The Carer Digital - Issue #65

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 65

Recruitment Crisis in Care Will Continue Without Proper Pay Says Union

Short term bonus’s will do little to stem the flow of workers leaving the care sector, without a decent salary for care workers, and the sector risks a ‘mass exodus’ of 70,000 care workers according to a trade union. GMB, the union for social care, has renewed warning that without addressing pay in the sector the recruitment crisis in social care will continue. The warning follows reports that a care group is considering is offering registered night nurses a signing bonus of £10,000.

GMB has previously responded to various surveys of care providers showing recruitment is the hardest it has been by warning about the appalling levels of pay. The union has opposed regulations forcing vaccinations for workers in care homes, which the Government’s own estimates suggest could cause more than 70,000 workers to lose their jobs when there is an ongoing recruitment crisis.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! One of the real delights in my role as editor, as I have often said, is the wonderful and uplifting stories we receive from care homes around the country. And we do get many! Which is a testament to the dedication and hard work of staff, and a testament to how much they are making a difference the well-being of the residents. This issue sees a 94-year-old resident publish a Editor book about life during Covid, a care worker having her hair shaved for charity, horticulture activities in a care home, a care home hosting comedy club, a retiring care worker being honoured after working 36 years in adult social care, a number of awards, a care home celebrating Indian day, ballet participation, musical recitals and a former RAF pilot taken on a visit to an airfield - I think if you name it, we are reporting it! Absolutely wonderful! (And please do keep them coming!) We are also regular exhibitors and media partners at care shows - in fact we are exhibiting at both the Dementia Care and Nursing Expo at the NEC Birmingham 15-16 of September, and also at the Care Show at the NEC in Birmingham October 13 and 14. One of the most important things for me there is feedback. We speak to numerous workers from all levels within the care sector, as well as owners/managers and, of course, industry observers and supplies to the sector. Morale is often a topic that comes up. Rather a double edged sword sometimes. Low-morale is often due to external forces. Staff remuneration, not enough staff coming into the sector, underfunding in the care sector generally and, of course, of late mandatory vaccines. That never seems, at least in my opinion, to affect morale when it matters most - in the home on a day-to-day basis caring with residents. As you will see with the stories we have included in this issue - morale is clearly riding high! That said, as our front-page story states, care worker remuneration is leading to real difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff. Care workers make up over 865,000 of the 1.65 million jobs in the social care sector. Pay in the independent sector, which employs the great majority of staff,

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WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES is a key factor in the sector’s ability to recruit enough staff to meet demand. It also makes up a large proportion of provider costs. Earlier this year a report revealed that frontline social care workers are being paid thousands of pounds less than other workers with equivalent skills. Community Integrated Care said teaching assistants and police community support workers have similar skillsets but on average receive £7,000 more per year. The charity called for an "immediate and fair" rise, saying the status quo is "immoral" and "cannot be justified". The government really does need to address the elephant in the room. Every day we include news articles on our website and in our weekly digital and bimonthly printed editions the stories are referred to above involving dedication and hard work and commitment. And this needs to be recognised and rewarded. 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 at

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Recruitment Crisis in Care Will Continue Without Proper Pay Says Union (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) GMB believes the best way to ensure that the sector can recruit and retain workers is by paying the skilled workforce a decent wage for the job they do – at least £15 per hour. Kelly Andrews, GMB Social Care lead has said: “Throwing bonuses at people to fix long-term problems within social care, however welcome those one-off payments are for individual workers, is like throwing a deckchair from the top deck of the titanic.” “The only way providers and government are going to solve the recruitment crisis in care is by paying the workforce a decent salary of £15 an hour. “As we head towards the end of the year we are likely to see lots more leave the profession – the UK government estimates it could be up to a further 70,000. “To stop this mass exodus we need the workforce to be priority in any investment in the sector and that means in the workforces pay packets. “Those that hold the purse strings need to recognise the sacrifices care workers have made and the professional work that has been carried out daily during the pandemic and before under unrelenting pressures. Its time these workers were properly valued. It's long overdue they paid up.”

MANDATORY VACCINATIONS The GMB warning follows a report by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last month revealed that care home providers face

losing 40,000 staff from the government’s policy of requiring all their staff to be fully vaccinated, exacerbating job losses already suffered this year. The figure is the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) best assessment of the impact of its policy of requiring all staff working in care homes to be fully vaccinated, which will come into force in November. It represents 7% of the 570,000 people employed in in CQCregistered homes. The DHSC estimated each job loss would cost £2,500 to replace in backfill, recruitment, induction and training costs, leaving providers with an estimated one-off bill of £100m. The independent sector care homes have been losing staff since April this year, according to interim figures released by Skills for Care, which revealed decreases in job numbers of 0.8% in April, 0.7% in May by 1.6% in June. The decline has been steeper for care homes for older people, nursing homes and among care worker roles . In relation to care worker jobs across the residential sector, estimated losses were 1.9% in April, 1.6% in May and 3.4% in June.

‘For the Local Government Association (LGA), pay was not the only area of reward discrepancy between the social care and NHS workforces, with less favourable sick pay and pension arrangements likely where social care workers are employed in the independent sector rather than by a local authority. “It also pointed out that NHS workers were also more likely to have access to retail and other discounts, although this was beginning to change'. According to data from Skills for Care burnout among staff also significantly staffing, with data revealing the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.4 per cent in 2019– 20, resulting in an estimated 430,000 people leaving their jobs over the course of the year. Welcoming the June report Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Whilst the workforce is resilient it is only as resilient as the funding and support behind it hence the need for adequate long-term support for the sector. We want to work with the


Prime Minister to ensure that his promise to reform social care is deliv-

In June this year MPs warned that staff “burnout” in adult social care in England has reached an “emergency” level and risks the future of the service, with pay being a significant factor. MPs said in the report: ‘The low pay is a particular issue in the social care workforce”.

ered upon and carries the views and experiences of those at the front line. Money alone is not the answer, we need to ensure that social care is established as a career with the kudos associated with due professionalisation and one way to deliver that would be a ten year plan for workforce akin to that of the NHS”.

Going, Going, Gone: Jess Loses Her Locks For A Good Cause A carer at a New Forest nursing home has raised nearly £800 for a cancer charity by braving a head shave. Healthcare Assistant Jess Wild, a team member at Colten Care’s Lymington home Belmore Lodge, thanked all who contributed to her initiative which was in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Jess said: “I braved the shave in memory of a few people includ-

and everyone else who has ever been affected by cancer. “My grand total is £782. I am so honoured to be surrounded by such generous and kind people. Thank you to all who supported me.” Jess’s sister Alex Bingham did the honours with the clippers. Belmore Lodge resident Maureen Marks said: “This was a truly

ing a mentor whose strong mind and courage I’ll admire for the rest

hair-raising experience for Jess but she is a good sport and took the

of my life, my grandmother who will forever be my guardian angel,

‘close shave’ in her stride.”


What Our Recruitment Team Learned From The Pandemic

By Patricia Moe, QCS, Talent Acquisition Manager

It is an understatement to say that COVID-19 has brought seismic and unprecedented changes to traditional work patterns. Many people have got used to not commuting to the office and have grown accustomed to working from home. The pandemic has also made it much harder for recruiters to hire outstanding candidates. With around 11.6 million jobs still furloughed, many have resisted the temptation to seek out new opportunities and temporarily put their careers on hold. This in itself has presented monumental challenges for recruiters – particularly those hiring for senior positions in social care. At Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, we’ve managed to buck the trend and hired a raft of outstanding candidates during the pandemic. But it has not been easy. We have had to adapt to these extraordinary times and also to the unique pandemic disrupted jobs market. So what's the secret of recruiting in a global health crisis?

RECRUITMENT CHALLENGES IN THE CRISIS Firstly, every recruiter needs to understand the individual challenges that a capricious and sometimes chaotic labour market has magnified. As it is unprecedented – at least in our lifetimes – sometimes the trends that have emerged haven’t been easy to spot. At QCS, we analysed the pandemic in stages. Each lockdown brought about a unique set of challenges, and the only way to rise to each one was to understand how people were feeling. During the first lockdown, for instance, we received a phenomenal number of CVs. People were scared. They were worried they would lose their jobs. But as soon as the furlough kicked in, many became much more secure in their roles and no matter how many recruitment ads we posted, hiring for senior positions became much more challenging. By the time the third national lockdown kicked in, many people had become used living with furlough. At one level, however, I think many began to crave a return to normality and having lived with the pandemic for so long, again, many were frightened. In the event of another lockdown, some were worried that a new organisation might not be sympathetic to them home-schooling their children. Others were worried at the prospect of starting somewhere new in remote working conditions. Many candidates expressed concern about the timing of a move despite the pull to advance their careers. Recruiters often forget that the decision to join a new organisation is not their decision alone. Quite understandably, partners have a big say too and collectively many families felt it was simply the wrong time for their partners to change jobs.

OVERCOMING THE HIRING OBSTACLES BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE PANDEMIC So, what did our recruitment team do to adapt to challenges of hiring in the pandemic? Firstly, we take great pride in staying true to our values: ‘Do the right thing’, Make it better’, ‘Play for the team’ and ‘Get it done’. In the first wave of the pandemic, having received an 80 percent rise in applications, it would have been tempting to use application tracking technology to sift through applications. We stuck to our values,

however, and read and reviewed every single application. Not just because it was the right thing to do, but because application trackers, in my opinion, can be quite linear and sometimes lead to outstanding candidates being overlooked. There is no substitute for skilled recruiters reviewing candidates and so to ensure our service delivery levels did not drop, we hired an additional recruiter for a fixed term to support us. That doesn’t mean of course that we didn't utilise technology as a recruitment tool. We are a technology company and we are deeply committed to innovation. However, we firmly believe that technology supports our decisions; it doesn't make them. Like many organisations, before the pandemic we began using the Predictive Index Behavioural tool, which helps us to assess the innate behaviours of applicants. As a mark of transparency, we always send candidates the report. Not only is it the right thing to do – it serves as a good learning tool and one which they can use to their advantage when applying for future roles. It was also important to us too that we wrote to every single candidate regardless of whether or not they were successful in the recruitment process. We also made a point of answering all of their questions and gave out our direct emails and mobile phone numbers so they could easily contact us. Many were extremely grateful as they had heard nothing from other organisations that they had sent applications to. Some even wrote to us to express their gratitude.

