The Carer Digital - Issue #86

Page 1

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 86

Mandatory Covid Vaccination Policy for NHS Staff to Be “Revoked” "...But Can Sacked Care Home Staff Have Their Jobs Back?"

Regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for health and social care staff are set to be revoked, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced. Speaking in parliament health secretary Savid Javid said: “While vaccination remains our very best line of defence against COVID-19, I believe it is no longer proportionate to require Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment through statute.” “So, Madam Deputy Speaker, I am announcing that we will launch a consultation on ending Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in health and all social care settings.”

“Subject to the responses – and the will of this House – the Government will revoke the regulations.”

“BUT CAN SACKED CARE HOME STAFF HAVE THEIR JOBS BACK?” “Over 31 million boosters in England alone, and over 37 million in the UK, have now been administered providing a good level of protection across the country. This, coupled with the lower levels of hospitalisation and mortality, suggests the population as a whole is now better protected, with the latest evidence suggesting that the risk of presentation to emergency care or hospital admission is approximately half of that for Delta.”

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 3...)


PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

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 It will come as a surprise to nobody that the government has backtracked on its “drive” to introduce mandatory vaccinations to the NHS in the same way that it did with the adult social care sector. We have been commenting on this topic considerably in recent weeks. I did say in my editor’s comment for our Christmas issue that I suspected that come January the government would move to “water down its proposals”. Many other observers said the same. So, as I say above, the U-turn does not come as a surprise. Research from the British Medical Association reveals that NHS hospitals in England have 90,000 vacancies at the moment, and there were estimates of 50,000 staff leaving the sector had the mandatory vaccination policy been implemented. Although I did see a report that the anticipated exodus of NHS staff may have been as high as 73,000, with women, people from ethnic minorities and younger workers are among those most likely to quit. It is a victory for common sense, and the government really should not have put itself in that position. I suspect it was emboldened by the fact that it managed to push through the policy for adult social care. Pure speculation on my part, but I felt the turning point was the day an NHS doctor confronted the Health Secretary when he was on a hospital visit. Very politely and forcefully the doctor advised the Health Secretary that he was not going to take the vaccine, explaining that he felt given his position, having been already exposed to Covid, his age and his health status that he did not feel he required it. That doctor went on “to do the rounds” and was repeatedly quoted and referred to in the press and appeared on TV news. The NHS mandatory vaccination policy highlights the absurdity of forcing care staff to take the jab, forcing dedicated long-standing staff who were for their own reasons reluctant to take the vaccine to leave the sector. Our front page story makes a very fair point - “Can sacked care home staff have their jobs back?” Vacancies across the sector have increased from 9.2% to 9.4%, from November to December 2021, up from 6.1% in May, while the number of positions filled in services fell to 3.7% below March 2021 levels, according to data from Skills for Care. Care homes have borne the brunt where the number of filled posts among care workers has fallen by 6.1%

Editor

Peter Adams

since March last year. The majority of operators in the sector were supportive of the government’s drive to get staff vaccinated, but that is not the point of the issue. It was the mandatory policy forcing good staff to leave their jobs and leaving the sector. A sector which has always been struggling to recruit at the best of times, facing even more staffing hardships. As one operator says: “I think this illustrates the huge gap between NHS care and social care and the way they are treated. We were robbed of thousands of staff back in November when the policy came in for care and nursing home workers and nobody lifted a finger. “But when a similar threat is levelled toward NHS staff, the policy is reversed. It is another in a long history of slaps in the face for social care, which, given the services it provides, should have the same respect as NHS care.” The government has options. The virus is clearly on the wane, and there is now the availability of daily testing, which can return results in less than 13 minutes. It has only been a matter of weeks staff were forced out of their positions. The call to relax the mandatory vaccine policy for the care sector in the same way it has been relaxed for the National Health Service is the most sensible option, and one that I hope government is seriously considering. One story which took my eye this week is the story on page 17 on the RSPB’s annual “big Garden Birdwatch”. My family and I take part every year! I cannot think of a better pastime (although I’m sure the mind of) then sitting watching and recording number of birds visiting your garden! Once again it’s been of a bumper week this week for awards, anniversaries, birthdays and special events so thank you once again for sending them in, it is a pleasure to reproduce them, and please do keep them coming to editor@thecareruk.com

PUBLISHED BY RBC Publishing Ltd Roddis House, Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 1LG

TELEPHONE:

01202 552333 (6 lines)

Fax: 01202 552666 Email: sales@thecareruk.com

WEBSITE: www.thecareruk.com EDITOR Peter Adams SALES EXECUTIVES Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN Matthew Noades PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Shelly Roche Published by


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 3

Mandatory Covid Vaccination Policy for NHS Staff to Be “Revoked” (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) “As a result, the government has re-examined the policy as it considers how best to achieve public health and safety with the minimum number of restrictions or requirements on people’s lives. The balance of opportunities and risks of the policy have now changed with the dominance of Omicron. The booster rollout has been successful, and workforce challenges remain.” “While the legal requirement on deployment is set to be revoked those working in health and social care still have a professional duty to get vaccinated and Get Boosted Now”. the health secretary added. “Can Sacked Care Workers have Their Jobs Back”? CARE providers have welcomed a U-turn but have demanded to know if those already sacked because of it can have their jobs back. Chair Mike Padgham said: “We have always believed the vaccination was a good thing but should be a personal choice and that making it mandatory was going to rob social care of vital staff at a time when we need every team member available. “We are glad that, finally, the Government is seeing sense and scrapping this damaging policy. “There is little doubt that the introduction of the policy in November exacerbated the current staff shortages, already dire because of the pandemic and the impact of Brexit. “This policy caused a lot of staffing issues for care and nursing home owners and upset and heartache for those who lost their jobs – we need to know now if they can have their jobs back. “I think this illustrates the huge gap between NHS care and social care and the way they are treated. We were robbed of thousands of staff back in November when the policy came in for care and nursing home workers and nobody lifted a finger. “But when a similar threat is levelled toward NHS staff, the policy is reversed. It is another in a long history of slaps in the face for social care, which, given the services it provides, should have the same respect as NHS care. "This just shows that they don't understand the difference between the NHS and social care sectors and that both need to be strong to support each other.” Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of The National Care Forum (NCF) said: “NCF and our membership have been 100% behind the drive for vaccination and booster take up throughout the pandemic. However, we have consistently challenged the argument to force people to be vaccinated, finding the best results came from persuasion and encouragement, with good information and support to address people’s concerns respectfully and to encourage vaccine take up.” In July last year, the government laid regulations for the mandatory vaccination requirements for all who worked in, and crossed the thresholds of care homes. Those laws were passed almost on the same day

that the country experienced so called ‘freedom day’. Yet despite the pronouncements the virus was on the wane, the government felt that mandation was a proportionate response and brought in the requirement for all care home staff to be vaccinated, against advice. POLICY IMPOSED WITHOUT DUE CONSIDERATION Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “This policy was imposed upon the care home sector without due consideration or support. Sadly, it has had unintended consequences with staff leaving the sector, some to the NHS, thus exacerbating the pre existing recruitment and retention challenges leading to disruption to the delivery of health and care services”. Martin Green continues: “In our response to the consultation to the second tranche of making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector, Care England appealed for lessons to be learned from the legislation process around regulations for care home staff. These were not taken on board. Care homes have been the scapegoat and whilst the Government claims that health and social care are the same system it is clear that they are operating under different standards; once again social care is the poor relation”. Operators Closing Doors Due to Staff Shortages” Rebecca Young, Head of External Affairs at Revitalise said: “The Government’s U-turn on enforcing mandatory vaccination for NHS staff and social care today is a great relief.” “Social care is experiencing the worst staffing crisis in memory: tens of thousands of care home staff left the sector in November due to the mandatory vaccination ruling, on top of an estimated 100,00 existing vacancies.” “At Revitalise, we have already lost several long-standing colleagues because of the mandate, at a time when we were already struggling to recruit. This means we have had to cap the number of people we can care for who really need our services, a devastating blow to people in desperate need of respite breaks.” “This has been a widespread crisis in social care, with some providers simply having to close their doors due to staffing shortages, meaning that a policy aimed at protecting the disabled and elderly has actually put thousands at risk.” “While this U-Turn is welcome, we are also disappointed the concerns continually raised within social care have gone unheard, and it took the power of the NHS to push this Government into action. Now, we have to hope that valued care workers will be able to return to the skilled and vital roles they had to leave in November.” These changes, the government adds, will be subject to a period of consultation, parliamentary approval and will require a change to the regulations already laid. QUESTIONS RAISED ON CARE WORKERS AND VACCINATION STATUS the government U-turn has raised questions regarding the vaccina-

tion status within the adult social care sector, and concerns surrounding unfair dismissal and discrimination. Carolyn Brown, Employment Law Partner and head of client legal services at RSM UK said: ‘This change of policy may not mean that all unvaccinated frontline healthcare workers in England will keep their jobs. It is not that simple. At the same time as scrapping the legal requirement for the two-dose vaccination mandate, the Government says it will use ‘indirect regulation’ to ensure all health and social care workers do their professional duty and get vaccinated. ‘Care home employers of the 19,300 staff who have already left the care home sector due to this regulation may be fearing claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination or other remedies. Whether their fears are founded depends on the timing of the introduction of their policy and of the dismissal. Therefore, care home sector employers who decide to keep their mandatory vaccination policy need to look carefully at the virus impact background against which it is deployed as we move through the latest stages of the pandemic. It seems we haven’t heard the last of the vaccine mandate discussion in the health and social care sector.’ U-TURN BRANDED “A JOKE” The government’s possible u-turn on mandatory vaccinations for all NHS staff has been branded “a joke” by the chair of a specialist residential care provider, adding that the change shows a lack of foresight and planning on the government's part. “The government’s u-turn on mandatory vaccinations is a joke,” said Neil Russell, chair of PJ Care, which provides specialist neurological care to residents with progressive conditions such as dementia, acquired brain injury and Huntington’s disease. “The residential care sector warned the government what would happen if they tried to impose mandatory vaccinations on NHS staff after what happened in social care: "We lost so many staff in November because of the mandatory vaccine and it was obvious that this scenario would be repeated in the NHS.” PJ Care lost frontline staff with a combined 87 years of experience due to the imposition of the mandatory vaccine. While this did not affect the level of care the PJ Care provided, replacing that amount of experience takes time and expense in the recruitment process – especially in a sector that was tens of thousands of personnel short before the vaccine mandate was imposed. “Needing to change the law at this late stage shows a complete lack of foresight and planning,” Neil added. “For us in the care home sector, the damage has already been done as we have lost staff and most will not want to come back after the way they feel they have been treated over this issue.”


PAGE 4 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

What Lies In Store For Social Care In 2022?

The combination of COVID-19 and Brexit meant 2021 was one of the most challenging years ever faced by the social care sector. Chronic staff shortages, recruitment issues and mental health challenges put additional untold pressure on an already exhausted workforce. With Government whitepapers and funding reform providing the promise of a brighter future for the sector, many are looking to 2022 as a year when the virus will be finally tamed. In the second of two articles, we asked QCS experts for their views and opinions on the year ahead. Napthens LLP, which advises QCS customers on a range of different compliance areas including Legal, Health & Safety, Immigration and Human Resources, believes the recent changes to the Health and Care Visa scheme could provide a solution to the current recruitment crisis in the care sector. Angela Barnes, Napthens LLP's Legal Director has this advice.

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT PROPOSING? “Under the changes announced at the end of December 2021, care sector roles (including care workers, care assistants and home carers) are set to be added to the Home Office’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The change follows recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee and will temporarily extend the current Health and Care Worker Scheme, making it quicker, cheaper and easier for social care employers to recruit eligible workers to help to alleviate the chronic shortages caused by Brexit and COVID-19. Although a date hasn’t yet been fixed, the changes look set to come into force in early 2022. Inclusion on the SOLwill mean that care sector employers can offer a lower salary than had previously been the case (now £20,480), subject to other eligibility criteria being met. As the visa scheme falls under Skilled Worker immigration rules, care sector employers will require a sponsor licence, if they do not have one already. The licence lasts for four years and can be extended. Care organisations that have an existing licence are already well placed to take advantage of the scheme. For those organisations that

do not already have a licence, the application can take a considerable period of time, typically between eight to 12 weeks once the application is submitted. Despite the fact that the changes have yet to be confirmed, time is of the essence for care services who want to hire new staff as quickly as possible and we recommend that a sponsor licence application is considered sooner, rather than later. Although it has not yet been confirmed, it is thought that those in eligible care roles will be able to stay in the UK for five years and then potentially apply for settlement, even though the scheme may only be in place for a minimum of 12 months. Successful applicants may also bring their dependents with them to the UK.” Senga Currie, QCS, Head of Care Development (Scotland), believes “the care sector is on its knees when it comes to recruitment issues”. She says: “One of the key challenges providers will be facing this year concerns recruitment. Of course, the health and social care sector has traditionally faced recruitment difficulties, but when I speak to frontline managers, it is clear that they have been severely magnified by COVID19 and Brexit. Another contributing factor is that many staff are leaving the sector for better-paid and less stressful jobs in retail and hospitality. And why not when they can earn more working on the checkout in Aldi or Lidl than in care? In addition to a decreased employment market, the Pandemic has stoked fear amongst new entrants, many of whom have passed up the opportunity to join the profession during such a frightening period in history. Governments of all nations are aware of the cliff-edge recruitment scenario faced by providers and of course the NHS. Factors such as low pay, long, unsocial hours can be off putting at any time. However, the added fear of the pandemic has perhaps not attracted would be recruits.”

A CHANGE OF MINDSET “In the face of great adversity, instead, we need to perhaps change our way of thinking and look at the many positive aspects of the Health and Social Care profession. The privilege of helping people at their hour of need is the most fantastic and satisfying experience a person can have. Night shift patterns, which are so often perceived as negative, needn’t be viewed as such. For instance, when my children were young, I regularly worked night shifts. I was grateful to be given the opportunity of doing so. If I hadn’t taken the shifts, working would have been near impossible. Night shifts also had a hidden benefit in that they allowed

me to do my shopping in the middle of the day when the shops were much quieter. That was always a huge positive. To help providers, managers can access QCS’s Recruitment Toolkit, which has great hints and tips to make your service stand out from the crowd.” Rachel Griffiths, Human Rights and Mental Capacity Act Consultant looks at a major change scheduled for 2022 - the abolishment of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), and their replacement with a new system, the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) — both of these are applicable to England and Wales only. “The LPS seem to have been with us forever,” she says. “But the government has now cancelled two implementation dates, most recently for April 2022. And currently there’s no implementation date set. QCS will update their policies as soon as this has been confirmed. Many found DoLS bureaucratic, and difficult to work with. Also, they miss out many of the people who would definitely benefit from their protection. This is because DoLS can only be used in registered care homes and hospitals, and only for people who are aged 18 and over.”

WHAT PROVIDERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LPS “LPS will be more flexible and easier to understand and will protect far more people using services. The LPS will apply to anyone from 16 who lacks mental capacity, and who is deprived of their liberty so that they can have the care they need, wherever they are receiving care services – including their own homes, shared lives and supported living. A person aged 16 or over will be deprived of their liberty if they lack the capacity to consent to arrangements to give them necessary care and treatment, are not free to leave where they live, and are under continuous supervision and control. To get ready for LPS, providers need to make sure they are working within the Mental Capacity Act. Firstly, they must assume adults have capacity to make their own decisions unless they can establish that they don’t. Secondly, they mustn’t treat someone as unable to make a specific decision unless all practicable steps have been taken to help them do so, without success. Thirdly, they must never treat someone as unable to make a decision just because others think their decision is unwise. Fourthly, anything they do, or decide, on behalf of someone who lacks capacity must be in that person’s best interests. And finally, before they act, they should see if there’s any way to meet the person’s need that is less restrictive of their rights or freedom of action.” To find out more about the QCS Management System, please visit www.qcs.co.uk/thecarer-free-trial


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 5

Government Eases Social Care Restrictions Following Booster Success Restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of Omicron in adult social care will now be eased as Plan B measures are removed following the success of the booster programme. From Monday 31 January, there is no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes and self-isolation periods will be cut and now care homes only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 rather than 28 days. By Wednesday 16 February, care workers will be asked to use LFD tests before their shifts replacing the current system which included the use of weekly asymptomatic PCR tests. 86.5 per cent of all care home residents have now had their booster jab, which provides maximum protection against Omicron, with the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency showing it is 92% effective in preventing hospitalisation two weeks after it is administered. The safety of care home residents will continue to be the priority. The new measures will ensure there are still robust protections in place to protect them while case rates in the community remain high. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under Plan B meas-

Changes to testing and isolation requirements for those receiving care include: Self-isolation periods reduced from fourteen to ten days for those who test positive, with further reductions if they test negative on days five and six. Isolation periods for those in care following an emergency hospital visit will be reduced from 14 to a maximum ten days, in line with the NHS and following the latest advice from SAGE. Removing testing or self-isolation requirements following normal visits out. Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: “Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure people living in care homes see all their family and friends. “The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring ures. “Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.”

we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.” Essential care givers should continue to be able to visit inside a care home even during periods of outbreak affecting a care home.

Local Care Home Goes Down Under for Australia Day Residents at Ashcombe House in Worting road Basingstoke have been discovering all things Antipodean in celebration of Australia Day, which took place on Wednesday 26 January. Residents took part in Australian-themed activities throughout the day including

Raisins) to name just a few , we were pleased to say all stars were won and everyone got a meal at the home!! The afternoon continued with Australian Born singer David Woloszko who told us stories about his native country before entertaining us with a variety of

their very own Bush tucker trial, residents were informed before the trial there was

Australian songs we even heard some famous Australian sitcom music which got

nothing that would bite or sting them before putting their hands into a sealed box

us all singing along.

to hunt out stars. Each star won a meal for a resident at the home. Iris Foulger was giggling as

Abbie Johnston General Manager at Ashcombe said: “We’ve all had a brilliant day learning about all the wonderful things to see and do down under. Residents

she placed her hands into the unknown, a few squeals at what might be in there

taking part in Bushtucker trails was fabulous and Those residents with friends and

and lots of laughs from her Daughter who was visiting. Iris didn’t find any stars so

relatives in Australia were able to reminisce and share memories of trips down

had the unfortunate task of eating a Platypus Egg (small chocolate egg ) which

under. It has made us all long for some sunshine and a trip to the beach!”

she actually enjoyed and won a meal for the home to which she was delighted.

Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a

Lots of resident took part eating their way through a variety of Baby Snakes ( jelly

daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to resi-

snakes), Rodent droppings ( liquorice) Crocodile Snot ( fizzy apple) Dead Ants (

dents’ interests and abilities but most importantly we always try to have fun.


PAGE 6 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

Was A Care Home Worker’s Dismissal For Refusing To Be Vaccinated Against Covid-19 Fair? Tracey Guest, Head of Employment Law at Slater Heelis (www.slaterheelis.co.uk), reflects on one of the first tribunal decisions on compulsory vaccination and what employers can learn from it. On the 18th of January, the Employment Tribunal published one of the first decisions on compulsory vaccinations in care homes. The case, Allette v Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home Ltd, resulted in the Judge ruling that the employee’s refusal to be vaccinated was a failure to follow a reasonable management instruction, therefore entitling the employer to summarily dismiss her.

THE CASE Ms Allette worked as a care assistant at Scarsdale Nursing Home, where the decision to be vaccinated against Coronavirus had become a condition for continued employment. The employee’s decision to turn down the vaccination saw her receive warnings of disciplinary actions which culminated in a disciplinary hearing and consequent dismissal.

