The Carer Digital - Issue #90

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 90

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for Care Staff to be Scrapped

Regulations making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in health and social care will be revoked on Tuesday 15 March, the Health and Social Care Secretary has confirmed. Following a public consultation, where 90% of responses supported the removal of the legal requirement for health and social care staff to be double jabbed, the government is revoking the regulations.

In January, the government confirmed its intention to revoke vaccination as a condition of deployment, subject to consultation. The mandatory vaccination rules for care staff came into force last November, and had been due to be introduced and implemented for frontline NHS and wider social care staff in regulated settings from 1 April.



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 The cost to the sector, in financial costs, time and administration, not to mention morale, I have to say I am not in the least bit surprised and the loss of many hard working dedicated, that the government has now abandoned its experienced staff is mandatory vaccination policy for care workers. incalculable, and I really Once it was forced to backtrack with NHS feel that the governdo workers it was only a matter of time before it ment should set this changed the policy for care workers. right. The sector was almost overwhelmingly behind It should certainly eat the recommendation that care workers be vaccihumble pie and comnated. They, of course, were right at the very pensate care environments which have incurred extra costs and should (only “coalface” of the pandemic, seeing the spread opinion) undertake a recruitment campaign to entice former care workers my rapidly among residents causing untold fatalities offering a generous return to the sector bonus. and heartache. I was also very pleased to see that “End of Life Care”is to become a legal That said, the policy was, as National Care Forum CEO Vic Rayner says, “ right (see page 9). Wrong Policy, Wrong Time” (See page 5). After a seasoned campaign the “End of Life Care will be an explicit legal We live in a democracy with “freedom of choice”. A cornerstone of what we requirement”. stand for. One only has to see what is happening in Ukraine to see how cherI was shocked to see that almost a quarter of a million people miss out on ished our freedoms are here. end of life care each year, a figure rising year on year. So to force workers to take the vaccine under pain of losing their jobs, and Those who miss out tend to come from minority and lower socioeconomic restricting wider freedoms, was a step too far for many people, including me. backgrounds, which makes the announcement even more important. I have to add the policy was announced and enforced in a rather “cavalier” A sobering “there but for the grace of God go I” moment. So wholehearted way, with dismissive statements like “get out and get another job”and “other congratulations to Baroness Ilora Finlay who spearheaded the campaign and people will come forward” when warnings of a staff exodus were put forward. Now? Well the health secretary is saying: “I have concluded that it is right and the organisations who campaigned to ensure palliative care is recognised as a proportionate to proceed with the revocation of Covid-19 vaccination as a con- legal right. Once again it’s been of a bumper week this week for awards, anniversaries, dition of deployment in all health and social care settings. birthdays and special events so thank you once again for sending them in. It is a “These regulations will come into force on 15 March, and will remove the requirements already in place in care homes, as well as those due to come into pleasure to reproduce them, and please do keep them coming to force in health and wider social care settings on 1 April 2022.”

A bit of a short column today, as I am in the West Country at a tradeshow!


Peter Adams

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Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for Care Staff to be Scrapped (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER)


The policy met with heavy resistance with warnings that sacking those who refused to be vaccinated would worsen the already critical staffing crisis engulfing health and care services. Several MPs had also criticised the decision. The government says that when the original decision was taken to introduce COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment, Delta was the dominant variant. This has since been replaced by Omicron which is less severe, with the percentage of those requiring emergency care or hospital admission approximately half that of the Delta variant. And that: “thanks hugely successful vaccination programme, the immunity built up in the population and our new antiviral and therapeutics tools, we are now in the strong position of learning to live with COVID-19. The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows that five to nine weeks after getting a booster, you are at least 85% less likely to end up in hospital than if you are unvaccinated.” “With the population better protected and lower levels of hospitalisations and mortality, it was right to revisit the balance of risks and benefits that had guided the government’s original decisions to introduce vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and social care. The number of restrictions, rules and regulations are now being reduced - including this requirement.” While the vast majority of NHS, social care and other healthcare staff have been double jabbed, the government says that it “is clear those working in health and social care who remain unvaccinated still have a professional responsibility to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and Get Boosted Now.” The government added that it’s priority is to ensure the most vulnerable to COVID-19 remain protected through vaccinations, antivirals and therapeutics, and is continuing to work closely with Royal Colleges and professional regulators to strengthen guidance and consult on updating the Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections in relation to COVID-19 requirements for CQC registered providers of health and social care in England. The care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG), has welcomed the confirmation but says if the Government had listened to the care sector it would never have introduced the policy.

Chair Mike Padgham said: “Mandatory vaccination was very damaging for care and nursing homes. We warned before it was introduced last November that many good, kind, caring and professional staff would be lost to the policy and that proved to be the case. Most of those we will never get back. “The policy exacerbated staff shortages in care and nursing homes, already dire because of the pandemic and the impact of Brexit. “We are pleased that the policy has now been reversed – it should never have been introduced in the first place. “Vaccination is a good thing and the right thing for the care sector, but it should be a personal choice. Because of the policy, many good people were lost to social care and will have found other jobs. We will not get them back again.” He said the Government’s actions were typical of the way it treats social care. “Social care providers are simply not listened to and this is another example of the sector being regarded as a Cinderella profession,” Mr Padgham added. “Had the Government listened to care providers when we said the policy was wrong a lot of unnecessary job losses, disrupted care, anxiety and heartache for the sector could have been avoided. “When care providers speak they do so from experience and from a desire to ensure that we can continue to deliver the best possible care for the oldest and most vulnerable in our community. “If there are lessons to be learned from the whole ‘no jab, no job’ fiasco then we hope that it is for the Government to listen more to those who know and care.” Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, said Javid’s announcement had come too late to repair the “huge” damage done to

the care sector.“Staff have already left residential care services and found new jobs in the NHS and home care,” he told the Guardian. “I seriously doubt we are going to see lots of them coming back.”

WRONG APPROACH The decision was welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), while Unison said many staff who left care homes due to the requirement were unlikely to return to their jobs. The RCN general secretary and chief executive, Pat Cullen, said the change was the “right decision”, adding: “Holding the threat of losing their jobs over the heads of the small minority of staff who had not been vaccinated was the wrong approach and this decision will be welcomed by those whose jobs were at risk.” But she said it had come “too late for those who have already lost their jobs”. She added: “Ministers must now urgently address the health and social care workforce crisis which is undermining nursing staff’s ability to care safely for their patients. There are tens of thousands of nursing vacancies across those services.”

CALLS TO PAY REAL LIVING WAGE Gavin Edwards, the head of care at Unison, said: “There were always better ways of upping the jab rate in care. Making the vaccine mandatory meant thousands of experienced staff quit care homes. These were workers the struggling sector could ill afford to lose. “Many won’t go back either. They have found better paid, less stressful work elsewhere. Ministers could go some way towards making up for the distress caused by ensuring every care worker is paid at least the real living wage. That would begin to solve the current staffing crisis.”


How Employing IPC Best Practices Can Help Smaller Care Homes Survive It is a legacy of COVID19 and not necessarily a positive one. As most of us finally begin to look forward, a number of family owned care homes are struggling to survive. Many closed their doors during COVID but some who managed to keep their heads above water during the pandemic, are now facing the possibility of closure. According to Liz Jones, Policy Director of the National Care Forum, “most smaller care homes just don’t have the capacity to absorb some of the shocks that came with the pandemic, which included reduced occupancy rates and admissions, dealing with the constant changes in Government regulations, pressures on staffing levels, and managing infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance. I think they're all contributory factors in the stresses they faced — and continue to face.”

A NET LOSS OF MORE THAN 1,600 CARE PLACES Recent data from a CCQ report provides insight into the issue. Its analysis of adult social care locations that ‘provide residential nursing or personal care in England’ shows that in the six months between August 2021 and January 2022, 474 locations de-registered, 340 registered, with a net loss of 134 locations. In terms of capacity, 16,499 beds were de-registered while 14,882 beds were registered - a net loss of 1,617 beds. Liz says that the figures show that COVID-19 has clearly taken its toll on the sector. “I was quite surprised when I saw the CQC data,” she said. “I know it's a relatively small proportion of the total number of places in care homes, but usually the overall levels of provision remain quite stable.”

GOOD VENTILATION IS KEY One of the less obvious reasons for some closures is that older homes, built in the 60s or the 70s, are just not designed for modern IPC

needs. Some suffer from ventilation issues, and to conform to recommended guidelines would require extensive renovations they can ill afford. According to Liz, good ventilation is critical to stop viruses such as flu and of course Covid-19 circulating. “For those care providers who have older build properties, the government has talked a lot about the importance of good ventilation, particularly in the latter phases of the pandemic. “This is because we now better understand how COVID-19 spreads what in medical terms is called ‘aerosol’ transmission. (Essentially, if you can inhale particles you are breathing in aerosols. This is more likely when people are close, as they are much more concentrated at short range.) But not everyone can afford to install the latest ventilation systems that care homes need. “Moreover, we haven’t received any kind of concrete advice to help manage the conundrum of keeping fresh air flowing but at the same time making sure people are warm. We probably need some better insights into best practices.

ing and that needs to be regular occurrence, especially as we now know people can be positive and asymptomatic.” Finally, she said vaccination is vital in prevention. “A booster programme has just been announced for those aged 65 and over living in a care setting. So that will keep the levels of immunity up.”



