safety grounds. As the deadline approaches, it would not be uncharacteristic for the government to revise its original deadline and extend the grace period to allow employers sufficient time to comply with the obligations, but for the time being, care sector employers remain under considerable pressure to prepare their organisations and workforce for 11 November 2021. This will also remain an area of continued legal risk for employers, with the potential for discrimination claims that may flow from this new legislation. Paida Dube is an employment lawyer at employer solutions law firm, DavidsonMorris (


Professional Care Workers’ Week Returns Professional Care Workers’ Week returns for its second

ers and care managers, as it is important to us to have their

year, this year taking place between September 6–10, aiming

voices central in our discussions. Collaboration is at the heart

to shine a light on the work happening in the social care sec-

of PCWW, which provides a platform for people to share best

tor and to explore some of the issues facing people working

practice, experiences and to have discussions about topics

in social care and the wider sector.

such as the future of social care, how to retain and build the

This year’s event marks the fourth time the event has been

workforce and the rise of technology. Such collaboration is

run and the second time it has been organised and led by

key to uniting the sector and is always a key aim of our event

The Care Workers’ Charity. Last year’s event was held virtual-

which has a variety of exciting panel discussions and work-

ly, and the decision was made to do the same this year due


to uncertainty around COVID-19 infections, and to ensure the

Karolina Gerlich, Chief Executive Officer of The Care

event is inclusive and accessible to a wider audience.

Workers’ Charity, said, ‘We are thrilled to announce the return

This year, Professional Care Workers’ Week will shine a

of Professional Care Workers’ Week this September, and hope

light on the work happening in the social care sector; exploring some of the issues faced by the workforce, as

you will join us as we bring the social care community together to raise much needed awareness of the sec-

well as challenges faced by the sector as a whole. The aim this year is to highlight and increase wider under-

tor and to share admiration for our incredible workforce.’

standing of what it means to work in social care- the charity looks forward to hearing directly from care work-

MHA Elmside Hosts Wedding Re-Enactment For Devoted Grandmother

MHA Elmside care home recently hosted a re-enacted wedding ceremony, as the close-knit family of resident Beryl Taylor, 95, decided to ‘take the wedding to their nan’ in the home’s beautiful gardens. Groom and grandson Joe Wiggins, married his fiancé Charlene Wiggins (nee Henry) earlier in the month at the Three Rivers Church in Bedford, which was followed by a Covid compliant reception at The Bedford Swan Hotel. Despite livestreaming the event to the many guests sadly unable to attend, the devoted grandson wanted to ensure his grandmother Beryl didn’t miss out on the magic of the day, so a plan was hatched! Joe said: “Family means a lot to us and we were gutted that Beryl was unable to come to the real wedding. We wanted her to share in the magic of our marriage and create memories and photos for the future, so this seemed the perfect alternative.” “I have always been very close to my Nan, I understand that she may not be able to remember our wedding re-enactment clearly, but I believe that the happiness she experienced during our visit will stay with her.” Bride Charlene said: “My Dad was able to walk me down the ‘aisle’ again and it was great to have Beryl feel like she was part of our big day. I loved

putting my dress on again as brides don’t often get to wear their dress a

second time.” Vilawan Hawkes, home manager at MHA Elmside said: “We couldn’t let Beryl miss out, so the happy couple re-enacted their wedding day especially for her at Elmside. It was a special moment, and so lovely to share our garden with them, especially during our Garden Week. Many congratulations to a lovely couple.” The bride and groom added: “We were very touched by the reception we received from both the staff and residents at Elmside. We arrived to a round of applause and some very touching comments and congratulations. We were lucky to get a feel of the magic we had on our wedding day, all over again! After the “ceremony” at Elmside we had some quality time with Nan at our own ‘reception’. We had cake and wine and listened to some of Nan’s favourite music, she tapped her foot and sang along, it was beautiful. These are memories we will never forget.” Beryl said of the occasion: “Your dress looks beautiful” adding “thanks for the wine, but I would much prefer a cup of tea.”


Tax Measures To Raise Additional Funding Kerry Bailey, Business Restructuring Partner at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, looks at care sector developments in funding, labour shortages and Covid-19 measures for tenants and landlords.

Rumours are mounting of new tax measures to raise additional funding for both the pandemic relief payments and the muchneeded transformation of social care. Corporation tax has largely been earmarked for the former; the latter point is still unresolved. Whilst there is agreement across the political spectrum on the need to reform social care funding, there is less consensus on where the funding burden should fall. In the debate on whether National Insurance or income tax are the right lever, it is argued by many that National Insurance disproportionately impacts the young and those on lower incomes due to its lower starting threshold and narrower base (it is not paid by those over state pension age nor is it levied on other forms of income such as dividends). A rise in either tax would, however, break the Conservative “triple tax lock” manifesto pledge. Wealth taxes, put forward by some as the equitable solution, are likely to receive vehement opposition from within the Conservative party. While it is encouraging that the issue remains high on the government’s agenda, we must now wait until the Autumn for further announcements. Infection Control and Testing Fund extended It is welcome news for the sector that the government has extended the Infection Control and Testing Fund to the end of September 2021 . Alongside the extension of free PPE to March 2022, this remains a valuable source of support. This is particularly true for care home providers given that care home occupancy remains down from February 2020 levels and is unlikely to recover rapidly.

Labour shortages for care providers Whilst the pandemic shone a spotlight on the fantastic work carried out by the sector and aided recruitment, in common with other parts of the economy care providers are now reporting increased difficulty in recruiting staff to fill vacancies . In some instances, this reflects staff burnout due to the demands placed on care workers by the pandemic. Competition for workers from employers in retail, hospitality and elsewhere in the healthcare sector may mean these difficulties continue. The government has also requested an independent review into the effect of ending EU freedom of movement on the labour market within adult social care given reported skills shortages . These trends are exacerbated by legislation for compulsory vaccination for staff in care home settings, which might be extended in due course to home care providers . While the legislation is supported by many providers, it will inevitably result in some workers deciding to seek employment elsewhere. The debate on pay rises for NHS workers will also no doubt have a knock-on impact on wage rates for care staff, with the capacity to meet these rising costs being potentially limited through a reliance on capped public authority fees and the ability to increase rates for privately funded residents. New COVID-19 measures for tenants and landlords As a result of the significant impact of COVID-19 on trading performance in the sector, a number of providers will have delayed rent payments. The restrictions on the forfeiture of business tenancies for nonpayment of rent are to continue in England until 25 March 2022. The service of statutory demands and winding up petitions will remain restricted until late September 2021 . This move has frustrated landlords but brought further relief for commercial tenants. In addition, new primary legislation is being introduced to ringfence outstanding unpaid rent from any period where operations were closed due to the pandemic, supported by mandatory arbitration where necessary. However, for care businesses that have been significantly affected but remained open to provide vital support to individuals at a time of crisis, this element of the support package is likely to provide little benefit. The government is continuing with the mantra that “those who are able to pay rent, must do so” and engagement between landlords and tenants with the right support will be crucial in finding a way forward.

Dorset Care Home Helps Families Struggling to Put Food on the Table Residents and staff at a Dorset care home are doing their bit to help tackle child food poverty this summer. More than 20 bags of tinned and dried food donations have been collected at Colten Care’s Avon Reach home in Mudeford and handed over to Christchurch Food Bank Plus. The items will be used in food packages in response to the bank’s ‘School Summer Holiday Hunger Rush’ appeal. Its aim is to ensure local families in need can continue to feed children who would, in term time, receive free school meals. The number of children eligible for free school meals nationally has risen during the pandemic and the whole issue of food poverty has been highlighted in prominent campaigning by the England international footballer Marcus Rashford. This summer’s Christchurch appeal asked especially for tinned items such as fruit, custard, hot dogs and meatballs as well as jelly, dry rice and UHT milk. Residents, relatives, staff and visitors at Avon Reach all helped to gather food to include in the bags. Tracy Blick, Manager of Christchurch Food Bank Plus, said: “We are so grateful for donations and it is lovely to think that older generations are prepared to help. “Last summer we provided 4,000 food parcels for local families and we think it will be about the same this year.” Avon Reach resident Edna Buckingham said: “It was lovely to support the food bank and help out local families in the area. I hope we will continue to support them.”


NHS Covid-19 App Updated To Notify Fewer Contacts To Isolate

The public is being urged to continue to use the NHS COVID-19 App as changes made from today will result in fewer contacts being advised to self-isolate following a close contact with a positive case. As part of a review into the app announced by the Health Secretary, the ‘logic’ which underpins how close contacts are notified will be updated from today. Currently, for people who input a positive test but are asymptomatic, the app looks for close contacts five days prior to a positive test. This will be updated based on public health advice to look back at contacts two days prior to a positive test. The change will mean fewer contacts that took place when the positive case was unlikely to be at the peak of their infectiousness are advised to self-isolate, reducing the overall number of notifications sent by the app. This update does not impact the sensitivity of the app, or change the risk threshold, and will result in the same number of high-risk contacts being advised to self-isolate. Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said specifically of the app ‘logic’ change: “We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses, while ensuring we’re protecting those most at

risk from this virus. This update to the app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance. “It’s so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities.” This update comes as new analysis shows the NHS COVID-19 App continues to play a crucial role in breaking chains of transmission, preventing hospitalisations and saving lives. New analysis from leading scientists shows that in the first 3 weeks of July, as cases were exponentially rising, the app averted up to 2,000 cases per day, and over 50,000 cases of COVID-19 including chains of transmission assuming 60% compliance with instructions to self-isolate. This is estimated to have prevented 1,600 hospitalisations. It also shows the app reduces the spread of COVID-19 by around 4.3% each week, and for every 200-250 tests entered and shared in the app one person is prevented from being hospitalised from the virus. Usage remains high, with around 40% of the eligible population regularly using the app and around 50% of all reported tests being inputted. The government is urging the public to continue using the NHS COVID-19 App. Around one in three people experience this virus without symptoms and, even if you are fully vaccinated, it is possible that you could be unwittingly carrying and spreading the virus, creating a chain

of transmission that could have someone vulnerable to the virus at the

end of it. Dr Jenny Harries, CEO of UK Health Security Agency, said: “The NHS COVID-19 App is a really practical example of how technology can be used to fight the biggest challenges we face in protecting and improving our health. “The app is the simplest, easiest, and fastest way to find out whether you have been exposed to the virus, and it has saved thousands of lives over the course of this pandemic. “I strongly encourage everyone, even those fully vaccinated, to continue using the app. It is a lifesaving tool that helps us to stay safe and to protect those closest to us as we return to a more familiar way of life.” The app remains the fastest way to know if you have been at risk, and app users will only be advised to isolate if they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. From 16 August, fully vaccinated contacts in England will be exempt from isolation and instead will be advised to take a PCR test. Those who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to isolate, and it will remain a legal obligation to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.

Sunrise Of Hale Barns Resident Completes Incredible Book One resident at Sunrise of Hale Barns care home has recently received the green light for the publication of their book. After an initial draft, Brian Green OBE, 87, has had his book, ‘The Analysis of Human Haemoglobin variants using Mass Spectrometry’, produced ready for publication, with the support of his company, Waters. Brian has spent much of his life devoted to the design, construction, and use of a scientific instrument called a mass spectrometer. An early pioneer for the device, his work on mass spectrometry is well-regarded, with the Queen herself recognising his contribution with the awarding of an OBE in 1985. The tool can be used not only to tell you what something is made of, but also for the analysis of a variety of different chemical substances. From moon dust to medical drugs, the instrument is universal and omnipresent within its space. For Brian, his most recent utilisation of the mass spectrometer was for the analysis of haemoglobin in blood, a protein essential for the oxygenation of the body, and, in some cases responsible for diseases if irregularities exist.

His book provides information on how to analyse this protein using mass spectrometers, in order to find these ‘haemoglobin variants’, and holds potential to be highly influential in helping to understand the illnesses caused by these blood disorders. Brian is already a published author; however, this latest publication carries even more significance. At an age when many have retired, Brian continued to go to work, writing this book that documented the techniques he had developed over many years. And, as he passed 80 years old, despite a reduction in mobility and consequential ability to work in his laboratory, Brian remained committed to writing this book, eager to share his knowledge and hopefully better the lives of others. Reflecting on the fantastic achievement, Brian Green’s daughter, Meg Buckley, said: “As his family, we are extremely pleased and proud of his achievement in completing this book.” Sharon Parkes, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Hale Barns, iterated this, adding: “This is an extraordinary achievement. We are all aware of how incredible Brian is, but this recent publication is testament to his extremely tenacious, hard-working, and committed attitude. We’re so proud of him at Sunrise of Hale Barns.”


New Report Calls For Assistive Technology To Become ‘Mainstream’ In Adult Social Care Services A new report calls for a new framework and funding to make assistive technology ‘mainstream’ in adult social care services, including providing the infrastructure to roll this out effectively in rural areas The report, ‘Employing Assistive Technology in Adult Social Care’ from the County Councils Network (CCN) supported by Tunstall Healthcare, looks at the prevalence of assistive technology (AT) in county authorities and what can be done to both scale it up across whole social care systems, and maximise its benefits to people in care and professionals. AT incorporates systems such as telecare, which uses wireless technology in the home to provide 24 support, and telehealth, which enables patients and clinicians to work together to monitor health remotely. Both systems enable care to be more targeted and preventative, and empower people to remain independent and well. It finds that whilst this tech has been effectively used to improve care for individuals, much more can be done to place AT at the centre of local adult social care – from using data, to aligning health and care monitoring systems together – as part of closer integration between health and social care. But with over two thirds (69%) of county authorities surveyed as part of the report answering that AT was more difficult to roll out in rural areas compared to urban locations, and with councils reliant on temporary grant funding in delivering social care, the report calls for the right settings so local authorities can ramp up their usage of AT. The majority of respondents also cited a lack of knowledge on the tech currently available. Whilst 75% of respondents said that the benefits of AT were being partially realised in their authorities, and that there was potential for further development but a lack of funding and overlapping local health system boundaries were holding their authorities back. As part of adult social care reform, the government should commit to a National Strategic Framework to make AT ‘mainstreamed’ as a key element of social care in the future, and make it clear how tech can be further embedded into councils’ delivery of this service. CCN and Tunstall are also calling on the government to ensure that there is effective infrastructure for AT in rural areas, including broadband and improved mobile

network speeds. Councils should have parity of esteem with health partners in Integrated Care Systems, to assist in an effective rollout of large-scale AT across health and care, and these bodies should keep within council boundaries as much as possible to reduce inefficiency. The report also finds that substantive cultural and practice change is urgently needed to better integrate AT across whole local social care system, and in moves towards digital-first care provision. This includes training staff so they feel comfortable using this technology. Cllr Keith Glazier, Health and Social Care Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said: “For local authorities, the use of AT is not just about providing effective care for individuals, but is increasingly about developing and delivering innovation-led digital health and care solutions which provide new, more efficient, and effective models for health and care management in the community. “The increasing potential for employing technology at scale and utilising data offers a tantalising possibility of having a significant impact on the way care is delivered; achieving better outcomes for vulnerable people of all ages, in a more cost effective way than more traditional models of care provision. “But this can only be done with the right settings in place – and today’s report offers much food for thought as to how we can further embed AT in our local systems.” Key recommendations of the report include: • Ensure that social care reform includes a commitment to a National Strategic Framework for integrating assistive technology into social care. • Ensure there is appropriate infrastructure in place to enable assistive technology to be used effectively in all parts of the country. • Facilitate improved education and training for social care professionals to ensure they are confident in utilising assistive technology within their role. • Encourage greater co-creation of solutions through adult social care professionals and technology developers working collaboratively.

Blooming Bonkers Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for Barry Day Service Sully Day Opportunities, a day service for disabled adults living in Barry Island, South Wales, celebrated their beautiful blooms with a brilliantly bonkers Mad Hatter’s tea party in the garden. The service, which offers support to people with a range of physical disabilities, learning disabilities and complex health needs, spent months renovating its garden after being closed for some time last year. The people who use the service weeded the garden and planted a range of colourful plants as part of a flowers in bloom project. They then spent hours in the art room creating decorations, including bunting, oversized playing cards, and the Mad Hatter, Alice and the Cheshire Cat, to turn the garden into Wonderland. The team hosted a two-day garden party, with staff members dressing up as Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee and the White Rabbit, and those people supported by the service wearing

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home-made hats and fascinators. A Cheshire Cat cake was made and donated by Grace Donovan, the 17-year-old daughter of team leader Lisa Donovan, and was enjoyed by attendees at the party. Sian Harries, a team leader at Sully Day Opportunities, said: “Everyone has worked incredibly hard on the garden, and it was lovely to celebrate with a Mad Hatter’s Tea party. We had lovely weather for our fun and games – on one day, it was actually a bit too hot – and the flowers and decorations looked amazing. “I’d like to say a special thank you to two of our support workers, Leanne Waters and Kate Power, who did a great deal of work on the project. They did an outstanding job.” Rob, who attends Sully Day Opportunities, said: “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was great fun and the Cheshire Cat cake was delicious. I loved how we all worked together to turn the garden into Wonderland then got to sit together and enjoy it in the sunshine.”