MS ALLETTE’S REASONS FOR REFUSING THE VACCINE Firstly, the employee’s scepticism towards the vaccine stemmed from her lack of trust towards the medical approval process, which she deemed ‘rushed’ and unlikely to guarantee the safety of the drug. Secondly, her Rastafarian religious background had made her reluctant to accept non-natural treatments as forms of medication. Thirdly, having previously contracted the virus, Ms Allette saw herself as likely to have natural immunity. Finally, conspiracy theories she had read online had made her hesitant about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

SCARSDALE’S REASONS FOR REQUIRING STAFF TO BE VACCINATED Despite Ms Allette having contracted the virus, Public Health England (PHE) advice at the time stated that it was possible to contract and transmit the virus more than once. Additionally, based on PHE advice, Scarsdale understood that vaccination reduced the risk of contracting and transmitting the virus. The presence of some unvaccinated care-home residents meant that Ms Allette’s vaccination status would have posed greater risk to them.

Furthermore, Scarsdale’s Public Liability and Employer’s Liability Insurers were refusing to provide cover for Covid-19 related risks and insisted that all of its staff be vaccinated. As Ms Allette was the only staff member refusing the vaccine, it would have been easier to trace transmission to her and make legal action more likely if any third party was affected.

a religious belief element failed in this case, employers should be aware that there remains a risk of possible discrimination claims where vaccine refusal is at play. A blanket approach to vaccination refusals is likely to increase exposure to such claims. Vaccine refusal issues must therefore always be considered on a case-by-case basis as each case will turn on its own facts.

WHAT DID THE TRIBUNAL DECIDE?

A USEFUL, WIDER INDICATION

The tribunal considered whether Ms Allette’s dismissal breached her Article 8 right to respect for private life, but balanced this against Scarsdale’s primary legitimate aim of protecting its residents and the public and its secondary legitimate aim of the risk of running into difficulties with its insurers. The tribunal noted that, while Ms Allette had a genuine fear of the vaccine, that fear was unreasonable as she had no medical basis for that fear. It also found that religious beliefs were not the real reason for her refusal given they hadn’t been mentioned until the disciplinary hearing. The tribunal concluded the employee’s dismissal was fair. In particular, it noted that, at the time, the consequence of any increased risk of Covid-19 was potentially so serious and that in reality, Ms Allette was not forced to have the vaccine. She still had the choice, however undesirable, of losing her job to avoid having the vaccine.

While this case is only a first instance decision and therefore not binding on other tribunals, it is a useful indication of what approach tribunals are likely to take in similar matters. It is anticipated that claims of this nature will increase. Employers are therefore encouraged to reflect on this case and think about how they can best protect their legal position, service users, and workforce. Finally, on 1st February 2022, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced a consultation on overturning the legislation making vaccines a condition of employment for health and social care staff. It is important to note that the facts of this case occurred before compulsory vaccination became law in care homes. The considerations in this case may therefore still carry some relevance in the event that the Government goes ahead to revoke the legislation making vaccination compulsory in the health and social care sectors. However, if vaccinations are then not compulsory under legislation, it may be difficult for these areas to insist on the same as a condition of continued employment. Tracey Guest is Head of Employment Law at full-service law firm Slater Heelis.

LESSONS FOR EMPLOYERS Employers are advised to keep contemporaneous notes of any meetings and calls with employees. One of the factual issues in dispute in this case related to the time Ms Allette first cited her Rastafarian beliefs as the reason for her refusal. While Scarsdale stated that the care-home worker only mentioned Rastafarianism for the first time during the disciplinary hearing, Ms Allette alleged that she had mentioned this during an earlier call. Scarsdale had a contemporaneous note of the call which, in the absence of any other evidence to the contrary, proved to the tribunal that Rastafarianism was never discussed during that call. Ms Allette conceded later that she did not mention Rastafarianism until the disciplinary. It is important for employers to consider any justifications for deciding to dismiss unvaccinated staff. As part of the balancing exercise, employers should consider whether there are other less draconian ways of achieving their legitimate aims. In this case, the Respondent’s considerations included that at the material time not all residents could be vaccinated, putting the Claimant on furlough was not an option and that there was no alternative position available for Ms Allette. Furthermore, employers should consult with employees regarding any reasons for refusal. While the Claimant’s late attempt to introduce

TRACEY GUEST Tracey is Head is Head of Employment Law at full-service law firm Slater Heelis. She qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and has been a specialised employment lawyer for more than 19 years. After completing her law degree, Tracey attended Chester Law School where she was awarded a Distinction in the Legal Practice Course. She joined Slater Heelis in 2009 after working at various city-centre law firms. As part of her work, Tracey regularly deals with complex queries about TUPE, large scale redundancy exercises, restrictive covenants / injunctive proceedings and executive terminations. Tracey also handles unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. She also regularly provides advice in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures, settlement agreements, family friendly rights and drafts documentation for a wide range of clients. Tracey is recognised as a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 law directory.

Care Home Delivers Blue Light Brunch to Local Emergency Services Staff at Barchester Healthcare’s Southgate Beaumont in Southgate delivered a delicious blue light brunch to Southgate Fire station to show their appreciation. Beatrice Godfrey General Manager and Zoe Grindley Life Enrichment Coordinator at Southgate Beaumont delivered a brunch of home baked goodies baked by head chef Daniel Brooks to say thank you to the fire station crew.

Beatrice Godfrey the General Manager of Southgate Beaumont said “We are very proud of our community and wanted to say thank you for all of the great work our emergency services do for us all, they work so very hard and thought they deserved a delicious treat.” “We are pleased to offer all of our local service workers who stop in tea, coffee, juice, chilled water, delicious homemade cake and biscuits and a healthy selection of fruit, available free of charge. Our

comfortable facilities include free Wi-Fi and service with a smile; do stop in and say hi, we would be delighted to see you!”

NRS Healthcare Launches New Online Store, Healthcare Pro NRS Healthcare, the UK’s leading provider of independent living aids and associated services, and an official supplier to the NHS and local authorities, has announced the launch of its new online store, Healthcare Pro. Part of the NRS Healthcare family, Healthcare Pro demonstrates the company’s commitment to serve healthcare professionals and the general public online, underlining its unrivalled in-house occupational therapy capabilities and professional expertise in helping people live independently in their own homes. The new online shop, www.healthcarepro.co.uk (previously known as www.nrshealthcare.co.uk), offers over 4,500 independent living aids, from personal care, to bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and mobility, chosen and trusted by professionals. Additionally, the website includes a

new range of services, such as the Expert Product Advice and Home Living Consultations with Occupational Therapists, to better support all its customers with a more complete solution. The company’s public sector and clinical services divisions remain unchanged and continue to operate under the NRS Healthcare brand

and at nrshealthcare.com With a dedicated Occupational Therapy team of 130 professionals, the company offers a go-to source for up-to-date information and guidance on daily living aids, offering peer-to-peer engagement, education and support as well as guiding customers to a ‘right first time’ purchase. Clinical Services Director, Rachel Seabrook says: “NRS Healthcare is delighted to announce the launch of our new online store, Healthcare Pro. Through our 75-year heritage and position as an official supplier to the NHS, NRS Healthcare has a longstanding reputation as a trusted partner for healthcare professionals, who often recommend our website and products to the people they see.” Rachel Seabrook continues: “Healthcare Pro focuses on our high levels of expertise, credibility and professionalism, improves the customer journey and shopping experience, as well as providing easy access to product advice, support and associated services. We trust that this will give all our customers the added reassurance that they are shopping where the professionals shop.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 7

Care Homes Reliant on Agency Staff More Than Twice as Likely to Spread COVID-19, Study Confirms Care homes that rely heavily on agency staff may be two-and-a-half times more likely to spread COVID-19 to their residents, a study has found. The research by the University of Strathclyde used a hybrid modelling approach to evaluate the impact of agency/bank staff on the spread of COVID-19 across a network of diverse care homes. The finding, published in PLOS Computational Biology, confirms existing observational evidence cited in the Journal of Infection and The Lancet Healthy Longevity that the use of agency staff increases the risk of infection for residents compared to staff who work within a single facility. The study goes on to explore the effect of care home characteristics on their relative vulnerability and the impact of interventions. In care homes where agency staff comprised on average 10% of the total staff, the risk of infection for residents increased by 2.5 times compared with having sufficient staff and by 1.5 times compared with being understaffed. The model did not account for potentially reduced compliance with measures in understaffed scenarios and lower quality care. The modelling showed that agency staff have the biggest infectionrisk impact in smaller care homes with lower transmission within their facility and higher staff-to-resident ratios. Agency staff too are more

likely to catch the virus compared to permanent staff. While testing of agency staff was found to be an important risk mitigation measure, the modelling revealed that forming bubbles of care homes and restricting agency staff to only working within a bubble had limited impact on the spread of COVID-19. Research gap Co-author of the study, Dr Itamar Megiddo of the Department of Management Science, said: “Care homes are heavily reliant on agency/bank staff due to staff shortages. Consistent with other COVID-19 prevalence surveys in care homes in the UK, our findings would support policies for limiting the movement of staff working across multiple care homes if their testing compliance is low. “While regular testing with high compliance can help reduce infections, the risk of spread is still higher in homes using agency staff. At the same time, we need to recognise that these staff are necessary to maintain quality of care and the quality of life of residents; an element our study did not explore. Our modelling approach helps to fill a research gap in understanding how COVID-19 spreads in care homes and has important policy implications for the sector in terms of developing effective interventions targeting staff working across care homes during the ongoing and future pandemics.

In the study the researchers combined two simulation approaches – systems dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM) into a hybrid model. Hybrid simulations Lead author and PhD candidate Le Khanh Ngan Nguyen said: “Both SD and ABM have been used effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic to model infection spread. But each simulation model has its own strengths and weaknesses. We used the SD model to study intra-facility transmission and ABM for inter-facility transmission. Combining both into a hybrid model can help address questions that are difficult to answer with a single approach. “Despite growing interest in hybrid models, a number of challenges have been raised – the lack of a clear methodological approach to developing hybrid models, the need for multiple expertise, increased cost of using more than one software package and so on. Therefore, the use of hybrid simulations is still limited and only a small number have studied the dynamics of infectious disease transmission across different settings and in fragmented populations. Our study helps to advance infectious disease hybrid modelling and demonstrates methods for validating data and building confidence in this kind of approach. The model is now being used to assist decisionmakers in the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care.

Care Home Residents Deliver Letters of Kindness to Local School Children A Buxton Nursing home has recently posted a series of handwritten joyful letters to local school children who wrote to them over the Christmas period. During the festive season, Portland Nursing Home received Christmas letters from Chapel-en-le-Frith High School children. The letters contained beautiful drawings including rainbows, Christmas decorations and snowmen. Thanks to the partnership, every resident at Portland Nursing Home enjoyed reading the letters and has now written and delivered their letters in reply, forging intergenerational friendships. Portland Nursing Home also paired with local Buxton Parish Churches during 2021, in order to enable residents to make new connections with local people through receiving postcards.

Emilie Shrimpton, activities coordinator at Portland Nursing Home facilitated the partnership with Chapel-en-le-FrithHigh School. Speaking of the letters, Emilie said; “It was so lovely for the residents to receive such kind letters from the school children over the Christmas period. It’s so important for our residents to feel connected to people of all ages in their local community. The residents have been eager to write their letters in response to the school children, so to post them recently was really exciting for them!” Emilie recently accompanied Ruth, a resident at Portland Nursing Home when she went to deliver the letters. Chapel-en-le-Frith High School teacher, Rosie Scott, who has been organising the letters said: “It is wonderful to see our community coming together. The project has brought so much joy to our students”.


PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

‘Made With Care’ A Halfway House According To Leading National Care Provider A LEADING national care provider has given its take on a domestic campaign aimed at encouraging more people into a career in care. National Care Group (www.nationalcaregroup.com), which looks after the needs of vulnerable adults in the UK, stated that a government focus on skills was ‘undoubtedly a good move’, but that ‘more work needs to be done’ to address low pay and diversification in the industry. The comments come after ‘Made with Care’, a nationwide ad campaign, was recently backed by a number of famous faces, including model Christine McGuinness and Paralympian Ade Adepitan. Running until March, the campaign aims to help fulfil the 105,000 vacancies that remain vacant in the social care sector, exacerbating an already stretched healthcare industry. Mike Ranson, commercial director at National Care Group said: “This is all about giving someone that comes into the sector, and those already in it, value. “A care worker puts in an incredible effort, sometimes switching from a variety of mindsets and roles, from caregiver to psychologist or financial planner to cook, and so much more. It’s hard work so I applaud any focus that is put into identifying skills and recognising value in the social care sector. “But what I, and many others in my position, would really like to see is the core issues of pay and the type of people coming into the sector being addressed. For many, the big question is ‘from support worker to what – where do I go?’ they can’t see past the day-to-day caregiving and the progression that may lay ahead. It’s a mentally and physically demanding job and, of course, if there’s a pay imbalance against other public sector roles, then undoubtedly there’s going to be difficulties

attracting a loyal, quality workforce. “Then you have to also consider the impact of Brexit and diversification in the sector. Having colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and experiences really enriches those we support and their lives. So, you have to question if we’ve lost something unique, which we had previously when the UK was in the EU.” As a 30-year veteran in the health and social sector, Mike serves as the ideal example of the type of messaging the government is aiming to portray in ‘Made with Care’. Having entered the industry as a care assistant in a private residential home, he now operates as commercial director of National Care Group, which helps change the lives of vulnerable adults across the UK.

For Mike, focus needs to be on retention of skilled individuals in the industry, as well as an expansion of the messaging, for ‘Made with Care’ to be a success. He said: “When I came into the industry, it was vastly populated by women, mainly stemming from a perception that the work was largely domestic. However, there are more men in the sector now, it’s a healthy balance and the work is so varied. “From board level to support worker, we are all dependent on each other. That’s what this campaign needs to recognise – the value of people working in this sector. If you have an appetite for life and you are motivated, you can not only do really well career-wise, but you can change lives – you can have massive impact on an individual’s wellbeing and help them achieve what they previously thought was not possible. “I can’t claim to have seen every ad, but there certainly needs to be an expansion of the messaging – all ages and backgrounds can make a difference and that’s what we need to see.” In discussing the proposed £500m to support the training and development for carers over the next three years, Mike added that the sector is yet to see fully ‘how the money will filter through’ but that ‘expectations were as high as they ever were’, with an ever-increasing skills gap in the industry. He said: “If this government can deliver a level of respect to what those in the sector do, then that is half the battle won. The rest will be on delivering on pay promises that has long gestated within this industry.” For more information on National Care Group, please visit www.nationalcaregroup.com

The Alzheimer’s Show 2022, The Business Design Centre, Islington London The UK’s leading event for dementia runs on on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March 2022 at The Business Design Centre, London. The two-day conference and exhibition showcases the latest information, advice, products and services for healthcare professionals and the public helping those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. New for 2022, the Virtual Dementia Tour will be delivering their complete training session involving an 8 minute simulation followed by a 75 minute debrief giving visitors the opportunity to fully understand the behaviour and needs of people living with dementia. Spaces are limited and should be booked in advance. A full conference programme features leading experts and professionals in three separate theatres, as well as daily question time sessions, panel debates, Q&A’s, practical activities, professional advice clinics,

interactive dementia experiences and a wide range of dementia and care exhibitors. The Alzheimer’s Show is an unmissable event for those wanting to learn from leading experts, share ideas and information, develop a better understanding of dementia and further professional skills. For further information and to book tickets visit www.alzheimersshow.co.uk. Tickets cost £19.50 online, £27 on the door. The full Virtual Dementia Tour costs £45 and includes entry to the show.

Is this the UK’s Biggest Ever Care Home-Sourced Art Gallery? tures.” At Sherwood Grange, in Kingston Vale, resident Ida added: “I always look forward to the art projects because they keep me busy and engage my mind. I was never a naturally arty person before Sherwood Grange, but find myself looking forward to each art project more and more – and I can spend time chatting and remembering while taking part!”. Another resident, Jean at Harrier Lodge, in Whitstable, who collaborated on floral themed artwork with pupils at Joy Lane Primary School, said: “I really enjoy painting as I find it relaxing and I like looking at all of the different colours.” Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert said: “We’re excited to be showcasing the resident’s talents on the worldwide stage with our online exhibition that is free for anyone to enjoy. “The Big Draw Festival is a fantastic initiative which residents have enjoyed and looked forward to for a third year running. Creative activities play a big part of life within our care homes, and we actively encourage residents to continue lifelong arty hobbies and try new expressive pastimes through imaginative and Residents at care homes across the nation have been drawing in a crowd with the world’s biggest ever care home art exhibition. Residents in almost 40 Care UK care homes have taken part, with over 50 pieces of artwork on show in a virtual gallery, which is now open to the public. From Edinburgh to Kent, residents across the UK submitted artwork as part of the partnership between the care home provider and pioneering charity, The Big Draw, which promotes the therapeutic benefits of drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and promoting positive wellbeing. From recreating Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to collaborating with local school children to create giant collages of forests, and drawing and painting artwork that highlights important topical issues, such as the impact of climate change, residents have been ‘etching’ to put their creative skills to the test. Visitors to the gallery might be surprised at the quality of the artwork and there has already been interest in purchasing some of it to frame. Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, said: “We’re thrilled Care UK have chosen to partner with The Big Draw for a third year running to promote the benefits of art on improving physical and mental wellbeing. We loved seeing the resident’s wonderful artistic talents in their immersive virtual art gallery which offered a truly fascinating experience into our theme around nature. We want to say a big thank you to Care UK for taking part and look forward to working with the residents and the team on future projects.” Commenting on her artwork featuring in a national gallery, Doris, a resident at Appleby House, said: “Heavens above, it’s an honour – I’m very proud, but it wasn’t just me, we all got involved!”. Sharing the excitement towards the national gallery, resident Jean at Dashwood Manor said: “I’m excited – a gallery wow. It’ll be nice to see all the pictures.” Jean, a resident at Dashwood Manor, added: “I’m excited – a gallery wow. It’ll be nice to see all the pic-

creative activities planned by our lifestyle team. “Drawing has a variety of benefits for older people, especially those living with dementia, as it provides an alternative way to communicate and express emotions, and an opportunity to relive happy memories. “We certainly have some very skilled and talented artists who can now say their artwork features in an exhibition – one which certainly looks the art!” Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, said: “We’re thrilled Care UK have chosen to partner with The Big Draw for a third year running to promote the benefits of art on improving physical and mental wellbeing. We loved seeing the resident’s wonderful artistic talents in their immersive virtual art gallery which offered a truly fascinating experience into our theme around nature. We want to say a big thank you to Care UK for taking part and look forward to working with the residents and the team on future projects.” Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, the month-long Big Draw Festival promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception. After a successful participation in the Big Draw Festival last year, Care UK renewed its partnership becoming the main health and social care partner and leading the way in changing perceptions of life in a care home by promoting activity-based care and encouraging other care homes to follow suit. Across the country, care homes have been getting arty and working with their local communities virtually to create works of art around the theme ‘Make the Change’. The opening of the virtual gallery to the public was the grand finale to the 2021 partnership. To see the residents’ artwork, please visit http://artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/en/exhibition/8482502/care-uk-art-exhibition


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 9

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Care Homes Explored in New Research Researchers at the University of Chester are urging nurses and health and social care workers to take part in a survey looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. The research aims to capture the experiences of nurses and health and social care workers working in care homes over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explores the challenges faced by care home staff during the pandemic and how these were addressed. This is important in order to identify learning to safeguard and protect older adults, nurses, and health and social care workers in the future. Findings from the survey will be used to produce a Toolkit (PROTECToolkit), which is intended to support professional staff working in care homes. The consequences of the pandemic on health, wellbeing and care systems have been devastating, as demonstrated by the mortality, morbidity and recovery rates. Evidence indicates that older people and staff living and working within the care home sector were significantly

impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. It is imperative, therefore, that the consequences for older people and staff affected are investigated, with learning used to inform strategy and policy locally and nationally, to put systems and processes in place and offer key messages to professional and regulatory bodies. The research is funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and is being led by Professor Robert McSherry, Dr Elizabeth Kumah, and Dr Jan Bailey at the Centre for Ageing and Mental Health within the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care. Dr Robert McSherry, Professor of Nursing and Practice Development, said: “The pandemic has created so many challenges for nurses, and health and social care staff, as such, it is vital that learning from this catastrophic situation is explored to help guide any potential outbreaks in the future. We would be keen to hear from individuals working in the

care sector to know their views and experiences, which will help shape care delivery in the future.” To take part in the survey, visit https://chester.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/care-home-staff-survey

Local Care Home Worker Celebrates 15 Years of Service with Cheverton Lodge A care home worker at Cheverton Lodge in Islington has received a prestigious 15 Year Service Award in celebration of working at Barchester Healthcare for 15 years. Patricia Corbett, part of the House Keeping team, started at Barchester in February 2007 and has worked with residents and their relatives to ensure that their needs have been met over the years. Jane McFarlane, Employee Services Director at Barchester said: “I’m always pleased to hear stories about the long service of Barchester staff and am delighted Patricia has achieved this milestone. It is dedication like this that ensures our residents are provided with a happy place to live.”

