The Carer Digital - Issue #69

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 69

Care Home Workers Seek Judicial Review Against Government’s Mandatory Vaccine Policy

The two care workers are now seeking a Judicial Review, which is funded by

resident facing role, the other is required by their employer to infrequently visit care homes. The judicial review against the Health Secretary is being brought under five grounds: • That the regulations are incompatible with laws prohibiting the enforcement of mandatory vaccines. • That the Health Secretary failed to consider the efficacy of alternatives to mandatory vaccination and did not consider the vaccination rate of care homes and/or persons with natural immunity. 10

freedom of choice campaigner, Simon Dolan. One of the workers operates in a


Care home staff are taking legal action against the Government after it introduced a mandatory vaccine requirement for care workers across the UK. Under regulations set out by an amendment to ‘The Health and Social Care Act 2008’ the public will be prevented from entering a care home unless they have received two doses of the Janssen, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines after 11th November 2021.


EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! A very short “blog” today, as I am currently at the Dementia Care and Nursing Expo at the NEC in Birmingham! This is the first major show since the pandemic broke, and it’s great to see so many of our advertisers here, who, like us, are pleased to see a “semblance” of normality returning. Trade shows are invaluable if getting feedback! An opportunity to meet up with people from all levels involved in the sector. Editor So far it is, unsurprisingly, mandatory vaccines topping to agenda. We at The Carer have this week received several phone calls from concerned workers in both residential and home care. For obvious reasons we cannot advise but we do have resources we can call upon. We lead in today’s issue with news of the application for a judicial review by two care workers opposing the governments mandatory vaccine policy coming into force on 11th November. Who did not see this coming? When the government announced the vaccine regulations it raised significant concerns within the care sector - human rights being one, but also particularly around recruitment of staff. Care home staff who work in residential care who do not want to be vaccinated will leave the sector, possibly (likely) to be dismissed and lost to other sectors such as the NHS or hospitality. There are currently over 100,000 vacancies in the sector with estimates of 40,000 possibly leaving due to the mandatory vaccine, and another “elephant in the room” is staff being put off from applying for roles due to vaccination being a condition of employment with, according to feedback today, many job adverts producing no applicants. Will the proceedings be successful? Impossible to predict, but the case is clear and profound, with huge sector implications. Furthermore, what is very clear is that care home operators are in a difficult position. Yes, they will be bound to continue implementing the Department of Health and Social Care’s operational guidance to ensure that they meet the key dates of

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EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett tomorrow - 16 September (the last date for care home workers to get their first dose so they are fully vaccinated by the time the regulations come into force). But that means having very difficult conversations with staff, many of whom will

Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades

be very long-standing, loyal employees about the regulations. We hope, in the lead up to November 11, to call upon some of the sector’s leading observers and organisations as well as profession/legal comment, but would really


welcome the views from readers, those “at the coalface” who are directly affected, so please do contact us, anonymity guaranteed if required! Oh and please do stop by stand E116 at the - We are here for two days! 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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Care Home Workers Seek Judicial Review Against Government’s Mandatory Vaccine Policy (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) • That the regulations interfere with the public’s right to ‘bodily integrity’ and is severe, unnecessary, and disproportionate. • That the regulations will disproportionately impact women and those who identify as Black/Caribbean/Black British, in contravention of Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. • That the regulations are irrational and will lead to shortages in both front-line and non-front line care workers.

EHCR “VIOLATION” The claimants are seeking a quashing order to render the mandatory vaccination requirements null and void alongside a declaration from the Health Secretary Sajid Javid that he has violated articles 8 and 14 of the EHCR and that the regulations are unlawful. The claimants bringing seeking permission for the Judicial Review against the Government are Julie Peters a care home programme director from Poole and Nicola Findley, a full-time care home support worker from Wolverhampton. Peters, who is predominantly office-based and is infrequently required to visit care homes believes that she should have freedom of choice over medical interventions. Whilst Findley is concerned about side-effects related to the vaccine and whether the

Government’s advice can be trusted. Simon Dolan said: “This case has far-reaching and incredibly important implications for freedom of choice in this country. It should not be the case that the Government can intervene into the lives of the general public and dictate what medical procedures they do or do not have.” “This case is underpinned by the notion of freedom of choice, every member of society should be able to have control of what medical procedures they do or do not have. This judicial review, if successful will protect the livelihoods and freedoms of up to 70,000 care workers across the UK.”

REGULATIONS “MEDIEVAL” Founder of Law or Fiction website ( and solicitor for the Claimants, Stephen Jackson, said “The Courts have long described the relationship of employer and employee as that of master and servant. These regulations attempt to legitimise a system of coercion and to set us back centuries to a time when the master had effective ownership and control over the servant’s body. The regulations are not only medieval in their purpose and determination to ignore the science which has now shown them to be pointless, but they discriminate against black and ethnic minority workers who make up a significant portion of the low paid carers and support staff who have worked tire-

lessly, not only over the last 18 months but for many years.” Speaking to the Financial TimesChristina McAnea, general secretary of Unison said” “We are being told that 10 to 20 per cent of staff are not double vaccinated and employers are really worried about what that will mean in terms of having to sack people,” she said. Unison had started taking legal advice about potential legal challenges over the issue, which could affect “tens of thousands” of people, Ms McAnea added.

“HEAVY HANDED” She said the government’s “heavy-handed” and “counter-productive” approach could be perilous for the health sector, which is suffering from staffing shortages following post-Brexit barriers to hiring overseas workers. “When you look at social care it is another disaster waiting to happen in that sector, that’s what employers are telling us.” The mandatory vaccination policy will apply to around half a million care workers in England. McAnea said the government should use a “carrot rather than stick approach” towards those reluctant to get jabbed. Staff who were unwell after their injection could be granted sick leave, she suggested.

Care Homes’ Summer Fete Raises £1,000 For Older People In The Community Two Winchester care homes came together to stage a late summer fete in aid of a charity that helps older people in the community to live well. Colten Care homes Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View jointly raised £1,020.18 for MHA Communities Winchester. The family-friendly event was held on the green in Dyson Drive off Worthy Road, just yards from Abbotts Barton, and featured live music, children’s games, hot food, cakes, tombola and a sale of plants arranged by residents of both homes. Abbotts Barton resident Rosemary Smale said she was tempted to have a go on the coconut shy, adding: “We were very lucky with the weather as it was nice and sunny. I enjoyed having a look at the stalls. There was a good variety.” Kirsty Sawyer, Companionship team leader at Abbotts Barton, said: “We had a fantastic day with a great turnout from our neighbours and other people in the community.” Both homes chose MHA Communities Winchester as their main cause to support over the past year. Even before the festival, they had raised more than £1,800 for the charity despite community events being constrained by lockdown.

MHA Communities Winchester provides social events and activities for around 350 older people who live in their own homes and may be experiencing feelings of isolation or loneliness. Activities include exercise classes, lunch clubs, singing, drama, day trips and holidays. Beth Ward, Deputy Manager, said: “We are very grateful for the continued support of Colten Care in Winchester. The last 18 months has been a difficult time for the charity and their fundraising efforts go a long way to supporting our 300+ local members.” Abbotts Barton Home Manager Dee Lovewell said: “Getting involved in fundraising and events such as the fete enables our residents to continue to play a part in the wider community. They love it.” Among the guests at the fete was the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Vivian Achwal, who said: “It was a pleasure to be invited along to the joint family day for St Catherines View and Abbotts Barton care homes. It was wonderful to meet the staff, families and a few of the residents. There was a great turnout and the stalls were lovely, especially the craft stall featuring items handmade by residents from Abbotts Barton. There was some beautiful live music as well as delicious food. A wonderful community event.”

Huge Vacancy Rates Across Care Sector Adding To Staff Mental Health Crisis The government’s failure to deal with the growing staffing crisis in social care risks worsening the mounting mental health toll on workers, says UNISON. Figures from a recent UNISON survey show a substantial proportion of care workers have suffered problems during the pandemic including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with more than two thirds (68%) saying their mental health has declined. The vast majority said their work had contributed to the difficulties they were experiencing. UNISON says there is a serious risk their health woes could worsen because severe staff shortages across the care sector are piling on the pressure. Staffing problems are likely to become more acute in the coming few weeks as thousands of care workers leave their jobs because of new compulsory vaccine rules, says UNISON. With recruitment problems caused by low pay, Brexit and increased competition for employees in the post-lockdown economy, this is putting even more pressure on those care workers who remain, says UNISON. The union surveyed more than 4,000 staff working in care homes and delivering care in communities across the UK. More than eight in ten (85%) of those who had experienced mental health deterioration since the start of the pandemic said their work had been a factor.

Problems reported by the workforce ranged from what staff described as PTSD, to depression and anxiety, the inability to leave work stress behind and sleeping difficulties. In addition to an overhaul of the sector to sort out chronic understaffing and endemic low pay, UNISON is calling for an immediate

increase in support for care workers’ wellbeing, which staff must be able to access directly. Last week the government announced some money from the new health and social care levy would go towards funding mental health resources and helping staff recover from the pandemic. But the union says this much-needed support must be developed with staff, not just by speaking to employers. And while online help is a start, there’s also demand for one-to-one and group counselling that employers must find the time and space for. UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Care workers have been through the mill these past 18 months. They have seen dozens of people they look after either fall seriously ill or die. They’ve been terrified about becoming sick themselves or taking the virus home to their families. Many have struggled financially because of the absence of proper sick pay. “Despite the Prime Minister’s promise to fix social care, there is still no plan. With the sector facing the abyss and thousands of staff down with others leaving all the time, more must be done to support those that remain in post. “The government’s commitment to funding mental health support is welcome. But help is needed now, not at some unknown point in the future.”


The Social Care Sector Needs To Embrace Condition-Based Practice Models If It Is To Solve The Dementia Crisis

By Terry Lawlor, QCS, Chief Product Officer (

“Dementia robs millions of people of their memories, independence and dignity… The world is failing people with dementia, and that hurts all of us…” This was just one of the hard-hitting messages issued by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the DirectorGeneral of the World Health Organization (WHO), late last month to coincide with the launch of a new report showing the number of people with dementia will increase by 40 percent by 2030.* In the UK, where more than 850,000 people** currently live with dementia, meeting the many complex challenges surrounding the condition is listed as one of the NHS’s top ten priorities, while last year the government launched the ‘Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020’. But, in the social care sector, and in the health sector for that matter, there is an additional obstacle. When supporting people with dementia, care and health professionals often experience a gaping chasm between the theory of caring for someone with dementia and the practice of actually doing so.

QCS DEMENTIA CENTRE: PUTTING CONDITION-BASED CARE AT THE HEART OF THE PRODUCT Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, and the organisation that I work for, was keen to address this gap that exists between theory and practice. As a company that prides itself on providing care professionals with the right content tools at the right time so they can focus all their efforts on delivering the best possible care, QCS created QCS Dementia Centre. My role, as the company’s Chief Product Officer, is to work with industry-leading experts – such as Jackie Pool, QCS’s Dementia Care Champion – to create a highly intuitive interface that care services can access across all channels. How does QCS Dementia Centre provide a solution to the dementia knowledge and skills gap? In a nutshell, it offers social care workers a pioneering set of tools and extensive multi-media resources to help them transform the assessment and management of care provision for those living with dementia.

QCS DEMENTIA CENTRE: MOVING DEMENTIA TRAINING FROM THE ‘WHAT’ TO THE ‘HOW’. From a product perspective the biggest sea-change is that Dementia Centre has transformed QCS from a compliance provider to one that specialises in supplying condition-based care guidance. In this respect, Dementia Centre shifts the dial. It enables care workers to not only ask ‘what do I need to do?’ but also ‘how do I do it?’ and for the hub to provide the answers. This is what makes QCS Dementia Centre unique. How is this achieved? Dementia Centre resources include the worldrenowned PAL Instrument, a Mental Capacity Act Assessment tool, a QCS Dementia Compliance Index and a library of digital content. To begin with, these resources allow a professional care team to understand each person’s individual cognitive threshold and assess mental capacity. Once this has been established, using the PAL Instrument and a selection of nine specifically curated purposeful practice guides, Dementia Centre teaches care workers how to acquire new skills. Most importantly, a reflective practice tool, which enables a supervisor to monitor and evaluate progress, gives care workers the confidence to flourish, while at the same time ensuring that they meet and exceed the highest industry standards.

CLOSING THE SKILLS AND TRAINING GAP Such an innovative and pioneering approach to dementia care can, I believe, go a long way towards narrowing the divide between theory and practice. And there’s an urgent need to achieve this, if statistics are anything to go by. A report by Skills for Care Workforce, for example, states that only 44 percent of care staff in England are recorded as having had training in dementia.*** In domiciliary care too, the gap between theory and practice is also evident. A study conducted by The Alzheimer’s Society in 2016 found that a third of homecare workers receive no specialist dementia training. The report also found examples of domiciliary care staff refusing to make additional visits to someone with dementia as they felt unprepared and helpless. Finally, it revealed that only 2 percent of service users surveyed felt that homecare professionals had enough dementia training.**** These statistics also make the case for a condition-based support approach. Reading between the lines, they show that to really enhance the quality of care that carers deliver, the level of dementia training required needs to transcend best practice guidance and regulatory standards.