INCREASED HEADCOUNT During the last year, we were very busy. Our staff headcount more than doubled. That doesn’t mean to say that we took any short cuts when hiring. Global health crisis or not – we always want to be absolutely sure that we are hiring the right candidate for the right job. In this respect, our recruitment process is very thorough. We want to understand the person applying, and check that they are comfortable with our values. When we start the process, I will always tell candidates that we need ‘to make sure that QCS is the right place for you to land’.

THE HEAD OF SOCIAL CARE ROLE Currently, we are recruiting for the Head of Social Care. It’s a senior position that is integral to our future prospects and growth. The person we recruit will become the head, the heart and the voice of QCS. We’re looking for a leader – someone with stellar quality, commercial know-how and vast experience of working in the social care or health sectors. But most of all, we're searching for an experienced candidate, who has not forgotten why they chose to work in the sector all those years ago. It's that passion, that drive – and that deep and lasting connection to care that separates outstanding applicants from good ones. We’re still seeking the right person to fit the role. It’s worth stating that we’ve met some wonderful candidates – all of whom has stand-out skill sets, but we still haven’t found the right person yet. The pandemic, however, has helped us to see the bigger picture. It's taught us the value of waiting for the right candidate to fill the right role. With everything we've learned during the crisis, we’re confident that we'll find that extra special person soon. To find out more about QCS, contact its compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email: If you're seeking a new challenge, QCS is hiring. For a list of current vacancies, including our Head of Social Care position, please follow the link

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Care Homes Left ‘Exposed’ as Number of Covid-19 Cases Among Staff Triple in July Says Lib Dems Ministers have been accused of “leaving our care homes exposed” after figures reveal that care home cases tripled in July. Analysis of DHSC figures by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that there were 14,660 positive COVID tests among care home staff in four weeks to 27 July compared with 4,552 in June. Cases are now at their highest since February, with 2,047 care home residents testing positive in the four weeks to 27 July, up from 596 in the previous month. Speaking to I newspaper, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said “Conservative Ministers have taken their eyes off the ball again, leaving our care homes exposed to skyrocketing cases. They should be ashamed. Their claims of a protective ring around care homes was a disgraceful lie and now we’re seeing again why this shambolic government can’t be trusted to protect our vulnerable loved ones.” The disclosures came despite statistics showing that 78 per cent of care home staff had been vaccinated and

almost 94 per cent of the residents had received both doses. In England since the outbreak and up to August 6, there have been 29,574 residents in care homes who have died from Covid-19, according to information supplied by the Office for National Statistics. In July, 96 residents died – a month earlier the number was below 50. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have done all we can to protect vulnerable people in adult social care. We have provided billions of pounds to support the sector including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, additional testing and priority vaccinations. “As a result, 94.4% of older adult care home residents have now had two vaccine doses in England, providing them with vital protection against hospitalisation and serious illness from the virus. “The vaccines are saving lives, especially for the most vulnerable – preventing 84,600 deaths, 66,900 hospitalisations and 23 million infections in England.”

NACC Care Chef Of The Year 2021 Finalists Revealed The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has revealed the line-up of talented care chefs that Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “Congratulations to the finalists of the NACC Care Chef will compete in the national final of the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 culinary competition. of the Year competition 2021! The regional heats were incredibly exciting and the fact that we were once Throughout July, regional heats have been taking place across the NACC regions – Scotland, North, again able to welcome our competitors and judges into the competition kitchens in person was just wonMidlands, Wales, South West and South East – with talented care chefs showcasing their skills and special- derful. ist knowledge in a bid to secure their spot in the final of the prestigious event. “Good food is at the heart of quality care. The physical and mental wellbeing of The expert judges selected their final 12 care chefs for their clear nutritional older, vulnerable and young people in a care setting are intrinsically linked to understanding of the foods they are using and how they benefit the needs of their mealtimes – from the nutritional benefits of a varied, balanced, person-centred diet clientele, plus their culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presto the social and emotional benefits that interacting over food can bring. With that entation, and hygiene best practice. in mind, the role of the care chef is vital, and we’re committed to putting a continThe finalists are now preparing to impress the judges one more time to claim ued spotlight on the immensely talented, knowledgeable and dedicated chefs that the coveted title of NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021. work in the care sector. The national final takes place on Wednesday 6 October 2021 at Manor Farm “The national final is going to be a real celebration of our sector and the excepCookery School, Grantham. tional standard of food that care chefs create for their residents and clientele every The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 finalists are: single day. I cannot wait to watch the action unfold at the live final – it’s going to be • David Whistler, The Cambridgeshire Care Home, Cambridge a thrilling and uplifting occasion. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck!” • Matt Knott, Fernhill House Majesticare, Worcester The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition is supported by the main sponsor • Paul Murray, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York Unilever Food Solutions and long-standing event sponsor The Worshipful • Aaron Watson, Primrose Bank Care Home, Poulton-le-Fylde Company of Cooks. • Iain Young, Murrayside Care Home, Care UK, Edinburgh Focusing on the importance of food, nutrition and positive mealtime experiences • John Grover, Barchester Care, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen as part of quality care, entrants are challenged to create an appealing and deli• David Sharp, Bentley House, Signature Care Homes, Hertford cious two-course menu (main and dessert) appropriate for people in a care setting. • Emilio Pascucci, Astbury Manor Care Home, Avery Healthcare, Bracknell The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head • Patrick Fensterseifer, St Ives House, Ringwood based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also • Daniel Kavanagh, Green Tree Court, Lexicon Healthcare, Exeter feature a product from Unilever Food Solutions’ sector-relevant portfolio. • Nikki Burridge, Penpergwm House, Abergavenny For more information on the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 competition visit • Paul Barry, Sunrise Senior Living Cardiff Tim Ware, NACC Chef of the Year 2020


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

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 professionals and

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Care Home Residents Celebrate International Youth Day With English National Ballet Staff and residents at Barchester’s Hugh Myddelton House care home in Southgate were treated to a unique performance from English National Ballet to celebrate International Youth Day on August 12. Prior to the day itself, members of English National Ballet’s youth dance company, ENBYouthCo, and their Creative Director, Richard Bermange, asked residents to submit their memories of going to see films over the years. The cast then used these evocative descriptions, along with Arielle Smith’s digital production of Jolly Folly, as inspiration for their performance. On the day, residents were able to watch a performance of A Comedy in Long-shot, a dance film performed by ENBYouthCo, participate in a chair-based, creative dance workshop along with the cast and observe an open rehearsal where Richard and the young dancers created a performance inspired by the residents’ childhood memories. Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement said: “We are delighted to be sharing the work of our youth dance company, exploring the memories of Barchester residents’ trips to the cinema

and uniting different generations of people together in one creative space. We hope these unique sessions will provide an uplifting experience and connect residents with the joy of dance and live music.” Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager for Barchester Healthcare, commented: ““We love working with our wonderful partners like English National Ballet to bring a wide range of fantastic experiences into our homes for all to enjoy. The session today was fantastic, our residents loved watched the talented young dancers perform. “Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active and socially connected, providing a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities,” Lucy added. General Manager, Ramona Stanciu, said: “We have all been transported back in time to the early days of film, it has been wonderful to have such a unique experience brought into our home for our residents to enjoy. We’re so grateful to the ballet for giving up their time to perform for us.”


Say Hello to the Carer’s Latest Unsung Hero… Sandra McGale, Activity Coordinator from Larkfield View Care Home We here at the CARER are thrilled to announce that Sandra McGale Activity Coordinator from Larkfield View Care Home Greenock is our latest Unsung Hero! Sandra was nominated by head office marketing administrator Jenni Mack, who explained the changing role and the duties Sandra undertook to ensure that residents and families were reassured and were able to visit safely. “As visiting restrictions were lifted every one in the home was so excited at the prospect of our Residents finally being able to meet with their loved ones at this time outside and later in doors ,” Jenni said “However it was quickly established that not all of the visits were nice visits and were proving challenging, and Sandra was readily available to undertake new responsibilities to organise and monitor the visits and provide support for the Resident and their loved ones as necessary . “This role was a difficult one and Sandra found that the visits could be distressing as the Resident had no knowledge or recollection of the person who was visiting. Sandra provided reassurance and distraction which made the visit more comfortable for both the resident and the visitor .” “Visiting at Larkfieldview operates seven days a week and on a daily basis Sandra can be responsible for th testing of 24 visitors . Some of the visitors are new to her as she has never met them and most visitors have never had a lateral test before, some are elderly.” “A lot of reassurance is provided to the visitors from Sandra at this time who will explain the procedure and ensure the documentation is completed correctly then testing will be registered.” Larkfieldview has 4 allocated visiting areas in the home , the garden area for visiting plus essential visits which are generally carried out in Residents bedrooms . Excellent communication and planning skills are essential to ensure that the visiting schedule runs smoothly with the cooperation from all the relevant units is required . “Sandra has these skills in abundance and she has a sound knowledge of the visiting protocols which are in place, and is the key to the success of our visiting programme, and we are thrilled Sandra’s hard work and dedication has been recognised.


We here at The Carer are delighted to award worthy winner Sandra a luxury “celebration” hamper packed full of all those “artful” little extras that make any celebration a truly memorable occasion, containing an absolute smorgasbord of luxury comestibles that are sure to delight the senses and tickle the palate!