How Care Homes Can Navigate The Cost and Complexity of Payroll Processes By Laura Hughes, Head of Financial Wellness at PayDashboard (

The traumatic events of 2020 highlighted the precarious situation facing the UK’s social care system. Despite the prime minister in 2019 promising to “fix” these systemic challenges “once and for all”, in the intervening years an estimated 1.4 million requests for social care from the over 65s have been turned down. Meanwhile, concerns over staffing levels continue to grow. In the context of these serious macro trends, payroll may not seem like a particularly important or pressing issue for care home owners and their payroll teams (or their outsourced payroll service provider). However, the choices you make may have a major impact on the bottom line and staffing at a time when resources are stretched to the limit. With the right online tools, there’s a fantastic opportunity not only to minimise the financial and administrative burden of payroll, but also to support the financial wellness of hard-working staff.

A COMPLEX LANDSCAPE Payroll sounds like an easy thing to get right. Yet in the care home sector in particular it’s anything but. The challenge lies with the different pay rates that are applied for different types of work. Think “sleeping” night shifts versus “working” night shifts, for example. The large number of temporary and part-time workers in the industry also complicates

matters. Recent PayDashboard research found that 32% of staff at care homes were part-time versus an average of 24% in other sectors. The bottom line is that it’s not only time-intensive to set up and administer each pay period, but requires a high level of payroll expertise. Many care sector employers still print and hand payslips out to workers in care homes themselves. But this doesn’t help those employees who work in multiple locations, and have no regular desk on which to drop a paper envelope every month. In these circumstances, payslips have to be posted to individual home addresses, adding to administrative costs. Finally, there’s a large number of workers in the sector who speak English as a second language, which can affect their ability to understand pay or payslip details and the payroll staff trying to explain any unusual or problematic information. When 1 in 10 workers say they struggle to understand their payslip every month – this is a huge burden to place on an already overstretched payroll team. This might not sound like a major issue, but financial stresses can have a significant impact on employees’ mental and physical health, and therefore their performance at work. Our report from February revealed that 59% of 18-34-yearolds are currently in debt, with the pandemic only making things worse. Insomnia, anxiety, depression and drug abuse are an increasingly common consequence.

THE CHALLENGE OF IR35 As if that weren’t enough to keep payroll professionals busy, there’s the added overhead of managing new rules known as IR35. These set out which workers can be classified as self-employed and which must be treated as an in-house employee. Smaller care organisations are exempt—ie those whose turnover is less than £10.2 million per year, balance sheet value is under £5.1 million, or who employ fewer than 50 employees. However, the rules threaten to add major cost and complexity for many care homes, especially given the large number that rely on contingency workers to cover staff shortages. Many self-employed nurses have hitherto been working through agencies as limited company contractors. However, IR35 means they may be classified by HMRC as employed, rather than self-employed. If this happens, then the care home, rather than the agency, is required to pay them through PAYE payroll. It could increase payroll costs by as

much as 30% per agency nurse, once holiday pay (12.07%), employer NI (13.8%), pension auto-enrolment (3%) and an apprenticeship levy (0.5%) are added. That’s not all: each individual will also require onboarding and offboarding when they start and leave, adding an extra burden for payroll. It’s not surprising given this complexity that some care homes choose to outsource their payroll to an expert provider. PayDashboard research from 2019 found the sector to be the sixth most likely to do so. However, even if you do bring in the experts to help, current payroll processes are still costly, time-consuming and inflexible in the face of the challenges highlighted above.

TIME TO GO ONLINE A better approach would be to consider newer digital alternatives to the traditional paper payslip. Crucially they can be distributed in a highly cost-effective way via an online portal, meaning mobile and remote workers can access them with ease. Because there is an unlimited amount of space to display these digital payslips, separate pay items, rates and hours worked can be clearly laid out and explained. That’s particularly important given the complexities of care staff shift work, and will help to minimise the volume of queries directed to payroll staff. In addition, the process for on- and offboarding new employees under IR35 can be fully automated, further reducing any admin overheads. One single user will have a single set of log-ins which they could reuse even if they finish a contract and then come back six months later. It all makes for a more streamlined, easy-to-manage system which could save care homes vital funds in the long-run. It also offers an opportunity for responsible employers to help staff struggling with financial stresses and strains. Our research found that three-quarters of care home workers get no support from their employer in helping understand their pay, versus an average of 63%. They’re also less likely to discuss their financial difficulties than employees in other industries. Showing staff that you care and helping to ease their financial concerns is not just a moral imperative—happier staff are likely to be better carers.

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Open Study College Announces 39% Increase In Students Aged 60 And Over

Leading distance learning provider Open Study College has revealed a significant shift in its demographic, with a 39% increase in new student enrolments from those aged 60 and over. The statistic is based on figures comparing 2018 enrolments with those in 2020 during the global pandemic. As part of research undertaken by Open Study College, there are a number of reasons people typically choose to follow the distance learning route including: those who are unable to physically attend a college or university due to suffering with mental or physical health; caring for family and home responsibilities whilst learning; individuals looking to upskill; or students that need to learn new skills and gain necessary

qualifications for a new or change in career. More recently however, a pattern has emerged as a significant number of older students have joined Open Study College purely because they want to keep on learning in their later years about subjects that are of interest to them, providing purpose and keeping their minds active. John, 74, from South Gloucestershire said: “It's important to keep the intellect alive in later years and completing a course and receiving the accreditation acts as a tremendous boost to one's mental health.” Marilyn, 70, from Truro said: “I am 70 going on 29 years old. Physically I am doomed but will not be mentally. This is my tenth course with Open Study College, and I hope there will be more. To retirees thinking about taking a course online I would say ‘go for it’.” Linda, 75, from Worcestershire said: “I am enjoying the course at Open Study College and I’m lucky to have been able to choose, for the first time, what it is I study.” CEO of Open Study College, Samantha Rutter, said: “Learning new skills shouldn't stop when retirement starts. We couldn’t be prouder of all the students in the Open Study College family, and those that are continuing to study and excite their minds well into their years of retirement really help solidify our ethos of making education accessible to all. “It’s interesting to see how life-changing events such as the global pandemic can contribute to how people chose to spend their free time, and in our research it’s clear that some of our older students are keen to keep on learning about subject matters that really interests them or was once integral to their careers and lives. “This increase in older generations studying proves that learning is more accessible than ever before. We work incredibly hard to ensure that we adapt our courses for the young and young at heart. Many of

our courses come with the option of studying online or via a paperbased study pack where course materials are sent to your home. We know that this is often a preferred method of studying with our more mature learners. "Our student support team and personal tutors are also on hand to guide students through their course, and for those with additional needs we can provide our materials in larger fonts or on coloured paper where required. Making learning more accessible is always going to be one of our top priorities and we hope to see more retirees benefit from learning with us.” To find out more or to register for a course visit or follow Open Study College on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


More Than 85 Million Covid-19 Vaccines Administered Across The UK More than 85 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the UK, the latest figures show, as the government continues to urge everyone eligible to get their vaccines as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones. A total of 85,196,986 doses have been administered in the UK, with 46,851,145 people receiving a first dose (88.6%) and 38,345,841 people receiving both doses (72.5%). The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University shows that around 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 52,600 hospitalisations have been prevented by vaccines up to 23 July. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “In under eight months, health services across the UK have delivered more than 85 million doses – this is a phenomenal achievement. It has shown Britain at its best. “From our NHS administering the jabs, to the armed forces, thousands of volunteers and civil servants, you have all played an important role in getting us to this life-saving milestone – and I want to thank you all for your tireless efforts. “Please get both of your jabs if you haven’t already to protect yourself and your loved ones.” Data from PHE shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. The analysis shows the PfizerBioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses. The UK met the Prime Minister’s target ahead of schedule to vaccinate two thirds of adults in the UK with both doses and to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July. All adults in the UK are able to get their second doses after eight weeks. This will mean every adult has the chance to have two doses by midSeptember. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our COVID-19 vaccination programme has been an enormous success and has allowed us to cautiously ease restrictions. “Getting both doses of the vaccine is one of the most important things people can do to help build a wall of defence around yourself, your loved ones

and our country. “I urge everybody to get their jabs so we can carry on doing the things we’ve missed.” From the end of September, people will be required to prove they’ve had both jabs to enter nightclubs and music events. The government announced that people who have been vaccinated with both doses will not have to quarantine on their return to England from an amber list country, providing they received their second jab at least 14 days prior. From 16 August, double vaccinated people will also no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, and will be advised to take a PCR test. The government announced that double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and replaced by testing mitigations. A limited number of critical workers may also in exceptional circumstances be able to leave self-isolation to attend work if deemed a close contact and informed to do so by their employer. The UK government secured access to more than 500 million doses of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines early on behalf of the entire UK, crown dependencies and overseas territories. The UK’s medicine’s regulator, the MHRA, was the first in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, allowing the rapid deployment of vaccines across the country and ensuring the UK has one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world. YouGov polling shows the UK continues to be one of the top nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated and ONS data published on 2 July shows that more than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine. Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of 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.

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How Robotics and AI Can Support The Shift From Reactive To Proactive Care

By Troy Dayon, President of STANLEY Healthcare (

In the care sector, many people are speculating about whether humanoid robots will become a fixture in the future healthcare landscape. In fact, the industry is already using robotics – although perhaps not in the way we typically picture it. Fundamentally, robotics is a category of autonomous technology that can carry out tasks without human input. This includes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, both of which are key to shifting from reactive to proactive care, and enabling carers to deliver more and better care to more people. Leveraging robotics in this way can ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients, residents, carers, and care facilities.

MAXIMISING CARERS’ TIME Human-centered care is critical – and its importance has only grown during the global pandemic, as nurses have taken center stage in treating and comforting COVID-19 patients. As such, it’s key to consider how robotics technologies can assist carers, rather than replace them. With a growing nurse shortage and a rapidly aging population with rising acuity levels, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage robotics to maximise efficiencies and support carers in prioritising their time. There are some jobs that robots will never be able to perform, particularly when it comes to caregiving. The emotional connection between nurses and patients, for example, cannot be replicated – even by the most intelligent machines. However, AI has a key role to play in taking on time-consuming tasks – such as administration, reporting, and monitoring – that distract carers from their primary duty and can eventually lead to burnout. Automation can also help with optimising workflows and removing low-value, repetitive activities that are best performed by a machine.

ADDRESSING ALARM FATIGUE Robotics is key to helping healthcare providers address a major challenge in the industry: alarm fatigue. It’s no secret that carers face a barrage of alerts that present them with a constant stream of “urgent” tasks.

Increasingly, it can be difficult to identify which of these alerts should take priority, and in some cases, it can be easy for carers to inadvertently ignore them entirely, especially when it comes to pagers or blinking devices. AI – combined with mobile alerting – can help eliminate these “reactive” alerts and instead deliver actionable insights right to the carer. This provides them with more details about the help that’s needed, ultimately allowing them to focus on those tasks that are truly urgent. Additionally, healthcare providers can detect trends or patterns in these alerts and act accordingly to improve operational efficiency, draw correlations between seemingly unrelated factors, and address the causes of problems.

IDENTIFYING HEALTH RISKS In the senior care space, robotics technology for around-the-clock monitoring and emergency alerts can proactively inform carers when a resident is at increased risk for a potential health issue. These technologies rely on “passive” motion and depth sensors, which are installed in a resident’s room to learn their behavior. Machine learning then establishes a baseline of the person’s normal routine and health condition, which is used as a benchmark to monitor if their behaviour changes. For example, are they taking longer to get out of bed, becoming unstable on their feet, or experiencing disrupted sleep? Using complex algorithms, the technology identifies when these changes could indicate a decline in the resident’s health condition, such as a bacterial or viral infection or underlying heart problem. Technology like this – which requires no maintenance from carers and doesn’t need to be worn by the resident – has been proven to reduce falls by 54%, providing alerts up to three weeks before an incident. Early detection can also double the length of stay at assisted living communities by preventing hospitalisations. And when an incident cannot be avoided, this technology can provide an accurate picture of what happened, enabling carers to provide the most appropriate medical assistance and improve response to future incidents.

IMPROVING CARE DELIVERY Using robotics technologies is invaluable in improving overall quality of care and simultaneously supporting healthcare professionals in the delivery of this care. It’s about shifting from a reactive to proactive approach to care by leveraging the key aspects of autonomous technology that are the most advanced and widely used across many fields, namely AI and machine learning. As the industry also looks for ways to address clinician burnout and staff retention, robotics technologies will be key to supporting those efforts by allowing carers to effectively prioritise their time, more efficiently manage alerts, and focus on what they do best: provide human-centered care.

Care Village Commemorates Covid-19 Residents of the state-of-the-art Belong care village in Newcastle-

Commenting on the initiative, Christine Yarwood, apartment tenant at

under-Lyme have reflected on the challenges of the Covid-19 pan-

Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, who wrote one of the letters that were

demic and created a record of their experiences for future generations

included in the time capsules, said: “I thought it was important to share

by burying time capsules to mark the episode in history.

with people in the future the hard work and sacrifices of so many people

Placed inside the capsules were testing kits, PPE, magazine and newspaper clippings and photographs from throughout the period, as well as Belong literature communicating advice and guidance. Also included were letters written by residents, relatives and management

that went into keeping everyone safe, as well as how we coped with situations.” The inspiration for the time capsules came from the National Day of

and support teams sharing their personal struggles and advice for peo-

Reflection day in March, when people at Belong joined with others all

ple who may face similar adversity in the future.

over the country in reflecting on those who have lost their lives to Covid-

These were sealed and buried in the residents’ garden of the care village, with instructions for them to be opened in 100 years’ time.

19, as well as the individual hardships faced by many others as a result of the pandemic.

Researchers Identify Key Barriers To Underrepresented People Taking Part In Dementia Clinical Trials Research presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Colorado, shows that more must be done to tackle the barriers to recruitment and retention of participants for clinical trials from traditionally underserved communities. One study, which involved a survey of 406 people living in Wisconsin in the US, showed that Black, Latino and American Indian potential clinical trial participants are significantly more likely to volunteer if asked by a person of the same race, and are more impacted than white people by the potential disruption of work and family responsibilities and availability of transportation and childcare that taking part in a clinical trial may entail. In separate research carried out by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the US National Institutes of Health, a key was barrier identified in the exclusion criteria set for clinical trials. Commonly used Alzheimer’s clinical trial exclusion criteria, such as psychological disorders and cardiovascular disease, have the potential to disproportionately affect African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos, which may play a role in their reduced enrolment in research. This supports evidence from the Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Clinical Trial Report Translating Science into breakthroughs: the future of late-stage dementia clinical trials in the UK, which was published in May of this year and showed that there is much work to do to ensure that UK dementia clinical trials tackle racial barriers to inclusion. The NIA has today launched a new online tool, Outreach Pro, to help researchers and clinicians increase awareness and participation in clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, especially among traditionally underrepresented communities. Speaking about the research, David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This research adds to our understanding of the barriers we must overcome to make sure that dementia clinical trials include people from all backgrounds and communities. This research focuses on the US, and further investigation to understand how these challenges may be reflected in the UK research landscape will be important for informing necessary policy changes here. “It has long been recognised as an urgent problem that people from ethnic minority groups are severely underrepresented in clinical research, which can raise questions about the safety and effectiveness of treatments across different patient populations. While age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, the condition affects people from all walks of life. “The reasons for underrepresentation in research are complex, but common themes include lack of access to healthcare services, which are often the gateway to participation in research, historical distrust amongst certain communities and the relationships between risk factors for poor health and deprivation. “This study adds to our own analysis of Alzheimer’s in the UK, which showed that problems around lack of access to transport or having to work longer/or less convenient hours with little to no holiday, can have a key impact on a person’s capacity to participate in a clinical trial that could last months or years. “This is why we urgently need a UK government Dementia Strategy that engages with communities and makes more diverse and inclusive participation in dementia research a top priority. “Everybody diagnosed with a form of dementia should have a chance to discover, get involved and participate in dementia research. Right now, only a small number of people eligible to take part in dementia clinical trials actually do so – just 2% of those diagnosed with dementia are part of the UK registry for dementia research Join Dementia Research (JDR).”


