The Carer Digital - Issue #80

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T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 80

Government Urged to Relax Immigration Rules for Care Workers

The government is being urged to relax rules for care worker jobs to alleviate “severe and increasing difficulties” the adult social care sector is facing with recruitment and retention. In its annual report, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which directs the Government on immigration, advised that the jobs be made eligible for the Health and Care Visa and placed on the shortage occupation list (SOL). The committee explained that making care workers eligible for the Health and

Care Workers Visa and placing them on the SOL would allow employers to sponsor care workers subject to a minimum salary of £20,480 per year, equivalent to £10.10 per hour for a full-time worker. It has also called on the government to consider making the immigration system more accessible for adult social care SMEs, who may not be registered as sponsors or for whom the cost of the immigration route is too high.

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VIEWPOINT I am old enough to remember the saying “A week is a long time in politics”, I just looked it up just to confirm that it was Harold Wilson who said it in the 1960s, but turns out there is no evidence he actually did! Nevertheless, I am sure every politician would agree with it. This has been a terrible week for the Prime Minister, and I suspect it isn’t over yet. Last night (December 14) MPs voted to make it a requirement for NHS and social care staff to Editor have been vaccinated against coronavirus. They voted 385 to 100 in favour of the regulations which set a deadline for all workers to be jabbed by April 2022. The regulation was passed with a majority of 285, with 61 Conservative and 22 Labour MPs voting against the measure. Care home workers in England were previously told they must be fully vaccinated by November 11, which led to a surge in unvaccinated carers, who were in the minority, to get vaccinated. However, it also led to thousands leaving the sector. Figures released for the first seven days following the change in rules revealed there were 3,743 fewer people working in the care sector. That might not seem a lot to the wider public, but to anybody who works in care sector it is a concerning amount and very harmful to the sector. Personally, I think the ramifications surrounding NHS staff and mandatory vaccines will be far greater than the ramifications surrounding care staff and mandatory vaccinations. Last night’s vote saw MPs on both sides of the house vote against the measure. Although the Health Secretary said that the mandatory vaccine has not caused any care homes to close, he made no mention of day-to-day operational difficulties, how difficult it is to recruit staff into the sector and the impact the policy is having on the mental well-being of staff. That, of course, is far too early to assess, and I hope the Health Secretary is mindful of that when the results are revealed. It is also good news, given the above, that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) are recommending that the government relaxes its immigration rules and puts care workers on the shortage occupation list (SOL). This has only just been announced, and, at the time of writing, we have only had a couple of quotes from industry observers, but the recommendations have been well received. The government has put itself quite a difficult position with mandatory vaccine policy in the care sector and I suspect that will be the same with the NHS. So, it would be fair to say, that these recommendations are urgently needed, and the government really does need to act swiftly. Your festive fun stories are coming in thick and fast now, thank you, and if ever we needed to put a bit of cheer back into our lives then now is that time, so please do keep them coming, and watch out for a very special prize in the New Year for our best Christmas story! We all here at the carer will take this opportunity to wish a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Thank you for all your support this year and we do hope you find our enclosed year planner useful! And please do keep your is coming in, anything you would like to share please do send it to me at editor@thecareruk.com

Peter Adams

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 3

Government Urged to Relax Immigration Rules for Care Workers (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER)

“The harm is exacerbated by the increasing numbers of asylum seekers who are having to wait over six months for an initial decision on their application.”

The MAC said this could include using the Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund to reduce the financial cost of recruitment through the immigration system. In July 2021, the MAC was commissioned by the government to undertake a review of adult social care and the impact the ending of freedom of movement has had on the sector, and was specifically been asked to investigate the impact on: • the adult social care workforce (such as skills shortages) covering the range of caring roles in adult social care including care workers, registered nurses and managerial roles • visa options for social care workers • long term consequences for workforce recruitment, training and employee terms and conditions • any other relevant matters the independent chair deems appropriate which are relevant to the above objectives The MAC is due to report back to the government by the end of April 2022. The shortage occupation list is detailed in Appendix Shortage Occupation List of the UK Immigration Rules, and comprises those roles considered by the UK Government to be in short supply within the UK resident labour market. Under the points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to come to the UK to work. The primary route is the new Skilled Worker visa, which replaces the Tier 2 (General) visa. The MAC’s annual report said: “We are currently in the middle of a commission investigating the impact of the ending of freedom of movement on the adult social care sector. “We provide an update in this report on our preliminary findings and unusually are taking the opportunity to make a formal recommendation to the Government. “Given the severe and increasing difficulties the sector is facing in terms of both recruitment and retention, we are recommending that care worker jobs immediately be made eligible for the Health and Care Visa and placed on the shortage occupation list.” The committee also recommended that the Government to “review the ban on employment for asylum seekers”. “There is clear evidence of the harm that this causes, some of which we document in this report, and little evidence that we are aware of that it provides significant benefits,” the MAC said.

MAC chairman Professor Brian Bell said: “Short-term fixes are not always the solution for the UK economy, however they can be important in ensuring sectors with urgent needs can access the staff they need quickly. “We have outlined plans on how the Government can change their approach to short-term visas and also propose changes to address some of the challenges facing the social care sector. Care England has welcomed the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Care England has long called for care workers to be on the Shortage Occupation List and is therefore very pleased that the Migration Advisory Committee has put forward this very important recommendation to Government. There is an acute workforce shortage in adult social care now so this recommendation cannot be enacted fast enough”. MAC chair Professor Brian Bell added: “Short-term fixes are not always the solution for the UK economy, however they can be important in ensuring sectors with urgent needs can access the staff they need quickly. “We have outlined plans on how the Government can change their approach to short-term visas and also propose changes to address some of the challenges facing the social care sector." Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, and chair of the Cavendish Coalition, said: “The Cavendish Coalition of social care and health organisations welcome this hugely important intervention from the MAC. “That they are recommending the addition of care workers to the shortage occupation list months in advance of their planned report to parliament reinforces the seriousness of the workforce crisis facing social care. I cannot understate the seriousness of the position our colleagues in social care find themselves in following the post-Brexit immigration rules and the pandemic. “Whilst increased international recruitment is not the only intervention that is required, we call on the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to act immediately to implement this recommendation together with an additional alteration of the associated minimum salary requirements.”

159 Organisations Call on PM to Protect Human Rights Law The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) has signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, alongside

demic the Government then swung dramatically to the other extreme, imposing severe restrictions on

159 organisations, challenging him to secure our human rights protections in the UK. We are concerned that

movements in and out of care homes for residents and their families. For people already in vulnerable situa-

the Government is reviewing the Human Rights Act, particularly during a global pandemic which has seen

tions the harm has been devastating, including to lives, wellbeing, liberty and autonomy.

the rights of older people undermined by the Government’s mismanagement of the virus. The letter is published on Human Rights Day, marked across the globe each year on 10 December. Highlighting the disproportionate and discriminatory effects of the pandemic and government measures on

For Frances, 100 years old and living in care, the isolation she faces means her care home “doesn’t feel like my home” and she pleas “give me back my human rights and freedom the same as the rest of the country. I fought for our freedom!” R&RA produced a video sharing her story of living through COVID in care.

too many, including people living in care, the letter calls for recovery to be focused on upholding human

Rather than reviewing the law which protects our human rights in the UK, the Government should be put-

rights. Yet this week the Justice Secretary restated the Government’s intention to consult on the future of

ting their energy into ending the human rights crisis in care they have overseen for the past 21 months. With

the Human Rights Act. The timing of this review is incredibly troubling, as people in care are facing the most sustained and catastrophic attack on their human rights we’ve ever seen. Having put lives at risk at the beginning of the pan-

a public inquiry around the corner, it is not too late to learn from mistakes and ensure our route out of the pandemic is fair, united and just. Human rights were born out of crisis in the aftermath of WWII, they can help us out of this one.


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Leadership and Staff Retention in the Care Sector

By Brian Boxall-Hunt – CEO of the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society (www.royalalfredseafarers.co.uk)

Executive. Brian shares his thoughts for leading a happy and long-serving team, which he is currently privileged to have.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE As well as being a strategic thinker and hopefully one step ahead, a good leader in my opinion communicates well and listens to their team; making the necessary bold decisions whilst inspiring and empowering others to be the best they can be. At Belvedere House we have been providing housing, residential and excellent nursing care to former seafarers, their widows and dependants for 156 years. We know that this could not be achieved without having a strong leadership team and the right people in place who dedicate so much time and effort to caring for our residents with compassion, warmth and understanding.

A CAREER, NOT JUST A JOB According to the recent Skills for Care report, the adult care industry contributes £50.3bn to the UK economy and provides five per cent of all employment in England, however employers are struggling to meet the present demand, with 112,000 vacancies and 430,000 leavers in the last 12 months. The care sector is crucial for the wellbeing of our ageing population as well as the many careers that it provides, but how can leaders of care homes attract and retain talent? As an officer in the Royal Navy, Brian Boxall-Hunt developed leadership skills over a 35 year career that he has carried with him throughout his subsequent second career. For the last 15 years, he has been “commanding” a different ship at maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society – and its care home, Belvedere House – where he is Chief

The Royal Alfred is passionate about its people, and we understand that we could not do what we do without our excellent team of staff around us. We support our colleagues by investing in everyone’s careers from day one. We hire with a path in mind for each individual and ensure that every colleague has the tools to grow in their careers – and importantly, suitably reward progress and qualification. A key benefit for new recruits is a strong programme of training and wellbeing support. Having staff that are equipped with the necessary qualifications, skills and support not only increases efficiency, but can sustain high morale and enables colleagues to feel empowered and valued in their roles.

RECRUIT FROM WITHIN Recruiting for roles from within wherever possible is a simple way of

maintaining low staff turnover rates and showcasing to your team that you believe in their abilities and want them to succeed in their careers. This is a strategy that has enabled us to maintain consistently low staff turnover at the Society. Having an internal recruitment policy and a culture of support is important because it makes colleagues feel valued, lowers staff turnover and ultimately ensures a continual high level of care for residents.

RETAINING STAFF One of the keys to any successful care home is a capable, dedicated workforce, and building and nurturing a long-serving team plays a huge part in creating this. These people are integral to a care home environment because they foster relationships and trust with residents over time, getting to know them on a personal level, and can therefore tailor care to individuals based on this knowledge. Each year we are proud to host Long Service Awards celebrating colleagues who mark their tenyear, or more, anniversaries with us – we’ve even had some serve for over 30 years and up to 50 years! Conducting regular staff satisfaction surveys is one way the Society’s leadership team ensures colleagues are happy in their roles and feel fulfilled. The happier and more looked after employees feel, the more likely they are to consider their role a career and not ‘just a job’. We would encourage other care providers to put into place as much training and support as they are able to in order to recruit and retain colleagues. All in all, I have found that leaders must strive to create an environment where all employees feel valued, listened to and supported in their professional development in order to retain staff.

St Fillans Claim Street Tag Glory The people living at St Fillans Care Home in Colchester were presented with a trophy this week after winning the Street Tag competition hosted by FaNs (Friends and Neighbours Network). Street Tag is an app that encourages people to take part in physical exercise by rewarding them with points when they collect virtual tags. The app also converts their steps into points and the person/team with the most points at the end of the competition period wins a prize! The people living at St Fillans have been interacting with the app using devices at the home to earn as many points as they can. There was lots of competition as many other

care home groups and members of the community were taking part in the challenge, but St Fillans managed to top the leader board with a whopping 600,000 points! This week, the team at St Fillans were presented with their award by Tony from the FaNs network. They were awarded with a special trophy for their effort and congratulated for topping the leader board. The people living at St Fillan’s enjoy getting involved in events that involve the community, so taking part in this recent challenge has been fun for everyone. They were even more excited to win the competition and be announced as the Street Tag winners.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 5

Cut-off Date for Care Home Workers to Self-Certify a Temporary Medical Exemption Extended to 31 March 2022 Workers within CQC-regulated care homes in England had until 24th December to provide official evidence of a permanent medical exemption or face being redeployed or dismissed from their jobs. However, the Government has now extended the deadline for providing medical certification to the 31st of March 2022. Alan Price is CEO at BrightHR. He says: “Many care homes will be breathing a sigh of relief at the news of this extension. With Omicron on the increase, the busy Christmas season upon us and the booster jab drive in full flow, the last thing any employer wanted was to lose part of their workforce from Christmas Eve. “Naturally the booster jab drive takes priority when it comes to NHS and GP resources, but this means that employees could have struggled to get the medical certification they needed to keep their jobs after having self-certified as exempt. This new deadline means that the pressure is lifted, at least temporarily. “Employers should hopefully know exactly how many of their employees this rule would apply to and be having ongoing conversations with these employees. It’s important employers also have discussions with anyone who is temporarily away from work such as those on a career break, maternity, or long-term sick leave, as well as with anyone who needs to enter the care home for work, for example hairdressers and occupation therapists, to let them know they will also need to show proof of their vaccination status or exemption.

“Care homes must ensure they keep an updated record of the date they checked the vaccinations or exemption status for both staff members and those carrying out work inside the care home (unless they’re exempt from checks). “If someone does have a medical exemption, this reason should not be recorded to ensure confidentiality of medical information and to comply with UK data protection law. The exception to this would be pregnant employees, where the medical exemption only lasts until 16 weeks after the child has been born. “Self-certification forms will continue to be valid until 31 March 2022, so long as they have been received before 24 December 2021. Care home providers should strongly encourage staff to use the Government’s official self-certification form, but others can be accepted if necessary. “From 1 April 2022, workers will either need to show proof of a formal medical exemption via the NHS Covid Pass Service or be fully vaccinated against Covid, in order to comply with the regulation and continue working in a CQC-regulated care home. “Care home workers who wish to apply for a formal medical exemption should do so as soon as possible and inform their employer of the outcome of their application once they receive it.”

Home of Compassion Hosts Dominic Raab MP

Dominic Raab, the Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton, helped the staff and residents of Home of Compassion to kick off a busy month of Christmas activities in style this week. During his visit, Mr Raab had the opportunity to chat with residents, the Home Manager and care staff, who took him through the wide range of facilities, hospitality and lifestyle activities on

offer at the home, which provides residential, nursing, palliative and dementia care for up to 78 residents. Mr Raab said of his visit: “It was great to visit the Home of Compassion on Friday. Social care settings across Elmbridge have had a really tough time during the pandemic – so this was a good opportunity to personally thank all of the staff for the exceptional efforts they’ve made, and chat to some of the residents. Thank you to everyone at Home of Compassion for such a warm welcome.” The visit came just a few months after the home was awarded a Good rating in its latest CQC inspection, with inspectors praising the “kind, thoughtful and respectful team of staff who know the residents well.” Home of Compassion Manager, Rose O’Mara said: “Everyone at the Home of Compassion was very proud to welcome our MP to the home and show him our fantastic care and hospitality facilities. I want to say a big thank you to Mr. Raab on behalf of our residents and staff for making it such a special day. It was lovely for us all to have the chance to meet Mr. Raab and tell him about the events we run with the local community; he was very interested in the range of lifestyle activities that are on offer here at Home of Compassion.”

Memories Shared Thro’ Song. Joan Palmer: Soprano. A CD with songs from ‘My Fair Lady’,‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Cats’ and many more, together with an accompanying booklet which describes how the programme can be used for: • An interactive music and group participation entertainment. • One to one music and conversation. • Musical reminiscence therapy for dementia sufferers. www.dementiaandmusic.com joan@dementiaandmusic.com Mobile: 07393 961388


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The Different Complexities And Solutions To Ensuring Care Home Residents Get Appropriate Levels of Sleep By Leni Wood, Nutrition and Wellness Manager at Nellsar (www.nellsar.com) Sleep is an essential function of our everyday lives. It allows our body and mind to recharge while leaving us refreshed and alert when we wake up. Optimum sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Moreover, a lack of sleep can impair our ability to concentrate, think clearly and process memories. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. According to the NHS, most adults require between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Approximately one in three people suffer from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often contributing factors. In addition, the NHS reports that after several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. Also, it’s common for sleep deprivation to lead to a lack of motivation, feeling down throughout the day and being prone to sporadically falling asleep (1). With that in mind, getting enough sleep can be a major supporting factor in our quality of life and overall well-being. There are many benefits to promoting sleep through diet and well-being, which include: • Helping to feel more refreshed the next day • Preventing falls • Reducing feelings of anxiety • Lifting mood and overall well-being • Supporting the immune system to work better. Working as a nutrition and wellness specialist in elderly social care means that I come across many people over 65 who are living with health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia which can disrupt sleep patterns and prevent some people from settling comfortably for the night. I work closely with residents and teams on implementing bedtime routines for an array of individuals.

SLEEP TRIAL Catherine Singh, the Home Manager at Lulworth House Residential Care Centre, approached me to ask if I

would help advise her on a sleep trial she wanted to run in the Home. The consensus was to implement holistic practices to the evening to help those residents who found it difficult to settle and sleep through the night. The trial outcomes stemmed from staff observations and whether or not they noticed changes in residents who would usually struggle to sleep through the night. We based our findings on these observations as many residents were unable to give feedback on whether they noticed a difference in their sleep quality. The aim was to adapt their environment by introducing salt lamps which are known to help induce the sleep hormone melatonin. We also implemented diffusers using essential oils to diffuse relaxing scents, such as lavender. We offered drinks and foods throughout the night-time tea round known to help calm and settle. Here we share some of the tips and ingredients we adopted to help support sleep: • Decaffeinated teas and coffees made available after 6pm, which included herbal teas, such as chamomile. • Milky drinks such as hot chocolate, Horlicks and Ovaltine were made with milk and not water. The density of the milk can help some people feel fuller for longer and can help with a settled feeling through the night. • Protein-rich foods and snacks to ensure residents felt fuller for longer. Protein can be found in meat and fish, natural yoghurt, eggs, nuts and seeds. • Oats high in carbs with fibre have been reported to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Our bedtime flapjacks went down a treat! In addition, to reap the benefits of sleep-enhancing foods and drinks, it may be best to consume them 2-3 hours before bed. Eating immediately before going to sleep can cause digestive issues, such as acid reflux. The trial ran for six weeks and feedback was extremely positive. When questioned whether the food and drink offered made a difference, staff agreed they saw a noticeable change in many residents who are known to have trouble sleeping through the night. Additionally, a small proportion showed reduced symptoms of stress and were more settled, sleeping better and for longer.

GENERAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL AGES To conclude, we can all benefit from being mindful of the positive effects associated with sleep. This informal trial showed us that with a few simple adjustments, we can improve the quality of sleep for some elderly people living with Dementia and, in turn, the overall quality of life. If you would like to learn more about sleep and wellness in social care, visit www.nellsar.com. References (1)https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/

TLC Benefit from Tympa's All-in-One Hearing Health Assessment System TLC Care provides care to hundreds of residents across North London, Hertfordshire, Cambridge and Surrey. Many residents in care homes suffer from hearing loss without being diagnosed, they may be completely unaware of their condition. Sometimes the residents who suffer from hearing loss are at risk of withdrawing from activities in daily life as they find it hard to engage with other residents and family members. One of the biggest problems faced in the care sector is access to specialist services, such as ear and hearing health services. Care home staff lack the training and tools necessary to assess residents’ ears, so they must organise GP and hospital appointments. This requires extra staffing time and cost, increases the risk of falls, outside infection and distress to the resident, especially if they have dementia. What’s more, because the NHS is under a lot of pressure at the moment, most patients are facing substantial wait times before they can attend their appointment. “There has always been a problem getting any sort of services because they are not classed as emergency services, getting somebody's hearing loss checked, it can take weeks, or even months.” – Pradeep D’Cruz, TLC Care Home Manager TLC Care continuously strive to deliver outstanding care and enhanced wellbeing to their residents. They were the first care operator in England to look for a better way to deliver this care to their residents. They wanted an innovative solution to provide in-house ear and hearing healthcare for their residents. As a result, TLC decided to trial the Tympa system – a portable, allin-one hearing health assessment device. It enables residents to undergo digital otoscopy, microsuction wax removal and a hearing screener all in the comfort of the care home. TLC team members deliver the service so the resident already knows and trusts that person, and is happy to undergo an assessment. What’s more, residents can receive this care from anywhere within the home, whether that be

expertise from Tympa’s team of Audiology and ENT experts. If a review is requested, an Audiologist or ENT will look at the patient’s images and video and can provide support with diagnosis, and guidance given. This means residents have access to specialist care without the need to wait for and attend an outpatient appointment. It is even possible to send images and video of a resident’s ear directly to a GP, who is then able to prescribe directly, without the need to assess the resident in person or wait for an appointment. Thanks to this innovative new solution TLC can now provide an extra level of care to residents. It’s not just wax removal, but cleaning and maintaining hearing aids, carrying out regular hearing assessments, and providing instant access to care when needed. Residents remain engaged and active in the care home community and staff can more easily communicate with residents, making their job much easier. from an armchair, a wheelchair, or in bed. In doing so, many of the associated risks of attending outpatient appointments can be avoided. “The familiar surroundings is what really makes her comfortable…every time we mention the hospital to her, it’s no, no I’m not going to the hospital. So having it looked after here and having some people that understand what the problem with the ear is, is a great thing for me.” – Son of TLC Care Resident Delivering this service not only helps to provide an extra level of care for residents but offers a unique upskilling opportunity for care home staff. TLC team members were directly trained by TympaHealth, who are a team of Audiology and ENT experts. Once signed off, TLC team members are empowered to deliver this service to their residents. What’s more they are accredited by ENT UK, The British Society of Audiology (BSA) and The British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA). Arguably, the most important part of this in-house service is the “remote review” feature. If required, TLC team members can call upon

After a successful trial using the Tympa system, TLC are now expanding from 3 homes to all TLC Care homes. It has been an overwhelming success and the residents, staff and family members all approve of the new service. The Tympa system is revolutionising the way care home residents access ear and hearing health services. Bringing these services into the home ensures residents receive outstanding care whilst minimising any risks. The aim should be for this approach to be adopted more widely across the care sector so more residents can benefit from vastly improved ear and hearing health. Find out how you can bring TympaHealth services to your care home at tympahealth.io/TheCarer or by contacting enquiries@tympahealth.com and one of the Tympa team will be in touch. You can see the Tympa system in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDysiNR7_n0


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Say Hello to the Carer’s Latest Unsung Hero… SUZANNE GOODMAN

ly thrilled to hear that their hard work and dedication has been recognised. Being an activities and lifestyle mentor for one home is a difficult enough job and Suzanne is lifestyle and activities mentor for 5!” “She has introduced some wonderful initiatives during these difficult times and has developed a strong understanding of how teams can and should work together across all levels and support each other within the care home setting.” Here are just some of the activities Suzanne has

introduced:; Team’s pets visiting during Covid Maintained connections with local schools and stayed in touch through becoming Pen pals Supported residents to enter & win the Christmas Card competition 2021 Encouraged residents to maintain hobbies and skills in task-based activities. Brought the beach to Chamberlain during lockdown in

a Hawaiian themed day. Evidence of encouraging exercise for the residents during lockdown. The residents created miniature gardens to maintain in their rooms Well done Suzanne! We here at The Carer are delighted to award worthy winner Suzanne a luxury “celebration” hamper packed full of all those delightful luxury extras that make any celebration a truly memorable occasion, containing an a assortment of extravagant comestibles that are sure to delight the senses and tickle the palate! It has become increasingly more difficult over the years to pick an overall winner, and we are delighted to add some “unofficial” Marks & Spencer vouchers as runner-up prizes.

We here at the CARER are thrilled to announce that Suzanne Goodman from Chamberlain Court Care home in Kent, a regional activities and lifestyle mentor for five Hallmark homes is our latest Unsung Hero! Suzanne deliver’s induction training on the introduction to relationship-centred care and the Lifestyles tree of life strategy, and as a Dementia champion, provides information sessions for new team members and in the community. Over the past year and through the difficulties of the pandemic Suzanne “worked flat out” to keep the groups residents’ spirits up, keeping them busy and entertained, organising a range of activities that target the mind, body and soul. As a dementia champion Suzanne uses the Montessori method when communicating with residents living with dementia, which is based upon preparing the environment and tailoring activities to ensure the person succeeds in understanding what is being delivered. General manager Judy Heathfield Eliott said: “We were delighted to nominate Suzanne and absolute-

Sandra McGale: Larkfield View Care Home in Greenock Denise Mensah: Chestnut View Care Home Lion Green Haslemere Surrey Prity Somani: Cherrytree Care Home, situated in Countesthorpe, Leicestershire. Vesela Petrova: Whitgift House South Croydon Ange Booth: Runwood House 107 London Road Hadleigh, Essex A £25 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way! Well done to you all!!! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response, it may sound tired old cliché, but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody! Watch out for further details of our next “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury celebration hamper!


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Covid ‘Plan B’ Restrictions: Can Employers Force Employees To Be Vaccinated? From Monday 13 December 2021, workers in England must work from home if possible as part of new rules introduced by the government to limit the spread of the Covid Omicron variant. But can the businesses that need employees in the workplace force them to be vaccinated? Damian Kelly, partner and head of the employment law practice at Lodders Solicitors (www.lodders.co.uk.), explains. “Other than employers of care home staff, employers have no legislative right to require staff to be vaccinated. “In other sectors, employers who try to mandate staff vaccinations are running a high risk of Employment Tribunal claims, including claims for unlawful discrimination”, explains Damian. “Increasingly, employers are seeing value in introducing Vaccination Policies which, whilst falling short of requiring mandatory vaccinations, encourage their staff to get vaccinated and set out various means by which they will be supported in doing so.”

“For care homes and their staff, The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were approved on 22nd July 2021, and made it mandatory for a person working or providing professional services in a care home to have the Covid-19 vaccine from the 11th of November 2021. “Vaccines for care home workers are therefore now compulsory unless the person has provided clinical reasons why he or she cannot be vaccinated. Religious and philosophical beliefs do not suffice, and the new regulations apply to England only.” He adds: “Employers should give careful consideration to the drafting of a Vaccination Policy and the way in which it is communicated and implemented across their workforces. Important issues for consideration are likely to include timing, confidentiality, time off measures and fair procedures for dismissals should they be necessary.”

Local Care Home Switches On First Christmas Lights Members of the Poole community joined residents and staff at local care home, Upton Bay, Hamworthy, for their Christmas Light Switch On celebration, marking the start of the home’s first Christmas. Residents, families and guests gathered together in the gardens to witness the lighting up of Upton Bay’s outdoor festive decorations, including two Nordmann fir trees. Following the countdown by Pat Bullock, Chair of Friends of Hamworthy Park, the crowd dived into homemade mulled wine from Upton Bay’s Chef, Mark Jeffries, and a selection of artisan mince pies. Organised by Home Advisor, Sophie Payne, Upton Bay is running a raffle throughout December, for the chance to win a luxury Christmas Hamper, with all proceeds donated to the Hamworthy Community Food Store, situated in Turlin Moor. “It’s lovely that a care home this size is using its resources to give something to local people, especially the community food store which is vital for a lot of our families this time of year,” commented Pat.

Newcastle Care Home Residents Have Fun ‘Horsing Around Residents at Kenton Hall care home in Kenton Lane, Newcastle welcomed Mr P the miniature horse for his first post-lockdown Christmas visit. With a nod to the festive season, Mr P and owner Katy Smith dressed for the occasion to bring a smile to the faces of the residents. The chestnut and white visitor, part of KL Pony Therapy & Events, and his Kenton Hall friends had a great afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Research has confirmed that equine therapy has many benefits. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, alleviates stress, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Home manager Steve Robson said: “It was such a joy to welcome Mr P and Katy into our home.

“We have really missed the many friends who came to visit before Covid stopped it all, and Mr P is a firm favourite. The residents had a fantastic time, and the Christmas theme was the perfect start to the festive season, which we all love to celebrate.” Katy Smith said: “Mr P and I very much enjoyed our visit to Kenton Hall and getting into the Christmas spirt. As we have not been able to do our usual festive visits for the last two years it’s great to be back. “K L Pony Therapy has missed all the residents and staff, so it has been lovely to dress up in the Elf Rug especially made and reindeer horns for Mr P. and myself dressed up as well. To see all the smiles, laughter, chatter and have time with all the residents is priceless and so very important at this time of year. A huge thank you for having us.”

UK’s Most Vulnerable People to Receive LifeSaving Covid-19 Treatments in the Community Thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable people will be among the first in the world to access life-saving, cutting-edge antiviral and antibody treatments from today, the Prime Minister has announced (Wednesday 8 December). A national study ‘PANORAMIC’, run by the University of Oxford in close collaboration with GP hubs, has now launched and is recruiting around 10,000 UK patients at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to have the opportunity to take the treatment molnupiravir at home after receiving a positive PCR test. Those at highest risk who test positive for the virus – for example, people who are immunocompromised, cancer patients or those with Down’s syndrome – will also be able to access either molnupiravir or the novel monoclonal antibody Ronapreve outside of the study from 16 December. This will ensure the treatments can help protect those most at risk from the virus over the winter months, reducing the number of hospitalisations and therefore pressures on the NHS. This will be significant for those who have compromised immune systems and for whom the vaccines can therefore be less effective. Molnupiravir has shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death for at-risk, non-hospitalised adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 30% and Ronapreve reduced the risk by 70%. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The UK is a world-leader in rolling out innovative treatments to the patients who need them and today is a historic milestone in our battle against the virus, deploying the first medicines vulnerable people will be able to take outside of hospital and in the comfort of their own

homes to protect themselves. “This opens up a new era for the treatment of COVID-19, one where we can begin to cover every phase of contracting this deadly disease – whether it be before you catch it, just after you catch it, if you develop symptoms or if you require hospital care. “If you’re eligible, please sign up to the study as soon as possible and play your part in history.” National study for molnupiravir The study, which is currently for molnupiravir, has been launched today to allow medical experts to gather further data on the potential benefits this treatment brings to vaccinated patients, and will help the NHS to develop plans for rolling out the antiviral to further patients next year. It’s open to anyone in the UK, provided they: • receive a positive PCR test; • feel unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 that started in the last five days; and • are aged 50 and over or 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition that puts them more at risk of severe COVID-19. If eligible, people who receive a positive PCR test will be contacted by the study team or a local healthcare professional, for example their GP, to sign up to the trial. Alternatively, people can sign up themselves through the study’s website. It is crucial that eligible participants enrol in the study urgently to ensure that they have the opportunity to access antiviral treatments within the first five days of COVID-19 symptoms. Taking part in the study will require participants to complete a daily

diary for 28 days through the PANORAMIC website or receive a phone call from the trial team on days 7, 14 and 28 to speak about their symptoms. The first set of results from the trial are anticipated in early 2022. Targeted deployment of molnupiravir and Ronapreve For treatment access outside of the study, those in the highest risk group will be informed by the NHS if they have a condition that will make them eligible to receive these treatments, should they test positive for COVID-19. The eligible cohorts have been determined by an independent expert group commissioned by DHSC and included in a clinical policy agreed by all four Chief Medical Officers in the UK. These patients will be able to keep a PCR test at home from NHS Test and Trace to support rapid testing, so they can access the treatments as soon as possible after symptoms begin. Eligible patients who receive a positive test will be assessed over the phone by an expert clinician from an NHS COVID Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU), who will review and discuss with the patient what the most appropriate treatment would be for them. Those being prescribed a monoclonal antibody treatment will be invited to attend the CMDU, while those receiving molnupiravir can either get someone to collect it for them or have it delivered to their home. The NHS has been setting up CMDUs since the summer. The government has secured 480,000 courses of molnupiravir from pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD). It has also secured 250,000 courses of the antiviral PF-07321332, which is currently has completed phase 3 trials.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 9

Support Package to Protect Care Sector this Winter Additional support is being offered to the social care sector as part of a package of new measures to protect people from the spread of the Omicron variant. Vaccines remain our best line of defence and the NHS will redouble efforts to reach those care home residents who haven’t yet had their boosters. Specialist vaccination teams are being expanded and deployed to guarantee all care home residents and staff, as well as people who are housebound and their caregivers, are offered the booster – with those most at risk prioritised for the jab. Care homes will be able to request follow up booster visits from vaccination teams for staff and residents and home visit payments for GPs will be increased to further ramp up the home care programme. More than 70% of older adult care home residents have already received a booster jab and 97% of older adult care homes have been visited by vaccination teams. Those who haven’t been visited, normally due to an outbreak, will receive visits shortly. Care workers will benefit from a £300 million extension, in addition to the £162.5 million announced in October, to support recruitment and retention. It can be used to pay for bonuses and bring forward planned pay rises for care staff, fund overtime and staff banks increasing workforce numbers up until the end of March. This will in turn help reduce pressure on the NHS this winter by alleviating delays to discharge – freeing up beds and ensuring people are being cared for in the right place. Recognising the importance of companionship for the health and wellbeing of residents, visits to care homes will continue under updated guidance that permits 3 visitors and an essential care giver per resident, in order to balance the current COVID-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice. Staff testing will be increased from 2 lateral flow tests per week to 3 as well as a weekly PCR test. Fully vaccinated residents visiting out will be asked to take a lateral flow test on alternate days for 2 weeks after a visit. Those not fully vaccinated will be expected to isolate following a visit out. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: Throughout the pandemic we have done everything we can to protect the adult social care sector, and the emergence of the Omicron variant means this is more important than ever. This new funding will support our incredible workforce by recruiting

new staff and rewarding those who have done so much during this pan- welcomed. The ambitions to turbo charge the programme for wider society must not risk limiting access to boosters for staff and residents, demic. and so renewed focus on boosters in care are very positive.” Boosting the booster rollout in social care and updating the visiting However, there are concerns about the implications of reintroducing guidance will help keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe restrictions around visiting. The numbers of visitors coming into care from the virus this winter. homes has only just been relaxed, and to immediately bring back limitaThe Omicron variant has led to infections doubling every 2 to 3 days and estimates by UKHSA of 10,000 cases with increased transmissibility. tions both for those visiting and for residents being out and about with family and community is a significant worry. Care settings will be given extra guidance for infection prevention Rayner continues: “New guidance issued by the government must and control measures and PPE. The government has already committed take very seriously the potential restrictions on individuals living within to providing free PPE in care and announced an additional £388 million care homes. It must not disproportionately limit access to family and to support testing and infection control in September. friends, both within and outside of the home, whilst the rest of society Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: continues to be encouraged to party and mingle without consequence.” Vaccination remains our best line of defence and we are going further and faster to ensure social care staff and those receiving care, whether in a care home or their own home, are prioritised for boosters. Our priority throughout the pandemic has been the safety of those who are the most vulnerable however we need to balance this with the tremendous benefits that visiting provides. These changes are in line with the latest clinical advice and are designed to support our fantastic social care staff in the months ahead. These measures support the government’s wider plan to improve social care. The ‘People at the Heart of Care’ white paper announced earlier this month, backed by £5.4 billion, provides a limit to the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system for the first time, and significantly increases state support. The transformed social care system will apply to people in both residential and at-home care and will set daily living costs at a lower rate than originally proposed, helping people save more money. It will mean nobody is forced to sell their homes in their lifetime. Further measures will be kept under review in line with the latest scientific advice. Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum said: “The additional £300m funding for the care workforce is extremely welcome. The crisis impacting on both recruitment and retention within care has been growing at an alarming rate, and this funding will be essential to enable providers to take action. It With a hidden towelling layer, it offers a dignified and attractive means of protecting is imperative that the funding gets straight to the front line in clothing from spills and it makes a beautiful and practical present. order that each and every care workers feel the benefit of this The lively patterns face the wearer and are intended to immediately. spark conversation and memories, as well as entertain. “In addition, the recognition of the additional steps needed Lots of gorgeous patterns to choose from. to ensure that the booster programme reaches the most vulnerable members of society and the care workforce are to be

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PAGE 10 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

Hidden Heroes: The Workers Who Dedicate Their Christmas To Looking After The Vulnerable

Christmas is just around the corner, and as the majority of Brits are looking forward to a festive feast around the table surrounded by loved ones, there are millions of hidden heroes among us dedicating their Christmas to looking after the vulnerable as they head to work on the big day. However, as seasonal workers across various sectors, including nursing, social care and hospitality prepare for Christmas in the workplace, a recent study by staff scheduling platform, Planday, reveals that more than a quarter of workers (27%) don’t believe their workplace has a positive impact on their mental health. With staff shortages sector-wide, now more than ever key workers need to be shown just how important and appreciated they are this Christmas. With this in mind, Planday spoke to numerous seasonal workers about working over Christmas, what it means to them and how they navigate through the festive season, as well as providing some ideas on how we can say thank you to the incredible key workers this festive season. Georgina, a staff nurse in Liverpool who is working Christmas day this year has shared how she still manages to celebrate: “This is my first year qualified, so it’s my first time working over Christmas, it’s all very new to me. We will be working our usual shift times starting at 07.30am and finishing at 8pm. With it being Christmas we try to make the day special for the patients as they too are away from their families, we decorate the ward with Christmas trees and decorations and try to make it as special as possible.” “In previous years I have been a student so we were lucky enough to have the festive season off. This year I am working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so I plan to travel home straight after work on Christmas Day to spend Christmas night and Boxing Day with my family in Cumbria. My family will still celebrate Christmas as normal on the day itself and I will join in when I get home. My mum has also promised me a Christmas dinner on Boxing Day so I’m not missing out on the best meal of the year!” Ali, a nurse working in palliative care, commented: “I care for children and young adults who have life-limiting conditions at a Children’s Hospice. We provide a whole range of services including respite care, end of life care, emotional and bereavement support and a homecare service. “My role is to care for our families when they are in the Hospice and

this includes the young person who is ill, looking after their clinical needs and their emotional well being when they are staying with us. As well as this, we ensure that the family have a lovely time doing activities and going out and about visiting all the brilliant events we have local to the Hospice, especially at Christmas! “There isn’t really a typical Christmas Day, as we never know what is going to happen but we are open 24 hours a day to all our families who we care for throughout the year and to any family who we might not know but who need us during the holiday period. For the children staying with us we try to make sure that they have as happy a day as possible with toys, food and activities with the Care team often dressed in our Christmas Jumpers and Santa hats! “I have been nursing for 40 years now and have lost count of the number of Christmases I have worked but I always love being with the children on Christmas Day and consider it a huge privilege to be with them at this special time of year. “My family are enormously supportive of my shifts and working unsocial hours. They know how important my work is to me and I just love working in Palliative Care. I work with an incredible team and there is a real feeling of being together and looking after each other as well as the children. When my own children were small it was a bit of a juggle but now that they are grown up it is much easier. “Nothing stops us from celebrating Christmas and we always have a lovely time together even though I am often working throughout the holiday. It is a time when I reflect on how fortunate I am to have a job that I love and to be a small part of these families’ lives. It just doesn’t get better than that!” Kaylee, a neonatal nurse on a level three neonatal unit shared her Christmas experience: “A typical Christmas Day at work is just like any other day for us, babies definitely don’t favour any day of the year! We look after very premature babies to term babies who require help and support; the support can vary from breathing and feeding to temperature and infections. We can have very intense days and equally nicer, calmer days depending on the amount of babies we have and the level of care they need. “Christmas Day is part of our working life so I have worked over the Christmas period for 11 years (since becoming a nurse). I’m also going to be working Christmas Day this year and my partner will be working on Boxing Day so we’re going to have a family gathering on the 28th instead. However, I do still try my best to celebrate Christmas and slot into certain family festivities where possible!” “Being completely honest, it is a difficult time of year in the sense you’re away from your family and friends over such a festive, joyous period. I do find it slightly hard working the major days, especially as I have young children, but it’s part of our job and it means a lot to be there for the families at such a tough time.” Donna Torres, UK Sales & Global Partnerships Director at Planday has provided some ideas on how to say thank you to the incredible key workers this festive season:

an appreciation jar can be filled with multiple reminders. Donna discusses ideas for an appreciation jar: “You can make an appreciation jar yourself quite easily at home by using a glass jar and writing down multiple notes of thanks. From just how loved the key worker is, to small messages of motivation and gratitude, the jar will serve as a daily pick me up at a time they may need it the most.”

VOLUNTEER FOR A CHARITY THIS CHRISTMAS Many charities rely on Christmas Day volunteers to help supply Christmas dinner and shelter for those who need it. If you have the time to spare, why not see if any charities near you need a hand? Donna comments: “Crisis, the national charity for homeless people is celebrating its 50th anniversary of Crisis Christmas Centres where you can volunteer to work in its hotels, day centres and call centres - you can opt for in-person or remote working. It’s a brilliant way to help those less fortunate this Christmas time by dedicating your time as we know so many key workers do year on year. There are thousands of charities in the UK, so why not get in touch to see how you can help this festive season.”