QCS’S LONG-TERM AIM QCS has long been associated with helping organisations to fulfil and indeed surpass their regulatory and compliance requirements. However,

at the same time, we feel very strongly that if the monumental challenges presented by dementia are to be met head on, the bar for support needs to be raised even higher. Therefore, in addition to filling the skills gap, we have a long-term vision, which we believe to be eminently achievable. It is to build an online community of dementia experts. We believe that Dementia Centre will become a wellspring for learning and a central hub for sharing best practice content. By leveraging Dementia Centre’s multimedia channels, we want to actively encourage experts from a range of different backgrounds, with varying skillsets, to share their knowledge and experience with front-line workers. From a product standpoint, if we are to create such an empowering resource, we need to put in place the technological infrastructure to support growth. That means using state-of-the-art software to help contributors to showcase and share their content in the most dynamic and powerful way. Technology can also help to ensure that people are able to network and work together seamlessly and effectively to deliver the best possible dementia care. That said, it is the content, the people and the collective desire to affect lasting change that will always be the greatest driver. At QCS, laying the foundations to nurture this potentially game-changing environment has - and always will be - our ultimate goal. For the 55 million people across the world currently living with dementia, creating a core resource that brings together a community of experts, all of whom are highly skilled in looking at the disease through this novel lens, can't come soon enough. To find out more about QCS Dementia Centre or to purchase a subscription, please visit or contact QCS’s team of advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email: * Reuters Number of people with dementia set to jump 40% to 78 mln by 2030 –WHO Author: Stephanie Nebehay Date: 02, September, 2021 ** Alzheimer’s Society Facts for the media *** Skills for Care The state of the adult social care sector and the workforce in England **** Fix: Dementia: Care homecare Fix Dementia Care homecare

The Recent Funding Proposals: A Missed Opportunity For Digital Transformation In Social Care By Daniel Casson, Care England’s Adviser on digital transformation. The government has put forward proposals for social care funding. Of the £36bn promised from the Health and Social Care levy over the next three years, social care is due to receive £5.4bn or £1.8bn/annum. This recent announcement by the Prime Minister represents a missed opportunity, an opportunity to promote greater health and social care integration … and especially integration via digital transformation. It is acknowledged that investing in social care will save the health and care system money. Investment in new technology to ensure people’s ongoing quality of life will help avoid the need for acute intervention to repair people’s health. The short-term funding fix proposed means that social care will not have the funding to invest in technology and digital transformation to make the crucial efficiencies to benefit the health and care system. Let’s follow this line of thinking. NHS England reports that residents in care homes account for 185,000 emergency hospital admissions each year and 1.46 million emergency bed days, with 35-40% of emergency admissions deemed potentially avoidable. By improving the digital infrastructure and allowing appropriate access to people’s data in care home settings, care staff would be able to provide even betterinformed, personalised care which in turn would help avoid emergency hospital admissions. If those 1.46 million days could be cut by 25% that would save the NHS over £0.5bn. Let’s take another example. It is estimated that a hip replacement costs about £11,000 (; the related costs to the NHS are difficult to ascertain accurately, however a figure of about £8,000 might cover it. There are about

40,000 hip replacements on the NHS annually (, so this equates to £760m. If falls could be reduced by half, the NHS could potentially safe almost £0.5bn which is the tip of the iceberg of what could be achieved. One company, Ally Labs, which promotes its acoustic monitoring solution, has evidence to show it can reduce falls by 55% in care homes. Doesn’t that make you dream of the potential efficiencies which can be created in the system? The value created by care providers, employing technology to give even greater quality, generates value for the whole health and care system. The issue is that the value created in one part of the health and care system is then realised in another part of the system[1]… which means that there is a clear case for place-based funding rather than siloed sector-based funding in health and social care. There are many areas where implementation of technology in social care on a consistent basis could promote quality of life, create efficiencies for care and health organisations and save the system so much money. This requires some real forward planning, incentivisation, and there needs to be investment in technology to realise the savings. The only way to make our healthcare system affordable in the future is by ensuring that people who require care and support, whether they be working age adults or older people, have as high a quality of life which will lead to system-wide savings. There needs to be money for social care organisations to invest in this sort of life quality improving technology. The recent publications by NHSX (What Good Looks Like and Who Pays for What) deal with health first, and the premise is that social care will be dealt with next, much as the Prime Minister has chosen to do in his recent funding proposals. Surely the time is right to turn this model on its head and invest in digital transformation in social care to realise the long-term efficiencies and value creation strategies that need to be promoted.


Most Vulnerable To Be Offered Covid-19 Booster Vaccines From Next Week

Millions of vulnerable people are to be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine from next week as the government confirms it has accepted the final advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The programme will be rolled out to the same priority groups as previously. This means care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, adult carers, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals will be prioritised.However, there will be flexibility in the programme, allowing all those eligible to receive their booster from six months after their second doses. This approach will allow more vulnerable people to be given their boosters quicker. The move will ensure the protection vaccines provide for those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will be maintained over the winter months. Data published by ONS yesterday shows people who haven’t been vaccinated account for around 99% of all deaths involving COVID-19 in England in the first half of this year. All four nations of the UK will follow the JCVI’s advice.Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:“Our vaccine rollout has been phenomenal. It’s vital that we do everything we can to prolong the protection our vaccines offer, particularly for those most vulnerable to COVID-19 as we head into the Autumn and Winter months. I have today accepted the advice from the independent experts at the JCVI to offer a booster vaccine to those most at risk. “The booster programme will start next week thanks to the extensive preparations the NHS has already made to ensure booster jabs can be rolled out as quickly as possible. “I urge all those eligible to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as they can, so you have the strongest possible protection over the winter

months.” Vaccinations will begin next week and the NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine. The JCVI has also advised that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered. The NHS will now consider where it’s appropriate for co-administration to be used to support the roll-out of both programmes and where waiting to deliver one vaccine does not unduly delay administration of the other. It is important people take up the offer of both vaccines when they receive it, so people are encouraged to get both vaccinations as soon as possible rather than waiting for the possibility of getting them together. People will be offered either a full dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or a half dose of the Moderna vaccine, following scientific evidence showing that both provide a strong booster response. This will be regardless of which vaccine the individual previously had. Where neither can be offered, for example for those who have an allergy to either vaccine, the JCVI advise that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be used for those who received this vaccine for their first and second doses. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.NHS England will outline further details on deployment shortly. Plans for the rollout will use the existing networks in place for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, including: • Local vaccination services co-ordinated by primary care networks and community pharmacies; and • vaccination centres across the country, ensuring people can access a booster dose regardless of where they live. Following the JCVI’s interim advice, the NHS wrote to providers on 1 July to ask them to start preparing for a potential booster programme.

Local NHS organisations, in collaboration with local providers, local authorities and regional teams, have worked over the summer to ensure these preparations are in place. NHS plans include ensuring there is capacity across community pharmacy, vaccination centres, and general practice to deliver booster jabs, that the NHS has the workforce in place to deliver the programme and measures to maximise the use of the NHS Estate. Flu vaccination remains a priority. It has been recommended for staff and vulnerable groups in the UK since the late 1960s, with the average number of estimated deaths in England for the five seasons 2015 to 2020 at over 11,000 deaths annually. During the 2019/2020 winter season, 86% of deaths associated with flu were people aged 65 and over. The JCVI advice has taken into account data from the governmentfunded COV-Boost clinical trial, looking at the impact of a booster dose of each vaccine on people’s immune systems, as well as ComFluCOV, which is investigating co-administration of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines.The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows vaccines have saved more than 112,300 lives and prevented 143,600 hospitalisations and 24 million cases in England.Yesterday, the government announced people aged 12 to 15 in England would be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from next week, following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers. Over four in five adults across the UK have received both COVID-19 vaccine doses, and over half of all 16 and 17 year olds have already come forward for their first jab.A total of 44,108,746 people have received two doses (89.2%) and 48,458,700 people have received one dose (81.2%).


Infectious Diseases The True Cost to Social Care By care sector expert Philip Smith

For the last 18 months or so Covid has dominated the thinking of the care sector, and quite rightly so. It is the biggest challenge ever faced, particularly by frontline staff but also senior executives juggling staff and resident safety with fiscal issues all the while trying to keep up with latest government regulations. However, before Covid was even a word in our vocabulary care homes were dealing with infectious illnesses on a regular basis, from winter vomiting through to flu and many others. This started me thinking, given the future funding of the sector is the current hot potato, how much money each outbreak of illness costs a home, and the industry as a whole. I have been involved in the care sector for more than 20 years, have been chief executive and chairman of care home and hospital groups and I own a care home, but I do not believe that the cost of illness from infectious outbreaks in the care sector has been properly calculated before and I was very surprised, and shocked, by the outcomes. Even using conservative estimates for the calculations, it has highlighted the significant real-world impact of infectious outbreaks in care homes. After a great deal of research, both data driven and anecdotally from senior figures with significant experience operating care services, I concluded that non-Covid infectious outbreaks in care homes could be costing the sector up to £70million every year. My report uses instances of diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) and concludes that for an average care home the cost of a one-week occurrence could be anywhere between

£2,200 and £8,400 depending on the length of the outbreak and the number of delayed admissions. This includes extra PPE, one-off deep clean, staff absence and delayed admissions. This puts the cost to the care sector at a minimum of two million hours of care lost each year. This research is pertinent to every part of the care sector and demonstrates the financial cost to operators and services of outbreaks of illness and the effects to the bottom line, which is already squeezed. The thought that tens of millions of pounds and the lost care equivalent of up to 1,500 carers is just written off every year is a damning indictment and I hope that politicians, the regulator, commissioners and care home operators take note and together we can look at measures to mitigate both the financial and care implications. Care homes need a collaborative, ‘intelligence’ led system that enables the sharing of data and allows early interventions to be put in place. Given the experiences of the pandemic, surely we must all wake up and realise that although we may not have another virus on the scale of Covid for a very long time, the illnesses we know we will face every year are still doing considerable harm to the health of residents, staff and the finances of the beleaguered care sector. A link to the full report can be found here

Cambridgeshire Care And Rehab Community Commits To National Living Wage For Frontline Care Workers A Cambridgeshire care and rehab community has committed to providing at least the National Living Wage for its frontline care workers, as it seeks to remould perceptions of the care industry – which is often portrayed as underpaid. Askham Village Community, a specialist family-run care and rehabilitation community, near Doddington, has unveiled the new package, which alongside a commitment to providing at least the National Living Wage for frontline care workers who have passed their probation, also includes a staff perks package that offers discounts at major retailers. The changes to staff remuneration were timed to coincide with Professional Care Workers’ Week (6th to 10th September) – an event which looks to recognise those working in the industry and celebrate the incredible work they do. Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, Director at Askham Village Community, commenting on the move, said: “Care is sometimes held up as an industry that fails to reward its staff for their hard work. Our commitment to providing at least the living wage for our frontline care workers though is testament to the value we place on our workforce and their incredible efforts. A fair wage for fair work should be a fundamental part of employment and this is something we’ll look to do going forward.” A significant step to reward its carers for their efforts throughout the pandemic, the wage commitment will be funded directly by the organisation and family who are behind the 30-year second-generation family business – and will cost more than £150,000 annually. In addition to this, the staff perks package has seen Askham partner with Staff Treats to enable carers to take advantage of discounts at leading UK supermarkets such as Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury’s and

Morrisons, as well as household name retail brands such as Adidas, Zara, Debenhams and ASOS. In total, staff will be entitled to more than 3,000 discounts across retail, travel, hospitality, and home furnishings. Luke Cook, Head of Rehab and Nursing at Askham, said: “The newly announced local and central government reform of social care is welcome, but long overdue. Appropriately, trained, supported, and motivated staff must be acknowledged and valued. We are taking steps to recognise and reward our frontline care workers – not simply wait for the government to do so.” Joanne Monaghan, Head of Care & Nursing and Registered Manager at Askham Hall and Askham House, said: “We’re delighted to announce this new care package, especially with it coinciding with Professional Care Workers’ Week, which is all about respecting and recognising the outstanding efforts of care workers.” Aliyyah continued: “Our carers do a wonderful job, and we’re hoping this will go some way towards showing our appreciation for the incredible care they provide for our residents. The inclusion of the perks package alongside our living wage commitment will also offer further financial assistance to our staff, thanks to reduced bills on groceries and other essentials.” She added: “As an independent family-run business, we work closely with our care team and witness them provide quality care every day. Following the pandemic, we wanted to reward them for their courage, selflessness and determination in ensuring Askham continues to deliver the very best in person-centred care. Of course, we wish we could go further in our measures, but we have to be conscious we can only operate within the economics of the industry to ensure we remain sustainable. Hopefully though, following the reforms, there will be increased opportunity to give all those working in social care even greater recognition and rewards.”