She does believe that robust IPC policies can help, which providers can source from compliance platforms such as QCS. “Being a small, older care home doesn't mean you can't have great infection prevention and control policies in place - even if it’s not viable to fit a whole new set of ventilation systems”, she said. The design of a building is important in being able to manage IPC, she added. “Having separate en-suite bathrooms, for example, is a really important factor. As is the way that people move around your care setting - whether they have access to outdoor space, how your communal areas work, the flow of activity. The layout of your care home can make that harder or easier of course.” She went on to say that there are essentially four weapons in a care settings IPC armory, whatever their size: testing, PPE, vaccination and hygiene. “It’s important to have clearly defined and strictly managed processes around cleaning, and good standards of hygiene,” she said. “Staff should be well trained in effective IPC procedures. And providers can make sure everyone is following the proper guidance about hand washing. “PPE and mask-wearing are important too, as is following distancing guidelines when someone is unwell. At the moment we have free test-

She said that what has been particularly challenging for all care providers, but particularly small ones, is the constant changing of IPC and other guidance - whether it's about testing, about PPE, visiting or isolation of people. “Keeping up to date with this shifting landscape is essentially a full-time job. Our partner QCS, who provides IPC guidelines and standards for the social care sector, has been very supportive throughout the whole period. “It does the heavy lifting in ensuring providers are following the latest policies and guidance and making the necessary changes to conform to an ever-changing IPC landscape. This can help smaller settings run more efficiently.” Ultimately, the question is with an increasing demand for care, can the sector afford to let these homes go? The answer to solving some of the issues does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be complex. It lies in following IPC best practice and compliance. With this in place, not only can they avoid closing, but visitor numbers do not have to be restricted either. To start a free trial with QCS, please visit

IMPACT OF AN OUTBREAK ON SMALLER SETTINGS Liz highlighted the devastating impact on a smaller care home if they have an outbreak of COVID-19. “For a smaller care home to be classed as having a COVID-19 outbreak, you just need two people from either staff or residents to test positive. And that then brings a whole raft of restrictions around being able to admit anyone new into the care home, including visitors. “If these restrictions are in place for an extended period, then it is difficult to keep operations going as they don’t have the economies of scale of the larger settings. If they are unfortunate enough to have an outbreak, they need to focus on making sure testing regimes are in place to stop the spread of infection between residents and between staff.”


Wrong Policy, Wrong Time The government has confirmed its decision to revoke vaccination as a condition of deployment. The regulations will come into effect on 15 March ahead of 1st April when regulations extending the requirement to health and wider social care were due to come into force. Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) said: “The NCF and its membership have been 100% behind the drive for vaccination and booster take up throughout the pandemic and as a sector have worked hard to achieve the highest possible vaccine uptake amongst staff and the people we support. “The government consulted twice on its plans to introduce the VCOD policy. Both times, it was clear that respondents did not support this policy. “Furthermore, the DHSC’s Impact Statement for Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in care homes, was roundly criticised during the parliamentary debate on the regulations for not considering the huge practical and logistical issues, highlighting that the policy may result in the loss of 40,000 staff at a cost of £100m. Findings from a recent survey of NCF members exploring the impact of the policy in care homes and on providers has revealed that the implementation of the policy has come at very great cost - it has absorbed huge amounts of time and energy, been very costly financially and has had a very real human cost on all involved. It was, quite simply, the wrong policy at the wrong time. Respondents told us they had each spent thousands of pounds attempting to implement the policy – it brought an enormous extra workload for organisation trying to meet the deadlines of policy go-live, with many additional hours of engagement with staff, seeking expert

legal advice to make sure the policy was being implemented fairly, regular communications to keep everyone informed, coping with chaotic changes to the policy as it was being rolled out and trying to explain it to residents and their families. The impact of the policy on the sector has not merely been financial, it has had a very damaging impact on the morale of providers, care staff, and people who receive social care. ‘The policy has been very damaging for the morale of all staff. It implies that our staff, who are asked to take on a considerable amount of responsibility for the health and wellbeing of residents, are not able to make decisions for themselves. Many of those who had already had the vaccine found it upsetting and belittling. The inequitable way it has been applied to care homes first has caused resentment, and worsened the perception that we are seen as a second class service in comparison to the NHS.’ ‘The policy itself was bad enough to implement especially when the data from the original consultation did not support the government position. We lost long term members staff who were excellent with the people they support because of this policy and we would not have chosen to remove them from our services. The people we support have been unduly affected by this because they have seen their support workers of many years leave in a short period of time. It is my belief that these support workers are lost to the industry forever, because they now won't trust that this could not happen again.’ Some of the most significant impacts felt by the sector were around workforce recruitment and retention with the majority of our members outlining that recruitment has been made much more difficult as a result of the policy. Ther survey found that: • 94% of members thought VCOD had made recruitment more difficult • 56% said it had been made much more difficult Skills for Care reported in January 2022 that the vacancy rate in social care was around 9.5% and turnover rate at 28.5%, Rayner continues: “There is absolutely no doubt that the current VCOD policy contributed directly to the immense workforce pressures that were being experienced in care homes. This combined with a number of existing short- and long-term pressures to create the most serious staffing crisis for decades. “The government has consistently chosen to ignore the advice of those who work in the care sector, and has steam rolled through a

chaotic policy with long term detrimental impacts on those who work in care homes and receive care and support. “The lack of regard and respect for care workers was felt strongly, contributing to over 37,000 care workers leaving the sector and to the worst staffing crisis we have seen on record in social care. “Key themes from the outcome of the consultation to revoke the policy continue to reinforce the widespread dissatisfaction with the timing of communication, the need for clarity on the scope and timeframes for future guidance on infection prevention and control measures in health and care settings along with concerns over the ongoing impact on workforce capacity of vaccination as a condition of deployment remaining in place. “The government must now accept that the VCOD policy really was the wrong policy at the wrong time; it is simply not acceptable to impose such a significant and controversial policy with absolute disregard for the views and expertise of the sector being forced to implement it, only then to suddenly revoke it with no recognition of the damage it caused. It is time for the government to formally acknowledge the damage this policy has done, the very real impacts it has had on people working in the sector and those drawing on care and support. We need an apology, along with steps to actively rebuild trust and respect, appropriate recompense for the significant financial and organisational burden this has place on organisations fighting at the forefront of a pandemic. In addition we need a cast iron guarantee that future policy will be meaningfully created with the sector and properly supported implementation.”


Liberty Protection Safeguards – What Are They and Will They Ever Happen? By Chris Stark, Partner in the Health and Social Care Advisory Team, Browne Jacobson ( The already delayed Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) implementation date was recently moved from April 2022 to an “unspecified date” in the future. For those who have been following the saga, in December 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care (“DHSC”) confirmed that the April 2022 implementation date could not now be met and so was being abandoned. There was a collective sigh of relief for many in the health and social care sector. By way of reminder, the LPS will be used to authorise the proportionate and necessary deprivation of liberty for people aged 16 and above on a best interests basis (replacing DoLS) where they lack the mental capacity to consent to their care arrangements. The aim of the new scheme is to spread authorisation responsibility across NHS hospitals, CCGs and social care, whilst also building the LPS process into the care planning procedure itself. Proposals include similar but simplified assessments to DoLS but with independent authorisation (by an Approved Mental Capacity Practitioner) largely limited to those cases where P objects to the arrangements. Concerns have been raised that LPS appears to weaken important safeguards for those in care and are a pale imitation of the Law Commission proposals. Whatever the reality, implementation will come around quickly and planning will be key. We still await the consultation, draft Code of Practice and Regulations, so this article covers some of what is expected, caveated by the need to see the detail. Summary of Changes • LPS will be extended to those aged 16+ (DoLS applies to 18+) • LPS will cover domestic settings and supported living too (DoLS only applies to hospitals or care homes). • We will also see the introduction of Approved Mental Capacity Practitioners (AMCP) and urgent authorisations abolished. • Responsible bodies will now include CCGs (for CHC funded care), NHS Trusts (for hospital inpatients) as well as

Local Authorities (for care home/LA funded service users and those in independent sector hospitals). • After a referral has been made, the responsible body will be required to take steps to assess if an IMCA appointment is in the person’s best interests or otherwise if requested (by the patient or their appropriate person) • LPS will involve an explicit duty to consult those caring for the person and an opportunity for a family member or someone else close to the person, to represent them as an ‘appropriate person’. • Assessments - three different assessments will be required (a capacity, a medical assessment and a “necessary and proportionate” assessment) • DHSC have suggested ‘it will be easier to use existing valid assessments, where reasonable and appropriate’ • Longer authorisations will be permissible (12 months, 12 months and then 36 months maximum) • There will be more portability of authorisations for example one authorisation covering two different settings (subject to details yet to be seen) • Independent scrutiny (AMCP) will be more focussed on those objecting. Staying the same:• Definition of what is a deprivation of Liberty – no statutory definition of DoL will be introduced in the Act, so currently the Cheshire West ‘acid test’ remains. • The right of challenge and access to the court under s.21ZA will remain • The interface between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act has not been tackled As many will know there was talk of care home manager managers taking responsibility for a lot of the evidence gathering under the new regime. Currently it is understood this will not be implemented. Importantly, LPS will build on the Mental Capacity Act’s principles and should not be feared. Proper understanding and implementation of the Act should ensure that when the system is implemented, care staff feel empowered to provide the best care with appropriate respect for patients’ autonomy, balanced with proportionate restrictions on their liberty where this is necessary in their best interests. Chris Stark is a partner at Browne Jacobson’s top tier Health and Social Care Advisory Team. He regularly advises health and social care clients in the public and independent sector in all matters relating to the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS. He has a particular expertise in the interplay between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act. For more information please contact Chris Stark at

Social Care Charity Launches Unique Photography Programme In a year-long project commissioned by one of the UK’s biggest social care charities, Community Integrated Care, and Open Eye Gallery, photographers Marge Bradshaw and Sam Batley have been appointed as Photographers in Residence at The Watch Factory, one of Community Integrated Care’s Extra Care services based in Merseyside. Throughout their residency, the photographers will use the rich heritage of the service to spur creative activity and promote discussion between the people supported and the service’s local community. Named after the building’s historical roots as a factory many years ago, The Watch Factory in Prescot, Knowsley now houses 70 purpose-built flats, specially designed to promote the independence and social connections of the older people supported at the service. As one of the UK’s leading photography spaces, Open Eye Gallery

will head the project, forming part of their Young at Art initiative, working with those aged over 60 across the Liverpool City Region. One of the biggest aims of this unique scheme will be to establish a photography club at the service – creating a community, giving people the chance to gain new friendships and developing opportunities for self-expression for all who get involved. During their year in residence, the photographers will deliver up to 30 sessions of this free club, with the aim for the group to continue self-sufficiently, long beyond the photographers’ term. This programme will build on Community Integrated Care’s successful partnership with Open Eye Gallery, following their collaboration with photographer Tadhg Devlin last year on ‘Who’s Left Behind?’, an emotive photography series documenting the struggles of the charity’s colleagues during the early pandemic. The first session of the new photography club took place earlier this week at The Watch Factory, where attendees had the opportunity to meet both photographers, as well as members of Open Eye Gallery. Marge Bradshaw said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Photographer in Residence at The Watch Factory, along with co-photographer Sam Batley. We are really looking forward to working with the people supported to help them explore different forms of photography! The sessions will have a real focus on telling personal stories and

exploring the local community through a variety of different creative mediums, from taking traditional photos, to creating collages and cyanotypes. Our aim is to support everyone who gets involved to feel confident to pick up a camera, try something new and express themselves through their creations. It’s so empowering to be able to share your stories and experiences with others – we hope that the Photography Club will inspire people to open up and give them the skills and confidence to do so.” Susan Widlof, Service Leader at The Watch Factory, said: “At Community Integrated Care, we are passionate about enabling the people we support to pursue their passions and further their independence, and our new Photography Club is a prime example of our commitment to creating fulfilling opportunities for them to do just that! We are thrilled to welcome Marge and Sam to our team as Photographers in Residence at The Watch Factory. It is really unique to have these positions within a care setting and I’m really excited to see the positive impact that the programme will have, not only in helping the people we support to develop their technical skills in using a camera and taking photographs but also in giving them a voice and a platform to share their life stories and the experiences that are important to them! I would also like to thank our partners at Open Eye Gallery for helping us to facilitate these sessions which bring so much joy and value to our people.”