Research Showing How Badly The Pandemic Was Impacting Older People In Early 2021 Raises Questions Over How Well They Can ‘Bounce Back’

Age UK has published a new report about the appalling impact of the pandemic on millions of older people aged 60 plus in the UK in the early part of this year[i][i]. This is the second wave of research Age UK had carried out into the health and wellbeing of older people during the health emergency, with the findings this time gathered in January and February 2021. A third and hopefully final wave of this research goes into the field in August. The Charity says that the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of some older people in early 2021 is so demonstrably severe that it raises big questions over whether they will be able to ‘bounce back’. The adverse effect may prove long lasting in many cases, or even irreversible, with big implications for the NHS and social care in the months and years to come. Lockdowns, social distancing measures and loss of routines and support – as well as limited access to services to manage pre-existing or newly emerged health conditions – mean millions of older people had seen their physical health and function decline. For some, catching COVID-19 had made things even worse. In February 2021: • 27% (around 4.3 million) said they couldn’t walk as far. • 25% (around 4 million) reported they were living in more physical pain. • 17% (around 2.7 million) said they were less steady on their feet. For a minority, but still appreciable numbers overall, the deterioration in their health and wellbeing had been severe and was affecting their independence. In February 2021: • 12% (around 1.9 million) felt they were less independent since the start of the pandemic. • 10% (around 1.6 million) of older people who had previously been able to get up and down the stairs were now finding it difficult. • 9% (around 1.4 million) of older people who had previously been able to walk short distances were now finding it difficult. “I have become wobbly and have fallen several times, hurting my ribs on two occasions and my thigh on another occasion and I have hit my head on numerous occasions. The pain in my wrists and thumbs has become worse.” “Haven’t moved out of the house for months on end. Can’t even make it up the stairs now (previously no problem at all).”

“I am in constant pain – and I mean pain, not ‘aches & pains’” “My pain has got a lot worse. I am in my chair 24/7. Some days I don’t eat as in too much pain…. only get up when I need to go to the toilet.” “Since catching Covid-19, they are not the same person, health wise, as before. They now struggle to even walk small distances, daily selfcare is a lot worse, and anger/mood problems now bad.” “My mobility had deteriorated badly. I can walk to my gate but that’s all. Even a small amount of effort leaves me breathless. “ Worryingly, the research also found evidence of accelerated cognitive decline. Alongside prolonged periods of isolation, reduced social contact, and limited mental stimulation, by February 2021 some older people had been left feeling forgetful and confused. • 22% (around 3.2 million) of older people were finding it harder to remember things since the start of the pandemic. “Her mood is extremely up and down and most worrying is the huge deterioration in her memory – both short and longer term. This was not really an issue before the pandemic.” The pandemic was seen to have had a deeply distressing impact on many older people’s mental health. Some who were already living with a mental health condition had seen their symptoms exacerbated (in some cases a relapse had been triggered after many years). Many other over 65s were experiencing anxiety, low mood and depression for the first time. • 36% (around 5.8 million) said they feel more anxious since the start of the pandemic. • 43% of older people (around 6.9 million) said they were feeling less motivated do the things they enjoy since the start of the pandemic. “I am now constantly depressed; I often sit and weep and wonder how I shall be able to carry on.” “I have had suicidal thoughts and get upset even watching most films…I get about an hour sleep as I’m in a lot of pain and lately been having nightmares about ending my life. I woke the other day sweating and anxious after a bad nightmare. Low mood and poor mental health were leading some older people to self-neglect. “Some days very down, don’t bother to get washed and dressed, what’s the point.” “She’s become withdrawn…. Just basically eats and sleeps all day. This has led to constant constipation and bladder infections. She wears incontinence pads but will not change them regularly as it’s too much of a chore.” Back in February 2021 the pandemic itself continued to be a source of great anxiety and, combined with prolonged periods isolated at home, many older people said they had lost confidence in doing everyday activities outside of the house. • 54% of older people (around 8.7 million) felt less confident attending a hospital appointment. • 37% of older people (almost 6 million) felt less confident going to a GP surgery. • 18% (around 2.9 million) felt less confident leaving the house by themselves. “Not sleeping well, I feel like gagging and being sick when I have to go out.” “I get panicky when l have to go out in public, l have nightmares

about being out in a crowd and no-one is wearing a mask.” “After almost 80 years on the planet, I have started having panic attacks.” However, the impact was not evenly spread. Older people with preexisting health or care needs, carers and older people on low incomes were among the most likely to report a significant adverse impact on their health and wellbeing. For example, in February 2021: • 45% of older people living with a long-term health condition (around 2.9 million) were living with more physical pain since the start of the pandemic compared to11% (around 1 million) of older people living without a long-term health condition. • 38% of older carers (nearly 860,000) were in more physical pain since the start of the pandemic – not surprising since many have had, literally, to shoulder more responsibility for the person they care for, without the back up of formal services. • 29% of older people in lower social grades (around 2.6 million) were living in more physical pain since the start of the pandemic compared to 20% (around 1.4 million) of those in higher social grades. The research indicated that back in February older people from ethnic minorities were also feeling less confident about getting out and about, accessing health services or receiving support at home, when compared to their white counterparts. • 27% of older people from ethnic minorities felt less confident going for short walks outside since the start of the pandemic, compared to 19% of white older people. • 26% of older ethnic minority people felt less confident leaving the house by themselves since the start of the pandemic, compared to 17% of white older people. Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “We’re all hoping that this nightmare pandemic is finally in retreat, but even if it is millions of older people will still be left coping with the difficult physical and mental after-effects of all they have endured.” “Our research found that earlier this year, immobility, deconditioning, loneliness, and an inability to grieve as normal, were leaving deep physical and emotional scars on a significant proportion of our older population. It’s too soon to know for certain how many older people can ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic but at the very least it will be tough, and they are going to need all the help they can get. The implications are clear: Government must give our physical and mental health and social care services enough additional resources to meet older people’s increased, pandemic-related needs. “ “Sadly, millions of older people face long periods on hospital waiting lists, often in considerable pain. So as well as giving hospitals the extra funding they are asking for in order to reduce these lists as fast as possible, the Government must also look at what more can be done by GPs and community health services to support older people while they wait for their surgery, and increase their funding accordingly. Making sure these older people can access effective pain relief, for example, is a moral and medical imperative.” “Meanwhile, the rest of us should bear in mind that it may take many older people quite some time to rebuild their confidence and capacity, and we all have a part to play in helping them with this. Our message to the public this summer is ‘please do keep supporting the older people in your lives’.”

Join Us at The Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo The Carer are happy to say we have once again partnered with this year’s Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham 15th & 16th September. The Carer have supported the show for several years, so we’re delighted to be in partnership and spread the message of what Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is all about! As the UK’s most dynamic social care event, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo focuses on inspiring business growth and implementing a sustainable social care model. Whether you own a care home, you’re a manager of a residential home or an activities coordinator working within one. There is plenty for you to explore at the show! With over 200 exhibitors in attendance and 100 speakers, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is the leading social care event taking place in 2021. Exhibitors include some of the most recognised names in social care with Alzheimer’s Society, Care England and Motitech UK in attendance and ready to meet the 3,000 strong audience come September. What’s more, there will be industry leaders delivering seminar sessions on the latest topics affecting social care. Kate Terroni, Chief Adult Inspector of Social Care at The CQC is just one of many keynote

speakers that will be delivering high class content. All seminars are CPD accredited and given Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is free to register, there is nowhere else you can obtain education like this in 2021! For FREE! Other show features include the Virtual Dementia Tour, offering a unique insight to what is to experience dementia as a resident, NAPA’s Activities Arena, an opportunity for audience members to trial activities you can introduce to your community, and Care Tech Live, a new exciting feature of this year’s show focusing on the digital technology that is not only helping streamline our services, but also improving the lives of residents. Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo recognises the challenges we have all faced the last 18 months which is why we’re delighted to be part of this year’s show, helping businesses to get back on their feet and supporting a hub where ideas can be created and shared. Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo aims to usher in a new era of social care. Want to be part of the conversation? Register for your free ticket today and we will see you come 15th September at the NEC, Birmingham! Visit


How To Save Money On Your Energy Bills By Joel Worsley, Solutions Consultant at World Kinect Energy Services ( With increasing pressure on care homes due to the pandemic, care providers and managers must be more cost-effective in their operations. As intensive users of gas, water and electricity, care home managers need reassurance that their energy procurement strategy is suitably aligned with budget requirements and utility invoicing is protected from overcharging. Energy accounts for one of the highest overheads for the care sector, particularly during the winter months, so choosing which is the appropriate strategy, managing contracts and negotiating new ones can often be confusing and time-consuming.

IDENTIFYING INVOICE ANOMALIES Energy bills are complex, with acronyms and different charges for Government levies and taxes changing frequently. Almost 65% of your electricity is the cost of transporting and supplying you and a host of other additional government taxes. It is these charges, taxes and levies that can be wrongly applied and often result in care homes overpaying on their invoicing. Our experience shows that one in every six energy invoice has an error of some kind. These can often accumulate to substantial sums owing, often ranging into the tens of thousands. In some individual cases we have retrieved hundreds of thousands through forensic historical invoice auditing.

REDUCING WATER BILLS Reducing water bills is a good place to start. Our experience shows that one in every eight water invoice has an error of some kind. Legislative industry changes and increasing charges have also meant care homes across the UK are under intense pressure to reduce spend on water, wastewater and trade effluent charges as well as optimise consumption by becoming more water-efficient. To reduce the amount of money spent on water, care homes should be taking advantage of the water market deregulation that could help save them thousands on their bills. The deregulation of the English water market in 2017 has meant that care homes can now choose who supplies them with water, wastewater, and trade effluent services. Scottish care homes have been able to

choose their water supplier since the water market deregulated in 2008. Care homes in England can now experience the reduced costs and improved service that a fully deregulated water market can bring. Prior to deregulation, care homes stayed with their incumbent local supplier because they had to, but the deregulation of the market provides the choice to switch if they feel their current supplier is not delivering to their needs. Since the English market deregulated in 2017 it is estimated that businesses have saved more than £20m, simply by switching suppliers or re-negotiating with an existing supplier. In addition to the cost-reducing benefits, care home groups that have sites spread across the whole of the UK who are now able to appoint a single national water retailer across all its sites thus reducing the administrative burden and cost of processing individual invoices.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BILLS The water industry in England has now entered the second phase of the competitive market, following the industry-wide PR19 price review in 2019 that determined business charges for the next industry regulatory period that runs from 01/04/2020 – 31/03/2025. This price review provides another opportunity for care homes to explore additional savings on their water by negotiating the best deal on the market and potentially switching suppliers again. The general summary of the price review shows that the default maximum charges payable by businesses have stabilised with the wholesale element of those charges having reduced, resulting in the potential retail margin for water retailers having increased from 01/04/2020. This price determination coupled with having 21 licensed water retailers in the market has created a much more competitive landscape for customers and on average, we are now saving our customers between 8% 12% simply by taking advantage of the deregulated market and switching suppliers. These changes in the water market mean that care homes can now better understand their bills, ensuring they have the right contract, at the right time, with the right supplier, as well as allowing them to become more energy efficient. The water industry across the UK has had a poor reputation for over and incorrectly charging customers. This is very typical of what was a monopoly marketplace. However, the market landscape has now changed for businesses following the deregulation of the Scottish water in 2008 and the English market in 2017 giving them more control over how much they spend on water. To benefit from savings on water bills, care homes should carry out an independent, in-depth, forensic audit of their invoices and supply points, as well as research which water supplier has the best deal on the market.

84% of Frontline Social Care Workers in Scotland Burnt Out by the Pandemic Thousands of frontline social care workers are being offered a lifeline of mental health support after new figures from SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) revealed that the vast majority (84%) of workers in the sector reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began. The research, carried out by 3Gem on adults in Scotland employed in the frontline social care sector*, also found that younger people aged between 25-34 have been the hardest hit. Increased feelings of stress and anxiety is also commonplace, with over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed noting a rise. Among the main barriers preventing frontline social care workers from accessing support include waiting times (43%), not feeling like their problems were big enough (39%), and the cost (36%). Now, burnt out workers will be able to access Time for You – a new, free service which offers immediate access to three different levels of mental health support, ranging from self-help resources, to access to talking therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy with trainee psychologists from Glasgow Caledonian University. The much-needed online and virtual mental health support service will help address these concerns, and is being provided by SAMH in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and Living Life to the Full (LLTTF). Fiona Benton, Assistant Director of Delivery and

Development at SAMH, said: “Frontline workers have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and it’s extremely worrying to discover so many are struggling. While carrying out some of the most important jobs to keep our local communities going, many have experienced high levels of anxiety and stress, not to mention the worry for the safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the people they help within their roles. “Add to that the pressure many frontline workers were experiencing even before lockdown, and it became clear to us that it has never been more important that frontline workers get the mental health support they need and deserve. “We know from the research that frontline workers feel they would benefit from help such as talking therapies like cognitive behaviour therapy and access to self-help resources, so we hope that Time for You will be a valuable resource for many people. We urge anyone who is struggling to reach out and take the first step – it’s ok to not be ok.” Time for You is not just for those who are classed as key workers, but also for those who have been required to continue to work throughout the pandemic to keep the nation running. The service will be able to support up to 4,000 people and as well as social care workers, is open to frontline workers in the health, retail, transport and food & supply sectors. Vickie Fyfe, Service Manager at Time for You, said they are already seeing the positive impact: “Many people who connect with us are in a really low place and are not sure where to turn – whether that be due to not knowing who to speak to, worried about the stigma of speaking about their mental health in the workplace, or because they think the problems they are experiencing are not big enough to bother others with. “The Time for You service is for anyone who is struggling with their

mental health – and with three levels of support available, we are able to find the right level of support for each person. It’s been overwhelming to see the difference we’re making so far, and I hope we can reach many more people over the coming months.” Time for You is provided by SAMH, Living Life to the Full and the Glasgow Caledonian University; and funded by Foundation Scotland’s Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund, support by the National Emergencies Trust. Dr Bryan McCann, Sport and Exercise Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Frontline workers have been superheroes during the pandemic to make sure that vital services are available to the public. They have been under a huge amount of strain, and some frontline workers are likely feeling the effects of that strain. The Time for You service provides frontline workers with invaluable support during these challenging times. “GCU is delighted to be able to work with SAMH to help deliver the Time for You service. Our Trainee Psychologists are providing 1-1 support to frontline workers through the service, and we are conducting an evaluation which will help to enhance the service so that it provides the most appropriate support.” Helen Wray, Head of Programmes at Foundation Scotland, said: “Foundation Scotland has responded to the rapidly changing needs within Scotland’s communities throughout the pandemic, enabling organisations to deliver vital services on the ground thanks to funding from our donors. The impact on those working tirelessly to help others during this difficult time has been significant, particularly regarding their mental health. By supporting SAMH to deliver the Time for You programme, we’re confident front line workers will feel more equipped, trained and able to cope with the continuing pressures they face during such uncertain times.” Visit for more information.

Well Pharmacy Partners with The Access Group to Support the Delivery of Outstanding Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Access Group, the largest provider of software to UK care and nursing homes, designed to support the delivery of outstanding care. This partnership will highlight Access’ innovative Medication Management solution, which has already been successfully implemented in a number of care homes serviced by Well Pharmacy. Access Medication Management is the UK’s most widely used eMAR system and is proven to reduce medication errors and make manual time-consuming processes like ordering medication and stock checking much more accurate and efficient. Cited in CQC reports as helping clients achieve ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ ratings, Medication Management is a quick and efficient way to introduce technology and help ensure residents safety. Access Medication Management offers everything care home organisations need to support patient safety including all equipment, installation, training and technical support. They also provide the full range of solutions needed for care homes to transition to fully digital care provision. Key benefits of Access’ Medication Management solution: Access’ market leading electronic care planning system gives care and nursing homes a unified record of both medication and care notes/activities.

Full integration with Well Pharmacy making data transfer more efficient and improving communication between the local pharmacy and home. Reduction in medication errors using pro-active alerts, alarms and best practice workflows to make sure medication compliance and safety for residents. Greater visibility and compliance - provides all staff and management with a clear picture of medication administration.

Ben Smith, Care Homes Sales Manager for Well Pharmacy said: “We are pleased to highlight Access’ Medication Management solution to over 350 care homes we serve across the UK. At Well Pharmacy we are always looking for new ways to help and support our care home customers. Patient and resident safety is our number one priority and we’re pleased to be working with The Access Group offer new solutions to give residents the best possible care.” Steve Sawyer, Managing Director, Access Group’s Health and Social Care Division said: “At Access, we pride ourselves on supporting care staff to provide the highest quality of care to their residents. Access Medication Management reduces the risk of medication errors, while giving everyone in a care home more time back to interact with residents or focus on work that will improve care, capacity, and occupancy at their homes. We're proud to be working with one of the largest pharmacy chains in the UK, who share our vision of using software in health and social care, to better manage all medication processes, encouraging fellow organisations so that this becomes a standard way of working across all UK care homes.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please contact: For more information about Access’ Medication Management software visit:


Interior Design In Care Settings By Maria Tibblin, Scandinavian Interior Designer for Health & Wellbeing and Holistic Design Director at MARIA TIBBLIN LTD ( “Covid-19 has forced us rethink and redesign our approach to spaces that offer care facilites; and to embrace design that improves our wellbeing and increases levels of human satisfaction. It’s provided us with a fresh opportunity to reset some of our values, creating new business models where aesthetically beautiful environments are seamlessly integrated with health and safety attributes. This is particularly important with regards to the care sector. ” - Maria Tibblin. As a holistic Interior designer with a specific background in medicine and Public Health, I consciously create sustainable and natural deluxe environments for the retail, hospitality, health, wellness, and care sectors. I do this using a unique system called ‘The Five Senses Design approach’. This holistic approach stimulates the human senses and increase human satisfaction. I believe that the future of the care home industry lies in a fresh and long-term approach, which puts human-centric design front and centre. With a rapidly ageing population, and general lack of strategic reform in the public sector, it is likely that the industry will see a new wave of providers emerge, who will compete for contracts based on a number of criteria, which will include quality, safety and reputation. No matter who we are, when we are unwell or growing old, we all need a bit of extra love. The care home sector is one that is often neglected. From rehabilitation and respite care to day-care, short-stay, group homes for those with dementia to more general elderly living facilities. I have a positive design vision that challenges preconceived ideas for a complex and ageing society. Having worked within both medical and private health care, I know of the importance of a positive environment and client/patient journey. There is absolutely no reason that care homes, whether they offer day-care, respite or specialist dementia care services can’t also look and feel like a high end residence. I passionately believe that care homes can be designed to make residents and their visitors feel better. Enriched spaces that encourage intergenerational socialisation; where residents can feel relaxed and comfortable whilst giving peace of mind for their families that the spaces they occupy also meet all the correct legislative criteria too. Working with private and public health care providers I provide an assessment of spaces and make recommendations about how to create supportive and life enhancing schemes. Some of the elements that could be used in this new approach to design for care homes could include:

LAYOUTS AND CREATING SAFE SPACES AND ‘ZONES’ Safe social distancing is something we will have to live with going forward; it will be a key factor in any design scheme of the future. I recommend using some simple solutions such as supportive occasional chairs instead of sofas and carefully placing side tables between seating spaces.