QCS Creates State-of-the-Art Dementia Centre Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, has launched the Dementia Centre. The Dementia Centre, is the realisation of a strategy which looks to add comprehensive 'condition' specific support to its already industry-leading best practice and compliance systems. It is led by Jackie Pool, creator of the QCS PAL Instrument, a real-world tool that guides care professionals to deliver support at the level of dementia that a person is living with. By using the QCS PAL Instrument as a scaffold, the Dementia Centre will help transform the way that care professionals support the cognitive needs and abilities of each individual. Jackie, who is QCS's Dementia Care Champion, says, "What separates the Dementia Centre from other resources is that it fuses generic guidance,

regulatory compliance requirements and the work of world-renowned experts into one single resource. This enables care professionals to move from a purely paper-based environment to a real-world one, which combines the latest compliance with QCS PAL-centric dementia best practice. The result is 'purposeful practice' which has been designed specifically to help those who support people with dementia to deliberately focus on aspects of their care and support in order to become more competent and effective. The resource is ground-breaking in that it also provides measures that service providers can use to benchmark and develop team member’s care practices.” The Dementia Centre contains a raft of highly relevant resources, including up-to-date policies and procedures, assessment and outcome measures, case studies, the work of inspirational authors, which together ensure that the Dementia Centre delivers

hands-on guidance to providers. Nikki Walker, QCS's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We're delighted to announce the opening of the QCS Dementia Centre. From a strategic perspective, this announcement is highly symbolic. While providing the latest compliance to our customers will remain a central focus, care providers have been telling us for some time that they also want cutting-edge practical content that they can seamlessly apply to realworld situations. The QCS Dementia Centre delivers this while at the same time supporting our goal of delivering transformative solutions for all those dedicated to providing great care." Mat Whittingham, QCS's Executive Chairman, added, "We're very proud to launch the Dementia Centre. With more than one million people expected to be living with the condition in the UK by 2025, it has always been a key strategic aim to make this pioneering hub available to the 130,000-plus care professionals who have chosen to use the QCS platform." For more information on the Dementia Centre or to join QCS, contact our compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email us at


Care Workforce Crisis-Providers at “Breaking Point” Says Care England Care England continues to challenge the Government for more support for the workforce crisis in the adult social care sector. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Quite simply care providers are at breaking point. The writing is on the wall and without immediate help, as given to the NHS, the social care sector will crumple and not be there to support the NHS over the winter let alone in years to come”. Care England wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care last month outlining the very real workforce issues that persist in the sector and what practical steps could be taken to remedy them. Members of Care England have been encouraged to share their practical solutions to aid recruitment and retention in an attempt to share best practice and a last-ditch attempt to save the sector. We encourage the Government to take these suggestions on board and implement them as soon as possible including: • Expanding the workforce by recruiting from abroad. The sector will need an additional 35,000 to 70,000 workers following the Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment.

Reducing the qualifying level for overseas recruitment for social care staff (£25,600). Also, adding all care workers to the Shortage Occupation List and reducing the salary threshold for immigration • Waiving the Immigration Skills Charge for care workers • Fast-track system to grant visas under sponsorship licenses for people working in social care • Bonuses/increase pay • Direct support to help fund those suffering from PTSD • The need for the continuation of COVID funds. Martin Green continues: “We have done an enormous amount of work on what could and should be done to help the adult social care workforce and hope that we can look to the Government for support”.

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.

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The UK Healthcare Talent Dilemma: Why Skilled Professionals Should Be Looking to the UK for Career Opportunities By Alejandro Coca, Head of Business at Moving abroad, starting a job in a foreign culture and learning a new language is always going to be a big decision, particularly when working in a field as complex, competitive and technically challenging as medicine. However, the need to recruit the best healthcare professionals from around the globe to address staff and skills shortages in the UK at speed and at scale is a top priority for the coming years. So, why should healthcare professionals be looking to opt for a professional career in the UK?

THREE REASONS HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS SHOULD SET THEIR SIGHTS ON A JOB WITH THE NHS 1. IT'S A FAST GROWING INDUSTRY The NHS is the largest employer in Europe, with approximately 1.3 million people in England devoting their time to helping others. That being said, over the past decade, demand for healthcare services has surpassed organic workplace growth, meaning the sector is experiencing a growing, acute staffing crisis. While this is clearly a concern for many employers and medical institutions, healthcare professionals should view this disparity as an opportunity. As the demand for skilled healthcare professionals continues to surge, recruiters and employers on behalf of the NHS are setting their sights on overseas talent to stem the shortfall, with many offering assistance and relocation packages to tempt talent staff from around the globe.

2. THE NHS OFFERS VARIETY The UK healthcare industry is immense, with many different roles, across multiple locations, within hundreds of organisations. This means there is a lot of choice for healthcare professionals looking to move to the UK. Working for the NHS is also very fast paced and day-to-day actions are rarely the same, so if you’re looking to experience a sense of variety and fill your day with new challenges, then a career in the NHS is a great option with plenty of scope for career progression.

3. IT ADDS VALUE TO YOUR CV The NHS is widely considered to be one of the best health organisations to work for in the world. Not only does it present an excellent working environment in which medical professionals are able to significantly progress their careers, but it can also add far higher value to any CV as the institution is recognised globally.

TACKLING THE SKILLS SHORTAGE: WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The healthcare industry is set to face an immense talent shortage by 2030 The Royal College of Physicians has stated that the healthcare sector is heading towards an acute staffing crisis as more than a quarter of senior consultant physicians are expected to retire within three years, and many within 18 months. But the NHS has long suffered from skills shortages, and sourcing talent quickly and at scale, with recent reports forecasting that staff shortfall in the NHS is expected to grow from over 100,000 in 2018 to almost 250,000 by 2030. In fact, this issue arose long before the Covid-19 crisis, but increased pressures have caused unprecedented stress on healthcare systems around the world, and exacerbated staffing shortfalls. Today, it has never been more important for the NHS to have quick and easy access to qualified healthcare staff with relevant


RELIEVING THE IMPACT OF STAFF SHORTAGES As COVID-19 continues to stress-test healthcare systems, workforce shortages are likely to become particularly severe, meaning the NHS and many other formerly-functioning healthcare systems are very quickly becoming overwhelmed. Not only do these staff shortages impact on the quality of treatment and care on offer, they lengthen waiting times and only serve to increase the already high levels of uncertainty in the medical field. The reality is that the NHS’s increasingly visible lack of doctors, nurses and other key frontline staff is only set to worsen over the next decade, putting both access to treatments and quality of care at even more severe risks, unless urgent steps can be taken to close the skills gap. This skills shortage means that there is still a wealth of opportunities for medical professionals to emigrate to the UK and continue their healthcare care.

THE FLUIDITY OF PROFESSIONAL MIGRATION WITHIN HEALTHCARE The push and pull factors around skill shortages within the medical industry mean that a huge number of healthcare professionals migrate to pursue employment opportunities in other countries. In the UK, 13.8% of NHS staff originate from overseas. Due to the nature of the healthcare industry, each and every employee in the UK must have their details and qualifications fully verified before employment can commence. This means that for every worker and every job application, medical licences, good standing certificates, accreditations and educational qualifications must be checked, confirmed and verified. These checks are both essential and mandatory for patient care and the working environment of other medical professionals. Ensuring that credentials are already pre-verified by candidates aids with job application processes. These checks are carried out with each new healthcare professional from overseas, each job change, and also in the instance that verified documents expire or are misplaced.

TECHNOLOGY POWERS INNOVATION Traditionally, verifying private documents such as passports or professional credentials such as degree certificates has been a lengthy, complex and costly process, particularly when it comes to overseas applicants and recruiters who do not have the required local knowledge and contacts. When adding language barriers to the mix, it is easy to see why many British hospitals and healthcare facilities struggle in their hunt for high quality overseas medical talent. Fortunately, there is a range of innovative technologies available that can offer candidates the tools they need to streamline their application process. For example, using blockchain-enabled professional document verification platforms, professionals will have the ability to securely upload and verify private documents, such as passports or university certificates. This means that NHS recruiters and regulators across the UK are now able to efficiently and safely vet healthcare professionals from across the world faster and more securely than ever before. Previously, where it might have taken an organisation anything up to six months to verify an overseas candidate’s credentials, the latest blockchain-enabled online platforms remove those obstacles in one fell swoop. This offers a way to significantly reduce the time-to-hire of medical professionals by up to 20-30 days by giving NHS recruiters access to a bank of prescreened and authenticated medical professionals who are ready to move to new roles. And that’s exactly why these technologies are revolutionising healthcare recruitment right now. These state-of-the-art tools will allow professionals seeking work in the UK to efficiently connect with recruiters, with their documents screened and authenticated in a fraction of the time.


National Insurance Increase And Social Care Cap Does Not “Cover Food or Accommodation” The Prime Minister's social care reforms announced last week has been criticised after it emerged the new lifetime cap fails to cover food and housing for care home residents. Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new system of funding social care which will come into effect from October 2023. The long-promised and highly contentious reforms see a cap of £86,000 on lifetime care spending and a "floor" on assets which stops anyone who needs care from spending all their savings. Out of the £36bn pot raised from the government's new Health and Social Care Levy, some £30.6bn will be allocated to the NHS to help tackle longer waiting lists due to the Covid pandemic while £5.4bn will go to social care over the next three years. Health Minister Sajid Javid has said a larger amount will be given to social care after three years. Of the £5.4bn available for social care over three years, £2.5bn will fund the PM’s £86,000 care cap.

It has however emerged that the £86,000 cap on lifetime care spending only applies to “personal care”, which mean the physical acts of caring regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Consequently, the cap will not cover “hotel costs” for residents of care homes, which includes accommodation, cleaning and food, which can according to providers often exceed

“PERSONAL CARE” COSTS. This is, the government say, in line with what has always happened with social care in the UK, since, if people in care homes were receiving care at home they would have to pay those bills. The Prime Ministers cap on care spending has been denounced as “misleading” by experts, who warn that it will not prevent a “catastrophic loss of assets.” Jane Brightman, director of social care at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management, spoke to The Telegraph about the high cost of “hotel costs” for care home residents. “Hotel costs are really expensive – it covers food, bedrooms, and so on – and you’ll still have to sell your property to pay for these things,” she told the outlet. “How are you going to come up with that money?” It’s quite difficult. “The way this has been described via the announcement in the health and social care strategy is a little misleading. “We urgently require clarification on this.”

Hugh Myddelton House’ Residents Celebrated Last Night of Proms with English National Ballet's Philharmonic Orchestra

Residents joined members of English National Ballet’s Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Music Director, Gavin Sutherland, to celebrate Last Night of the Proms. They listened and danced along as members of

the orchestra took them on a magical, musical journey. English National Ballet Philharmonic is made up of many of the country’s top musicians, and boasts considerable experience in all forms of musicmaking. With insights and anecdotes into what it takes to conduct an orchestra for a world-class ballet company, this special concert for Barchester Care Homes got everyone’s feet tapping, arms waving and hearts singing! Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement said: “We are delighted to be able to share the outstanding work of our talented Philharmonic Orchestra with Barchester’s residents and staff. The iconic music of the Last Night of the Proms is so rousing and evocative, we felt certain this was a concert that would resonate with the residents and get everyone singing and dancing along.” General Manager, Ramona Stanciu, said: “Today has been such a treat, our residents have all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There is nothing better than a sing-along to the fantastic music from Last Night

of the Proms. The orchestra sounded absolutely brilliant and we loved hearing their stories about what it is like to perform at that level.”


£1.4 Million Project to Improve Flu Jab Uptake in Care Home Staff Researchers at the University of East Anglia are launching a project to increase the number of care home staff that take up the flu vaccine. The £1.4 million project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will test different ways of encouraging staff to take up the vaccine. The team hope that their work will help reduce the number of cases of flu in care homes, and importantly – save lives. The three-year FluCare project is hosted by NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and involves collaboration with the universities of Leicester and Liverpool, Norwich Clinical Trials Unit and organisations including NHS England and NHS Improvement, the National Care Forum, Care England, Boots UK and Day Lewis Pharmacy. Dr Amrish Patel, from UEA’s School of Economics, said: “Every year flu, caught from staff and visitors, causes serious illness and death in care home residents. “While vaccines work in most people, there are always some for whom they do not work. That means that if we give vaccines to care home residents, some will still not be protected. “The best way to protect residents is therefore to vaccinate care

home staff as well. But while the World Health Organisation recommends that over three quarters of care home staff should be vaccinated, in the UK – less than half of staff take up the jab. And this puts residents at higher risk.” Prof David Wright, from UEA’s School of Pharmacy, said: “We have found three reasons for why staff do or do not get vaccinated. These are – how easily they can access vaccines, how important their manager sees staff vaccination, and their own personal attitudes and beliefs about vaccination. “We want to find out which approaches work best to increase the number of staff being vaccinated. We hope that what we learn can also be used to improve Covid vaccine uptake.” The research team will investigate a range of approaches, such as community pharmacists vaccinating staff in the care home and offering incentives to managers. They will work with care homes and pharmacies across East Anglia, London and the East Midlands, and test the approaches in 10 care homes during flu season. Prof Wright said: “This will show us how the ideas work in practice,

how to best collect data and what happens in groups who carry on with service as usual. “Learning from this, we will refine the service and decide which mixture of approaches to study on a larger scale. We will do this by carefully listening to those involved and by looking at the quality of information we received.” The team will go on to work with 70 care homes with low vaccination levels to see how their approaches improve vaccine uptake and whether the health of residents improved. “We will also look at the economic impact of the interventions we propose to see if they will help save money for the NHS,” added Dr Patel. “And we will listen to people involved to find out what did and did not work to learn how to improve the service. “Finally, we will use our findings to develop a toolkit. This will tell people about our new service and encourage them to use it. While we do this research, we will work closely with residents and relatives. They will help us design and manage the studies, collect information, look at the results and present them to the outside world.”

Knitted Hearts Bring Smiles To Royal Star & Garter Family Dozens of handmade knitted hearts have been given to residents at Royal Star & Garter. They were gifted to the veterans’ Home in Solihull by Marion Abbott, who made the keepsakes during the lockdowns. She also made extra hearts for the partners of residents living at the Tudor Coppice Home. Before the pandemic, Marion knitted toys and cardigans which she gave to charity shops and good causes. When Covid struck, she started knitting hearts for patients and staff at a Birmingham hospital’s ICU, before turning her generosity towards Royal Star & Garter, where her great-niece Maisie Casey works. Around 30 residents have now received their hearts, and Marion, from Birmingham, is working hard so that all residents will soon have one.