UNSUNG HERO HISTORY We started our Unsung Hero award in 2015 to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was at that time a “one-off” prize reward that member of staff going above and beyond their normal duties. A no glitz or glamour small gesture on our part to put a bit of cheer back into the sector. Little did we know just how popular it would become, and, more importantly, just how much of an insight it gives us into the dedication, devotion, and commitment those working in the sector have, and can often goes ignored or taken for granted. Once again were overwhelmed not only with the number of nominees care homes up and down the country sent to us, but the truly heart-warming and uplifting stories which once again makes us proud to be associated with such a passionate and caring profession. It has become increasingly more difficult over the years to pick an overall winner, and we are delighted to add some “unofficial” Marks & Spencer vouchers as runner-up prizes. I cannot say enough just how proud we are to be involved in such a vital and devoted industry, and our 4 extra runner ups are: Brygida Jozefiak: Magnolia Reach Disability Care Wrexham Celine Craigie-Williams: St Vincent’s Nursing Home Middlesex Judy Shire: Milestones Trust Bristol Jenneth Javier: Rehabilitation Education and Community Homes A £25 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way! Well done to you all!!! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response, it may sound tired old cliché, but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody! Watch out for further details of our next “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury celebration hamper!


Hydration And Nutrition – Why It Is More Than Just A Mealtime Gavin Henderson, Head of Hotel Services at Shaw healthcare – which operates more than 80 care facilities across the UK – discusses the importance of nutrition and hydration initiatives to keep care home residents fit and healthy. The impact of malnutrition is estimated to cost almost £20 billion a year in England alone, and over 65’s are by far the most likely to suffer the impacts of poor nutrition. This can include a weakening of their immune system as well as a greater risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs), and even a heightened chance of falling over, as malnutrition – along with dehydration - can cause confusion in the elderly. All of these issues inevitably lead to lengthy hospital visits. This is a concern at the best of times, but with COVID-19 putting the NHS under even greater pressure, it is up to those in the care sector to do what they can to keep hospital visits to a minimum. At Shaw healthcare, we have piloted several nutrition and hydration initiatives in recent years, leading to a greater emphasis on the importance of mealtimes across all our facilities. A collaboration with the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Nutrition Resources in Care Homes (NRICH) programme improved the identification of malnutrition at Elizabeth House – one of our care homes in Bognor Regis. The team of care support workers were given training on tactics to spot malnutrition, as well as the appropriate prescribing of oral nutritional supplements, while the home’s cooks were given ideas on how to increase individual residents’ calorie and protein intakes using a “food first” approach. After the training ended, the home was given two months to implement what they had learned before a

final audit. The review found that the programme had helped staff better screen for residents suffering with malnutrition and had improved the mealtime experience for those at the home. Hydration is equally important too. Several of our care homes in West Sussex took part in a pilot study in 2016, launched and funded by the Kent-Surrey-Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSSAHSN) with support from the local Clinical Commissioning Group. It emphasised a bespoke care plan for individual residents that linked up with their own hydration needs. This led to the creation of ‘mocktail mornings’, providing residents with nutritious drinks and also offering them the chance to take a ‘hands on’ approach when choosing what to have. The aim of the pilot was to see a reduction in the number of UTIs, falls and fractures, as residents were better hydrated. Ensuring residents are a healthy weight and well hydrated is always important, but clearly the pandemic has shone a light on why such schemes are needed. Since the pandemic started, we have organised themed hydration days across all of our services and, in some cases, created in-house ‘cafes’ – which were not only a great way to showcase the importance of mealtimes and hydration but also a welcome distraction during the height of lockdown, too. This has led to several localised initiatives, such as a three-month nutrition and hydration scheme in one of our East Midlands homes, Lancum House. As a result of the scheme, we found that almost all the residents gained weight – some by nearly seven per cent – in a gradual and healthy way. It is clearer now than ever that mealtimes play a pivotal role in keeping residents healthy, and we’ve been fortunate to have a number of local health boards, councils and other groups who have been willing to support and engage with us on these plans. The various trials over recent years have created a template – one that our facilities across the UK can use during and after the pandemic.

Residents At Wilsmere House Celebrate Indian Day Staff and residents at Wilsmere House got the flags out and celebrated Indian Independence Day in style by hosting a ranch inspired party Indian traditional dancing and Indian food on 15th August 2021. Many residents have visited India and some have family living there so Indian Independence Day was a great excuse to reminisce about previous trips and go on virtual tours to favourite places such as New Delhi, Kolkata etc. Residents enjoyed movies from the Bollywood as well as dancing to playlists including Bollywood songs. Our home was decorated with themed flags and bunting and we all enjoyed watching Indian cultural ceremonies.

Chef enjoyed cooking up chicken curry, tandoori vegan kebabs, Stuffed paratha and traditional sweets. Lilie Cocue General Manager at Wilsmere House said: “Independence Day is always full of big flavours and a chance for us to celebrate all things Indian Residents, commented: “I’ve always loved visiting Indian and having a go at line dancing again today brought back such great memories of my trips there. It has been so much fun watching the Bollywood movies, I love those old movies.”


Recall Parliament To Tackle ‘Care Crisis’ PARLIAMENT should be recalled for MPs to urgently tackle the staffing crisis in social care and recruit a task force of volunteers to help out, providers has said. The Independent Care Group (ICG) unveiled a three-point plan to prevent a “winter meltdown” due to the crisis in the care of older and vulnerable people. It calls for: • Parliament to be recalled urgently to tackle the crisis • A volunteer army to fill gaps left by the huge recruitment shortage in care • A financial injection to help providers give staff better terms and conditions. Years of underfunding followed by the Covid-19 pandemic has left the sector on its knees with increasing closures of care and nursing homes and homecare providers having to hand back contracts. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “MPs have gone off for their summer recess leaving the care of our most vulnerable in crisis. “The staffing crisis is now so bad that providers are battling day to day to cover shifts both in homes and in looking after people in their own home. Many say it is the worst they have known in more than 30 years and so we need urgent action now, before the added pressures of winter turn this into a total meltdown.” Before Covid-19 there were 120,000 vacancies in the care sector. 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. There is a growing problem of providers being unable to take on new clients or handing contracts back to their local authority. This is leading to people being stuck in hospital beds or left without the care they need.

“We cannot wait for the resumption of Parliament to tackle the current situation,” Mr Padgham added. “We need some urgent funding to be put in place, like the Government did with infection control, to enable providers to address pay within the sector and help them to recruit, because staff shortages are now becoming critical. “The Government should also recruit a care volunteer task force, from retired nurses, doctors, carers, to help out. This would need to be done quickly so that they can be DBS checked and trained before winter pushes us to tipping point. “We also need to work closely with the inspectors, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to see how we manage the inspection regime sensitively during this extremely challenging time for providers, many of whom are struggling to keep going. “Even before Covid-19 there were 1.5m people living without the care they need. We should be addressing that. Instead, we are struggling to keep our heads above water. Without urgent help we are going to experience a terrible winter.” 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.

Hertfordshire Care Home Hosts Comedy Club To Promote Laughter on National Joke Day Laughs were shared across a Hertfordshire care home as it hosted its very own Comedy Club on August 16 to mark National Joke Day and provide some light-hearted fun for residents and staff. Chuckles, giggles and full-on roars of laughter filled the walls of Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, during its inaugural comedy club event, which was hailed as a great success from all involved. The playful scheme aimed to promote friendship, togetherness and positive wellbeing, while providing residents and staff with a chance to enjoy some light-hearted fun following a challenging 18-months due to the COVID-19 crisis. Foxholes, a thriving and active care community that promotes inclusivity – which is evident in its array of clubs and events – is always on the lookout to trial new initiatives that enhance resident wellbeing. Those involved in some of the one-line gags included 90-year-old Una Bracey, who opted for the cheeky classic, “Why did the tomato blush? Because it saw the salad dressing.” While 91-year-old Jean Jacobs went for the festive favourite, “What do you

get when you cross a snowman and a vampire? Frostbite!” Not all jokes landed, however, with 82-year-old Tony Beauchamp not impressed when told, “Two cats had a swimming race. One cat is called 1,2,3 and the other is called un, deux, trois. Which cat won? 1,2,3 because un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq.” “That’s not even funny”, he chuckled. Una said: “I particularly enjoyed the one-line joke session. It was a bit silly but hilarious at the same time. It’s important to let yourself go and have a laugh because it releases things you can’t explain, which makes you feel good.” Neil Gandecha, estate manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “We’re always open to new ideas on ways we can improve our residents’ quality of life and following numerous requests, we decided to trial a comedy club”. “It was our way of providing residents with an opportunity to share a few laughs and form new friendships. We wanted to spread some summer cheer to mark National Joke Day and we achieved that, through the good jokes and bad!”


Experts Call for Focus in Funding Long Covid Research International bodies are being advised of the research priorities which have been identified to address the long-term effects of COVID-19 in airways diseases, such as in Cystic Fibrosis, asthma and COPD. The findings are published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Professor Tony De Soyza, professor of Pulmonary medicine at Newcastle University who led the research on behalf of the International Group of Airways Diseases, said: “The challenges of long Covid cannot be understated – this is an entirely new disease which we need to understand better so we can treat better.” Symptoms of long Covid can include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness and range from joint pain to depression and anxiety. The international team adapted the established Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) method to set research priorities. This uses the principle of crowdsourcing to independently generate research ideas from a large group of experts, and score these against a predefined set of criteria. In addition, they also took into account patients’ views. Professor De Soyza, who is also an Honorary Consultant Physician at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This international and patient focussed roadmap must help direct research efforts. As this is unknown territory it is really helpful that we now know what the key areas are to focus on from an international and patient perspective.” The research found the top 5 priorities for patients and the research community were; 1. Understanding if the severity of COVID 19 as an inpatient was linked to poorer recovery after discharge

2.Understanding whether those with airways diseases had worse problems long-term as compared to those who did not have airway problems 3.Finding out how often complications such as heart attacks or stroke occurred after suffering from acute COVID 4.Identifying which patients with acute COVID were likely to be readmitted to hospital 5.Developing tools to help monitor patients symptoms at home Professor De Soyza added: “Our approach has allowed development of a priority list that may inform future research studies and funding decisions and this prioritisation process can be adapted to other areas in long Covid.” The work was funded by Health Data Research UK BREATHE Hub, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). Dr Samantha Walker, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Director of Research and Innovation, said: “We’re really pleased that these research priorities, which will guide the direction of future research into the long-term effects of COVID-19 on respiratory diseases, have been developed with patient needs at their heart. “Far too often the hugely valuable lived experiences of patients have been peripheral or absent. By embedding the needs of those living with long Covid into the very structure of the research questions, people across the globe will benefit from this effort to deepen our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 and help improve the range and effectiveness of treatments in years to come."

