T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S
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The Carer Digital
Care Managers Network Call for Government Inquiry
An open letter, written on behalf of 5,700 social care managers, has called for urgent government action and support as ongoing staff shortages begin to create a major risk to the safety and sustainability of services. The letter sent by members of the Outstanding Manager Network have appealed to MPs and Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, calling for an inquiry following ‘eighteen incredibly difficult months’ for the care sector. The care managers’ letter stated: ‘Many of us are finding our positions extremely challenging and are genuinely concerned about the safety and sustainability of
services. ‘There is an acute recruitment crisis, which is harder than it has ever been before. This is shortly about to be made significantly worse with the mandatory vaccines, many care providers are estimating between 10-20% of staff being dismissed as a result. 'There is no support from the Government or the regulators to help providers to navigate this.’
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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Our lead story makes for interesting reading. A letter sent by the influential Outstanding Manager Network, which represents 5700 care managers, is calling for urgent government reform, and an inquiry as concerns over safety and the sustainability of the sector gather pace. We were promised a government inquiry this autumn. Responding to questioning from Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey in May the Prime Minister said, “I do believe it’s essential we have a full, proper Editor public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.” “I can certainly say that we will do that within this session,” the Prime Minister added. In fact, to quote verbatim, he said: “I expect that the right moment for the inquiry to begin is at the end of this period, in spring 2022. I know that some in this Chamber and many bereaved families will be anxious for this inquiry to begin sooner, so let me reassure the House that we are fully committed to learning lessons at every stage of this crisis. We have already subjected our response to independent scrutiny, including 17 reports by the independent National Audit Office and 50 parliamentary inquiries, and we will continue to do so—we will continue to learn lessons, as we have done throughout the pandemic. None the less, no public inquiry could take place fast enough to assist in the very difficult judgments that will remain necessary throughout the rest of this year and the remainder of the pandemic. We must not weigh down the efforts of those engaged in protecting us every day and thereby risk endangering further lives.” “Instead this inquiry must be able to look at the events of the past year in the cold light of day and identify the key issues that will make a difference for the future. It will be free to scrutinise every document, to hear from all the key players, and to analyse and learn from the breadth of our response. That is the right way, I think, to get the answers that the people of this country deserve, and to ensure that our United Kingdom is better prepared for any future pandemic.” Now Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced Scotland will establish its own judge-led public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the end of the year, putting, I suspect, considerable pressure on the Prime Minister to demonstrate “Leadership”, as families of loved ones who died from Covid in the residential and nursing care sector have called for. From what I have read today Sturgeon said that inquiry would take a “person-cen-
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WEBSITE: www.thecareruk.com EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson tred, human rights-based approach”, and would look into all the areas that were within the competence of the Scottish government, including deaths in care homes. I have seen in reports that Ms Sturgeon and the former health minister Jeane Freeman have acknowledged that the way elderly people were discharged from hospital and into care homes in the early stages of the pandemic was a mistake. (Mistake being a gross understatement in my humble opinion)! The Prime Minister really does need to act now give a firm commitment and timeline, Ms Sturgeon’s announcement will rightly leave in other parts of the UK wondering why she has made this announcement and not the Prime Minister. 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 https://thecareruk.com/free-hr-and-employment-law-webinar-for-care-sectorprofessionals/ I always finish with a thank you to the many homes and their PR agencies providing us with some wonderful stories of anniversaries, fundraising, in-house care home initiatives keeping the spirits high, so once again well done and please keep them coming! I can always be contacted at email@example.com
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Care Managers Network Call For Government Inquiry (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Letter signatories, Jane Brightman and Judith Vernalls note the recruitment crisis will be heightened when the mandatory vaccination law comes into force on 11th November, they predict that 10-20% of staff will be dismissed as a result. The letter draws the Government’s attention to the ‘workforce burnout and resilience inquiry’ and calls for action from the Government, saying, ‘The Government’s response to this inquiry is now overdue and we feel strongly that things have become worse, no sign of improvement.’'
STAFF EXHAUSTED AND STRESSED “People working in social care are exhausted and highly stressed. This extends to managers, who we are now seeing leaving the sector in large numbers. The Government response to this inquiry is now overdue and we feel strongly that things have become worse, no signs of improvement.'
WORKERS WORKING ADDITIONAL HOURS Care home managers throughout the UK are also reporting a ‘lack of suitable staff’ which is causing existing workers to work ‘many additional hours’, with care home managers expressing ‘concerns about safety in general' as 'care workers have been expected to pick up clinical tasks during the pandemic but with little or no training or support and much of this is continuing.' With 'serious staff shortages' some care providers are concerned that they are 'not even operating at safe levels to do just the basic care'. The letter also states that some home care providers are handing contracts back to local authorities because they cannot find the work-
force to deliver them. There are big concerns over safety in general. According to the letter authors, ‘care workers have had to pick up clinical tasks during the pandemic with little to no training and support’ and added that ‘with serious staff shortages, some care providers are concerned that they are not operating at safe levels to do the basic care.’
DISTRESS AND ANGRY RIFTS Self-isolation for residents and visiting restrictions created to keep residents safe from Covid, are causing “angry rifts” between care homes and families. Care homes say they are ‘still struggling to find the right balance’ between opening up for relatives and friends to visit but remaining safe and maintaining infection control. Many care homes still find themselves having outbreaks which means that ‘residents are then confined to their bedrooms for days’. In particular they say this causes ‘significant distress’ on residents many of whom are reaching the end of their lives and also ‘caused an angry rift between families and providers which we fear will take years to mend’. With no funding agreement or reform in sight, care home managers say too many care providers have operated at a loss during the pandemic and are having to pay staff increased wages to cover shifts (or pay high agency costs). Managers also argue hard-working care workers are not being recognised with higher pay or through parity of esteem with the NHS. The letter signatories emphasised that the letter is not about pay and funding but said that there is still no funding agreement or reform in
sight. Jane Brightman, of The Outstanding Manager Network, said, ‘With nearly 6000 care managers in the network, we are seeing the stress of the pandemic and now the recruitment crisis is taking its toll on mental health. The stories are real, ongoing and heart-breaking. I’m pro-vaccines but I feel strongly that now is not the right time to mandate them in care homes. We are creating a perfect storm that we have no idea about. There is little accurate data and as we move into autumn and winter, I’m worried about the safety and stability of social care. Care managers only receive guidance, not support, and that needs to change. This is why we’ve called on the Health and Social Care Select Committee to open an inquiry.’ Mark Topps, Social Care campaigner and advocate, said, ‘This letter to the Health and Social Care Select Committee is a great thing for the sector. It represents the views of close to 6000 managers in this network. However, in every meeting I have attended recently, and within every network I am involved in, this is a common theme. We are losing skilled and knowledgeable managers and care staff every day from the sector and due to the recruitment crisis, we are unable to replace them quick enough. If the Government do not do something soon, this crisis is going to be beyond repair and the end result will be that the most vulnerable people within our society are going to be left struggling to cope on their own.’ You can view the letter at https://tinyurl.com/364rkr9t
Scotland's Covid Public Inquiry to Begin this Year Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland will launch its own judge-led public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic by the end of the year and will "scrutinise decisions taken in the course of this pandemic, and learn lessons for future pandemics". The independent inquiry, which comes after pressure from families who lost loved ones from the virus, would have a “person-centred, human rights-based” approach and revealed that Dorothy Bain QC, Scotland’s lord advocate, had begun discussions to appoint a judge. The First Minister said there would be full transparency from the Scottish Government on communications between Ministers relating to the pandemic: "I desperately want every appropriate lesson from what we’ve gone through to be learned, so that any future government, hopefully not for decades to come, but any future government that is in a similar situation has the benefit of that learning.” She said. Among the major issues the inquiry will examine is the Scottish government’s handling of the pandemic in care homes. Some elderly patients with the virus were discharged from hospital and sent back to care homes during the early part of the pandemic. Both Nicola Sturgeon and her then-health minister Jeane Freeman have
expressed regret that this happened. The announcement came directly after the deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for Covid recovery, John Swinney, met representatives of the Scottish branch of the campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice. The deputy first minister said: “The publication of this aims and principles paper, as one of our 100 days’ commitments, is an important step towards the establishment of that inquiry. “We will continue to listen to those affected by Covid-19, including bereaved families, on what they wish the public inquiry to focus on. Their feedback will be fundamental in reviewing the suggested approach set out here, and setting the terms of reference for an independent Scottish inquiry. “Discussions are also ongoing with the UK Government on the planned four-nations inquiry, to ensure all areas that need to be considered are covered in a way that gives confidence to bereaved families and others.” Welcoming the announcement, Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing the families, said: “Today is the first important step in establishing accountability for 10,421 lives lost to Covid-19 in Scotland. Mr Swinney said that his core priority is to get the public inquiry up and running by the end of this calendar year. “Boris Johnson should take note that his government can no longer be allowed to hold the process back from asking difficult questions. “As for Scotland any public inquiry must be truly independent and leave no stone unturned, that is the most fitting tribute that our country can pay to the victims of Covid-19.”
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Government Could Face Official Legal Challenge Over COVID Vaccine Law By Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR, international HR software firm and employment law advice service (www.brighthr.com)
Following reports last week of a number of care homes in England facing resistance over their efforts to prepare for compliance with the law on mandatory Covid vaccines, an official legal challenge against the Government is now expected. This will not be welcome news to employers who are already putting time into the process to prepare for their compliance with the new rules who are now faced with a new cause for uncertainty about staffing in their care home. An open letter has been drafted by the Legal Advice Network
addressed to various people including the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, and copied to the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It raises points about the legality of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, the vehicle used to impose the requirement for registered persons to refuse entry into a care home in England unless certain exemptions are met. One such exemption is the production of evidence to demonstrate that the person is fully vaccinated against Covid-19; this is the exemption that will apply to the care home’s workers. Without that evidence, or evidence of medical exemption from the vaccine, workers are unable to continue working inside the care home and must be redeployed or lose their job. In the letter, Mr Javid is asked to explain the legal standing of the new regulations in the context of an existing law, namely the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 which, the letter says, prohibit a requirement for people to undergo medical treatment, including vaccinations. It now appears that this challenge will progress to formal judicial review proceedings. Although the judicial review proceedings would be against the Government, not employers, any official legal challenge to the new regulations will cause more uncertainty for employers. As part of these proceedings, the Government would be asked to demonstrate that its new law is itself lawful. If a full legal challenge is launched, it puts care home owners into a very tricky position. Many have already put in place initial steps to
ensure that they are complying with the new law including informing their employees of the need to provide the required evidence and the consequences of not doing so. Now they are faced with the potential outcome that the law will be removed. Reversing the effect of the regulations would appear to solve a significant staffing headache for care home owners who may otherwise lose valued members of the workforce who are not fully vaccinated and not medically exempt. However, judicial review proceedings would take time, with no guarantee of the final outcome. Employers who put their processes on hold while waiting to see if the regulations will in fact stay in place may leave themselves will little time to manoeuvre before 11 November 2021, the date that the requirement is intended to take effect, should it remain in place. Whilst this may not affect their compliance with the requirement of ensuring that no non-exempt person enters the care home, a delay is likely to affect the completion of November rotas due to uncertainty of who will or will not be able to work, and leave employers with hefty notice payments to employees who are dismissed and cannot work after 11 November 2021. Some employers may decide that the best option, despite current uncertainty, is to continue to prepare for the 11 November 2021 deadline, whilst being sympathetic to employees’ circumstances. This would appear to put them in the best position for dealing with the outcome of any judicial review.