Clear movement protocols should be agreed in advance such as clearly marked traffic ‘flow’ systems for people walking through communal spaces, and clear well-designed signage indicating how many guests can safely occupy any given space.

CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE Cleaning surfaces and good hygiene practice are paramount in any care facility. As a designer, I can help clients to properly understand the footfall ‘journey’ of a given space, and then create a bespoke design to work for the safest ‘flow’. I also recommend selecting from a range of natural and sustainable materials that are easy to clean, and which often have additional anti-microbial properties. Options for these don’t have to be sourced from the usual suppliers, but can be selected for their aesthetic look as well as their functional benefits. Simple design elements such as touch-free sanitisation options can be aesthetically pleasing. Educating staff and employees is also fundamental consideration. Educate staff as to why cleanliness guidelines are important and show them how to implement them properly to a high standard, with regular checks. This is such a simple action we can all take. Air quality and biophilic design As a holistic designer, I have always looked for ways to incorporate fresh clean air into my schemes. I’m seeing an increase in requests for things like air purifiers or air filtration exchange systems, or for light wells with access to fresh air. I always prefer to work with an architect from early stages in the design process to built these into schemes. In addition there are also simple ways to improve air quality by using plants and vegetation too. Plants help us to feel relaxed and recuperate by reconnecting us with the natural world; they also offer tangible psychological benefits such as stress reduction and improved creativity or concentration. They help to improve air quality, ventilation and can help to reduce the toxin levels in the air.

COLOUR AND CREATIVITY Anxiety will remain high, as we emerge from the recent pandemic, but are mindful that more could follow. Pared-back colour palettes are a subtle way to help people feel relaxed and calm. I would also recommend investments in beautiful handmade artisanal and natural products to decorate interior spaces. Sourcing locally from designer-makers, also helps with community engagement. These make us feel good whilst supporting craftspeople and small artistic communities whilst also keeping vital multi-generational creative skills alive.

TECHNOLOGY We have seen a big leap in technological advances in recent times. From smart integrated systems such as voice controlled sensor controlled taps to audio, lighting and air devices as well as features including voice-activated booking systems, through to digital methods of engagement such as virtual events, art shows and meetings, we can increase the use of integrated technology to help us stay safe and healthy.

SENSORY TOUCHES Sensory touches are fundamental to the holistic design approach, take music for example, it is such an important element for the sick and the elderly. In the specific case of Dementia patients it has been actively proven to help stimulate memories, and spark the imagination. Using special technology this can be zoned area-by-area or room-by-room. Likewise selecting furnishing accessories that provide tactility or allowing an area where pets can be introduced will encourage interactions and bring about positive feelings in patients.

Power Of Reminiscing: Nostalgic Photograph Rekindles LongTime Friendship Of Two Residents At Dartford Care Home A pair of long-time friends who lost touch and ended up residing in the same Dartford care home without recognising one another, have had their friendship rekindled ahead of International Day of Friendship tomorrow (30th July) – thanks to an old photograph. 95-year-old Karen Lodge and 83-year-old Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Jenkins, both residents at Nellsar’s Sonya Lodge Residential Care Centre on High Road, were reintroduced to each other for the first time since June 2018, after Karen came across an old photo of her dear friend that reignited her memories of their church-going outings. Having only arrived at Sonya Lodge earlier this year, Betty didn’t recognise her old friend who has been at the home since 2018. That all that changed, however, when Karen and Holly Cooper, Resident Liaison at Sonya Lodge, stumbled across a treasured photograph of Karen and Betty on her interactiveMe profile. interactiveMe is an online therapy tool the family-run care home use for residents to help encourage reminiscence and communication through a collection of their own stories, favourite photos, music, audio

Holding Fire Doors Open Legally Fire doors, which are part of fire safety provision within care settings can pose a barrier to the mobility and wellbeing of residents. Residents can feel isolated and alone as the closing action of the fire door closer fitted to their room door doesn’t allow them to keep their door open. They are unable to interact with staff and other residents as they walk past their room, which can impact on their mental wellbeing. Gangways with fire doors and closers are also hard to manoeuvre if you are frail. Don’t be tempted, though, to use an object or door wedge to hold fire doors open, this is a breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and you could find yourself facing a heavy fine or even a custodial sentence. However, there are ways of legally holding fire doors open, which enhance the independent mobility of the elderly without compromising your fire safety integrity. Certified fire door holders

and text. The image, showing the pair on a church outing with friends, brought memories back to previous trips to parks and the seaside as members of St. Michael & All Angels Church, which is next door to Sonya Lodge. With the friendship now rekindled, Betty and Karen are once again enjoying weekly church services together via Zoom every Sunday. The pair spend their days chatting over cups of tea and taking part in arts and crafts activities at the residential care home. Speaking about the reunion, Betty said: “It was such a shock! It’s been so nice to a see a familiar face and rekindle our friendship. I’m so grateful our paths have crossed again at Sonya Lodge.” Holly said: “It was so touching to see Betty and Karen brought together after so many years. It was a really powerful and heartfelt moment that I was so fortunate to be a part of. “It hasn’t taken long for both Betty and Karen to catch up on lost time. The bond they share with each other is infectious and it has brought smiles to the faces of their relatives and staff.”

and retainers can be fitted to fire doors, enabling them to be pinned open. 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 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 fire door to close, preventing the spread of fire. Fitting Dorgards on fire doors along corridors will empower your residents to independently move from one area to another, increasing their independence as well as contributing to good mental health. To ensure that you can fit the right type of fire door retainer to suit your needs Dorgard have developed a range of products. Dorgard original is best suited to small or medium settings with low to normal noise levels, whereas Dorgard SmartSound can provide the right solution for noisier environments where the enhanced sound recognition is beneficial. Dorgard Pro offers the ability to manage up to 500 fire doors and gives you a ‘one glance’ check system, ideal for large premises. Holding fore doors open gives you the added benefit of increasing ventilation as well as reducing common touch points, which can prevent the spread of viruses. If you would like to find out more about Dorgard or to discuss your needs further with our knowledgeable customer care team please call 0800 612 6287 or visit


How Healthtech Innovation Tackles the ‘Invisible Enemy’ to Maintain Care Home Health and Patient Safety By Ricky Singh, CEO at Evergen Systems ( ) Improving air quality as a standardised requirement across our healthcare institutions is becoming a topic of discussion, particularly as we continue to weather the pandemic. Many care providers have had their resources stretched to a breaking point, and beyond these management challenges, there are still the real issues of occupational health and safety, and maintaining regulated air quality standards for infection prevention control measures, while paying attention to wholistic treatment and patient wellbeing. According to the WHO, 92% of city dwellers breathe polluted air every day, and, worldwide, 7.5 million people die each year from pollution-related illnesses. But the health effects associated with indoor air pollutants, specifically, are of greater concern for the care management sector - where carers and their patients may suffer from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue all due to poor air quality. Cancer and respiratory and heart diseases are also commonly linked to patients living long-term with poor air quality. How can we keep patients safe with clean air, while ensuring they’re comfortable when seeking treatment in the care of physicians? Systemically, there are processes and standardisations to be followed, but one solution is to draw from entrepreneurial innovators operating in healthtech, who work with NHS and healthcare professionals to improve safety for staff and patients in hospitals and private practices.

DESTROYING POLLEN AND OTHER AIRBORNE PATHOGENS One chiropractor, whose eyes suffered severe irritation and swelling from a pollen allergy, was desperate to alleviate his symptoms where over-the-counter medication failed to help. He considered the air quality in

his home and looked into air purifiers as a potential solution. Using an air purification system that ionises particulate matter instead of simply trapping and filtering the pollutants, was a game-changer for him, and felt like an innovation with immense potential. The severe burning started reducing and even cleared with such speed that he was back to work and was quite quickly considering the innovation’s application for his three private practices. In hospital emergency departments and other trauma wards, it’s emerging that HVAC systems are not coping with pollution spikes caused by increases in activity and patient numbers, and that centralised ventilation systems do not provide sufficient localised airflow to disperse airborne pathogens, creating a higher risk of sick building syndrome - which occurs when people experience similar symptoms after entering a certain building, with those symptoms clearing after they leave. More and more, these symptoms of respiratory irritation are being linked to the quality of the building’s air.

MEASURING AND IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY Air purification technology has the ability to capture and destroy airborne pathogens and particulate matter, including COVID particles. Emerging tech is capturing bacteria and viruses by ionising the particles, killing organic matter in the process. However, further tests are needed to obtain evidence surrounding its efficacy for virus protection. Current data indicates that ionising air filtration tech systems are able to reduce the number of particles above 0.1 micron (including the common flu, mumps, measles, norovirus and coronavirus within this range) by an average of 55% in a real life NHS environment, showing how effective it is to use innovative technologies, like ESP air purifiers, to keep patients and staff safe from air pollutants. Air pollution is responsible for more deaths than AIDS, smoking and road accidents combined, and while those who are spend most of their time indoors may be at a slight advantage, they are still vulnerable. Improvement leaders operating in public and private health sectors look for opportunities to elevate their standards, and using innovation to improve air quality for patient care in private clinics, whether they be care homes, dental practices or chiropractors, and keeping those practices in safe operation, sets these leaders apart and allows practices to see more patients in a safe, secure way.

Gold Standard Framework for the Limes Residential Care Home A Bembridge care home is the first care home on the Isle of Wight to achieve the Gold Standard Framework Quality Hallmark Award for End of Life Care (GSF). The Limes Residential Care Home in Bembridge was described by the GSF as a “ Small family run independent home, in a unique location on an island which provides a different set of challenges … The ethos of the home is that they are always striving to do better, move forward, wanting to improve. Asking themselves “how can we support the residents better”? The visit clearly demonstrated the commitment and drive to ensure a gold standard of care for each and every one of the residents”. Eleni Dove, Manager said she was absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication of her team who have been committed to delivering the very best end of life care, was being recognised. She added: “From the moment someone walks through our door we want them to live well. Moving into a care home shouldn’t be the end of a client’s story, so from the very first day we will work to collaborate with them and their relatives so that we can help them achieve their goals. Achieving the GSF Accreditation is a fantastic reward for all of

the staff who have been working so hard to do that.” Eleni Dove said: “GSF has opened our eyes to exactly what we should be doing and when, providing a simple step-by-step guide ensuring no one falls through the cracks. It has helped us look at the client as a whole and assess all of their needs and wishes.” Myles Dewen, Director said “ We are so proud to be the first care home on the Isle of Wight to achieve this Award, it is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. We hope other care homes on the island will see the value of this accreditation and the benefits to our clients and follow suit” More than three thousand care homes have completed the GSF Care Homes programme since it was launched in 2004 and more than 750 have gone on to become accredited. The Care Homes Programme is accessible and affordable and delivered both by the Centre itself and a network of 18 regional centres across England. GSF Quality Hallmark Awards are presented to homes that demonstrate real improvement in the quality of care they provide. Many halve the number of their residents dying in hospital as well as halving crisis hospital admissions, leading to greater satisfaction for families, residents and staff and significant cost savings for the NHS.

Care Home Residents Get A Visit From Their ‘Neigh-Bour’ Residents at The Chanters were pleased to meet their ‘neigh-bour’ Splodge the horse when he paid a special visit to the Atherton care home. The spotty stead is owned by care assistant Laura, who brought along Splodge to the home to meet residents, several of whom are horse racing fans and follow the results on the TV. One resident, Eileen, was even a secretary for the Horse of the Year Show during the 1970s and 1980s. After lots of apples, strokes, and questions about the price of Splodge’s shoes, he and Laura rode off into the sunset – but not without promising that there will be future visits. The visit is the latest addition to the activities in the home, which is part of Larchwood Care and is currently managed by Healthcare Management Solutions. Other regular activities include sitting exercises, bingo, quizzes and, in pre-lockdown times, visits from entertainers and trips to local tourist attrac-

tions. Lyndsey McBride, activities coordinator at The Chanters, said: “It was fantastic to have Splodge visit. Once the residents found out that Laura and her friend kept their horses nearby, they were very keen to meet them. We’ve had quite a few dogs visit the home and it’s always great to see how much everyone’s spirits lift when there’s an animal to dote over, so we thought ‘why not!’. “For those living with dementia, spending time with animals can be really beneficial. Because animals are so friendly, and the visits are always so much fun, it can have a wonderfully calming effect and increase social interaction. “Splodge’s visit sparked all kinds of memories, and it was great to hear the residents’ stories. We’ve definitely not seen the last of him. A few brave people have even volunteered to muck out the stables!”

Runwood Homes Bringing Positivity, Connection And Musical Joy To Its Residents Together with Music is an intergenerational platform, centred around connection, community and music. As a member of the initiative, residents and staff have access to an impressive variety of resources, weekly sessions, live workshops and a calendar of events. Music is a universal joy, enjoyed by everyone and a way to bring people, from all walks of life, together. The initiative uses this to create strong intergenerational links with care homes, schools and youth groups throughout the UK. The aim of Together with Music includes tackling loneliness and isolation through music, creating and empowering strong, cohesive communities for the

home aims to achieve their bronze, silver and gold award to unlock their All-Star Access. So far, our residents have absolutely loved getting involved in this inspiring and thoughtful initiative. Paul Gaskell, Director of Wellbeing and Dementia Services at Runwood Homes, comments “Runwood Homes are by far the most involved care home group in the UK to date. Every home has made a great start and many have already achieved their gold award. We are delighted with the link that we have forged with

future, encouraging collaboration and partnership, improving mental health and

Together with Music and fully intend to make this relationship long lasting, so that

wellbeing, building a thriving network built upon musical connection and improv-

every resident benefits and that community links can be strengthened and devel-

ing the lives of those living with dementia through music and connection. Each

oped through the power of music.”


Communicating Effectively in Challenging Times all marketing and communications, the person who really needs to take on board what you’re saying is your target audience – so really understand who they are and how they would like to be communicated with. Never let them slip from your focus when you’re putting your communications together and always provide opportunity for a two-way communication. “There are a lot of complicating factors in care homes specifically which must be considered. Having multiple sites, shift workers, agency staff and language barriers all make internal communications trickier,” she added. “It’s always important to make sure employees understand what’s going on within the business, but the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified that. Not only do they need to be able to talk to and reassure residents and their families, but they also need to feel safe in their place of work and understand how the business is taking care of its team.”

GO VISUAL Effective communication with employees is key to running a successful care home. But communicating well is harder than it may first seem – and Covid-19 is just one of the hurdles care home managers now face when it comes to approaching internal communications. Shift patterns, multiple sites, language barriers, accessibility and many more issues besides combine to make communicating in care homes a difficult task. So what steps should care home managers take to ensure their communications are working as effectively as possible? Vicky Fagan is founder of FJC (, a marketing agency which specialises in internal communications and works with care home organisations throughout the UK, as well as Rowlands Pharmacy and Numark. She said: “The key to effective internal communication is simply to consider your audience first and foremost. As with

“It can be very easy to rely on email to communicate key messages with staff because it’s fast and it’s cheap,” adds Vicky. “However, research shows us that employees take on far more of what they’re being told when they see a visual aid like a video or presentation. Animations are particularly effective to engage with your audience, which is why so many healthcare businesses are using short animations to communicate with their staff.”

CONSIDER THE MESSAGE It’s important that employees feel they are being consulted with, rather than dictated to, explains Vicky. “Good management / employee relations start with a healthy approach to working. Ruling by diktat rarely works and usually serves merely to sour good relationships, contributing to increased staff turnover, hostility in the workplace and other management headaches. “But, when staff feel they are valued and considered a vital part of the

organisation, they become more amenable to change.” Ways to achieve this include avoiding management speak, using multiple formats for distributing messages, being available to answer questions and keeping the tone of communications light. “But the most important thing to remember is that communications are two-way: you must listen as well as talk,” adds Vicky.

