The Carer Digital - Issue #89

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

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 89

“Living with COVID” Care Home Residents Prioritised for Booster Shots

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all Covid restrictions will end in England on Thursday and free mass testing will stop from 1 April. The Prime Minister told MPs the legal duty to isolate for those who tested positive would be dropped as he unveiled his "living with Covid" plan. Vaccines will remain the first line of defence against Covid-19 as the Prime Minister set out the Government’s plans to live with and manage the virus.

The Plan, published sets out how vaccines and other pharmaceutical interventions will continue to form our first line of defence, with the Government accepting the JCVI recommendation to offer an additional booster to all adults aged over 75, all residents in care homes for older adults, and all over 12s who are immunosuppressed.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER “Living with Covid” - that was the Prime Minister’s message when he announced yesterday that from February 24 (tomorrow) all restrictions in England, along with “free” mass testing, will end on April 1. I suspect the wider country will greet the news that restrictions are to end will come as a welcome relief. However, the most impacted sector with respect to Covid is undoubtedly the care sector not only residents’ but also staffs’ well-being - and there are calls for caution. During the course of the pandemic we here at THE CARER documented the severity Covid was having within the sector, and we also we documented on how the sector was rising to the challenge, with care staff going far above and beyond the normal call of duty to ensure resident safety. Following that came the government’s mandatory vaccine policy, and whatever one’s opinion on the policy, whether it is right or wrong, the way care staff were treated was, in my opinion, very shabby indeed. I understand almost 4000 staff left the sector in the first week alone when the mandatory vaccination policy was first introduced, adding to an already staffing crisis. So the news that the government is to rescind all restrictions in England is to be welcomed, but not without caution. We have been warned of the possibility, or likelihood of a new variant, and the sector could very well find itself once again in the eye of the storm. So, I would echo the words of Independent Care Group’s CEO Mike Padgham when he said we should see a cautious but sensible return to normality. I’ve always said that one of my great pleasures in this job reporting the many heartwarming and uplifting stories we receive, and we do receive a lot! Mainstream media has always been quick to highlight sector “bashing story”, the negative stories no matter how rare they are always seem to get from page. This week we received a wonderfully heartwarming story. (See page 6). Rachel Murray, 21, who has Down’s Syndrome, and has entered the care sector with her

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Sylvia Mawson David Bartlett Guy Stephenson TYPESETTING & DESIGN first paid role as a Food Service Assistant at Cramond Residence, in Scotland. I think this is a fine example of how open, attractive, rewarding and welcoming the sector is. In my younger years I came from a working-class background in a heavily industrialised part of the north-west, but entered into hospitality, and found that sector the same. People from any background can enter and progress. Added to that we were delighted to report the story that Community Integrated Care in the north-east, has assisted 10 people with support needs to take part in a once in a lifetime volunteering opportunity at the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup international women’s football competition. (See page 8). Another fantastic example of breaking down barriers! So, once again it’s been of a bumper week this week for awards, anniversaries, birthdays and special events so thank you once again for sending them in. It is a pleasure to reproduce them, and please do keep them coming to editor@thecareruk.com

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“Living with COVID” Care Home Residents Prioritized for Booster Shots (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER)

An autumn annual booster programme is under consideration, subject to further advice. Further detail on deployment on the spring booster programme will be set out in due course. The Government will continue to be guided by the JCVI on future vaccine programmes. The plan covers four main pillars: • Removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing other infectious illnesses • Protecting the vulnerable through pharmaceutical interventions and testing, in line with other viruses • Maintaining resilience against future variants, including through ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency • Securing innovations and opportunities from the COVID-19 response, including investment in life sciences The public are encouraged to continue to follow public health advice, as with all infectious diseases such as the flu, to minimise the chance of catching Covid and help protect family and friends. This includes by letting fresh air in when meeting indoors, wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, and washing your hands. The Prime Minister has confirmed domestic legal restrictions will end on 24 February as we begin to treat Covid as other infectious diseases such as flu. This means: • The remaining domestic restrictions in England will be removed. The legal requirement to self-isolate ends. Until 1 April, we still advise people who test positive to stay at home. Adults and children who test positive

are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days. • From April, the Government will update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to be careful and considerate of others, similar to advice on other infectious diseases. This will align with testing changes. • Self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service will no longer be available. • Routine contact tracing ends, including venue check-ins on the NHS COVID-19 app. • Fully vaccinated adults and those aged under 18 who are close contacts are no longer advised to test daily for seven days and the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate will be removed. As set out in the Autumn and Winter Plan, universal free provision of tests will end as the response to the virus changes. From the start of April, the government will end free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public. Limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups and we will set out further details on which groups will be eligible shortly. Free symptomatic testing will also remain available to social care staff. We are working with retailers to ensure that everyone who wants to can buy a test. Further changes being made include: On 24 February, removing additional local authority powers to tackle local COVID-19 outbreaks (No.3 regulations). Local Authorities will manage local outbreaks in high-risk settings as they do with other infectious diseases. On 24 March, the Government will also remove the COVID-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance reg-

ulations. From 1 April, the Government will: • Remove the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass. • No longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England. • Remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:“Health leaders have been clear about the risks of watering down our ability to monitor the spread and evolution of coronavirus and will be disappointed their concerns have not been listened to. "Of particular concern is the Government’s decision to exclude NHS staff from access to free testing from April. 94% of health leaders we surveyed recently said access to free tests for NHS staff and other key workers should not end. “Patients, staff and visitors deserve to feel confident that they can access and work in services without risking their own health or causing worry to those around them. This is particularly true for people from clinically vulnerable groups who may already feel sidelined. "We urge the Government to reconsider its plan with dedicated funding for continued access to Covid tests for all NHS workers in patient-facing roles. "Also, with mandatory self-isolation due to end, we call on employers to support their employees to make the right decisions if they catch Covid and for the Government to maintain its communications about the recognised public health measures that can keep ourselves and those around us safe.”


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‘You Can Care Week 2022’ - Bringing Carers’ Unique Skills and Personality Traits To The Social Care Sector

By Laura Wood, QCS Specialist Contributor (www.qcs.co.uk)

‘You Can Care Week’ is all about recognising the great people working in the care sector and encouraging others to come and join. Running from 21st to 27th February 2022, the theme of this year’s event is dedicated to showcasing how people working in the care sector can reveal their unique skillsets and personalities. Laura Wood, an expert from the care industry and a QCS contributor, looks at how carers can make a difference. The ‘You Can Care Week’ is a great initiative as it not only recognises the wonderful job that carers do, but also gets the message out that there are many kinds of care and support positions available within our sector. We want people from diverse backgrounds and different ages to join us. The people we support are from all walks of life so it's important that our workforce reflects that too. I believe if someone is interested in working within the care sector, it is possible to find a role that will fit their unique personality and set of skills.

HELPING SERVICE USERS LIVE THEIR BEST LIVES People often just think of professional carers working in services for the elderly, who tend to need more support. But as a carer you might be working with younger people, or people with learning disabilities. We, as the care sector, provide support across the board. Our goal is to increase service users’ independence, supporting them to live the best lives that they can. To do this, we put the individual at the centre, and work collaboratively with them. Delivering person-centred care is so important in the work we do. In a day-to-day context, that means offering the service user as much choice as is possible – in what they wear, what they want to eat and what they want to do with their day. But for me it’s more than that, it's about really thinking outside the box as to how we deliver care.

UNDERSTANDING SERVICE USERS

INNATE CARING ABILITY AND GUIDANCE

The first step is to really understand our service users. We need to ask a series of questions: ‘Who are they? What did they do for a living? Who's in their relationship circle? What's important to them?’ Even if somebody is living with advanced dementia, we need to make sure we know that person. Creating ‘life books’ for our users is a great way of creating a picture of who they are and making sure they are doing the activities they want to do. In one of the care homes I worked in, we did the same for our carers. We created short one-page bios about each team member. These provided a snapshot of who they were as individuals and documented their interests, from being a great cook to enjoying cycling. We were then able to match their skills-sets and personality traits with a particular service user, ensuring both parties got the most out of their interaction.

Often people with no qualifications, who have never worked in care, walk into the job and are great carers straight away. They have the innate ability to care. The required skills can, of course, be taught. We have the Care Certificate and there are new diploma qualifications to learn about everything from autism to end-of-life care, depending on the area the person is interested in. To help, QCS, the leading provider of content, guidelines and standards for the social care sector, offers guidance on person-centered care, consent and working in co-production with service users. The organisation also offers a range of planning tools and resources to help carers deliver truly outstanding care and support, whether they are caring for an older person in residential care or supporting an individual with autism in a supported living service.

CARE AS A CHANGE OF CAREER In my work, we often employ carers who are going through a career change, and this can provide wonderful life experiences for our users. In one instance, we hired an ex-taxi driver who couldn't drive anymore. He came in for an interview and to find out more about the job. He was unsure about working in care, so we agreed to a trial to see whether it was right for him and right for us. He came in and really understood the role, particularly the personcentered part of it. His story provides a great example of how matching the interests of carers to the service users can dramatically improve care outcomes. We were supporting an elderly gentleman with dementia, who had a talent for DIY and used to have his own workshop. We realised that, in the care home, we had an old shed in the back garden. So our ex-taxi driver came in on his days off and turned the shed into a workshop. We then scheduled in sufficient slots in the timetable for both our new carer and resident to make things together, which included bird houses and wooden reindeers at Christmas. The positive impact on the service user's emotional wellbeing was remarkable.

CARE AS A REWARDING CAREER What’s noteworthy is that I think people are beginning to realise that working in care is a vocation. And that as a society we need to ensure our care staff, and the vital role they play, are valued. The pandemic has really helped to shift people's perception of carers and put them in the spotlight. As have TV programmes such as the recent drama ‘Help’ with Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer, and “Inside the Care Crisis”, a two-part BBC documentary series with Ed Balls. We need to get the message out there that working in care can be a rewarding career option, particularly for people who are natural carers. And by understanding who your service users and team members are as individuals, we can ensure that it’s deeply fulfilling for both parties. Best practice tips: • Use person-centered tools • Develop life history books • Get families involved • Match interests of carers to those of service users To find out more about QCS please visit www.qcs.co.uk/thecarerfree-trial or contact their team of advisors on 0333-405-3333.


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Carer Unveils Alternative ‘Living with Covid’ Plan A care sector leader today unveiled his alternative plan to enable older and vulnerable people to live safely with Covid-19 in the future. Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) warned: “The world has changed since the pandemic began, social care is on its knees and is going to need some help to live with Covid.” He said he wanted to see a cautious and sensible return to normality and more support in a new and totally changed care landscape. His words came as the Prime Minister was expected to lift all remaining restrictions in the Government’s Living with Covid plan. An extra Covid-19 booster is to be provided to older people, and those in care settings, this spring. Mr Padgham said: “As a country we want to get back to normality as soon as we can and that includes those people who rely on care in their own homes or who live in care and nursing homes. “But to achieve that we have to remain cautious and as a society not forget that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and still poses a risk, particularly to vulnerable people. I welcome the extra

booster. “I know that things like masks, social distancing, hyper-scrupulous hygiene and other measures will remain amongst care providers as we ensure care settings remain safe settings. “And to do that we are going to need support. There cannot be a lazy assumption that everything is as it was before. “The landscape has changed since Covid-19 arrived, social care has suffered greatly and seen tragic loss. We have experienced a hemorrhaging of staff like never before and we must tackle that now. “Social care providers have been struggling financially now for more than a decade and Covid-19 has left many on their knees.” “The huge added costs associated with Covid-19, followed by falling occupancy levels, an increased use of agency staff and now rapidly increasing utility costs, are just some of the financial pressures providers are now facing. It is a fight for survival and as part of its plan for living with Covid, the Government will have to recognise that.”

