The Carer Digital - Issue #70

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 70

Social Care Reforms Could Make Local Care Markets ‘Unsustainable’, Report Warns

The government’s reforms will protect more people from large care costs, but they will not improve access for the hundreds of thousands ineligible for services, whilst they could destabilise care markets and providers in counties, a new report warns. The State of Care in County and Rural Areas, released by the County Councils Network (CCN) and the Rural Services Network (RSN), provides an overview of the challenges in delivering adult social care in rural and county areas, and provides the first detailed analysis of the impact of the government’s social care reforms – announced last week – for councils.

The CCN and RSN say that government’s announcement of a cap on care and means-test threshold are the right reforms to introduce, and the intention to publish a white paper further proposal, spanning workforce, integration, and housing, is welcome. But the study concludes that the reforms announced last week will not address the existing problems within the social care system, while making local care markets potentially unsustainable by allowing private fee payers access to council arranged care and the fee levels they pay providers.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! We here at THE CARER have just returned from the sector’s first trade event since the pandemic broke. Last week we were at the Dementia Care Expo at Birmingham's NEC. It was the first opportunity and, I hasten to add, a very important opportunity, for us to get feedback from people at the very coalface, those managing and working in various departments within residential and nursing care homes. It was also an opportunity to meet with our valued advertisers and contributors. Top of the agenda was without doubt mandatory vaccinations. People were very candid in their conversations with me, and I left the trade show with a sense of foreboding on this issue. There are clear genuine and sincere concerns among those working in the sector, and not just concerning issues surrounding health and safety factors, but also concerns on human rights. Quite a few of the people I spoke to believe their rights to have been trampled on, and in many ways, they have a point. I have always said that the government finds itself between a rock and a hard place on this issue, but has it done enough to reassure those in the care sector, and provided enough support to encourage staff to take up the vaccine? Having spent two days on a tradeshow stand meeting and speaking with care workers, managers, and people from various departments, the answer would be a resounding no. This is where the government, in my opinion, needs to step up. We have two articles in this issue from specialist law firms, and will, in the lead up to November 11, be providing regular comment and legal guidance. It would appear that the government has still not set out advice surrounding medical exemption. I did read in mainstream news when I was at the show that Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said that he believed the mandatory vaccination policy to be “very unfair” and that about 2,000 of the region’s care home workers faced losing their jobs overnight unless they received their first jab within hours. Adding that carers were being “singled out” by the government. Prof Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, also commented saying that the policy would intensify the sector’s staffing crisis resulting in some homes having to close. “We all accept we want as many people as possible to be vaccinated. But I do feel the government has gone forward with the social care compulsion without understanding the implications, without having a thought-out plan on how they are going to deal with staff shortages,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week:


Peter Adams

“Care homes are now in a difficult position, facing the reality of do they have enough staff to maintain safety and quality of care? They are in the position of either having to transgress the law or expose people they support to levels of staffing that are not going to deliver the safety you’re required to.” He added: “There’s the inevitability that in some areas, if you can’t get the staff, then there will be care homes that close.” It was pointed out to me by a long-standing care worker at the trade show last week that if the government thinks that is going to be a “clamour” of people looking to enter the sector to fill the vacancies then and I quote “they are living on another planet”! Another report which will only compound adult social care problems, is one by Knight Frank (see page 9), which states that the UK healthcare sector has seen stifled supply growth in care home beds in the past year despite ever-increasing demand, with data revealing that UK care home supply has grown by only 6% in the last decade, while the UK’s over 65 population has increased by 22% over the same period. The clock is ticking, and the government really does need to move swiftly to head off what will unfold into, not only a staffing crisis, but also a shortage of homes and beds and a sector unable to keep up with increasing demand. On a more positive subject, I was also thrilled to see how popular our “Unsung Hero” award is! We had some wonderful feedback from care home owners, department managers and staff themselves, and we were delighted to launch the latest UNSUNG HERO at the show. further details can be found on page 5. We have set aside plenty of time, and we have already received some wonderfully warm uplifting and inspirational nominations! A fantastic luxury hamper awaits the winner, so please do get nominating via And please do keep your story is coming in, we are delighted to publish some delightful stories from various homes around the country, from birthdays to fund raising, from baking to growing vegetables, anything you would like to share please do send it to me

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Social Care Reforms Could Make Local Care Markets ‘Unsustainable’, Report Warns (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) THINGS COULD GET WORSE County leaders have warned that ‘things could get worse before they get better’ and are concerned that in the future, the majority funding from the new Health and Social Care Levy will stay with the NHS once its backlog is cleared, rather than switching to social care. Analysing data for 40 of the largest county and unitary authorities’ areas in England, the report finds: • Last year, 58% - 545,000 - of people who made a request to their local county authority were told they were ineligible for care, as councils have tightened their eligibility over the years owning to financial pressures. This figure has remained stagnant since 2017. • Councils support a cap on care as they will ensure more people do not pay catastrophic care costs, but the proposals announced will not improve eligibility for the thousands currently below the criteria to access care services. Unless the government makes short-term social care funding available to councils in the Spending Review, further reductions, council tax rises and a tightening of eligibility in those services will be required in the lead-up to the reforms being introduced. • The government’s commitment to allow private fee payers – self funders – to access council contacts and ensure greater fairness in care fees paid between private and state fees is well intentioned but will lead to a significant increase in demand for council arranged care. It could destabilise county care markets by making some providers economically unviable or result in unaffordable additional costs for councils. • This is because self-funders currently pay 40% on average more than councils for the same standard of care owing to local authorities’ financial pressures: cross subsidising the market. It is estimated there is a fee gap of £761m in county and rural areas: which is the estimated annual cost of bringing local authority fees closer to self-funder rates. Councils are concerned that the government has underestimated the costs of bringing these fees more equal, and it is uncertain whether the £5.4bn committed for all the reforms and to move towards paying ‘a fairer price

for care’ will be enough. Unless government fully-funds this commitment, councils will face extra commissioning costs and more providers could become economically unviable. • Between 2018 to 2021, 227 care homes closed in county and rural areas, the report reveals. If more providers go out of businesses, there will be less choice for those requiring residential care. • The new Social Care and Health Levy could raise £12bn a year, but outside of 20% of this fund set aside for social care reform, there is no commitments on how these resources will be distributed between the two health systems. Therefore, in the future, the government should enshrine in law that beyond 2025, most of this income is earmarked for social care.

LACK OF UPFRONT FUNDING County leaders have warned that things could get worse before they get better, with a lack of upfront funding for social care meaning further reductions and council tax rises will be required. Councils are also concerned that the impact of the National Insurance rise could incur bigger costs for care fees in the short-term, and negatively impact on pay for carers, exacerbating issues within the social care workforce which already has thousands of vacancies. Cllr Martin Tett, County Councils Network Adult Social Care Spokesperson, said: “Unlike successive governments, this administration has grasped the nettle and set out the first attempts at reforming the adult social care system in a generation. “However, these reforms, and the sums committed, fall short of truly addressing all the issues within the social care system and could have

unintended consequences, including destabilising county care markets. They will not address existing challenges, not least in improving eligibility for the hundreds of thousands unable to access to services. “Because no short-term funding is available for current pressures, things are likely to get worse before they get better. Councils are likely to reduce services rather than enhance them – unless the Spending Review provides more resource. We cannot rely on council tax alone to fund rising demographic and inflationary pressures. “Councils are extremely concerned that the government has underestimated the financial impact of a commitment to closer equalise fees paid by councils and private payers, whilst as laudable as that aim appears. With the system cross-subsided by private fee payers, any commitment to equalise fees without fully funding this significant change could mean more care providers in county areas become financially unviable.” Graham Biggs, MBE, Chief Executive of the Rural Services Network, said: “Already rural communities contribute some 7% more than their urban counterparts towards the costs of social care in their areas. The government cannot keep pushing costs onto council tax without reform to the present system which sees urban areas this year receiving some 61% more in government Settlement Funding Assessment grant. “The government must ensure that its detailed proposals (including financial) in support of social care are fully reflective of the rural context as explained in the report published today”.

#BetterPay4SocialCare Campaign Reaches Treasury Steps (£10.85 in London). #BetterPay4SocialCare coalition members from the Association for Real Change, Mencap Heart of England, SeeAbility, Dimensions, the Brandon Trust and Autism at Kingwood, as well as people supported by these organisations, met on the treasury steps with banners and other promotional items, including a giant cheque stating the Real Living Wage, to draw attention to the low salaries of social care workers and drive even more support to the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition. The petition will be delivered by Kate Allen CEO and Philippa Stannard, Fundraising and Communications Manager, of Autism at Kingwood, at the Tory party conference on Tuesday 5th October.

Care workers, people supported by care workers, social care organisations and advocates met on the steps of HM Treasury yesterday, (21st September) at 11am, to promote the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition, created to shine a light on the poor rates of pay. The recent Government announcement that National Insurance contributions will rise by 1.25% to contribute to social care could mean that social care workers’ wage packets will be hit even harder, making the need for a fairer wage for social care workers even more pressing. Following the successful #BetterPay4SocialCare Action Week at the beginning of September, 9,399 members of the public have already signed our petition calling on Government to ensure all social care workers receive a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.50

Bristol Nurse Receives National Social Care Award For Covid Response A Bristol nurse has been handed one of the first-ever National Social Care awards by the government’s chief nurse for adult social care, in recognition of his outstanding work in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Clinical nurse advisor Reuben Collings works for social care charity Milestones Trust which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and dementia in the South West. An experienced adult nurse who began working for the Trust in 2014, Reuben led the organisation’s pandemic response and has been instrumental in enabling front line teams to keep the people Milestones Trust supports and its staff safe. Reuben took responsibility for everything from briefing staff and supporting colleagues with the emotional burden of Covid-19 to developing and conducting infection control audits and procuring PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), something that he said he never would have imagined would have been part of the job. Arranging and ensuring all staff members were appropriately trained, collecting data, supporting staff who were trapped abroad at the start of the pandemic and liaising with local authorities and Public Health England also became part of Reuben’s day to day work. The new Social Care Awards were announced by the government in May this year and are designed to celebrate outstanding contributions to adult social care and offer recognition in line with national NHS staff awards. Unaware of his nomination, the 30-year-old was presented with his

silver award at a surprise, socially-distanced staff gathering by Milestones Trust’s director of operations, Jeff Parry. The government’s chief nurse for adult social care Professor Deborah Study joined the event online to say a few words about Reuben’s dedication and innovation. Possibly the most difficult moment, Reuben recalls, came over Easter weekend 2020 when government guidance on PPE changed almost overnight from staff being told to wear PPE only when someone they were supporting had symptoms of Covid-19 to all staff being required to wear PPE at all times. PPE was in such scarce supply in the weeks that

followed, that Reuben set up contracts with suppliers around the world. This meant on some occasions sourcing translators to ensure that the masks we received were of the right standard. Hilary Crowhurst, chief executive for Milestones Trust said: “Reuben’s calm, pragmatic and above-all incredibly caring approach enabled our frontline staff to navigate what has been a traumatic and often frightening time with greater confidence, by making sure that the skills, equipment and information were there in the right place and at the right time. “He is cheerful, pragmatic, and staff trust what he says. This has been critical, at a time when so much information and advice was confused. He regularly reviewed, interpreted and disseminated complex, sometimes even contradictory guidance, getting information to those who need it around the clock and over a seven-day week. “Reuben is a highly talented and professional nurse. He embodies the spirit and professionalism of modern nursing and we are delighted to see his skills and achievements recognised with this new, national award.” Reuben added: “It’s a great honour to receive one of the first of these important new awards, which recognise the importance of social care alongside healthcare. “I’ve been really impressed and hugely proud of our staff and the resilience of the people we support through this strange and difficult time. It’s forced us to work in a completely different way, but people have been open to that and have taken the changes in their stride.”


What The Social Care Sector Can Do To Address Poor Eye Health By Laura Wood, QCS, Clinical, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Specialist ( The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our health in a myriad of different ways. According to the REACT-2 Study, for example, over two million people in the UK may have suffered from Long Covid. But, COVID-19 has also taken a toll on our eyes. Exactly how much is impossible to quantify. However, to mark National Eye Health Week 2021, a recent report commissioned by Deloitte Access Economics says nearly 3,000 people on these shores have lost their vision during the pandemic. Part of the reason is the number of NHS eye appointments that were cancelled during the crisis. The Deloitte Access Economics study says that there were 4.3 million fewer eyes tests carried out in the pandemic. That’s 23 percent fewer examinations than normal. Maintaining eye health in the social care sector COVID-19 has been particularly unkind on service users in social care, some of whom rely on regular eye tests. As a disabilities specialist and a Registered Nurse, while I am not an expert in eye health, I’ve worked with a range of different age groups, across a raft of settings for over 21 years. During this unprecedented crisis, I’ve witnessed first-hand the challenges that Registered Managers face to ensure that those they support receive the best eye care possible. An inability to visit an optician during lockdown, or for an optician to conduct a home appointment for those confined to a residential home, has proved devastating for a multitude of service users. In some cases, but not all, it has led to “delayed identification and treatment for eye disease” as the Deloitte Access Economics study points out. But it is not just older people in residential care who require regular check-ups. Statistics published by the RNIB, a leading sight loss charity, show that one in ten people with learning disabilities also have “significant eye loss”, while six out of ten need glasses.

PROVIDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT It is vital, therefore, that Registered Managers are able to seek out the support that their service users need. I can foresee a number of obstacles on the horizon, however. Currently, albeit at a local level, I am working with a GP federation to establish all of the staff in a surgery – or working with it – that are responsible for visiting care homes. While I don’t have any data to share, the first major barrier, will inevitably come on November 11 when any optician visiting a care home will need to provide evidence to the Registered Manager that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The problem is that across the UK, nobody seems to know how many opticians have received both vaccinations, and I think it's something that will only be established when the new legislation comes into force. While I don’t wish to make any predictions, I do think it is likely that the pool of opticians currently able to visit care homes will decrease. By how much, however, is the million dollar question. To overcome this potential issue, there are a number of action points that Registered Managers can take. They can check care plans to see when service users last had an eye test. From a best practice perspective, if eye appointments are held annually and a service user is due a test after November 11, frontline managers could arrange the test to take place before November.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CUTTING-EDGE CONTENT AND ROBUST POLICIES Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social

care sector, has developed a range of digital care plans, which are directly linked to QCS’s policies and procedures. This enhanced content delivery system enables frontline managers to provide care staff with the right tools at the right time to ensure that they provide outstanding care. The health action planning policy is particularly effective because it details the information that should be recorded to support a person with learning disabilities in accessing the right health support, which includes regular eye appointments. But, there are many service users who suffer from complex eye conditions, which require regular hospital check-ups with experienced ophthalmologists. Again, with a government consultation currently taking place, which will determine whether all health and care staff in England should be vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu this year, there are many known unknowns as to whether it is likely that NHS eye appointments will be affected. In the event that they might be, Registered Managers, should have a contingency plan in place, which would help them - and the service users they care for - cope with a shortfall in appointments.

FORMING CONTINGENCY PLANS When eye check-ups have been cancelled or postponed, frontline teams should also closely monitor service users for any tell-tale signs that their eye-sight might be worsening. Has the individual suddenly begun to suffer trips, slips or falls, for instance? Can they read their book or magazine, or recognise the birds in the care home garden? Have they experienced pain, nausea, cloudy or blurred vision? Care and support workers need to note and collate this information in service plans and report any major issues to a local GP straight away. But it isn’t quite as simple as that. Why? Well, take a person living with dementia, for example. They may notice a change in their prescription, or even if they did, it may be hard for them to communicate it to their carer. Therefore, it is up to professional carers to observe them closely and try to pick up on any subtle differences, record and log them in care plans and keep in regular contact with eye health professionals.

HELPING SERVICE USERS AT HOME TO MAINTAIN GOOD EYE HEALTH In different settings, carrying out such evaluations isn't always easy – particularly in domiciliary care. Home care appointments, while extremely thorough, are often short. In a quarter of an hour or a half an hour slot, a professional domiciliary carer often only has time to meet a service user’s basic needs. However, that said, an experienced and well-trained professional who carries out daily visits should be able to detect if something is not quite right with a person’s eyesight. If they do detect a problem, there are several specialist opticians that are set-up to carry out eye tests in a home environment that Registered Managers can contact.

TAKING THE FEAR OUT OF AN ANNUAL EYE CHECK For those with learning disabilities, the challenges are slightly different. Many are able to visit an optician, but sometimes are nervous about having their eyes tested - especially if an examination involves applying eye drops, which can be uncomfortable. There are a number of approaches, however, that care and support workers can take to make this experience more comfortable for service users. They can mentally prepare them for an appointment by gently talking to them daily – starting a couple of weeks in advance - about the eye appointment. Desensitisation techniques might possibly involve showing them pictures of the optician, the practice, the equipment that will be used and even the shop front on the high street where the eye exam will take place. This, and the other examples that I have mentioned, serve to remind us of the invaluable role that frontline care staff play in helping service users to maintain eye health. Care professionals may not be opticians or ophthalmologists, but they add great value. In National Eye Health Week, perhaps we should recognise and thank them for their unheralded work which so often goes under the radar. To find out more about QCS or to purchase a subscription, please click on the following link or contact QCS’s team of advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email:

VODG Survey Reveals Extent of Workforce Concerns Among Disability Charity Leaders A survey of Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) members has unearthed stark findings – all the survey’s Chief Executive respondents were found to be ‘not confident’ that the Government’s plan for social care reform will address the huge problems surrounding staffing challenges their organisations face. The survey findings reveal the perfect storm the layering of Covid 19, Brexit and mandatory vaccinations could have on the continuation of delivery of safe and effective services delivered by charities within the disability sector. A fifth of responding organisations reporting more than 100 vacancies within their service. A total of 3,500 vacancies were reported across all organisations. The research carried out by VODG, a membership body of more than 100 organisations that work alongside disabled people, gathered the views of member chief executives, who across the whole survey employ 43,774 full-time staff, 32,561 of which work in first line support roles, about the current workforce challenges facing their organisation. Addressing workforce challenges is a key priority for 94% of respondents, who cited it as a ‘top’ or ‘high’ priority. For the majority, the recruitment and retention of staff continues to be a significant issue, with recruiting new members of staff of particular concern. More than two thirds found that recruitment of staff has got much more difficult since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. Some reported seeing an increase in turnover alongside a reduction in applications for front line roles. This, for many, is leading to concerns about sustaining high quality care for the disabled people they support. A quarter said they are not very confident or not at all confident in having

sufficient staff to deliver current and planned future services. In the past 12 months, 11 organisations have handed back service delivery contracts, with some citing insufficient staff as a reason. Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said: “Disabled people rightly expect to use high quality services, and there is a risk that their support options, and the quality, could very quickly become compromised if these workforce challenges are not urgently addressed. “The Government must urgently make funds available for the sector, with a significant proportion of that ring-fenced for pay uplifts for care workers. We want to see social care commissioned, as a minimum, at Real Living Wage rates.” The survey also addressed additional workforce issues including local authority funding, the impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union and the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for care home workers. Many of the responding organisations felt that workforce issues will be exacerbated by new regulations requiring that all staff working in CQC registered care homes have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment. Furthermore, providers believe that the ongoing workforce pressures will place additional strain on remaining employees and will increase the likelihood of absences and wellbeing issues. Dr Hughes added: “The findings of our survey reveal the far-reaching extent of concerns amongst chief executives of disability charities. Our membership is a broad and diverse group of organisations, all of which has been delivering services to disabled people under challenging conditions over the past 18 months. Our survey clearly shows the stark reality many are facing, with a layering of issues that together

could compromise the delivery of safe and effective services. Mandatory vaccinations are driving a small but significant group of carers away from the sector, the supply of EU workers is drying up, and insufficient funding from central government means that the majority of local authorities continue to commission care at minimum wage rates. “Competition across low pay sectors is intensifying and when services are commissioned on minimum wage it is impossible to improve terms and conditions. Members reported that fees received from local authorities simply do not cover the direct costs of providing care and we have now reached the point where they can no longer subsidise contracts. It is simply unacceptable that should have to subsidise contracts in the first place, but a growing lack of provision will be felt by those who need it most. “The government has options available. We need to continue to encourage vaccination take up across the sector and could consider incentives. “It’s also imperative that the government understands that social care is so much more than washing, dressing, and helping people have their meals. Care and support services for working age disabled adults enable people to live independent and fulfilling lives. “Government’s reform agenda must go a lot further and must include a stronger focus on long-term sustainability of services to meet growing demand, supported by investment in helping the sector to secure a high-quality workforce – one that is grounded in the perception that a career in social care is fulfilling, inspiring and well rewarded.”


Health And Social Care Secretary Holds Reform Summit To Overcome Sector Challenges Health and Care sector leaders and experts were brought together yesterday (Monday 20 September) by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, to help shape healthcare reform. The summit invited open discussion to help shape and drive reform, covering NHS elective recovery, wider social care system reform, preventing ill-health and closing health disparities, and achieving greater integration. Attendees included NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard as well as NHS senior leadership and local leaders, social care, public health leadership, medical colleges, membership organisations, think tanks, charities and local government. Following the summit, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We can’t carry on with business as usual, that’s why today I’ve brought together vital leaders and experts from across the health and social care world to hear their views on how we deliver necessary reforms to meet and overcome the challenges we face, and I thank all those who joined. “The pandemic changed everything and left us with large backlogs. It’s a huge

challenge, but the last eighteen months has shown what we are capable of achieving when we work together towards a common goal. “I’m confident we can tackle waiting lists and deliver the ambitious reforms needed to help our health and social care system recover and move forwards for the better from this wretched pandemic.” On 7 September the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to tackle the backlogs that have built up during the pandemic, reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing, with a £36 billion investment in the health and care system over the next three years. The government has also recently brought forward the new Health and Care Bill to help drive forward integration in health and social care.

The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero Award Launches! Once again we here at The Carer are looking for an Unsung Hero! A super deluxe luxury hamper will be the prize for the lucky winner!! Since the beginning of the Covid crisis we have been inundated with absolutely wonderful, uplifting and heartwarming stories from residential and nursing care homes around the country. It is always a delight to publish them! Fundraising, engaging with local schools and communities, baking, candlemaking, knitting, poetry, recitals, fancy dress – you name it we and have been receiving fun stories! Behind the scenes we have also received stories of the dedication commitment and devotion staff have shown in particular during these testing times. However, this the hard work and dedication that those working in the sector often in extremely challenging situations can go unnoticed! In previous years we have sought to redress that by inviting residential and nursing care homes to nominate somebody in their home who they believe is that “Unsung Hero”. Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, and often receives little recognise or reward. Since we launched our Unsung Hero award we have always had a phenomenal response, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories.

Our last Unsung Hero was Sandra McGale Activity Coordinator from Larkfield View Care Home Greenock. Sandra was nominated by head office marketing administrator Jenni Mack, who explained the changing role and the duties Sandra undertook to ensure that residents and families were reassured and were able to visit safely. “As visiting restrictions were lifted every one in the home was so

excited at the prospect of our Residents finally being able to meet with their loved ones at this time outside and later in doors ,” Jenni said. “However it was quickly established that not all of the visits were nice visits and were proving challenging, and Sandra was readily available to undertake new responsibilities to organise and monitor the visits and provide support for the Resident and their loved ones as necessary . “This role was a difficult one and Sandra found that the visits could be distressing as the Resident had no knowledge or recollection of the person who was visiting. Sandra provided reassurance and distraction which made the visit more comfortable for both the resident and the visitor .” “We are thrilled Sandra’s hard work and dedication has been recognised.” Your own Unsung Hero can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration – we will leave that up to you! We will be drawing a winner on November 12th 2021, so please get your nomination with a short paragraph on what your nominee has done to deserve recognition and please send


Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination In Care Homes; What Providers Need To Know By Ian Pace, solicitor at national law firm Weightmans, advising on all areas of employment and discrimination law ( WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR VACCINATION? 16th September 2021 was 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 (on 11 November 2021).

WHO NEEDS TO BE VACCINATED? The requirement applies to staff employed directly by the care home, full and part time agency staff, volunteers, and any professionals visiting a care home, such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers, beauticians and CQC inspectors. Residents, friends and relatives of residents who are visiting, persons providing emergency assistance or urgent maintenance work in the care home, those under the age of 18 and those who only work in the outdoor surrounding grounds of care homes are not included.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS? Yes, for staff with certain allergies to the vaccine ingredients or conditions which are medically recognised as reasons not to administer the vaccine. Staff who think they might be exempt for a clinical reason will be able to get an exemption certificate under government plans currently being developed.

WHAT RECORDS DO WE NEED TO KEEP ABOUT OUR STAFF’S VACCINATION STATUS? Records confirming that relevant evidence has been provided must be kept, securely by the registered manager (or equivalent person) in compliance with current data protection regulations. People entering a care home only need to show their vaccination status on the first occasion. Checks may be carried out more often if preferred, but this is not a legal requirement. There is no requirement to record the medical reason for an exemption.

CAN WE LET OTHER MEMBERS OF STAFF KNOW THAT A COLLEAGUE IS UNVACCINATED? An individual’s vaccination status should not be broadly shared with other members of staff, unless this is necessary for management purposes, and should not be retained on record for longer than required.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE GET THIS WRONG AND ALLOW UNVACCINATED EMPLOYEE TO WORK IN OUR CARE SETTINGS? The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is responsible for compliance and enforcement and it will take a ‘riskbased and proportionate approach to enforcement’. The CQC has civil enforcement powers, from issuing a warning notice through to making an application to court to suspend or cancel registration, where risk of harm to residents is perceived to be serious. Criminal enforcement against the provider or registered manager may be appropriate in the most serious of cases.

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH STAFF WHO REFUSE TO BE VACCINATED? CAN WE DISMISS THEM FOR NONCOMPLIANCE? Your first step should be to offer support and information. The government has promised a range of resources to help with these conversations.

After 11th November, employers will be empowered by law to dismiss employees who refuse to be vaccinated (unless they are medically exempt). We strongly recommend that you take legal advice at an early stage and certainly before a decision is made to dismiss.

WHAT PROCEDURE MUST WE FOLLOW TO DISMISS A MEMBER OF STAFF? The only requirement is that a ‘fair procedure’ is followed. The employee must be consulted and warned of the risk of dismissal if they do not evidence vaccination or exemption within specified timescales. They must be allowed to attend a meeting to discuss the reasons they should not be dismissed, accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative if they wish. Then, they must be issued with a written outcome and offered a right of appeal against dismissal. A fair process will also explore any potential redeployment opportunities as an alternative to dismissal.

WHAT DO WE DO IF AN EMPLOYEE PRODUCES EVIDENCE OF VACCINATION OR EXEMPTION AFTER DISMISSAL? If this happens after dismissal but before their appeal hearing, you could reinstate the employee and offer back-pay. Alternatively, it may be appropriate to defer dismissal and place the employee on unpaid leave to give them extra time to get vaccinated or an exemption certificate. It is important to act consistently and fairly in all circumstances. Ask for legal advice if you are unsure.

CAN WE ASK A POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE ABOUT THEIR VACCINATION STATUS AT INTERVIEW STAGE? You not only can, but must, since it will be unlawful to employ an unvaccinated individual when the legislation comes into force if they are not medically exempt. Job offers should be conditional on the applicant being able to prove vaccination status/exemption. The requirement to be vaccinated should be in new recruits’ contracts of employment for the avoidance of doubt.