Cardiff Care Home Resident, 94, Publishes Book About His Life During COVID-19 A 94-year-old Cardiff man, Bob Skinner, has published a book describing his life as a care home resident during the coronavirus pandemic. Pandemic! My Care Home Diary, tells the inspiring story of how Bob lived and thrived during the pandemic at Sunrise of Cardiff care home. The book is based on Bob’s blog diary, which he began in March 2020 as coronavirus swept Britain. As a former journalist, Bob has a true reporter’s eye for the events of the year that changed our lives for ever, explaining how he recovered after three weeks in hospital with coronavirus. He also recalls his first reunion with his family, shown live on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Moving and often amusing, Pandemic! My Care Home Diary gives a unique account of what life was like for Britain’s care home residents during the worst pandemic for over 100 years. Bob’s book will be a lasting tribute to the carers who risked their own lives looking after their vulnerable residents. Speaking of the book, Robert Skinner, Bob’s son who also edited the book, said:

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“I was keen to publish Bob’s diary as a book as it gives a unique eye witness account of what it was like to live in a care home through the pandemic. We are so proud of Bob – his resilience and high spirits have inspired the whole family during these troubled times. We hope Pandemic! My Care Home Diary will be valuable for anyone studying how people in Wales and Britain lived through the biggest health emergency for a century – and a lasting tribute to carers everywhere.” Sara Reading, the General Manager of Sunrise of Cardiff, said: “Bob’s touching account of the COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique and personal record of his experience while living at our care home. Although a challenging time, Bob’s story of life at Sunrise of Cardiff depicts the reality of this era, including the unexpected joys and community spirit which helped us through the worst public health crisis in a century.” Pandemic! My Care Home Diary is available as an eBook and can be accessed here:


The Care Workers’ Charity Announces Partnership with The Outstanding Society The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC) have announced that they have partnered with The Outstanding Society. The CWC is a benevolent fund for the social care sector which has over a decade of experience in giving financial grants to prevent care workers from falling into financial hardship. In providing these grants we know we change lives, providing a safety net for care workers who have nowhere else to turn. Most recently, mental health support was introduced- providing free counselling through Red Umbrella, to address the trauma experienced by the social care workforce. The Outstanding Society (CIC) is a free membership body for all care providers, and promotes the sharing of best practice within adult social care throughout England- providing free resources throughout the sector to support them to achieve an outstanding CQC rating. Outstanding providers are contributors to the Society and are proud to celebrate

thrilled to be working with The Outstanding Society to raise awareness of the work and impact of the CWC amongst the social care sector and its workforce. This partnership represents a collaboration between two organisations whose shared values to support and better the sector will make a hugely positive impact on our work, and into the sector at large. Myself, and the Team, look forward to working with them.” what they do in Social Care. This drive to facilitate best practice and increase care quality for those who draw on social care is shared by The Care Workers’ Charity- in the belief that the sector will greatly benefit from shared best practice, alongside the professionalisation and proper recognition of the social care workforce. Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity says: “We are

Zoe Fry and Russell Leese, Directors of the Outstanding Society (CIC) say: “We feel privileged to be working with The Care Workers’ Charity. The work that the Charity has done over the years to help our profession through difficult times is remarkable and we know the profession will need their support more than ever over the coming months and years. We are delighted that we, along with our members will be able to work alongside the CWC to support the excellent work they do.”

Ex-Royal Pilot Rekindles Flight Memories On Dorset Airfield Visit Fond memories of life in the air, including hundreds of royal flights, were rekindled as a retired RAF pilot enjoyed a ‘spectacular’ day out at Dorset’s Compton Abbas Airfield. Captain Michael Harrington was on a trip from Colten Care’s Poundbury care home Castle View when he amazed his hosts by showing them logbooks from throughout his career. They document in detail his first flying school experiences right up to his years of service transporting members of the royal family around the UK and overseas. Altogether he completed 417 royal legs and nine full royal tours, with passengers including Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princes William and Harry. As well as talking through entries in the logbooks with the flight controller and other managers at Compton Abbas, Michael was invited into the hangar to view a vintage Chipmunk, a plane he flew regularly in his early years of RAF service. From the 1950s to the 1970s the Chipmunk, or ‘Chippy’ as it was affectionately known, was the RAF’s primary training plane for air cadets. The plane at Compton Abbas began its service in Edinburgh in 1952 and was put into storage when it fin-

ished its RAF life. It was later civilianised and rebuilt at the Duxford airfield in Cambridge in 2000. Another compelling draw for Michael was a yellow 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane, complete with open cockpit. The Stearman was initially a training aircraft for the US Army Air Force, US Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force. After World War II, thousands of surplus Stearmans were sold on the civilian market becoming popular as display aircraft at air shows and in agriculture as aerial cropdusters. An iconic movie image shows a Stearman cropduster chasing Cary Grant across a field in the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller North by Northwest. After his visit, Michael said: “I had a truly spectacular day. I loved spending time at the airfield and watching learner pilots taking to the sky.” Castle View Companionship Team Leader Katja Williams, who accompanied Michael to Compton Abbas, said: “The flight controller and management were amazed that Michael held all of his logbooks. They really welcomed him and extended their gratitude to him for coming. And on our way home, Michael told me all about his favourite aircraft to master in the RAF, the Vulcan.”

Hallmark Partners with FaultFixers to Deliver COVID-Safe Maintenance Management Hallmark Care Homes partners with maintenance management software app, FaultFixers ( in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their nineteen homes. The decision, led by Group Estates Manager Steve Brine, was made during the height of the pandemic when social distancing was initially introduced. Maintenance management prior to FaultFixers was a collection of paper-based spreadsheets and logbooks. Face-to-face interactions were necessary in reporting faults and third-party maintenance operators were often visiting homes to perform maintenance tasks. Steve Brine, Group Estates Manager at Hallmark Care Homes says, “we normally would bring an outside contractor into the home but during the pandemic that’s another person coming into the home who could put residents and team members at risk.” He continues, “with FaultFixers we can now stop that from happening as it gives the team the chance to assist the home over the phone [via the App] and get that repair resolved quicker. It prevents and limits the number of people coming into the home.” FaultFixers are the only digital maintenance platform for care businesses that offers completely virtual maintenance management and social-distancing compliant maintenance reporting that can be used by every team member, residents and their family members. FaultFixers is

rapidly growing within the care sector, working with more and more care providers and hospitals such as their recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes, Morris Care, Oakland Care, and many more. Tom O’Neill, CEO at FaultFixers says, “we are very excited about our recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes to deliver innovative maintenance technology to their nineteen homes across England & Wales. The partnership is a real testament for us and further establishes the need for maintenance management software during a time where digital solutions are not only in demand but vital for bolstering the protection and safety of the public.” The recent implementation of FaultFixers across the homes have already proven effective with an overall reduction in costs, as Steve Brine explains “from a financial benefit, I’ve already been able to to stop progressive recurring incidents from happening so from a financial side, we’ve already seen a benefit.” Alongside a financial benefit, Hallmark has been able to reduce paper waste and fuel consumption by adopting a digital solution impacting the group’s carbon footprint. To read more about the partnership you can view the case study at Alternatively, watch an interview with Estates Manager, Steve Brine from Hallmark to find out more about how maintenance management software has benefited the care group at

Blooming Marvellous Garden Makeover For Cwmbran Day Opportunities Adults living with disabilities from Cwmbran Day Opportunities will be able to have a summer of outdoor fun, thanks to a fresh garden makeover. The team set to work to give the overgrown outdoor area a bit of TLC, deciding it would be a great place for the people they support to sit with friends and enjoy tea and cake in the sunshine. The design of the garden is themed around the individuals who use the service, and each person has a photo included detailing what the space means to them. It also has an accessible bench, sensory garden planters, and an area for each person supported by the service to call their own. The team have plans to add to the garden throughout the year, including a bug hotel, bird nesting boxes and winter wildflowers. Megan Gwyer, Service Manager at Cwmbran Day Opportunities, said: “We wanted to provide a beautiful outdoor area where the people we support could have fun and spend time with their friends while enjoying nature.

“I’m particularly proud of our sensory planters, where people can see, smell and taste different flavours. I’m also delighted that individuals will have their own little patch to water, weed and care for, which really makes it a community space. “We can’t wait for our friends to join us in the garden and share this beautiful outdoor area.” Bronwen Jones, who uses Cwmbran Day Opportunities, said: “The new garden space is wonderful. It’s so nice to be able to sit out and have a cup of tea outside. “I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows and changes throughout the summer and in the winter.” Cwmbran Day Opportunities provides a day service to disabled adults living in Cwmbran and the surrounding areas. It gives disabled adults the opportunity to try a full range of indoor and outdoor leisure and social activities, both individually and as part of a group.


Government Must Act Now To Guard NHS Against Tough Winter Commenting on the latest monthly NHS performance figures for England, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “NHS teams have been working incredibly hard to restore services and care for as many patients as possible, with the number of people waiting over a year to start treatment falling by a further 32,000 month-on-month – a remarkable feat against a backdrop of workforce shortages and reduced capacity because of infection control requirements. “With the second highest number of people on record checked for cancer in June, it’s clear how much progress is being made. But the NHS still faces a monumental challenge. We cannot escape the fact that there is now a backlog of 5.5 million patients, or that pressure across the health service is still increasing, with 2.16 million A&E attendances in July – the highest since winter 2019 and amounting to some 70,000 attendances a day.

“The government must take steps now to make sure the NHS can cope as autumn and winter are

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expected to be even tougher than usual this year. “Health leaders urgently need clarity on funding for the second half of the financial year and beyond. Without this, trusts risk having to spend money for which they might not be reimbursed, to manage ongoing COVID-19 pressures, keep making sure people can leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit, and manage capital requirements. “The NHS will continue to do all it can to care for all patients, but we must acknowledge the pandemic could still cause further disruption. We can all keep

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taking simple steps to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, especially as self-isolation requirements are set to be reduced. That includes wearing face coverings, keeping up hand hygiene, and getting both doses of a vaccine.”