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Dudley Council To Refund Care Home Fees Following Ombudsman Investigation Dudley council has agreed to refund care home top-up fees for concerned families whose relatives were not offered an affordable placement, because of a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation. The agreement has come following a complaint from a man about care home top-up fees he paid for his mother’s care. The man’s mother, who had dementia, was placed in a care home following a fall. At the time there were no available beds in care homes that would not require the son to pay a top-up fee, over what the council agreed to pay for his mother’s care. The son said he was happy for his mother to stay in the care home short-term but would have preferred her to move to an alternative affordable placement in the long-term. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic she remains at the first home, and the son is still paying a top-up fee.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “Our investigation has found no evidence Dudley council offered the family an affordable placement with an available room, at the time his mother needed to be accommodated. Because of this, the council should not have charged the son a top-up fee. “We published a public interest report about Dudley council in 2017 concerning similar issues and at the time it agreed to improve the way it dealt with third-party top-up fees. I am concerned the council has not fully learned from this and we have had to issue this second report. “I hope the council will now take the learning from these complaints into its long-term practice. The improvements to its procedures it has committed to make, should help to ensure this situation does not arise again.” The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to rem-
edy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the council has agreed to apologise to the son and refund the top-up fees he has paid since his mother entered the care home. The Ombudsman has the power to make recommendations to improve processes for the wider public. In this case the council has agreed to review its procedures to ensure people are always offered a care home placement within their personal budget. It will also review all cases since January 2020 where people entered council-funded residential care and pay top-ups, to see if refunds are due to anybody not offered an alternative care home that does not require a top-up. The council has also agreed to apply the same principles to any family that complains who were not offered an available care home placement within their personal budget dating back to 2017.
Snap Happy Local Care Home Residents Take A Photography Masterclass To mark World Photography Day, staff and residents at Magnolia Court care home in Golders Green were treated to a live streaming photography masterclass courtesy of top professional photographer, Damian Bailey. A professional photographer since 2003, Damian has won Wedding Photographer of the Year and is listed as one of London’s top wedding photographers, having photographed over 700 weddings. Damian travels all over the country shooting weddings, events and families and loves to help people create memories by capturing wonderful images that will be passed on from generation to generation. Damian’s talk explained how he goes about capturing special moments and what makes a great photo in terms of technique and composition. From landscapes to portrait photos, Damian shared his hints and tips for getting the best shots whatever the subject matter. Damian said: “We all love looking at photos of all different types of occasions, they help us to remember events and help preserve them – a good photo is like
a slice of life and can bring joy to people for years to come. I can’t think of a better thing to do than to help people take better photos, it has been a pleasure to share some of my experience with the Barchester residents.” Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager for Barchester Healthcare, commented: “We are excited to work with our amazing partners like Damian to bring a wide range of different experiences into our homes for all to enjoy, particularly as this talk provided such a great opportunity for residents to learn hints and tips about how to take better photos.” General Manager, Octavian Stanciu said: “Lots of our residents are keen photographers so they were really interested to listen to Damian’s talk and find out how he takes such fantastic photos. We were so excited we have already put his advice to the test and we are impressed with our new photography skills!” Bill, resident ambassador at Magnolia Court said “I really enjoyed the master class, it was very interesting. I have been snapping away and trying out some of the tips Damian gave us and I have to say I am really pleased with my photos.”
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The Importance of Never Giving Up To mark ‘Never Give Up Day’, which took place this month, QCS’s Barry Price reveals why professional carers embody ‘Never Give Up Day’ more than any other sector. What does it truly mean to never give up? It’s very tricky to put it into a few words or even a sentence but it’s easy to recognise the indescribable trait in people. In professional sport, for instance, we hear extraordinary stories of remarkable athletes – particularly those with disabilities - who have overcome insuperable odds to achieve their personal goals. Take the nation’s Paralympians for example. Their astonishing ability to put major setbacks behind them and triumph over adversity is truly inspirational. But, as great a medium as sport is for producing uplifting tales of athletes performing super-human feats, it's a very narrow lens in which to view the concept of ‘never giving up’. In the social care sector, however, there are millions of motivating examples of ordinary people demonstrating an unrelenting determination to reach their personal milestones, which are every bit as extraordinary. Before I began consulting for Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, I supported people with brain injuries and learning disabilities. In doing so, together with the wonderful staff that I worked with, I had the great honour of supporting them to reach their goals and longer-term objectives.
BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS The breakthrough moments didn’t come easily. Many of the gains – ranging from a person with a brain injury re-learning how to make a cup of tea to folding their own clothes – were often small. To people outside the care sector looking in, they might even seem insignificant, but for the service user and the multi-disciplinary team, the improvements were truly remarkable. Why? Well, it wasn’t the task – such as applying toothpaste to a toothbrush that mattered – it was the methodology behind the action and the steely determination shown by the service user to complete it that was truly profound and awe-inspiring. It was also deeply symbolic. Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush was seen as the first step of many in them achieving a wider set of goals. I also had the privilege of witnessing extraordinary feats of personal rehabilitation, which would rival the travails of any gold medal winning athlete. However, it was the trials and tribulations of one person’s personal journey that stood out. After a tragic accident the service user that I’m thinking was left with quite a severe brain injury. They were told by the medical team assessing them that it was unlikely that they would ever be able to return to the life they once knew. However, that just made the person even more determined to prove that they could fully regain their independence. Every day they worked with behavioural psychologists, support workers and rehabilitation teams. There were huge challenges, complications and obstacles along the way, but that person never gave up and they eventually fulfilled their dream of living on their own. What marked this person out from others was their positive, determined and resolute mind-set. It helped them to successfully overcome a raft of challenges including proving to a judge in the Court of Protection that they had the mental capacity to make their own decisions, working with the Local Authority to find suitable accommodation and choosing their own staff to support them to live the life they wanted. In clearing this last hurdle, the person had gone full circle – from service user to facilitator. For everyone involved in support-
ing them, that was perhaps the most rewarding aspect of their journey.
STAFF AND QCS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES I’ve touched on the invaluable contribution of the multi-disciplinary support teams throughout the article without focusing on them specifically. Now I want to do so. In my experience, it wasn’t just the painstaking work that the psychologists carried out to find the correlations and patterns linking incidents and accidents, or the thousands of hours the speech therapy teams gave up. Instead, it was a collective belief that they could leverage their skillsets and vast experience to change the lives of those they were supporting. They were tenacious and passionate in their approach too and this often enabled service users to reach their goals. But, it was the support workers who worked with clients on a day-to-day basis that were the glue that bound the service together. They may not have devised the intensive programmes, but they worked alongside each service user to ensure that they met their daily targets. And, much more than that, they offered clients emotional support when times were tough. Policies, procedures and best practice guidance can play a vital role in supporting and underpinning a rehabilitation programme. I would strongly recommend that providers, who are QCS customers, access the ‘Rehabilitation Policy’ and the ‘Mental Capacity Act Best Interests Policy’. The ‘Consent’ and ‘Behaviours that Challenge’ policies also add great value to a service. From a regulatory standpoint, each policy is regularly updated and QCS’s Care Planning Suite helps staff to quickly and easily tailor polices to service users’ needs. Community-based environments the best place to be Compare this outstanding, person-centred and holistic package of care to the faceless assessment treatment units that those with learning disabilities and brain injuries sometimes find themselves living in. Rarely is it in a service user’s best interests to live in an assessment treatment centre longer than necessary. In my opinion, the system must recognise the rights of vulnerable service users. It must do this by empowering people to making value-based decisions that are best for the person. It may be that an outstanding assessment treatment unit, which has an equally outstanding culture of person-centred care is the best option. But, compared to a small service in a community setting, are people in secure hospitals really able to flourish? Not in Dan Scorer’s view. In February, Mr Scorer, who is MENCAP’s Head of Policy, said told the Nursing Times that inpatient environments were “remotely therapeutic for people” and “actively damaging”. If we are to truly respect the dignity of a person, the decision to refer them to an assessment treatment unit should only ever be a last resort. It should never be taken until an experienced multi-disciplinary team has had an opportunity to provide personalised care and support in a community setting. Indeed, when service users are supported by a person-centred team with unrelenting desire to help them to achieve what they want from life, the personal milestones that can be achieved are nothing short of miraculous. In my opinion, that’s how the concept of ‘Never Giving Up’ is best encapsulated and embodied. To find out more about QCS, please contact its compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're seeking a new challenge, QCS is hiring. For a list of current vacancies, including our Head of Social Care position, please click here https://www.qcs.co.uk/current-opportunities/
Cabrini House Residents Enjoy Olympics Great Britain’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics bringing home 65 medals has not only inspired many future athletes but also inspired the staff and residents of Cabrini House in Orpington, a home for adults with learning disabilities who held their very own Olympics on 11 August. The residents competed for medals in a variety of activities including running, walking, trampolining, penalty shootout, bean bag throw, dancing, seated volleyball, bowls, and table tennis. The highly anticipated Olympics Day which had to be cancelled and then rescheduled due to heavy rainfall took place in the garden at Cabrini House and the neighbouring Holy Innocents Primary School field.
Natalie, a Cabrini House resident, said, “I really enjoyed the day, especially the walking race. I can’t wait until next year when we can do it again”. Claire Morlham, Manager at Cabrini House, said, “The residents had a fabulous day competing for activity medals and awards for, best effort, most improved and best performance, laughing the most, cheering the loudest, most supportive and best team flag or banner. We received a lot of support to make our Olympics happen and we are very grateful to Recognition Express for donating three trophies, Holy Innocents Primary School for allowing us to use their field and everyone else who made this event a huge success.”
Technology at Bradbury Court Inspires Residents Living with Dementia At Bradbury Court, one of Friends of the Elderly’s three Malvern care homes, which is specifically focused on caring for those living with dementia, the residents have been enjoying and benefiting from new, interactive technology available at the home. The team at the home invested in the interactive table after Elaine Banks, the Care Home Manager, decided to take part in an exciting fundraising effort to raise money for a cause close to her heart. Commenting on her spectacular achievement Elaine said: “I wanted to do something to raise money for all my residents at Bradbury Court as they are my extended family, especially as I no longer have my parents or grandparents with me. I’d always wanted to do a skydive so I thought I’d tick it off my bucket list. Of course I was nervous getting ready and going up in the plane, but as soon as I jumped, I felt like I was flying, it was brilliant.” Sian Hennessy, the Activities Co-ordinator at Bradbury Court has seen the positive impact the interactive table has had on her residents. Sian said: “Our interactive table has a large 32” colour flat screen and can be easily positioned to suit the resident’s needs. It’s proved to be a big hit with everyone, whether for group or individual use. For example, a group of our residents like using it together and work as a team to play Word Search and others love watching Google Earth looking at different types of cars. It’s also great for our residents whose eyesight isn’t very good as they enjoy the Bubble
Blasting and Colour Swirl games. “I supported a relative of one of our residents in putting a USB stick together with a collection of photos of his loved ones and friends. When we played it on the table for him to watch, his whole face lit up. He is living with dementia but was pointing to different people on the screen, making noises which clearly showed he was engaging with the photos. The smile he had was fantastic to see. I am now looking to helping more families of our residents to do the same.” Sian continued: “We have some residents who open up to staff members and tell us stories about their pasts and careers whilst using the interactive table. We use Spotify and one resident’s family put a playlist together for her. The other day it was just the two of us listening to her playlist and she started telling me that the particular song that was playing was a favourite of hers and that she used to do the ironing to it at home. Now we know her favourite song and can play it for her during activities or to cheer her up.” Elaine concluded: “I’m so happy that the money the skydive raised has given our residents a great new, interactive pastime that they all enjoy. It makes it all worthwhile seeing them happy, smiling and enjoying the new gadgetry. They’ve picked it up very quickly.”
