The Carer Digital - Issue #88

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 88

Consultation Launched on Mandatory Vaccination Policy for Care Workers... ...But Closes 11.45PM Tonight (February 16)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a consultation ( on the government’s mandatory Covid vaccine rules for care staff in England, saying that: “Given the changes in clinical evidence the government is revisiting the balance of risks and benefits that guided its original decisions to make coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination a condition of deployment.” The ‘Revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment across all health and

social care’ consultation, closes tonight 16 February at 11.45 PM, and the consultation is seeking views on the intention to rescind the policy. The government’s new position is that when vaccination as a condition of deployment was first introduced, Delta was the dominant variant, however, Omicron has now replaced Delta as the dominant variant, representing up to 99% of cases across some regions.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER A couple of news articles caught my eye this week, particularly our front page story detailing that the government has launched a consultation on mandatory vaccinations for the adult social care sector and whether the policy should now be rescinded. Great news! However, the window of opportunity to participate in the consultation closes tonight at 11.45 PM. It has been running for just one week. In our lead story you will see this: “While vaccination remain the very best line of defence against COVID-19, and all people working in health and social care settings have a professional duty to be vaccinated, the view of this government is that it is no longer proportionate to require vaccination as a condition of deployment through statute in health, care homes or other social care settings” To be honest I wondered if I’d actually dreamt it! There appears to have been precious little publicity surrounding the consultation. In what I felt was a rather clumsy address speaking to MPs in January 31 the Health and Social Care Minister Sajid Javid, said: “There would always be some people who would not do the responsible thing and choose to remain unvaccinated and in doing so, choosing to walk away from their jobs in health and care. ‘Despite it being their choice to leave their jobs, we have to consider the impact on the workforce in NHS and social care settings. Especially at a time when we already had a shortage of workers and near full employment across the economy.’ I felt the Minister was blaming the workforce for the chronic shortages in the care sector and the shortages which were forecast had the mandatory vaccination policy been enforced in the NHS on April 1. These are decisions that people do not take lightly, particularly healthcare professionals who have worked in adult social care for decades, and who at the very height pandemic went above and beyond expected duties, making great sacrifices, particularly the loss of career. So while I do applaud the government for taking the right step and opening a consultation, it should have been at least one month long and the government should have undertaken an advertising campaign to publicise it in the same way it did when it encouraged the public to take up the vaccine. Along the same vein another story we have in this issue (see page 9) highlights the


Peter Adams

alarming fall of applicants to the sector and I suspect the mandatory policy has made a significant contribution to that. From what I understand, from today, 16 February, the government has said all care workers taking part in routine asymptomatic testing will be asked to take a rapid lateral flow test each day before starting work. This will replace PCR testing for all staff in adult social care. The Department of Health and Social Care has stated that the introduction of a daily pre-shift rapid lateral flow test for staff ‘will help to rapidly identify and isolate people who are at a high likelihood of spreading the virus, helping to break the chain of transmission, prevent hospitalisations and save lives.’ This may restore confidence and encourage the public to consider what is rewarding and fulfilling career in adult social care. It is also good news to see providers welcoming the government’s relaxation of the shortage occupation list (SoL) enabling homes to recruit from overseas. From yesterday, Tuesday 15 February 2022 SoL was expanded to include care assistants, care workers, carers, home care assistants, home carers and support workers in nursing homes, and is a pilot scheme which will run for a period of 12 months to begin with, after which the Home Office will reassess the situation and decide whether to extend the scheme! Good luck to Louis Alexander will run 17 marathons in 17 days to help raise thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Louis’s grandfather unfortunately lived with dementia for 17 years. (See page 8.) Once again it’s been a bit 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

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Consultation Launched on Mandatory Vaccination Policy for Care Workers (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) However, while Omicron still presents a threat to public health, especially for those that are unvaccinated, relative to Delta, it is intrinsically less severe. This has resulted in the risk of presentation to emergency care or hospital admission with Omicron being approximately half of that for Delta. When coupled with the high vaccination rate in the population, this has meant the impact of the circulation of Omicron has been less than initially feared. The government has now said that it has “listened to the best and latest clinical and scientific advice and considered how public health and safety with the minimum number of restrictions or requirements on people’s lives can be achieved.” “While vaccination remain the very best line of defence against COVID-19, and all people working in health and social care settings have a professional duty to be vaccinated, the view of this government is that it is no longer proportionate to require vaccination as a condition of deployment through statute in health, care homes or other social care settings. However, the government is clear that vaccines save lives, adding that everyone working in health and social care has a professional duty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and will be taking

the following steps: 1. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has written to the professional regulators operating across health to review current guidance to registrants on vaccinations, including COVID-19, and to emphasise their professional responsibilities in this area. 2.Engaging with the NHS to review its policies on the hiring of new staff and the deployment of existing staff, taking into account their vaccination status. 3.Reviewing the Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections with a view to strengthening the obligations providers must satisfy in meeting the required standard set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The Department of Health and Social Care will seek views on this in a separate consultation. Since the government launched the consultation on vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and wider social care settings in September 2021, there has been a net increase of 134,000 people working in NHS trusts who have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, becoming part of the 19 out of 20 NHS workers who have done so. During the same time, there has been a net increase of 36,000 people working in social care getting vaccinated, including 22,000 people

working in care homes and 14,000 people working in domiciliary care. According to the DHSC:

HEALTHCARE • Data collected for the NHS shows that over 1.45 million (95%) NHS trust staff have received at least one dose, with 1.4 million (92%) staff having received 2 doses. The percentage of staff receiving a first dose is above 96% in all regions (2 doses above 90%), bar London, which is at 92% for first dose (87%, 2 doses). Over 1.17 million (77%) have received a booster. All data as of 3 February 2022, covering vaccinations up to 30 January 2022.

SOCIAL CARE • More than 1.3 million social care workers in England have now taken up at least one dose of the vaccination. • As of 30 January 2022, 96% of staff in care homes have received a first dose of the vaccine and 95% a second dose. • In wider social care settings, while the regulations have not come into force, providers were reporting that 88% of home (domiciliary) care staff and 76% of staff in other settings had received one dose of the vaccine, as of 30 January 2022. There is little regional variation in care home uptake, however there is some variation in domiciliary care staff uptake, which ranges from 83% in London, to over 90% in the South West. The public are invited to participate by completing the public survey at

Artistic Resident Inspires Charity Auction Tom Rooney, a 93-year-old retired Grenadier Guardsman who lives at a dementia care home in Bridgwater, has produced artwork which so astonished his carers that they have been inspired to organised an exhibition of his work. A landscape of butterflies painted by Tom was the work which prompted art therapist Ewa Kuwalek, a member of the activities team at Avalon Nursing Home, to suggest the idea of an exhibition. The activities team at Avalon has been supporting their artistic resident to indulge his passion both with individual and group activities, as well as encouraging him to contribute ideas for future sessions and welcoming his help

with seasonal displays and projects around the home. Ewa Kuwalek said: “Tom feels most at ease and happy when he has a paint brush in his hand, and some music on to help him create his masterpiece. “He has been living at Avalon for a year now, and has a wonderful life history, including serving our Queen in the armed forces, and personally giving her tea. “We see it as an important part of our jobs to inform ourselves about our residents’ backgrounds and interests because it gives us such a natural way to encourage and maintain their engagement in the world around them, despite the challenges posed by dementia. “Tom, for example, continues to show a great interest

in travel and culture and he loves animals and music, especially choir and country music. “And, of course, he is also an incredible artist who loves painting nature and people, and when he produced this beautiful landscape of butterflies recently we just knew we had to organise an exhibition to showcase his work. “Tom is very happy with the idea of auctioning his works and we’re planning to plough the proceeds back into our activities fund which will then benefit everyone who lives at Avalon.” The auction will take place in April, exact date still to be announced.


Why ‘Care Hotels’ are Not the Answer

By Barry Price, QCS Specialist Contributor (

If you ever find yourself looking for a hotel, I’m sure you will have at some point used review sites to find a place to stay. Here are two reviews that I found for a hotel in a city in south-west England. “Enormous choice for breakfast rooms amazing service and staff very good,” reads one glowing review. “Had a work meeting, nice food provided, tea coffee and water on the tables," reads another. The reviews paint this particular hotel as a great place to stay for business travellers or holidaymakers. I don’t wish to name the hotel or even the city that it is situated in, so why list the reviews? Well, what the reviews don't tell you is that the hotel in question is also doubling-up as an NHS Care Hotel. You can read more here: ( Hotels are increasingly being utilised by the NHS to alleviate pressure on hospitals, where there is a shortage of beds. Anyone in the NHS and the social care sector will understand the dire scenarios – some of them a consequence of COVID-19, some of them not - that are being played out in the health and care sectors right now.

HOW CARE HOTELS BECAME A REALITY However, for anyone reading this article not familiar with what’s going on, here’s a brief summary: Hospital beds are in short supply due to COVID- 19 and a growing backlog of unmet need. According to, for instance, the NHS has lost 20,000 beds since 2010. Many patients occupying beds are vulnerable with complex needs. Often they cannot go home, and increasingly they are unable to return to the care home that they were living in previously, as they are unable to support the individual’s changed needs following re-assessment. Often the residential home is over-subscribed and has no vacancies, or due to ‘the perfect storm’ of challenges that COVID-19 has brought about, the care home has temporarily closed to new admissions, or worse still, has shut its doors for good. The question therefore is how do you provide a package of care for those who can’t return to the family home straight away without such a care package? After a period of reflection, the government provided a national discharge fund via the NHS “to help cover the cost of post-discharge recovery and support services”, which came into effect on 1 October 2021 and is set to end in March.

MOUNTING EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT CARE HOTELS ARE NOT THE ANSWER The problem is that there is increasing evidence that care hotels

aren’t providing the person-centred care that is the inalienable right of all those who find themselves living there. Take the hotel in Southwest England, which I alluded to at the beginning of the article, for example. Last week, the Guardian newspaper carried a story in which a care worker claimed that bathrooms were being utilised “as an overflow for clinical waste with bags filled with faeces and urine-soiled materials”. Care hotels are also a drain on resources. According to Age UK, for instance, “an excess bed day in the NHS” costs a maximum of £2,532 per week. In residential care, the cost is just £519 per week, the Guardian says that some hotels are charging £300 per night to care for people. The question many people will be asking, is why is this money not being channelled directly back into social care? But back to the article. When I read it, I experienced a range of emotions. Firstly, I was absolutely horrified, then disgusted that basic Infection Prevention Control measures appear to have been utterly ignored. I use the word “appear” as according to The Guardian, the Local Commissioning Group, City Council and the private operator running the care contract said they “did not agree” with some of the former care worker’s claims. But they admitted that there were “issues with a waste contractor”. However, the Guardian also stated that these (issues) “were now solved and patient care was unaffected”.

WHO IS REGULATING CARE HOTELS? I don’t wish to comment any further on the Guardian story, but in general it begs the question as to how alleged breaches in IPC are allowed to happen in the middle of a pandemic. It also makes me wonder who is regulating care hotels? Working as a consultant for Quality Compliance Systems, the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, not only piqued my interest, but inspired my quest for answers. Let me tackle the second part of the question first. In short, from reading the section five of the DHSC’s guidance on ‘Hospital discharge and community support’, several stakeholders are listed including acute health providers, community health service providers, adult social care services, healthcare commissioners, social care providers and domiciliary care providers. However, apart from NHS guidance, there is no guidance specifically relating to hotels. Could this be due to the fact that the guidance recognises ‘care hotels’ as being the same as residential care homes or domiciliary care settings? Or could it be that no regulation has been introduced due to the fact that ‘care hotels’, some of which are being used for long periods, are only supposed to be utilised for days?

CARE HOTELS ARE NOT CARE SETTINGS Firstly, ‘care hotels’ should not be considered to be a care home. There is no comparison. Both from a physical and environmental perspective, a residential care home has been specially designed to implement IPC measures. It has assisted bathrooms, disabled bathrooms, call bells and a raft of other features which mark it out from a hotel. It employs highly trained and experienced staff, whose perform-

ance is closely monitored by managers and the Care Quality Commission. In contrast, to pick up on my second point, ‘care hotels’ are, in my opinion, care homes ‘by stealth’. Currently, NHS guidance states that ‘care hotels’ are supposed to be used for days rather than weeks. But, increasingly there are reports that suggest people are being ‘warehoused’ in ‘care hotels’ for months. Even if the people were being supported in ‘care hotels’ for days, there should be clear regulation in place. The problem is that by default they are offering regulated activity, otherwise known as ‘Accommodation for people who require nursing or personal care’.

THE CQC The article states that the ‘care hotels’ are recorded as locations where domiciliary care is being provided. The CQC is currently undertaking at risk-based inspection of the hotel identified in the Guardian article. But this hotel and other ‘care hotels’ are not homecare settings either. They have not been through the registration process that all homecare services are subject to. I strongly believe that ‘care hotels’ should be classed as offering a designated service by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the NHS should be responsible for putting the wheels of regulation in motion. If it becomes common practice to care for people in hotels for week and months, rather than days, the government should force the CQC and the NHS to treat ‘care hotels’ as regulated services. That would mean them registering their service with the CQC and following the same regulations as every other provider, including undergoing faceto-face inspections.

THE NEED FOR COMPLIANCE If the government, however, decides not to introduce legislation, ‘care hotels’ should hold themselves to higher standards than they currently do. But where should they start? Over 5,000-plus care providers have chosen QCS for their content and compliance needs. QCS, which provides the most comprehensive suite of policies, procedures and best practice content in the UK - including care plans, risk assessment, benchmarking and mock inspection tools, has helped some of them to overcome registration and inspection challenges, and most importantly, provide better care. Having a robust compliance framework in place, which is centred on person-centred care, also gives them the best opportunity to avoid being the subject of a newspaper exposé brought about by whistleblowers, who heroically choose to expose gaps in integrated health and care systems. To start a free trial with QCS, please visit


Immigration Rules Now Relaxed to Recruit Overseas Care Staff

From yesterday, February 15, immigration rules have been relaxed to help resolve the staffing crisis in the care sector. Care homes and home care workers have been added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) for 12 months and are now eligible for the post-Brexit Health and Care Visa. A combination of the pandemic, mandatory vaccination and the UK’s decision to leave the EU has created a staffing crisis, leaving the sector facing a 100,000 staffing shortfall, leading the government to relax the rules that have made it difficult for companies to recruit care workers abroad. These changes have been implemented following the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the government make Care Workers and Home Carers immediately eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa (which forms part of the Skilled Worker route), and include these occupations on the shortage occupation list (SOL).