A special twin heart was also given to Pat Fisher, whose husband Doug is a resident at Royal Star & Garter. She was so moved that she has placed the heart alongside her favourite photo of Doug and herself. Maisie said: “Marion knows about the charity and all the great work we do through me and she decided to knit hearts for the veterans here. The residents love it, with a lot of them hanging them up on their doors. Pat was especially thrilled to receive a matching heart. It meant so much for her to have that connection to Doug while there were visiting restrictions in the Home. She’s tied her heart underneath her favourite photo of her and Doug, she said she wanted people to know how much it truly meant to her.”


Burnout In Healthcare: The ‘Second Pandemic’

By Steve Carter, Director of Consulting Services, FirstCare (

compassion fatigue, and physical exhaustion.


Whisper it: in the UK, the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic may be behind us. But for those in healthcare, the challenge is far from over. In the months since the start of the third wave, staff burnout and mental health issues have jumped alarmingly. Our data shows that from February to June 2021, there has been a 37% increase in mental healthrelated absences in the sector. And this isn’t just a result of the immediate pressures of a high Covid case-rate. Even if we compare recent months – when Covid cases were flat or falling – with the same time last year, in May we find a 55% year-on-year increase in mental health-related absences. In June, the increase was 42%. Clearly, for those who bore the brunt of frontline work during the height of the pandemic, Covid has left a legacy of poor mental health,

And it doesn’t end there. Of those healthcare workers who’ve tested positive for Covid, between one in four and one in twenty will go on to develop ‘Long Covid’, suffering symptoms for weeks or even months on end - an experience that itself often contributes to a decline in mental health. Overall, our data shows that amongst people who take time off for Covid-related reasons, around one in seven will go on to suffer subsequent mental health troubles. For employers in the sector, this ‘second pandemic’ of burnout and mental illness presents a raft of challenges, particularly when combined with a potential Long Covid time-bomb. First and foremost there’s the imperative to help affected staff, and alongside that the need to address the concurrent impact of staff absence on service provision and costs. To use the NHS as an example, although mental health issues account for just 5% of NHS absences during 2021 to date, they represent 17% of the related costs and lost working time, adding to the difficulties caused by high levels of mental health-related absence.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? The potential combined impact of mental health troubles and Long Covid may begin to seem insurmountable - but we firmly believe that there are concrete, effective actions employers can take to improve staff wellbeing and increase their organisations’ resilience. Put another way, you and your staff are not at the mercy of Covid’s after-effects. Early intervention is crucial to tackle rising mental health issues. Employers need to be able to understand when staff are off, why they are off, and when they are likely to return - with that information, they’ll be well positioned to take action during the crucial early phase when

engagement, support, and signposting are proven to speed up recovery and minimise the chance of problems getting worse. When it comes to Long Covid, you can lay the groundwork for an effective early response by helping your HR team and line managers understand the symptoms they need to look out for. And given Long Covid cases aren’t likely to decline in the near future, it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your absence policy to make sure affected employees are treated fairly. For example, if you can, you might offer a phased return to work or a period of flexible hours. Above all, develop a culture of talking with employees - it bears repeating that early intervention can help prevent more serious problems getting a foothold!

HEALTHY STAFF, HEALTHY ORGANISATION It’s not just staff who benefit from an intelligent early-intervention strategy. Healthcare organisations that have clear, real-time visibility into staff absence and wellbeing will be able to make better decisions, allocating people to shifts more effectively and reducing agency costs. With real-time insights, you can monitor, pre-empt, and react to the evolving impact of poor mental health and Long Covid - giving teams the resources they need to provide better care and service, avoiding burnout, and ensuring productivity is not negatively impacted. Healthcare workers have dealt with a huge amount during the last 18 months. But the picture can improve. The incredible work they’ve done doesn’t have to come at the cost of their mental health. As employers, with the right information, you can give them the support they need and help your organisation keep providing the essential care your patients need.

Concerns Covid and Respiratory Illnesses Will Place an Untenable Demand on the NHS this Autumn and Winter Responding to a statement in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, on the government’s plan for managing COVID-19 over autumn and winter, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: “Health leaders are all too aware that rising rates of coronavirus, alongside flu and other respiratory illnesses, will place an untenable demand on the NHS this autumn and winter at a time when additional investment has been given to support its recovery. Time will tell whether these measures will be enough, and the Government must not hesitate to act decisively if more drastic action is needed. “The NHS will continue to do all it can to care for its patients, as it has done throughout this pandemic with over 80% of the adult population vaccinated, half a million people being checked for cancer last

month, and nearly 28 million appointments taking place in primary care in July but already, its services are facing impossible pressure and frontline staff are worried about what lies ahead. This is particularly true given that there are 5.6 million known to be waiting for elective treatment currently and the Secretary of State has warned this could more than double. “The need to keep one another safe and reduce disruption to our daily lives, as well as protect NHS services, is more important than ever. We can all play our part by getting vaccinated if eligible, wearing masks where appropriate, testing and self-isolating if required and following the other vital infection control measures.”

NACC Awards 2021 Shortlist Unveiled The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has unveiled the inspirational individuals and teams shortlisted for the NACC Awards 2021. The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate the innovation, excellence and dedication within care catering and the unsung heroes across the sector that go above and beyond every day for the benefit of their residents, service users, customers and colleagues – from care homes to community services, including Meals on Wheels and Luncheon Clubs. The overall winners will be announced and presented with their awards in front of NACC members, industry colleagues, friends and guests at the NACC Awards 2021 gala dinner. This special event takes place on Thursday 7th October 2021 at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham. The finalists are: The Triumph Over Adversity Award, sponsored by Bullseye Food Packaging The Hertfordshire Independent Living Service Team Anwar Kajee, Head of Hospitality, Country Court Denise McEvoy, Head of Care Services, Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association Paul Robottom, Owner/Director, Signature Dining Care Establishment of the Year Award, sponsored by Hobart Invicta Court Care Home Long Close Retirement Home Mill House Catering Team Meals on Wheels Award, sponsored by apetito Harrogate and Ripon Food Angels Nottinghamshire County Council Meals at Home Team The Bevy Community Pub

The Umbrella Café West Sussex County Council Catering Team of the Year Award, sponsored by CaterCloud Care UK Food and Hotel Services Team Catering Team of Sunrise of Sonning Country Court Mill House Catering Team Catering Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions Rida Diab, Chef Manager, Royal Star & Garter-Surbiton Natalie Jordon, Chef Manager, BUPA Beacher Hall Stuart Keown, Senior Dining Services Coordinator, Sunrise of Banstead Dianne Lilley, Hotel Services Manager, Care UK Residential Care Services Daisy Slavkova, Head of Hospitality, Elsyng House Our Care Catering Hero Award, sponsored by Premier Foods

Adriano Carvalho, Dining Service Coordinator, Sunrise of Sonning Luke Webb, Second Chef, Mill House Care & Dementia Home The winners of the following coveted awards will be revealed at the gala awards dinner: NACC Region of the Year Award, sponsored by Meiko Pam Rhodes Award, sponsored by Anglia Crown National Chair’s Award Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “The past year has continued to be an incredibly challenging time for care caterers as we continue to navigate and adapt to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Care caterers up and down the country have pulled out all the stops to remain agile and innovate in the face of obstacles, changing pressures and new ways of working. We have been continually impressed by the dedication, ingenuity and sheer tenacity of our members and care catering colleagues. It’s for this reason that the NACC Awards in 2021 are so very important. It’s crucial that we take this time to pause, reflect, recognise and celebrate the fantastic efforts and achievements of those that enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of so many older and vulnerable people through good food, nutrition and uplifting mealtime experiences. “The NACC Awards 2021 are even more special this year as once again we will be able to celebrate with colleagues and friends in person. It’s going to be a wonderful evening and a highlight of what’s been another difficult year. I, for one, cannot wait to honour the amazing people that work within the care catering sector. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck.” For more information on the NACC Awards 2021 and the NACC visit


ADASS Seeks Clarifications Regarding Adult Social Care Funding and Reform A survey of ADASS members has revealed that whilst councils are delivering more care and support in people’s homes, people are waiting longer for vital care assessments and reviews. It suggests that the number of people waiting for assessments and reviews has increased over the last three months. Stephen Chandler, ADASS President is seeking a number of important clarifications following last week’s announcement regarding adult social care funding and reform.

NOTHING REAL FOR PEOPLE NEEDING SOCIAL CARE NOW The ADASS says it has welcomed that the Government’s decision to break the 25-year silence on adult social care reform, but have “been left perplexed and concerned” that the proposals pose more questions than answers. There is a promise to develop a White Paper for reforming adult social care which ‘will commence a once in a generation transformation to adult social care’ but we can find no funding commitments to make that happen. It is not clear how this is consistent with what has been publicly promised and look forward to hearing more. The ADASS say require urgent clarification about what is being promised and what this means for people with care and support needs. We have two primary concerns.

First, the announcement provides no additional funding to enable us to deal with the overwhelming workforce pressures and increased levels of need that we are experiencing right now and going into what is likely to be one of the most challenging winters on record. These pressures were again vividly illustrated by our latest rapid member survey. Second, beyond the welcome announcements on the social care cap and means-testing, it is not clear that there is any new money for adult social care to help improve care and support from April 1stnext year. What older and disabled people, carers and care workers need is a clear statement about the funding that will be available right now to see us through an incredibly difficult winter, for next year, and beyond. This has been billed as a big social care announcement, but beyond the implementation of a cap on individuals’ personal financial contributions and a raising of the lower limit of when people are charged in the future (the implementation of Part 2 of the Care Act), the additional money is all going to address issues in the health service. Unless there is something significant added, very little, if any, of the £36 billion that has been announced is ever likely to make it to adult social care budgets via the NHS. It will not add a single minute of extra care and support, or improve the quality of life for older people, disabled people and unpaid carers. That leaves few options. Further council tax rises, which risk local people feeling that they are being asked to pay twice? More people giving up work to care? Disabled people going without even more vital care and support? The risk is that this becomes just another in a long line of promises.

Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham’s New Channel 4 Drama ‘Help’ hosted by Parkhaven Trust Parkhaven Trust has played host to film stars Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham as they film a moving story of the relationship between a young care home worker (Comer) and a patient (Graham), whose lives are changed forever by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring. The filming took place at the empty Kyffin Taylor building on Deyes Lane in Maghull. The Channel 4 commissioned drama is titled ‘Help’ and is set in a fictional Liverpool care home. The drama comes from BAFTA award-winning writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, National Treasure) and BAFTA award-winning director Marc Munden (The Third Day, Utopia). The team at Parkhaven Trust were delighted to welcome the film crew, Kim

Crowe Chief Executive at Parkhaven Trust said: “We were approached by the producers of the drama and we were thrilled to allow them the use of an empty building that belongs to the Trust. The film crew and actors were very accommodating, even taking photos with some of our staff at a COVID safe distance! Telling the story of the past 12months in social care is incredibly important. It has been an extremely challenging time for our residents, their families and our staff; any medium that shines a light on this issue and the dedication of our front line workers during this time is welcomed. We can’t wait to see the final product on our screens!”

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Behind The Scenes: Inside the PM's Discussions with Social Care Leaders

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were greeted by Excelcare Chairman, Osman Ertosun and Chief Operating Officer, Sam Manning, during a recent visit to one of Excelcare’s 32-care homes. On arrival, Mr Johnson joked how hard it is to get one minister in the room, let alone all three, before entering discussions around the need for a long-term solution for social care. During the group’s discussions, Boris Johnson advised that he would later that day be making a statement on the government’s plans for health and social care and that this would recognise the vital role that care homes have played in keeping people safe and well during the pandemic. Osman said he was delighted to hear this as people should be able to receive high-quality care in their chosen environment and agreed that a long-term sustainable funding solution was an important part of this change, to enable care providers to deliver the quality of care required, with support from commissioners. Sam was able to speak to the ministers not just as the Chief Operating Officer for Excelcare but also from the perspective of a care home resident’s family member, as her father lives with dementia in a care home. Sam was able to speak openly about the difficulty her family had faced given the heart-breaking decision to move her dad into a care home during a pandemic, along with the difficulty they had trying to get funding support for his care home placement. Sam added that throughout the

challenging and unprecedented time the frontline team members continued to deliver compassionate care to her dad, keeping him as safe as possible even during such an emotional and challenging time for the team. Speaking from a professional level – Sam then went on to explain how COVID-19 has magnified key problems in the care sector; occupancy has fallen, and challenges around workforce has widened due to the impact of the vaccine policy. This policy means people working in registered care homes are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 from 11th November 2021, and coupled with the tougher immigration rules, makes workforce challenges even more pronounced. Osman echoed Sam’s view and added that he hoped the PM’s announcement would bring additional funding to help stabilise the current adult social care system that was already in a challenging position before the COVID-19 pandemic. He also stated his hopes for this funding to be ring-fenced across the local authorities to enable a fair fee system that covers the true cost of delivering quality care for all, whilst also being able to reward frontline team members with better pay rates. The three ministers gave a brief insight advising that the announcement meant that £36 billion would be interjected to help reform the NHS and Social Care, ensuring it has the long-term resource it needs and there would be further announcements around expanding the COVIDvaccine to become compulsory for the NHS. Since this visit took place, the government has launched an open consultation on plans to make vaccination compulsory for frontline health teams.

