The Carer Digital - Issue #91

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

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

The Carer Digital

THECARERUK

THECARERUK

Issue 91

Peers Reject Government's Proposed Health and Care Cap Changes

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s proposed change to a social care cap has been rejected by the House of Lords, who voted 198-158 to remove a “last minute” alteration to care home funding, which, critics say, will mean poorer people pay more. Under the governments care funding plan, people will not have to pay more than £86,000 over their lifetimes for care fees from October 2023. However, in a late change, clause 155, "ministers said anything councils pay towards people’s care” will not count towards the cap.

A joint Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation report revealed older people with modest levels of wealth would be hit hardest, facing “catastrophic costs”. Those with assets including their home of £75,000 to £150,000 faced the biggest loss of protection, and someone with around £110,000 in assets losing 78% of their total wealth even after the cap is in place, while someone with £500,000 could use up only 17%, according to the study.

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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER One story which took my eye in this week’s edition was care workers describing their experiences of Covid as being “like in a war zone” and how they “stuck together” during those tumultuous times. Care and nursing staff who took part in a study (see page 9) and shared how they sacrificed their own family lives for the sake of turning up to work every day and looking after their residents, telling of how they kept each other’s spirits up and turned to each other for emotional support. In October 2021 I was very honoured to have been invited as a judge at the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Chef of the Year competition which was a three-day event with a trade exhibition, seminars, dinner and a final seminar with a motivational speaker. This was an opportunity for care homes, managers and staff sharing their experiences during the

sector with our “Unsung Hero”, a small gesture on our part where we invited the care environment to nominate a member of staff who went above and beyond ordinary calls of duty. I have said before that we were overwhelmed with the responses, always impossible to pick a clear winner, so it got us thinking here at the office it’s time to launch another “Unsung Hero”! So please do watch out, on our website, digital newsletters, social media, our printed issue and our weekly digital issue for further details. pandemic. Another story I saw was that 70% of the public are again scrapping free tests for care It was very humbling experience, and one that remains with me. The stories we heard, home visitors. (Page 7). some painfully sad, others humorous and uplifting from staff right at the “coalface” cerThis is a very contentious topic; apparently once charges are brought in cost will be tainly made me, and others on my table, so very proud to be part of a vital and selfless anything between £2 and £5. Last month a government spokesman said the end to free sector. testing from April 1 will include people visiting care homes. I note in the story that one contributor highlights the nation’s and media’s focus on the However, some free testing continuing for people with symptoms who are over 80, or National Health Service and yet neglected those in the very eye of the storm, namely, the who work in the health or social care sector. care sector and care workers. The spokesman said: “There will be free symptomatic tests available for social care This is something we highlighted repeatedly during the course of the pandemic. While and healthcare staff, but not visitors. the nation and mainstream media rallied to support NHS, I was sitting hearing tales of Personally, I think the government should phase this in, partly subsidising the cost until how staff were going days without seeing their loved ones, were moving into the care such time as the pandemic diminishes to such an extent that those living in residential home to avoid endangering their own families, others working through, and juggling diffi- and nursing care can safely have visitors without having testing. cult family circumstances, others having to cover shifts, going weeks without a day off, Currently if you have somebody visiting loved one in a care environment daily cost can working without personal protective equipment, not to mention the psychological stress- be approaching £100 a month, if a family visiting the cost and the risk of being astronomies and strains all that brought. cal. The report concludes that there is a “moral obligation” to provide more psychological Yet again it’s been of a bumper week this week for awards, anniversaries, birthdays support to care home staff as they continue to live with the impact of the COVID-19 pan- and special events so thank you once again for sending them in. It is a pleasure to reprodemic, which I have to say will not come as a surprise to anyone! duce them, and please do keep them coming to editor@thecareruk.com We, as regular readers know, introduced our own small token appreciation to the care And do watch out for our new Unsung Hero award coming in the next few days!

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Peers Reject Government's Proposed Health and Care Cap Changes (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Alzheimer’s Society had also warned that up to 80 per cent of people living with dementia would not benefit from the Government’s proposed £86,000 social care cap, due to the removal of protections for the less wealthy.

REGIONAL INEQUALITIES Research it commissioned from the New Economics Foundation, revealed that the cap proposed in the Health and Care Bill would only be reached by one in five people living with dementia, while regional inequalities mean those living in the North and Midlands are less likely to reach the cap compared to other regions. Commenting on the vote, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said: ‘I welcome the House of Lords decision to reject the government’s planned change to the cap on social care costs. The change would leave many poorer people still exposed to the risk of having to sell their home to fund their care, whilst wealthier people would enjoy protection from the very high costs that can come with needing social care for long periods of time. ‘Recent analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and The Health Foundation shows that people in less affluent areas, such as parts of the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the Midlands, would be most disadvantaged by the change to the cap on social care costs. ‘Ministers may now ask MPs to vote again on the change in a bid to

overrule the House of Lords. Reinstating this regressive change would run counter to the government’s ambition to ‘level up’, as well as the promise that no-one would have to sell their home to pay for their care. I encourage members of parliament to consider whether they want to back a policy that will save the Treasury money, but at the direct expense of poorer people living in the North and Midlands who need social care.’

LORDS "TOOK THE RIGHT DECISION" Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and the REAL Centre at the Health Foundation, said: “Members of the House of Lords have taken the right decision on social care reform by rejecting the government’s proposed changes to the Care Act. The government’s amendment is a step in the wrong direction. It has substantial real-world consequences for those with lower assets, in effect increasing the time it could take for them to reach the £86,000 cap on care costs. “When MPs originally voted in support of the government’s amendment they were effectively voting in the dark. Research from the IFS and the Health Foundation has since shown that the change would leave more people worse off compared to the original reform proposals. Among older people, those most affected are those with modest assets and wealth, and by region, those living the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Midlands. It will also disproportionately affect working age adults with disabilities. “Now that MPs have more information about the consequences of

this change we urge them to follow in the footsteps of the Lords and reverse what would be a regressive change and one that is opposite to levelling up.”

EXTRAORDINARILY UNFAIR AND REGRESSIVE Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “At Age UK we are really pleased, and also relieved, that the House of Lords has rejected the Government’s attempt to undermine its own care cap policy tonight. I would like to thank every Peer who voted against the Government’s amendment (clause 155). If it had passed, it would have taken the cap beyond the grasp of older people with few or modest assets, poorer places and disabled people of working age. This would have been an extraordinarily unfair and regressive outcome and the House of Lords quite rightly said ‘no’. Now it’s up to the Government to decide what to do. We sincerely hope they choose not to try to reinstate this ill-conceived amendment in the House of Commons.”