Fun at Essex Care Homes Celebrating Dignity Week Residents and team members at two care homes in Bocking, near Braintree, held a special Dignity Week to shine a light on dignity and diversity in care. The week-long programme at The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court included a tea party, wear red day, cookery day and a sing-a-long musical Dignity celebration to round off the week. The fun activities programme was launched to tie in with the Dignity in Care campaign’s national Dignity Action Day which aims to ‘put undignified care to bed’ and champion the rights of care service users. Matron and Sonnet’s Dignity Lead Joan Sirett said: “We wanted to demonstrate and celebrate that everybody in our care homes is special and a person in their own right. Difference is good and we respect and support this wholeheartedly. “It’s about treating our residents as individuals and ensuring they are given

choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.” The Donate £2 and Wear Red Day, plus the sale of homemade cakes, raised £133 for the National Dignity Council charity. The week started with residents and team members’ dignity and diversity ideas being posted up on a special dignity screen in the Bistro of The New Deanery. Suggestions were posted on red and striped hearts to represent dignity and diversity. One of the most popular activities was Cookery Day, when residents iced and decorated heart-shaped biscuits. Resident of The New Deanery, Joan Green, said: “I think the Dignity Week highlighted how important respect is for everyone. The staff are always really patient, and they deserve to be treated with respect just as much as the residents do.”


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Sex & Social Care - Undressing Disability Many care home residents face complex and challenging care needs, but one issue that can often be ignored is the subject of sex and intimacy. Sex and disability are all too frequently regarded as difficult and uncomfortable subjects. When the subject of sex and intimacy is not addressed properly, or ignored completely until there is an issue or a problem, disabled people are left feeling isolated, overlooked and undervalued. Feeling like they do not have a place in the conversation whether that be with peers or professionals. This can lead to feeling like they don't have a right to sexual pleasure or vital sexual health services and many have no way of knowing how to source it if reliant on others. Pioneering user-led charity Enhance the UK aims to stamp out sex stigma in social care settings by offering sexual wellness training programmes to care home staff, nurses and healthcare assistants so that disabled people in this setting can exercise their right of sexual expression in a safe and legal way. Each informative and interactive CPD accredited training session is delivered by a team of disabled trainers using a powerful combination of expert knowledge and lived experience. With backgrounds of working in social care settings each has first-hand understanding of the challenges that care providers face. The full-day sessions are designed to be engaging and build empathy, confidence and knowledge, can accommodate up to 16 delegates and help care home staff to: • Understand what sexual expression is and why it is important. • Understand the rights of service users in regards to their sexual expression. • Be able to appropriately communicate and empathise with service users around this issue. • Know how to support both service users and themselves professionally and safely in this area. • Know the support they are able to offer service users within the legal frameworks. • Know where to seek further support and information in this area. One care home group that has benefitted from Enhance the UK’s training programme is Exemplar Health Care who have over 30 complex needs care homes across the UK. Head Of Quality at Exemplar Health

Care, Julie Booth explains “At Exemplar Health Care, we believe that life is all about choice. We want to encourage and support people to feel comfortable and confident expressing their sexuality and sexual needs as they wish, and in seeking and exploring relationships of all kinds, in a way that promotes their choice and dignity, and ensures their safety. As a result of some independent research, we commissioned Enhance the UK to consult on a project to drive a culture change within our care homes and their training resources have not only proven to be invaluable, but have also instigated positive change for staff and residents alike. We know that some people find these conversations uncomfortable and difficult, which is why we have a team of clinical experts who are committed to supporting the programme and ensuring that we make real change for the people we support. The whole idea is to start conversations and change people’s thinking around friendships, sexuality and disability and to break down boundaries about what are traditionally considered to be taboo topics.” Jennie Williams co-founder and CEO of Enhance the U.K. says “Enhance the UK is a proactive and progressive charity that aims to change the way people view disability. Our disability and sexual expression training programme has been designed to remove the ‘fear factor’ that surrounds the subject of sex and disability and that supports care home businesses to be more inclusive and understanding of their residents sexual health needs. Disabled people are sexual beings and should have equal rights opportunities to have autonomy over choices about and access to their sexual expression, sexuality and satisfying relationships throughout their lifetime. Sadly, these rights are often overlooked and ignored simply because staff do not know how to deal with them. Our bespoke training packages ensure that care home staff and leadership teams are equipped with invaluable information and know-how to support disabled people in this area.” Businesses who want to learn more about available training packages can find out more by visiting https://enhancetheuk.org/sexuality-sexual-expression-and-relationships-training-for-care-providers/, email hello@enhancetheuk.org or call 020 8226 5055.

New Role a Piece of Cake for Care Home Food Services Assistant AN INSPIRING Edinburgh woman with a passion for baking has secured a catering position with one of the city’s finest care homes. Rachel Murray, 21, who has Down’s syndrome – and has landed her first paid role as a Food Service Assistant at Cramond Residence, after demonstrating her hard-work and talent in a variety of volunteer roles in cafes and the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Now fully settled into the job, Rachel plays an integral part in the day to day running of the care home – supporting the home’s 4 chefs creating bespoke dishes, doing the daily tea and coffee run, taking breakfast orders and baking sweet treats for residents. Rachel said: “In my role I get to do so many different things like deliver breakfasts, bake cakes, help with food prep and make cheese boards and platters for the residents. “My favourite thing is definitely baking. I love to make lemon drizzle cake, cheese scones and apple crumble. “Since starting in June 2021, I’ve learned a lot of new skills thanks to the team who have been showing me the ropes. It’s a really friendly environment and my colleagues are great.” Since starting, Rachel has passed her level two food hygiene, Rachel is going through her basic level dementia training and has learned a variety of kitchen skills under the watchful eye of head chef, Patsy. Outside of work, Rachel loves drama, socialising with her family and friends at the weekends and

watching football. Rachel is also a first aider for a church football team – managed by her Dad, Brian Murray – and helps with physio and first aid. The team at Cramond Residence were so impressed by Rachel’s application they created a tailored Food Services Assistant role, just for her. Christian Daraio, Client Liaison Manager at Cramond Residence said: “Rachel is a total asset to the Cramond Residence team. Her positive attitude really brightens everyone’s day. “I know Head Chef Patsy in particular is very appreciative of her and she’s a great help to the rest of our food service assistants too. “Because of her past experience volunteering at Sick Kids and Broomhouse café, Rachel is versatile and can work in the kitchen or on the floors, taking orders and doing the tea and coffee runs. “As we look to grow our staff base further for 2022, we’re hoping to give more people in a similar position the chance to progress in their career and learn some new skills.” Speaking about Rachel’s success in landing the role at Cramond Residence, Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland said: “We are not at all surprised that Rachel has secured this opportunity. She is a great role model for our community and like so many people with Down’s syndrome, she has so much to contribute and has a great set of skills. We are delighted for her and we commend Cramond Residence for its foresight in seeing the potential of everyone who just happens to have an extra chromosome.”

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

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

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


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Less Well-Off Could say “Goodbye to Financial Relief from the ‘Social Care Cap” Ahead of a key debate in the House of Lords in the next few weeks on the Health & Social Care Bill, Age UK is warning that the centrepiece of the Prime Minister’s social care reforms, the ‘social care cap’, will be beyond the reach of less well-off older people, unless the Government changes course. The Charity is urging Peers to vote against a Government change that waters down its own social care cap scheme, and that does so in a way that disproportionately penalises older people who are not well off, while leaving the better off more or less untouched. New analysis by Age UK of the Government’s impact assessment * for the reform reveals that a wealthier older person needing care could reach the £86k care cap in just a couple of years, whereas someone with fewer assets could still have a decade or more of paying fees ahead. The Charity also says that in fact, it’s quite likely that such a person would never reach the cap at all. (see analysis below) significantly reducing the likelihood they would ever see any benefit from the cap. The older person with fewer assets will likely have spent a greater proportion of their money on care costs by that point as well. The Government’s own figures show that although some older people will benefit from the cap, under the arrangements Ministers now want to be in place: • More than 4 in 5 older people will not see any benefit from the cap at all • The cap will be more likely to benefit better off older people – who have higher incomes, more wealth or live in richer parts of the UK – than poorer

ones. • Poorer pensioners are much more likely to die before they reach the cap than someone who is better off, with the same care needs. Age UK expressed great disappointment when the Government announced in the autumn that it wanted to bring in a technical change to how progress towards the cap is calculated, one that makes it harder to reach, disproportionately hurting the less well off – just weeks after it had trumpeted its scheme as ground-breaking and providing our older population generally with reassurance over their care bills, in a way that no previous administration had achieved before. When the Government’s proposed change was voted on in the House of Commons in the autumn, 19 Conservative MPs voted against it and 67 abstained. The Charity hopes that this degree of disapproval from the Government’s own MPs will encourage Peers to give the provision the critical scrutiny it requires. The Charity says that the Government’s changes, introducing Clause 140 just as the Bill was leaving the Commons, is unfair and runs completely counter to Ministers’ ‘levelling up agenda’, because its impact favours older people living in areas where housing is more expensive, like the South East, while hurting those from areas such as the North and the Midland, where house values are typically lower. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “It really is extraordinary that the Government wants to make a change to its own social care cap scheme which will take it beyond the reach of most

older people with low or modest amounts of income and wealth, while leaving the situation of the better off, in leafier parts of the country, more or less intact. This is patently unfair, regressive and counter to the Government’s ‘levelling up agenda’.” “I am struggling to remember the last time a government of any complexion trumpeted a social and economic reform, and then ripped the heart out of it, of its own accord, less than two months later. The only possible reason for doing so is cost-cutting, but to expect those with the fewest assets to pay the price, while favouring the better-off, is completely the wrong choice, in our view. “ “It’s no way to treat older people and their families, who have waited so long for reassurance that they will not be impoverished by endlessly spiralling care bills. The Government’s social care cap scheme was supposed to provide it for everyone but, if this change goes through, huge numbers of ordinary older people can kiss that sense of relief goodbye – as, it should be noted, can most disabled people of working age who use social care too. The cap will be of precious little use to most of them either.” “We hope that members of the House of Lords will interrogate the impact of the Government’s proposed change on people who use social care, and their families, with tenacity and care. If they do we are confident that they will agree with us that undermining its own reform is the wrong thing for the Government to do, and vote the Government’s changes down. Ministers really do need to think again.”

Brewster House Organise their Own Crazy Hair Day The team at Brewster House, in Maldon, Essex, had a very entertaining day in store for residents, with their crazy hair event! Staff sported their wildest ‘dos for the day, which brought lots of smiles and laughter to everyone at the home. The occasion was great fun for all, and some residents even wished to take part as well, wearing some vivid, bright colours in their hair! Femi Shoyombo, the Home Manager at Brewster House, really enjoyed seeing the team and residents show such enthusiasm for the event, and commented:

“At Brewster House, we always try and organise unique activities, to deliver engaging and entertaining opportunities for residents. Our crazy hair day event is an excellent example of this. The event was great because both staff and residents could get involved and enjoy the day together. I am proud of the Brewster House team for everything they do for our residents, and for bringing high spirits to the home every day.”


