The Carer Digital - Issue #84

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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 84

Care Home Isolation Rules Revised Down to 14 Days

Isolation rules for care homes in England have now changed. Homes now only have to close to new residents and visitors for 14 days following a Covid outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases, as opposed to 28 days. The move follows pressure to relax ‘outdated’ rules stating that care homes should not admit any new residents for 28 days after a single Covid case. The change has been made to help ease the pressure in hospitals where there

are thousands of patients who are fit to be discharged but are forced to remain due to a shortage of care home beds. An estimated 10,000 patients a day who were medically fit to be discharged were stuck in hospitals according to reports, with many requiring a place in a care home or a support package from local social care systems to allow them to return home.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER A story in this week’s issue (see page 5) raises cause for concern. A report by property advisers Knight Frank states that: “The UK is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that will see the over 85 population grow from 1.6 million in 2020 to 3.7 million by 2050. Knight Frank predicts that by 2035 there will be a shortfall of 58,000 beds across the sector whilst the growth in the UK’s elderly population is such that by 2050 an additional 350,000 people will potentially need an elderly care bed, almost doubling the level of bed demand within 30 years.” Don’t get me wrong, it is not the fact that we are living longer which is cause for concern. It is the impact it is going to have on society within the next 30 years if we have not prepared for it. If adult social care is unaffordable, underfunded and struggling now what will it be like in 30 years time when there is additional demand of 350,000 people? Sooner or later that is a can that can no longer be kicked down the road. Earlier this week there were reports that a leading Conservative MP was calling on the government to abandon its proposed increase in National Insurance to fund social care, with further reports another MP spoke out against the tax rise at a cabinet meeting, saying it could not be justified amid rising inflation and uncertainty over energy prices. There is no doubt that there are rocky times ahead. Inflation is climbing, particularly with respect to energy bills, and nobody wants to pay more taxes. But adult social care has to be funded somehow and in the light of the report referred to above, action really does need to be taken immediately. I noted transport secretary Gran Shapps was quick out of the blocks to defend the government’s stand and said that the health and care levy, scheduled to be introduced from April, will not be scrapped and instead described the reforms as “historic”. “We made our decisions, we have a system of collective responsibility,” Mr Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “There’s a very, very good case for both catching up with the backlog that coronavirus has created and in solving an historic, rather unforgivable situation where I think if you happen to come down with certain types of illnesses, like dementia, you can end up losing your home because long-term social care doesn’t look after you.”

Editor

Peter Adams

He also told Sky News that Boris Johnson’s administration wants to cut taxes “as and when we can”, but needs to prioritise the NHS backlog. “We’re absolutely committed to doing two things – catching up with the backlog in the NHS, and that’s why we have this National Insurance increase specifically for this purpose, and sorting out the long-term issue of social care where people lose their homes if they have specific types of illnesses such as dementia,” he told Sky News. “We’re absolutely committed to making those changes. It’s an historic change which I think will bring a lot of security to families up and down the country, so we’ll certainly be doing that.” As stated in last week’s column, part of my job (and a very enjoyable part I hasten to add) is attending trade shows, trade events, seminars and meetings up and down the country relating to adult social care. And the consensus is fairly standard - the system must be funded and I suspect the National Insurance increase is here to stay, and will possibly be one of many staged increases in the coming years. Another story which took my eye on this week’s issue (see page 9) Is the good news that social care workers are to be added to the Shortage Occupation List as the Government looks to ease the staffing crisis facing the social care sector. However, plans to limit visas to 12 months will, as Employment Law and Immigration specialist Royds Withy King point out, act as a significant deterrent to overseas workers. I think that any fair-minded person would agree that anybody who is looking to embark on a career overseas will want more than 12 months job security, given the costs involved of relocating etc. Hopefully the government will reassess this, particularly in light of the report that social care will need almost 500,000 new workers over the next 15 years. Once again thank you for all your contributions, particularly ones around the country from nursing in care environments, with your wonderful initiatives and heartwarming stories please keep them coming! I can always be emailed at editor@thecareruk.com

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Care Home Isolation Rules Revised Down to 14 Days (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1...) However, only four in ten patients medically fit to leave hospital are being discharged each day, NHS England data shows. The latest urgent and emergency situation report for the NHS in England reveals that: • More than 80,000 NHS staff were absent last week with nearly half – 44% in week ending 2 January - off due to COVID, a rise of 22% on the week before (35,596 COVID absences up from 25,273 during the Christmas week to 26 December). • Almost 10,000 patients who no longer needed to stay in hospital were not discharged each day, with the seven-day average last week showing that nearly 6 in 10 people no longer meeting the criteria to be in hospital could not be discharged into the community. • Nine in 10 patients who had been in hospital for more than three weeks but no longer needed to be there were not being discharged each day to places such as social care. • The NHS answered almost 80,000 more 111 calls last week than the week before, up 25% on the previous week

STAFF ABSENCES ACROSS CARE HOMES Responding to the latest figures, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “Despite doing everything possible and working closely with sister services in social care, NHS organisations cannot simply ask patients, many of them frail and elderly, who are ready to leave hospital to vacate the premises if there is no where appropriate for them to go. “These latest figures which show 6 in 10 patients are having to stay in hospital when they no longer need are very telling. “Health leaders have raised concerns that staff absences across care home and domiciliary services are having a significant impact on the NHS, where patients in hospital beds that don’t need them are waiting to be discharged while poorly patients may have to wait. “The NHS will continue to do everything it can to prioritise patients with the greatest clinical need but without a long term, properly funded strategy to increase the social care workforce, they are worried this situation will worsen.” “The NHS is under such pressure right now that two years into this pandemic the Government has felt it

necessary to deploy military personnel to help out once again. Staff sickness and self-isolation levels are sky high, whilst access to testing for NHS staff is still patchy, which is making the situation very difficult.” “The Government must now urgently do more to relieve these extreme problems right now including acting on our six key proposed changes to support the NHS through January, which would have a wider impact on service delivery.”

MEASURES UNDER CONSTANT REVIEW A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Throughout the pandemic we have done everything we can to protect those receiving care with the measures in place based on the latest scientific and expert advice. “A change has been made to outbreak restrictions reducing the period from 28 to 14 days in line with this advice.” He added: “We keep these measures under constant review to ensure we continue to protect the lives, health and wellbeing of residents and fully recognise the impact of isolation and the importance of companionship on physical and mental wellbeing.”

STAFFING A CRITICAL ISSUE Martin Green, chief executive of Care England welcomed the change in policy, saying: “As the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England is glad that the government has listened to us and amended the parameters for classifying a Covid outbreak within a care home. “The Omicron virus is affecting over a third of care homes, but there are encouraging signs from the data that the impact of this new variant is not as severe as in the previous waves of the pandemic. "Staffing remains the most critical issue for social care and Care England will continue to push for a very swift response to changing guidance when it is appropriate, and when the data leads us in that direction.” Care homes and hospitals are experiencing crippling staff shortages this winter, amid record numbers of coronavirus cases in the UK. Existing staff shortfalls in the social care sector have been worsened by the Government’s decision to make Covid jabs mandatory for care workers, while the highly infectious Omicron variant has caused unprecedented numbers of staff isolation. Stephen Chandler, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), said care providers in England had reported staff absences of between 5 and 10 per cent. Mr Chandler said he knew of two councils that had decided to cut the number of visits carers could give to patients living in their own homes. He also said that two national supported living providers, which help people with mental health needs and learning disabilities to live independently, had told him they were not able to support people going out as much.


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Blue Monday: Supporting Workplace Mental Health In Social Care

Dubbed the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday (17 January 2022) is an annual phenomenon taking place in the third week of January each year. The day marks the moment that many people experience uncharacteristically strong feelings of depression, which are often attributed to the cold weather, dark nights, and financial pressure post-Christmas. Although some say that Blue Monday doesn’t exist, every year it exposes the variety of mental health pressures experienced by people from all walks of life. After a difficult two years, social care has been identified as an industry under immense pressure, with large numbers of care professionals reporting a significant increase in mental health problems. A 2021 survey by Unison showed that 68% of care professionals reported that their mental health had declined during the pandemic. To ensure that care is delivered to the highest and most productive standard, the mental health of care professionals should be supported as effectively as possible. Theresa McNally, Creative Practice Manager at Vida Healthcare, offers advice on how to support the mental wellbeing of care professionals for Blue Monday and beyond.

CREATE AN OPEN MENTAL HEALTH CULTURE. Although it has become more acceptable to discuss mental health, some people continue to experience stigma or hesitation in the workplace when issues do arise. Experiencing a mental health issue is very common and can sometimes impact an individual's ability to work. Cultivating an open, supportive work environment for mental health conversations is extremely important. Knowing when an employee is struggling allows proper support to be put in place to prevent the issue getting worse. If left concealed, a mental health problem could become

particular. Care organisations can utilise systems like Team Talk to promote mentally healthy workplaces and provide guidance and resources to care professionals through open, accessible communication.

WHAT DO I DO IF A COLLEAGUE IS STRUGGLING? To help a carer feel supported at work, introducing simple changes can have a big impact. A busy day ahead can be intimidating for anyone, but it could seem insurmountable for someone experiencing a mental health difficulty. By breaking down a carer’s tasks into manageable chunks, care home operators can make their day seem more achievable, potentially reducing feelings of anxiety and pressure. This in turn will also benefit the residents who live at the care home and receive care and support from staff. Introducing small measures to support a colleague at a time of need reduces the likelihood of more adverse disruption further down the line, ensuring an organisation continues to deliver consistent, quality care.

THINKING LONG TERM. more pervasive, leading to reduced productivity or sick leave being taken. While taking leave when necessary is completely acceptable, leaving gaps in care provision due to short staffing exposes potential standards and safeguarding issues. This issue can be avoided by ensuring colleagues feel comfortable communicating their mental health concerns. Vida Healthcare has developed and launched technological initiatives to support staff at work, and create an open mental health culture. The Team Talk app was developed to keep staff across Vida’s three homes connected, provide insight into developments at board level, and offer updates on the latest headlines relevant to social care and care homes in

Incorporating trained mental health first aiders into your team can help create a mentally healthy workplace. Mental health first aiders have the knowledge and skills to support carers during tough times and identify where staff might need help. While they’re a great addition to any professional environment, they are vital in a high pressure role like social care. Organisations such as Mind and Mental Health at Work offer more information on mental health issues, with useful resources and guidance on how to support employees during difficult periods. For more information on how an outstanding care provider is supporting the mental health of staff through initiatives including career and training opportunities, please visit www.vidahealthcare.co.uk.

More Doctors and Nurses Working in NHS There are record numbers of doctors (over 127,700) and nurses (almost 310,100) working in the NHS for the third month running, according to the latest provisional data up to October. Compared to October 2020, there are over 4,800 more doctors and over 10,900 more nurses working in the NHS. There are now over 1.2 million full-time equivalent staff working in NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England – over 44,700 more people compared to a year ago.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said: “I’m delighted to see more people starting a career in healthcare, with thousands more doctors and nurses working in our NHS compared to last year. “I want to thank everyone working in the NHS. Staff have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and we are investing in and growing the NHS workforce, as well as doing everything we can to support their wellbeing.”

The government has provided an extra £5.4 billion to the NHS to respond to COVID-19 up to April, taking total extra COVID-19 funding to health and care services to over £34 billion this year alone. The government recently announced that Health Education England would be merged with NHS England, ensuring long term planning and strategy for healthcare staff is at the centre of the national NHS agenda.


