The Carer Digital - Issue #67

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 67

'Action Week' To Support Care Worker Pay Petition Launches

This month sees the launch of action week to help raise public awareness and support for a campaign to increase wages for those employed in adult social care. The #BetterPay4SocialCare Action Week will be taking place from Monday 6th to Friday 10th September, and aims to raise awareness of care worker pay, with 28 social care organisations across the country urging people to sign the campaign's petition at

Campaigners and social care organisations are calling on Government to ensure all social care workers receive a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.50 (£10.85 in London). Most do not receive this because local authorities are unable to provide adequate funding to social care providers. The petition will then be delivered on September 21st on the steps of HM Treasury.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! Question: What is the difference between a careworker and Santa Claus? Answer: Santa Claus gets Boxing Day off. Okay, I will admit I'm using a comment sent to us in 2020, but the relevance of the comment never diminishes! I do not think, at this stage, that the nation needs reminding of the contribution care workers made to the country during the pandemic. The pandemic shone a very bright light on just how much we rely on our nation’s 1.52m care workers and the risks they take to do their job. Several studies we publicised early this year revealed that social care workers are astonishingly underpaid. One revealed that staff in the sector worked an average of 86-hours per week between January 2019 and May 2021, fuelled by overtime and dual-shifts in 24-hour periods, as well as overnight stays in care home settings through lockdowns. Another revealed that many frontline social care workers are undervalued by as much as 39% – nearly £7,000 per year. The staffing issues in the sector are “no secret”. Key findings in a State of Care report revealed that the estimated turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.4%, equivalent to approximately 430,000 leavers over the year, and further revealed that it is estimated that 7.3% of the roles in adult social care were vacant in 2019/20, equal to approximately 112,000 vacancies at any one time. The sector also faces a potential looming crisis post November 11th when mandatory vaccines take effect. Remuneration, however, has dogged the sector for decades. We are delighted to lead on our front page with the campaign to raise awareness to the plight of care worker pay and support the campaign for the government to increase it! So if you haven't already please do sign the petition at Stories in this week's issue about how important music can be to dementia sufferers caught my attention. (See pages 13 and 16). Regular readers will know that I sometimes recall my own experiences of Alzheimer's when my mother suffered a very aggressive form in the 1980s. Struck down at a young age of 61 she deteriorated rather quickly, and it was heart breaking. Particularly since at that time the disease was, well certainly to me, relatively unknown and often dismissed as part and parcel of growing old. At school I learned to play the recorder very well! Growing up I would play it incessantly often to the annoyance of family members. I did find, which absolutely astonished me at the time, that if I asked my mother to sing some of their favourite songs she knew growing up she was unable to.

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WEBSITE: EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson “Bye Bye Blackbird” was an old favourite she used to sing often. However, as her dementia progressed she sang and remembered less and less. Until I played the songs on my recorder! If I stood behind her and played “Bye Bye Blackbird” on the recorder she would join in and sing it word for word. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” what's the same. If I played it she would join in instantly. If I didn't and she was asked to sing it, she couldn't. Astonishing!

David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades

To coincide with world Alzheimer's day September 21, Playlist for Life’s ‘Songs for Dementia’ campaign is focusing on how personally meaningful music can help the person


with dementia to shine through. Put simply, music has the power to shine a spotlight on

Shelly Roche

the ‘me’ in dementia. We would be delighted to share your stories on this topic. We are very fortunate to engage with numerous care homes and organisations throughout of the UK, publishing the most uplifting and heart-warming stories, and I am sure this will bring a smile to many a residence, workers and families faces so please do get your stories in!!! We here at THE CARER- have teamed up with employment law specialists Paris Smith Solicitors, who will be conducting a live Q & A session on the ongoing challenges the pandemic has created further details can be found here

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'Action Week' To Support Care Worker Pay Petition Launches (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The Action Week will include videos and images from a range of people, including people receiving support, their families and support workers, explaining why social care workers deserve financial recognition. The petition will be shared by MP and Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, a former care worker herself. On Tuesday 8th September, Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Minister for Health & Social Care will add her support at a special panel on social care pay, organised by The Care Workers Charity and #BetterPay4SocialCare.

WAGE IS NOT ENOUGH Beth, a social care worker – who will be delivering the petition – speaks of her responsibilities and struggles as a care worker: “I’ve worked in social care for a long time and I love my job. Each day is different and I still find new situations that I’ve not experienced before, where I’ve had to think on my feet and adapt, in order to give the person I’m supporting their best quality of life. I believe this has made me an expert in what I do. When the first lockdown came along, I had to make a decision about how I would care for and protect my children. I am a single parent and my eldest has autism and a few other conditions which leave him with a weaker immune system. Not working wasn’t a financial option. Also, I would lose relationships with the people I support and would have felt I was letting my team down. In the end, for me to be able to continue to work

and protect my children, I made the difficult decision to move my kids in with my parents. I’m highly trained and have a lot of experience behind me. The job I do is intricate, but I don’t get paid enough for the responsibilities I undertake. It’s kind of soul destroying. This is my chosen career because I want to help others, but the wage is not enough and I struggle financially. It’s not fair.”

EXPLOITATION OF CARE WORKERS MUST END The petition follows a call last week (August 27) Labour Party to make Parliamentary time available to consider a bill that would ensure care workers are paid at least the minimum wage. Supporting the call public service union UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “It’s a national scandal that care workers continue to receive less than the minimum wage. Frontline workers are being exploited and ministers must make time to deal with this immediately. “Ending the unscrupulous practices that blight the care sector cannot come soon enough. This includes not only action on low pay, but the use of zero-hours contracts and inadequate sick pay. “Labour is right to highlight last year’s important legal victory for homecare workers, backed by UNISON, which found they should be paid for travel time between care visits. “The government also needs to be ambitious about desperately needed reform of the sector. Not just remedying the shocking pay and conditions but creating a world-class national care service of which we can all be proud.”

Residents at Care Village Donate Support for Afghan Refugees Kind-hearted residents at a Didsbury-based care village founded by a Jewish First World War refugee are lending a helping hand to refugees by donating aid to those arriving in the UK. Moved by the plight of those fleeing Afghanistan as the Taliban retakes control of the war-torn country, members of the Belong Morris Feinmann community have donated 70 toiletry bags, accompanied by messages of personal support. The donation efforts are being led by Care4Calais, a volunteer-run charity, working with refugees in the UK, as well as France and Belgium. The UK government has pledged to welcome around 20,000 people through a resettlement scheme. Belong Morris Feinmann residents and colleagues have also extended their generosity by donating much-needed clothing and footwear to Afghans in need, in another effort being led by Bowdon Shul, South Manchester Synagogue, for which the village has an extensive relationship.

Angela Luckett, experience coordinator at Belong Morris Feinmann, is coordinating the village’s contributions. She said: “Our village’s foundations lie in the support of refugees, originally set-up to help Jews fleeing persecution in Europe, and so, as soon as we heard about the awful situation in Afghanistan, we felt compelled to do something to help.” Morris Feinmann, a Jewish refugee who had fled Eastern Europe in WWI, dedicated his life to supporting Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in the Second World War, including founding a guarantee scheme to enable German Jews to escape from the country and settle in Manchester. His groundwork eventually led to the Manchester Jewish Refugee Committee purchasing a house for those in need. Angela Luckett continues: “For many of our residents, seeing the news in Asia has been deeply moving – some are refugees themselves and so their contributions are all the more personal. Community and supporting others are key to Belong’s ethos and we’re pleased to be fortunate enough to be in a position to help those who need it most.”


Buying or Selling A Care Home – Additional Wrinkles In The Process By Emma Ladd, senior associate in the Corporate & Commercial team at Gardner Leader ( offering a wide range of legal services for businesses and individuals.

Fundamentally, a care home is like any other business – money comes in, money goes out, employees, contracts, customers etc etc. However, when it comes to putting a care home business on the market, the sector in which you are operating puts some additional pressure on the sale. This can make dealing with the transaction more challenging and can increase costs. So what areas tend to cause problems when dealing with buying or selling a care home?

correct documentation. Any purchaser of the business is going to be checking on this carefully, as any failure to comply comes with substantial sanctions and a loss of critical staff. We are also seeing an increase in care homes struggling with staff retention. Covid-19 has placed care staff under considerable pressure, which has led to more and more leaving the sector. Care homes are finding themselves struggling to maintain a reasonable wage bill, with the use of agency staff causing large increases in staffing costs. This has had an impact on the prices that purchasers are willing to pay for the business, as they are becoming less economically viable.



Any business which is CQC regulated needs to consider what impact this will have on the transaction. In particular, any recent report which has not been absolutely glowing (or where everything which has been flagged as needing improvement has been rectified) can have a serious impact on the sale price. You should also consider the timing of the transaction in relation to any likely upcoming visits from CQC. Even if your last report was good, there is no guarantee that they won’t find something for you to rectify in this one, which can cause the price to reduce or even stop or delay the transaction as a whole while the matter is sorted. If any members of staff are departing as a result of the transaction, this will need to be considered in terms of notifying CQC if any registered individuals have changed. Also if any of the departing staff have been heavily involved in the regulation side of the business, these tasks will need to be redistributed.

STAFFING Care homes have historically used a large amount of overseas staffing. With changes arising to the immigration system following the UK’s exit from the European Union, this has become more complicated and homes are feeling the additional administrative burden. Additionally, any staff who come from EU member states now have to be checked to ensure that their immigration status is up to date and that they have the

Every person we speak to is heartily sick of data protection. They still remember the compliance pain they went through a couple of years ago and are getting to grips with what this means in the ever changing work environment that we have seen over the last 18 months. In a transaction context, data protection is absolutely key. A balance must be struck between giving the purchaser all the information and yet protecting the personal data of those involved, including staff and residents. The due diligence exercise is long and complicated and sellers often do not want to spend additional time anonymising or aggregating data to ensure compliance with data protection legislation. However, this is becoming more and more necessary. While we have not yet seen any cases where release of information as part of a due diligence or disclosure exercise has been investigated and sanctioned by the Information Commissioner, most commentators think that this is just a matter of time. Additionally, the increased use of electronic solutions, such as data rooms, means that there is an inherent insecurity in the process. Parties therefore need to put this additional step into their process (and factor in the additional time and cost that this will involve) to prevent any nasty surprises in the future. Care home transactions work on the same process as every other business sale, but their sector position means that the transaction is often a little more complicated and costly. Factoring these issues into your planning will make any transaction run a little more smoothly, leaving both parties free to consider the commercial benefits of the transaction, rather than the pain.

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

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

• EU workers and your responsibilities • Q&A session

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

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

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Care Workers Earn Less Than Minimum Wage “Thanks To Loophole” Warn Labour Care workers are earning less than the minimum wage thanks to a loophole in the law that means they are not paid for time travelling between visits, warned the Labour Party. The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has insisted on a vote on legislation introduced by Labour’s Liverpool MP Paula Barker that would see this loophole closed, describing the situation as a “scandal”. She said: “It is a national disgrace that care workers are being paid less than the legal minimum wage, never mind a fair wage that they can live on. Labour will end this scandal and treat our social care heroes with the dignity and respect they deserve.” In September 2020, a group of homecare workers employed by contractors for Haringey Council received £10,000 each after a tribunal ruled that companies not paying staff for time spent travelling between care visits were breaking the law. Ms Barker’s proposed legislation would require councils to check whether their social care providers are paying staff the minimum wage and terminate contracts with those that do not. Christina McAnea, general secretary of the Unison trade union, which helped the care workers with their case, said these “unscrupulous practices” were blighting the

care sector and called for action to end them, as well as for the government to also act on the use of zero-hours contracts and inadequate sick pay. “The UK government also needs to be ambitious about desperately needed reform of the sector. Not just remedying the shocking pay and conditions but creating a worldclass national care service of which we can all be proud,” she added. The legislation had been due to be debated in January as a Private Members’ Bill, when seven of the eight Private Members’ Bills granted a debate became law. However, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg cancelled further debates on Private Members’ Bills before Barker’s Bill could be considered. In a letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rayner and shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire accused him of having “effectively blocked” the Bill from passing. Ms Rayner said: “Government ministers clapped for our carers for a photo opportunity but then they sold them out. The very least the government can do for our carers is to pass a very simple piece of legislation to close this loophole, and ensure carers are paid the legal minimum wage to which they are entitled to.”