A POST CHRISTMAS SHIFT HAMPER Whether they’re working all day or embarking upon a Christmas Day night shift, sending your loved key worker a Christmas hamper is a brilliant way to put a smile on their face. Donna recommends: “Putting together a thoughtful hamper for a Christmas key worker is a small thank you for everything they do. From eye masks or bath salts to a voucher for a food delivery service, it’s just a small token of appreciation for everything they do as a key worker.”

DONATE TOYS AND BOOKS TO YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL Did you know you can donate to your local hospitals? For instance, the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital states that they accept toys for the children on their wards. It’s important to note that toys must be able to be wiped clean due to COVID. Simply check your local hospital’s website to see what items they accept for patients and key workers.

AN APPRECIATION JAR From working in care homes, to busy hospital wards, the past year alone has shown us first hand just how much our key workers do for the nation. No amount of words will quite articulate our words of thanks but

For information on looking after workers’ wellbeing through Christmas and beyond, visit www.planday.com/uk/blog/3-ways-to-boost-wellness-in-care/

HC-One Homes Get in the Festive Spirit of Christmas HC-One’s Residents and Colleagues have been busy getting ready for the Christmas festivities including watching Christmas lights being switched on in the local communities, getting involved in Christmas crafts and card making, Christmas fayres, raffles, choir and church services, and parties. As part of the home’s ‘knit and natter mornings’, Residents at Hollymere House Care Home in Crewe, have been preparing for Christmas. Resident, Joan Hankey has been knitting Santas and lots of other goodies for the home’s Christmas Fayre this year. Joan loves knitting and has always used her talent to support local charities. Joan Hankey, Resident at Hollymere House Care Home said: “I love to knit and it's always nice to give something back to the community.” Home Manager at Hollymere House Care Home, Alison Brown commented: “We are very grateful to Joan for her kind donations. They are lovely!” Residents at Roby Lodge Care Home in Huyton, enjoyed going out to see the Christmas lights being switched on in Huyton Village. Sandra and Pat, who both live at the home enjoyed the festivities, including the mulled wine and met some lookalike celebrities such as the iconic duo ‘Kevin and Perry’. Lisa Casey, Home Manager at Roby Lodge Care Home remarked: “I’m really pleased that our Residents enjoyed the opportunity to go out and be involved with the community again.” Residents at Callands Care Home in Warrington, enjoyed a couple of days getting their pictures taken to make their own Christmas cards to send to their loved ones over the festive period.

Once the photos were printed, they were stuck onto cards and a Christmas verse and personal message was placed inside each of them. Everyone loved getting dressed up for the special occasion and posing for their photo. Residents are excited for their families to receive the cards. Donna Brown, Home Manager at Callands Care Home stated: “I loved seeing all the Residents smiling for their photos.” At Worsley Lodge Care Home in Manchester, Residents enjoyed getting creative and taking part in Christmas arts and crafts. Residents created Christmas decorations and reminisced about Christmas times as they were all growing up. It brought back a lot of good memories including discussions about the songs they enjoyed and the presents they received over the years. Residents helped Colleagues put some of the little Christmas wreaths they had created on the tree. Anne Bannon, Home manager at Worsley Lodge Care Home said: “It is great to see Residents getting involved, chatting and reminiscing.” Residents at Drummohr Care Home in Walleyford, have started their Christmas crafts early this year. In preparation for Christmas, Residents made their own table centre piece decorations. The masterpieces were made with candles, holly and berries all inside a Christmas cracker. Residents enjoyed decorating the home with their creations to create a festive atmosphere in the home. They also enjoyed the refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits as a treat afterwards for all their hard work. Gillian Black, Home Manager at Drummohr Care Home added: “We are delighted to see our Residents crafting, and making the home feel festive.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 11

Staffing levels in Care ‘Dangerously Low’ says UNISON Survey Nearly a third (31%) of care staff say staffing levels are dangerously low, getting worse and negatively affecting the care provided, says a UNISON survey. The findings are based on responses from more than 1,600 care employees and reveal some dying residents are being denied a dignified end to their lives. This is because there are not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours, says the union. Other shocking consequences of the staffing crisis highlighted by the survey include people being left in dirty sheets, denied regular baths or showers, and not helped to dress until the afternoon. An overwhelming majority (97%) of workers say their care employer is currently experiencing staffing shortages with burnout, overwork, and low pay (or better pay elsewhere) among the main reasons cited. The findings were based on responses from care workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The majority (52%) work in care homes, with the rest providing support in other locations such as people’s own homes or in supported living accommodation. Other findings from the survey include two thirds (67%) of staff saying they are thinking of leaving social care. The union says this is a disastrous but inevitable consequence of poverty wages, low morale and years of chronic underfunding. Care workers who took part in the survey were asked to choose a statement that best described the situation where they worked. A total of 47% said staffing shortages are having a negative impact on the care provided and 31% that staffing levels are dangerously low, getting worse and having a negative impact on the care provided. This compares with 20% who said there are some staffing shortages but their workplace is managing, and 1% who said the situation is fine and there are no serious staffing shortages.

Of those thinking of leaving social care, the top reasons staff gave were burnout, stress, mental health and wellbeing (30%), followed by better pay elsewhere or low pay (29%) and compulsory vaccination (14%). Other reasons for wanting to quit included poor treatment by their employer (11%) and overwork due to staffing shortages (10%). Commenting on the findings, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Social care is experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis. “Care workers are leaving in their droves – burnt out from the pandemic, exhausted from covering understaffed shifts and fed up with low wages. “This is nothing short of a nightmare for families worried about the care of their loved ones, overworked employees struggling to cope and employers concerned they won’t have the staff to stay open. “The care sector is desperately short of workers and can’t wait months for the government to come up with a solution. “Ministers should give all care employees some early festive cheer and announce an across-the-board pay rise. This would persuade many on the verge of quitting to stay and encourage more people to think seriously about working in social care.” This month, the government’s ‘no jab, no job’ mandate for care home staff in England came into force. Until Christmas Eve, care workers can temporarily exempt themselves from having the Covid jab. After this date they will require a formal medical exemption. UNISON fears the end of the year could see an exodus of staff, pushing the care sector over the edge and forcing homes to close.

Tis The Season To Be Jolly at Local Care Home Barchester’s Hugh Myddelton House care home, in Southgate, got in the Christmas spirit by hosting “The Best of Christmas” show presented by Tickled Pink Production for residents. Staff and residents at Hugh Myddelton House had a wonderful tome taking part in a musical show with all the best bits of Christmas, fancy dress and festive foods. Everyone enjoyed singing to White Christmas, The Christmas Song and The Twelve Days of Christmas to name just a few of the songs. Beautiful costumes and a light hearted romantic Cinderella Panto made for lots of festive fun. Residents enjoyed a feast of seasonal dishes

prepared by the home’s head chef, Christopher Abrigo. General Manager, Ramona Stanciu said: “Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year and this year we wanted to spoil our fantastic residents even more than normal so we’ve pulled out all the stops. It is so lovely to see them all getting into the Christmas spirit, it’s definitely my favourite time of year.” Charles, a resident at Hugh Myddelton House, said: “It has been a lovely day. It was wonderful to see everyone go to so much effort, the performers were fantastic. I really enjoyed singing Christmas Carols and having a delicious homemade mince pie with mulled wine.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 13

Daily Rapid Testing for COVID-19 Contacts Launches this Week People who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not must now take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for seven days to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The practical move comes as Omicron infections are rising significantly in the UK and it is expected to become the dominant strain in the UK by mid-December. It aims to reduce pressures on people’s everyday lives by replacing the requirement for Omicron contacts to isolate for 10 days, while protecting the public by identifying asymptomatic cases and stopping the chains of transmission. Testing daily will also help us understand how and where the virus is spreading. Close contacts of people who test positive are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 and, with one in three people asymptomatic, daily testing will help ensure people are not unknowingly passing the virus on to others. As now, anyone whose rapid test comes back positive or who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test to verify the result. If the PCR result comes back positive, contacts must self-isolate for 10 days from the day they took the positive rapid test or developed symptoms. They do not need to continue taking rapid tests during that 10 day isolation period. If the PCR result comes back negative, contacts can leave self-isolation but should continue to take rapid tests for the remainder of the 7 days. Anyone identified as a contact with a negative LFD is strongly advised to limit close contact with other people outside their household, especially in crowded or enclosed spaces and with anyone who is more vulnerable. They should also follow government guidance on wearing a face covering and working from home where possible.

Unvaccinated adults are not eligible for this new daily testing policy, they must self-isolate for 10 days if they are a contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 – Omicron or not – unless eligible for an existing workplace daily contact testing. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Omicron variant is quickly gaining ground in the UK and is expected to become the dominant strain by mid-December. “We are taking this proportionate and more practical measure to limit the impact on people’s day to day lives while helping to reduce the spread of Omicron. “Vaccines remain our best defence and I urge anyone yet to get a first and second jab to come forward and those eligible for a booster to get boosted as soon as possible.” Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA CEO said: “If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19, taking a rapid daily test – and only needing to isolate if it is positive – will help reduce the spread of the virus and minimise its impact on our everyday lives over the coming weeks and months. Rapid tests are freely available in pharmacies and online. Our latest analysis shows that boosters provide the best protection against the Omicron variant, please go forward when you are called. If you haven’t had any vaccine, a first and second dose still gives you protection against becoming seriously unwell. Don’t worry about stepping forwards now – you will be warmly welcomed by our vaccination staff and I would strongly advise you to get vaccinated as soon as possible.” People will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace by phone, email or text or they will receive a notification from the NHS COVID-19 app to tell them they are a contact of someone who tested positive and what

action they need to take. They will be advised to get a box of 7 lateral flow tests free of charge from NHS Test and Trace either through pharmacies, schools or home delivery by ordering online. People are encouraged to use the tests they already have at home before ordering more. People should take these tests from the day they are notified as being a contact and report their results to NHS Test and Trace on GOV.UK or by calling 119. Testing with isolation remains a vital tool in controlling the spread of Omicron given how quickly it passes from person to person. Extensive clinical evaluation shows lateral flow tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community and detect 80-90% people that are highly infectious very quickly, so more people who are at a high likelihood of spreading the virus isolate and prevent the variant from spreading to others. The UK Health Security Agency published preliminary data on Friday showing COVID-19 booster vaccines provide around 70 to 75 per cent protection against symptomatic infection from the Omicron variant. The data showed that two doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines alone provided much lower levels of protection against symptomatic infection compared to the protection that they provide against Delta, stressing the importance of people getting their booster jabs. To speed up the booster programme, around 450 military personnel have been drafted in to support deployment, with 1,500 community pharmacy sites, additional hospital hubs, and pop-up sites opening in convenient locations across the country. Extra financial support to GPs, community pharmacies and primary care staff will help boost capacity and encourage more visits to those who are housebound.

Marvellous Mrs Melling Celebrates 100th Birthday in Croston Lucy Melling, who lives at Croston Park care home in Croston, has celebrated her 100th birthday in the company of her friends and staff. Lucy, who was born in Castleford in Yorkshire, has lived at Croston Park since 2019. She celebrated her milestone birthday with a visit from her family, champagne, balloons, cake and a card from Her Majesty, The Queen. The daughter of a brewer, Lucy moved to Longton in Lancashire as a child, and met her husband-to-be, James, in a neighbouring town. They were separated by World War II, when James served in the Navy and Lucy volunteered in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), but were reunited and married upon James’ return to England. The couple were married for 50 years and had two sons, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She was widowed in 1996, when James sadly passed away from lung cancer. Lucy worked as a telephony agent for several companies, including Horrocks’ Cotton Company in Preston and British Gas, only retiring when it was absolutely necessary. Debbie Lewis, home manager at Croston Park said: “We are delighted to have been

able to help Lucy to celebrate reaching this amazing milestone. “Lucy is a real character, and part of the family here at Croston Park. The staff and other residents absolutely love her. “Like everyone here, she’s led a fascinating life, and here at Croston Park, we take the time to reminisce while supporting our residents to make new memories.” Barry Melling, Lucy’s son, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff at Croston Park. They were really kind and obviously have a bit of a soft spot for her. They made it a lovely day. “Even though Mum’s short term memory isn’t what it used to be, she’s still her feisty, fun-loving self. She says the secret to her long life is never smoking and only having the odd glass of sherry at Christmas – and it’s obviously worked for her!” Croston Park Nursing Home is a converted Grade II country mansion, which now serves as a 56-bed residential care home. It is operated by the Park Lane Healthcare Group.


PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

Every Effort Being Made to Maintain Visiting Throughout Christmas, says Care Home Chairman

A specialist care provider says rigorous infection control procedures and risk management will help to ensure that visiting into and out of its care centres continues throughout the Christmas period, as the government announces new rules on visitor numbers.

Neil Russell, chair of neurological care provider PJ Care, says that visiting rights will be maintained as much as possible despite the threat of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, following changes from the government which will permit three visitors and an essential care giver per resident as of Wednesday 15th December. PJ Care has had strict infection control procedures since the start of the pandemic that has limited the spread of any COVID cases, which means that only those who have tested positive for COVID cannot have visitors, and these will continue, he adds. Likewise, any requests from residents to go home for Christmas will be thoroughly risk assessed, based on the individual needs of each resident, he notes. PJ Care provides neurological care for adults with progressive conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and acquired brain injuries. The company runs two specialist care centres in Milton Keynes and another in Peterborough. Neil also welcomes news that £300 million is being made available by the government to the sector to pay for bonuses and bring forward

planned pay rises for care staff. However, he adds that while the details are vague currently, once details have been released on how to access this, it will be used to reward frontline staff. “Our frontline nursing and care staff have provided outstanding levels of care throughout the pandemic to our residents and will continue to do so,” he says. “This money will help to provide much-deserved bonuses – provided enough is there, as it will have to be split potentially between thousands of care providers. “What we really need is more funding for local authorities and health authorities who pay for our residents’ care, so we can afford to give our staff extra in their pay packet every month. Higher rates of pay will also help to attract new staff into the industry, to ensure we as a sector can provide much-needed care and support the NHS.” Neil adds that the government is “behind the curve” with the directive to increase the number of weekly lateral flow tests staff are required to have from two to three and for weekly PCR tests to be taken as PJ Care – and many other care providers – require staff to take more tests than this already.

Ayr Care Home Officially Opened by MSP An Ayr care home has held an official opening ceremony, giving guests the opportunity to see the home’s interior and meet its specialist care team. Greenan Manor, operated by Scottish care home provider, Meallmore Ltd, was officially opened on Monday 6th December by Siobhian Brown MSP. Ms Brown joined residents, staff and guests for the celebrations and unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the official opening of the care home. A number of activities were held throughout the day, including a string trio, a magical performance from a local magician, and plenty of canapés and drinks. Siobhian Brown MSP gave a speech to mark the home’s official opening alongside Managing Director of Meallmore, Gerry Hennessy. The state-of-the-art care home opened to residents in January 2021. With changes to Covid-19 restrictions, the home was able to safely celebrate its belated opening ceremony. The official opening comes weeks after Meallmore was awarded the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) Gold Accreditation, recognising its commitment to its people. Fewer than 1,000 organisations in the whole of the UK currently have IIP Gold Accreditation, and only 62 of those are classified as care providers – with just six in Scotland.

Greenan Manor is led by care home manager and experienced nurse, Elaine Hughes, who is well established in the care industry with over a decade of experience. Elaine Hughes, Care Home Manager at Greenan Manor, commented: “2021 has been a challenging year for everyone. We opened our

doors back in January but we were unable to mark the occasion due to government lockdown restrictions. Fast-forward nearly a year later and we are incredibly grateful to have celebrated our belated opening. “The event was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our home to the local community. It was a great day, and we would like to extend our thanks to Siobhian Brown MSP for officially opening the home.” Siobhian Brown, MSP for Ayr, added: “The official opening of Greenan Manor was a fantastic event, celebrating the vital service the care home provides to the local community in Ayr. Everyone should feel immensely proud of all their hard work over the past year, and I am honoured to have played a part in the official opening of the home.” Gerry Hennessey, Managing Director of Meallmore, said: “After recently receiving the prestigious IIP Gold accreditation, our celebrations have continued with the grand opening of Greenan Manor. Our staff have truly gone above and beyond to deliver an exceptionally high standard of care for our residents, and we are thrilled to recognise this with the home’s official opening. “We had a fantastic day of celebrations, and we would like to thank Siobhian Brown MSP for marking the occasion by opening the home.”

Saniflo Parent Company SFA Group Wins Social Responsibility Award SFA Group –Saniflo UK’s parent company – has been awarded a Bronze Medal for Corporate Social Responsibility from EcoVadis, the world's most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. This result places the SFA Group among the top 50% of companies assessed by EcoVadis. The EcoVadis assessment is built on international sustainability standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the ISO 26000, covering 200 spend categories and 160+ countries.

SFA Group was rated based on a sustainability scorecard which illustrates performance across 21 indicators in four main categories of environment, labour and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. Saniflo UK Head of Marketing and Product Management, Ann Boardman, says: “At Sanifo UK we uphold the same high standards set by our parent company, SFA Group in France. We pride ourselves on our ongoing commitment to being the best we can be in all ways, always. This Bronze medal is well deserved.”

Cleva Launches to Bring Fintech Revolution to the Care Sector Cleva, a fintech developed for the home care sector, has launched its payments system for home care agencies – bringing a safe, quick and easy way for carers to shop and handle expenses for people under their care using a single card, and removing the hassle and admin of using cash. The new system brings proven technology developed by a leading UK-fintech to a whole new market, enabling care agency staff to spend more time looking after the clients they care for, and ensuring transparency of payments for both those under care and their families. Cleva is available for care agencies today and additional information can be found at www.clevacard.com. Cleva provides every client with a digital wallet which can be loaded and monitored by them and their family. Each care worker then has a single Cleva Mastercard prepaid debit card which they can use for all of their clients, and an app which allows them to select a client’s digital wallet and spend on their behalf. Until now, carers have had to juggle petty cash, paper receipts and allocating correct change for each of their clients – which is complex and time-consuming to manage when buying items for multiple clients at once. “The core business of care agencies is to look after their clients and dealing with petty cash means they

have less time to do that. In particular, when looking after multiple people, the manual payment reconciliation alone creates piles of unnecessary admin,” said Tom Bishop, CMO at Cleva. “We built Cleva to solve this issue using the same fintech approach which has revolutionised payments for consumers in the UK. Cleva delivers a better way, saving time and hassle for carers while also giving peace of mind to agencies, their clients and their families.” Cleva significantly eases agencies’ time and cost of managing a remote team of care workers by providing the care agency with a comprehensive web-based management system that allows full oversight of all payments and usage. The prepaid debit cards can be activated, deactivated and topped-up with funds without the need to divert the care worker to visit the local office. Security features include a range of payment restrictions, preventing payments being made across certain controlled areas including gambling and adult services, alerts when payments are made on the card, and full oversight of card usage by both the client, their family and the care agency.About Cleva Cleva is the first fintech developed specifically for the care sector bringing a safe, quick, and easy way for carers to make payments and buy things for the multiple people under their care all using a single managed prepaid card - removing the hassle and admin associated with using cash. Cleva brings proven technology developed by a leading UK-fintech to the care sector, enabling carers to spend more time looking after the clients they care for, and ensuring transparency of payments for both those under care and their families. Cleva is available for care agencies today and additional information can be found at www.clevacard.com. The Cleva card is issued by Transact Payments Limited pursuant to licence by Mastercard International Incorporated. Transact Payments Limited is authorised and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.



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Pay Hikes Not Enough, Carers Want Careers, Says Specialist Care Provider Salutem Care and Education has hit out at sector leaders who offer ‘living wage for life’ deals to carers, without proper career progression opportunities. Kirstie Jones, group people director at the organisation which provides support to individuals with complex needs and disabilities at 130 services nationally, says that companies should offer real careers for prospective employees, not just headline-grabbing quick fix pay rises focussing on the lowest pay rates. Kirstie said, “The recruitment crisis in the care sector is well documented and companies are increasingly looking at ways to attract people from other, often more immediately lucrative roles. Many are opting to adopt or exceed the Real Living Wage, offering current and prospective staff an attractive proposition. Increasing the lowest pay rates is, of course, important but how many are offering more than that? Real and sustained opportunities to grow and develop a real career in the sector, rather than a lifetime on the Living Wage? “At Salutem, we believe the solution alongside the right pay rates is to offer sustained

and a long-term career offer to our employees, where we recognise progress and offer our colleagues real opportunities to progress. Our competency framework and pay strategy mean that people benefit both financially and in their seniority within the organisation from training and advancement.” The Salutem pay scale means that its rates of pay already exceed the National Living Wage but it also rewards those with ambition, who can achieve higher pay bands, without the need to be promoted, by assessing colleagues’ skills, values and qualifications. Kirstie continued, “By taking a skills-based approach to pay, we are encouraging our team members to be ambitious for themselves and the sector. There is no reason that care shouldn’t be seen as a proper career with real opportunities for progression but all too many organisations are more interested in short-term solutions than addressing recruitment issues in the long-term - at Salutem, we’re doing both.”