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Care Homes Face 30% Surge-Costs Driven by Labour, Supply and Finance costs UK care home operators are set to see costs rise by £165m this year, representing a 30% increase, due to the increased costs of labour, supply and finance according to research by global property adviser Knight Frank. The data from Knight Frank that points to the challenges posed to the sector as costs are driven higher covers the majority of the UK care home sector and surveys operators on their individual performance, including 98,000 beds across 781 towns and cities. This increase in costs for the sector is being driven by rapidly rising agency costs with the increase trending at 12%, combined with insurance and utilities becoming more expensive and challenges with supply chains that are further impacting build costs. This culmination of issues is predicted to result in a lag of new beds throughout 2023 and 2024. The UK is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that will see the over 85 population grow from 1.6 million in 2020 to 3.7 million by 2050. Knight Frank predicts that by 2035 there will be a shortfall of 58,000 beds across the sector whilst the growth in the UK’s elderly population is such that by 2050 an additional 350,000 people will potentially need an elderly care bed, almost doubling the level of bed demand within 30 years. Furthermore, with 100,000 beds at risk of closure, this projected bed

capacity hiatus means that existing operators will benefit from an increase in occupancy as demand is set to outstrip supply. Knight Frank has predicted the adaptations throughout the sector to support the needs of the care home inhabitants of the future, including a rise in dementia and nursing care specialists, the importance of clinical outcomes and KPIs, design adaptation for future Covid-19 events, a growth in technology and telemedicine and larger care home sites to include independent living units. Despite these forthcoming headwinds the sector remains attractive to investors, with ESG positively driving institutional capital into social care and senior living. Additionally, pension funds are reallocating capital away from retail and into defensive sectors with an especial increase of investment into “beds and sheds”. This interest in unsurprising given the sector has proved resilient with yields compressing despite the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, commented: “As we continue to recover from the pandemic there is a sustained demand for high-quality beds, and increasing attraction from investors and pension funds. However, increased costs and disruptions in the supply chain are posing significant challenges to the development of the much-needed quality

Moors Manor Celebrates London Day! Moors Manor in St Leonards near Ringwood decided to celebrate the anniversary of the London Underground opening with a day dedicated to the capital. Residents and staff all got involved with the spirit of London day by holding a themed quiz, traditional pie and mash lunch, a good old singalong and we were also treated to a visit from Philip Bristow and his proper London Cab. General

Manager, Tracey Aldin at Moors Manor care home, said:

new build care homes. We currently face the perfect storm posed by rising costs of labour, supply and finance and if we do not act could risk a crisis in care provision. Urgent action from the government is needed to support this essential sector as it strives to deliver for our ageing population.” Knight Frank projects that the UK elderly care market is at risk of reaching capacity by the end of the decade, requiring as a priority the construction of new, high quality care homes and the renovation of existing stock to meet the needs of elderly residents and ensure the residential elderly care system is ready for the future. It expects that there will be an accelerated closure of tertiary assets and restrained care home development owing to building material inflation costs which will be exacerbated owing to further rising costs due to increased smart specifications necessary for future new build care homes.

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:

many of our residents had worked or have

• An interactive music and group participation entertainment.

fond memories of visiting London so it was

• One to one music and conversation.

“This has been a huge amount of fun,

lovely to reminisce and hear their stories” A resident at the home said “it was great talking about London, the visit from the cab was a lovely touch and I really enjoyed the singalong!”

• Musical reminiscence therapy for dementia sufferers. www.dementiaandmusic.com joan@dementiaandmusic.com Mobile: 07393 961388


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Soaring Energy Prices: Mitigating Bills and Maintaining Comfort By Ian Scattergood, Business Development Manager - Healthcare, Zenergi (www.zenergi.co.uk), a customer service company specialising in energy costs, keeping waste at a minimum and maintaining high standards.

BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES Regular training for care staff is an engaging and effective way of eliminating energy waste and maintaining good habits, after all, the cheapest kWh is the one you don’t use. It is recommended that this activity takes place annually, as it can often become a short-term focus. By scheduling regular training, staff are more likely to maintain good energy saving behaviours, as it is being continuously refreshed. Savings can be made by ensuring that technology is switched off and not left on standby, which can be more easily achieved when using central power adaptors that can shut multiple devices down with one switch. Additionally, encouraging staff to close doors and windows and be vigilant of energy usage can offer savings of 5-10 per cent. By reducing wastage, more power can be dedicated to maintaining a warm environment.

SEEKING SUPPORT The recent surge in energy prices has, unfortunately, followed us into 2022, with headlines still dominated by the crisis that is affecting all sectors, including care. Alongside this, the drop in temperature means the sector is finding itself in a balancing act of protecting budgets whilst keeping residents warm through the winter months. As a care manager, keeping residents safe and comfortable is a top priority. But the threat of budget restraints can put this in jeopardy, leaving no room for bad energy habits that can contribute to wastage and rising utility bills. However, there are measures that can be taken to mitigate these

We must consider, managers are working relentlessly to provide a high quality of care and may not have the time, resource or experience to keep on top of energy contracts. And with an average of one in five bills being incorrect, this is another challenge managers can do without. Energy consultants that offer bill validation services can reduce this pressure by detecting overcharges, while ensuring that your energy contract suits your needs and budget. In this competitive market not all energy consultants work in the same way or offer the same services. Be wary of any company which guarantees to know what the market is going to do or always reduce your energy prices, as continuous fluctuations in the wholesale energy market make this claim impossible. An energy consultant can only help

your organisation secure the best available rates from the same market that everyone has access to. In addition, energy consultants can provide value-added services that save you time and hassle in what is otherwise a highly complex industry.

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY As well as eliminating human error, there are many different technologies that can support facilities to lower energy usage. Care homes that are still using incandescent light bulbs could see lighting contributing to19% of the total energy bill. Switching to LED lightbulbs will save 75 per cent, bringing long-term cost and environmental savings. Smart Meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters that have put an end to estimated billing, which can lead to inaccuracies or over-charging. All Smart Meters are connected to a secure smart data network, so readings can be automatically sent to the supplier on a monthly basis, or more frequently if required. This ensures that each bill is an accurate reflection of the energy used. Smart Meters also feature a display screen which indicates exactly how much energy has been consumed in pounds and pence, helping to keep track of usage and challenge any billing discrepancies. Lastly, acquiring a motion senser for lights will also give staff a much needed helping hand and one less thing to worry about in areas of the home where there is less regular traffic. Implementing simple energy saving measures is a good first step towards reducing a home’s carbon footprint with Net Zero targets in mind. An energy audit can help to identify further no cost and low-cost measures that can offer substantial savings in return. Additionally, for an illustration of the cost of leaving on some appliances unnecessarily please visit, https://bit.ly/3qaw6wc.

From Kitchen Assistant To Home Manager: Experienced Social Care Worker To Front Up New West Midlands Care Home A new luxury West Midlands care home has appointed an experienced home manager with more than 15 years in the social care industry — calling upon her wealth of knowledge to spearhead its contemporary approach to person centred care. The recently opened Studley Rose, near Redditch, has appointed Donna Lee to oversee the residential home, being impressed with her extensive 16-year resume in social care - having started in a care home kitchen before working her way up to registered nurse and unit lead. Donna’s substantial experience within clinical roles will see her wellpositioned at the helm of the state-of-the-art Pool Road home, with an emphasis on building on its inclusive care culture within a purposebuilt and friendly environment. Starting her career in care in 2006, Donna has worked in many care home roles, from tending laundry to a kitchen assistant. Her passion for care drove her to complete nurse training in 2011 and since then, she has continued to work within the sector, providing the very best clinical care — with the resident at the heart of everything she does. After joining Macc Care group, who operate Studley Rose, it was clear that Donna’s attitude and skillset aligned perfectly with its core values — Love, Caring and Compassion. Her ability to lead others

stood out alongside her exceptional approach to care — proving her a perfect fit for the role. Sharen Guise, Director of Operations at Macc Care, said: “We are delighted to name Donna as home manager at Studley Rose. Her exceptional attitude and diligence has made her extremely popular amongst staff and residents and will serve her well in this exciting new adventure. Donna already knows the home inside out and we have

every confidence in her ability to deliver above and beyond the expectations of residents and their families. Macc Care is all about new beginnings, which is why all our homes contain the word ‘Rose’ — this is a new beginning for Donna and we will support her every step of the way.” Commenting on her new role, Donna said: “This is a great opportunity for me and my career. Already in my time at Studley Rose I have come to understand just how special it is. We are like one big family here, and to oversee all the residents whilst nurturing the talented staff here, is a great honour. I was initially drawn to the unique philosophy of Macc Care and it is now my job to put poetry in motion.” Donna continued: “Seeing our residents smile is the most valuable currency in care and their welfare will always remain our top priority. I started out as a kitchen assistant so to be where I am today is as much of a testament to the amazing opportunities within the care sector as it is to my hard work and dedication.” The Macc Care group run a collection of ten care homes in and around Birmingham and Wolverhampton — with a focus on providing the very best in person centred care.

Exemplar Health Care Celebrates the Graduation of its First Nursing Associates Recently, the first cohort of learners from Exemplar Health Care’s Trainee Nursing Associates programme, celebrated their graduation. They will now start their role as the company’s first Nursing Associates. The learners started the programme in October 2019 with the University of Sheffield. They have spent the last two years studying to become a Nursing Associate, alongside working in an Exemplar Health Care home and completing placements in other health and social care settings. Exemplar Health Care, which has seen seven apprentices graduate this year, introduced the learning programme to help develop its colleagues and expand its nursing workforce. Nursing Associates worked alongside Health Care Assistants and Registered Nurses in their home, to support people with clinical aspects of their care. The role contributes to the core work of nursing, freeing up Registered Nurses to focus on more complex clinical care. Claire Fretwell, Head of Learning, Development and Talent at Exemplar Health Care, said: “Many health care providers continue fishing from the same pond of qualified Nurses. However, the current talent pool does not offer enough Registered Nurses to enable us to keep

delivering the highest quality of person-centred care that we aspire to provide for all our residents, and support the ambitious growth of the

company. “The Trainee Nursing Associate programme enables us to develop existing colleagues, so that we can continue to grow our nursing workforce internally.” The programme was introduced by Health Education England in 2018 to bridge the gap between Healthcare Support Workers and Registered Nurses, and build the capacity of the nursing workforce. Victoria Parkes, Senior Practice Learning Facilitator at Exemplar Health Care, said: “The pandemic stopped placements for a time, which meant organising alternative opportunities for our learners, to ensure that they met the programme requirements for qualification. “All graduates have had to juggle family life, learning and working though this pandemic. They have met these challenges head-on and have shown dedication, commitment, resilience and amazing strength throughout difficult times. They really have given their all and we would like to express our admiration in all they have accomplished. “I am proud to have supported them over the last two years, and know they will do some amazing things in their new profession as Exemplar Health Care’s first Nursing Associates.”


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Omicron and Emergency Care Crisis Could Derail Plans to Tackle Backlog, Warn MPs Government plans to deal with a record 5.8 million waiting list for elective care risk being overturned by a crisis in emergency care. The Health and Social Care Committee’s Report on clearing the backlog caused by the pandemic finds that the elective recovery plans are threatened by pressure on emergency care with a record number of 999 calls and waiting times in emergency departments at record levels. The Report concludes that tackling the wider backlog caused by the pandemic is a major and ‘unquantifiable’ challenge. It calls for a broad national health and care recovery plan to include mental health, primary care, community care, and social care as well as emergency care. It finds better workforce planning to be a central factor in recovery. However, the Report notes that the Government resisted changes to the Health and Care Bill that would have required publication of an independent assessment of workforce numbers at least once every two years. Without it, it will remain impossible to know whether enough doctors, nurses or care staff are being trained, say MPs.

A focus on waiting lists, at the highest levels since records began, is understandable but a numerical target driven approach risks jeopardising equally important areas of care that keep people healthy and out of hospital, the Committee says. Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said: “The NHS faces an unquantifiable challenge in tackling a backlog of cases caused by the pandemic, with 5.8 million patients waiting for planned care and estimates that the figure could double by 2025. “However, our Report finds that the Government’s recovery plans risk being thrown off course by an entirely predictable staffing crisis. The current wave of Omicron is exacerbating the problem, but we already had a serious staffing crisis, with a burnt-out workforce, 93,000 NHS vacancies and no sign of any plan to address this. “Far from tackling the backlog, the NHS will be able to deliver little more than day to day firefighting unless the Government wakes up to the scale of the staffing crisis facing the NHS, and urgently develops a longterm plan to fix the issue.”

Banjo the Pony Visits Care Home There was huge excitement at Chorleywood Beaumont Care Home as Santa and his helper Banjo the Pony delivered presents on Christmas Day. Staff and residents at Barchester’s Chorleywood Beaumont care home, in Chorleywood, had a wonderful time meeting Banjo the Pony and his handler Sharon who assisted Father Christmas in delivering presents as the reindeers were resting after a hard night on Christmas eve. Several of the

General Manager, Nick Wrapson said: “We had the best time with Banjo, he is such a gorgeous Pony. Our residents loved spending time with him, I do hope Banjo from Ollie and Friends come back to visit us soon.” Ann Rees resident at Chorleywood Beaumont said: “It was so lovely to see Banjo and to give him a stroke. He was absolutely beautiful. Christmas

residents got to feed the Banjo some of his favourite treats. There were

at Chorleywood Beaumont is always a great event, but having Banjo and

smiles al round and fabulous friendships made.

Sharon visit really was the cherry on the Christmas cake!”