DO WE HAVE TO AMEND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EXISTING STAFF TO REFLECT THE CHANGE? It is not essential to issue a new written statement of particulars to existing staff. The new statutory requirement will apply from 11th November 2021 regardless. However, there may be long-term benefits to including mandatory vaccination in contracts. If legislation is later amended to include boosters or annual vaccination, for example, it will be easier to enforce. It also helps achieve consistency on the issue between existing and new staff. If you do decide to amend T&Cs, it may be easiest to issue existing staff with a letter of amendment – and to update standard written particulars for new recruits only.

ARE THESE REGULATIONS LIKELY TO BE CHALLENGED? As you may have heard, a legal ‘judicial review’ challenge to the regulations has been proposed. The law firm behind the challenge argues that the government has acted unreasonably or beyond the scope of its powers by introducing mandatory vaccination, and that the requirement should therefore be unenforceable. The law firm’s letter to the government is publicly available and may potentially be produced by employees in support of a grievance or a refusal to be vaccinated. It is important to note that no formal legal proceedings have yet been started and, for now, you should assume that the introduction of the new vaccination requirement will go ahead as planned.

Romford Care Home Team Nominated For Two National Awards the pandemic and the pride they take in delivering the very highest

The team at a Sanctuary Care home in Romford is celebrating

standards of care to residents.

after being nominated for two prestigious national awards.

Nicolas Kee Mew said: “I’m so proud of the whole team here at

Chadwell House Residential Care Home has been nominated in the Care/Residential Home of the Year category of the Carers

Chadwell House for their hard work, dedication and commitment to

Celebration 2021 Awards, while home manager Nicolas Kee Mew

enriching the lives of each and every one of our residents. “I feel very privileged to lead such a wonderful, caring team and

has also been nominated in the Effective Leadership category.

this nomination is very fitting recognition for all their efforts.”

The awards, organised by Bespoke Consultancy and Education,

Winners of the awards will be announced during a virtual ceremo-

aim to celebrate carers from all walks of life and honour the hard-

ny on 12 November, coinciding with World Kindness Day on 13

working teams and individuals who provide social care.


Chadwell House’s nominations reflect the team’s efforts during

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


Quarter Of A Million Sign Petition Against Care Home Visit Ban A petition with over 250,000 signatures has been delivered to Downing Street on Thursday September 16th, calling on the Government to enshrine in law the right of everyone living in a care home to nominate an essential visitor / caregiver who will be enabled to visit in any situation. Eighteen months into the pandemic, campaigners say care home residents are still being deprived of the right to a family life with some only allowed one 15 minute visit from just one family member every two or three weeks, despite all parties being fully vaccinated. 100-year-old care home resident Frances Heaton has issued a video plea for greater freedom, complaining that thousands of people can go to pop festivals but she is being prevented from seeing two of her children at her home in Yorkshire. Ms Heaton said “human rights and equality are out of order altogether”, as 240,000 people signed a petition demanding a new law ending isolation for care home residents, with many saying care operators are still refusing to follow government advice on facilitating visits and are imposing their own stricter regimes. The petition is titled: “Please let me hug my family before it’s too late!”. In a video, Frances says: “After 18 months of being shut out from the outside world, my daughter can now see me in my room but my other daughter and my son are not allowed in my room.

“But 90,000 people can visit the Leeds [music] festival. Human rights and equality is out altogether.” Government guidance has been amended to include the need for every resident to nominate an essential care giver / visitor that can visit in all circumstances, including during a Covid outbreak. But despite this, families say many care homes refuse to follow the official government guidance – as it is advisory and not law – and instead impose their own more restrictive visiting regime. John’s Campaign says that residents of care homes have been largely forgotten, and while many might assume that their lives have returned to some kind of normality, this, they say is not the case. The restrictions persist and the suffering continues. The voluntary approach has failed they added. Too many homes continue to ignore the current government guidance that seeks to promote the concept of the Essential Family Caregiver. Legislation must now preserve a fundamental human right that has been so flouted during the past year and a half, with incalculable cost to those reaching the end of their life. In May the Joint Committee on Human Rights drew up a Statutory Instrument to be included in Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 that would make this intimate contact a right (dependent on an Individual Risk Assessment). This could be passed into law immediately. We then expect it to be monitored and enforced as a fundamental

part of person-centred care. People who live in care homes should not be treated differently from the rest of the UK population when there is no legal basis for differentiation. Campaigners Rights for Residents protested at the gates of Downing Street at 1pm on alongside Ruthie Henshall, a West End performer turned ambassador for Rights for Residents campaign group, who says she has been personally affected by harsh visiting restrictions imposed in care homes during the pandemic. She is now urging Health Secretary Sajid Javid to support ‘Gloria’s Law’. She says her mother Gloria, aged 87, died in a care home and she witnessed “her decline from the other side of a window”, over many “torturous months”. The petition posted on states: ‘Family contact is an essential part of care that has been denied from residents during the pandemic and the huge deterioration in their mental and physical health has been shocking. ‘Many have simply given up the will to live, leaving families unable to say their last goodbyes. Whilst the general public can socialise whenever and wherever they want, many residents and their families have to plead with their care home manager just to be allowed to sit in their own room together.’

Gillian Keegan Replaces Helen Whately As Care Minister In Cabinet Reshuffle Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed former Skills minister Gillian Keegan as the new care minister as part of his Cabinet reshuffle, replacing Helen Whately who will now take up a Treasury post. 53-year old Keegan was formerly Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at the Department of Education, and is the Conservative MP for Chichester, having served as an MP continuously since 8 June 2017. Ms Keegan was appointed as apprenticeships and skills minister in February 2020, a month before the first Covid-19 lockdown. During her stint she has helped oversee the launch of the FE white paper and skills bill, the initial rollout of T Levels, and skills bootcamps. “On Twitter she said: “It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the apprentice-

ships and skills minister, working to level up opportunities across the country. It has been wonderful to work with so many exceptional teachers, colleges, learning providers, businesses and most of all students. “I am hugely grateful to the Department for Education staff for their support, in particular my private office team. There’s a huge amount of exciting work ongoing in the DfE – I wish Nadhim Zahawi & his team all the best as they continue improving our education system. “I am honoured to have been asked by Boris Johnson to join the Department of Health and Social Care. “There are significant challenges ahead and I am looking forward to working closely with Sajid Javid and the team to get stuck in.”


Do Social Care Complexities Cast Doubt on the Effectiveness of the Government’s Latest Funding?

By Jennifer Johnston, associate at law firm BLM (

On 8th September the government announced a manifesto-busting tax increase that would fund social care reforms and solve the NHS backlog caused by COVID-19. Across social care, the announcement of extra funding has met a positive reaction, with many hoping it will help to solve the many problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and have now reached a critical point. With a death toll now in excess of over 40,000 residents (ONS), the government’s poor handling of care homes throughout the pandemic is well documented and scrutiny over the future of social care has intensified. Given its reputation to-date, many have approached the Prime Minister’s announcement with caution, raising questions of how the investment will be effectively utilised, especially over issues that cannot be solved solely through increases in funding. In his statement to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister referred to the pandemic as having highlighted problems in social care, saying that at the outset of the pandemic there were 30,000 patients occupying hospital beds that could have been better cared for elsewhere. However, we have consistently seen that the process of discharging a patient from a healthcare to a social care setting is very complex, with many factors affecting the speed at which they can be discharged from hospital, not just the amount of funding available. That said, the reality is that in the first three years, most of the funds raised by this tax increase will be used to support the NHS. Of the £36 billion available in the next three years, only £5.3 billion will be invested in social care – less than 15 per cent. Although the government has promised to spend the majority of the funding on social care after the NHS backlog has cleared in three years, there are no clear parameters set to determine what constitutes a ‘clear backlog’ or guarantees it will happen. Even with funding, there are a multitude of problems in social care that will each require a careful and considered approach. The adequacy and cost of care provided to those in need is perhaps the best-documented challenge, but there also needs to be support and attention given to the sector’s workforce. Members of staff have dealt with a demanding and emotionally turbulent year on the frontline. The government’s announcement of a new tax rise does not centre heavily on plans to alleviate the burnout experienced by staff, and also does not adequately address the fact that almost 150,000 employees have left the industry during COVID-19; the impact of Brexit on the availability of foreign care workers has only exacerbated these staff shortages. The government’s acknowledgement of the impact of Brexit is not mentioned once in their Build Back Better report; whether this is naivety or wilful disregard is up for debate. A portion of the funding raised from the increase of National Insurance Contributions (NIC) must be directed towards filling this staff shortage if the government wishes to meet its ambitious overall goal of providing a seamless experience of integrated care. Additional problems lie in managing the balance between the number of patients the NHS can treat and discharge and the aftercare provided by social services. The additional funding for the NHS will eventually reduce the number of patients waiting for the urgent services they require. However, due to the disparity between the allocation of the funds raised by the increase in the NIC, social care is at risk of further falling

behind NHS services. With only £5.3 billion being made available over the next three years, the concern is that the sector will not be able to match the number of patients discharged from the pandemic NHS backlog. Leaders in care, such as Dr. Ben Maruthappa, CEO of digital healthcare company Cera, are calling for the sector to be taken seriously as a vital point of contact for those needing essential aftercare, such as rehabilitation, home care, home adaptations, and mental health services for those having to adjust to significant dayto-day changes. The government will have to carefully manage this balance and exercise prudence in controlling the flow and interdependency between NHS services and social care. The government also introduced a long-awaited lifetime cap on social care cost at £86,000. This means that once an individual contributes a total of £86,000, they will no longer have to contribute towards their social care. However, the recommendations for such a cap were suggested way back in the 2011 Dilnot Commission and later abandoned in 2014, when it was due to come into effect in the Care Act of 2014. Further, introduction of the new cap will only commence in 2023, meaning that people will have to continue making expensive payments for another two years; already overburdened local council care facilities will be pushed further past the breaking point if even more residents are unable to sustain living in private care. The length of time taken to introduce the new cap casts a doubtful eye on whether its implementation can guarantee the outcomes it hopes to achieve. On top of that, the cap does not include other costs that individuals will still need to meet, such as daily living costs which include bills, food, and accommodation. Like the impact of Brexit on staff shortages, these bills are not included in the government’s report, which begs the question as to how much of the social care crisis the government is realistically preparing to restructure and divert attention and resources towards the social care sector. Alongside the absence of a plan to cover daily living costs, the new cap does not include previous payments made by individuals towards their own care, meaning those who have paid substantial amounts to service providers will have to continue paying until they reach the new cap. For these people, they can only hope that their assets have fallen to £20,000, which is the new point at which they will not have to pay anything towards their own care. Unfortunately, they will still have to continue meeting the costs of their daily living requirements. Due to the government’s COVID-19 stamp-duty holiday, average house prices have seen an inflation, which will affect future generations of people who could potentially need social care services. If people’s homes, their main asset, continue to increase in value, they will find it harder to qualify for subsidised support if their total assets fall outside the government’s new range of £20,000-£100,000. Ironically also this increase in National Insurance contributions may well have a higher impact on lower paid workers – which would of course include healthcare assistants and nurses working in the social care sector. It is clear that resolving the social care crisis must involve tackling key pressures such as staffing shortages, the relationship between the NHS and social care, and the expensive accommodation costs. The announcement of the government is positive insofar as there is a refreshing new attention directed towards social care services. However, it is not surprising that the new funds may be insufficient to address the multifaceted complexities facing a social care service already on its knees. Over the next few years, the government needs to pay continuous attention towards these pressures, and, where possible, increase funding to match the serious attention this already crumbling sector demands.


Supply Of UK Care Home Beds Fails To Keep Up With Demand The UK healthcare sector has seen stifled supply growth in care home beds in the past year despite ever-increasing demand, with data from global property adviser Knight Frank revealing that UK care home supply has grown by only 6% in the last decade, while the UK’s over 65 population has increased by 22% over the same period. Knight Frank’s annual UK Healthcare Development Opportunities 2021 research report shows that total care home beds across the UK grew by 0.1% in the past year to 480,072 across 12,034 care homes. This is largely attributable to developers pausing operations to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. The limited growth in new stock, far outstripped by the growth in the over 65 population, is coupled with concerns around the quality of existing units. Older care homes are often converted from other use and many fail to provide adequate facilities for elderly residents. 29% of existing beds lack en-suite facilities, an essential component of care provision, and 21% of UK homes are currently rated by the CQC as “requires improvement” or “inadequate”. Furthermore, despite the partial abatement of the pandemic in 2021, the number of care home closures across the UK fell only very moderately in the 12 months to April 2021 versus the preceding financial year. Knight Frank expects to see an uptick in closures as the government concludes its year-long financial support package, which will result in a further shortage of beds. However, Knight Frank’s report also highlights a number of positive indicators which point to a bounce-back in quality care provision postpandemic. An increase in vaccination rates among existing residents has

seen a rebound in occupancy in the second quarter of this year, following a decline from 89% to 79% in the 12 months to April 2021. This year has also seen the resumption of much of the construction activity which was paused or delayed as the pandemic took hold in 2020, leading to a healthy pipeline of new beds. 2021 has seen a return to near-pre-pandemic activity levels, with 35 new care homes (2,430 beds) delivered or due to be delivered by end of Q2, compared to 4,610 beds delivered in the whole of 2020. There are over 7,000 beds currently under construction and a further 10,000 in the planning or tender stage. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, said: “The pandemic has brought significant challenges for the provision of high-quality care home beds across the UK, and the sector needs substantial investment if it is to match the rising demand for care facilities. While the past year has seen a modest increase in the total number of beds, this rate of growth remains insufficient and we risk an imminent care bed crisis, especially given the projected surge in the UK’s over 65 population in the coming decade. “It is vital that new homes are built and existing stock is upgraded to meet the standards required of care providers. Though development activity is showing signs of recovery, the industry is still grappling with the latent effects of the pandemic, and we expect these problems to persist into the next year. There are concerns over limited finance funding development in the sector owing to increasingly risk averse high street clearing banks being reluctant to take a development risk combined with increased cost of raw materials and labour. A full recovery will rest on the targeted use of granular data to map regional demo-

graphic trends and pinpoint opportunities for development.” The UK is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that will see the over 85 population grow from 1.6 million in 2020 to 3.7 million by 2050. The growth in the UK’s elderly population is such that by 2050 an additional 350,000 people will potentially need an elderly care bed, almost doubling the level of bed demand within 30 years. In anticipation of this rapid increase in demand for care home beds, Knight Frank’s Development Hotspots index gives an insight into which locations present the best future prospects for care home development based on analysis of 62 counties across England, Wales and Scotland. This year, counties in the South of England account for five of the top six areas of future care home development, with Greater London leading the rankings. This is driven in part by regional disparities in wealth and income as care home residents are increasingly self-funding their care. Low volumes of current and future supply also contribute to regional difference, with the development prospects for Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands both ranking highly as a result. Knight Frank projects that the UK elderly care market is at risk of reaching capacity by the end of the decade, requiring as a priority the construction of new, high quality care homes and the renovation of existing stock to meet the needs of elderly residents and ensure the residential elderly care system is ready for the future. It expects that there will be an accelerated closure of tertiary assets and restrained care home development owing to building material inflation costs which will be exacerbated owing to further rising costs due to increased smart specifications necessary for future new build care homes.