Just Imagine Being Whisked Away by Rail on an Iconic Steam Journey… Any Time – Any Place! Escape FIRST CLASS by rail through the misty mountains and glittering lochs of the Scottish Highlands OR wind through the Settle to Carlisle railway on one of the most scenic and impressive railways in the UK, all in pure comfort with familiar faces and a cup of tea to hand... “The Jolly Journey” creates a familiar and stimulating environment for residents to be whisked away with friends and family in an exciting steam carriage anywhere in the UK. Get your posh frock on, grab your handbag and enjoy the indulgence of the journey of a life time reminiscing about old times of travelling, holidays and sparking conversations about times gone by. Lunch can be served in the First Class carriage followed by afternoon tea and then a Jolly good SING SONG! The ‘Jolly Journey’ is a complete pod that is supplied and installed by our Little Islands team in just one day. It requires just 5 sqm metres of floor space; we can also theme the area around to create a traditional Victorian railway waiting room. Featuring real wood panelled wall with brass lug-

gage racks, ornate wall lights, gold cushions, antimacassars and period memorabilia. A table with brass lamp, opposite-facing seats which are designed to look and feel just like an old-fashioned travel carriage. A 55inch 4K TV large clear window shows footage filmed in full HD with sound aboard live railway journeys from around the UK. The result is the residents can all enjoy a nostalgic day out day after day. Visitors will come more often and stay longer when joining in a live experience like ‘The Jolly Journey’. Children would love visiting and look forward to an exciting experience as opposed to being bored just sat in the lounge of the care home! The main thing is that the resident’s wellbeing and mood has been lifted supporting their mental health. Give us a call to find out more information – The Little Islands Team on 0800 093 8499 or visit You can view a demonstration at


Care Leaders Condemn “Pay to Visit” Testing CARE leaders have condemned plans to make care and nursing home visitors pay for Covid-19 tests. The Independent Care Group (ICG) urged the Government to reverse the proposal which it said was penalising those who had suffered enough. Free Covid-19 tests will end in April but people visiting loved ones in care settings, including care and nursing homes, will still need a test to visit. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Caring families have suffered enough without having this further indignity thrust upon them. This is penalising those who have suffered enough already. “This cost is going to fall on those who are doing that most precious and vital thing – visiting a loved one. It is wrong on every level and shows the flagrant disregard the Government has for the care sector. “If, in a civilised society, we cannot enable people to visit their loved ones without having to bear the cost of measures to keep them safe, then we are in a sorry state indeed. “What happens to a family – maybe two or three people – who want to visit a beloved father, mother or grandparent two, three or even four times a week? Are we saying unless you pay up you can’t? “This is treating social care with contempt and we urge the Government to rethink it immediately.” Earlier this week, the ICG called for a sensible and cautious return to normality for the care sector and for greater support.

Mr Padgham 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. “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.”

Ex-Royal Navy Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday A PENSIONER who has turned 100 this month has showed that age has no limits after revealing his secrets to a long and happy life. Ted Gear, who lives at Bield Housing and Care’s Wheatley Gardens development in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, attributes his long life to working hard and socialising. Originally from Barry Island in South Wales, Ted made the move to Saltcoats after taking up a job as a Deck Charge Officer in the Royal Navy. He went onto work in the likes of Myanmar, India and Spain and served for years and was stationed in Ardrossan. After his stint in the navy, Ted returned to Saltcoats to work for British Rail and after more than 40 years stopped working at age 80. Ted said: “If I could pass down one big piece of advice to the younger generations it would be to work hard and never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. “My life has been long, exciting and full of happy memories. I’m very lucky to have travelled around the world but it’s all been down to my work ethic and graft.” The 100-year-old has been a member at a “Monday club” for over 75 years and to this day, he still attends every week to socialise and dance with friends over a

few drinks. He added: “Working hard was paired nicely with a lot of socialising. My club on a Monday has become a big part of my life and has helped me keep in touch with friends. “I can’t claim to have been the healthiest over the past 100 years though, I’ve only just quit smoking!” Ted got married in 1942 before heading to work in the navy. He had five children along the way, who were all brought up in Saltcoats. He added: “Looking back over the last 100 years is crazy, the world has changed a lot and I’m glad to have spent it around great family and friends.” Ted typifies Bield’s ‘Free to Be’ ethos, which aims to enable people to make their own choices and live as independently as possible. A birthday celebration has been held with family, friends and staff at the development. Josephine Bruce, Manager at Wheatley Gardens development said: “Ted is a marvel. He is great to have around the development and enjoys a good blether. “He’s so much younger than his years – always up for a bit of fun and loves to socialise so maybe that’s the secret to having a long healthy life.”


Easing the Skills Shortage – A ‘How To’ Guide To Recruiting Employees Under The New Health And Care Visa

By Jonathan Beech, Managing Director of Migrate UK an immigration law firm (

fees and dedicated support to individuals with a confirmed job offer in defined health professions within the NHS, the social care sector, or for those contracted by the NHS.


With recent news that the Home Office has added care workers to the shortage occupation list for the next 12 months, this could offer a temporary lifeline to care home owners struggling with staff shortages. Here, Jonathan Beech, Managing Director of Migrate UK an immigration law firm working within the care sector, explains how employers can take immediate advantage of this change to health and care visas at a time that has left the sector struggling for workers like never before. When the UK’s Points Based System was overhauled in 2020, over 140 job codes were added to those that qualify for work sponsorship including care jobs. It soon became apparent though that only senior care worker jobs were present, but 14 months on and care workers now qualify under sponsored work via the ‘Shortage Occupation List’ (SOL). Care workers also fall under the Health and Care subcategory of Skilled Workers which promises faster-track entry, reduced application

Care workers include care assistant, care worker, carer, home care assistant, home carer and support worker (within a nursing home). Private household or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants. A potential drawback is that SOC code 6145 is designated below the current skill level that qualifies for sponsorship. As such, the government has set a 12-month limit for care workers, to be reviewed again nearer February 2023. This does not mean workers will have their visas cut short should the government remove this route. It will remain valid for the entire duration – this could be the full initial 5-year term of sponsorship should the sponsoring organisation have a genuine vacancy. After 5 years, the carer could qualify for indefinite leave to remain/settlement in the UK which could lead to British Naturalisation. Although the visa could be fast tracked, certain factors could extend the time taken to onboard these staff. Care homes may wish to explore these before issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED Firstly, the eligibility requires the care worker to be able to read, write, listen and speak in English at Level B1 and above – confirmed by completing a specific English language test, an overseas degree recognised by ECCTIS comparable to a UK degree standard and delivered in English, or a UK degree. Those aged 65 years+ from a majority English speaking country do not need to prove their English language ability, nor those individuals who have already passed an English language assessment accepted by their relevant regulated professional body.

CHECKS Secondly, the care worker will need to satisfy the criminal record

check, from all locations in the last 10 years where the individual has resided for 12 months or more. Thirdly, they may be required to undertake a TB test depending on where they’ve lived for the last six months.

MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENT Fourthly, the care worker will need to cover their own ‘maintenance’ by showing they have at least £1,270 to support themselves, plus extra for any dependants for a minimum of 28 consecutive days. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. The alternative is for the sponsor to certify maintenance on their behalf by confirming on the CoS that they will take responsibility on behalf of the employee should it become necessary. Care workers can also include their qualifying dependant partner and children under 18 on their visa application who will be allowed to work in the UK with little restriction.

FEES When applying under the Health and Care visa care workers will not have to pay the NHS surcharge fees which could save £3,120 over five years for the employee alone. Visa fees are also cut, for the same fiveyear period or above, the one-off visa fee is £464 instead of £1,220. Aside from the Certificate of Sponsorship (£199) the employer will also have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge tied to the size of the sponsor. Small sponsors (as dictated by the current Companies Act) will need to pay £364 per year of sponsorship in advance increasing to £1000 per year of sponsorship for medium / large sponsors. Another consideration is the rate of pay. Carers must be paid at least £20,480 a year and £10.10 an hour. This cannot be made up of benefits including shift, overtime or bonus pay, payment relating to immigration costs nor any allowances such as accommodation or cost of living allowances. Even adding up the extra salary and immigration fees attributed to sponsoring overseas carers, it is hard to imagine this route being anything but exceptionally popular.

Kneading The Way, Care Home Residents Celebrate Real Bread Week Staff and residents at Barchester’s Magnolia Court care home in Golders Green had a fantastic time celebrating Real Bread Week, surely one of the best weeks of the year! Over the course of the week, overseen by head chef Crischan Dumaquita, staff and residents have kneaded, proven and baked a selection of different breads from granary loaves and floury batches, breadsticks and pretzels, croissants and pain au chocolat, to brioche, sourdough, ciabatta and focaccia. All different types of breads were attempted, some more successful than others, but all were a great source of fun and anticipation to see the outcome of their collective baking efforts. General Manager, Octavian Stanciu said: “It wasn’t just the residents that were excited when we found out there was a Real Bread Week, the eyes of the staff lit up too! Who doesn’t love freshly baked bread? We have all had a great time trying out new recipes and adding different flavours and ingredients, we’ll be applying for Bake Off next!” Bill, resident at Magnolia said: “It was the first time I have ever baked bread, it was great fun and so rewarding when a loaf rises properly and turns out well. It has to be the best smell on earth! So delicious warm with lots of butter. I have eaten so much delicious fresh bread this week, I think this has to be one of my favourite celebrations.”