“STRIKING A RIGHT BALANCE” A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Our social care charging reform proposals provide a limit to the cost of care for everyone and strike the right balance between public contributions and people’s personal responsibility for planning for their care. “They are necessary, fair and provide certainty and reassurance so people can both plan for their future and pass on more of what they have saved to their loved ones.”

Waved Off to War by a Princess, Alfred Celebrates 100th Birthday with Message from a Queen Peebles Care Home resident Alfred Goddard has received a birthday message from a Queen who 78 years ago waved him off to war as a Princess. Alfred celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday (3 March) at Mansfield Care’s Peebles Care home, and was delighted to receive the traditional congratulatory letter from Her Majesty, The Queen, marking his landmark occasion. In June 1944, Alfred was a 22-year-old Tank Commander who, having volunteered for Special Operations with the 6th Airborne Division, was landed behind enemy lines as part of the D Day landings. Waving him and his tank crew off that day and wishing them “God Speed” at RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset was the sender of his centenary letter, a young Princess Elizabeth. Alfred’s son Mike said: “One hundred years after his birth, my dad enjoyed his second royal good wishes when he opened his personal message from that very same member of the Royal Family, not now a Princess but Queen Elizabeth II, congratulating him on his centenary.” Badly wounded in action when a shell exploded near his Tetrach Light Tank,

Alfred recovered from his injuries at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and pledged that at the end of the war he would return to marry one of the nurses who cared for him with skill and compassion during his darkest days. For his actions following D Day, Alfred was later awarded the Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur by the French Consul General to Scotland at his home in Biggar in 2016. His next active duty was as part of Operation Market Garden at Arnhem – of A Bridge Too Far fame – where he suffered a perforated eardrum, but fortunately he survived the remainder of active service without further injury. Mike, 72, said: “His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have sent their love and messages from all over the UK and abroad and we are all very proud of him.” Karen Ritchie, Activities Coordinator at Peebles Care Home, said: “We are honoured to be sharing in Alfred’s 100th birthday celebrations and to welcome his family on this auspicious occasion. He certainly has enjoyed a century filled with adventure, bravery and wonderful family memories.”


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Make Your Patient Data Cyber-Secure By Design Antonio Weiss, Senior Partner at The PSC (www.thepsc.co.uk) and author of The Practical Guide to Digital Transformation on how to keep your patient data secure in a digital world. For several years now in the UK you’re more likely to be the victim of a cybercrime than of physical violence or robbery, with the collective cost of cybercrime to reach $10.5 trillion in 2025 - more than the entire value of the illegal drugs trade combined. I’ve seen first-hand the kind of benefits that come from digitalising processes in hospitals and health and care centres – such as patient admission and administration – freeing up valuable time and resources to deliver care to the people who need it. Digital technologies are in this way catalysing the rate of patient care, through automating lengthy paperwork processes and ultimately freeing up space from A&E departments – where this kind of support is needed most, increasing rates of care by up to 54% in a week compared to the usual baseline. But with this digital progression comes the risk of handling and storing more patient data than previously experienced, opening organisations up to cyberattacks, particularly to phishing attacks. Data breaches or cybersecurity attacks should be near the top of any digitally progressive organization’s risk register, with hospitals and health and care centres on high alert as the NHS issued a warning for all organisations to shore up their defences as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia continues. From the outset, it’s crucial that patient data is stored in a legitimate and legal way adhering to EU General Data Protection laws Regulation (regulations will change depending on where you are based of course), but with so many potential avenues of attack – known in the cyber language as ‘vulnerabilities’ – it can be hard to know how to prioritize defence efforts going forwards. So, what are some core basics you need to do? First, make sure your organizational leadership is committed to cybersecurity. Chief information security officers (CISOs) or similar are becoming increasingly common in companies, however this role is traditionally handled by the CIO in the health and care sector. So long as you ensure someone on your board – and ideally an executive and non-executive board member – is responsible for overall cybersecurity this leadership should help to spearhead activity and ensure it stays high up on the list of priorities.

Second, solidify your networking security by running a series of penetration tests. This is where a paid actor, acting on your behalf, tries a series of ways of attacking your network and identifies vulnerabilities which you can then mitigate. To make the most of penetration tests, they should cover where your greatest risks lie. Health and care organisations tend to have large digital and technology estates, which makes this challenging. Your Electronic Health Record (EHR) or component systems is an obvious target, but many medical devices are particular weak points too. Third, ensure applications are up to date with the latest upgrades for cybersecurity. The infamous 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS was possible due to Windows operating systems being run without up-to-date security patches. As NHS and care organisations have so many staff – and thus accounts – this makes your applications particularly vulnerable, and make sure you understand where the points of risk lie with them. Fourth, implement staff training. This should involve everything from secure password management to understanding what to do in a disaster recovery scenario. In the busy world of health and care, it’s crucial that all administration staff have a universal understanding of IT practises to keep their patient data safe, and to ensure people can react quickly in the most effective way should a cyberattack hit. And finally, implement strong password management and access control. Anecdotally – accurate data is hard to come by as many organizations are reluctant to share how often they have been attacked – poor password management is one of the most common methods of attack for cyber criminals. Ensure all staff use secure passwords and good password maintenance hygiene – NHS Digital has good guidance on this. Access control rules mean that only those that need access have access. Multi-factor authentication is by far the most secure approach to access management but often not available on older health and care applications. Ensure that particularly sensitive data, such as patient level data being access for research or planning purposes, securing “Trusted Research Environments” are used with multi-factor authentication a prerequisite for gaining access. Health and care providers are increasingly turning to digital processes to help streamline and revitalise their processes following the worst of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the UK. However, it’s vital overall cybersecurity and individual employee practises both work to ensure patient data is as safe and secure as possible. We are seeing a new age of digital health and care arising, the question now is: are organisations prepared to commit to the safety procedures needed to keep patient details private?


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Health Secretary Sets Out Digital Care Record Targets Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid has announced a target to get 80 per cent of social care providers, including care homes and home care providers to use digital care records by March 2024, adding that his intentions are to place focus on the role of technology within healthcare by prioritising personalised care and levelling up. Mr Javid said: “To get there, we need to show people the app is for life, not just for COVID, and that it will be a future front door for interacting with the NHS. “The NHS is already working on new features, including how we can show estimated waiting times and the results of blood tests within the app. “The NHS app has shown how people are receptive to having healthcare literally in their hands – and we have the opportunity to use platforms like apps and websites to access diagnostics and therapies, helping them to manage their own conditions”. He also announced that he would like to see 90 percent of NHS trusts to have an electronic patient record (EPR) in place or be processing them by December next year.