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Government Launches First UK-Wide Antibody Surveillance Programme Thousands of adults a day will be given free access to antibody tests through a new national surveillance programme launched by the UK Health Security Agency next week, to help improve our understanding of immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination and infection. For the first time, the programme will offer antibody testing to adults in the UK who test positive. From Tuesday, anyone aged over 18 will be able to opt in to take part when booking a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace. Up to 8,000 people who opt in and then receive a positive PCR result will be sent two finger prick antibody tests to complete at home and send back to a lab for analysis. The UK Health Security Agency will work alongside NHS Test and Trace testing services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tomonitor levels of antibodies in positive cases across the UK. The data collected will help estimate the proportion of those who got COVID-19 despite developing antibodies as a result of having a vaccine or previously catching coronavirus. The initiative could also provide insight into any groups of people who do not develop an immune response. The UK Health Security Agency will use the data toinform our ongoing approach to COVID-19 and provide further insight into the effectiveness of the vaccines against different variants. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said: “Our new national antibody testing will be quick and easy to take part in, and by doing so you’ll be helping strengthen our understanding of COVID-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life. “I’m proud to see all parts of the UK uniting around this new initiative and working together to arm ourselves with even more valuable insights into how COVID-19 vaccines are protecting people up and down the UK. “Our phenomenal vaccination programme continues to build a massive wall of defence across the country – already preventing around 24 million infections and more than 100,000 deaths in England alone. I urge everyone across the UK to get both vaccinations as soon as possible.” All adults interested in the study are encouraged to opt in. Anyone
taking part must take their first antibody test as soon as possible after receiving a positive PCR result, before the body has had time to generate a detectable antibody response to the current infection. The first test will determine the level of antibodies a person had before their current infection. The second test should be taken 28 days after testing positive for COVID-19 and will measure antibodies generated in response to the infection. By comparing the two antibody test results, the UK Health Security Agency will be able to see how well vaccinated individuals boost their immunity when they are infected and how this might vary with different variants. Testing positive for antibodies does not mean someone is immune from COVID-19 and people must continue to follow the rules, get tested if they have symptoms and self-isolate if positive or are a contact of a positive case and have not received both vaccine doses, to prevent the virus from spreading. Chief Executive of the UK National Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries said: “We are rolling out antibody testing across the UK to gain vital data into the impact of our vaccination programme and on immune responses to different variants of COVID-19. “This has been made possible thanks to the incredible British public who continue to come forward for testing when they develop symptoms and the millions of people who have had their jabs. “The best way to protect yourself and those around you is by getting vaccinated. I encourage anyone who has not yet come forward to book their first and second jabs.” Dr Susan Hopkins, Public Health England’s COVID-19 Strategic Response Director said: “Our testing armoury is stronger than ever now we are rolling out antibody testing to thousands of people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland alongside the vast testing capacity we have built including our NHS Test and Trace system. “Antibody testing surveillance shows how health teams across the UK
are dedicated to working together to find innovative ways to understand the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and target future treatments for COVID-19.” The NHS has guidance on what you can do to look after yourself and treat any symptoms you may have following a positive PCR result. It remains vital people continue to get a PCR swab test if they have symptoms and self-isolate when asked by NHS Test and Trace. Individuals should not change their behaviour based on an antibody result. Antibodies are part of the body’s immune response to help fight off infection and are generated either after being infected or following vaccination. Antibody testing looks for evidence of this immune response, whereas PCR and antigen testing tells someone if they have the virus at the time of test. Antibody testing will contribute to our understanding of the protection provided by vaccines. 87% of people aged 16 and over have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 76% have had their second dose. The government is working closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine, including through ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites across the country, such as London-based nightclub Heaven, as well as football stadiums and festivals up and down the country. Advice and information on the benefits of vaccination have been shared at every opportunity, including through a range of partnerships with industries catering for predominantly younger audiences. This work has included partnerships with high-profile entertainment and sports personalities on short films encouraging people to get the jab, such as film stars Jim Broadbent and Thandiwe Newton, and football figures Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara. The government has also partnered with dating apps, social media platforms and large companies, such as Uber and Deliveroo, on adverts and incentives to get the vaccine.
Classic Cars Bring A Blast From The Past At Bembridge Care Home Residents, staff and visitors at The Elms Care Home in Bembridge enjoyed a nostalgic journey back in time. On Tuesday (17th August), they were visited by Vectis Historic Vehicle Club members and their classic cars who took over the care home’s car park in Swains Road for the afternoon. The visit was arranged in exchange for a piece of cake or cream tea for all the car owners and a donation to Mountbatten Isle of Wight. Lesley Wise, manager of The Elms, said: “Everybody
absolutely loved having a look around the beautiful classic cars and chatting to their owners. For many of us, it felt like stepping back in time.” Peter Hodgson from Vectis Historic Vehicle Club said: “We all were made very welcome and were so glad the residents enjoyed some nostalgia of cars of yesteryear.” The afternoon was such a success, The Elms has asked Vectis Historic Vehicle Club to make this show an annual outing, a suggestion which has been readily accepted.
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How the Power of Intergenerational Friendships Can Enhance the Lives of Those Residing in Care Homes By Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home (www.foxholescarehome.com) It’s no secret that the health and social care sector has been disrupted immeasurably throughout an unprecedented 18 months. Such a testing and unparalleled period has certainly heightened our sense of grief and, at times, seen us lose touch with reality. From this, we have learnt just how important it is that we remain connected with society as humanly as possible. Age segregation has gradually become the norm in the UK today. Our communities and activities have become divided by age. Young people are in schools and older people typically reside in care homes, whilst young and middle-aged adults tend to cluster at offices and work sites. As a result, there is little interaction between generations. According to Erik Erikson, one of the first psychologists to describe social development across a lifetime, connections between youth and the elderly can give a gargantuan sense of fulfilment. Intergenerational relationships, therefore, have the power to invigorate and energise the older generation, and help reduce the risk of depression and loneliness. Indeed, the events of the past year-and-a-half have prohibited families to be near their loved ones. Still, it’s essential for seniors to connect with the younger generation. At Foxholes Care Home, many residents were recently presented with the opportunity to experience the power of intergenerational relationships with a selection of students from Hitchin Girls’ School. In a bid to strengthen community connection and form long-lasting intergenerational friendships, we recently relaunched our pen pal project.
After the scheme, which initially launched in February last year, had to be paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re finally in a position to resume our mission in helping foster friendships the old-fashioned way by sharing letters between residents and students. The project will enable 22 residents and students to pair up and exchange handwritten letters seasonally throughout the year. The recent batch of letters contained information documenting key elements of their lives such as name, age, and family information (marital status, no. of children/ grandchildren), which served as a mini-bio to aid the introductory process. Care home residents who experience close intergenerational interaction tend to be happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future, reducing feelings of sadness and increasing their self-worth and self-esteem. If these connections are so profoundly important for all involved, why aren’t there more programmes seeking to actively engage the elderly with younger people? Indeed, we need to be creative with our approach to maintain the art and heart of conversation. Sharing the events of lived experience with the loved ones we live with and those who matter to us, as well as being able to create new meaningful memories, should be facilitated and encouraged. Change can bring innovation and widely accessible technology can be seamlessly integrated into care environments nowadays. Video conference applications such as WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype can be very helpful in facilitating intergenerational relationships. Particularly for those people living with dementia, the use of modern technology can bring a sense of familiarity, recognition, and calmness. With that said, the positive impact of intergenerational relationships was something we were desperate to implement and utilise to our advantage at Foxholes. The pen pal scheme is an outstanding initiative and enables two different generations to connect, share and enjoy each other’s stories. Following 18 months of social distancing and isolating, it was touching to re-ignite that pre-existing bond.
Theresa Lowe, a teacher at Hitchin Girls’ School, also hailed the pen pal project as a success, saying: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with Foxholes’ pen pal scheme. Students across all age groups have really enjoyed reading the letters from residents and writing back. We look forward to continuing the project in the future.” It becomes clear, then, that if we, as a sector, are serious about improving the lives and overall wellbeing of our residents, then we must rewrite the narrative and continue to utilise the power of intergenerational relationships in care facilities across the country. If we start by acknowledging the simplest of meaningful connections, then it can make a tremendous difference to someone’s daily experiences. Neil Gandecha is the Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, a residential care home set in 18 acres of serene and peaceful Hertfordshire countryside, surrounded by grazing horses and an abundance of wildlife. Purpose built near the market town of Hitchin in 2012, Foxholes provides a luxurious standard of accommodation and facilities.
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BGS Launches Right Time, Right Place: Urgent Community-Based Care for Older People Report The British Geriatrics Society have launched Right time, right place: Urgent community-based care for older people. This new publication aims to help health professionals to navigate the options for providing urgent care to older people which can be delivered at home, avoiding unnecessary emergency hospital admissions. The provision of healthcare for older people in England is changing as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) gradually get underway in the wake of the devastating COVID pandemic, and the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan, such as the Ageing Well programme, are implemented. This BGS document reflects the evolving situation, where various approaches to delivering urgent care closer to home are currently in progress. As this new publication highlights, although these may be configured and described differently, they share a common aim of providing emergency care to older people in their own home or other community setting that avoids the need for hospital admission. The document explains that there are times when hospital is the right place for treatment. However, for many older people living with frailty and complex long-term conditions, a spell in hospital can result in worsening frailty, delirium and deconditioning, particularly if discharge is delayed. Once they return home, they are likely to require rehabilitation and other support to help them recover. Right time, right place sets out an alternative to this scenario: a rapid response to the initial crisis delivered in some-
one’s home by a multidisciplinary team, providing timely assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The community team is then well-placed to link up with other local services to ensure follow-up support is provided and patient information shared with relevant health care, social care and voluntary sector agencies. While such provision may come in different forms, from Hospital@Home teams through to virtual wards, this document sets out underlying principles of high-quality, person-centred care. It also identifies some enablers that need to be in place for urgent care to connect up with other parts of the healthcare system. Tips are offered for those planning to set up such services, even in environments where there are resource and capacity shortages. Right time, right place shows some of the emerging ways in which community teams are able to deliver care quickly, safely and effectively to older people living at home or in care homes. The BGS believes that developing a consistent, coordinated approach to such delivery across the country will bring benefits in terms of older people’s wellbeing and health outcomes, and in the longer term reduce the costs of acute care by minimising avoidable hospital admissions. Shelagh O’Riordan, Chair of the BGS Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group, says: In my work as a community geriatrician I see many people with frailty and multi-morbidity who benefit from prompt person-centred care when they have a crisis, without having to go to hospital. Right time, right place sets out how community teams across the country can make that a reality in their location. There is so much potential for us to change how we deliver urgent care for older people and this document demonstrates some practical ways forward."
Outstanding New Manager For Butterfly Lodge Bristol’s loss is Plymouth’s gain in the case of care home manager, Clare Sinclair, recently appointed to the post at Butterfly Lodge in St Budeaux, who brings a Care Quality Commission (CQC) ‘Outstanding’ track record to her new position. Paul Teasdale, director of Camelot Care which runs Butterfly Lodge, said: “We are delighted to welcome Clare as our new manager at Butterfly Lodge, and feel privileged to have at the helm someone who has already achieved the rare distinction of leading a home to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ report from the CQC.” After a 30-year NHS career in nursing, specialising latterly in complex care on hospital dementia wards, Clare relocated from her native Cornwall to Bristol where she spent seven years managing two different dementia care homes. Clare, 55, said: “I am so pleased to return to the South West where we have many family connections and long-standing friends, and I’m thoroughly enjoying working with the lovely residents and the brilliant staff team at Butterfly Lodge. “We have 37 people in residence, and I’m finding Butterfly Lodge to be one of the best-designed homes I’ve come across for people living with dementia because it was
purpose- built with their needs in mind. “I’m really impressed by how peaceful and cosy it is – apparently thanks to the Swedish designer specifying excellent sound and thermal insulation - and the carefully considered layout gives lots of space for the ambitious activities my team provides for residents, or just to allow them to rest and relax. “Plus the view out over the Tamar estuary and the local beautiful places of interest are an additional bonus for us all. “Making the relocation during Covid has been challenging, but my husband, myself and our two teenage daughters are quickly settling into our new home and hoping to fit in some kayaking – which we all enjoy – before the autumn sets in. Clare’s husband Brian, who specialises in cleaning and building renovation of older properties has already been involved in restoration work at St Budeaux Church, while their daughters are on the cusp of beginning post A level and post GCSE courses, namely a degree in art and design at Plymouth University, with her younger daughter looking to start a career as a professional chef at Plymouth college.