Coombe End Court Residents Meet Former Racehorse Ouzbeck Residents at Coombe End Court in Marlborough met racehorse Ouzbeck earlier this month as part of a six-week pilot project to learn about the impact of horses on the wellbeing of elderly care home residents. The care home, run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) was chosen for the pilot by the three organisations collaborating in the project, racing charities Greatwood and Retraining Horses, and community partnership Racing Together. The pilot aims to explore and measure the impact on, and the benefit to, the physical and mental health of the residents in the care home, and to use these findings to build and promote wider support. For six weeks, Ouzbeck will visit the care home including on 16 September which coincides with the inaugural National Racehorse Week (12- 19 September). These events enable residents to interact with the former racehorse in a way that suits them, such as watching,

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stroking and grooming him and chatting to the Greatwood team. Residents can come out to see Ouzbeck in small groups, assisted by the team from the care home and Greatwood staff to make the most of his time spent on the care home’s front lawn. Kelly Edwards, OSJCT Coombe End Court Home Manager, said: “We are very excited about being involved and residents have been talking about Ouzbeck’s visit all week. One lady is really excited, herself having been involved in racing. It is a great confidence boost after the pandemic and a huge boost for all of us to be taking part in this project.” Helen Yeadon, Founder and MD of Greatwood Charity, said: “This pilot aims to celebrate the racehorse, showcase their versatility and provide another way to connect horseracing with its communities and to the public nationwide. Once evaluated, it is hoped that the programme will be extended to connect more former racehorses with community groups.”

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Less Than A Day To Go: Study Reveals Employer Worries Over Compulsory Vaccination Policy As the government announced that all care home workers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by 11 November, Gill McAteer, head of employment law at Citation, provides advice to worried employers on how to proceed with those refusing the vaccine. With only a day until the 16 September deadline for care employees to have their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, employers in the care sector will soon be required to start dismissal proceedings for staff refusing the vaccine, however many are unsure on the correct course of action. A study from Citation found almost 60% of employers in the care sector are concerned about what processes to take for unvaccinated workers. The new rules, which are due to come into force from 11 November, state that anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered adult care home in England must have two vaccine doses unless they are medically exempt. Those who aren’t exempt, or fully vaccinated, will not be able to enter the workplace. Care home operators are already seeing a staffing shortfall due to staff burnout from Covid-19 challenges* and many fear the introduction of compulsory vaccination will cause many employees to leave or be forced out by dismissals.The government’s impact statement on the new rules estimated that the move was likely to see 40,000 workers leave the sector but conceded that this could be as high as 70,000 with an average cost to care businesses of £2500 per worker. Of those surveyed, 60% of employers said they were worried that the compulsory vaccine would make it more difficult to attract and retain

staff. With four in ten of employers in the industry unsure of the company's existing employment retention rate, it will be difficult for them to understand how serious the impact will be. Since the beginning of the pandemic, care home operators have worked hard to make workplaces Covid-19 safe, with 90% of employers training up on preventative Health and Safety measures. Now, business leaders are being required to learn additional processes and legal requirements to ensure all staff are vaccinated. Many operators use external companies to manage Health and Safety policies. Although 63% of care providers stated that this gives them confidence they are meeting all legal requirements, more than 80% of all employers still have worries with the constant changes of rules. Gill McAeer, head of employment law at Citation, answers some common concerns from employers in the industry, on how to deal with unvaccinated staff and manage staff shortfall as a result of its impact:

One of the biggest challenges for care businesses is that although they are required to obtain evidence of their workers’ vaccination or exemption status, the government has still not produced the promised guidance setting out the conditions which will be medically exempt, how employees can apply for exemption status and what evidence employers can accept as evidence of exemption. Citation have seen many care employers faced with resistance on the basis of ‘selfdeclared exemption’. This is not contemplated under the regulations and clarification of the medical exemption process is needed urgently.



There is an eight week minimum requirement in between vaccine doses which means employees must have had their first jab by 16 September to ensure they have had their second eight weeks later by 11 November when the rules come into force. As we are now so close to the September deadline, employers are now able to start dismissal proceedings for those who refuse to be vaccinated unless they are medically exempt. For those refusing the vaccination, employers need to clearly explain the consequences of not having it, leaving the employee with the option of either voluntarily leaving, or being forced out by dismissal. If the latter occurs, employers must ensure they have properly explained the process to the staff member, and ensure a fair process is followed.

As the deadline for the first vaccine is so close, employers already have an idea of how many staff they are likely to lose as a result of vaccine requirements. Non-vaccinated employees are legally allowed to work in care homes until 10 November, so planning the shortfall now, and starting recruitment early can help to ease the impact on the business. The sector was already struggling to fill an estimated 120,000 vacancies nationally before the latest changes and therefore well planned and effective recruitment strategies will be critically important. Due to the widespread use of temporary and agency staff, many employers in the care sector are unsure of their retention rates. Keeping a closer eye on this can help to plan in advance when more support will be required and introducing employee engagement initiatives to improve retention rates can help considerably in situations like this. Citation offers HR and employment advice to employers in the care sector. For more information, visit

EMPLOYEES WHO ARE GOING TO BE VACCINATED BUT WILL MISS THE 16 SEPTEMBER DEADLINE The rules don’t come into effect until 11 November so an employee can continue working until this date. If the employee will be fully vacci-

nated within a reasonable period of time after the deadline, they can agree with their employer to take annual leave or unpaid leave from 11 November, until they are fully vaccinated. It’s important to remember that after 11 November, even if an employee has had their first jab, they will not be allowed to enter the workplace until they have had their second.



NHS Unites Us in Being ‘Proud to be British’ But New Survey Reveals One In Six Adults (18%) Have Had To Fight To Get Social Care New analysis has revealed the NHS unites us in being ‘proud to be British’ – a sentiment shared by over three quarters (77%) of Brits, including the majority of Scots and Welsh people. Engage Britain held 101 discussion groups across the country to explore Brits’ day to day experiences of the NHS and social care. The issues people spoke about informed a survey of 4,000 adults which revealed many of these problems are happening far more widely. The results show very large support for staff, but also serious concerns from millions about their care. The Engage Britain and Yonder poll showed one in five (21%) saying they’d been forced to go private because they couldn’t get the NHS treatment they needed. And with waiting times rocketing, one in four (25%) say the wait for treatment for themselves or a loved one has had a serious impact on their mental health. Other experiences people face with the NHS and social care right across Britain include: 28% say they’ve had to fight to get the treatment they need for themselves or a loved one Over a quarter feel they’ve been dismissed or not taken seriously, rising to 45% of women aged between 18-34 22% of people from ethnic minorities say they or a loved one has experienced racism when seeking treatment One in six people say problems getting care caused their elderly loved ones more stress towards the end of their lives But the vast majority of people also feel NHS workers are facing an uphill bat-

tle. A huge 85% of people think staff are overstretched but doing as much as they can with their resources. The discussion groups and analysis from Engage Britain are part of a groundbreaking national drive to give people a say on what matters most to the country. The aim is to find answers to Britain’s biggest problems by grounding them in people’s everyday lives. Following the discussion groups on the NHS and social care, Engage Britain will hold a citizen’s assembly to discuss people’s day to day experiences and start to work out realistic plans for change. Despite the polling showing millions having been let down while seeking treatment, love for the NHS endures – with 38% saying although they’ve had bad experiences they’d never want to lose it. Engage Britain Director, Julian McCrae, said: “The NHS unites so many of us with a feeling of pride. But the fact is millions are also being let down every day by our health and care services. “People right across the country told us they’re feeling ignored or dismissed or are turning to private treatment because they have little other choice. And overworked staff are being pushed to breaking point. “It’s vital that future changes, including those in the NHS Reform Bill, address the daily challenges that so many in Britain are facing. Only answers rooted in real experiences can deliver health and care that works for us all.” For more information on what matters to people in Britain about health and social care go to

Care Home Residents In Full Voice As They Sing To Keep Fit one in a good mood, as he requested the Shakin’ Stevens hit Green Door. Fellow resident Tony Ithell sometimes plays a kazoo to accompany the tunes while thrilled Lyndsey Wright clicks her fingers and enjoys shaking her body to the beat of the music. “I love it, it’s great fun,” she laughed out loud. According to Pendine Park’s artist in residence, Sarah Edwards, music and art are some of the most therapeutic activities for residents. She said: “The sessions are called Sing Fit because they have such an uplifting vibe. They are so popular. “All our residents love a good sing-along and with Elaine at the helm they can’t wait to join in. She knows all their favourites and has word sheets for them all with the lyrics printed out for them.” Elaine agreed that music was a vital part of the regular activities programme. She said: “Music is such a communicator. Even those residents who David Thomas belting out a song struggle with forming a conversational sentence will join in the singing with no difficulty. It is like it taps into a different part of the brain and Care home residents are belting out several of them recall the lyrics by heart. songs as part of their fitness regime. “We have all missed these sessions so The people living in Pendine Park’s much, the staff as much as the residents. We Penybryn home in Wrexham were in full love to hear them belt out a good tune and voice as they enjoyed a SingFit session to the beaming smiles on their faces as they aid their physical, emotional and mental join in is heart-warming.” health. In summer the Sing Fit sessions are often It was led by enrichment and activities held outdoors in good weather and the coordinator Elaine Lee who also organises melodious voices of residents can be heard regular drumming classes to keep them in far and wide. fine fettle. Resident Tracy Wilde has her own special Favourite songs include the 70s hit by preference of Mull of Kintyre by Wings which Dawn, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round that Old has an anthemic quality with all in the room Oak Tree, with. Elaine providing everyone waving their arms from side to side, smiling with a yellow ribbon to wave around while widely. singing. Helping Elaine play the accompanying Other hot hits among the crowd include records and run the sessions is enrichment The Beatles foot-tapping number, I Saw Her coordinator Nikki Clarke, along with Beca Standing There, Cliff Richard’s evergreen Williams who joins the team at Pendine Park smash Summer Holiday, and bringing things during her holidays from Cardiff University. more up to date George Ezra’s chart topper, Residents love to see Elaine, Nikki and Shotgun. Beca dance to the tunes as they sing, tap Delighted resident George Ullman said their feet and throw a few moves. Emma Barber singing with Pendine Park Artist in the sessions were ‘fantastic’ and put everyPenybryn manager Tracey Cuthill added: Residence Sarah Edwards

Tracey Wilde singing 'Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree'.

“It is one of the most positive forms of enjoyment and wellbeing therapy we have. “These sessions have a real feel good factor and after all they have been through lately our residents deserve some life affirming communal music to enjoy again. “Not only does it help them exercise their voices, but it also makes us all feel fitter emotionally too. These really are songs for life.”

Gary Grant singing'Shotgun' with activities co-ordinator Elaine Lee


Why Fully Integrated Digital Care Systems Are The Future For Better Dementia Care By Jonathan Papworth, Co-founder and director of Person Centred Software (

September marks the 10th edition of the vital global awareness-raising campaign - World Alzheimer’s Month. Every year, people come together from all around the world to bring attention to dementia and challenge the stigma that exists around the condition. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. However, this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. With about 70 per cent of care home residents living with dementia, care providers are continuously looking for ways to adapt to the expected rise in numbers, so that caregivers can continue delivering the best dementia care possible. One solution is technology. Technology is constantly improving, after all, making it one of many reasons why care providers continue to implement innovative solutions to improve their quality of care.

Digital care management systems, for example, are becoming the hub of all information that disparate technologies create, informing care providers of everything they need in a single application. Caregivers are now able to access an array of information about a resident living with dementia from the palm of their hand, as well as evidence assessments at the point of delivery. Specialist functions, such as our ‘Who I Am’ feature, can utilise an assessment plan, capturing all kinds of information about the resident. For example, whether they have any cognitive impairments. This allows care staff to provide a person-centred care plan and pathway. It notifies care staff and those in a social care setting who interact with individuals living with dementia, on how they should treat and communicate with them. Of course, dementia is a complex condition, and no two people living with dementia are the same. Therefore, care homes should provide staff with personalised insight into each individual's condition and care needs rather than putting everyone in the same dementia ‘box’, which isn’t helpful, practical or ethical. Good digital dementia care technology serves as a portal into the life of the individual, allowing care staff to extract information to connect with the person on a meaningful level and offer the utmost care they require. By using technology to document a resident’s life events, mental state and wishes for future care, digital care plans will naturally be more comprehensive and therefore instrumental to both the individual and the care provider. Features around personal behavioural support plans are also beneficial, providing a greater understanding for the carer to determine how the resident behaves on a good day and, in contrast, what makes them feel sad or anxious. Keeping a record of these behaviours empower care staff to make swift and better interventions. For example, if a care home resident with dementia suffers from anxiety, there are digital tools that

can provide information, such as that person’s favourite poem, that can be used to help calm them and aid with reminiscing; a core focus for someone with dementia. Some recent case studies on care homes utilising technology to improve the quality of care for residents living with dementia include Priesty Fields Care Home in Congleton, Cheshire. Sue Stephens, Quality and Compliance Manager at Handsale, who runs the home, believes digital care technology has equipped staff with the tools to appropriately connect with the people in their care. “It’s about cementing to the families that our carers do have access to a plan and have the information to adequately care for an individual living with dementia.” Looking to the future of dementia care, there will be an increase in IoT (Internet of Things) technologies within care homes. For example, there is a product in France that is worn as a watch but contains technology that can detect if the wearer has had a fall, with its primary benefit being to allow people to have more freedom. Another company based in Australia is using AI technology to identify the level of pain someone, living with dementia, is in. The aim is to reduce behavioural suppressant medication for people who are showing signs of challenging behaviour when it is caused by the pain they cannot communicate. Ultimately, if we are to raise awareness and reduce the stigma that has persisted around dementia for far too long, then the adoption of technology is a necessary step to achieving such a utopia. Jonathan Papworth is the co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, a digital care technology pioneer. Founded in 2013 with the objective of helping to improve standards in social care, Person Centred Software has become an award-winning global company with over 2,000 care homes in the UK and Ireland alone using its digital care management system.