Currently an estimated 40 per cent of care providers are “still grappling entirely with paper-based records” he said, and is calling on them to accelerate the roll out of digital records and shore up ‘cyber resilience’. Steve Sawyer Managing Director, Health and Social Care, Access Group says: “Access Group welcomes the new targets set last week by health and social care secretary Sajid Javid to complete the digitisation of health and social care providers. “As part of a major speech that urged health and social care providers to build on rapid advances in digital technology that were made during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Javid reiterated a commitment in the integration white paper to make sure that 80% of social care providers are using a digital care record by March 2024. “At the moment, just 40% of social care providers have moved away from paper-based working. As the leading provider of digital solutions to care homes and domiciliary care providers, we want to see that proportion increased, because we have seen the benefits that technology

can deliver to providers, their staff, and those they care for. “As Mr Javid was speaking, the Department of Health and Social Care released the independent review of social care that was commissioned from Baroness Camilla Cavendish. “This calls for more data for commissioners and regulators to support greater transparency in the social care market and a shift away from commissioning for activity to commissioning for outcomes. It also calls for joined up health and care records, to which individuals and their families can contribute. “These ideas are familiar and widely supported by those working in the hugely important care sector. However, they can’t be realised until all health and social care providers have the systems that they need to capture the information required. That is why Mr Javid’s support for these targets is so important.” The Health Secretary is set to publish a digital health plan later this year which will outline future plans to help in recovery from the pandemic and promote change across digital health.

Staff at Andover Nursing Home Extend Care to Ukraine Refugees Staff at Millway House in Andover are showing that their care goes beyond the doors of their workplace, as they provide vital donations to the Ukraine crisis. Wanting to help those caught up in the conflict in the East European country, care workers at the nurse-led care home have been collecting contributions from friends and family since news of the war broke. And, having put together donation bags filled with supplies, these are now on the way to the Polish/Ukrainan border, thanks to a lorry arranged by the Andover community. More than 1.7 million civilians have fled Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations (UN), and hearing that Andover had a designated drop-off area for donations, staff at Millway House, were anxious to help. Claire Lousteau, Home Manager at Millway House, said: “Like everyone, we have been horrified to watch the crisis unfold in Ukraine, and really wanted to offer our support. “When we heard that the Polish community in Andover had arranged for a lorry to take donations to the refugee camps, we didn’t think twice, and I’m extremely proud

of everyone here who has taken the time to put together some essential supplies.” Claire Godding, Wellbeing and Activities Coodinator, dropped off the goods at Picket Twenty Community Centre in the town. She said: “We were overwhelmed with items handed over from staff, and I was even able to shop for some little extras with cash donated. “It was great to see all the collections coming from the community here and it’s been nice to feel that we are helping in some way.” Donation bags included baby food and formula, first aid supplies, toiletries, adult incontinence pads, and not forgetting the animals, some tasty pet treats. Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams said: “With care at the heart of what our staff at Millway House do every day, I am not surprised to hear that the team have been offering their support to Ukrainian refugees. Any help we can give individuals suffering at this terrible time, is so worthwhile.”


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Conducting General Risk Assessments: Your Questions Answered

By Nick Wilson, Director of Health & Safety Services at WorkNest (www.worknest.com)

Every business has a moral obligation and a legal duty to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone affected by your organisation. Care homes must regularly carry out risk assessments to identify and record significant risks and put in place measures to control or remove them. As we emerge from Omicron, now is the perfect time to revisit yours, to ensure any recent changes to your environment or operation are considered. By conducting a General Risk Assessment (GRA) you will know what basic steps you need to take to comply with health and safety law, but there can never be a one-size-fits-all assessment. Given the nature of the care industry, Specific Risk Assessments (SRAs) are also often needed. However, a GRA is the best starting point to ‘generally’ assess hazards found in typical or routine activities. Here, Nick Wilson, Director of Health & Safety Services at WorkNest, answers the most commonly asked questions around General Risk Assessments.

Q. MUST I DO A RISK ASSESSMENT? As an employer, you are required to make a “suitable and sufficient” risk assessment of your work activities. This may start with a GRA but be prepared to conduct a SRA in some instances. A GRA must cover the health and safety risks both to employees and non-employees. For example, it must include people such as staff, contractors, visitors, residents, and members of the public. Employers have a legal duty to reduce all risks to as low a level as is “reasonably practicable”. Once completed it is most important that you clearly inform your employees of the risks that you have identified as well as outlining the preventative and protective measures you have taken to reduce and eliminate risks. You must review your GRA/SRA if there is reason to believe it is no longer valid or there has been a significant change.

Q. WHO SHOULD CARRY OUT RISK ASSESSMENTS? You can do them yourself or have it carried out by someone in your employment or by an external Health & Safety Consultant. You must have “competent” person to be your health and safety assistance. A competent person is someone who has knowledge, familiarity and experience of your sector together

with relevant training such as an IOSH or NEBOSH accredited course.

Q. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF A RISK ASSESSMENT? The main goal of a Risk Assessment is to decide what steps you need to take to comply with health and safety law to reduce the level of occupational injuries and ill health. Risk Assessments allow you to know if you have taken enough precautions and without them it’s impossible to be sure of the significant issues you need to control.

Q. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RISK ASSESSMENT? There are two basic ways of assessing risk. Quantitative Risk Assessments and Qualitative Risk Assessments. “Quantitative” measures risk by relating the probability of the risk happening to how serious things would be if an accident occurred. It’s then given a numerical value. The second and more common way of assessing risk is “qualitative”. This is subjective as it’s purely based on personal judgement backed by generalised data on risk. Risks are normally defined as high, medium or low. In care homes, several regulations also contain their own requirements for an SRA. They include regulations on manual handling and substances hazardous to health.

Q. WHAT DOES A PROPER RISK ASSESSMENT INCLUDE? • • • • •

For a Risk Assessment to be “suitable and sufficient”, its record should contain details of the: Hazards and risks identified Existing protective control measures and their effectiveness Further preventative controls needed Group of people being exposed to risk Review date.