OVERCOMING PHYSICAL BARRIERS The care sector must content with a number of physical barriers that make communicating with staff harder than in many other sectors. These include digital and technical literacy of staff as well as multiple locations, shift patterns, languages and prevalence of agency staff. Vicky advises care home managers to consider practical ways around each barrier, rather than take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. “Physical barriers to effective internal communication often mean that managers become over reliant on email communications and even print outs pinned to noticeboards in order to reach everyone easily,” said Vicky. “For simple updates and so on, this is fine, but staff become blind to it over time – so managers must consider other means of conveying messages when it is something important. “That might include video, presentation, animations, printed materials, face to face briefings or even recorded Zoom chats. Technology allows us all to make these quickly and without vast expense, so there is no reason not to embrace new ways of communicating.” The key takeaway for the internal communications of today is to keep it clear, consistent and regular. Use multiple formats so that communications work for team members wherever they are based and ensure that your tone of voice and messaging remains consistent.

Worldwide Dementia Cases to Triple by 2050

Research presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Colorado this week shows global dementia cases are set to triple, with 152 million living with dementia by 2050. Other research presented at the conference estimates that 350,000 people under the age of 65 develop dementia every year. Researchers at the University of Washington estimated global dementia prevalence from 1990 to 2019. They then used information about trends in risk factors for dementia to forecast the number of dementia cases by 2050. The researchers suggest that the number of people living with dementia is set to increase from an estimated 57 million in 2019 to 152 million by 2050. The researchers found the highest increases in dementia cases will likely come from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle east. This growth is driven largely by population growth and an ageing population. Using information available on risk factors, they found that globally there would be an increase of 6.8 million dementia cases between 2019 and 2050 specifically due to poorer heart health factors, whereas improved education would account for a reduction of 6.2 million. 350,000 people living with young-onset dementia In another study, also presented at AAIC, researchers from the Netherlands looked at the number of new cases of young-onset dementia. Young-onset dementia is a classification applied to cases where people develop dementia symptoms under the age of 65. The researchers estimated that every year there are 11 new cases of young-onset dementia per 100,000 people. They found there was no big difference between the number of men and women developing young-onset dementia. Dementia is caused by a number of different diseases. The researchers found that young-onset Alzheimer’s disease accounted for the highest number of new cases, followed by vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Speaking about the impact of the findings, Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is our greatest long-term medical challenge. These striking figures lay bare the shocking scale of dementia on a global scale.

To have 57 million people already living with this devastating condition is 57 million too many, but with that number set to almost triple we need to see concerted global action now, to transform the prospects for the next generation. “Dementia doesn’t just affect individuals, it can devastate whole families and networks of friends and loved ones. The heart-breaking personal costs go hand-in-hand with huge economic and societal impacts – and all of these will shoot up alongside the number of people affected. “While age is the biggest risk factor for developing dementia and is largely driving the increase in cases, the condition isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. While we can’t change our age, making positive lifestyle changes can help tip the scales in our favour. There is robust evidence that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. Not smoking, only drinking within the recommended limits, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age. “New drugs to treat the diseases that cause dementia are in sight, but they won’t be a panacea. Reducing the number of dementia cases is a key focus for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and global leaders need to come together to make concerted and coordinated efforts to minimise the number of rising cases. “We are currently at a tipping point for dementia research and substantial and stable funding will make all the difference in bringing about new life-changing treatments for the people who desperately need them. The UK is a global hub for dementia research, but to safeguard progress and improve outcomes around the world, it’s now vital that our government meets the urgent need for investment across every stage of the process.” The research presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Colorado shows global dementia cases are set to triple, with 152 million living with dementia by 2050. Other research presented at the conference estimates that 350,000 people under the age of 65 develop dementia every year.

POPULATION GROWTH AND AGING FUELS CASES Researchers at the University of Washington estimated global dementia prevalence from 1990 to 2019. They then used information about trends in risk factors for dementia to forecast the number of dementia cases by 2050. The researchers suggest that the number of people living with dementia is set to increase from an estimated 57 million in 2019 to 152 million by 2050. The researchers found the highest increases in dementia cases will likely come from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle east. This growth is driven largely by population growth and an ageing population. Using information available on risk factors, they found that globally there would be an increase of 6.8 million dementia cases between 2019 and 2050 specifically due to poorer heart health factors, whereas improved education would account for a reduction of 6.2 million. 350,000 people living with young-onset dementia In another study, also presented at AAIC, researchers from the Netherlands looked at the number of new cases of young-onset

dementia. Young-onset dementia is a classification applied to cases where people develop dementia symptoms under the age of 65. The researchers estimated that every year there are 11 new cases of young-onset dementia per 100,000 people. They found there was no big difference between the number of men and women developing young-onset dementia. Dementia is caused by a number of different diseases. The researchers found that young-onset Alzheimer’s disease accounted for the highest number of new cases, followed by vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Speaking about the impact of the findings, Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is our greatest long-term medical challenge. These striking figures lay bare the shocking scale of dementia on a global scale. To have 57 million people already living with this devastating condition is 57 million too many, but with that number set to almost triple we need to see concerted global action now, to transform the prospects for the next generation. “Dementia doesn’t just affect individuals, it can devastate whole families and networks of friends and loved ones. The heart-breaking personal costs go hand-in-hand with huge economic and societal impacts – and all of these will shoot up alongside the number of people affected. “While age is the biggest risk factor for developing dementia and is largely driving the increase in cases, the condition isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. While we can’t change our age, making positive lifestyle changes can help tip the scales in our favour. There is robust evidence that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. Not smoking, only drinking within the recommended limits, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age. “New drugs to treat the diseases that cause dementia are in sight, but they won’t be a panacea. Reducing the number of dementia cases is a key focus for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and global leaders need to come together to make concerted and coordinated efforts to minimise the number of rising cases. “We are currently at a tipping point for dementia research and substantial and stable funding will make all the difference in bringing about new life-changing treatments for the people who desperately need them. The UK is a global hub for dementia research, but to safeguard progress and improve outcomes around the world, it’s now vital that our government meets the urgent need for investment across every stage of the process.”


Number of Migrant Healthcare Workers in the UK to Work Rises to Record Levels 11,171 certificates of sponsorship were used for health and social care workers in the UK during the first quarter of this year. Each certificate equates to a migrant worker. At the start of 2018, there were 3,370. Nearly 40 percent of all skilled work visa applications were for people in the health and social work sector up from 19% two years earlier. There are now more migrant healthcare visa holders in the UK than at any time since records began in 2010. The number of sponsor licences for healthcare visas dropped to 280 during the first lockdown last year but has continued to rise since, a pattern which was unaffected by the third lockdown this winter. Conversely, the IT, education, finance, insurance, professional, scientific and technical sectors have all seen a drop in the number of migrants employed so far this year, despite rallying during the second half of 2020. The number of migrant IT workers is still significantly lower than pre-Covid levels. In the first quarter of 2020 there were 8,066 skilled work visas issued in the IT sector, there are currently 3,720. The number of migrant professionals and scientific and technical workers has also dipped slightly below pre-Covid levels.

Visa expert Yash Dubal, Director of A Y & J Solicitors said: “The data shows that the pandemic is still affecting the movement of people coming to the UK to work but does give an indication that demand for skilled work visas for workers outside the EU will continue to grow once travel has been normalised. There is particular interest in British IT jobs from workers in India now and we expect to see this pattern continue.” The data released by the UK Home Office also gives an indication of how Britain’s new post-Brexit immigration system will affect numbers of EU citizens coming to the UK to work. Between January 1 and March 31 this year EU citizens made 1,075 applications for long-term skilled work visas, including the health and care visa, which was just 5% of the total 20,738 applications for these visas. The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “It is still too early to say what impact the post-Brexit immigration system will have on the numbers and characteristics of people coming to live or work in the UK. So far, applications from EU citizens under the new system have been very low and represent just a few percent of total demand for UK visas. However, it may take some time for potential

applicants or their employers to become familiar with the new system and its requirements.” Meanwhile the Home Office has published a commitment to enable the legitimate movement of people and goods to support economic prosperity, while tackling illegal migration. As part of its Outcome Delivery Plan for this year the department also pledges to ‘seize EU exit opportunities, through creating the world’s most effective border to increase UK prosperity and enhance security’, while acknowledging that income it collects from visa fees may decrease due to reduced demand. The document reiterates the Government’s plan to attract the ‘brightest and best to the UK’. Mr Dubal said: “While the figures relating to visas for IT workers and those in the scientific and technical sectors do not bear this commitment out, it is still early days for the new immigration system and the pandemic has had a profound effect on international travel. From our experience helping facilitate work visas for migrants there is a pent-up demand that will be realised over the coming 18 months.”

Residents of Laurencekirk Care Home Enjoy Fun and Games at Sports Day Event Staff and residents from Burnside Care Home in Laurencekirk have hosted their very own sports day event to stay fit and active. The day was organised by Activities Coordinators Ellen Francis and Shona Reid together with Maintenance Manager, Anthony Hartley to provide residents opportunities to socialise and have fun. Residents took part in a host of events including traditional egg and spoon races, wheelchair races, scoring goals with bean bags and hoops, not forgetting the beach basketball. Ellen Francis, Activities Coordinator at Burnside Care Home said: “We had such a wonderful day, and the residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It has been a difficult year for many of our residents and we wanted to create a day where we can all be together, be active, laugh and chat.” A range of delicious treats were served during the day, prepared by the home’s chef Robert Blackburn and included homemade cakes, ice cream and cocktails.

The home’s specialist nurse, Aileen Borbon said: “Keeping active is important at every age. The benefits for older people include better cognitive function, reduced cardiovascular risk, a greater ability to carry out daily living activities, improved mood and better strength and stability. Events such as the sports day encourage residents to be active and have fun.” Residents who didn’t wish to participate still enjoyed the day by supporting the competitors and enjoyed the cheerful atmosphere. Marion Gordon, Home Manager said: “The day was a huge success. We’ve worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep residents entertained and well cared throughout the pandemic. To be able to come together has been wonderful for us all. I would like to say thank you to the team who have done a fantastic job organising the day, and to all the residents for taking part so keenly.” One resident remarked: “I loved it, the staff did a marvellous job to get the day organised, and we all had so much fun.”

Friendships Forged In A Care Home As Residents Support Each Other During Covid-19 As the adage goes – ‘when tough times come, you realise who your true friends are’. Four residents at CHD Living’s Surbiton Care Home learned this first-hand forging a strong, last-lasting friendship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unable to see their own family and friends due to the government-enforced lockdowns, residents Beryl Boseley (81), Gay Vaughan (88), Susan Heath (76) and Audrey Roberts (96) looked internally for support, becoming best friends over the last year. What started as a simple hello has since become a heart-warming comradeship, proving that timeless friendships can be forged at any age, anytime, anywhere. Sharing a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, the group can often be found feeding the birds and squirrels in the gardens of the home. Utilising the outdoor space, the women also like sitting in the garden to chat, drink tea and enjoy each other’s company. There for each other during the difficult times as well as the good, the ladies have helped each other through isolation, and also recently supported Gay with the grief of losing her husband of 68 years, Michael. Understanding the magnitude of the loss, the other ladies have been there for Gay every step of the way, offering a hot drink, a kind word and a shoulder to cry on. Discussing the group’s newly-established bond, Heidi Bradbury, an activity coordinator at Surbiton Care

Home, said: “It’s been inspiring to watch the beautiful friendship between four of our lovely residents develop. Lockdown could potentially have been a lonely experience but, together, they have demonstrated that kindness, compassion and support are glowing beacons of hope during dark times. It is wonderful to see something so positive come out of the pandemic.” With many studies highlighting the positive benefits of friendship on social, emotional and physical well-being, the benefits of having a strong circle of friends for the elderly are undeniable. But what does friendship mean to Audrey, Gay, Susan and Beryl? When asked this very question, Audrey responded, “The most important aspect of friendship is being able to talk to someone. Just knowing that someone is there and is prepared to listen makes the world of difference.” Gay echoed similar sentiments, saying, “Friendship gives you comfort. You can share confidences and have companionship. The other women’s friendships meant so much to me when my husband passed away a few weeks ago. I don’t think I could have done it without them.” Discussing what makes a good friend, Susan answered, “A good friend is someone who puts you first, even above themselves. They are selfless and want only the best for you – which is how I feel about these ladies.” Nodding her agreement, Beryl added, “I think a good friend is someone who you can sit in comfortable silence with, without having to say a single thing. I consider all three of these ladies some of my dearest friends and believe their friendship to be the very best outcome of the pandemic.”


World Friendship Day: Dementia and Friendship It’s World Friendship Day on 30 July and this year Theresa McNally, Creative Practice Manager at national dementia care specialist Vida Healthcare, shares her tips on how to communicate with someone living with dementia and build connections. 1. Communicate effectively: Communicating with someone living with dementia can be challenging, especially for those living through the later stages. Explore ways for people to express themselves and connect through alternative methods of communication. This can be anything from picture and word charts and dancing, to puppets and doll therapy.

2.Encourage communication: It’s not only important to communicate effectively, but to encourage people living with dementia to communicate as much as possible. However this can be tricky so make sure you give them enough time to respond and encourage them to join in conversations. It’s also a good idea to let them speak for themselves and be positive. 3. Have fun: There are numerous studies which have found that laughter is good for us, from relieving stress to helping us live longer and this is no different for people living with dementia. Whether it’s talking about a funny event, taking part in fun activities together, or laughing about misunderstandings, humour can help to relieve tension and build friendships. 4.Learn more about dementia: If you don’t know much about dementia it can be tricky to maintain or build relationships with a friend or loved one who’s been diagnosed. Learn more about the illness and the different ways it can affect people. Understand that although your loved one might be different, it’s important to embrace and accept this. 5.It’s not about ‘fixing’: Overcome the mindset of fixing someone living with dementia. Instead we should understand their needs and respect them, and adapt our behaviour to work for them. Remember the symptoms of dementia which people may consider as needing to be fixed, are often just a reaction to the environment they’re in. Dementia is a progressive illness that, over time, affects a person’s ability to remember and understand basic everyday facts. It can also

gradually affect how people communicate and their ability to present rational ideas and reason clearly. Friendship and connection is crucial for people living with dementia, so this World Friendship Day why not reach out to a loved one, or consider new ways of connecting with the people you care for? For more information, please visit

Dazzling Dementia-Friendly Garden Is Blooming Marvellous Residents are a care organisation are keeping in touch with nature thanks to a dazzling dementia-friendly garden. The vast array of thousands of varieties of flowers and plants at Pendine Park’s 11-acre site in Summerhill Road on the outskirts of Wrexham is providing a blaze of colour and a profusion of mother nature’s perfumes. The spectacular multi-coloured spectacle is down to the imagination and hard work of head gardener Andrew Jones and his six-strong team of green-fingered staff. Offering everything from roses to rhododendrons and aliums to geraniums, the gardens across each site have been described as looking “absolutely stunning Andrew has been given free rein by Pendine’s nature-loving owners to choose exactly how the gardens should look, working without the constraints of “a plant budget” as he continually eyes up ways to further enhance the grounds. As well as making the sites look visually appealing, Andrew plays another key role when it comes to choosing what flowers should be planted next. He said Pendine Park values the importance of sensory plants, which allow residents with individual needs such as dementia and limited eyesight to have their senses stimulated – such as through touching or smelling. Andrew, 56, regularly chooses brightly-coloured plants or those which are easy to feel or smell when deciding what should next adorn the grounds. “A lot of credit should go to my predecessor who considered this to be important,” he said. “They had clearly given some thought to it and I am happy to take the same approach. “It’s about residents having the chance to touch something and engage with it. “The idea is that they are getting to use their senses such as touch

and smell.” Andrew recognises the benefit of including “bright and brash” flowers throughout the grounds to help stimulate the sight of residents, while familiar floral delights such as Lamb’s Ears are ideal for touching. “We look at all the senses that can be stimulated,” he said. “If any of our residents can benefit from it then we are happy to help. “You could even potentially include taste, as there are plants such as nasturtiums which you can eat the leaves from.” The desire to meet the needs of residents is also important to Andrew when it comes to choosing which new plants should be on view each day. He works tirelessly with his team to ensure the gardens are immaculate and the residents are afforded attractive views from their windows. Andrew has worked in gardening for more than 40 years, His past experiences include being head gardener on the 4,000-

acre Leckford Estate in Hampshire, which is now home to the Waitrose Farm that supplies its supermarkets across the UK. As well as being tasked with making the grounds look a gardening paradise, Andrew has also helped encourage residents to grow their own fruit and veg. He has found his efforts to get the gardens spot on have been aided by the support of Pendine Park’s proprietors, Mario Kreft MBE and his wife, Gill, who have regularly encouraged the team’s work. “There’s no such thing here as a plant budget here,” said Andrew. “Mario and Gill are very passionate about the gardens and I have never heard them say ‘no’ to me. It is a case of just getting what is needed. “They both love nature and are very encouraging and I greatly enjoy working for Pendine Park.” Julie Wood, head of facilities at Pendine Park, has praised the work performed by the gardeners and the emphasis placed on having sensory plants in the grounds. She said: “Improving the quality of our life for our residents is always uppermost in our minds. “It’s not just about the quality of the bricks and mortar buildings but also the overall environment which is why the gardens are so important to us here at Pendine. “They are beautiful all year round and at this time of year they are a riot of colour. The sensory element within the gardens is very important. “Smell is one of the last senses to leave you and it helps to activate the memory. “The gardens are absolutely stunning and a lot of credit should go to Andrew and his team. “It is important that the residents have grounds like this, where they can go for some tranquillity. “The gardens also serve an important role in terms of helping the health and wellbeing of our residents.”