Ventilation Issues Resolved At Luxury Retirement Development Friary Meadow is a newly-opened luxury retirement development near Fareham in Hampshire. Located by a lake & surrounded with landscaped gardens, it comprises of 86 properties & includes facilities such as its own on-site cinema. It also has a full-service restaurant served by a new fully-equipped commercial kitchen. The restaurant is looked after by its own on-site

chef daily cooking a range of new & exciting dishes. However, the ventilation & kitchen extract system was causing both overheating issues in the kitchen & was noisy, spoiling what was otherwise a great kitchen. So managing agent, Oak Retirement Ltd, contacted Building Ventilation Solutions of Salisbury to help them try & resolve the issues. Following an in-depth survey, BVS quickly identified a badly designed make-up air system, which was both causing the noise & starving the kitchen canopy of air. This also caused draughts from the restaurant & poor extraction from the canopy. A detailed report was provided & approved & BVS then quickly carried out the works, resulting in immediate improvements. Including a considerable reduction of heat in the kitchen, better extraction from the canopy & much lower noise levels. Much to the delight of the chef who commented; “Until BVS resolved our issues, the kitchen was a very hot & stuffy place to work & very noisy. Now it’s like a different world & a very pleasant environment” Oak Retirement director, Stephen Ladyman commented; "We were very impressed that Building Ventilation solutions quickly identified problems that others couldn't resolve. They then retrofitted solutions that cured all the issues, greatly improving the kitchen conditions. We are very pleased & wouldn't hesitate to recommend Building Ventilation Solutions"

In addition, each of the accommodations include a whole-house ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR units), manufactured by Vent-Axia & quite a number of these were also problematic. So Building Ventilation Solutions found & rectified all the problems with these & re-commissioned & serviced each system. BVS also resolved other issues being experienced on site with split air-conditioning units in the common areas as part of their comprehensive range of services Building Ventilation Solutions can be contacted at


End of Life Care to Become a Legal Right The UK Government has announced that providing end-of-life care will, for the first time, be an explicit legal requirement for health commissioners throughout England. The news follows months of campaigning work from end-of-life care charities, including Marie Curie, Sue Ryder, Together for Short Lives and Alzheimer’s Society, calling for changes to be made to the Health and Care Bill to ensure palliative care is properly recognised and commissioned by Integrated Care Boards. End-of-life charities have welcomed the news, saying it is a key milestone in end-of-life care. One of the charities, Marie Curie, has released new data alongside the announcement showing that around 215,000 people a year currently miss out on end-of-life care and without intervention this could rise to 300,000 in under 20 years. The call for this change has been spearheaded by Baroness Ilora Finlay. The change in law is set to be cemented through a Government backed amendment to the Health and Care Bill this week in the House of Lords. Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff said, ‘This change is incredibly important. For the first time, the NHS will be required to make sure that there are services to meet the palliative care needs of everyone for whom they have responsibility in an area. People need help early, when

they need it, seven days a week – disease does not respect the clock or the calendar.’ The news comes following months of work alongside fellow end of life charities, including Marie Curie, Sue Ryder, Together for Short Lives and Alzheimer’s Society, calling for changes to be made to the Health and Care Bill to ensure palliative care is properly recognised and commissioned by Integrated Care Boards. Craig Duncan, Hospice UK interim CEO said: “The pandemic has shown us that how we die, where, and with what support is of the highest importance. It is absolutely right that palliative care services are put on the same footing as other areas of healthcare, such as maternity and dental services, and we warmly welcome the Government’s amendment to the Health and Care Bill to do just that in England. “Hospices provide world class care to hundreds of thousands of dying people every year, but the way their services are commissioned and funded has remained fragile and complex for many years. “That means that 1 in 4 people who could benefit are still missing out on the high quality care they should expect as they die. Those people will disproportionately be from groups including people of colour, LGBT+ communities and people

from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s an injustice. “This new amendment is a fantastic step forward in changing that situation, by ensuring for the first time that those who lead our healthcare system are legally required to consider palliative care. We look forward to continuing to work with our friends at Marie Curie, Sue Ryder, Together for Short Lives and the Alzheimer’s Society to make end of life care fair for everyone.” Hospice UK said that that one in four people who could benefit from end-0f-life care is still missing out on the high-quality care as they die, warning that people from minority groups, LGBT+ communities and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately affected.

Stafford Hall Residents Enjoy Day Out at Romford Racing Stadium where they all had great fun trying to guess who was going to win the race. After the excitement of the races, those who attended enjoyed a delicious fish and chip lunch. Home Manager at Stafford Hall, Lenie Terrado, supports the team in creating an inclusive and stimulating activity programme, with something for every resident to get involved in. “What a wonderful day out the team and residents had at the Romford Races. It was a nice way to spend the day. At Stafford Hall, we always try and incorporate different kinds of activities and events to keep residents engaged and involved. We are looking forward to another exciting outing soon.”

Stafford Hall team members and residents have enjoyed an exciting day out at the Romford Greyhound racing stadium. Days out with residents are always a great way to spend the day, a chance to explore their communities, which have so much to offer, and to have some fun. Runwood Homes’ staff teams, no matter their role, all support in taking their residents on trips out. Stafford Hall, a care home in South Benfleet, Essex, boasts a friendly and professional team that aim to provide a wide range of activities and outings for residents to enjoy. On the 22nd of February, residents very much enjoyed their trip out to Romford dogs,

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Urgent Support Required for Ukrainians Who Have a Learning Disability Vice President of Inclusion Europe leads coalition of ENABLE Scotland, Learning Disability England and All Wales People First to call for urgent support required for Ukrainians who have a learning disability in the ongoing crisis. CEO of ENABLE Group and Vice President of Inclusion Europe, Theresa Shearer, together with the Chief Executive of Learning Disability England, Samantha Clark, and Joe Powell, Chief Executive of All Wales People First, have written to the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Neil Gray MSP, to urge them to press for measures to protect Ukrainians who have a learning disability through all the humanitarian and diplomatic channels available to them. Best estimates suggest that there are around 100,000 disabled people living in institutions in Ukraine, including 80,000 children. Concerns are growing for their welfare, and for the support they may need to access movement across Ukrainian borders to safety. Theresa Shearer, CEO ENABLE Group and Vice President of Inclusion Europe, said: “In my role as Vice President of Inclusion Europe, I have been speaking with leaders of NGOs across the continent to discuss the human rights implications for people who have a learning disability. It is absolutely clear that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put millions of Ukrainian citizens in danger, and there is grave concern for the welfare of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have a learning disability. “In addition to those who live in their communities, more than 80,000 children and thousands of adults who have a learning disability live in institutions across Ukraine, and Inclusion Europe’s Ukrainian

member organisation has very serious fears for their wellbeing at this time.” Wendy Burt, family and friends members rep and co-chair of Learning Disability England, said: “As a family member of someone with a learning disability, I am concerned that the emergency plans and crisis responses consider all citizens, including disabled people and their families. I hope that the rights and safety of everyone will be actively included in humanitarian action in Ukraine and for those who have sought refuge elsewhere, whether they live with their family or in a formal service setting.” Joe Powell, All Wales People First, added: “We would like to express our solidarity with all of the people of Ukraine who are undoubtedly suffering the severest financial and human rights hardships due to the current invasion. We ask especially, that the rights and the needs of people with learning disabilities in Ukraine are not forgotten and that all measures are taken to ensure that they continue to get the support and care they need during this conflict.” Led by our partners in Ukraine, Inclusion Europe members across the continent are joining together to call for: • Secure supplies of daily necessities to people who have a learning disability, including medicines; • Civil protection information in easy read and accessible formats to help people who have a learning disability understand the measures they need to take in dangerous situations; • Monitoring of the situation in “care institutions” to ensure people are not abandoned or harmed; Specific support through humanitarian organisations for people who have a learning disability, whether living in the community or in institutions, including support to access movement to a place of safety in line with routes available to other Ukrainian citizens at present.

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Putting Data, Digital and Tech at the Heart of Care Home Innovation

By Kit Kyte, CEO, Checkit (

With the UK government lifting all remaining Covid-19 restrictions care homes are moving into a new phase of their pandemic response. This shift in policy presents an opportunity to make real, lasting improvements. In this new world, transformed by a period of accelerated digitisation, care home managers must understand changing patterns of demand, optimise busier facilities and increase safety standards. Another priority is to improve the day-to-day experience of staff on the front line. After all, the UK’s estimated care home population stands at around 500,000. Like many frontline sectors exhausted by Covid-19, both employees and residents deserve better. There’s a case to be made for changing up the traditional labour-intensive model, so care home employees can concentrate on what really matters — personal and social care. One should never underestimate the importance of freeing up time for these human interactions.

THE PROBLEM WITH PAPERWORK The provision of high-quality care depends on the work of distributed teams spanning catering, compliance, care quality and facilities management, and so on. Yet, the 24/7 demands on these teams create

a challenge. Take Hallmark Care Homes. Within its estates management team, employees’ reliance on paper-based processes to collect important data on facilities, equipment and compliance checks, added to this pressure. Paperwork also placed an additional burden on frontline teams, causing bottlenecks and hindering efficiency when sharing information through the business. Consequently, managers were deprived of the real-time visibility required to ensure consistently high standards and staffing. Combatting these challenges, Hallmark introduced an intelligent operations platform to digitise manual checks and paperwork procedures. The solution provides maintenance teams with digital assistants, which prompt, guide and capture the essential activity of team members. The technology also incorporates QR codes, triggering guidance specific to a particular room, while all activity is tagged to a specific location and time-stamped. This ensures greater quality control, as well as the development of a digital audit trail, replacing manual processes. Digitisation removed manual chores and increased time with residents. Another key advantage of digitising paper processes is that care home procedures can be rolled out at scale, encouraging a consistent approach. It enables temporary staff to quickly pick up what needs to be done, without the need for separate training, further freeing up time and encouraging greater cost savings.