Q. HOW DO I COMPLETE RISK ASSESSMENT? The Risk Assessment process can be divided into a basic six-step approach: Step 1 - Identify hazards Step 2 - Identify who is at risk of harm Step 3 - Evaluate the risk level Step 4 - Are existing risk controls sufficient? Step 5 - Keep a record of the GRA findings Step 6 - Monitor and review For more information on each of these steps, our free guide is available to download here: https://bit.ly/WorkNestGRA

Dementia-Arts Collaboration Achieves Awards Success Where the Arts Belong, a unique arts collaboration between dementia care specialist, Belong, and Liverpool contemporary arts centre, Bluecoat, has won the Creative Arts Award at the 3rd Sector Care Awards 2022. At the dazzling ceremony, attended by leading industry figures and not-for-profit care providers, host Angela Rippon CBE presented the award which recognises excellence in using art to engage with vulnerable people – in this case, Belong’s apartment tenants. The win was determined by a panel comprising top professionals connected to care, including CEOs, academics and consultants, following interviews with nominees to explore the background and outcomes of their artistic endeavours. Since 2019, Belong’s customers have worked closely with critically-acclaimed artists commissioned by Bluecoat, to promote wellbeing through creative pursuits and evaluate the use of arts in care environments. The Where the Arts Belong project commenced with ‘artist residencies’ which initially saw artists working in Belong villages, leading an array of art forms, ranging from storytelling and sculpture to sound art and dance. The project formed part of the

Celebrating Age programme, funded by Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation, with additional support from The Rayne Foundation. Academics observed the wellbeing benefits from the initiative, which included high engagement, enhanced cognitive capacity and an increased sense of community amongst participants. It was during the pandemic when participation was widened to help alleviate any loneliness experienced by Belong’s apartment tenants. Funded by the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the project saw artists Gav Cross, Alan Dunn and Brigitte Jurack bringing the benefits achieved using the arts, into Belong villages across the North West, via video call. Commenting on the win, Stacey McCann, Belong Interim Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re thrilled to win the Creative Arts Award and it really is a win for all our customers and Bluecoat’s commissioned artists. At Belong, we strive to innovate throughout our approach to dementia care, and the arts have proven to be highly successful in engaging with our customers. “We’re also excited for the Where the Arts Belong exhibition which opens at the Bluecoat, in Liverpool, this month and we invite everyone to come and see the work for themselves.”

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 www.littleislands.org You can view a demonstration at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEruZVNUV1k


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70% of Public Against Scrapping Free Tests for Care Home Visits

An Alzheimer’s Society poll has revealed that 70% disagree with the Government’s decision to scrap free lateral flow tests for care home visitors, while only 18% agree with the plans. The results of the poll come as an Alzheimer’s Society petition, calling on the Health and Social Care Secretary to reverse the decision, surpassed 5,000 signatures in less than a week. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced plans last week to scrap free Covid-19 tests for people visiting loved ones in care homes, as part of the wider scheme to end free testing from 1 April in the Government’s ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, a major high street pharmacy chain confirmed they would be selling five lateral flow tests for £12. For someone visiting their loved one daily, this would amount to a potential cost of £73 per calendar month.

People living with dementia make up at least 70% of care home residents. Visits from loved ones are essential to their health and wellbeing, with increasing evidence demonstrating people’s symptoms of dementia had worsened during the pandemic due to long periods of isolation away from loved ones who were unable to visit. Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society said: “Lateral flow tests offer vital reassurance to families desperate to protect their loved ones with dementia from Covid. Following the devastating levels of infection and deaths in care homes that was caused by insufficient testing in the early part of the pandemic, there is a risk that we face repeating this deadly mistake. “Families should not be financially penalised for trying to do their best and keep their vulnerable loved ones safe. Throughout the pan-

demic, care home residents have been the first to endure the risks and the last to enjoy the freedoms. “Public opposition is clear, it’s time for the Government to rethink their plans and make lateral flow tests free for all visitors to care homes.” In the early stages of the pandemic, thousands of patients were promptly discharged from hospitals. The majority of those discharged were not tested for Covid-19, which led to the virus spreading quickly in those homes and high death rates. During the pandemic, more than 34,000 people with dementia have died of Covid-19 – many of those were residents in care homes. Support Alzheimer’s Society’s petition calling on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to keep LFD tests free for visitors to care homes at https://tinyurl.com/2p9c9346

Care Home Residents Show their Support for People at Risk of Homelessness Funds raised by the residents of a Dorset care home will be used to improve the mental health of people at risk of homelessness. Colten Care’s Avon Cliff in Bournemouth chose to support the charitable housing association BCHA in 2021 and despite Covid restrictions has staged a variety of fundraising events on its behalf. Clinical Lead Emma Williams explained: “BCHA’s headquarters is very close to Avon Cliff and our residents and staff greatly admire its work in providing housing, education and support to many thousands of people each year. “At Christmas we were thrilled to donate a host of toys to BCHA for the women and children at Bournemouth Women’s Refuge. “While Covid has prevented us from enjoying some of the larger events we would have held, our Easter Party, a special Air Show event, our

Christmas Gala and assorted raffles have together raised £629 for BCHA. “It gives us a great deal of joy to think the money we have raised will be helping people who really need it.” BCHA’s Director of Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing Caroline Moylan met with Emma, Avon Cliff Customer Service Advisor Hayley McEvoy and Colten Companion Paulina Trzcinska to receive the donation and deliver her sincere thanks. She said: “We are so grateful for the funds raised by Colten Care. This will enable us to develop much needed resources and activities to positively support people’s mental health.” Speaking at the time of the toy donation in December 2021, Avon Cliff resident Peter Kennard said: “It is good to support such a worthwhile local charity, especially at this time of year.”


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Recruitment and Retention Must Be Considered if the Sector is to Continue Delivering High Quality Care With 2021 seeing an extensive deficit in care professionals across the UK, 2022 must be the year for recruitment and retention to recover if the sector is to continue delivering high quality care. To combat the staffing shortage, it’s advisable for care providers to consider what people want from their career, the main pressures which lead people to leaving the sector, and what can be implemented to make the profession attractive to potential employees. James Rycroft, managing director at Vida Healthcare (www.vidahealthcare.co.uk), explores how care organisations can create a professional environment that aids recruitment and retention within the sector.