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Government Must Act As Social Care 'Starts To Break' CARE providers have renewed their appeal for urgent Government action as more and more care providers hit difficulties. They say the Government has to set up an emergency task force of volunteers straight away otherwise the social care system will collapse and take NHS care with it. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says news of a homecare provider unable to deliver care on the Isle of Wight and one in York earlier this year show that the system is crumbling. Care and nursing homes are struggling to cover shifts and some have closed. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We really are reaching a crisis point, but the Government continues not to listen. “It has shown that it can recall Parliament to debate an emergency issue like Afghanistan – well thousands of care providers and those they care for are wondering why they can’t tackle this issue at home, right now. “Unless we get urgent funding action and the task force we have called for, the provider failures we are already seeing and the many others that are not making headlines will grow into a flood until we cannot properly provide care any more in this country. “Providers are failing and there is only so much local authorities will be able to do when contracts are handed back or when care and nursing homes close. “And if social care fails then NHS care will start to fail too, as the two need each other to survive.” The ICG has unveiled its 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. It says 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. 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 Department for Health and Social Care has itself warned that up to 40,000 people could be lost from social care over the vaccination issue. 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 homecare providers being unable to take on new clients or even cover existing ones and of handing contracts back to their local authority. This is leading to people being delayed in hospital beds or left without the care they need. “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,” Mr Padgham added. “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 people, their families and communities are going to suffer 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.
This is the Care Sector’s Got Talent!! When the Championing Social Care Committee came together with their collective vision to ‘Shine a Light’ on the brilliance of the Care Sector teams and the vibrancy of their care workers… there was only one answer! The Care Sector’s Got Talent! Launching this week, The Care Sector’s Got Talent is a nationwide talent competition open to anyone within the Health and Social Care sector. From solo performances to duos, trios and groups and whatever the talent, care teams and service users have until the 19th September 2021 to submit their audition reels to an illustrious judging panel. Those who make it through to the next stage will be invited to face the judges and perform ‘virtually’ at a live-streamed event watched by care teams, service users, their families and many others! And the Winning Act will perform LIVE at this year's Care Show at the NEC, Birmingham!
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Angela Boxall, COO at Majesticare and Committee member of Championing Social Care commented. ‘The Care Sector’s Got Talent is such a fabulous way to showcase all the amazing talent within our sector. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen such bravery and dedication to bring everyday happiness. Overnight teams became such wonderful entertainers working with minimal resources and this feels like the perfect way to celebrate the talent we know is there!’ To find out more about Care Sector’s Got Talent and to get involved, head over to Championing Social Care www.championingsocialcare.org.uk/care-sectors-got-talent/Audition videos can be submitted from 16th August 2021 until the 19th September 2021. The finals will take place virtually the week beginning the 27th September 2021
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Why Now Is The Moment To Embrace Digital Health Technology As Part Of The Care Home System By Axel Nordberg, Essity Global Brand Director (www.essity.com) “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses; we must be learning all our lives.” Florence Nightingale As we emerge from the depths of a historic pandemic, the words of Florence Nightingale have never rung truer for carers around the world. From adapting to PPE requirements to abiding by social distancing, Covid-19 has forced all carers to relearn key parts of their trade to keep their residents safe and healthy. Naturally, this has not come without a cost. According to our data at Essity, the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on either the physical health, mental health or emotional wellbeing of more than eight out of ten of the UK carers surveyed. Every carer said their role had changed, with 95% working longer hours to manage urinary incontinence, cleaning and sterilising responsibilities – the highest of any country in Europe. Ultimately, the bravery of our frontline heroes can only endure this emotional and physical toll for so long. In the face of adversity, however, we must look forward. The development of digital health technology – and the appetite to integrate it into care homes – is accelerating at an exceptional rate, and the industry is realising that it is an essential component of a more efficient, higher quality future for care. Taking the chance to change The pandemic has provided the care industry with a moment to step back and evaluate how it operates. Alongside the long-term impacts of Covid-19, an ageing population will soon demand a new delivery of care – with care homes unlikely to be able to accommodate every patient that needs their service.
For many, home treatment will become the practical solution. In recent years, digital health technology has made this process safer and more comfortable for those who require care, their families, and their carers. From medication reminder apps and ECG wearables, to information-sharing software that lets nurses access patient data remotely, innovation is delivering products and solutions to cater for home care. As more care organisations integrate digital health technology into their operations, they build the infrastructure for a digital future of care. With over a third of carers wanting the government or private companies to invest in more technology, there is a clear appetite to make that next step forward from those that matter. Improving dignity and comfort through tech To bring the power of digital health technology to life, it is important to discuss it in the context of the real, day-to-day issues putting an insurmountable strain on carers. Managing urinary incontinence – an important yet challenging aspect of a carer’s day-to-day role – has had both a physical and emotional impact on the carer during the pandemic, with the rate of resultant exhaustion (25%) and resentment (13%) rising by 19% and 10% respectively since 2019. It’s not just the carers that are impacted – 80% of carers find it hard to maintain the dignity of those suffering from the problem. Deploying technology to address these issues can be life-changing for carers and those needing care alike. However, the UK is currently lagging behind. Only 27% of UK carers said that they have access to sensor technology to support incontinence care, compared to the European average of 32%. Reusable sensors, such as our recently launched TENA SmartCare Change Indicator, can track when a patient needs changing and provide app notifications to their carers, ensuring instant attention and avoiding unnecessary checks. With 71% carers currently struggling with the time required to make frequent checks associated with urinary incontinence, this technology is invaluable to the efficiency of their role. Enabling a better tomorrow for care The value of digital health technology in the management of urinary incontinence is just one example of the impact it can have in a care environment, albeit a strong one: 98% of UK carers say that it helps
them feel better about their role. This figure alone highlights the value of digital health technology in enabling carers to react to health issues sooner and in a smarter way. By integrating technology into the care routine, any decline in the residents or loved one’s well-being, however slight, can be tracked and used to notify those that can provide the necessary support. As patterns appear in their personal data, it even has the potential to allow carers to predict and prevent various health issues. As an industry, we must continue to work together – as innovators and carers – to co-create digital health technology solutions that will have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. The pandemic has provided the care sector with an opportunity to engage in digital transformation and provide its frontline heroes with the technological support they need to keep those in care, safe, healthy, and happy. Better connected care will deliver better care, for everyone. Interested in learning more about managing continence care? On Wednesday 2nd September at 7.30pm Urology and Continence Care Today in partnership with Essity, will be hosting a Facebook live event with a host of experts discussing to the topic ‘Continence care in COVID and beyond'. The expert presenters include: Tracy Evans, Continence Clinical Nurse Specialist, Horncastle Memorial Hospital; Karen Irwin, Service Manager/Specialist Nurse, Bladder & Bowel UK Team at Disabled Living; Sarah Murray, Clinical Consultant, Essity UK Ltd; Claire Louise Smith, Clinical/Team Lead, Community Bladder & Bowel Service, Central Cheshire Integrated Partnership NHS; Alison Wileman RN, Strategic Healthcare Partner — Essity, RCN Bladder and Bowel Forum, Chair. To join and sign up head to the Urology & Continence Care Today (UCCT) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UCCTreport
Care Home Residents Complete 500 Mile ‘Tour de Manchester’ Sponsored Cycle Staff and residents at De Brook Lodge care home, operated by Ideal Carehomes, have hosted a month long cycling extravaganza, racking up an impressive 500 miles on stationary bikes to raise funds to purchase an interactive activities table. Staff and residents at the care home, located on Irlam Road in Flixton, played their part to achieve the remarkable milage, after residents decided to challenge themselves with the impressive cycling challenge during their monthly social meetings. Lifestyle Manager, Danielle Aikenhead, organised the event and even included residents from neighbouring Ideal Carehomes in the fun. Residents from neighbouring care homes including Ash Tree House in Wigan, sent videos of encouragement, waving from their windows and gardens wishing the De Brook Lodge cyclists good luck. Using stationary foot pedal machines with built in pedometers to track their progress, residents could complete their ‘Tour de Manchester’ cycle from the comfort of their armchairs. Staff created a mileage counter which was proudly displayed in the social lounge and updated each day with the latest total distance travelled.
The De Brook Lodge residents were keen to get cycling as a way to stay fit and active. De Brook Lodge, Rosemary Turner, said, ‘The cycling challenge has been marvellous! It has been brilliant seeing our cycling team getting so involved, I was so glad to be able to take part and add some distance to our tracker on behalf of my home. I also loved seeing residents from other care homes, it really gave us a boost to continue after hearing their messages!’. Lifestyle Manager and Great British Care Award regional finalist, Danielle Aikenhead, said, ‘I am absolutely blown away by the commitment of our team and residents to achieve 500 miles. Everyone in the team has been brilliant at planning the cycles and our residents have truly embraced it, we have seen so many friendships arise it has been lovely! We are thrilled to have raised enough money to now purchase an interactive activities table which will help to stimulate cognitive function, improve dexterity and entertain residents through fun, targeted interactive apps - I know it’ll fit well into our activities schedule!’.
Encore Care Home Residents Clink Glasses at In-House Bar After Sponsored Silence Fundraiser Care home residents in Christchurch can enjoy a drink from their own fully-stocked bar after the Wellbeing Manager completed a fundraising sponsored silence to finance the new feature. Kim Butters, Wellbeing Manager of Fairmile Grange, and Mike Lyons, Managing Director of Encore Care Homes, cut the ribbon to officially open the bar, called The Merry Fairmilers, which comprises of a range of beers, wines, spirits, mixers and soft drinks, complete with bar mats and scampi fries. The care home residents enjoyed a party on National Prosecco Day to celebrate the special occasion with balloons, cakes, a buffet, and drinks provided by the new bar. To raise money to pay for the bar and the all-important supply of alcohol, Kim took on a tough personal challenge which involved not saying a word for a whole day. Kim was supported in the challenge by her colleague, Andrea Davey, Wellbeing Assistant, who had to speak on behalf of Kim during the silence. In total, the Wellbeing team raised £500 to fund the bar which is free for all of the residents to use on a day-to-day basis, as well as for birthday parties, wedding anniversaries and special events. Kim said: “It was a tough challenge but I felt that I needed to do something out of my comfort zone for a day, so I stayed quiet. It was
more difficult than I thought it would be, particularly when we’re doing fun activities and dancing to music, but it was all for a worthy cause. “Encore’s care home in Fareham, Hamble Heights, has a bar and I thought that our residents deserved one too. We’ve already had a few parties for birthdays and some new residents moving in, so the bar has been put to good use.” It came in response to the care home residents light-heartedly telling her that she needs to stop singing around the home, and instead they told her that for one day, she could only communicate via a chalkboard. Money was donated by Kim’s colleagues, the care home residents, and their families and friends. Mike Lyons, Managing Director of Encore Care Homes, said: “The new bar is a wonderful addition to the facilities that we offer at Fairmile Grange, and we could see from the smile on the residents’ faces how much they appreciate being able to enjoy a drink with their friends. It’s nice to have such a personal touch in the care home, which was funded by kind donations to Kim’s sponsored silence. The bar is a true testament to the work of Kim and Andrea who are real live wires and we are lucky to have them as part of our team.”