Krisztina Vadnai Deputy Manager of Cheverton Lodge said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating 15 years of loyal service with Patricia. She has demonstrated her dedication and loyalty to this home and its residents year after year and has worked tirelessly through the pandemic. I speak for all of us here at Cheverton Lodge when I say that I’m looking forward to many more years of working with Patricia!” Patricia was presented with flowers, an award pin and a gift card. Patricia said “It has been lovely being part of the team at Cheverton Lodge, it’s like one big family. I am so grateful for the award. I have a break to Brighton planned with my family and look forward to spending the vouchers then.“

Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com sales@euroservice-uk.com Manufactured in the UK

H.W. PICKRELL

Celebrating 40 years of trolleys!

Providing practical and stylish trolleys to suit your needs. Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple?

Visit the website at euroservice-uk.com to see the full range.

NEW & USED ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORT AT AFFORDABLE PRICES

Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents!

• We specialise in the sale and purchase of quality used wheelchair accessible vehicles and ambulances. • They can be bought as seen or refurbished and sign-written to your own requirements. • Fully serviced, new mot & warranty • Engineers inspection supplied if required.

• Free delivery service available • All buses comply with new legislation • Lease hire and purchase available Euroservice trolleys are an attractive and practical alternative to clinical aluminium trolleys given that antibacterial spray can be used freely to sanitise them. Get in touch with our friendly, experienced sales team

www.euroservice-uk.com

• Always large stock of accessible vehicles

Tel: 01268 521033 Mobile: 07860 894331 Email: sales@hwpickrell.co.uk Gardiners Lane North, Crays Hills, Billericay, Essex CM11 2XE All current stock available to view at www.hwpickrell.co.uk



THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 11

Second Ground-Breaking Antiviral to be Deployed to Country’s Most Vulnerable Thousands of the country’s most vulnerable will be able to access the UK’s second ground-breaking antiviral – Pfizer’s PF07321332+ritonavir (Paxlovid®) – from Thursday 10 February, the government has announced. Those at highest risk who test positive for the virus – for example, people who are immunocompromised, cancer patients or those with Down’s Syndrome – could access PF-07321332+ritonavir directly. The antiviral molnupiravir and monoclonal antibody sotrovimab are already being deployed to the highest risk patients with nearly 10,000 patients being treated to date. PF-07321332+ritonavir reduced the relative risk of COVID-19-associated hospitalisation or death by 88% in those who received treatment within five days of symptoms appearing – meaning it could potentially save thousands of lives and help to ease burdens on the NHS. This is a significant development for those with compromised immune systems, for whom the vaccine can be less effective. The government, through the Antivirals Taskforce, has procured 4.98 million courses of antivirals – 2.75 million courses of PF-07321332+ritonavir and 2.23 million courses of molnupiravir – more per head than any

other country in Europe. The PANORAMIC study is currently open and deploying the antiviral molnupiravir to patients. Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with certain underlying health conditions can sign up to the study as soon as they receive a positive PCR or lateral flow test result. They need to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that began in the last five days to be eligible to enrol. Further details on wider deployment – including potentially through the PANORAMIC study run by the University of Oxford and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – will be set out in due course. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our pharmaceutical defences are crucial as we learn to live with COVID-19 and the UK is leading the way, especially when it comes to the use of cutting-edge antivirals. “This is an important milestone – especially as Paxlovid® has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death for vulnerable patients by 88%, meaning potentially thousands of lives could be saved. “We will set out further details on access to the new antiviral soon – until then, anyone who is eligible who tests positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms should sign-up to the PANORAMIC trial for the chance to receive our other antiviral, molnupiravir.” Those in the highest risk group have been informed by the NHS if they have a condition that will make them eligible to receive these treatments, should they test positive for COVID-19. The eligible cohorts have been determined by an independent

expert group commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care and included in a clinical policy agreed by all four Chief Medical Officers in the UK. The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA) has sent priority PCR tests to around 1.3 million people thus far to support rapid turnaround of results so they can access the treatments as soon as possible after symptoms begin. Eligible patients who receive a positive test will be assessed over the phone by an expert clinician from an NHS COVID Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU), who will review and discuss with the patient what the most appropriate treatment would be for them. Those being prescribed a monoclonal antibody treatment will be invited to attend the CMDU, while those receiving PF-07321332+ritonavir can either get someone to collect it for them or have it delivered to their home. The NHS has been setting up CMDUs since the summer. NHS National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said: “It is fantastic news that this new treatment, the latest cutting-edge drug that the NHS is rolling out through new COVID-19 medicine delivery units, will now be available to help those at highest risk of COVID19. “Trials have shown it can reduce hospitalisation and risk of death by 88%, meaning we’ll be in the best position to save thousands of lives. “While it will still be up to clinicians to decide on a case-by-case basis whether this treatment, or indeed other COVID-19 medicines, is the best choice for their patients, it is an important step in our fight back against COVID-19.”

Seize Your Opportunities, Says Care Home Resident Betty, 103 Listening to music, expressing your creative side and seizing opportunities are the secrets to a happy life, according to a Sovereign Lodge resident who has just celebrated her 103rd birthday. Betty Hardwick has lived at Sovereign Lodge for nearly three years and celebrated her 103rd birthday at the home recently. Life at Sovereign Lodge is full of activity for Betty who particularly enjoys musical activities and nothing more than a good old sing-song with her favourite being ‘My

Bonnie lies over the ocean.” Betty also enjoys playing balloon tennis, one to one sessions and reminiscing with the staff. Betty loves her cuddly toys, especially cats as she has had several throughout her life. Home Manager Sam Kirwan said, “We love to celebrate special occasions at Sovereign Lodge and Betty enjoyed spending her birthday with staff and fellow residents. The chef made a beautiful cake and Betty received cards, flowers and presents from family and friends.

“When asked about her secret to leading such a long and happy life Betty said you had to be surrounded by family and friends and listen to music whenever possible. When she was younger she used to seize every opportunity which came her way and thinks it is important to be able to express your creative side – as she does by putting pen to paper. “Betty is a pure joy, her smile lights up a room and she really enjoys the simple things in life,” added Sam.


PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

How To Deal With Conflict Between Carers: New Freedom For Residents Results In New Pressures For Key Workers Conflict resolution expert and CEO of The TCM Group (www.thetcmgroup.com), David Liddle, provides five tips to those trying to keep the peace in high pressure environments The final curb on Plan B has been announced, with residents elated at the thought of unlimited visits from loved ones soon to become a reality. But within a team of carers, already exhausted due to the intense pressures of working in healthcare, the stress mounts. Rules to frequently test, a duty to control greater spreads of the virus, and a vaccination mandate merge to overwhelm staff wellbeing. One staff member feels exasperated by the responsibility to continually test and trace the virus – whilst residents and visitors are able to move freely – and another is frustrated by their lack of adherence to the rules. Feelings of goodwill and cooperation start to sour, relationships fracture and teams splinter. The battle against Coronavirus has greatly affected those working within healthcare, intensifying pressures and resulting in team disruption, poor employee wellbeing and workplace conflict. If you’re within a team struggling to tackle these tensions, what can you do to help resolve issues, rebuild teams and celebrate the new freedom given to residents? Working in the care sector has always been demanding but the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent rules have become a catalyst for greater levels of workplace conflict. And from Monday 31st January, restrictions surrounding coronavirus lifted across the UK. For care homes, limits on the number of visitors per resident were scrapped, increasing freedom for families. The end of Plan B also means that outbreak management rules have been halved from 28 days to 14, with self-isolation periods also cut. Those unable to see loved ones were overjoyed this week as they reunited without restraint.

FROM FREEDOM TO FALLOUT

For carers, the reality of reversing restrictions is different. Less limits for residents mean more rules for workers: healthcare rules state that care workers must undergo weekly testing and further infection control measures including full vaccination and booster. By December 2021, only one-third of care workers had received their booster jab. Head of the National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed, warns that these measures, combined with continued staff shortages, could compromise the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals. High levels of poor mental health in the care sector are common stories. A survey by Unison reports that 68% of care workers felt their mental health had declined during the pandemic, with many experiencing post-traumatic distress disorder. Feelings of anxiety around managing the protection of those in care, avoiding the spread of new virus strains and government pressures to remain vaccinated and tested amalgamate to escalate concerns, grievances and complaints in the workplace. People are tired, burnt out and strained. This was the case for a private nursing home. In 2021, The TCM Group led a formal investigation to uncover the issues behind a formal grievance raised between two carers. Allegations of poor conduct unravelled to reveal a much wider cultural disconnect: strained working practices were stifling employee productivity, wellbeing and engagement. The real problem is often hidden beneath the surface.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MENTAL HEALTH AND CONFLICT Those suffering with mental health issues will often be guided by stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. When people are stressed, it often affects their ability to think rationally. This can lead to poor decision-making, mistakes and low productivity. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health, staff under stress can find it hard to speak up. A lack of understanding from colleagues coupled with what looks like apathetic staff – who are really struggling deep down – can cause conflict to arise. It's important for staff, and particularly managers, to be able to spot the signs of stress. Noticing behaviour changes, promoting a psychologically safe environment and nipping disagreements in the bud are some ways to manage employee wellbeing and the onset of workplace conflict. The lifecycle of conflict has three stages:

PRE-CONFLICT This is the earliest phase of conflict. Usually happy, resilient and collaborative staff seem less present in their day-to-day duties. Something’s not quite right in the working atmosphere: a member of

staff is turning up late, reacts snappily to a co-worker, or appears to be less engaged with a resident than before. At this early stage, it’s important to be curious and listen actively. Retaining a level of objectivity and empathy is crucial to opening up some critical conversations about behaviours and emotions.

CONFLICT When issues go unnoticed, they grow into disputes. There may be public quarrels, complaints and team factions at this stage of real conflict. To diffuse the situation, a manager can intervene in a safe, facilitated space to depersonalise the problem. Bringing the parties in conflict together to talk openly about their issues can be a breakthrough point for unvoiced concerns previously brushed under the carpet. The manager should encourage ground rules of mutual respect, confidentiality and uninterrupted speaking time. When listening to each party, it’s crucial not to make assumptions and summarise back what you’re hearing to ensure correct understanding of the situation.

POST-CONFLICT This reflective stage allows all parties involved to look ahead and establish a basis of trust, cooperation and goodwill going forward. After the storm has passed, the manager involved should role model compassion, care and calm to parties. If a positive and protective culture is presented to employees, with space to share their stress and worry, then a cohesive and resilient team will develop in turn. In short, dealing with workplace pressure can be summarised in five tips: • Actively listen to those in conflict and retain a level of objectivity and impartiality. • Be empathetic. Try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes, ask questions and disagree well. • Don’t make assumptions and summarise back what you’re hearing from your colleagues. • Bringing together the parties in conflict will allow everyone to talk openly. • Depersonalise the problem: making it a shared problem will result in a shared solution. The end of restrictions is liberating for many, but it’s important to remember the fallout for those in charge of caring for our most vulnerable. By treating our key workers with the same compassion and care that they give every day, we can keep the peace and celebrate our long-awaited freedom together.

The Residential & Home Care Show, 18-19 May 2022, ExCeL London Join us at The Residential & Home Care Show, the UK’s leadership event for delivering outstanding care, returning to the ExCeL London on 18-19 May 2022. Free for all care professionals to attend, the CPD certified conference programme will focus on the big issues facing the social care sector including recruitment and retention challenges, new employment law, personalisation, integrated care, safeguarding, raising quality, dementia, CQC ratings, which technologies work and business development. After an extremely challenging few years for the care profession, this will be the opportunity to come back together and refocus your mind. Promising to arm you with strategies, products and services, The Residential & Home Care Show will help you be in the best position to address challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Reasons to attend: • Free for care and healthcare professionals • Take away practical ideas and solutions you can adopt in your own organisation • Join thousands of Owners, Directors, and Senior Managers • Meet and network with 200 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and solutions • Build relationships between residential care providers, nursing homes, domiciliary care providers, NHS, local government, the voluntary sector and suppliers • Learn from 50 expert speakers who will share key case studies and deliver important panel discussions with more industry leaders and successful care business operators Visit the event website: https://www.residentialandhomecareshow.co.uk/TheCarerUK Click here to register for FREE: https://rfg.circdata.com/publish/hpc22/?source=thecareruk

Signature at Ascot Grange Unites Residents with Sixth Form Students on Outreach Programme Signature at Ascot Grange have collaborated with Charters School’s Sixth Form to allow residents the opportunity to connect with students on a weekly basis, providing company and interaction. A current cohort of seven students are enjoying a break from their school curriculum schedules to benefit from the Outreach Programme. To date, COVID-19 regulations and Government guidance has meant the meetings have been virtual, but as the term progresses both students and residents are hopeful for in-person interaction. Signature at Ascot Grange is an award-winning, purpose-built care home capable of providing residents with various care services. They team up with Charters School, one of the largest secondary schools in the area, to provide both students and residents the opportunity to build new relationships, learn, enjoy one another’s company and benefit from the unique experience the collaboration offers. Whilst adhering to COVID-19 Government guidelines, Signature at Ascot Grange has previously offered their facilities and cinema rooms to pupils of Charters School and offered to host the premier of Ascot Grange’s annual musical. Regulations put that particular concert on hold but did little to prevent the strengthening of the collaboration between the care home

the next stage of the home’s relationship with the school, and to meet the students with whom they have been interacting with. Discussing the Collaboration with Charters School Diana, a resident at Signature at Ascot Grange, said: “We are hoping to meet Charters’ students in person to chat about their school day, events that are going on, and to share with them what is happening at Ascot Grange. We have had a lovely chat previously with them on screen – it was great fun whilst we all enjoyed our afternoon cup of tea and cake!” Laura Davies, Activities Supervisor at Ascot Grange, said: “It is so lovely for our residents to talk with Charters’ students and embrace this programme. Most of them are parents themselves and having that dialogue triggers happy memories for them in their family unit or indeed as children. We talked about school uniforms, for example. Each resident discussed what they wore as children and all of the different colours that they wore. Residents and students laughed together and at each and the secondary school. Residents of Signature at Ascot Grange are now looking forward to

other- it was great fun for all involved and we are all now looking forward to being united in person.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 13

Major Inquiry Highlights the Urban-Rural Divide in Accessing Health and Care Today sees the launch of a major Inquiry into rural health and care. The three-year investigation undertaken by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Rural Health and Care and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care is one of the most extensive of its kind. Chaired by Anne Marie Morris, MP, the Inquiry was set up just prior to the COVID pandemic to identify and ultimately address inequalities in rural health and care. It also found that the pandemic had major negative effects, resulting in damage to the wellbeing of health and care workers, staff shortages and the financial viability of care homes. The pandemic saw an increase in the number of people migrating to rural areas and the Inquiry highlights the need for Government to take notice of the impact on health services of the growing rural population. Almost a fifth of England’s population live in rural or coastal communities. For too long they have experienced poorer access to health and social care services than their counterparts in urban areas. Rural residents are disproportionately older than average, often with complex co-morbidities. Evidence presented to the Inquiry was clear; many rural residents are comparatively disadvantaged throughout the lifecourse, despite the ‘social duty to promote equality’ embodied in the NHS Constitution. Among the Inquiry’s headline conclusions was the need for better data as this influences funding for both the NHS and Social Care, and the ability to plan services effectively. Witnesses concluded that the current system of identifying rural health inequalities is flawed because of inappropriate data collection methods. This also means that the extra costs of providing health and care in rural areas are not fully reflected in the current funding formula, resulting in rural residents receiving a lower level of care compared to their urban counterparts. In many ways, today’s publication on rural health is a compliment to the CMO’s 2021 Annual Report on Health in Coastal Communities. Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust, Nigel Edwards commented: “The pandemic has made the fact clearer that issues faced by rural health and care organisations differ from those in busy urban areas. Historically, small and remote hospitals have faced unavoidable higher costs, not received their fair share of funding, struggled to attract and retain staff and have compared worse than their urban counterparts against key NHS performance measures. Coronavirus has exacerbated these long-standing challenges and left rural services with a steeper hill to climb in order to claw back waiting lists. “This inquiry is welcome and has put a greater focus on a range of challenges felt acutely in remote areas. If we want to support recovery across the nation then a deeper understanding of how these different challenges manifest across the country is vital.” Whilst the cost of social care is recognised to be an issue nationally, the inquiry was told that rural local authorities spend a disproportionately higher share of their budget on these services and local council taxpayers have to fund more costs than their urban counterparts. The discrepancy is down to multiple factors. Alongside funding, the investigation found that the availability of professionally qualified staff, limited public transport, and poor broadband and network access are all significant constraints to the delivery of accessible health and social care in rural areas. Evidence suggests there is significant difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled workers in rural areas. That training does not include rural experience in equipping GPs, nurses and other professionals with the skills needed for rural practice is a further disadvantage. In addition, social care jobs are overshadowed by low wages, onerous travel times and lack of locally based training, creating conditions that have

led to high turn-over and a shortage of nurses and care worker in rural area, adding an additional barrier to serving rural residents. Poor public transport was highlighted by many witnesses as a key driver of rural healthcare inequalities for both patients and staff travelling to work. With the average minimum travel time to a hospital over one hour in rural areas, compared with a little over half an hour in urban areas[1], rural residents face higher costs and greater difficulty accessing specialist and emergency services. In addition, local health services are hampered by a lack of reliable and fast digital connectivity, hindering the introduction of alternative, rurally relevant methods of assessment and care such as virtual appointments. The report draws on evidence from 89 different witnesses spread across eight countries, including health and care professionals, associations and groups across rural England. The Inquiry Panel has made 12 recommendations for change under four broad headings, and calls on Government departments and local communities to work together to address rural inequalities in health care access in a joined-up approach. The newly created Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) should assist in the implementation of these recommendations: • Build understanding of the distinctive health and care needs of rural areas; • Deliver services that are suited to the specific needs of rural places; • Develop a structural and regulatory framework that fosters adaption and innovation; • Develop integrated services that provide holistic, person-centred care. The National Centre for Rural Health and Care and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Rural Health and Social Care, argue: “The road to better healthcare for rural communities starts with a more accurate and reliable understanding of rural circumstances and experience – and accurate data is essential to inform effective rural planning. “Policymakers too frequently underestimate the challenges and the costs of living in rural areas. This is in part due to the way we collect data. The criteria, although relevant to more densely populated communities, are inappropriate for more sparsely populated localities and do not reflect rural needs. This distorts the situation in rural communities, with residents often appearing to be more affluent despite facing lower wages, and higher living costs. “The consequence is that the basis for planning is flawed, impacting on the formulae for funding. Evidence received by the Inquiry confirms that current funding arrangements need to be urgently addressed to account for the true cost of rural health services.” The report calls for a joined-up, place-based approach to measuring health and care, one that is relevant specifically to rural circumstances, where data is viewed through a rural lens. Commenting, Anne Marie Morris MP, Chair of APPG on Rural Health & Social Care said: “The events of the last 18 months have led to a large number of people discovering the attraction of rural living and the lifestyle that it offers. Yet for the newcomers and part-time rural residents who have become full time converts, the realities of rural health provi-