CAREER PROGRESSION Understanding what potential employees want from their career will help an organisation to attract new talent and retain current employees. Providing opportunities for career development is important and encouraging staff to consider social care as a career rather than just a job will be more successful in recruiting and retaining talent. This will also drive the passion and dedication of staff when it comes to caring for society’s most vulnerable, and ensure people are committed to delivering best practice and learning new skills. Training opportunities are very important. At Vida we’ve launched our very own training platform, Vida Academy, which offers a range of courses, including a mentorship programme for staff to support new starters, house managers development programme, student placements, and a reinvigorated Care Certificate offer. The Academy promotes lifelong learning across the organisation and establishes staff as

dementia ambassadors. Ensuring that employees stay with an organisation is key to the long term development and efficacy of care provision. Experienced professionals can solve problems quickly and help colleagues develop their skills, but if those highly skilled staff move on they can leave a large gap in the team. Retention is just as important as recruiting new team members, and is often more cost effective, and ensuring that the professional environment is supportive is a simple way to maintain a positive atmosphere that carers are happy to work in. Employers can also show their gratitude through initiatives such as awards where staff members are nominated, and events such as Summer and Christmas parties. This will highlight to carers that they’re valued, and also give them a chance to destress and socialise with their colleagues.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT The pandemic was a significant disruptor to the care sector. Mandated isolation periods have led to sudden staff absences, which combined with overall staff shortages have meant significant amounts of overtime have been needed to fill gaps. Extensive hours have compounded other pressures of the role to create a workplace environment that is not always conducive to good mental health. Even with the end to compulsory isolation planned for March 2022, social care organisations will likely continue to maintain additional measures to protect residents, leading to staff continuing to experience significant time pressures. Other mental health pressures have come from the significant volume of sickness and death caused by Covid-19, which have naturally made it difficult to promote positive, optimistic work environments at times. Providing mental health support for employees is important for any industry, but the significant pressure experienced in the care profession makes providing the correct support even more important. Encouraging employees to contact local mental wellness hubs or getting in touch with charities such as The Care Workers Charity is one of the simplest ways of offering support. Creating an open, supportive environment for colleagues to come forward with mental health concerns is another straightforward way for care providers to offer support. Ensuring that managers are responsive and compassionate to the needs of their team members will go a long way for a colleague struggling with their mental health, and a supportive environment will additionally aid staff retention.

Award-Winning Family Business Medoris Has New Family At Its Helm For over 20 years, Brenda, our founder, paid particular attention to designing specialized care products for those with differing care needs and to providing good, old-fashioned customer service. Today, we’re proud to say that the Bird family continues to follow in her footsteps. As a family run business, we too put people’s care needs and customer satisfaction at the heart of everything we do. In the late 90s, Brenda, in conjunction with the Occupational Therapists in Oxfordshire, identified several areas in need of improvement when it came to addressing comfort and dignity issues for the vulnerable. Combining her vast experience in textile design and her close working relationship with the care profession, she developed a range of easy-to-use, adaptive clothing for the elderly together with other helpful

products addressing the issues of dementia, pressure care, positioning and continence care. Today, with the help of modern technologies and medical advancements, we have been able to expand these ranges and introduce new innovative products for a broader range of care needs, including those for children. Alongside Medoris Care, the Bird family also owns a domiciliary care company and a daycare company for children up to 5 years old. We believe that our first hand experience in these allied areas of care, gives us the knowledge we need to continually develop exciting products giving the comfort, care and dignity for those in need. For more information, please visit our website at www.medoriscare.com or call us on 01202 925 914 for further information.


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 9

“It’s a War and We Have to Stick Together” Care Workers Share their Experience

There is a “moral obligation” to provide more psychological support to care home staff as they continue to live with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the conclusion of a research study in which staff from leading care provider Balhousie Care Group share the emotional and physical effects of the pandemic, and their coping mechanisms. Care and nursing staff who took part in the study, conducted by the University of the Highlands and Islands and Northumbria University, share how they sacrificed their own family lives for the sake of turning up to work every day and looking after their residents. They also tell of how they kept each other’s spirits up and turned to each other for emotional support. “It’s a war in a lot of ways,” said one respondent. “We have to stick together then keep moving forward.” The research team also drew comparisons between their findings and stories of the camaraderie that occurs in the military during wartime. Dr Michelle Beattie, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of the Highlands and Islands and Research Lead, said the research team was struck by how Balhousie Care staff supported each other through the toughest times the care sector has ever seen. “They felt like it was a war against the pandemic. There was a sense of ‘we need to pull together and face this together’. You read about that sense of camaraderie in the military and people deploying to war but not that much in healthcare. None of us had seen that before in any previous work,” said Dr Beattie. The researchers were “blown away” by the personal sacrifices made by staff, which included moving out of their own homes so that they reduced their chances of passing on the virus to care home residents, said Dr Beattie. “Not seeing your children because you want to protect your residents from COVID. To me that’s a whole other level of self-sacrifice,” she said. In the words of one respondent who took part in the study: “I had said to myself from Day One, I

would never not go and care for my residents. That’s just not me. I wouldn’t put myself before them. I’ve been in this job for 10 years, and I’m not going to let some virus take away what my life is. I’ve put my life into this job.” Care home managers share the extra stress of supporting their teams in an ongoing crisis, while not revealing their own struggles. Coping mechanisms included tears and laughter in equal measure, the study found. “I found myself sneaking off to the toilet to have a wee cry, just to get the emotions out… I never took work home with me, I just left it there,” said one respondent. “Honestly you have just got to laugh. It’s a very serious job, taking care of people, but you just need to be able to have a laugh and a sing song and get Alexa on. That’s how I’ve coped,” said another. Dr Beattie said the poignancy of some of the accounts led researchers to find their own coping mechanisms. The research team formed a buddy system so that after interviews with Balhousie staff a researcher was able to debrief and talk to a colleague for support. Respondents to the study were brutally honest about the difficulties of being under scrutiny from the public, the media and health inspectors whilst dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19 and staff absences. They told of the “unreasonable and unrealistic” demands on them from inspectors. “We’ve not had COVID and here’s the inspector picking me up because I’ve got version two of a poster instead of version three. It’s just ridiculous,” said one respondent. Another concluded: “Sometimes people are forgetting these are residents’ homes.” One respondent explained their frustration with the public and media focus on the NHS: “Where everybody flocked, again, to the NHS to support and volunteer and the nurse banks flourished, we were again in the dark going ‘Hello, can somebody come and help us?’” Since the start of the pandemic, Balhousie Care Group has introduced a new employee assistance programme which offers free counselling and advice, and worked with one local authority to cre-

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ate ‘reflective sessions’ for staff to help with their wellbeing during the pandemic. Homes have also set up private chat groups for staff and private Facebook pages for relatives, to aid communication among staff and between care homes and relatives. Said one respondent in the study: “Those words of support [on our home’s social media page] have been great, and I know that if there’s anything anybody has a problem with or if I had a problem, then we can open up in our group chat.” The study concludes that there is “a moral obligation to provide psychological support to care home staff” to avoid distress and psychological health problems. It recommends ‘safe spaces’ for healthcare workers to reflect on their pandemic experiences, a “cultural shift” to acknowledge their “unique and high-quality contribution to care”, and care home inspections that are supportive and “avoid a ‘tick box’ mentality.”