AUTOMATED MONITORING FREES UP STAFF TIME Another technology that’s paving the way for smarter care home operations is automated monitoring, which takes away the burden of manual checking routines from employees. Automated monitoring of food temperatures, for instance, not only strengthens food safety standards but also gives staff more time to add value. Likewise, there is a

case for 24/7 monitoring of temperature-sensitive medicine storage. Monitoring of other equipment, including freezers, air conditioning and heating systems, doors and windows, encourages greater safety standards while also enabling employees to clear time, and focus on meaningful interactions.

REPORTING ON CARE HOME PROCEDURES The demands of reporting place an additional burden on care home staff. Yet, it is crucial to satisfy regulatory requirements and compliance standards. Reporting also strengthens the confidence of other important stakeholders — families — whose trust in care homes is at the root of revenue growth. Families play a key role in researching and choosing the best care for their relatives. They need confidence that their loved ones are receiving quality care. This is one area where the weakness of traditional reporting mechanisms are exposed. Any care home manager who has spent time trying to collate documents and spreadsheets from numerous sources in readiness for audit will understand the pitfalls of paperwork. Logging and gathering information swallows up significant amounts of time, and adds to the strain that’s already being felt.

DRIVING IMPROVEMENT THROUGH TECHNOLOGY By driving care home improvement through technology, leaders are encouraging advances in residents’ quality of care as well as improving the working routines of staff. Data-driven technologies such as automated monitoring and digital assistants are not only improving safety standards but also supporting employees in concentrating on what truly matters — meaningful social interaction and recognition for a job well done.

Care Home Throws Precious Surprise Party For Platinum Couple A Dorset care home threw a platinum-standard party for a couple celebrating 70 years of marriage. Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Newstone House in Sturminster Newton marked Colin and Do Malcolm’s remarkable anniversary with bunting, balloons, champagne and a specially-made cake. The celebration was attended by the couple’s three children, Fiona, Neil and Bill, and there was even a congratulatory message received from Her Majesty the Queen. Colin met Do in 1948 when he was 18. He remembers bumping into a friend who let slip that he was going to visit the new vicar who had three daughters. Not wishing to miss out, Colin suggested to his mother that she call at the vicarage, which was considered polite in those days when a new family moved into the area, and took the opportunity to go with her. Colin invited Do to the local cricket club dance and she accepted. Unfortunately, his only form of transport was a motorbike. But his father was persuaded to let him borrow the family car - and the rest, as they say, is history. The couple married on 9th February 1952, just three days after King George VI died. As it was a time of general mourning, many of their guests insisted on wearing black, some even suggesting they cancel the wedding. But they went ahead. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop of Reading at Bearwood, Do’s father’s parish. Do wore her mother’s wedding dress and her sisters were brides-

maids. The couple had a very brief honeymoon in Stratford-on-Avon and returned to stay at the vicarage while they looked for a flat in London, where they both worked. Later, they settled in Hampshire where they built a house and raised the family. On Colin’s retirement, they moved to Grasmere in the Lake District where Colin drove a steam launch for the Windermere Steamboat Museum and Do was able to devote her time to their beautiful garden, the children and grandchildren and several border terriers. After a few happy years in Marnhull, Dorset, where they moved to be closer to the family, Do is now cared for at Newstone House and Colin lives nearby in Child Okeford. Karlene Horswill, Companionship Team Leader at Newstone House, said: “When Colin and his children asked if they could come in and mark the platinum anniversary in some small way around the Covid restrictions, we wanted to make it as special as possible for them. “Seventy years of marriage is a significant achievement and so we arranged for Do to have her hair and nails done before she was surprised by her family. “She was absolutely over the moon when she saw them and said: “There’s my lovely husband!” “Throughout the day Do and Colin remarked what a wonderful time they were having. It was truly special to see them all together and celebrating their long and happy marriage.”

102-Year-Old Says Staying Busy Is The Key To A Happy Life A Thetford great-great-grandmother says that keeping busy is the key to a long and happy life as she turns 102 years-old. Phyllis Manning was surrounded by some of her 28 descendants as they celebrated her extraordinary birthday at Larchwood Care’s Alexander Court care home in Thetford. The second eldest of 11 children, Phyllis has lived her life to the full, always keeping herself busy with work and volunteering. She met her husband, John William Manning, during a bike ride at 16. In 1942, not long after giving birth to their first son, John Jnr, her husband was dispatched to North Africa by the RAF. Their second son, Lionel was born in 1948 following John Snr’s return from his posting. Her wartime memories include a lucky escape while living at Methwold Airbase when a bomber’s door malfunctioned and sent explosive ordinance spilling across the runway. Another memory from that period saw John and her diving for cover when a walk through a church yard was disrupted by a Luftwaffe bombing raid. After several house moves and jobs, which included running a post office, sewing parachutes and looking after older people, the Manning family settled in Methwold once again. Phyllis took a job at a school where she was known as Little Mrs Manning and gave one-to-one support to youngsters who struggled with their reading – a position she carried on in a voluntary capacity for many years into her retirement. In the little spare time she had before moving to Alexander Court, Phyllis enjoyed knitting, sewing and reading, but most of all enjoyed spending time with her ever growing family. Phyllis now lives at Alexander Court care home, a purpose-built residential home in Thetford operated by Larchwood Care. The modern building has been designed specifically with the needs of elderly residents,

with a dedicated activities coordinator and an extensive garden space offering lots of opportunities for residents to enjoy pastimes. Phyllis said: “I’ve always tried to keep myself as busy as possible and do my bit for the community. I’ve always been someone who needs to be doing something and it’s what kept me going all these years. Apart from my beautiful family, one of my greatest pleasures has been working with children. No matter how old they get, they always remember me and still call me Mrs Manning. I am proud that I’ve been able to help so many people over the years.” Amanda Skinner, Alexander Court Manager, said: “Phyllis is a muchloved member of the Alexander Court family, who has lived an amazingly interesting life and done so much. After spending time working in schools nearby, she is very well-known by many people locally. Thankfully, by carrying out testing and following the relevant guidelines, we’ve been able to celebrate this momentous occasion in a safe way at the home, with Phyllis’s family by her side.” Phyllis’s firstborn son, John Manning Junior, said: “My mother Phyllis has lived a very full life and has touched the lives of thousands of people through her work with schools, charities and care homes. Even now I am learning new things about her amazing and diverse life. “My father and mum were truly soulmates. They devoted their lives to our family and her four grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren are testimony to her love and dedication. “It’s a pleasure to bring so many of our family together to celebrate her 102nd birthday with the help of Alexander Court. They’ve done a fantastic job decorating the room and it’s great to have her friends from the home join us.”


Ombudsman’s COVID Report Highlights How Councils and Care Providers Coped The COVID-19 pandemic placed unprecedented pressure on councils and care providers, and a new report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman analyses just how those organisations coped. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about local councils and care providers in England, getting involved when things have gone badly wrong. Today’s report, which analyses its cases over the first 18 months of the pandemic, shows that, by and large, councils and care providers weathered the unprecedented pressures they were under. But, when things did go wrong it had a serious impact on people’s lives. Cases highlighted in the report include a woman who died from COVID-19 at a care home with poor infection control procedures which was then compounded by staff later trying to cover up the facts. Another case involved a homeless family left to sofa surf then sleep in a tent at the height of the pandemic, after different departments of the same council failed to help them. The Ombudsman’s report focuses on the lessons that can be learned from the complaints it has received about the pandemic and welcomes that, in many cases, councils and care providers are already using their experiences from the pandemic to consider how they can make improvements to services.

The report also offers questions councillors and scrutiny committees can ask to reflect on their own council’s practice during this time. Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “We have investigated some tragic individual cases over the past months. Each represents poor personal experiences where councils and care providers did not get things right. “Our investigations have shown that, while the system did not collapse under the extreme pressures placed on it, COVID-19 has magnified stresses and weaknesses present before the pandemic affecting some councils and providers. “We have always advocated how crucial good complaint handling is in any setting, so I am particularly saddened that, in some authorities, dealing with public concerns and complaints itself became a casualty of the crisis. At a time when listening to public problems was more important than ever, we saw some overstretched and under-resourced complaints teams struggle to cope. “If evidence was needed, this report proves that managing complaints should be considered a frontline service.”

Dudley The Pup Goes Down A Storm With Residents Residents of a dementia care home in Plymouth are thrilled to be hunkering down away from the stormy weather in the company of Dudley, a six-month old puppy who belongs to the home’s administrator. Owner Su Fuller, who has worked at Butterfly Lodge for 19 years, says she was ‘more than confident’ that the residents who are all living with dementia - would fall for the pup she adopted last November. Dudley is a Fraffie, which is a cross between a French bulldog and a Staffordshire bull terrier, and Su and her family also have an 18-month-old English Bull Terrier and a 10-year-old Chi/Yorkie cross. Su Fuller said: “A friend sent me a pic of her new little Fraffie and I fell in love so had to get one too. “We have had him four months now and he is such an adorable, gentle little boy. “I knew our residents would love him so I brought him in for a trial visit and he loved being the centre of attention. “Dudley loves people and is always eager to see the residents. He loves a cuddle! He comes in about

once a month. “Our activities co-ordinator Paul takes him round to see several of our residents who love to stroke and pet him, and he always says how Dudley makes them smile. “Quite a lot of the people we support had family pets in their younger years, so a little session with Dudley brings back all sorts of happy memories.” Research has also shown that spending time with animals can genuinely benefit people’s physical health, with those who pet or play with a dog or cat, even for just five minutes, benefitting from lowered blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health. Another therapeutic boost for people living with dementia is that enjoying a pet’s company promotes a feeling of relaxation, which in turn can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety and reduce physical issues such as pain.


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 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

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Care Homes Spread the Love with Random Acts of Kindness From makeovers and foot spas to gifts for children in hospital, Colten Care homes across the region have been enjoying giving and receiving Random Acts of Kindness. Random Acts of Kindness Week takes place in February every year and urges people to ‘make someone’s day’ with a kind gesture. Rose Arcellana, Companion Team Leader at Colten Care’s outstanding rated Kingfishers in Barton-on-Sea near New Milton explained: “We discovered the Random Acts of Kindness campaign at the start of the pandemic and have found it to be a lovely way to make an extra fuss of our residents while they have been apart for their families. “We really enjoy figuring out ways to make each other smile with lovely treats. “Among those enjoyed by our residents this year were a hair makeover for Betty Kilford and a relaxing foot spa for Pat Dartnell. “Our special and very popular ‘shop trolley’ was a result of one of our residents’ meetings and has been a great way of helping our residents access their favourite treats such as chocolates, biscuits and toiletries while they haven’t been able to go out to the shops.”