South East Care Group Returns To The UK Following Epic Six-Month Virtual World Cruise Residents at a South East care group have finally reached UK shores following the journey of a lifetime, as its very own virtual cruise liner returned home after a six-month world cruise – boosting physical and mental well-being for both residents and staff. Disembarking with a wealth of laughs and cherished memories, residents at all 13 of Nellsar’s care homes across Kent, Surrey and Essex were welcomed home as their grand voyage reached its epic conclusion – which involved one last hurrah; a traditional British summer party. Dubbed ‘Around the World with Nellsar Cruises’, the virtual ship docked at a different country each month, with destinations including China, India, Spain, Italy, France and the Caribbean. Caregivers and staff at Nellsar’s Meyer House Care Centre, in Erith, Kent, Loose Valley Care Centre, in Maidstone, and Woodstock Residential Care Centre, near Sittingbourne, were just a handful of homes to pull out all of the stops to ensure their residents’ wrap party was a memorable experience for everyone involved. Embracing the best of British culture, residents were able to enjoy

Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-Being Manager at Nellsar, said: “Our residents and staff could not have envisaged a better way to escape the past 18 months and explore far-flung destinations. Let’s face it, we’ve all been through a really difficult time, so we made it our mission to ensure 2021 was filled with sunshine and adventures to last a lifetime. The best part about the virtual cruise was that every destination brought something different – whether it was Hong Kong, Italy or the Caribbean, there was something for everyone.” Viv concluded: “Our residents built up quite the collection of postcards and photographs from their travels, which was a great way to all the sights, tastes and sounds our island has to offer. For cuisine, there was no shortage of fish and chips, bangers and mash, and trifle with, of course, a generous supply of custard! Woodstock even had its very own ice cream van on-site for residents and staff to enjoy. With decorated backdrops of London and wartime tunes, residents could sit back and reflect on their globetrotting adventure, before rounding off their experience with a royal-inspired quiz.

help them reminisce. Also, with so many residents being well-travelled, the virtual cruise provided the perfect format for them to relive some of those globetrotting adventures, from the comfort of their own armchairs.” Following the success of the cruise, Nellsar is planning to launch a virtual staycation camping adventure in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. More details to follow in due course.


Recruitment and Recovery Challenges in the Care Sector Post-Pandemic Whilst there is a sense of optimism within the care sector following a turbulent 18 months, there remains several challenges to contend with, particularly recruitment. Understaffing proved a huge challenge during the pandemic: many workers who typically operated across several care homes pre-pandemic were no longer able to; changes to immigration law made non-British workers sparse; there was no real mention of social care reform in the Queen’s speech; and the decision to make vaccines mandatory in the sector from November will also provide another hurdle. Jennifer Johnston, associate in law firm BLM’s occupational disease team in London, considers how the sector can proactively tackle the recruitment challenge and provides practical advice for care home employers. ( It’s been a challenging time for everyone involved with social care, with the sector now facing several serious recruitment and recovery challenges. According to independent social work charity Skills for Care, there were 112,000 vacant roles in adult social care in England last year, and this number is anticipated to rise significantly by the end of 2021. It’s a crisis that has quickly come to a head and is the result of both long- and short-term problems that have been poorly handled, or not been dealt with at all. The UK’s population is aging rapidly. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 1990 the median age of the UK was 35.8 years old, in 2020 the median age was 40.5 years – a huge rise in just 30 years. It’s created a society where more of us are suffering with conditions associated with old age, such as dementia, placing greater pressure on care providers to accommodate an increasing number of residents and patients. It’s a problem that’s been mounting for some time, exacerbated by a serious lack of central support and planning from successive governments. Even with a recent hint at plans to improve funding through a tax rise, it is something that will take time to implement and doesn’t directly address how social care for today’s elderly should be funded. In the shorter term, Brexit and its associated immigration policies have also made a serious impact over the past five years, slashing employee numbers in the UK, brought to a head by Covid-19. At the beginning of August, the government launched an open consultation on the impact of ending free movement on the adult social care sector specifically, so there are some early, promising signs that the government is taking the threat seriously.

SOLVING THE CRISIS: GOVERNMENT PROMISES NOT KEPT? The current government had pledged to reform social care, with the Prime Minister promising to make social care a priority in his speech after the election results. Likewise, in November 2020, former Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the Party’s pledge of £1 billion in funding per annum for the next five years to assist local authorities meet the demands of social care. The plans also set out an intention to work with other political parties to reach long term solutions, as the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock categorically stated that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for their social care. Whilst a positive sentiment, The Conservative Party faced criticism for the lack of detail in its plans. There had been an expectation that change would arrive at this year’s Queen’s speech, yet there was a distinct lack of decisive action mentioned within it. Of course, the pandemic took precedent over most other governing concerns, but as we approach 18 months since the pandemic hit out shores, there has been little real support given to the care sector – even though it has borne the brunt of the pandemic throughout. There has been little progression on the government’s initial promises and even with the spotlight on the sector during the pandemic, there has been no pledge on funding or on a specific Social Care Bill. The social care tax previously suggested by No.10 gives some hope but it is in-keeping with vague promises that, even if stuck to, will take a long time to deliver. Current residents and care service users are already underfunded however, and require immediate support, sooner rather than later.


This lack of investment has meant that social care workers are typically not well paid for the difficult work that they do. The workers may be carrying out very difficult and strenuous work that they are not paid for adequately, and thus the social care profession is not attractive as a potential job. In the past, a large proportion of the workforce was recruited from overseas, often taking on positions in the care sector that they are technically overqualified for in their home country. However, Brexit and associated immigration laws have meant that coming to work in the UK is now a less attractive option to overseas workers. Understaffing has only deepened as a result of the so called recent ‘pingdemic’ riding roughshod over rotas. When it comes to alleviating the pressures of recruitment, there will be no one-size fits all approach and each care home needs to consider this in the context of its own business stream and model. That said, if you are struggling to attract or retain staff, there are a few strategies you can take. It may seem obvious, but the first point of call should be offering better pay and conditions if you can, standing out from other organisations will make the recruitment process easier. Just recently, we’ve seen some operators offer significant ‘golden hellos’ with the likes of HC One offering a £10,000 welcome bonus for some of its registered nurse positions. However, this will not be applicable to all employers in the sector, with some providers often facing tight margins as a result of council-funded care, so will therefore not have the resources to offer higher wages. In terms of retention, the priority should be ensuring you are clear on what pressures each of your employees are currently facing – a formal audit throughout your organisation with each employee is a good way of doing this, as you will have a clear understanding of what concerns are pressing to each individual. This will not only help with future planning, but you may be able to help solve many underlying issues there and then. For example, if you have staff that are not UK residents and may be impacted by Brexit, it is worth discussing with them on whether you are able to provide support, in the form of advice or sponsoring a Health and Care Worker Visa if they meet the salary requirements. More ‘soft’ issues, such as if a worker feels underappreciated, can also be dealt with appropriately, helping you to keep your very best talent. However, many of these points are short term fixes that will only go so far to solving the current recruitment crisis. For longer-term change, it's clear that greater government funding and social care reform, which has been repeatedly promised over the years, is going to be needed. The government’s proposed NHS reforms do suggest a move towards people receiving more care at home. It's likely the domiciliary care sector will become more and more prevalent as time goes on, as an often-cheaper alternative to residential care, and the growing use of tech enabling more vulnerable people to live at home safely with adaptations. Domiciliary care often gives workers more flexibility in their day and might therefore be a more attractive job prospect. Some providers could well be revisiting their operational models to offer more at-home care, if that is what the workforce increasingly favours.

FUTURE THREATS TO THE SECTOR There have been new challenges in care over the past two years on a near monthly basis. One we can expect to cause significant issues come 11th November is the introduction of mandatory vaccines for care sector workers. This will provide a further duty of care on employers to ensure all eligible employees are vaccinated, and is likely to further impact staffing levels if there are cases where workers who are, for their own reasons, unwilling to receive the jabs. The government has estimated up to 40,000 could be at risk of losing their jobs as a result, which would cost the sector approximately £100m to recruit and train replacement staff. Just recently, the government published operational guidance on vaccinations for care providers setting out the importance of vaccination, to protect those in their care. There are many reasons why a staff member may not have the vaccine and those under threat of losing a portion of their workforce when these new rules are enforced should consider launching an internal education program for their workers. If you are able to pinpoint some of the specific issues and concerns, staff members may be more inclined to receive the vaccine, which is crucial at this moment of mass understaffing. At a time when there are so many new potential legal issues facing the sector, it is sensible to seek specialist, professional advice to navigate your organisation through these obstacles. Though it seems the sector is some way off solving the many recruitment and recovery challenges, early engagement with advice can go some way to ensuring employers and employees alike are supported at this turbulent time.

Brits Would Rather Go On A Walk With Their Pet Than Their Partner, Memory Walk Survey Reveals New data from Alzheimer’s Society, released ahead of its flagship Memory Walk events this Autumn, reveals that 44% of the nation’s pet owners would prefer to take a walk with their four-legged friends over their partner. Of this figure, 13% did not have a walkable pet but said they would still rather walk with their pet over their partner. The survey, funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, also revealed that of pet owners, women are 10% more likely to pick their pet compared to men, and around half of animal loving 16–24-year-olds would also pick their pet over their partner, compared to just 30% of 55-73-year olds. The new data also uncovers British people’s favourite place to walk. Almost half of respondents said the beach or seafront is their favourite go-to place for a stroll, followed by woods or forests. The joys of promenading along a beach seem to come with age, as almost 60% (59%) of over-55s picked this route as their favourite – twice that of 16–24-year-olds; the majority of whom preferred a woodland walk. Around 60% of respondents said that their daily walk during Covid lockdowns helped to improve their mental health. The data also found that, on average, the most popular time Brits like to go for a walk is 12:40pm, with early-bird Traditionalists (over 75s) getting out the earliest at around 11:11am, and millennials (24–42-yearolds) going out nearly two hours later at 1:17pm. Alzheimer’s Society is calling on everyone to don their walking gear and take part in Memory Walk 2021 to unite against dementia.

People can join one of 19 organised walks taking place across the UK, or they can organise their own with friends and family at a location of their choice. Covid has hit people with dementia the hardest, accounting for over a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Prolonged isolation, social care service reductions and a loss of routine and social interaction have led to shocking levels of decline in thousands of people with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society’s support services, like its Dementia Connect support line, have been used over five and a half million times since lockdown began in March 2020. Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to put their best foot forward and raise what they can to support the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and Actor, Vicky McClure said: ‘After so long being cooped up in lockdown, it’s going to be really emotional to see lots of people taking part in Memory Walks across the three nations.

I absolutely love supporting Memory Walks – it’s an incredible feeling coming together to walk with lots of other people who are also remembering loved ones with dementia, and it’s also great to be able to get out walking together. ‘People with dementia were so cruelly affected by the pandemic – they need our support more than ever – so please join me in signing up to take part in Memory Walk, whether on your own or at an event and help us unite against dementia.’ Kate Lee, CEO at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘It’s amusing but not at all surprising to hear that, as a nation of animal lovers, we would much rather go for a walk with our pets than our partners! ‘This last year has been devastating for people with dementia, their carers and their families. Many sadly passed away, and many more have got so much worse, while isolated from those they love and unable to continue their usual daily activities and routines. We are so thankful to everyone for lacing up their walking shoes and taking on a Memory Walk – with or without their beloved pets – because every penny raised can make a huge difference to the lives of people with dementia in the aftermath of Covid. ‘Since March 2020, Alzheimer’s Society’s services, including our Dementia Connect support line, have been used over five and a half million times, offering a lifeline to those affected by dementia, showing our services are needed now more than ever.’


Scrapping Free Prescriptions For Over-60s “A Kick In The Teeth Both For Poorly Older People And The NHS” Age Concern has launched its new ‘Save Free Prescriptions’ campaign in response to a new consultation that was pushed out by the Government last month. The charity says that it is extremely disappointing that a policy that could have such a significant impact on millions of older people is being consulted on over August and that it was published without much fanfare. The consultation puts forward proposals to increase the qualifying age for free prescriptions from 60 to the State Pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women but is on track to rise further. The Charity argues that this move is a #BitterPillToSwallow and could affect millions of people reaching 60 in the future unless they qualify for certain benefits or have a medical exemption, as well as those already aged 60-65 if the Government decides not to protect them. People will be particularly affected if their income is modest but takes them just above the benefit line. It also penalises people in poor health and in need of multiple medicines because they are managing several serious long term health conditions, like heart disease or hypertension – one of a number of conditions which are more prevalent among Black African and Black Caribbean ethnic groups – though surprisingly the Government’s Impact Assessment fails to look at whether their proposed policy will have a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups. Age UK is worried that scrapping free prescription charges for 60-65 year olds is likely to exacerbate existing health inequalities and have a devastating impact on many people’s health, especially if they are hard up but have incomes above the benefits line. The Charity is deeply concerned that this is the age at which the chance of living with one or more long-term conditions significantly increases, so people are much more likely to need to take multiple medicines. With many already struggling to meet basic living costs, this levy on poor health could prevent them from managing their conditions. The Charity argues that it is also not helpful for older people that experience short, unexpected episodes of illness, during which they may need multiple medicines, to recover and subsequently face a large bill for their

prescriptions. Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “This proposed policy is a kick in the teeth, both for poorly older people and the NHS. It is also extremely illjudged, because the money the Government will save by scrapping free prescriptions for 60-65 years olds will almost certainly be outweighed by the additional costs to the NHS, if people fail to take their medication because they can’t afford it and become ill. “We are already hearing some older people on multiple medicines saying they will have to choose which ones to drop, and others are expecting to ration how much they take. The problem is that treatments don’t work like that: if the prescribed dosage says one tablet every day it may not work at all if you only take it every two or three days. “This policy proposal seems all the more unfair because prescriptions are free for everyone in Scotland and Wales. There’s a strong public health case for heading in that direction here in England too. Instead, our government wants to do the opposite: make many more people pay for their medicines, and at an age when it’s all the more important they take them, to control conditions that left untreated can lead to really serious medical problems, piling more pressure onto the NHS. If ever there was a self-defeating policy this is it, and we know that many medical experts agree with us. “If someone in this age group decides their best option is to buy a Pre Payment Certificate every year it would cost them more than £600 in their run up to retirement, so from that point of view this really is a stealth tax on older people. However, it’s also clear that some could end up paying a lot more than that, because awareness of these Certificates is quite low, and that others could buy one and then find they would have been better off without it. This seems really unfair. “Essentially we think this is a terrible proposal that deserves never to see the light of day. We hope that thousands of people will respond to the Government’s consultation and tell them so in no uncertain terms. Ministers definitely need to think again.”