The qualitative mixed methods study took place over four months between January and May 2021. Academics surveyed 52 healthcare workers from Balhousie Care Group’s 26 care homes, conducting follow-up interviews with thirteen. Lindsay Dingwall, a co-author of the study and Clinical Care Quality Manager at Balhousie Care Group, said: “The commonly used word to describe a hero is ‘to show courage’, so we can safely say that since March 2020 care home staff have earned that description. As emotional and raw as this study was for our respondents and the researchers, it was hugely important to be part of it. For the sake of our employees and residents, and in honour of everyone who has lost a life in the last two years, we wanted to help document not only what care workers have gone through, but also their dedication to their jobs. A massive thank you must go to the respondents who took part.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 11

RCP Warns the UK Is Facing a Crisis in Care for Older People The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is warning that a combination of a rapidly ageing population and a lack of NHS workforce planning means we are sleepwalking into an avoidable crisis of care for older people. Unless government commits to publishing regular assessments of the number of staff needed to deliver care, the NHS will be flying blind on staffing. New analysis by the RCP shows there is the equivalent of just one full time geriatrician per 8,031 people over the age of 65 in England. The RCP’s data, pooled from its own census of physicians alongside population data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows the NHS is woefully underprepared to cope with an aging population. The extent of workforce shortages ranges across the country. The East Midlands fares the worst with one full time geriatrician per 12,561 people over the age of 65, but figures across all regions are stark, with the most well-resourced area, Central and North East London, having one full time geriatrician per 3,254 people aged over 65. The NHS is drastically short of staff across all services and specialties, with the lack of geriatricians just an example of where a lack of planning leads. The ONS estimates that by 2040 there will be over 17 million people in the UK aged 65 and above, meaning 24% of the population may potentially require geriatric care. In addition, many of the doctors providing geriatric care now will soon be requiring that care themselves. With 48% of consultant geriatricians in England set to retire within the next 10 years, we could be on the threshold of a dramatic drop off if we don’t act now to retain as many of them as possible. Despite these trends, there is currently no publicly available data on the number of staff the NHS needs to train now to meet future demand for care. That’s why the RCP, along with over 100 medical organisations, is supporting an amendment to the Health and Care Bill which would require the government to publish regular, independent assessments of the numbers of staff the NHS and social

care system need now and in future. The amendment, tabled by Baroness Cumberlege with support from former NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens now Lord Stevens of Birmingham, will be debated in the House of Lords this week. Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “I have dedicated my career to working in the NHS – a service that I am fiercely proud of – and yet it scares me to wonder what might happen should I need care as I get older. There simply aren’t enough doctors to go round, not least within geriatrics. “The workforce crisis we’re facing is largely down to an astonishing lack of planning. All successful organisations rely on long-term workforce planning to meet demand and it’s absurd that we don’t do this for the NHS and social care system. The government needs to accept the amendment put forward by Baroness Cumberlege and make workforce planning a priority.” Dr Jennifer Burns, president of the British Geriatrics Society, said: “These figures show very clearly the current nationwide shortage of geriatricians – a situation that will only get worse with the predictable rise in the numbers of older people across the UK needing healthcare. “It is absolutely vital that these fundamental issues around the recruitment, retention, development and support of the workforce are addressed, and that there is a properly-resourced strategy for future needs. The British Geriatrics Society stands with the RCP in strongly supporting the amendment to the Health and Care Bill.”

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PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

Care Role Offers Psychology Graduate Best of Both Worlds

When Nida Mahfooz completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience in 2019, she knew she wanted a career in the care sector but the route she chose – starting a split role as a healthcare assistant (HCA) and Assistant Psychologist at specialist care provider PJ Care – is not one that many follow. But Nida has thrived in her role, and she believes it will help her as she progresses in her career. PJ Care provides neurological care for adults with progressive conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and those with acquired brain injuries. The company runs two specialist care centres in Milton Keynes and another in Peterborough. Nida decided to go for a HCA role to gain hands-on experience supporting people with neurological conditions. PJ Care has its own in-house multi-disciplinary team, which means the days she works as an Assistant Psychologist, Nida is learning from senior colleagues, such as Dr Allan Perry, Director of Clinical Services, and Estefania, the Clinical Neuropsychologist. She believes that her psychology degree and Master’s has helped her with her HCA role. “With my master’s being in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, you get a real insight into cognition and you learn to use different tools to assess the brain, blending theoretical, experimental and applied aspects of psychology with neuroscience” she says. “I have the academic background, but I am now getting experience with real people with real conditions, and it is such a change from seeing it just on paper. You meet different people, talk to them, and spend time with them so you learn things you just can’t from books and that’s invaluable. And if I can help them in the process, that is amazing.” Hard start But Nida’s introduction into the care sector could hardly have been more difficult: she had only been working for PJ Care for two weeks when the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced.

“When everything shut down, it was difficult as there were a lot of people isolating and agency staff coming in,” she recalls. “But we had to step up and do what we had to do and work as a team to provide care for the residents. That helped us bond quickly. When you are with staff and residents for 12 hours every day you almost become like their family because everyone gets to know each other really well.” Despite the start to her career, it is a move she has not regretted. “This is an incredibly hard job but so, so rewarding,” she says. “I have so much respect for my fellow care workers. They work so hard and are so resilient and just keep going, even in the toughest of times, especially with COVID over the past year and a half, it has changed everything about how we have worked.” Indeed, Nida has thrived in her HCA role, so much so that she recently won the Care Home Newcomer award at the East of England Awards, part of the Great British Care Awards. The judges praised Nida for her “enthusiasm, passion and commitment to provide quality, person-centred care” saying she had “made a real impact in a short space of time” and described her as an “asset to her organisation and indeed the sector!” “I was shocked and so honoured to receive the award,” she says. “I couldn’t believe I had made that much of an impact.” Career path Nida plans to continue on her current career path as a HCA with time as a psychologist as it has given her a real insight into how to make a positive impact on people’s lives. “You can see from a therapy side, with doing assessments and using neuropsychological tools, and then from a healthcare point of view, of what works and what doesn’t. When it does work, you have a real sense of achievement that you have found something that will make a person’s life better, or easier, or even made them smile. "It could be an exercise that helps them or a tool that makes something easier or helping them to remember something or feel different in regards to their emotions; even just to provide some clarity. As a healthcare assistant you can see in their normal day to day routine what has changed and what has helped.” She recommends this route to other psychology graduates. “If you are going to work with people in a clinical or forensic setting, to be working with real people and get this foundation to know what people are going though is invaluable experience. “If you are a psychologist recording psychological assessments and building a profile of a person, to know what they have gone through day-to-day and know how they are feeling is a really big help.”