Friends Of The Elderly’s New Chair Meets With Charity President, Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra Friends of the Elderly, the charity which runs care homes, day care services and a grant giving service for older people living on low incomes, is delighted to welcome Chris Maidment as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Chris takes over the role from Kerry Rubie who, after 25 years of committed work at the Charity, is becoming a Patron. President of Friends of the Elderly, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy received Kerry and Chris in St James’s Palace on Thursday, 2nd December. Chris joined Friends of the Elderly’s Board of Trustees in 2017, bringing with him a wealth of experience within the charity sector. For nearly 25 years, Chris was an Assurance Partner at PwC, one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms, where his clients ranged from FTSE 100 to small, owner managed businesses, and for nine years he was responsible for the Charity Sector clients in the PwC Gatwick office.

Commenting on his new appointment, Chris said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Friends of the Elderly. I am excited to work with my colleagues to continue our ongoing commitment to put the care, mental and physical health and wellbeing of older people at the heart of all our activities. “Building on Kerry’s hard work and success, I am committed to ensuring our care teams have the support they need to continue to provide exceptional levels of care.” Kerry added: “It has been a privilege to work with Friends of the Elderly for the past 25 years and I look forward to continuing to support the Charity as a Patron. I am delighted to hand over the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees to Chris, who I know will continue to ensure that Friends of the Elderly supports older people in need and that our residents and service users receive the highest quality care.”

Moneypenny Launches Free Inbound Call Handling Guide For Care Professionals A free guide has been launched to help care professionals improve their approach to inbound call handling. Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications provider which handles 50,000 interactions for UK care providers each year, has compiled the handy eight-step guide to help care providers review inbound call handling practices and find ways to improve efficiencies and reputation. Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, head of the health and care sector at Moneypenny said: “Lots of care providers view answering the phone as something that just happens, rather than an important communications activity that requires a strategy of its own. “This guide is intended to help domiciliary providers as well as nursing and care homes think more closely about the caller journey and how the quality of call handling can impact their ability to attract customers and project a professional and caring image. It’s also super important

when trying to recruit new staff – a challenge the care industry is really grappling with right now. If phones are ringing out or not being answered quickly enough, care providers could lose out on interested new recruits and the best talent.” The guide’s contents address why effective inbound call management matters, the importance of goal setting and benchmarks and the eight strategic steps to devising a call management strategy. Stephanie added: “We know first-hand that many care providers find call handling difficult. Often, they don’t have adequate resource and so

care givers are expected to chip in with answering ringing phones. This just isn’t effective use of their time, particularly for a sector which is already understaffed.” The guide is available to download for free on Moneypenny’s website https://www.moneypenny.com/uk/resources/blog/8-step-guide-tobetter-call-management-for-care-providers/ Moneypenny provides telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions to hundreds of care providers across the UK, thanks to its dedicated team of 41 healthcare receptionists. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology. For more information about Moneypenny’s work in the health and care sector visit: www.moneypenny.com/uk/healthcare-answering-services/

New Funding Available to Support Health and Social Innovation and Improvements in the West Midlands The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has announced that £20,000 worth of funding is available to support the spread and adoption of medical innovations in the region. Following a successful launch in 2020, the West Midlands Safety Innovation and Improvement Fund has been supporting the spread or adoption of healthcare innovations which has resulted in improvements for patients across the West Midlands. Now once again, individuals and teams working in health and social care are invited to apply for funding of up to £20,000. The new round of funding will provide the successful applicants with the support they need to implement their projects over a six-totwelve-month period. The WMAHSN will also support teams to use Quality Improvement (QI) methods, helping them to make measurable improvements to patient care. This year, the WMAHSN is looking for applicants that focus on: • Managing patient/service user deterioration • Medicines safety • Maternity and Neonatal

• Mental Health • COPD/Asthma, Other respiratory diseases • Care Homes Any individual or team working in health and social care within the WMAHSN’s geographical area is able to apply. This includes: • Birmingham and Solihull • Black Country and West Birmingham • Coventry and Warwickshire • Hereford and Worcestershire • Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent • Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Jodie Mazur, Head of Delivery – Safety and Improvement at the WMAHSN, said: “After the success of supporting the first cohort of teams through the Safety Innovation and Improvement Fund in 2020/21, we are delighted to be launching a second round. “This is a great opportunity for teams from across the West Midlands region to access funds and support which will assist them in making improvements for their patients and service users.”

Louisa Davidson is a Consultant Midwife at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, which received funding in 2020 to improve a maternity service for expectant mothers. She commented: “The grant has provided us with the freedom to be innovative, explore otherwise unobtainable options, and has journeyed us to a place we weren’t expecting. “The funding has made us feel excited and positive for a more sustainable and impactful change to benefit women and their families in the future.” Applications for the funding open from Thursday 9th December 2021 and close on Sunday 9th January 2021. To find out more information about the Safety Innovation and Improvement Fund and how to apply, please visit the Guidance for Applicants page. To submit an application, please visit the application page. For any questions about the Fund, please contact Vicky, Patient Safety Assistant Programme Manager on victoria.harrop@wmahsn.org.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 17

Chief Medical Officer Urges Public to “Get Boosted Now” in New TV Advert Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty will call on the public to get a booster vaccination, in a nationwide advertising campaign launching this week to further galvanise the booster programme. This comes as a total of 24 million boosters and third doses have now been administered in the UK. 75% of over 50 year-olds across the UK have had their booster or third dose and over 1 million people have booked a booster vaccination appointment since the National Booking Service opened yesterday to people aged over 30 in England. The booking service will expand to all adults in England tomorrow. The NHS in England experienced its busiest Monday ever for vaccinations yesterday (Monday 13 December) since the rollout began in December last year and 418,000 boosters were delivered yesterday alone, with 185,000 of these delivered by community pharmacies. The latest preliminary data has shown vaccine efficacy against symptomatic infection is substantially reduced against Omicron with just two doses, but a booster pushes protection back up to over 70%, showing how vital the top up jab is to bolster immunity. In the advert, Professor Whitty says: “There is a new variant of COVID-19 - Omicron - which is highly infectious and spreading fast. “Every adult in the country needs to get a COVID-19 booster vaccine. “Boosters give you the best possible protection against the virus and should significantly reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.

More Than a Short Back and Sides Residents at a local care home can finally enjoy regular barber appointments, thanks to a mobile salon contained in a van. Gents at Upton Bay Care Home, in Hamworthy, Poole, were treated to a visit from the Grade 92 mobile barbershop, as the van made its inaugural trip to the home. Experienced barber George Hatch spent an afternoon offering appointments to each of the residents, booking in for a mix of cuts, styles and shaves. Complete with step-free access and a traditional, adjustable barber chair, George’s van was fully equipped to make a simple haircut accessible to all, no matter their mobility. Residents were thrilled to be visiting the barbershop only meters from their front door.

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“Get your COVID-19 booster vaccine to strengthen your protection. Please, get boosted now.” Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “We know a booster jab increases protection against the Omicron variant and in our race against the virus it’s crucial everyone gets their top-up jab. “Our heroic NHS staff and volunteers are working around the clock to speed up our vaccination programme, helping millions of people to get boosted now – so play your part, roll up your sleeves and get protected.” Data suggests Omicron is extremely transmissible and is rapidly becoming the dominant variant as cases double every 2 to 3 days. The Chief Medical Officer is encouraging “every adult in the country” to get a booster vaccine and strengthen their protection. The UK has the fastest booster rollout in Europe, with over 23 million people having received their boost so far, but to stay ahead in this race against the virus the booster programme is opening up to give every adult the chance to get their booster before the New Year. To boost the booster programme the government and the NHS are: o Opening new vaccination sites across the country, including pop up and mobile sites o Increasing opening times of vaccination sites to 7 days a week o Asking GPs and pharmacies to do more vaccinations o Bringing in 750 Armed Forces Personnel and 41 military planners in every region to help coordinate the national effort

“It was fantastic,” commented David, resident, after his beard trim, “I’ve never seen a whole barbershop on wheels before!” Grade 92 has shops at Castlepoint and Southbourne Grove, with their customers including some big AFC Bournemouth names. After a full day of back to back appointments, George said, “It was lovely to chat to the residents and get to know them a bit during each cut. They each had a story or two to tell in the chair.” General Manager Mevin Sohorye said, “A trip to the barbers can be such an important part of a man’s routine. Being able to bring that normality back to our gents has been heart-warming.” And with Covid-19 continuing to surface in healthcare settings, Mevin explained how Upton Bay have kept their home Covid-free during the pandemic. “We’re proud to be partnering with individuals and local businesses like George and Grade 92, who understand the importance of vaccinations, testing and PPE. It keeps life moving for our residents.”




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£10 million Social Care Funding Award for University of Sheffield £10 million in funding has been awarded to the University of Sheffield’s Centre for International Research on Care, Labour & Equalities for a new ‘Centre for Care’ to address the urgent need for accessible research and evidence on social care. The University of Sheffield will lead a collaboration of five universities, high profile care sector partners and international research teams in this new Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research centre. The centre will provide an extensive array of evidence to address pressures and inequities in how people experience social care across the life-course. The prestigious award is part of the ESRC’s programme of six new research centres that can deliver real societal and economic impact, and provide robust research evidence to support government and decisionmaking. ESRC’s award for the Centre for Care includes £1.5 million provided through its partnership with the National Institute for Health Research. In its first five years, the collaborating universities will also jointly contribute an additional £1.2 million to the new centre. The collaboration includes the Universities of Birmingham, Kent and Oxford, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Office for National Statistics, and charities Carers UK, the National Children’s Bureau and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. They will work together with academics, sector partners, agencies, public policy experts and people who need or provide care across the UK and internationally. Principal Investigator and Centre for Care Director Professor Sue Yeandle, in the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Social Sciences, says: “The Centre for Care will be a pivotal hub for researchers and practitioners across the social care sector. Based in Sheffield, it will develop new evidence on providing and delivering the care needed by people of all ages who need support in daily life. “Care is integral to living well throughout life. The unpaid care provided daily by millions of families and friends; the services provided in people’s homes, neighbourhoods and communities; and the support offered in residential settings for people with complex needs are all within the new Centre’s remit. It is vital that we understand how our society’s arrangements for care can provide the best support possible to all who need it as they negotiate changes and challenges in their lives.”

The centre’s work will be developed in partnership with care sector organisations and people who need support in daily life. It will work with them to understand what can be done to improve experience of care for families, individuals and communities of all types and in a variety of settings. It will publish research on the following themes: • Experiences of care at different life stages and as people move between different parts of the care system. • How socio-economic, health and other inequalities shape care outcomes and experiences of care. • Workforce challenges; the organisation of care work; recruitment, pay and conditions; regulation; training; and raising the profile and status of jobs and careers in care. Professor Yeandle added: “In the UK social care is a key responsibility of local authorities, provided by a complex mix of mainly commercial or not-for-profit organisations. It’s a fragmented system and many people struggle to get the help they need. We will examine whose needs are met and who misses out, as getting the right care when needed is crucial for quality of life. “The need for improvements in social care is widely recognised; in England, the Government is poised to introduce major reforms. Our centre will deliver much-needed research to guide policymakers across the UK, and explore how better care outcomes can be achieved. “Everyone needs support at some point in their lives, so care matters to us all. Good care gives everyone the chance to flourish and thrive to the greatest extent possible. It offers help needed by someone in every family and by members of all communities. A key aim of the Centre for Care is to help make a positive difference in millions of people’s daily lives.” Professor Martin Knapp, NIHR’s social care spokesperson and director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, said: “Social care, and arrangements for people who need or provide care, are under unprecedented pressure. The new Centre for Care, which NIHR is co-funding, will bring together researchers from a range of disciplines with people who need care, carers, care workers and others to undertake vital research, providing much needed evidence to enhance wellbeing and improve understanding of care.”

Festive Fun at Vida Healthcare Vida Healthcare is celebrating the spirit of Christmas with 30 days of activities and merrymaking for staff and residents. Throughout the month of December, Vida Healthcare is coordinating a range of festive celebrations across its three homes, Vida Grange, Vida Hall, and Vida Court for residents and staff to enjoy. Initiatives include carol singing from local schools, an elf day, Christmas crafting, a Christmas jumper day and a full Christmas dinner for each home on Christmas day. Vida Healthcare’s latest care home, Vida Court, will also be showing festive films in its state-of-the-art cinema. Staff will be the focus of celebrations with Christmas parties, and an awards ceremony where employees will be recognised for their ongoing hard work, dedication and outstanding care delivery. A Take That reunion band gave an exclusive performance at the staff party. Victoria Edwards, home manager at Vida Grange, commented: “After another year filled with challenges, we can’t wait to celebrate the festive period with each other and the amazing people we care for. We’re really looking forward to all the Christmas plans that the board has put in place for us that will help to bring some much needed cheer to everyone at Vida.”

Vida Court has also introduced a naughty elf to make mischief in the care home, and encourage residents to get involved in the festivities. James Rycroft, managing director at Vida Healthcare, added: “We’re always looking for ways to show our staff and residents how much we value and care for them, and Christmas is the perfect time to do this. Rather than a one-off initiative, we decided to pull together an advent calendar of fun activities which we hope will be enjoyed by everyone. It’s been another difficult year for everyone in the social care sector, the vulnerable people who receive our care, and their families and we hope that by getting into the Christmas care home spirit, we’re able to give something back.” Alongside the spirit of Christmas, Vida Healthcare is also celebrating the opening of its brand new care home, Vida Court, dubbed ‘the care home of the future’. The home includes a 12-seater cinema, florist, coffee shop, and landscaped gardens, amongst other things, to support social interactions and ensure our residents have a high quality of life.

Dementia-friendly Video Platform Alive On Demand Nominated for Technology Award for Markel’s 3rd Sector Care Awards Alive On Demand has been nominated as a finalist for the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards under the category of “Technology Award”. This nomination is in recognition of the dementia-friendly video platform, created by Bristol-based activities charity, Alive Activities. The prestigious awards recognise the hard work, dedication, innovation and excellence of those working in the not-for-profit sector who are making a positive impact on people’s lives. Alive On Demand is a video streaming platform with over 200 unique videos designed by and for older people. This platform has been designed with activities staff, care staff, carers and loved ones in mind to better engage, spark conversation and learn more about individual and group interests. Each video comes with a variety of additional activity resources to maintain and nurture engagement. These resources turn an engaging video into well rounded activity. The platform allows you to search for content based on the viewer’s level of dementia, their personal interests and the amount of time they have to enjoy the video. The videos are designed to be a mixture of learning, entertainment and reminiscence with questions that guide group discussion and one to one conversation. Alive On Demand is accessible through a browser on the internet and can be enjoyed through both Android and iOS apps. Viewing these through the apps also means that each video can be viewed offline, in areas with no WiFi.

The platform was born out of the need for specifically curated video content for older people, that is available whenever suits the busy lives of carers, both at home and in care homes. Following extensive consultations with older people, including specific information on what places and activities they would like to engage with, Alive On Demand was built with its audience at the centre. The platform has already been successfully running at several care homes, including Holcroft Grange Care Home in Culcheth, Warrington. Activities Coordinator Nicola shared that after watching the video “Will’s Cigarettes”, "the conversations that came after (the video) were incredible. It's absolutely brilliant for reminiscence because, of course, everyone smoked back in the day". She also shared that after watching this video, the residents yearned for more and asked if they could then watch the slow TV video of a steam train. In response to being nominated, project Manager Emma Dyer shared that, “It’s a real honour to be nominated for this award. Alive On Demand is the culmination of many years of delivering activities and having adventures with older people. When lockdown hit, we knew we didn’t want people to lose touch with what is important to them. It’s fantastic to see how much joy Alive on Demand has been able to bring to people through a screen. Whether we win or not, we are grateful for the recognition of the efforts we are making to improve the lives of older people.” See page 35 for further details.


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New Data Analyses Adult Social Care Workforce, Pay And Opportunities By Region New data released by Skills for Care breaks down vital intelligence about the adult social care sector and workforce for each region in England. Following the release of the latest ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report in October, the organisation has now released specific data insights for each region. The insights include mean pay, turnover rates, number of jobs, vacancy rates, qualifications, and the demographic make-up of the sector for each region in England. The data finds that the South East has the highest number of people working in the sector, at 241,000 people. The South East also has the highest number of adult social care jobs (filled posts) at 260,000. Vacancy and turnover rates across the country paint a mixed picture. In London, the vacancy rate is highest at 8.9%, closely followed by the Eastern region with 8%. However, in Yorkshire and Humber the vacancy rate for 2020-21 sits at just 5%. Turnover rates proved highest in the Eastern region at 30.9% and lowest in the North East at 25%. Looking at mean pay rates, London offers the highest mean pay rate for care workers and managerial roles, both within local authority and independent provider roles.

The mean pay for a care worker employed by the local authority in London is £13.55 while for independent providers this is £9.70. For managerial roles the mean pay for local authorities is £27.01 or £14.74 if working for an independent provider. It’s not unexpected that pay rates would be higher in the capital, but outside of London, it’s the South West and South East regions who offer the highest pay rates. For independent provider care worker roles the South East offers the highest mean pay at £9.46. The South East also offers the highest mean pay for managerial positions outside of London across both local authority and independent provider roles at £20.99 and £14.51 respectively. The South West offers the highest pay for local authority care worker roles at £10.92. Skills for Care produces this intelligence from the crucial contributions that care providers make to the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set. This data helps adult social care stakeholders understand the workforce on a local level and helps them to make informed decisions around regional support. Further data for each region can be found on Skills for Care’s online regional reports: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/regionalreports

Penguins Pop into Oxfordshire Care Home for Christmas Penguins Charlie and Pringle delighted care home residents at Spencer Court, run by the Orders of Saint John Care Trust, when they popped in to the Oxfordshire care home for a special Christmas visit last week. OSJCT Spencer Court offers a programme of fun, creative and varied activities which is especially designed to benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of residents, especially those with dementia, and to support the best quality of life possible. With activities as well as visits from families and loved ones heavily curtailed last Christmas due to Covid-19, the care home wanted to make Christmas extra special this year. Dorte Chandler, Home Manager at OSJCT Spencer Court said: “Residents and colleagues at the home have experienced very challenging times since Covid-19 emerged, so we wanted to make this Christmas extra special for everyone. What better way to do that than by welcoming these wonderful penguins right in to our care home. They are amazing creatures, and we are all enjoying learning more about them together.” Charlie, aged 24, and Pringle, aged nine, are regular visitors to care

homes all around England. They come from a breeding colony of 20 Humboldt penguins at Heythrop Zoo in Oxfordshire. The visit to the care home is part of the zoo’s programme of animal enrichment activity, providing mental and physical stimulus for the penguins. Enrichment is just as essential to the animal’s welfare as is proper nutrition and veterinary care. A representative from Heythrop Zoo said: “These penguins are not only comfortable and familiar with travelling, but we believe they show positive behaviour signs when interacting with different people. Although they spend the majority of their time in the company of their own species, allowing them to exhibit normal behaviours including regular breeding and access to their swimming pool all day long, they are used to and therefore not stressed by the presence of human beings.” The representative added: “It is the belief of Heythrop Zoo that by bringing unusual and undomesticated species to the attention of the general public – particularly when accompanied by educational talks – they raise community awareness that indirectly aids conservation.”