A Fashion Spectacular For Sheila On Her 100th Birthday Woodlands House made resident Sheila Longford’s 100th birthday a very fashionable occasion. To celebrate, residents and staff members showcased fashions from the past 100 years, from 1920s glamour to 1960s flower power. Little Joe entertained during the party during which Sheila received a card from HM The Queen and a fantastic birthday cake. Sheila and her husband Frank lived in Canada for 20 years, the couple having three sons. They moved back to the New Forest area and Frank

became a resident at Woodlands House between 2017 and 2018. Sheila visited him there and after his death, she moved to Woodlands in 2019 where she has made many friends. Abbey Doyle, Woodlands’ Deputy Manager said: “We had a wonderful time celebrating with Sheila. We all love a party and with our residents having their own drama group, they all enjoy dressing up and having lots of fun.”


No Jab, No Job: Everything Care Homes Need To Know About Compulsory Vaccinations From mid-November, all care home workers and volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 unless exempt. Expert employment solicitor Laura Kearsley, from law firm Nelsons, explains everything care homes need to know about the new requirements. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2018, all Care Quality Commission (CQC)-registered care homes must ensure – subject to limited exceptions – that only people who have received two coronavirus jabs enter the premises. This means that, unless exempt, anyone working or volunteering in a care home will need to be fully vaccinated from 11 November 2021. The CQC will require new and existing providers to have processes in place to monitor the vaccination status of staff, volunteers and contractors. The independent regulator will also have enforcement powers to deal with any breaches of the rules. A 16-week grace period began on 22 July to allow care homes to liaise with staff and prepare for when the rules come into force. Any care home workers who are not yet vaccinated will need to have received their first dose by 16 September 2021.

WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS? There are limited exceptions to the requirements, including care home residents and their friends and relatives; those providing emergency assistance or maintenance; emergency service personnel executing their duties; those providing comfort or support to a resident following a bereavement; and under 18s. In addition, staff who are not required to enter the building – such as gardeners or groundkeepers – are not covered by the regulations. Those who have clinical reasons why the vaccination is not appropriate will be able to seek a clinicallyapproved exemption from this requirement. Guidance on this has not yet been provided. Subject to these exceptions, the regulations will apply to anyone who enters a care home as part of their professional responsibilities. This will include staff who are usually based at head office or off site, such as trainers or HR professionals, and those who may visit only occasionally, like hairdressers. The regulations will also apply to job applicants and new recruits. Care homes are advised to notify prospective staff of the requirements at the outset of the application process.

WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE VACCINATION EVIDENCE? Vaccination status can be evidence using the NHS app, the NHS website or a Covid Pass letter. A vaccination appointment card is not acceptable. The government is due to provide further guidance for care homes that have staff who were vaccinated outside the UK.

DO I NEED TO KEEP ANY RECORDS? Care homes will need to keep records of the vaccination or exemption status of staff, volunteers and those entering the premises – but not the clinical reason for the exemption. Processing of data should be compliant with data protection obligations and care homes may need to update their data protection policies and reten-

tion schedules accordingly.

AN EMPLOYEE IS UNWILLING TO HAVE THE VACCINE – WHAT SHOULD I DO? There will no doubt be some employees who are reluctant or, indeed, unwilling to receive the vaccine. Ultimately, and subject to following a process, these individuals may end up having their employment terminated because they cannot comply with the requirement. Care homes will need to follow a careful process with employees who are unwilling to have the jabs. This will involve individual consultation, in addition to any collective consultation. Care homes will need to consider whether they have any vacant roles within their organisation that do not involve entering the grounds and offer any employees the opportunity to apply for such roles before terminating their employment. Employees with more than two years’ service could potentially claim unfair dismissal if they don’t think their employer has followed a fair process or made a fair decision to dismiss them. The government guidance offers employers two potentially fair reasons for dismissals of staff who are unwilling to have their jabs who cannot be redeployed: If the employee cannot continue to work in their position without the employer contravening a duty or restriction imposed by or under an enactment (illegality); or

SOME OTHER SUBSTANTIAL REASON (SOSR) OF A KIND AS TO JUSTIFY THE DISMISSAL OF AN EMPLOYEE. In addition to having a fair reason for dismissing employees, employers need to follow a fair process. The guidance suggests consulting with and warning employees, allowing them to be accompanied at meetings, taking and sharing notes of any meetings and providing a right of appeal against the decision. Care homes need to assess the levels of take up of vaccination within their workforce. If it is likely they will have to dismiss 20 or more employees at any one care home site, this will trigger legal requirements to conduct collective consultation with either a recognised trade union, workplace consultation body or elected employee representatives.

DO COMPULSORY VACCINATIONS DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES? There has been a lot of speculation as to whether employees with a relevant protected characteristic are being indirectly discriminated against by any workplace requirements to have a vaccine. This may apply to those with a religious or philosophical belief – such as ethical veganism – that is inconsistent with vaccination or the COVID vaccine. The regulations make no exemption for anyone who falls into this category and there is no scope, therefore, for care homes to make allowances for anyone in this category. In the event of any claims in this regard, care homes would be able to point to the regulations to explain their treatment of affected employees. Disabled employees who are unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons are likely to be covered by the clinical exemption, so they will not be affected.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO BE AWARE OF? The government has issued guidance in relation to employment responsibilities. This suggests care homes should consider having a written vaccination policy covering time off for appointments, how data about vaccinations and exemptions will be handled, the approach to new recruits and agency staff, and how those who cannot or are unwilling to be vaccinated will be dealt with. The guidance also recommends that employers engage with their workforce early to provide information about the vaccination requirement and the potential consequences of not meeting the requirement on time. For more employment law advice from Nelsons, please visit


Government Must Invest In Workforce As NHS Faces Growing Vacancies Commenting on the latest NHS Digital vacancy data, Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “These figures paint a bleak picture: the NHS is still facing chronic workforce shortages, and they are getting worse, even with recent increases in staff numbers to cover areas such as the vaccination programme. Although overall headcount seems to be relatively stable, there is an alarming trend across the NHS of rising levels of vacancies, with the biggest issues in nursing, and especially in acute and mental health posts. “These posts urgently need to be filled to make sure our communities receive the best care possible, and also to alleviate the strain our teams continue to face, against a backdrop of spiralling workloads and ever-growing backlogs of treat-

ment. “There is also a clear indication of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, backlogs of care and the increased demand in all services and settings. Staff remain under huge pressure, as demonstrated by the fact stress, anxiety, depression and mental health remain the biggest cause of sickness absence across the health service. NHS employers are very concerned about the relentless demand being placed on their teams. “The government must agree with the NHS what is reasonable to expect in service delivery terms, particularly in light of the long-term shortages of key staff. There must also be significant and sustained long-term investment in growing health and social care workforce numbers in the forthcoming spending review.”

Care Staff Complete a 26-Mile Charity Walk to Raise Money for The Alzheimer’s Society Two motivated care workers are celebrating after completing a 26-mile charity walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society ahead of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Having seen first-hand how Alzheimer’s can affect individuals and their families, carers Emma Leahy (40) and Emma McLellan (42), who are both employed by CHD Care at Home’s South West Surrey branch, wanted to make a difference and raise awareness of the condition. The challenge involved completing a demanding 26-mile walk around the Lake District, which saw the dynamic duo put on their hiking boots to combat rocky terrain. Overcoming both physical and mental challenges, the pair were delighted to raise almost £2000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in the process. Discussing their reasons for taking on the challenge, Emma Leahy said: “I have worked in care for over six years now. In that time, I have seen directly how a condition such as Alzheimer's can affect individuals and their families. I find it difficult seeing customers deteriorate that I have gotten to know and have developed a bond with. I consider them to be a part of my family.

I was inspired to participate in a fundraising skydive for the Alzheimer's Society last year, which was brilliant - and I wanted to set myself a similar challenge this year." When asked how she felt upon completion of the challenge, Emma McLellan said, “Crossing the finish line gave me an immense sense of pride and achievement. We started the walk at Dalemain in the Lake District and finished there 26 miles later. It was the hardest walk I have ever done, but it was even worse for my colleague, Emma, as she developed a knee injury 10 miles in. With encouragement and an overwhelming surge of motivation, we supported each other to the finish line. I will never forget that moment of euphoria, as the realisation hit that we had done it!” Paul Milton, Regional Manager for CHD Care at Home, said: “We are incredibly proud of Emma Leahy and Emma McLellan for their fundraising efforts. We see them go above and beyond in taking great care of our service users every day. This fantastic accomplishment shows their dedication to improving the lives of others, too. We are honoured to have them as part of our team and are excited to see how they continue to develop in the future.”


‘Ambitions For Change’ – Report On Improving Healthcare In Care Homes Launched The British Geriatrics Society HAS published a new report aimed at improving the quality of healthcare for care home residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on older people, with 35.6% of the 130,000 deaths in the UK occurring in people living in care homes. Many others suffered from worsening physical, mental and emotional health as a result of lockdowns and visiting restrictions. This new report sets out how care home staff and visiting healthcare professionals can work together to ensure high-quality healthcare is delivered for the more than 400,000 older people who live in care homes. The report, Ambitions for change: Improving healthcare in care homes, describes how healthcare is currently provided in these diverse settings, which range from small privately-owned care homes to large purpose-built homes run by care home chains. The COVID pandemic created extraordinary challenges for care homes, and this report argues that government, commissioners, care home providers and other stakeholders must now ensure that the structures, support and skills are consistently in place to ensure care home residents have access to the same standard of healthcare as other citizens. Most residents of care homes live with frailty and have complex care needs. Following on from BGS guidance produced at the start of the pandemic, this report sets out common health concerns experienced by older people living in care homes, advocating for treatment on site whenever possible, to avoid the potential harms of hospitalisation. The delivery of person-centred, compassionate care is paramount, recognising that many care home residents are in the last two years of life. The report recommends the systematic use of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment to ensure personalised individual care. A care home is not a temporary residence and nor is it a hospital. It is the place that its residents call home. Recent developments have enabled more hospital-style care to be delivered in people’s homes, and the report encourages further development of this model. It makes recommendations to enable the delivery of

healthcare in care homes which include the skills needed by both care home staff and visiting primary care teams, the use of digital communication and the sharing of data across healthcare providers. The recommendations can be implemented across the four nations of the UK, despite their different arrangements for funding and delivering social care. The BGS believes older people’s experience of healthcare in care homes can be significantly enhanced by the adoption of these recommendations. After the traumatic period of the COVID pandemic, the report argues that now is the time to put in place improvements to how healthcare is delivered, to enable care home residents to live well for longer. Professor Adam Gordon, BGS President Elect and principal author of the report said: As we pass what we hope is the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is right that we turn our attention to the group that were most neglected at the beginning of the crisis – care home residents. During the pandemic, the British Geriatrics Society provided guidance on delivering treatment for COVID to older people living in care homes, and now we are building on that with this document about the delivery of other healthcare services in this setting. We sincerely hope that colleagues working in care homes find this useful, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that all older people have access to the most appropriate care for them in the right place at the right time.” Anita Astle MBE, Managing Director of Wren Hall Nursing Home, said: The BGS guidance published during the pandemic was incredibly useful for care home staff caring for older people with complex needs at an extremely challenging time. As we move towards providing more healthcare in care homes and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions, this new document from the BGS provides lots of helpful advice. It also makes recommendations to governments in ensuring that older people can receive high quality healthcare in their care home and that care home staff are supported to provide this care.”