Care Home Characters Leap Off the Page for World Book Day Residents and staff at a Dorset care home got well and truly into character as they celebrated the World Book Day annual celebration of reading. Hagrid from the Harry Potter stories and the hedgehog washerwoman Mrs Tiggy-Winkle from Beatrix Potter were among the literary favourites gracing a redcarpet catwalk at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown. As each character appeared in costume for the parade, backed by clues to their identity given in song, assembled residents were invited to guess and shout out their names. The laughter began immediately when Mrs TiggyWinkle, aka Home Manager Diane Nicholls, was misidentified by one audience member as Old Mother Hubbard. And on seeing Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Richmond Cole dressed as Wally from the Where’s Wally books, several residents were invited to don the trademark hat and glasses too. Kirsty said: “We all got excited about picking these much-loved characters and finding outfits to dress up in to bring them to life. It certainly sparked a lot of interest, with smiles and laughter all round.“ Companionship Team member and musical entertainer

Rebecca Osborne was on the catwalk dressed as Minnie Mouse while the prize for the best costume – a hamper of pamper treats - went to Housekeeper Diana Skee for wearing a head-to-toe ‘101 Dalmatians’ outfit. Kirsty added: “Most of our residents are pet lovers and were amazed she wasn’t too hot in all that get-up.” One resident, Len Fowler, spent part of his World Book Day visiting Ferndown’s public library to pick out some new reading material. The day finished up with a quiz in which residents were invited to match a series of characters to the books that made them famous. Resident Joan Harris said: “It was just wonderful to see all the staff and residents join together to have so much fun.” World Book Day is an annual celebration of reading marked in more than 100 countries. It was first held in 1995 and is an initiative of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

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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 www.bvs-ltd.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 13

Providers Battle Cost of Living Crisis CARE providers today called on the Government for support as they battle a cost-of-living crisis in the wake of Covid-19 hardships. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says providers are facing a fight for survival amidst huge increases in fuel, gas and electricity costs. Chair Mike Padgham said: “This is a hidden crisis that could rob our communities of vital care providers, and we need help. “Covid-19 left us battered, bruised and almost bankrupt and as we try to fight back, get occupancy levels up and survive, we are faced with huge fuel and utility bills that threaten our ability to provide any care at all.” For homecare providers, whose staff travel to care for people in their own home, fuel costs are huge and

straw. “I think all essentials – including emergency services – should get reduced fuel bills through the Government removing the duty for some sectors. “And they should recognise the hardship care and nursing homes are facing by helping them with utility costs.” He said there were already examples of homecare providers handing contracts back to commissioners because they could not viably deliver them for the price they were being paid. Care and nursing homes are also struggling with some closing and many more in danger of doing so.

increases in petrol prices hit them hard. For care and nursing homes, gas and electricity costs are a large part of their outgoings and, again, increases are damaging to their hopes of survival.

“These fuel and utility price rises, coming on top of the severe financial difficulties following Covid-19 and income struggling to recover, are placing severe difficulties upon providers and for some it could be the last

“Such Government support is the least it can do for the sector whilst we wait, again and again, for the long-promised reform of the social care sector,” Mr Padgham added.

Gut Health Plays a Role in Alzheimer’s Development, New Study Says A series of experiments presented at the Alzheimer’s Research UK 2022 Conference at the Brighton Centre, has implicated the health of the gut in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, a condition that is devastating for those affected, their loved ones and their carers. With one in three people born today likely to develop dementia in their lifetime, scientists are exploring potential links that could help uncover approaches for new treatments. This includes work to better understand the health of our gut and the brain. The gut is host to a community of bacteria called the intestinal microbiome. The precise make-up of the microbiome differs between individuals, in both the types and quantities of bacteria present. This microbial composition can have far-reaching effects on other parts of our body and emerging evidence is suggesting a relationship with brain health and the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s. New research, which hasn’t yet been peer reviewed, presented at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2022, highlights newly identified links between gut bacteria, inflammation and brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Edina Silajdžić, a postdoctoral fellow working in the research lab of Prof Sandrine Thuret from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London analysed blood samples from 68 people with Alzheimer’s and a similar number of people without the disease. This study, in collaboration with the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at IRCCS, Italy coordinated by Dr Annamaria Cattaneo, revealed a distinct gut bacteria makeup in people with

Alzheimer’s as well as more inflammation markers in their stool and blood samples. Dr Edina Silajdžić said: “Most people are surprised that their gut bacteria could have any bearing on the health of their brain, but the evidence is mounting, and we are building an understanding of how this comes about. Our gut bacteria can influence the level of inflammation in our bodies, and we know that inflammation is a key contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.” “When we treated brain stem cells with blood from people with Alzheimer’s they were less able to grow new nerve cells than those treated with blood from people without memory problems. This leads us to believe that the inflammation associated with gut bacteria can affect the brain via the blood.” In research conducted by Dr Stefanie Grabrucker, a postdoctoral researcher at APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork led by Prof Yvonne Nolan, stool samples were taken from people with and without Alzheimer’s disease and transplanted into rats. Prof Yvonne Nolan, who is leading this collaborative Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (CoEN) project with partners in King’s College London and IRCCS, Italy said: “We found that rats with gut bacteria from people with Alzheimer’s performed worse in memory tests, didn’t grow as many new nerve cells in areas of the brain associated with memory and had higher levels of inflammation in the brain.” “Our findings suggest that symptoms of Alzheimer’s may, in part, be caused by abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract.

While it is currently proving difficult to directly tackle Alzheimer’s processes in the brain, the gut potentially represents an alternative target that may be easier to influence with drugs or diet changes. Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “Taking these results together reveals differences in the makeup of gut bacteria between people with and without dementia and suggest that the microbiome may be driving changes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Future research will need to build on these findings so that we can understand how gut health fits in to the wider picture of genetic and lifestyle factors that impact a person’s dementia risk. “Meetings like the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference provide researchers with an opportunity to hear the very latest from their scientific colleagues, but we will need to wait until the researchers publish their full findings before we can assess the full impact of this research.” “The make-up of our gut microbiome is one of several potential dementia risk factors that we could influence by leading a healthy life. To maintain a healthy brain as we age the best current evidence suggests that we should keep physically fit, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, only drink within the recommended limits and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check.”