In the Government’s “Statement of Changes” published on 24th January 2022 it confirmed that the recommendations will be applied from 15th February and seek to help alleviate the current pressures on the health and social care sector as a result of COVID-19. Social care workers, care assistants and home care workers are now become eligible for a health and care visa for a 12-month period, which the government believes will make it easier to fill gaps in the workforce. According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), workers from abroad will be able to move to the UK along with their dependents, including partners and children, with the visa offering a path to settlement in the UK. The reversal comes after comes after campaigners have accused the government of ignoring the role care workers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which has resulted in care workers have been added to the shortage occupation list. A Department of Health & Social Care spokesman said: “We want to see employers make long term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad. “Our Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and get back into work. “We are doing everything we can to support the incredibly hardworking care staff by including £462.5m in workforce recruitment and retention funds, expanding the Health and Care Visa scheme and promoting our Made with Care recruitment campaign.”

Special Surprise for Country Music Fan at Poole Care Home

Country music fan Sylvia Hepworth enjoyed a very special reunion with a member of her favourite band at the Poole care home where she is a resident. Sylvia, who lives at The Laurels & Pine Lodge in Foxholes Road, Oakdale, was visited by Bernie Tinsley and his wife Marilyn whom she had not seen for 20 years. Bernie was a member of a country band called Double Eagle of whom Sylvia is a huge fan and who she used to see play in Poole’s Gasworks Club in the early 1970s. Having become friends with the band, in particular Bernie and Marilyn, Sylvia attended lots of their concerts including going on holiday to a Country Music Week at Pontins in Bream Sands where Double Eagle was appearing.

Sadly, Sylvia lost contact with them. However, when Paul Spencer, one of

the Laurels’ favourite singers was performing for residents, Sylvia asked for some country music and later discussed Double Eagle with him. Amazingly, Paul knew Bernie through the local music scene and contacted him. Bernie called The Laurels, and the reunion took place. Ellen Cattell, The Laurels’ interim manager, said: “It was such a wonderful and happy reunion for the three of them. They spent a lot of time reminiscing and sharing some happy memories together. Thank you to Paul for making this get together possible. It means so much to all of us.”


Using the Power of Music to Support Care Workers Against a backdrop of workforce challenges, funding pressures and concerns about staff wellbeing, with stress and burnout being at its highest reported amongst health and social care workers from the pandemic, the care workforce needs supporting to manage these pressures. Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia said: “For several decades now, music has been used in dementia care to support and enhance quality of life. The evidence base for its effectiveness and impact has been growing, but it remains for many something that is considered a nicety and not a necessity to support those living with dementia and caregivers. As we recover and rehabilitate from the pandemic, now more than ever we need to use the power of music to support the social care workforce in the essential work they do in caring for people living with dementia in care settings. Music has many therapeutic benefits that can help the care workforce improve their own health and wellbeing to cope with many of the pressures experienced by care workers like stress, burnout and anxiety.” For music to be an integral part of dementia care in care settings, it is essential that care workers are empowered and given the skills to use music, in all its different forms, as part of the day-to-day delivery and support provided to people with dementia living in care settings. Research and lived experiences show that music can help reduce the often distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation and anxiety, but these benefits are not restricted to the person living with dementia, they also extend to caregivers. Managing stress Research suggests that music has significant power to help reduce stress and anxiety. A highly stressful situation can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to produce cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Short-term, cortisol can help us find the focus and energy we need to deal with difficult situations but if

the body is exposed to excess cortisol for a prolonged period, it causes exhaustion and can lead to anxiety, depression and other health conditions. Music can be used as a therapeutic tool to help reduce stress and promote healing to improve the overall emotional wellbeing. Music can also help manage anxiety. Data from University College London (UCL) suggests that people who spent 30 minutes or more each day during the pandemic on arts activities, such as listening to music have lower reported rates of depression and anxiety, and a greater life satisfaction. The Spitz Charitable Trust takes professional musicians into care homes, day centres and hospitals and are embedded in Bridgeside Lodge care home in Islington, London. Through live music they connect with people to help improve their wellbeing and quality of life. Jane Glitre, Director of The Spitz Charitable Trust said: “After the first lockdown when no one could go in to care homes, we were welcomed back as long-lost friends and at that point we noticed a significant shift – there was greater equality and partnership in how we worked together with the care staff. There was no longer the feeling of us and them. The staff began to see us as being essential to supporting them to do their work in supporting people living with dementia in their care.” Agnes, Nurse from Bridgeside Lodge, said “For us carers coming to work isn’t always easy. When I come into this environment, music gives me more power to do my job, more energy. It helps the residents to relax and feel less anxious, which helps me to do a better job. A job that I can enjoy because I see the residents happy. And when they are happy then I’m happy.” Grace Meadows continues “Emotional exhaustion can impact our ability to switch off. We want to see care workers use the power of music to support their own health and wellbeing so that they personally experience music’s multiple benefits in their own lives, especially as they support and care for people living with dementia. Although not a magical cure or a substitute for medication or any other professional intervention, music can be an important element of self-care.”

Committed Carers Cheryl and Kirk Become New Owners of Lytham Care home A respected Lytham care home which has been providing care for over 40 years has been taken over by new owners. Westholme Care Home, based in Victoria Road in the town, has been acquired by experienced registered managers Cheryl Holden and Kirk Sainsbury following the retirement of long-term owner Vivien Perry. Cheryl, who has worked in the care sector since 2008, and Kirk, a former armed forces combat medic, already own and manage three other care homes on the Fylde. Established in 1981, Westholme has 15 staff and specialises in care for older people including those with dementia. Cheryl said: “It’s been great to meet and get to know our residents at Westholme. Under Vivien’s long-term ownership it has become well known throughout the area for the quality of its care and together with our excellent team, Kirk and I will continue that. “We pride ourselves on taking a hands-on approach to care home management and being very involved and visible. We strive to achieve a genuine home-from-home feel for our residents and their families which is why we’re also pet friendly.” Cheryl decided to pursue a career in care after going on work experience in a care home aged 14. She added: “I never got to know my grandparents, so I really want-

ed a chance to care for older people. I started out working with a home care agency, caring for people in their own homes, and quickly worked my way up to being the team leader and then the registered manager of the agency. “When the opportunity came up to own a care home in 2012, I jumped at the chance. It’s something I love doing. I cared for my dad

before he died and my mum lives in one of our homes too.” Kirk, who spent eight years in the armed services, added: “I love working in the care sector because I feel like I’m giving something back to the generations that have gone before me. I was very honoured to serve as a combat medic and when I left the forces, I wanted to continue doing something that was about helping people.” In addition to Westholme Care Home, Cheryl and Kirk also own the Glenthorn and Parade rest homes in Blackpool, and the Glenthorne No 2 home in Thornton. Between them, the homes have the capacity to look after more than 70 residents. The corporate team at Preston-based Harrison Drury Solicitors, led by Jack Stephenson, advised Cheryl and Kirk on their purchase of Westholme Care Home. Hannah Hughes from the firm’s commercial property team and Sarah Astley from the employment law team also advised the buyer. Jack Stephenson, senior associate solicitor at Harrison Drury, said: “Cheryl and Kirk are more than just care-home owners. They are highly experienced in giving care and their passion for looking after people in a homely environment is clear. We’re pleased to have supported them as they take up the baton at Westholme Care Home where I’m sure they will continue to achieve the same high levels of care of which it has become known.”

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, (previously known as, 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 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.”


Health and Social Care Secretary Takes Reform Agenda on the Road Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid is on the ‘Road to Recovery’ this week on a tour spanning the country where he will visit hospitals, care homes, cancer centres and cutting edge research facilities to engage those most integral to his ambitious reform and recovery agenda. Kicking off on Monday 14 February, his first stop was the East of England. His tour will take him to the North West and West Midlands, the North East, South West and South East and London. Along the way, he will visit care homes, community diagnostic centres, vaccination centres and GP surgeries. He’ll meet with urgent community response teams and visit a number of hospital sites to see and hear first-hand the life-saving treatments being delivered and the cutting-edge technology within the NHS. The tour is an opportunity for the Health and Social Care Secretary to hear from the dedicated health and care staff across the country that have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. As the country learns to live with COVID-19, it is a chance to discuss the government’s plans for a health and care service that not only meets the needs of people today, but also future needs. Each day he will host Q&A sessions with members of the public to listen to and better understand their experiences of the NHS, public health, and social care services. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As we learn to live with COVID, my mission is clear. We must tackle the backlog of people waiting for treatment, bring NHS and social care services closer together and deal with the stark inequalities and level up the health of the nation.

“Nurses, doctors, GPs, vaccinators, porters and so many others have put everything on the line to care for patients and families throughout this pandemic, and that’s why I wanted to thank them personally. “This week I want to hear directly from staff, patients, residents and local people about their experiences of the health and care systems and discuss my plans for NHS and social care recovery and reform.” Building on the phenomenal work of the NHS in the vaccine rollout, which has been crucial in allowing the UK to open up and being to learn to live with COVID-19, last week the NHS and government set out a blueprint to tackle backlogs of operations and long waits for care built up during the pandemic through and involves massive expansion of tests, checks and treatments. The COVID Backlog Recovery Plan will help the NHS reduce waiting times, give patients more control over their care, and harness innovative technology to free up staff time so people across the country can get the treatment they need. Data such as age, ethnicity and deprivation will be analysed to understand how they impact access to treatment to identify ways to level up healthcare and tackle disparities. The government has also published a new Integration White Paper setting out a vision for a more joinedup NHS and adult social care sector to transform services so they not only deliver more personalised care and treatment for patients, they will improve systems and processes to allow staff to focus more on patient care. Plans to enable people across the country to live longer, healthier lives are moving forward thanks to two significant independent reviews to tackle health disparities which the government recently announced. A review into potential ethnic bias in the design and use of medical devices will be led by Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool. Separately, Javed Khan OBE, former CEO of children’s charity Barnardo’s, will lead an independent review of the government’s bold ambition to make England smoke free by 2030. Both independent reviews will form part of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ agenda to tackle inequalities in health and care, which will include the publication of the Health Disparities White Paper in the spring.

I Goat You Babe! Care Home Resident’s Wish Comes True A Hampshire dementia care home hosted two baby goats and made a resident’s New Year’s wish come true. On January 1st, Laura Sheldrake, companionship team leader at Colten Care’s St Catherines View in Winchester, asked each resident to share their New Year’s resolutions. It was decided that instead of giving something up, they would all make a resolution based on something they wanted to do by the end of the year. Resident Maggie Greig’s resolution was to hold a baby animal and sure enough, a few weeks later her wish came

true. Laura Sheldrake explained: “Maggie didn’t have any particular animal in mind - any adorable animal would do! And quite by chance, my auntie Andree (correct) Day had recently welcomed two, female baby pygmy goats. “When I told her about Maggie’s wish, she was more than happy to help and brought the kids all the way from her home in New Milton.” The tiny animals caused quite a stir at St Catherines View and Maggie was thrilled when Andree also invited her to

give them names. Maggie named one Dorothy (to be known as Dottie) and the other residents voted for the name Elizabeth (aka Lizzie) in honour of the Queen in the year of her platinum jubilee. Maggie said: “They are very soft and small. They are lovely.” Laura added: “Maggie was over the moon when I placed one of the goats on her lap. The whole experience brought so much happiness to the residents and staff.”


It’s Time For A Digital Upgrade In Our Non-Acute Settings By Kevin Sample, Senior Consulting and Business Development Manager at GHX ( Unlike the traditional challenges of winter flu season, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a spike in demand for medical grade PPE that extended to non-acute medical settings such as care homes as well as traditional hospitals. In the future, if we are to avoid the PPE shortages which characterised the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, non-acute settings need to adopt a supply chain system that puts ease, speed and efficiency at its core. In recent years, digitalisation has transformed hospital supply chains to make them more resilient and more efficient in both inventory management and requisitioning. For non-acute settings, this digital approach might provide the answer.

NON-ACUTE SETTINGS ARE BEING OVERLOOKED Whilst a lot of attention has been paid to stock levels in frontline settings such as hospitals, some of the same supply chain problems within non-acute settings were initially overlooked. If the UK is to effectively respond to future pandemics, it needs to take seriously the challenges faced by these settings in securing adequate amounts of PPE. Whilst hospital supply chains have become much more sophisticated, thanks to the use of digital inventory management and data-driven requisitioning, many non-acute settings such as care homes still rely on manual material orders and inventory updates. The decentralised nature of these manual processes, where a care home in one town would handle its own procurement independently of a GP surgery in the next town, leads to an inability by the central Trust to gain proper visibility of stock levels and inefficient budget control. Whilst these are problems in normal times, they can lead to critical emergency stock shortages during a crisis. Added to these issues is the demand for increased PPE for vaccination centres, many of which are not in traditional medical settings. PPE is no longer the preserve of acute hospital environments, yet many non-acute settings have been overlooked in the move to digitalise procurement to avoid shortages.

So, how can non-acute settings improve their supply chain resilience to improve their response to future crises?

DIGITALISING OUR HEALTHCARE SECTOR Implementing a similar digital system to those found in hospitals into non-acute settings is both simple and accessible. Systems can be “bolted on” to existing IT assets and infrastructure using web-based applications, which allows any digital transformation to be seamlessly integrated with existing ERP systems across a diverse range of non-acute settings. This approach could be invaluable to Community Trusts with multiple sites across a large geographic area, and also financially efficient. The process of implementing new inventory management systems typically involves taking years worth of procurement and inventory data and analysing this on a setting-by-setting basis. From this, a standardised list of products can be created, allowing the most critical items to be replenished automatically when stock levels dip too low. By integrating this with a streamlined inventory check system, such as handheld barcode scanners, clinical staff can automatically update stock levels as and when they use medical equipment or PPE. This allows for real-time data on stock levels, as well as freeing up valuable clinical time for frontline staff to spend with patients, rather than manually recording and updating inventory records. In a non-acute setting, such a system would also streamline and improve the work of procurement teams by enabling them to see a list of “most purchased” products. This creates a more efficient ordering process where staff across multiple locations can quickly find the items they regularly order. A digital requisitioning application also enables bulk acknowledgment of orders from suppliers, helping larger requisition requests to be fulfilled quickly. This feature is especially important where there is a sudden spike in the demand for certain equipment, such as PPE. One of the many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for non-acute settings is that there is ‘room for improvement’ when it comes to accepted supply chain processes. The needs of care homes and GP surgeries are just as important as those of hospital wards and, to respond effectively to unforeseen crises such as global pandemics, they must have the same streamlined capabilities. To avoid future supply shortages, the UK must consider digitalising its non-acute medical supply chain.