Little Weighton Care Home Gets In Tune For Proms Season

Residents at Manor House care home have swapped Bargain Hunt for Beethoven, getting into the spirit of the annual classical music concert series with a themed afternoon of celebrations. Staff at the Little Weighton home laid on an afternoon of fun and frolics including a buffet, cakes, fizz and a proms concert playing in the back-

ground. Residents enjoyed a playlist including all the patriotic favourites, joining in with Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia. Staff and residents are looking forward to tuning in to some of the concerts live from the Royal Albert Hall throughout this year’s Proms season. Nina Nixon, resident at Manor House, said: “We had a lovely time celebrating the start of the Proms. The staff did a brilliant job getting us into the patriotic spirit, and it’s always lovely to have an excuse for a knees-up and singalong!” Leanne Hatch, care home manager, said: “At Manor House we always look for activities that will capture the imagination of our residents, and bring us all together as a family. “The residents thoroughly enjoyed listening to the iconic Proms music and reminiscing about the past – making new memories, and recalling the old!”

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Music Will Help More People Living With Dementia, Thanks To New Funding For Social Prescribing New funding from Music for Dementia and the National Academy for Social Prescribing will help more people benefit from the power of music and social prescribing by providing grants to organisations delivering musical services for people with dementia. New funding will allow more people with dementia to benefit from the power of music through specially designed programmes. The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Music for Dementia have joined forces to support four organisations providing musical services for people living with dementia through social prescribing. Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be made accessible to everyone with a diagnosis of dementia and for it to become an integral part of care plans. NASP was established to advance social prescribing. This funding supports their shared objective to support social prescribing activities that promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level. One of the grantees, Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, offers music workshops across the country for people living with dementia in care settings and online training for carers. The online training programme empowers care staff to use music as part of their daily care. Carers don’t need to be musicians but training and support centres on relationship care, so that carers can use music in a meaningful way, which in turn may help to reduce agitation, low self-esteem, social isolation, or just help residents to feel good and connected to their environment, to themselves and each other. Musica have already delivered this training programme to care home groups Hallmark care homes,

Somerset Care and piloted training at 20 care homes belonging to HCOne. Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia Campaign Director said: “It is wonderful to be able to work closely with NASP on this project and to be offering a second round of grants this year to musical activities working with people with dementia. As an expert grant maker in this field The Utley Foundation, who back the Music for Dementia campaign, have been able to move swiftly to ensure that the money is channelled into communities where this funding can make a real impact and benefit individuals and carers directly. “We hope this partnership paves the way for further ventures in the future, enabling more people with dementia to access music and enjoy its many benefits through social prescribing.” James Sanderson, Chief Executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We know that music is powerful and meaningful for many, whether it’s learning something new or reminiscing over an old song. “Supporting meaningful social prescribing activities like this, in communities in England, allows more people to support the people they work with in a personal way. We are pleased to be able to help fund these activities, to help more people benefit.” CEO at Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, Rosie Mead said: “This funding will enable us to roll out our online training and coaching, Press Play to Rewind, to healthcare professionals working in over 200 care homes nationwide. Our programme provides care staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence to provide meaningful music for individuals living with dementia. We are incredibly grateful to Music for Dementia and NASP for providing us with this opportunity to impact the lives of so many people living with dementia in care homes.” One learner from HC-One said: "I have found this course to be of real value as a

tool to supporting and bringing out the benefits of music to the people in our care. The course work is comprehensive and well presented. I have compiled a file from the downloads which is now available for all colleagues to access enabling them to carry forward the process when I'm not available. The informative videos really help and some new activities have been implemented from them. The study groups have been great to support each other and to share ideas. If you are given the chance to access this course please do." Another added: “I was very excited to commence the Press Play to Rewind course simply because I love music and I know I would learn a lot from Rosie. I have a lot better understanding of how music can affect people. Following the course we have a plan around how we can improve our activities across the Home and general quality of life through music. Brilliant course, I would highly recommend it." The funding will support the wellbeing and quality of life of people living with dementia in care homes through empowering care staff to deliver meaningful music within their settings. The online coaching and course will be delivered to 200 care settings and for 400 learners.

Care Group To Raffle New Car To Encourage Staff To Get Vaccinated A specialist care group in Milton Keynes is offering a brand new car as a raffle prize to fully vaccinated staff as it says its more cost effective than recruiting new team members. Staff at PJ Care face losing their jobs if they haven’t been fully vaccinated by 11th November, apart from limited exemptions, in line with proposed government legislation. PJ Care is a provider of neurological care for adults with progressive conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and those with acquired brain injuries. The company runs two specialist care centres in Milton Keynes and another in Peterborough. The legislation will apply to all Care Quality Commission-regulated care homes in England. This will mean that anyone working in or seeking to work in a care home will need proof that they have had both COVID vaccinations. Currently, 85% of PJ Care’s 600 staff have been fully vaccinated. Chairman, Neil Russell, hopes the chance to win a Renault Clio E-Tech worth £22,000 will help to encourage those who are open to changing their minds. “We know that there are some of our staff who, for whatever reason, just do not feel able to receive the vaccine.

“But there are those staff who are still undecided or haven’t yet made their appointments for whom the prize of a new car could be deciding factor. “We absolutely believe in the vaccine and have informed and encouraged our staff throughout, and it will pain us to lose any of our valued and highly-skilled team. With the average salary of a carer here being just over £20,000, plus our investment in their training, overtime they may earn and the costs of recruiting their replacement, if this initiative gets just one person to have the vaccine and stay in their job, we will have saved money.” PJ Care was recently ranked as one of the UK’s top 10 health and social care employers in the ‘Best Companies’ awards and is an accredited Living Wage Employer. It is also a finalist in the Growing Business ‘Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year’ award as well as ‘Employer of the Year.’ Staff who’ve yet to be vaccinated need to have their first jab by 16th September, in time for their second dose before the government deadline. Neil says with time running out, they had to act fast. “Recruiting staff in this sector is already difficult,” Neil adds, “and adding in a requirement for vaccination will only make the situation worse. In this context, a new car is a small price to pay – indeed, it is actually an investment rather than a cost.”

Designer Contracts Pulls Out All The Stops To Beat Pandemic Delay Designer Contracts, the UK’s largest flooring contractor, has supplied and fitted a leading West Midlands specialist dementia care living home with safety floorcoverings – despite major delays caused by the second national lockdown. The company ensured a super-swift turn-around at Dorothy Terry House following a seven month delay on materials – ordered last October – caused by the winter COVID resurgence. The home at Redditch in Worcestershire is a 42 bedroom retirement complex specialising in dementia care living. Over 1,000 square metres of communal corridors, stairs, landings and lounge areas, spread over five floors, were identified as areas in need of replacement. Undertaking its first project as a preferred supplier for the Rooftop Housing Group, Designer Contracts was asked to uplift all the existing flooring and replace with PolySafe Wood FX safety vinyl. Said Adam Denny, asset investment manager for the Rooftop Housing Group: “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents, and it was reassuring that Designer Contracts appreciated their complex needs. The specification we required for the flooring was met exactly with a quick turnaround once the project was signed off.” PolySafe Wood FX is a high specification safety floor, perfect for environments such as Dorothy Terry House, combining decorative designs with sustainable slip resistance and high durability. Featuring authentic reproductions of popular and high clarity wood designs, the range incorporates a light to dark colour spec-

trum with non-intrusive safety aggregates in the vinyl to create a safe yet attractive interior in commercial or residential areas. Said Matt Timmins, regional manager for Designer Contracts’ West Midlands office, which supplied and fitted the flooring: “To undertake such a project during a national lockdown presented additional challenges for the team but we approached the project with flexibility and a positive mindset. “The scale of the work meant large communal corridors were unavailable to residents while the levelling compound was setting, so it was important that frequent updates were shared with all stakeholders, including the clinical staff who oversaw the residents’ needs.” Ed Pajak, sales manager for Designer Contracts added: “I’m really proud of the team and the way everyone rose to the challenge presented by the client. At the time, the Easter bank holiday was just days off from the start of the project and COVID restrictions were due to ease. We had just a couple of days to complete the communal lounge so residents could finally welcome family and loved ones back into the building.” Following the success of the Dorothy Terry House project, the Rooftop Housing Group has now instructed Designer Contracts to prepare quotes for a further seven similar sized projects in Worcestershire. Designer Contracts is based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire and operates across 15 UK regional facilities. Call 01246 854577 or visit for further information.


Diabetes Drug May Reduce Dementia Risk, New Study Suggests Researchers in South Korea have suggested that patients with Alzheimer’s disease taking a class of drugs known as gliptins have lower levels of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid, in their brains. They also had better scores on memory and thinking tests years after the beginning of the study compared to those not on the drug or those who didn’t have diabetes. The scientific journal, Neurology, published the results. The researchers looked at people with and without type 2 diabetes. They all had problems with memory and thinking. And all had a build-up of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid in their brains, confirmed through a positive brain scan. Those with diabetes taking DPP-4 inhibitors had lower levels of amyloid compared to those with diabetes not on the treatment, and also those without diabetes. The team also looked at changes in memory and thinking over the two and a half years since the beginning of the study. They found that those taking the DPP-4 inhibitors had a slower decline in memory and thinking compared to those not taking the medication. Dr James Connell, Head of Translational Science at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is the greatest medical challenge of our generation. Nearly one million people in the UK have

dementia, and we need to explore all possible treatment approaches to tackle the diseases that cause it. “In this study, researchers looked at a relatively small number of people with and without type 2 diabetes taking drugs to help control blood glucose levels. While the study found a link between DPP-4 treatment, lower levels of the hallmark protein amyloid in the brain and slower memory and thinking decline, it only shows an association and not a causal relationship. “Taking existing medications approved for use in certain conditions and exploring whether they may have benefit for people with dementia is an active area of research. The benefits of re-purposing drugs often mean a potential treatment may be cheaper and approved for use in people already. “Diabetes is an important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, but we don’t yet fully understand how the two diseases are linked. Alzheimer’s Research UK scientists are also exploring other potential diabetes drugs and whether they could have benefit for those with dementia. Ultimately, we’ll need to see the results of these studies and of large-scale clinical trials to fully understand whether this approach could be beneficial. “Anyone with any questions about what treatments they are receiving should speak to their doctor.”