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Improving Hygiene To Create A Safe Environment For All With huge numbers of staff in the catering sectors reporting sick, the issue of hygiene has never been so critical. Rupert Lynch, Client Relationship Manager, at allmanhall (www.allmanhall.co.uk), the independently owned food procurement expert, looks at how a good hygiene regime can instill confidence in staff, and will ensure catering operations can continue operating. The last two years has seen huge changes in the way catering teams source and deliver food, as the pandemic challenged the long-established way of doing things. Many new ideas have been tried and put in

place, to establish an infrastructure to meet the ever-changing demands of providing an environment that is safe and COVID compliant. As we begin a new year, there are still many new challenges ahead, most notably staff shortages due to self-isolation and sickness. With so many changes already implemented to keep staff and customers safe, how can catering teams go the extra mile to ensure an even better level of safety. Kitchens have adapted to an ever-changing environment that was outside of their control and devised systems that could cope with the guidelines laid down by the Government. There is still a requirement for employers to complete and communicate a COVID-19 risk assessment, a key part of the Government’s ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance, which remains unchanged. With varying rules still in place across the whole of the UK, catering teams have undertaken risk assessments to ascertain whether all or some of the changes made are still required, or whether they could adapt and implement some of the ‘enforced’ changes to enable a better and more efficient operation. Social distancing, PPE and staff working patterns all play a key part in the “new norm”, but hygiene is crucial in ensuring everyone remains safe and healthy, and therefore should necessitate particular attention. Many kitchens will be designed with good hygiene in mind, and continuing the changes implemented during the pandemic is crucial. Creating a safe, hygienic working environment necessitated new working practices, with the need for social distancing resulting in the staggering of the time of staff arrival and departure, creating shift working

and introducing flexible rota systems. These new processes are still as important today as at the start of the pandemic. With the danger of complacency creeping in, now is the time to review existing procedures and practices and implement changes that may have been previously considered. Cleaning schedules can be revisited and updated, concentrating on key touch points, cleaning every two hours, and cleaning seats and tables after every sitting. Look to reduce contact with certain surfaces and equipment, removing unnecessary furnishings and other items from eating and cooking areas which can harbor germs. Regular deep cleaning of the whole kitchen area during quieter periods, will ensure a healthy working place, and staff uniforms should be cleaned more frequently. Regular staff training will ensure all the team are on board for implementing new processes, and that they are smoothly and efficiently executed.. One key consideration caterers have had to deal with, and is currently an even greater threat, was addressing the risk of a complete kitchen shutdown due to one or more staff being off sick. This is a very real concern and limitation, and allmanhall has heard that a number of kitchen teams will be maintaining a ‘bubble’ status, whilst still trying to ensure an element of flexibility. Once measures are in place catering operators need to communicate the measures they are taking to make staff feel safer. This can be done through good staff training so there is confidence in the measures and everyone is clear.

National Care Group Celebrates an Exceptional Year in the Face of Industry Challenges LEADING care and support provider to vulnerable adults, National Care Group, is celebrating an unprecedented year with continued growth and an exceptional number of award wins, despite unparalleled challenges in the sector. Covid-19 has continued to dominate the way the care sector works throughout 2021, with each lockdown, restriction and new variant requiring quick, decisive action from sector professionals. Combined with the ongoing recruitment crisis that’s plaguing the industry, where there’s a shortfall of 30 million colleagues according to a report by Skills for Care, pressure has been at an all-time high for the industry. James Allen, CEO of National Care Group, said: “As we fast approach two years since the pandemic began, it’s never been more important to prioritise quality, person-centered care and support – and this is only possible by recruiting the right people to join our highly committed and talented team. Which is why we have placed a high emphasis on recruitment in 2021, to ensure we can deliver exceptional services to the people we support, and we have been successful in growing our team across a wide variety of services and locations. “Our aim is to ensure the requirements of those with complex needs are met with the right support, in the right locations, through our extensive support services. We want to unlock their potential so that

they can live full and active lives in their communities. This year we also introduced an apprenticeship scheme to overcome the shortfall of colleagues seen sector-wide. By allowing people to gain experience and learn on the job it has aided our growth while maintaining high standards of care and support.”

The group’s growth throughout 2021 resulted in it being named theUK’sfastest-growing specialist care business in theAlantraSpecialist Care 50.The report, which is updated annually, recognises the growth of private organisations across the sector and ranks them from one to 50. It charts the achievements made by those in the industry and the care they provide to the most vulnerable membersinsociety. Additionally, several colleagues within the organisation have been recognised on both a regional and national level, with a plethora of finals being reached and accolades being awarded at the National Care Awards, LaingBuisson Awards and the Great British Care Awards. James added: “We are proud of each and every one of our colleagues for their triumphant efforts in the face of adversity. 2021 further highlighted their outstanding commitment to care and support, and I’m so pleased to see their sacrifices, dedication and acts of kindness being recognised on a national level.” “As we head into 2022, we are excited to strengthen both our regional and commercial teams as we expand the services that are offered by National Care Group. While we don’t know what will be thrown our way in terms of Covid-19 and beyond, we trust our teams and know they are equipped to continue delivering the highest quality service to the people we support.”

JLA Launches Major Expansion of Critical Business Services JLA, the UK’s leading provider of business-critical equipment, has unveiled a new brand and customer focus following a period of acquisitions and consolidation. As part of JLA’s new positioning, the business has launched a comprehensive offering across its five core service areas – Laundry, Catering, Infection Control, Heating & Air Conditioning and Fire Safety & Security. With offices across the UK, and coverage from Lands End to John O Groats, JLA’s team of 450 expert engineers now serve over 25,000 customers across 40,000 sites including care homes, hotels, pubs, restaurants, housing associations, schools, hospitals and government and custodial premises. As the company continues to grow, JLA is recruiting 50 roles nationally in the coming weeks, with opportunities available to those wishing to join as an employee, or through JLA’s recently-launched apprenticeship programme. “We’re really excited for 2022,” commented Christina Larkin, chief data and marketing officer. “We’ve invested time and resources into creating our new brand but it’s about much more than a new look and feel. We are putting our customers at the heart of all that we do, to create a business that works for customers, colleagues and the communities in which we operate.

“We believe we are closer to our customers, better understand their needs and have an offering which covers all their business-critical needs, from catering to heating & air conditioning, from laundry to infection control, and from fire safety to security. With expertise in all these areas, we can take care of all their requirements.”

Commenting on the new look, Steve Leyland, field operations director at JLA, said: “We are proud to be JLA, proud to be the leading provider of business-critical equipment and proud of the complete service we offer our customers. “Through JLA, our customers can have peace of mind knowing that we will look after their critical equipment. With our five core services, we’ll take care of it while they focus on what is really important to them – ensuring their guests, residents and clients have hot, running water and hot, properly cooked meals, a fire-secure building, hot and cold temperatures as required, reliable equipment and a hygienic and germfree environment. “Our Fire Safety & Security and Heating & Air conditioning businesses are long-established experts in their fields with teams of highly-skilled, professional engineers. With xx offices and a network of 450 engineers, we are only ever 30 minutes from any of our customers. Just one phone call and we’ll take care of it.” Headquartered in Ripponden, Yorkshire, JLA has nearly 50 years’ experience supporting over 25,000 customers. Over the past 18 months, it acquired a number of Fire Safety & Security and Heating & Air conditioning businesses across the UK, enhancing its service provision and expanding its network across the UK. To find out more about JLA, please visit www.jla.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 9

Social Care Workers to be Added to Shortage Occupation List – But for Just 12 Months Social care workers are to be added to the Shortage Occupation List as the Government looks to ease the staffing crisis facing the social care sector. But, warns social care lawyers Royds Withy King, plans to limit visas to 12 months will act as a significant deterrent to overseas workers. The Government is urged to remove or significantly extend the visa duration to help solve the workforce crisis. Olivia Coles, Employment Law and Immigration specialist at Royds Withy King comments. “The decision to add social care workers to the Shortage Occupation List following recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee is welcomed. Care providers will soon be able to recruit care workers, support workers and home care assistants from outside the UK to help ease the staffing crisis. “Yet the decision to impose a 12-month limit makes no sense. Care providers are likely to struggle to per-

suade overseas care staff to give up their jobs, relocate to the UK and source accommodation in a supercharged rental market, only to be removed 12 months later. “The Social Care sector will need 490,000 new workers over the next 15 years if it is to continue to provide the care and support society requires. That represents a 29% increase in the number of people employed by the sector today. Care providers, whilst welcoming this decision, will also need longer-term solutions to resolve this long-standing staffing crisis, which the Government has consistently failed to provide. “Care providers looking to recruit overseas staff will need to pay care workers, support workers and home care assistants a minimum of £20,480 a year to qualify and will need a sponsor licence. Sponsor licences are given by the Home Office and can take upwards of two months to process. “Care providers that already have a sponsor licence will be able to recruit from overseas as soon as the measures take effect, with the fast-track visa application process taking typically just three weeks.”

Covid Won’t Stop these Glasses Raising as Residents say Cheers in Home’s Pub Residents at a Cassington care home have been enjoying the British culture of ‘pub nights’ and making the most of drinking in their onsite pub. Churchfields Care Home built their public house two years ago at the residents’ request. Residents mentioned they wanted somewhere ‘cosy to sit’, enjoy a drink and also to socialise. The drinking hole is open all day and residents can order any drink they like, at any time. This comes as more care homes are now being urged to open onsite pubs after staff have revealed they boosted residents’ morale during lockdowns, according to carehome.co.uk. Churchfields Activities Coordinator, Faye Tanner, said; “Resident’s love to use the area to socialise, chat with friends and relax. When families visit the residents, they often use the area to play cards, board games or dominoes. “The bar is a central part of the home, and it is used by everyone. For us, it is extra special because it was built and designed around our residents' requests. It’s become even more valuable now because of the pandemic and we are able to bring the atmosphere of the pub into the

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home, in a safe environment.” Care homes have been particularly hit by the pandemic, forcing many to close their doors to visitors for large periods of time. This has led to increased internal entertainment, with one in four staff saying their care home had created or enhanced their pub during lockdown. The research carried out by the UK’s leading care home reviews site, carehome.co.uk, found 53 per cent of care home staff who have pubs in their care homes say the wellbeing of residents was boosted when they socialised in the home’s pub or drinking facility. One fifth of care workers said residents used the pub on a daily basis. Jane Roberts, owner of Churchfields Care Home, said: “At Churchfields Care Home, our values are centred around residents having a sense of purpose, to live well, and to find enjoyment. This is supported by ensuring residents have a choice every day on how they want to spend their time. The on-site bar is a great way for our residents to enjoy each other’s company and to experience the atmosphere of going to the pub, in a safe environment.”


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Care Home Sentencing a Salutary Reminder of the Importance of Fire Safety Responsibilities By Hannah Eales, partner at law firm Kingsley Napley LLP (www.kingsleynapley.co.uk) specialising in fire and safety law On 5 January 2022, Bupa pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Bupa were ordered to pay a fine of £937,500 and prosecution costs of £104,000. This is the highest ever fine imposed for fire safety breaches under the Fire Safety Order in the UK. London Fire Brigade brought the prosecution following the fire in March 2016 at a residential Care Home in South East London in which a 69 year old man in a wheelchair sadly died in a fire whilst smoking unsupervised in a shelter in the garden of the Home. The victim had been prescribed a paraffin based emollient cream. BUPA policy required emollient cream users to have further precautions for smoking such as a smoking apron or to be supervised, neither of which were done. Bupa pleaded guilty to a breach of Article 11(1) of the Fire Safety Order which states ‘(1) The responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the size of his undertaking and the nature of its activities, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.’

normal with the control measures in place. The Judge approached the sentencing exercise using the Sentencing Council’s Health & Safety guidelines. The Judge considered the culpability of Bupa to be ‘High’ reflecting the fact that the risks of emollient cream by smokers was well known by 2016 and Bupa had been specifically warned of the risk. In terms of seriousness of harm risked, he considered this to be ‘Level A’, but determined the likelihood of harm to be ‘Medium’. As Bupa falls within the category of a ‘large’ organisation and reflecting the fact that the breaches had actually caused a fatality, the Judge set a starting point of a fine of £1.5 million. He discounted 25% on In particular, Bupa accepted that it had failed to: ensure staff understood the risks from the use of emollient creams; warn residents using paraffin-based products not to smoke, or, require precautions to be taken such as the use of a smock or apron; instruct staff not to leave a resident using paraffin-based products smoking unsupervised; and carry out an individual smoking risk assessment of the resident as

account of Bupa’s guilty plea and discounted a further £250,000 to reflect the current pressures on the care sector, partly due to the pandemic. This case serves as a valuable reminder to all care home managers and owners of the importance of complying with fire safety responsibilities and both the tragic personal and serious financial consequences when those responsibilities are not met.