Stockton-On-Tees Care Assistant 'Makes A Difference' Due to her dedication and ambition to fulfill every aspect of her job role and go above the call of duty to ensure residents are safe and comfortable, a Carer Assistant from Green Lodge Care Home in Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, has received a Making a Difference Award. Natalie Burnett, who works at one of Orchard Care Homes’ residences, was recently declared a winner in the company’s Making a Difference Award scheme. This initiative recognises and rewards staff that go that extra mile in their workplace and inspires others to follow in their footsteps to improve the home experience and generate a relaxed and informal community for our residents. Natalie was over the moon to receive her award. “It was such a surprise and I felt quite emotional and overwhelmed as it’s been a difficult year, but I’m very grateful for the recog-

nition.” Home Manager, Debbie, reflected on Natalie’s achievements saying, “Natalie always goes above and beyond in every part of her role. She is a vital member of the team and always has a smile on her face. Thank you for making a difference.” The dedicated and passionate employees at Orchard help to achieve the positive people-focused approach to care and the Making a Difference initiative aims to retain these existing staff members and attract new recruits into the sector. Offering specialist residential, dementia residential and short-term respite care, Green Lodge is part of Orchard Care Homes’ network of residences situated across the North of England and the Midlands.

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"If I Get Dementia, Will They Serve Me Meat?" The number of UK vegans and vegetarians continues to soar, with a staggering 25% of all Brits predicted to be vegetarian by 2025[1] and already an estimated 14% of vegetarian and vegans in Great Britain are aged 65[2] or older. That's why Vegetarian for Life (VfL), a charity that supports older vegans and vegetarians will be launching a free self-advocacy pack to mark National Older Vegans and Vegetarians Day this October. The pack will help to explain the laws protecting those with special dietary needs; sources of support if your rights aren't being recognised; and some simple yet critical actions you can take today to protect your future dignity and rights. These include making a statement of your wishes and care preferences, which future carers should honour. Amanda Woodvine, CEO of VfL, explains why the time is right for the upcoming self-advocacy pack launch: "Many people assume that veganism and vegetarianism are new concepts - something for younger generations - but that simply isn't true.

VfL exists solely to support older vegans and vegetarians, and increasing numbers find that maintaining their dietary and lifestyle beliefs is not always a straightforward matter. Although philosophical beliefs, such as veganism, are protected under multiple laws in the UK, older vegans and vegetarians often find themselves in situations that go against their basic human rights when it comes to food. "In later life, many of us rely on others for food - whether that is ready-made meals for home delivery, or provisions in care settings. Conditions such as dementia can be an additional barrier to maintaining control over our diets and our identity and beliefs. VfL hears time and time again from older vegans and vegetarians and their families who have been given food that goes against their fundamental dietary beliefs, particularly in social care settings. "This can be through lack of understanding of what being vegan or vegetarian really means; lack of training of catering teams and care staff; or simply confusion over how to interpret the Mental Capacity Act. So, that's why we're launching our self-advocacy pack - a one-stop shop containing resources, guidance and tips to ensure that you get the food that you are legally, and ethically, entitled to." Email or contact VfL on 0161 257 0887 to request your free self-advocacy pack and VfL will post or email it as soon as it is launched.

Taxi! Dorset Care Home Residents Peruse Unusual Cab for Charity Care home residents have enjoyed a hands-on look at Dorset’s most eye-catching taxi, helping disadvantaged children in the process. Colten Care homes Bourne View in Poole and Avon Cliff in Bournemouth both welcomed visits by the former London cab on a road trip aimed at raising £100,000 for Variety Wessex. In an initiative by charity supporter the BC Club, business people are taking it in turns to spend a week driving the taxi around the conurbation, showing it off as they seek donations. Each club member who drives the cab has to pay £250 for the privilege and make one addition to the vehicle. So far these have included an outboard engine, a surfboard on the roof, fluffy dice on the rear-view mirror, a Dukes of Hazzard-style air horn and even a toilet in place of the passenger seat. After perusing the vehicle, Avon Cliff resident Peter Kennard said: “I remember the days when we used to ‘ride a black’ in London, but they didn’t look like this one!” The BC Club’s idea was born after chairman Shan Seewooruthun sold his own car and his fellow members got him a taxi for a joke. They then decided the £1,500 LTI TX II Hackney Carriage could be used to make some money for charity, the main objective of the 12-year-old club.

More than £60,000 has already been raised for Variety Wessex, which provides support for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children. By the time the Top Gear-style challenge ends in January, the BC Club members hope to have raised at least £100,000. Steve Wells of DWP Housing Partnership and a club founder said: “It really is a great gimmick and puts smiles on people’s faces and that encourages them to donate. “The most important thing is to help the disadvantaged children and we know that charities have seen their revenues reduce since the pandemic struck. “Now is a really important time to help them and the taxi is one small way of doing that. “We’d love people to give us a wave or a toot if they see the cab, and they can always donate via the BC Club’s website.” In return for the visits to Bourne View and Avon Cliff, Colten Care has donated £500 to the taxi appeal. Senior Companionship Team Leader for both homes Donia O’Connor said: “Our residents really enjoyed seeing the cab close up. It’s really quirky and became quite a talking point.” To donate to the appeal, visit

Sunrise Senior Living UK Catering Manager Shortlisted by Sector Specialists for Prestigious Award Stuart Keown, a Chef Manager at Sunrise Senior Living UK, has been nominated by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) for the ‘Catering Manager of the Year Award’, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions. The award goes to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities over the last twelve months, having also positively empowered colleagues and customers and improved the quality of service provided. Stuart started at Sunrise Senior Living UK’s Sunrise of Banstead care home in November 2006 as a Kitchen Assistant, before going on to become Head Chef, and then Dining Service Coordinator. Having previously won the NACC Catering Manager of the Year Award in 2017, Stuart could have been forgiven for being satisfied to rest. But ultimately his passion and determination has driven him over the past year to strive for recognition once more. Throughout the pandemic, Stuart has supported those Sunrise Senior Living UK’s care homes suffering difficulties as a result of having no chef with IDDSI status, to ensure residents continued to receive high quality, nutritious food. Stuart’s commitment was in spite of not having a car and travelling on public transport during the height of Covid-19 peaks, while observing social distancing measures. Stuart was unwavering in his dedication to have regular tests for Covid-19 and was the first in line for the vaccine when his turn came to ensure his work remained unaffected.

And, when he tested positive for the virus in July 2021, he continued to work from home to support the care home provider’s care homes, and train staff where necessary. Over the past year, he has supported 23 chefs in video training to become IDDSI competent, in addition to the strenuous tasks of his day job. He trained two of his junior catering staff in the last year to also support their own care home and subsequently support other homes, taking one staff member from the brink of leaving, to applying for a Head Chef role. Speaking of his nomination, Stuart Keown said: “I am delighted. I’ve had a very productive twelve months. I’m fit and well, and it is reflected in my work. Helping others and delivering high quality service are important, and I take great pride in being recognised for doing those things every day.” Sophie Murray, Head of Nutrition and Hydration, at Sunrise Senior Living UK, said: “Stuart thoroughly deserves to have received this prestigious nomination. When needed, he is the first on the phone to the support team and the first to embrace positive change through his thoughtful approach. “His is humble in nature while his commitment to our residents is always 150%. When any of our colleagues speak to him, it is clear that he sees nothing strange in going the extra mile. He is a firm believer in delivering exceptional service to our residents, and is driven by a philosophy that this has to be achieved without fail.”

Extra Care Residents Party Like It’s 2021 To celebrate the end of lockdown and being able to get together for social events again, residents of Watling Court Extra Care Housing Scheme enjoyed a party last weekend. Prior to the pandemic, the residents at the Ifield Way scheme would enjoy a party with live entertainment on an almost monthly basis, so when lockdown kicked in, it was difficult for them all to be apart. But with restrictions relaxed enough to allow larger gatherings, the residents were able to get together for a drink and a dance last week. For the first time in nearly 18 months, they welcomed an entertainer to the scheme, who put on an incredible performance whilst they danced the night away and made up for lost time. Helen Goulding, Housing Officer at Watling Court said: “It’s been a really difficult year for residents living in extra care schemes, as the apartments

are treated as individual homes, they have had to mostly stay at home, and we’ve had hardly any social gatherings at all. “It’s been incredibly isolating for many and as we pride ourselves on our community atmosphere and tackling loneliness, it’s been hard for us all but to be able to get back to some normality now and have our party nights back has been absolutely wonderful. It’s been excellent to see the smiles on their faces, they said it was the best party ever and were all chatting about it the next day.” Resident, Jill Williams, added: “It was a fabulous evening, the singer was great and just kept going for us all! It was the best evening I have had in a long time.”


Music for Dementia Encourages the UK to Listen to 30 Minutes of Music with a Loved One During World Alzheimer’s Month • Music for Dementia’s campaign #powerof30 supported by Christopher Eccleston • 81% of Brits agree life would be poorer without music • Research reveals 71% of us believe those who are ill or unwell should be able to engage with music as part of their treatment • Nearly half (48%) of people surveyed who knew someone with dementia said music is or was important to their wellbeing Music is a catalyst to spark conversation, evoke memories, promote calm and lift the spirits, so Music for Dementia is asking the UK to make time to listen to music with a loved one for 30 minutes a week to mark World Alzheimer’s Month this September. Its #powerof30 campaign, supported by actor Christopher Eccleston, aims to get people benefitting from the power that music has to promote and support wellbeing, which for many is at a critical low after lockdown. For the 850,000 people living in the UK with dementia – of which the most common cause is Alzheimer’s – music is an important way for carers, family and friends to connect with them and enrich and enhance quality of life. Music can help reduce isolation and support communication for people with the condition and those who care for them. Twenty years of academic research indicate it can even reduce the need for medication. Music for Dementia is the cross-sector campaign to make music a standard part of dementia care. In World Alzheimer’s Month, Music for Dementia is encouraging people in the UK to listen to music with a loved one for 30 minutes a week and experience the power of music. Christopher Eccleston, who’s memoir, “I Love The Bones of You” focused on the actor’s late father Ronnie’s living with dementia says: “Music has the power to communicate to us on direct and subliminal levels. It can take us places. It can be transformative. It has a unique power of its own and within that, the power to comfort those who may be confused or in the grip of this destructive disease. I fully support and endorse the work being done through #powerof30”. The vast majority of people in the UK understand the need for human connection and when that is affected by conditions such as dementia, music plays a vital role in keeping people connected. In research conducted by Opinium for Music for Dementia, 78% said spending time with loved ones is the most important factor in maintaining wellbeing among UK adults and 62% highlighted the importance of social interaction. Encouragingly, a further 71% believed those who

are ill or unwell should be able to engage with music as part of their treatment – whether they have dementia or not. In the UK, dementia is more common than many people would believe and lots of people have loved ones living with dementia or know somebody living with the condition. It affects one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in six over 80. Over half of us (53%) know somebody with dementia whether that’s through a loved one (26%) or somebody they know well (17%). In addition, one in five (22%) know a friend who has dementia and 48% of those who know someone with dementia say music is or was important to their wellbeing. Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia said: “Music can be hugely beneficial to people living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia as it has the power to enliven, stimulate and enable people to express themselves. “Our #powerof30 campaign aims to help people make connections again. Musical services have been severely impacted in the last 18 months, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that music, uniquely, provides – but we can all use music to help create those connections and make a difference to people’s lives. “For people living with dementia in care settings we are asking care workers and managers to sign our #powerof30 campaign to show their support in making music an integral part of dementia care for people living with dementia in care homes and those supported in their own homes.” Professor Helen Odell-Miller OBE Director of the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University said “Just 30 minutes shared music a week during daily life and normal routines, at home or outside in the nearby environment, will make a difference to quality of life. Research shows that shared music-making and listening to music can help reduce anxiety and depression.” Sign up here to support the power of music in dementia care: Download the Five ways to use music leaflet for handy tips on how to make music part of the day in your care setting at

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The Modern Village: How Technology Can Aid Effective Intervention In Social Cases

By Chris Evans, Head of Product and Strategy, Idox (

“It takes a village…” is a well-used cliché. Raising a child and managing everything that comes with a family is tough, it’s a demanding responsibility. What’s more, we’re often swept away by what Hollywood thinks the idyllic family setup is, altering expectations when the reality is that it’s different for us all. What is often true, however, is that we all need support and when we have it, we feel less isolated. Families are supported by ‘modern village’ networks consisting of wider family, friends, professional networks and service providers. Those connections forged over many years is why local authorities do their best to not uproot at-risk families to areas many miles away if the need for relocating becomes apparent. We also cannot ignore the impact that communities of social care professionals have on families, and particularly those who are considered at-risk. They are often the ones who can spot the signs of families who are finding things challenging. For instance, an old friend visiting may not truly understand the implications of the growing pile of dirty laundry or washing up and the empty fridge, they may have similar and consider it normal as many do. Yet a social care worker can connect such dots, understanding the link between poor health, poor finances and vulnerable housing.