Colten Care’s outstanding rated Woodpeckers home in Brockenhurst in the New Forest got ‘crafty’ for Random Acts of Kindness Week, with residents making flower festooned hearts and greeting cards which they filled with kind messages and handed out to staff, visitors and family members. The home also approached its local Tesco and Co-op supermarkets and florist Corbin’s for donations, so it could place small floral posies wrapped by the residents on benches throughout the village. At Abbotts Barton in Winchester residents and staff made up small care packages for children being treated in the city’s hospital, to cheer them up and let them know they were thinking of them. And at Wellington Grange in Chichester residents enjoyed decorating jam jars, which they filled with tea light candles and placed on the doorsteps of their neighbours in the local community around the home. Abbey View in Sherborne also took its Random Acts of Kindness ‘on the road’, using the home minibus to place small clay hearts with a kind message on them at different locations around the town. Notes attached also asked people finding them to take a photo of themselves with the hearts and email them back to the home, saying what the gift had meant to them. Abbey View intends to make a special display of photographs they receive.

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

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

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


Older People Avoided Social Care Services During First and Second Wave of Pandemic New analysis, published by The King’s Fund, finds that Covid-19 had a significant impact on older people approaching local authorities for social care support. 32,000 fewer new requests for support from older people were made during 2020/21 as they avoided contact with social care services during the pandemic. However, more working age adults made requests during the year, continuing a trend that has seen an increase of 15% in the number of working age adults requesting support since figures were first collected in 2015/16. Overall, there was a small, 3,000 increase in the number of people receiving long-term care in 2020/21, though there was a larger 12,000 fall in the number receiving short-term ‘reablement’ type care intended to help people regain their independence. The pandemic also led to a sharp rise in local authority spending on social care to help keep the sector afloat, but the report’s authors show that – while welcome – the government funding for this was short term and time limited. Overall, the annual assessment shows that the sector remains under immense pressure, with a number of worrying long term trends: • social care staff vacancies fell early on in the pandemic but have now begun to rise and in January 2022 nearly 1 in every 10 roles was vacant • care worker pay has increased but it continues to fare badly compared to other roles such as cleaners and catering assistants

• fewer older people are now receiving publicly funded long-term care, down 6% (36,000) since 2015/16. When population size is taken into account, there has been a large fall in older people receiving long term care and a small fall in working age adults. Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund said: ‘This new analysis shows the profound effects of the pandemic on adult social care and the people who use its services. It is understandable that fewer older people came forward for services, given the huge impact of Covid-19, but it is worrying that many people may have been struggling to cope and that this unmet need may create additional pressure on services now and in the future.’ ‘Overall, the report paints a picture of a social care sector still struggling to tackle not just the pandemic but the years of neglect that preceded it. The government’s recent White Paper is a step in the right direction, but it does little to deal with some of the most immediate problems like unmet need, underfunding and workforce. These remain in urgent need of attention.’ ‘The introduction of changes to the means test and a cap on lifetime care costs are just one part of the reform that social care desperately needs. Even here, it is deeply disappointing that the government wants to introduce changes that will leave people with low levels of wealth exposed to very high care costs and, in many cases still needing to sell their home to pay for their care. We hope this change is rejected as the legislation makes its way through the House of Lords.’

Graysford Hall Residents Let Their Creativity Flow During Ceramic Workshop Residents at Graysford Hall Care Home, in Leicester, have enjoyed a brilliant ceramic workshop, led by local artist, Rachel B arnett. Rachel has a degree in glass and ceramics and teaches several classes as an arts practitioner for Leicestershire County Council schools and adult learners. The residents and the team at Graysford Hall were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from a talented and experienced teacher. The workshop was a real hit with residents, and it was great to see the wonderful creativity and imagination from everybody that took part. The team at Graysford Hall look forward to the next session, where residents will be able to paint their brilliant pieces. The home is already planning its next project with Rachel, which will include making commemorative coin medals and other items for the

Queen’s Jubilee in June. Jayne Hill, Wellbeing Lead at Graysford Hall, was pleased to be able to organise the creative activity, and commented: “At Graysford Hall, we promote creative expression and embrace and encourage learning new skills. There are so many benefits to creative expression, it improves mood and cognitive function, boosts self-esteem and alleviates stress and anxiety. The ceramic workshop was a chance for residents to get creative, in a sociable and welcoming space. It was also great for them to meet and get to know a very talented artist within their community.”


Effects of the Pandemic Continue to Add Pressures on Mental Health Services Worsening Access to Care The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is highlighting the ongoing impact of the pandemic on mental health services, their staff and the people using them. In its Monitoring Mental Health Act (MHA) report 2020/21, published this month, the CQC highlights concerns that reduced access to community mental health services during the pandemic may in part have contributed to an increase in the number of people being detained under the MHA. In 2020/21 there was a 4.5% increase in use of the MHA to detain people with mental health problems in hospital for assessment and treatment. CQC has previously reported on the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health and services’ ability to meet this increased demand. This report raises concerns about children and young people being placed in unsuitable environments while they wait for an inpatient child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) bed. Longstanding inequalities persist, with Black or Black British people over four times more likely than White people to be detained, have more repeated admissions and be more likely to be subject to police holding powers under the MHA. Rates of detention in economically

deprived areas are worryingly high too, being more than three and a half times higher than in the least deprived areas. This year’s report includes findings from Independent Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people which reveal the impact of a lack of community alternatives and poor commissioning decisions which led to people being admitted to hospitals that were a long way from home for prolonged periods of time. Over a third of the IC(E)TR patients reviewed had been in hospital for between 10 and 30 years. Jemima Burnage, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector and lead for mental health said: “The pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on all health and social care services, the people using them and staff working in them. Despite strains on services, we have seen many examples of good practice and the dedication of staff. However, the workforce is exhausted with high levels of vacancies potentially risking the delivery of safe, high-quality care that respects human rights. “Community services are vital to prevent hospital detentions and without access to the right care at the right time, people’s symptoms

may worsen contributing to them needing inpatient care. During the pandemic this has been a particular concern for children and young people, with some admitted to inappropriate settings due to a lack of suitable beds. Some community mental health services are rebuilding after the pandemic, but others are not yet in a recovery stage, in part because of staff shortages and staff burnout. “Longstanding inequalities when accessing mental health care also remain a serious concern, with Black or Black British people, and people in deprived communities being far more likely to be detained under the MHA. Action is needed to address this, and we welcome the patient and carers race equalities framework which will support mental health trusts’ work with Black and minority ethnic communities. Reliable local and national data is also key to closing these gaps and to achieve much needed change. “We welcome Government’s acknowledgement of the need for improvement in mental health services. We also welcome its proposal to strengthen CQC’s monitoring role to those who commission services under the MHA, this will improve our system wide view of how the MHA is being used across services.”

Podcast Celebrates Charity’s New Wellbeing Programme Veterans’ charity Royal Star & Garter has published its first podcast to mark the launch of its new Wellbeing Programme. The podcast features Director of Care Pauline Shaw discussing the impact the new programme will have on residents’ mental and physical wellbeing and the move to work with service provider Oomph! Royal Star & Garter was established in 1916 and provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and has Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. The charity announced last week it was expanding and improving its award-winning services, with the new programme running seven days a week. When fully operational and functioning, the Wellbeing Programme will: “…keep people happy and stimulated in their lives…” said Director of Care Pauline Shaw in the podcast. It is led by Wellbeing Teams across the charities three Homes who deliver activities, companionship, outings and exercise. Once fully running, every member of staff will be trained to assist with a resident’s wellbeing and the in-house physiotherapy rooms will continue to provide vital physical exercise and mental stimulation for resi-

dents. Wellbeing service provider Oomph! will deliver training, resources, ideas, inspiration and a vast library of online material. Speaking in the podcast, Pauline says: “We’ve always been known for our personcentred care, we’ve always treated people as individuals, and that’s something that’s been important to how we provide care. The Wellbeing Programme will very much focus on individual needs.” She continued: “After 106 years we’re not an organisation who that rests on its laurels and its previous success. We will always be looking for ways to innovate, progress and make changes that really enhance the lives of people who live with us.” Also running alongside the new Programme, Royal Star & Garter will be celebrating all aspects of wellbeing throughout 2022, so the charity can also promote its importance in the lives of its staff and supporters as well as its Homes. As part of this, the charity will be using the hashtag #YearOfWellbeing To listen to Pauline’s podcast, go to:

Lakeland Dairies Launch Irish Party Activity Resource to “Celebrate Green” This March

Steeped in Irish heritage, Lakeland Dairies has launched its annual Celebrate Green campaign, with a ‘takeover’ of the month of March and a focus on St Patrick’s Day on Thursday 17th March. The campaign embraces the Irish Co-Operative’s excellence in dairy farming, the lush green grass and high-quality milk from its family farms, alongside a heritage in creating professional dairy products, all carefully designed to deliver extraordinary taste and fantastic functional performance. Brand New Irish Party Activity Resource Inspired by Lakeland Dairies’ Irish provenance, the resource includes 15 exciting recipes, each with an Irish twist to make the perfect afternoon tea. Recipes range from cakes to drinks and include a delicious recipe for Lakeland Dairies’ Chocolate soil pots, inspired by the lush green grass of Lakeland Dairies’ family farms and a tasty Shamrock Mocktail, carefully crafted to be high in protein. The resource is also packed to the brim with activities, puzzles, and top tips from NAPA. Supported by wellbeing experts NAPA, the brand-new party resource is packed with recipes and activities, designed especially to inspire care settings to host an Irish themed party in March. Its available free and every claim will receive a free roll of Millac piping bags. NAPA Adds, “There really is something for everyone in this resource, which could inspire creative thinking

to delight residents” Jean Cattanach, Marketing Controller at Lakeland Dairies comments “Our Celebrate Green campaign is a wonderful opportunity to embrace our Irish heritage, our naturally grass fed cows and their high quality milk, and enjoy something a bit different. We are really excited to help inspire care settings to Celebrate Green in March because we recognise how important it is for care caterers and activity teams to deliver meaningful engagement daily. This is no mean feat and our resource can make a difference.” The recipes are made using Lakeland Dairies portfolio of products including Millac Gold Double, the only cream alternative with real dairy cream and added vitamin D, and Lakeland Dairies 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder, which is full of the goodness of milk and ideal for fortifying for calories AND protein in care settings. Click to claim your free Lakeland Dairies Irish Party Activity Resource Every claim will receive a free roll of MILLAC piping bags Website: Facebook: @lakelanddairiesfoodservice Twitter: @lakelandFS

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

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


Government Launches New Online System for Free PPE A new online platform to order personal protective equipment (PPE) in England has been launched, providing access to care homes and care providers to free PPE. The new system builds on user feedback to improve the experience of those using the site. There is an ongoing migration period from the previous system to the new platform, and from 4 April 2022, all customers will be automatically redirected to the new PPE portal from the previous site. The new platform will be managed by NHS Supply Chain. During the soft launch of the new portal, the department carried out a survey and received 446 responses. A total of 96% of respondents stated they were either “very satisfied” (76%) or “satisfied” (20%) with the new website. Also, 97% stated they were either “very confident” (85%) or “confident” (12%) when using the new platform. The PPE portal will serve a range of health, care and public sector providers including GPs, adult social care, dentists, orthodontists, community pharmacies, optometrists, children’s social care providers, drug and alcohol services, other government departments, local authorities, independent sector providers who carry out NHS work, and more. This will cover millions of staff, patients, clients and service users, in England.