Ribble Court Care Home Wins Contract to Help Free Up Hospital Beds One of Preston’s newest care homes has won a contract which is helping to free up acute beds in hospital this winter. Ribble Court Care Home in Much Hoole, near Preston, has won a short-term contract with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG has block-booked seven beds in the care home to help relieve pressures on the NHS. Jen Roberts, Nominated Individual for Ribble Court Care Home, said: “We are delighted to be

working with the CCG. At this time of year hospitals are under a lot of pressure to discharge people to free up an acute bed. “We are offering a set number of rooms in our care home to people who are medically fit for discharge from hospital but who still need physiotherapy, domiciliary care or an assessment. “It means they can continue to get the wrap around service they require but, with us, in a more homely type environment. It also frees up a number

of much needed acute hospital beds.” Ribble Court Care Home on Liverpool Road in Much Hoole was last month rated ‘Good’ in its first official CQC inspection. It is the highest accolade a new care home can receive. Staff were praised for being ‘kind and caring’ and for treating residents with ‘dignity and respect’. The care was described as ‘high quality care’ from ‘a consistent team of staff who know residents well’.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 11

Coalition Calls for End to Isolation A coalition of organisations has written to local health and care leaders calling on them to put an end to “harmful isolation practices” and to help promote the rights of people in care. Organisations representing both care providers and users signed the joint letter highlighting the ‘severe, detrimental impact’ isolation from family and friends can have on people living in care and the key role local leaders play in protecting their rights. The letter seeks to address a barrier to visiting many are facing when local health teams impose blanket approaches. The letter calls on local health and care teams to fulfil their legal duties by ensuring restrictions on contact are proportionate. It also provides them with information resources to promote ‘essential caregivers’ to ensure every resident can benefit from this role, so vital to their wellbeing. The joint action is an initiative of the Relatives & Residents Association,

the campaign group Rights for Residents and academic Dr Caroline Emmer De Albuquerque Green of King’s College London. Signatories to the letter include Healthwatch England, the National Care Forum and Care England. A copy of the letter sent to Directors of Public Health, Directors of Adult Social Services, Local Authority Public Health Teams and UKHSA Health Protection Teams is available here - http://www.relres.org/wpcontent/uploads/Letter-isolation-in-care.pdf. It was accompanied by information resources https://www.relres.org/essential-caregivers/ (a factsheet and poster) to encourage local leaders to promote the role of essential caregiver. Find out more about R&RA’s campaign to End Isolation In Care https://www.relres.org/endisolationincare/

New Global Standards to Enhance the Quality of Life for Older People This week, two new international standards aimed at enhancing the quality of life for older people were approved by ISO (International Standardization Organisation). The standards were unanimously backed following four years of international collaboration with the UK committee being led by its volunteer Chair, Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care. ‘A framework for dementia-inclusive communities’ and ‘General requirements and guidelines for an age-inclusive workforce’ join the existing ‘General requirements and guidelines for carer-inclusive organizations’ as the pioneering standards to be developed under the Ageing Societies banner. The work brings together international experts from academia, industry and the public sector, who are committed to improving the quality of life for older people

across the globe. In addition to representing the UK overseas and coordinating UK input to all of the standards, Newman personally drafted sections and edited the final version of the dementia standard. Newman said: “In addition to my professional experience of supporting people living with dementia at Greensleeves Care, I have had to do this in a personal capacity for my family and have been dismayed at how local communities do not make small adjustments to ensure their neighbourhoods are dementia-inclusive and people living with dementia can retain their independence for longer. Society needs to do better. This framework is the first, officially accredited standard to address this challenge and will make life easier for people living with dementia and their families, wherever they live around the world.”

Britta Berge, International Chair of the ISO Ageing Societies Committee and based in Washington DC, said: “What a great way to start the New Year. I would like to thank Paul for his hard work and leadership throughout this process.” The two new standards will be published this Spring and are available from the BSI (British Standards Institution) and ISO. I’m getting in touch to share a story on behalf of Exemplar Health Care. The care home provider has recently celebrated the graduation of its first training associates. The learners started the programme in October 2019 and have spent the last two years studying to become a Nursing Associate, alongside working in an Exemplar Health Care home.



THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 13

Archbishop of Canterbury Calls for NHS-style Covenant on Social Care The Archbishop of Canterbury is calling for reforms in the provision of social care which prioritise the value of the person over the financial cost. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Justin Welby, the leader of the Church of England, said that focusing on managing the cost of social care, a priority in the latest government reforms, is “the wrong way round” because it fails to consider what people who need care want. “We know the vision for the NHS: ‘free care at the point of use’. We keep putting the cart before the horse. We keep talking about how we are going to pay for it when we don’t really know what we want to pay for. “You have to have a covenantal approach which says regardless of who you are, of your economic value, of your utility, society covenants to give you the best possible care it can as you approach the end of your life. “It is a community obligation. We have done that in health and education, we need to do that with social care. It is a national obligation, expressed by the state. The state at

the very least has to underwrite that covenant, as it does with health.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has also joined with the Archbishop of York to commission a review of social care which will publish its findings in the Spring. The government says residents and staff will all benefit from additional funding to support the social care sector with £1.4 billion being made available over the next 3 years. The Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is vital we continue to do all we can to protect social care during the pandemic and it is more important than ever the sector takes advantage of its priority booster status since the emergence of the Omicron variant. At the same time we need to plan for the longer term – and this money and the details confirmed will help do that.”

Care Workers Urged to Get Covid-19 Booster CARE workers are being urged to get their Covid-19 booster jab because providers fear the worst of the Omicron variant is still to come. Provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) said care staff needed the booster to protect themselves and the people they care for. ICG chair, Mike Padgham, said: “My fear is that the peak of the Omicron Covid-19 variant is yet to be felt in care settings and we need care workers to get the best protection they can as soon as they can. “Many already have but to those that haven’t, I would say, please do so as soon as possible, to ensure you stay healthy and the people you care for stay healthy too.” The ICG has sent a message out to its membership, urging them to ensure their staff have had all of their injections. “We look after some of the most vulnerable sections of society and we have a duty to ensure that our staff have the best protection available to them,” Mr Padgham added. “Cases in care and nursing homes and at domiciliary care providers are growing by the day and putting pressure on those providers to keep giving the best in care. “We have appealed to the Government for more support but in the meantime, we have to do everything we can to protect our staff and those we care for.”

Mr Padgham has called for the Government to set up an emergency army of volunteers to step in and help in care settings. He wrote to Secretary of State Sajid Javid, saying: “The staffing situation is now at the worst it has been throughout the pandemic and I can only see it getting worse. “The rapid spread of the omicron variant means more and more nursing home, care home and homecare staff are contracting Covid-19 and having to be off work and self-isolate. This is leaving those care providers chronically short of staff at a time when they most need to be fully staffed. “As you know, we need a fully functioning social care sector to ensure that NHS hospital care can function effectively and not be overwhelmed because people cannot be discharged to care settings. “At the moment that cannot be guaranteed and I fear the setting up of surge hubs is not a long-term solution as they too will be struggling for staff. I repeat my belief that we need the Government to quickly establish a volunteer task force to ease the crisis and ensure we can get through the winter. “This would draw upon retired nurses, doctors, and carers, to help out. This would need to be done quickly so that they can be DBS checked and trained before winter pushes us beyond tipping point.”


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Dementia Protein Changes Discovered in Terminal Childhood Disease

In a world-first, researchers at Newcastle University have found that the brains of infants who sadly passed away with an extremely rare genetic condition, Krabbe disease, have similar changes to those seen in two age-related brain diseases, dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease. Alzheimer’s Research UK funded the research that shows alpha-synuclein has the potential to spread throughout the brain. The scientific journal Brain published the findings. Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease are both neurodegenerative diseases associated with older age. In both diseases, a protein called alpha-synuclein builds up in the brain into structures called Lewy bodies, causing damage to nerve cells. In contrast, Krabbe disease is a rare inherited childhood disorder – with only one case in every 100,000 births. The disease destroys the protective coating surrounding nerve cells in the brain and throughout the nervous system. It is caused by a mutation in the GALC gene, with symptoms showing within the first few months of life. Sadly, the disease typically leads to death in those affected by the age of two. The team at Newcastle studied post-mortem brain tissue of four infants who died of Krabbe disease. While they did not identify Lewy bodies in the brain tissue of those infants, they did identify changes to the protein alpha-synuclein that are normally associated with DLB and Parkinson’s disease. In particular, the researchers noted that the alpha-synuclein protein in Krabbe disease had the ability to stick together and spread through the brain, a key change associated with dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease that is thought to drive the progression of both diseases. Dr Daniel ErskineDr Daniel Erskine, Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Fellow at Newcastle University, who is an expert in Lewy bodies and led the study, said: “Looking at the brains of four infants with Krabbe disease compared to four infants without Krabbe disease, we performed a series of experiments to establish the behaviour of the alpha-synuclein protein. We found that alpha-synuclein in Krabbe disease shared key qualities that are normally only associated with age-asso-

ciated neurodegenerative disease like dementia with Lewy bodies. “This phenomenon has only been reported previously in the brains of older people with neurodegenerative diseases, so seeing it in the brains of these infants is highly remarkable. These findings challenge the view that changes to the brain that underlie these forms of dementia are merely age-associated, but are instead the result of dysfunction of specific biological pathways. This is an important message, as while we cannot stop ageing, we can potentially fix something that is not working properly. “These research findings have only been made possible from the support of the families donating their loved ones’ brains for research and I would like to pay tribute to them for their generosity in helping others in a time of unparalleled grief. “Thankfully, Krabbe disease is a relatively rare condition, however it is devastating for the families affected. Dementia with Lewy bodies affects roughly 100,000 people in the UK. Building on these findings to help develop new drugs that target this common biological pathway could change the lives of people with both conditions.” Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, which funded the research said: “In dementia with Lewy bodies, the protein alpha-synuclein forms clumps called Lewy bodies inside brain nerve cells. While Lewy bodies were not found in the brains of infants in this study, researchers have shown for the first time that alpha-synuclein had a similar capacity to spread through the brain in Krabbe disease. “At Alzheimer’s Research UK we often hear dementia dismissed as a normal part of ageing. We know dementia is caused by brain diseases, and this research offers more evidence that the disease that cause dementia are caused by biological processes going awry rather than as a by-product of old age. “Learning about the diseases that cause dementia from other neurodegenerative conditions and sharing this knowledge with other fields is important. We’re incredibly grateful to the families of those whose brains were studied in this research, and who made this important discovery possible.”

Newark Care Home Appeals for 101 Birthday Cards A care home in Newark is appealing to the local community to send 101 birthday cards to one of its residents before the end of January. Gladys Welch is celebrating her 101st birthday at Red Roofs Residential Care Home on 29th January and the team are asking those living in and around Newark to come together to make it a day they will all remember. Birthday cards are a great way to show someone you are thinking of them and if the target of 101 cards is met, it will be the largest card delivery Gladys and the home have ever received. Born in 1921 and originally from Collingham, Gladys lived in Bakers Mill – named after her mother’s family until she was 11. Later in life, Gladys worked at Webb Woollies before moving to Ransome and Marles, where she worked for a number of years. Whilst working at the factory during World War II, Ransome and Marles was bombed by the Luftwaffe, resulting in 41 fatal casualties. Gladys is a well-known bombing raid survivor and talks openly to staff about her life experiences and how she ran to air-raid shelters for safety. Trish Smith, general manager at Red Roofs Residential Care said: “For Gladys’ 100th birthday we certainly celebrated in style, and it was a birthday we all remember quite well! Gladys received lots of beautiful bouquets of flowers, presents, cakes and 100th

birthday balloons last year however, this year we wanted to go bigger and better but had to think of a Covid-safe way of celebrating such a fantastic milestone. Ideas came flooding in from various staff members, but we had to decide on one which will make the largest impact and bring Gladys so much joy. “We are appealing to those in and around Newark to send Gladys a birthday card as we’d love if it there were 101 cards for her to open. We treasure every single birthday that’s celebrated here at Red Roofs, but this is one we really want some community backing. Gladys is part of the town’s history and what a better way to celebrate her life by sending her a small, thoughtful gesture. We cannot wait to see the array of birthday cards displayed across the home.” For those wishing to send Gladys a birthday card please address the envelope to Gladys Welch, Red Roofs Residential Care Home, 35a Grange Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 4LH. Senders are also being encouraged to include their names and location so all involved know how far and wide the appeal has reached. Any photos taken from Gladys’ birthday celebrations will be shared on Red Roofs’ Facebook page.