SHORTENING WINDOW FOR EARLY INTERVENTION However, the intervention of social care organisations comes with its own challenges. The more bodies involved, the more opportunities for details to slip through the gaps. A may be visited by a mid-wife, a social care worker and a support charity, all of whom may spot something that they consider worth monitoring. All three then make reports to different agencies and systems, unaware of each other’s concerns which combined could see progress made more quickly. The risks are that families end up feeling overwhelmed and under supported and, perhaps biggest of all,

the window for early intervention quickly diminishes. When the situation escalates and the system has to fully step-in, there’s a potential for children to be referred to safeguarding or the social care pathway. Moves that can have long-lasting impacts for the current generation and even the next.

TECHNOLOGY CAN PROVIDE A PANORAMIC VIEW There is a need then for local authorities and social care organisations to possess a panoramic view of families and their cases. Everyone needs to see the assessments from all others so a more comprehensive profile can be built, simplifying and progressing case management so vulnerable families get the support they need quickly. Here is where technology can play a significant role. Data repositories do already exist, but these include back-office local authority systems that are reserved for statutory social care services. They hold sensitive information, but they were not built for compatibility or flexibility, making a multi-agency approach difficult. A more modern counterpart is required. Central data repositories which can store all the content relating to a case, in line with regulations, while still making it accessible to key stakeholders in multi-disciplinary cases, places everything in one ‘box’ in the middle. They can also be structured to make sure all the necessary steps are taken but retain the adaptability reflecting the non-linear pathway cases often take to reach an outcome.

SUPPORTING THE FAMILIES Critically, technology can help support the key stakeholder – the family concerned. They need to be involved and informed of case progression and not find themselves repeating their stories to different bodies – it should be one and done. From there, they should have access to timelines and referrals so they can see when and who they should expect engagement from next. This means technology must be accessible through standard mobile devices so that families are kept in the loop and aren’t simply passive recipients of social services. On an administration level, technology can boost efficiency, saving time and money during a period where social care finds itself under increasing pressures. However, on a human level, technology can prevent a great deal of suffering. So, while technology cannot replace the human interactions of the modern village, it can make those engagements more effective and seamless – adding value to all.

Care Home Welcomes Little Hands and Feet to Help Transform its Garden for the Residents The sunny and peaceful garden at Romford Care Home was transformed into a hive of energetic and giggling activity thanks to six mini volunteers who came to help make the garden more colourful and cheerful for the residents. The team at the Nursing, Nursing Dementia and Residential home organised the day to help get the garden ready for their summer events, as explained by customer relations manager Tracy Smith, ‘The children of our team members have been eager to come in to our gardens and do some planting so the residents can enjoy some lovely flowers for the summer.’ Alfie, Henry, Ronnie, Starla, Mia and Poppy all aged under 10 years old, arrived in the garden and enthusiastically set to work tidying, weeding and planting brightly coloured flowers including begonias and petunias in the borders near the windows and patio so the residents could really see the impact of their work. ~ “I enjoyed helping today and look forward to telling my teachers about the new friends I’ve made” ~ Alfie, aged 10 years old Alfie’s mum Tracy, Romford’s Customer Relations Manager explained why it had been so important for Alfie to take part in the day, “It was so lovely to see the children working together as a team to plant some flowers that they had chosen themselves to give the residents something nice to enjoy whilst in the garden. It’s always hard to explain where Mummy works, so to have the opportunity for Alfie to come in and meet some of the residents and learn a little about what dementia means was invaluable.” Romford Care Home residents, June and Dennis Hunt, Margaret

Fleming and John Barry enjoyed helping their new friends gardening and passing on their wisdom. John, a keen gardener himself enjoyed sharing his love of gardening with the mini volunteers, saying “It was lovely seeing the children planting in our garden”. Lifestyle Assistant Hayley Sullivan shared the positive impact of the day for both the residents and children involved, “throughout the day it was lovely to see the enjoyment the residents got from hearing the children laugh and watching them garden. The children all worked so hard and have asked if they can come back again to help plant more of the garden to make it a pleasant place for the residents to relax” The event was part of RCH’s commitment to bringing the local community into the home and developing meaningful intergenerational projects for the residents and children. RCH Care Homes Head of Dementia and Development Emma Hewat explained the importance of maintaining connections with the community and the benefits of these intergenerational projects for those living at the home, “Moving into and living in care homes often reduces the opportunities residents have for contact with people of difference ages including children. Recent research by the Intergenerational Foundation has also shown that many children have a reduced chance of having someone aged over 65 living in their area. Opportunities such as this can really bring the generations together, helping to reduce isolation and loneliness and improve physical and mental health in our residents, as well as enhancing early learning and social development in our children. There are many shared interests that can bring older and younger people together and I look forward to hearing more stories like this from Romford Care Centre.”

Care South Care Homes Signs Two New Managers Football fever has certainly been sweeping the nation recently and Care South’s Queensmead care home in Christchurch and Fern Brook Lodge care home in Gillingham are continuing this by signing Kevin Gillings and Alexandros (Alex) Gavriilidis as their new Home Managers with the help of the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust team. The team and residents were delighted to welcome AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust to the homes, for the first time since restrictions have been in place, to take part in a fun football session. Kevin brings with him wide-ranging experience, having worked in the care industry for 25 years and being a registered manager for 11 years, whilst Alex has managed various nursing homes in Greece and Cyprus over the last 17 years. Alex and Kevin are both real hands-on managers and are committed to making Fern Brook Lodge and Queensmead a community hub, and to ensure everyone is enjoying living and working at the home. This includes welcoming the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust as part of its ongoing partnership between AFC Bournemouth and Care South, which began in 2014. Aaron Whitehead, Director of Residential Care, commented: We are

delighted to sign Kevin and Alex to the team. They are both exceptional Home Managers and already the residents and families are enjoying their presence and leadership skills at the home. Queensmead and Fern Brook Lodge are fantastic homes with brilliant teams, and we are looking forward to seeing Kevin and Alex thrive in their new positions.” Kevin Gillings, Queensmead’s Home Manager, commented: “I am thrilled to be joining the Queensmead team, and excited to make a difference in people’s lives as it gives me that real feel-good factor. My intention is to strengthen the links between Queensmead and the local community and organise lots of events that will enrich the residents experience of living in a care home, such as the visits from the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust.” Alex Gavriilidis, Fern Brook Lodge’s Home Manager, commented: “I am so pleased to be joining Fern Brook Lodge. Interacting with our residents really is the favourite part of my day and I love listening to all their stories and helping make a difference to their lives. Fern Brook Lodge is a warm and welcoming home and has the potential to become a focus point for the whole of Gillingham. It is easily accessible and has plenty of communal spaces as well as a fantastic garden for events.”


Families Lose Bid For Authorities To Provide Further Evidence In Covid Care Homes Case Two women who have brought a legal challenge over what they allege was a failure to protect those living in care homes from Covid-19 have lost a bid for the Government to provide further evidence. Dr Cathy Gardner and Faye Harris, whose fathers both died in care homes from coronavirus, are suing the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and Public Health England (PHE), claiming that there was a failure to implement “adequate” measures to protect residents from the “ravages” of the virus and this was “one of the most egregious and devastating policy failures of recent times”. A judicial review was given the go-ahead last November and the case appeared at London’s High Court on Wednesday, with the women’s lawyers arguing the Government ‘failed to discharge their duty of candour in the proceedings’. Dr Gardner alleged that the Government breached the human rights of thousands of vulnerable people, including her father Michael Gibson, 88, a retired registrar who died at the Cherwood House Care Centre in Oxfordshire on April 3, 2020. Ms Harris, 57, also joined the legal fight after her father Don, 89, an ex-Royal Marine, ‘died of Covid’ in May 2020 along with 24 residents at his Hampshire care home. The lawyers said the court was not provided with ‘essential documents evidencing the defendants’ decisions’ and asked for further disclosure of 132 further pieces of evidence, however, Mrs Justice Eady rejected the request in a ruling on Thursday, saying it was not necessary for the court to decide the issues under challenge.

Michelle Penn, partner at law firm BLM and specialist in occupational disease, said: “Although the rejection of the application by Mrs Justice Eady will be disappointing for the claimants, it does not result in an end to Dr Gardner’s claims. Many are hoping the claimants’ case will hold those responsible to account for failings that may well have led to thousands of deaths and put a huge toll on families, social care workers and those in care. However, it’s not a simple case of the care sector v. the Government.” “Dr Gardner is essentially claiming the government breached the Human Rights Act by failing to protect the lives and well-being of vulnerable care home residents. Therefore, there’s a risk that care providers who followed Government advice could be brought into a civil action lawsuit as a co-defendant. It could cause huge unrest in social care, and we may well see a swathe of follow-on lawsuits being brought against care providers across the UK. “This would present another considerable challenge to an already struggling sector. Equally, if the government comes out of this unscathed, it could be perceived by many as an injustice. What’s clear is many in the care sector felt left behind during the pandemic and this denial of evidence will surely be another blow to them. “The decision to withhold these extra pieces of evidence may very well have been made with an impending public enquiry in mind. If announced, this would involve a huge amount of evidence gathering across each of the devolved nations and would look much wider than the specific claims Dr Gardner has brought against the government here, and policy makers will wish to avoid any overlap where possible.”

Please Do Pay Us A Visit! Stand E116 Dementia Care & Nursing Expo There's just 2-weeks to go until the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo returns to NEC Birmingham on 15 - 16 September, 2021 to help grow sustainable social care business models. We here at the CARER are delighted to be media partners and exhibitors at the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo. This is one of the first opportunities to meet face to face with people involved at all levels of adult social care, care home owners, managers, work is at different levels and different departments, industry profes-

sionals and observers, suppliers of all kinds, all under one roof! Trade shows or a fantastic opportunity to get feedback, and engage with those at the coalface. Never as important than now, after 18 long months of Covid induced turmoil devastating the sector, and the looming issue of mandatory vaccines, we will be there on stand E116 to hear and listen to your comments so please do pay us a visit! To register to attend, simply click and activate your personal e-ticket at - it's that simple!


Playlist for Life’s Songs for Dementia Campaign Highlights the Power of Personal Playlists for Individuals Living with Dementia Music that gives you that flashback feeling can be a lifeline if you are affected by dementia. Playlist for Life’s ‘Songs for Dementia’ campaign focuses on how personally meaningful music can help the person with dementia to shine through. Put simply, music has the power to shine a spotlight on the ‘me’ in dementia. Marketing agency, Union Direct, worked with Playlist for Life to develop the creative concept for the month-long campaign which will run throughout September to coincide with World Alzheimer's Month, the annual international campaign launched by Alzheimer's Disease International in 2012. World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21st September. The campaign will be led by a powerful short film featuring the story of Playlist for Life’s founder: writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson. Sally founded the charity in 2013 after the death of her mother, who lived with dementia, to ensure that everyone living with the condition has a playlist of personal music and that everyone who cares for them to know how to use it effectively. Watch Sally's story here: (private link - video goes public on 1st September) The charity’s work is based on morethan two decades of research showing that ‘personal music’ – the specific tunes attached to someone’s emotions that can spark memories – can help those living with

dementia by alleviating stress, managing symptoms and strengthening relationships with family members andcarers. In September 2019, the World Health Organisation undertook a major study investigating the evidence for the health benefits of the arts. A section on dementia found evidence of multiple specific benefits including: reducing anxiety and depression; supporting cognition, speech and memory; reducing the need for antipsychotic drugs, and fewer and shorter stays in hospital.

Since 2013 Playlist for Life has trained over 7,000 health and social care professionals on using personal playlists in dementia care. The charity also works with over 1000 community ‘Help Points’ around the UK, where people living with dementia, their loved ones and carers can access free advice and materials on how to build personal playlists and use them effectively. During the COVID-19 pandemic the charity has adapted to restrictions by offering materials through the post, hosting webinars, and offering phone support to people living with dementia and their carers, who were often left isolated due to lockdown restrictions. Michelle Armstrong-Surgenor, Executive Director of Playlist for Life, said: “This World Alzheimer’s Month, we’re focusing on the people beyond the dementia diagnosis. People living with dementia, their families and carers are at the heart of everything we do at Playlist for Life, and personal music is a powerful tool to unlock people’s individuality.” “Personal playlists tell the story of someone’s life through music and are a proven non-pharmacological intervention for people living with dementia. This campaign aims to bring the power of personal music to anyone affected by the condition and is a call to all of us to see the person, not the dementia.”