Sundial Cottage Supports Dignity Action Day Most of us at some point in our lives will be in contact with care services, be that in our work, as a service user, carer, relative or friend and when we do we hope we will be treated with Dignity and respect. Over 2 million health and social care staff in the UK work around the clock to provide support and care for those in need. Over 155,000 Champions from all walks of life have joined forces to provide a more dignified service for everyone Sundial Cottage is helping to make sure that dignity is a reality for all. Over and above the care that Sundial Cottage provides on a daily basis, we ran an event as part of a national day of action to promote Dignity in Care. Sundial Cottage has put on a Digni’tea Afternoon Tea, this involved using our gifted posh China and enjoying cream scones. We spoke about what dignity meant to everyone at Sundial. We placed our thoughts on our Digni’tree. The activity promoted the dignity of those in care, we had many thought-provoking conversations with the residents, then created a display for everyone to enjoy. Kathleen one of the lovely residents said: it’s nice to chat and being able to say what’s on your mind, then hearing what it means to others. Sundials Manager Katie said: I am very proud of the day to day dignity that Sundial ensures, we are also able to think out of the box and have conversations

that may not be the norm. Dignity Action Day is a national initiative led by the Dignity in Care Campaign and its key partners to bring staff and members of the public together to make a difference to those in care. Ensuring everyone’s dignity is upheld is vital. In the words of Joan Bakewell who supports the campaign “Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn't do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit." Dignity Action day gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to upholding people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people receiving care. Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people in care are treated as individuals, are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily activities and are provided with stimulating activities. Anybody can support dignity action day to find out more log onto where resource packs full of ideas and useful information for staff and members of the public to support Dignity Action Day can be found.

Endurance Athlete Takes on 17 Marathons in 17 Days for Dementia Research Louis Alexander will run 17 marathons in 17 days to raise thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK marking the 17 years his grandfather lived with dementia. The 22-year-old, who hopes to raise £17,000, is no stranger to an endurance feat, having taken on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, completed 20 challenges in 2020, and ran a 100km ultra-marathon last year. However, Louis thinks this will be his toughest challenge to date. His fundraising challenges have all been in honour of his grandfather, Captain Rick Taylor, who was only 58 years old when he was

diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies. He was an explorer and adventurer who served all around the world during his 38 years in the British Army, fighting against some of the most dangerous forces. Louis, who lives in West London, said: “My Grandad is one of my true heroes, as both a family man and an adventurer. At his funeral, I made the promise to my family to support Alzheimer’s Research UK with one event every year until the day we find a cure and no family has to suffer from this cruel illness. I will not break that promise. “During this challenge, I will cover more than 445 miles in 17 different locations across the country including cities where Alzheimer’s Research UK’s scientists are based. I am looking forward to talking to a number of scientists and even running with one of them throughout my challenge.” He will set off from Chatsworth Grange Nursing Home in Sheffield on February 16. The location is a poignant one as it is where his grandfather spent the last few years of his life. Louis will be waved off by staff from the nursing home as well as Dr Ryan West from the University of Sheffield who receives Alzheimer’s Research UK funding for his dementia research. Dr West said: “My work would not be possible without the fundrais-

ing efforts of supporters like Louis, so I am really pleased to be meeting him and sharing the progress we are making in our bid to understand dementia and identify new areas of focus for treatments for the condition.” Louis’s late grandfather is not the only explorer spurring him on. He has public support from world-renowned explorers and endurance athletes who know what it is like to push their bodies to the limit, including Sir Chris Bonington, Robert Swan OBE and Ash Dykes. Lucy Haines, Alzheimer’s Research UK Fundraising Officer, said: “We are delighted to see Louis taking on his latest fundraising challenge to raise vital funds for dementia research in memory of his grandfather. 17 marathons in 17 days won’t be easy but we are behind Louis every step of the way and are so grateful for his continued support. “It will be great for Louis to meet some of our researchers, like Dr Ryan West, and see where the money raised by our amazing fundraisers goes. “Our supporters are helping us in our mission to make breakthroughs possible for people with dementia that will keep them connected to their families, their worlds, and themselves for longer.”


“Follow the Guidance” CQC Urges on Care Home Visits The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has urged care home providers to follow government guidance on care home visits following the January lifting of restrictions. In a statement the CQC said it expects care homes to ensure visiting is unrestricted and vowed to follow up on instances where this may not be taking place. Over the course of the pandemic many people who live in care homes will have faced exceptionally difficult circumstances, being unable to be with the people they love, and it has often been hard for loved ones unable to visit or spend important time with them while homes have limited or restricted visitors. The Department of Health and Social Care released new guidance on the 31 January 2022 lifting visiting restrictions in care homes, and the CQC says that “expectation remains that care homes follow government guidance – which is now to ensure visiting is unrestricted and we will follow up in instances where we are made aware that this may not be happening.” The CQC also adds that it has continued to investigate concerns about providers not following government guidance on visiting, and is continuing to monitor providers where they have information regarding concerns about visiting.

From 1 December 2021 we have received visiting concerns regarding 189 services, of which 82 were allegations of blanket bans. We have reviewed every concern raised with us and taken action where needed, including following up with providers, inspecting, raising safeguarding alerts where applicable and following up with local authorities. Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC said: “The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on many people and we know it has been particularly difficult for those who are living in care homes and their families and loved ones. It is so important that people are able to spend crucial time with the people they love. “We have taken decisive action throughout the pandemic to help keep people safe in care settings including undertaking over 12,000 inspections, and making absolutely clear to providers that not following government guidance is unacceptable and may trigger an inspection. Where concerns have been raised with us in relation to visiting we have, taken a range of action, including following up with providers, inspecting, taking regulatory action and where applicable, raising safeguarding alerts with local authorities. “We continue to seek assurances from care home providers about how they are supporting visiting to happen

and we are verifying this information when we go out and inspect and will continue to do so. We have introduced a mandatory question on each of our care home inspections which looks at how visiting is being supported to happen in a safe way.” As part of its updated monitoring approach, the CQC is asking providers how they are facilitating visits to people living at the home in accordance with current care home visiting guidance, or where this is not possible, what the reasons are for this, and how they are enabling other forms of contact. If you, a loved one or someone you care for would like to raise a concern about visiting in registered care locations, or about any other matter involving a person’s care, you can let us know by filling out our Give feedback on care form, or call our contact centre on 03000 616161.

Healthcare Job Application Numbers Have Fallen Continuously Since April 2021 The number of job applications in healthcare have fallen consistently since April 2021, putting added strain on an already under-resourced sector. That’s according to a new report from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) in collaboration with the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology. According to the data, the number of professionals applying for vacancies in healthcare dropped 35%, 24% and 32% in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2021 respectively. With the sector reporting widespread staffing shortages as Covid-19 continues to place

pressure on the medical profession, this suggests that, despite the U-turn on vaccine mandates which is under consultation, the number of healthcare professionals looking for work is dwindling to a worryingly low number. Across the regions, London reported the greatest demand for healthcare staff, holding the lion’s-share of vacancies last year, followed by the West Midlands, Surrey, Essex, West Yorkshire and Kent. Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo commented: “It’s no secret that the healthcare arena is facing a significant shortage, but to see such a sustained decline in applicant num-

bers is concerning. While we believe that the recent announcement of plans to scrap the vaccine mandates for the sector may help bolster staff numbers, our data suggests that resources remain at a worryingly low level. With demand for medical staff set to increase as the Coronavirus continues to put pressure on healthcare, application numbers are likely to continue to drop. APSCo is working closely with its members and in its government lobbying to ensure the country has access to the skills it needs across all sectors, including healthcare.”

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Sector Responds to the Government’s Health and Care Integration White Paper Sector leaders have reacted to the governments newly released Integration White Paper linking up social care and NHS care to improve patient healthcare. Commenting on the government’s health and care integration white paper, Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘More and more people are living with multiple health conditions and require the support of many different services, so the ambition to better integrate and coordinate those services is welcome. Similarly, we support the recognition that the integration of services best happens at the local level. ‘Local leaders need flexibility to determine their priorities and how they best integrate. However, this plan sets out a greater degree of national oversight of local governance and accountability than seen up until now and there will be nationally set priorities that must be met. Balancing national ambitions and local flexibility has long been a challenge in health and social care and is likely to remain so. ‘The plan also makes clear that key building blocks of this approach need significant further work over 2022. This makes it hard to see how the ideas will come to fruition by the planned deadline of April 2023 alongside all the other challenges the service is facing. ‘More significantly, the bringing together of the NHS and social care will not deal with fundamental challenges such as the workforce crisis gripping both sectors. Local leaders will only be able to work with the staff and budgets they already have.’ Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said: “The integration white paper

is a welcome acknowledgment that joined up, person-centred services work best for people who must be at the heart of care. “Integrated care is about people having to tell their story once and is reliant on relationships and trust, with providers of care and health working together irrespective of uniform or badge. This will only be achieved if we are able to attract and retain staff with the right mix of skills, and a properly recognised and rewarded adult social care workforce will be vital in making sure that happens. “Creating a national plan for our growing social care workforce will be critical as we consider what a fully funded integrated care system looks like, and whilst the integration white paper has a welcome recog-

nition of the importance of placed based workforce planning there was no mention of a national workforce plan. Furthermore, plans for integration must encompass and involve the whole of the social care sector from local authority commissioners, through to voluntary and small and medium enterprise (SME) providers of care. This will be key to ensuring the proposals announced today will make it easier for people in our communities who draw on services to have their needs met in the way they want. “We look forward to working with the Government and other partners on the detail of what these proposals mean and how they can be made a reality.” SCIE’s Chief Executive, Kathryn Smith, says: “The true test of integrated care is whether the changes to local services make a tangible difference to people’s care experiences. The pandemic demonstrated the inter-dependence of the NHS and social care. Whilst shared care records will enable the joined-up care people expect, better data does not on its own lead to better outcomes or experiences. A culture change in how care is organised, financed and delivered is just as important.” “Local partnerships are key to delivering this ambition, and we welcome the White Paper’s continuity for integration reforms already underway. Our research supports the premise of flexibility for local ‘place’ arrangements. Involving citizens and communities is crucial for determining how best to meet the needs of local people and expand their care choices.”

Government Plan to Drop COVID Restrictions Could Put Care Home Residents at Risk says Care Home Operator The government’s plans to drop all COVID restrictions – including the legal duty to isolate after a positive test result – on February 24 could put care home residents at unnecessary increased risk of infection, the chair of a specialist care home group has warned. Neil Russell, chair of PJ Care, which runs three specialist care centres for people with a range of neurological conditions, including acquired brain injury, dementia and Huntington’s Disease, says that

the government’s decision has come too early. “Unless there is a massive downturn in the daily number of new cases I would feel very uncomfortable allowing staff to come into work untested, or even worse with a positive test result,” he says. “While we will have to wait and see what the guidance for care homes changes to, and this will most likely be released several weeks

after any change takes effect for the rest of the population, I feel we would be putting our residents at unnecessary increased risk by taking this action now with so many new cases still in circulation. “At PJ Care, we will continue to take every available measure to keep our residents safe for as long as necessary.”


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 numericallybased 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.”

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: Click here to register for FREE:

The Therapeutic Benefits of Birdwatching for the Care Sector Wildlife expert Sean McMenemy encourages the care sector to embrace the wellbeing benefits of birdwatching, and gives his top tips for adapting the activity for different accessibility needs. Birdwatching is a fantastic way to engage with nature, have some fun and improve your wellbeing. Scientific research shows that connecting with nature in a meaningful way, such as helping local wildlife thrive or birdwatching, is beneficial for mental health. A recent trial in Edinburgh saw GPs prescribe nature engagement as a mental health treatment, and 87% of patients said they'd continue to use it to help their wellbeing. Plus, birdwatching is an activity that can be adapted to suit the needs, circumstances and capabilities of those you care for. Sean McMenemy, director at Ark Wildlife, provides his top tips on how to ensure those you are caring for have a fun and enriching birdwatching experience, and benefit from getting involved. Tips for making birdwatching accessible for who you care for Be prepared. If you don't have access to a garden, simply use a window as a viewing point to the outside world, or venture out to a local nature spot if this is possible for you. Here are some of the accessibility factors you might want to consider if going to a new location: surface terrain, route difficulty and length, time required, accessible toilets, seating areas and the availability and location of Blue Badge parking bays. Use educational resources. It can help to have images to hand to help keep track of which bird species can be spotted (images of some common birds can be found on this RSPB resource.) It can also help to identify birds by their songs and calls. You can listen to sound clips on the RSPB website. Consider supportive equipment. If the person you're caring for has any visual impairments, you may find filtered glasses or magnifiers useful. In addition, those with limited motor skills might benefit from hand grips or low-magnification/stabilising binoculars. Plus, a small trolley with wheels can be used to carry your equipment if needed.