Gainsborough Baths ‘Bring Tears Of Joy’ To Residents At New Ardale Oakham Grange Care Home Located in scenic Oakham, Rutland, Oakham Grange opened in 2020 and is the latest luxury care home from Ardale. It delivers a new level of care in the UK’s smallest county – supported by the latest accessible bathing solutions from Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms (www.gainsboroughbaths.com) This contemporary 60-bed building is organised into three households providing quality homes for residents with a range of conditions from restricted mobility to dementia. Oakham Grange delivers a sense of belonging to all residents, so they experience a genuine homely feel, whilst benefiting from the latest care facilities. As a loyal client, Ardale has recommissioned Gainsborough to provide three specialist Gentona baths to ensure its care excellence ethos is present in the bathrooms of Oakham Grange and beyond. Gentona baths provide powered height adjustment and bather transfer seats so bathers and carers benefit from safe moving and handling. Bathers once again have freedom to bathe and enjoy the sensation of soaking in a bath. The mental and physical health benefits of bathing, as opposed to adapted showering, are frequently reported – results show improved mood, positivity, and wellness for residents. In addition, care staff are protected from back injury as manual lifting and adjustment of bathers is not required. Eye level engagement is possible and administering personal care does not involve uncomfortable stooping. With the inclusion of multiple safety and therapeutic features built-in, Gainsborough baths are now providing a vital hygiene and sensory experience at Oakham Grange. Catherine Ferguson is the General Manager at Oakham Grange and has been highly impressed with their Gentona baths, as she explains: “Our Gainsborough baths have been an absolute bonus for our residents and staff. I’m really proud of them. They’re one of our highlights when we show potential new clients around as they are vital for well-being. Times have been really tough over the last year with Covid so being able to soak in a bath has become a real treat for residents, not just a procedure for personal hygiene. They can enjoy the airspa bubbles, chromotherapeutic lighting and even music through the inbuilt Bluetooth sound system – really stimulating for people with dementia. So many clients haven’t had a bath for an awful long time before they arrive, due to challenges at home. Here they can, with safety and peace of mind, resulting in the most amazing differences in an individual’s positivity and mood.” The flagship Gentona bath from Gainsborough continues to be a leading choice for healthcare providers. It delivers an ultra-efficient bathing

solution that reduces water and energy consumption without compromising comfort for bathers. A key Gentona feature that gives Oakham Grange a care advantage is the BioCote antimicrobial technology which is included in every one of Gainsborough’s UK manufactured baths. This silver-ion technology ensures advanced, dependable hygiene with 99.9% 24/7 protection against microbes such as influenza A H1N1, E.coli, Salmonella and CRO, CRE, VRE and MRSA. As it is integrated into the glass reinforced plastic, it cannot be wiped or worn away whilst also reducing stains and odours. This world-class additive has been proven effective for over 20 years across the world and now brings a new level of hygiene and peace of mind to Oakham Grange. The safety and comfort of residents is always top priority for all ethical healthcare providers. However, without equipment that also protects staff, care can be compromised through injury, staff absence and a reluctance to perform certain tasks. This is where Gainsborough baths again excel and Catherine continues: “We wouldn’t be able to physically lift someone into a standard bath and our residents wouldn’t be able to get in. How our clients can access a bath is a common question we get asked when potential clients come for viewings. With the Gentonas and their powered transfer seats, staff can manoeuvre bathers with ease and without hurting themselves – strengthening our moving and handling best practice. This prevents team members from having time off due to bad backs and also makes them more likely to use the equipment.” The ergonomic support the baths provide is clearly valued by the care staff as Cat Statham, Senior Nurse, confirms: “I’ve been a nurse for

over 20 years and I’ve never come across equipment like these Gainsborough baths. I would recommend them for both healthcare professionals and residents alike. From the point of view of care staff, movement of residents in and out of the bath is easy as we do not need to rely on traditional bath hoists which can be difficult to manoeuvre. With literally the touch of one button we can transfer bathers without manual handling.” Cat is on the front-line of care and encounters on a daily basis how access to a bath enhances resident wellness. She continues: “With residents, you see them benefit time and again from bathing; we have experienced many tears of joy over the years. It can be a very emotional experience for all of us especially when a new resident is able to bathe for the first time in years. When you start to lose your mobility, being able to access a bath safely is one of the first things to go. Here at Oakham we facilitate a return to bathing freedom through equipment we can trust.” “We have a specific resident who used to be bed bound in hospital and through our physio and Gainsborough baths is now able to mobilise. He loves to have a bath, if possible, especially in the morning when he can feel the warmth and bubbles around his joints. As people get older they can experience more stiffness and pain which can also have a detrimental effect on mental health. This particular gentleman always comments how he feels better, clean and fresh after a bath. This is a significant mental sensation that adds to the physical benefits of bathing.” As with other Ardale homes, Oakham Grange has been constructed and decorated using best practice, making the home a dementia friendly environment. From colour coded door frames to memory wall boxes and appropriate flooring, the whole environment has been considered for individuals with cognitive challenges. The latest technology has been installed for smart monitoring, and lower windowsills allow wheelchair users to freely view the external leafy residential setting. In conclusion, Catherine states: “Our aim at Oakham Grange is to provide an environment that allows every resident to truly relax, however they want to. Whether that’s enjoying a glass of wine or soaking in the bath, we make sure individualised opportunities exist. Being able to bathe can set residents up for the day and help with sleep at night. Bathing also helps to maintain well-being and reduce anxiety, which in turn improves happiness and ultimately health as residents are less prone to infection. Our Gainsborough baths have massively changed some of our resident’s lives.”


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Dementia Charity Welcomes Footballing Authorities Joint Action Plan on Protecting Brain Health The Football Association (FA) in association with The Premier League, The English Football League, and the Players Association have released a document summarising a joint action plan on understanding, promoting and protecting brain health in English football. The document outlines three separate workstreams including • Research to better understand why former professional footballers are at greater risk of neurodegenerative disease • Education and awareness • Supporting players of today and also those with diseases like Alzheimer’s. The new document represents the start of a period of consultation in which the FA will seek views from outside the organisation regarding

future work. Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, we welcome a joint action plan on understanding, promoting and protecting brain health in English football put forward by the FA’s research task force. We’ve been calling for stakeholders in the footballing world to come together since evidence shed light on the link between football and dementia. We recognise this collaborative approach is a step forward, and this plan must now be delivered in earnest. “Understanding, promoting, and protecting brain health throughout life is important. We know exercise has huge benefits for brain health

and Alzheimer’s Research UK are currently undertaking a wide-ranging review to investigate the links between sport and dementia risk in more detail. “Dementia isn’t an inevitable part of getting older and there are steps we can take to look after our brains. Ultimately, we want everyone to know the key ingredients to good brain health and to empower them to act on that knowledge. “As a charity we work with our partners to supply the Think Brain Health e-learning programme, an interactive and engaging tool to raise vital understanding of dementia and teach employees about how improving brain health can help reduce their risk of developing the condition.”

Secret Bird Art of Warminster Project Takes off at Care Home Wren House care home in Warminster has become the latest canvas of the market town’s own version of Banksy, Tanya Hinton – the woman behind the Secret Bird Art of Warminster project. Tanya’s work to liven up the town by painting pictures of wild birds on dilapidated and boarded-up buildings caught the eye of residents and staff at the care home, who contacted her to volunteer their door as the location for her newest artwork. The home’s entranceway has since become Tanya’s latest canvas, with a pair of beautifully painted chirping wrens welcoming visitors. Pauline Taylor, a resident at Wren House care home said: “Tanya has done such a

Wippet Xmas Giveaway To celebrate its first Christmas, Wippet, the healthcare marketplace, has got together with some of their suppliers to promote the Great Wippet Christmas Giveaway. It’s a prize draw whereby every time somebody buys anything at all from wippet.com before midnight on December 31st 2021 they are automatically entered into a draw to win more than 100 prizes and amazing discounts. Prizes and discounts have been contributed by Care Shop, Renray Healthcare, Bayliss Mobility, and Social-Ability – even from United Fresh Consortium which is only in the process of joining the platform – contributed to the prizes which also include up to a £500 credit on wippet.com Wippet is a new website where people in the care sector can get all the things they need, from weekly essentials to specialist equipment and furniture, all in one place. Wippet was the talk of the Care Show in October and is set to grow and grow.

IT’S ABOUT TIME With most care services under resourced and care professionals always short on time, Wippet has developed a time-saving website

wonderful job. The two birds look like they are in mid-conversation and are so life-like that at first you think they are real. It puts a smile on our faces every time we see them.” Tanya said: “I started painting small birds just to brighten up the town. They’re only small paintings, but so many people have told me how much they love them. If they make someone smile, then I’m happy. “I’ve painted blue tits, pheasants, magpies – and even a parakeet – but of course, Wren House needed to have a wren. Because they are social birds who enjoying singing together I had to paint two!”

designed to make is easier and simpler for care providers to buy for healthcare. Features like a “favourites” function allow you to identify the things you need once - and then add them all to your basket for regular essentials. And the repeat ordering function allows customers to do the same with multiple shopping lists. Matt Oxley, the CEO of Wippet who had the idea for the company said: “We only launched in October and already we’ve had thousands of care professionals visiting our site. The response has been fantastic. So our Great Christmas Giveaway is a way we can thank everybody for their enthusiasm for Wippet and do something to help the people we’re all in this to help – the residents!”

for residents in care settings.”

CHOICE AND EFFICIENCY By bringing on suppliers to a single website, Wippet brings choice and efficiency to a sector we all know could benefit hugely from both. Suppliers can upload their entire catalogue and sell directly through wippet.com so customers don’t have to go from site to site. Customers can even compare products side-by-side, fill their basket from multiple suppliers at the same time and then pay in one order with one invoice. See www.wippet.com/xmas for details.

GIVING RESIDENTS A HAPPY CHRISTMAS More than 100 lucky homes will be able to win a 50% discount from Social-Ability’s Happiness Programme worth £450. Oxley continued: “Having worked in two of the biggest elderly care providers in the UK I understand the difference this sector makes to people’s lives, so we’re thrilled to be able to give these prizes away and the Social-Ability Happiness Programme is just amazing. It’s a unique initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. It uses interactive light technology to provide engaging and meaningful activities

Bert’s Wish Comes True to Meet Pompey Legend A Pompey legend played football with care home residents in Fareham as part of an initiative to grant residents’ bucket list wishes. Bert Gee, who lives at Hamble Heights, off Botley Road, asked to meet a Portsmouth footballer as part of the care home’s plan to grant wishes for each of the residents. Vanessa Duggan, Wellbeing Manager, got in contact with Alan Knight MBE, a former goalkeeper for Portsmouth FC, to invite him to meet the 88-year-old, and his friends in the care home, who was only too pleased to help. Alan came in to chat to the residents about his record for the most appearances for a single club by a goalkeeper, having played 683 league games for Pompey between 1978 and 2000, and had a light kick about with some of the residents. He also signed a football for the residents to keep as a memento of the special day. Vanessa: “It was amazing. Alan is the most amazing person, and our resident, Bert, who made the wish to meet Alan was absolutely beaming

and smiled the whole time. The residents asked Alan lots of questions, as we have a few Pompey fans here, and he was happy to answer every question. He also said when it’s a bit warmer next year, we can take some of the residents to have a look around the grounds of Portsmouth Football Club.” Talking about the wish initiative, Vanessa said: “We have a wish of the day at Hamble Heights and Bert said that he wanted to meet someone from Portsmouth Football Club, so I contacted Alan and asked if we could make Bert’s wish come true for Christmas, which he was pleased to help with. “Other wishes that we have had recently include one resident wanting to go on a boat trip, so a few of our residents went out on the River Hamble, and another resident simply wanted to have some flowers in her room. It’s lovely to be able to brighten our residents’ lives and enable them to do the things that they enjoy.”

BT Companionship Programme at Colton Lodges Residents at HC-One’s Colton Lodges, residential and nursing care home, in Leeds has recently joined the BT Companionship Programme. The residents were happy to hear they would be getting a call from one of the volunteers. The home received ‘volunteer profiles’ with information on each of the volunteers which would be ringing. Malcome Peel was the first resident to receive the first call from the BT volunteers as part of their companionship programme this week. Malcome was absolutely thrilled to have someone to speak too over the phone. He laughed and smiled and talked about some of his favourite topics. Malcome loved having someone to talk to who was interested in his hobbies and interests. Lois, Wellbeing Coordinator at Colton Lodges, organised the partnership between

the home and BT to tackle loneliness and promote community partnerships. Lois even created profiles for each of the residents to send back to the volunteers to be even more connected. Residents, Ivy Oates and Bernard Schofield have also had some lovely chats with the BT volunteers. The volunteers have made these residents laugh and smile whilst speaking about all their favourite things. Malcome, commented, “I love John Wayne, I am glad he did too. What a nice man, thank you for letting me talk to him.” Bernard, said, “It was so nice to speak to someone that isn’t family. I would like to send that nice lady a Christmas card.” Ivy, added, “Wow this is good, it makes a nice change to daily life.”



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Concerns Over ‘Inevitable’ Care Visit Restrictions Care providers were this weekdismayed over reports that restrictions were being considered on the number of visitors nursing and care home residents can receive. The Government is said to be considering restricting visitors to just three as part of Plan C measures to tackle rising cases of Covid-19. The Independent Care Group (ICG) said such a move would be disappointing but that it felt “inevitable.” ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “A restriction on visitor numbers as we approach Christmas or just after, would be a body blow to those in nursing and care homes and to their families and friends who will be looking forward to spending more not less time together over the festive period. “But as restrictions across the country become tighter and tighter, such a move does seem inevitable whilst we, as a country, fight to keep everyone as safe and well as we can. “To an extent, we are fortunate in that we are currently able to facilitate unlimited visiting, albeit with full

appointment, testing and PPE measures in place. “It will be sad if we have to bring tighter restrictions in, but we have to put the safety of our vulnerable residents first.” He said the rising number of cases of Covid-19 – in particular, the spread of the new Omicron variant – was piling increased pressure on care settings. “The care sector has remained on high alert, on the front line against Covid-19, throughout and these latest developments are merely ramping up the pressure on a sector that is already on its knees,” he said. “We desperately need the Government to recognise how fragile the sector is at the moment and give us at least some short-term help, in particular to tackle the staffing crisis which is causing many care providers to struggle to fill their shifts to offer care in nursing and care homes and in people’s own homes.”

One Last Hurrah! Longfield Care Home Rounds Off Staycation Adventure with Trip to Ireland Residents and staff at a Longfield care home have concluded their three-month camping staycation adventure around the UK with a trip to the Emerald Isle. Setting up their tents one last time, residents at Nellsar’s The Old Downs Residential Care Centre, in Kent, recently took part in Irishthemed activities and enjoyed traditional decorations, music, cuisine and quizzes from the comfort of their armchairs. Embracing the best of Gaelic culture, staff and residents at the Castle Hill home explored the beautiful sights of Belfast, with trips to the Titanic Quarter and Giant’s Causeway, before venturing down to the Republic of Ireland to visit Dublin and share a pint of Guinness with a few mischievous leprechauns. Vira Green, Recreation and Well-Being Champion at The Old Downs, said: “With decorated backdrops of the Emerald Isle and jaunty Celtic music playing throughout the home, our residents had the perfect round off to their staycation adventure. We fully embraced the last hurrah of the trip with some traditional Irish fun, which had to include, of course, a few tipples of Guinness,

Baileys Irish Cream and a dram or two of whiskey!” Dubbed ‘Carry on Camping’, the virtual staycation aims to improve residents’ mental and physical health by enabling them to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of different countries and cultures, while also allowing them to reminisce about previous family holidays. 79-year-old resident, John Hamilton, said: “It reminded me of my younger days when we went camping, we cooked on a camping stove, just easy stuff like boiled eggs. I liked the Guinness we had and the Irish music.” Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-Being Manager at Nellsar, said: “Residents and staff at The Old Downs and our other 12 care homes throughout Kent, Surrey and Essex enjoyed a perfect finale to our Carry on Camping adventure. It’s no secret that the past 20 months have been extremely difficult, so we made it our mission to ensure that 2021 was rounded off in style. The best part about the virtual trip to Ireland was the fact that we had lots of residents of Irish descent, who were delighted to share their stories about past visits.”

A Reggae Party to Remember for Lewin House Resident Lewin House, Nursing Home of The Fremantle Trust, hosted a Reggae Themed Party to celebrate Resident Aston Bailey as part of the Trust’s Wishes and Dreams Initiative. As the guests descended on Lewin House to celebrate Aston’s party and his love of reggae, they were met with a mouth-watering medley of traditional Jamaican food that

everyone’s spirits with his singing and never asking for anything in return. I wanted him to have a celebration of his culture that’s so important to him.” The Wishes and Dreams initiative was set up by Community and Lifestyle Manager, Sue Faulkner in 2017 to celebrate The Fremantle Trust’s 25th Birthday. This initiative

included curried goat and jerk chicken together with rice and peas, all meticulously

proved was so popular that it stayed in place and the Trust still receives applications

cooked by Jamaican-born Domestic, Lil Latty. The Care Team also provided a selection

from family, friends and colleagues for a Resident or a group of Residents to do some-

of tempting Caribbean refreshments including rum punch, coconut milk and ginger

thing special or out of “their” ordinary. Applications that have been fulfilled in the past

beer. Throughout the event, everyone danced and enjoyed the array of food whilst Aston’s son, Robert, a DJ, played classic Bob Marley tracks as well as a collection of

have included, driving around a race track at Silverstone, staying the night in a top London hotel and a very special day trip to Dorset. Aston commented on the day of his party: “It was very special, never worry coz

Aston’s favourite reggae music. Activities Co-ordinator, Tina Fox-Pearson commented: “Aston would always light up

every little thing will be alright.”

RSM UK Warns Healthcare Providers In England To Take Steps Now As Covid-19 Vaccination Deadline Looms Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK is urging employers in the NHS and private healthcare to take steps now to fulfil their legal responsibilities, as time is running out to meet the requirements of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme as a condition of employment. In England, it is already compulsory for all adult care home staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt. This includes third parties visiting care homes such as tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians. This requirement will extend to anyone working in health and social care who has face-to-face patient contact, including doctors and nurses, dentists, receptionists, porters, cleaners and domiciliary care workers from 1 April 2022. As jabs must be given at least eight weeks apart, this means employees currently have until 3 February 2022 to get their first vaccine. The Government has stated that there will be a 12-week grace period between the regulations being passed by Parliament planned for 6 January 2022, and their coming into force. This will allow time for those who have not yet been vaccinated to have both doses. At present, the planned regulations will not require evidence of boosters, but employers are strongly advised to encourage workers to have their booster vaccine when eligible. All care providers regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) will need to include the Covid-19 vaccination requirements in recruitment processes, including job adverts, ensuring all applicants fully understand the requirements. Carolyn Brown, employment legal partner and head of Client Legal

Services at RSM said: ‘The government’s Covid-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers in England who have direct patient contact puts added pressure on the sector at a time when it is already feeling the strain. We want to support healthcare providers in navigating their new employment legal obligations, ensuring they can continue providing safe, high-quality care. Inevitably the vaccination compulsion for healthcare workers in England will mean further staffing challenges, as those who choose not to be vaccinated may well leave their roles. We have already seen this happen in care homes, and some of those who have moved to other types of caring roles to avoid vaccination may now leave the care sector entirely. ‘Where employees working in a CQC regulated setting refuse to get vaccinated, employers can consider removing patient contact through redeployment, although in many cases this may be difficult to implement in practice. In some cases, termination of employment may be considered as the last resort. Carers wanting to avoid job loss will need to get their jabs or seek an exemption certificate from their GP, so its essential employers make all those affected aware of this requirement.’ The new rules are also expected to put further pressure on GPs as care home workers, who until now have been allowed to self-certify as exempt from vaccination, will need a GP certificate to verify exemption after Christmas. Although form MATB1 will give automatic exemption for pregnant employees, this is not provided until the later stages of pregnancy, therefore pregnant workers who prefer to remain unvaccinated will still need to seek a GP exemption certificate.

EMPLOYER’S CHECKLIST RSM UK is recommending healthcare employers in England take the following steps now to ensure they remain compliant from an employment law perspective as compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations are introduced. Communicate the new rules with all staff, including new recruits, to ensure they fully understand what they need to do and the implications of not being vaccinated. Obtain vaccination status from all relevant staff members and keep confidential, up to date GDPR compliant records of this. For those who refuse vaccination, and are not medically exempt, consider redeployment or redesign of their role. Termination of employment should be considered a last resort. CQC regulated care home providers should update their agreements with service providers such as tradespeople to include vaccination requirements for individuals visiting the care home for work purposes. Agree arrangements with suppliers of temporary, agency or bank workers, education institutions who provide students and any other partners who supply workers or volunteers who will need to show evidence of vaccination to be deployed. Employers affected should implement robust policies that clearly define the vaccination requirement for staff and also any professionals visiting the care home or CQC regulated setting.