Burns Night Bonanza for Care Home Residents

Burns Night was marked in style at a specialist dementia care home in Wellington, with a special visit from John Campbell and his bagpipes that had residents tapping their toes and singing along. Also known as @BagpiperinSouthWales, John Campbell entertained the residents of Camelot House and Lodge with stirring renditions of the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond and Auld Lang

Syne, which could be heard throughout the home. Activities co-ordinator, Richard Dempslake, said: “John played brilliantly and all residents who were in the lounges or bedrooms could hear the beautiful sound of the bagpipes. “Our day started with residents baking shortbread biscuits and finished with a supper of neeps ‘n’ tatties and a shot of whiskey. “Residents took it in turns to read their favourite Robert Burns poems, including A Red Red Rose, My Heart’s In The Highlands and John Anderson My Jo, then danced to Scotland The Brave, with lots of foot-tapping and hand-clapping and some of the more active individuals joining in with a traditional Scottish dance demonstrated by the activities team.” An art therapy session in the afternoon included giving residents photos of themselves dressed as bagpipe players for them to colour in.

sion will have become very apparent. “Without clear changes in policy direction and decision-making, the situation will move from urgent to critical. As we have seen, undiagnosed and unaddressed health conditions usually end up resulting in higher costs, poorer health outcomes, poorer economic opportunity and, in every sense, a poorer community. “Therefore, policy makers need to focus on how we design, commission and deliver health care in these areas. Our rural communities deserve better health and care. This report shows how we can make this happen.” Professor Richard Parish CBE, Executive Chair National Centre for Rural Health and Care and report author, comments: “The health care needs of rural communities have been side-lined for far too long and the Government can no longer turn a blind eye to the needs of almost a fifth of the population. “There is clear evidence that change is required. We must provide tailored, person-centred, community-based approaches to health and care services in rural communities. Without clear changes in policy direction, the situation will move from urgent to critical. “The current ‘one size fits all’ model is ineffective and inefficient. If we are truly serious about ‘levelling up’, we must ensure that rural residents have the same access to timely, quality services as their urban counterparts. The solutions are there, they just need to be recognised and properly funded.” Graham Biggs, MBE, Chief Executive of the Rural Services Network said: “We very much support the conclusions of this report. The acknowledgement that infrastructure concerns such as those relating to transport and digital connectivity have significant impacts on rural health, social care and wellbeing and increase vulnerabilities and inequalities is very timely and very welcome. The issues here are not just for the DHSC but are cross-government, fundamental to levellingup and need urgent attention.” Statement from ACRE – Action with Communities in Rural England: “We warmly welcome the Inquiry Report and especially the recommendations to develop a better understanding of the health and care needs of rural communities. “We endorse the Report’s emphasis that nobody should be disadvantaged in their access to health and care services due to where they live. The Report rightly places great emphasis on the NHS being a truly national service, not one that is first class for urban areas but underresourced and inaccessible to the 17% living in rural areas.”


PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

RoboDoc: Revolutionising the Care System Currently, funding for elderly care is down in the UK, meaning a decrease in the number of carers and social programs available. The current pandemic is only adding to an already burdened system, but what if there was a way to alleviate this strain? Here Janet Adams, chief operating officer at SingularityNET (www.singularitynet.io), argues social robots could help the elderly combat loneliness whilst aiding overworked carers. The media is not always positive towards artificial intelligence (AI) robotics. From movies like The Terminator to headlines such as “Facebook engineers panic, pull plug on AI after bots develop their own language”, there has often been misinformation and fear when talking about social robots. However, the benefits of AI robotics for social good are often overlooked.

CARING FOR CARERS In 2019, Age UK reported that one in eleven NHS posts were vacant and £5.5 billion was spent on temporary staff to cover vacancies and other short-term absences in 2017/18. They also reported that the lack of preventive care was leading to more elderly patients requiring A&E services. This data is not just pertinent to the UK — a similar spike in demand for elder care has been reported worldwide. And since 2019, the situation has only worsened. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that healthcare professionals are often overworked, while patients suffer as a result of isolation. While scientific advances are helping fight COVID-19, broader issues with the healthcare system are not going away any time soon. This is why Awakening Health, a joint venture of SingularityNET and Hanson Robotics, is creating social robots for the elderly. This has been achieved in the form of Grace, a humanoid robot designed for companionship and to assist healthcare personnel with basic procedures. Grace is the most empathetic humanoid robot to date — she can recognise and respond to seven human emotions, do talk therapy, conduct uplifting

activities such as guided meditations when sensing depression signals, and help in everyday activities such as placing calls.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS Despite the benefits of robots like Grace, there are still many concerns and misconceptions. One of them is that using technology to replace human interaction could isolate patients even more. However, robots like Grace can help carers feel less overwhelmed by performing routine health checks and filling charts. In this way, Grace frees up valuable time and allows her human colleagues to spend more time connecting with patients in a way that only humans can do. Another common misconception with robots for the elderly is that, seeing robots take over their carers’ responsibilities, patients may feel infantilised or debased. However, this stems from the fear that robots will take over human roles, a narrative often portrayed in the media. In reality, humanoid robots would support human carers by automating routine tasks and gathering accurate data to speed up diagnosis, treatment and alerting staff in an emergency. Grace is also designed to help the elderly by providing companionship and aiding in activities that connect them with the world, such as setting up phone or video calls to family, alerting their caretakers or ordering food. Social robots could bridge the gap for the technologically naive elderly and provide needed relief for many care workers.

Staff Members Recognised for their Efforts with Awards Night at Buckinghamshire Care Home Staff members at a Buckinghamshire care home have been awarded for their efforts with a wonderful awards ceremony. Five staff members received the ‘going the extra mile award’ at MHA Hillside in Aylesbury which was given to them as recognition for their hard work. Also as part of the awards night, several staff members received their long service awards ranging from five to ten years. MHA Hillside is a 68 bed home which provides nursing care for older people, those with a physical disability and younger people with a long term medical condition. The winners were nominated by staff and residents and then shortlisted by the home manager. On the day 75 goodie bags were made for all staff members, which contained a thank you message Grainne Wokes, home manager said: “We have been doing these awards nights since 2017 and pre covid we would really glamourise them with a red carpet and other decorations. “They are always very successful and allow us to give something back to our wonderful staff members. “They acknowledge our staff members who work amazingly hard to make sure the residents are well looked after. “Residents and staff were given a few weeks to do their nominations to allow them to think about who they want to nominate and help build up momentum. “Myself and the area manager then shortlisted the five winners, who all received an award. “At MHA Hillside we know how important it is to celebrate occasions with our staff and residents, this helps to build the bond between them and makes the home an enjoyable place to live and work in.”

Those who received their long service awards were Arleen Dagoy Senior Nurse- 10 years Alex Harbour Domestic assistant- 10 years Diane Marsh- Housekeeper 10 years Helen Mercury Care assistant- 10 years Felicja Pedowska Senior Nurse – 10 years Ioana Banga Senior Nurse- 10 years Marian Hood Social care facilitator- 10 years Mircea Munteanu-Senior Nurse 5 years Hajira Bibi Domestic assistant– 5 years Nelicija Cato Dungo- care assistant 5 years Daisy Thomas- Senior Nurse 5 years Saihyba Shafiq- Care assistant 5 years Ferolyn Leagogo-Care assistant 5 years Verena Roper- Domestic assistant 5 years Andrea Bowhay-Activities coordinator 5 years Joanna Szlabowska- Care assistant 5 years

The Year To Tackle Incontinence If like nearly half of the women Ontex surveyed, you or your residents are too embarrassed to even talk to friends about bladder weakness, make 2022 the year you put that behind you and tackle incontinence. In the UK, it is estimated that between three and six million people may have some degree of urinary incontinence , so isn’t it time we all found it a little easier to talk about? Incontinence can have an impact on so many aspects of our health and wellbeing, from diet and exercise to travel plans, but the first step to tackling these issues is to open up about this particular healthcare topic. Alex Shaw, Marketing Manager for Ontex in the UK and Ireland comments, “In today’s modern society where so many topics are openly discussed, it’s astounding that incontinence is still such a taboo subject. Here at Ontex we want to help women to open up about it and share their thoughts and feelings with their friends and medical professionals. She continues, “Here are our five top tips for managing incontinence.”

1. MANAGE YOUR FLUID INTAKE Drinking sufficient fluids each day is essential for maintaining a healthy bladder. If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become overly sensitive. You should try to consume at least 1.5-2 litres (or 6-8 glasses) of fluids each day.

2. AVOID CERTAIN DRINKS It is advisable to avoid certain types of drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola and chocolate, as they contain caffeine

which can irritate the bladder. An irritated bladder becomes overactive, which makes you feel as though you need to empty your bladder when it is not full.

3. EAT HEALTHILY Your diet should be balanced, not too high in fat, with plenty of fibre, and contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Healthy eating is also important because being overweight can increase bladder problems.

4. GIVE UP SMOKING There are a number of health risks associated with smoking. A ‘smokers cough’ can place extra pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor, increasing your chances of experiencing stress incontinence.

5. STAY HYDRATED If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become more sensitive to smaller amounts of urine, which means you will go to the toilet more frequently. Finally remember it is a good idea to notify your GP if you are experiencing bladder weakness for the first time or if you already have bladder weakness and it has become worse. Ontex exclusively specialises in products for continence management, including products for light, advanced, male and junior continence through its range of iD products. The products offer dry zone technology for ultra-fast liquid absorption which keeps liquid locked in the pad as well as anti-leakage protection, fast absorption and odour control. So, don’t let bladder weakness hold you back because you’re definitely not alone. For further information see the advert on page 7 or visit www.ontex.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 15

One in Eight Residents in Housing Providing Care Have Witnessed Discrimination from Other Residents, According to New Research New report from the University of Bristol and International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC) finds that while most older people in housing with care feel valued and included, social isolation and discrimination remain a part of everyday life for some residents, especially those from social minorities. The report, based on a survey of residents and interviews with residents, staff members and housing experts, finds that older people living in housing options that provide on-site care and support, including extra-care housing, sheltered housing and supported living, are less lonely than if they were living in the wider community. This is despite COVID-19 lockdowns restricting interactions between residents and visitors. Most residents taking part in these interviews as part of the Diversity in Care Environments (DICE) study also said they felt valued and included in their living environment. But this was not the case for all residents, as the majority of the residents from social minorities interviewed in this study, including people with disabilities, people identifying as LGBT+, people from ethnic minorities and members of minority religious groups, said they had experienced or anticipated discrimination within their scheme. This included overhearing homophobic or racist comments from other residents or being excluded from certain areas or activities because of a lack of accessibility. According to the survey, this discrimination is far more common from other residents than staff; one in every eight residents surveyed

reported seeing discrimination from other residents, which was more than twice as many as the proportion reporting discrimination from staff. The report also identifies some of the ways in which this isolation and discrimination can be countered in housing with care schemes, including on-site staff presence; inclusion with the local area; listening to the views of residents; and adequate Government funding. Dr Paul Willis, Lead Researcher on the DICE project and Associate Professor at the University of Bristol, commented: “With an ageing population and a growing number of people living with chronic health conditions, providing safe, supportive and inclusive housing options in which to grow old is becoming more important than ever. We need to break the ageist stereotypes of older people in retirement communities as vulnerable and passive recipients of services. Their views matter and have given us vital insight into what inclusive neighbourhoods look like and housing providers should tap into this rich resource by involving residents in the design of their schemes and services. Our research made clear the vital role played by scheme staff in promoting social inclusion and combatting discrimination through their ability to develop relationships with residents. But providers need to ensure there is the consistent presence of on-site staff needed to build this connection.

Older people also need to have the choice to move into a housing option that’s right for their needs and aspirations, and where the identities that are important to them are reflected amongst other residents and staff. This is especially important for older people from social minorities. For this, we need the Government to splash the cash to encourage the creation of more age-friendly housing schemes as well as the improvement of existing schemes.” Baroness Barker, Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Global LGBTI Rights and Housing and Care for Older People, added: “With one million people aged 65 and over ageing well without children, and the UK’s older population becoming ever more diverse, it’s time for new thinking about how to build supportive, sustainable communities to live in as we get older. This report is an important contribution to that discussion.” Jeremy Porteus, founder and Chief Executive of project partner, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), said: “While the Housing LIN are thrilled to participate in this innovative project, real credit goes to the participants who shared their experience and the resilient project team for adapting to new ways of working and actively engaging throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The findings of this research demonstrate the strong sense of belonging people have to their homes and local communities and the measures that can be taken to achieve greater inclusivity.”

Newton Heath Care Home Residents Sport New Hairstyles At HC-One’s Averill House residential memory and nursing memory care home, in Manchester, residents have been embracing their new hairstyles thanks to one wellbeing colleague at the home. Residents always admire Wellbeing Coordinator, Jodie Yates’ hair, as she normally has them in plaits or braids. They always comment on how neat it looks, so Jodie asked if they would like their hair done the same. And everyone was quick to jump at the chance! Jodie said, “Well I wasn’t expecting the response I had! Residents queued up and

waited patiently to have their hair styled in plaits or braids.” Residents commented on how lovely it was afterwards and many asked if Jodie can do it for them again, as they liked having a different style. Domestic colleague Sarah Summerscales, added, “It looks really nice and the residents are loving all the comments they’re getting!” Jodie remarked, “Residents enjoyed having a new hairstyle and also that it was the same as mine. All enjoyed the compliments they got on the day!”


PAGE 16 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

The Importance Of Personalised Hospice Care Debi Oliver, a retired GP, became a carer for her daughter Emily when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 19 years old. Here, Debi talks about the importance of hospice care in Emily’s life. When my funny, popular and incredibly organised daughter started experiencing difficulties with her vision, weakness down one side of her face and problems with her left leg during her first semester at university, I never thought she would soon be diagnosed with a brain tumour. I never thought that the next couple of years would be dominated by attempting to save our daughter. We thought that, in true Emily form, she had just overdone it during her first few weeks away from home studying for her nursing degree. She hadn’t. Emily had a diffuse midline glioma, also known as DIPG, which is one of the most common high-grade brain tumours found in children and young people. Without treatment, she had just three months to live. Fortunately, she outlived her prognosis. Over the 18 months which followed, we tried every treatment option and travelled internationally to do so – we will always be grateful that Emily wasn’t diagnosed during the pandemic which would have restricted our options even further. We never gave up hope. In the latter stages of Emily’s life, she needed a lot of care. Whilst having treatment abroad, I helped her shower whilst she wore a swimming costume to protect her modesty. I tried my best not to cry in front of her but it wasn’t easy. It was really quite a special time together and she even got her trademark giggle back for a while. As Emily’s needs got increasingly complex, we needed to find the right place and the right people to keep looking after her. Those final hours, days and weeks had to be the best that they could be. We needed Emily to be happy and well cared for under truly horrendous circumstances. At first, we hated the idea of being in a hospice – aren’t they just for the elderly? That wasn’t the place for our girl to be. How wrong we were. The Princess Alice Hospice in Esher was nothing short of amazing. It wasn’t easy and even making the first journey there was incredibly tough – we knew it would be her last journey. We were able to decorate Emily’s room at the Princess Alice Hospice with photos and general memorabilia from throughout her short yet full life. That included lots from her gap year, various holidays and the big 21st birthday party we were able to throw after her diagnosis. The nursing staff and volunteers at the hospice were always incredibly professional, kind and caring.

Emily always thanked everyone for their kindness and the team were humbled by her fight and strength of character. Every morning, before I arrived to feed Emily her breakfast, they ensured that she was washed and dressed. This was so that Emily was ready for us to spend the whole day together alongside the steady stream of friends who regularly visited us both. The weather was glorious during that time so we often sat outside on the veranda overlooking the fish pond. It was an incredibly tranquil setting which bizarrely felt like we were on holiday. The hospice team also respected my views as a doctor, Emily’s carer and - first and foremost - her mother by being open and honest with me. During her stay, she developed a urinary tract infection and deteriorated. But, they still treated her infection as I made it clear I didn’t want her dying of something treatable. After 10 weeks, Emily was coughing a lot and the hospice called me to say that Emily’s breathing was deteriorating. She passed away on 15 July at 4.40am with her dad and I by her side. The hospice have continued to be supportive after we lost Emily too – her young age and interest in nursing as well as the support she had from loved ones hasn’t been forgotten. Returning to the hospice chapel for the anniversary of her death and seeing Emily’s name in the book of remembrance is so painful but gives us strength and love to keep her memory alive. We have now dedicated our time to supporting the Princess Alice Hospice and also The Brain Tumour Charity – and we have raised £100,000 to date. The organisation provides specialist support for anyone affected by a brain tumour. This comes in a variety of ways tailored to everyone’s specific needs. The Brain Tumour Charity really knows about the importance of having a ‘good’ death and ensuring that, through heartbreaking loss, we’re empowered through knowledge and surrounded by support. The hospice ensured that we had all we need to be with Emily and provide her with the privacy and dignity which she deserved. The Brain Tumour Charity have also provided us with the ongoing support to come to terms with what has happened. We’re eternally grateful. The money we’re raising for them is to be ploughed into research to stop other families suffering in the way that we have. Brain tumours are the number one cancer killer amongst children and adults under 40 years old. A cure for brain tumours cannot wait any more. For more information visit www.thebraintumourcharity.org

The Oaks Care Home Appoints New Manager A new manager has been appointed at The Oaks Care Home in Newtown, Powys. Daniel Hart, 42, is the new Registered Manager of the luxury, purpose-built care home which offers high quality residential and nursing care as well as dementia care. Daniel, who has worked in the care sector for over twenty years, has ambitious plans for the home. He is recruiting a fine dining chef, an additional activities coordinator and working on a schedule of events to get residents out into the heart of the community. He said: “I don’t want our residents’ social lives to stop just because they move into a care home. I believe it’s extremely important for them to carry on with activities that are dear to them. “I’ve been chatting to all our residents and asking them what they miss being able to do. As a result, we’re fixing trips to the local pub, shopping visits so they can buy treats for their loved ones, cinema and theatre outings and we’re even planning to go to the local bingo hall.

“We’re hoping they bump into people they know and will get a lot out of doing normal things, such as catching up over a pint with their pals or being able to shop for treats for their grandchildren. “We’ll follow all the Covid safety guidelines but I’m determined that the pandemic shouldn’t stop our residents from having a life. “To help make meal times at the home extra special, we’re also going to recruit a fine dining chef who can make the dining experience a focal point for the home. “I’m delighted to have joined The Oaks at such an exciting time. It is a beautiful forward-thinking home with amazing staff and we’ve got lots of ideas to take it to the next level.” Jen Roberts, the former Registered Manager of The Oaks who has been promoted to become Development Manager for the group, said: “It’s great to welcome Daniel on board. His passion and enthusiasm for providing outstanding resident-led care within a modern setting really stand out and we’re excited to hear his plans for the home.”