The Halls Are Alive with The Sound of Music A recent live musical performance hit the right note with residents and colleagues at a Worthing care home when a much-loved favourite visited the home for the first time in over a year. Last month, professional singer and entertainer Tania Rodd, a popular and familiar face at Haviland House, spent the afternoon singing everyone’s favourite songs and lifting their spirits. As the first entertainer back to the Worthing-based home since March 2020 when lockdown first came into force, social distancing measures were still in place. The Haviland team installed their very own Royal Box, Stalls and a Royal Circle for family members so they could enjoy their time in safety and in true royal style. Eileen Garbutt, Wellbeing Coordinator, at Haviland House, said: “Our residents and team absolutely loved welcoming Tania back to our home, it was such a wonderful way to kick start our summer activities. “Cool drinks, ice-creams, ice-lollies, factor 50 and sun-brollies were the order of the day and we all had a thoroughly great time singing our hearts out again at last.

Stars Unite Against Dementia For Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks TV’s biggest stars are putting their best foot forward this Autumn, joining thousands in support of Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event Memory Walk, sponsored by Santander, taking place throughout September and October 2021. Famous faces are backing the public who are taking part to raise vital funds for people affected by dementia, many of whom are in desperate need of support in the wake of the pandemic. Line of Duty star and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Vicky McClure will be taking part in a Memory Walk local to her and urging others to do the same. Comedic legends Hugh Dennis and John Bishop will also be supporting Memory Walk and Only Fools and Horses’ favourite, Sue Holderness will be taking part in memory of her late mother. Actor Sally Lindsay who starred in Still Open All Hours and has recently finished filming her latest project, will be attending a walk, in memory of her grandmother. Memory Walk also has the backing of Olympic Gold medallist, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Thousands of people are expected to walk in celebration or in memory of a loved one living with dementia, with the leading dementia charity hosting 20 organised walks across the UK from Brighton to Newcastle. People can also organise their own Memory Walk at a time and location of their choice with a group of close friends and family. However people choose to take part, money raised will help Alzheimer’s Society continue to support the 850,000 people with dementia through its vital services (like the Dementia Connect support line) which have been used over five and a half million times since March 2020. Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Santander UK brand ambassador, said: ‘It’s fantastic that Memory Walk events on location are back after a year break because of Covid, alongside the option to take part in your own organised walk. ‘I hope everyone signs up to one of this Autumn’s events, and has a wonderful time together again getting out and about while also raising money for this very special cause. ‘I’m proud to support Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, sponsored

by Santander, to ensure nobody affected by dementia goes without the help they so urgently need.’ Vicky McClure said: ‘Last year, while we couldn’t walk together in person, I was determined that my family and I would walk in memory of my nana locally anyway, and I was in awe of the sheer number of people who also stepped onto their local streets to raise vital funds for the charity. ‘This year, I am delighted to say that people can again unite at 20 locations across the UK, to create new memories together and support the 850,000 people with dementia.’ Actor and comedian Hugh Dennis said: ‘It’s very exciting that Memory Walk events are back – you just can’t beat that amazing feeling of walking with other people for such an important cause. People with dementia have been badly hit by coronavirus, so please take part in Memory Walk and help Alzheimer’s Society continue to support people with dementia and their families when it has never been more needed.’ Comedian John Bishop said: ‘I’m walking for everyone living with dementia, I’m walking for the carers who are struggling to cope and for the researchers who are working tirelessly for a breakthrough. I hope everyone takes part in Memory Walk this year, so together, we will walk towards a future without dementia.’ Actor Sue Holderness said: ‘I’ll be walking in memory of my darling mum and for the 850,000 people living with dementia today in the UK. It’s lovely jubbly that people have a choice to take part in a local event or take on their own Memory Walk this year – all that matters is that as many people as possible get involved and raise as much money as pos-

sible, with every step counting towards a world without dementia.’ Actor and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Sally Lindsay said: ‘When my beautiful gran Ellen had dementia, it was absolutely devastating for the family watching her slowly decline to the point where she started not to recognise us. My heart really goes out to the families whose loved ones went downhill so dramatically or tragically passed away during lockdown. It is so important to know you are not alone.’ Dancer and choreographer, Dame Arlene Phillips, is supporting this campaign in memory of her late father, Abraham, who had Alzheimer’s. Dame Arlene Philips said: ‘I am proud to be supporting these walks in memory of my wonderful dad who had dementia. Caring for someone with dementia is a full-time job and the pandemic made everything so much more challenging – disrupting routines, people being left having to care from a distance and essential care and support being reduced. ‘Raising whatever you can through Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks will help make a huge difference to thousands of lives, it’s not too late to sign up!’ Game of Thrones villain Iwan Rheon lends his support in tribute to his Nain, Beryl, who sadly died from vascular dementia in 2008. Iwan Rheon said: ‘Dementia is something that hits close to home and so I’ll definitely be digging out my Memory Walk t-shirt in time for September! As always, I’ll be walking in memory of my Nain, Beryl who had vascular dementia. I hope that the more we talk about this heartbreaking condition and the more we can raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society, the more we can make a difference to the 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and their families.’ Kate Lee, CEO at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘We are so grateful for the support of our wonderful celebrity supporters who all have their own personal reason for backing Memory Walk. Not only has the pandemic left a gaping hole in the hearts of thousands of grieving families, many are also struggling to cope watching their surviving loved one become a shell of the person they once were. ‘Whether you decide to take part in one of the 20 organised walks, or decide to walk with a small group of friends and family in your local area, all that matters is that we unite against dementia and continue to support people who need it most.’

Parkfield Nursing Home Receives £10,000 Lottery Grant Residents at Parkfield House Nursing Home are celebrating after being awarded a funding pot of £10,000 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its “A Portrait of Parkfield” project. Working closely with creative ageing charity Equal Arts, the group of residents – known as the Parkfield Peckers – will take part in weekly creative workshops with professional artists to explore the lives of former residents and history of the home in Uxbridge. Caron Sanders-Crook, Parkfield’s operations manager said: “Residents and staff are extremely excited and can’t wait to get started! “We feel incredibly privileged to be awarded this grant and are totally inspired to delve into the heritage of Parkfield House and our surrounding areas, to see what we can learn, share and preserve. The project will help us to strengthen existing relationships within the community and build new links.” Throughout the year-long project, residents will develop relationships within the community with Oak Farm Library, Glebe Primary School and Hillingdon Council. Together they will create portraits, poetry and photographs docu-

menting their findings, ahead of an exhibition at Uxbridge’s Civic Centre. Equal Arts’ Hannah Wood, who is supporting the group with weekly workshops, said: “There is a huge interest and enthusiasm for exploring heritage and love discussing the areas they grew up in and how they’ve made us who we are. “We’ve been inspired to delve into the history of the area after looking at the many books written by resident Philip who sadly passed away this year. Many residents have their roots here and have vivid memories of how the area has changed over the years. The project is a fantastic opportunity to creatively capture the history of the community.” Their discoveries will be shared on social media with exhibitions at the civic centre, library, and school. Parkfield residents are very excited too. Audrey Chambers said: “It is wonderful to do something different and it will be lovely to link up with Glebe School and see the schoolchildren!”


Digital Revolution in Social Care to Bring £127m of Future Improvements A drive to expand the use of digital technology in social care is expected to lead to £127m worth of benefits. Analysis of NHS Digital’s Social Care Programme found that new ways of working will reduce hospital admissions and GP visits, as well as improve quality of life. The programme aimed to harness the power of information and technology to help England’s social care sector care for people more and effectively and efficiently. It started in 2016, had an investment of £23m, and has funded over 100 projects including the development of apps, the roll out of new robotic technology to help carers and tools to reduce the risk of falls. Other innovations included: • An Electronic Red Bag to replace the physical ‘red bag’, which accompanies someone when they go into hospital from their residential care or nursing home. The eRedBag contains a standardised set of information about health and care, such as medications, medical history, personal preferences and information about safeguarding. • Remote monitoring technology which monitors care home residents, particularly through the night, to alert staff to unusual movements or people calling for help. Participating care homes saw a large reduction in falls and in one case, could give immediate help to a resident who had suffered a cardiac arrest during the night. Projects driven by the programme are expected to result in benefits equivalent to £127m over their lifespan. James Palmer, Programme Head of the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “We are delighted to see the impact that digital technology introduced through our programme has already had on people’s lives and the multitude of benefits it will bring in the years to come, both on individuals and on the wider health and social care sector. “Our approach throughout has been led by users of the services and we have worked collaboratively with care providers and local authorities, which has given us high confidence they can deliver outcomes and benefits for those commissioning, providing and receiving care.” Areas of work in the Social Care Programme included the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme and Social Care Digital Accelerator Programme, which saw innovative ways of using digital technology developed by 69 local authorities. Through another project, the Digital Social Care Pathfinders, new digital tools were adopted by participating providers to transform care. Other providers can now benefit from these innovations, such as a monitor which sends health data from care home residents to GP systems, then uses artificial intelligence to predict their care needs.