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“Vaccine Mandate U-Turn Driven By Staff Shortages, Not Omicron” Matthew Dunster, MD of Digital Home Visits, welcomes the Government rethink on mandatory vaccinations. But is it enough to solve the healthcare staffing crisis? As absences and staff shortages in Health and Social Care, combined with extraordinary demand on the NHS, have made this one of the toughest winters we’ve ever seen, the news that Sajid Javid is scrapping the vaccination mandate for Social Care workers will be welcomed by many. Suddenly losing so many members of staff would put extra stress on the remaining healthcare workers, which would lead to more resignations – and pile more pressure onto the NHS and Social Care. In an ideal world, everyone working in Social Care would be vaccinated, but when the Government realised how many staff they could lose with the policy, they changed direction. Instead of hammering the sector with a “No vaccine, no job” rule, they’ve been forced to take a pragmatic approach. On the surface, the vaccine mandate was going to be introduced as a way to protect patients, but with fewer staff we could have ended up with a situation where people stayed in hospital for much longer than required. This could have led to an increased death rate overall with an increased risk of hospital acquired infections. Health Secretary Sajid Javid claims a strict vaccine mandate is no longer needed because the Omicron variant has turned out to be milder. But is that really the reason behind the change? This is an extremely transmissible virus causing hundreds of thousands of infections – and sadly hundreds of deaths – every week.

The fact that the Omicron picture is different now is useful reasoning to drop the mandate, but it would not have changed the stark fact that it was always an unworkable policy. Clearly the u-turn has happened because the strategists have recognised the enormity of losing swathes of unvaccinated staff members. Surely they’ve identified that in a full employment labour market, they cannot fill outstanding roles already, let alone backfilling more than 100,000 new vacancies. Staff retention is directly related to staff vacancies, so it wouldn’t have just been the unvaccinated staff that would have left, it would be a percentage of those left behind to absorb the extra stress. That’s a chain reaction that the health service can ill afford right now. Care staff need to be happy at work to do their jobs properly. Every vacancy in a team means more work for carers who have no choice but to fill those gaps. Losing unvaccinated workers would create even more pressure on an already stretched service. For my company, Digital Home Visits, high standards in care are the number one demand we put on our 500 staff. And if there are gaps in the rota, how can we deliver the good-quality care our loved ones need? We know there’s an ever-increasing population whose quality of living is dependent on it. But make no mistake: just because scrapping the vaccine mandate has stalled a sudden drop in Social Care staff doesn’t mean the problem is solved. There are still thousands of vacancies to be filled. So now it’s vital that the Government takes action to recruit those new staff members that Health and Social Care so urgently needs. It’s very clear that Health and Social Care cannot be adequately resourced in its current format, so how much more expenditure do the Government envisage internal and external providers will need to make to avoid the status quo? Time will tell if the forthcoming April budgets meet with that assessment, but the treasury needs to find the funding and support to solve this problem before it’s too late.

People with Care and Support Needs Volunteer at International Football Tournament One of the North East’s biggest social care providers, Community Integrated Care, has assisted 10 people with support needs to take part in a once in a lifetime volunteering opportunity at the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup international women’s football competition. The Arnold Clark Cup has been taking place at the Riverside Stadium, home of EFL Championship’s Middlesborough Football Club, throughout February. During yesterday’s second fixture of the international tournament, which saw England Lionesses take on Canada Women, volunteers with learning disabilities, autism and complex care and support needs took part in a whole host of activities, including gifting presents to fans as part of random acts of kindness day, to DJ’ing in the fan zone to thousands of people prior to kick-off. The inclusive placements have been made possible thanks to Community Integrated Care’s world-first volunteering programme for people with care and support needs, and the charity’s long-standing partnership with the charitable arm of Middlesborough Football Club, MFC Foundation, who supported the event. The volunteering programme, which has been created in conjunction with the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Rugby Football League, and Super League, has sought to give specialist mentoring and development opportunities designed to fulfil potential, promote independence and make dreams come true for people with care and support needs by matching them with roles in line with their interests and talents.

James Brooks, a Quality Advisor at Community Integrated Care, who took part in the event as a Retail Assistant in the official club store and Matchday Assessor said: “Myself and my friend Dean welcomed, engaged, and assisted hundreds of fans to the stadium – it was exciting to play an important role at the stadium for the club I love at an international fixture. We helped in the club store and got to see the operations behind the scenes. We’ve also previously performed integral responsibilities as Matchday Evaluators, at last summer’s biggest Rugby League event, the Dacia Magic Weekend, which has helped guide the Rugby Football League to be more inclusive and accessible to people who access care and support.” Lewis Webster, Sports Inclusion Communications Manager at Community Integrated Care said: “Our inclusive volunteers know how to make an impact – and together last night, we stepped into the world of international football and didn’t disappoint. We believe in the potential of our people and we’re proud that our volunteers, and our incredible colleagues that supported them, had their moment in the spotlight at this fantastic football event! “This world-class inclusive volunteering programme is challenging perceptions, breaking down barriers and proving that people who access care and support can achieve their dreams. A huge thank you to Middlesborough Football Club, The Football Association and England Lionesses, for giving us the opportunity, showing that football has a place for everyone as we aim for a more inclusive society.”

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.

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 9

Calls to Create a New "Universal Social Care Service" Creating a universal care service could enable over 1.9 million extra people to access publicly funded care services and create almost a million new jobs, according to new research from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the Women’s Budget Group (WBG), published today. For the first time, this research calculates the costs of all the reforms needed to create a high-quality, universal care service with well-paid care workers, and shows that the government’s new health and social care levy would only raise 6% of the funds needed to create such a service. Currently, many are unable to access essential care and support services and at least 1.8 million people in England have unmet care needs. The report argues that a combination of means-testing, underfunding and competition between private companies to keep costs down has resulted in a failing social care system, in which quality is often poor, and gaps in provision are met by increasing numbers of friends and family providing unpaid care. The report concludes that the economic recovery from the pandemic is a unique opportunity to establish a universal care system that meets everyone’s needs and stimulate the economy with new funding. NEF and WBG are calling for a new universal social care system which is free at the point of need, improves the quality of care, and ensures good pay and conditions for care workers. The report recommends that the government increase the social care budget by £31.9bn, or 2.6 times the current budget, in order to create a new universal social care system by: • Investing £19.6bn a year into the creation of a new universal care system, plus an additional £12.3bn to raise care worker pay to the Real Living Wage. • Shifting away from local authorities contracting for-profit companies to deliver social care services, and towards non-profit model with a legal mission to provide quality social care. • Creating a new national body, Social Care England, to work with local authorities, and set and enforce high standards for social care. In April of this year, the health and social care levy will kick in, meaning that national insurance contributions will rise by 1.25%. NEF and WBG recognise that taxes need to rise to improve social care, but argue that a flat increase on national insurance is not the most progressive way to do this. The government is also not raising enough money overall. £5.4bn of the money raised through the government’s measures has been earmarked for social care over the next three years, but not to increase the quality or quantity of care. The report shows that the level of investment required to meaningfully address unmet need and increase pay would be 17 times higher than what the government is proposing. The report sets out two options for tax reform that would be more

progressive than the government’s proposals while raising the funds required for a new universal care service. The first option is deeper reform of national insurance, including removing exemptions for investment income and pension-age earners, and taxing high earners the same as low earners. This would raise more than £31bn a year. Alternatively, the second option would be to raise the funds by taxing income from wealth on a similar basis to earnings from work, including closing loopholes in inheritance tax, reducing tax relief on pension contributions for high earners and taxing dividend income and capital gains at comparable rates to earnings from work. Combined, these measures would raise at least £35bn a year. The report also notes that the new jobs created by the investment could boost tax receipts by up to a further 14bn. Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of the Women’s Budget Group, said: “We will all need care at some point in our lives, and the only way to meet that universal need is with a universal service. The last two years have given most people a new appreciation for care and how central it is to our lives, yet government proposals, to date, have failed to recognise this. A properly funded universal care service would deliver quality care to users and provide decent wages to carers, helping to boost the economy. Solving social care can’t just be about investing in the current broken system. Any long-term solution must be rooted in a broader definition of social care. It is about more than just providing personal care. Social care should support people to stay rooted in their communities and live their lives with autonomy and dignity. That’s something we would all wish for, but it requires vision and investment.” Daniel Button, senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said: “Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix’ social care when he took office. Despite this, the government have failed to outline a realistic plan to transform social care. Plans they have announced, including the white paper last year, will not address many of the systemic issues: people unable to get the care they need due to limited access, poor quality care, underpaid workers, and family and friends asked to plug the gaps in the care system through unpaid care. The government have failed to raise a realistic amount of money, and a flat increase on national insurance is not the fairest way to fund care. To build a more caring society post-Covid, social care needs to reformed in the round. A universal social care sys-

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 11

New Enhanced Network for Primary Care The NHS Confederation is launching a new powerful voice for the sector – supporting, connecting and empowering primary care leaders to maximise the impact they have on patient care and shape the future. The new national network officially starts in April and will focus on ensuring primary care, as the keystone of the NHS, is valued, supported, wellresourced and empowered to improve the health of local communities. It will bring together primary care leaders to shape the future of primary care within integrated care systems. Lord Victor Adebowale, chair of the NHS Confederation, said: “I am full of admiration for the vital role primary care plays in the health and care system and the extraordinary lengths it has gone to during the pan-

demic to protect our communities. “As the NHS focuses on a sustainable recovery and there’s renewed impetus to integrate health and care services, this new stronger network will provide the support, voice and recognition for teams across the sector to continue to deliver high quality care, increase capacity and be at the forefront of transformation with system partners.” From April, the NHS Confederation’s two current primary care networks – the PCN Network and Primary Care Federation Network – will unite, resulting in a new stronger voice for primary care. Ruth Rankine, Director of Primary Care, NHS Confederation, said: “We saw the strength of collaboration during the pandemic. With the drive to greater integration of services, we now need to support primary care providers to work together to have a more powerful primary care voice with greater influence across the health and care system. “Our new network offers primary care leaders and their teams the chance to collectively learn from their experiences of the last two years to be better informed, connected and equipped for the future. It also offers the opportunity to shape the future and lead transformation, collaborating on innovative Find out more about the new network and membership options at www.nhsconfed.org/primary-care

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PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

Saving Lives With Data: How Remote Monitoring Technology Is Reshaping Health And Social Care

By Sameer Vartak, Chief Technology Officer, Lilli (www.intelligentlilli.com)

It’s no secret that the health and social care sectors are facing an ever mounting pressure of new challenges. Chronic staff shortages, budget cuts and an ageing population, as well as the wider implications of covid-19, are placing already strained health and social care services under growing pressure. Indeed, the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) State of Care report summarised that the social care sector is at breaking point and can no longer continue in its current form. It’s clear: transformation is needed. The UK government’s draft strategy to reshape the health and social care sector, published last September, acknowledges that data has a significant role to play in this muchneeded transformation, in part due to the pivotal role of data in the response to the covid-19 pandemic. As such, a commitment has been made to make £140 million of funding available through the AI in Health and Care Award to accelerate the testing and evaluation of AI technologies in 2024. But where to start? With volumes of data ever-growing in today’s digital age, the key is in deploying technologies to ensure proper value can be extracted, ensuring all data is collected with a purpose.