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Celebrate Silver Sunday – The National Day For Older People A very special day in the calendar, hundreds of care homes and organisations will be celebrating older people on Sunday 3rd October Held annually on the first Sunday in October, Silver Sunday is the national day for older people. Started as a response to social isolation and loneliness among our older population and now in its tenth year, it is a special day in the national calendar, when everyone can come together to put older people at the heart of their community. This year it takes place on (and around) Sunday 3 October 2021. Last year, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, an enthusiastic supporter, said: “As a member of Silver Sunday’s target audience, I can honestly say that it is a completely brilliant initiative!” Since it first began in 2012, hundreds of care providers across the country have put on tea parties, craft activities, virtual sing-a-longs, yoga classes, poetry readings and much more in support of the big day. Part of the biggest celebration of older people in the country, these events bring huge amounts of joy to residents. They are also an opportunity to showcase what care homes offer and welcome their local communities to see the work care home staff do every day supporting older people. “We are always thrilled with the way care homes bring Silver Sunday to life. The imagination and care that
goes in to creating such lovely events is wonderful to see. During this dreadful pandemic, care homes in particular have had such a horrendous time. They desperately need something happy and uplifting to look forward to. We therefore strongly encourage as many care homes as possible to get involved and if possible welcome in their local communities. The residents will love it and it is such fun for everyone taking part.” – Christabel Flight, Silver Sunday Founder The team behind Silver Sunday are encouraging care homes across the UK to be a part of this national initiative. Silver Sunday is an opportunity to build lasting relationships with their local communities. This could include civic leaders, MPs, charities, entertainers and performers, schools, and youth organisations such as Scouts (who have their own Silver Sunday badge) and Guiding groups.
AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust Returns To Christchurch Care Home Residents at Care South’s Queensmead care home were delighted to welcome the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust team back to their home, with everyone keen to put their footballing skills to the test after 18 months of virtual practice sessions. The residents had plenty of warm up exercises in the morning to prepare for the football fun in the afternoon. The Sports Trust team made sure everyone in the makeshift pitch was able to get involved, using specially-designed, seated football games to bring out the competitive streak in residents. Alma Garrido, Activities Lead at Queensmead, commented: “It’s great to welcome the team from AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust back to Queensmead. There was an hour of football matches at the
home where, in one of the matches, two teams competed as Bournemouth vs. Chelsea. The Bournemouth team won the final goal, but everyone had a fantastic time getting into the football spirit. The football sessions that AFC Bournemouth run are an important part of our activities at the home, helping to keep our residents engaged and active with input from the community.” The visit from the team was thanks to the ongoing partnership between AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust and Care South, which began in 2014. The partnership allows residents, home care service users and staff to get involved in a variety of activities, including meeting players, coffee mornings, walking football and visits to the Vitality Stadium.
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PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
Music Therapy Boost Thanks To New Funding For Social Prescribing The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Music for Dementia have joined forces to support four organisations providing musical services to 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. John Sharpe, who was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, attends The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Centre. He says: “Music is my memories. It makes me remember the bands I saw long ago, such as Queen at Earls Court in 1982 and Bowie in Manchester. I really enjoy talking to my friends here about music and bands, it’s so good to remember them together. He has only attended the centre for a few months, but is already benefitting from its services. John continues: “My dementia has no cure – my arms and legs look fine but my brain isn’t. I love coming to the centre and seeing singers like Claire from Razzle Dazzle and Paper Kite, it brings a smile to my face.” The projects receiving funds are: Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, which offers music workshops across the country for people living with dementia in care settings and online training for carers The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Centre, which also reaches into South Yorkshire and provides a diverse musical programme for its service users Arts and community venue The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft, which is planning to extend its Singing for the Brain Groups into an existing area and one new area, and in doing so attract an additional 40 to 60 families Saffron Hall Trust, which runs a thriving Together in Sound music therapy group in partnership with Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University 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 our second round of grants this year for musical activities for 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 goes into the community where it will 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, CEO 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 across the country, 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.” Director at The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft, Des Reynolds said: “This funding will mean that our successful music appreciation group will be able to expand and offer more people the opportunity to experience the transformational impact of music on the lives of those with dementia. We’ll be able to reach out to more families to enjoy our Sunday Classics film club where we use reminiscence and a wonderful team of professional actors to take our customers truly back in time. We’re overjoyed that more local families will receive support to maximise the enjoyment they can share with their loved ones at our many dementia accessible events.” Des believes the services offered by The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft truly benefit carers as well as people living with dementia, citing a carer who had been a stage performer but was feeling sad and lacking confidence having looked after her husband, who has lived with dementia for over 10 years. By joining the Music Appreciation group, she was able to mix with other carers and people with dementia and eventually took a lead role in the group, both playing instruments and leading sing-a-longs. The carer added enormous value to the group and had found it had helped her ‘return to her being’, by improving her confidence and wellbeing. In addition, her husband had the opportunity to mix with others and his interaction levels grew to the point he started singing, particularly when his wife played. Chief Executive at The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Centre, Julie Wheelhouse said: “We use music to support reminiscence activities, help people to relax, encourage participation in exercise sessions and most importantly to bring a sense of enjoyment and fun with friends. We were delighted to be awarded a grant which will enable us to develop our existing use of music by employing our own Neuro Music therapist and purchase a diverse range of instruments that everyone will be able to use and enjoy.” Learning and Participation Director at Saffron Hall, Thomas Hardy said: “We’re delighted to receive this support for our Together in Sound Programme, which has been established for several years here in Saffron Walden. During this last year in particular, it has been described as a ‘lifeline’ by those taking part. This funding will help us develop our first satellite project in another part of Essex. As we do this, we’re particularly excited about developing stronger partnerships with the healthcare sector, working closely with social prescribing link workers to ensure our work reaches as many people who will benefit as possible.” 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.” Recognising the value of music in social prescribing, NASP has contributed £100,000 to the new funding with a further £12,107 coming from public donations given to the Utley Foundation for the Music for Dementia campaign.
Remarkable Story of How Veterans’ Charity Royal Star & Garter Helped Inspire the Paralympic Movement
As millions of people around the world tune into the Paralympic Games 2020 in Tokyo, Royal Star & Garter is extremely proud of the role it played in the creation of the sporting spectacular. The Games start on 24 August, running until 5 September, and will feature athletes living with disabilities. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia at Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. In 1948, it played a key role in the creation of the Paralympic movement by taking part in the first recorded competition between athletes with disabilities. Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a consultant at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, had established a special paraplegic ward at Royal Star & Garter in the 1940s, and used pioneering techniques to get patients moving, working and playing sport. Believing it contributed profoundly to the physical recovery and mental well-being of his patients, Dr Guttmann introduced archery and billiards, which could be undertaken from a wheelchair. To coincide with the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Dr Guttmann launched the ‘Stoke Mandeville Games’ that year with an archery competition between teams from Royal Star & Garter and Stoke Mandeville. The Royal Star & Garter team won that year, and again in 1949. Later competitions also featured table tennis, billiards and javelin. The Stoke Mandeville Games is acknowledged as the forerunner to the Paralympic
movement by the International Paralympic Committee and International Olympic Committee. Among those who took part in the first Stoke Mandeville Games was Royal Star & Garter resident Charlie Groves. He was injured in the D-Day landings of 1944, but recovered enough to return to the Front Line in Holland, where he was shot by a sniper in 1945 and suffered spinal injuries. He was just 23. Charlie was left unable to walk and had to use a wheelchair. Speaking many years later, he recalled: “It was months before I realised that my walking days were over and life would never be quite the same again.” Charlie moved to the Royal Star & Garter Home on Richmond Hill in 1948, and soon became part of the Star & Garter team and star of the archery competition. Royal Star & Garter’s Director of Care, Pauline Shaw, said: “I am extremely proud of the part we played in the creation of the Paralympic movement, and I look forward to tuning in to watch these remarkable athletes on TV. We continue to innovate to meet the needs of our residents today, just as we have in the past.” Charlie Groves lived at Royal Star & Garter in Richmond for nearly 50 years, until his death in 1997. He had said of the charity: “I can’t imagine what would have become of me if Royal Star & Garter weren’t here.” Royal Star & Garter provides outstanding and awardwinning care at its three Homes. The charity is also relaunching its day care services, and developing services for people in their own homes and for younger veterans. For more information about the charity, please visit www.starandgarter.org
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 15
Researchers Highlight Concerns of Social Workers Arising From Covid-19 Pandemic New research from Keele University has highlighted the key challenges that workers in the social care sector faced during the first wave of Covid-19. Social workers shared concerns that early responses to the pandemic, driven by short-term solutions, did not meet the needs of service users, and also expressed concern about the long-term impact of such changes. The research led by Dr Tom Kingstone, with Professors Lisa Dikomitis and Christian Mallen, from Keele University’s School of Medicine, found stories of resilience and rapid adaptation among social workers. However, there was a deep concern about how new ways of working would impact on service users, particularly the most vulnerable, and what the social work profession would look like post-pandemic. The researchers interviewed social workers from across the West Midlands region and discussed how they had adapted to the rapidly changing situation with the pandemic, and their views on new measures such as more use of technology and video consultations with service users. Social workers shared concerns about how to provide effective care while maintaining social distancing.
They were also concerned about balancing their home and work lives, particularly how to maintain professional boundaries and practices when having to resort to video calling. Social workers confronted new risks to manage and new kit (Personal Protective Equipment – PPE) to get used to. They also spoke of either making compromises or putting themselves at greater risk to maintain business as usual, and the authors have said future research is needed to keep track of these changes in the long term, post-pandemic. Dr Kingstone said: “It has been fascinating to hear from the social workers who took part in this research. Their views and experiences have helped us gain a better understanding of the challenges they faced during the first wave of Covid. We hope this research helps to raise the voice of social workers on this topic.” Professor Dikomitis added: “This social work research is part of our larger Covid-19 studies at Keele’s School of Medicine. Our study results confirm that it is absolutely necessary to conduct qualitative and social science research that provides us with insights (stories of lived experience) on what the ’new normal’ means for different groups in our society. An interview study is an ideal way to do this as it gives us context and explains the ‘numbers’ we are confronted with on daily basis.”
Meallmore Goes For Gold With Olympic Games The Olympic flame is still burning bright for leading care provider, Meallmore, following the completion of the second annual Meallmore Olympic Games. The winners were announced virtually on 10 August by Jody Marshall, Meallmore’s Group Hospitality Manager and Carol-Anne Foote, Meallmore’s Commissioning and Business Development Manager as a week of Olympic-themed activities came to a close. Open to all 26 Meallmore care homes across Scotland, teams of both residents and staff were asked to create a team flag and a national anthem, with the brilliant efforts setting the tone for the games. Flags were waved and anthems sung at the start of each of the four rounds of activities. 28 teams representing Meallmore’s 26 care homes from across the country battled it out in the rounds ‘synchronized hoovering’; ‘come fly with me’; ‘bouncing basketball’ and the ‘laundry triathlon’. There were two overall Meallmore Olympics winners; one for Meallmore’s Specialist Services homes and one for its Elderly Care Homes.
The team ‘Daviot the Brave’ from The Drumboe Unit at Daviot Care Home in Inverness won for the Specialist Services teams, while the ‘Clydeview Warriors’ from Belleaire House in Greenock won for the Elderly Care teams. Jody Marshall who organised the activities said: “While it’s been a summer of sport this year, the highlight of our 2021 has undoubtedly been the second annual Meallmore Olympics. It’s proved to be quite the hit with everyone, with hundreds of people getting involved in all of our homes across the country. Our residents and staff have really demonstrated their talents – and their competitiveness! “While we’re all individual units caring for people across Scotland, we’re all one big team and family. The passing of our Olympic Flame in our opening ceremony was an emotional one for us this year, as it represented our connection, despite us being apart. I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all Meallmore competitors on their fantastic efforts during the games. You’ve all done your homes incredibly proud.”