only is it therapeutic and helps to expand knowledge, bird watching also rekindles memories of experiences of the past, for example seagulls from their trips to the seaside or robins from their family Christmases. Bird watching outside also gives the added bonus of exercise and fresh air. Not knowing the type of bird can also encourage social engagement with other residents, which is a great way of making friends within a care setting." Sean McMenemy says: "Spending time watching nature has been shown to benefit both the mind and body. Sitting quietly in fresh air, or walking in open spaces, balances our physiology and promotes the production of positive hormones. Remaining positive and keeping the mind stimulated, particularly if housebound, can be challenging, but there's always room to learn. Even gazing out of the window can be a great way to engage the mind. Use winter bird food to attract more birds. Scattering seasonal bird food can have a big impact on the number and diversity of birds attracted to the area. So if there seems to be a lack of birds around, this could create a more exciting birdwatching experience! Common birds to look out for in the winter include starlings, robins, chaffinches, goldfinches and blackbirds. Remain patient and have fun! When birdwatching, birds may not necessarily appear straight away. So it's important to make the most of all the beautiful sights and sounds that can be experienced, such as spotting other wildlife or watching plants sway in the wind. Wildlife watching — whether in the countryside or from a window — can bring an immense sense of pleasure and wellbeing. The more you watch, the more immersed you become. Benefits of getting involved in birdwatching Sue Faulkner, Community and Lifestyle Manager at not-for-profit care home provider Fremantle Trust, says: "Bird watching from inside or outside has many benefits for residents living in care homes. Not

Counting, recording, drawing, observing and identifying visiting birds are all valuable learning opportunities that are fun and mentally stimulating. Wheelchair-friendly nature reserves in the UK If you're able to visit a nature reserve to find a more diverse range of wildlife, Ark Wildlife has gathered data on the UK's most wheelchairfriendly and wildlife-abundant nature reserves. The top counties for wheelchair-friendly nature reserves are: Lincolnshire Nottinghamshire Lancashire Powys Hampshire Warwickshire Shropshire Northamptonshire


Plea to Make Sure that All Social Care Heroes Get £1,000 Bonus A social care leader is calling for an assurance that everybody working in the sector will receive a £1,000 bonus payment – even staff like cooks, care support workers and cleaners. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said the extra cash for front line social care workers announced by the Welsh Government was welcome in the midst of a dire staff shortage. But he’s concerned that some ancillary staff might miss out. Mr Kreft says that would be totally unfair when they too have played a vital role in keeping vulnerable people safe during the pandemic. According to Deputy Health Minister Julie Morgan MS, the initiative is costing £96 million and the bonus will be aimed at some 53,000 people working in the sector. It comes on top of the £43.2 million announced last December that’s designed to ensure social care workers receive the Real Living Wage from April onwards. Care Forum Wales are concerned that all of this money might not reach the frontline because it is being channelled via local authorities and health boards. Last year Mr Kreft was criticised by the Welsh Local Government Association for suggesting that asking councils to distribute social care funding to care homes and domiciliary care companies was like “putting a fox in charge of the henhouse”. Some authorities were better than others in getting the cash to front line but in far too many cases, he said, care homes were still waiting for any extra money to reach them. Mr Kreft said: “We certainly welcome the £1,000 as a first step recruiting and retaining social care workers at a time when we are facing the worst staffing crisis anybody in the sector can remember. “There is a much bigger issue about how we value social care worker and how we commission social care to ensure that our wonderful workforce receive the rewards that they deserve. “We have been having weekly meetings with the Deputy Minister and we are grateful to her for her inclusive approach in involving Care Forum Wales in her deliberations. “In relation to the £1,000, there is a question mark about those people who have slogged their guts out during the Covid nightmare, through all of the challenges, who may not be eligible. “I am thinking of people who may have been dealing with infection control, catering and cleaning staff because they have all played an absolutely key role in keeping people safe.

“We really need to have clarity that these people are not going to be overlooked because there has been an astonishing commitment by the social care sector and social care workers in different settings come in all shapes and sizes. “I hope there’s going to discretion in that guidance for employers to be able to ensure those who have kept people safe and gone above and beyond during the pandemic are rewarded for those efforts. “The key thing is that nobody gets overlooked because in Wales social care staff have made an astonishing contribution to the safety of vulnerable people. “We need to make sure that social care family benefits but I think that’s possible because I think the government understands the sector has made. “The issue is quite different in terms of the £43 million that’s been set aside to pay people Real Living Wage from April. “The delivery mechanism for that needs to be very carefully developed in partnership with the sector so that the guidance is such that local authorities and health boards will ensure it gets through to the front line so that our staff can actually receive the Real Living Wage. “Care Forum Wales was very clear in 2020 when we launched our campaign for social care workers to receive an annual salary of at least £20,000. “Every political party in Wales bought into that campaign and what

now need to ensure is that we have the right mechanism so that local authorities have no wriggle room. “We don’t want to see a repeat of the shambles last autumn when £41 million in recovery funding was given to local authorities because we Know that has been less than consistently allocated to the sector, as we warned would be the case at the time. “Last October we felt the guidance was not strong enough or clear enough and we were criticised by the Welsh Local Government Association for daring to suggest that would be the case. “In the event our concerns were proved to be wholly accurate. Surprise, surprise – many months later in February we see there are those local authorities, as we predicted, that there were some local authorities who did the right thing while others sat on the hands. “We still have some local authorities in Wales that have not ensured that desperately needed money has got to the frontline as the Welsh Government intended. “Some providers have still got the begging bowl out at a time when care homes are closing because of financial difficulties. “Among the places we have lost is a greatly valued care home in Mold and that is a stark reminder we have to have a sustainable service and that people with complex needs can be cared for in their own community and they don’t have to remain in hospital so the NHS can concentrate on what it’s best at. “That is why we have to ensure the new guidance for the Real Living Wage is worked on and co-produced in partnership with all parties so we have an effective mechanism for distributing funding in the right way. “This is surely the beginning of a more consistent national approach instead of the postcode lottery of having 22 local authorities and seven health boards doing things differently. “Last October I said that allocating the funding via local government was tantamount to putting a fox in charge of the henhouse and sadly what I feared has now come to pass. It hasn’t been consistently applied and there are cases where the money has not got to the front line. “It’s therefore vital that we learn the lessons and we approach this issue in partnership so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. “We need to see social care workers as a value not a cost to our society and our country.”


How Smart Software can Help us Beat the Care Crisis

By Paula Whitby, Managing Partner of CARAS Software (

Care providers have been hit with the worst staffing crisis ever along with a lack of support for their workers. Whilst also facing an ageing population, the UK’s care situation has hit a critical level. This lack of staff and resources not only puts immense pressure on the wellbeing of care workers, but also means that in some cases service users are receiving a sub-par level of care and are left feeling disregarded and forgotten. Utilising advancements in technology has become an ever-repeating trend in business. Whilst it is not a cure-all and many different factors contribute to the care crisis, I believe that harnessing technology will be pivotal to improving the current state of social care. Pre-pandemic, 70% of the 10,000+ care providers in the UK operated their business on paper, meaning that everything from staff rosters, care notes and reporting was done manually. This means that for many providers it is impossible to build a real-time picture of staff movements and service user details, causing further delays and a lack of quality care. Care management software solutions can provide crucial support to domiciliary care providers and help to reduce costs by improving efficiency. Care management solutions allow you to collate live, dynamic data on your staff and clients and utilise this to increase efficiency and deliver better care, in addition to simplifying compliancy checks and report-

ing. These solutions allow you to save time and resources on repetitive tasks such as working through timesheets, invoicing, and payroll by automating these processes. I have worked with many clients who were able to free up full-time salaries because of these time savings. Therefore, enabling them to redirect funds into improving the quality of care that they offer or into increasing staff pay, leading to longevity and satisfaction. It is no secret that today’s care staff feel undervalued and underpaid – a large cause of the care crisis. Speculation around pay often comes from the guesswork involved with manually working out mileage and travel time between care visits. Every domiciliary care provider owes it to its staff to pay fairly for this time, and utilising the available technology is the best way to ensure calculations are correct. Many providers take advantage of care management solutions that automatically track and adjust pay based on travel time and I think that taking steps like this to ensure worker satisfaction will be a key contributor to creating a happier, motivated care force. Another example of how not utilising today’s technology is detrimental to the care industry is in mobile access to care systems. Giving care workers access to your systems through integrated mobile apps allows them to track visits, enter care notes and communicate with HQ during visits. This not only allows managers to keep updated in real time and make quick decisions, but also means that staff feel the benefit from lone worker protection – another element that contributes to a happy, satisfied carer. All in all, I want to help care managers realise the potential locked within their data and that there is a world of software out there, tailor-made to make their jobs easier whilst cutting costs and improving the wellbeing of staff. It’s time for our largely outdated industry to follow many others and utilise software and technology to the fullest – following this, I believe we will be well on our way to beating the care crisis.

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Joins Local Care Home Residents for Mental Health Awareness Staff and residents at Barchester’s Chorleywood Beaumont Care Community in Enfield were treated to a Health and Wellbeing Seminar courtesy of Adam Millar, Program Coordinator, from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to Mark Time to Talk awareness. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is a charitable organisation that was set up over a decade ago to support the local community and help change lives. Adam’s talk focused on what health and wellbeing means and why they are important. Adam gave residents helpful hints and tips on how to stay fit, healthy and active during later life, and how to take care of your mental wellbeing too. Adam led a seated exercise class and mindfulness medita-

tion at the end of the virtual session. Adam said: “One of our main focuses at the Foundation is to promote a healthy lifestyle. I was delighted to meet the residents and the local community over zoom at Southgate Beaumont to discuss the importance of good health and wellbeing.” General Manager, Nick Wrapson, said: “Our residents are all very interested in ways to keep active and mindful, so it was great to hear Adam’s advice. The session was really interactive and we really enjoyed the exercise session. We are very grateful to Adam and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for all their support.”

Acas Publishes New Bereavement Advice Acas has published new advice to help employers handle staff bereavement at work and understand an employee’s legal right to time off. Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “The death of a loved one is a devastating and life changing experience for any employee. It can impact someone at work immediately as well as long-term. “We also cannot ignore the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on staff who have been unable to grieve in the usual way. Some people could not be with loved ones when they died or were not able to give them a proper send-off. “Our new bereavement advice can help employers handle these difficult situations in a supportive, compassionate and practical way as well as understanding the law in this area.” Acas advise that it’s important for employers to: be sensitive to what each person might need at the time; consider the person's physical and emotional wellbeing, including once they've returned to work; and recognise that grief affects everyone differently, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and it can affect people at different times following a death.

Employees have the legal right to unpaid time off for dependants following the death of a parent, partner or someone they live with or care for. A parent of a child under the age of 18 that dies may be entitled to parental bereavement leave which gives a right of up to 2 weeks’ time off. If a working parent meets certain eligibility criteria then they could also be entitled to parental bereavement pay. Acas’s full advice covers: · Leave and pay when someone dies; · If an employee's child dies; · If an employee or their partner has a stillbirth or miscarriage; · Parental bereavement leave and pay; · What to do after a death as an employee; · Supporting an employee after a death; · If someone at work dies; and · The benefits of a bereavement policy. Read Acas's bereavement advice for employers and employees at

Speedwell Court Staff Share The Love In Their Local Community Staff at Speedwell Court care home in Southampton have been showing they care for their community by giving out gifts to local residents. Speedwell Court, which is managed by national charity The Abbeyfield Society, is a dementia-friendly home for older people in the heart of the city's West End. Aside from caring for its 80 residents, the staff team at the home have been encouraged to spread some love around their neighbourhood too by creating a personalised gift for another older person living nearby. The campaign perfectly fits with Abbeyfield's unique identity. With 400 houses and homes worldwide, Abbeyfield strives to relieve feelings of loneliness and isolation amongst all older people. Its accommodation and care schemes are supplemented by outreach work, with each home encouraged to forge strong relationships within its local community and put something back into society. The competition between the staff was spearheaded by Jane Anderson, part of Speedwell Court's recruitment team, who challenged her colleagues to come up

with the most original gift idea for a neighbour, someone they have met on their journey to work, or someone they know through a friend or relative. After a vote from the staff team, the winner, Jennifer Varney, is pictured here receiving her prize, a retro coffee maker. Jennifer often sees a neighbour with his dog "Marmite", who has dementia, when walking to work. To maintain social distancing, Jennifer left her gift, a ball for Marmite, and a note for his owner on the doorstep. The team commented that it was important to acknowledge the important role of animals in providing support to older people, and that mental health impairments can affect them as well. Jane said, "With Valentine's day rapidly approaching, we were thinking about the community and how, following a couple of hard and potentially lonely years, we could help bring some joy to someone's day. We wanted to do something that embraced our values as an organisation but also involved all of our staff team, and show that we are not just a care home, but a home that cares."


Visa Relaxations For Overseas Carers Met with Caution Changes in the rules that will allow understaffed care homes and agencies to employ overseas workers in lower skilled roles are likely to be met with caution, predict immigration experts. Care homes struggling to recruit carers will be able to make job offers to more overseas migrants from February 15. The rule changes will make it easier to recruit care assistants and support workers, as long as recruiting care homes are registered to sponsor overseas workers. The change applies because the roles will be newly added to the UK’s shortage occupation list. However, immigration expert Yash Dubal predicts that the temporary nature of the change will make some Care Homes nervous about relying on migrant labour to alleviate manpower shortages. “Some employers may not be comfortable with changing their business model to pursue recruitment of overseas care workers, only for this source of staffing to be lost in a years’ time if the change is reversed,” he said. Until now, under the UK’s points-based immigration system, only overseas workers classified as senior carers could be sponsored and recruited by UK care homes. The restriction meant that a significant proportion of care home jobs were off-limits to foreign workers and remained unfilled as not enough native workers applied for the roles. It normally takes around two months for a business to get a sponsor licence. Once a licence is granted and a job offer is made. The employee must them apply for a visa, a process that takes between one and two months,

Mr Dubal, director of visa specialist A Y & J Solicitors explained: “Care workers will probably be considered ‘high risk’ applicants, which means that the Home Office may take significantly longer than the normal service standards to grant many of those visas. The lack of visibility on timeframes for approvals and the uncertainty as to whether care workers will stay on the shortage occupation list for more than 12 months may make some care homes proceed with caution. Although many which already hold sponsor licences and those who already have the infrastructure for sponsorship, are likely to be keen to press ahead with sponsorship.” Employers will need to put certain measures in place to take advantage of these changes and alleviate staff shortages. “First an employer must hold a sponsor licence, which is permission granted by the Home Office to recruit and employ people from outside the UK and ROI,” said Mr Dubal. “To apply for a sponsor licence, the business needs to demonstrate that they are a genuine care home, with a senior member of staff willing to take responsibility for the licence. They also need HR systems in place to monitor sponsored staff and ensure that the workers are doing the role they have been sponsored for. “Once the Care Home has a sponsor licence, they can then proceed to assign a certificate of sponsorship which is a virtual document that confirms the job offer and candidate’s details. “The final step is for the person who has received the job offer to make a visa application. This visa will allow the person to work for the Care Home.” Placing the lower skilled care jobs on the shortage occupation list will allow care homes and agencies to employ workers to fill them from anywhere in the world. However, while sponsored care workers will not need higher education qualifications, they will still need to speak English proficiently, so will typically be drawn from countries where English is commonly spoken.