Care Home Chef Goes the Extra Mile to Make Sure Residents Could Enjoy their Christmas Lunch Caroline Lloyd, a Head Chef at Prince George House care home went above and beyond the call of duty this Christmas by staying away from her family and moving into the home for three weeks to ensure she was free of Covid and able to cook Christmas lunch for the residents. In mid-December, one of Caroline’s family tested positive for Covid. To make sure she stayed infection-free, Caroline decided to isolate from her family and to stay at the care home for the entire festive period. Home Manager, Jennifer Roger, agreed she could stay in the day care centre next to home. This centre is equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom and TV and is centrally heated but isn’t exactly a family home. Caroline said: “When one of the people I live with tested positive, I knew I couldn’t risk coming into contact with them. Luckily, they hadn’t been home for a few days but were going to be in my house for Christmas. So, I decided to stay at Prince George House and not see my family at all to make absolutely sure that I wouldn’t catch the virus. Thankfully, my family were very understanding about the fact that I couldn’t spend Christmas with them.” Her sacrifice was given extra weight when the home’s Second Chef tested positive just before Christmas and was unable to work. Knowing it would be virtually impossible to find a relief chef to provide back-up in the holiday season, Caroline found herself with a kitchen team down to two – herself and a Kitchen Assistant. Together, the pair didn’t just prepare a three course lunch for the 76 residents they also fulfilled their plan to also offer the same menu to every colleague on duty that day. This meant cooking the full, ambitious menu already planned for a big Christmas feast, including starters of

either prawn cocktail or butternut squash soup, mains of roast turkey along with a sausage, bacon and stuffing roulade, and all the usual trimmings. She also cooked mushroom Wellington, for vegetarian diners and those who don’t like turkey. And not forgetting dessert, she prepared a mouth-watering traditional sherry trifle and Christmas pudding. Not content with all that cooking, the two of them even agreed to do all the washing up afterwards. Caroline said: ““I’m not quite sure how we did it, but on Christmas Day, with my one remaining team member we ended up preparing a traditional Christmas dinner for over 120 people, that’s a lot of sprouts!” Caroline added: “I love my job. As a chef, I get great pleasure from knowing residents are eating well-balanced meals that they truly love. I’ve been here since 2014 and Prince George House is like one big loving family, I have great colleagues. I really enjoy being able to interact with the residents, finding out what they most like to eat. Seeing how much my home cooking means to them is very rewarding. Cooking in a care home has to be one of the most fulfilling roles any chef can undertake.” Home Manager at Prince George House, Jennifer Rodger, said: “This is not the first time we have seen Caroline going above and beyond to support residents and my team. Last year, over Easter with the pandemic in full swing , she discovered another member of her household had tested positive so ended up staying in the home for over a week to ensure the residents and colleagues were kept safe and able to enjoy the delicious Easter meals she and her kitchen team had planned.



PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

Taking the Fight to the Virus this Winter Emergence of Omicron Variant Adds Urgency to Vaccination and Mask Messaging. Anti-viral Sprays can Offer additional Protection

By Dr István Jankovics With Covid infections running at around 200,000 per day and over 1600 deaths per week in the UK combined with the threat of the more infectious Omicron variant and a return of the flu, now is not the time to let down our guard. As the UK government revises its infection control policies, leading international virologist and clinical microbiologist, Dr István Jankovics offers some simple advice to help you stay safe this winter. Vaccines first and foremost The Covid vaccine programme is heralded as a great success and indeed it has played a huge part in keeping down morbidity and mortality rates as infection rates have soared. So everyone who is eligible should get all three doses of the vaccine. Professor James Kingsland an internationally renowned Primary Care physician, Clinical Professor and practicing medical practitioner for over 37 years commented: “We have to recognise that we will never achieve 100% vaccination uptake for a variety of reasons. Ineligibility for some age groups at present and contraindications for a small few, in addition to the ill infomed choices some are making as well as the antivaxxers means that we will always get transmission which I am afraid we will just have to live with. So, although vaccines are the most important way to protect yourself they will not, on their own, eliminate the virus from society any time soon. Virus mutation will continue and the level of severity of the newly identified Omicron variant will take days to several weeks to fully understand. In addition it is not yet known how effective current vaccines will be against new mutations , although there is good reason to suppose they will reduce the severity of symptoms of those infected.” Lessons from the pandemic We all became ‘experts’ in infection control during the pandemic so let’s not forget some of the valuable lessons we learned that helped millions of people to stay safe. Professor Kingsland added: “Covid 19 is now an endemic disease. It’s going to be with us for many years. Maybe it’s not about wearing a mask at all times

but more about using the experience we gained in the early stages of the pandemic and wearing a face covering in crowded public places, on public transport and other enclosed spaces. And if you are going to a crowded venue, take your responsibility to others seriously and take a lateral flow test beforehand. Maintaining good hygiene and appropriate social distancing when possible should also not be forgotten. We live in uncertain times, and so we all have to use our recently acquired knowledge and judgment to stack the odds in our favour” Additional layers of protection We need to reinforce the messages about prevention, especially the value of everyone wearing a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated places. The use of antiviral mouth or nose sprays also help to add an additional layer of protection. Sprays such as ViroStop which is a certified safe herbal treatment which recent studies show protection against the coronavirus as well as influenza and the common cold. A clinical study published in September 2021 showed its efficacy in reducing viral shedding and reduction in symptoms of those infected. In-vitro studies gave strong evidence that the product could also have some significant effect in preventing Covid 19 infection in the first place. This was backed up by a study published in November 2021 where compelling evidence for ViroStop’s preventative effect was produced. Another benefit was that volunteers who took the spray developed antibodies to Covid at three times the rate of the control group, giving them ongoing resistance to the virus. Professor Kingsland added: “These new anti-viral sprays on their own are not going to stop Covid in its tracks. That’s the job of the vaccine, but they can provide an additional barrier to viral infections including influenza. The key point is that these sprays are approved by the UK regulator as safe and there is an evidence base for its efficacy; so I ask the question why you wouldn’t add them to your anti-viral armoury?” Double down on proven methods of infection control Recent new evidence reported in the British Medical Journal has shown that wearing a mask is particularly effective, reducing transmission by 53%. But there are a number of other less obvious ways to stay safe this winter such as taking vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system, to allow the body to fight off infections. Mitigate what we can’t eliminate Now is not the time for complacency and some of the simple measures outlined above could help us manage the new reality that we are going to have to live with Covid and manage its worst effects in the same way as we mitigate the impact of influenza with vaccination and sensible preventative measures. About the author: Dr István Jankovics is a leading international virologist and clinical microbiologist from the Hungarian Complex Medical Centre Déli Clinic in Budapest.

Envivo Group Celebrates its 12 Superheroes Care and support provider group, Envivo Group, ran their Envivo Superheroes 2021 campaign over the 12 days of Christmas to recognise 12 people who made a significant personal or professional contribution worthy of ‘superhero’ status. Selected from a pool of 180 nominees, the stories and achievements of the chosen winners raised awareness of the difference a career in care can make to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in any community. Envivo Group partnered with Prezzee to award each winner a £100 gift voucher in recognition of their contribution to care. The campaign’s superhero winners included Jason Taylor, who works in Maintenance at TLC Care and Support. Jason is committed not just to being on-call and responding to maintenance emergencies outside his working hours, but has also worked to increase his understanding and knowledge of care. He works closely with a person supported by TLC to teach him new skills.

Tim Davies, Chief Executive of Envivo Group, said of the campaign: “Many people do not realise how truly essential care work is. Our teams have really come together during the pandemic, going above and beyond to help the wonderful people who depend on their support. “Envivo Superheroes is just one way we show how much we value all of them. In highlighting the stories and achievements of our people, we hope to show the public the many vital roles carers fulfil every day, and the enormity of the impact care can have.” Jason Taylor, who works in Maintenance for TLC Care and Support said: “It’s not every day that somebody gets recognised so fully for their work. I am grateful to see the happiness achieved within the people we support on a daily basis. I would like to thank all my work colleagues for their hard work and dedication.”

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/


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 17

Care Home Restrictions are ‘Affecting Quality of Life’ says Four Seasons Care CEO Four Seasons CEO Jeremy Richardson has hit out at a “total imbalance” between the current restrictions on care home visiting and the threat posed by COVID-19. With families once again only able to visit their loved ones through windows or visiting pods due to the latest restrictions on care homes, Mr Richardson has described the current situation as “an absolute outrage”, with people being “deprived of their right to visitors”. There is a total imbalance between the current risk posed by COVID to our residents and the restrictions imposed by Government,” the Four Seasons chief added. “Depriving people of their right to visitors makes it difficult to provide our residents with a quality of life and is not justified by the statistics. In the last two weeks less than 1% of the deaths among our residents can be attributed to COVID. We ask that policy reflects the facts, which show that the vaccination programme and our strict infection controls are working well.” Before Christmas, Sajid Javid, the health secretary, announced that any care home in outbreak should close its doors to indoor visitors for up to 28 days after the last positive case, except for ‘essential care givers’ or if a resident is at the end of life. Day-to-day visitors are also restricted to just three named people, however Mr Richardson said the

current government restrictions makes it difficult to give residents “a quality of life and is not justified by the statistics”. Brian Murray, who runs Abbey Court Care Home in Easterhouse Glasgow said he agreed with the calls after it recorded one Covid death in the last fortnight. Speaking with Glasgow EveningT imes Mr Murray said: “He is right, we have a lot more knowledge and understanding of the virus now and, coupling that with our knowledge and experience of dealing with outbreaks, it is nonsense to ban visiting yet again. “There’s no reason it cant be allowed as long as its managed properly and that may mean restricting visits and re-imposing some of the measures we used we when first re-opened. “It also seems a bit mixed, we have two staff who had a positive LFD result and Public Health told us to take no action unless the PCR’s came back positive, they did and we have ordered mass testing for the residents but still have not been instructed to lock down. “It may be because they trust our judgement now and are happy to accept the measures we impose; we restricted visiting to essential only but anyone can have an essential visit it’s not restricted to one named visitor.”

Bill & Ben, Feathered Friends Visit Residents At Care Home Barchester Magnolia Court care community, in Golders Green, was full of animal

enjoyment and the therapeutic influence animals can have on people.” Resident Sally Wilson was very excited to meet the budgies: “As a child we had

mischief when Bill and Ben the budgie’s came to visit the home. Residents and

a budgie. I have so many wonderful memories of our lovely pet. I love animals.

staff were delighted to meet their new feathered friend’s. General Manager Octavian Stanciu said: “Our residents have really enjoyed their new visitor’s today. We knew that having Bill and Ben would be a bit of fun for all our residents, especially as some find it a little difficult getting out and about. We are always looking for different activities for the residents and we have seen the

Today was very enjoyable and it was wonderful that Bill and Ben and their trusty assistant Kelly came to see us.” Resident Leon said “The budgies were great little character, they jumped on our hands to say hello and I can’t wait to see them again.”