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Latest Statistics on Use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in England are Published The latest figures on applications to legally deprive a person of their liberty, where that person lacks the mental capacity to consent to their care or treatment, have been published by NHS Digital today. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is a legal procedure when an adult who lacks mental capacity to consent to their care or treatment is deprived of their liberty1 in a care home or hospital, in order to keep them safe from harm. In England, all deprivations of liberty that take place in a care home or hospital must be independently assessed and authorised by a local authority2 to ensure they are in the person’s best interests. The Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, England, 2020-21 report provides information on applications for DoLS3, including: • How many applications were received and completed by local authorities • The time taken to process DoLS applications • Reasons for applications not being granted The report also contains information on the demographic profile of people for whom a DoLS application
was made, as well as both the planned and actual duration of authorisations granted by local authorities. During the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic period, which this publication covers, some aspects of the DoLS process have changed due to new Government guidance. This includes greater use of remote assessments and shortened forms. The impact of coronavirus on DoLS has not explicitly been measured, but these changes may be reflected in the data. NHS Digital’s Chief Statistician Chris Roebuck said: “This publication provides useful insight into Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which apply an important legal process to protect vulnerable people. “The report shows detailed information on the use of this framework, while data broken down to local authority level can be easily accessed through our interactive Adult Social Care Analytical Hub.” Further, more detailed, analysis of any aspect of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards data is available at local, regional and national levels on request.
The Cleaning Show Returns to Highlight New Cleaning and Sanitation Practices The global pandemic has seen cleanliness and sanitation become a top priority for business owners and consumers alike. Helping showcase the latest advancements in cleaning practices and technologies, The Cleaning Show returns to ExCeL, London from 2-4 November 2021. The show, organised by the British Cleaning Council and Quartz Business Media, is set to attract more than 7,000 senior cleaning professionals from across the contract cleaning, facilities management (FM), healthcare, hospitality, retail, and public services sectors – making it the UK’s largest and most important event in the cleaning and hygiene sector. And, as the first event in the sector to take place since the UK’s national lockdown was lifted, attendees will be able to connect, learn and discover new products, services, and suppliers at a critical time as businesses across the UK prioritise cleaning protocols to ensure returning staff and
customers remain safe.
PREVENTATIVE CLEANING IN A POST-PANDEMIC FUTURE
With new and recently launched innovations on display, attendees can find the solutions to help them meet the increasing demands for heightened cleanliness and sanitation in a post-pandemic future. For example, ICE, the UK’s largest independent provider of cleaning equipment, will be on hand to showcase its wide range of future friendly cleaning solutions.
LESSONS LEARNT DURING THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Reflecting on lessons learnt during the global pandemic and celebrating the hard work and achievements of cleaning professionals across the UK, The Cleaning Show conference makes an eagerly awaited return. It will provide a platform for attendees to learn and discuss the latest developments, and the critical next steps for an industry on the frontline of public health and safety. Industry experts will come together to discuss the role of cleaning in protecting public health and safety; how autonomous cleaning can support and enhance current cleaning practices; and how employing new technology can deliver a modern cleaning service.
New for 2021, the Cleaning & Support Services Association will be hosting its 2021 CSSA Innovation Showcase in a dedicated pavilion at the
event to highlight and celebrate the industry’s most innovative cleaning products, services and initiatives. Businesses and organisations operating throughout the industry can enter their innovations via the CSSA website. Prior to The Cleaning Show, the CSSA will hold an Innovator's Pitch with a panel of leading industry experts who will review and interview all entrants and select those to be exhibited at the Innovation Showcase itself. Visit https://www.cssa-uk.co.uk/ for further information on submitting an entry. Jim Melvin, Chairman, British Cleaning Council, said: “This past year has more than demonstrated the importance of the cleaning and hygiene industry, which reacted and helped significantly and professionally in safeguarding and protecting the public in order to ensure that the UK’s commercial and public spaces are safe. “Continuing to spearhead innovation, the industry has quickly adapted to all of the emerging challenges, and we are truly excited to return to the ExCeL, London as the first physical event for the sector to demonstrate our collective collaboration in continuing to drive the industry forward at such a critical time.” Registration for The Cleaning Show 2021 is now open. To register today and find further information on this year’s programme, visit https://cleaningshow.co.uk/
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 19
Mentally Stimulating Jobs Linked To Lower Dementia Risk, Study Suggests New research suggests that people with mentally stimulating jobs may be less likely to develop dementia, and less likely to have proteins in their blood that may interfere with the brain’s ability to form new connections between cells. The study, from a team of international researchers and led by scientists at UCL, is published in the BMJ. Previous research has suggested that staying mentally active is linked to a lower risk of dementia, and experts believe that keeping the brain active may help to build a type of resilience called ‘cognitive reserve’. When a person has a high level of cognitive reserve, their brain is more able to ‘rewire’ itself, by more easily forming new connections between cells when old ones are damaged by disease. This new study explored the relationship between mental stimulation at work, dementia risk and certain proteins that are thought to prevent brain cells from forming new connections. The research involved data from seven studies that were part of a larger study called the IPD-Work consortium. For part of the study, the researchers used data from 107,896 participants based in the UK, Europe and the US to examine the links between mental stimulation and dementia risk. The research included studies that started between 1986 and 2002, and participants were assessed in 2017 to determine whether they had developed dementia. The researchers also used a random sample of 2,261 people from one study to explore the links between mental stimulation and the proteins present in people’s blood, as well as 13,656 people from two studies to look at links between these proteins and dementia risk. The results showed that people whose jobs had a high degree of mental stimulation were less likely to develop dementia than those
whose jobs involved less mental stimulation. Mental stimulation was determined by looking at the demands of a job, and how much control people had in their roles. The researchers also looked at levels of different proteins in people’s blood plasma. They found that levels of three proteins, called SLIT2, AMD and CHSTC, tended to be lower in those who did not develop dementia, and in those whose jobs involved more mental stimulation. As previous studies have suggested that each of these proteins may play a role in preventing brain cells from forming connections between each other, the team highlight this as an avenue for further research. Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This large, robust study adds to a body of evidence suggesting that staying mentally active is important for helping reduce the risk of dementia. Previous research has suggested that keeping the brain active can help build cognitive reserve, a type of resilience that helps the brain ‘rewire’ its connections more easily and keep working for longer when diseases like Alzheimer’s take hold. This new research also identified proteins in people’s blood plasma that may be connected to this process, and further research should investigate this finding in more detail. “Not everyone is able to choose the type of work they do, but studies like this highlight the importance of finding activities that help keep the brain active, whether it’s through work or hobbies. It’s not currently clear which activities are most helpful for building cognitive reserve, so whether it’s a stimulating job, reading or learning a language, finding something you enjoy is key. As well as staying mentally active, current evidence suggests that keeping socially connected and looking after heart health are all important ways to help protect our brain health and reduce the risk of dementia.”
The Beeches Band Together to Raise Over £100 for the NHS in Summer Fete Day Every year within the beautiful grounds of The Beeches in East Harling (Norfolk) our residents and staff celebrate Summer with their Fete Day, which invites our residents family and some of our favourite entertainers to the home to help us raise money for a good cause. Throughout the last 18 months our regular events have had to adapt and change, with last years restrictions meaning we were unable to invite our residents loved ones. It was a true pleasure to see our residents and their family and friends reunited for a very special occasion. The event featured an amazing photobooth with props, dressing up attire and inflatable palmtrees to really give off that tropical Summer holiday atmosphere. Our amazing kitchen team cooked up some amazing BBQ classics for our residents and their loved ones, and also made a variety of drinks which were on offer throughout the day. An amazing part of this event was our paperchain appeal - organised by Activities Coordinator Marie Browne. This initiative was all about showing our residents their connection to their local community, with each of our residents creating a section of paperchain each which was then attached together.
own paper chains and send them to the home, so we could show the distance our connections would cover. We were amazed by the response and created a paperchain long enough to stretch around the homes large garden, truly demonstrating what an integral part of the local community our residents really are. Their were lots of outdoor games for our residents and their loved ones to enjoy, as well as raffles and tombolas giving our residents a chance to win some fantastic prizes. Through these methods the home successfully raised £130 for our local NHS Heroes, and fellow keyworkers. This event was a huge success and we were over the moon to see the happiness it brought to residents and staff alike. We wanted to share our sincerest thanks with the team at The Beeches who really went above and beyond to make this an unforgetThrough the local media and digital strategies we appealed to the community throughout East Harling and the wider area to create their
table day for our residents and their loved ones, we are so proud of each and every one of you. Keep up the great work!
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 www.DesignerContracts.com for further information.
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Reviewing Developments in the Care Sector spectrum on the need to reform social care funding, there is less consensus on where the funding burden should fall. In the debate on whether National Insurance or income tax are the right lever, it is argued by many that National Insurance disproportionately impacts the young and those on lower incomes due to its lower starting threshold and narrower base (it is not paid by those over state pension age nor is it levied on other forms of income such as dividends). A rise in either tax would, however, break the Conservative “triple tax lock” manifesto pledge. Wealth taxes, put forward by some as the equitable solution, are likely to receive vehement opposition from within the Conservative party. While it is encouraging that the issue remains high on the government’s agenda, we must now wait until the Autumn for further announcements.
INFECTION CONTROL AND TESTING FUND EXTENDED
Kerry Bailey, Business Restructuring Partner at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO (www.bdo.co.uk), looks at care sector developments in funding, labour shortages and Covid-19 measures for tenants and landlords. TAX MEASURES TO RAISE ADDITIONAL FUNDING Rumours are mounting of new tax measures to raise additional funding for both the pandemic relief payments and the much-needed transformation of social care. Corporation tax has largely been earmarked for the former; the latter point is still unresolved. Whilst there is agreement across the political
It is welcome news for the sector that the government has extended the Infection Control and Testing Fund to the end of September 2021 . Alongside the extension of free PPE to March 2022, this remains a valuable source of support. This is particularly true for care home providers given that care home occupancy remains down from February 2020 levels and is unlikely to recover rapidly.
LABOUR SHORTAGES FOR CARE PROVIDERS Whilst the pandemic shone a spotlight on the fantastic work carried out by the sector and aided recruitment, in common with other parts of the economy care providers are now reporting increased difficulty in recruiting staff to fill vacancies . In some instances, this reflects staff burnout due to the demands placed on care workers by the pandemic. Competition for workers from employers in retail, hospitality and elsewhere in the healthcare sector may mean these difficulties continue. The government has also requested an independent review into the effect of ending EU freedom of movement on the labour market within
adult social care given reported skills shortages . These trends are exacerbated by legislation for compulsory vaccination for staff in care home settings, which might be extended in due course to home care providers . While the legislation is supported by many providers, it will inevitably result in some workers deciding to seek employment elsewhere. The debate on pay rises for NHS workers will also no doubt have a knock-on impact on wage rates for care staff, with the capacity to meet these rising costs being potentially limited through a reliance on capped public authority fees and the ability to increase rates for privately funded residents.
NEW COVID-19 MEASURES FOR TENANTS AND LANDLORDS As a result of the significant impact of COVID-19 on trading performance in the sector, a number of providers will have delayed rent payments. The restrictions on the forfeiture of business tenancies for non-payment of rent are to continue in England until 25 March 2022. The service of statutory demands and winding up petitions will remain restricted until late September 2021 . This move has frustrated landlords but brought further relief for commercial tenants. In addition, new primary legislation is being introduced to ringfence outstanding unpaid rent from any period where operations were closed due to the pandemic, supported by mandatory arbitration where necessary. However, for care businesses that have been significantly affected but remained open to provide vital support to individuals at a time of crisis, this element of the support package is likely to provide little benefit. The government is continuing with the mantra that “those who are able to pay rent, must do so” and engagement between landlords and tenants with the right support will be crucial in finding a way forward.