Welsh Apprentices Help Tackle Staff Shortages In The Social Care Industry Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic have impacted thousands of businesses over the past few years, but one industry that has been arguably more affected than others is that of the health and social care industries. One solution that is proving invaluable in its attempt to tackle the recruitment crisis is the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme, which provides school leavers and those looking for a career change an opportunity to learn on-the-job skills and gain national qualifications, alongside earning a wage. Chloe Paterson, 23, from Pontypridd, has completed her Level 2 & Level 3 Diploma in a Health and Social Care Apprenticeship, and now works as a Daytime Support Social Worker. She said: “I was initially inspired to consider a career in social care after struggling to form a bond and communicate with my autistic brother. I decided to take up a pathway course at Coleg y Cymoedd to learn more about disabilities and I soon realised that I wanted to pursue a career that helped individuals and families to build upon their relationships with others. “My apprenticeship not only helped me to decide what I wanted to do in my career, but it hugely benefited me personally and taught me how to socialise and interact around disabled people – something that many people struggle with and should try to improve upon.” After leaving school, Chloe knew that further education wasn’t the right path for her and decided an apprenticeship offered the practical and hands-on experience she had been craving.

Chloe said: “School wasn’t really for me, and I often lost interest in my subjects, but I’ve found my apprenticeship much more manageable and engaging because they allowed me to train while earning money at the same time. “I definitely preferred learning while onthe-job. It was so useful being able to ask questions to experienced staff members when I had assessments and essays, rather than always studying independently. It helped to build my confidence as I wasn’t afraid to ask questions or ask for help and advice.” Having carved a successful career in social care since completing her apprenticeship, Chloe is looking forward to continuing working in an industry and role that is bettering the lives of those she supports. Chloe continued: “The aspect I love most about my job is how rewarding it is. Watching individuals achieve things that they didn’t think they could and watching them leave with a smile on their face makes it all worth it and reassures you that you’re in a worthwhile job. “Without a doubt, my apprenticeship has motivated me to improve day on day and I think my achievements demonstrate that. Over the past five years, I’ve gone from being a student and completing two diplomas, to being a permanent member of the team, and finally being promoted to my current role as a team leader. “I’d highly recommend an apprenticeship as a route to a career in social care because of the experience you gain while working towards a qualification. The social care industry is in need of new talent, and people who are willing to care and motivate others. Working in this

industry really does feel like you’re working alongside a tight-knit family, and you’ll always go home knowing you helped to enhance the life of an individual.” Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “Apprenticeships are a genius decision, for both employers seeking to future-proof their workforces while nurturing the talent that exists within Wales, and for people who want a proven route into employment that provides the opportunity to learn while earning a wage. “Apprenticeship Week Wales is an opportunity for us to increase awareness and engagement with apprenticeships in Wales, and shine a light on the opportunities available to people right now. “I believe apprenticeships will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic. That’s why we have committed to creating a further 125,000 Apprenticeship places over the next five years. We are a small country, but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to create a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice becomes the norm for employers.” The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “It is fantastic to see the impact a social care apprenticeship has had. Apprenticeships are a great way to learn more about the sector, grow in confidence and ignite someone’s passion to help and support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We need more people to follow in Chloe’s footsteps and I encourage others to take up an apprenticeship.” The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. To explore what apprenticeship opportunities are currently available in Wales, visit the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service. For more information about becoming an apprentice, visit www.gov.wales/apprenticeshipswales or call 0800 028 4844.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 17

Welcome for Unlimited Visiting to Care Settings CARE providers have welcomed plans to reintroduce unlimited visiting to care settings – but appealed for patience when it begins. The Government today eased restrictions in care homes from Monday, including reintroducing unlimited visiting and cutting self-isolation rules. The care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) has welcomed the news but also urged caution. Chair Mike Padgham said: “Of course, we welcome the reintroduction of unlimited visiting as we appreciate how important it is for residents and their families to be together and we, more than anyone, want to end the heartache that separation has brought. “But we would appeal for caution and patience over this change. It is being introduced from Monday which gives care settings precious little time to prepare. “We also have to bear in mind that care and nursing homes are going through their worst ever staffing crisis and, in some cases, might struggle to accommodate a sudden big influx of visitors. “It will be down to individual homes to decide but I urge people to

be patient with homes and I expect many, like mine for example, will want to retain an appointment system and of course continue to follow the guidance on negative tests, social distancing, personal protective equipment and hygiene.” He welcomed the cutting of outbreak management rules from 28

days to 14 and the self-isolation period for staff from 14 to 10 days. “The biggest issues care settings are facing at the moment are staffing levels, low occupancy and rising costs and together they are pushing some to the brink of survival,” Mr Padgham added. “We need to get back to a position where homes can accept new admissions quickly after an outbreak and have the staff on shift to care for them. “These measures will certainly help, but they are not the complete solution. “In the short term we still believe the Government should set up a bank of volunteers who can help in care settings while we are so shortstaffed.” “And longer term we desperately need the long-promised reform of the care system that would make working in social care a more attractive proposition in terms of staff pay, terms and conditions, so that we can tackle the underlying shortage of staff that continues to cripple the sector.”

Flying Finish for Morris Care’s Resident Birdwatchers From house sparrows to hungry robins, residents of Morris Care’s six care homes in Shropshire and Cheshire recorded hundreds of feathered favourites in their gardens this weekend, as they took park in the RSPB’s Big Garden

tuned into the Big Garden Birdwatch Live for expert commentary and interviews with wildlife experts. Morris Care prides itself on the quality of the gardens in its Nursing Homes

Birdwatch. Morris Care Chief Executive Lucy Holl explained:

and residents regularly enjoy time relaxing in these spaces and joining the

“We love being part of Birdwatch and it’s been wonderful to see our residents so engaged with the wildlife in our gardens. We never underestimate the

Home’s popular gardening clubs. Last year, over one million people took part in the event and the keen-eyed

joy of sitting outside, listening to bird song, with fresh air and the scents of a garden. We are passionate about providing wonderful green spaces for our residents to relax in, read a book, meet family or maybe to do a spot of therapeutic gardening. The great outdoors is a tonic for the soul.” As well as counting birds for an hour and reporting their findings, residents

residents at Morris Care were excited to be part of the campaign for the second year. The UK’s biggest citizen science project has been recording the garden birds for over forty years, and count on residents of Shropshire and Cheshire.

Vida Healthcare Achieves Care Certificate Approved Awarder Status Specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare has secured Care Certificate Approved Awarder status from South Yorkshire Region Education and Careers (SYREC). This certification enables Vida Healthcare to issue industry recognised Care Certificates to care professionals, allowing greater confidence in the abilities and professional standards of care throughout the region. Vida has been granted Approved Awarder status in light of its ability to demonstrate quality care and support processes, and the high quality of training

and care delivered by employees throughout its facilities. Vida Healthcare will now appear on the list of Care Certificate Approved Awarders, promoting the employer as a good example of good employment practice, and additionally evidencing to CQC and contractual partners that staff training commitments are of superior quality. Bernadette Mossman, healthcare director at Vida Healthcare, commented: “Care Certificate Approved Awarder status builds on our existing certifications to demonstrate our industry leading commitment to the delivery of exceptional care. The person centred

approach of Care Certificate Approved Awards aligns perfectly with Vida Healthcare’s approach to personalised professional development. “We are immensely proud of our variety of accreditations. In combination with our recent certification for our Positive Interventions in Dementia Care (PIDC) programme, our new status as Care Certificate Approved Awarder allows us to stand out as an employer which is committed to high standards of quality in all delivered services.”

Runwood Homes’ Residents Enjoy Trip Around the World with ‘Armchair Travel’ Theme of the Month This year, Runwood Homes launched their new Dignity Campaign, which focuses on the qualities that connect us with a different theme each month. January’s theme, ‘Armchair Travel’, celebrates the different places, cultures, and traditions around the world. Residents could choose anywhere in the world to discover, learning about their culture, cuisine, history and language, and they all had great fun doing so! Every home had access to information and activity packs for eleven different countries, put together by Kieun Kwon, Associate Director of Wellbeing and Dementia Services at Runwood Homes. James Cotton, Group Development Chef, also issued recipes for each of those eleven different countries, so that teams across the Group had access to useful resources to help make the theme come to life. Heron Court, in Brentwood, Essex, kicked off the month with a trip to Italy. Residents enjoyed cooking their own pizzas, tasting Italian biscuits and wine, and listening to the music of Dean Martin. Humfrey Lodge residents, in Thaxted, Essex, had great fun exploring France, trying out French fashion, decorating with French bunting, and eating croissants. They also watched a documentary and discussed their favourite places in France, which made a great reminiscence activity. Residents also tripped to India later in the week, wearing Saris and

enjoying a dance performed by staff members. Paul Gaskell, Director of Wellbeing & Dementia Services, was

delighted to see the success of this month’s theme, and commented: “This year, we wanted to create a Dignity Campaign which considered all aspects of resident’s lives. For each month, there are three features: a theme to focus on, a link which centres on how the theme creates connections between the people who live and work in the home, and a main event, which will aim to bring the theme of the month to life. For January, Runwood Homes Business Director, Sarah Sanders, decided on a theme to brighten up what can be a rather flat month, with ways to explore different regions of the world without leaving the comfort of their own homes. Residents and staff had lots of fun learning about other countries, tasting their foods, and listening to their music. January was certainly a lively month for Runwood Homes’ residents.” The activity proved to be a great success, with staff teams truly going above and beyond with brilliant activities to really capture the theme. Armchair Travel is an effective reminiscence activity, as many residents can look back on fond memories visiting or living in certain countries. It also builds upon imagination and creativity and promotes an engaging and inclusive environment with fun activities that help us to learn new things too!


PAGE 18 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

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.’ 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 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 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.

Getting Your Fire Safety Right Passive Fire Protection maximises the time available to evacuate a property, and or prevent a fire from taking hold in the first place but it is vital it is completed by a reputable, competent and third-party accredited company. With so much attention in the media, it is not surprising that it is attracting non-specialised contractors who, even with the best of intentions, may not be completing the works correctly. Our aim is to provide a ‘Certified Solution,’ this means the processes and materials used in the repair have been tested in front of a furnace to ensure they can provide at least the specified protection time, dependant on the requirement. Where this is not possible, we consult our suppliers to establish an ‘Engineered Solution.’ The reality of employing a non-specialising contractor is that it is quite likely the work will be identified as inadequate during a fire risk assessment or fire authority inspection. The most common indicator of non-

compliant work is the use of pink Polyurethane (PU) foam fillers. Whist the cannister instructions will give you the assurance of up to 5 hours protection, this can only be achieved with strict requirements for installation. For most common repairs these requirements cannot be met and

the product cannot be installed. It is recommended by ASFP and BMTRADA that any installations of pink foam are removed and replaced with a true fire rated alternative. We are often asked “Can I do the work myself?” As stated by the HSE, competence can be described as the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Unless suitable training has been undertaken, it is unlikely that you or your maintenance staff would be able to demonstrate competence in fire stopping works. Fire stopping is a very specialised part of the building works. We hold third party accreditation with International Fire Consultants (IFC) and are regularly audited to ensure we employ appropriate trained & competent staff, processes & procedures and only use suitable materials. We are also proud to be members of Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). We are working hard to engage with the care industry to ensure you get the best advice and workmanship to ensure your buildings are safe for residence and staff as well as being compliant with current regulations. See the advert below for further details.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 19

Over 5,000 People Enrolled In UK-Wide Study For Antivirals Over 5,000 vulnerable people have now enrolled into a world-class study for the chance to receive life-saving antivirals, the government has announced today (Wednesday 26 January 2022). This ground-breaking achievement makes the PANORAMIC study the fastest-recruiting trial of its kind ever in the UK. The significant milestone means the UK is one step closer to rolling out the innovative medicines – which are being evaluated to see if they help to reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of hospitalisation or death – more widely across the country, eventually helping to ease pressures on the NHS. Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with certain underlying health conditions can sign up to the study as soon as they receive a positive PCR or lateral flow test result. They need to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that began in the last five days to be eligible to enrol. The UK-wide PANORAMIC study, run by the University of Oxford and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the devolved administrations, now has 5,171 participants enrolled. The government, through the Antivirals Taskforce, has procured 4.98 million courses of antivirals – including 2.23 million courses of molnupiravir and 2.75 million courses of PF-07321332+ritonavir – more per head than any other country in Europe. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The UK is leading the way when it comes to antivirals and this is a landmark milestone for the deployment of these cutting-edge treatments – which will be crucial as we learn to live with the virus by keeping our most vulnerable safe if they catch it. “The PANORAMIC study is vital in helping our medical experts to

develop plans for rolling these treatments out more widely later this year. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are eligible, please sign up as soon as possible.” Earlier this week, the government, along with leading charities such as Kidney Care UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK and the British Liver Trust, put out an urgent call for at least 6,000 more participants to come forward for the treatments. This is so that scientific experts can understand more about how to deploy these treatments in the NHS more widely later in the year – including who would benefit most from them. Antivirals are medicines which can be swallowed as a pill or capsule to help treat people with COVID-19 infections. Molnupiravir, which is currently being deployed through the study, has shown to reduce this for at risk, non-hospitalised adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 30% – potentially saving thousands of lives once the drugs are available to the NHS. Professor Chris Butler, co-Chief Investigator of the PANORAMIC study, University of Oxford, said: “Despite all the amazing support already given to the PANORAMIC study, we need even more people in the early stages of their COVID illness to urgently share their experiences with us and sign-up directly through the PANORAMIC website. “This will help us rapidly find out who will benefit most from the new treatments, so they can be given to the right people when they get sick.” It is open to anyone living in the UK who meets the following criteria: Have received a positive PCR or lateral flow test for COVID-19 and feel unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 that started in the last five

days; and are aged 50 and over, or 18 to 49 years old with certain underlying medical conditions that can increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19. While vaccines remain the most important first line of defence against the virus, antivirals are used after someone contracts the virus to slow it down, make symptoms less severe and complications less common. The antiviral, molnupiravir, that is part of the PANORAMIC trial, was granted approval for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) in November 2021, and so far no unexpected safety findings have been reported in clinical trials. Alongside the PANORAMIC study, those at highest risk from the virus can access the antivirals and other COVID-19 treatments through the NHS. Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “It’s very promising to see people sign-up for this important trial and to those who have a huge thank you. But this needs to be a very large study; closer to 20,000 volunteers may be needed to get an accurate answer, so please keep coming forward if you get COVID-19 over the next few days, weeks and months. “You can make a real difference in helping us work out how best to use COVID-19 antiviral drugs for many years to come. “These drugs are already approved by the MHRA, but we need to see how much benefit they give to already vaccinated patients. “If I’m unlucky enough to get COVID-19 and meet the criteria, then I will definitely be taking part.”

Warwickshire Based Care Home Undergoes Major Refurb To Continue Its Work In Helping Resident’s Live Later Life Well A Warwickshire based care home has undergone a refurbishment to maintain and update the home in order for them to provide the best care possible for residents. MHA Homewood provides personalised residential care for our 50 residents, in purpose-built, en suite accommodation, located in the leafy suburbs of Leamington Spa. The home has recently undergone a transformation with a communal area refurbishment and the lounges, dining rooms, corridors and administration areas. In total, 15 homes across the organisation have undergone a transformation including changes to communal areas, bedrooms, kitchen and staff rooms. The refurbishments have varied depending on the size and age of the home, and costs vary from £75,000 to £600,000.

Oidhche Bhlas Burns: Hertfordshire Care Home Homes Together to Celebrate Burns Night

Staff and residents at a Hertfordshire care home came together to celebrate Burns Night last night (25th), pulling out all the stops to honour the life of Scotland’s national bard – with many of its Scottish residents embracing their heritage through the highland fling! To celebrate the man who created timeless poems such as Auld Lang Syne, To A Mouse and Tam O’Shanter, residents and staff at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, collectively indulged in a Burnsinspired supper, which included a traditional Scottish menu.

The main dish was, of course, centred around Haggis, which was served alongside neeps and tatties – a combination of mashed turnips and mashed potatoes, while a dram of whiskey was thrown over the haggis to help wash down the crumbly sausage. In typical Scottish fashion, a bag-piper was arranged to play in the patio area facing into the Orangery at Foxholes, which took place upon the serving of the haggis. For dessert, residents were served clootie dumpling – a sweet treat fusion of carrot cake and fruit cake. Some residents even dabbled in deep fried mars bars! After eating, the festivities continued with a traditional Highland Fling dance routine led by Adele Querelle, Activity Co-ordinator at Foxholes, before a recital of Burns’ works was performed in tribute to the Bard, which was read by resident, Hilmar Warenius. A poet himself, Hilmar, 80, said: “I may not be Scottish, but my heart is in it. Robbie Burns addresses that wonderful thing called haggis, which was served on our plates!” Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “Burns Night was another great way to bring all of our residents together and keep spirits high throughout another challenging winter period. It’s important that we respect and celebrate our residents’ cultures, so it was nice that we could help bring a bit of home to our four Scottish ladies in what proved to be a special occasion.”

James Falvey, home manager said: “The refurbishment has helped to modernise the home and make it more welcoming and attractive for not only residents, but visitors and staff members. “Here at MHA Homewood we are all very impressed with the recent changes and they have been well received by all our residents and staff members. “It's great to see the level of support shown by MHA in making sure the home environment is even more welcoming for all residents. MHA prides itself on providing quality care and the refurbishment is just one of the ways we invest in our homes to make sure we meet our own high standards.” Resident Peter Bourne said: “I was struck the moment I walked in, with how everything was so stylish and modern. I was so impressed with how clean & tidy the home is.”


PAGE 20 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

Seeing the Same GP Improves Treatment for People with Dementia, Study Finds People with dementia who see the same GP each time have lower rates of health complications and fewer emergency hospital admissions, according to a new study. The research, led by the University of Exeter and published in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) analysed more than 9,000patient records of people diagnosed with dementia in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. The team found that people with dementia who were consistently seen by the same GP over the course of one year were given fewer medicines and were less likely to be given medicines that can cause problems like incontinence, drowsiness and falls. Those seeing the same GP over time were 35 per cent less likely to develop delirium, a state of confusion commonly experienced in dementia. Those who consistently saw the same GP were also 58 per cent less likely to experience incontinence, and almost ten per cent less likely to have an emergency hospitalisation, compared to those who had the most variation in GPs treating them. The research was conducted in anonymised patient records of people with dementia aged 65 and over in 2016, who were followed-up for one year. This study includes people who visited a GP at least three times in the previous year. Lead author Dr João Delgado, of the University of Exeter, said: “The number of people with dementia has been rising steadily and it is now one of the leading causes of death in the UK. In the absence of a cure,

long-term care is particularly important. Treating people with dementia can be complex, because it often occurs together with other common diseases. Our research shows that seeing the same general practitioner consistently over time is associated with improved safe prescribing and improved health outcomes. This could have important healthcare impacts, including reduced treatment costs and care needs.”

Delirium (an episode of more severe confusion) is common in dementia, and patients who develop delirium are more likely to die. Delirium and incontinence are very distressing for individuals, and require additional NHS resource. Extra hospital admissions are a high cost for the NHS. Sir Denis Pereira Gray, co-author and GP researcher at the St Leonard’s Practice, said: “These new findings show that GP continuity is associated with important benefits for patients. Whilst national policy makers have for years discouraged continuity, general practices can still provide good GP continuity through their internal practice organisation, for example, by using personal lists.” Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: “For the 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, it’s likely dementia isn’t the only condition they’re getting treatment for. “It’s clear from this study that consistently seeing the same GP has real benefits for people living with dementia – better management and treatment of conditions, and lower risk of complications like delirium and incontinence, leading to improved quality of life. “The pandemic has put GP services under immense pressure, so while we might not be able to get consistent GP care for everyone with dementia tomorrow, policymakers should absolutely be working with the NHS to build this into their plans as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Creative New Talent At Bridgwater Dementia Home The team at Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater has been boosted with the arrival of a new recruit, Ewa Kuwalek, whose specialism in creative arts is adding a new dimension to the therapeutic activities on offer to residents. Activities team leader, Lisa Priddice, said: “Ewa is a natural fit – it was immediately obvious how wonderful it would be for our residents living with dementia to benefit from her skills and experience in care. “Her contributions enable us to add new engaging activities to those we were already providing, which all go towards further improving their quality of life.” Ewa Kuwalek has come to Avalon after qualifying with a post-graduate diploma as an art therapist in her native Poland. She has spent 18 years working in a daycare centre leading workshops for people with disabilities and the elderly, providing social and health rehabilitation through art.