Under the initial phase of this programme, 26 Pathfinders were funded to run small pilots in their local areas. In this most recent phase, which ran from 2019 to 2021, 16 of these organisations received funding to develop their products, scale them up and make them available for use by other organisations. Products were mainly focused on standardising information and developing digital ways of sharing that information, reducing delayed transfers of care and hospital admissions and preventing health conditions worsening using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mandy Thorn, Vice Chair of the National Care Association, said: “The Digital Social Care Pathfinders programme has left a lasting legacy, in particular it has helped create stronger links between the adult social care provider sector, local authorities and the NHS, whilst empowering individuals to have their voices heard. The Care Provider Alliance is proud to have been an integral part of this programme and to have been involved in such transformational work.” Ann Mackay, Director of Policy at Care England, added: “It is hard to single out individual projects from amongst the 16 – the proof of concepts, such as the use of integrated acoustic monitoring technology will have a long lasting impact. In addition, the focus on predictive technology has been particularly impressive and the project with HFT (My Health Guide) has actually given people with learning disabilities a voice.” The Digital Social Care Pathfinders project ran until March 2021 and the products developed are now available to be used by other organisations. NHSX is leading the digital transformation of social care and will build on the work of NHS Digital. Alice Ainsworth, Deputy Director for Social Care Tech Policy at NHSX, said: “This programme has demonstrated the huge potential benefits of technology in improving the quality of care people receive in the adult social care sector. “We want to see many more people benefit from digital transformation and are focused on ensuring digital social care records are adopted across the sector by March 2024. “Every provider needs to have the foundations in place to unlock the benefits of digitisation for the people in their care, so they can confidently adopt the most effective care technologies, improve the quality and safety of the care they deliver, and enable much closer integration with NHS partners.”

Kitwood House Opens its Doors to the Local Community Following months of fitting out the fabulous themed interactive areas, soft furnishings, and other beautiful decorations, Kitwood House, located in Rudheath, Cheshire - opened its doors to the local community last weekend. Two Open Days were held on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th August. Both were fully booked soon after they were advertised. An enormous amount of research, care and consideration has gone into making Kitwood House a centre of excellence in dementia care and staff couldn’t wait to show people around to gauge their opinions. It was a very emotional day, tears were shed by a number of visitors who had never experienced anything like it. All the guests were extremely impressed

with the facilities, the design and attention to detail. They were also enamoured by the care and enthusiasm of the staff they were able to talk to on the day. One lady visitor said it was ‘Wow with a capital W,’ others said: ‘It far outreached my expectations’, ‘It is the hotel I would want to come and stay in’, ‘A stunning, amazing place’, ‘I was blown away, it has the feel of a luxury hotel’ and one gentleman even said, ‘it is absolutely brilliant 6-star accommodation!’ Residents will be moving into Kitwood House from Monday 23rd August onwards.

Bristol Nurse Receives One Of First-Ever National Social Care Awards For Covid Response A Bristol nurse has been handed one of the first-ever National Social Care awards by the government’s chief nurse for adult social care, in recognition of his outstanding work in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Clinical nurse advisor Reuben Collings works for social care charity Milestones Trust which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and dementia in the South West. An experienced adult nurse who began working for the Trust in 2014, Reuben led the organisation’s pandemic response and has been instrumental in enabling front line teams to keep the people Milestones Trust supports and its staff safe. Reuben took responsibility for everything from briefing staff and supporting colleagues with the emotional burden of Covid-19 to developing and conducting infection control audits and procuring PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), something that he said he never would have imagined would have been part of the job. Arranging and ensuring all staff members were appropriately trained, collecting data, supporting staff who were trapped abroad at the start of the pandemic and liaising with local authorities and Public Health England also became part of Reuben’s day to day work. The new Social Care Awards were announced by the government in May this year and are designed to celebrate outstanding contributions to adult social care and offer recognition in line with national NHS staff awards.

“Reuben’s calm, pragmatic and above-all incredibly caring approach enabled our frontline staff to navigate what has been a traumatic and often frightening time with greater confidence, by making sure that the skills, equipment and information were there in the right place and at the right time. “He is cheerful, pragmatic, and staff trust what he says. This has been critical, at a time when so much information and advice was confused. He regularly reviewed, interpreted and disseminated complex, sometimes even contradictory guidance, getting information to those who need it around the clock and over a seven-day week. “Reuben is a highly talented and professional nurse. He embodies the spirit and professionalism of modern nursing and we are delighted to see his skills and achievements recognised with this new, national award.” Reuben added: Unaware of his nomination, the 30-year-old was presented with his silver award at a surprise, socially-distanced staff gathering by Milestones Trust’s director of operations, Jeff Parry. The government’s chief nurse for adult social care Professor Deborah Study joined the event online to say a few words about Reuben’s dedication and innovation. Hilary Crowhurst, chief executive for Milestones Trust said:

“It’s a great honour to receive one of the first of these important new awards, which recognise the importance of social care alongside healthcare. “I’ve been really impressed and hugely proud of our staff and the resilience of the people we support through this strange and difficult time. It’s forced us to work in a completely different way, but people have been open to that and have taken the changes in their stride.”


National Care Charity Introduces Four-Day Working Week One of the UK’s biggest social care charities – Community Integrated Care – has embarked on an overhaul of its working practices by introducing a four-day working week for more than 300 of its employees. The new plan – which sees the charity become the first social care provider in the UK to introduce the four-day week – allows head office and support function employees to condense their normal working hours into four days, rather than five – having either the Monday or Friday as a non-working day. The move comes as many employers look to respond to national research demonstrating a strong post-pandemic desire from employees to maintain a more flexible of working now that the Government’s ‘Work From Home’ mandate has ended.** The new approach from the charity aims to offer greater choice for current employees while creating a more attractive offering for new recruits, and delivering greater support to its frontline workforce which operates over a 24-hour period. The charity has further enhanced its shift to more modern and innovative ways of working by establishing a flexible return to the office, with colleagues having the choice to work in the office, virtually from home or a mixture of the two. Employees will only need to attend their offices for meetings or training that need to be held in person. This hybrid working approach will transform the charity’s office spaces into hubs used largely for learning and collaboration. These flexible working measures come in response to feedback from colleagues in a series of recent sur-

veys, with 82% of colleagues feeling positive about the move towards a 4-day working week and 81% expressing a desire to reduce the numbers of days in the office post-pandemic. The move has been introduced across the charity’s Support Function teams initially, including department’s such as Finance, HR and Quality, but the aim is that this will be rolled out further later in the year, with operational teams having the chance to take part in the scheme too. Teresa Exelby, Chief People Officer at Community Integrated Care said: “Our colleagues have shown us how well they have adapted to a remote and hybrid working approach over the past 18 months, so we’re thrilled that we’re able to build on these successes as we navigate our way through the post-pandemic workplace.” “Listening to our workforce is hugely important to us and it’s clear that employee expectation for a flexible approach has altered dramatically in recent months. This move has been built with our colleague’s voices at the heart of it, giving them the freedom to choose and build their own ways of working.” She continues: “Our hope is that by ensuring that our colleagues can achieve a positive and healthy worklife balance, this will in turn boost the wellbeing and productivity of our workforce. Ultimately, our main goal is that this all leads to us being delivering the best lives possible for the people we support.” Introducing flexible working is just one of a number of People-related initiatives that Community Integrated Care has introduced to improve the working lives of its employees. This year it has created brand-new Diversity & Inclusion and Wellbeing Strategies. It has also launched a landmark campaign – Unfair To Care – unveiling research which analyses the role of a frontline Support Worker and for the first time ever provides empirical evidence to bust the stereotype that social care is a ‘low-skilled’ sector. The charity is now using the research to lobby the Government for fair funding and pay. You can read the full report at

New Home Manager for Care Home of the Future A new Home Manager has been appointed at Harrogate-based Vida Healthcare’s new state-of-the-art care home, Vida Court, which has been built to transform the care available to people living with dementia. The UK’s leading provider of specialist dementia care has appointed Sharon Oldfield as Home Manager who has been with Vida Healthcare since it was founded in 2013. Sharon will bring eight years of administrative and management experience to the role. Originally hired as an Administrator at Vida Healthcare, Sharon has since carried out roles including General Manager and Trainee Registered Manager. As Home Manager at Vida Court, Sharon will be responsible for the continued safety and security of residents and staff, maintenance of services, and journey to join Vida Healthcare’s two other care homes, Vida Hall and Vida Grange, as a CQC Outstanding rated facility. Commenting on the appointment, Sharon said: “I took a leap of faith and joined the pioneering team at Vida in 2013. Eight years later I continue to be so proud of the innovative, caring and passionate team I’m a part of which strives to deliver the highest level of care to our residents. “I’m immensely privileged to have been appointed as the Registered Manager at

Vida Court and am looking forward to challenging myself in this new role. I will strive to emulate the achievements of the outstanding CQC rated, caring, innovative, and award-winning staff teams at Vida Hall and Vida Grange.” Once full, the 68,000 square foot care home will hold 100 residents and employ a staff team of approximately 220 people. The initial staff team at launch will include 40 members across care, operations, and administration. Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, added: “We chose Sharon because she’s been with Vida since day one and understands how we operate and the standards of care we require. Sharon has been consistent in the quality of her work, and her dedication to Vida and our residents has been exceptional. Kindness, hard work and attention to detail are all traits that Sharon excels in and we are delighted that she will be such a key part of the launch of Vida Court in September.” Dubbed the care home of the future, Vida Court has been designed with innovative and industry-leading facilities to enhance resident’s daily living activities and wellbeing to the optimum potential. The 12 seater cinema, convenience store, hair salon, florist and coffee shop are included in the home of the future to provide residents with a level of normalcy and consistency with their previous home beyond the realms of a traditional care home.