Former Footballer Denis Law Diagnosed with Dementia Former footballer Denis Law, a Manchester United legend, has revealed that he has been diagnosed with mixed dementia. The 81-year-old is considered one of the United’s all-time greatest players, having been part of the side which won the 1968 European Cup under Sir Matt Busby. Law’s diagnosis comes a year after his former Manchester United team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton was also diagnosed with dementia. Denis Law said: ‘I am at the point where I feel I want to be open about my condition. I have been diagnosed with ‘mixed dementia’, which is more than one type of dementia, in my case this being Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia. This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone, and the long periods of isolation have certainly not helped. ‘It is an incredibly challenging and problematic disease and I have witnessed many friends go through this. You hope that it won’t happen to you, even make jokes about it whilst ignoring the early signs because you don’t want it to be true. You get angry, frustrated, confused and then worried, worried for your family, as they will be the ones dealing with it. ‘However, the time has come to tackle this head on, excuse the pun. I recognise how my brain is deteriorating and how my memory evades me when I don’t want it to and how this causes me distress in situations that are beyond my control. I do understand what is happening and that is why I want to address my situation now whilst I am able, because I know there will be days when I don’t understand, and I hate the thought of that right now. ‘In the height of the pandemic, I said I hoped that if one positive was to come out of it, it would be that it would make people kinder to each other, so that’s what I am hoping for now. I don’t want people to be saddened if I forget places, people, or dates because you need to remember I enjoyed all those memories and
I am lucky to have experienced what I have in my life…a loving and supportive family, a great career doing what I loved and getting paid to do it and lifelong friends. ‘I have good days and bad days and aim to take each day as it comes adjusting my lifestyle accordingly. I hung up my football boots a long time ago and now it’s time to put my signing days behind me too, so apologies to anyone who has sent me anything but I am just not able. I am trying to be positive and determined to continue watching my club, Manchester United at Old Trafford, hopefully this will be a season of success and I am excited by the new signings that Ole and the club have made. ‘Also, where possible I would like to continue my involvement with the ‘Denis Law Legacy Trust’, the work the staff and volunteers do in the community is amazing and it makes a real difference. I know the road ahead will be hard, demanding, painful and ever changing and so ask for understanding and patience as this will not be an easy journey especially for the people who love you the most.” Kate Lee, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘We have offered support to Denis Law and the whole family. We are incredibly thankful to the family for choosing to raise vital funds for us and hope Denis’s bravery in coming forward will encourage many others to seek the help they need, for which we are hugely grateful. ‘We’ve seen too many sporting heroes impacted by the condition, which is why our Sport United Against Dementia campaign is needed now more than ever. It’s never been more important to fund crucial research and our vital support services and ensure that right now, past and present players, as well as fans, know our services are here and can get the dedicated dementia support they deserve.’
Hallmark Partners with FaultFixers to Deliver COVID-Safe Maintenance Management Hallmark Care Homes partners with maintenance management software app, FaultFixers (www.faultfixers.com) 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 https://info.faultfixers.com/hallmark-case-study. 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maYeH2yus_8
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Avoiding Unnecessary Charges: Can Your Care Home Leverage Water Savings? By Darren Myers, Water Procurement Manager, Zenergi (www.zenergi.co.uk)
Many care homes are unknowingly paying too much for their water. Since ‘competition’ was introduced to the market in 2017 and changes to pricing in April 2020, the pricing gap has widened. In addition, managing a complicated and overwhelming number of bills across your portfolio each month can make it hard to identify errors and erroneous charges, particularly as utility bills have been identified as some of the most complex and confusing for businesses and households alike. As a solution, care homes could consider a Water Management Service, to ensure they avoid paying more for their water than they
should, while accessing better customer service. Not only will bills go down, but water usage will be assessed, benchmarked, and monitored, identifying opportunities to reduce overall usage, an increasingly key focus with sustainability and environmental awareness firmly in the spotlight.
increased costs for their water supply. Using a Water Management Service means costs will be reviewed and compared against several approved suppliers to ensure you are receiving the best deal possible and taking care of the process, giving you extra time to spend on more valuable aspects of your business.
WHAT IS A WATER MANAGEMENT SERVICE?
Firstly, lets understand what it is and the benefits it entails. Essentially, a Water Management Service supports the supply of your water. Care homes in England have been able to choose their own water supplier since April 2017, but with more than 20 water suppliers to choose from and a huge disparity between the level of service between them, it can be hard to know where to start. Water Management services take care of the research for you. Water suppliers will have been vetted and selected based on customer service levels, price, and other valueadded features, such as easy-to-understand billing or services to help reduce your water consumption. Many services will also include bill validation, meaning your bills will be checked ahead of payment, ensuring you only pay for the water you use. Any billing issues are followed up with the supplier and rectified on your behalf, saving you time and money. Water Bill Savings Did you know, if you hadn’t switched or entered a contract before April 2017, when the market opened offering free choice over your water supplier, you would have been automatically placed into a ‘deemed contract’ with your existing supplier. The Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) introduced tariff caps to protect these consumers, however, the caps were relaxed on 1 April 2020, meaning care homes on deemed agreements are more likely to face significantly
Every day, 3 billion litres of water is wasted in the UK. This isn’t sustainable and is in urgent need of reduction. To combat this, organisations must commit to making a difference. However, it can be challenging to pinpoint how excess waste is being produced and how it can be prevented. As part of the service, consumption is benchmarked to evaluate whether your care home is consuming water at a level above what would be expected, potentially identifying a leak or any overuse that should be investigated. If spotted and action taken to resolve it, not only will you see a financial benefit, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the reduction of water wastage.
CARING FOR YOUR RESIDENTS Investing in residents’ wellbeing and quality of life, should always be the top priority. However, rising costs across your organisation can make going that extra mile difficult. The savings that can be achieved through a Water Management Service, can allow additional investment in wellbeing, including activities and facilities that contribute to the overall quality of life of your residents Overall, the benefits of a Water Management Service are clear. It grants greater freedom in terms of financials and time, which will inevitably create a positive ripple effect throughout care homes.
Orchard Care Homes Sponsor Local Charity Football Fundraiser Local care home provider Orchard Care Homes, which operates five specialist homes in Sunderland, was the primary sponsor for The Bradley Lowery Cup 2021 football match, in support of the fight against rare forms of childhood illnesses. The Bradley Lowery Foundation was established in August 2017 after six-year-old Bradley Lowery lost his fight to Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer. The charity aims to support families who are fundraising for treatment or equipment, for all illnesses and conditions, which are not readily available or covered by the NHS. This year, The Bradley Lowery annual football fundraiser was in aid of six-year-old Oliver from Sunderland. Earlier this year, Oliver was diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma and is currently undergoing frontline treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Unfortunately, Neuroblastoma has a high relapse rate meaning there is a
high risk that Oliver’s cancer will return again in the future. The football match, which took place on 14th August at Silksworth Sports Complex in Sunderland, aimed to raise £230,000 for a vaccine, only available abroad, which is designed to reduce the chances of Oliver’s cancer returning. Orchard’s CFO, Deborah Johnson and Operations Director for North East, Jackie Murray, also attended the football match to share the support of the wider organisation and see the players in their newly designed, Orchard Care Homes sponsored kits. Hayden Knight, CEO of Orchard Care Homes commented on the sponsorship and said “Orchard Care Homes is proud to be the principal event sponsor for 2021. We pride ourselves on being at the heart of the community and what better way to show that than to support such a heart-warming cause.”
Gracewell of Weymouth Resident Enjoys Day to Remember One resident at the luxury care home Gracewell of Weymouth has recently enjoyed a
alongside his wife and daughter, Maureen, working as Committee Clerk for the Council and supporting the development of much needed homes and schools in the area.
thrilling trip to sea in a day to remember. Despite joining Gracewell of Weymouth just days prior, Roy Ricketts, 101, headed out on his
And, still full of excitement and eager to embrace new opportunities at the age of 101, Roy and several other residents at Gracewell of Weymouth boarded the FM Freedom boat for a
first trip with the care home on 17th August. After noting how he enjoyed seeing the cruise ships in the bay from his flat in Poole during
day of fantastic sights, where they enjoyed watching the cruise ships out at sea.
the lockdown period, the team at Gracewell of Weymouth decided to treat their new resident
Reflecting on the trip out, Roy said:
with a fantastic trip to sea.
“I never thought I would be able to do this within a care home. I really enjoyed the day, it
Roy is no stranger to the coast, with Bournemouth being his hometown since childhood. However, during the Second World War, he was called up to serve in the RAF’s Medical
was windy but not too cold, and it was lovely to be out at sea with the sea air. If there are spaces on any trips I would like to go. You have to take opportunities in life.”
Branch. During this time, he went away to Castle Camps and Burma, where he served for 12
Rachel Craig, Activities Co-ordinator at Gracewell of Weymouth, added:
months, receiving the Burma Star for his service.
“The residents really enjoyed the day. We always have such a great time on the FM
Following the end of the war, Roy returned to his home in Bournemouth. Here he resided,
Holding Fire Doors Open Legally Fire doors, which are part of fire safety provision within care settings can pose a barrier to the mobility and wellbeing of residents. Residents can feel isolated and alone as the closing action of the fire door closer fitted to their room door doesn’t allow them to keep their door open. They are unable to interact with staff and other residents as they walk past their room, which can impact on their mental wellbeing. Gangways with fire doors and closers are also hard to manoeuvre if you are frail. Don’t be tempted, though, to use an object or door wedge to hold fire doors open, this is a breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and you could find yourself facing a heavy fine or even a custodial sentence. However, there are ways of legally holding fire doors open, which enhance the independent mobility of the elderly without compromising your fire safety integrity. Certified fire door holders and retainers can be fitted to fire doors, enabling them to be
Freedom boat. Thank you so much to the skipper and staff for a lovely afternoon.”
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 www.safelincs.co.uk/dorgards.
PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
CMA Declines Right To Appeal In Fee Case Against Care UK The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided not to appeal a High Court ruling on July 23rd that dismissed a claim for compensation for Care UK residents who had been charged in advance for administration fees. The CMA had sought remedy for both Care UK and Barchester Healthcare residents who paid the charges, arguing the non-refundable upfront administration fee broke consumer protection law. Following the High Court ruling in which found Care UK’s pre-admission appraisal of residents was ‘very detailed’ with ‘very significant activities’, the CMA has dropped its claim against Barchester. In a statement the CMA said: “the CMA has decided not to apply to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the judgment, given the Judge’s ruling that her judgment turned on the specific facts of the particular case, which limits both its significance beyond this case and the opportunity to appeal it.””
“The CMA has decided to discontinue its claim against Barchester. This is because many of the key facts in the two cases are materially similar. Having regard to its Prioritisation Principles the CMA has decided to discontinue its whole claim against Barchester” “The CMA is suspending its Consumer Law Advice for Care Home Providers and supporting documents while it considers the implications of the judgment in the case the CMA brought against Care UK. The case concerned the charging of a large upfront administration fee. The CMA expects that many of the principles set out in the Advice will remain applicable and intends to reissue the Advice when its review is completed. The CMA will take a decision on the next steps for its review of compliance with the advice after it has reissued that advice. The CMA’s decision to suspend its guidance does not affect the duty of Care Home Providers to comply with consumer protection law.”
Primrose Croft Care Home Residents In Cambridge Win NAPA Hollywood Prize Primrose Croft Care Home in Cambridge entered a National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) competition where Care Homes were invited to make a sign for their homes using any type of materials. Residents had a brainstorming session and agreed that Primrose Croft is all about the people that live and work there, agreeing that the sign must include residents and staff, so it was obvious to have the letters for Primrose Croft shaped using the people that are the glue to Primrose Croft. In a fun filled day getting everyone positioned into the right shape it was very amusing especially for the spectators. Once Pearl, Regional Lifestyle & Wellbeing Lead, had taken the pictures she printed them off in a drawing effect that everyone thought looked amazing. The sign was then placed outside so
everyone can see it when they arrive at Primrose Croft. In true Hollywood style Rachel, Home Manager, arranged a special opening day where the Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Russ McPherson, cut the ribbon for their new unique sign. The Major thought it was very creative, and residents enjoyed telling him how much fun it was to do. Staff and residents enjoyed a barbecue with KJ Entertainment singing. Everyone at Primrose Croft really enjoyed the day they were involved in creating their exceptional sign, saying, “how marvellous it is to have won.” Especially when they heard they had been up against many competitors and the judges were unanimous that Primrose Croft should be the winner. Primrose Croft are now looking forward to receiving a prize which is a Hollywood themed party pack.