Fremantle Court Celebrate Paralympic Opening Ceremony There was a riot of colour at Fremantle Court on Tuesday 24 August as the team and the care home residents came together to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Paralympics. Surrounded by flags, games and a generous BBQ, residents celebrated in style as Lilian Ofondu, Home Manager, lit and carried the torch to begin the event. As everyone enjoyed the BBQ food and tucked into an impressive cake, proudly provided by the kitchen of Fremantle Court, entertainer Sheralyn Edwards of 'Musical Sunshine' provided the soundtrack to a celebratory afternoon. Leisure and Lifestyle Team Manager Eva Banaszcyk commented; "Fremantle Court is so close to the home of the first ever Paralympics we felt it only right to put on an event to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. It was also a great opportunity for a party and we love a party! The residents and team had wonderful afternoon and are looking forward to watching the games." The Paralympic Games began in Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948, known at the time as the Stoke Mandeville games. Very quickly the games became international, making Stoke Mandeville Hospital the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.


Social Care Leader Fears Vaccine-Resistant Virus Could Strike Sooner Rather Than Later A social care leader fears the world could be hit by a new pandemic sooner rather than later. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, is concerned it could pose an even greater threat if it involves a vaccine-resistant virus. It was therefore, said Mr Kreft, vital that the inquiry into the current crisis should focus on the lessons learned rather than getting bogged down in a blame culture. He praised the Welsh Government for providing better and more effective support to the social care sector than had been the case in other parts of the UK. A UK-wide inquiry is due to get underway next Spring, with First Minister Mark Drakeford resisting calls for a Wales-specific review. According to Mr Kreft, that was a sensible approach because it would be impossible to completely separate what happened in the different nations of the UK. Mr Kreft said: “We have done things differently here in Wales and it’s very important that we understand what’s happened here, particularly how we can avoid this in future. “We will have to learn to live with this disease and it’s possible it will come back in a form that evades the vaccine. It is therefore vitally important that we learn these lessons. “What we need is an over-arching UK-wide review and within that we need to look at what happened here in Wales and the other nations – an inquiry within an inquiry if you like. “The way the social care sector has been supported in Wales is very different to the rest of the UK and we are grateful to the Welsh Government for the financial aid at a time when it was most needed.

“A public inquiry will clearly flag up certain issues where things have gone wrong but it won’t necessarily reflect the collaboration and support the sector has had from the Welsh Government. “There is a greater understanding in Wales about how the sector fits into and integrates with the health service. “It’s important to understand that in a devolved administration here in Wales and the only way to do that would be to have a separate review that would report into an overall UK-wide inquiry, along with similar reviews in Scotland and Northern Ireland. “We should also remember that the UK has done some things excep-

tionally well, notably the procurement and roll out of the vaccines which has been a remarkable success story. “Initially, Wales was a bit slow out of the blocks but is now out in front in terms of vaccinating our population and that’s something we can be proud of. “An inquiry of this nature should not be about creating a blame culture – it should be about learning lessons about how to do better if we are struck by another pandemic. “The one thing that’s clear is that the world was not ready for the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a crisis that has not been faced by people in living memory. “The main purpose of this inquiry should be to ensure that we are ready for the next one – sadly, it is a case of when not if. “There is nobody who is suggesting that this is going to go away, if this mutates into a strain that is resistant to the vaccine. “The next one could be very soon – a lot sooner than a 100 years. “What we need to do ensure that get ourselves ready and that we do not have to rely on an international supply chain that is fragile and unreliable.” A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The UK-wide inquiry has been agreed between all four nations. "We have requested specific chapters of the inquiry deal exclusively with the lived experiences of those here in Wales. "A UK-wide inquiry will have the capacity and force to oversee the interconnected nature of the decisions that have been made across the four nations and is the best way for the experiences of people in Wales to be properly understood."

New Matchday Stories Book Provides Foreign Escape For Nervous Football Fans An international match in North Korea only days after a nuclear warhead explosion, the atmosphere at one of the most political games in World Cup history and the momentous rise of the Iceland men’s national team are just a few of the stories documented in a new collection of anecdotes from some of the UK’s best football writers. The Away Leg: XI Football Stories is the brainchild of acclaimed authors Steve Menary and James Montague, who came up with the idea during the first lockdown as a way of raising money for the hard-hit social care sector. The pair contacted fellow football journalists to ask them to share their best matchday stories to create a special book that raised money for one of the UK’s biggest social care charities, Community Integrated Care. And the end result is now providing an alternative for fans who are desperate to get their international football fix, but wary of travelling out of the country. The book includes stories from acclaimed writers such as Nick Ames (The Guardian), Harry Pearson (author of books including The Far Corner and The Farther Corner), William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award winner David Goldblatt (Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football) and James Corbett ( The publication’s eleven chapters take readers to the heart of the action with remarkable tales from across the globe. From derbies in Brazil, Georgia and Israel to the politically-charged Iran vs USA game at France ’98, it is packed with drama both on and off the pitch. Co-editor Steve Menary said: “James and I came up with the idea for the book as we

wanted to do something positive in what was otherwise turning out to be a dreadful year. We had had family members who had been looked after by carers and wanted to give the social care sector a boost, so we started looking into various social care organisations. When we came across some of the sports-related work that Community Integrated Care was doing, we felt that the charity was the right one for us to support. “Now, the football season may be getting underway, but many people are still nervous about international travel. Hopefully this book will provide them with their foreign football fix, without them even having to step on a plane.” John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care says: “We were honoured when Steve and James offered to support Community Integrated Care by creating this book. They wanted to show their support for social care and to recognise the hard work of our colleagues throughout the pandemic. “Fundraising support like this is vital to our charity being able to create life-changing opportunities for the people we support. To see a team of such talented writers, give their time our charity is humbling. We hope that readers not only enjoy reading their fantastic tales, but also take great pride in knowing that they have helped to change lives with their purchase. “All profits will help our charity to create new opportunities that enable people to achieve their dreams and grow in independence, as well as support those that may be entering social care in crisis.”

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

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


Unpaid Carers Share Their Views on the Pandemic and Beyond By Janine Woodward-Grant, Deputy Chief Executive, Bath Carers’ Centre ( Recent research conducted by Bath and North East Somerset Carers’ Centre has revealed a startling yet equally unsurprising picture as to the views and support of unpaid carers in this country. Of the 8,350 respondents who took part in the survey, a third (35 per cent) of people stated they claim to know an unpaid carer. Worryingly, just one in seven (15 per cent) say they could confidently spot the signs of when an unpaid carer might need help. By definition, an unpaid carer is someone who cares for a friend or family member who needs help with daily life due to illness, disability, serious injury, mental health, or an addiction. They receive little financial renumeration and limited local authority support, yet their numbers are rising. Indeed, according to Carers UK, more than one in eight adults in the UK are classified as an unpaid carer. But a combination of an ageing population and the recent pandemic have conspired to see the number of unpaid carers over the age of 65 years double since March 2020 to 4 million people. Of these, 780,000 were in their 80s, or above. However, the spike in the number of unpaid carers aged above 65 years pales into insignificance when we consider that among the younger generation. There are an estimated 800,000 young carers in the UK providing essential care for their families, a number which grew due to the lockdown restrictions prohibiting employed carers to visit other homes. So, while the numbers for young carers may be lower than those for their older counterparts, the impact of being an

unpaid carer as a young person in later life is monumental. Our research found that nearly half (45 per cent) of carers reported not having sufficient time to spend on school work, with 58 per cent feeling their education was suffering severely according to findings from the Children’s Legal Centre. Anyone reading this will already know, but it is still worth reminding ourselves as to the extent to which becoming an unpaid carer has on individuals. Many unpaid carers work part-time or take time out of their employment for their caring responsibilities. Often, this results in a reduction in wages and restrictive career progression. This in turn has even more serious consequences such as limited funds available for every day staples, such as food, heating, medical supplies… the list goes on. Furthermore, when asked if enough support is available for unpaid carers, our research found that eight in 10 (78 per cent) responded with ‘No.’ And the stats back this up. Carers UK has shown that unpaid carers save the economy £132 billion per year, while Carers’ Allowance, the main carer’s benefit, stands at just £67.25 for a minimum of 35 hours per week; this would barely cover a meal in a restaurant. The mis-match is palpable. With such a large proportion of society either being an unpaid carer (knowingly or not) or knowing someone who is, why are they either overlooked, unrecognised, or simply left out from conversation? This is a debate that will invariably continue for some time. But by raising greater awareness of the outstanding contribution that both unpaid and salaried carers alike make to society, there remains the possibility that positive change may come. In the meantime, we encourage everyone who comes into contact with unpaid carers to help connect them to ours and similar organisations across the country who are here to provide information, advice and support and a vital sense of community. No unpaid carer should care alone.

Care Residents Get a Taste of the Outdoors with First Post-Lockdown Outing RESIDENTS at Edinburgh Care Homes have had the chance to experience their first organised outdoors activity after a year of lockdown, with a visit to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic and Saughton Gardens. Apart from the short trips to the end of the garden and stints in the home’s purpose-built outdoor seating area, residents at Mansfield Care’s Eildon House and Belleville Lodge have not been on a day out in more than a year. Pre-lockdown, trips out were a regular staple for residents, with visits to the Royal Yacht Britannia, the National Museum and the Zoo. Now with all residents and staff fully vaccinated and restrictions easing, carers at the homes organised garden outings outing as a special treat for the residents. Staff from each care home planned and assisted the residents to travel to and from the Botanic and Saughton Gardens, which is only a short walk away. Fiona Shale, Activities coordinator at Eildon House said: “While some of our residents do still feel more comfortable remaining indoors for the time being, the vast majority have been very excited to get out and about again. “The Botanic Gardens were very accommodating with our visit and it all

went off without a hitch, although we made sure the residents were well wrapped up for the unpredictable weather. “We spent the majority of the time in the Garden of Tranquillity which is a new area of the Botanic Gardens that has been created specifically for people with dementia. As the name suggests, it’s a lot quieter than some of the other areas, with beautiful landscaping and water features giving visitors a peaceful and safe space to enjoy.” Margaret Russell, Manager at Belleville Lodge said: “The residents really enjoyed looking at all the flowers. The herb garden was a resident favourite and we even tasted some of the different herbs. “One of our residents, Heather Salzen, is a Botanist so she really enjoyed her day out and was telling us all about the plants. “It was a great day out. We ended our tour of the garden with a cup of tea and refreshments in the garden café and sat outdoors as the weather was lovely.”

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

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


Why Now Is The Moment To Embrace Digital Health Technology As Part Of The Care Home System By Axel Nordberg, Essity Global Brand Director ( “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:

Browne Jacobson Partner Appointed Social Care Sector Ambassador Amanda Wright-Kluger, a partner and solicitor-advocate in Browne Jacobson’s Nottingham office, has been appointed a social care ambassador for the charity, Championing Social Care. Championing Social Care was launched in September 2020 by a volunteer group of leaders from across the social care sector to promote a wider and deeper public understanding, appreciation and respect for social care. She joins the charity’s 30-plus ambassadors which are drawn from a broad spectrum of organisations dedicated to the social care sector, including the Alzheimer's Society, CareTech plc, The Care Workers Charity, Care England and Institute of Health and Social Care Management amongst others. Amanda is a member of the firm’s health and social care team and represents independent healthcare providers and NHS Trusts in inquest and advisory and regulatory matters. She also advises Trusts and Independent Care Providers on governance issues. Prior to joining Browne Jacobson, Amanda was a trial lawyer specialising in medical negligence in the USA for 13 years. Browne Jacobson has one of the largest health and social care practices in England with over 120 professionals providing legal advice to local authorities, registered charities, residential and domiciliary care providers, insurers, sports governing bodies, religious organisations and inspectorates including the Care and Social Services

Inspectorate Wales. Amanda Wright-Kluger said : 'I am honoured and thrilled to join the Championing Social Care Team in shining a light on the incredible positive stories and celebrating initiatives within the social care sector. “As a health lawyer I am privileged to work with so many hard working, talented and selfless people in the sector. “Every day I am pleasantly surprised and humbled by the dedication, compassion and simple humanity that so many social care workers, from health care assistants to CEOs and everything in-between, give to the sector and the people they serve. “This is especially the case over the last 18 months when our whole country but especially health care staff and leaders have had such a challenging time. The social care sector’s a brilliant shining light in our country and one that must be cherished, valued and promoted. “I am thrilled to form part of this team leading such support in the sector and more widely.” Jonathan Freeman, Vice – Chair of Championing Social Care, added : “Our vision for Championing Social Care is to ensure a wider and deeper awareness and understanding of social care. Focusing on delivering positive stories and initiatives about the sector which we all care about so passionately. “Our ambassadors are a key driver in delivering our vision and we are delighted that Amanda, with her knowledge and extensive sector experience, has accepted our invitation to work alongside the other fantastic leaders we have appointed to helping us to realise our goals.”