USING MACHINE LEARNING TO POWER A PROACTIVE APPROACH Many of us are already interacting with the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technologies such as smart watches. These produce a swath of insightful data around the environment, which currently sit in silos. Advanced Data Science technologies, including machine learning (ML) in particular, can use this rich data alongside masses of service-user and patient information to transform care through its ability to learn and identify deviations. To this end, there is huge potential for the use of ML in a home care setting, especially in helping to move it away from the current reactive model and towards a more proactive, preventive model that enables more efficient use of resources and delivers better care outcomes. One ML-use case with real promise is introducing ML-driven solutions that can analyse data from any kind of device or sensor in the home, as they are able to learn patterns of behaviour to gain insights into a person's independence or care requirements. The source of this data could be a Fitbit-type wearable device monitoring heart rate, or other sensors in the home that monitor movement or power usage, such as tracking the use of fridges and kettles, or the opening of doors. This is useful as elderly people, alongside other vulnerable people such as those with learning disabilities or chronic conditions, tend to have established routines from which they rarely deviate. By tracking these routines, it’s possible to use algorithm-based technology to establish a behavioural baseline, against which, it is clear to see signs and trends indicating the individual might be developing a problem. That might be a change in movement habits, increased toilet use or fewer drinking or feeding occurrences. Through this kind of remote-monitoring technology, care providers are given valuable insights to allow

them to intervene early when potential issues are flagged and then take appropriate action, enabling them to take preventive measures that will reduce the likelihood of more complex and costly treatment or admission to hospital. Consequently, at the same time as improving care, the technology helps to reduce the strain being placed on wider health and social care services outside the home, feeding into better clinical pathways. Most importantly, this use of data and technology can help people to live happily and safely in their homes for longer. This not only improves their quality of life, but a report in 2021 from Association of Directors of Adult Social Services also revealed that it could save local authorities £30,000 a year per individual compared to the cost of someone being placed into residential care – with this money then able to be redeployed elsewhere to help support the overstretched social care provision.

MAINTAINING PATIENT PRIVACY Whilst the utopia of better data use presents a rosy picture of improved home care and outcomes, data privacy considerations must be at the fore to ensure future success. Increased collection and use of data requires layers of security processes/policies, and principles of encryption, meaning that zero trust methodology should be baked in as standard to help ensure security. When considering the use of sensors in the home for example, this would mean having rigorous security protocols in place such as operating individual sensors in isolation from other technologies in the home which may share communication protocols (Bluetooth or WiFi) that can be vulnerable to a compromise. This is important to keep the network protected and secure at all times. Beyond the basics of data security, it’s key to ensure that individuals feel comfortable and understand exactly what types of data are being collected and how it is being used. This relies on open communication and a considered on-boarding strategy for new service-users which places consent at its heart. Crucially, there should be assurance that this data won’t be shared with any third-party organisations or applications, giving them peace of mind that their data will only be used for the purposes they have consented for. It’s crucial to communicate the benefit to service-users to ease any concerns around data security and to help them understand how this kind of technology can truly benefit their health, wellbeing and their independence, enabling them to live for longer in their own homes.

THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF DATA As has been demonstrated throughout the covid-19 pandemic, when data is used effectively, it can save lives. Therefore, it is now time to extend that thinking to all health and social care environments, and empower those who deliver care with the data they need to optimise the allocation of precious and stretched resources. Taking this approach and arming care-givers with advanced technology solutions based on IoT and data science will help to ease the pressure being placed on the sector by helping them to better understand the needs of service-users and patients and focus their time where it is needed most. This can all be done whilst also providing a better quality of care that can truly change the lives of vulnerable people living in their own homes.

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

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

Local Care Home Residents Are Celebrated With ‘Digni-Tree’ This Dignity Action Day The staff at an Oxfordshire residential care home have gone out of their way to make residents feel valued and respected this Dignity Action Day. Churchfields Care Home in Cassington has created a ‘digni-tree’ to celebrate its residents and display their wishes. The staff at the dementia-friendly care home will now work hard to grant as many wishes as possible for their residents. Wishes amongst the residents include having fish and chips, watching a live ballet, and attending a family wedding. Dignity Action Day is a cause very close to the team’s hearts at Churchfields, it is celebrated annually to ensure that those using care services across the country are treated as individuals with respect, kindness, and a sense of purpose in their lives. Care home owner, Jane Roberts said: “Although we celebrate Dignity Action Day yearly, and it is an event that is very important to us, it’s essential that focusing on dignity isn’t concentrated to one day a year, but rather adopted as a way of life within our homes. “At Churchfields we pride ourselves on delivering outstanding care, and we do this by recruiting a care team whose values are centered around the safety, comfort and happiness of our residents, and this Dignity Action Day demonstrated just that.” #DAD2022 aims to change the culture of care services through improving the quality of care within the healthcare services across the country including the NHS, community services and residential care homes.

Jane added: “The theme of this year’s Dignity Action Day is to ‘put undignified care to bed.’ “Care is an incredible industry to work in, and it’s important to all of us that we make life great for our elderly friends and residents to ensure that they are well looked after and confident that they are going to have a dignified life in their later years.” In 2018 the staff at Churchfields made a promise to keep to the ‘10 dignity dos’ as set out by Dignity Action Day. Jane continued: “It’s our duty to ensure that our residents' needs are being met, whether that’s helping someone visit the beach or ensuring someone’s right to privacy is maintained. “On Dignity Action Day 2022 we are proud to say that we are still upholding all ten of those dos, and we will continue to do so. Life at Churchfields is a home away from home for our residents, delivering outstanding care.” Churchfields residential home offers long-term, respite and dementia care, and is currently welcoming new residents. The home is located in the beautiful village of Cassington and has an Outstanding rating from the CQC. If you are interested in finding out more about Churchfields Care Home, you can visit their web page here: https://churchfieldscarehome.co.uk/ or call their helpful team on 01865 881 440 For more information on Dignity Action Day, you can visit the website here: https://www.dignityincare.org.uk/


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 13

44% of Care Employees Are Considering a Job Change This Year Close to one in every two care sector employees are thinking about a role change this year, according to new research published today by workforce software company Sona. In a survey of 750 staff working in care in the UK, 30% said they are looking at a new role within care, and 14% could quit the sector entirely. Given the existing employment gap in care, these figures suggest that providers should be looking to ease the burden on their recruitment teams by prioritising programmes to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Respondents were asked which aspects of their work they feel are very important in any decision to switch employers. Salary (62%) came third, after relationships with residents and patients (63%), and more flexible schedules (62%). The research showed a clear correlation between working patterns and satisfaction at work. 54% of staff with more unpredictable hours are considering a job change this year, compared to 39% of those with predictable hours. Almost 20% of respondents who work unpredictable hours are considering leaving the sector.

happy about working for their current employer. More recognition from management (92%), better internal communication (91%), having more freedom to choose their working patterns (90%), and better mental health support for employees (90%) were top of the list. Richard Upshall, Product Director for Health and Social Care at Sona, said: "The possibility of more staff leaving the sector is very concerning given that recruitment is already a big challenge. However, our research shows that the most important contributors to happiness at work are all things employers can control. The status quo is clearly not sustainable, so providers should give themselves permission to radically rethink how they support, engage and motivate their staff. That includes looking at the role technology can play in creating more flexible working patterns, enhancing team communication and recognition, and supporting staff wellbeing.” The findings were revealed as part of Sona’s Rethinking Retention report, which also looked at the factors most likely to make staff feel

For more information, please visit www.getsona.com/rethinking-retention

The Secret To Endless Love … A Bit Of Give And Take At Friends of the Elderly’s Retired Nurses National Home (RNNH) in Bournemouth, the care team had a love-filled Valentine’s week, helping two of their residents - Len and Delia Butler - celebrate their milestone 66th Wedding Anniversary. Len and Delia first met at a bus stop back in 1956 and, as they say, the rest is history. Len said: “As soon as I met Delia, I knew she was the one. The first time I saw her, that was it.” The RNNH team pulled out all the stops to make the couple’s landmark anniversary a special day. At lunchtime, the Home Manager, Alan Johnston and Deputy Manager, Ruth Arnold, presented Len and Delia with a bouquet of beautiful flowers, a delicious celebratory cake and congratulatory cards. Alan said: “Len and Delia are a great couple and have a lovely, wide group of friends here at the care home. Their landmark anniversary was definitely a day

to celebrate – 66 years of marriage is wonderful and an occasion to honour and treasure.” “A lot of people have asked me ‘what’s our secret?’ The answer is easy, firstly we’re best friends and secondly, Delia is always right,” added Len. “It’s true. We are still as happy together as they day we met. We’re best friends who always make time for each other,” concluded Delia. There isn’t a traditional wedding anniversary gift for 66 years, but the assigned flowers are Rainbow Coloured Bouquets and the gem stone is Sphene, which is quite unusual and beautiful. It actually has a brilliant fire greater than that of diamonds and is said to aid the wearer in processing information. It also promotes spiritual enlightenment and is an excellent aid for debating, which fits well as both Len and Delia agree that one of the key elements to their long and happy marriage is a ‘bit of give and take.’


PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

New Immigration Rules For Overseas Care Staff Are Just A Sticking Plaster On A Gaping Wound by Neil Russell, Chairman of PJ Care (www.pjcare.co.uk) The recent addition of care staff to the shortage occupation list brings a measure of relief to the sector but it is just a fraction of what it needs to resolve the staffing crisis. We’ve seen some care providers forced to close because of COVID, Brexit and more recently, the introduction of mandatory vaccinations which, combined, have decimated a sector that was already struggling to recruit. So, I welcome the move as it will make a difference for many. The current pool of qualified staff in the UK is all but exhausted, and providers are vying to attract new starters with welcome bonuses and offers to pay their household bills. Indeed, we have been inundated with applications to work at our care centres in Milton Keynes and Peterborough. Our social media channels have been flooded with requests for sponsorship. But recruiting from overseas represents considerably more time and expense than recruiting from the UK. We are fortunate in that we have an in-house recruitment team and we’ve been able to invest in an ongoing recruitment campaign. This has brought a steady stream of new UK staff into the business and we haven’t had to concentrate on overseas workers to staff our rotas.

Often the entry level jobs can be the hardest to fill because of the rates of pay available and this scheme does nothing to address that. Setting a minimum rate of £10.10 per hour for overseas staff (above the real living wage let alone minimum wage), means many will not be able to benefit from the scheme. Care is massively underfunded and therefore cannot compete on equal terms with other industries that are offering much higher rates of pay. Local to our neurological care centres, which are home to people with progressive neurological conditions, we’ve seen hospitality, warehousing and clerical jobs offering much higher rates of pay which we just cannot compete with. For specialist providers like us, which are reliant on funding from local authorities and CCGs, any wage increases we are able to make are limited by the fees these bodies are willing to pay. The challenge to staff the care sector will only increase in the coming months as the energy price cap goes up, the National Insurance rise comes in and the cost of living really bites. Much as people might want to work in care or love the job they have, it just might not be enough to pay the bills. The importance of care to society continues to go unrecognised and while it remains underfunded, carers will be paid much less than their responsibilities indicate they should earn. Recruiting from overseas is not a panacea, it will not cure all of the recruitment and employment issues in the sector. These issues will remain until care providers are able to afford to pay staff what they deserve. This is heart breaking as people will be deterred from entering a fantastic career that offers huge job satisfaction and many opportunities to learn, grow and develop.