High Wycombe Care Home Wins National Award For Providing Outstanding End-Of-Life Care Royal Star & Garter in High Wycombe has been awarded a national Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award for its delivery of end-of-life care. It was given as part of the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Virtual Awards, which recognises health and social care providers delivering quality care in the final year of life. The Hughenden Avenue Home provides care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It is one of a cohort of 59 GP practices, care homes, retirement villages, and hospital wards which will receive the prestigious GSF quality hallmark across the country during the virtual ceremony. The Gold Standards Framework Centre, in association with Hospice UK, provides expert training for frontline staff in health and social care, to enable a ‘gold standard’ of care for people nearing the end of life. Before the pandemic hit, GSF provided face-to-face work-
shops, but has successfully adapted and moved online to adhere to Covid regulations. The training has been a huge success, and has supported both families and residents with end-of-life care planning and what matters to them at this time. High Wycombe Home Manager Reggie Ballos said: “We are delighted to achieve a Gold Standard Framework accreditation. I feel both proud and happy as this is a result of our dedication and passion in providing exceptional care to all residents nearing the end of their lives.” Julie Armstrong-Wilson, Lead Nurse for GSF, said: “Congratulations to all organisations that have successfully achieved accreditation and reaccreditation. The last year has been an incredibly difficult time for all health and social care providers and taking the time to complete their GSF accreditation is to be commended. Good quality end of life care has never been more important, especially due to the impact of the pandemic we have all faced.”
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 www.openstudycollege.com or follow Open Study College on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
The Impact of Care Settings on Resident Mood and Wellbeing by Stephane Piazza, Project leader at Apt (https://apt.london) Historically, the words ‘care home’ and ‘design’, haven’t often been used together – instead the negative connotations of the ‘care home’ setting have been prevalent - cold, institutionalised, and hospitalised atmospheres, lacking all the things that make somewhere feel like home. However, during the last 18 months, there has been a significant focus on the subject of care, isolation and the wider subject of loneliness. The pandemic has highlighted how important wellbeing and care are, and how the buildings and spaces we occupy can impact these. At Apt, as architects and designers, we have been working within the care sector for a number of years – and welcome this renewed debate around how to design better for every stage of life. The sector itself has several categories within the broader heading of care; Independent Living (also called Extra Care), Assisted Living and Memory Care, more commonly referenced as a Care Home, which all address a specific focus.
HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE DESIGN? Our approach to designing for ‘senior living’ is really no different to that of any residential accommodation – we are designing homes, with the user at the centre of this creative discussion. It is important for us to remember that these are environments where people live, where they meet their friends, welcome visits from their family and where they spend their later years surrounded by professional care and assistance, but also where people primarily want to be part of a community. The future of care is not as an institutionalised medical environment, but an environment based around a home model with facilities and support to assist those who are in need of this assistance. Although the specific briefing resulting from the age of the residents and their care requirements is an essential consideration in the design, another important focus is finding creative ways to integrate the ‘essential’ equipment and technology with empathy so that the spaces feel more considered, respecting the dignity of the residents and for them to be less categorised as care home residents.
WHAT PARAMETERS ARE THERE TO PLAY WITH? The quality of the spaces is paramount - with a greater synergy towards material choices, colour palettes, lighting levels and the relationship of these to the wider function of rooms and spaces. Soft contrasts and natural materials are preferred throughout apartments, warm and light tones combined with natural light will provide the feeling of ‘being at home’. For common areas and amenity spaces, muted, toned-down colours, and darker materials for a more relaxed and tranquil atmosphere are considered alongside spatial design decisions such as the subdivision of larger ‘one function’ spaces like a lounge, into smaller, more intimate, and cosy sub-spaces.
HOW CAN THESE DESIGN DECISIONS INFLUENCE THE RESIDENTS? ‘Daily exposure to distinct periods of bright light during the daytime and true darkness at night are essential to synchronise our internal circadian system to the solar day, so that we are able function optimally … When these environmental cues are absent, weakened or experienced at the wrong time of day, our circadian system becomes disrupted. This disruption is associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes including sleep disorders. The visual system of older people diminishes due to inevitable changes in the physiology of the eye and … without appropriate lighting, problems with the timing, duration, and quality of sleep can develop, which in turn may impact behaviour and health. (Karen van Creveld, MSc., FSLL) Colour and lighting greatly influence our mood and appreciation of the space around us. Integrating this correctly where everything has a considered place, is key to design success. In an apartment or even in an amenity space, a focus towards maximising natural light significantly improves the daily experience especially when directly connected to accessible outdoor spaces. The sociability and connective characteristics of outdoor spaces are fundamental to providing a sense of freedom and community for residents within a senior living setting. Through our designs, we look to create a variety of external spaces, of differing scales, types and uses, associating a theme to each, such as relaxation, recreation, or activity. The presence of water features and living walls, comfortable seating, the smells, and colours from the planting contribute significantly to the wellbeing of the community who are encouraged to use outdoor spaces to socialise and connect as would happen in a private garden. The advancement of technology is another aspect that can enormously assist and improve the comfort and security of the residents and should be integrated into the design at early stage. Touchless controls, intensive air purification and water filtration and more interconnected sensors within apartments and rooms all benefit the residents greatly. In the pursuit of designing ‘better homes’ for our aged and ageing population, we strive to provide better buildings through thoughtful design and collaborations with a wide range of specialist disciplines. This creates a unified and holistic approach which encourages care providers to deliver a new generation of exemplar ‘care home’ settings for residents to complete their exciting journeys through life.
Leawood Manor Care Home, In Nottingham, Wins Runwood Homes’ Annual Gardening Competition Runwood Homes Senior Living were delighted to launch their annual Blooming
to connect with others, and an ability to learn and improve one’s skills. The Blooming
Marvellous competition once again this year. The competition sees residents getting
Marvellous competition has proved very successful every year, and is a key initiative in
involved in creating beautiful garden and outdoor spaces that they can be proud of
helping to enhance the wellbeing of residents.
and enjoy. The initiative received great interest from residents and staff alike, allowing everyone in the home to work together on a project which promotes stimulation and purpose, and something, when complete, all at the home are able to appreciate. For residents, gardening is such an enjoyable and familiar activity to join in with or
This year, Runwood Homes received some very strong entries from across the Group, and were proud to announce Leawood Manor in West Bridgford, Nottingham, as the overall winners for the competition. It was clear that Leawood Manor had worked exceptionally hard on their garden, which will no doubt be enjoyed by all at
just sit and watch. Spending time outdoors has a vast array of benefits for residents in
the home. The winning garden is home to beautiful flowers, bright outdoor decorations
care homes, including a sense of achievement when growing and planting, a chance
and an impressive variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs.
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 www.jla.com
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 29
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.maglaundryequipment.co.uk ★★★★★ 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 email@example.com 0345 070 2335 or www.forbespro.co.uk
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: www.girbau.co.uk
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.
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven
Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 31
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 www.rensair.com
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 www.vernacare.com 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 www.cwappliedtechnology.com
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
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: http://aeramaxpro.com/uk/ *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. www.plexus-innovation.com E: email@example.com T: 0191 922 3969
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NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Ageing Population: Tackling the Challenge of Falls By Barak Katz, VP and GM Essence SmartCare (www.essencesmartcare.com) 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.
FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR
Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to
use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.
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.
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 www.fallsavers.co.uk.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 35
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 www.nursecallsystems.co.uk
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kamsystems.co.uk
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PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION
IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS
EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)
have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.
Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.
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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 email@example.com
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.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 37
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.
HEAVY DUTY SENSOR MATS
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 www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11 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.
ANTIBACTERIAL PULL CORDS
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.
PRESSURE CARE MATTRESSES & CUSHIONS
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 www.nursecallmats.co.uk or contact us 020 8454 7918, firstname.lastname@example.org
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PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
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 Sales@burlington-uniforms.co.uk www.burlington-uniforms.co.uk 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 www.win-health.com 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 www.pressalit.com Tel: 0844 8806950 email: email@example.com https://pressalit.com/en-uk/
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
with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details or see page 10.
our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.renrayhealthcare.com or see the advert on page 3 for details.
FLOOR COLOUR PERCEPTION
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 www.akw-ltd.co.uk For more information, please contact AKW on 01905 823298, Email: email@example.com or visit www.akw-ltd.co.uk 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 www.scrubsuk.com or www.uniforms-uk.com 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: www.smileshieldmask.com.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66 | PAGE 41
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE How Digital Tools Can Better Support Care Teams in Times of Transition By Ross Mccaw, CEO and founder of OurPeople (www.ourpeople.com) 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.
PERSONALISED TRAINING TO KEEP TEAMS CONFIDENT
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.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ACCOUNTING FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
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!!
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: www.serco.com Lincolnshire County Council: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk The University of Lincoln: www.lincoln.ac.uk/home
The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly thecareruk.com/backissues
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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 spiredinspirations.com inspirations.c com or scan the QR code on the right. For general enquiries, please email ! ! firstname.lastname@example.org! info@inspir ed-inspirations.com! “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.
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PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
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 email@example.com or visit www.personcentredsoftware.com
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 www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus. An employer toolkit is at www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlementscheme-employer-toolkit See the advert this page or visit www.bizimply.com
Reliant Care Solutions Ltd WHY SHOULD CARE HOMES MOVE FROM PAPER TO ELECTRONIC TIME SHEETS
The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.
HOW IS TIME AND MONEY SAVED BY DOING THINGS ELECTRONICALLY?
Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".
THERE ARE MANY SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET WHY FACIAL RECOGNITION IS IMPORTANT AND HOW IT WORKS
Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.
HOW IS DATA PROTECTED? With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. For further information visit www.rcscare.net or call 03333 444 562.
PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
PAGE 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 66
Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify (www.capify.co.uk) reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover from this crisis?
THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
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: http://www.capify.co.uk
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 email@example.com
Care Provider Vista Care Bought For Up To £4m Care provider Vista Care Solutions, which trades as Sunlight Care Group, has been bought for up to £4m by MBH Corporation, the owner of Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Samuel Hobson House care home. Vista Care’s Sunlight Care Group offers home care, services for mental health, children, parental support, supported living and it also operates Park View care home for people with learning disabilities. The care provider’s acquisition by the investment holding company will see it become part of MHB’s health division which already operates Samuel Hobson House care home in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The acquisition of Vista Care is worth an estimated£3.3m to £4m. Vista Care’s unaudited revenues (for the financial year ended 31 May 2021) totalled £3.3 million from contracts with city councils in Nottingham, Newham and Redbridge who make up the company’s list of customers. Vista Care Solutions is the fifth purchase this year for MBH which has a portfolio of 26 companies across eight sectors in five countries. Callum Laing, chief executive of MBH Corporation
said: “Care homes are integral to the British service economy and Vista Care represents the best of the sector with a future facing and innovative offering that gives the people it cares for the best possible experience. “We’re proud to welcome the team on board and look forward to taking the next steps to growth alongside them.” Ali & Shakar Sharif, Owners, Vista Care Solutions, commented: “As a team we couldn’t have hoped to find a better group than MBH to join. Their agglomeration model allows us to retain control of Vista and grow our business organically, whilst collaborating with and learning from some truly inspirational leaders across a whole range of sectors within the Group. We look forward to seeing what we can achieve as part of the MBH family.” Callum Laing, CEO, MBH Corporation Plc, said: ‘Care homes are integral to the British service economy and Vista Care represents the best of the sector with a future facing and innovative offering that gives the people it cares for the best possible experience. We’re proud to welcome the team on board and look forward to taking the next steps to growth alongside them.’