Festivities at Madley Park House’s End of Summer Tea Party Witney care home Madley Park House, run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), held an end of summer tea party in their ‘Heart of the Home’ lounge, where residents and team members came together to enjoy food and entertainment. Entertainer Cody was pleased to return to the home, having been a frequent visitor before the pandemic. He entertained party goers with a medley of classics and took requests from residents. Everyone enjoyed singing along and many joined in with dancing. Resident Sheila said: “Being able to watch Cody play the guitar again was wonderful.” The tea party featured a large array of cakes, some of which were donated by relatives and others cooked by the home’s fantastic

kitchen team. Residents also enjoyed an afternoon tipple, or soft drinks. The event was organised by the home’s team of Activities Co-ordinators, Gill Hamblin, and Kerry Hyatt. Kerry said: “After a tough year and not being able to hold our usual events, we wanted to have a joyful afternoon where everyone at the care home could let their hair down and really have some fun. It was so heart-warming to see the huge smiles on our residents faces, the entire room felt full of love and happiness.” Resident Peal said: “It was so good to see everyone up and dancing, it was a lot of fun!”


CQC UEC Findings Show Significant Improvements In The Quality Of Care Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s Urgent and Emergency Care Survey 2020, James Devine, director of the acute network at the NHS Confederation, said: “These survey findings show significant improvements in the quality of care patients received from their A&E services at a time when the NHS was still reeling from the first wave of coronavirus and preparing itself for the second spike in cases. We know that where issues have been identified, trust leaders will reflect on their individual scores and see what further improvements they can make. “In particular, a greater proportion of patients scored their A&E care as ‘very good’ compared to when the

“A year later, A&E services are even busier with over 2 million visits in August, while primary care also saw 28 million appointments and ambulance services have reported one of the toughest periods ever, with record numbers of 999 calls this summer. “Demand for services is rocketing and staff are more exhausted after everything they have been through in the pandemic, while being worried about what lies ahead this winter. “Time will tell whether the Government’s Covid Winter Plan will be enough to keep transmission down but there are a range of things we can all do to keep each another safe and protect the NHS. This includes by

survey was carried out in 2018, they felt more confident about the staff treating them, and felt that they were

getting vaccinated if eligible, wearing masks where appropriate, testing and self-isolating if required and fol-

treated with dignity and respect. This is a testament to the hard work of frontline staff and their teams.

lowing the other vital infection control measures.”

ITV’s Dr Hilary Wishes The Elworth Grange Care Team A Happy First Birthday! Staff and residents at Elworth Grange care home, located on Booth Lane in Sandbach, have been celebrating as the state of the art care home reaches its first birthday since opening its door’s to residents last summer. The team were thrilled to have special guest of honour, Dr. Hilary Jones, virtually launch the home last summer, crediting the excellent work of care teams across the UK for their commitment to providing the highest standards of care during such unprecedented times. One year later, and Dr Hilary celebrated the milestone birthday with a special video message. He said, ‘I want to wish you all a very happy birthday, I virtually joined you a year ago and where a great time was had by everybody at the opening ceremony. You had a super time at your opening day, with ice creams, beers and good food served in the rooftop bar. I only wish I could have been there. Over the past year you have marked so many achievements so congratulations to the team on their 100%

vaccination uptake amongst your staff, I think that is brilliant. Congratulations on welcoming new people to new homes and looking after them so well, keeping everyone healthy and happy – I think it is fabulous. And lastly congratulations as I hear your kitchen team just became regional finalists in the Ideal MasterChef competition too! I hope to see you all very soon and celebrate with all your staff and residents!’. To mark the successes of their first year at Elworth Grange, residents have been reflecting on the many activities that have taken place over the past year and sharing messages of gratitude to staff. Elworth Grange’s first resident, former sweet shop owner, Jean Smith, who cut the ceremonial opening ribbon on behalf of Dr Hilary, said, ‘Moving to Elworth Grange has given me a new lease of life. The team have been marvellous, from delicious food to fantastic entertainment and activities to superb care – I have really enjoyed my time here so far! I have made so many brilliant memories over the past year, it is hard to just pick one, but my 90th garden party stands out as a really special day for me!’. Home Manager, Donna Cowell, who has 19 years of care industry experience, said, ‘It has been a real honour over the past year to welcome so many wonderful residents and staff to the Elworth Grange family. We pride ourselves in making a real difference to the lives of our residents and creating a great place to live. It has been brilliant to once again virtually welcome Dr Hilary to join us in celebrating our milestone birthday, our residents were thrilled to see his video message and we look forward to him visiting soon’.


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. Now that the 16 September deadline for care employees to have their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has expired, 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 70,00 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 Covid19 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:

EMPLOYEES REFUSING TO BE VACCINATED 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 vacination, 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. 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 vaccinated 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.

MEDICAL EXEMPTION 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 ‘self-declared exemption’. This is not contemplated under the regulations and clarification of the medical exemption process is needed urgently.

REPLACING DISMISSED STAFF MEMBERS 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.

New Report Analyses The Impact Of The Government’s Social Care Reforms The County Councils Network releases a new report examining the state of social care in county and rural areas, in partnership with the Rural Services Network. This report is designed to describe and quantify the current state of adult social care in county and rural areas, drawing on fresh analysis of the most recent NHS England activity and financial data, alongside funding estimates and cost projections for adult social care in England. Following the announcement last week of the government’s initial proposals for adult social care reform in England, the report also explores the potential impact of measures on existing service provision alongside reforms such as a ‘cap on care’ and new rights for self-funders to access council arranged care contracts. The County Councils Network (CCN) and the Rural Services Network (RSN) strongly welcome the government’s determination to reform adult social care, including many of the proposals that have been set out. However, building on the analysis within the report, it outlines that the current system of adult social care is under severe strain. The report demonstrates that by themselves the reforms and funding announced to date will not be sufficient to fortify the system to address the challenges, especially in the short term. Moreover, while many of elements of the reforms in relation to the cap on care and more rights to self-funders are well intended, they present a number of fundamental challenges which could destabilise local care markets unless they are fully understood, risk assessed and funded. Key Findings: • County and rural areas have the highest percentage of service requests – 58%, – where no formal service is provided. Some 545,000 requests to county and rural unitary councils during 2019/20 resulted in advice or signposting, or no service being provided. Just 8% of all requests (77,000) resulted in long-term care support. • Some 47% of spending in county and rural areas is on working age adults in receipt of care. This is despite three quarters of demand for care services in county and rural areas coming from those aged 65+. • The data shows that there has been a long-term trend of shrinkage of the residential care home market even before Covid, with county and rural areas witnessing the closure of 272 residential and nursing care homes over the past three years.

• Public and private fee polarisation has become more deeply embedded as a structural feature of the care home market, with private fees more than 40% higher than publicly paid fees for the same level of amenity, and in all probability the same level of care. This had led to a care home fee gap of £761m for counties alone in 2020/21 – the estimated annual cost of bringing local authority fees closer to self-funder rates. •Analysis in the lead up to the previous plans to implement a cap on care showed CCN member councils accounted for two-thirds of the total early assessment and review costs identified. •Funding and the costs of services has diverged dramatically over the past five years. As a result of growing demand for services and costs, the difference between funding and service costs has grown 20.8% over the period, some £1.2bn for county and rural unitary councils. •Future cost projections for the period 2020/21 to 2029/30 show that nationally total costs will rise by £6.7bn, some 38% just to keep services operating as they are presently are without any increase the level or quality of services. County and rural unitary councils account for £3.3bn of this total increase in costs over the period, with estimated spending need rising 40% – higher than the national average and for metropolitan boroughs. The report includes the following recommendations: •Increase funding in the Spending Review to meet rising cost and unmet need before 2023; Unless Government provides more funding at the Spending Review to meet rising costs; expand service provision to meet needs going unmet; and better support younger adults, further reductions to services will be required in county and rural unitary councils in the period leading up to reform. •Fully assess the impact of new duties for self-funders; It remains extremely uncertain that the funding announced to date will be sufficient to meet the costs arising from reform when the additional costs from establishing a ‘fair price for care’ are considered – estimated at £761m annual in county and rural areas alone. The impact of extending commissioning duties to self-funders to enable them to have their care arranged by councils, and access local authority contracts and fee levels, must be consulted on, and risk assessed, with appropriate funding and policy mitigation to prevent unsustainable financial costs and risks

to councils and providers. •Enshrine in law a dedicated proportion of the new Health & Social Care Levy for care services; The nature of insufficient short-term settlements and temporary resources for social care have undermined efforts to transform services. It is therefore imperative the Government enshrines in law the proportion of the Health and Social Care levy that will be dedicated to social care. Without a proportion of funding being enshrined in law for social care, there is no guarantee that income from the levy beyond 2025 will be used to predominantly fund social care once the NHS backlog is cleared. •Support the social care workforce in county and rural areas; CCN and RSN welcome the emphasise on improving the workforce. However, the details of these proposals must recognise the particular challenges faced in county and rural areas and ensure that the workforce is adequately recognised and rewarded. This may involve specific policies and resources to allow county and unitary councils which have difficulty recruiting staff to work across long distances to be able to compete for labour with other industries such as hospitality and retail which have recently witnessed pay inflation. •Ensure fair funding and equality of service across the country; The Government needs to ensure that all citizens are able to access the similar levels of social care service regardless of where they live. A sustainable and fair distribution of resources between health and social care must be coupled with a fair formula for distributing between different councils. This must recognise the costs of service delivery in county and rural areas and also an understanding that reform to social care will change demand patterns and eligibility for support for selffunders, in the process creating new, specific pressures, for these councils. Any funding distribution must also recognise the already disproportionate burden placed on council tax to fund services in county and rural areas. •Manage the transition from residential to domiciliary care; To help support the transition from residential to more domiciliary care reform should help encourage the better development of mixed forms of provision such as retirement communities which offer specifically adapted housing with care on site enabling a more gradated approach to care needs among those ageing.


Government Pledges to Reduce Overprescribing of Medicines The Government will take action to prevent medicines being prescribed unnecessarily, as a new review highlights the impact of overprescribing on patients and staff. Led by Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England Dr Keith Ridge CBE, the government-commissioned review into overprescribing – published today – found 10% of the volume of prescription items dispensed through primary care in England are either inappropriate for that patients’ circumstances and wishes, or could be better served with alternative treatments. Overprescribing describes a situation where people are given medicines they do not need or want, or where potential harm outweighs the benefit of the medication. It can happen when a better alternative is available but not prescribed, the medicine is appropriate for a condition but not the individual patient, a condition changes and the medicine is no longer appropriate, or the patient no longer needs the medicine but continues to be prescribed it. Around 1 in 5 hospital admissions in over-65s and around 6.5% of total hospital admissions are caused by the adverse effects of medicines. The more medicines a person takes, the higher chance there is that one or more of these medicines will have an unwanted or harmful effect. Some medicines, such as those to reduce blood pressure, can also increase the risk of falls amongst the frail and elderly. The review sets out a series of practical and cultural changes to make sure patients get the most appropriate treatment for their needs while also ensuring clinicians’ time is well spent and taxpayer money is used wisely. This includes shared decision making with patients about starting or stopping a medicine, better use of technology, ways to review prescriptions more effectively, and considering alternative medicines which would be more effective. Ministers have accepted all recommendations and work will now begin to implement them, with reforms to pharmacist training already underway. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is an incredibly important review which will have a lasting impact on people’s lives and improve the way medicines are prescribed. “With 15% of people taking 5 or more medicines a day, in some cases to deal with the side effects of another medicine, more needs to be done to listen to patients and help clinical teams tackle overprescribing. “I look forward to working with Dr Keith Ridge and our dedicated NHS teams to deliver on these recommendations.” Dr Keith Ridge CBE, chief pharmaceutical officer for England, said: “Medicines do people a lot of good and the practical measures set

out in this report will help clinicians ensure people are getting the right type and amount of medication, which is better for patients and also benefits taxpayers, by preventing unnecessary spending on prescriptions. “This report recognises the strong track record of the NHS in the evidence-based use of medicines, thanks to the clinical expertise of GPs and pharmacists and their teams, and our achievements to date in addressing overprescribing which is a global issue. “Continuing to tackle overprescribing requires a whole system approach involving clinicians and patients, so we can continue to build the change we all wish to see in how medicines are used for the benefit of patients, and with medicines production and use a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions – contributing to the NHS’s net zero ambition.” The key recommendations from the review are: • the introduction of a new National Clinical Director for Prescribing to lead a 3 year programme including research and training to help enable effective prescribing; • system-wide changes to improve patient records, improve handovers between primary and secondary care, develop a national toolkit and deliver training to help general practices improve the consistency of repeat prescribing processes; • improving the evidence base for safely withdrawing inappropriate medication (deprescribing), and updated clinical guidance to support more patient-centred care. This would include ensuring GPs have the data and

medical records they need, and are empowered to challenge and change prescribing made in hospitals; • cultural changes to reduce a reliance on medicines and support shared decision-making between clinicians and patients, including increasing the use of social prescribing, which involves helping patients to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. • providing clear information on the NHS website for patients about their medication and the creation of a platform for patients to be able to provide information about the effectiveness and the adverse effects of their medicines; and • the development of interventions to reduce waste and help deliver NHS’s net zero carbon emissions. The review also calls for more research to investigate the reasons why overprescribing is more likely to affect older people, people from ethnic minority communities and people with disabilities. Health Minister Syed Kamall said: “This vital review is a significant step forward which will benefit patients across the country, and we will help ensure busy primary care teams are supported with improved systems and resources. “Whether it’s helping to change a culture of demand for medicines that are not needed, providing better alternatives and preventing illhealth in the first place, we will take a range of steps to act on this review. The review concludes that key to stopping overprescribing is ensuring that patients are prescribed the right medicines, at the right time, in the right doses – known as ‘medicines optimisation’. It also notes that reducing overprescribing will help the NHS fulfil its commitment to become carbon net zero, as the production and use of some medicines can generate significant greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, 25% of the NHS carbon footprint is as a result of medicines, some of this is down to the use of anaesthetic gases and inhalers, however it is mostly caused by the manufacturing and freight in the supply chain. The causes of overprescribing medicines are complex due to a range of systemic and cultural factors. Significant progress has been made in this area in recent years, thanks to the hard work of GPs, pharmacists and their teams. This includes the rapid expansion of clinical pharmacists working alongside GPs to review medication, and the move to more personalised care, shared decision making between patients and staff and the scaling up of social prescribing.