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS How Care Homes Can Protect Residents…With Washing Machines Since the emergence of Covid-19 in the UK, care homes have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of being thrust under a harsh public spotlight. Outbreaks within homes necessitated the implementation of stringent measures to ensure resident safety that included rigorous social distancing, heightened sanitation and rugged PPE. However, these intrusive measures, as vital as they have been and continue to be, risk being undermined by the most unlikely source – washing machines. Laundry hygiene is of course a priority in the vast majority of care homes, but too few recognise just how fundamental it is to preventing infection. Incorrect handling, processing and storage of linen in particular, all present an unnecessary risk. Several recently published reports have detailed how inadequate laundering of textiles in healthcare has been the direct cause of outbreaks. As care home residents are vulnerable to infection, it is critical that care homes ensure that they, as well as their carers and visitors, are protected on all fronts.

COST AND COMPLIANCE Though care homes strive to create environments that are as homely as possible, they are still commercial premises in the eyes of the law. From a purely financial perspective, this means that warranties on domestic washing machines are voided where they are used in care homes, resulting in significant costs for fixes and replacements if a machine becomes damaged. Moreover, very few domestic machines are approved by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) for the processing of infected linen. This is because they do not have backflow protection to prevent a soiled load contaminating the water supply with bacteria and viruses. As this is a UK requirement, care homes using

domestic washing machines could be contravening water regulations.

BRINGING THE HEAT The high heat of commercial washing machines not only remove stains, but ensures any harmful microorganisms present in each load are killed. As domestic machines are designed primarily for energy savings, they are not equipped with the heater elements found in commercial machines that can maintain enough heat to penetrate a full load and achieve total disinfection. The Department of Health’s HTM 01-04 Decontamination of Linen for Health & Social Care states that a traditional thermal disinfection cycle can either be 71ºC for 11 minutes or 65ºC for 18 minutes. Domestic machines offer no guarantees that a cycle will achieve (let alone hold) these temperatures, meaning disinfection cannot be achieved. Of course, multiple washes throughout the day at such high temperatures places a burden on utility budgets, but even here there is an alternative. Care homes can opt for machines which use natural chemical disinfection to achieve deeply cleaned, softer fabrics but which operate at low much lower temperatures. JLA’s OTEX laundry disinfection machine does just this – the patented technology eradicates harmful microorganisms in every wash and even prints validation receipts to prove disinfection has been attained. And by pre-programming cycles, it can be guaranteed that every wash, on whichever programme a member of staff selects, achieves full disinfection. When only the best will do, choose JLA as your trusted partner. To find out more on OTEX and our SMART laundry systems, as well as catering, heating and fire safety equipment call us on 0800 591 903 or go to


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Care Home Laundry Equipment MAG Laundry Equipment works with care homes across the UK to provide high quality, affordable washing machines, tumble dryers and ironers. With 5 star feedback from independent care homes and groups MAG is one of the UK’s best rated suppliers. Can MAG assist you with any new laundry equipment?

They also provide spare parts, repairs, gas certificates, detergents and room sanitising machines. Get in touch for a product brochure or quote. MAG Laundry Equipment Phone: 01451 604708 Email: Website: ★★★★★ Ask MAG about their impressive care home testimonials! ★★★★★

An Appropriate and Hygienic Warewasher is Central to Care Home‘s Efficiency When choosing a commercial dishwasher for a healthcare environment there are a number of factors to consider including the plumbing and electrical supply, the financial outlay and the physical space available. Most important however are the industry and individual care-home’s specific hygiene requirements. Forbes Professional always conducts a comprehensive site survey to ensure that the right machines are specified for each site. They are proud partners with Miele, whose commercial dishwashers are fully WRAS compliant and comply with all the necessary industry regulations. For a care environment, Forbes’ latest range of tank dishwashers enable an impressively fast throughput, which is invaluable for a busy kitchen. However, for some care homes a specialist hygiene dishwasher is required in order to ensure that the highest levels of hygiene are maintained. Miele PG8059 HYGIENE freshwater dishwashers deliver a

particularly high temperature final rinse that is maintained for 5 minutes to ensure the ultimate hygienic clean. With a default temperature of 85 C they more than exceed the Department of Health’s recommendations of a two-minute cycle at 82 C. During lockdown, Forbes continued to install and service these machines for a number of NHS hospitals as they meet the most stringent hygiene standards. Forbes Professional’s experienced account managers provide all the necessary advice to ensure adherence to the relevant operating parameters. Under their complete care package, clients avoid capital outlay and the fixed monthly payments are entirely deductible pretax profits. Clients also have the peace of mind afforded by a first-class engineer response service, at no extra cost for the duration of the contract. Contact 0345 070 2335 or

New Girbau Laundry Provides Vital Support to Carers and Residents at Mary Stevens Hospice Refurbishment of the laundry at Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge, West Midlands with new washers and dryers from Girbau UK has a vital, if largely unseen role to play in supporting the well-being of residents with life-limiting illnesses. “Everyone in the Hospice knows it is like a puzzle, where every single part is vitally important and needs to be pieced together with little effort,” says Gerry Crow, Director of Operations & Support. “Even though the laundry is very much a function hidden away from those we are caring for, without it we would not be able to provide the level of support we do to our patients and their carers.” Mary Stevens Hospice provides specialist care and support for people who are living with a life-limiting illness, and their families. Care is provided in a 10-bed InPatient Unit and its Day Services Unit. Both offer modern facilities complemented by a warm, friendly and comforting environment. After visiting the hospice to get a full understanding of its laundry needs Girbau recommended the installation of two HS-6013 washers in combination with two of its energy efficient ED260 dryers.

“We have used Girbau products for many years and have found them to be very reliable,” says Gerry Crow. “The decision to choose Girbau products again for this refurbishment was taken on cost of ownership, the proven reliability of Girbau equipment and the level of long-term support available directly from Girbau.” Designed to lower water and energy consumption while boosting productivity, Girbau HS washers feature automatic chemical dosing, high-speed spinning, unmatched durability and a high degree of programmability. Their high spin speed achieves a market-leading centrifugal spin force of up to 400G throughout the spin cycle to leave laundry with residual moisture levels of less than 50%, offering significant energy and cost savings in the subsequent drying process. Girbau’s premium ED series dryers ensure all items including delicates are dried safely, uniformly, efficiently and cost-effectively. Designed to be more energy efficient than any other conventional dryer, ED Series feature Girbau’s Transflow technology. This is a combination of both radial and axial airflow for maximum efficiency, reduced cycle times and lower energy costs. Cabinet insulation and a double-glazed door further optimise energy efficiency. The highly reliable and accurate humidity control system on ED dryers automatically senses when clothes are dry and activates the cool down process maximising energy efficiency and assuring textile care. For more information visit:

Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” 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 protec-

tion 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.

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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 healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven

Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.

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 all-inclusive 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


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Preventing Infection In Care Homes with Effective, Sustainable Waste Disposal

The removal of human waste in care homes is a critical part of reducing the cycle of infection, and the global pandemic has highlighted the ease of transmission between healthcare workers and patients, and every effort should be taken to minimise the risk of infection to save residents lives. The world health organisation estimates that “with good infection control practices and careful hygiene, Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI’s) can be reduced by up to 30%” Human waste disposal is being overlooked when it comes to infection prevention in care homes, with methods including manual handwashing and reusable receptacles still being used. According to the Department of Health, a mechanical system is the recommended decontamination

method for bedpans and urinals in care homes. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can survive 1-2 days in urine and faeces therefore reusable methods must be avoided. “94% of hospitals in the UK adopt the system of using mechanical macerators and disposable pulp products for collecting human waste on ward environments, especially those with bed bound patients, and care homes should be no different.” “Using pulp with macerators is a safe, environmentally friendly way of disposing of bodily waste. It maximises healthcare workers time and having reviewed the evidence and used most of the methods throughout my clinical career, it is by far the most effective” Gary Thirkell, Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation recommends that "all equipment should be single use and disposable to minimize the risk of transmission” The Vernacare human waste disposal system, features mechanical macerator machines which are installed into the home. Using a disposal pulp system for collecting human waste, the pulp items and associated maceratable wipes and gels are then put into the macerator and processed into a thin pulp which can be disposed of via the usual drainage system. The sustainable single-use system uses 100% recycled newspaper to create all pulp products; manufactured in the UK, including urinals, bed pans and wash bowls.

Portable, Hospital-Grade Air Purifier Rensair is a specialist in air purification, protecting and enhancing lives through clean air. Developed to meet the strict standards of Scandinavian hospitals, ours is the only technology recommended by the WHO and UK SAGE committee and is independently validated by several scientific research laboratories. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, air purification has never been more important. Our mission is to get organisations back on their feet, destroying a minimum of 99.97% of airborne viruses to ensure clean air for every person. Rensair collaborates with clients to develop the optimum indoor air quality for meeting care home

requirements, as well as government recommendations for mitigating the risks of Covid transmission. Taking into account floor plans, existing ventilation systems and occupancy rates, we determine if there is a gap between existing air quality and that recommended by the WHO and UK SAGE Committee. If air quality is lacking, we will recommend a tailor-made configuration based on our portable, hospital-grade air purifier, in tandem with any existing HVAC systems. Our no-obligation advice is based on verifiable data, research and experience, which is made freely available to ensure that decisions affecting health are well-informed. Visit

Carole Hallam has worked as a lead nurse in the UK NHS and is now an independent infection control specialist, she commented on her experience. “On personal experience of different systems, I wouldn't choose anything other than pulp bedpans with disposal in a macerator as this method is both efficient and easy to use with no worry of a failed disinfection cycle" Vernacare are global suppliers of innovative healthcare solutions. Creating quality products which help to improve the lives of patients, residents and healthcare professionals whilst reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Vernacare is the market leader and inventor of the single use disposable system, with a history of over 50 years. Vernacare currently has a presence in more than 60 countries with over 20,000 macerators installed worldwide. Vernacare is the only company in the world to manufacture an integrated human waste management and infection prevention system. Their products are used by 500,000 patients every day worldwide. They manufacture over 170 million medical pulp containers per year. Vernacare pulp is medical grade, as it guarantees fluid retention for a minimum of 4 hours. It is composed of 100% cellulose fibres that make it 100% biodegradable in just 6 weeks. When macerated they break down to a similar size as flushed toilet paper A macerator machine consumes 60% less water and up to 96% less electricity than a bedpan washer. For further information please visit or call 01204 529494

The MUV-X Room UV Steriliser… Reliable Technology The market for UVC room sterilisers currently includes a lot of poor quality, cheap products which the manufacturers often describe in terms such as ‘may be effective against COVID-19’ or ‘we expect this will be effective against COVID-19’. For professionals, relying on ‘may be effective’ isn’t good enough. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for!

INDEPENDENT TESTING OF OUR MUV-X FOR SARS-COV2 & CPE: Since we launched the Muv-X, we have had it test-

ed at an FDA-approved and ISO 17025-certified laboratory. The conclusions from this independent testing were ‘highly effective in completely removing SARSCoV-2 RNA’ and also ‘zero survival of CPE on white PVC, blue PVC and stainless steel’. Two outstanding results! Full reports available on request. The optimum runtimes for the Muv-X, as set out in our Technical Manual, are focused specifically on SARS-CoV-2 and are calculated based on a 6 log reduction (99.9999%). We have also made the product very mobile and easy for users to move from one room to the next. In other words, all the ease of movement of a lower cost product but with the proven capability associated with the higher cost products. Visit



Protecting Residents From Germs and Viruses and Creating Odour-Free Environments Within care home environments, there is an intense focus on hygiene and cleaning standards to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the residents and mitigate the spread of viruses, bacteria, germs and infectious diseases. For elderly people, the threat of viruses such as COVID-19 poses additional concerns, given that they often have more compromised immune systems. Despite the necessary measures of routine handwashing, PPE and disposable equipment, the spread of sickness, infection and viruses such as coronavirus and influenza are major concerns in the care home environment. Between 2nd March and 12the June 2020, there were over 66,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales, compared to just under 37,000 deaths in 2019. Whereas, due to the nature of care home facilities and the residents who occupy them, it is impossible to completely eradicate odours, sickness and the spread of infections and viruses, there is a factor that is often overlooked – indoor air quality. However, though it may be more difficult to visibly recognise, poor quality indoor air can also have severe and lasting effects on cognition and health. According to studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in care homes and other large facilities, indoor levels of pollutants may be more than 100 times higher than pollutants found outdoors. In the UK, the average person spends the vast majority of their time indoors, but due to restricted mobility or underlying medical conditions, most care home residents spend an even greater proportion of their time indoors.

Therefore, adding the complementary process of an air purification solution to the hygiene mix is a vital requirement for care homes in maintaining a healthy living space.

99.99% EFFECTIVE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS One solution is the Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifier, which utilises a unique fourstage filtration system, featuring HEPA filters, to provide maximum protection against harmful airborne contaminants – including being 99.99% effective against Coronavirus 229E. AeraMax Pro air purifiers remove germs and viruses, and eliminate odours, allergens and other irritants from the air, removing up to 99.9% of air contaminants. AeraMax Pro uses EnviroSmart technology to monitor a room’s air quality and occupancy. It adjusts its performance to optimise effectiveness whilst reducing energy consumption and extending filter life. This is particularly important in the care home environment where occupancy levels may vary greatly in common areas and dining rooms throughout the day. To learn more about the benefits of improving indoor air quality in the care home environment visit: *Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers were demonstrated to be effective in reducing aerosolised airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within 1 hour of operation, based on independent laboratory testing.

GUARDIAN Demonstrates How To Show You Care ®

Are you a care provider that wants to ensure that your water system compliance is the best it can be…? Would you benefit from reassurance that prescription medication is maintained at the optimum safe temperature and waste is reduced…? All while freeing up extra hours of staff time for what really matters … the wellbeing of your residents? Plexus Innovation brings care providers all of that and more through GUARDIAN®, a ‘musthave’ remote IoT technology. GUARDIAN® detects many issues not otherwise possible, monitoring real-time data, enhancing business compliance, while reducing risk, water waste, energy consumption and relieving pressure on human time. GUARDIAN® also reduces the risk of scalding and helps to protect staff, residents and guests from risk of legionella. Managing director, Ian

Murray, said: “We currently support care providers, all of whom are benefiting from our GUARDIAN® measurement and alert system. Designed, developed and manufactured in the UK, GUARDIAN® can be installed by our team with no interruption to your daily activities. Alternatively, we can give training enabling the user to easily set up in minutes, putting the data live onto the portal managed by our experienced team at Plexus Innovation.” Kirsty Nealis, Head of Care Delivery at Careline Lifestyles, said: “With the extra pressures brought about by COVID-19 we couldn’t be more grateful for GUARDIAN® helping us to have our compliance measurements done reliably, in real time and even better, remotely. We are always looking for innovative new ways to improve our services, freeing up staff, allowing

them more time to support our residents.” Get in touch today, or visit our stand F82 at the Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Expo on 15th and 16th September, for a free demonstration on how GUARDIAN® measures and monitors temperature, bringing business improvements to help you meet your care industry challenges. E: T: 0191 922 3969


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Ageing Population: Tackling the Challenge of Falls By Barak Katz, VP and GM Essence SmartCare ( It is no surprise that populations around the world are ageing dramatically, with citizens living far longer than ever before. Indeed, the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), reveals that a quarter of the population will be over 65 by 2045. While this reflects improved health and welfare standards, such an ageing population presents the NHS and social care services with a number of challenges, with perhaps none more important than dealing with the aftermath of life-changing falls. The Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) showed that between 2017-2018 there were around 220,000 emergency hospital admissions related to falls among patients aged 65 and over. Dealing with these falls is estimated to cost NHS England £435m a year alone. Whilst our own research, conducted in late 2020, showed around 75 percent of all falls go unreported, as people are often embarrassed about falling and don’t want to be ‘told off’ by family members and carers. Put simply, if individuals are not reaching out and raising the subject with their families or carers, care teams will struggle to prevent such incidents from happening again. What’s the answer? To focus on preventing falls, and when they do happen, to be better at detecting, and responding to them.