Local Care Home Resident Surprises Blue Light Heroes On Emergency Services Day Orchard House Care Home in Wisbech wanted to make sure that they let their local emergency services know how much they are appreciated, especially yesterday to mark Emergency Services Day. The nursing, dementia and residential home wanted to repay their thanks for the support they received from their local ‘blue light heroes’ over the 18 months. Especially as they were particularly touched when on the last clap for carers, Wisbech’s local Fire Brigade arrived to share their support and applause with residents and staff at the front of the building. Lifestyle Lead Miranda Robinson and resident Molly Standen decided to make of the most of the wonderful weather and walk through their lovely Wisbech commu-

nity visiting local emergency services delivering ‘thank you’ cards and sweet treats. “It was fantastic walking to each of our services and to see the appreciation of us thanking them for what they do in our community.” Miranda Richardson Orchard House Lead Lifestyle Co-ordinator They visited the Fire Station, Police Station, Ambulance Station and the local District Nurses at the hospital. The thoughtful gestures of a card and sweet treats delivered by Molly and Miranda were gratefully received and touched those who received them. Molly, who once worked for the Queen wanted to mark the occasion, “it was nice to give them something for the important work they do every day”.

Guild Care Welcomes Progress On Social Care Reform But Say It Needs Go Further The Prime Minister announced his plan for health and social care reform this week with a cap on the cost of social care and funding which will amount to £12bn over three years, funded by a 1.25% increase in NI contributions being called the ‘Health and Social Care Levy’. Guild Care, Worthing’s leading social care charity, provides residential care to older people in three homes and a wide range of communitybased services for older people, people living with dementia and people of all ages with learning disabilities. In July, Guild Care were invited to meet with key officials from the Department of Health and Social Care, to represent the not-for-profit social care sector and provided information on the key challenges being faced. Guild Care’s CEO, Alex Brooks-Johnson, who attended that session, said: “We talked about seeing funding the social care system as an investment. We are good, local employers, contributing to the local

economy and providing life-changing social care and meaningful, loving care to those who need it. Government needs to recognise the important role we, and others like us, have and understand that without significant investment the challenges we face today will only get worse.” Guy Clinch, Guild Care’s Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “We provide high quality residential and community care to as many people as we can, and try to accommodate people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. We are only able to do this by managing our own charitable finances, and with the kind support of the community of Worthing. “Whilst any Government time and focus on Social Care is positive, and true reform is long overdue, the initial impression of this announcement leaves a number of significant issues unanswered, I hope this is the first step in reform and that through further engagement with us, and others like us, and work on the imminent Health and Care Bill, we’ll see more meaningful progress.” Guild Care, like most providers of social care across the country, are facing issues with recruiting staff and with being able to continue to offer their first-class facilities and care to those who need it but have to rely on state support for funding. Alex added: “The cap on personal funding of social care is a big relief for people, I’m sure, but the big question is whether the Local Authority will be provided with the means to pay for the true cost of care. If more

people are state funded in the future, which is the way this reform is heading, then we need to have serious discussions about a fair price for care otherwise quality will become an issue. “The other main challenge is that we are unable to pay care staff what we would like to because of the restrictions created by the current funding model. Care staff have worked tirelessly through the worst period imaginable, and this announcement does nothing to address the fact that they deserve better pay and recognition for the professional and critical roles they have in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. In fact, they will be worse off because of the NI rise. “The announcements have included £500 million for workforce development to be spent on training and supporting careers in Health and Social Care. Alex comments ‘this funding commitment is very welcome and much needed, but will social care be prioritised in this? We look forward to hearing more detail on this as well as other key parts of the reform.” Guild Care is a registered charity that has been serving Worthing since 1933 and is committed to bringing services with distinct health and social benefits to the local community.


The Importance of Hydration in Adult Social Care By Sarah Scotland - BSc Nutrition, Exercise and Health(Hons) ( Dehydration in the elderly is very common and can have serious consequences. When the elderly are dehydrated, they can become dizzy, weak and suffer from worsened memory loss. These are all factors that increase the likelihood of falls, and in turn, a rise in hospitalisations of the elderly. Making some simple adjustments to your care to prioritise hydration could make a real difference to the overall health and wellbeing of the elderly. Firstly, what causes dehydration? The human body is made up of 65% water, which is used by the body for lots of reasons, such as breathing, sweating, and going to the loo. However, this is not an endless supply. The body’s water must be replenished regularly so that we can keep functioning properly. When water levels in the body have not been maintained, dehydration sets in. In a young and healthy individual the first indicator of dehydration is thirst, reminding the body that it needs to drink. Unfortunately, the sense of thirst is diminished in old age, so the elderly must be constantly reminded to drink or offered food and drinks with a high water content. This is particularly important in hot weather, when the body sweats out more water. Another reason the elderly are more vulnerable is that they have a lower percentage of water compared to when they were younger (about 50%).

Dehydration creeps in gradually and is not always easy to spot. Many old people can seem confused, tired or listless when really they are just dehydrated. Headaches are a key sign of dehydration, often resulting in irritability. A good way to determine if someone is dehydrated is to examine the colour of their urine: the lighter in colour it is, the more hydrated, the darker, the more dehydrated. Due to many different illnesses in old age, like dementia, how drinks are offered to the elderly must be given more consideration. For example, think about the choice of cup. Brightly coloured plastic cups are a good option as they are easily seen, especially if poor sight is an issue. As they are plastic it doesn't matter if the cup is dropped, as breakages can be avoided. Depending on the illness, feeder cups with lids are often a great idea. Two-handled cups are a must for elderly who suffer with trembling hands or from dementia. For those who have lost coordination, cups with straws work well. There are other reasons why drinks cannot be consumed aside from the inability to hold cups. It might be that drinks are placed too far away and cannot be reached. Although this is never done intentionally, it must be given thought. Are there side tables within reach for the cup to be placed up and down easily? Is there a way for hot drinks to remain hot? Tea and coffee are not nice to drink when cold, and this might well be the case if they forget to drink them. Invest in a thermal cup - you can even find these with two handles. It is often difficult to convince people to drink water, so try to find alternative ways to encourage hydration. Tea and coffee do hydrate, but they are also diuretics, so offer these in moderation. Drinking chocolate or hot Ribena are great drinks to offer (these are high in sugar, so be careful if there is a weight issue). Dilute food and drinks to increase the water content. For example, you can easily dilute fruit juices and soups. Certain foods contain lots of water. This can be a useful way to introduce water into the diet. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent choice as they provide a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as water. Carbohydrates such as rice and pasta are good choices and mixed together with some protein and vegetables can make a nutritious and water replenishing meal. Many old people dislike eating by themselves. Even if they are able to look after themselves, they can find preparing and cooking food hard. Eating together in a group where there is stimulation and socialisation is key to old people eating and drinking well.

Buddy Programme for New Starters Off to a Flying Start at Care UK Care UK has launched a buddy programme for new starters during Professional Care Workers’ Week, where it is already making a positive impact for buddies as a potential for career development and a rise in “retention” of new care workers. The Buddy programme was piloted by Care UK last year with a target to recruit 125 buddies across the organisation. It has been widely embraced resulting in the recruitment of 590 Buddies by the end of August 2021. Care UK has given the Buddy function a structure with training and mentoring, opportunities for buddies to interact with others from across the organisation and the potential for career development. The organisation introduced the Buddy programme at the same time as a relaunch of its induction programme so that the two could work hand in hand. The aim of the programme is to match each new colleague with an experienced buddy within their care home. This ensures that they feel part of the organisation with the support to build their confidence from the word go. While a new starter and their buddy are officially paired for 12 weeks, the buddy remains a friendly face beyond that timescale. A new starter at Asterbury Place in Suffolk commented: “Caroline was assigned as my buddy and nothing was too much for her – she always came to check that I was OK and if I needed anything. She no longer needs to be my buddy but she continues to do so – she really is an amazing lady with a heart of gold who always puts others before herself.” As well as assisting a new starter with early appointment needs such as induction, making introductions and finding their way around the home, a buddy is also an ambassador for Care UK with a remit to instil the organisation’s values and beliefs and share best practice with their new colleague. They act as an informal resource on procedures and are there to answer any questions a new starter might have. All this is achieved via day to day working together and a weekly catch up, either in person or by phone. Buddies are also able to interact with each other across the organisation. Think Tank sessions provide buddies with the chance to network and exchange ideas and best practice. This was especially welcome during the worst of the pandemic restrictions, reducing feelings of isolation and increasing opportunities to support each other while they themselves supported new starters in difficult circumstances.

Jordanne Anderson, Learning and Development Trainer at Care UK, was instrumental in the introduction and maintenance of the Buddy programme. She said: “From the start we wanted to be clear about what makes a good buddy, and to support that with a consistent structure across the organisation which involved training, mentoring and access to additional learning resources. We started with a target of 125 buddies in the first year and we are delighted to have recruited 590 by the end of August. Historically we may have struggled to encourage colleagues to take this voluntary role, but I think that by giving it formal recognition we have made it a more attractive proposition, hence the enthusiastic take-up from our homes.” Jordanne and her colleagues set about selling-in the idea with a comprehensive internal recruitment campaign. Home managers were asked to put forward candidates and a direct call was made to everyone working in the homes. A clear selection criteria was applied. Candidates needed to want to be a buddy and be engaging and warm with new starters. They needed to be skilled and knowledgeable about their new colleague’s job, and they needed to have patience, be good communicators and have excellent interpersonal skills. Importantly, they needed to be proud of Care UK and the contributions both they and colleagues make to the welfare and quality of life of residents. A buddy from Montford Manor care home in Kent commented on what being a buddy means to her. She said: “I took on a new role as a buddy for Montfort Manor to meet and greet the new colleagues that were either brand new to the role of a carer or had experience, and I’m so happy I did. I get to pass on past experiences and assist them in every step of their way in helping residents live healthier, happy lives. To be part of a bigger picture and to be part of a fantastic team that

care so much is more than the weight in gold itself.” Another buddy from a home in Surrey, Sophie, added: “As a lifestyle coordinator, being part of the buddy programme has had a great impact on the way we welcome new starters into the Care UK family. Being a buddy has made me realise just how much first impressions count and how easy it is to forget the emotions that come with the first day at a new job. Appreciation is also very important – being told you are doing a great job goes a very long way.”

Nikki Evans, Head of Learning and Development at Care UK, commented: “The combination of the selection criteria and the sheer number of successful candidates in the first 10 months of the scheme mean it is making a real impact. We’re seeing colleagues take the buddy role and use it as the first step in their career pathway towards team leadership. We’re also seeing a significant rise in the retention of our new starters. All this, together with our ongoing focus on the individual, means that in colleague development terms we are futureproofing the organisation by nurturing our own talent and instilling a consistently high level of professionalism.” She added: “The ultimate beneficiaries are, of course, residents who enjoy the highest standards of care delivered by teams who are consistent because they are professionally fulfilled.”


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Ornamin, a market leader in eating and drinking aids, who supply more than 2,000 care institutions worldwide have – in collaboration with Occupational Therapists (OTs) and nurses - developed a range of intelligent and functional tableware for people with cognitive problems or limited motor skills in their hands or arms.

Their range includes mugs with a unique cone-shaped interior design, - which help those with limited neck and arm movement or anyone who is bed bound to drink without assistance - plates and bowls that are non-slip with a sloped base, making it easier to trap the food (useful for those who have problems using their hands), and non-slip grip cutlery that provides a firm hold for a user with clammy, shaky or numb hands.

The stylish designs helps remove the stigma of using ‘special’ tableware, which in turn improves dignity and independence, while also easing the support needed from families, carers or care home staff. All of the products are made using high quality materials which are 100% recyclable, plus they’re durable, light to lift, quiet to use, break-resistant, and BPA FREE.


Drinkup21, is an innovative hands-free drinking system, which can dramatically improve the health of those at risk of dehydration.

This simple but effective product works on the same principle as a cup and drinking straw, but has been designed to enable anyone who cannot lift a cup to drink without assistance (even when arm function is completely lost), making drinking easier, improving fluid intake, and reducing the workload of carers.

Drinkup21 consists of a 1 litre bottle with a cap, a body (holder), a multi-positioning clamp and a flexible arm assembly. It also includes a Consumables Parts Pack containing a drinking tube, bite valve (mouthpiece), elbow connector. A tube cleaning brush is also available.

It can be secured to beds, tables and wheelchairs, and used with water, fruit juice and thickened fluids that contain higher nutritional content, thus providing a simple solution to the serious issue of dehydration in the elderly and those living with disabilities. Drinkup21 is beneficial for those with conditions including spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, the effects of stroke, dementia, and those who do not recognise the need to drink.