Last month, it was announced that following a public consultation, NHS trusts, primary care and adult social care providers will continue to receive COVID-19 PPE free of charge until 31 March 2023 or until infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance is withdrawn or significantly amended. This is to ensure staff and their patients are protected as we learn to live with COVID-19. The new platform cements the department’s commitment to continuous improvement of this critical service, including considerations around product offerings and who is eligible to use it. Some of the key benefits of the new platform are a more user-friendly site that makes it easier to place orders, view order limits and track deliveries, and, where needed, the capability for responding to and mitigating against evolving situations and potential future health crises. Eligible users have been emailed about their transfer to the new platform and communication will continue over the coming weeks. Those who have any questions regarding the migration can contact the customer services team on 0800 876 6802, which is available 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Users can also raise queries directly through the new platform.

Monkey Business At Witney Care Home There was some monkey business at Newland House Care Home in Witney when the residents and team were enchanted by two special visitors on Wednesday (23rd February). Squirrel monkeys Tia and Asbo, together with their handlers Jersey Shepherd and Barbara Marquez from Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Chipping Norton provided much mirth and laughter during their visit to Newland House. They enjoyed meeting everybody there and had great fun sitting on the heads or laps of the residents and team members. Tia, now 15 years old and the aunt of Asbo who is four, are two of the 12 squirrel monkeys at the zoological gardens. Sue Kent, Newland House’s Registered Manager, said: “What a fantastic morning we all had. The monkeys were such a hit with our ladies, gentlemen and

team members. We love having animal visitors to Newland House as they provide us all with so much fun and entertainment.” Heythrop Zoological Park brought along two Humboldt penguins to meet the Newlands ladies, gentlemen and team last November. Newland House is by Hartford Care Group Limited, part of a familyowned business, established more than a century ago in 1908, that runs 16 individual care and nursing homes located throughout the south of England. The company is governed by its core principles of care, comfort and companionship in an environment that is safe and happy for all.


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.


Councils Could Face Budget Blackhole Amid Concerns About Underfunded Adult Social Care Reforms Of the £36 billion the new UK-wide health and social levy will raise over the next three years, only £5.4 billion is to be ringfenced for social care in England. As councils plan their service budgets from April, the LGA said many are increasingly concerned that the funding allocated for reform falls far short of the likely costs involved. The introduction of a ‘fair rate of care’ that councils will pay providers and tackling the issue of self-funders paying more for their care than those who access support at the council rate will be particular issues going forward. Without adequate funding to deliver these proposals, the LGA said some councils will face a battle to balance budgets, worsening existing pressures and running the serious risk of impacts on the ability to deliver timely and quality care to those who draw on it. Adult social care would still face a funding gap for current services, increasing each year due to inflation and other costs even with these reforms fully funded. This is without considering the immediate need to address unmet and under met need on these overburdened systems. Adding unfunded reforms to an ongoing financial and service delivery crisis would be catastrophic for social care. Alongside adequate funding to meet the ambitions in the reforms, councils also need urgent clarity on their detail. The LGA is calling for government to work closely with councils on detailed costings and publish at the earliest opportunity its consultation on the associated guidance. Cllr David Fothergill, Chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “As councils work through the Government’s adult social care proposals and attempt to set balanced budgets from April, it is becoming increasingly clear that funding allocated for them through the new Health and Social Care Levy is likely to be insufficient by some margin. “This is shaping up to be one of the biggest financial risks councils face in the coming spending review period and we should not underestimate the potential for underfunded reforms to tip them over the financial edge. There is much to support in the Government’s vision and proposals, but they run the risk of falling at the first hurdle if they are not matched by the necessary funding, to turn them into reality. “As well as potentially derailing the reforms themselves, inadequate funding also runs the risk of further destabilising existing services, with

clear consequences for the ability of people who draw on social care to live the lives they want to lead. It’s crucial the government recognises this, steps up and works with us. “Unless action is taken, people may experience reductions in quality and availability of care and support services, while at the same time paying more for them through the new health and social care levy and increased council tax.” Cllr Stuart Carroll, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s Cabinet Member for adult social care, health, mental health and children’s services, said: “We’re working to try and bring certainty to the modelling we’ve developed but these proposals have the potential to destabilise the entire Council. Certainly, with our current financial envelope this would mean that all Council funding would be focussed on high end adult and children’s services with no funding for any other services at all when all the evidence and research tells us that focusing on prevention and early intervention has the biggest long term gains. “We’re gathering exact data but we believe about 80 per cent of those receiving social care in the area are fully self-funding. This means on top of issues about market stability and cross subsidy we would see a 400 per cent increase in clients being assessed and costs tracked. All told the total increase in cost and loss of income is estimated to be just over £20 million.” “Our current case numbers are 1,800 older people at any one time but the ‘churn’ throughout the year is over 2,000. An increase in potential caseloads will also come with a need to increase resource across a number of roles in the council to cope with such dramatic increases in demand. These roles are already hard to fill and this will exacerbate that problem. The worse thing is that none of this additional cost is about improving services or quality of life for people” Cllr Charles Margetts, Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive Member for health, well-being and adult services said: “The numbers on this are truly frightening. If the plans aren’t changed, our council alone is facing extra costs of about £29 million – more than 20 per cent of our total budget. Frankly, I have no idea how we could afford that staggering cost and so we need an urgent conversation with the Government to make sure they understand the issue. “We’ve joined neighbours at Royal Borough of Windsor and

Maidenhead Council to write to the Government and are hoping to bring more authorities in to this as we raise awareness of the situation – we’ll continue to push on this and want to work with the Government to find good long-term solutions on adult social care. “We are in favour of radical national reform to create a fair system – including a funding cap that protects people’s hard-earned savings. But the current proposals would put a burden on us and many other local authorities that cannot be borne. “We believe we and other local authorities can help the Government achieve the aim of ‘solving the social care crisis once and for all’ with a strong, properly-funded system that focusses on preventing problems and keeping people well without burdening individuals with huge costs. And the first step is a proper conversation with them.” Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We have already started planning for the introduction of these reforms and considering the potential cost of their implementation. The estimated costs are based on assumptions about how many people will benefit, to what degree and for how long; however, we don’t yet have the complete picture. For example, we do not hold information on how many Wiltshire people aged over 65 have assets between £23,250 and £100,000 and will therefore benefit from this change to the means test. “We also don’t have details on how the government intends to distribute funding for the reforms, or how much funding will be available nationally after 2024/25. As a council we already spend over £36 of every £100 on adult social care. Based on the planning assumptions we have made, we estimate the cost of the reforms will be £39m in 2024/25, which is the first full financial year following the introduction of these reforms and the last year of national funding for the reforms. “We estimate the cost to rise to £61m by 2026/27, when we expect the cost of the reforms to plateau. Based on the current needs formula funding distribution, we could expect to receive £15m to fund those reforms, leaving a gap of £24m in 2024/25. It’s also important to add that within these overall headline figures is an estimated cost of £9.5m for implementing what is referred to as a fair cost of care, against a projected £4.5m of grant funding. This reform alone looks set to cost the council £5m.”

Helping Veterans In Work: Care Home Group Signs Armed Forces Covenant Social care provider Home From Home Care has pledged to support members of the armed forces community in work. Home From Home Care, which operates 11 care homes for adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex mental and physical health, has signed the Armed Forces Covenant. In signing, the organisation promised to be an armed forces friendly organisation, to support the employment of veterans and service leavers, offer flexibility in leave for the partners of service personnel and support reservist employees. Home From Home Care has already recruited six former service personnel and it hopes to recruit more in future. Managing director of Home From Home Care, Paul de Savary said: “We’re very proud to have made this pledge to support members of the armed forces community, helping former service personnel in civilian life while also helping those who are currently serving and their families. “Caring may seem a million miles from the armed forces, but there are a lot of transferable skills between the two, and since we have more than 90 different job roles at Home From Home Care, from support worker to data analyst, there are countless opportunities throughout our diverse team. We’ve had great success employing people who have served in the armed forces previously and some team members have family members in the services. “I hope that by making this pledge, we can help more service leavers begin rewarding and exciting careers in care and that we can do our part in helping people who’ve risked their lives for the security of this country.” As well as signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Home From Home Care has also qualified for its first accolade under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), receiving the Bronze ERS Award. The ERS recognises commitment and support from UK employers for those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families. Home From Home Care will now be working toward securing the Silver award as it increases its support for the armed forces community. Former Operations Officer in the Royal Logistics Corps, Captain Mark Nottingham is one of six former

service personnel now working at Home From Home Care. Mark, who is now a Business Development Manager within the company, said: “I joined Home From Home Care seven years ago after a 28 year career in the armed forces. I’ve found social care to be a really dynamic sector to move into, especially as Home From Home Care is such an innovative organisation to work for. I’ve been able to transfer my diverse skill set from working in the forces to my role as Business Development Manager - leading new advancements for our unique data driven model of care. It’s been a great career move for me, there is so much scope for progression and a huge amount of job satisfaction knowing I have a direct impact in transforming the lives of the individuals we support. I would definitely recommend other service personnel to start a career in care.” The Armed Forces Covenant focuses on helping members of the armed forces community to have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. It is a pledge to acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives. Now in its tenth year, almost 150 organisations across Lincolnshire and 7,600 nationwide have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, helping to make civilian life more accomodating and removing obstacles and disadvantages service personnel may encounter. Jon Beake, Regional Employer Engagement Director for the Armed Forces Covenant said: “We are delighted that Home From Home Care Ltd have pledged to support the Armed Forces Community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. We thank them for their support.” To find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant and ways you or your organisation can support the armed forces community, please visit For information about Home From Home Care, including careers and job vacancies, visit