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The Best Christmas Present for Care Home Residents is to Keep Them Safe, says Social Care Leader A social care leader is calling for a tightening of the rules for visiting care homes to save lives in the run-up to Christmas. Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, is urging the Welsh Government to step up the programme of booster jabs for care workers. It was clear, said Mr Kreft, that Omicron was far more transmissible than previous variants and would soon overtake Delta to become the dominant strain. The cautious approach taken so far by the Welsh Government had been “eminently sensible” and he welcomed a comment from First Minister Mark Drakeford that new guidance for visiting in care homes and hospitals would be issued. Mr Kreft said: “Our first and overwhelming priority is to ensure the vulnerable people for whom we provide care and our wonderful workforce are kept safe. “We are calling on the Welsh Government to look at the rules. We want to keep homes open safely but we need to do that in a very measured and responsible way. “We have a new enemy in the Omicron variant which is spreading at a scarily rapid rate with the number of infections doubling every two days. “It is possible we may need to close down for a week or a fortnight so I think the advice would be to get to see your loved ones as early as possible because we just don’t know where this virus is going. “It would be absurd for me to pretend that everything is going to be fine. Over the next few weeks we could be overwhelmed by this virus. “The people working at the front line have been heroic. They’re worn out, they’re jaded but they are doing the best they can to keep people safe. “We want to see that everything that can possibly be done to make sure that the booster is rolled out right across the country, especially to those who are caring for the vulnerable. “What we now have to do is work with our partners in government and local health boards to ensure that people working on the front line get those jabs as soon as possible. “We are encouraging our colleagues in the health service to ensure we can get our staff jabbed “A very high percentage of residents are fully vaccinated and some care homes are reporting that 100 per

cent of their residents have had all three jabs. “It is now imperative that we ensure any remaining residents and staff who have not been triple jabbed are vaccinated very soon. “It would be ideal if they could organise for vaccination teams to visited larger care settings so that the necessary booster jabs can be done in one fell swoop. “We also need to have boosters for domiciliary care workers who are the key to ensuring that people can remain safe in their own homes. “It’s unclear as yet whether this particular strain is quite as lethal as previous ones but, even if it isn’t, Omicron can still have deadly consequences. “The vaccine offers a good degree of protection but the dangers for frail people have not been totally eliminated. “The risk has not gone away because people who’ve had the full compliment of jabs can still catch coronavirus. “The important point is that people receiving social care usually have serious underlying health conditions that make them uniquely vulnerable to Covid in its various forms. “Many are already very unwell so being infected with the virus can have fatal consequences. “The other problem is that, if community transmission goes unchecked when we have this incredibly virulent strain on the loose, staff are also going to be affected, whether that’s through catching Covid themselves or having to self-isolate for other reasons. “We already in the grip of the worst staffing crisis social care has had to endure and care homes are having to turn people away because they don’t have the capacity to provide care for them. “That means more and more people are stuck in hospital because they cannot be accommodated in care homes or supported in their own homes. “It’s putting extra pressure on our beleaguered NHS when they are already creaking under the strain. “The best Christmas present for people in care homes and those supported in their own homes would be to keep them – and the staff who look after them – safe. “Care Forum Wales will always support measures like this that will undoubtedly save lives.”


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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK

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

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

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 www.yeomanshield.com for details or see page 12.

“… Never Did I Think An Apron Could MOWOOT II for Constipation Free Life Be Game Changing, But I Do Now!” These are the words of a Limon Attire customer, Alexandra, about their specially designed Dining drApron®. The rest of her note read - "I can't tell you the difference it has made at mealtimes! We have no more arguments, nothing has seeped through, comes up brilliantly and, most importantly, Mum can put it on herself! Until Mum fell ill, never did I think an apron could be game changing but I do now! Sometimes it really is the little things in life." Barbara Lewis designed the Dining drApron® for her mother who had dementia and was having difficulty eating. She didn’t want to ask her stylish mother to wear an ugly, demeaning bib so she designed an attractive and practical apron for her to wear at mealtimes. Mum was quite happy in an apron to protect her clothes; she had

worn aprons all her life and there was no stigma with them. They have no unnecessary straps to get tangled in the wash, fit neatly around the neck and have a hidden towelling layer to soak up spills and, best of all, they are attractive. Barbara was inspired to make them with the pattern facing Mum as she had seen her interacting with the design and realised how frustrating it must be to see everything in her closest environment upside down. Wearing a Limon Dining drApron® a person can retain their dignity, identity and individuality whilst protecting their clothing. There are lots designs to choose from to suit differing interests for both men and women. Go to www.limonattire.com to learn more and see the other helpful products they make or see page 9.

Irish Coffeetini Headlines New Fortified Cocktail Recipe Resource A tempting Irish Coffeetini cocktail is one of five new fortified cocktail recipes which are available to claim free from Lakeland Dairies’ brand-new fortified recipe and activity resource. Dairy experts Lakeland Dairies have launched the second of their fortified recipe series specifically for care sector caterers in time for this year’s festivities, Fortified Focus: Festive Tipples. Packed with delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic festive tipple recipes, thefortified drinks have been carefully crafted by the company along with a dietitian and a specialist care home chef. Together they have successfully overcome some of the enormous challenges faced by care caterers when fortifying drinks, namely that of how to devise recipes which are high in protein and still delicious to consume. Dietitian Rachael Masters who was involved in the creation of the recipe’s comments, “I can assure you, these festive tipples not only taste amazing, they are also nutritionally loaded in both protein and calories. They provide a higher percentage of protein than many prescribed nutritional supplements and taste amazing!” Jean Cattanach, marketing controller at Lakeland Dairies adds: “It’s our ambition to help care caterers deliver fortified food and drink in a delicious, appetising, and engaging way. Our 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder, which is used to fortify the new recipes is full of the goodness of milk and recommended by dietitians for fortification because it has the ideal combination of protein and calories.

MOWOOT II - a novel noninvasive and non-pharmacological solution to chronic constipation Developed by a team of medical professionals, MOWOOT II performs gentle abdominal massage that speeds up intestinal transit in the sufferers of chronic constipation. Clinically proven and sideeffects free, MOWOOT II Chronic Constipation Therapy System fights constipation effectively, safely and comfortably without laxatives, enemas or colon cleansing supplements. Comfortable to use MOWOOT II treats and manages chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease and medication-related constipation problems. MOWOOT II also combats idiopathic chronic constipation of menopausal and post-menopausal women and elderly people. In a published clinical study*, MOWOOT II increased evacuation frequency, softened stools, improved regularity, reduced gasses and bloating and relieved

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

abdominal discomfort. Results showed that as many as 72.2% patients experienced increased bowel movements, 77.4% patients manifested reduction in constipation symptoms and 81.0% patients enjoyed better quality of life. 10 – 20 minutes per day of abdominal massage with MOWOOT II demonstrates improvements with significant results noted within days after the first treatment. Regular applications ensure positive health benefits and better quality of life. MOWOOT II – effective, safe and comfortable solution to chronic constipation! * McClurg D; Booth L; Herrero-Fresneda I. Safety and Efficacy of Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis Device to Treat Chronic Constipation: A Prospective Multicentric Clinical Trial. Clin Trans Gastroenterology 2020; 11(12): e00267.

Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com

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

C&S Seating Ltd is 30 Years Old! Since 1991, C&S Seating has been providing postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide and supply regularly

This ensures the recipe are delicious whilst also providing a proven health benefit for residents at risk of undernutrition.” In addition to the fortified cocktail recipes, it includes a series of engaging activity resources created in conjunction with wellbeing experts NAPA. Claim the free fortified recipe and activity resource at https://bit.ly/3EIq2Q4 Every entrant who requests the guide will receive a free roll of Millac piping bags F lakelanddairiesfoodservice T @lakelandFS #festivetipples

to the NHS. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls, in a removable and machine washable, Waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C&S Seating is the sole manufacturer of the

Alternative Positioning Support - ideal when more control of the abducted lower limb is required (see photo) which has removable side cushions and middle pommel; this is available in small or large. Our popular range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 vibrant colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard Waterproof rolls. Soft Knit material provides maximum comfort – ideal for the colder seasons and can also fit snug over our waterproof rolls for maximum protection. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit www.cands-seating.co.uk to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order.

The Carer Reader Exclusive Offer Celebrate 30 years with C&S, when you purchase a Waterproof or Soft Knit covered T-Roll or Log Roll you can purchase a spare cover for just £30.00 inc VAT. This offer will run until 21st December 2021. Quote offer code CARER30 when placing your order. It is recommended you seek professional advice to select the correct product depending on your needs. Please visit our website for full returns policy and further information.



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CATERING FOR CARE

‘People at the Heart’ – Some Positives But More Needed says Charity Vegetarian for Life However, VfL believes that there is more to be done regarding training for care workers. The APPG Report recommends mandatory training, which the White Paper has not committed to. While the commitment to greater support for the development of care workers is seen is a step in the right direction, it is not enough to ensure that minimum standards of care, including providing appropriate meals, are met. Gareth Lloyd-Johnson, VfL Head of Research and Policy, says: ‘The White Paper, “People at the heart”, is a starting point towards better standards of care. We want to see a care system that respects the individual and ensures that long-held values will be respected. “The Government needs to listen to people receiving care and providers of care to fully understand how its vision can become a reality. This has to be more than words; we need a concrete plan that will have a real and practical impact on the quality of care that individuals receive.” To read a copy of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism’s report, ‘Respect for religious and philosophical beliefs while eating in care’ visit www.vforlife.org.uk/inquiry

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) has responded to the Government’s White Paper, ‘People at the heart,’ which sets out a ten-year vision for care. The White Paper looks specifically at the principles guiding how care is given. VfL, the leading charity supporting the rights of vegans and vegetarians in later life, has cautiously welcomed much of the White Paper. Particularly welcome is the focus on ‘person-centred care’ and better training for care workers. In November, VfL, working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism, published an Inquiry Report highlighting how the ethical views of individuals receiving care are often not respected. The Report documents tragic stories of life-long vegans being served meat and the struggles that individuals face to have a proper meal provided. As such, the commitment in the White Paper to assess whether care is, “personalised and culturally appropriate” ensuring “dignity and respect” is welcome. If carried out correctly, this vision for care could provide greater rights for individuals, helping them maintain their values, identity and dignity in care.

Major NEW Product Launches Make a Change for the Better! Keeping healthy is increasingly seen as a social responsibility with many consumers now being motivated to protect their health not just for themselves but also for the ‘greater good’. In research that Major carried out, a staggering 93% described

tarians and vegans, meets 2024 salt targets and is available in two varieties, perfect for meat and poultry dishes. Want to find out more and try for yourself, simply drop us an email

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Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training*? *This training is intended for healthcare professionals only. Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.

HOW CAN THIS TRAINING HELP YOU? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way

See the advert on the previous page for details.

The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the elearning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at resourcecentre@nutricia.com. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)

Maintaining A Healthy Balanced Diet Can Support The Immune System The media is full of advice on how to ‘boost’ your immune system, with many claims of certain supplements or foods doing just this. But how much of this is based in science? Rachael Venditti, Registered Nutritionist from allmanhall (www.allmanhall.co.uk) looks at how diet can help us remain healthy as we move into the winter months, and whether there is anything to support the mantra that food alone can ‘boost’ the immune system.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF NUTRITION? The complexity of the immune system means that it cannot be modified acutely by a specific nutritional intervention. There is currently no convincing evidence that any food or dietary pattern can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat Covid-19. Rather, adhering to a healthy diet provides ongoing support to the immune system and may even delay the process of immunosenescence (the natural gradual deterioration of the immune system as we get older).

WHAT SHOULD WE BE EATING THIS WINTER TO BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS? There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system, which is why maintaining a healthy balanced diet is the best way to support immune function. No single, one food is recommended over another. Eating a variety of foods will help to maintain a healthy balanced diet. The immuno-protection of many nutrients is based on their antioxidant capacity (oxidation is a chemical reaction that can damage cells) which is in fact lost if consumed in excess. In addition to healthy eating, being physically active, reducing stress and getting enough sleep will also all help support immunity function.

ARE THERE ANY SUPPLEMENTS THAT ‘BOOST’ OR PROTECT US FROM COVID-19? There is currently no evidence nor EU approved health claims that any supplement can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat viral infections, like Covid-19. Making sure we meet our dietary requirements for many vitamins and minerals is important for good health and normal immune functioning. Eating a healthy balanced diet should provide all the necessary nutrients

we need. In case of specific challenges in meeting the dietary requirements, supplements can be used to add nutrients to our diet.

GUT HEALTH AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM Another area covered in the media relating to immunity is gut health. Gut microbiota has been a hot health topic for a while now. The gut and its microbiota have been shown to impact metabolism, immunity and even behaviour. It is thought that the predominance of the beneficial bacteria, referred to as the probiotic bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, ensure good health and prevent diseases of the gut and other organs in the body. Probiotics fight harmful foreign substances and can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by producing organic acids that lower the PH in the intestine. To support good gut health, the advice is to eat a wide range of foods, a diverse microbiota is a healthy one, a diet including different food types can lead to a diverse microbiota. High fibre foods promote microbiome diversity such as fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, and Wholegrains. Live plain natural yoghurt, and fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchee and kombucha, are also thought to support a healthy gut.

FOOD AND NUTRITION ADVICE FOR THIS WINTER • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – try to get a large variety, especially of vegetables, set yourself a challenge to have 30 different vegetables in a week • Eat a diet high in fibre – fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, beans and lentils • Include food with good bacteria (probiotics) live yoghurts, kefir, and fermented foods such as kimchee and sauerkraut. Try to ‘eat something living every day’ • Take Vitamin D supplements from October – April (all year round if you have darker skin, have little exposure to sunlight or are over 65). To summarise, using a statement recently published from the British Dietetic Association “Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching Covid-19 / Coronavirus. Although eating a well-balanced diet can help ensure the normal functioning of the immune system, no individual nutrient, food or supplement is going to “boost” it beyond normal levels. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection”. For further advice about nutrient provision in menus, it is important to seek advice from a Registered Dietitian or other healthcare professional and that you follow the current advice set out by the Government, NHS and Public Health England.



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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Research Into Infection Prevention Control In Care Homes Reveals How To Make Improvements Post COVID-19 A new study has investigated measures used to control infection in care homes for older people. The study involved analysing data and previous research from 2007 to 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, in a bid to understand the reasons how viruses spread and identify how to influence this both now and into the future. The research was published in the journal, Health Expectations, and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC). The Centre is a partnership between The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Maria Panagioti, lead of the GM PSTRC’s Safer Care Systems and Transitions Theme and an author of this study, said: “In England, Government policy around the discharge of patients from hospitals into care homes has been used to explain how COVID-19 spreads though care

homes. “However, we believe this is only part of the story as less attention has been given to investigating the role Infection Prevention and Control played. In conducting this research we’ve analysed a large number of studies to identify some of the reasons why Infection Prevention and Control might not always be effective in stopping COVID in its tracks and how this can be improved to make healthcare safer in care homes for older people. The research identified that one of the challenges faced by care homes is uncovering how an outbreak begins. Then, once an infection begins to spread, identifying who is responsible for the necessary control measures is not always easy. High staff turnover was also found to be an additional challenge. The need to bring in external health care professionals such as GPs to diagnose or treat an infection effects Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). Researchers concluded that training staff repeatedly could support them in ensuring IPC is effectively practiced across care homes as this would help to, overcome one of the key reasons why IPC in care homes has not been as effective as it could have been, i.e. high staff turnover. However, the success of this measure depends upon managerial commitment and organisational improvements being made within care homes. Dr Panagioti, continued: “Our research has identified how important it is

to understand the unique challenges care homes face regarding IPC. We believe repetitive staff training in IPC is key in helping to improve safety for care home residents and we look forward to seeing these recommendations being acted upon.” An experienced public contributor, who is an informal carer, was involved in the research, and said: ‘‘Having previously inspected acute hospital inpatient and mental health inpatient wards for their condition and cleanliness as a Public Member throughout Northwest England, and previously having family members / family friends admitted into care homes, I was genuinely interested in assisting with this much needed research study. “The findings from this study on effective Infection Prevention and Control in care home settings if adhered to by owners, managers and the staff working within care homes, should make a positive difference to the safety and welfare of care home residents by reducing the risks of any potential infections that may originate and then spread. A particular strength of the study was that the voice of those with lived experience of care homes and their family members/ family carers was both listened to and incorporated into the recommendations.”

Far-UV Sanitisation For Care Homes Means Staff, Residents and Visitors are Safer From Viruses, Bacteria and Pathogens An outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increased need for safe, disinfected public spaces. BiocareUV have been working with the government, education and healthcare sectors to provide a solution to the ongoing health issues in the UK and the rest of the globe. Our Far-UV products safely sanitise rooms and high touch areas leaving them free from pathogens, bacteria and viruses such as Covid 19, MRSA & Norovirus. The UV light at 222nanometers is safe to be around humans and animals whilst also being effective at destroying unwanted germs, leaving the room safer for your staff, residents and visitors in these uncertain times. Manufactured in the UK with government support, BiocareUV strive to make day to day living safer. The products come in various forms, from a hand held Biowand unit which sanitises the area manually, to a Biolume which fits into the ceiling and sanitises the room throughout the day, BiocareUV have the right solution for you. Businesses nationwide are struggling with the cost and inconvenience of absent staff members due to covid, flu or other winter viruses, BiocareUV can help to reduce this. The Biotile and Biolume products fit into the ceiling fixtures and are specifically timed to make sure the room is constantly sanitised, leaving it safer for your residents, their guests and your staff, significantly reducing the risk of staff illnesses and sick days. Your residents are the most important part of your business and keeping them

safe is your priority. Here at BiocareUV, the safety and wellbeing of everybody is our priority! Ultraviolet light (light at wavelengths between 100 and 400 nanometers) has well-known disinfection properties and have been used for many decades in the food and water industry. Most UV disinfection systems use germicidal lamps of wavelengths 240nm-280nm, with the most common being 254nm. Unfortunately, exposure to 254nm UVC light also causes damage to skin and eyes in humans. However, recently published studies have demonstrated that UV light at 222nm has the same germicidal capabilities of 254nm light without damaging skin or eyes and has increased efficacy for killing bacteria and viruses. Regulations permit the use of UV at these wavelengths within occupied spaces, properly controlled. Our products & systems ensure those regulations are never breached. “We’re justifiably proud of our products and our innovation and genuinely believe they will become a part of the global response to not just this pandemic, but how we deal with global health for the future” says Mike Humphreys, BiocareUV’s Operations Director. BiocareUV are here to help, to learn more about the products visit our website www.biocareuv.com or get in touch with our team today by emailing sales@biocareuv.com. BiocareUV – Your Health is Our Priority!


Medi-Clean Technologies: Innovative, Sustainable Hygiene & Cleaning Solutions Exactly one year ago we were on the brink of full-scale national lockdown for the third time and Christmas was soon to be cancelled for many. In just 12 months the United Kingdom has turned the Pandemic on its head and celebrations and festivities can go ahead as normal. With visitors to care and nursing homes likely to increase dramatically during the lead up to Christmas, we at Medi-Clean are hoping to provide “best in class” equipment to keep people Covid-free and safe. If there’s one thing the Pandemic has taught us, its how important correct hygiene and cleaning practices are in keeping bacteria and viruses at bay.

Medi-Clean has developed a complete range of systems aimed at providing “best in class” premium products, enabling customers to overcome any short- term or long-term hygiene issue. We have developed products to disinfect, purify and sanitise any surface of any environment as well as remain hygienic for people and animals. Some of the high-tech premium products in our catalogue include the following… • Electrostatic Fogging Equipment that sprays a fine, atomised mist carrying decontaminating compounds, such as anti-toxins, disinfectants or sanitisers. The foggers are powerful, compact, and quiet for continuous operation and sprays up to 3 times more than conventional foggers on target. • UVC Air Sterilisation Units clean the air that we share and provide extra confidence and re-assurance when gathering in confined spaces, we have three different types to choose from, dependent on individual customer requirements.

• Portable & Intelligent Disinfection Unit is a unique, innovative and revolutionary channel, developed to provide an extra layer of safety and hygiene when allowing people access care facilities, whilst also providing staff, visitors and residents confidence and reassurance. The system can also be used as an advanced clocking in and out system for all members of staff and visitors.

Another aspect that the Pandemic opened our eyes to is the current state of the environment and the climate crisis. It forced us to reflect on old practices, and to find new ways of doing things in a more sustainable and ecoresponsible manner. As a result, we developed a sustainable product range to not only protect people, but the planet too. Innovation and sustainability are paving the way for a new type of care giving, allowing us to use technological solutions to repeatedly improve the level of care that we can provide.