Four Acres Care Home Residents Spruce Up their Garden Ready for Warmer, Spring Days Residents at Four Acres, in Studley, Warwickshire, have embraced the weather this week, spending time in their gardens. To get their garden ready for warmer, brighter days, residents spent time planting their springtime flowers and bulbs too. The residents enjoyed getting out in the fresh air and doing a spot of gardening, which made them excited for future spring days. Fresh air and gardening have great benefits for residents, this is why the Runwood Homes Group promotes initiatives in the Spring and Summer months, like their annual Blooming Marvellous Competition, which receives much interest every year. At Four Acres, the garden is inclusive to everyone, and residents are encouraged to enjoy the outdoor space. The home’s garden features raised flower beds too, for green-fingered residents. The resi-

dents are looking forward to enjoying their garden as the weather gets warmer and the Four Acres staff team look forward to hosting activities in the garden for residents, like morning mocktail events, outdoor fitness sessions and even special lunches too. Home Manager at Four Acres, Dani Pathiarge, commented: “We enjoy hosting a variety of activities within the home, and in warmer months we enjoy having activities in the garden as well. Our residents enjoy gardening, and we are always proud to see how bright and colourful our garden is and showing it off to relatives and other visitors. We have a comfortable seating area in the garden which is ideal for a relax and a chat with friends and family.”

allmanhall Wins Food Procurement Contracts with Two Care Homes St Martin’s Care and Churchlake Care to benefit from allmanhall’s award winning supply chain management and procurement expertise For over fifteen years allmanhall has been helping care homes make food cost savings of over 10%, a significant sum in the light of current food inflation. allmanhall has also been helping clients explore and achieve cost savings when it comes to cleaning and medical supplies. Notaro Care Homes, an independent, family-run company with eleven care homes in the west of England has been working with allmanhall for a number of years as its procurement provider, benefiting from significant financial and administrative cost savings. According to Leila Sharkey, Operations Manager at Notaro Care Homes, “Through the financial and administrative savings made with allmanhall, combined with their catering expertise, we have been able to re-

invest in our catering service. We have one point of contact and enjoy catering and nutritional support, enabling more quality time for us to benefit the lives of our residents, enhancing their care. I would certainly recommend allmanhall as a great support to our ultimate goal of quality residential care.” allmahall is therefore delighted to announce that St Martin’s Care and Churchlake Care are the latest two care home groups to move their food procurement to its management and will benefit from its invaluable support. The client support team at allmanhall understand the resource and workforce challenges faced by many care homes at present, and by liaising with suppliers on behalf of care caterers and providing administrative efficiencies when it comes to invoice processing, stock taking and an industry leading catering controls platform, will relieve some of the pressures.

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Joins Local Care Home Residents for Mental Health Awareness Staff and residents at Barchester’s Cheverton Lodge Care Community in Islington 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 meditation 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 Cheverton Lodge to discuss the importance of good health and wellbeing.” General Manager, Earl Elliott, 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.”


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New Research Shows a “Hidden” Mental Health Crisis is Debilitating Older People Age UK has urged older friends and relatives to ‘reach out’ for help as restrictions relax and the pandemic loosens its grip, a “hidden” mental health crisis is debilitating older people. As Covid-19 restrictions look set to be relaxed, Age UK’s most recent research reveals the alarming impact that the pandemic has had on older people’s mental health and confidence, hindering their return to everyday life and for many accelerating previous health conditions. The harrowing results of the research reveal that many older people are experiencing anxiety, memory loss, low mood and depression. In some cases, older people report feeling suicidal. Common challenges include disturbed sleep patterns and a lack of confidence and motivation to get back to doing normal everyday activities. The results of the research show that compared to pre- pandemic: • 4.1 million (33%) older people say they feel more anxious. • 4.3 million (34%) of older people said they feel less motivated to do the things they enjoy. Further research indicates that during the pandemic the proportion of over 70s who are depressed doubled with 1.8 million people aged 60 and over reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms in Summer 2021. Age UK heard heart breaking comments from older people who took part in the research such as: “Think about death quite a lot. Life seems just a drudge. Nothing to look forward to.” “Exhaustion, depression/feeling low, brain fog. Difficult to concentrate when doing my professional job of tutoring.” “Don’t want to live anymore…no longer seem to have any control over my life. Indoors alone for almost two years is killing me.” Older people with depression frequently experience physical symptoms – such as tiredness, weight loss, and problems sleeping. The research found that: • 2.9 million (23%) of older people agreed they are finding it harder to remember things now than they did at the start of the pandemic, and • 4.3 million (34%) of older people disagreeing that they had been sleeping well. “I have difficulty remembering things e.g. names; what day it is; what I am supposed to do each day e.g. appointments (dentist); emails to answer. Feel muddle headed much of the time.” “I now worry about things so much more than before to the point it is affecting sleeping through the night.”

Furthermore, a common theme throughout the research was the degree to which people living with dementia and cognitive impairment have seen their condition deteriorate more quickly than would have been otherwise anticipated over the last 2 years. Tragically, the comments from the survey read: “Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia- so that lack of physical contact and stimulation, not going out to shops etc has had a massive impact.” “Anxiety has made husband’s Alzheimer’s worse due to fear of catching Covid. Coping with my depression/anxiety while keeping us both safe and well has been an ordeal.” In addition, the measures taken to control Covid-19 over the last two years has had a huge impact on people’s lives, which together with the added worry of catching the virus, has left many older people feeling isolated and alone, with: • 5.1 million (41%) saying they felt lonely, • 3.4 million (27%) saying they spoke less to family. • 3 million (24%) feeling less close to family. Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, says: “It is important that all older people know they do not have to cope alone. I really would encourage them to reach out and ask for help if they are feeling low or anxious. “The pandemic has had a big impact on everyone of all ages and very few of us are emerging from the last two years completely unscathed. However, talking about mental health and wellbeing is not something most older people have traditionally done, so they need to

know it’s ok – perfectly normal in fact. Many older people may feel reluctant to start a conversation about mental health, but the NHS is still there to support them and can offer treatments such as Talking Therapies which are often very effective. “Before the pandemic started older people were already underreferred for NHS talking therapy services. The proportion of referrals made up by older people is now the lowest it’s been for years, despite them being just as likely as other age groups to experience common mental health conditions. In addition, experts agree that when given the opportunity, older people do really well when they engage in counselling and the like, and we need to continually challenge misconceptions and stereotypes that prevent older people from getting the psychological help they need and deserve. “We can all do our bit to help by reaching out to older relatives and friends for a chat over the phone. For anyone hard of hearing, a letter may be hugely welcome. For those online, video calls offer a world of opportunities to stay in touch. Simple actions like these can do more good than you will ever know, especially now.” Rosie Weatherley, Information Content Manager at Mind, said: “It’s shocking that millions of older people are reporting feeling depressed, lonely and anxious since the pandemic began. Mind’s research found that, during the first lockdown, many people reported a decline in their mental health. Despite this increased prevalence, lots of people were reluctant to ask for help because they were concerned about ‘burdening’ the NHS at a time of increased pressure. This is worrying because we know that left untreated, mental health problems become more difficult and expensive to treat. “If you notice changes to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are affecting your daily life, last longer than two weeks, or keep returning – try to talk to someone you trust, ideally your GP. A GP should be able to let you know if you might have a common mental health problem, like depression and anxiety, and signpost you to support. “There are lots of treatments available, including talking therapy, medication and self-care techniques like exercise, mindfulness and arts therapies. We know that NHS support offered remotely (via phone or online) due to COVID restrictions won’t work for everyone, with many struggling with technology or concerned about confidentiality. We have been calling on the UK Government to make sure face-to-face services continue to be offered. Age UK also provide some amazing support to older people, such as befriending, so if you’re worried, please make use of the support available.”


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New Scheme Brings Voices Of Loved Ones To Care Home Residents

By Angie Bual, Co-Director of Bristol-based arts organisation Trigger (www.triggerstuff.co.uk)

WithYou is our new scheme which brings care home residents voice messages from loved ones who can’t visit. We developed the scheme in response to lockdown to support isolated people in care homes and hospitals by bringing voice messages and music in a simple and efficient format that’s easy to use for families and staff. WithYou is a free digital service which makes it easy to collect and record messages, create playlists and share them from anywhere in the world. It allows people to connect with family and friends when they are isolated and vulnerable. The messages and playlists are put onto one audio album which can be accessed from a phone or tablet. A member of staff can press the button, and then leave the messages and music playing for the resident. Our tag line for WithYou – A Mixtape for the Soul – is reminiscent of the tapes, burned CDs and Spotify playlists we made for our friends in the past. Favourite music and messages from loved ones can bring back good memories, and I hope that WithYou is a similar audio gift by

someone or by a whole group of people to someone special. I came up with the idea after an old friend of mine was on ICU with covid. He was mechanically ventilated and unable to have visitors. His friends and family were trying to pull together multiple voice messages from friends, colleagues and family members, and put them onto one mp3 player to send to the hospital. They found the whole procedure very challenging, and it made me realise that there are so many people who are in hospital or in care homes, unable to use devices due to their condition, and all you want at a time like that is to be able to send them a message and make sure they have company. Unlike an ordinary voicemail message, there’s no complicated equipment for the resident to use, and people have enjoyed listening to their special album or playlist time and time again. Many care home residents and their families have already benefited from using WithYou. We want to make the service available to lots more people because we know that we can make a huge difference. We’ve heard about people who perhaps can’t converse very well but respond to familiar voices and favourite music. We’ve heard about family members feeling desperate to communicate when they can’t visit, and finding comfort in knowing that their messages are getting though. And we’ve heard from staff who feel that WithYou enables them to bring additional emotional support for people during difficult times. As well as anecdotal feedback, and the knowledge that contact with loved ones is vital for us all, the project is backed up by research. Creative Health, the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing Inquiry, demonstrates that listening to music is effective in reducing stress, improving sleep quality and reducing pain. WithYou is currently being used at Abbeyfield Care Homes, Warwickshire, where residents are often unable to use devices to receive messages and listen to music. The scheme is also operating in

hospitals across the country, focussing on intensive care units where patients are too poorly to operate phones or tablets. And all this is just the start - we’re delighted that our work on WithYou was endorsed when the scheme was a finalist for the ‘Most Promising Pilot’ category at the 2021 Health Tech Awards. We’ve also recently received some new funding from Innovate UK, which is enabling us to develop WithYou so that it’s even more straightforward to use for families and for staff. This phase of the development will also allow us to make the scheme available to more hospitals and care homes. Trigger is a charity and are keen to offer the service to more care homes. If you’re interested in adopting the scheme, contact Trigger WithYou@triggerstuff.co.uk.

‘You Said, We Did’ Initiative at Wisden Court Care Home Put in Place to Meet Residents’ Wishes The team at Wisden Court, in Stevenage, have put in place a brilliant initiative to help understand what changes residents would like to see within the home, with the aim of seeing these changes embedded into the home. The idea came about during the home’s monthly resident’s meeting. The aim is to create a comfortable and inclusive project which encourages residents to express the changes they would like to see in the running of the home. The residents are welcome to contribute their thoughts and suggestions, and the Wisden Court team strive to put these in place. On display in the home is the ‘You said, we did’ board, which showcases the suggestions from residents that have already been put in place. Some brilliant examples on the display highlight that the home has already gone the extra mile to meet resident’s wishes. One resi-

dent said, ‘I miss doing my own shopping’, in which the home responded, ‘We created our own mobile shop, allowing residents to browse and pick up treats and basic items.’ Another resident stated, ‘we would like a quiet area for reading and relaxing’, so the team created a quiet room residents can retreat to, which includes memory pictures and comfortable chairs and is open 24 hours. Tracey Fletcher, Home Manager at Wisden Court, is pleased to see the initiative’s success, and commented: “Our resident’s opinion of their home is so important for us to capture. This initiative has helped us to further engage with residents and shows them they are understood, and we will always take the time to listen to them.”