Joan Peppiatt Celebrates Her 90th Birthday The Edensor Care Centre in Clacton on Sea celebrated Joan Peppiatt’s 90th Birthday on 3 February Joan Peppiatt, who has been living at the charity Diagrama’s Edensor Care Centre in Clacton on Sea since November last year had a very special day on Thursday 3 February as she turned 90. Her bedroom was dressed with birthday balloons and banners and the staff presented the birthday girl with a huge birthday cake that all the residents could enjoy and sang a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. Joan received lots of cards and presents from her family and friends and the care team at Edensor gave her flowers and chocolates and ensured she

enjoyed one of her best-loved things, a relaxing bath with her favourite fragranced bath bombs as part of her special day. Muhammed Neeliyath, Registered Manager, Edensor Care Centre, “Joan only moved to Edensor in late November, and she has settled in so well. Unfortunately, we were not able to have visitors last week, so the team made sure that Joan had a fabulous day celebrating her 90th. The team love chatting with Joan, and they tell me that she is really looking forward to the better weather when she might be able to visit the beach in one of our specially adapted wheelchairs.”


Chelmunds Court Care Home Hosts Valentine’s Tea Party Residents at Chelmunds Court have spread the love this week, with Valentine’s themed activities and events. The team began baking some delicious, sweet treats early in the week, which included lots of pink cupcakes, to fit with the theme. On the 8th of February, residents were able to enjoy the cakes they made with a cup of tea at their Valentine’s tea party. The home’s dining area was adorned with pink, themed decorations and the residents enjoyed delicious refreshments, an exciting singalong and dance, entertaining party games and a lovely chat with their friends. The team at the Chelmsley Wood Care Home, which is part of the Runwood Homes Group, are always organising events like this one, to provide a rich and stimulating environment for residents. Home Manager at Chelmunds Court, Geraldine Alfonso, commented:

“The team and residents really enjoyed the Valentine’s tea party. It was lovely to see the smiles and laughter and everyone having great fun. At Chelmunds Court, we always try to organise a variety of different activities and events that everyone is able to get involved in.” The Valentine’s themed activities at Chelmunds Court perfectly align with Runwood Homes’ dignity theme of the month; ‘We are all Family’, which explores the love we have for one another, the meaningful relationships formed within the home and the importance of family and our family history.

Dave The Care Home Cat Had The ‘Purrfect’ Valentine’s Day With His Favourite Kitty Dave lives at the Edensor Care Home in Clacton on Sea and was introduced to the home when a resident asked for a cat that she could love and care for. Since Dave joined the home as a kitten in 2021, he has made a huge difference to the lives of the residents and spreads love throughout the home. Recently the residents noticed that Dave was getting a

regular daily visit from a female Kitty and true to form she arrived to see her beau on Valentine’s Day. Lindsey Miliken, Deputy Home Manager, Edensor Care Centre, said, “Dave has a very special place in everyone’s hearts. He is a real character who likes to be involved in every aspect of life at the home. He especially likes to join in with the crafts and help in the office and he has made

an amazing difference to life here. The residents recently noticed that Dave was getting a regular visit from a beautiful female cat and sure enough on Valentine’s Day morning she appeared in the garden to meet with her ‘purrfect’ beau.” Let’s hope there will be a very happy end to this feline love story.

‘Cilla Black’ Brings Valentine’s Day To Liverpool Care Home Sixties singing legend ‘Cilla Black’ helped the residents of Oak Springs Care Home in Liverpool to celebrate Valentine’s Day yesterday. Liverpool born Victoria Jones, a Cilla Black Tribute act, visited the home to sing some of Cilla’s iconic hits. The visit was arranged by Rebecca Reed, activity co-ordinator at Oak Springs, who said: “Everyone in the home loves Cilla Black and her music has touched a lot

like Cilla, but her voice and singing was spot on. She wowed us all. “All our residents put on their best outfits and we filled the room with love and happiness.” Resident John Hilliard said: “Victoria was a brilliant ‘Cilla Black’ – she was very good and even looked like her.”

of people. “Some of our residents even remember seeing her perform live and really enjoyed her shows.

“We thought it would make Valentine’s Day extra special for them to invite a Cilla Black Tribute act into the home. Victoria was brilliant. Not only did she sound

Oak Springs Care Home is a 74-bed home in Liverpool which offers a mix of residential, dementia and early onset dementia care across three floors.

Valentine’s Day Love is in the Air at Middlesbrough Care Home Love and romance were the order of Valentine’s Day for a 65-year-


married couple at Astune Rise care home in Eston, near

Colin said: “We mean everything to each other. We’ve done every-


thing together, never been apart. It’s so important to see her every

Evelyn Robinson (84), who lives in Astune Rise care home and hus-

day, we don’t know how many days are left so every day is a treas-

band Colin (90) who will celebrate 66 years of wedded bliss in March


were surprised with a Valentine’s Day afternoon tea at the care home.

Caroline Bowstead, home manager at Astune Rise said: “It’s the

They were serenaded by a local singer who performed ‘their song’

most romantic day of the year and we’ve followed Evelyn and Colin’s

Till which was originally sung by Shirley Bassey, and a private lounge

love story since Evelyn came to live with us. We just wanted to do

was decorated with balloons and fabulous heart decorations made

something really special for them.

with love by children from the local Whale Hill primary school. Colin visits Evelyn every day and their devotion to each other

“We put a post on Facebook and the local school and the whole

prompted staff to make Valentine’s Day extra special, particularly

community have helped make it so special. Thanks you to everyone

given all the restrictions they have been living under over the last two

for making Evelyn and Colin’s Valentine Day!”

A Valentine’s Day Full of Love, Laughter and Happy Memories Residents at a Dorset care home spent Valentine’s Day reminiscing over their wedding days, feasting on cakes and sharing ‘getting to know you’ dates. Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Amberwood house in Ferndown near Bournemouth used the official day of love to celebrate friendships old and new. Companionship Team member Corinne Wareham said: “We have some new residents at Amberwood House and we decided to create a lovely atmosphere for making friends, with our lounge and dining room decorated in pink, red and white and our tables festooned with confetti, roses and little chocolates. “Our Companion Rebecca Osborne provided a beautiful start to the day by singing famous love songs. “Then, at lunchtime, each resident picked a name out of a hat to determine who they would sit next to, to open up new conversations. “And in a ‘Guess the Valentine’ game, we looked at a ‘tree of love’ featuring original wedding photos of 14 residents and tried to guess who was who. “Quite a few of the men proved easier to identify than the ladies. But in the end, we worked together to correctly match everyone to their wedding day photos.” In the afternoon, residents had a great deal of fun with the activity ‘Take a staff member on a date’, where they chose staff members with

whom to share a 15-minute ‘date’ to get to know more about them. Corinne said: “It really was a great chance to get to know each other better. “Sarah, one of our carers, learned a great deal about Judy’s first date with her husband back in the 1950s while our waitress Kate learned from Ray that he had been married to his lovely wife for over 60 years.” A sumptuous, Valentine-inspired afternoon tea was enjoyed at 3pm

and afterwards Corinne read some famous love letters from people such as George W Bush, Henry VII and Vita Sackville-West, which provoked conversations about important letters residents had received over the years. She said: “Many of these letters had been received from family members when they had lived overseas during the war and had been kept safely for years as precious mementos. “It was a lovely day spent encouraging new friendships and remembering good times.” Residents at Colten Care’s 20 other care homes in the south also celebrated Valentine’s Day. At Brook View in West Moors, Dorset, team members decorated the in-home café with red and pink balloon hearts and table-top roses, enabling resident couple Audrey and David Vincent to enjoy a romantic lunch. It gave them the opportunity to reminisce about their 51 years of marriage. They met while attending ballroom dance classes together when David was 37 and Audrey 39. “It was love at first dance,” said Audrey, a former teacher. “He was quite a dancer and he continues to lead the way, even if I do ‘wear the trousers’ sometimes!” Among other Colten homes, Fernhill in Longham, Dorset, staged a Valentine’s Day ball complete with live music, buffet and fizz.


Love and Romance Fill the Air for Valentine's Day at HC-One Care Homes Love was in the air at HC-One care homes across the UK on Monday 14th February as Residents and Colleagues celebrated Valentine's Day with a variety of love-themed fun activities. Residents and Colleagues took the opportunity to show their appreciation and express their feelings of love, affection and friendship for each other. At Balcarres Care Home in Dundee, Residents were feeling the love by getting involved in arts and crafts. Residents Margaret Downie, Alma Cargill, May Sutherland and Mary Malham all got involved in the crafts session with assistance from Stephen Doyle, Senior Carer, who offered to help the Residents to make Valentine's wreaths to display in the main entrance area and on the lounge door. The Residents also made Valentine's Day cards to give to Colleagues, with the aim of spreading some love around the home. Colleagues were overwhelmed and thrilled to receive the cards. Resident, May Sutherland at Balcarres Care Home said: "I love everyone so I will have to make lots of cards!" Lynn McLean, Home Manager at Balcarres Care Home commented:

"I have enjoyed hearing all their stories from when they were courting their boyfriends before marrying them." At Averill House Care Home in Newton Heath, Colleagues worked hard to transform the home into a romantic restaurant for Residents to be wined and dined on Valentine's Day. Wellbeing Coordinator at Averill House Care Home, Jodie Yates, decorated both of Averill House's dining rooms to create a restaurant with a romantic ambience. Red tablecloths, balloon arches and windows were decorated as a restaurant window, with signage titled 'Valentino's Restaurant' in honour of the Valentine's Day theme. Residents were invited to attend a delicious meal in Averill House's 'Valentino's Restaurant' by receiving special personalised invitations and were greeted and seated by Colleagues next to the place settings laid out. Residents were given the option of choosing their preferred dishes from the menu created especially for the occasion and were given the full restaurant experience, complete with romantic music playing in the background. Residents were delighted to be treated to a three-course romantic meal of roasted vegetable soup and honey roasted ham, plus baby vegetable quiche as a vegetarian

option. Residents were also served glasses of prosecco and red wine to complement their meals, and Valentine's Day cards were exchanged with one another. Colleagues later in the day toured the home with Valentine's Day trolleys, visiting all the Residents to give them gifts, including flowers, cupcakes and chocolate-dipped strawberry desserts. Residents thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the day and commented on how special they felt by the efforts made. Marjory Burke, Resident at Averill House Care Home said: "I can't believe it. It's beautiful, all this for me for Valentine's Day?" At Priory Gardens Care Home in Pontefract, the team have been spreading love around the local community. On Valentine's Day, Wellbeing Coordinator, Karen Weaver and Housekeeper Mick Haigh visited the local community to hand out Valentine's Day gifts which were made by the Residents at Priory Gardens. Both Karen and Mick were met with smiles and thanks as they went door to door delivering the Valentine's Day gifts. Allison Gill, Home Manager at Priory Gardens Care Home commented: "Connecting with the local community is vitally important and it's heart-warming to see the response we received."

What's Love Got To Do With It: Care Home Embraces Valentines Romance Residents at local care home Upton Bay of Hamworthy, Poole, have been melting hearts this week, in celebration of Valentine’s. Upton Bay Head Chef, Alain Fadonougbo, cooked a whole lotta love into the love-themed menu, which featured ‘sweetheart Scottish salmon’, ‘nuts about you’ five nut roast, and ‘butter me up’ vanilla buttercream sponge The home ensured everyone received a token of affection on the day, offering freshly baked mini biscuits, boxed up to exchange between residents, families and staff. To walk off the lunchtime feast, residents coupled up at a Tea Dance to two-step the afternoon away to the musical talents of musician, Simon

Woodley. “A whole day all about love – I’ve had a few secret admirers in my time!” commented Barbara, resident at Upton Bay. “Our team show love, compassion and care to our residents every day, but each of our wonderful ladies and gents have felt extra loved today,” said Karen Grant A’Court, wellbeing lead at Upton Bay. Upton Bay care home provides residential, respite, and dedicated dementia care to 68 residents.

Love Is In The Air, Local Care Home Celebrates Valentine’s Day Hugh Myddelton House care home, in Southgate, was filled with flowers, cards and sweets in celebration of St Valentine’s Day. Staff and residents celebrated the day of love by creating heart-shaped decorations to decorate the home, gifting each other home-made sweets, cakes and treats and enjoying a live music performance that took place at the home. Local singer, Pete Morton, performed a selection of love songs including Love Me Tender, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Delirious Love. Residents joined in with the singing and clapped along as the singer performed his finale song “Love & Marriage”. General Manager, Ramona Stanciu, said: “We’ve all had a lovely day decorating the home and making gifts for each other and for our loved ones. Lots of our residents were able to see their loved ones either in person or via video call. We’ve had a whole range of treats and Valentine’s themed fun and we have enjoyed every moment of it!” Rosa, a resident at Hugh Myddelton House said: “It has been a lovely day. It was

wonderful to see everyone go to so much effort to get involved with the day’s festivities. I really liked singing along with the wonderful performer, residents and team members, making heart-shaped decoration and decorating the home, and all the chocolate treats.” Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities. We’re making our homes as safe as possible and will ensure that all new residents and staff are vaccinated before moving in or working in our homes. Please do give us a call on 02088864099 if you are looking for care or need any further help. Hugh Myddelton House is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Hugh Myddelton House provides nursing care, residential care and respite care.