Dedicated Carer Celebrated After Retiring 36 Years to the Day She Started Work in Social Care Bourne lady, Janice Day, retires today following an incredible 36-year career in social care. Mark Milton, CEO of UK charity care provider Ambient Support, joined via Zoom, together with colleagues from Lincolnshire where Janice has been part of the team caring for adults with learning disabilities, to pay tribute to her outstanding career. At the surprise event, Janice was presented with gifts by Laura Jackson, Deputy Locality Manager, in recognition of her dedication and devotion to those she has cared for so passionately in Ambient’s supported living services. Janice’s early career saw her working as an auxiliary nurse at St Peter’s Hospital in 1985. She later moved into social care and in 1997 she began working at Blackthorn Way where she has remained. Blackthorn Way provides round the clock care for 4 adults with a learning disability and Janice has loved every minute of her job, stating that no day in the last 36 years has ever been the same. “There is no such thing as an average day! I’m a carer, a cook, taxi driver, entertainer and cleaner – but most of all, I’m a friend. We are all

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

things to the people we care for, but I’ve based my career on ensuring that I treat the people I support as I’d like to be treated myself. The last 36 years have not felt like a job. The staff and tenants at Blackthorn Way are my second family and I’ve known some of them since the service opened 24 years ago.” Personal reasons have brought Janice’s retirement forward sooner than she had hoped; however, she is not stopping completely. Janice continues: “I have decided to stay on as a volunteer. The tenants are my family and whilst I can’t work full time, I still have more to give, which volunteering will allow me to do.” Mark Milton, CEO, praised Janice for her unwavering passion and dedication. He says: “Janice has worked tirelessly throughout her career to help people live individual lives and be supported in the best way for them. Her efforts are limitless and her contribution to both those she has cared for and staff members at Blackthorn Way are exceptional, she will be hugely missed.” 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


Scotland Launches National Care Service Consultation A consultation has been launched to seek the public’s views ahead of the creation of a National Care Service, which will ensure everyone who needs it can expect the same standards of care, wherever they live in Scotland. The National Care Service will deliver person-centred care that supports people in a way that suits their needs, providing real benefits for those who are being cared for and the people who care for them. It will introduce ethical commissioning, based on fair work principles, for the benefit of everyone involved. The consultation sets out some of the options for delivering social care in a way which changes the system from one that supports people to survive to one that empowers them to thrive. It recognises that this will involve significant cultural and system change that will need to be supported by new laws, and new ways of working. In order to deliver these recommendations there will continue to be strong local accountability. The consultation proposes Community Health and Social Care Boards to strengthen the voice of the local population, with people with lived experience and local elected members sitting alongside professionals. Consulting on the proposals was one of the commitments for the first 100 days of this government. Implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, and the establishment of a National Care Service, will be one of the most significant tasks of the current parliament. At a minimum the new National Care Service will cover adult social care services. However, the consultation document also recognises that if we want to build a comprehensive community health and social care system, we should consider extending its scope to other groups such as children and young people, community justice, alcohol and drug services, and social work. Minister for Social Care Kevin Stewart said: “The importance of our social care services has never been clearer. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our nation’s

carers, paid and unpaid, for the commitment and compassion we have seen throughout the pandemic. “The Scottish Government commissioned the Independent Review of Adult Social Care during the pandemic, because it was clear we needed to do things better in future. “We have already made significant improvements, with reforms such as the integration of health and social care, and implementation of the Real Living Wage Policy for Adult Social Care workers and this year the Scottish Government pledged £64.5m to fully fund the pay increase. But we can go further. What we are now proposing is the biggest public sector reform for decades, since the creation of the National Health Service. “I am committed to implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review and staying true to the spirit of that report by building a system with human rights at the heart of it. “The Review recommended the creation of a National Care Service, with Scottish Ministers being accountable for adult social care support. I believe however that it is right for this consultation to look beyond simply the creation of a national service for adult social care. The ambition of this government is to go much further, and to create a comprehensive community health and social care service that supports people of all ages. We are also committed to a ensuring there is strong local accountability in the system. “Absolutely vital to this is ensuring that our invaluable social care workforce feel happy, respected and fulfilled in their role. “We are at the beginning of a journey to improve social care in Scotland. We will only get this right with your support. I want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible over the next couple of months, so we can build a better system together.” In a statement, the Social Covenant Steering Group which will advise on the creation of a National Care Service, said: “Most of us have waited many years to see plans for major improvements in the way social care support is delivered and we welcome the publication of this consultation. “Many people may feel they have been consulted before and are keen to see some action. But this time it is an important legal step in in order that a bill can be put to Parliament. “So, it is important that as many people as possible including; current users of social care support, unpaid carers, the workforce and everyone else who cares about this vital support will take this opportunity to express their views on the kind of system we need to enable everyone to reach their potential.”

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.

Care Residents Enjoy Their Favourite Sarnies at Old Fashioned Picnic Weekend

RESIDENTS at a care home in Melrose enjoyed the sunshine with their loved ones with an old fashioned picnic weekend. The 1940s and 50s inspired picnic was organised by staff members at Mansfield Care’s St John’s care home who wanted to go the extra mile to ensure its residents were making the most of the long summer days. Staff members invited residents’ family and friends for an afternoon of food, drinks and live entertainment. Alison Grant, 54, Care Home Manager at St John’s, said: “The weather has been beautiful so we decided to organise a traditional picnic with gingham table cloths, as well as all the scones and small sandwiches that they would’ve had in those days. “Along with their tasty sandwiches our residents and visitors enjoyed

strawberries and cream, champagne, wine and drinks. “Everyone really enjoyed themselves. We even had an entertainer who performed all the old classics from the era, recreating the feeling of that time.” Each year Mansfield Care organises a garden party for each of the care homes, but due to lockdown restrictions, invitations could not be distributed as far and wide as usual. Despite a number of challenges, staff at St John’s took the initiative to organise the perfect summer picnic for its residents and family members. Alison added: “Usually we send out invitations to the Care Inspectorate, social workers and local residents of our community who are often around in the homes, but due to the restrictions it had to be a bit smaller this year, so we decided to have a picnic day instead. “We just wanted do something special this summer for our residents, and their family and friends.” Alison joined St John’s as a care manager in April this year, bringing her vision and fresh ideas to the care home, supporting both residents and their family members.

Audrey Graham, a resident at St John’s, said: “It was just a marvellous day.” Operating 11 care homes across Edinburgh Borders and west of Scotland, Mansfield care is designed to provide bespoke care to an exceptional standard with state-of-the-art facilities. Specialising in unique small, friendly residential / nursing care homes, staff work under an ethos that is inspired by the kind of care we would wish for ourselves in later life – supportive, friendly, bright, positive, empathetic, respectful and homely. The highly trained staff ensure a commitment and continuity of care to each resident with a dedicated home manager and wellbeing coordinator to plan activities according to resident’s wishes.


AI Could Help ‘Diagnose Dementia In A Day’ Researchers at Cambridge University and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge have developed an approach using artificial intelligence that can diagnose dementia from a single brain scan, as well as providing doctors with information about that person’s prognosis. Prof Zoe Kourtzi, a researcher at Cambridge University and a fellow of the national centre for AI and data science, The Alan Turing Institute, developed the algorithm. Prof Kourtzi is also Scientific Director of Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases (EDoN), a global research project Alzheimer’s Research UK are spearheading and combines digital data from wearables to predict who may go on to develop dementia years before symptoms show. The Cambridge University team will now work with doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to test the AI approach in a realworld setting, with patients coming into the memory clinic with concerns about dementia. Dr Laura Phipps at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Artificial intelligence systems like this are currently being applied to many aspects of healthcare, drawing on the insights from huge datasets to help doctors make

more informed decisions about diagnosis, treatment and care. “To diagnose dementia today, doctors need to rely on the interpretation of brain scans and cognitive tests, often over a period of time. Machine learning models such as those being developed by Prof Kourtzi could give doctors greater confidence in interpreting scans, leading to a more accurate diagnosis for patients. “We hope that in future, such approaches will not only improve how current diagnostic techniques are implemented but open the door to revolutionary new approaches to detect the diseases that cause dementia much earlier. This would have a huge impact on people with dementia and their families. “Artificial intelligence systems also make it possible to combine many different data types to accurately predict who might have a particular disease. Prof Kourtzi is leading an Alzheimer’s Research UK funded project called EDoN, combining digital data from apps and wearables including sleep, cognition, fine motor skills and brain activity to predict diseases like Alzheimer’s 15-20 years before we can today.”

Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo 2021 Puts Safety First As regular readers will know, The Carer has partnered with the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo 2021. After extensive consultation with the government and venues across the UK, ROAR B2B are pleased to confirm what safety regulations will be in place for Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo 2021. We’re so pleased to welcome back visitors to a safe and secure environment, finally being able to host the UK’s biggest care exhibitions at the NEC Birmingham on the 15 – 16 September 2021. Your safety is our number one priority which is why we’re doing all we can to ensure you feel at ease when attending the show. Our unmissable seminars from leading healthcare experts will have added capacity, networking zones will include greater space and access, plus, high touchpoints and interactive show features are subject to enhanced sanitising and cleaning regimes. See the full list of safety measures you can expect below! – For more info and tickets to the show click here. When you arrive: There will be clear signage throughout the venue to direct you to your event. Please also see our accessibility guidance here.

COVID-19 STATUS CHECKS NEC staff will conduct COVID-19 status checks before entry to the venue. The accepted methods of showing COVID-19 status are as follows: • NHS COVID-19 Pass via the NHS App (NB This is different to the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace app). It is advised individuals apply no later than 48 hours before attending their event to allow for the application to be processed in time. • Proof of immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period. • Lateral flow or PCR negative test results text or e-mail, received within 72 hours prior to attending the event. However, we encourage visitors to complete their test within 48 hours.

There will be an on-site lateral flow test centre, however we strongly recommend completing your test before you arrive to avoid queues at the test centre. Please do NOT try to attend the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo if you: •Are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, new and persistent cough, or a loss of/change in sense of taste or smell), even if these symptoms are mild •have been asked to self-isolate because you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 •or live with an individual who has symptoms of COVID-19

INSIDE THE VENUE: Face coverings We are strongly advising everyone who attends the event to wear a face covering unless they are exempt. Comfortable distancing To make sure everyone who attends the event is a comfortable as possible, we have increased the space of the hall. This includes widening the aisles to at least 3 metres – with aisles stretching to 5m in high footfall places. All theatres and networking areas will have a suitable amount of space between seating. Ventilation The NEC has recently undergone a recommission of their ventilation equipment and upgraded their filtration systems to ensure safe, clean air is always circulated throughout the venue. All areas will have natural ventilation with open doors and windows. The NEC also has plenty of accessible outside spaces, which are a great for those wanting a break from the halls. Cleaning The NEC have increased cleaning times for high contact surfaces throughout event days and there will be hygiene stations – with clear reminders for visitors to wash their hands – frequently positioned throughout the hall and venue. For additional information on health and safety at the show, or if you have any questions, please contact the team at:

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.

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


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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