Signature at Esher Raises £110 For Local Hospice with ‘PJ Day’ Signature at Esher hasraised £110 for the twilight nurses at the local hospice, The Princess Alice Hospice,with their ‘PJ Day’heldon 11th February. For the third year in arow,Signature at Esherhassupported the hospicecharity throughthis enjoyable fundraiser. With residents and team members donning their favourite pyjamas, the local care home enjoyed a day that included a raffle and a much anticipated ‘catwalk’,where residents had the chance to award their favourite nightwear. The Princess Alice Hospice provides a wide range of services that respond to the needs of individuals and their families. The Hospice plays a vital role in the local community by enabling people receiving end-of-life care tolive comfortably while offering support to their loved ones. Over the past three years,Signature at Esher has undertaken numerous fundraising events and activities for the Princess Alice Hospice. In this time team members and residents alike have raised over £2000, an incredible contribution that enables the charity to continue to deliver vital support to around 1000 people connected with the hospice.This year,Signature at Esherhave picked up where they left offin 2021,with their

latest‘PJ Day’ once again a huge success. Reflecting on the ‘PJ Day’ success, Sophie Hagger, Activities CoOrdinator,said: “ It’s a fun day and everyone can get involved. We always have a catwalk at the end of the day for residents to judge the best PJ’swhich is thoroughly enjoyedby all.It’sa fantastic way of giving back to the hospice and supporting them with theirincredible work.” Speaking on the importance of supporting the community, Joanna Perry, Client Liaison Manager,said: “Finding opportunities to give back to the community is a top priority for everybody at Signature at Esher. Over a number of years, we have supported numerous fantastic loval charities, causes, and organisations that do so much goof in Esher. Our residents and team members love to be able to give back in any way they can and promote positivity and community togetherness. The Princess Alive Hospice is particularly special and makes a huge difference to the lives of so many people and families in the area. These small acts go a long way towards helping them continue to deliver their vital services.”


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Surrey Council Sets Out plan to Improve Care Choices for Older People Older people with complex needs will be given greater choice over their care and support under a new plan for adult social care in Surrey. The county council will work with the NHS and private care providers to create more places in specialist facilities catering for people who need intensive support – whether they’re eligible for social care services or not. The plan is in line with the council’s ambition to tackle inequalities in health and ensure no one in Surrey is left behind. As Surrey’s population grows and ages, more people will need care that is geared towards meeting high and complex needs such as advanced dementia. The plan, drawn up following input from hundreds of people including residents, unpaid carers, staff and providers, outlines how the council will work with partners to commission more specialist places to meet these increasingly complex needs. Another strand of the blueprint will see the council investing more in preventative services to help people stay healthy and happy in their local communities for longer, including enabling more residents to benefit from day services and activities. And the plan spells out how people will be supported to carry on living at home as long as they can, with

care and support, including through the use of pioneering technology which keeps people safe and independent at home – if that is right for them. The council’s commitment to providing 725 homes by 2030 in extra care housing – which offers people their own front door with care and support always on hand – will be central to this aim. At the same time, the council is reviewing its own eight in-house care homes which offer traditional residential care, with decisions regarding the future of each of these services expected later this month. Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We’re committed to ensuring no one in Surrey is left behind – helping those who need us most, and improving quality of life for everyone. “For older people, we’re continuing to transform social care to enable people to lead independent lives, in their own homes and communities, for as long as possible. And for people who do need to be supported in a care home we’ll work with our partners to achieve the right mix of places for Surrey, ensuring that people with complex needs can receive care which is truly tailored to their needs.”

Rowena House Care Home Proud To Showcase Resident’s Brilliant Artwork At Rowena House Care Home, in Doncaster, the team love to celebrate their residents’ talents, hobbies and passions. Every resident offers something special and plays an important role within the home. Margaret, a resident at Rowena House, loves to paint and is a very talented artist. The Rowena House team encourages Margaret to continue pursuing this passion, providing a space for Margaret to feel supported in her endeavours. Margaret has produced a series of paintings, which include beautiful and bright flowers and stunning landscapes. The team are so proud of Margaret’s work that they have created a lovely display of her art within the home, for other residents, relatives and visitors to appreciate. Margaret loved seeing her artwork displayed for all to see, and everyone at the

home is proud to have their very own special artist. Stacey Dean, Home Manager at Rowena House, very much enjoys seeing Margaret’s incredible work, and commented: “Margaret has a real talent and the team and I love seeing what she will paint next. All our residents have a wide range of talents, and we love to discover and promote these within the home. We encourage creativity and imagination through a selection of different activities, considering the existing hobbies and interest of our residents, whilst also encouraging them to find new ones too.” Rowena House is a part of the Runwood Homes Group. At Runwood Homes, teams across homes value learning the unique qualities and abilities of residents, and enjoy nurturing these together, within the home.


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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.


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NHS Leaders Sound the Alarm Over Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ Proposals Elective treatments, access to general practice and other routine care provided by the NHS could become disrupted if further strains of coronavirus are allowed to spread across the country with reduced national oversight, according to health leaders, as the Government prepares to confirm its “Living with Covid-19” strategy for England next week. A week on from publication of the NHS Elective Recovery Plan, which sets out how the waiting list of over 6 million people will be tackled, the NHS Confederation is calling on the Government to take a cautious and evidence-based approach to exiting the pandemic so that the NHS can continue to meet the full healthcare needs of the population. It is widely rumoured that the plan will bring an end to free lateral flow tests for millions of people, as well as an end to mandatory selfisolation for anyone with a positive result from as early as next month. This is as both hospital admissions and deaths linked to the virus continue to fall nationally, thanks in large part to the success of the vaccine roll out and the new Covid treatments that the NHS is delivering. In a poll of more than 300 of the most senior leaders in the NHS in England carried out by the NHS Confederation, nearly eight in ten leaders (79%) strongly disagreed or disagreed with the plan to stop free access to Covid-19 tests for the public, with 94% feeling the same about NHS staff and other key workers. NHS staff are currently required to test at home twice a week. Also, three quarters (75%) of health leaders who responded to the survey disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal to change the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive result to being advisory only. The rules currently state that people must self-isolate for ten full days from when their symptoms begin or when they test positive, with opportunities to exit after five days if certain conditions are met. The survey was carried out by the NHS Confederation between Monday 14 and Wednesday 16 February 2022, covering health leaders across NHS acute, mental health, community and ambulance service trusts, primary care, clinical commissioning groups and integrated care systems in England. 307 people took part.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Hospital admissions and deaths linked to coronavirus continue to fall nationally and this is allowing the NHS to bring back many routine services that it was asked to deprioritise during the peaks of the pandemic, including some non-urgent elective procedures. With the success of the vaccine and new Covid treatments, this offers real hope as we learn to live with the virus. “But the Government cannot wave a magic wand and pretend the threat has disappeared entirely. So much is uncertain still, including our long-term immunity and the emergence of future strains, which requires a solid testing infrastructure and clear guidance around selfisolation to remain in place. “A lot is at stake for the NHS’s recovery ambitions if the Government is too gung-ho in its plans for exiting the pandemic, which is why health leaders are calling for a cautious and evidence led approach. This must not be driven by political expediency.” Elsewhere in the poll, more than four in five (82%) health leaders disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal that there should be an end to compulsory mask wearing in NHS and care settings. While the Government has confirmed that PPE will remain free for all health and care settings in England throughout 2022/23, infection prevention and control guidance for the NHS has not confirmed future arrangements about the use of face coverings and other measures by staff, patients and visitors as the national response to coronavirus evolves. One NHS leader responding to the survey said: “Masks will protect vulnerable patients who will otherwise be nervous about coming in, and our staff from Covid and other circulating respiratory viruses. Levels are still too high to stop wearing masks.” Also in the survey, 83% of health leaders who took part in the poll said they do not want the weekly ONS infection survey, which has been tracking infection rates and antibodies across households since June 2020, to come to an end. This follows suggestions that it could be scrapped or drastically scaled back as part of the Government’s plans. If this happened, it would mean that the country’s ability to detect new variants will be limited significantly. Health leaders have also been clear that the need for continued

communications about the importance of good public health measures, such as handwashing, ventilation and the wearing of face coverings in indoor settings, which could reduce transmission of coronavirus should continue. One respondent to the survey said: “Reducing our information about spread is crazy at this stage.” Another said: “If this coming winter will include flu, Covid and other pressures, it would be useful to know exactly what pressure Covid is putting on hospitals. We don’t know how the pandemic will develop.” Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “There are still high levels of coronavirus in the population and there are many people who remain vulnerable to serious illness. ‘Living with Covid’ means us accepting the consequences for these people as individuals but will also put further pressure on an already pressurised, understaffed health service that is short of beds. Meanwhile lifting restrictions will skip a whole phase of ‘recovery’ that will make it even more difficult to achieve the government’s ambitions in the elective care delivery plan. “There is already a risk that the elective care plan will be quickly derailed by the crisis in Emergency care but lifting restrictions and revoking free testing could lead to a new wave of Covid pressures on Emergency Departments, which will disrupt elective care even further.” Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “This poll confirms what many of us have been thinking and saying since the announcement about relaxing the rules early in England was made. That is that it all feels very sudden and more driven as much by the current political pressures than by robust scientific guidance. “We do have to learn to live safely with Covid in the medium term, that does not mean pretending the threat to our health and in some cases life simply no longer exists. We should take a more gradual, phased approach to relaxing the rules and carefully watch what happens to the rates of infection – particularly in healthcare settings or other environments where people are particularly at risk. We also need the ONS survey of cases to continue so that we have accurate data on which to base future decisions.”

Romsey Care Home Valentine’s Singalong Brings ‘Love Story’ To Life Residents at a Romsey care home have had a love story brought to life this Valentine’s, via an interactive singalong event. On Wednesday 15th February, the Durban House care home residents were treated to a ‘Lyrics of Love’ performance via YouTube, from singer Christine Rosemond. Christine, who offers a variety of interactive events online, sang through a special ‘Valentine’s love story’ for the care home residents. The romantic story was shared on screen, and even included a fictional marriage proposal. And, as well as providing the residents with a love-filled show to remember, the entertainer made sure all guests felt a part of the event by addressing each of them by name. Christine said: “Although I couldn’t see or hear the residents, I received messages from a member of staff to inform me what was going on via YouTube’s ‘live chat’ facility. “Having the opportunity to address individuals specifically, made for a truly magical and shared event. I had a great time, and it’s always a pleasure to perform for Durban House.” With care homes having to close their doors to entertainers during the pandemic, online events have

become the norm. And although visiting restrictions have been eased recently, the safety of Durban House’s residents and staff is still the main priority. Janie Wilkins, Registered Home Manager at Durban House, said: “Christine has been providing our residents with themed shows online throughout the pandemic, which has been crucial for their wellbeing. “Although we are now able to invite more people into the home, we are still remaining vigilant in terms of safety. Christine’s online performances are always well liked here, and this Valentine’s show was no exception.” Set on making this Valentine’s one to remember, staff at the Romsey care home also gave out homemade cards and roses to each of their residents, decorated the lounge with balloons, and served up a delicious buffet – including strawberries and chocolate. Durban House is part of Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams is thrilled the residents have had the chance to take part in a Valentine’s themed event. He said: “At Durban House, we are a nurse-led care home, so our approach focuses on providing a home from home for our residents while we meet their healthcare needs. It is wonderful to hear how much they’ve enjoyed a special day arranged by our incredible staff here.”