Windmill House Residents Leave Chocolate Treats Around Wymondham For Valentine’s Day Residents at Windmill House in Wymondham, Norfolk, have spread the love this Valentine’s Day, leaving messages with chocolate favours around the town. Windmill House, part of the Runwood Homes Group, love to connect with their community, so the team thought what better way to show their love for their community, than expressing their appreciation on Valentine’s Day. The residents began by writing their heartfelt messages, then beautifully wrapped up the chocolate,

complete with ribbon and all. The treats were hidden at various places of interest within the town of Wymondham and everyone at the home is very excited to see who finds their gift. The Windmill House team are encouraging the lucky recipients to send in a photograph and a message to let them know the treats have been found. Fran Annis, Wellbeing Lead at Windmill House, loved getting everyone in the home involved in the activity, and commented: “This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to organise activities

that would include our wonderful community too. We have such strong connections and bonds with those in the community and I thought this Valentine’s Day we would represent that. The residents had great fun making the Valentine’s treats and are looking forward to see who finds them.” This year, homes across the Runwood Homes Group have enjoyed taking part in a variety of Valentine’s themed activities and events. The theme for this month’s Dignity Campaign is ‘We are all Family’, and this links wonderfully with Runwood Homes’


Care Home Fire- “Action Needed” says Coroner Action is needed to prevent future deaths after two elderly women were killed in a care home blaze, a coroner said. Two residents died when a fire broke out at a Care home in Cheshunt when they died in a devastating fire in the early hours of April 8, 2017. The fire travelled through voids in the roof and quickly engulfed the entire building. An inquest jury ruled last week that the residents died in an accidental fire that was contributed to by inadequate compartmentation in the care home’s roof space. In a report, senior coroner for Hertfordshire Geoffrey Sullivan warned

there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken. The report, which has been sent to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, the coroner said that a number of witnesses “expressed concern that sprinkler systems are not a mandatory requirement for care homes such as Newgrange, in which many residents have either limited or no independent mobility”. During the inquest, Paul MacDonald, the-then Group Commander from Herts Fire and Rescue Service, was of the view that had there been sprinklers in each room the two victims would likely have sur-

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

vived. The coroner added: “I also heard evidence that care homes such as Newgrange, despite their residents having either limited or no independent mobility, do not fall under the national definition of ‘Higher Risk Buildings’. “I heard that if a building is classified in this way, it brings about greater consultation with fire authorities and building control regarding its design, management and construction and implications for the Responsible Person and how the Fire Risk Assessment is conducted.” 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.


Over 90% of Adult Unpaid Carers Feel Ignored by the Government Findings from a new Carers Trust survey provide alarming evidence of a deep-rooted failure by successive governments to understand and meet the basic support needs of millions of people struggling to provide unpaid care for a family member or friend. There is a near total sense among survey respondents of feeling abandoned by Government over a long time. Almost nine out of ten (86%) of unpaid carers agreed, or strongly agreed, that ‘successive governments have ignored the needs of unpaid carers for a long time’. And only 1% of respondents (just 12 out of more than 1,500 unpaid carers who completed the survey) felt that politicians understand unpaid carers. A separate poll of the UK public by research company Opinium for Carers Trust found that UK adults support the need for unpaid carers to receive more support from the Government. According to the Opinium poll: • Four in five UK adults (80%) agreed that the Government needs to do more to support unpaid carers. • More than two thirds (68%) of UK adults agreed that all unpaid carers should receive financial support from the Government. • Almost half (46%) of UK adults did not agree that Carer’s Allowance is a fair level of support for an unpaid carer looking after a family member or friend for a minimum of 35 hours a week. Carers Trust’s survey results also demonstrated how many unpaid carers are being driven into acute financial hardship because of their caring role, with inadequate financial support from successive governments widely cited by survey respondents in their written responses. Of those unpaid carers responding to a question on whether they had had to give up paid work because of their caring role, almost half (48%) said they had. Financial pressures arising from giving up paid work are further exacerbated for many unpaid carers unable to claim Carer’s Allowance. The survey found that, of those responding to a question on whether they were receiving Carer’s Allowance, more than half (51%) said they were not.

A common complaint from survey respondents was how family carers of pensionable age stopped receiving Carer’s Allowance because they were receiving pensionable income, even though they were caring for a family member round the clock: Responding to the survey findings, Carers Trust’s Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs, Joe Levenson, said: “Day in day out millions of unpaid carers play a crucial role, caring for family and friends and propping up our creaking social care system. But it’s clear from our survey that this is at great personal cost, and that unpaid carers are struggling to cope and feel marginalised and ignored by government. Reading the anguished responses from unpaid carers you get an overwhelming sense of how so many have been brought to breaking point. Unpaid carers are united in saying that they feel ignored and let down by the failure of successive governments to improve their lives, including through wide-reaching social care reform that could ease the responsibilities of care placed so heavily on family carers. That’s why the all too familiar practice of paying lip service to supporting carers while looking the other way must stop now. We welcome the UK Government’s recognition of the importance of unpaid carers in the recent adult social care white paper and are committed to working together to improve carers lives, but unpaid carers need ambitious and transformational change and they need it now. The Government could let carers know they have been heard straight away by introducing a national strategy for unpaid carers, to ensure their needs are a priority across government. And they should act on what unpaid carers have told us, putting them at the heart of this strategy so it’s able to deliver the transformational change that’s desperately needed – such as boosting Carer’s Allowance and making it easier to claim and funding regular breaks and respite for carers.” Carers Trust’s full set of recommendations for Government, as well as comprehensive findings from the survey, are available in its report, Pushed to the Edge at

Runwood Homes Introduces Bite-Size Nutrition Initiative Group Hospitality Manager at Runwood Homes, Chris Williams and James Cotton, Group Development Chef, are delighted to have launched their Bites-sized Nutrition initiative, to further support those living with Dementia. Dementia can lead to co-ordination difficulties, which means that using cutlery efficiently can be a task. Residents living with Parkinson’s, arthritis or recovering from a stroke may also have difficulty utilizing cutlery. With this in mind, Chris and James launched the Bite-sized nutrition initiative, to further educate kitchen teams across the Runwood Homes Group on suitable foods for residents with differing needs and requirements. The initiative was created as a way to further improve the mealtime experience for every resident. Teams within Runwood Homes know full well the importance of creating a calming, sociable and inclusive environment for residents during meals. The Bite-size nutrition initiative is just another brilliant project that Runwood Homes has introduced to achieve this. The initiative will promote dignity and independence as it reduces the need for

hands on assistance. It will also provide a nutritionally balanced diet; providing finger foods that aren’t buffet style. It is both person-centred and inclusive, as residents who may have difficulty using cutlery can still feel included and comfortable in the mealtime experience. Both Chris and James very much look forward to delivering the training to Runwood Homes teams where they can discuss the numerous benefits of the initiative and share more recipe ideas too. Chris commented: “Our Bite Sized Nutrition initiative provides a nutritionally balanced diet and is person-centred, meaning residents who may not have felt comfortable eating certain foods can now feel included” “Myself and James Cotton, Group development Chef, are excited about training our chefs with these simple recipes to prepare, cook and serve.”

Signature at Ascot Grange Welcomes New General Manager Signature at Ascot Grange, a luxury care home in Sunningdale announces the appointment of a new General Manager, Mark Deadman. With a broad career in care management, Mark is passionate about people and their needs, having spent the last 20 years working in leadership roles in the healthcare profession. His areas of specialism include domiciliary, residential, dementia and assisted living care. Prior to joining Signature Senior Lifestyle, he managed multiple sites at McCarthy Stone for the past eight and a half years. Mark is committed to tackling some key priorities for improving the overall living experience at Ascot Grange. Most significantly, instilling a culture of care and compassion at the home, through understanding Ascot Grange residents and team members. Reflecting on his new role, Mark said: “In the short-term, my aim as the new General Manager is to bring stability in leadership, person centred management to the teams and implementing good governance at Ascot Grange.”

“In the long-term, I want to take the service forward by increasing both service delivery, quality of service for our residents and to increase overall occupancy levels; with the aspiration of making Ascot Grange a flagship development for Signature. “For social care I believe giving people time and genuinely being interested in others is a key element in providing high quality care.” Asked what his aspirations for the future of Signature at Ascot Grange were, Mark said: “First and foremost, I am eager that we continue to build caring relationship with our residents and deliver exceptional care. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for the care home sector, but I look forward to supporting our residents and team members to emerge from this period stronger. “Striving for excellence and continuing to build our own sense of community are very important to me. I know that I can continue to deliver on these missions with the support of the wonderful Ascot Grange team.”

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 Tickets cost £19.50 online, £27 on the door. The full Virtual Dementia Tour costs £45 and includes entry to the show.


Reducing VAT Costs for Care Homes By Robert Marchant, head of corporate VAT at audit, tax, risk and advisory firm Crowe (

“Plus VAT”, are two small words that can add a further 20% of costs to a care home’s operating costs, and have a considerable impact on budgets. As the provision of welfare services is largely exempt from VAT, many care homes, whether they are operating on a ‘for profit or ‘not for profit’ basis are not registered for VAT, or if they are, they can only reclaim a small percentage of the VAT they incur. There are several steps that care home operators can take to better manage their VAT positions and to increase the amount of VAT they can reclaim.



The first step is a simple one in that no organisation can reclaim VAT without first being registered for VAT, so the first action is to assess whether the organisation makes taxable supplies that enable it to voluntarily register for VAT (note that if taxable income exceeds the compulsory VAT registration threshold, currently £85,000 per annum, then VAT registration is a legal requirement). Once registered for VAT, consideration should be given to ‘how much’ VAT can be reclaimed, specifically, what VAT is incurred on costs that relate to taxable income – typical examples of taxable supplies in a care home setting include café/restaurant income, shop and transport services – and the VAT recovery calculation. There are some complex recovery rules known as partial exemption which provide for VAT incurred on costs directly relating to taxable income to be reclaimed, as well as a percentage of general overhead costs. It can therefore be advantageous for care homes to register for VAT, if possible, to benefit from these two elements of VAT recovery. They are unlikely to result in significant cash repayments given the principal activities of a care home remains VAT exempt welfare services but they are repayments to which the organisation is entitled, provided it satisfies the appropriate VAT compliance requirements. A point to note is that, in our experience, many care home operators do not keep records of the VAT they incur (simply treating any cost with VAT as a gross expense) so registering for VAT to benefit from reclaims would require a change to these processes, as well as the obligation to prepare and file VAT returns on a regular basis.

A much more significant change, and one which could result in significant VAT refunds, is to ‘break’ exemption so that the care home’s principal activities of welfare are subject to VAT. This would only be attractive where the customer is not self-funding their care home costs (as charging VAT to a private individual would make the service 20% more expensive); in many instances the services are provided to entities that could recover VAT if it were properly chargeable, e.g. local authorities and NHS Trusts. The conditions for VAT exemption are applied narrowly and if one or more requirement is not met, VAT exemption does not apply and the care home services default to being subject to VAT. By taking steps to charge VAT (which the local authorities and NHS Trusts can reclaim) the operator is able to recover the VAT it incurs on associated costs. Organisations with a mixture of both self-funding and local authority funded residents are also able to benefit from these arrangements; they do not require the care home to solely have residents funded by local authorities/NHS Trusts. There are a number of actions that need to be taken to implement such a change and it does require an amendment to the legal entity providing the services and the contractual terms with the counter parties. Taking steps to fall outside the VAT exemption may at first seem counter intuitive, but it is an action that a number of care homes providing welfare services to local authorities and NHS Trusts have done and it can yield significant VAT savings when the changes are implemented correctly.

Stockton Care Home Creates Dignity Tree as Part of Dignity in Action Month Staff members and residents at a Stockton based care home have got their creative juices flowing and produced a dignity tree as part of Dignity in Action month. MHA Rueben Manor provides residential and residential dementia care for 83 residents in beautiful, en suite accommodation across two floors. Dignity in Action month is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people who use care services. The tree contains leaves with handwritten notes from all involved on what dignity means to them. Both floors were involved in making the dignity tree, with some residents and staff members drawing, colouring and putting up the tree. Beverley Stanton, activity coordinator said:” We started the dignity tree on the first floor of the home but before we knew it, all the home

including staff members were wanting to be a part of it. “We then discussed with residents and staff members what dignity meant to them and got them to write it on a leaf and stick it on the tree. “Some residents were in charge of drawing the outline of the tree and those on the middle floor painted it and with the help of staff both floors then stuck on their leaves. “The tree looks very nice and it is currently put up in the reception area and the feedback has been lovely. “Almost everyone who walks past it looks at the tree and reads the lovely words on the leaves. “The tree has been an amazing addition to the home, the atmosphere has gone up so much and I am very happy we decided to do this.”

Ontex Launches NEW Men’s Pants Range Incontinence experts Ontex have launched their new iD for Men Level 4 pants. Providing extreme comfort and a perfect fit, the all-round stretch, elastified material has a thin and flexible core to ensure that the pants fit like real underwear, perfect for carrying on with day to day activities. The pant has been designed to stay in place, not lose its shape or become bulky even when saturated. Thanks to the cotton-like material used on both the inside and out, it feels soft, all day long, so you won’t know you’re wearing an incontinence pant. This fully breathable material means a healthy skin and no sweating.

Ontex exclusively specialises in products for continence management, including products for light, moderate and heavy incontinence in a range of unisex, female, male and junior styles. The products offer odour control and fast absorption, keeping liquid locked in the pad as well as anti-leakage protection. iD Men Level 4 come in a size Medium and Large and are available from, ASDA pharmacy and local pharmacies priced at £8.99 Ontex iD can be purchased from

Celebrating the Winter Olympics at Pontefract Care Home Residents at HC-One’s Priory Gardens, residential, nursing and residential memory care home, in Pontefract have been getting their practice in for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Ada Falkinder, Joyce Gelder, Margaret Bradley and Janet Armitage took part in a snowball juggling event to celebrate the Winter Olympics. There was lots of fun and laughing. One of the residents involved, remarked, “I have really enjoyed trying something new and laughing together.” At the end of the activity the residents enjoyed throwing the snowballs at the Wellbeing Coordinator! The residents really enjoyed trying something new and doing activities together. It is great for them to learn a new skill. The snowball juggling was great for some of the residents who have lack of mobility in one of their arms. With lots of encour-

agement and support they were able to join in the fun using the lightweight easy to handle snowballs. As well as the fun games the residents have played, they have caught some of the events. They have watched the mixed doubles curling matches and cheered on Team GB who sadly missed out on bronze. They have also watched the skiing and ice-skating. It is something which comes around every four years, what a treat to watch Team GB! It looks like there could be some future Olympians at Priory Gardens! Allison Gill, Care Home Manager, commented, “Regular exercise and hand eye coordination is really important, good skills to keep up.”