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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 today (Wednesday). 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.”

WEBINAR: Care Sector VAT Group Registration… The Facts What Are the Benefits and What Should You Consider? Tuesday 28th September 10:30am – 11:30am Many operators have heard about the VAT opportunity which exists within the care sector to facilitate VAT reclaim on an ongoing basis, but most are unaware of the extent to which it can benefit their care provision, what is involved, and the considerations regarding local authorities/CCGs… The ongoing reclaim benefits of VAT Group Registration (also known as 'Contract Restructuring'), plus the wider business efficiencies of adopting and implementing this model will be set out and discussed in our webinar presentation by Rob

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Burton, MD of VAT Solutions. Rob will explain how the opportunity works in practical terms, drawing upon his years of experience in implementing the arrangement, using case studies, and addressing frequently asked questions. In addition, Rob will explain the historical reasons as to why the VAT reclaim opportunity is available to the care sector, as well as explaining the working mechanics and how to avoid any pitfalls. Places will be limited on an invitation only basis. To reserve your place, please contact Emma Harrison at VAT Solutions Tel: 0114 280 3630


How Does Stress And Poor Sleep Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia There are a myriad of lifestyle changes a person can make to reduce their chances of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Sleep deprivation and high stress levels are two of the most obvious yet simple to change to reduce the chances of developing these life changing diseases. To help you find out more, we have spoken to the UK’s leading nutritionist, Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD (, who offers her expert advice on how stress and poor sleep can increase your risk and what you can do to combat this. SLEEP Getting too little sleep can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. An adequate amount of sleep allows you to be more awake and vigilant and during sleep, your brain can make your experiences during the day more permanent, which is vital to being able to retrieve memories and recall information. Whilst our hectic and busy lives make it difficult to get enough sleep every night, you should try to aim for at least six to eight hours per night, to allow your brain time to recharge and prepare for the next day. So, give yourself time before bed away from screens and bright light to increase your chances of having a good night’s sleep.

Top tips for a good night’s sleep •Put away screens or devices at least an hour before bed •Use blackout curtains or blinds •Don’t have an alarm clock or night light that emits a light during the night •Get lots of bright light during the day and early evening – this can help prevent ‘sundowning’, an increased state of confusion towards the end of the day in people with Alzheimer’s •Do something relaxing before bed, such as taking a shower or listening to an audio book •Try a combination of natural ingredients, including Valerian, Hops, Chamomile or Sleep Support by NHP, STRESS Excessive stress can also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. When under stress, your body produces both adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone we all need and is there to keep us alert and protect us from danger. However, research suggests that the release of too much cortisol can lead to memory loss. It's so important to take care of your emotional wellbeing, and there are various ways a person can manage stress. Take a moment to evaluate whether your job is causing you too much stress, and whether you can perhaps delegate responsibilities, or lessen your hours. Ensuring you’re eating little and often throughout the day to regulate your blood sugar levels, which also reduces stress. You should also try taking certain vitamins can also help reduce stress, such as B vitamins and magnesium.

Scottish Tunes Fill The Walls Of Midlothian Care Home A LOCAL Edinburgh bagpiper has been moving care home residents to tears with nostalgic melodies. The musical visit from piper, Matt McKelvie, was organised by dedicated care home staff at Mansfield Care’s Pine Villa in Loanhead after putting up a notice on social media. Playing traditional Scottish melodies such as ‘Scotland the Brave’ and ‘Highland Cathedral’, the young Edinburgh piper is now returning for his second gig. Matt McKelvie said: “I saw that Pine Villa was looking for a musician on social media and thought playing the bagpipes for care home residents sounded great. “As things are getting back to normal and people start to socialise more, I think events like these are so important, as they brighten up residents’ days and they get to enjoy something a bit different from their usual routine. “It was a lovely event, everyone really enjoyed themselves! Residents were dancing away and laughing, it was great.

At 8 years old, Matt started private lessons at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming at Redford Barracks. His early passion for music was ignited by his grandfather who used to be a drum major for ‘The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ and has been a leading role model and inspiration. The young bagpiper added: “The best part for me was the way I made the residents feel, seeing them enjoy my playing truly makes me happy. “I mainly have been playing at weddings and funerals, but after visiting Pine Villa, I am hoping that will change soon and I can play at a broader variety of events and celebrations. Originally a hobby Matt is seeking to play full-time after he completes his higher education at Glasgow National Piping Centre. “One of the residents used to be a minister for the Church of Scotland, so he asked me to play ‘Amazing Grace’ for him. It was truly heart-warming seeing his face light up when he heard the song.”

Denise Williams, manager at Pine Villa, said: “Our residents had an amazing time listening to Matt and it was a delight to see them enjoying themselves and are looking forward to having him play again.”


Feeding The Elderly Population Matt Goodman, Catering Manager at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society discusses the challenges his team faces when catering for elderly residents and the importance of finding a balance between food, nutrition and taste The UK has an ageing population, with almost 20% (18.2%) being 65 years of age or older . As we reach the later years of our lives, our personal circumstances may change, with some of us requiring supported living to help meet our needs. One thing that remains the same for residents within a care home setting is the routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner. As the Catering Manager at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society’s care home, Belvedere House, it is my responsibility to ensure not only that residents receive the correct nutrients for their specific dietary requirements, but also enjoy their food. We also work hard to make mealtimes a sociable event for residents. We understand that everyone is different and we take time to cater for all diets including vegetarians, vegan, pescatarians, diabetics and those living with coeliac disease, with specialist menus for each different food specification. In later life, there are many reasons why mealtimes can sometimes become tricky for residents; tastes can change, appetites can deplete, and we tend to become less mobile as we age. Mealtimes can also be an area of concern for those living with dementia, when communication and motor difficulties can seriously affect how food is consumed. At The Royal Alfred, we have a specialist dementia annexe which cares for 36 residents living with the disease. I work with my catering staff to ensure that we make mealtimes as easy as possible for these residents and their carers. Sometimes, simple changes such as altering mealtimes where sleep patterns are disrupted can have a big impact as residents may become hungry and only want to eat at midnight, rather than at teatime. This ensures that whatever the individual’s personal circumstance may be, we can deliver on our key responsibility of providing the residents with the correct nutrition, around the clock. Dementia can also change our tastes, so it is recommended that we use strong-flavoured or sweet foods to entice these residents to eat and enjoy their food; one of our chefs, Janice is famous in the care home for her cakes and sweet treats! There is also the issue of dementia patients thinking they have already eaten, so refusing food is common, or forgetting that they have just eaten and wanting to eat again. Belvedere House

has nutrition and hydration stations in all lounges, which encourages the residents to help themselves if they are peckish. Helping residents to physically eat food is also an important element of caring for our residents with dementia. Some will struggle to understand when food may be too hot to eat, or have difficulty chewing, so it’s important we follow personalised instruction cards to see how an individual’s meals will need to be prepared. Communication is vital between the catering and care staff and it’s our job to work together to make sure residents are properly fed and watered. One of the elements I love so much about my job is creating the menus, as I am passionate about providing the best quality food and catering experiences. We utilise quarterly resident meetings to discuss menus, have tasting sessions and use catering surveys for feedback on our ideas, ensuring all residents are very much involved. We also alter residents’ menu plans after monthly weigh-ins, according to their health needs. The catering team attend a large number of trade shows from which we draw menu inspiration, but we also love watching TV cooking shows and creating recipes inspired from these. The feedback on food we receive from the residents and families is very positive and the fact that diners can choose their meals from a detailed menu ensures an element of independence for residents and a feeling of normality One of the hardest parts of the job is trying to please 68 residents! Another is ensuring residents get enough calories and fluids, when caring for vulnerable adults is such a massive responsibility for us. As with all adults, it is recommended that we eat a balanced, varied diet containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fibre, protein and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended for over-65s as they may also help to alleviate joint issues and arthritis which are common in later life and can also help protect against heart disease. To maintain good bone health, older adults are recommended to eat a diet rich in calcium , which comes from dairy products like milk and cheese and can also be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and bread. We ensure we fortify menus for residents where it’s necessary, using full fat milk, butter and cream in recipes to increase the calorie content for people with small appetites. Vitamin D is a key part of an over 65s diet, as it helps the body to absorb calcium more easily – this is found in oily fish, red meat and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. We have weekly roast dinners and fish on the menu each Friday which proves very popular with the residents and helps to boost their vitamin D intake. All in all, we think it’s important to remember that it’s our role as members of the catering staff to help residents lead happy and healthy lives and meals contribute to this. Having a resident’s favourite meal on the menu gives them something to look forward to and can bring a smile to their face. Allowing residents the simple chance to choose (within reason) what they would like to eat that day and supply those living in our care home with the nutrition that is important in all stages of life, but especially in later life.

Housing Provider Hosts Country-Wide Tea Party CUSTOMERS at housing developments across the country were brought together again for the first time since lockdown over the nation’s favourite - a cup of tea. Bield welcomed over 2,100 customers in development across Scotland, from The Highlands to the Borders to celebrate its 50th year of operating in the industry. Local caterers from all across Scotland supplied a selection of sandwiches and cakes as well as hot and cold refreshments to 74 Bield developments. The event took place on the same day as an industry celebration, Scottish Housing Day which looks to bring together the sector to acknowledge the positive impact that good quality homes can make across the country. This year’s theme was ‘Housing and The Climate Emergency’. Dr Lynne Douglas, Chief Executive at Bield said: “Everyone really enjoyed the event as it was the first time many had reunited after a long period of restrictions. It was a nice occasion which, for the first time for many, brought staff from our offices, developments and customers together. “It has been a tough period for everyone and we have seen cus-

“In our ongoing commitment to take stock of the climate emergency and in keeping with this year’s Scottish Housing Day theme, we gifted a small memoir of our anniversary. “The gift included a sustainable travel pass holder, trolley coins and shopping bags which were designed by local providers to reduce the carbon footprint “Like others in the housing sector, we have gone through a period of change and still have much to do but we remain dedicated to providing high quality housing which helps enrich the lives of the people who live there”. Scottish Housing Day aims to bring together the housing sector to celebrate the positive impact that good quality homes can make tomers, staff and volunteers rally together to maintain the high spirits and keep each other going. The catch up over a cuppa was extremely special and long awaited for many.” Lynne added: “The event took place on Scottish Housing Day – which was fitting as it shows just how important it is to have a safe, secure, and welcoming home.

across the country. Look out for photographs of events taking place at Bield on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. To find out more about Bield visit or follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.

Centenarian Avis Celebrates ‘A Good Life’ Colten Care’s latest centenarian has celebrated her landmark birthday more than 12 years since she moved to Kingfishers in New Milton. Avis Neville was the centre of attention as staff at the Outstandingrated care home presented her with gifts, cards and flowers. After Happy Birthday was sung, she was presented with a cake specially baked by Kingfishers’ chefs. When Avis took up residence at the home in June 2009, she completed a ‘life diary’ charting her childhood, career and retirement years. Born in Highbury, North London, in September 1921, Avis was four when she moved with her parents, brother and sister to Kent where she recalled the family were able to “enjoy the open spaces”, adding: “My mother always said we were not rich but helped each other and had a good life.” Avis left school at just 14. After evening classes in typing and shorthand, she took up secretarial work and joined the administrative staff of the upmarket Piccadilly department store Fortnum & Mason. In the Second World War, Avis served for three years in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the Army, gaining promotion to Corporal and Acting Sergeant. After the war, she decided to further her career at the food and restaurant chain J Lyons and Co.