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

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


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What The Future Holds For Care Industry Uniforms Peter Broom, Director and Technical Innovator at Meryl Medical, looks at the latest trends in uniform and workwear fabrics which help defend against bacteria and are fully sustainable. The pandemic has increased focus on how uniforms feel and look after we all saw images of staff working long hours and suffering chaffed skin and rashes caused by wearing ill-fitting workwear and single-use PPE. Reflecting on those early months of 2020, it is important to think about how workwear can be improved and if there are more effective and even more sustainable alternatives to help maintain hygiene and safety while reducing the reliance in single-use masks and aprons. It’s easy to stay with uniform and workwear materials you have always used however advances in textile technologies have produced ‘smarter’ more comfortable, harder wearing and cost-effective fabrics. Uniforms can have in-built antimicrobial and antifungal protection which doesn’t diminish with use or garment washing and helps to stop the spread of care-home acquired infections, preventing cross-contamination and transmission of viruses. This happens when silver ion is added to the material during the manufacturing process so the silver envelop any virus it touches, kills the bacteria for continuous protection against the likes of MRSA and even Covid-19 and stop smells and odours developing. There are also benefits of excellent moisture management making it quick drying helping to maintain the wearer’s natural balance of the skin so preventing problems such as sores and chaffing. These new fabrics can play a role in a care homes’ sustainability goals by stopping microplastic fibres,

also known as microfibres, from shredding with each wash which ten enter our water systems and potentially the food chain. Using a hydrogen bonding process while manufacturing the yarn seals the microfibres so they won’t shed. Further green credentials come with the ability for some newer fabrics to offer ‘infinite recyclability’. At the end of their working life, the garments do not need to end up like most clothing in landfill and taking up to 200 years to decompose as they can be recycled into new items to create a ‘constant loop’ of material. This process also saves up to 3,000 litres of water for each 600m of fabric manufactured be saved and removes the need to use chemicals and solvents during the dyeing and finishing of materials. What these fabrics also offer is the ability to be used in a range of garments whether it is tunics, trousers, scrubs, dresses and polos shirts to give care homes team more choices in what they can wear while not sacrificing comfort and durability. They can even be used for lightweight all-day wear face mask be washed and eventually recycled so helping to save the tens of thousands of single-use and unrecyclable masks which are being thrown away every week across the healthcare sector. It is becoming increasingly important to understand more about the items you use on a daily basis, even with uniforms and workwear fabrics, as it is part of understanding how to become more sustainable. For those care homes which work alongside the NHS this is becoming more important as it has already launched its Greener NHS Scheme as part of its net-zero by 2040 journey. Increasingly, NHS organisations are wanting organisations it works with to demonstrate how they are reducing their own environmental impact. The reality is we all have some way to go but taking small steps will help move us along the road and the new generation of fabrics can play a role in adopting a green mindset.

Local Wallington Residents Involved In National Dementia Advisory Group Two residents at Wallington Extra Care scheme, Dymond House, have been involved in a project with The University of Worcester to help people living with dementia. Bill and Christine will be involved in the ‘DemECH project’ Advisory Group for 18 months, helping to explore how different models of Extra Care Housing promote and sustain wellbeing for people living with dementia. The DemECH project Advisory Group includes people living with dementia, housing providers, care providers, commissioners and academics. Christine has been living at Dymond House for three and a half years and previously ran a pub and B&B with her late husband as well as volunteering as a Samaritan. She said: “I’m excited to be a member of the Advisory Group, it’s great that people like me are being given a voice – it feels like my ‘raison d'être’!” Bill has been living at Dymond House for around three years. He previously worked as a librarian for UCL in London for many years and gained three Master’s degrees during this time. Bill also loved to travel and sail in his younger days. He is also excited to be involved in this project and being part of the Advisory Group.

Teresa Atkinson, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Worcester, said: “We know that Extra Care is becoming a more popular choice with older people, but little is known about how the different models of Extra Care housing supports people with dementia. “We will be looking in depth at three different approaches to Extra Care; segregated (where people with dementia live in a different part of the scheme, separated from other residents), integrated (where people with dementia live alongside other residents) and specialist (where the scheme is solely for people with dementia). We hope to find out which of these models works best to support quality of life. “The importance of this study lies in its focus on dementia. There have been many studies which consider how Extra Care housing works best for older adults, but very few of these mention people living with dementia. This is a real challenge because if we don’t know which models best support people with dementia, how can we be sure we are offering them the very best possible support, or the very best opportunities to enjoy quality of life? If we are truly person centred, then this is the information we need to commission and structure future care provision. “Within this study, hearing the voices of people living with dementia is paramount. This research is being guided by Bill and Christine who are living the reality we seek to understand. As members of our Advisory Group, their expertise drives the research forward, scrutinising and contributing to the data collection design, analysis and findings. “Bill and Christine will help us to deliver the findings from the study by sharing these at conference presentations. Involving Bill and Christine from beginning to end ensures our research is founded on the lived experiences of people with dementia.”

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 21

JCVI Advises a Spring COVID-19 Vaccine Dose for the Most Vulnerable Over-75s and people with suppressed immune systems in the UK are to be offered another Covid-19 booster vaccination in the coming weeks to increase potentially waning protection, after advice from the government’s vaccines watchdog The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) These individuals the JVCI say are at much higher risk of severe coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore, as a precautionary strategy to maintain high levels of immunity, an extra spring dose is advised around 6 months after the last vaccine dose for: • adults aged 75 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults • individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed, as defined in in the COVID 19 healthcare guidance Green Book The types of vaccine offered for the spring dose will be as follows: • for eligible adults aged 18 years and over, 50mcg Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine or 30mcg Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine • for eligible persons aged 12 to 18 years, 30 mcg Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine Despite uncertainties around how the pandemic will develop

through the summer, the JCVI believes winter is likely to remain the season when the threat from COVID-19 is greatest, both for individuals

and the NHS and care homes. As such, the JCVI has provided additional interim advice to ministers for the purposes of forward planning that a further booster in the autumn of 2022 is likely to be advised for people who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19. It remains too early to set out precise details of what that programme may look like, but the committee will provide more definitive advice in due course. Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: "Last year’s booster vaccination programme has so far provided excellent protection against severe COVID-19. "To maintain high levels of protection for the most vulnerable individuals in the population, an extra spring dose of vaccine is advised ahead of an expected autumn booster programme later this year. "The JCVI will continue its rolling review of the vaccination programme and the epidemiological situation, particularly in relation to the timing and value of doses for less vulnerable older adults and those in clinical risk groups ahead of autumn 2022.

Several Care Homes in the Runwood Homes Group Receive Silver Medal for Essex County Council’s Deconditioning Games The Grange, Eastham and Humfrey Lodge, all part of the Runwood Homes Group, are thrilled to have received their silver medals for the NHS and Essex County Council’s Deconditioning Games. The Deconditioning Games aims to help prevent deconditioning and raise awareness. Deconditioning is the loss of physical, psychological and functional capacity due to inactivity, and is associated with the loss of muscle mass, increased risk of falls and reduced independence. The homes signed up to this wonderful initiative were given pedometers to see how many steps residents and staff can clock up to encourage more movement. It has been amazing to see the creative ways homes are taking part. Lesley Cruickshank, Provider Quality Innovation Manager, at ECC, submitted The Grange, Eastham and Humfrey Lodge to receive their medals, for their innovative efforts to get their residents involved in the initiative and evidencing that these efforts have made a real, positive difference for residents. Eastham residents used their pedometers for their charity walkathon,

which involved a virtual walk across their local town, from Lands End to John O’ Groats. The virtual walkathon was organised to raise money for Homeless Veterans UK and will see those involved completing almost 2.5million steps over a 60-day period, which started on the 10th of January. The Grange team were nominated to receive their silver medal for their virtual walk to Southend Seafront. Looking at their map, residents at The Grange worked out that a walk to Southend seafront would amount to a very impressive 27,024 steps. So, each day, the residents at The Grange are walking as much as they can to reach their goal. Once complete, The Grange team will celebrate their achievement by going to tea at Southend Seafront by minibus. This way they will be able to put into perspective just how far they have walked. Now, homes will aim for their gold medal, where they are requested to evidence that the changes they have made are embedded into all aspects of the home, that the project is rolled out to other areas, and that they have been shared with other organisations.

Care Home Gives Ex-Professional Pianist the Confidence to Play Again A former professional pianist celebrated her 95th birthday at a Dorset care home by performing live again more than ten years after she last played a note. Myrtle Smith, an outstanding classically trained chamber musician, gave up the instrument in her early 80s saying she felt ‘too old’. Now living at Bourne View in Poole, she was invited to spend her birthday playing on the home’s grand piano with Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner Fiona Pritchard. The pair rehearsed and performed several pieces, with Fiona accompanying Myrtle on treble recorder and French horn. It surprised and delighted fellow residents and staff who gathered to listen. Fiona, who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has performed in orchestras with English National Ballet, Scottish Opera and others, said: “Knowing of Myrtle’s love of playing, I wanted to see if there was an opportunity to rekindle her interest. “I knew she hadn’t played for over ten years, with her saying at the time that she felt she may be too old. “We approached the idea of playing together very gently and she agreed to

give it a go and see how it went. “We first tried the piece Tambourin by Charles Gerhardt with me on recorder. She was delighted to play it and we agreed it sounded great. “Then, since she had already mentioned a lifelong love of Beethoven, I accompanied her on French horn to a piece I had written inspired by the composer’s style. Again, she was thrilled with how it turned out. “Staff and residents were astonished, so pleased that Myrtle had been enticed to play. “Myrtle explained afterwards that she felt a bit rusty after her break of more than a decade but is now keen to play again as she feels it is so good for her. “It really was so enjoyable for us both and we already have another rehearsal date in the diary.” Fiona added: “At Colten we are very keen to make sure our residents continue to have access to music and the arts especially when they have been professionals themselves.” Myrtle said: “It was a wonderful experience and I thank Fiona for bringing in her instruments and inviting me to play. I am so looking forward to our next date.”