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PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

Urgent Steps Needed Now To Avoid Staffing Crisis In The NHS The NHS is facing a staffing crisis which threatens the quality of patient care unless urgent steps are taken now by the Government to help alleviate the mounting pressure on front-line services the NHS Confederation has said. The NHS Confederation, which represents the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is calling for a range of measures to be taken in the NHS in England to support hospitals, ambulance services, mental health and community providers, primary care and social care providers. These include prioritising access to lateral flow and PCR tests for key workers, including NHS and social care staff; deploying medical students onto wards and other healthcare settings; and continuing to review the self-isolation period to see if it is feasible to halve the period from 10 to five days as they have done in the US and France. The Confederation believes the measures announced in Tuesday’s Downing Street briefing do not go far enough, including the Prime Minister’s commitment to ensuring 100,000 critical workers across a variety of industries will get direct access to daily lateral flow tests from 10 January. The actions are recommended in response to Covid infections having risen to unprecedented levels in recent days because of the Omicron variant. Despite indications that the effects of the variant are milder than previous strains of the virus for some people, the NHS is seeing rising hospital admissions, with more than 15,000 patients in hospital in England with Covid and increasing pressure on primary care services. At the same time, the NHS is experiencing major staff shortages due to Covid infection and other illnesses. Before the pandemic, staff absence during the winter was usually around the 5% mark; now it is around 8% and rising. Several NHS trusts have called a ‘critical incident’ due to them not having the staff to run services as effectively as normal. In primary care, staff absence can be as much as 20% to 30%. While in social care, providers in some regions have seen a 10% reduction in their workforce in the last four weeks as staff have left for alternative employment in a recovering economy. In addition, from 3 February the NHS is poised to start removing from frontline care around 5% of its workforce who have not yet been double vaccinated. This will increase the demands placed on staff and teams. All of these factors are having a detrimental impact on patient care. One hospital chief executive told us they had 750 staff off sick on Friday due to Covid or for other illnesses, while another said they had 413 staff off with 270 of those absent with Covid-related issues. This is the situation facing many trusts, leaving them with fewer staff to respond to the

increased demand for care. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “It’s clear that we are facing a staffing crisis in the NHS, with a number of hospitals telling us they have around 10% of their staff in self-isolation or on sick leave for other reasons. This is pushing up the ratio of staff to patients to levels hospitals are extremely concerned about. And we know that several hospitals have had to declare a critical incident because of these widespread staff shortages and rising admissions. The Prime Minister’s attempts to reassure the public that the NHS is not being overwhelmed will not chime with the experience of staff working in some parts of the NHS. “The government now needs to do all it can to mobilise more staff and other resources for the NHS to get through this extremely challenging period. We are calling for NHS, social care and other key workers to have priority access to testing – the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that 100,000 critical workers will get direct access to daily lateral flow tests from 10 January is welcome but does not go far enough. We should not be in this position two years into the pandemic. “We also think there is merit in continuing to review the self-isolation period to see if the evidence supports a halving of the period to five days. We also need other short-term measures, including deploying medical students on wards and taking other steps to cover rota gaps. “It seems that the Omicron variant is milder than previous strains, but it is still too early to know how much milder, especially in terms of how it will affect older people. What we do know is that the combined impact of the sheer volume of Covid cases, rising hospital admissions and widespread staff absence is placing front-line services under enormous strain. “We urge the government not to allow its optimism to lead to complacency given the rapidly changing situation we are seeing on a daily basis. It is for the Government to review the data to see if further restrictions are needed and we urge Ministers to take the right decisions in light of the emerging evidence.” The Confederation is calling for six steps to be taken to support the NHS to get through January and beyond: 1. Testing: given the shortage of supply for lateral flow and PCR tests, all key workers, including NHS and social care staff, should be given priority access to tests. Otherwise, the significant staff shortages we are already seeing will be made worse, with more staff having to self-isolate until they can prove that they are not infectious. 2. Deploying students: medical students and trainees should be redeployed onto wards and other healthcare settings to support teams in the face of mounting absence and make sure there are enough people to care for patients. This would be a short-term measure to help alleviate pressure on hospitals and other services. This approach was taken last winter.

3. Self-isolation period: if you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. Individuals can leave self-isolation after seven days if certain conditions are met. In line with the approach taken in other countries, such as the US and France, we believe the self-isolation period should continue to be reviewed to see if it’s feasible to halve the period from 10 to 5 days. Only if the evidence is clear that this poses no risk to patients would we want to see this measure adopted. We would not want a reduction to be counterproductive but if the isolation period could be safely shortened, this would significantly help to reduce the level of staff absence over the rest of the winter. 4. Interim changes in ways of working: given the levels of absence and demand due to omicron, national heads of profession and professional regulators, together with the CQC, should clearly state their recognition of the exceptional circumstances in which our people might find themselves working in the coming weeks. This should include explicit acknowledgment of interim changes in ways of working which mean that staffing numbers are altered or reduced and that clinical tasks might need to be allocated in ways which would not normally be recognised as best practice. 5. Transfers of care: hospitals continue to struggle to move patients out of hospital and into care homes and other settings. This is often due to a lack of capacity and increased levels of COVID-related absence in social care and due to some patients choosing not to leave hospital until they have a social care provider of their choice ready to take them. While this is understandable, it is leading to multiple delayed discharges and those same hospital beds not able to be prioritised for patients who are in greater clinical need. The Government and its national bodies should issue a clearer instruction on what needs to happen in these scenarios. This should include guidance that enables patients to be transferred to a suitable placement from where they can then choose a provider of their choice. The risk otherwise is that more hospital beds will be taken up by patients who are clinically ready to be discharged into the community but unable to be transferred. 6. Clear communication with the public: much of the national focus continues to be on the pressure that hospitals are under. While this is a major concern, there are other parts of the health service that are under extreme pressure too, including primary care services such as GP practices. It is vital that the Government provides clear and consistent advice to the public in terms of what they should do when they experience minor illness to avoid GPs and A&E departments being overwhelmed. That advice should include, as a first step, using the NHS website, visiting local pharmacies or calling 111 and using video or telephone services where possible to reduce the spread of infection.

Adept Care Homes Appoints New Managing Director Kenny Nelson has been appointed as the new managing director of Midlands Based Adept Care Homes. Adept Care homes has announced the appointment of Kenny Nelson as Managing Director. Kenny who joined Adept Care Homes in February 2021 as Business Director, brings with him a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge following previously working alongside Adept Care Homes as Relationship Director with RBS and later, as Senior Director, Health & Social Care with CYB (Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank). The appointment follows a continued strong performance of the Midlands based care provider, after the successful completion and opening of its 8th care home site, the luxurious Harrier House in Hucknall, Adept Care Homes is concentrating on reinvestment to promote their model to attract self-funding residents whilst looking to expand its portfolio once again. “Adept Care Homes has a solid track record of consistent growth, undoubtedly inspired by its commitment to providing excellent care for elderly residents. The company is one of the biggest SMEs I personally

supported under the Business Banking Switch. I now look forward to continuing to work with the team and furthering its ongoing growth and success” said Kenny Nelson, Adept Care Homes newly appointed Managing Director. Dave Lock, Executive Chair and former Managing Director of Adept Care Homes, who will continue to lead the group with close involvement, welcomes Kenny Nelson to the head of the team, commenting on the group’s future plans: “My role has always been to ensure our homes are of a quality I would be pleased for my own parents to live in. Both my parents have lived happily at Moat House Care Home which has reinforced my pride in what we do. Kenny’s appointment signifies an exciting milestone in Adept’s future. His experience of both our company and the health and social care industry brings a great strength to our business and driving the company forward. His input will be hugely significant as we plan the next phase of the business’ growth and expansion plan whilst improving our already impressive business performance.” He will work in partnership with Emma Philpott, Senior Operations Director who has extensive experience and capabilities in the social care sector, Adept’s and former Greene King Finance Director, Chris White and the newly appointed Communities Director, Joe Lock to push forward the Group’s strategy ensuring Adept Care Homes is ‘a superb place to live or work’.

Wippet Expands Senior Team to Drive Expansion Wippet has appointed Lisa Delaney as Head of Customer Acquisition and Russell Perry as Head of Marketing and Analytics. The two appointments reflect the recent expansion of Wippet following its launch last October, and comes ahead of a period of major growth as the company continues to establish itself as the leading healthcare marketplace website. Lisa’s responsibility will be to support the company’s growth by introducing care groups to Wippet’s end-to-end buying functions and timesaving features that make buying in healthcare simple. Lisa says: “For me it was a no-brainer. Wippet is an amazing product that can really help the care sector at a time when it needs more help than ever. As well as the opportunity to work in the exciting environment of a new start up company, with all the benefits of its PLC ownership by Clipper, it’s also the chance to work on something that will have a real positive impact for the sector.” With a career spanning two decades, Lisa brings over 10 years of experience and insight into the care home sector, most recently for Apetito Wiltshire Farm Foods. As sales manager she developed its care homes business model to create real competitive advantage and drive innovation, achieving accelerated B2B growth targets and implementing

the sales strategy to deliver long-term growth. Russell’s responsibilities will be to grow Wippet among the smaller independent care providers for whom the competition and convenience of Wippet will drive real value. He will also be leading the wider digital marketing agenda. Russell says: “Wippet is a game changer, and when I saw the chance to be a part of that, I jumped at it. It’s an agile and dynamic environment

which is exciting itself, and for the customer, Wippet’s benefits could not come at a better time for a sector that so desperately needs help.” During Russell’s 30-year career within digital ecommerce he has worked on major projects including, as part of the senior Alexandra digital team, delivering a digital roadmap for its new digital offering. This involved Amazon marketplace roll-out and D2C website re-platforming and redesign. He led the digital team to drive improvements in CRO, AOV and CLV across its category and customer sectors: D2C, MicroB2B, LargeB2B. Commenting on the appointments, Matt Oxley, CEO and Founder of Wippet says: “These are very exciting times at Wippet. I’m delighted Russell and Lisa have joined us. They are two great additions to our growing team, so we’re starting the New Year with a robust line-up that will really push our growth in 2022.” Wippet is an online marketplace for healthcare that makes buying healthcare products and services simple. Hosting a wide variety of suppliers across all sectors on one platform, Wippet sells everything a healthcare provider might need, from beds to detergents, from uniforms to food – and even services.



PAGE 22 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

New Study Predicts The Number Of People Living With Alzheimer’s Disease To Triple By 2050 A new study has revealed that global dementia cases are set to triple by 2050 – an estimated 153 million people will be living with dementia by 2050. On 6 January, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) published a study on dementia prevalence forecasts in 204 countries in The Lancet: Public Health. The study estimates that 57 million people were living with dementia globally in 2019, a number expected to rise to 153 million by 2050. The authors acknowledged that this was similar to data published by ADI in the World Alzheimer Report 2019. The study also reinforces the disproportionate burden that dementia places on women, also highlighted in the ADI report on Women and Dementia (2015). While these increases are predominantly attributed to global population growth and population ageing, the authors also explore four known risk factors for dementia: smoking, obesity, high blood sugar and low education, and highlight how they may impact these future estimates.

Global improvements in access to, and quality of, education are predicted to reduce the dementia prevalence by 6.2 million. However, this benefit is likely to be counteracted by anticipated increases in obesity, smoking and high blood sugar, leading to an additional 6.8 million people living with dementia. The authors conclude that the future implementation of risk reduction policies could have a significant impact in reducing these prevalence forecasts. As well as risk factors, the study also explores the future geographical regional burden of these increasing forecasts. The greatest increase in the prevalence of those living with dementia is expected to occur in sub-Saharan Africa and north-Africa, where the number of those living with dementia is expected to increase by 357% and 367% respectively. Poignantly, the African region remains the only World Health Organization (WHO) region where none of its Member States have a national dementia plan. Country level prevalence data for 204 countries is included in the study. On the study, Paola Barbarino said: “This data highlights the severity of the public health crisis of dementia and the alarming consequences of inaction. Dementia is already the 7th leading cause of death globally. We welcome the authors’ call for the urgent deployment of tailored interventions to combat risk factors, alongside the need for increased

research into effective disease-modifying treatments and new modifiable risk factors.” In practice, this means more public health campaigns at national and regional level. Too many people still do not know that they can change their lifestyle and make a difference. For decades, ADI, the WHO and the dementia community at large have been calling for governments to act to avert a public health crisis. Every three seconds, someone develops dementia. Time is running out and the time to act is now. ADI hopes these findings will highlight the need for governments to adopt funded national dementia plans. In 2017, all WHO Member States unanimously adopted the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia, agreeing to implement national dementia plans, which include risk reduction strategies (action area 3) and commitments to funding research and innovation (action area 7). Currently only 37 member states have implemented such plans and this study acts as a timely warning for those who are yet to act. As we move to the next stages of our campaign to encourage governments to adopt national dementia plans, we will be utilising this study to demonstrate the consequences of inaction.

Local Care Home Get on their Blue Suede Shoes Hugh Myddelton House care home in Southgate was transformed into

Elvis movies, he was such an incredible talent. This afternoon we had an

Graceland to mark what would have been Elvis Presley’s 86th birthday on 8

Elvis quiz, it is amazing how many songs he recorded. We all surprised our-

January.

selves by how many we remembered!”

It is estimated that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide so to

Charles, a resident said: “I loved Elvis growing up. Listening to all his old

honour the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, the staff and residents enjoyed a

hits has brought back so many memories. We’ve all had a brilliant time rem-

fantastic day of music, fun and dancing.

iniscing about our dance hall days!”

General Manager, Ramona Stanciu, said: “Lots of our residents are big Elvis

Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and pro-

fans and love his music. We’ve had a fantastic day listening to all his hits,

vides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tai-

finding out about his early life and what influenced him and watching old

lored to residents’ interests and abilities.