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

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


Skills for Care Conducts Review to Support Social Care Workers in Discussing Sexuality and Relationships Skills for Care, in collaboration with Supported Loving, Care Quality Commission (CQC), and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), has conducted a learning materials review to provide social care staff in England with information on resources to best support people who draw on care and support with matters of sexuality and intimate relationships. All resources collated within the review are available within a database on the Skills for Care website, where the full learning review is also published. It is important to acknowledge that people who draw on care and support, have sexual and personal relationship needs and this review is an important step in supporting people working in social care in feeling more confident about discussing matters of sexuality and personal relationships with the people they support. The review follows the CQC report ‘Promoting sexual safety through empowerment’ (2020) which underlined the basic human right for people to express their sexuality and to be empowered, supported, and protected when using adult social care services Research conducted by Skills for Care identified that building confidence and providing support around discussions of relationships and sexuality is a key need for people working in social care, as the majority (45%) of those surveyed said that a need for discussions surrounding any aspect of sexuality or intimate relationships occurred monthly within their role. Yet, when asked on a scale of 1 to 5, how confident they felt having conversations about sexuality and relationships with the people they supported (1 being not at all confident and 5 being very confident) the average rating was 3.5, indicating that confidence levels had space to improve. The research also found that just 37% of organisations provided sexuality and relationship training to staff, and of those, only 20% of organisations made this training mandatory. It was also found that most training departments were producing their own training rather than using an established resource. Some of the key areas where people working in social care stated resources and information would be beneficial included with relationship support, matters of capacity and consent, building confidence and

removing taboo around discussions of sexuality, laws and rights, medical issues, and values. It is hoped that this review will be the first step towards creating a standardised approach towards supporting people working in social care with discussing and supporting matters of sexuality and relationships in their role. Oonagh Smyth, CEO at Skills for Care says: “Social care is fundamentally about supporting everyone to live the lives they want; this includes within their personal relationships. “We know from our research that this is something which the majority of people working in social care don’t feel fully confident with, and in our role of empowering social care leaders and teams it is important that we help to build confidence and knowledge in this area. “This learning review collates a range of resources which can be used by people working across different settings and supporting people with a variety of needs to feel confident in helping the people they support to enjoy positive, safe, and fulfilling personal relationships, which is something many of us choose to have in our lives.” Dr Claire Bates, Supported Loving Leader says: “At Supported Loving we passionately believe that high-quality, up-to-date and practical resources are needed for social care staff to feel confident and well-equipped to assist around sexuality and relationships. “It is important that organisations know what training resources are available to assist them in providing such essential support to enable people to enjoy relationships and sexual freedoms. “We are really excited to work with Skills for Care, CQC, and DHSC on this project and are encouraged by their commitment to bring the topic of sexuality and intimate relationships within social care into the spotlight. “We hope this resource inspires organisations to start engaging with such a fundamental aspect of human nature. “

Care Home Residents Offer Words Of Wisdom About Health And Fitness HC-One runs a regular monthly competition for all of its care homes called ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ and the theme for March’s competition is ‘Health & Fitness’. So on 17th February at HC-One’s Market Lavington care home, in Devizes, which offers residential, nursing and residential dementia care, Wellbeing Coordinator, Riaz Ali, spoke to a few residents about this and here is what they said… Joy Baker commented, “Well, my mother always told me not to eat too many sweets as they are bad for you. The funny thing is, during the war my grandmother would give me her sweet ration coupons as she couldn’t have them as she was diabetic, so I had double the amount of sweets each week! But really, you shouldn’t eat too many of them!”

Phyllis Shellard added, “Well I have always been an outdoors person, living and working on a farm. I loved it. I think being outside, in the fresh air, day after day, just makes you healthy.” Frank Anderson, who was in a jazz quartet for many years of his life, remarked. “I always used to go for a little jog when I was younger. You mustn’t go too fast though! Else you just tire out quickly. You have to pace yourself. It helped my lungs too with all the blowing I used to do on the clarinet!” Riaz added. “These ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ competitions create lovely opportunities to chat and engage with residents and then, with the residents’ permission, we often put up the posters of the words of wisdom around the home to inspire others and make them smile!”

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: or see the advert on pages 18-19.

0203 011 4070 |


Pet Ownership Could Help Preserve Memory and Thinking, Study Suggests Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

Researchers in the US have reported that long-term pet ownership is linked to lower levels of memory and thinking decline in those over the age of 50, compared to those who did not have a companion animal. The researchers present the findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting being held in Seattle in April. In the study researchers looked at US adults over the age of 50. Over half of those with normal memory and thinking at the start of the study owned a pet. At this point, these people were more likely to have lower blood pressure but also more likely to have depression compared with non-pet owners. They then looked to see people’s scores on an assessment of memory and thinking over a six-year period. Over six years, non-pet owners’ memory and thinking declined more than those who owned pets for longer than five years.

“Humans love their animals, and pets can be an important source of companionship and comfort throughout our lives. While this US-based study linked owning a pet with some protection in memory and thinking decline, it can’t tell us if these are long-term benefits, or whether owning a pet has any bearing on dementia risk. This research has yet to be published and it’s not yet possible to unpick the reasons behind the link the researchers have observed. “It might seem hard to know where to start but giving back to your brain doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about small, positive changes that you enjoy and can build upon. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can visit Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Think Brain Health hub at”

Scouts Honour: Care Home Pays Tribute to Baden Powell Residents at a local care home have been paying their tributes to Lord Baden Powell, founder of world-wide Scout Movement. Upton Bay Care Home, of Hamworthy, Poole, opened their residents eyes to the establishment of both the Scouts and the Guides, founded in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden Powell. The Scouts was formed on the basis of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, sports, and basic survival. Their motto, ‘Be Prepared’, still resonates throughout various programmes over the world today, from Tiger Cubs, Brownies, Rainbows and Girl Guides. Upton Bay team member, Diane Stacey, has been part of the Girl Guide organisation most of her life. Starting out within the Guides as a young girl, establishing her role as Brown Owl today.

Ove the past decades, Diane has stitched pieces of history into a ‘Campfire Blanket’, a traditional cape covered in badges and pins from various Scout and Guide groups over the last century. A constant work in progress, the cape features skills and achievement badges in sports, survival, domestic skills, and interpersonal skills.Residents studied each badge, taking great care of the one of a kind piece. “I was a Brownie, and then a Girl Guide back in the 50’s. I met friends for life and was fortunate to share with them some amazing experiences,” said Margaret, resident at Upton Bay. Diane commented, “The Scout motto, ‘I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful and to love our world’ is something that translates pretty well into the world of care.”

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

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

Alpacas Surprise Residents At Welsh Care Home Two friendly alpacas called Alex and Bethany surprised residents on Friday afternoon at The Oaks Care Home in Newtown, Powys. The woolly visitors popped into the home to meet residents, joining them at afternoon tea in the lounge and even popping up in the lift to see residents in their rooms on the top floor. The visit was arranged by activities coordinator Izzy Titley and Daniel Hart, the new Registered Manager of The Oaks, who is on a mission to bring exciting new ideas to the daily lives of people living in a care home. Alpaca Bethany was introduced to one of the home’s carers and namesake Bethan who said: “It made my day to give Bethany a big hug.” Both alpacas took a trip up in the lift to visit 100-yearold resident Frances Williams in her bedroom. She said: “Oh my gosh. What a shock! I was just watching afternoon television when they walked in. It was lovely to stroke them.” Resident Sylvia Hughes, 79, giggled: “Oh my lord I’ve seen it all now! You have absolutely made my day.” Daniel Hart, 42, who has worked in the care sector for 20 years, said: “We have a great team at The Oaks and we love coming up with new and unusual ideas to brighten up the lives of our residents. “Some of our residents mentioned that they’d love a trip to Chester Zoo but we thought it would be

more fun to bring the animals to them. The alpacas were a big hit and it was wonderful to see the look on everyone’s faces when they arrived. “I believe it’s so important for our residents to have a full and interesting life and we’ve got bags of creative ideas including a schedule of events to get them out into the heart of the community. “We’re fixing trips to the local pub, shopping visits so they can buy treats for their loved ones, cinema and theatre outings and we’re even planning to go to the local bingo hall. We’re hoping they bump into people they know and will get a lot out of doing normal things.” Activities coordinator Izzy Titley said: “I’m leaving The Oaks in a few weeks to travel round the world and I wanted to pull some final tricks out of my hat to surprise the residents. I told them we were just having our usual Friday afternoon bingo! “They met Digby the dog at Christmas and that was brilliant pet therapy but we’ve stepped it up bringing alpacas into the home. All the residents love animals and it was lovely that the alpacas were free to walk around the home and interact with everyone.” The Huacaya alpacas are part of a therapeutic team of seven alpacas from Admirals View Alpacas in Shropshire, which is run by Sarah Tickle. Sarah Tickle said: “Alpacas are very friendly animals and they loved their visit to The Oaks Care Home. They’re comfortable in the lift so even residents on different floors didn’t miss out on their visit.”



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

Email:, or see the advert on page 3 for details.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Made For You - Texture Modified Meals

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

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

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



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

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


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

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


*Nilfisk 2019 study, Value of clean; BJA Education

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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


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

Benefits include:

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

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

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

Features include:

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Bizimply Helps Care Homes to Spend More Time Caring for Residents

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

01480 272727

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!

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Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR /barnes-commercial

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


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

Why JJ?

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

Aston Brooke Solicitors

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

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

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

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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

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