Wimbledon tennis championships, the Farnborough Air Show and Royal garden parties. “I was working long hours but enjoying it,” Avis wrote in her diary. “There was never a dull moment.” In her retirement, Avis travelled extensively overseas and indulged her passion for hobbies including embroidery, knitting, crosswords and jigsaws. Asked about her personal achievements later in life, Avis replied: “I was a Women’s Institute President for nine years, I worked in an Age Concern charity shop and I ran a lunch club for 30 people for five years. I’ve received awards for various things, mostly charity work.” Rose Arcellana, Kingfishers’ Companionship Team Leader, said: “Avis is a lovely, charming lady who had a wonderful active lifestyle when she was younger. She still always gives you a nice smile when prompted.” Among Avis’s fellow centenarians at Kingfishers, Merrick Kearsey celebrated his 101st birthday in May while in March Marjorie Nutton and Irene Harris turned 100 and 104 respectively. Working in the outdoor catering section, she supported the company’s presence at major annual events such as the Chelsea Flower Show,

Across Colten Care’s 21 homes, this year has seen nine residents reach the age of 104 or more, the eldest being 106.


Charity’s Dementia Education Programme Supports People Living With Dementia

Today, in support of World Alzheimer’s Day, with nearly 50 million people now living with dementia worldwide and research showing there are more than 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, Friends of the Elderly is ‘Talking Dementia’. One in 14 people over the age of 65 now have dementia and the condition affects one in six people over 80. At Friends of the Elderly we recognised this and took action. We worked in partnership with the University of Worcester’s highly regarded Association for Dementia Studies and Professor Dawn Brooker MBE and created our Dementia Education Programme. The Programme, which has been embedded throughout the charity at all levels, is a continuing comprehensive education programme which supports all Friends of the Elderly team members in growing their expertise in tailoring the care they provide around the specific needs of each individual. Through the Dementia Education Programme, we now have specially trained Dementia Champions throughout our care homes and day care centres to support our residents, service users and their families. All our Dementia Champions are exceptionally passionate about their work which focuses on encouraging independence, giving reassurance, supporting and helping, inspiring communication, creativity, interactions and

providing high quality bespoke care with dignity that meets each person’s individual needs. Talking about the Dementia Education Programme, Friends of the Elderly’s Engagement Director, Mark Wilson said: “We want everyone using our care homes and day care services to have the best experience we can possibly provide, which is why our Dementia Education Programme has been delivered to, and actioned by, the whole charity. Every member of the Friends of the Elderly team is involved. “Our Dementia Champions know how important it is to focus on what they know about a person living with dementia and what that person is confident in. For example, if they are engaged and stimulated, even for a short while, they are happy and content and that time is quality time. Our Dementia Champions spend time with every resident or service user they support, they find out about their backgrounds, interests and hobbies which forms a solid foundation. A bond is made and trust is built. A resident or service user living with dementia may not remember their Dementia Champion’s name, but they know they are there to help and support them.” At The Retired Nurses National Home (RNNH) in Bournemouth we have a specialist dementia unit providing tailored care and support for each individual living with dementia. Ruth Arnold – RNNH’s Dementia Champion - is dedicated to her work, residents and ensuring she delivers the highest standard of care, social interactions and an in depth understanding of everyone she supports, including their friends and families, every day. Sharing her thoughts, Ruth said: “A significant part of what I do is to encourage independence by supporting our residents, helping them to be involved in daily life tasks such as cooking and gardening. These activities provide reassurance and continuity. Communicating with a person who is living with dementia requires belief, creativity, understanding and patience. I always speak clearly and slowly, keep eye contact when someone is talking and give people time to respond so they do not feel pressured to speed up their answers. I put each person first, give individual attention and am dedicated to providing bespoke care with dignity that meets their individual needs.” At Friends of the Elderly’s Hub in the heart of Malvern, Worcestershire, there are three dedicated homes and a day care service in one location which specialise in residential, nursing and dementia

care - Davenham, Bradbury Court, Perrins House and The Lodge day care service. As the hub of specialist dementia care, the core focus at Bradbury Court is on those residents living with dementia. Adrian Tyrer, the care home’s Dementia Champion said: “I am 100% committed to providing care that honours and supports our residents to live full, joyful, happy and independent lives and live really well with dementia. “I have tremendous respect, regard and appreciation for our residents and work hard to ensure they receive meaningful, personal connections and that every interaction, regardless of the context, is bespoke and tailored to their needs. “I’m very passionate and committed to what I do, the residents are not just residents, they are my friends. I’m eager to continue to work with my colleagues to ensure dementia care continues to be completely rooted in our day-to-day activities and that we all take time to sit down with someone to make sure they know they have a person to talk to whenever they need it.” In closing, Mark said: “We are proud of the approach we have taken to support our residents and service users who are living with dementia. Through our Dementia Education Programme, our teams and Dementia Champions, we are able to deliver tailored care that supports each person, focusing on their individual abilities that encourages and helps each person to continue living independently, fulfilled and happy lives.”

Veterans Keep In Trim At New Bespoke Gym Residents at Broughton House Veteran Care Village are keeping in trim at a new bespoke gym created as part of its £13m redevelopment. Specially-designed equipment has been installed at the care village in Salford after it received a £24,000 grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation, a charity which helps fund self-development through participation in sport. Broughton House chief executive Karen Miller said: “The ability for our residents to have access to a gym is crucial to their physical and mental wellbeing, particularly as care homes have been, and will continue to be, subject to a number of restrictions due to the pandemic. “This gym provides a welcome safe space for our residents to keep fit and active, and it is proving a huge hit with them. We have been able to provide add-ons which give improved accessibility and safe use to those veterans who have limited mobility or physical disability. “The gym is a wonderful feature of our new care village and has been made possible by a generous grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation. It’s having a positive impact on the residents and we are sincerely grateful to the foundation and its trustees for their fantastic support.” Andrew Ross, director of the Peter Harrison Foundation, said: “The

late Peter Harrison visited Broughton House on one of his trips to Manchester to watch Chelsea play, and he was hugely impressed with its history of care for veterans. He was brought up in the north west and was also keenly interested in, and knowledgeable about, military history. “The plan to invest in a specialised gym to enhance fitness and rehabilitation programmes for the veterans was a perfect fit for the Foundation’s use of funds to promote sport and exercise for people with disabilities. “Peter was pleased to help this initiative with a grant for the Foundation to pay for fitting out the new gym with specialised exercise equipment.” World War Two veteran Derrick Corfield, 94, who moved into Broughton House earlier this year following an accident on his electric scooter, said: “It’s great having the gym. I put on a bit of weight after my accident when I couldn’t move around as much as I used to. Now that I’m using the gym, I can notice the difference. I’m getting stronger, but I still need to lose a few pounds, so I think I’m going to increase my sessions.”

Care Home Party Goers Say Aloha! To Hawaiian-Themed Fun Care home residents in Hampshire and Dorset have said ‘Aloha!’ to Hawaiian-style parties featuring dances, costumes and traditional island stories. Going totally tropical, staff at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Kingfishers in New Milton wore lei garlands, flowery shirts and grass skirts as they served cocktails and mocktails to residents. It was the latest in series of ‘armchair travel adventures’ designed to create joyful experiences during the pandemic. Rose Arcellana, Companionship team leader, said: “Our residents have really enjoyed making ‘virtual trips’ to various places and since we are still in a summertime mood Christina Holliday, one of our Companionship team members, suggested the idea of a Hawaiian party as it was cheerful and colourful. “We decorated the main lounge with Hawaiian themes and as our residents entered, we offered them a flower necklace each and greeted them with the words ‘Aloha, welcome to Hawaii’.

“The residents loved that and had a wonderful time chatting and listening to Hawaiian music.” Resident Audrey Stokes was so taken with the idea, she bought a colourful headband in advance to wear on the day. Audrey said afterwards: “I really enjoyed the Aloha dancing and the costumes people dressed up in. It really brightened up everyone’s spirits.” A raffle held at the party raised more than £100 for Kingfishers’ charities this year, Lymington’s Oakhaven Hospice and the New Forestbased cycling group Pedall. There was a similar Hawaiian-themed get-together at Colten Care’s Poole dementia care home The Aldbury. “It put a smile on everyone’s face. Together we then learned a Hawaiian dance and enjoyed beautiful fruit platters prepared by our chefs featuring fresh melon, mango and pineapple.

It featured storytelling from traditional Hawaiian folklore and a presentation on the landscapes and wildlife of the islands. Resident Tina Thorne said: “It was fascinating and beautiful.”


Willingness To Get Involved In Medical Research At ‘All Time High’ Almost 1 in 3 (29%) of adults say they are more likely to consider getting involved in medical research because of the COVID-19 pandemic, new polling has revealed today. The news comes ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September) as the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK calls on the public to register their interest in supporting cutting-edge medical research into dementia. While the pandemic had a tight grip on the world during 2020, more than half a million people in the UK volunteered for COVID-19 studies, contributing samples, survey answers and experiences to help scientists tackle the virus. The result has been a positive shift in public attitudes to research participation, that could benefit many areas of cutting-edge medical research in the years to come. Further research carried out by the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK also reveals a sharp rise in people’s willingness to support dementia research, with more than two-thirds (69%) of people reporting a willingness to get involved in dementia research in 2021 compared to only 50% in 2018. This is the highest level of public appetite for research involvement recorded by the charity in its history. The findings are released ahead of the full results from Wave 2 of the charity’s Dementia Attitudes Monitor, the most comprehensive regular monitor of public perceptions into dementia and research, which will launch on World Alzheimer’s Day. The Monitor includes data from 2,259 interviews conducted by Ipsos MORI between 18 June and 19 July 2021 and was funded by The Perfume Shop. Last year, more than 16,000 people were recruited into dementia research studies through Join Dementia Research, an online and telephone system that matches volunteers to dementia research studies across the UK – the highest number since the programme started in 2015. The Dementia Attitudes Monitor found that for 1 in 10 of UK adults willing to get involved in dementia research, the main reason they gave

was that they had ‘seen the importance of medical research during the COVID-19 pandemic’. The most popular reasons were that ‘research is the only answer to dementia’ (46%) and ‘I have a family member or friend affected’ (23%). Hilary Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on many people across the UK, not least those with dementia and their families who were some of the hardest hit. This research suggests that the shared experience of having come together to help science overcome coronavirus has given people greater trust in and appetite for medical research in general. This is positive news for the thousands of studies waiting to get underway to help understand and tackle health conditions like dementia, cancer, and heart disease. “Willingness to volunteer for dementia research is at an all time high, and we hope that more people will come forward to register their interest through programmes like Join Dementia Research. If you’re interested in taking part in research, you can register your interest at or by calling Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5111.” There are currently 78 different research studies looking for volunteers on Join Dementia Research, including a study at Newcastle University funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK that is helping to develop a digital toolkit to detect the diseases that cause dementia years before symptoms occur. Volunteers over the age of 40 with a diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment and a carer or family member will be asked to use smartphone apps and wearable devices, like watches and headbands, to collect data about their everyday lives and behaviour. While the pilot study will not be able to estimate a volunteer’s risk of developing dementia, it aims to understand if these types of technology would be useful and acceptable in the research study aiming to explore these

devices as a future approach to detect diseases like Alzheimer’s at an early stage. Doug Banks, diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) at the age of 56, said: “With this rare form of dementia, it is very important to me to be able to take part in research. I have taken part in different types of research, including clinical trials, studies both static and longitudinal and practical tests like mechanical tests and ultra-high resolution brain scans. “In general, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have found great comfort and solace in the fact that the clinical trial I was in was carrying on. It was so important to me that the trial was still prioritised despite the pandemic. Making the 200-mile each way round trip to London from my home in Cheltenham to take part in the research played a significant role in keeping me motivated and mentally resilient during lockdown. I am testament to the fact that research is offering hope for people living with all forms of dementia, including rarer diseases like PCA, and I strongly encourage people with and without dementia to get involved too.” Minister for Innovation, Lord Bethell, said: “The scale and speed of research in the UK is unparalleled and has been vital in our fight against COVID-19. It has led to vaccines, better treatments and improved care, ultimately saving thousands of lives. It’s brilliant to see a rise in public support for medical research and as we look forwards, the public’s involvement remains vital in driving forward new innovative technology and improving our understanding of diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s. “I encourage people to continue to get involved and support efforts to tackle diseases beyond the pandemic taking part in online surveys or focus groups, having scans, or volunteering in clinical trials for new drugs.”

Carry On Camping! South East Care Group Launches Virtual ‘Staycation’ Camping Adventure Residents have become campers at a South East care group with the launch of a virtual ‘staycation’ trip around the UK to keep momentum going following its six-month world cruise – an initiative that remarkably boosted residents’ physical and mental well-being. With tents and sleeping bags at the ready, residents and staff at all 13 of Nellsar’s care homes across Kent, Surrey and Essex have joined in with the UK’s staycation boom with a camping trip to bonnie Scotland. Dubbed ‘Carry on Camping’, the virtual staycation will continue the epic adventures of the previous six months but this time closer to home in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Having seen a wealth of improvement in residents’ mental and physical health, the care group is once again treating its homes to the sights, sounds and tastes of different countries and cultures, enabling residents to reminisce about previous family holidays. A welcome morale-boost to ensure spirits remain high as the colder months approach, residents have been experiencing Scottish-themed activities, decorations, music, cuisine, and quizzes from the comfort of their armchairs. Embracing the best of Scottish culture, residents have enjoyed whisky tasting and trips to the Scottish Highlands and Loch Lomond, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and Edinburgh. For cuisine, there was

no shortage of shortbread biscuits, porridge and black pudding, with, of course, a generous serving of haggis and tatties! Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-Being Manager at Nellsar, said: “Our residents and staff could not have envisaged a more perfect six-month period following the challenges that arose from the pandemic. The improvement to residents’ mental and physical well-being through sensory stimulation and activities has been remarkable. In truth, we never wanted the journey to end, so what better way to continue the fun than by celebrating all that the UK has on offer. “Our first stop in Scotland has been a great success. Everyone embraced the Scottish culture and we had so much fun across our homes. In the 60s and 70s, holiday camps were very popular so we wanted to bring back and relive that nostalgia. We have quite a few residents of Scottish ancestry and many too who have visited the Highlands and Islands, so there were plenty of memories to rekindle. “2021 is the year of the Ox and is affiliated with dependability, strength, diligence and determination – which we believe perfectly personifies the social care sector over the past year-and-a-half. This is why we were determined to keep the fire burning!”