Play Featuring 83-Year-Old Actress Will Involve Audiences to Understand Experiences of Dementia At 83, Gill Cree thought her acting days were behind her, yet she is now part of a cast who will involve audiences in an innovative play designed to share understanding of the experience of living with dementia. Part of a major research project run by the University of Exeter, the play, called The World Turned Upside Down, will run at the University of Exeter on January 11, and Exeter Phoenix on January 13. It is part of the University of Exeter-led programme Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (UK). The project, recognised as an Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence, seeks to understand, and find ways to improve the experience of living with dementia. The study recruited 1,547 people diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia and 1,283 carers and is following as many as possible over seven years. The play is about communicating with people with dementia, and the audience will be invited to shape the play by offering possible outcomes to different scenes. Audience input will feed back into the research project. Actress Gill, aged 83, said: “I was delighted to be invited to be involved. Dementia is a really significant issue and concern for older people, and I’m excited to be part of such a challenge. The play aims to involve audiences to give a meaningful insight into what it’s like to live with dementia, which can improve empathy and understanding.” Director Paul Jepson said: “We want the play to be as authentic as possible, and we think all involved will learn a lot from each other about how we can communicate better with people with dementia”. The process is being filmed with a forthcoming documentary film of The World Turned Upside Down to be released in summer 2022.

The play comes shortly after the launch of the Living With Dementia Toolkit, linked to the INCLUDE project, part of IDEAL, which is also funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19. INCLUDE seeks to understand and support people affected by dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new toolkit draws on that learning to incorporate a wide range of advice, resources and accounts of people’s own experiences. Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, who leads the IDEAL programme, said: “This project is the culmination of the most indepth exploration to date of what can really make a difference and help people live as well as possible with dementia. Through our extensive research programme and through ensuring people with dementia and carers at the core of all our activities, we want to give people a better understanding of life with dementia, and provide a comprehensive toolkit to enrich every aspect of life. The COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly difficult time for people affected by dementia, but we learned so much, not just about how best to support people through such a crisis, but about how we can help with managing the challenges of everyday life.” The new toolkit is organised into five themes: Stay safe and well; Stay connected; Keep a sense of purpose; Stay active; and Stay positive. It includes content proposed by the involvement group of four people with dementia and four carers, including the challenges of dealing with risk. Carers are motivated to keep people with dementia safe from harm, yet the individual they are trying to protect may be more worried about losing autonomy and independence. The new resource includes materials to help facilitate discussions and improve communications. The involvement group met fortnightly with facilitator Rachael Litherland, of Innovations in Dementia. As David, a carer, notes, “This group of questioning and sharing individuals has, I think, added a very particular character to the end result.” The information is diverse, and includes practical advice and activities designed to inspire people to stay connected and active, as well as videos, blogs and poetry. It includes the voices of people with dementia and carers, as well as researchers and leading dementia professionals. Programme manager Dr Claire Pentecost, of the University of Exeter, said: “We know that everyone with dementia is different. They each have different priorities and challenges, and activities they want to stay engaged with. Our resource provides a huge breadth of variety and

choice – we believe it will enhance people’s lives, provide answers, assurances, information and a range of different perspectives to help people live as well as possible.” Keith, who lives with dementia, was part of the involvement group. He said “The challenges are great, and we have been realistic in discussing them, but what we’ve come up with is a range of potential solutions based on pragmatism and the sharing of lived experiences.” Being realistic while offering hope has been a guiding principle for the group, as has remembering that everyone is different. Involvement group member and family carer Julia hopes that people will “choose and use what they find suitable for their individual needs” from the toolkit. Many reflected on their own experiences of diagnosis. For Allison, who lives with dementia, “Yes, the situation is difficult and the initial feeling is ‘This is the end’, but if someone can pick up his toolkit and get a little bit of hope that they can live… to be involved in that has been brilliant.” Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People's Mental Health at NHS England, said: “The Living with Dementia toolkit is a major resource developed through the extensive person centred research project that learns how to optimise quality of life for people with dementia through the experiences of people living with the condition. It will be a very valuable resource for anyone involved in dementia diagnosis and care and will be of benefit to people living with the condition, their families and carers.” Katherine Gray, Research Communications Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “Improving quality of life for people diagnosed with dementia now is just as important as research looking for treatments for the future. After receiving a dementia diagnosis, people may feel like they have to give up the activities they love doing, like singing in a choir, going to a book club or volunteering in their community. “We’re excited to be funding the IDEAL study – this toolkit, built in collaboration with people affected by dementia, will inspire hope and ideas on how to live well with the condition, empowering people to continue doing the things that matter most to them.” Access the full toolkit free at www.livingwithdementiatoolkit.org.uk Booking for ExePhoe performance 13th Jan can be found at https://exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/the-world-turned-upsidedown/ Both performances are being filmed as part of the process.


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T Cells from Common Colds Cross-Protect Against Infection with SARS-CoV-2 People with higher levels of T cells from common cold coronaviruses are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2. A new study, published in Nature Communications and led by Imperial College London researchers, provides the first evidence of a protective role for these T cells. While previous studies have shown that T cells induced by other coronaviruses can recognise SARS-CoV-2, the new study examines for the first time how the presence of these T cells at the time of SARS-CoV-2 exposure influences whether someone becomes infected. The researchers also say their findings provide a blueprint for a second-generation, universal vaccine that could prevent infection from current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron. Dr Rhia Kundu, first author of the study, from Imperial’s National Heart & Lung Institute, says: “Being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t always result in infection, and we’ve been keen to understand why. We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can protect against COVID-19 infection. While this is an important discovery, it is only one form of protection, and I would stress that no one should rely on this alone. Instead, the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated, including getting your booster dose.” The study began in September 2020 when most people in the UK had neither been infected nor vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. It included 52 people who lived with someone with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and who had therefore been exposed to the virus. The participants did PCR tests at the outset and 4 and 7 days later, to determine if they developed an infection.

Blood samples from the 52 participants were taken within 1-6 days of them being exposed to the virus. This enabled the researchers to analyse the levels of pre-existing T cells induced by previous common cold coronavirus infections that also cross-recognise proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The researchers found that there were significantly higher levels of these cross-reactive T cells in the 26 people who did not become infected, compared to the 26 people who did become infected. These T cells targeted internal proteins within the SARS-CoV-2 virus, rather than the spike protein on the surface of the virus, to protect against infection. Current vaccines do not induce an immune response to these internal proteins. The researchers say that – alongside our existing effective spike protein-targeting vaccines – these internal proteins offer a new vaccine target that could provide long-lasting protection because T cell responses persist longer than antibody responses which wane within a few months of vaccination. Professor Ajit Lalvani, senior author of the study and Director of the NIHR Respiratory Infections Health Protection Research Unit at Imperial, says: “Our study provides the clearest evidence to date that T cells induced by common cold coronaviruses play a protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection. These T cells provide protection by attacking proteins within the virus, rather than the spike protein on its surface. The spike protein is under intense immune pressure from vaccine-induced antibody which drives evolution of vaccine escape mutants. In contrast, the internal proteins targeted by the protective T cells we identified mutate much less. Consequently, they are highly conserved between the various SARS-CoV-2 variants, including omicron. New vaccines that include these conserved, internal proteins would therefore induce broadly protective T cell responses that should protect against current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants.” The researchers note some limitations to their study, including that, because it is small and 88% of participants were of white European ethnicity, it is not possible for them to model demographic factors. The study was funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections and the Medical Research Council.

Thank Cod It’s Fry-Day: Local Care Home Enjoys Nation’s Favourite Takeaway Residents at Upton Bay Care Home, in Hamworthy, Poole, enjoyed a British seaside classic for their lunches, tucking in to a huge order of traditional fish and chips from their local chip shop. Catering for both residents and staff, Upton Bay placed a whopping order of over 40 portions of fish and chips from their local, Allways Fry-Day. Accustomed to Head Chef Alain Fadonougbo’s ‘fine dining’ take on the classic Friday dish, residents took to the vote, unanimously deciding upon a takeaway lunch

from the chippy. Residents reminisced over old-school chip butties and deep fried cod, with lashings of curry sauce and mushy peas. “It took me back to my childhood; we’d go to the chippy after school asking for the scraps – the best bit if you ask me,” commented David, resident at Upton Bay. “It was a pleasure to cater to the care home. I hope we delivered a bit of happiness to the ladies and gents,” said Adam Hankins, manager at Allways Fry Day.


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The Government’s 10 Year Plan For Social Care 'Starts Faltering Here…'

By Tony Stein, Chief Executive, Healthcare Management Solutions (www.hcsolutions.co.uk)

I read with dismay further announcements on the government’s 10 year vision for Social Care. A central pillar of this vision is the £1bn of funding that is to come out of the 1.25% increase in NI which we are led to believe is a Social Care Levy. The funding will help pay for: • The range and amount of new supported housing to be increased through £300 million in housing investment, to help local authorities

offer greater choice, care and support, alongside a new practical service to make repairs and changes in peoples’ homes to help them remain safe and either stay with their families or live independently in accordance with their wishes. • New technology and digitisation backed by at least £150 million to improve care quality and safety, support independent living and allow staff to provide focused care where it is needed. For example, acoustic sensors which monitor movement will help residents sleep uninterrupted and allow carers to monitor them safely and be alerted if needed. Digital care records will be updated to make sure all caregivers have the latest up-to-date details to provide the best support possible. • The 1.5 million strong adult social care workforce will see a record £500 million invested so they can progress in their careers with training and qualifications while providing an even better standard of care. This will help recognise their valued skills and prioritise their wellbeing with greater support for their mental health. Firstly, I needn’t point out that the Social Care Levy is estimated to raise £11.4bn per annum. £1bn over three years to be spent on the above is therefore just a miniscule £333m out of £11,400m each year or 3%. We are told that the remainder is to go to the NHS – so, not quite the Social Care Levy it’s purported to be then is it! Secondly, £300m over three years to adapt housing is but £100m p.a. and whilst I have absolutely no issue with helping people to remain in their homes for as long as possible this ‘investment’ is often very short term unless the property can be recycled to someone with similar

needs once the incumbent moves into full time care. It isn’t therefore an investment so much as a short-term cost and this should be understood even if the decision to make this expenditure is to be applauded. Thirdly, as someone with a considerable number of services to operate I can assure everyone that £50m per year across the social care space to improve technology is a mere drop compared with what’s needed and, in the current environment where multiple businesses are developing their own products to meet this need, the first issue to address before this money is spent is how all this technology talks to each other. Unless this is addressed first, the outcome will be an expensive but highly fragmented software environment with limited opportunity for data sharing between the many stakeholders. Finally, we need to stop talking about training as if this is the solution to the issue of poor pay in the care sector. No matter how many times Mr Javid tells everyone that offering training will suddenly make everyone want to work in care, it isn’t going to happen. Indeed, in some ways not being able to pay our staff more when they have additional skills and qualifications is sending an even worse message about how they’re valued. Fundamentally, funding of care needs to be improved so that front line social care workers can be paid a fair wage for a highly responsible job. Operators are already dealing with the issue of training and if the government had decent dialogue with the CQC the CQC would confirm that training is not at the top of the list of shortcomings across the sector however staff shortages are.

£6m-Funded Studies into Parkinson’s Disease Seek Participants People affected by Parkinson’s disease are being invited to take part in a series of cuttingedge trials enabled by nearly £6 million in funding to the University of Exeter. A major £2.6 million programme grant from The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) will fund a research team led by the University of Exeter for two studies to find new ways of understanding what happens in Parkinson’s before and after it is diagnosed and to explore the role of genes in the evolution of Parkinson’s. Additional funding includes a separate philanthropic donation of £3 million from electrical wholesalers City Electrical Factors Limited, to investigate the role of a newly discovered brain waste disposal system as a possible contributing factor to the development and progression of the condition. Professor Marios Politis said: “Around 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease, yet we still know relatively little about this devastating condition. This funding from The Michael J Fox Foundation and additional donors will enable us to conduct an in-depth study to investigate the interplay between cells, neurotransmitters and genetics, and how they impact on the development of the condition. We’re also investigating the process of how the brain clears out waste during sleep, and how that may impact on Parkinson’s disease developing. These innovative studies are designed to provide urgently needed answers and hopefully new ways to intervene early to improve lives.” The Michael J Fox Foundation-funded studies will investigate what goes on in the brain in the years before the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are evident. Understanding this better could unlock new ways to catch the early signs, and to slow or stop progression. The team will use state-of-the-art imaging facilities in London to understand how four genes already known to be implicated in Parkinson’s act differently, and how that influences the molecular activity in the brain. This could shed light on the processes involved in the early stages of Parkinson’s in other groups. Another study will look at the role of inflammation in the brain and the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both widely known as important in regulating and controlling mood and movement and both implicated in Parkinson’s. Jamie Eberling, PhD, MJFF Vice President of Research Programs at The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), said: “We’re proud to support these programs and their efforts toward our shared goal of a world without Parkinson’s disease.