FALL PREVENTION REQUIRES GREATER ACCURACY AND MORE DATA INSIGHT Preventing falls requires multi-disciplinary teams who have access to behavioural information about the situation just prior to the fall. Whilst there have been some developments within social care, where technology such as smart sensors and other telecare solutions have been added to the home to track elderly subjects, there are too many gaps in the data. Most current fall detectors are based on accelerometer technology, which only detects certain types of incidents and only the fall itself. Teams need to consider the accuracy of what is being reported and verify whether

the incident was indeed a fall. This represents a serious challenge, and our research suggests, less than half of those in residential care actually wear fall detection devices even when provided to them. To some, they represent a ‘badge of vulnerability’. Elderly care needs to be far more proactive and respectful, and there needs to be greater visibility across the whole home. Relying on legacy technology that only confirms whether a fall indeed took place and calls for help, is clearly not working. Care teams need insight into the events that led up to the fall. A more non-linear approach to falls management is needed, but this requires far more effective fall detection technology.

BUILDING A NON-LINEAR APPROACH TO MANAGING FALLS Clearly to be better at falls management, more information needs to be recorded and shared. For example, consider an appraisal of a victim’s situation leading up to the fall, telecare solutions can now report on the circumstances leading up to the incident and care teams can retrace their steps. In fact, whilst multiple sensors could notice an individual’s movement within the household, more recent developments such as machine learning, can analyse trends and patterns in behaviour. It could highlight whether the individual moved suddenly following a long period of seated rest, or whether they were in fact in a darkened room. These seemingly small factors could greatly inform how care teams and families plan proactively for future events. Teams would have the insight leading up to event enabling future prevention. Once teams can improve the accuracy of recorded falls with an increase in incident logs and case history and gain real insight into what led to the fall, they can put more preventative measures in place. With greater data on high-risk individuals, they can personalise their social care programme, providing specific prevention and management help. Whether grab rails, improved flooring, or lighting, or even reconsidering the resident’s current home setting. By assessing the circumstances and identifying all risk factors for that individual, teams can make widespread changes. Using such techniques as described above will help older people feel more comfortable discussing a fall incident. Whilst falls cannot be entirely stopped from happening, we can deploy more appropriate technology, gather and share the right data, and in so doing help mitigate the risks that falls bring, leading to better health and living conditions.

Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.


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

use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.

Benefits include:

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

TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.

Features include:

Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details or visit


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Digital Future of Care As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 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 rigor-

ous 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 field-based 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

Make Your Nursecall Data Work For You and Your Residents

Using your ‘Call Bell’ data can help improve the care you provide and even aid in getting an “outstanding” CQC rating. Yet, quite often this data is only used to help investigate an incident and ignored for the rest of the time. A lot of care homes still rely on a printer to record event logs making data analysis time consuming and difficult. KAM Systems Limited have launched their Kloud Care Home data logging service. Kloud can be connected to any existing nursecall system using a Kloud shuttle that has a printer or paging interface. All events are logged by the Shuttle & synchronised with the Kloud on any internet enabled device. The service then analyses the data into an easy to understand report which can even be automatically emailed to a home manager’s inbox. The data can include KPI’s such as Average Response Time, Top Five Rooms that ‘call’ the most, Busiest Hours In The Day, No. of Night Checks and

much more. Longer response times during certain hours may indicate that not enough staff are on duty. The data can also show that a resident has started to ‘call’ for help much more than usual and this can be investigated and appropriate measures put in place. Users can login from any connected device to access the Kloud and create custom reports or investigate a specific incident if required. Care Group administrators have a dashboard of all their care homes in one place making it simple to manage. Harpal Momi - Managing Director says “When we asked our customers about Nursecall Data logging most of them said that it was too difficult to analyse or they didn’t have the time. We developed Kloud to help them deliver better care based on the data analysis. The ease in which it can be implemented and the simple subscription model makes it suitable for anyone”. Contact 0330 321 1040, or visit

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

Alarm Radio Monitoring Data is now an important part of our daily routines, whether that be in a work or home environment. What we do with the data is vital no more so than in our care homes. Alarm Radio Monitoring Ltd (A.R.M) have recently released their updated Data Management software, enabling care home managers to monitor calls & emergencies along with providing analysis of shift patters and staff management. Working in conjunction with A.R.M’s Nurse Call and Bed Angel systems it is a tool that can easily demonstrate what is happening in a care home and provides evidence of care, ideal for relatives and the CQC. Having up to 60 Suites on one screen at a time gives the user an exceptional overview of their home and shows live second by second data. The

software has the functionality to set timings for room checks with warning when those times are coming to an end, the ability to monitor these settings with an in depth reporting system is crucial for providing high quality care to residents. Alarm Radio Monitoring is a UK based Manufacturer of wireless Nurse Call and staff alarm systems, offering a comprehensive range of Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm and Door Access bespoke systems. With over 25 years experience in the design & development of wireless Nurse Call and Staff Alarm systems A.R.M has established itself as a key player within the wireless solutions market to the public and private healthcare sectors. For further details call 01568 610 016 or email

Edison Telecom - Specialist Solutions For Your Nurse Call Systems 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.”


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The New MPCSA11 from Medpage 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

Nursecall Mats Nursecall Mats is a family run business with a wealth of experience and knowledge in fall prevention with innovative product and excellent customer service in the healthcare industry. Stocking a large range of genuine and compatible fall prevention products such as call points, call leads, crash mats, sensor mats and PIR Detectors, with a free, next day delivery service available to most areas within the UK.


Our core range of sensor mats include the Floor Sensor Mat range, available as a robust standard black mat, heavy duty cream mat and a Carpet Mat with an anti-slip base. The bed and chair mats are available with our new ProPlus fully sealed design for improved performance and reliability. All sensor mats can be connected directly into most nurse call systems such as; Intercall, C-Tec Nursecall 800, Quantec,

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 Or see the advert on page 2. Aidcall, Courtney Thorne, SAS and more making it easier and more efficient for care home groups to purchase to suit all their homes.


With a wide range of antibacterial pull cords and accessories all available in Red, White and Orange, in stock, with accessories such as replacement triangles, connectors, acorns and more help keep your systems maintained. These include our antibacterial / antimicrobial pull cord with a revolutionary coating with inbuilt protection, proven to inhibit growth of bacteria and can be easily wiped clean. Also available as a anti-ligature, designed to snap with under force, protecting the user and eliminating risks.


Our range of overlay and full replacement pressure care mattress and cushion systems are effective for prevention and treatment of patients at risk of developing pressure ulcers in nursing and care environments, with options for all risk levels. For further information, visit our website or contact us 020 8454 7918,

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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Burlington Uniforms Burlington Uniforms are proud to provide healthcare uniforms to a variety of Healthcare professionals. With our friendly, dedicated Team always ready to help, their combined wealth of knowledge within the Healthcare sector covers everything from your first enquiry right through to managing your account after despatch and beyond. Supplying high quality garments to our customers is our passion, in an array of colours and sizes, our extensive healthacre ranges can provide everything you need, making us your one stop shop. We can also take care of personalisation through our talented embroidery team, giving you a final look you'll be proud of.

We can cater to the public and private healthcare sectors, so our collection of healthcare uniforms has been expertly designed with all medical settings in mind. Offering comfortable scrubs, dresses, tunics and coordinated trousers, our medical workwear is suited to every area of your industry. Designed for comfort and flexability, these garments ensure staff enjoy ease of movement and are unrestricted throughout their shifts. Besides our extensive stock service, our experience in manurfacturing and our wealth of textile expertise allows us to also provide end to end bespoke solutions for our customers, contact us for more details about working with us on bespoke requirements. Call 08707 300 150 See the advert on page 11.

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

Dementia-Friendly Bathroom Flooring According to the Alzheimer’s Society , 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems in the UK. Here Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW discusses how thinking about the flooring can make a bathroom more dementia friendly. Not surprisingly, people with dementia are twice as likely to fall and these falls result in significantly higher mortality rates than for others in the same age group. The bathroom is one of the most challenging and dangerous places for a person with dementia. However, even thinking about something as the choice of a bathroom’s flooring can help reduce fall risks.

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 or see the advert on page 5.

end of the table. The inbuilt design and flexibility of the table ensures optimal working conditions for the carer. The ergonomically designed safety rails have a practical lower central section, which provides better access and work environment while transferring, showering, drying, changing and dressing the user. The safety rails can be operated with one hand by the carer enabling them to maintain eye contact and physical contact with the user during the whole process. The water collection tray has an integrated water outlet to prevent water from splashing on carers, or the floor. The flexible hose attached to the centre mounted outlet of the tray can be connected wither to an outlet in the floor or on the wall. The height adjustable model is operated with a wired hand control, offering a height adjustment of 700mm. The Shower Change Table 3000 has a maximum load of 200kg. Pressalit offers a variety of mobile and wall-mounted, height-adjustable and fixed height shower and changing tables of high quality. For the full range, visit Tel: 0844 8806950 email:

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

Renray Healthcare has been producing high quality furniture for over 50 years and is one of the UK’s largest and leading suppliers to the healthcare sector. Whether you require a fast efficient delivery of quality furniture or a full room installation and fitting service, we have the experience and resources to handle your contract. We manufacture and assemble our products in our own purpose built factories in Cheshire and Europe to British Standards. Hence we are able to ensure your furniture is produced to the highest quality, working with you to plan and meet your projects time schedule and budget. We understand you are purchasing furniture that is fit for purpose, stylish and will continue to perform well into the future, which is why we design and build


Comfort, Hygiene and Ease Of Use – Essentials in the Accessible Bathroom The Pressalit Shower Change Table 3000, designed for comfort, hygiene and ease of use in an accessible bathroom environment, is now available in two new colours. This popular Shower Change Table, which offers a stable and secure platform for showering and changing adults and children with complex needs, is now offered in Sapphire Blue and Graphite Grey. With the choice of a height adjustable or a fixedheight version, the Shower Change Table from Pressalit, the leading Scandinavian designer of accessible bathroom solutions, is well-placed for use in private homes, Changing Places toilets, hospitals, education establishments and institutions. As with all products in the Pressalit range, its stylish and award-winning design focusses on comfort, hygiene and ease of use. For maximum use of space, it can be folded up against the wall when not being used. With smooth contact surfaces, eliminating any gathering points for dirt or bacteria, the Shower Change Table is easy to wipe down and clean before and after use. The table is extremely comfortable and secure for the user, its slightly curved form enhanced with an adjustable neck support which can be moved to either

Renray Healthcare

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 for details or see page 10.

our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456, Email:, or see the advert on page 3 for details.


Consistent flooring shades are crucial as a person with dementia can interpret a change in floor colour as a step up or down, leading to trips or falls on a level surface. Avoid very dark colour flooring as this can be perceived as being a big hole, making the person suffering from dementia reluctant to step into the

bathroom. Also avoid shiny flooring as this can be perceived as being wet and flooring with a small pattern or a speckled effect, as this can be seen as having dirt flecks that the person with dementia may try and pick up, leading to the possibility of a fall. Ultimately, ensure the floor is a single, light, uniform colour and choose a wet room solution rather than a level access tray, as the colour change from floor to tray could be seen as a step to someone with dementia. For the final word on flooring, make sure that anti-slip vinyl is used. A suitable example is AKW’s Safety Flooring, as this provides the same level of slip resistance in both wet or dry conditions, regardless of whether the user is wearing shoes or barefoot and has been tested in a variety of high-risk conditions. To find out more about creating dementia-friendly bathrooms, download AKW’s latest guide from For more information, please contact AKW on 01905 823298, Email: or visit See the advert on page 8.

Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK are part of Uniform Group UK Ltd suppliers of Medical and Healthcare Uniforms. Our main aim is to provide the best products at the most competitive prices and are proud to be an ‘NHS approved supplier’. We pride ourselves on our excellent reputation and customer service and firmly believe that building relationships with our customer is key to offering the best service possible. Our uniforms meet infection-control requirements and offer the best in durability and comfort. We stock a wide range of styles, colours and sizes to suit everyone. Our own brand ‘Scrubs UK Premium’ range is one of our best sellers offering all day comfort together with durability and of course style! WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SEND YOU A FREE SAMPLE OF OUR SCRUBS UK PREMIUM SCRUBS SET PERSONALISED WITH YOUR LOGO FOR YOU TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!

We stock all major brands including, Cherokee, Dickies, Behrens, Alexandra, Koi, Orange Standard, Simki and Skechers. Healthcare uniforms come in all shapes and sizes, and we sell them all! We can also provide you with your catering staff, maintenance and reception uniforms. PERSONALISATION OF UNIFORMS IS OUR SPECIALITY! All embroidery is carried out in-house so we are able to react quickly to your order. For a limited time, we are offering FREE EMBROIDERY SET UP (normally £20) to all new customers. You will always speak personally to a member of our team when you call who are more than happy to help you with your requirements. Call today on 01270 814141 or visit or See the advert on page 13.

New Transparent Face Mask Shields Your Smile, Without Hiding It! Newly launched Smile Shield has a transparent panel to aid communication, whilst offering medical grade protection, and meeting all elements of the government’s Transparent Face Mask Specification. Smile Shield has also over 98% bacterial filtration efficiency, is breathable, splash proof and hypoallergenic. It is a British invention, created by two founders Jennifer and Lisa, who also own TAD medical, known for its range of medical supplies, already widely used by hospitals, educational facilities and the emergency Services. Jennifer Soboslay, Founder of Smile Shield comments: “Visual facial expression is a huge benefit to many industries, as communication is so important to us all, especially a smile, which can change the senti-

ment of the information being shared or be encouraging without words. The Smile Shield allows lip reading, visible facial expressions, and a clearer understanding and connection between people to take place.” The Smile Shield™ can also be used as a surgical mask. The clear front panel makes the mouth visible, which is especially important for those caring for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a learning disability, or suffer with autism or dementia. Soboslay, adds: “We saw a gap in the market for a medical grade mask with a clear panel, that can be used by healthcare providers.” Hypoallergenic and latex free, the Smile Shield mask is comfortable to wear and offers over 98% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. For more information about Smile Shield, please visit:


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE How Digital Tools Can Better Support Care Teams in Times of Transition By Ross Mccaw, CEO and founder of OurPeople ( The care industry has withstood a vast amount of change and turbulence over the last year and a half. With the unwavering public eye very much directed at the sector at this time, it’s time we slowed down and took consideration for the 1.6 million individuals working tirelessly across the UK to keep our most vulnerable people safe and cared for. Over the pandemic, digital tools have played a huge part in keeping these vital teams connected with the right information and supported by ensuring they have the resources they need when working. Now they are playing a greater role in helping management teams better support the mental health of their teams at such a busy and unpredictable juncture. Keeping teams safe with real time updates Most importantly, care teams need to feel safe to do their job. The last 18 months have seen care homes operating under significant stress, with patient and staff safety, as well as wellbeing being a concern for all those in health care. Over the pandemic, deskless workers like care home staff have relied on mobile technologies, to keep teams connected with the latest updates on protocols and health and safety measures. Information like this has been changing on a continual basis, from government updates and guidance, to

individual care home communities. Those receiving updates needed to ensure they were not being overwhelmed by a deluge of information, especially when their priorities are dealing with patients and clients, not spending hours reading through information. Mobile technology, such as communication platforms on smartphones, has been invaluable in this regard, by providing continuous access to an internalised database of information and updates. The real technological advancement within this, is the ability to personalise information, ensuring the right updates reach those teams who need that information, as opposed to bombarding teams with updates not relevant to them - including reaching out to individual members who have not engaged with updates yet. On a pragmatic level this technology also helps manage work flows, assisting in things like staggering shifts to adhere to government guidance, and immediately updating individuals who may have come into contact with the virus at work.


In terms of training, personalisation also enables carers to test their knowledge of ongoing policy changes, by providing a centralised database of information for workers to tap into at any point. To ensure each team member is up to date, short-pop up quizzes in quiet periods allow individuals to tailor their training to them, spotting blind spots in knowledge gaps before they become an issue down the line when dealing with patients. This ability to streamline and tailor information to team members, ensures carers have the confidence to come into work knowing their safety is accounted for, and that their patients are being properly protected by management.


With medical professionals having withstood significant psychological

strain over the pandemic, just as important as providing up to date information is to account for individual team members’ mental health. Digital tools provide a channel of communication for management to support the wellbeing of their staff, with messages of encouragement, and scheduling in regular check-ins. With the use of communication platforms like OurPeople, short pop-up quizzes provide immediate feedback on experiences or issues care team members may have encountered at work. Achieving a dialogue within teams can be made easy by using scheduling tools to automatically put catch ups in diaries, or through utilising video chats to connect with staff who are self-isolating. However, given the opportunity, nothing matches the impact of in-person feedback sessions. These meetings are the most important element of support available to management teams at care homes, as they provide the opportunity to check in with individual team members, offering the opportunity for them to discuss more personal or nuanced issues they may be experiencing. These sessions often get to the heart of the matter and are crucial when functioning within an emotionally charged environment such as a care home under stress.