A Taste Of Farming Life For Lowestoft Disability Service Residents living at a supported housing service in Lowestoft are enjoying spending part of their summer learning about the world of farming, after receiving community funding to work with a local farm. Staff and residents from Sanctuary Supported Living’s Clover Court, which provides accommodation, care and support for people with physical disabilities, have been visiting Pathways Care Farm, which gives vulnerable people the opportunity to learn through a range of hands-on farming activities. This has included planting, fruit and vegetable cultivation, helping to restore a barn, animal husbandry and even the basics of machinery maintenance. The course has been made possible thanks to a £2,000 grant from Sanctuary’s Community Investment fund, which provides funding for community initiatives which aim to meet the aspirations of Sanctuary residents, as well as a generous £500 donation from East Suffolk District Councillor, Frank Mortimer. It will run for 12 sessions and is benefitting the residents’ physical and mental health as they have the chance to learn new skills within a therapeutic setting and get to know other members of the community – something which is espe-

cially important following the social isolation they experienced during lockdown. David Perkins, Local Service Manager at Clover Court said: “We support residents to take part in a range of activities, volunteering opportunities and work experience, so that they can build the life skills and confidence they need and live as independently as possible. It has been very difficult for residents to take part in their normal group activities since the start of the pandemic, so they’re very much enjoying getting involved with all the exciting experiences the farm has to offer.” Geoff Stevens from Pathways Care Farm, in Lowestoft said: “Spending a day, or more, a week at Pathways can have an amazing effect on people’s wellbeing. No matter what farm experiences people have or haven’t had, all are welcome to share in guided activities, hard physical work, teamwork, problem solving and confidence building. We focus on what people can do, not what they can’t and encourage them gradually to stretch themselves and achieve pride in their success”.


Wonderkin (UK) Talks about Reinventing Chronic Care Management Through Technology-Based Solutions By Marties Allen, Managing Director of Wonderkin (UK) - If chronic care management encompasses a full overview of health conditions to achieve an on-going, more reasonable quality of life then what could be more efficient and give more efficacy than looking towards digital solutions? Clearly, with our experiences, with the Covid pandemic, we have learned that time may not be on our side, and that the ‘here and now’ is what matters most when it comes to residential and nursing care. When it comes to residential and nursing care, we also have to consider that there are other comorbidities, hence, it adds to carers’ duty of care. Ensuring a better quality of life, for all, as we age is key, as we need to think about this in the present, as it is our not so distant future that we are talking and thinking about. Care-giving, in real-time, has to be more effective, especially post-Covid, as there now has to be more precautions and procedures taken in facilities to ensure the safety of patients and those who work there. Furthermore, there is also the issue of time, and the lack of resources, or disproportionate high quality of care that can be given at all times. Take for instance tasks such as body rotation and diaper change, whereby these seemingly simple tasks,

take more time then meets the eye. However, if workflow, task management, and pad stock management were digitised this would not only reduce paperwork, but keep carers informed of patients in real-time. Consider also, that by going digital on such tasks, costs are significantly cut down through diaper consumption- from an average of 6 pieces to 3-4 pieces per day. By minimising the use of disposable wastes, and improving the quality of sleep for the patients, this also reduces the number of times changes to diapers need to be made in the night. It is not just the variant of reducing diaper wastes, and hence, for facilities to save financially on diaper costs that make digital implementation to chronic care management that makes good sense. The improvement in behaviour issues of the elderly are also apparent- with a better quality night’s sleep. Another issue is the communication between the family members of a patient and the care home. If personalised health insights, powered by data, could be easily provided, there would be a better transparency between the two of the quality of care that is being provided. Care- giving and chronic care management is not different to any other industry and it seems post-Covid the need for digitalisation is greater than ever, but, it goes beyond trivial monitoring such as diaper wetness monitoring, or posture trends and analysis, and even how it helps the management of a care facility. There is also the issue of data protection, and how medical history and bio information is stored and utilised. Whether we realise it or not, like any other industry, there is a gradual pull towards digitising ‘care’ and with it, must come careful planning, and consideration for both the elderly and facilities.

Belong Atherton Paves the Way for Nurses with Pilot Apprentice Programme As students prepare to return to their studies in September, Kelly Haddock, Trainee Nurse Associate at Belong Atherton, urges more young people to consider less conventional routes into a nursing career. Kelly is at the half-way point of her unique pathway into nursing: an apprentice foundation degree programme offered by Belong in conjunction with the University of Salford and affording practical nursing experience outside of hospital settings. Reflecting on her first year, Kelly said: "There are an increasing number of new training options being created for people, who like me, discover their nursing vocation later on in their career. I've been able to build on my experience as a support worker and, once the foundation degree is complete, I'll be able to work towards a becoming a registered nurse." As a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA), Kelly works in the dementia care specialist's nursing team, supporting the needs of Belong residents, whilst receiving extensive training and gaining the clinical knowledge and experience required for nursing associate status. Whereas on the traditional routes into the nursing profession, trainees often gain their practical experience in hospital settings, the programme gives students the opportunity to work in all fields of nursing: adult, mental health, children's, and learning disability, meaning it is designed to be tailored to any area of the profession. By working in adult social care at Belong, Kelly is provided the chance to look after older people, including those living with dementia, as part of her training. Kelly, 33, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, began her care career over a decade ago, initially working in the catering team at the Mealhouse Lane care village, before being inspired to train as a carer, climbing the ranks to lead senior

support worker, heading-up a night team of 24 colleagues. Notably, her supportive nature shone throne through when she was named ‘Mentor of the Year' at Belong's Champion Awards 2020, which recognise colleagues who have made an exceptional contribution to village life. The apprenticeship role is relatively new to social and primary care and is currently being piloted in care settings with nursing provision, as well as GP surgeries. Led by University of Salford and regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the training posts are offered at Belong Atherton and Belong Wigan, which were selected to administer the work-based assessment based on an extensive relationship with the university, their track record in developing nurses, as well as top credentials including ‘Outstanding' CQC ratings and the ‘Gold' Investors in People accreditation. Kelly Haddock says: "I'm so happy and very thankful that Belong is championing this new Trainee Nursing Associate role; it's the best of both worlds, studying alongside working at the village. I previously studied at university but had no idea what my long-term career would look like and Belong has provided me with a career for life." Rebecca Woodcock, general manager at Belong Atherton, added: "We're thrilled to be working with the University of Salford and pilot this special programme which opens up an exciting new option for nurses. Part of our ethos is to develop careers of aspiring carers and nurses and so we provide numerous opportunities - even entry level options for those without experience in care. "For example, we already have nurses who, like Kelly, started out as support workers, as well as colleagues who are with us on short-term placements. Kelly is another example of someone who has built her skill set and is now extending this into nursing, building on her career caring for others."

The Access Group Acquires Servelec to Create an Integrated Health and Social Care Offering The health and social care division of The Access Group (“Access”), has announced the acquisition of Servelec. The acquisition will enable Access to offer integrated solutions and services across local government, health and social care, combining Access’ suite of health and social care solutions with Servelec’s ability to integrate technology across social care, healthcare, education and youth services. With Integrated Care Systems in England set to embed collaboration and promote more joined up care, the acquisition gives Access the opportunity to integrate systems and data right across the health and social care sector. Servelec is a trusted supplier to NHS trusts and local authorities, and has recently acquired Elemental Software, a provider of social prescribing technology. The acquisition complements Access’ long-term strategic plan to extend into local government and health. Steve Sawyer, managing director of The Access Group’s health and social care division, will lead the enlarged business, supported by Servelec’s existing leadership team, including Steve Wightman, healthcare managing director, and David

McKinney, local government managing director. Elemental Software will continue to be led by co-founders Jennifer Neff and Leeann Monk-Ozgul, while Servelec’s chief executive officer, Ian Crichton, will step down after supporting the initial transition. Steve Sawyer said: “Through the use of our technology and services, Access’ purpose is to support customers with the freedom to deliver outstanding care. Combined with Servelec’s focus on improving lives with technology that matters, and Elemental’s work to reduce health inequalities through the social prescribing movement, we have the opportunity to make a real difference together. “Aligned to the government’s strategy for integrated health and social care, this deal will help us create better outcomes for clinicians, social care professionals and other care providers, plus the people they support. “From the point of first need through to the delivery and monitoring of services, we aim to provide more efficient, cost-effective services, help the NHS and local government track and plan for long-term challenges, and provide a continuous integrated view of a person’s health and social care journey.”


General Practice Data For Planning and Research (GPDPR): What Is It? From 1 September 2021, the NHS will start preparing to upload the data of 55 million patients from GP medical records onto its brand-new system, the General Practice Data for Planning and Research, or GPDPR, which will then be shared with third parties for research and development. Of concern is the fact that the electronic database will hold incredibly sensitive data, such as mental health, sexual health and criminal records. While this will be anonymised with unique identification codes, the NHS will be able access the original data showing patients’ names – where there is a valid legal reason to do so – it has raised concerns around privacy, as Ruby Ashby, associate in Nelsons’ expert dispute resolution team, discusses. According to the NHS, the new system will help to reduce the burden on GP practices, allowing doctors and other staff to focus on patient care, with the data being used to support a wide variety of research and analysis that will help to run and improve services. The NHS has made it clear that anyone has the right to opt-out if they wish to do so, with an initial cut-off date of 1 September. However, in a letter dated 19 July this year, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for health and social care, Jo Churchill, set out a new process for the commencement of data collection, which moved away from the previously fixed date of 1 September and introduced three changes to the opt-out system, meaning

patients are able to change their status at any time.

IS GPDPR COMPLIANT WITH DATA PROTECTION LEGISLATION? From a data protection standpoint, it’s necessary to question whether GPDPR conforms with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) legislation and the Data Protection Act 2018. One concern is that a majority of patients won’t have given their explicit consent to the sharing of data, with many potentially being completely unaware of the plans. While this is a valid point, it is important to understand that consent is not always required. Consent is only one lawful basis for processing data and there are an additional five that allow an organisation to lawfully process data without consent. As a public body, the NHS will be able to process the data without people’s consent if the processing is regarded as being in the public’s interest. Another concern is that, while patients will be identified with unique codes, the NHS will be able to access the original data that shows the patients’ names. The use of codes rather than names is known as pseudonymisation. This is a commonly used technique in the processing of data, which means that individuals can’t be identified from the data itself and only by referring to other information held separately. Therefore, the NHS will need to take care that the additional information that can identify the individual is kept separately, with relevant controls in place, to ensure it’s not possible to re-identify the patient, except for in very specific circumstances as permitted by UK GDPR. For more information on data protection, please visit

Canford Healthcare Announces New Appointment at Ashridge Court Care Centre Canford Healthcare, a leading provider of nursing, residential and dementia care services is pleased to announce the appointment of Juliet Wills RN as Home Manager of Ashridge Court Care Centre in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. An experienced nurse, Juliet also has a qualification in clinical teaching and a humanities degree. Her career has been extremely varied, encompassing hands-on and senior roles within care settings, as well as working as an inspector for her local council and for the National Commission for Social Care Inspection (now CQC) where she managed a team of inspectors across Brighton and Hove. She then worked her way up from part-time nursing shifts to manager of a local nursing home, steering it safely through the pandemic – a very challenging experience. Julie is already enjoying working with deputy manager Janice and the rest of her new team at Ashridge, and is revelling in being new as it gives her a vital fresh perspective on the home. Customer service is a key priority for her, as is building up the home’s family feel and its presence within the

community. “It’s very easy to forget that elderly people have had many and varied life experiences and hopes for how they wish their lives to be,” she said. “We respect their wisdom and experience, and want to help them to live their best possible lives.” She adds: “Ashridge is such a lovely home with a good reputation. I want to build on that so that more people see it as the place to be! Alongside that, I want to ensure that staff feel valued, and that they all have the training and support needed to do their very best. I also believe in open, honest communication. For me, good nursing (and good care) is all about communication, while a sense of humour helps too!” Debbie Inkersole, Operations Manager says: “We are delighted to welcome Juliet as the new manager of Ashridge Court Care Centre. We believe that her particular set of knowledge, skills and experience, together with her personcentred approach to residents, add up to a formidable combination that will take Ashridge from strength to strength.”