Ewa said: “I offer a very wide range of activities and try to use new therapeutic methods with lots of different materials. I use felt, various paper textures, pastels, watercolour paints and many others. “We also combine art activities with music. “I have loads of ideas for future activities, including the use of clay, and I know from experience how these creative activities can help people improve their self-esteem, wellbeing, form friendships and find new goals for life, whatever their situation. “Lisa, our colleague Tash and I make a great team, and we have fantastic support from our manager Jess, who is very open-minded to new ideas.” Avalon Nursing Home is run by award-winning specialist dementia care provider Camelot Care who run other homes in Wellington and Plymouth.

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, all-inone 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 armchair, a wheelchair, or in bed. In doing so, many of the associated risks of attending outpatient

appointments can be avoided. “The familiar surroundings is what really makes her comfortable…every time we mention the hospital to her, it’s no, no I’m not going to the hospital. So having it looked after here and having some people that understand what the problem with the ear is, is a great thing for me.” – Son of TLC Care Resident Delivering this service not only helps to provide an extra level of care for residents but offers a unique upskilling opportunity for care home staff. TLC team members were directly trained by TympaHealth, who are a team of Audiology and ENT experts. Once signed off, TLC team members are empowered to deliver this service to their residents. What’s more they are accredited by ENT UK, The British Society of Audiology (BSA) and The British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA). Arguably, the most important part of this in-house service is the

“remote review” feature. If required, TLC team members can call upon 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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 21

Care Home Rules in Wales Eased The government in Wales has announced it is easing the restrictions on visiting in care homes as Wales moves to alert level zero. The relaxation of the rules means visitors and residents will no longer have to wear face masks when they see each other. There will also be reduced testing for residents and staff. Residents will no longer need to test on their return to the home after going out on a trip outside the home. First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "We have passed the peak of this omicron wave and there are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise. But we all need to continue taking steps to stay safe – unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet. "We are moving to alert level 0 and we will retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places and risk assessments. "We can do this thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales and the remarkable success of our vaccine and booster programmes. Thank you all." However although the government has

announced the restrictions need to ease, Mario Kreft of Care Forum Wales revealed that as care homes are not insured against Covid-19, some of them may choose not to follow the guidance. He said: “What we are seeing is an opening up of the care sector. We can’t just do it with visitors without looking at other aspects. “It isn’t quite as straight-forward as it would seem when you are trying to keep people safe.” A Welsh government spokesman said: “The updated guidance emphasises the need for people to be supported to have visitors and to go out from care homes in a risk-managed way. “More routine visiting into and out of care homes may now continue during some outbreaks, depending on public health advice for the specific outbreak. “In response to the Omicron wave regular testing for health and social care staff was increased to before every shift. “With case rates on the decline, the move back to alert level zero and the protection the booster programme has provided, we will now recommend reverting back to twice weekly lateral flow testing and, for care home staff, weekly PCR tests.”

Evelyn May House Care Home Celebrates a Special 101st Birthday The team at Evelyn May House Care Home were thrilled to be able to plan some very special birthday celebrations for Claire, who turned 101 this week! The home, in Langdon Hills, Essex, love to celebrate such special occasions and so when Claire’s birthday came around, staff worked hard to make sure that her day was as special as can be. Wellbeing Leads, Danielle and Dawn, organised a surprise party, decorating their lounge, arranging delicious food platters and making sure all of Claire’s friends at the home were present to take part in the celebrations. Evelyn May House’s Chef, Eric, made a lovely birthday cake and the party

food too. Claire enjoyed opening her presents and cards from her family. She said she really did have a lovely day and it was a pleasant surprise. Home Manager, Dan Elder, commented: “The team worked tirelessly to make sure that Claire celebrated her 101st birthday surrounded by those who care for her most. At Evelyn May House, we love to celebrate one another’s special milestones, achievements and anniversaries. Marking such days help to create such a welcoming and warm environment, where everyone can feel like part of a family.”

MSD Independent - Government Fully Funded VRQ / NCFE Qualifications

MSD Independent offer market-leading fully funded Courses for a wide range of Certificated Health and Social Care qualifications. The Courses that MSD supply are Government fully funded courses, supplied at no cost to yourselves or your staff. In effect free Training. In line with Government funding eligibility, candidates must be aged over 19 years old and they must have resided in the EU/UK for the last three years.Candidates cannot be on an Apprenticeship. If aged between 19 and 23 they must already hold a level 2 qualification.

"I have enrolled my staff onto the distance learning training via MSDIndependent for many years now and have found the service, support and convenience of Mark and his employees excellent. These courses have been a great source of knowledge to my staff and they have found that when working out in the field they have had a better knowledge and understanding of the job role. I would recommend MSDIndependent to any companies that wish to improve their skills " Helen Blunden Bloomfield Care "I have had the opportunity to work with MSD Independent for a few years now, sourcing distance learning courses to assist my staff team improve their knowledge, and maintain their CPD hours. Prior to Covid restrictions, Mark would make the journey to hold face to face meetings with learners, which helped if they were a little anxious, as his kind nature put them at ease. During the last year Mark has supported us virtually, assisting the team to develop their knowledge throughout this difficult time. I have always found Mark very supportive and maintains regular contact with me on progress/concerns or just to keep me up to date with any new developments for training/funding. Highly recommend MSD Independent to assist with your training needs." Jan Mearns HR/ Training & Development Manager Visit the website at www.msdindependent.com or see the advert for further details.

Fully Funded Nationally 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.

Learners are able to further their own continuous professional

development which may also improve their career prospects and

can then progress on to further qualifications in Health & Social 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




PAGE 24 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

Campaign Launches To Inspire Young People To Take Up Careers In Social Care Working Options in Education, the national employability and life skills charity, is launching a campaign funded by the Hallmark Foundation to inspire 14-19 year olds in Essex and East London to consider a career in social care. The pandemic has disproportionately affected young people’s employment opportunities and the two organisations will be working to highlight care as one of the few sectors that is currently growing and set to continue. In recent years, vacancy rates in social care have remained higher than average (7.3% in in England) with jobs hard to fill.1 With the UK’s ageing population, the number of adult social care jobs is likely to increase by 32% to around 2.17 million jobs by 2035. 2 Funding from the Hallmark Foundation will help increase awareness of the benefits young people can gain from working in the sector. Working Options in Education has been delivering a free employability and life skills programme in state schools and colleges and online for 10 years. The new campaign will add social care professionals to the charity’s network of industry volunteers, who will be briefed to inspire and motivate 14-19 year old students in Essex and East London about opportunities in this growing and critical sector.

Rachel Roxburgh, CEO at Working Options in Education explains: “Working in care is a great option for young people, with a good choice of roles and long-term prospects. Young people want meaningful work that allows them to make an impact. Social care meets this need; the work is people-facing and there are well-founded routes to senior roles.” 1 Source: The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England (Oct 2020, Skills for Care) 2 Source: Skills for Work 2020 Stephen Burke, CEO of the Hallmark Foundation added: “With our grant of £15,000, Working Options in Education will be able to expand its successful ‘Insight from Industry’ sessions in schools and colleges in Essex and East London. They will also help us put on a national conference about the social care sector and career opportunities within it. “Young people are increasingly looking for careers that make a difference in our society – and they can definitely do that with the wide range of opportunities working in care.” If your school or business is interested in getting involved in this programme, then please contact Claire.mcmaster@workingoptions.org.uk.

Care Home Team Go the Extra Mile to Raise Over £2,500 on Behalf of Colleague Diagnosed with Cancer Care home staff collectively ran 900 miles across January, raising thousands of pounds towards stem cell transplants on behalf of a colleague diagnosed with blood cancer. The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes in Bocking installed treadmills to help 30 team members run 30 miles each, raising more than £2,500 in sponsorship and gift aid donations for Anthony Nolan, the stem cell donation charity. Jane Sadowski, Manager of The New Deanery, who inspired staff to take up Anthony Nolan’s ‘Zero to Hero’ challenge, said: “I can’t begin to tell you how humbled I feel for the achievements made by our staff for an organisation who do so much good. “The team have once again surpassed themselves. Because of them, many people will be given a fighting chance against cancer.” Teams from both homes, which are part of Sonnet Care Homes, wanted to show their support for Jane after she was diagnosed with blood cancer towards the end of last year. Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse discovered Anthony Nolan’s Zero to Hero challenge and received interest from every department,

“We were also joined by two family members, our local vicar, Father Rod Reid from St Mary’s Church; our Finance Director Jo Moore and our CEO Julia Clinton.” Jo created a JustGiving page with a £1,000 goal which was passed within the first two weeks of the challenge, with sponsors ranging from friends and family to care home residents and their relatives. Every staff member was able to run 30 miles in January by using the treadmills at work and organising routes in their spare time, helping raise over £2,500. One team member, Nikki Wheeler, even decided to run 30 miles every week in January. The amount raised will be enough to add 63 potential new donors to the stem cell register through Anthony Nolan. including housekeepers, carers, nurses and kitchen staff. Jo said: “Some people were understandably nervous about reaching their 30-mile targets, but team spirit took over and everyone gave it their all.

Jane concluded: “Thank you seems feeble. My gratitude knows no bounds but my pride in this exceptional team reaches new heights. “God bless you all who give me the strength to fight on when I thought nothing could inspire me to do so.”

Bagpipes and Irn-Bru for Lanarkshire Care Home Residents on Burns Night Cathy Togneri, Service Manager at Beechwood Care Home said:

Burns Night returned with a bang to Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw, as staff members came together to organise a festive day in honour of Robert Burns. Local musician, Hayden McAvoy, visited the home to play a rendition of ‘Flower of Scotland’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ on the bagpipes. The home’s ‘Fit-Baw’ exercise instructors, Paul Mooney and Seamus Duggan, led a gentle activity session during the day, while staff and residents enjoyed freshly baked, bright green cupcakes, shortbread and plenty of Irn-Bru. Residents Trisha Dunn and Cathy Hillock recited the ‘Address to a Haggis’ at supper, followed by residents raising a dram of whisky to the National Bard.

“Burns Night is always a lively celebration in the home for us, even last year when a lockdown tried to dampen the festivities. Our team always goes above and beyond to care for our residents, and it’s never more obvious than when they’ve got giant smiles on their faces from all the fun and games.” Helen Miller, Activities Coordinator at Beechwood Care Home said: “It’s always a great day in the home, but this year Burns Night was a real morale boost. I love watching them get up to dance or join in on the singing – it shows the benefits of the activities work and that we’re really engaging the residents.”

Snowdrop Place Shortlisted in Prestigious Pinders Healthcare Design Awards Frontier Estates and Barchester Healthcare are delighted to be shortlisted in the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2022. The Pinders Healthcare Design Awards recognise excellence in the long-term care and independent living sectors. This year the categories have been updated to recognise the large teams involved in creating successful care spaces. Property developer Frontier Estates and care operator Barchester Healthcare’s scheme, Snowdrop Place in Botley, Southampton, was shortlisted in the Best Architectural Design category by a panel of specialist judges includinghealthcare architects, interior designers, valuers, lenders and operators. Both teams have worked closely together to develop and build the outstanding new care home which opened in July 2021 and provides bespoke person-centred residential, dementia and respite care in stunning surroundings. Resident well-being is at the heart of Barchester Healthcare and Snowdrop Place offers a café for socialising and enjoying freshly-baked treats, spa bathrooms for a luxury bath time experience, beautiful en-suite bedrooms with smart TVs, a choice of comfortable lounges, a dedicated activities room, a cinema for an authentic movie experience, and an in-house hair and beauty

salon for a little bit of pampering. Sam Rous, Development Director and Head of Healthcare for Frontier Estates said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for Best Architectural Design at the prestigious Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2022. As a developer and not an operator it is vitally

important we provide the best possible design and quality within our finished homes. We listen to our operating partners and focus on building homes that exceed expectations and deliver first class care with the help of bespoke design solutions. “Developing care homes for care operators has become a core focus of our business and we have built a passionate and hardworking team to procure well-designed, innovative, unique and beautiful homes for our care partners.” Grant Jensen, Senior Property Development Manager from Barchester Healthcare commented: “Snowdrop Place is an exceptional home in a beautiful location that offers a superb quality of life for our residents. We are incredibly proud that it has been shortlisted for the Pinders design awards. It was a fantastic project to work on with Frontier Estates, we couldn’t be happier with the finished result and neither could our residents, which is what really matters to us.” When the shortlist was announced the judges said: “Great thought and attention to detail have been employed at Snowdrop Place in delivering a spacious 60 bedroom care facility with an excellent layout and styling.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 25

Kingston University Social Care Students Develop Skills to Support People with Dementia Kingston University has launched a project to give health and social care students the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge by supporting people living with dementia. The Special Interest Group (SIG) is being led by senior lecturer in social work Maria Brent and aims to raise awareness of dementia and provide students with volunteering opportunities in the local community, which will benefit them both professionally and personally, as well as supporting those living with dementia and their families and carers.

The University is working with partners, including Kingston Hospital, the local Alzheimer’s Society and a number of care homes, to give students learning opportunities where they can spend quality time with someone with dementia. Seeing the person and not just their diagnosis is something Mrs Brent feels passionately about in helping develop students’ knowledge. “On placements, students are often focused on their clinical or assessment skills. Although these are important, for me the volunteering opportunities are about how students can develop their personcentred skills and wider learning opportunities with our partners and build relationships so they can spend time with a person living with dementia, looking behind the diagnosis to hear their voice,” she said. Mrs Brent leads on this area within her department and was motivated for the idea for a Special Interest Group after caring for her mother, who had dementia. “It was powerful for me watching care staff with my mother, who took some time to ask how she was. They didn’t rush her and let her find her words so they could find out more about her and her story. This really had a positive impact on her mood and behaviour,” she said. After experiencing how dementia can affect lives, Mrs Brent is hoping to eventually offer the different volunteering opportunities to all

staff and students at Kingston, having already had interest from nursing, social work and business students. “Dementia doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone. It’s all about learning those little tips that make such a difference – like asking someone if they enjoyed their breakfast instead of quizzing them on what they had, because these specific questions can be stressful for people living with dementia. It’s all about using simple, basic tools to help support those living with this challenging condition the as best we can,” she said. “Local care homes really want to work with us and provide volunteering opportunities for our students and we want to develop these further to raise the profile and awareness of dementia. Kingston Hospital is also on board and the local library service runs dementia singing groups which would be great for our students and staff to get involved with – it’s all about supporting people with dementia and building a supportive dementia friendly community,” she said. The project is a culmination of five years of work that Mrs Brent has been involved in and has seen the University run several events including hosting an educational theatre production called ‘Grandma, Remember Me?’ And, more recently, an Elf Day before Christmas where staff dressed up as elves and raised more than £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Southgate Care Home Celebrates Chinese New Year Staff and residents at Hugh Myddelton House in Southgate welcomed in the Year of the Tiger with a day of celebrations and activities. Inspired by Chinese culture and traditions, lucky red envelopes were exchanged and the home was decorated with hanging red lanterns. Residents learnt all about the traditions and superstitions of Chinese New Year and made lovely Chinese lanterns. Our Head Chef Christopher Abrigo cooked up an oriental feast for lunch and residents enjoyed the delicious food washed down with pots of Chinese tea. Ramona Stanciu, General Manager of Barchester’s Hugh Myddelton

House said: “We have had a brilliant day, the home looks absolutely wonderful decorated all in red and we all had such fun finding out what animal we are, the associated traits and reading each other’s horoscopes. The residents loved watching videos of traditional lion and dragon dances too. John a resident at Hugh Myddelton House said: “I loved the music, the vibrant costumes and learning about the Chinese Zodiac animal traits. A person born in the Year of the Tiger is said to be fiery, passionate, daring and fearless. I find it fascinating to learn all about different traditions.”

Romsey Nursing Home CEO Welcomes Ease of COVID Restrictions The CEO of Sears Healthcare, which runs Durban House nursing home in Romsey, has welcomed the news that covid restrictions on social care will be eased from Monday. The government has announced that from Monday 31st January, there will no longer be a limit on the number of visitors allowed at care homes, self-isolation periods will be cut, and care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, not 28. Richard Adams, Sears Healthcare CEO, has said the change in law is the news that residents and staff alike have been waiting for. He said: “With residents now able to see friends and family as they please, the positive effect they receive from human contact, can now be reintroduced. “The mental health and wellbeing of all our residents and staff is our utmost priority, and after what has been a very challenging two years, this ease of restrictions is welcome news.” Richard goes on to say that for those living with dementia especially,

contact with others for their mental wellbeing, as well as to maintain life skills, is paramount. He added: “Social and emotional connections have huge benefits to our mental health, and this is vital for those living with dementia, assisting to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as supporting cognition, speech, and memory.” The care home leader also highlights the need for a period of adjustment however and is ensuring other measures stay in place for the time being. He said: “All our staff will continue to use PPE and will still be taking lateral flow tests before their shifts. “This is likely to be the next thing to be changed in the near future, but it is sensible to take things step by step as we look to put a difficult couple of years behind us.” The ease of restrictions in care homes is the latest rolling back of Plan B curbs in England.

Tasty Treats as Care Home Residents Celebrate Burns Night Residents of Colten Care homes across the south have celebrated Burns Night in fine style with poetry, quizzes and traditional Scottish delicacies. Haggis, neeps and tatties were on the menu for homemade lunches and suppers, all in honour of the world famous 18th century bard Robert Burns. At Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown, Dorset, team members dressed in tartan and began the day with poetry readings and a quiz about Burns trivia. Residents could then opt for lunch in the dining room or take advantage of a ‘haggis trolley service’ enabling those who preferred to dine in their bedroom to take part. It featured a platter of haggis, neeps and tatties specially prepared and cooked by Amberwood House Head Chef Gary Parsons.

Staff brought the mobile meals while carrying small saltires, the blue and white diagonal cross that is Scotland’s national flag. Companionship Team member Rebecca Osborne said: “Recipients of our room-to-room trolley service had the pleasure of being served by a lovely new Scottish waitress wearing a dodgy hat, doing a highland fling and singing ‘Donald Where’s your Troosers’. “We continued the Scottish theme by letting our hair down later in the day for a rousing rendition of ‘My Bonny Lies over the Ocean’.” Resident and proud Scot Wilma Millett said: “We were all happy to celebrate, enjoy the fun and sample the haggis.”


PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

Hertfordshire Care Home Resident Publishes Book to Mark National Storytelling Week With this week (January 29th – February 4th) marking National Storytelling Week (NSW), a Hertfordshire care home has shared the incredible story of one of its residents, whose transition into the home has helped facilitate and reignite his life-long love of writing, resulting in the release of his first book of poetry and musings. Self-proclaimed bookworm and author, Hilmar Warenius, 80, has utilised his lockdown experiences at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, as the motivation that helped him fulfil a childhood ambition. Used as an exercise to boost positive wellbeing and mental stimulation, Hilmar recently took turns sharing his sonnets with other residents to mark NSW. Titled ‘Smidgens of Verse’, the former doctor and scientist’s book of short poems include themes of love, loss and the passage of time. The diverse catalogue of reflective writing ranges from a hymn about a hated seagull to thoughts on the role of modern science and the deep intuition in explaining the nature of the world we find ourselves in. Reflecting on key elements of his life, which includes several memoirs to his late wife, whom he shared 44 years of marriage, Hilmar has contributed 47 pages of reflective poems, which stem from his fascination with interpersonal communication. Hilmar arrived at the family-run home in 2021, having wanted a change of setting after a prolonged period of isolation throughout the nation’s first official lockdown. Having sold his house and yearning for a sense of community, Hilmar quickly rediscovered his passion for writing in a supportive and thriving environment that he

now proudly calls home. Recounting the motivation behind his array of poems and musings, Hilmar said: “These short poems arose spontaneously in my mind within minutes of certain experiences. Recently, they have been reflective lockdown-evoked poems. Others are from earlier times and particularly, a wonderful wife who transformed my life for 44 years and left a grief-filled chasm when she died.” The multi-talented writer also puzzled over the relationship with God, scientific explanations of existence, and even toyed with ideas about artificial intelligence. He continued: “I hope that these short ‘smidgens’ will provide ideas and feelings to share and discuss, and maybe even trigger dreamy thoughts in the reader’s mind.” Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “Hilmar is an individual who has truly lived an extraordinary and wonderful life, so we’re extremely proud to have played a part in him achieving a life-long ambition. Being a familyrun home, it’s important to us that we help empower our residents and make them feel right at home when they join our extended family. We’re pleased our strong sense of connection and community has helped facilitate Hilmar’s incredible achievement of seeing his life’s experiences published for all to read, and we’re all just so proud of him.” Hilmar’s eagerly anticipated memoirs is also to be completed this year, and will soon be made available for the public to buy. More to be announced in due course.