‘Missed Opportunity’ to Tackle NHS and Social Care Staff Shortages In what has been described as a “missed opportunity” the government has rejected the Health and Social Care Committee’s recommendation to overhaul workforce planning. The Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee has said the Government has missed an opportunity to alleviate the workforce crisis in the NHS and social care by rejecting the Committee’s recommendation to overhaul workforce planning. Today the Government has published its response to the Committee’s June 2021 Report, Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care. In its report, the Committee warned that workforce burnout across NHS and care systems had reached emergency level and was risking the future functioning of services. The inquiry heard that NHS workforce planning was at best opaque and at worst was responsible for unacceptable pressure on staff. The Report concluded that available funding was the driver behind planning, rather than the level of demand and staffing capacity needed to service it. It further cited the absence of any ‘accurate, public

projection’ of workforce requirements in specialisms over the next five to ten years. Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Whilst we are pleased that some of our recommendations to improve workplace culture were well received, this long-awaited response is a missed opportunity to properly address the single biggest driver of workforce burnout, staff shortages. “It is disappointing the Government has again rejected our call for transparent and independent projections of the number of doctors and nurses we need to meet future demand. Unless we have future proof workforce planning, it will not be possible to address the NHS backlog and the cycle of crises putting dangerous pressure on staff will continue. “We hope the Government will be persuaded by the case for independent workforce planning as the Health and Care Bill progresses through Parliament. Without it we see little hope that the workforce crisis will be alleviated.”

Mae Celebrates 102nd Birthday at New Forest Care Home

It was Mae’s big day when she celebrated her 102nd birthday last week at Woodlands House Care Home at Woodlands in the New Forest. Mae Boland celebrated with her friends and

members of the Woodlands team who made a huge banner to proclaim her special birthday as the most senior resident at the care home. A resident at Woodlands House Care Home since February 2015, Mae moved to England from Tipperary in Ireland in 1937 aged 17. She worked in a hotel before the Second World War. After the war, she married her husband Jim and they settled in Hertfordshire. She had a long career working for British Waterways before moving to the New Forest in 2010 to live with her grandson Rob and his family. Repeka Taukei, Manager of Woodlands House, which is run by Hartford Care, said: “We had so much fun celebrating with Mae. She is a muchloved member of our Woodlands House family, and she was overwhelmed with all the cards and greetings she received.”

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Care Connectivity: Entering the Future of Social Care By Adrian Smith, Health and Social Care Lead at West Midlands 5G (WM5G) ( vastly accelerated as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are at the cusp of the care industry breaking into the world of smart connected technologies. When implemented at scale, these solutions will vastly improve capacity amongst staff, and safety and continuity of care for patients. In fact, PwC anticipates that – once fully adopted – the fifth generation (5G) connective technology, will add £15 Billion to the healthcare sector by 2030. This will be through the enabling of greater automation, allowing more aspects of medical care or processes to be provided via digital means, both in and outside of the clinical setting. Not only will this decrease footfall in hospitals and care homes, but it will also alleviate pressure on care providers.


The need for reform in the social care sector has been a hot and contested topic of discussion for many years. Solving the care conundrum and finding solutions that work at scale, across different modes of care, remains a challenge; despite the many new innovations entering the market. The needs of residents have become more complex, yet the ways in which we look after them has in real-terms seen little change since the 1950s. In fact, the parliament care minister Gillian Keegan’s recent white paper revealed that 60% of social care providers still rely on paper records. Digitisation and more widespread adoption of technology could easily complement and enhance the work already delivered by the workforce and help tackle this challenge. As care providers, we are acutely aware that current ways of working are becoming increasingly unsustainable unless we can increase capacity and re-distribute the burden of care away from care homes, clinics and hospitals for a more managed at home or community care solution. However, what’s reassuring, is that many of the solutions that might have the potential to build a more resilient future already exist and are being trialled, with ideas and the development of technologies being

In the West Midlands the UK’s first region-wide testbed for 5G technologies - WM5G - has enabled care providers, the NHS, clinical commissioning groups, local businesses and mobile network providers to join forces. The ambition is to prove the benefits of 5G technology and find workable solutions ready for implementation at scale. One such project took place during the early parts of the pandemic where five care homes in the region formed part of a trial to establish 5G’s role in enabling remote diagnostics, GP examinations and ward rounds. The 5G enabled diagnostic tool used permitted GPs to conduct a full patient check-up, capturing all the information that would normally be captured in an in-person examination. This is achieved using a device capturing patient data through a mixture of high-resolution photography, video, readings from a thermometer or otoscope (a medical device used to look in the ear) as well as a portable ECG and spirometry (lung function). Connected diagnostics tools such as these allow us to move beyond basic video consultations, making telecommunications solutions more personable, powerful and versatile. They also save GP travel time and resource, equally unlocking more time for patient appointments, making regular access more accessible. In the era of Covid-19 connected care options have also proven high-

ly valuable in limiting infection risk, while maintaining usual standards of care.

A CLEARER PICTURE OF PATIENT WELLBEING AND DETERIORATION In another trial, taking place in Wolverhampton, three tower blocks are being connected via 5G to explore how emerging wireless technologies across broadband and narrowband can help health and social care providers. The work, forming part of the NHS Future Wireless Programme, is identifying the connectivity requirements and pathways for daily and continuous use of internet of things (IoT) sensors for remote monitoring. Data captured will help build a picture of the patient’s state – a ‘digital twin’ - and enabling automated alerts triggering interventions when behaviour falls outside of the norm. This will ultimately enable more patients to safely remain at home for longer before moving into residential care and help prevent the need for hospital admittance. As elderly and vulnerable people account for a large proportion of emergencies, it is important to create a solution for such monitoring that enables carers and medical staff to quickly access a baseline of information about patients at the point of need. This is critical when seeking to move continuous monitoring away from traditional care settings, or utilising tools such as machine learning to more rapidly identify deterioration or potential risks. Once proven - it will be possible for carers to get a clearer picture of patient’s health and better recognise the early signs of deterioration and respond to their needs through social prescribing, community action and at home interventions. We already know these kinds of interventions are often better for the patient and can produce significant cost savings, but to make it a reality robust connectivity must be the key underpinning requirement to providing ubiquitous access to health and care provision at the point of need. 5G may appear like a small change to connectivity but will ultimately play a major part in allowing people to live independently at home for longer, stay in better health and remain connected to expert care.

Care Home Actors Leave Audience saying ‘Please, I Want Some More’ Residents at a Dorset care home have showcased their acting and singing talents in a mini production of the musical Oliver! Since the beginning of the year, Colten Care’s Whitecliffe House in Blandford Forum has rung to the sounds of toe-tapping tunes such as Consider Yourself, Reviewing the Situation and Pick a Pocket or Two. Companionship Team member Caroline Pugh is a cellist and pianist who graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and now leads many of the music and drama activities at the home. She explained: “We have so many musical residents and everyone involved in the production was happy to put their heart and soul into rehearsing songs and short excerpts ready for a performance to other residents and staff.” Lead character Oliver, played by resident Sylvia Drew, was very convincing

in her delivery of the famous line: “Please, sir, I want some more!”, while Maureen Smith’s quiet humour proved a good choice for Dodger and Lois Ramsden excelled in the role of crafty Fagin. Born in London’s East End, Shirley Thomson was the perfect Nancy. And to complete the line-up, Coralie Jackson was an austere Mr Bumble and Home Manager Chris Lee was a suitably dastardly Bill Sykes. Caroline Pugh added: “Singing is a fantastic activity for health and wellbeing and is something our residents really look forward to each week. It has been an absolute pleasure to see the fun and laughter enjoyed by all.”

Resident of Norwich Based Care Home Befriends Seven Year Old as Pen Pal and Plans to Catch Up in the Summer A resident of a Norwich based care home has created a wonderful friendship with his pen pal and hopes to meet up with him again in the summer. Michael has been living at MHA Cromwell House for five years and has been exchanging letters with seven year old Elijah. MHA Cromwell House is a purpose built, fresh, modern, care home offering residential and respite care for 38 residents. Michael was approached by Friends in Deed, a Norfolk-based charity which creates friendships across generations through various schemes with the aim of reducing loneliness and promoting kindness. The pair have been exchanging letters since July 2021 and have struck up a great friendship with the pair exchanging three or four letters a month. During Christmas, with the assistance of activities coordinator Angie Apurado, Michael went to visit Elijah which was a surprise visit and included Michael delivering some Christmas gifts. Michael feels due to Elijah losing his grandfather, he helps him overcome the loss, even though he has not experienced being a grandfather. The 83-year-old said: “I really enjoy speaking to Elijah and through the letters we have really gotten to know each other. “He tells me what he does at school and prior to me going to see him he sent me

some diabetic sweets which was very nice. “He really enjoyed the surprise visit from me for Christmas and I am really happy I spoke with the charity and started the process of having a pen pal. “Hopefully once the covid situation gets better and the weather gets warmer I am hoping to meet up with Elijah again and continue to grow our friendship. “It’s been very enjoyable making friends with someone so much younger than me and I never would have thought we would have so much to talk about.” Vicki Cockerill, Elijah’s mum said: “Elijah really enjoys planning his letters and it always makes his day when he receives a letter from Michael. “Elijah loves typing and writing his letters and reads them aloud to the family. “Elijah does not have a grandfather figure and Michael has certainly taken this role, he loves hearing about all of Michael’s stories about when he was growing up. “Despite only writing for a few months the relationship between the two is blossoming which is a pleasure to see. “Elijah really does care about Michael and loves going to look for presents and colouring pictures for him.”


Social Care and NHS Systems to Link Up as Government Releases Integration White Paper The government has outlined plans to improve the links between the NHS and social care in its Integration White Paper. The White Paper sets out some of the ways health and care systems will draw on the resources and skills across the NHS and local government to “better meet the needs of communities, reduce waiting lists and help level up healthcare across the country”. Patients will receive better, more joined-up care under new plans announced today to improve the links between health and social care. The integration white paper sets out a vision for an integrated NHS and adult social care sector which will better serve patients and staff. The government says that despite the best efforts of staff, the current system means that too often patients find themselves having to navigate complex and disjointed systems. Those with multiple conditions can be left feeling frustrated at having to repeatedly explain their needs to multiple people in different organisations, while others can end up facing delayed discharge because the NHS and local authorities are working to different priorities in a way that is not as joined up as it could be. The white paper sets out some of the ways health and care systems will draw on the resources and skills across the NHS and local government to better meet the needs of communities, reduce waiting lists and help level up healthcare across the country. This includes: • better transparency and choice – if local authorities and the NHS share data and are more transparent about their performance, the local population will be able to see how their areas’ health and care services are performing and make decisions about their own care • more personalised care – linking GPs with wider forms of community support, such as social prescribing, could allow care to be more personalised which would help reduce the need for people to have more expensive, invasive medical treatment • earlier intervention – integration will help people to access to the right services at the right time, including specialist services, which could mean earlier intervention that could prevent diseases from progressing and reduce the need for invasive and expensive interventions late in the day • clear communication – integration will mean patients having a single digital care record so they can book appointments, order prescriptions, and

communicate with their care providers on one platform while those involved in delivering health and care services can access the patient’s latest information – not only will this save time, it will help ensure a patient does not have to repeat themselves so many times, and professionals will have the information they need to make care plans that work for the patient • improved access to social care services through NHS data sharing – currently local authorities cannot access all NHS data to make decisions about access to social care services – an integrated system would allow the NHS to notify a local authority straight away if a person requires social care support • better treatment – managing diseases in the community through better join up between primary, community and hospital services means better treatment for patients • better NHS support to care homes – integration between hospitals and social care would mean more specialist support so care home residents could be treated before they get unwell and avoid having to go to hospital • co-ordinated services – better integration across health and care will reduce the burden on people to have to coordinate between different hospital specialists, GPs, social care and local authority services them-

selves • more flexible services – aligning financial incentives and pooling budgets will mean that the NHS and local authorities can use their resources more flexibly to benefit patients • better value for money – reducing duplication and waste will mean that NHS investment can be spent in ways that benefit patients and deliver savings for social care, ensuring value for the taxpayer Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The pandemic highlighted what our fantastic NHS and local government can achieve when they work together – from delivering the phenomenal vaccine rollout to supporting those who were shielding.” “We now want to build on these successes, joining up health and social care even more to deliver the best possible care – whether you want to see a GP quickly or live independently with dementia.” “These plans will ensure no patient falls between the gap, and that everyone receives the right care in the right place at the right time.” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Better integration is vital to stop people falling into the gaps between health and social care.” “Ensuring our health and care systems work in unison will mean we can support hardworking staff, provide better care to patients and deliver value for the taxpayer.” “Our Integration white paper is part of our wider plans to reform and recover the health and social care system, ensuring everyone gets the treatment and care they need, when and where they need it.” “The plans set out in the white paper will ensure care is more personalised and accessible and remove the burdens on patients. Better information sharing will mean people will no longer have to remember key facts such as dates of diagnosis or medicines prescribed, taking pressure off patients to coordinate their own care.” The integration white paper is the next step in delivering the government’s promise of a health and social care system fit for the future. It builds on both the Health and Social Care Bill and the People at the Heart of Care white paper which set out a 10-year vision for social care funded through the Health and Care Levy, and follows the delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care. Dedicated plans to tackle health disparities are set to be published in due course.

25 Year Anniversary for Christine! Christine MacKenzie, a Senior Carer at The Briars Residential and Care, is celebrating 25 years service!