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Raising Fire Safety Standards In Specialised Housing By Nick Rutter, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at FireAngel Safety Technology (www.fireangel.co.uk)

There is a disproportionate risk of death from fire for the three-quarters of a million residents estimated to be living in specialised housing, such as extra care housing or assisted living arrangements. The most significant influences on fire risk in specialised housing are advanced age, physical disability, cognitive difficulties, and mental health problems. Without carers around 24/7, safeguarding measures need to fill in the gaps. Measures to reduce the risk include The Building Safety Bill, devel-

oped to transform the existing fire safety system and increase accountability, transparency and oversight of fire safety throughout the life of a building. The Bill establishes a Building Safety Regulator (BSR) within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to implement the new, more stringent, regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings, defined as residential buildings over 18 metres. Care homes over 18 metres are also covered at the design and construction stage. However, height is only one factor in determining risk. The London Fire Brigade and the House of Lords have recommended that occupancy should be considered when determining the scope of the new building safety regime, as there will be buildings under 18 metres that are home to The bill is by no means the end of the post-Grenfell overhaul. Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent Building a Safer Future report recognised the need for personal emergency evacuation plan provisions (PEEPs) for disabled and other potentially vulnerable people. PEEPs should be reviewed at least annually, with more frequent reviews required if a resident’s condition changes. As care and specialised housing providers wait for new guidance to come into force, there are other, intelligent ways to protect residents that can be implemented now to raise fire safety standards. Modern fire safety technology can help carers, care workers and housing providers identify the early warning signs of illness. For example, technology can show if a tenant’s alarm is triggered frequently due to electrical appliances overheating, food being left in the oven too long, or other common behaviours consistent with a decline in cogni-

tive abilities. Having this data can prompt earlier intervention, ensuring more residents get the help they need, when they need it. Technologies that are already familiar to many elderly tenants, such as panic buttons or fall detectors, can be combined with new sensors that build on traditional fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to provide holistic support. If local authorities provided a hub that different technologies could feed into, more residents in assisted living arrangements could receive holistic support, increasing the likelihood of preventing further risks to health and decreasing associated costs in the long-term. Accelerating the adoption of technology can also help prepare for the future. In less than five years the Public Switched Telephone Network, which has connected analogue telecare systems for decades, will be switched off and replaced by a digital IP network. This means that analogue assisted living alarms may become less reliable with a higher rate of failed calls. Making the switch now will not only help prepare for the future but enable a more person-centred, proactive and predictive home care service. Unlike analogue systems, digital networks are ‘always on’, allowing sensors in self-contained homes to connect and send vital information to a shared digital platform accessible by home care professionals. The ability to identify patterns of highrisk behaviour can enable a care professional to intervene at an earlier stage, improving the resident’s quality of life and helping to avoid a possible hospital admission at a later date.

Gloucester Based Chef and Coach Celebrates 15 Years with Care Home A chef coach based at a Gloucester care home has recently been awarded a long service award and says he has received “full support” in his role. Peter Liptak joined MHA Brockworth in 2006 as a kitchen assistant and quickly moved up the ladder to a cook, chef, head chef, catering manager, hospitality manager and became a regional chef coach in 2010, supporting other MHA homes. MHA Brockworth House is a purpose-built two-storey nursing home specialising in dementia care, with places for up to 52 residents. Peter was the first catering employee who was directly employed by MHA and now travels around homes in various regions to help train chefs. Speaking of his time with MHA, he said: “I did have some catering experience prior to joining MHA Brockworth House and it helped me to gain a good understanding in my role. Despite this, I have a lot to learn about the health sector catering, which MHA greatly supported me with. “I expect food quality at a high standard and I found here at MHA that is something that is highly recognised and promoted. “I design and serve well balanced, nutritional menus which strictly contain quality homemade food using only the freshest ingredients and that’s the policy I want other homes where I teach to adopt. “I have had full support in my development and I am very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

“I spend a lot of time visiting and supporting homes in the South East and Midlands area and I am very impressed by the chef’s passion to learn, as well as sharing knowledge and exchanging personal recipes which further enhance our ever growing and evolving menu database. “This not only contributes to the greater residents’ meal satisfaction and dining experience but also the staff are getting greater recognition, self-respect – an element of fun and work enjoyment – which I find invaluable! The organisation has a structure in place which further recognises employees who contribute above and beyond. “Last year I was fortunate to win an MHA Oscar award in the Learning and Achievement category, which was a very proud moment for me. “I am really enjoying working at MHA.“The company values, support and encouragement in personal and professional development has helped me grow into a well-respected and recognised senior manager. “Right now, in my spare time, I am concentrating on a few enhancement projects here at our site at Brockworth House, building and project managing a resident focused nature path with scenic pond and a stunning view of Cooper’s Hill (the famous Gloucester cheese rolling hill) which will directly benefit our residents, staff and friends of the care home, so I am very excited with what the future holds for both me and MHA!”

Resetting The Digital Premium - Legrand Care Invests In New Whitepaper Legrand Care, global specialists in the innovative development of connected technology, has provided a grant for the research and publication of a new whitepaper designed to help the health, housing and social care sectors find the best ways to provide comprehensive, high quality digital services. Launched on 16 February by the Good Governance Institute (GGI), the paper outlines the transformational impact of embracing digital across public services in a smart and innovative way that will ultimately benefit patients, clients, and the wider public. It highlights how all organisations can have a positive and lasting impact on the world by taking the digital transformation seriously. The online launch of ‘Resetting the digital premium’ was attended by a host of decision makers and social care business leaders where they heard from key speakers including Chris Dodd, CEO of Legrand Care and Dr Subashani M, Director of Science, Health and Wellness at

Holland and Barrett. Over the last two years the world has experienced a great deal of change and upheaval, much of the focus being on the negative impact of the global pandemic. The report builds on their first paper, Unleashing of the Digital Premium, published in 2020, and explores in more detail four themes at the heart of the digital premium: place, predictive technology and population health, security and wellbeing at home, and new digital standards. The whitepaper provides practical advice for boards to guide them on how to move forward with digital technology and includes case studies and quotes from thought leaders and experts, drawn from interviews and focus groups. It explores what is meant by the digital premium and why it matters, and takes a hard look at the health, housing and social care environment and the changes that are most affecting quality assurance. It also examines the effective use of digital technologies, focusing on the role of leadership, skills and data and provides a practical checklist of questions for boards, making the case for good governance as essential to securing future change at the pace and scale needed.

Chris Dodd, CEO of Legrand Care, says: “I welcome this latest whitepaper from the GGI and fully support the premise that connecting digital ‘thinking and doing’ with good governance enables proper stewardship of public assets and the public interest, but in doing so we must continue to tackle the digital divide and ensure we bring all on this transformational journey. This connection grounds strategic digital issues in real accountability, not just in organisations but in new networks, systems and collaborations between organisations on which the future evolution of health, housing and social care depends.” Andrew Corbett-Nolan, CEO of GGI, adds: “Understanding the digital premium available to leadership teams across the health, housing and social care sectors is fundamental to excellent engagement with and support of citizens. This paper comes at an incredibly important time, as boards have the opportunity to use digital products with a new approach to support the move forward from the ongoing covid pandemic.” To download a copy of the white paper go to www.tynetec.co.uk/unleashing-the-digital-premium/resetting-thedigital-premium


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 25

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

MOWOOT II Combats Chronic Constipation MOWOOT II is a revolutionary non-invasive and nonpharmacological solution to chronic constipation. Developed by a team of medical professionals, MOWOOT II delivers gentle abdominal massage that speeds up intestinal transit in people with chronic constipation. Clinically proven and free from side-effects, MOWOOT II Chronic Constipation Therapy System fights constipation effectively, safely and comfortably without laxatives, enemas or colon cleansing supplements. Comfortable during use, MOWOOT II treats and manages chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease as well as helps to combat medication-related constipation issues. MOWOOT II also fights chronic constipation in menopausal and post-menopausal women and elderly people. In a published clinical study*, MOWOOT II increased evacuation frequency, softened stools, improved regularity, reduced gasses and bloating and relieved abdominal discomfort. Results showed that as many as 72.2% patients experienced increased bowel movements, 77.4% patients manifested reduction in constipation symptoms and 81.0% patients enjoyed better quality of life. In just 10 to 20 minutes per day of abdominal massage with MOWOOT II, significant improvements were

noted only days after the first treatment, whilst regular applications of MOWOOT II delivered positive health benefits and better quality of life. MOWOOT II – effective, safe and comfortable solution to chronic constipation! *McClurg D; Booth L; Herrero-Fresneda I. Safety and Efficacy of Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis Device to Treat Chronic Constipation: A Prospective Multicentric Clinical Trial. Clin Trans Gastroenterology 2020; 11(12): e00267. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com

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

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

Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal

C&S Seating Ltd is 30 Years Old! Since 1991, C&S Seating have provided postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide and supply regularly to the NHS. With 9 different sizes of TRolls and Log Rolls, in a removable and machine washable, Waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C&S Seating is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support – Available in two sizes and ideal when more control of the abducted

lower limb is required, which has removable side cushions and middle pommel. Our popular and vibrant range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard Waterproof rolls. Ideal for the colder seasons and can also fit snug over our waterproof rolls for maximum protection and comfort. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit www.cands-seating.co.uk to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order.

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

WHY USE HEADSETS?

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

KEEP ON MOVING!

Care homes using Silent Memories have noted a distinct increase in engagement, animation, and stimulation amongst residents. Using headsets allows them to opt in or out of the sessions. The sessions can be taking place in a communal area and anyone not taking part won’t be distracted by the activity. With a long transmission range, it also allows patients with limited mobility to take part in their own rooms.

WHAT THE CARE HOMES SAY...

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

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

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

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

Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details or see page 12.

At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protection to our customers' brand

by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. Visit www.cashslabels.com or see the advert on page 29.


PAGE 26 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Made For You - Texture Modified Meals

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

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

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



PAGE 2830 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

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.

ACHIEVING HIGH PERFORMANCE CLEANING

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.

AREAS OF FOCUS

*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 https://bit.ly/3qOUEeF

Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control 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 www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.

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

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




THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 31

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS

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

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

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

closely with clients to devise the solution best suited to their requirements; conducting comprehensive site-surveys, offering detailed CAD designs and always specifying the most appropriate, industry compliant machines. We choose our manufacturers extremely carefully to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of both product and service. For the care sector, hygiene is always of paramount importance and our commercial laundry equipment fully adheres to the relevant WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. We are proud to be Miele National Partner which enables us to offer market leading, energy efficient machines including a wide range of heat-pump dryers. All of our laundry equipment is available for rent, lease or purchase with maintenance. Our Complete Care rental solution gives access to premium equipment without upfront capital outlay and with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. Clients are assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their point of contact, centralising all account management for a highly efficient process that keeps things simple for both procurement teams and care management staff. www.forbespro.co.uk info@forbes-professional.co.uk 0345 070 2335

Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protection to

our customers' brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.

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


PAGE 32 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

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

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

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

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 33

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

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

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

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

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

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

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


PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 35

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

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

Benefits include:

Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button Pager

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.

Features include:

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

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

Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details or visit www.fallsavers.co.uk.

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

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

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

INCLUDES A 12 MONTH GUARANTEE

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


PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

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. https://careis.net

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: www.bizimply.com/health-care/



PAGE 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

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

BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE

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

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

REAL-TIME VISIBILITY AND INSIGHTS

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

TRUE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH OPEN API

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

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

USABILITY MADE AFFORDABLE

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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 www.mainteno.com, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email sales@redro.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89 | PAGE 39

INSURANCE FOR CARE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specialist care home insurance We arrange tailored insurance programmes for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers, for both staff and business owners. Our extensive knowledge of the care market will help to ensure you have the right protection in place for now and, for the future. Secure robust cover that’s right for your business. CALL NOW FOR A QUOTE

01480 272727

Impartial advice from experienced advisers

Exceptional service from a dedicated account executive

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

Market-leading products from A rated insurers

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

Support with claims

Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR

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

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


PAGE 40 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 89

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 www.jjcarerecruitment.co.uk admin@jjrecruitment.co.uk

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

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

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