Care Home Development Company Is Launched A new organisation has enlisted an executive team which will lead the launch of Urban Village Group into the health care sector. The move will culminate in the development of a sector-leading portfolio of care homes across the UK. Urban Village Healthcare, based in Birmingham, is rolling out a major multi-million-pound nursing home development plan and already has six sites in various stages of development. Each of the new homes, which will have a major design focus on the health and wellbeing of its residents, will create around 80 new jobs in each location. Some of the projects will offer supported living accommodation for people with disabilities. Chief executive Nick Sellman said: “These are exciting times for everyone involved in Urban Village Healthcare. We have very aspirational development objectives and we are looking closely at a multitude of care home development propositions across the UK which will create hundreds of jobs. “We are committed to making a positive ‘Social Impact’ through our Health Care investment activities, whilst remaining focused upon integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors within our long-term strategic growth plan. He added: “We have recruited a highly experienced care delivery team to ensure that all of our developments meet the highest stan-

dards. Our care homes have been carefully designed to ensure those who live there can enjoy an excellent quality of life and be part of an incredible community. “Our designers will focus on the wellbeing of residents by addressing specific age-related impairments that impact on mobility, sight, hearing and memory – all elements and issues which will be incorporated into the initial design planning.” Nick added: “With Rose, Martin and Adam on board, we are in a very strong position to rapidly grow the business by delivering high quality care schemes in key locations, providing new facilities for the elderly

and disabled, and creating much-needed new jobs for local people.” Urban Village Healthcare has a significant project pipeline and is planning to create a purpose-built care home with supported living facilities in Shropshire. A planning application for a 70-bed care home, with 12 supported living apartments for people with autism, at Randlay in Telford, has now been consented by Telford and Wrekin Council. Once completed, it will be managed by specialist operator Bracebridge Care Group. It has planning consent for an £8.5 million facility in Wigan, featuring 66 en-suite rooms and communal facilities including lounges, beauty salon and guest rooms for relatives. UVHC will start on site in the month of September 2021. An additional six schemes are currently at the planning phase. Over the next two years, the company aims to develop a portfolio of care home and extra care schemes in partnership with medium-sized providers with strong reputations and a local focus. “All the statistics indicate that there is a growing demand for high quality care home facilities right across the country and we intend to play a significant role in helping to meet that demand, starting in Wigan and Telford,” added Nick.


Fortuna.Bambach, based in Enfield, is London's largest independent living centre.

We supply everything from daily living aids to highly specialised equipment and services, so we can offer a ‘one-stop shop’ to nursing and residential care homes, local authorities, hospitals and individuals. Our team of Trusted Assessors and technicians can offer expert advice, and work closely with Occupational Therapists (OTs), and other healthcare professionals to provide individual solutions. Not only do we sell and rent out a wide range of high-quality products, we also provide high standard aftercare including maintenance, LOLER testing and a comprehensive range of training courses. We provide a range of solutions at competitive prices, so that you don’t have to worry about ensuring that your equipment is safe and compliant.

✓ Wheelchairs, walking aids, seating, profiling beds, daily living aids and more ✓ Rental Options ✓ Adaptations - grab rails, stair lifts, level access showers, ramps, wet rooms ✓ Moving & Handling equipment and training ✓ Maintenance, Repairs and LOLER testing


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


NHS Begins Covid-19 Booster Vaccination Campaign The NHS has this week started delivering COVID booster jabs to people in eligible groups from, as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health service history moves to the next stage. In line with new advice set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) the NHS vaccination programme will now invite eligible people, who had their second COVID jab at least six months ago, for a top up. Hospital hubs have started vaccinating frontline health and care workers as well as identifying other eligible patients for their booster vaccine immediately, with GP-led local vaccination services to follow in the coming days. Full vaccination rollout will begin from next week, as more vaccination centres and community pharmacy-led sites come online following final checks, giving people further protection from the virus ahead of winter. People do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their booster vaccine, the NHS will be in touch when they become eligible for the jab with around 4.5 million people in priority groups eligible for a booster over the coming weeks. People will get a call or text from their local GP-led site to get the jab, or will be invited by the National Booking Service, which will start issuing invitations from next week. Booster jabs are effective for topping up protection for people who have had both of their jabs from at the very least six months on after their second dose. Some of those in the original nine priority groups will not be eligible for the top-up until the new year. The booster programme will be delivered through existing vaccination sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccine centres. Local NHS areas will be prioritising care home residents and staff ensuring they are offered a vaccine by the beginning of November. The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan received the first COVID jab outside of a clinical trial in December 2020.

In the nine months since the largest vaccination programme in NHS history began, 77 million vaccinations have been delivered, with four in five adult already receiving both doses of protection. Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme said: “Alongside one of our busiest summers in the NHS, our hardworking staff have also been gearing up to deliver the autumn booster programme, to give further protection to healthcare and social care workers and those most at risk from the virus. “Now that the advice has been set out by the JCVI and once the relevant checks are in place, the NHS will invite you for your booster vaccination. There is no need to contact the NHS – we will be in touch with you when it is your turn to get your booster vaccine – at least six months on since your last dose. “The fast preparations of staff to get ready for boosters comes on the back of our biggest vaccination drive in health history which has delivered more than 77 million vaccinations across the country. “Getting the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from COVID – so please do come forward for this top up of protection when you are invited”.

Those who are eligible include: •those living in residential care homes for older adults •all adults aged 50 years or over •frontline health and social care workers •all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers •adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. Local areas have already been identifying and vaccinating people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed with a third jab following updated guidance from the JCVI in early September. Over 2,000 sites have taken part in the largest vaccination programme in NHS history since it launched including mosques, cinemas, and sports grounds. In line with JCVI advice people will receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is brilliant to see that the first booster jabs are being rolled out today – thanks to the phenomenal efforts of the NHS who continue to work tirelessly to help us fight COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable. “We know vaccines save lives and with every jab our wall of defence across the country gets higher, with more than 112,300 lives saved and over 24 million cases prevented in England alone. “I urge everyone who is eligible to come forward for their booster when invited, to prolong the protection that the vaccine offers those most at risk as we approach the winter months”. Latest statistics published by Public Health England show the impact of the largest ever NHS vaccination programme with around 112,000 lives saved thanks to the programme. The NHS has been planning for the roll out of a potential booster programme so that it could deliver any approved booster jabs as quickly as possible dependent upon final advice from the JCVI.

New Podcast Playfully Explores the Hidden World of Home Care for People with Dementia A new podcast drama, based on research led by experts from the University of Nottingham, explores the complex relationship between home carers and people with dementia. Silva Lining’s Care Plan is a moving podcast drama based on the original diaries of paid carers of people with dementia, giving a real insight into the hidden world of home care and the relationships between carer and the cared-for. The podcast launches at an online event at 7pm tomorrow (21st September). It features well-known actor and disability activist Melissa Johns (Life, Celebrity Masterchef), comedian and humanitarian Shappi Khorsandi, actress Marlene Sidaway (Coronation Street, Mum) and Cyril Nri (This Life, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) as well as ‘cellist Sarah Moody (The Devil’s Violin). The unique and highly topical podcast is the creation of Elspeth Penny, a writer and director of 2BU Productions, who has based the production on the research of Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care from the University of Nottingham.

The drama began its life as a theatrical play, based on Professor Schneider’s research into the world of home carers, performed in various theatres in 2018. During the pandemic, in a bid to take the play in a new direction, and taking into account social distancing and Covid-19 risks, Elspeth developed the work further and turned it into this heart-warming podcast drama, thanks to funding from Arts Council England. The podcast, which was recorded entirely during lockdown, deals movingly and sensitively with this highly-charged subject. It is about what it means to be human and to care, and is informed throughout by the personal experience of professional carers of people with dementia. The story centres on Silva, a retired neurosurgeon who has dementia but has invented something extraordinary – a very special organoid. This is Brain, growing in a petri dish and fast developing a mind of its own. Karen is starting off her carer career in the deep end and having to make some hard decisions about what to care for, and what care is. “Silva Lining’s Care Plan is a play about care, it’s about what we care about, and it’s about getting older. We are all going to get older or we’ve all got relatives or friends who are older,” says Elspeth Penny. “How do we deal with this ageing population in a society which isn’t set up for it? In a culture and an economic system that seems to suggest it can’t really afford it? Is putting people in a home the right thing? Is looking after people in the community the right thing? Should there be other alternatives, perhaps radical ones? Essentially, in the play, we are asking big questions about society. Is it ok that paid carers work on extremely small wages when they need to be so highly skilled to do their jobs?

“Silva Lining’s Care Plan was inspired by Professor Schneider’s research on paid carers and our carer in the play – Karen – is a domiciliary carer, employed by an agency. We are, as a society, depending predominately on women to do the bulk of the work, often women in quite vulnerable positions because they haven’t got much choice but to work with zero hours contracts and no security. As Karen discovers, as time goes on in the job, it gets more and more difficult to fulfil initial good intentions because of the conditions, so the play is about cultural expectations on women in caring roles, and on work conditions for these women. “We know the podcast gives voice to a group of people who we don’t often hear from, so we hope that it will touch people, open up debate and lead to change.” Professor Schneider said: “The pandemic has made us all more aware of the role of carers. Whether we are paid to care for a stranger or provide help and support to a friend or relative, caring is a complex thing. How can we care for someone without being intrusive, what does ‘person-centred care’ really mean in practice? Our research looked at the hidden world of home care for people with dementia, who may be less able to assert their opinions of the care they receive. “This podcast shows people what we found through research, but in a totally fictional way; profound messages are conveyed through gentle humour. Through the podcast ‘Silva Lining’s Care Plan’, research insights are accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere. All credit is due to the writer and director, Elspeth Penny, to the talent of her impressive cast and to her skilled creative and technical support.”

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:


Over One Million Invited For COVID Booster Jabs This Week Invitations to book a COVID booster jab will be sent to one and a half million people this week as the NHS vaccination programme enters a new phase ahead of winter. Texts allowing people to arrange a top-up through the National Booking Service will start going out from tomorrow (Monday), with letters also being sent later this week. Those who have had their second vaccine at least six months ago are eligible for the booster jab to increase their protection. Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the COVID vaccination programme, said: “The NHS COVID vaccination programme has already prevented 24 million cases and saved more than 112,000 lives. “As we head into winter we should not drop our guard so I would urge everyone to come forward and get a booster vaccination when then they are invited. “Getting a top-up vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this cruel virus”. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is excellent that getting your booster jab has now become even easier thanks to the opening of the National Booking Service to those eligible. “Booster doses are an important way of keeping the virus under control for the long term and will protect the most vulnerable through the winter months. “I urge everyone who receives a letter or text to get their jab as soon as possible so we can strengthen the wall of defence across the country that each vaccine brings”. The NHS COVID vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, has already delivered more than 77 mil-

lion vaccinations. The booster jabs invitations follow fresh guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation last week. The first booster jabs were delivered less than 48 hours after it was issued. Once they receive their invite, people will be able to book an appointment online at at one of the convenient vaccine sites across the country. People that aren’t able go online can book by phoning 119. Millions more invites are set to be issued in the coming days and weeks. Booster jabs are effective for topping up protection for people who have had both of their jabs and are at least six months after their second dose. Hospital hubs have already started vaccinating frontline health and care workers as well as identifying other eligible patients for their booster vaccine with GP-led local vaccination services already contacting eligible patients. The NHS kickstarted the booster campaign just 48 hours after the government accepted the CMO’s advice following the JCVI’s advice, with maternity support worker Catherine Cargill one of the first to take up her booster at Croydon University Hospital. The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan received the first COVID jab outside of a clinical trial in December 2020. In the nine months since the largest vaccination programme in NHS history began, 77 million vaccinations have been delivered, with four in five adult already receiving both doses of protection.

The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme will ramp up over the coming days as more vaccination centres and pharmacy-led clinics come online. In line with JCVI advice people should receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine, which means for some people their booster dose may be different from the vaccines they had for your 1st and 2nd dose. People could also be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Local health teams will prioritise care home residents and staff who are eligible and offer a booster jab by the beginning of November. Those who are eligible for a booster include: • those living in residential care homes for older adults • all adults aged 50 years or over • frontline health and social care workers • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals The health service and partners will also begin vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 in line with UK Chief Medical Officers advice shortly. Over 2,000 sites have taken part in the largest vaccination programme in NHS history since it launched including mosques, cinemas, and sports grounds.

Hertfordshire Care Home One Step Closer To Minibus Fund-Raising Target Following 12-Hour Walkathon Staff and residents at a Hertfordshire care home are one step closer to reaching their fund-raising target to acquire a disabled-friendly minibus following an inspired 12-hour walkathon around its grounds. The sponsored walk, which lasted a total of 12 hours and 49 minutes, saw Emma Coates, a caregiver at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, complete 104 laps around the estate’s circular gardens, joined and cheered by residents and fellow staff throughout the day, in a bid to raise funds for the inclusive minibus. Emma’s 104 laps paid homage to Foxholes’ oldest resident of the same age, Joyce Birrell, a former first aid responder during the Second World War, who joined Emma on her final lap much to the delight of all those involved at the home. Upon completing the walkathon, Emma said: “Thank you to all those who participated and helped me complete the 104 laps. After almost 13 hours, I finally crossed the line with Joyce and her son Mike to amazing applause and celebration. The support has been incredible and I can’t thank everyone involved enough for all their hard work in helping host the event and get us closer to our fund-raising target.” The fastest resident to complete a lap was 96-year-old Audrey Cornell, looping around the grounds in an

impressive four minutes and 40 seconds, while Tracy Clifford, Housekeeping Assistant at Foxholes, recorded the fastest staff lap, clocking just two minutes and 55 seconds. The fastest resident and staff wheelchair combo was won by June Janes and Stella Burton, who completed their lap in three minutes and 40 seconds. Hailed a success, the walkathon raised over £300 towards acquiring a minibus equipped with a wheelchair ramp, adaptable seats, removable seats for wheelchairs, and a toilet, making it more accessible and suitable for residents to enjoy year-round day trips. Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “We’ve wanted a new vehicle for a while as the one we currently have is very small and can only fit four people plus one wheelchair. We’re hoping to purchase something that is inclusive to our non-mobile residents and can hold more people too. Our residents enjoy their day trips out and we’d love to take them out a lot more. “We’re thrilled with the amount of support we received from residents, staff and relatives, helping us to raise over £300. It was a great way to keep active, enjoy some fresh air and have some fun. Thank you to all those who donated.”