Major Construction Completes at Leading Notts Dementia Care Home CONSTRUCTIONhascompleted at leading dementiacarespecialistsChurch Farm Care’s Rusticushomein Cotgrave– makingits vision of expanding its revolutionary model ofdementia careto include this latest location a reality. From alterations to the internal layout of the existing building as well as the construction of brand-new elements of the site, the development will support family members living at the home to enjoy greater independence and quality of life. Patrick Atkinson, directorof Church Farm Care,said: “Seeing the site develop, from initial concepts through to delivery,has been incredibly exciting and we’re thrilled to finally be able to open the doors, not just to our family members but also to the local community. “There’s no arguing that the past few years have beenchallengingforallofourstaff and familymembersdue totheongoingCovid-19 pandemic.So being able to celebrate Rusticus’ completionis extremely rewardingand a fantastic way to start the new year.” The completed phase has seen the addition of Hickling Lodge,a state of the art30 -bedroomstandalonebuilding with new lounges and

dard. Patrick added: “The location of Rusticus also makes a huge difference to our family members, as the surrounding woodlands help to create a sense of calm and tranquility. Everyone is looking forward to enjoying the outdoors and the walk-throughaviary when spring arrives. Meanwhile, those who don’t want to venture too far will be able to benefit from bedrooms and lounges that all have views and access to outdoor patios and balconies to take in the beautiful woodland scenery. “Ourplans for thisextensionweren’tjust about creating more comfortable and accessible environmentsfor our family membersbutwere alsoabout helping toensure they remain an integral part ofthe community through features that bring the public into thehome.After two years in and out of lockdowns this has never been more important, lifestyle kitchens that are furnishedandequipped to the highest stan-

and we can’t wait to be able to welcome people in the months to come.”

Interns Continue their Mission EmployAble with Barchester at Chorleywood Beaumont Care Community The exciting partnership launched last year between local charity Mission EmployAble and care home provider Barchester Healthcare at Chorleywood Beaumont Care Community is continuing at pace. Six deserving interns were successful in securing a place on the sought-after supported internship through Buckinghamshire College Group; a program aimed to assist young people aged 19-25 with learning disabilities to gain paid work. Led by Mission EmployAble’s Training Manager Cassandra Langham, the interns are getting to grips with their on the job training. The New Year has commenced with gusto as the Mission EmployAble interns take on new work challenges at Chorleywood Beaumont and beyond. Tasks such as using more technical equipment and multi-step tasks with reduced need for supervision have been some of the achievements for Aaron, Rory, Krzysztof, Joe, Leo and Conor. Of course this would not be possible without the support and mentoring of the Chorleywood Beaumont staff. Rory says the learning atmosphere created by the kitchen staff is: "Supportive and fun, but at the same

time they give me clear feedback about how I am doing which helps me to learn." Conor adds that Activities Co-ordinator Helen: "Always takes the time to show me all the parts of her job, even though at times she is quite busy. I appreciate the effort that she shows me in being my mentor and giving feedback about my work supporting the residents during activities." Half of the students have now achieved their Level 2 Food Safety Certificates and are making inroads with their Employability as well as Foundational Maths and English Modules. "Our next step is to extend the students in their work experience at Beaumont Chorleywood and begin to provide them other experiences within the local community in order to bolster their understanding of their target jobs,” comments Cassandra. General Manager of Chorleywood Beaumont, Nick Wrapson, said: “Mission EmployAble is a fantastic scheme and we are delighted our six interns are doing so well at Chorleywood Beaumont Care Community. It is wonderful to watch them progress and gain the skills needed to help them secure paid employment.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 27

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

MOWOOT II Combats Chronic Constipation MOWOOT II is a revolutionary non-invasive and nonpharmacological solution to chronic constipation. Developed by a team of medical professionals, MOWOOT II delivers gentle abdominal massage that speeds up intestinal transit in people with chronic constipation. Clinically proven and free from side-effects, MOWOOT II Chronic Constipation Therapy System fights constipation effectively, safely and comfortably without laxatives, enemas or colon cleansing supplements. Comfortable during use, MOWOOT II treats and manages chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease as well as helps to combat medication-related constipation issues. MOWOOT II also fights chronic constipation in 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 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. In just 10 to 20 minutes per day of abdominal massage with MOWOOT II, significant improvements were

noted only days after the first treatment, whilst regular applications of MOWOOT II delivered 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

Skills, Knowledge, and Confidence Delivered Online Covid19 reminded us all just how important the NHS and care home staff are to our society. We are grateful for their hard work and bravery, and feel honoured to support them through our Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. Working in the care sector is certainly demanding, so our objective is to make it convenient and straightforward for workers to upskill and acquire confidence in the process. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory

quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to equip staff with highly-relevant skills and knowledge so they can tackle new challenges or progress in their career. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and spread of infection’ and ‘Infection control and prevention’ – were very popular during the pandemic. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager, or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on info@lasersys.co.uk or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on page 11.

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

C&S Seating Ltd is 30 Years Old! Since 1991, C&S Seating have provided postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide and supply regularly to the NHS. With 9 different sizes of TRolls 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 – Available in two sizes and ideal when more control of the abducted

lower limb is required, which has removable side cushions and middle pommel. Our popular and vibrant range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard Waterproof rolls. Ideal for the colder seasons and can also fit snug over our waterproof rolls for maximum protection and comfort. 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.

Immersive Music Experiences for Care Homes Music can be an incredible tool for enhancing the quality of life and for evoking memories in people living with dementia and sensory impairments. At Silent Memories we provide wireless headset packages for care homes, providing a completely unique sensory audio experience for residents.

WHY USE HEADSETS?

Create a fully immersive experience through the power of headsets, helping develop a deeper sense of coherence, communication, and stimulation. The headsets contain 3 channels meaning 3 different types of music can be set up at the same time to cater for a range of musical tastes. Think meandering along to Mozart on channel 1, swinging to Vera Lynn on channel 2 or rocking out to Elvis Presley on channel 3! By playing familiar tracks through headsets, memories and feelings can be stimulated. Music can be carefully chosen by loved ones and care workers to really enhance the experience for residents.

KEEP ON MOVING!

Care homes using Silent Memories have noted a distinct increase in engagement, animation, and stimulation amongst residents. Using headsets allows them to opt in or out of the sessions. The sessions 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 their own rooms.

WHAT THE CARE HOMES SAY...

"I have been astounded by the positive affects holding a ‘Silent Disco’ has had on my clients. Silent Memories have played within our care home setting and we have been surprised at the way in which the impact of intimate, personal music, especially tailored to clients, has engaged the most static, distant clients and really ‘brought them back to life’, and brought obvious pleasure and joy to many others.

Briony Sloan - Homecroft, Bradford Please contact the team at Silent Noize to find out how we can help improve the quality of living for your residents. info@silentnoizeevents.com, call 0203 727 5382 or visit www.silentnoizeevents.com/silentmemories See the advert on page 15.

Renray Healthcare Renray Healthcare has been producing high quality furniture for over 50 years and is one of the UK’s largest and leading suppliers to the healthcare sector. Whether you require a fast efficient delivery of quality furniture or a full room installation and fitting service, we have the experience and resources to handle your contract. We manufacture and assemble our products in our own purpose built factories in Cheshire and Europe to British Standards. Hence we are able to ensure your furniture is produced to the highest quality, working with you to plan and meet your projects time schedule and budget. We understand you are purchasing furniture that is fit for purpose, stylish and will continue to perform well into the future, which is why we design and build our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456,

Email: info@renrayhealthcare.com, www.renrayhealthcare.com or see the advert on page 3 for details.

Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” 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.

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. Visit www.cashslabels.com or see the advert on page 29.


PAGE 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

CATERING FOR CARE You Are What You Eat: Chef With Michelin-Star Experience Embeds Person-Centred Meal Times In Care Home By Ross Baxter, Chef at Exemplar Health Care (www.exemplarhc.com) For many of us, mealtimes are an important part of daily routine. They’re often much more than satisfying our appetite - they give us the chance to sit down with loves ones and catch up on the day’s events. And that’s no different for people who live in care homes. A good dining experience helps to increase nutritional intake and enhance social interaction. Ross Baxter is the head chef at Exemplar Health Care’s Tyne Grange care home in Newcastleupon-Tyne. He joined the home at the start of 2021, switching from a role in the hospitality sector. Ross’s previous experience at a luxury resort has helped him to embed a person-centred approach to meal times in the home. His commitment to promoting choice and providing nutritious meals that meet people’s dietary needs, earned Ross a win in the ‘Care Home Chef’ category at the 2021 North East Great British Care Awards regional finals. Here, Ross explains his journey from the hospitality industry to the care sector and how he’s changed meal times at the care home to promote choice and independence which leads to overall improved health and well-being for the residents.

A FRESH START I joined the team at Tyne Grange in 2021 after seven years as a chef in the hospitality industry.

I was inspired to make the move from the hospitality sector to the care sector because of my mother, who lived in care home. When I visited her, I saw the impact that food has on those living in care homes, and it struck me that I had the capabilities to make a difference in people’s lives with my cooking. I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful with my skills, so this was an extremely important factor for me to consider when making such a move. My past experience saw me working under the guidance of a head chef who had experience in Michelin star restaurants. I am always grateful to him for his mentorship and for teaching me my current skillset. Through working at luxury resorts and hotels, I have gained experience of creating delicious and luxurious meals, based on what customers want. When starting at Tyne Grange, I thought that the meals should be no different to the top-tier quality that I had been producing in my previous role. While I knew that working in the care sector would be different than working in a restaurant, I wanted to provide a restaurant-style experience for residents, and this is what I have done at Tyne Grange.

IMPORTANCE OF CHOICE Tyne Grange supports 20 adults living with complex care needs. Our approach to care focuses on supporting people to maximise their independence, build their everyday living skills and live their best life! In the catering team, we promote choice and independence at meal times, as much as possible. We have set up our mealtimes to replicate a restaurant-style environment. Our meal times span an hour and a half which gives people ample time to come and enjoy their meal without feeling they’re stuck to a regimented schedule. This makes the environment and experience more relaxing. Our colleagues provide hostess service, taking people’s orders and

serving their meals and drinks - just as would be done in a restaurant. The menu consists of two choices and a third ‘weekly special’ which is chosen by our residents. We develop our menu based on feedback from weekly meetings. We have an open and transparent culture in which we listen to people’s thoughts and feedback, and use it to make meaningful change. This ensures that our menu is based on what people like and enjoy! We have designed menus on each table, as well as a menu board, so people know their choices. We also produce menus in different formats, such as using coloured graphics and images, to meet people’s communication needs. We make all the food fresh to order and have a choice of handmade desserts to follow. If someone doesn’t want what’s on the menu that day, we ask them what they’d like and do our best to accommodate their request. We’re proud that our approach to meal times has people at the heart of it. I take great pride in cooking healthy and comfortable food that people love! I’m so glad that I chose to start a career in social care. It’s extremely rewarding and I’m glad that I can use my skills to make a difference to people’s lives.

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE? Exemplar Health Care is a leading provider of specialist nursing care in England. It has over 35 specialist care homes across England, and growing. For more information visit www.exemplarhc.com. The company is recruiting for several roles across its homes including Kitchen Assistants, Chefs and Catering Managers. Visit the careers section of the website to find out more: www.exemplarhc.com/careers/job-search

It's Made For You - Texture Modified Meals

Written by Consultant Allied Health Professionals for It’s Made for You: Caroline Hill, Registered Dietitian Sandra Robinson, Independent Speech and Language Therapist & Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner Texture modified foods are often recommended by speech and language therapists for people with dysphagia. Whilst there may be some people for whom this reduces the risk of aspiration pneumonia, for many the reason for this compensatory measure is to reduce the risk of choking. Evidence demonstrates that the risk of choking on solids increases with age. This is for people with and without dysphagia. The number of care home residents living with dysphagia is between 50 to 75%, those with dementia up to 57% and those following a stroke up to 78%. There is often some confusion between what constitutes a coughing fit and choking. Choking is defined as occurring when you cannot breathe, cough or make any noise. People over 65 have seven times higher risk for choking on food than children aged 1–4 years. After falls, choking on food presents as the second highest cause of preventable death in aged care. A diagnosis of pneumonitis is positively correlated with increased risks associated with choking on food. Foods that are fibrous, hard, firm, stringy, chewy, sticky, dry, crumbly, crunchy or shaped in such a way that they can occlude the airway (round or long) pose a choking risk. Foods that are consistently associated with choking and reported on autopsy findings include; • meat especially on the bone • bread • sandwiches • toast • raw vegetables • crackers/rice cakes • hard boiled sweets • whole grapes • nuts and seeds • chewing gum • cheese chunks Sufficient stamina is needed to prepare the solids bolus for swallowing, with bite-sized pieces of meat

and bread requiring more than 20 chewing strokes per bolus. This highlights how important it is that the many people with dysphagia need safe texture modified food, however it is prepared. It’s Made for You provide a range of 80 delicious frozen meals and desserts for people with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Their meals comply with IDDSI Framework guidelines ensuring each meal can be prepared and enjoyed safely and with peace of mind. Prepared quickly in a microwave or oven, It’s Made For You can really help make mealtimes delicious, nutritious and easy. To find out more www.itsmadeforyou.co.uk. As a speech and language therapist, Sandra recommends the It’s Made for You Range as this provides people on IDDSI diets with an increased choice of delicious meals, which significantly reduce the risks of choking. This means that mealtimes are far more pleasant and enjoyable. As a registered dietitian, Caroline recognises that up to 50% of people with dysphagia are at risk of malnutrition. She recommends the It’s Made for You Range to ensure the provision of an adequate nutritional intake whilst consuming a safe and appetising textured modified diet.

References: Carrión S, Roca M, Costa A, Arreola V, Ortega O, Palomera E, Serra-Prat M, Cabré M, Clavé P. Nutritional status of older patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia in a chronic versus an acute clinical situation. Clin Nutr. 2017 Aug;36(4):11101116. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.07.009. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID: 27499393. CE Safety. 2019. Report: The Un-Usual Suspects – Main Causes of Choking Deaths in the UK 2019. Online at: https://cesafety.co.uk/choking-deaths-report2019/ [Accessed May 2021] Cichero, J., 2018. Age-Related Changes to Eating and Swallowing Impact Frailty: Aspiration, Choking Risk, Modified Food Texture and Autonomy of Choice. Geriatrics 3, 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040069 Kramarow, E., Warner, M., Chen, L.-H., 2014. Food-related choking deaths among the elderly. Inj Prev 20, 200. https://doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2013040795 RCSLT. 2020. Giving voice to people with swallowing difficulties. [Online]. Available from: https://www.rcslt.org/-/media/Project/RCSLT/rcslt-dysphagiafactsheet. pdf?la=en&hash=18AEDA640CDABD6D2CAB1A9293E8F44ED4E9572A [Accessed: September 2020].



PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL 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.

Keep Your Home Infection Free with JLA As restrictions on visits to care homes start to ease, care home owners and managers are faced with the continuing challenge of ensuring their premises remains infection free. Research carried out at the start of the pandemic by critical equipment specialist, JLA, highlighted that 40% of people are less likely to trust care homes with their loved ones as a result of COVID-19 and 57.3% view standards in care homes to be poor. As a result of the pandemic, the public has much higher standards when it comes to cleanliness. Keeping customers, residents and staff safe and infection free is a priority for every business. JLA understands the pressures care home owners and managers are under to provide effective infection control. A key priority is protecting your residents from infection. The pandemic has reminded us just

how crucial continued infection control excellence is for care homes who want to keep their residents safe and reassure their anxious relatives. The easing of restrictions is welcome but care homes need to remain focussed on maintaining infection control excellence. Not only will it provide your clients and loved one peace of mind, but it’ll keep your reputation safe too. JLA’s state-of-the-art infection control solutions, created by expert chemists keeps residents and staff safe and reassure their families. We understand that care home needs to stay infection-free. That’s why our experts are on hand 24/7 365 to help you find efficient infection control solutions that work for you and keep you CQC compliant. From our OTEX laundry systems that reduce your carbon footprint whilst keeping sheets virus-free, to room sanitisers that work in as little as 45 minutes, our critical equipment takes care of it so your staff can focus on what matters most – your residents. Whatever critical equipment you need to reassure your residents and keep them safe this winter, we’ll take care of it. For more information on JLA’s infection control services, visit https://bit.ly/3qOUEeF

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

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

Rensair Provides Extra Care at Rayners Care Home Air purification specialist Rensair has equipped Rayners residential care home with air purifiers to combat Covid-19 and other seasonal viruses. Located in Amersham, South Buckinghamshire, Rayners is family owned and managed. It offers residential care, assisted living and respite care for the elderly and prides itself on the ‘extra care’ it provides in the event of a resident becoming more dependent. “In the face of Covid-19, our approach has always been to exercise maximum caution”, said Chris Matthews, Managing Director at Rayners. “We locked down before we were instructed to do so and, even now that the vaccination programme has been rolled out, we can never be complacent. Our duty is to care for our residents and we don’t cut corners.” Rayners’ management conducted research into risk mitigation measures involving air purification and were impressed by Rensair’s patented combination of

technologies. Following a site visit from a Rensair expert, they ordered several units to cover all shared spaces, including lounge, dining and reading areas. “We had come across HEPA and UVC separately and Rensair’s ‘double whammy’ combining both technologies in one compact unit appealed to us”, said Jim Matthews, CEO. “The entrapment of particles prior to destruction with UVC is important, otherwise stray virus particles may still get through the system. The other key attribute was powerful air circulation”. Built in 1990, the Rayners establishment was the first purpose built care home in South Buckinghamshire and relies on natural ventilation. “With winter in sight, we knew that elderly people and cold air don’t mix, so air cleaning is the smart solution” continued Jim. “The Rensair units offer the perfect balance of efficiency and quietness. Some of the pure UVC units we acquired earlier are clackety by comparison, without delivering additional air circulation.” “The Rensair units are a resounding success”, said Chris . ”They filter and destroy all the other seasonal viruses and bacteria in addition to Covid-19 and give us clean air, truly a win-win situation.” For further information visit https://rensair.com/industries/care-homes/ or see the advert on this page.




THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 33

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS

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

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

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 multi-award 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 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 heat-pump 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

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.