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HC-One Care Homes Celebrate Their Adorable Furry Companions for National Dog Day In the lead up to and on Thursday 26th August, HC-One care homes across the UK celebrated National Dog Day. To mark the day, Residents enjoyed visits from furry friends, spending quality time interacting with the friendly pups, giving them lots of love, hugs, snuggles and kisses. At Overdene House Care Home in Winsford, Cheshire, some very special four-legged friends brought smiles, laughter and lots of cuddles. Cath Burns, Home Manager at Overdene House Care Home has always brought her dogs to work with her. This started with one dog, three years ago and she now has three beautiful canine friends which she brings into the home. Cath said, “When I realised the smiles my dogs bought and the calming effect they had on Residents, I had to get more! They are my dogs but belong to all of my Residents, I do not see them from 8am until 6pm as they just curl up with Residents. "These dogs have bought happiness and laughter and encouraged exercise and mobility. The dogs have kept poorly Residents company, given out love and cuddles to those missing loved ones and have brought some lovely memories back about Residents’ own dogs which has started up long conversations about the good times they had with their own dogs. They make us all smile every day!” Poppy, a brown and white Jack Russell Terrier cross, is a rescue dog adopted by Cath at three weeks old. She was two years old when Cath started at Overdene House and Poppy soon became the princess to all Residents. Nelson is also a Jack Russell Terrier and came to live with Cath at four weeks old. He has been bought up at Overdene House and loves pats, scrounging for food and keeping anyone who is poorly company. He is a really great therapy dog and all the Residents love him. Maisie is cute, cuddly, naughty and cheeky - she loves going in the water and running around, she always makes everyone laugh! Each dog has a bed under Cath’s desk and is very well-behaved. Residents love the cuddles and the games they play with the dogs, including ‘keep up the balloon’. At Chaseview Care Home in Burntwood, Staffordshire, Wellbeing Coordinator, Paige, brought her four-month-old Labrador, Rolex, in to meet the Residents. The Residents and Colleagues loved him and he was very wellbehaved throughout the visit. Rolex is a very loving and friendly pup who enjoys having his belly rubbed all day, every day. His favourite treat is a tasty rabbit ear and he knows that he has to give out a big high five to get one. Rolex was in his element as soon as he entered the home as he knew everyone was about to make a big fuss. He was in and out of Residents’ rooms, giving love as he explored and met the Residents who are cared for in their rooms, so no one missed out. Paige remarked, “Pet therapy is a really important part of our Residents’ lives as it really helps promote their wellbeing and lifts their moods! I am training Rolex to be able to do longer visits and eventually he will be in all day with myself on shift as a regular pet therapy dog at Chaseview.” In addition to Rolex visiting the home, there was also a pet therapy with fellow canine friend, Mila. Carer, Chanel, brought her lovely little four month old Dachshund puppy, Mila, in to provide some comfort to Residents. Mila was a little shy at first but soon came out of her shell, running around the home to visit as many of the Residents as she could! She loves attention and a good cuddle on a warm lap and has a nap wherever and whenever she can. She will soon wake up for her favourite treat and is always ready to perform a trick to receive one. Mila is more than happy to sit with the Residents as she prefers peace and quiet and doesn’t like loud noises. She reminds one Resident, Judy, of the days when her parents bred Dachshunds.

Another Resident, Rosamund, experienced amazing benefits from the pet therapy session. Due to Rosamund’s condition, unfortunately, her motor skills have been impaired but when Mila was placed on her lap, her mood brightened and she wrapped her arm around Mila, pulling her in close for a cuddle. Her facial expressions and reaction were incredible and proved how important pet therapy really is. Overall, the dogs were all on their best behaviour and had a lovely temperament, receiving a very warm welcome from the Residents who enjoyed their company and the comfort they offered. The precious pups were gentle and offered affection to Residents and Colleagues alike. The dogs were fussed over all day and received plenty of attention and strokes. Residents were also in for a treat as they watched the dogs perform their best tricks. Residents enjoyed discussing their favourite breed of dog and their own pet dogs they’d had during their childhood, as the dogs brought back up old memories. The day was a great success, with animalloving Residents smiling from ear to ear as they celebrated National Dog Day. In Salford, Manchester at Pendleton Court Care Home, Residents enjoyed an exciting visit by four-legged friend, Basil, one of the Resident’s daughter’s dogs. Jan often brings Basil to see her mother, Margaret and other fellow Residents. Basil is a two-year-old Miniature Schnauzer and very well behaved. His coat is woolly and he doesn’t shed like a number of other breeds, he is highly intelligent, affectionate and loyal. Wellbeing Coordinator at Pendleton Court Care Home, Lesley, took Basil on a tour of the home to meet Residents and their faces lit up when they saw him. One Resident, Josie B, talked about how she loves dogs because one saved her from drowning when she was a child. The Residents loved giving Basil lots of attention. Lesley commented, “Basil has brought so much joy to Residents and the benefits to their wellbeing is fantastic. Basil’s mum, Jan, is very kind to let me take Basil around to see the Residents.”

At Greengables Care Home in Congleton, Cheshire, Colleagues brought their pet dogs to work with them to compete in a dog show, as entertainment for Residents with a total of seven dogs taking part. Residents voted for their winners in nine different categories and then selected the overall winner of ‘Best in Show’. The dogs paraded around in front of the Residents where they were all introduced to each other. The winner received a prize and a certificate, and the dogs enjoyed visiting the

home too. Residents particularly enjoyed watching the dogs perform tricks including catching biscuits, shaking hands and dancing along to music. Home Manager at Greengables Care Home, Dawn Sadler, said, “It was really a fun-packed day for everyone involved.” In Whittlesey, Peterborough at The Gables Care Home, Residents recently enjoyed welcoming a number of furry friends to their home. Kathleen, a Resident at The Gables, mentioned to Wellbeing Coordinator, Jane that she missed her dog so much since moving into the care home. A few days later, Jane walked to work with her two dogs, Teddy and Betsy to surprise Kathleen, who came outside to see them and was delighted. She gently stroked the dogs and asked lots of inquisitive questions about them. Kathleen said getting to meet and spend time with the dogs made her day.

Grantham Care Home Welcomes Back Pets for National Dog Day A Lincolnshire care home is delighted to bring back staff member’s pets to its home after a long 15 months without such warm and calming activities. Red Court Care Community on St Edmunds Court in Grantham has been working with its activities co-ordinator Andrea Mccartney and her daughter

Court, it was a blessing to all of our residents. It was also a great treat for the team, there were plenty of cuddles to go around.” “Our residents really bonded with CJ and in the past our pet therapy sessions have always been one of our favourite activities. Many of our residents are animal

Stacey to bring friendly, four-legged companionship back to the home. It has

lovers and have had pets their whole lives. It’s fantastic that the physical benefits

been an extremely difficult to incorporate external activities into daily life at

of pet therapy are just as powerful as the psychological benefits, which are evi-

the home during the pandemic and being reunited with pets has brought

dent amongst our residents.”

tremendous joy to everyone at Red Court. The staff and residents spent the morning cuddling four-year-old, CJ the

Andrea Mccartney, activities co-ordinator at Red Court Care Community said: “We have been waiting for the right time to add pet therapy sessions back to

black Labrador, and his presence created such a calming environment for all

our monthly schedule and as it was National Dog Day on 26 August, it was the

who participated in the session. Pet therapy can improve residents’ mental

perfect time to offer it again! I have been working with Red Homes for over nine

health, increase socialisation and provide comfort. It can also have an aston-

years and I’ve seen the benefits dogs can have on our residents, especially those

ishing impact on residents’ physical health as spending time with pets is

with dementia.”

proven to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Lin Amos, general manager at Red Court Care Community said: “It was fantastic having CJ with us on Thursday, he made everyone feel safe and because it has been such a long time since we’ve had a dog come to Red

The incredible bond residents build with animals is scientifically proven to be of huge benefit to people of all ages and abilities. Dogs in particular can be trained to support people in a variety of settings and this holistic approach will be a regular activity at Red Court going forward.


More Than One In 20 Patients In Acute Care Involved In Patient Safety Incidents A new report published this month in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, has identified 377 incidents of severe harm or death in acute care settings in England and Wales over a 10-year period, with most resulting from diagnostic, medication or monitoring errors. Delays in diagnosis were the most frequent diagnostic error, with cancer misdiagnosis the most common. This is particularly worrying considering the huge increase in NHS waiting lists caused by the pandemic and the pressure on NHS resources. Almost a third of the 79 diagnostic errors resulted in the patient dying and a quarter receiving delayed treatment. According to the results from the 10-year national study, patient safety incidents occur in 6% of all patient cases acutely admitted to hospital and of those, 12% result in severe or fatal outcomes. Acutely sick patients are at heightened risk of unsafe care during handovers and transfers of care, the report notes.

STAFF MISTAKES AND MEDICATION CHART ERRORS There are many possible causes, however the study identifies that diagnostic errors are often the result of routine investigations; either because of incorrect interpretation of the results or incorrect response. Equally, the tests are conducted without understanding the effects on patient’s care.

The evidence from a previous study suggests that a lack of attention leads to signs of alternative diagnoses being missed. Staff mistakes were shown to be the most frequent cause of diagnostic errors, with misinterpreting investigations being the most common error. A separate study from the same team revealed that 46% of the medication charts investigated contained errors, mostly the omission of medication. “This new report makes worrying reading for acute patients and their loved ones,” said Carmel Walsh, an experienced medical negligence solicitor and Partner at York-based firm, Pryers Solicitors. “While we all understand how stretched NHS resources are right now, the solutions and recommendations made by the authors of this report are eminently sensible and should be in place already.” The report concludes that the introduction of electronic prescribing and monitoring systems, checklists to reduce diagnostic errors and increased senior staff presence in the evenings and weekends, would all contribute to improved acute patient safety. You can read more about this new study here:

National Care Group Releases Its Quality Account To Mark A Unique Year In Care

National Care Group has released its Quality Account 2020/21, providing a unique insight into a particularly challenging year for the care sector, in addition to revealing its strategy and resulting growth. The report revealed that in just four years the business has grown to support over 1,250 individuals in 249 locations and now employs over 2,400 colleagues, making it a major player in care and support services for vulnerable adults. The Quality Account not only discusses the unique challenges experienced over the last twelve months but reveals the approach behind its success. For instance, its investment in improved governance systems and processes resulting in improved ratings and the adaptation of audits to allow a rapid response to evolving

Government guidance. Mike Cleasby, quality director of National Care Group, said: “The Quality Account creates an opportunity for us to stop and reflect on what National Care Group has been able to achieve despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an insight into the pressure that dedicated care professionals have been under and our unique response. “Key to the last year has been the way that we have embedded and built upon a number of quality initiatives. It is pleasing to see our governance systems and processes have been recognised by regulators, leading to further improvements in our ratings. It’s now the ideal time to look ahead and put new priorities into action, allowing the individuals we support to maximise their potential and backing our colleagues even further.” In addition to highlighting the invaluable role of gaining feedback and actioning comments from individuals and families, the report also reiterated the importance of communication and support between colleagues. National Care Group funded, either directly or via The Apprenticeship programme, various training and initiatives including the ‘Skills for Care’ certificate and leadership development programs. It also continued to support the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) helpline and introduced new wellbeing initiatives for its team including Mental Health First Aider training. Mike said: “None of what was achieved throughout the year could have been accomplished without the dedication, determination, and creativity of the many colleagues across the organisation. The long

periods of lockdown and the ongoing restrictions on access have been challenging for many, but because of the way teams worked together locally, the management of the challenges faced has been exceptional.” The release of the Quality Account signifies the way forward for National Care Group. Three priorities have been defined including the development of a system to enhance advocacy for the individuals it supports, to further involve individuals in inspecting and monitoring the quality of services and embedding STOMP principals within its services which relates to a wider commitment to ensure those with a learning disability and or autism are not over medicated. Download the Quality Account here. To find out more about the National Care Group, please

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

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

domestic washing machines could be contravening water regulations.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

GUARDIAN Demonstrates How To Show You Care ®

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Benefits include:

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

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

Features include:

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


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Digital Future of Care As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health and care sectors are acutely aware of their responsibilities and the importance to look after technology that is fundamental to caring for the vulnerable and their carers. Should systems fail, technology suppliers should provide help and assistance remotely with telephone support and using remote diagnostic tools. At Courtney Thorne we find that most issues are resolved over the phone, where this proves difficult and further checks or reconfiguration is necessary this is done by remotely accessing systems and running diagnostics. 95% of the service inquiries we receive are resolved this way reducing the need to physically attend the site. Inquiries that cannot be rectified remotely will require an engineer to visit. To ensure the safety of residents, staff and the engineers themselves, service providers need to adopt stringent policies with rigor-

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

Make Your Nursecall Data Work For You and Your Residents

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

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

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

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future. Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

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

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

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

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


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The New MPCSA11 from Medpage Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting

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


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

care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more Or see the advert on page 2. Aidcall, Courtney Thorne, SAS and more making it easier and more efficient for care home groups to purchase to suit all their homes.


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


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

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


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

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

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

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

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

are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 or see the advert on page 5.

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

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

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


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

Renray Healthcare

with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit for details or see page 10.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


With medical professionals having withstood significant psychological

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

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

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

How to enhance your residents residents experience -! -!

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

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

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

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

The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly

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

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

See the advert on the facing page for details.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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



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

Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”. Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at or call 0208 768 9809

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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.’

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