Paying tribute to Christine, Karen Stokeld, Registered Manager/Owner. The Briars Residential and Care Ltd ‘ said :“ Congratulations on achieving this 25 years service mile-

The Briars, is a detached Period House, approximately 350 years old, on the borders of

stone. You have been a significant part of our team and we thank you for your contribu-

Suffolk/ Essex, in the village of Glemsford. And opened in September 1994, providing 24

tion to the Company and Team. Your hard work and efforts have been appreciated over

Hour care for the elderly over 65.

these evolving years of the business. Best wishes to you and your family in the future”

Kind to Colleagues innovation at Charters Court This month at Charters Court in West Sussex, which provides residential, nursing, and residential dementia care, the Home Manager has created a new project aimed to support HC-One colleagues. Mel Wightman, the Home Manager at Charters Court has pioneered a new project named “Kind to Colleagues Innovation”. This project intends to explore new ways we can support our Colleagues when they are passing through difficult times. In December 2021 the first colleague was selected to see if they could help in any way, they were not well and required some assistance. Mel asked other staff members at Charters Court for any donations of groceries and toiletries which were all put into a nice hamper with the donations that were received. Mary Johnston, a HC-One colleague, had

said she would be happy to drop the hamper off to their house. The family were said to be very grateful for the gesture. Mel also appeared on BBC Radio recently to promote the vegetarian menu at Charters Court and the variety in options residents can expect at the care home. She emphasised how Charters Court are committed to serving the right meals to the residents which respect their religious beliefs and diversity of lifestyle. Mel was very pleased to present the different menus to the residents. Mel went on to say, “We will continue to support our staff who are passing through difficult times in any way we can. I was delighted with the opportunity to discuss our menus on the BBC Radio show, I hope the residents enjoy them!”

Squeeze the Day: Care Home Explores Soothing Sensory Enrichment Residents at Upton Bay Care Home, Poole, have been exploring the tranquil delights of sensory stimulation at their morning Ladies Club. Hosted by Upton By volunteer, Chrissy Bradley, the ladies benefited from relaxing hand massages to unwind after a busy week. Residents chose from a selectin of oils and lotions, experimenting with different tex-

tures and scents, from quintessential lavender to exotic mango. To accompany, freshly sliced fruits filled the air with sweet citrusy scents. The club topped off the morning with a ‘mocktail’ tasting, pairing together fruity flavours and fizz to round off the sensory excitement.


Increased Dementia Risk Post COVID-19 Infection, Study Suggests Research suggests that almost a third (32 of every 100) of older adults infected with COVID-19 in 2020 developed at least one new condition that required medical attention in the months after initial infection, 11 more than those who did not have covid-19. The research publication,The BMJ published the findings last week. Dr James Connell, Head of Translational Science from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on people with dementia, their carers and their families. Age, genetics and lifestyle all contribute to someone’s individual risk for developing dementia. Some evidence suggests that other pre-exiting health conditions can also contribute to increased dementia risk. “In this large research study looking at health records of people aged 65 and over, scientists found that

people were at higher risk of developing dementia following COVID-19 infection. This observation however may also result from pre-existing health conditions. Relatively little is known about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on brain health, and Alzheimer’s Research UK remains committed to monitoring the emerging evidence in this space. “Even before the pandemic, we were facing a crisis in dementia diagnosis, now fewer than 2 in 3 dementia cases are being formally diagnosed in the UK. These results suggest in future years we may be facing an even larger problem and heightens urgency for the government to take action with an ambitious dementia strategy. “If anyone is worried about their memory and thinking, or long-term effects of COVID-19, they should consult with their doctor.”

LGBTQ+ Artist Julia Tant Shares Her Story with Queens Oak Care Home Homes across the Excelcare family are honouring LGBTQ+ History Month by shining a light on the people in Excelcare homes that identify within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. One of these residents is Julia Tant, who lives at Queens Oak Care Home in Peckham. Julia describes her life as “a series of happy accidents”, that all shaped her life into what it is. She was the eldest of three girls and was brought up in Brixton. Her mum and dad worked full time, so she would often spend the summertime at her nans. She was a very chatty child and used to keep her grandmother up at night with all of her stories, so eventually her nan brought her a sketchbook and some pencils, in the hopes that this would keep Julia entertained. Although the book didn’t stop Julia chatting, she did love it, and describes it as the first “happy accident” that changed her life for the better. During the summer, her nan would often visit the pub, and since Julia was living

with her, Julia had to go too. However, at 7 years old, Julia wasn’t allowed inside the pub, so she would sit on the stoop with her sketchbook and draw. Her drawings started to catch the attention of passers-by, and after a while everyone knew Julia as the artist on the stairs. As they passed her, they would give her drawing requests, and Julia would happily sketch images for them all. From then on, Julia knew that she wanted to be an artist, but unfortunately, she needed to prioritise working to earn a living. So instead, she got a job selling school uniform on Oxford Street. Julia believes that this was “happy accident” number two, as she was soon selected to be the person that went round to the posh schools and measured the children for their uniform. As a result, she got to go around the UK and see cities she had never seen, as well as see for herself just how the rich live. This opened her eyes to a different way of living, and greatly inspired Julia’s art.

Ipswich Based Care Home Goes Around the World An Ipswich based care home is taking residents around the world from the comfort of their homes via an overhead projector. MHA Norwood provides residential and dementia care for 46 residents and decided to do this activity as an interactive way to educate residents. Every week, activity coordinator Sergio Ishmael organises a session where he plays a slideshow of interesting monuments and popular destinations from a different country. So far residents have been to Australia, Scotland, China, USA, Brazil and India. In the coming weeks sessions on Wales and Japan have been planned. Sergio said: “A few years ago we would have someone come in and do a slideshow for residents with their own pictures and videos. “Because of Covid, we haven’t been able to have many visitors do

response was really good, with more than 20 residents coming to the sessions. “It’s a great way to show residents what each country is like, a lot of residents haven’t seen these countries so it allows them to see them and learn some facts about them. “I make sure I use a lot of pictures and have a small part where I talk about the pictures and tell the residents some interesting facts about each country. “We cover all sorts, from places to eat, interesting places to visit and what religions are followed. “Even for me it’s great to learn so much about these countries, and moving forward I have plenty more sessions like this planned. this so I thought I would start up sessions. Once I started it the

“The residents love the sessions, in fact they enjoy them so much I have decided to do these sessions on a weekly basis.”

Hadrian Healthcare Supports Gosforth Defibrillator Campaign Hadrian Healthcare has donated £1,000 on behalf of residents at the Manor House Gosforth to ensure a potentially life-saving defibrillator can be installed at St Aidan’s Community Centre. The home was approached by Cllr Brian Duell to support the appeal for the vital community resource, which will be available for everyone to always access, including the Manor House should it be needed. Resident Mary Baker, who lived in Brunton Park where the home and the community centre are located for 55 years handed a cheque over to Cllr Duell to complete the fundraising. Marion McAndrew, customer services manager at the Manor House

Gosforth, said: “Although we hope that it will never be needed, the defibrillator will be a really important community resource, which could save a life and I am delighted that we have been able to help make this happen. “Mary was thrilled to have the opportunity to present our cheque to Cllr Duell. She knows the area so well, and the community centre has been a part of her life for a long time.” Mary said: “I have lived in this area for a long time so it’s wonderful that Hadrian Healthcare has made a donation for the defibrillator at the community centre. It’s such an important thing to have locally you never know when you or someone you know might need it.”



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

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 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 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.


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.


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.


"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., call 0203 727 5382 or visit 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:, 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 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 or see the advert on page 29.


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 ( 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 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:

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 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: [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. Kramarow, E., Warner, M., Chen, L.-H., 2014. Food-related choking deaths among the elderly. Inj Prev 20, 200. RCSLT. 2020. Giving voice to people with swallowing difficulties. [Online]. Available from: pdf?la=en&hash=18AEDA640CDABD6D2CAB1A9293E8F44ED4E9572A [Accessed: September 2020].



The First Line Of Defence The pandemic experience has been a stark reminder of the importance of strategic cleaning regimes within healthcare settings. John Brill from Nilfisk explains more. Cleanliness within healthcare or care home settings has always been a top priority. But with the impact of the current health crisis still being felt, residents, patients, and staff need to trust that cleaning strategies create

safe care locations for use by people that are often vulnerable. Busy hallways, in-demand patient and treatment rooms, essential laboratories, and bathrooms fall into this category. In such settings, cleaning is not just business critical, it is life critical. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare delivery across the globe affecting hundreds of millions of patients every year. Such infections result in both significant mortality and financial losses for health systems, as well as being a cause of reputational damage. According to a survey conducted by Nilfisk*, 95% of patients and visitors consider cleanliness in healthcare settings and hospitals to be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important. While 10% of those admitted to a hospital have acquired a healthcare-associated infection. The good news is that many of the infections which originate within a healthcare setting, and that subsequently impact patients and staff, are preventable through a rigorous and strategic approach to cleaning. It can underpin ambitions to provide the highest cleanliness standards across care locations through a combination of planning and the use of effective cleaning equipment technology.


It should be recognised that there are several challenges which high performing cleaning regimes must overcome to prevent infection spread. These can include the need to clean large areas, the frequency of cleaning required, time pressures perhaps exacerbated by staff shortages, cost pressures, obstacles such as chairs, patient beds, and visitors, as well as having to work appropriately within noise-sensitive areas. Looking at certain settings within a care environment and recognising the characteristics that can contribute to potential dangers, will help identify how best to implement a successful and results-orientated cleaning regime across the most frequently used areas.

Hallways are the main thoroughfares within a care setting. Patients, staff, and visitors pass through them multiple times a day and dirt, dust, and pathogens can be collected on shoes and medical casters or stirred up into the air and be transported. A clean hallway is the first line of defence against the spread of infections. Visible cleaning activity in these areas also helps to reassure patients and visitors that safety and cleanliness is a top priority. Helpful tips for hallways include disinfecting the floors and all high touch areas after cleaning. Pay attention to entranceways especially in the winter, when water, snow, dirt, and salt may be tracked in. Clean up spills immediately to avoid slip hazards and periodically undertake deep or restorative cleaning activity. It is also important to thoroughly document all cleaning procedures for future reference. Patient and treatment rooms are critical locations where the danger of a healthcare-associated infection sadly lurks. Research has demonstrated the strong link between room cleanliness and HAIs and is also linked to a patient’s overall experience of, and satisfaction with, the care they experience. Like hallway cleaning strategies, patient and treatment rooms need to be attended to frequently to remove dirt and pathogens. Good practice around cleaning procedure documentation, periodic deep cleaning, and constantly ensuring equipment is cleaned and disinfected is essential. Bathrooms are another important location that can contribute to the growth of germs. Regularly cleaned bathrooms not only minimise such an outcome, but also help to bolster patient, staff, and visitor confidence that well-being strategies are prioritised. The role of effective cleaning equipment is essential in helping cleaning management strategies produce the best short and long-term results for busy and essential care settings. High powered vacuum and floorcare solutions support bacteria removal, and floor scrubber dryers feature one-pass cleaning that remove slipping hazards. Equipment solutions that provide long run times, good ergonomics, and easy handling deliver uninterrupted productivity that underpins the operational efficiency of cleaning teams.


*Nilfisk 2019 study, Value of clean; BJA Education

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

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 prod-

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

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 or see the advert on this page.



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 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. 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


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

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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:



Can One Solution Be A Panacea For Health and Social Care? By Stuart Barclay, UK Sales Director, Vayyar Care (

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.

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 and view our guide on wandering and falls or telephone our sales office on 01536 264869.



Specialist Pharmacist Leads Unique Pilot To Prevent Falls In Elderly Care Homes By Liz Butterfield, Immedicare ( 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. (Last accessed May 2021] 2. [Last accessed May 2021] 3. [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. [Last accessed May 2021] 6. [Last accessed May 2021] 7. Data on Immedicare file.


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.


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

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 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.



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 templates 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.

Bizimply Helps Care Homes to Spend More Time Caring for Residents

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As care homes across the country struggle with soaring vacancy levels, it’s never been more important to have the right people, working in the right place, at the right time, to deliver quality care to residents. Conor Shaw, CEO of workforce management specialists Bizimply, says: “Most care homes are currently running with 10% fewer employees than they’d like, so the challenge is to achieve 100% capacity from the staff team you have. It’s not about working harder, but smarter, with the support of helpful technology.” Bizimply’s software allows managers to create staff rotas and payroll quickly, freeing them up to spend more time interacting with their teams and residents. The result is more motivated staff who provide higher quality care and are less likely to leave. In addition, by creating rotas with Bizimply’s software, managers can give staff members their shift patterns further in advance, putting an end to the last-minute requests that cause stress for so many.

Shaw adds: “Nobody chooses a career in care to spend hours on administration. By automating routine tasks, care home managers and staff can concentrate what they love - caring for residents.” A growing number of care homes across the UK and Ireland are now using Bizimply’s software to create staff rotas, payroll and more. To find out more:


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.


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.


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 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:

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.


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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, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email



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: Telephone 01480 272727 Email:

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

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Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR /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.


PROFESSIONALS AND RECRUITMENT In Dire Need Of Experienced Health Care Assistant, Senior Carer Or A Nurse? JJ Recruitment has the large database of well qualified applicants with experience in the health-care industry, such as health care assistants, senior carers, and nurses from overseas. We also have an expert team of solicitors for the necessary legal proceedings and advices.

Why JJ?

• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 809756

Aston Brooke Solicitors

Aston Brooke is a specialist in delivering legal advice to the UK health and social care sector and represents a wide range of care home groups, proprietors, and managers as well as industry bodies, staff, and residents. Care Home Legal Advice Our team of specialist solicitors has an in-depth understanding of the healthcare industry and combines the experience of the healthcare market and its regulated fields to provide focused advice and solutions to a wide range of legal needs for the healthcare industry. By combining the expertise of solicitors across our commercial and regulatory departments Aston Brooke offers a valuable pool of knowledge and resources in one place to the benefit of our clients. Our legal services include: • Advice on Care Quality Commission (CQC) processes • Assisting Care Providers to make License Applications and Registration with CQC • Providing support for improving general overall

Standards of Service • Challenging Cancellation Notices • Providing CQC lawyers for help regarding CQC Inspections • Providing information about abilities and restrictions of the CQC, as well as guidance on how best to engage with them • Challenging CQC Compliance Failure • Commercial Contracting • Dispute Resolution & Litigation • Partnership Agreements • Commercial Property, Leases & Developments • Commercial Sales & Acquisitions • Refinancing • Employment Law issues and Tribunal work • Immigration Law issues • Negligence claims • Inquests & Hearings For further information or a free consultation, please contact us on 0203 475 4321 or see the advert on the facing page.

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

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

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