Our Solupak daily cleaning system is the perfect solution to regular, single use plastic cleaning products. Within our own laboratories we manufacturer a range of water- soluble daily cleaning and disinfectant products for commercial, domestic and leisure use across many industries. The watersoluble products are effectively contained within PVOH films until the point of use… simply just add water when required. The product offering is extensive, with a full catalogue available upon request and the benefits of this product both in terms of environmental cost effectiveness are endless. The Solupak Daily Cleaning Range… • Without requiring large, expensive dosing systems. • Without relying on operatives dosing correctly. • Without having expensive ready to use products. • Without waste; just add water... and they dissolve. • With the highest possible environmental accreditations. • With the guarantee that the active ingredients are optimally dosed. • With a product for all applications.

“We are fully committed to the utmost hygienic and cleaning safety standards for all.”

Contact us at 01514 595 955 www.medicleantechnologies.co.uk


PAGE 32 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Robust Testing for Airborne Illnesses Urged Across the Care Industry This Winter to Protect Residents and Staff Airborne illnesses beyond COVID-19 and influenza must be part of prevention strategies in care homes to reduce hospitalisation of residents this winter, according to healthcare company Abbott. While the nation is increasingly familiar with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as influenza, there are airborne diseases that are also putting people at risk. Respiratory Syncytial Virus – known as RSV – is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. While COVID-19 and influenza testing are becoming common practice, visitors entering care homes with RSV may go undetected. The vital role testing plays in protecting both care home residents and staff is supported by Care England, the leading representative body for care providers in England. "It is helpful to raise awareness of other airborne diseases that care home staff, residents and visitors might be unfamiliar with. Before the pandemic, not many people had heard the term ‘coronavirus’, but increased awareness has helped most understand why safety precautions and testing are of paramount importance in the care sector," commented Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive at Care England. "We are fully aware of the immense pressure care homes are under as we head into the winter season, but the first line of defence against lesser-known airborne diseases – like RSV – is ensuring care staff are aware of it, increasing education on the symptoms, and ensuring testing is in place wherever possible," added Green. RSV symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, temperature, sore throat, and wheezing[i]. For those aged over 65, RSV accounts for 175,000 appointments with general practitioners, 14,000 hospitalisations and 8,000 deaths per year in the UK[ii]. There are currently no specific treatments for RSV infection and management is purely sup-

portive through oxygen supplementation; therefore, prevention of contracting the disease is essential. To detect RSV, care home providers should look to utilise kits that scan for airborne diseases – like Abbott’s ID NOW – a portable instrument used for front-line testing in health settings. It quickly provides results for COVID-19, influenza A & B, strep A and RSV, with positive results shown in a little as five minutes, and negative results in 13 minutes. Gabriela Zackova, director of Dementia and Wellbeing at Loveday & Co Care Homes has recently added an ID NOW testing device. Gabriela said: "We’re excited to be using this point of care test for our staff, residents and their visitors. Last year, winter was one of the hardest times for our sector, not only due to the increased pressure to keep people safe, but also for our residents, who were separated from the people they love which had a significant impact on their wellbeing and mental health." "ID NOW is a small, lightweight machine, about the size of a toaster, that will allow us to make even better decisions about risk levels for numerous viruses, enabling us to provide a more robust screening process for everyone at the facility." Abbott has been a global leader in COVID-19 testing throughout the pandemic. "While many staff and visitors will self-test for COVID-19 at home before entering the premises, it is vital precautions are taken for other airborne illnesses. By utilising a diagnostic testing device on-site, we can slow the spread of illness, better protect vulnerable residents, and minimise the risk of catching potentially life-threatening illnesses this winter," added Sam Lloyd, general manager, Infectious Diseases at Abbott’s rapid diagnostics business in the UK and Ireland. For more information on Abbott’s ID NOW testing instrument, visit: www.Globalpointofcare.abbott/idnow or see the advert on pages 18-19.

Waterless Bathing Products Could Help Nurses Reduce the Risk of Infection Transmission

By Yvonne Carter, Clinical Director at GAMA Healthcare (https://gamahealthcare.com/) and previously Head of Infection Control at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (www.royalfree.nhs.uk)

For both nurses and carers, helping patients with their personal hygiene and bathing are essential components in quality of life and quality of care. Bathing has been argued to have a strong effect on patient well-being and patient comfort. For immobile patients, sometimes, a body wash in bed is the only option. Traditionally, the bed bath is performed with water and soap. However, alternatives are increasingly used in health care. Washing without water is one such alternative that has been claimed to provide several advantages, such as improved hygiene and skin condition. In practice, it is fast, minimises discomfort and results in less mess. In two studies, nursing staff have significantly preferred washing without water over traditional bathing.i

Built on the experience from GAMA’s founders, the Carell wipes are an easy-to-use bathing solution to clean, moisturise and refresh. Delivering a full body wash in a single product and no need to spend time gathering supplies. They contain aloe vera and active moisturisers to promote healthy skin. They're dermatologically tested, alcohol, lanolin and paraben free with a patented skin-pH neutral formula.

SPEED AND EFFICIENCY Wipes replace the need for traditional cumbersome patient cleansing methods, which include preparing bowls, washcloths, soap, lotions and water. They require no towel drying which decreases waste, increases staff compliance and may save money. A time in motion study comparing traditional bed bathing with waterless bathing in elderly care wards was carried out in practice, finding that staff saved 40 minutes whilst delivering care to six patients.i

PATIENT COMFORT AND PREFERENCE In the previously mentioned study, it was found that the experience was preferred by patients and improved staff practice due to the simple one pack one person formulation.i The drying time for the wipes is minimal, reducing the need for abrasive towelling, whilst the wipes themselves are soft. A study showed the prevalence of skin abnormalities in the traditional bathing group increased overtime, whilst the waterless bathing group observed a decrease in abnormality prevalence.i Additionally, another study showed a significant difference in skin dryness, favouring the waterless group.ii

INFECTION PREVENTION Carell wipes also remove the risk of microorganism transmission associated with wash bowl contamination, risks from re-using washbowls between patients, spillage, non-drying of washbowls or less than effective decontamination

between washbowl uses. Improved patient cleanliness reduces the number of microorganisms present to transfer to healthcare workers, visitors and the environment The wipes are designed for use on each area of the body and can be used and disposed of safely, breaking the chain of transmission via bath basins. Once waterless bathing has been completed, wipes can be resealed in their original packaging and safely disposed of. This reduces the risk of outbreaks and HCAIs associated with drainage systems. A randomised trial into the cost-consequence of washing without water revealed there is no difference in costs verses traditional bed bathing, making waterless washing the more efficient alternative.i Find out more about Carell Wipes and access to dedicated training/resources on waterless bathing https://gamahealthcare.com/carell i https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25173772/ ii https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-

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 healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 33

DEMENTIA CARE Alive On Demand – Apps Release – Video Streaming Platform for Older People Designed to Engage and Spark Conversation With Loved Ones and Carers Alive On Demand is a video streaming platform with over 200 unique videos designed by and for older people. This platform has been designed with activities staff/care staff/carers and loved ones in mind to better engage, spark conversation and learn more about individual and group interests. Each video comes with a variety of additional activity resources to maintain and nurture engagement. These resources turn an engaging video into well rounded activity. Alive On Demand is available through a browser on the internet and can now be enjoyed through both Android and iOS apps. Viewing these through the apps also means that each video can be viewed offline by everybody, in areas with no WiFi. Alive On Demand was born out the need for specifically curated video content for people with varying levels of dementia,availablewhenever suits the busy lives ofcarers,both at home and in care homes. Following extensive consultations with older people, including specific information on what places and activities they would like to engage with, Alive On Demand was built with its audience at the centre. Before COVID forced care homes to close their doors, many local

Silent Memories

Music therapy is a well established form of treatment for patients, particularly those suffering with dementia. It can help evoke memories and create a deeper sense of coherence and communication, whilst allowing residents to communicate on a different level with care workers and family members. Here at Silent Memories we offer an innovative form of music therapy, whereby rather than playing the music out loud for all to hear, it is played through our wireless headsets directly to the patients. All music is carefully selected by the residents, care workers, family members and our DJs. When listening to music through our headsets we have noticed a distinct increase in engagement, animation and stimulation amongst patients. Often the music seems to evoke memories and allows the

attractions had contributed to Alive’s various projects by allowing visits and providing outreach sessions. Since lockdown, Alive has been delivering online zoom activity sessions to care homes in Bristol and now nationally.Some of these were ‘Out and About’ sessions. Care homes were taken on tours of attractions or areas, so they were able to feel like they had been out of the home and explored parts of the city. As the severity of COVID has increased Alive has observed that homes are no longer able to attend live activity at a fixed time. This led to homes asking for a way of accessing our unique content on demand whenever it might suit them. The platform allows you to search for content based on the viewer’s level of dementia, their personal interests and the length of time they have to enjoy the video.The videos are designed to be a mixture of learning, entertainment and reminiscence with questions that guide group discussion and one to one conversation. “What makes Alive On Demand stand out is really the fact that we have designed the content to be watched with loved ones, to create conversation and spark memories. The content is designed to support people in engaging with people living with dementia as well as allowing those living with dementia to enjoy things that are meaningful to them.” – Emma Dyer, AOD Project Manager. To see Alive on Demand in action watch our promo video at https://youtu.be/eTM9iUWZzzc. Sign up to the newsletter at www.aliveondemand.co.uk to find out more about Alive On Demand and keep up to date with new releases and features. Take a look at Alive’s sample videos at https://aliveondemand.co.uk/orders/customer_info?o=58533 or contact Alive Activities for more information.

residents to become completely immersed in the sessions. Using headsets allows residents to opt in or out of the sessions. The silent disco can be taking place in a communal area and anyone not taking part won't be distracted by the activity. With a long transmission range it also allows patients with limited mobility to take part in the sessions in their own rooms. For more information on how we can help your clients recall memories and help to enhance the quality of life through the enjoyment of music please get in touch.: info@silentnoizeevents.com, call 0203 727 5382 or visit www.silentnoizeevents.com/silentmemories

TO ADVERTISE IN PLEASE CALL OUR SALES TEAM ON

01202 552333



THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 35

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups

A national care group needs to know that they are delivering a consistently high standard of care and in order to do this they need to ensure that they are working with service partners that they can trust. When it comes to laundry provision, centralised procurement and management teams want to know that they will have access to a streamlined process for all account and service management. Established in 1926, Forbes Professional offers a nationwide delivery of a local-based service, with the security and reliability that comes from being a multiaward winning, CHAS approved business. We have an expansive network of depots and field engineers including our own in-house Gas Safe engineers. This enables a highly responsive service and maintenance response, which is mobilised via a dedicated hotline at

LaundryTec

LaundryTec is the culmination of 40 years’ experience in the laundry equipment market by its founder Jeremy Hartigan. Based in Chester we offer support for our own Lavamac brand and all other makes. Uniquely LaundryTec will offer support for any laundry equipment, with reliable, cost-effective after sales support across the UK via our in-house service department Supported by Alliance Laundry (The World’s Biggest manufacturer) we distribute the Lavamac range of equipment that’s unique range of features include, Data Tracked Operation, Auto-Weight loading, Automatic chemical control, Simple to use controls and market leading efficiency in energy consumption make it a market leader The Air Sourced Heat Pump Dryers cost less to dry

our head office. We work closely with clients to devise the solution best suited to their requirements; conducting comprehensive site-surveys, offering detailed CAD designs and always specifying the most appropriate, industry compliant machines. We choose our manufacturers extremely carefully to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of both product and service. For the care sector, hygiene is always of paramount importance and our commercial laundry equipment fully adheres to the relevant WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. We are proud to be Miele National Partner which enables us to offer market leading, energy efficient machines including a wide range of heatpump dryers. All of our laundry equipment is available for rent, lease or purchase with maintenance. Our Complete Care rental solution gives access to premium equipment without upfront capital outlay and with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. Clients are assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their point of contact, centralising all account management for a highly efficient process that keeps things simple for both procurement teams and care management staff. www.forbespro.co.uk info@forbes-professional.co.uk 0345 070 2335 18kg of washing than boiling a kettle! Auto- Chemical control and Auto weight Control calculates the energy required to the actual load and can control the chemical usage and offer reduction of up to 50% in chemical usage! Every replacement machine includes Installation, commissioning and as standard 24 months Parts and Labour Warranty. CMM customers will receive a 36-month warranty as Standard. If you want a friendly amenable face that can deliver on their promises let LaundryTec offer you the kind of support we offer Bupa, Care UK, Abbey Healthcare, and many others to your home? From Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) to fully comprehensive cover and reactive support properly maintained, and supported laundry equipment should be a cost effective, relaxed part of the care homes operation? Check out our website www.laundrytec.com to see what of customers say info@laundrytec.com

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

LaundryTec Ltd offer a unique approach to laundry equipment

We don’t want to replace equipment or sign you into a long-term agreement. LaundryTec want to support your existing equipment, through PPM, Gas Safe Compliance and Quality emergency support.

Quality, Innovation and Support

BEFORE

We are also Lavamac distributors

www.laundrytec.com

0151 317 3127

AFTER

info@laundrytec.com


PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Keeping Care Homes Hygienic Textile Services Association provides support for care homes looking to improve laundry hygiene The Textile Services Association (TSA) has released guidance aimed at the care home sector to help explain how laundry helps control infections and how commercial laundries can help to raise hygiene standards. This is part of the ongoing effort the TSA has made during the pandemic to help encourage high standards for hygiene in a number of sectors, including healthcare and hospitality. The advice is based on research carried out by De Montfort University, in association with the TSA, which was aimed at determining the survivability of coronaviruses on various fabric types and laundry processes. This research demonstrated that while model coronaviruses can survive in water at 60°C for ten minutes, when combined with the agitation washing machines impart and detergent, no trace of the virus was found at 40°C and above. However, other pathogens like C.difficile, B.cereus, E.faecium and so on will require further thermal disinfection. For care homes looking to maximise their hygiene, the knowledge that professional wash processes effectively eliminate the infection risk from pathogens and coronaviruses is good news. However, it was also determined that the tested strain of coronavirus can remain infectious on polyester fabric for up to 72 hours, and 100% cotton for 24 hours. It’s also possible for polyester fabric to transfer the virus to other surfaces for up to 72 hours. With this in mind, the TSA recommends that care homes review procedures for laundry, including the loading and unloading of washing machines and the handling and storing of soiled and clean textiles, focusing on the need to reduce the chances of cross

contamination. While each care home will have its own processes, common areas to focus on include bagging soiled items, separate storage areas for soiled and clean textiles, ensuring that collection and delivery times for laundry are different, and putting in rigorous procedures for sanitising all at risk areas. The pandemic has hugely increased the importance of maintaining the strictest hygienic standards in care homes. While some care homes may be able to implement the kind of systems required to guarantee the safety of their laundry needs, from resident’s bedsheets, clothes etc. to staff uniforms, the services offered by commercial laundries provide a simple solution to these logistical issues. The TSA has created a technical bulletin outlining the government’s advice, as well as breaking down the kind of steps care homes should consider as part of any risk assessment they take to improve the hygiene of their laundry procedures. As well as this, the TSA will be running an interactive webinar later in the year allowing operators to ask a panel of industry experts questions related to laundry hygiene. The bulletin can be downloaded on the TSA’s website, from the healthcare section of the documents library, and further details about the webinar can also be found there. The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represent commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies. Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.

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

protection 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.

Southern Contracts Industrial Equipment Suppliers

Contact us now on 03301 222888 www.southerncontracts.co.uk Follow us on : Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Southern Contracts is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of industrial laundry, catering and commercial cleaning equipment. We work with many care homes, hotels, restaurants, holiday parks, cruise lines, offshore platforms, marine companies and local authorities, the NHS, the MoD as well as schools and colleges. Founded in 1964 to initially supply and maintain commercial laundry equipment, we are still family run today and are proud to have become a global supplier of not only laundry equipment, but also professional kitchen appliances and commercial cleaning equipment, to well known independent and national clients. We pride ourselves on delivering the very best products and service to our customers. By stocking the leading commercial washing machines, industrial tumble dryers, cleaning, HEPA vacuum and catering equipment, we are able to offer

independent and unbiased advice to ensure your purchase precisely meets your requirement and budget; our expert team of technical staff are on hand to ensure your business is supported through every aspect of your purchase. From initial advice on current government standards (eg. infection control for commercial washing machines and meeting government legislation for kitchen appliances) we understand the importance of minimal disruption to operations for our clients whilst covering all aspects of installation, customer training, ongoing maintenance, service and repair. For more information regarding our services for : • Laundry equipment • Kitchen appliances • Commercial cleaning equipment Contact us now on 03301 222888 Follow us on : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram LinkedIn


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 37

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Introducing Intercall One – Building Lotus Care Technology on our Bestselling Legacy System Intercall is a leading UK manufacturer of nurse call systems used in healthcare facilities across the UK and around the world. Known for their innovative products, including the Touch and 600/700 series, Intercall’s latest development is One, a modern affordable nurse call system created for the digital age. Installed on the robust Intercall framework, it provides an opportunity for a nurse call system upgrade with minimal disruption with interconnected call points that supply unrivalled reliability while assisting in the smooth running of the care facility. The Intercall One system delivers real-time accurate call data to the right people at the right time, ensuring a prompt response. Furthermore, the system is supported with Intercall Care Cards to control access to sensitive areas, while integrating with care management functions.

Launched at this year’s Care Show in Birmingham, the One series underwent rigorous testing, including the successful installation into trial sites at Brooklands Nursing Home in Ashdown Forest and Sutton Court Residential Home in Nottingham. Initial feedback for the One series has been extremely positive, with the facilities impressed by the ease of installation. Intercall One has been developed to help reduce alarm fatigue, while the stylish, clean design integrates seamlessly into modern décor in a discreet, unobtrusive manner. During 2020, Intercall installed an inhouse state-of-the-art training facility, which has allowed them to offer COVID-safe product training and demonstrations to colleagues and clients across the world. If you’d like to arrange a demonstration or simply find out more about the One series, visit www.one.intercall.co.uk

How Flexible Is Your Nurse Call System? Touchsafe® Pro Wireless Nurse Call is an essential communications system for alerting staff to calls, visually and audibly, from patients to other members of staff. Fitting a nurse call system can often be disruptive, time consuming and expensive; but not with Aid Call’s wireless system. Aid Call utilise wireless technology because there is no need to install cables to any of the call points and the impact is minimal, which is reassuring at a time of increased pressure on resources and environments. Wireless systems also have lower installation and operating costs over a traditional hard-wired system, as well as being quicker and easier to install. Wireless configuration offers complete flexibility and mobility, which makes our system infinitely changeable and expandable, allowing for

the constant ability to deal with ever changing priorities and demands. Our system is safe, reliable and cost-effective. It can be designed to suit individual requirements and needs and adapted to work within your budget. It also has a variety of features which can help to maximise staff efficiency and improve the overall quality of care offered to your clients and patients. Aid Call pagers also work seamlessly with our Touchsafe Pro wireless Nurse Call system, they can be integrated with your existing system, or they can be used as a stand-alone system. So whether you need 2 pagers or 12, our products provide the ultimate flexibility for healthcare facilities. For further information visit www.aidcall.co.uk or see the advert on page 15.

The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls.  Having many years of experience in

fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit lctuk.com for details.


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

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

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 www.fallsavers.co.uk.