For advice and information: Fortuna.Bambach, 4, Northgate Business Centre, Crown Road, Enfield, London, EN1 1TG. Visit: | Email: Telephone: 020 8805 2020


What the Social Care Reform Means for the Sector

By Jordan Glackin, partner and healthcare specialist at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau (

The Government has announced that in April 2022, National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will increase by 1.25% in a bid to raise £12 billion to help fund the UK’s health and social care industry. While this much-needed funding could be essential for protecting the future of the healthcare system, clarification is still needed around how this will specifically support social care providers. The social care sector has been fragile for a number of years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has magnified this further. With an ageing population, the need for social care providers has never been greater. However, as the need for these kinds of services increases, more must be done to support the sector, now and in the future. One of the main challenges the sector faces is funding. Little financial support is provided by local authorities, and what is available is often not enough to cover the cost of care per resident. To overcome this, care home providers would need to raise their prices, but this presents another problem, as the cost of care is not the only area that needs funding. The salaries of healthcare staff have been a topic of debate for years. Shifts often include long hours for minimum wage, resulting in significant shortages, as the sector struggles to retain staff. This is further impacted by the end of free movement, which has made accessing the overseas labour considerably more expensive and complicated. There is also the matter of compulsory vaccination requirements, which adds another level of difficulty for those that can’t have the vaccine due to medical conditions or personal beliefs. With the obstacles mounting up, there are concerns that the challenges facing the sector could get significantly worse before they get better. Initially, the £12 billion ‘booster shot’ of funding will be dedicated to helping the NHS tackle its backlog over a three-year period, including the pandemic. After this, it will be extended to the social care sector, but how

much will be invested and what areas it will be invested in, is still to be confirmed. While the funding comes as welcome news for the NHS, there are concerns that it will come too late for the social care sector, as it faces another three years of uncertainty and lack of financial aid. In the Government’s latest proposals, there is a lifetime cap of £86,000 on an individual’s cost of social care. This figure only covers assistance with daily tasks and not support around food or accommodation, which could prove problematic. If funding is not addressed soon, it is likely that many care operators will shift their focus towards private paying residents, leaving the Government with a shortfall of care providers for those relying on state support. Further clarification is vital to prevent this. To ensure the areas most in need of the funding injection benefit from the booster, the Government must set out a clear policy structure on how the funds will be accessed and who will be eligible. Consistency and transparency are crucial in this process and beyond, to avoid any pitfalls further down the line. During the peak of the pandemic, the social care sector was offered support in the form of free PPE, infection prevention and control training and grants, as well as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBIL). However, these resources are now running low, and the sector must look to the Government for further aid. While the sector waits, the Government could offer assistance in other areas, such as recruitment, which remains a significant problem. During the Covid-19 outbreak, healthcare staff were pushed to focus on a career in hospitals to relieve some of the pressure, causing further strain for care home providers. However, now things are slowly returning to normal, the Government could play an important role in using its recruitment platforms to fill those much-needed gaps in the sector with nurses, carers and other support staff. Unfortunately, concerns around wages within the sector are likely to get worse as NIC rise. Many social care providers are already struggling to compete with large employers when it comes to paying staff, and the increases in costs will inadvertently make this more difficult, potentially triggering price increases for residents. Ultimately, as the ageing population continues to grow, alongside the demand for social care services, action needs to be taken. To ensure the reform works as intended, the Government must clarify that the social care sector will not be forgotten. Although the funding is potentially a good start to protecting the future of the sector, further planning and resources will be required in the years to come.

Experienced Care Provider To Invest In Rejuvenating Cornish Special Needs Services be implementing a robust action plan to ensure its two new facilities meet its high standards of care. John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, which operates Modus Care, said: “We are delighted to welcome Buttermill and Fox House to the Modus Care family. The people who use the service are our highest priority and we will be investing both time and money to ensure their needs are met. “We are aware both facilities have a history and we are committed to drawing a line between the past and the future. We have impeccable standards of care across all our services, demonstrated by our CQC and OFSTED reports, and we are confident that the next time Buttermill and Fox House are inspected, the changes will be profound. “We are committed to providing excellent, person-centred care as evidenced by the work done with the Modus Services which were also in need of significant support when we took them over 4 years ago. “I am confident that these two services will be beacons of care within the Cornwall community, thanks to investment in the building and grounds, and with the help of the staff we’re looking to recruit.”

Modus Care, a care provider which runs specialist services in the South West, has taken over the operation of two services which provide support for local people with support needs, and is set to develop the facilities and recruit and train additional staff. Modus is part of the Salutem Care and Education Group, which will support the local team in making significant improvements at the two services, working closely with Cornwall County Council. Buttermill and Fox House, based in Camborne and Liskeard, care for people living with autism spectrum disorders, mental health difficulties, behaviour that may challenge, and restricted mobility issues. The company will be working to ensure that pay rates and the working culture are strong as it looks to recruit new colleagues from the area to work with the people within the services, as well as bringing investment into the building and the grounds, and activities for people using the service. The acquisition will begin a journey of improvement for the two services, which were previously owned by Achieve Together, formerly The Regard Group. Modus Care has a well-established positive reputation in the area, managing eight services in the region along with a further 3 through its Ambito Care sister Company, and will

Durham Care Home Goes Green Fingered with End of Summer Veggie Harvest People with learning disabilities living at Grizedale a care home in Durham enjoyed some end of the summer fun as they harvested their first crop of home-grown vegetables. The home, which offers specialist accommodation and care to up to seven people, turned their garden into a vegetable wonderland, planting marrows, radishes and potatoes in its new allotment area. Alan and Peter, two people who live at Grizedale, have been part of the team cultivating the veggie plot for the past year, and were delighted with their first harvest. They hope to continue with the garden, adding more fresh vegetables to their plot. Jackie Carr, registered manager at Grizedale, said: “We love to offer the people we support new and interesting experiences that are stimulating

and fun. We’re delighted with the results of this first attempt at growing vegetables and look forward to seeing what else is produced. “All credit must go to Alan and Peter, who have worked so hard on the garden and were very proud when they saw what had grown. “Their enthusiasm for gardening has spread and I’m certain that they’ll be joined in the garden by more people next year.” Peter Westall said: “This year growing our vegetables has been outstanding and they were very tasty. I think it has been very interesting growing our vegetables.” Jackie added: “Alan Minto has been picking vegetables each day for meals, putting them in a basket and showing them to staff and other clients, with a huge smile on his face showing how proud he is of what he has achieved.”

FREE Care Home Guides from Business Companion We all know that running a care home is extremely challenging, especially in these unprecedented times. Thankfully, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in cooperation with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has a series of free information resources designed to make managing your care home a little easier. This resource is available on the Business Companion website - the free government-backed website written by trading standards experts to help you understand the laws that affect your care home. There are four key guides available on the subject of care homes: Fair trading focuses on the best way to serve customers and residents, along with understanding the importance of consumer rights and your responsibilities as a care home. Care home complaints addresses the legal responsibilities of care homes in dealing with complaints from residents and their representatives, setting out in plain English

the procedures that should be followed in order to resolve complaints as efficiently and amicably as possible. Web layout lays out the best approach to designing the website for your care home, covering the information that needs to be on it to conform to the law, along with a guide for website development. Communications gives you the vital information you need to make the most out of communicating with residents and their families. Want to learn more about these free guides and other free guidance? Business Companion is exhibiting at the Dementia, Care and Nursing Expo at the NEC, Birmingham, on September 15 and 16 and we look forward to meeting you. Visit Business Companion at stand B120 to receive wide-ranging, expert advice on best practices in the care homes industry. Download your free guides at:


Concerns Raised Over Lack Of Exemption Guidance For Mandatory Vaccination In Care Homes In August, The Department of Health and Social Care announced that vaccination would become a condition of employment in care homes from 11 November and that those unwilling to get vaccinated would face dismissal, unless they are exempt. However, with that dead-

been promised but has still not materialised. “Until exemptions guidance is published, providers cannot properly consult with staff asserting an exemption. Consultation processes are being delayed, and care provider’s face

line fast approaching, care home providers have been left without any guidance on key

significantly increased costs in having to pay in lieu of notice for staff who are found not to be



James Sage, Employment Partner and Head of Social Care at Royds Withy King com-

“The DHSC has also failed to provide guidance on how to obtain evidence of vaccination from staff vaccinated abroad with a UK authorised vaccine. Providers run the risk of not being

ments. “One of the major problems with DHSC’s guidance is that it fails to provide clarity around what counts as a medical exemption and how staff can evidence it. Further guidance has

able to employ these fully vaccinated staff after 11 November, thereby unnecessarily increasing the risk of losing staff from the sector.

Trio of Therapy Horses Spend Day at Hertfordshire Care Home To Provide Comfort and Joy To Bed-Bound Residents

Bed-bound residents at a Hertfordshire care home felt the powerful connection of animal therapy this week when a trio of Shetland ponies visited the home to bring joy and comfort – following a challenging 18 months for the social care sector. Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, welcomed Pickles, Romeo and Oliver from local equine service Pixie and Pickles Adventures, enabling residents and staff to pet, hug and take selfies with the horses, which live in paddocks in nearby Gosmore. While the occasion brought joy and excitement to the bed-bound

residents in the home, the initiative was also organised to provide comfort to those who were residing in the lounge areas on floors Norton and Holwell. The experience was orchestrated to boost emotional wellbeing, with many residents having lived through the isolation of lockdown, and some having recovered from COVID-19. Professionally trained, the therapy horses were escorted around residents’ rooms in a bid to lower anxiety and stress levels, stimulate memory and endorphins, and reduce depression and blood pressure. The experience resonated closely with former esteemed rider, Roma Taylor, 86, who even used to conduct horse therapy sessions herself when she was a school teacher. There was also a personal connection for cousins Margaret Waller, 93, and Bryan Orchard, 95, who grew up around horses, while Bryan’s daughter used to run her own riding school. Margaret said she “loved” the session, while Bryan made no effort in hiding his emotions after being reunited with the animals he described as a “huge part of my life.” Originating from the Shetland Isles in the north of Scotland, the trio of ponies are sensitive and intuitive animals, who are trained to mirror several human emotions. They allow people to relax as they accept everyone without judgement, which 90-year-old Iris Clark described as “absolutely marvellous”. Neil Gandecha, estate manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “To see so many beaming smiles light up the room really made this an experience we’ll never forget. The past 18 months have been an emotional rollercoaster for everyone at Foxholes and we felt our wonderful residents deserved a special treat, especially those who have found

the pandemic particularly challenging. “The unique experience has proven to be an excellent way to give our residents some joy, while also, and importantly, allowing them to have the time and space to address their emotional wellbeing in a supportive environment. Looking after the mental wellbeing of our residents is a key priority at Foxholes and we were well aware of the benefits animal therapy can have on someone’s life. We can’t thank Pixie and Pickles Adventures enough and look forward to welcoming Pickles, Romeo and Olive back in the near future.”

Breaking News: The Care Show is Back! This October the UK's Most Established Event for the Care Community Returns to the NEC Birmingham CloserStill Media, organisers of the Care Show, are looking forward to opening their doors on the 13th & 14th October at the NEC Birmingham to welcome you all to the main event in the 2021 social care calendar. The Care Show is back and ready to be the safest space for rediscovery and learning, whilst offering interactive opportunities to network with each other in a comfortable setting. It is time to celebrate the great and the good from care homes, nursing homes, and domiciliary care providers and reunite the care community. The Care Show has been the gathering point for the care sector for over 20 years and is dedicated in assisting you to upskill and find the best solutions that will allow you to save time. The event provides 80+ all-important CPD accreditation conference sessions led by experts, which allows you to leave the show and improve your services right away. You can expect to acquire new practical hands-on training and discover answers to problems you are facing in the care sector by reconnecting with other care professionals. With over 200+ leading healthcare suppliers in our exhibition hall you will have the opportunity to ask for their expert advice. Whilst giving you access to thousands of the latest product and services with exclusive show deals to make your budget go further. New for 2021 is an energised and refocused event for everyone involved. The programme has been carefully designed to provide you with everything you need to know to help improve the quality of your care and run an outstanding care business! It will address topics on how the sector is planning for changing client needs, new technologies that are being utilised in care settings, and case studies on what is really working.