The complexities of Parkinson’s pathology challenges research and care. Imaging is a powerful, non-invasive strategy to better understand disease causes and contributors, which could speed development and testing of new treatments while also improving diagnosis and progression tracking.” In a separate study, the team will investigate the role of sleep in the development of Parkinson’s, which is important because previous research has found that the build-up of proteins in the brain are linked to both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers will conduct a series of studies to better understand the role of the “glymphatic system” responsible for this waste clearance in the context of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, with the hope to identify new treatments to slow disease progression. Executive Chairman of City Electrical Factors (CEF) Limited, Thomas Hartland-Mackie, says: “At CEF we have a culture of care for our colleagues, their families and our communities. We know that neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are on the rise, so it’s our hope that funding such important research can lead to better understanding, treatment and outcomes for everyone.” This programme will utilise the newly developed Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre at Exeter, a stateof-the-art facility for neuroimaging research where Prof Politis serves as the Director. The study, funded through a philanthropic donation, will have a number of stages, in order to comprehensively examine the role of the glymphatic system in the two brain conditions. The team is currently recruiting to a large Parkinson’s disease study, taking place in London and Exeter, which will examine the role of sleep, with participants wearing wrist monitors, completing sleep diaries, and providing blood samples to enable the team to analyse blood markers and genes. Dr Edoardo De Natale, one of the study leads at the University of Exeter, said: “This cluster of studies represents the most robust research to date to examine the role of the brain’s waste-clearing glymphatic system on the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. As the system was only discovered quite recently, this could represent a major step forwards in our understanding of these conditions that impact millions of people worldwide.” Dr Heather Wilson, one of the methodology leads at the University of Exeter, said “A lot questions remain unanswered for patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. We hope this research can help to provide some better understanding of the disease onset and progression and ultimately help to find much needed disease modifying treatments. These research studies would not be possible without the willingness of the patients and their families to participate, and I’d urge anyone affected by Parkinson’s disease to join us in our quest for answers.” Anyone wishing to take part in the study will need to be able to access the imaging facilities in London or attend clinics in Exeter. To find out more, email neuro@exeter.ac.uk

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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Residents Give Ashley Court’s ‘Good’ Rating From Care Quality Watchdog The Thumbs-Up to develop and maintain their relationships, hobbies and activities.

Staff a Residents, families and staff at Ashley Court Care Home in Poole are celebrating the start of 2022 and the home’s ‘Good’ ranking in its most recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Ashley Court Care Home, run by care provider Healthcare Homes – named by independent reviews website carehome.co.uk as a Top 20 Care Home Group for the past five years – was praised by the social care regulator, the CQC, for being safe, responsive and well-led. This means the home is ranked as ‘Good’ in all of the five criteria that the CQC examines. In line with new CQC procedures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, infection control and prevention measures were also inspected to ensure the home is able to prevent or manage any infection outbreak. During its latest review, residents and family members spoke to inspectors about how caregivers helped them to remain independent and keep control over their lives and how they were supported

Residents told the CQC that Ashley Court was a safe place to be and that they were happy and content. One resident gave a big thumbs up and smiled when asked if they were happy. A number of staff also expressed pride and happiness about working at Ashley Court, telling inspectors that they felt appreciated and involved, that colleagues were hardworking, caring and reliable, and that the management was supportive and reliable. Gigy Johnson Paingathara, Home Manager at Ashley Court said: “We’re delighted to have received this rating as a reflection of the skill, hard work and care each and every member of my team demonstrates day in, day out. “It has been particularly challenging for everybody throughout this pandemic, but the results of this inspection show that our caregivers really are exceptional people who show compassion and empathy to the people they support.”

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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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 27

Care Industry Will Continue To Make A Difference In 2022 Konrad Czajka is managing director of Czajka Care Group. The group runs Fairmount Nursing Home, Brookfield Care Home and its specialist Nursing Home for people with physical disabilities, Staveley Birkleas, which are all in Nab Wood near Shipley, as well as Currergate Nursing Home in Steeton and Beanlands Nursing Home in Cross Hills. The family-run company also offers a range of purpose-built retirement houses and apartments at Currergate Mews in Steeton and Fairmount Park in Nab Wood, Saltaire and runs The Clubhouse at Fairmount Park – which provides extensive members-only leisure facilities which include a gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, restaurant, bar, snooker room, putting green, bowling green, boardroom facilities and private function suite. Konrad said: “Brexit has done the care sector no favours whatsoever. This year, we will continue to have huge challenges around recruitment, retention, compliance and operational issues, including the complications surrounding compulsory vaccinations for staff. In 2022, there will be massive inflationary pressures, especially on pay rates, utilities and insurance. “There are 1.4 million older people with unmet needs. 43% of people over 85 years of age require some form of support, but only 20% of those people are receiving it. The government now realises that if they want a functioning, effective NHS, they will need a strong and sustainable social care sector. A well-funded and good quality social care sector is fundamental to a healthy nation and well performing NHS. “The social care sector will continue to care for the most vulnerable members of our

society, and it is worth remembering that our complex levels of support, will protect the NHS from being overwhelmed. We will continue to care for people at the end of their life, dispense medication prescribed by clinicians, support individuals with mental health issues and those with complex dementia or physical disabilities. “The social care sector will care for more people than the NHS and employ more staff than the NHS and social services put together - 1.75 million to be precise! Our investment returns over £4.3 billion into the economy and in many local areas social care is the biggest employer and drives economic activity. “The fear and anxiety caused by the pandemic has been immeasurable and the scars of the past two years have been the most painful in our professional careers. This year, we will continue to engage with the Commissioners and the Care Quality Commission to ensure that the older, infirm and disabled people living amongst us receive the quality care they deserve. “Despite the enormous challenges we have faced over the last few years, I am still optimistic about what the future holds for the social care sector. In 2022, the Care Associations will continue to work together through the Care Association Alliance to ensure a strong and influential representation at national level. Together we will, and we are, making a difference!” For more information about Czajka Care Group call 01274 599564 or visit www.czajka.co.uk

Kington Court Nursing Home Enters New Chapter Under Rotherwood Healthcare Ownership Rotherwood Healthcare has announced the acquisition of Kington Court Nursing Home. The healthcare group is thrilled to be welcoming this home to the company and the residents, team members, and families into the Rotherwood family. The CEO, John Fennell, says “We are pleased to be taking Kington Court into the group. This is our seventh care home and part of our longer-term commitment to broadening our impact enriching the lives of the older generation. We have exciting plans to enhance the lives of people living and working at Kington Court and hope that everyone feels settled during the ownership transition.”

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 from an arm-

chair, 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 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. 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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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.

TO ADVERTISE IN PLEASE CALL OUR SALES TEAM ON

01202 552333



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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

strengthening their immune system as important. That’s why at Major they have

at: higham_ferrers.samples@givaudan.com or give us a call on 01933 356012 quot-

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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.



PAGE 32 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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 84 | PAGE 35

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 84 | PAGE 37

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 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS What are Commercial Laundries Worth To The UK? ‘The textile services sector sits behind practically every sector of the UK economy’ Research conducted by Hatch Regeneris concludes that the textile services industry is ‘core to the operation of many businesses in vital and important sectors of the UK economy.’ It highlights three markets of particular significance, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing, concluding that without the support of the textile services industry they would face insurmountable problems. Yet the long-term sustainability of textiles services in the UK is under considerable threat and action is needed if it is to survive. The research was commissioned by TSA, the Textile Services Association, and was carried out in 2020. The key problems it highlighted are dramatically rising costs, downward pressure on prices and severe staff shortages. However, since then the industry has suffered even more setbacks and its position is even more precarious. “Brexit, the pandemic and escalating fuel costs have amplified the issues to a catastrophic extent,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “Without serious price rises for customers and government support – at the very least in terms of access to the EU labour market – there is a real risk that many textile services companies will go out of business.” Textile services encompass the supply, rental, laundering and maintenance of textiles. It ranges from bedding and towelling in hotels; to PPE and workwear in factories; to surgical, pharmaceutical and high-care food workwear; to mats, roller towels and washroom services in a wide range of sectors. Each week the industry processes 53 million textile

items to end users in the UK. The report estimates that the textiles services industry contributes a total of £1.3billion in GVA to the UK economy and £190million to the Exchequer, while supporting 28,000 FTE jobs. It notes that hospitality is dependent on the industry, since the provision of clean, fresh linen is fundamental to their business. Just one hotel with 100 bedrooms will get through 750 pieces of linen per day. Similarly in manufacturing, the report says production lines would come to a standstill within three days of not receiving new workwear. Meanwhile, healthcare and social care can’t function safely without bedlinens, surgical gowns and patient wear washed to very high specifications. Aside from those three key sectors, as the report points out, ‘the textiles services industry sits behind practically every sector in the UK economy.’ “If commercial textiles services ceased to operate, many UK businesses, industries and sectors would grind to a halt,” says Stevens. “We continue to press the Government for help, but so far they continue to ignore us, despite organisations like UKHospitality and NHSI supporting our arguments.” The Hatch Regeneris research, ‘The Economic Value of the Textile Services Sector to the UK Economy,’ is available to download at tsa-uk.org, from the TSA publications section in the documents library. The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represents 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 84 | PAGE 41

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 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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 84 | PAGE 43

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 84 | PAGE 45

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 46 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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 48 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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 50 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84

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

Government Relaxes Rules to Add Care Workers to the Shortage Occupation List Aston Brooke Solicitors working in conjunction with Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, had urged the government to provide more support to stem the workforce crisis in adult social care, which included adding carers to the shortage occupation list. Care England wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, outlining the crisis in the sector and the steps required to be adopted by Government with immediate effect. Finally, the Government has relaxed immigration rules on careworker jobs as the social care sector increasingly struggles to attract and retain key staff. This recent announcement means that the Government has finally recognised the voice of the sector and this important change builds on the government’s delivery of the new points-based immigration system introduced in January 2021.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 84 | PAGE 51

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Government Relaxes Rules to Add Care Workers to the Shortage Occupation List (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The decision follows a recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) that the care worker role coupled with home care workers are made eligible for the health and care visa and placed on the list, which is designed to help migrants get work visas to fill jobs where there are shortages. This was called for “immediately” to temper “severe and increasing difficulties” the sector is facing with recruitment and retention, the MAC said in mid-December. Home Secretary Priti Patel MP said: “The care sector is experiencing unprecedented challenges prompted by the pandemic and the changes we’ve made to the health and care visa will bolster the workforce and help alleviate some of the pressures currently being experienced.” Health Secretary Sajid Javid MP said the measure would help to “ensure short-term sustainability” as he also urged care workers to get vaccinated.

Professor Martin Green OBE said: “Care England has long called for care workers to be on the Shortage Occupation List with our partner law firm Aston Brooke Solicitors. Social care has a workforce crisis and the news that care workers are to be added to the shortage occupation list is very good news for a very hard pressed sector. Care England commends the work that Aston Brookes have done to raise this issue and secure this outcome” Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors welcomed the announcement and said: “The addition of the carer position to the shortage occupation list is welcomed by the social care sector in its entirety. This means care providers are now able to recruit suitable candidates outside of the UK. However, the minimum annual salary of £20,480 for carers is the same set for senior care workers and this may become a pressing issue for care providers but it will interesting to see how the Government tackles this in the coming weeks and months.” The Home Office confirmed that the Health and Care visa will allow

applicants and their dependents to benefit from fast-track processing, dedicated resources in processing applications and reduced visa fees. The measures will be set in place for a temporary period of a minimum of 12 months and expected to come into force in January 2022. There will be a further review after 12 months and possible extension of the measures. As part of the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must reach 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a work visa. A job on the Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points. Combined with the mandatory criteria – having an acceptable standard of English, an offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, which are worth 50 points – will ensure people in these roles reach the 70 points necessary. Aston Brooke is working tirelessly to address the recruitment crisis by assisting care providers. If any care providers require further information, please contact Mr Kashif Majeed at km@astonbrooke.co.uk

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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