The New MPCSA11 from Medpage

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

Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35year 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 suc-

cessful 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 care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 39

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

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

Silent Running - Tranquility in Care Homes Quiet and calm care homes ensure that residents are able to live in a more relaxing and pleasant home environment. Similarly, carers and staff find that they too benefit from reduced stress when working in a home where noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are many environmental factors that can affect those sensitive to their surroundings, particularly those suffering from dementia, these can be fluctuations in ambient temperature, light, and of course noise. Repetitive and high levels of noise can originate from a number of internal and external sources, for example, telephones ringing, loud conversations in corridors, and call bells sounding, often one of the largest contributors to increasing the levels of stress and discomfort in residents. A published study by the University of Stirling stated that unanswered Nurse Call (Call Bell) alarms can be one of the most common causes of stress in dementia sufferers. The University recommends “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate what the matter is. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are sepa-

rate alarm types used depending upon the location of the call. In these circumstances, dementia sufferers and those vulnerable to noise can be located in one “zone” whist less vulnerable residents live in an alternative “zone”. Each “zone” can operate different call tones, warning lights or other methods to alert when help is required Reducing noise levels is essential to create a tranquil environment for residents. Pagers have been around for many years, are a relatively simple and cost-effective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call system. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered immediately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the residents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the positive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and more tranquil environment. For more information email us at: info@c-t.co.uk

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

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

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.

www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk



THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 41

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE New Fintech Helps Healthcare SMES Combat Late Payments Small businesses are being given free access to a new digital payment platform to help them get outstanding debts paid more quickly. Debt Register is giving healthcare SMEs in the country the opportunity to load and collect up to five free outstanding debts every year by using its platform which it claims can resolve debts anything up to 10 times faster than ‘traditional’ legal action and without the unnecessary cost. Businesses simply log onto the Fintech platform using one of their five free credits and the system takes over. It automatically contacts their debtor and in the appropriate language and time of day, requesting that the payment is settled, and ensuring the invoice is cor-

Oysta Intelligent Care Technology

Giving Vulnerable Independent People (VIP) the option to remain in their own homes and out of expensive long-term care, Oysta’s telecare technology enables carers to monitor well-being and provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any location. “The cost savings that we are seeing are immense. We are now in a position where we are more streamlined, yet just as effective in our care provision. From a management point of view, we are able to prioritise the time of our teams, whilst still providing the care where it is needed. This is enabling us to provide better care, for more people, all within the familiar surroundings of their own home”. – Care service provider with Oysta, Telford, Shropshire. Continually, and securely, monitoring activity and patterns of behaviour, Oysta care solutions provide carers, family and the VIP themselves with peace of mind and support. Should an alert be raised, everyone within the VIPs

care network is notified. Responding to emergency alerts triggered by the VIP, or detected by a sensor within the home, Oysta technology kick starts a connected-care process to prevent a problem becoming a crisis. Digital tracking technology also enables fast finding of a VIP who may have wandered out of preset safe zones. The ‘cloak of care’ for the VIP from Oysta contributes to reduced feelings of isolation, fewer falls and emergency A&E admission. Oysta solutions also enable patients to be discharged from hospital sooner. Combining mobile technology with the latest digital communications, Oysta provides easy to use, easy to install, data-rich systems all connected to Oysta’s innovative IntelliCare platform. An invaluable management tool, care providing teams can understand quickly what the issues are, or will be, based on trends and metrics collated by IntelliCare, for each VIP in their care. Enabling better use of care resource, staff time and care budget, IntelliCare supports a more intelligent care service. Enabling faster and more targeted care, Oysta telecare solutions are in use within Care agencies and prescribed by Social care authorities around the country, protecting 10,000’s of Vulnerable People. Flexible and reliable, Oysta solutions are digital, freeing VIPs from the confines of the home. Allowing greater freedom, VIPs can rest assured that they are always connected to Oysta care, wherever they may venture. For further information on Oysta and their range of solutions, please visit: www.oysta-technology.com

rect and not in dispute. Should the debtor not respond or payment is not immediately forthcoming, the matter is reported to the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) and the debtor’s credit score negatively impacted. It is this ‘consequence’ that provides the leverage for an outstanding debt to be addressed, and on launch, initial data shows 80% of debtors engaged through the platform paid their clients directly within seven days. Gary Brown, Founder of Debt Register, said the product and platform were created out of necessity: “SMEs often don’t have the luxury of time or a dedicated team to chase debts and they can quickly become overdue. Whereas some might eventually try to legal action, its time-consuming and costly, and outcomes are difficult to predict. “With the accelerated payment platform we have developed, we hope to play our part in helping SMEs

get paid for the work or services provided, and keep the cash flowing.” Debt Register provides a series of tools for users including auto-translation for companies recovering debts from overseas customers. The system is intelligent, to recognise different time zones, working days and cultural nuances including national holidays or religious festivals, and times the despatch of any communications accordingly. The platform has also been designed to streamline the payment process for the debtor with a specially designed portal providing three points of payment resolution as well as a series of tools including messaging services and payment acknowledgement tools. Debt Register is available globally and designed to suit any business regardless of industry. For more information or to sign up for a free trial, please visit: https://debtregister.com/freetrial

Global Software Solutions from Leecare Leecare’s comprehensive Platinum 5.0 program is easily customised to meet specific organisational needs. Offering as much or as little flexibility as desired, P5 assessment content across the suite and linked Apps can be modified to provide clients with reassurance that the software is fit for purpose. Integral to the program is a specialised form and report builder which enables easy tailoring of the program. Organisations can build or modify assessments, monitoring charts, care plans and reports as well as change default and individual resident settings ensuring optimal function and success. Mobile Apps which link to the program can also be modified at the push of a button. Layers of permissions built into the programme ensure staff can only read / write in particular resident files or assessments and do what they are mandated to. Our comprehensive understanding of the legal and political environments that govern each of the markets in which we operate means we are able to expediently add required forms / functions to the program to ensure our clients stay abreast of any changes. The Leecare platform incorporates a resident/client-centric care system comprising over

150 aged / social care expert assessments and monitoring charts designed with the latest evidence-based tools and the sector they serve in mind. We also provide over 100 meaningful, quality and system analysis ready reports. One source of truth is ensured and duplication is eliminated through linked data which maps throughout all relevant assessments in the program. Whenever an assessment is completed and saved the information entered will trigger a number of functions including the mapping of the information to another relevant assessment in the program, the generation of an automated progress note, a prompt to update a resident goal; the need to update other related clinical information in the program such as neuro obs post fall, the updating of any one of three different resident care plans, an update of relevant resident and management reports. As the system can be used from any device and accessed via Wi-Fi from anywhere, data can be entered in a timely manner at the point of care or when it is convenient, streamlining and simplifying workflow for nurses and care staff be it assessment data at the bedside or downloading maintenance reports from the workshop. Visit www.leecare.co.uk for further information.


PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Check EU Employees Right To Work, Warns Bizimply 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. Employers using Bizimply’s suite of workforce management software can easily and confidentially record all the necessary status confirmation and supporting documentation for employees, and make it available to check if required. Employers can be jailed for five years and pay an unlimited fine if found guilty of employing someone who they know or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.

Details of the Settled Status regulations are at www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus. An employer toolkit is at www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlementscheme-employer-toolkit See the advert this page or visit www.bizimply.com

Eliminate Paper & Payroll Stress

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

Reliant Care Solutions provides Time & Attendance systems for Care Homes using Face Recognition technology and mobile communications with your employees. Accurate, fast and easy to use for staff and Management. We have been in the business of Time Management for over 20 years, and have a vast experience in software development. DutyHours™ and TimeCap™ are easy to use and will dramatically reduce management time to produce Rosters, staff payroll and collect data. It is suitable for a single home or for organizations that may have multiple homes with centralized payroll. With our Employee Portal staff can check their rosters by using their Mobile or other devices to quickly view, past, present and future shifts. They can quickly request holidays and if you need someone for an open shift the Portal will display them and the employee can

request to work the shift. Approve or Reject any requests direct to their Mobile Phone, Laptop, text or email and eliminate paper, phone calls with instant communication that will save everyone time and money. The system creates an electronic timesheet of which job, where, when, which department and accurately calculates and controls pay hours including Bank Holidays, Vacation, Sickness and other absence. It will identify allowances such as overtime, weekend and night shift working and export the hours and Gross Pay for your payroll or to send to your accountant. Call Workforce Group on 03333 4444 562 for more information and a demonstration of the system, or visit our web site at www.rcscare.net



PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Care Staffing Crisis Tackled with Comprehensive Recruitment, Retention, and Fully Funded Nationally Training Pathway Programme Recognised and Accredited Qualifications

We are a Company that finds learners for Colleges and Learning Providers. MSD Independent offer market-leading fully funded

Courses for a wide range of Certificated Health and Social Care qualifications.

These cover a diverse mix of subjects, such as Autism, Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid, Dementia Awareness, and the

Safe Handling and Administration of Medicines as well as many

more. Also we have fully funded courses in Safeguarding, Business Administration, and Digital Services. The courses are available

through several Colleges we work with so staff will get

access to qualified tutors to help them if needed, plus longer submission times than many providers.

Staff shortages in the care sector are well-documented and Staffordshire-based Acacia Training has responded with the launch of a new Professional Care Pathway programme. Structured as a flexible sixyear package, the training programme provides learners with the opportunity to progress to a Level 5 qualification with the option to additionally complete a teaching qualification in the final year. It is open equally to those new to the sector, those already following a career within it, and those considering a return to health and social care. For employers, the pathway commences at the recruitment stage making it the most comprehensive and advanced programme of its kind in the care sector. Created in direct response to the needs of care employers, Acacia’s Professional Care Pathway has been developed to transform how care workers are perceived, through the raising of standards and provision of professional qualifications to degree level and beyond. Lisa Davies, speaking on behalf of Acacia Training, said: “The pandemic shone a spotlight on the vital role of those working in care, but recruitment and retention combine to pose the sector with its biggest challenge of all and there are now in excess of 100,000 positions vacant. “Care employers are under immense pressure to deliver their core services, yet they’re also battling to keep their existing staff empowered and invested in their careers AND attract new talent. They’re superheroes but they can’t do it all - our Professional Care Pathway addresses this.”

Starting with recruitment, the Professional Care Pathway allows employers to hand their vacancies over to Acacia’s dedicated recruitment service to manage all aspects of advertising the vacancies, vetting applications and recommending an interview shortlist. Acacia Training then delivers sector specific pre-employment induction training for successful candidates before they commence on their professional career training. The Professional Care Pathway not only offers flexibility to the learners but is also entirely flexible to meet the needs of the sector. Acacia’s first partner in the programme is Home Instead which provides care at home services nationwide. Lisa Davies concludes: “When Home Instead approached us to support on its recruitment and training needs, it quickly became apparent that the challenges it faces are far from unique. “Acacia can relieve the pressure for care providers across areas including engagement, motivation and promotion. Starting with recruitment and onboarding, through our in-house careers guidance service, our impactful employee engagement strategies, and our rich heritage in all areas of care sector training, we can provide the most comprehensive and professionally focused recruitment, training and retention programme to meet the needs of every UK care provider.” To find out more about Acacia’s Professional Care Pathway programme, contact the team on 01782 646 346 / www.acaciatraining.co.uk

FUNDED LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA in ADULT CARE At Step Up Training and Care we offer: • Tailored learning journeys and programmes • A flexible blended approach of one to one, in-house, classroom, practical assignments and online assessment methods • Training that will lead to higher quality of care delivery

Learners are able to further their own continuous professional

• Training led by tutors and assessors who are specialists in health and social care

can then progress on to further qualifications in Health & Social

• Level 3 diplomas that are accredited to Highfield Qualifications

development which may also improve their career prospects and care or other related subjects.

Visit our web site www.msdindependent.com

Email us at distancelearning@msdindependent.co.uk Call us on 01656 502059 and speak to one of our dedicated Team We are here to help

T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : info@stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk



PAGE 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80

EDUCATION AND TRAINING How A Tailored Regional Approach Is Tackling Critical Social Care Skills Shortages In The West Midlands By Clare Hatton, Head of Skills Delivery, West Midlands Combined Authority (www.wmca.org.uk)

If nothing else, the global pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of the roles of health and social care workers. Despite this, the social care sector faces a critical skills shortage, with more than two thirds of care managers reporting limited services due to a lack of qualified staff. Impacting the sector’s ability to effectively operate, the shortage has already seen more than 5,000 requests for care being denied since the beginning of September. Responsible for the West Midland’s £130 million Adult Education Budget since 2019, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has implemented sustainable solutions to regional skills shortages across all industries. Despite strong economic growth and improving employment rates, the impact of the pandemic has hit the West Midlands particularly hard, resulting in record-high vacancies in the care sector and more than 1,500 expected NHS vacancies. Effective and adaptable training initiatives are needed to proactively fill vacancies, meet employers’ needs and ensure the continuous delivery of high-quality care. To achieve this, the WMCA has developed an agile and responsive skills ‘roadmap’ that offers residents the opportunity to upskill, retrain and move into care sector roles; all whilst supporting wider economic and sector recovery. This roadmap provides training across all levels allowing upskilling and

progression for those already within the sector and in turn creating greater availability of entry-level positions. This mobility, and the alignment of the programmes’ content with regional employer skills needs, are key to the roadmap’s success; meaningful engagement with employers throughout the training process allows local skill demands to be met and ensures a consistent source of qualified talent – a model that can be replicated in other areas.

It’s important to embed training at each level – a strategy we’ve adopted in the West Midlands which has seen opportunities to gain nationally recognised Level 3, 4 and 5 qualifications in care expanded. As a result, this builds a stronger and more resilient workforce, with the longevity to enhance existing capabilities and offer new pathways for existing employees, while also creating gaps for prospective employees to gain the entry level positions made available.

SECTOR-BASED WORK ACADEMY PROGRAMMES

CHALLENGES FOR SMALLER EMPLOYERS

In partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) help people enter or re-join the workforce, fully equipped with the skills and abilities tailored to the requirements of regional employers. Offering a flexible opportunity for local unemployed people to retrain in a new industry, and with no cost to learners or partner employers, thanks to funding from the AEB, care-sector SWAPs engage with employers at all stages, from curriculum consultation to the guaranteed interviews upon completion. As a result, this collaborative approach helps participants gain a strong understanding of the realities of the sector whilst shaping and building the skills, attitudes, and experience that industry needs.

HIGHER LEVEL SKILLS TRAINING

Whilst SWAPs provide a new wave of qualified entry-level talent, higherlevel skills training is vital to address critical skills gaps amongst more senior positions such as care home managers. More upskilling opportunities address the higher-level skills scarcity and prevents career stagnation within the industry, simultaneously solving skills issues and presenting the sector as a more attractive, sustainable career choice.

Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate It can be tempting to think that once the Care Certificate has been achieved it’s the end of training. The Care Certificate can demonstrate that staff have the minimum level of required training. Training to Level 2 and beyond will therefore improve abilities to cope with the challenges presented by working in a difficult sector. Obviously one of the most significant challenges was dealing with Covid but there will be new and different challenges ahead However, it is the clients who will benefit from the improvement that additional training will bring. Whilst these may include advances in the treatment of dementia, or changes to the legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with. So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

Smaller employers face additional recruitment challenges, struggling more than their larger competitors to attract skilled staff and lacking budget to provide training in-house. Leveraging the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund is useful when addressing these issues, helping cover the costs of apprenticeship training for SMEs. The WMCA’s levy transfer funds – one of the largest in the country – has supported 56 health and social care SMEs gain the qualified workforce needed to maintain services, as well as helping over 300 individuals begin a new and exciting career via an apprenticeship. The effective and adaptable training models provided by comprehensive skills initiatives offer a flexible solution to many employment challenges within social care. They also help develop a substantive and reliable talent stream, preventing future shortages or interruption to services. The success of these programmes demonstrates how a skills delivery system developed in coordination with industry partners can effectively and proactively meet sectoral needs, whilst providing residents with greater employment opportunities – a model that holds great promise for other areas facing similar critical skills shortages.

SO WHY CHOOSE STEP UP TRAINING AND CARE? We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 9-5 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning programmes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? Call 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 or visit www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk for details.

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

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

Power Of Attorney Considerations For Carers By Ashley Partridge, Head of Wills, Probate & Estate Planning, Parker Bullen solicitors (www.parkerbullen.com) THE MENTAL CAPACITY ACT The Mental Capacity Act is essential when dealing with those individuals that may be losing or have indeed lost capacity to make important decisions for themselves. Under the Act, a person is considered to be incapacitated to make a particular decision if he or she suffers from an impairment of the mind or brain, and that impairment makes them unable to reach decisions on their own. This could apply when a person has trouble understanding or retaining information. Where a person is considered to be incapacitated to make a particular decision, a decision may need to be

made on their behalf. The Act states that the decision must be one that is made in their best interests. So, who can make the decision on their behalf? This depends on whether there is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

HEALTH AND WELFARE LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY (LPA) A Health and Welfare LPA enables an individual to grant someone they trust the power to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. This is the only way to grant those powers. Being a family member or friend doesn’t allow you to make decisions unless an LPA is in place. If there is a decision to be made about treatment, medicine or care more generally and an individual is considered to be incapacitated, then you must establish LPA is in place for that individual and who their attorney is under the LPA.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 80 | PAGE 47

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Power Of Attorney Considerations For Carers (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) The LPA does not only grant the power to make important decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual, it also places a duty on that individual to make decisions that are in the best interests of the individual. Many attorneys of an LPA may not realise the powers they have or the duties imposed on them by law. That is why is it so important that the attorneys are brought into the process as soon as it becomes clear that an individual may soon lose or has lost capacity.

POWERS OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS In the circumstances where an LPA is not in place, healthcare professionals may have the power to make decisions on behalf of an individual that has lost capacity.

THE COVID-19 VACCINE The Covid-19 vaccine is yet to be made compulsory, so it is an individual’s choice whether they receive the vaccine or not. Whilst a person has capacity, they are entitled to refuse the vaccine. It may be that this decision is objectively an unwise one, especially if they are in a high risk category for Covid-19. However, the fact that an individual is making an unwise decision does not mean that they are incapacitated to make that decision. Both an LPA and the healthcare professional’s powers should not be used to override a person’s decision whilst they retain capacity. If an individual has lost capacity, it may be that the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine seems to be in the individual’s best interest. There are a few things to consider before coming to that conclusion. Healthcare professionals, close family members and the medical history of the individual should be taken in consideration. For example, if an individual had never received any vaccinations before, or was strongly against the vaccination this should be taken into account when evaluating their best interests.

It is possible for an individual to make an advanced decision to refuse treatment. This decision must be appropriately recorded and be specific to the treatment that they wish to refuse. Where an individual has denied certain treatments whilst having capacity, it would be good practice to ask whether they wish to make an advanced decision regarding that treatment to ensure that if they ever lost capacity, their decisions would be respected.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR CARE HOME MANAGERS - ASK Ensure that all residents consider whether they wish to put in place an LPA. Many people value the knowledge that if they lost capacity, someone that they trust would be making decisions on their behalf. This is particularly relevant if a resident is likely to lose capacity in the short to medium term. - ASK Where relevant, ask residents if they would like to make an advanced decision. This can make attorney’s decision making easier in the future and can give the resident peace of mind. - RECORD Keep a record of who the attorneys are for each resident. Keep their contact details on file so that they can be contact quickly in the case of emergency. Similarly, keep a record of their advanced wishes, easily accessible in the case of emergency. - INFORM Keep attorneys informed and up to date. Lay out clearly their powers and duties and any considerations that they should especially have (such as advanced decisions, healthcare professionals' advice, previous medical history and choices).

USEFUL RESOURCES FOR CARERS LPAs and the COVID Vaccine https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2021/02/08/lasting-power-of-attorney-and-the-covid-vaccine/ LPAs and attorney duties – https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties/health-welfare Making decisions on behalf of someone – https://www.gov.uk/make-decisions-for-someone/making-decisions

Moneypenny Launches Outbound Calling Service For UK Care Providers

Leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny has launched an outbound calling service to help time-poor UK care providers keep on top of customer care and recruitment. The newly launched service has two key functions – to handle new customer enquiries requiring bed availability and care provision and to follow up CVs and providing first stage candidate vetting for current vacancies. Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, head of the health and care sector at Moneypenny said: “We’re well aware of the huge demands on care home staff the moment – particularly when recruitment is still such a challenge. Our outbound calling service is designed to help care providers by alleviating some of the time-intensive every-day duties such as making follow up calls.” The launch is particularly timely as the care sector faces the worst recruitment crisis it has ever seen. Stephanie added: “People make evidence-based decisions when choosing their care provider, whether for themselves or a relative and first impressions are often one of those factors. How you handle calls,

including follow-ups, speaks volumes about you as a business and a care provider. It can make the difference between whether a new customer chooses you or a great candidate comes for interview. “By providing call follow-up, we’re able to make sure that care provider’s very first impressions are as positive as possible and importantly, that we save time for in-house teams so they can focus on greater endeavour. Finding ways to help an already-stretched sector operate more efficiently is a key priority right now.” Moneypenny’s outbound call service follows the recent launch of a dedicated call handling guide for care providers, which is intended to help review inbound call handling practices and find ways to improve

efficiencies and reputation. Stephanie concluded: “Lots of care providers view answering the phone as something that just happens, rather than an important communications activity that requires a strategy of its own. We hope that the launch of our free guide and now our outbound calling service will really demonstrate that we’re here, ready and able to help the care sector – whether you’re an independent care home, a multi-site group or a domiciliary care provider.” Moneypenny provides telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions to hundreds of care providers across the UK, thanks to its dedicated team of 41 healthcare receptionists. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and groundbreaking technology. For more information about Moneypenny’s work in the health and care sector visit: www.moneypenny.com/uk/healthcare-answering-services

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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