CONNECTING CARE TEAMS AT THIS CRUCIAL JUNCTURE The ramifications of covid on care homes has been vast, with the highs and lows of the last year and a half fresh in the minds of those who work in the sector. Protecting your staff is the best possible way to ensure we recover from this virus in the strongest, safest way possible. Digital communication tools like mobile technology or communication platforms can help your team stay connected to one another and the vital information they need, whilst most importantly, keeping management connected to how their teams are faring when dealing with patients and clients.

Lincolnshire Partnership Examines Resident-Focused Technology In Social Care Serco, a specialist in delivering essential public services and healthcare, has created a new partnership with Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) and the University of Lincoln to investigate how modern and costeffective technology can be used to improve independent living for vulnerable adults. The group’s work is focusing on how best to help people who might otherwise need assistive-care or be moved into a care-home. Both these choices are often emotionally distressing for those who want to be independent for longer, and represent a significant financial strain on the care system. The initial research, titled ‘Social Care Technology Innovation for the Citizens of Lincolnshire,’ began in June and over the coming five months will carefully examine how modern, mainstream technology can be applied in innovative and non-intrusive ways to assist people’s social needs. The final outcomes and recommendations will be submitted as an indepth report on how services provided through Lincolnshire County Council might be improved. It is envisaged the research will be equally applicable to other local authorities, throughout the UK. Ben Johnson, Serco Head of IT at its Lincoln-based hub, explains: “Serco already works closely with the council to deliver outsourced finance, payroll, contact centre services and IT support. “The important questions we’ll now be considering are ‘how can mainstream technology support vulnerable adults, particularly those with cognitive challenges such as dementia, and people with disabilities to live independent lives?’ Also ‘how can we ensure people wanting to use this technology are not digitally excluded?’ “As part of this it’s vital that the project works closely with key stakeholders, including the vulnerable adults we are aiming to help, their families, local councillors and central-government grant bodies.” Dr Salah Al-Majeed, Acting Head of the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, adds: “This is a tremendously exciting project and we hope the end results will mark Lincolnshire out as a national leader in the use of innovative,

How to enhance your residents residents experience -! -!

Imagine a piece of e equipment for your car care home that can enhance the experience of your ts mentally y,, rresidents esidents mentally, physically and also emotionally Inspired Inspired Inspirations have been working directly directly with care care homes in developing their interactive touch screen screen activity tables over the last few years, to provide provide a range of screen screen sizes and units to suit every care care setting.! setting.! Just think of a giant Android Android tablet built into a solid oak surround, surround, on a base that houses a large large battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rooms rooms in your care care home. ! “This amazing bit of technology is making a huge di!erence di!e !errence to our ou ur residents” residents” Melanie Dawson, Dawso Manager, Manager r, The Lawns L at Heritage Manor The screen screen is 5mm tempered tempered glass for your residents uid ingress ingress residents safety and sealed against fluid meaning a spill of a cup of tea won’t won’t ruin your ! equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.! cleanerrr..!

digital technology to support and advance independent living for vulnerable adults. “Our current research is looking at how low-cost consumer technology can provide highly beneficial solutions within a short timescale. “These developments could, for example, include the use of smartspeakers and digital assistants, wearable technology such as smart watches, cameras and remote sensors. “We’re also considering how smartphones, tablets and apps, often developed for the general public might be used by people with dementia, as well as how assistive technology devices can help with everyday living, enabling people to carry out day-to-day tasks that enhance their safety, and monitor things like health and cooking, bathing, memory, thinking, leisure and social participation. “Our work is ultimately about using low-cost technology to prevent, rather than cure, and allow vulnerable and disabled adults to maintain as

Mentally - Brain training apps, memory apps, quizzes, board board games, reasoning reasoning challenges.! challenges.! Exercise Physically - Exer cise for the elderly online coordination, increased classes, hand eye coor dination, incr eased around large movement to move hands ar ound a lar ge screen.! screen.! Emotionally - Reminiscence tours on Google Earth, past and present YouTube present clips on YouT Y ouT Tube of ! hobbies or interests, interests, religious religious services and Group Group ZOOM calls to loved ones who cant get to visit in your residents residents person!! person!!

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high a level of independence as possible. “This could mean people being able to stay in their own home, using unobtrusive devices they are completely comfortable with. ‘Behind the scenes’ and invisible to the end-user, powerful technology such as ‘big data,’ predictive analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart-buildings could be combined to bring real benefits to the citizens of Lincolnshire.” Councillor Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, comments: "The focus on low-cost, high quality mainstream technology is vitally important, as is affordability for residents and local authorities in delivering the very best social care provision. “Social care is a high priority for the county council. Based on current calculations, the county will need an additional 17,000 social care workers over the coming 15 years to adequately provide the necessary services, based on how these are currently delivered. “It’s vital that we begin exploring new ways of ensuring high quality, cost-efficient support that tips the balance towards prevention, rather than cure. “Existing technology offers the potential to detect and diagnose early warning signs and proactively alert family members, friends, social care workers or the emergency services, depending on the scenario. We’re very much looking forward to the outcomes of this project which will guide and future-proof emerging plans.” Serco currently works with a number of local authorities to support various elements of council social care processes, including case management, financial controls and IT support. This initiative marks a valuable expansion of Serco’s activity within the social care and health arena. For further information: Serco: Lincolnshire County Council: The University of Lincoln:

The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly

! w,, “We now, “W We use it daily da and would not be without ut it now even the residents residents esid find nd it easy and fun to use. Thank you!” Sandie Evans, Registered Manager, Registerred ed Manager r,, Oakland’s Care Oakland’’s Car Ca arre e Home, Crickhowell !

are order, All tables ar e made to or derr, if you’d like to enquire enquir e on a price guide and time scales for www.inspireddeliveries, just visit their website www .ins inspirations.c com or scan the QR code on the right. For general enquiries, please email ! !! info@inspir! “We’ve noticed didn’tt “W We’ve notice ed that quieter rresidents esidents who wh didn’ interact too much with others have suddenly been more more e vocal.” Lindsey morre e active ac ctive and mor re Davies, Home Manager, e Manager r, Cwrt Enfys

See the advert on the facing page for details.

Our weekly digital edition supports the sector with all the latest news, expert advice and developments Sign up to get the latest edition direct to you at:


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Now Is The Time To Go Digital! Stress is one of the most detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in health and social care today and care providers are finding themselves under immense pressure. They need to do a lot more than they would normally, to deliver the same quality of care as pre-pandemic. On top of this, they don’t have the luxury of having any extra time, with the build-up of workload being a key stress trigger for staff. Care providers must do what they can to reduce the work burden on their staff without compromising the quality of care. There are sustainable technological solutions out there that can reduce stress in social care settings. Our digital care management system, Mobile Care Monitoring, has been proven to save each carer three days a month on administrative tasks. The innovative icon-driven solution reduces stress amongst staff by simplifying tasks and freeing up more time to provide direct care to residents, whilst enhancing communication and facilitating wider teamwork. Staff wellness is important at all times, but especially when people are under stress, and this is where technology can make an instrumental difference. Our Mobile Care Monitoring system, for instance, allows staff to seamlessly plan, record and monitor the care of residents digitally in real-time. The mobile digital care system helps to reduce the time it would take to physically transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing informa-

tion is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access. Some recent case studies on care homes utilising digital care technology include Wren Hall, a specialist dementia carenursing home in Nottinghamshire. Its owner, Anita Astle MBE, believes the implementation of Mobile Care Monitoring has enabled her staff to spend more time focusing on caring for the people they are there to support. Anita said: “In a world where time is so precious, the technology has proved to be a powerful tool.” Andrew and Carole Geach, CEOs of Shedfield Lodge, a residential care home near Southampton, believes digital care technology was key to ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for staff. The couple said: “It’s about educating the staff on what you’re implementing and how it’s going to be of better use to them. We want to allow them to spend more time with the residents, which predominantly is what it’s all about.” As we head further into 2021 and further out of the pandemic, care providers across the health and social care sectors must look towards technology to empower staff to utilise their time efficiently and productively. Ultimately, if we are to reduce workplace stress and make the industry a healthier, happier place to work, then the adoption of technology is a step in the right direction to achieving such a utopia. To discover more about the benefits of going digital, or to book a demo of Mobile Care Monitoring, contact 01483 357657 or or visit

Check EU Employees Right To Work, Warns Bizimply Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Care employers will need to keep clear records of their team members’ immigration and right-to-work status as the UK moves into the post-Brexit ‘hostile environment’ from 1 July. Care workforce specialist Bizimply is warning businesses that they need a clear and accessible record of every employee’s status in order to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. Under UK law, employers face imprisonment and unlimited fines for knowingly employing someone who does not have the right to work in the UK. Conor Shaw, Bizimply CEO, said: “Just as the care sector is bringing its workforce back as the economy reopens, there is a real danger that many businesses now face a significant new challenge as key employees lose the right to work. Of course, there are legal penalties, but with the labour shortage a challenge across the sector, businesses also need to know they have enough trained and experienced staff at all times and at every site.” A leak of Government figures this week shows that around 130,000 of the 820,000 Europeans resident in the UK have yet to apply for Settled Status, despite the hard cut-off of 30 June as the date to apply. Without confirmation of settled status, EU, EEA and Swiss living in the UK lose the right to work, as well as access to healthcare and other benefits. Shaw added: “Although the deadline has been known for some time, the uncertainty over COVID and the challenges of communicating with employees during lockdown means that many businesses may not know the status of every employee. “That won’t be an excuse when the authorities start asking for proof of right to work. UK politicians haven’t

talked about the ‘hostile environment’ over immigration for no reason. Proof both that employees have the right to work, and that employers have checked and recorded that status will be essential.” Employers using Bizimply’s suite of workforce management software can easily and confidentially record all the necessary status confirmation and supporting documentation for employees, and make it available to check if required. Employers can be jailed for five years and pay an unlimited fine if found guilty of employing someone who they know or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK. Details of the Settled Status regulations are at An employer toolkit is at See the advert this page or visit


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.


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".


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 or call 03333 444 562.



Care Vision - Less Admin, More Caring 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 cloud-based 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 or call 0208 768 9809

The Only Care Home Management Software You Need Those of you who have researched a variety of care home software systems will know that there is no 'one size fits all' with technology. Since we launched onto the market over 15 years ago, we have always remained true to our original vision and knowledge, to listen to what customers need and provide a working solution. We listen to all of the homes who are already part of the CMS family, as well as to those for whom we may have fallen shmt for, and together we continue to develop and grow Ablyss CMS into the sys-

tem that YOU need. You are our greatest critic and we have evolved the system from your feedback. Have you looked at what we can offer lately? It is certainly worth it. We have recently released CMS 8 with new and unique features inspired by our customers' needs. For example, did you know that we now have a facilities management module? Here you can keep track of all your home's assets and repairs, alongside scheduled logbooks and home audits. After all, no matter how excellent the quality of the care you provide we all want an environment to be safe and compliant. We can help you to achieve and evidence this. This is the newest string to our bow, but we continue to enhance and evolve our software which includes: • Recording resident admission and discharge details • Care planning and risk assessments

• Complete historical trail of evaluations • Shift handover and diary reminders • Medical notes, body-map charting and eMar integrations • Individual and home diaries • Messaging system • Accident and incident analysis • Rotas and absence tracking • Training and employee reviews • Design your own assessments and templates • Extensive security and auditing tools. Its time to take a fresh look at software that is as unique as you are. Call us for a free demo or 30 day trial on 01625 535685



Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify ( reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover from this crisis?


Care home workers have been at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, and the sector has faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic. As the world struggled to control the spread of the virus, care homes were amongst the worst hit and had to prioritise protecting resident’s health above all else. Now, as we begin to emerge from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 we are beginning to see the true financial impact this has had on the sector. Reduced revenue due to a drop in the number of residents; an increased need for workers; high staff turnover and the additional cost of PPE and other safety measures within care homes has had a significant impact on cash flow for these businesses. Care England estimated that the cost for adequate PPE during the coronavirus outbreak to be a huge £253 per care home resident, per week. This is an enormous increase on pre-pandemic costs, which were reported to be around £4 per resident, per week. The pandemic has highlighted just how crucial care homes are and the important role they play in supporting our loved ones at the end of their lives. However, there are fears now that without further financial support, the sector will suffer, and so will the level of care residents have access to. We recently completed a survey of SME owners – many of which are in the care sector – and 43 per cent of businesses believed the support offered by the government throughout the pandemic has not been good enough. On top of that, our survey showed that more than 80% were still looking for finance to support them, despite the many different support schemes that have been introduced. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and the country starts to

Unlike NHS-run hospitals, care homes are often privately owned businesses and therefore their revenue comes from patient fees. In an effort to help the sector in its recovery, the Government announced additional financial support for care homes, including a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. However, this funding was distributed across local authorities and deployed at their discretion, and therefore wasn’t readily available to every care home business. However, as of March 2021 the government had lent over £76 billion to businesses, including many health and social work companies, through its four main financial loans schemes; Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Larger Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Future Fund. The statistics show that the government’s BBLS has now provided more than £46bn in funding to more than 1.5m businesses, while the CBILS has lent more than £24bn to almost 100,000 businesses. According to a House of Commons report, health and social work businesses made up four per cent of the total loan value of both the CBILS and BBLS, totalling more than £2.3bn provided to more than 60,000 businesses across the UK. The figures are huge, and although it was announced earlier this year that the new ‘Pay as You Grow’ scheme would give businesses with a Bounce Back Loan more time to repay their loans if they need it, the problem is much bigger than that. Businesses we speak to have either accessed the schemes already and now need a second injection of capital, or they were not able to access the scheme in the first place, so are facing the challenge of determining what they can do now. For many businesses that did access the schemes, we know that money has already been used to help them through what was a hugely challenging period, so very little if any has been carried forward to look at future growth or investment. Boosting cash flow was the top priority for 57% of businesses in our survey, proving there is still huge demand for working capital. For adult care homes having working capital to ensure high-quality care can be given to all residents and that they have the staff needed to deliver this is absolutely key. Cash in the bank is a necessity.

On top of all of this, the pandemic has put enormous pressure on workers within the care sector and as a result, many businesses have experienced high staff turnover and sickness, leading to a shortage of key skills. The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care report gives an indication of the toll the pandemic has had on the social care workforce with 7.5% of working days lost to staff sickness, compared with 2.7% pre-COVID-19. We know that there's a huge amount of resilience and determination amongst the UK's small businesses, which really are the backbone of the UK economy. But it's clear that SMEs, and especially those within the care sector are still in desperate need of finance this year despite the huge amounts of money that have been lent through the BBLS and CBILS. The Pay as You Grow scheme will provide some welcome relief for many businesses, but it does not address the fundamental issue, which is that SMEs still need finance.

THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL BANKS Traditional banks continue to make it difficult for SMEs to get the finance they so desperately need to get back on their feet properly, which I believe means that alternative lenders like ourselves will have a crucial role to play in the months that lie ahead. We’re seeing increasing demand from SMEs across the care sector, where we have a strong customer base already, as well as lots of other industries, which is linked to the £50m Small Business Fund we created to help businesses get moving again. The majority of the UK’s ‘big banks’ are much happier lending to larger businesses with a long track record of profitability. But that doesn’t help SMEs and the impacts of the pandemic will have damaged the chances of many smaller businesses getting finance from a big bank. That’s where I think the fintech industry will need to step up more than ever before to help companies bridge the gap. There’s already been huge growth with more and more business owners looking to get finance more quickly; with a simpler approach and with more flexibility. For these reasons, I expect 2021 will be a big year for alternative lenders with the support for the care sector set to be high on the agenda. Capify is an online lender that provides flexible financing solutions to SMEs seeking working capital to sustain or grow their business. The fintech company has been operating in the UK market for over 13 years and also has a sister company, Capify Australia, which provides similar services to Australian SMEs for over 13 years. For more details about Capify, visit:

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

size we assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at

Nexus Planning Secures Planning Permission for 67-Bed Care Home

Nexus Planning is pleased to have assisted Frontier Estates in gaining a unanimous approval for a full planning application for a 67-bed care home in Haywards Heath, at a recent Mid Sussex Planning Committee. The proposal at Bolnore Road will involve the demolition of an existing residential property. The care home scheme has been designed to cater for residents in need of high dependency care and will respond to a significant need for care bed

spaces in the area. The scheme was supported by the Haywards Heath Town Council and the Mid Sussex Design Review Panel. Nexus Planning, an award-winning planning consultancy, coordinated the preparation and submission planning application as well as public and stakeholder engagement, on behalf of Frontier Estates. The wider team included Broadway Malyan, Curtins Consulting, i-transport and Tim Moya Associates. Peter Tooher, Executive Director at Nexus Planning Manchester, commented: “It is rewarding to have assisted Frontier Estates on another much-needed care project. The Bolnore Road project makes a welcome addition to Nexus Planning’s growing portfolio of later living projects across the business.” Damian Wood, Development Director at Frontier Estates, added: “Frontier are delighted to have received planning permission for this new 67 bed care home in Haywards Heath. The home will provide 67 fully en-suite bedrooms, a range of facilities and spacious communal areas, state-of-the-art amenities all surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.”

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