For 10% discou nt on all woven an d iron-on nametapes, ad d CARE2022 at the checkout ! Valid to 30/04 /2022


PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING 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

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

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 separate 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

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 35

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

Can One Solution Be A Panacea For Health and Social Care? By Stuart Barclay, UK Sales Director, Vayyar Care (https://info.vayyar.com/caretc1)

Bringing a telecare solution to market in a new territory can be a daunting proposition. As with many things in life, it’s as much as about who you know as what you know. The partners you choose are critical to success. So when I was building a strategy for introducing Vayyar Care to UK nursing homes and social care providers, I knew I needed people I could rely on, not only in terms of procurement and distribution, but also installation, back-end support and more. Above all, they’d have to share our vision of providing a more comprehensive approach to care delivery. Panacea Healthcare Group was the first name on my list. The word reflects exactly what we’re about: a solution for all difficulties. That’s because Vayyar Care isn’t only a unique touchless fall detec-

tion sensor. It also gathers essential behavioural data such as time at rest and bathroom visits, helping caregivers spot signs of reduced mobility or medical issues like UTIs. And that’s not all. Vayyar Care also eases the massive burden on carers, who’ve borne the brunt of everything that’s happened over the past couple of years, with the staffing crisis having only got worse since November. Our ‘virtual caregiver’ gives them another set of eyes in each room, offering reassurance that residents or home-based clients are safe. Constant visibility allows staff to save valuable time on every shift and provides the insights they need to improve risk assessment and create tailored care plans. Panacea Healthcare Group is led by Billy Hosie, a gentleman I’ve worked with closely for the past four years. He understands just how transformative Vayyar Care is and what’s required to put it at the heart of revolutionising long-term care in the UK. His first comments to me were that Vayyar Care does exactly what it says on the tin – and plenty more. He instantly saw the value of putting all that activity data right at caregivers’ fingertips – as well as the fact that it’s a cost-neutral offering. This is a smarter, more holistic and economical approach than deploying multiple single-purpose sensors such as floor mats, pres-

sure pads or PIRs. As for analog fall alert buttons and cords, many people just aren’t able to use them when required. Wearables only work if people are willing to put them on – and remember to do so. And while cameras can capture everything that’s happening, there are just too many privacy issues, especially in high-risk areas like bathrooms. Person-centred care has to put the concepts of dignity, privacy and independence at the core of everything. Billy also feels as strongly as I do about the fact that after care homes deploy new solutions, they’re often left to figure things out for themselves. Entering the digital age isn’t easy for any organisation. Care providers need a user-friendly, turnkey, end-to-end solution that’s interoperable and integrable with their existing resident response systems and a supplier who’s with them every step of the way, whether that’s on a capital or rental basis. As Vayyar Care’s main UK distributor, Panacea Healthcare Group is crucial to our collaborations with leading NCS providers, as we move rapidly towards the rollout of new features like imminent bed exit alerts that will enable real-time fall intervention and true fall prevention. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch. stuart.barclay@vayyar.com

Assistive Technology Solutions from Medpage Medpage t/a Easylink UK is a company who have designed, manufactured, and distributed Assistive Technology solutions to aid independent and assisted living for over 35 years. We introduced the first wireless bed and chair leaving detection alarms into the UK market more than 25 years ago. During the Pandemic, against all odds, we launched a new brand of fall prevention and detection products. TumbleCare. TumbleCare products are simplistic, but effective, people sensors. The sensors detect a person in or out of their bed or chair, or physically falling. A warning notification is transmitted by radio signal to radio pagers, nurse call station, or over the internet to alert designated carers. Our philoso-

phy over the years has not changed. To deliver quality, reliability, and performance at realistic prices. We are key suppliers to the majority of Local Authorities throughout the UK and the NHS of fall prevention products. Our systems operate as stand-alone solutions or can integrate with most commercial nurse call systems. We offer attractive sales discounts for trade and volume buyers and provide free advice and help in developing a falls prevention strategy. Visit our website www.easylinkuk.co.uk and view our guide on wandering and falls or telephone our sales office on 01536 264869.


PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

Specialist Pharmacist Leads Unique Pilot To Prevent Falls In Elderly Care Homes By Liz Butterfield, Immedicare (www.immedicare.co.uk) Specialist Pharmacist The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shine a spotlight on how we care for our elderly. The negative impact of the pandemic on care home residents has been immense, but there have also been glimmers of hope and opportunities to make positive transformations that improve integrated care now, and into the future. Nearly one year ago, NHS England asked primary care providers to increase their support for care homes.1 An important element of this was integrating a pharmacist into the care pathway and providing pharmacy and medication support such as structured medication reviews via telephone or video, supporting reviews of new residents or those recently discharged from hospital, and supporting care homes with medicines queries. Recent data suggests that some medications and combinations of treatments can contribute to an elderly person’s risk of falling.2-4 It is also well known that falls are the leading cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people5,6 and the most frequent reason for calling the telehealth clinical assessors for support and advice.7 During the pandemic, there was a clear and urgent need to protect care home residents from hospitalisation and the risk of hospital-related complications and infections, including COVID-19. To address the combination of these factors, Immedicare*, a clinical and technology partnership between Involve Visual Collaboration Ltd and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust (ANHSFT), took action. The idea was to undertake a pilot in the Bradford District and Craven area to reduce the risk of falls recurring in elderly care home residents through proactive medication reviews, and by doing so, reduce the negative impact falls have on the resident and local health services, such as hospitalisation. This was an area where I thought the expertise of a pharmacist, combined with the innovative technology of a telehealth service, could have a real impact. As a passionate advocate for the critical role pharmacists play in integrated care systems across the NHS, and with my experience in medicines optimisation for older people, I was keen to be involved in the pilot. When a resident falls in one of the 690 UK care homes where the telehealth service is in place, they receive an immediate virtual clinical assessment from a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team of specialist nurses based at ANHSFT. They determine whether the resident stays in their place of care or needs to be

admitted to hospital. Before the pilot was introduced, there was a significant unmet need in Bradford District and Craven. From 125 care homes in the area where the service was in place, there were 1,420 calls between March 2020 and February 2021 relating to falls. Following a virtual assessment, 89.3% stayed in their place of care without onward referral.7 While it is hugely beneficial for residents to receive expert clinical care in their home, there is a risk their medications are left unassessed, and a future fall may occur again and result in greater harm.2-4 This is where my unique role in the pilot comes in as it is my job to assess residents that remain in their place of care following a fall and identify those that are at a high risk of falling again. I then work directly with local GPs and care home pharmacists to optimise their medication and reduce their risk of a second, potentially more damaging, fall. The potential value of this approach is huge. Reviewing medications that are known to increase the risk of falls, and therefore reducing a person’s risk of falling, has significant benefits for the resident and local healthcare system. For the resident, it means protecting them from a stressful, disorienting hospital visit and reducing the risk of hospital-related complications and infections, such as COVID-19. For the local health system, it means reducing ambulance conveyances and emergency admissions. The approach is also fantastic for local care home and pharmacy communities, as it seeks to change the way care homes respond to their residents’ falls and ensure that a pharmacist’s input is a key component of the clinical assessment and rehabilitation plan. While the pilot is still in its infancy, early feedback from care homes, GPs and pharmacists in the Bradford region has been extremely positive and impact data is currently being collected on medication reviews and treatment adjustments following a fall. *Immedicare is a secure, video-enabled, clinical healthcare service linking care homes to the NHS with 24hour access to a highly skilled, multidisciplinary clinical team based at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. The service has been adopted by 690 UK care homes to date. References 1. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/the-framework-for-enhanced-health-in-care-homes-v2-0.pdf (Last accessed May 2021] 2. https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/file/933/download [Last accessed May 2021] 3. https://www.bgs.org.uk/resources/12-cga-in-primary-care-settings-patients-at-risk-of-falls-and-fractures [Last accessed May 2021] 4. Freeland KN, Thompson AN et al. Medication Use and Associated Risk of Falling in a Geriatric Outpatient Population. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2012; 46 (9):1188-1192 5. https://www.nhs.uk/Scorecard/Pages/IndicatorFacts.aspx?MetricId=8135 [Last accessed May 2021] 6. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/falls-applying-all-our-health/falls-applying-all-our-health [Last accessed May 2021] 7. Data on Immedicare file.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 37

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING 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:

Nurse Alert Mats Designed to combat the problem of residents who are inclined to walk undetected, the Nurse Alert Mat can help protect residents especially at night that are at risk of falls and accidents. When connected to a Nurse Call system or the mobile Floor Sentry Monitor it will then alert staff, sounding the alarm with a small amount of pressure thus enabling staff to investigate.

• Nurse Call Systems • Fire Alarm Systems • Door Access • Staff Attack • CCTV • Infection Control • Dementia Care • Electrical Contracting

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.

Lotus Care Technology 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 www.lctuk.com for details.

In addition The Floor Pressure Mat has a heavy non slip backing, It comes professionally sealed so can easily be cleaned for liquid spills and is fully serviceable.

INCLUDES A 12 MONTH GUARANTEE

sales@lctuk.com 0800 8499 121 www.LCTUK.com


PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Intelligent Care Software (ICS) If you are looking for a care management system which answers all of your quality, monitoring and compliance needs, then looks no further than Care is. Care is provides the intelligent software solution for care home and domiciliary care managers and owners looking to roll all of their care and management functions into one electronic platform. We know this to be true because unlike some other CMS’s Care is was conceived, designed, built and is managed by nurses, registered managers and care home owners. The ‘CARE is’ suite includes care and support, care planning platform, our policy app with over 200 high quality policies which are updated regularly and which also includes our supervision, appraisals and training record apps and our audit app which tem-

plates all the essential audits and includes a record of inspection visits. At Care is we can get you started on your journey from paper or another care management system with minimum fuss, plenty of support and all for what we believe to be good value for money. With eMAR, mandatory training and a complementary care certificate coming in 2022, there has never been a better time to get on board. https://careis.net

Check EU Employees Right To Work, Warns Bizimply

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

Care employers will need to keep clear records of their team members’ immigration and right-towork 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-settlement-scheme-employer-toolkit See the advert this page or visit www.bizimply.com



PAGE 40 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Cloud Finance Software That is Helping Care Homes Thrive Healthcare organisations face unique challenges from cost containment and multientity reporting to new billing models and product offerings and a cloudbased accounting system allows you to better understand your organisation and succeed in the future. At Sage Intacct, we’re passionate about building accounting software that helps you better understand your business, maintain compliance, and succeed in the ever-evolving healthcare industry.

BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE

As healthcare grows in complexity, so does your organisation. You’re managing multiple locations and practices, navigating changing reimbursement methods, and initiating cost reduction initiatives, while manual processes are draining your productivity. You need insight into your growing breadth of financial and operational data, and we’ve built our healthcare accounting software with you in mind. We provide compliant financials with continuous consolidation across multiple offices, practices and locations. Sage Intacct healthcare customers have increased profitability by 30%

with better insight for informed decisions, realised 25% improvement in efficiency gains, and taken departmental reporting from 10 days to 10 minutes.

REAL-TIME VISIBILITY AND INSIGHTS

Sage Intacct’s real-time reporting allows you to understand and measure performance for both financial metrics and operational outcomes. Because every transaction in the system can be tagged with dimensions, finance professionals can sort, view, filter, and report on the specific information they need. With greater insight, our healthcare customers have reduced board budget reporting from three weeks to one hour and have improved revenues by 25% without adding additional headcount.

TRUE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH OPEN API

True cloud technology with open API As an innovator in the cloud space, Sage Intacct’s multi-tenant, true cloud foundation brings robust technology infrastructure to your organisation, without the high costs of managing servers. Our open API lets you connect to existing systems or those you are considering in the future. This means you can leverage key data from electronic medical records, payroll, budget, CRMs (including Salesforce), and other systems to track key performance indicators. For more information on how Sage can help your business please visit: www.sage.com/en-gb/cp/intacct-carehomes/

Mainteno Facilities Maintenance and Management Software Whether it’s managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno simplifies the day-to-day maintenance of almost any organisation. Mainteno also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking. Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving your organisation time and money.

USABILITY MADE AFFORDABLE

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

Mainteno was designed with practicality in mind. The interface is so intuitive that basic operation can be learned in minutes, and you can be a power user in one afternoon. Elegant usability usually means a hefty price tag. However, our pricing structure means that for small organisations, Mainteno can cost as little as two cups

of coffee a month. No set-up fees, no lengthy contracts and a free trial, all mean that the system starts paying for itself straight away. Dr Asif Raja, Bsc MBBS Summercare Managing Director says “Facing significant challenges of ever increasing quality and compliance demands upon time and resources as well considerable economic pressures, Summercare, an award winning provider of residential care and housing related support, sought to upgrade their systems for managing the property and environmental aspects of its service delivery. After an extensive period of investigation and research Mainteno was selected as the platform of choice for the entire organization based on its ease of use, very short-term contract, quick set up and ongoing support.” Visit www.mainteno.com, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email sales@redro.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86 | PAGE 41

INSURANCE FOR CARE

A Guide to Care Home Insurance The building itself is just as important. If, for instance, the premises suffer a flood, how would the building hold? Would water cause damage to furniture? Would residents need to be temporarily rehomed? In extreme cases such as a fire or explosion, a total rebuild may be necessary, which would not only cost a considerable amount, but it could leave the business unable to operate and your residents in need of rehoming.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION Business interruption insurance may also prove invaluable. This insurance is aimed at covering any increased costs of working or loss in gross revenue, as the result of an unexpected event. So, if you do suffer a flood or fire, sourcing an alternative property to operate from or employing temporary staff can be covered. Business interruption insurance can help you to pay your bills, retain your staff, and maintain your supplier and client relationships.

KEY MAN COVER Care home insurance falls into the specialist sector because there is no ‘one size fits all’. Not only does your insurance need to protect the care you give, but you also need to consider the regulatory bodies you adhere to, protection for your staff, as well as covering the premises and its contents. What’s more, care homes offer different types of care, from basic care and accommodation to respite, end-of-life and specialist care for dementia patients. Whatever type of care facility you operate, there are some basic covers that should form part of your care home insurance solution.

LIABILITY Liability insurance should be considered essential for your policy. Liability encompasses various types of cover: Employers’ liability is a legal requirement for anyone employing staff either paid or unpaid. If, for instance, one of your carers suffers an injury or loss due to your negligence or the negligence of the company, the carer may sue you. This covers you for any compensation costs and legal fees. Public liability although not a legal requirement, is similar to employers’ liability, relates to injuries or losses to members of the public. For instance, a resident’s family member may slip on an upturned carpet, or their car may be damaged by something you should have considered.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Unlike clinical treatment, care in a nursing home or care home is often to do with judgement as opposed to factual and evidential action. Your carers will be skilled in what they do and usually have several qualifications, but their decisions are often determined by best practice to ensure the resident or patient is as comfortable as they can be. Unfortunately, this means mistakes can creep in. A single mistake can have a disastrous effect, and the patient or their family may claim for medical malpractice. This cover aims to protect your team’s professional acumen, offering in-depth support and dealing with the legal costs.

Key Man Cover (or Key Person Cover) provides financial cover, should something happen to key personnel within your business. Most likely this is you as the business owner, or members of an executive leadership team who you class as crucial to the financial success of your business. If you or a key member of your team is absent due to the onset of a long-term illness or a permanent disability, or unexpectedly passes away, this form of life insurance could be vital to ensure the longevity of your business. Having key man cover in place reassures your team and those living within your care facility. By preparing for a worst-case scenario, you will be protecting your care home from potential risk and safeguarding its future – Key Man Cover is an invaluable and affordable investment for every care home owner to consider. Every care home is different, requiring different types and levels of cover based on individual needs. You need to partner with a reputable broker that will make sure that you have the right cover for your unique situation. For an industry which works on prestige, reputation and word of mouth, the right insurance is essential. It maintains your biggest assets—your staff and the residents you care for—whilst supporting you should something go wrong. At Barnes Commercial we offer specialist independent broking and risk management services for care home owners and care workers. You can learn more about how we support our clients with expert broking advice on our website: www.barnesinsurancebroker.co.uk Telephone 01480 272727 Email: enquiries@barnesinsurancebroker.co.uk

BUILDINGS AND CONTENTS Of course, your business is home for your residents or patients. Ensuring ample furniture is provided should be a necessity, from wardrobes and cupboards to tables and kitchen apparatus. If these are accidentally damaged, you are likely to need to replace them.

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

01480 272727

Impartial advice from experienced advisers

Exceptional service from a dedicated account executive

Let us help you to protect your business with a no obligation risk review today!

Market-leading products from A rated insurers

Send us an email: Visit our website: Follow us:

Support with claims

Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR

enquiries@barnesinsurancebroker.co.uk www.barnesinsurancebroker.co.uk/care /barnes-commercial

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


PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 86

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES What Legal Challenges are Facing Social Care Providers in 2022? Social care providers have again faced a challenging year and 2022 looks to hold more of the same, says the market-leading Social Care team at the law firm Royds Withy King. Here are the three things the social care sector will need to address in 2022.

A WORKFORCE CRISIS Social care providers are facing one of the largest workforce crises in living memory and it is set to get worse, says James Sage, Employment law partner and Head of Health & Social Care at Royds Withy King. “It is estimated that the mandatory vaccination requirement for care home staff has resulted in 60,000 staff being dismissed. This will be exacerbated when the requirement is extended to the wider social care sector and the NHS with the pool of potential workers getting ever smaller. The Government estimates that 123,000 NHS staff will be dismissed when its policy is enforced, and experience tells us that a short-staffed NHS will come hunting for workers in the care sector. “In addition, staff retention continues to be a challenge with attrition rates currently standing over 30% and for some providers considerably higher. This is likely to continue into 2022, not least due to staff burnout

caused by the pandemic. “Some providers are responding with increased pay rates and bonuses to fight off competition from the likes of Amazon, and we are likely to see more of the same in the new year. But this remains a real challenge for smaller care providers and those reliant on public funds to pay staff wages. An improved financial package for social care is required but it looks like the new money promised will now be diverted into the NHS with the pandemic continuing. “On a positive note, the Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that care workers be added to the Shortage Occupation List, opening the door to overseas workers. This is urgently needed and it is hoped that the Government will listen. We also wait to see the results of recent government funding for recruitment and retention and hope that councils pass this on to providers as they are best placed to find creative new ways to recruit and retain workers.”

INDEPENDENTS LEAVING THE SECTOR We have seen a significant lift in sales and acquisitions in the social care sector following the uncertainty of the last two years. It is being driven by providers disillusioned with the sector and lenders looking to exit, says Royds Withy King Corporate Partner Hazel Phillips. “We have seen several mainstream lenders lose their appetite for the social care sector in 2021 and adopting a more aggressive position with care providers forcing in some instances a decision to sell. This is matched with increasing disillusionment in the sector from independents and family-operated homes following two extremely challenging years. We expect this to continue to drive M&A activity in the new year.

“On the plus side, there are lots of buyers and plenty of interest from private equity investors. Price expectations do need to be managed, particularly for homes reliant on more expensive agency staff. Sellers looking to go to market are advised to be well prepared as due diligence will be as detailed as ever, particularly around staffing costs and liability. “The interest from private equity investors is likely to remain high throughout 2022 and despite recent criticisms surrounding their business model, we do not expect the government to introduce further regulation.”

CHANGE TO CQC RATINGS IN 2022 The CQC’s rating system is changing. But will it drop in 2022 its KLOEs for more streamlined quality statements, asks Royds Withy King Partner Mei-Ling Huang? “CQC appear to be heading towards slimming down its KLOEs and implementing a more numerically-based model. Scores on various criteria will be totalled to determine a rating. 2022 may see the introduction of more anodyne quality statements as the CQC tries to make standards more streamlined and comprehensible to the wider public. “There is a very real worry that ratings will change without inspection based solely on the feedback the CQC receives with little consideration of bias or fact. The biggest unanswered question is whether care providers will be given any right to reply or to challenge a rating? “We would urge care providers to engage with CQC in 2022 as much as they possibly can, either through their care association or inspection manager. It is vitally important that the voices of care providers are heard and that they fight for this right to reply.”

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 care-worker 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.

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

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