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


Hiding In Plain Sight: Olfactory Loss In The Elderly By Chrissi Kelly, founder of charity AbScent ( who are now helping millions of people around the world stepping in to fill the gap and lack of understanding in medicine and the general community.

Smell loss, since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, is in the news. While the problems of anosmia and associated smell disorders have been known about for a long time, there has been a resurgence of interest in how sensory disorders affect the eating habits and well-being of sufferers. Gradual smell loss is an anticipated aspect of ageing. In the same way that we need reading glasses or hearing aids with time, diminution of the sense of smell is quite common. This is something that is important, because good sensory function is an important part of neurological function. A study published in 2018 described how the use of hearing aids improves “brain function and working memory”. A healthy sense of smell can also be linked with good brain health. In a piece of research done in 2017, a simple intervention known as “smell training” was

demonstrated to be helpful with cognitive function. In this research, two groups of elderly people were investigated. One group was assigned smell training twice daily for a specified time period, and the other group was assigned Sudoku. The goal of the exercise was to see whether smell training had the capacity to improve sense of smell, as well as to observe any other neurological changes. An objective smell test known as the Sniffin’ Sticks test was given before and after the test period. Not only did the smell training group improve their sense of smell, but they also improved their verbal function and reported an improvement in well-being. In addition, loss of smell is a biomarker for neurodegenerative disease, and loss of interest in food may be the first indication of this. Olfactory deficits have been reliably linked to loss of appetite, depression, and feelings of isolation. These are also attributed to simply getting older. Is it possible that some of these quality of life changes can be mitigated through rehabilitation of smell? While objective smell tests like the Sniffin Sticks test and the University of Pennsylvania Smell Test (UPSIT) do exist, and are used in the investigation of smell disorders in some cases, testing is not something available freely. Therefore it is important to be aware of certain signs in elderly populations, especially in care settings, because simple interventions may be able to mitigate some of the effects of smell loss, particularly when it comes to food. So how can the care sector respond in light of this? The most obvious gateway to sense of smell for people living in care settings is food. Where people (clients/customers/residents) are of an age where they may be at risk of smell loss, care should be taken to provide meals that are aromatic and well seasoned. Our experience of food is not just based on smell. What the human brain appreciates as flavour is a combination of three things: olfaction (smell), gustation, or “true taste” (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami, or savoury taste) and chemesthesis (tin-

gling, cooling, hot sensations such as mint, ginger, and chili). Our appreciation of food is also enhanced by mouthfeel, texture and temperature. As texture requirements change in care settings, for instance food is needed that can be easily chewed, important sensory input involving mouth feel is lost. All the more reason then to add fresh herbs where possible, a squeeze of lemon to enhance gustation, Worcestershire sauce for umami, and other flavourings that might add depth to food appreciation. In addition, simple interventions around mealtime such as the introduction of sensory stimulation can also establish a “smell training” component of meal times. This might be a drop of essential oil on each paper serviette to sniff before or after the meal, or washcloth/flannel, again with a drop of essential oil, that has been microwaved to be warm for wiping the face before/after the meal. This and other tips for working in care settings were covered in a recent symposium at the Institute Paul Bocuse. As a panelist at this symposium, I contributed on this very subject. Top tips: • Any loss of appetite should be considered in light of the person/client/customer/resident’s overall health. Loss of smell is important and should be taken seriously. A recent study found that smell loss is associated with a greater mortality than healthy controls. • Smell training can be helpful for the elderly. Regular exposure twice daily to aromatic substances can improve mood, verbal task completion, and also olfactory test scores. Inexpensive to administer and utilise, smell training can be incorporated into meal times twice daily with the introduction of essential oils on paper serviettes or moistened flannels. For further information • Loss of interest in the outside world, isolation, depression - these may not “just” be signs of ageing but also signs of smell loss

Teresa Chinn MBE Joins Brunelcare Teresa Chinn MBE, joined Brunelcare at the beginning of the year as Nursing and Care Home Support Manager, in a bid to bring fresh ideas, implement new strategic values and work closely with Care Home Managers on forward planning at all six of Brunelcare’s care homes. Teresa Chinn has been a Registered Nurse for over 25-years and has vast experience working in the Health and Social Care sector, and has nearly a decade of experience as a self-employed social media influencer. Teresa has worked with Public Health England, the NHS, World Health Organisation (WHO), and is also an Honorary Lecturer at Plymouth University, passing on her passion for Nursing to students. She is now employed by Brunelcare to ensure the retention of CQC inspection reports, help Care Home Managers with forward planning, and is keen to see more Nurses joining care homes. Teresa said: “My main goal and purpose for joining the charity is to ensure Brunelcare Homes retain their Good and Outstanding CQC inspection reports, retain employees and implement suggestions from a fresh set of eyes. Every day with Brunelcare is different. I mostly visit the different care homes working closely with the Managers and asking them what they need specifically to con-

tinue their success.” Teresa wishes to promote excellence in Nursing across Brunelcare and is keen to recruit more Nurses into all six of the charity’s Care Homes and is exploring how Brunelcare can offer preceptorship to newly qualified nurses, placements, and support to nurses returning to practice and supporting Brunelcare’s staff to become Trainee Nursing Associates. Brunelcare’s ethos is person-centred care, this means the care provided across the charity is catered specifically to every one of the residents. Teresa wishes to emulate this and include a person-centred approach to all employees across Brunelcare. She says: “It’s important that the person centered care Brunelcare offers is also available to Nurses, Carers, and Managers alike. Every home and every employee is different and each will need a slightly different approach to forward planning. It’s my job to identify what the employees and Manager(s) in each care home needs, and help them to become outstanding in every way.”

Wine Not? Care Home Residents Tour the Wonderful World of Wine Staff and residents at Barchester’s Ashcombe House care home in Worting Road were treated to a wine tasting masterclass hosted by Nick Parker and Lee Isaacs from Unity Wines. Nick and Lee took Barchester residents on a tour of the world of wine starting with a light, fresh Italian sparking dry white wine, Tosti Asti Secco. With lemon, pear, apple and white peach, this is a great alternative to Prosecco. Next was a South African white, Bird Island Chenin Blanc – such a versatile wine, this example had green and red apples, peachy fruit, and a hint of something slightly tropical with a wonderful hit of apricots, nuts and melon. Then the residents were off to France to try Ancien Temps Rosé, a light, rosé with notes of white flowers, strawberries and cranberries. To finish, it was the turn of Spain where residents sampled Ramon Bilbao Rioja Crianza with its ripe, vibrant blackberries and plums, and filled with flavours of brambles, cinnamon and nutmeg and a lingering toastiness. This was a firm favourite with the residents and the afternoons favourite. Nick said “It was a privilege and a pleasure to share some of our best-loved

wines with the Barchester residents, it was a whistle-stop tour but hopefully we gave everyone a good flavour of some of the different styles on offer from a lovely dry Asti right through to fruity Rioja,” This tasting was really interesting, (not to mention delicious!) because it showcased so many different styles of wines from countries around the world. General Manager, Louise said: “Our residents do enjoy a glass of wine with their lunch or dinner and they love to try new styles so the tasting went down an absolute treat. We accompanied the wine with a selection of cheeses and crackers. It was very interesting to learn which wines pair well with different foods, our residents are looking forward to trying out Nick and Lee’s recommendations.” Mary Dodsworth resident at Ashcombe said “ It was a lovely afternoon doing something I have never done before, the rose was my favourite and I will be having that again.” At Ashcombe house we have a varied life enrichment programme with daily activities and special events, something for everyone.


Company Insolvencies Surge By 70% As Government Support Tails Off Insolvency figures released today for August 2021* by the Government’s Insolvency Service show a 71% increase in corporate insolvencies compared to the same month last year (1348 in August 2021 and 788 in August 2020). Insolvencies are also similar to the number registered two years previously (pre-pandemic; 1,336 in August 2019). Leading restructuring and insolvency professional, Oliver Collinge from PKF GM said: “The surge in corporate insolvency numbers is not surprising. The last couple of months have seen the lifting of the final lockdown restrictions and many businesses in the region will now have to start making payments in relation to their BBLS and CBILS loans as well as deferred HMRC liabilities. “We expect the numbers to continue to rise as furlough comes to an end this month, which will put further cash flow pressure on some companies. The government’s moratorium on the use of winding up petitions is also being lifted at the end of September (albeit with some modest remaining protection designed to support smaller businesses) which will likely cause a substantial increase in creditors taking recovery action. “There will be multiple added pressures on businesses in the coming months, particularly those that weren’t in robust financial health before Covid, so it’s critical businesses act early and seek advice if they are struggling now, or think cash flow may be squeezed in coming months. The earlier they act, the more options they’ll have to continue trading and recover.”

Additional Government support announced as moratorium lifted As temporary restrictions on the use of certain creditor enforcement actions are lifted at the end of September, namely the moratorium on issuing winding up petitions, it is inevitable that insolvency numbers will return at least to pre-pandemic levels relatively soon and possibly higher for a period of time as creditors will be able to enforce their rights again. However last week the Government announced it was introducing additional measures to restrict the use of winding up petitions when the moratorium ends. This will provide additional protection to SMEs and commercial tenants. These will:

Protect businesses from creditors pursuing relatively small debts by temporarily raising the minimum debt level for a winding-up petition to £10,000 or more; and Require creditors to seek repayment proposals from debtor companies, allowing 21 days for a response before they can go ahead with a winding up petition. Existing restrictions will remain in place on commercial landlords, which prevent winding up petitions against tenants for payment of arrears of commercial rent. Each of the above measures are temporary and will be in force until 31 March 2022. Oliver Collinge added: “There are plenty of proactive things you can do now to build resilience into your business for the post-Covid economy; don’t leave it too late. Having a restructuring professional guide you through the process can be invaluable in getting the best outcome and will also help you understand and mitigate your risk as a director.” “For those businesses who have recently reopened, now may be the time to begin negotiations with landlords and creditors to develop manageable repayment plans. Will revenues be high enough to support your cost base? Will cash flows be sufficient to deal with the additional debt burden (both formal and informal) that has accrued during lockdown? Perhaps a CVA is something which should be considered or, where you may need to take the difficult decision to make redundancies to survive, consider applying for government funding to meet the short term cash impact of this.”

Opening Up About Incontinence

(Urology Week 20 – 24 September 2021)

This year, the European Association of Urology (EAU)’s Urology Week is shining the spotlight on incontinence because it is still such a taboo subject, with many people struggling to talk to a health professional, partner or even a friend about it. Research by Ontex certainly supports this with 48% of women interviewed saying they were too embarrassed to talk to their friends about it and 82% saying the word they associate with bladder weakness is embarrassment. Women are also more embarrassed to talk to

their partner about bladder weakness than any other health condition including constipation, IBS, weight/body image, snoring and sex. Karen Irwin, Manager and Specialist Nurse for Bladder & Bowel UK comments, “In our modern society it’s surprising that attitudes towards bladder weakness still aren’t really evolving and women don’t even feel they can talk to each other about it. I can’t stress enough that there really isn’t anything to be embarrassed about and just how important it is for women, and men, to see advice and solutions if it’s holding them back and impacting their lives in ways that these results show.” For the one in three women who suffer from incontinence in the UK, it can be a minefield trying to work out which product to buy. Fortunately, the iD Intime range has a product for all levels of incontinence and received 4.6/5 in Talk Health Reviews. iD Intime provides maximum protection and the low waist has been designed with discretion as well as comfort in mind, absorbing eight times its own weight, so that women won’t even know they’re wearing it. The innovative hipster shape brings a perfect fit that works with any outfit, to provide a comfortable sensation and maximum wear-ability for the user. The thin core means that women will never feel a bulky sensation when wearing Intime. With advanced odour control and dry-wear technology, iD Intime delivers 10 hours of freshness and a seamless fit with cotton-like fabric so it looks and feels like regular underwear. The double anti-leak barriers are made up of anti-leak cuffs have

been combined with soft hydrophobic (waterproof) side elastics that form a cup shape and fit securely to the body to provide maximum protection against leakage. What’s more, iD Intime has received rave reviews through a partnership with Talk Health and received an overall rating of 4.6/5 stars. Here’s what the testing panel thought about the product: I was pleasantly surprised by the iD Intime pants as to how comfortable and soft they felt. They fitted really well and provided me with a good level of dryness during the night. They also kept me odour free. I would recommend to anyone who has leakage problems. 5/5 These are the best pads that I have every used. I can be assured that I will be able to do my everyday tasks knowing that I will not leak and have any embarrassing moments. These are very comfortable to wear and would simply recommend them to anybody who have leakage problems. A product worth buying. Thank you. 5/5 Loved these products. Found them very absorbent and comfortable to wear. They fit perfectly and I had no leaks or odour from them. Very discreet under clothing and feminine to wear. I will be purchasing these products in future and would highly recommend. 5/5 Intime starts from £8.99 (pack of 12) and is available in Normal, Plus and Super absorbency. It can be purchased at, a wide selection of online retailers and independent retailers nationwide.

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 socialdistancing 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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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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 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.

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.

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,

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

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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:

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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.

employees, 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,

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. CALL NOW FOR A QUOTE

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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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