This year the Care Show will focus on key themes including: • Build & Design – the latest innovative products and services from design through to build • People - everything workforce and leadership related • Technology – find out what the latest modernisations are in this area for use in a care or nursing home or as a domiciliary care provider • Delivering Better Care - both within your premise and/or in the community • Business Services – key tips on assisting the running of your business • Dementia – looking at what skills and services can be offered to make caring for those with Dementia easier and more rewarding • Infection Prevention – reviewing what have we learnt from the pandemic to prepare us for the future View our full programme at There is something for everyone. To ensure you get the most out of the exhibition we have created tailor made road maps to highlight the most relevant stands and sessions depending on your interests, ensuring that you don’t miss out on the outstanding content that you came for. Face-to-face networking has been missed, so this year we have created more opportunities to re-connect with the inclusion of more lounges and networking zones for you to come together, share stories, recharge, and be with other care professionals. We hope to see you there in October! The Care Show continues to be free for all care providers, ensure you register online at


What Is The Outlook for Food Prices in the Care Industry? As food procurement experts, delivering catering cost savings and managing the food supply chain for care home groups, allmanhall are well-versed in analysing food price trends. Read on for a forecast from allmanhall’s procurement director, Mike Meek. Let’s start by examining what is happening to global food prices as

these have the greatest pull-on UK food prices. - Global food prices have been steadily climbing over the past 12 months and are significantly higher in real terms than those in both 2018 and 2019. We can in this instance rule out ‘base effects’ distortion as price indexes are well above pre-pandemic levels - All five key commodity groups have increased significantly on a global level. These are vegetables oils, cereals, dairy, meat, and sugar - 2021 global food prices are nearing those of 2011, which still represents the 60-year high - Global shipping costs are at a ten-year high. This impacts food prices as 60% of global food miles are attributed to sea freight. Broad based industry wide inflationary pressures across ingredients, packaging, transportation, and labour are more likely to lead to foodservice cost increases. The active management of food wholesalers, product ranges, brand management and adopting a category management approach will help to offset impacts. So, what price changes are UK food manufacturers experiencing and what does that mean? The ONS Producer Price Index shows significant increases in the prices that UK food manufacturers are paying for their inbound raw materials, leading them to pass on price increases via a rise in outbound goods. It takes time for changes in food commodity prices to feed through

the supply chain to caterers, typically three to six months. Changes in food commodity prices do not pass through in full, as consumer food prices includes other things, too. Whilst ONS CPI food inflation eased a little in the summer, there is a lot of commentary to suggest that was the calm before the storm and that food cost increases are on the way this autumn and winter. Now more than ever, an expert food procurement specialist supporting your catering team is an essential service. “Through the financial and administrative savings made with allmanhall… we have been able to re-invest in our catering service. I would certainly recommend allmanhall.” – Leila Sharkey, Operations Manager, Notaro Care Homes Find out more here:

Care UK Care Home Manager Publicly Thanked Along the Route of the Great North Run Louise Damms, the manager of Care UK’s Cheviot Court care home in South Shields, was selected of one of 13 people to be thanked in a very public way along the course of last weekend’s Great North Run. Louise was selected by the organisers as one of 13 inspirational individuals who went above and beyond to support their community during the pandemic. A billboard bearing her image was positioned along the course of the Great North Run – one of 13 giving the region a chance to say a huge Thank You to all the key workers who have supported us over the last 18 months. Additionally, a video showing Louise talking about her experiences was shown to the tens of thousands of people who were in the Newcastle area on Sunday – either taking part of watching. The famous race was shown on TV channels in 127 countries across the world and internationally known athletes will have seen the billboards which served as mile markers. Commenting on being selected, Louise said: “I am a little bit

embarrassed at all this publicity around me. It is my team, the residents of Cheviot Court and their relatives who should be thanked – they have been incredible since day one of the pandemic with their hard work, support and resilience. It was very strange catching a glimpse of my face on a huge billboard when I tuned in to the BBC coverage just after nine in the morning.” Louise’s Regional Director Sam Rogan said: “Throughout the pandemic Louise has been under huge pressure. She has suffered emotionally but has remained strong for the sake of her team. She has shown no weakness because she did not want that to rub off on those around her but I know she had tough days. The pressures on care homes, their team members, residents and their families, caused by the pandemic are well-documented. Louise addressed those pressures by taking an already strong community and developing it to be even stronger and I offer her my congratulation on this well-deserved recognition. “

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


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! ★★★★★

Forbes Professional Ensures that Care Homes Meet Stringent Industry Requirements For any care home, there are key considerations when it comes to their in-house laundry operation. Firstly, the process must be entirely compliant with CQC and the Department of Health, secondly it must adhere to the industry’s stringent WRAS requirements. In order to maintain the requisite hygiene control levels, is imperative to source appropriate commercial laundry equipment. It is also essential to ensure best practice through the sorting, segregation, transportation, processing and storage of all laundry items. The Department of Health’s Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-04 requires that, for appropriate decontamination of linen, care homes must employ both thermal and chemical disinfection. Care homes also need to ensure that staff are trained in using the laundry equipment. Should the CQC find that a care home falls short of these requirements, the home may be placed into special measures, shut down or prosecuted.

WRAS deems all care homes to be high risk Category 5 for the water contamination risk and washing machines therefore need to include a backflow prevention system. It is therefore imperative to use commercial laundry equipment. Forbes Professional is currently celebrating 95 years of service. A well-established family business with a nationwide infrastructure, Forbes provides care homes across the UK with highly efficient WRAS and CQC compliant laundry solutions. Proud partners of market leaders Miele, they offer the highest quality of both product and service. Forbes has a team of qualified inhouse and gas-registered engineers, and all work is fully CHAS approved. They carefully specify the right equipment for each requirement and support clients with comprehensive user training and an inclusive same/ next day service response. Telephone 0345 070 2335

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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How Smart Technology is Simplifying Safety and Security in Care Homes teen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analog in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. But technology will be central to care homes of the future, especially since the industry is experiencing record demand in the number of people needing care, while also struggling to find enough capable staff to fill that demand. This is where technology can shine: By automating previously manual processes care homes can reduce staffing requirements and increase efficiency overall, minimising the amount of time spent on a single task. And I’m excited to see that some care homes are already leading the way. There are some wonderful approaches being taken to care provision that are very different from 'traditional' care home philosophies, driven by residents' wishes and feelings, enabling people to just enjoy life and live in the moment.

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR RESIDENTS James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS) -, an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Smart technology already impacts many aspects of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. But innovation has not been limited to the daily lives of your average UK citizen. Care homes are modernising too, promoting dignity, improving protection and raising standards. And the result is not only improved quality of life, but also improved safety and security systems for management and operational teams. I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fif-

A move into a care home can be daunting both for the resident and their family. Key concerns we often hear include feeling like a burden, or a loss of independence due to their daily lives being more controlled and monitored. Whilst certain aspects of their lives will be different, owing to the circumstances, smart technology can be used to maintain residents' independence as far as possible through devices such as health monitors and motion sensors which can automatically alert staff to possible problems. Simple, day-to-day tasks that those in need of care struggle with such as opening a curtain or a door can now be handled by voice command technology – reducing the amount of support needed for these more trivial tasks, freeing up time for care staff to focus on more pressing matters in the home.

SIMPLIFYING AND IMPROVING SECURITY SYSTEMS Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents and guarantees rapid response if notified by an emergency

alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. By streamlining daily rounds via technology, staff and management can ensure vital resources are being used effectively, distributing them where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. Additionally, it's no use having traditional analog safety and security systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or that need manual processes and paperwork to back them up. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system.This includes video surveillance which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics which automatically warn staff of potential issues.

SECURING CARE HOMES AMID COVID-19 The heartbreaking challenges that care homes faced during the pandemic have been well documented. Planning for a COVID-free future, smart technologies such as thermal cameras and mask detection software ensure that care and security teams will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in the care home sector. Sophisticated, intelligent, smart technology has the potential to simplify existing, complicated solutions and systems. Technology has the potential to empower care homes to do more; to deliver on their duty of care and ultimately, better focus on the needs of their residents.

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 indus-

try 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.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Virtual Street View Technology Brings Beach To Care Home The day was jam-packed with fun activities such as sandcastle building with buckets, spades and seaside wind toys. To finish off the day, everyone enjoyed a delicious fish and chips dinner, followed by dessert supplied by the local ice cream van ‘Steve’s Whippy’. Residents sat and enjoyed their treat whilst they remarked on how much they benefitted from the interactive fun. Barbara Spafford, resident, told staff “Thank you so much for a lovely day. It was really nice to talk about our past visits to the seaside and tuck into fish and chips for dinner and the best ice cream in Rotherham for pudding.” Sharron Whaley, Home Manager, was touched by how much the residents enjoyed their beach-themed virtual activity. “Everyone had a lovely day at ‘Cherry Trees Beach’ and it was amazing to revisit memories with our residents. The interactive table was a big hit and the device is clearly having a positive impact on resident’s moods and their relationships with care staff, friends and family. We’d like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing gift to our home!” she said.

After a challenging year, Cherry Trees Care Home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, recently decided to put a positive spin on their daily activities schedule and surprise residents with their very own indoor beach day, with the help of their brand new, state-of-the-art, interactive gadget. Thanks to the team’s ongoing commitment to fundraising and the generous donations that they have received from the local community, the home was able to invest in a large flatscreen mobile tablet, which can be used independently or for group activities. The easily adjustable, user-friendly device, provides a variety of fun activities such as quizzes, colouring, virtual concerts, and can also be used to connect residents with their loved ones via virtual communication platforms. After being introduced to their latest gadget, residents reminisced about their childhood days, when they would visit Blackpool with their family, by taking a virtual walk through the streets of the popular holiday destination. The table, which can be easily positioned to suit individual needs, proved to be especially beneficial for residents with dementia as seeing sights from their younger years provided them with a sense of familiarity and comfort.

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 cost-effective 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 in-depth 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 high a level of independence as possible. “This could mean people being able to stay in their own home, using

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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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.

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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


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

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.

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:

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.


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

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

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 spectrum with non-intru-

sive 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.

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

to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit for details or see page 10.



Why Cyber Insurance Should Be Part of Your Risk Management Programme As our reliance on the digital world increases it is no real wonder that cybercrime is on the increase, and this has been clearly evident in the last twelve months. For the opportunistic cybercriminal, it’s been a good time to commit cybercrime, as we have moved away from our usual routines and reliable systems, leaving an exploitable gap in our security as we quickly adapted to new ways of working. According to Police data analysed by cyber security company Nexor, there was a 31% increase in cyber related cases over May and June last summer. The most common attack occurred through email or social media, and accounted for 53% of all attacks on businesses, leading to substantial multi-million pound losses. Healthcare, financial institutions, manufacturing, real estate, and education were the most targeted industries. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) revealed that nearly half of all businesses in the UK had reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months but only 32% have insurance against such events. Whether a big or small-scale event, a cyber-attack is likely to have serious consequences for any business – shutting systems, deleting data, preventing data access or stopping them from trading altogether. Dealing with the fall out of a cyber-attack can be complicated and stressful, not to mention time-consuming and potentially expensive.

TYPES OF CYBER ATTACK Cyber-attacks can take many forms, all engineered to get the victim to disclose information or take action, or to infect systems with malicious software. Phishing, malware attacks and ransomware pose a threat to all businesses. It’s common to think that cyber threats against businesses come from unrelated hackers, cyber-attacks or ransomware and are big events, but sometimes they can be more subtle and come from sources a little closer to home.

ees, your reputation and may ultimately affect the future of your business. Having a comprehensive contingency and business interruption plan in place along with adequate insurance will help you to address and quickly overcome any fallout from a cyber-attack. A robust plan is vital to make sure you meet your legal obligations regarding data breaches and to reassure your customers.


There are four categories that cyber threats against a business typically originate; insider threats, human error or negligence, external threats and third-party threats. Wherever the threat originates the bottom line is how you to respond. Have you thought about how you would continue to run your care home if you lost access to all your data? You could lose access to client records and supplier data, order information, diary appointments, financial data, your website and more. If you are held to ransom for access to patient files, the financial consequences could be significant. Additionally, you may be affected by reputational damage, which could affect existing relationships and damage future prosperity. You may need to rebuild and replace lost systems or create a new website. And, if a data breach occurred you are likely to face significant fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office. All of the above will require money, time and resources and need to be addressed in a timely manner to help you retain customers, employ-

Cyber liability insurance is a must for any care home business because it provides you with protection and peace of mind, should the worst happen. It will help against denial of service, which may occur with ransomware, the recovery from computer virus damage, which may have resulted in a significant loss of data, and other data breaches such as the loss of a memory stick or laptop. Getting assistance quickly and from reputable, knowledgeable and reliable sources will be key in ensuring your business can continue to operate with minimal disruption. If your care home holds data on a computer system, even with antivirus software in place, you can still be vulnerable to a breach. Cyber liability insurance is relatively inexpensive and will provide you and your business with complete reassurance in the face of a data breach crisis. Every business is different and will have specific needs, so make sure you get advice for your unique situation and requirements. Don’t wait until you have experienced a cyber-attack to put measures in place, be proactive and help protect your business now. Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker are specialists in arranging robust insurance for those operating in the care home sector. As independent advisers they provide impartial advice on the best solution for your specific needs. Telephone: 01480 272727 Email:

Specialist care home insurance We arrange tailored insurance programmes for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers, for both staff and business owners. Our extensive knowledge of the care market will help to ensure you have the right protection in place for now and, for the future. Secure robust cover that’s right for your business.


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Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a trading style of Barnes Commercial Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 844370. Registered address: 3 Fenice Court, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 8EW. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 11909011.


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Selling by Auction Is the Fastest Care Home Finance from Global and Most Certain Way to Complete Business Finance a Property Transaction

Owing to the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, Charles Darrow Auctions is experiencing increasing demand from business owners looking to sell their Care Home premises by auction. While government support continues, property availability is still low. However, market demand from buyers searching for former Care Homes for either investment purposes or alternative uses is high. We are seeing sellers successfully take advantage of the high levels of market demand right now, rather than waiting to join what is likely to become a saturated market, with an anticipated influx of commercial property likely to be hitting the market in the first quarter of 2022. To satisfy this demand, we are looking for entries into our next auction and will consider all types of Care Home. Our company ethos is to achieve the best price possible by providing the most up to date accurate marketing advice to our clients. Lucy Fuller, Auction Surveyor at Charles Darrow commented “An auction sale can often take as little as four weeks from instruction to an exchange of con-

tracts, whereas a standard Private Treaty sale is currently taking on average four to six months to reach exchange of contracts, with no guarantee the buyer will not withdraw from the transaction at any point in the process. Our auction process allows people to seriously commit to a purchase when bidding, as contracts will exchange instantly to the highest bidder at the fall of the gavel”. Sadly, a lot of business owners around the UK are now in some form of financial distress and with this likely to worsen as government support is withdrawn, a quick method of sale is likely to be required by many of them before the year end. We believe that selling by auction is truly the fastest and most certain way to complete a property transaction and we would love to have the opportunity to discuss your marketing options with you. If we can help you, please contact the Auction team at Charles Darrow on 01626 572894 / 01626 330022 or visit

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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

Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify (

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 reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover from this crisis?

THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT SUPPORT 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% preCOVID-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:

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