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Support Vegetarians This Dementia Action Week: 16–22 May 2022 This Dementia Action Week, Vegetarian for Life, a charity supporting vegans and vegetarians in later life, is encouraging carers to consider how they support people’s beliefs. What happens to the beliefs and values of those with dementia? If a person struggles to remember ideas that mattered to them, how do they continue to practice their values? This year, Dementia Action Week coincides with National Vegetarian Week – a time to reflect on how carers can and should support people to maintain their beliefs. The charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) works with vegans and vegetarians in later life. Many have been committed to meatfree diets for decades, often motivated by ethical desires to prevent harm to animals. Many fear, if they need care, that they may lose their ability to choose diets free from animal products. This fear is not unfounded. An Inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism highlighted many instances where dietary practices linked to beliefs were not supported in care. In some instances, people who had been vegan for decades were regularly being fed meat. In many ways, this concern goes beyond just respecting a person’s past wishes. Recent dementia research has considered the ideas of identity and personhood. Simply because a person struggles with memory, does not mean that their beliefs, and right to hold values, have disappeared. Dementia research begins to suggest that even when the condition is advanced, people should be supported to interact with ideas and concepts that are important to them. This may support them to retain a sense of identity in a care setting, especially when interacting with carers. In such cases, the carer actually supports the person to retain a sense of themselves, even as their condition progresses. Practically, the question remains over how carers can be aware of the values held by those they care for.

In some cases, people have families to explain beliefs that have guided a person’s life. However, VfL strongly recommends that people document their future wishes. Northern Ireland is currently consulting on Advanced Care Planning. The idea is to allow people to document what matters to them to guide their care as they age. Current draft policy includes sections on spirituality, recognising the importance of documented beliefs. The Mental Welfare Commission in Scotland similarly publishes a blank personal statement for those who may experience capacity issues or cognitive losses to document their values, though the statement does not carry legal weight. Elsewhere, in its Self-Advocacy Guide, VfL provides a template Statement of Wishes, allowing people to document their dietary beliefs. This statement includes sample wording, clearly explaining to carers how to support people on meat-free diets if they appear to be choosing meat based dishes. This may involve offering alternative meals and fortifying foods with plant based alternatives. Alzheimer’s Society also provides a template advanced statement to allow individuals to document their values. When values are documented, it is important that care providers reference these views and act accordingly. To support providers, VfL has produced a Memory Care Pledge, encouraging people to investigate and acknowledge individuals’ dietary beliefs. The pledge consists of five simple good practice points that care establishments can follow to ensure that vegetarian and vegan residents experiencing capacity issues or cognitive losses will be offered a choice of meals, drinks and snacks that uphold their ethical beliefs. Good practice recommendations include offering a resident the opportunity to eat at a vegetarian-only, or vegan-only table when possible, and in the event of an ‘accidental’ choice to eat meat, offering an alternative that upholds their philosophical beliefs. These recommendations are suggested because Vegetarian for Life is aware of vegetarian residents experiencing issues with capacity or cognition, who may otherwise pick meat from others’ plates. Beliefs are central to our identity and personhood. Dementia Action Week should be a time to focus on how providers can best support those with limited capacity to maintain beliefs and values that define them as people. For more information, visit www.vegetarianforlife.org.uk or call 0161 257 0887.

Oxford Based Care Home Raises £1,600 Following Rip Roaring Success of Resident Calendar Following the tremendous success of its 2022 resident calendar, an Oxford based care home has managed to raise £1,600 for its residents amenities fund thanks to support from across the world. Staff members at MHA Brookfield produced a 14 page calendar for 2022, with the help of residents who posed for images based on famous paintings. Residents dressed up and replicated a series of paintings from years gone by. The home provides nursing and nursing dementia care for 66 residents in purpose-built, en suite accommodation. The pictures were taken and edited by Rebecca Phillipson, one of the home’s volunteers. The calendars proved to be a hit both nationally and internationally, with people in the US, Germany and Poland becoming aware of what the home had done after national media in the UK picked up the story of what the home had done. More than 230 calendars were sold in total, much to the amazement of the home, who had only printed 100 initially. After excluding all costs, the home managed to make a profit of £1,600, which will be used towards their amenity

fund and help cover the costs of future activities Victoria Davidson, activity coordinator said: “The calendars were a huge success and we cannot believe how fast and wide they were talked about. “The residents loved the extra attention and we are very impressed with the amount we managed to raise. “Once the first story went viral, we were inundated with phone calls and Facebook messages asking for the calendars and even now we are still seeing articles in places like Poland for example showing what we did. “Family members have told me loads of people are talking about the calendars and those who bought the calendars and helped to contribute towards such a big figure, we cannot thank people enough. “And we cannot thank Rebecca enough for the work she put into the calendar as without her none of this would have been possible. “The response has been amazing and hopefully the funds raised will go a long way towards helping the residents and keeping them happy.”

CleanEx 2022/Hospitality Expo: Not Long to Go! There’s just six weeks to go until Hospitality Expo/CleanEx 2022 opens its doors to the main grandstand at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire. It’s been four years since the last CleanEx event with ‘you know what’ constantly changing our plans. As they say though, absence does make the heart grow fonder, so expect to find all the exhibitors excited, keen and ready to talk you through and show you all their latest innovations. The brand new Hospitality Expo – will take place at the same time as CleanEx 2022. Same time. Same venue. Hospitality Expo is aimed at procurement managers, care home owners, general managers and housekeepers from care homes and hotels across the country. Hospitality Expo will take place on its own floor at Ascot Racecourse. So those visiting Hospitality Expo will benefit from meeting with specialist industry exhibitors, and also be able to walk the aisles at CleanEx 2022 and see what the leading industry suppliers there are showcasing about their latest innovations, products and services. Many of the stands will have fully operational equipment and technology and run demonstrations throughout the two-day event so you can see results first-hand. This event is a great opportunity to com-

pare different products or machinery under one roof and talk to leading suppliers directly. Exhibitors will all have their experts on hand on their stands to answer any questions you have. This will help you to plan your visit in advance to make sure you use the time well and gather the research and information you need to make the right decisions for your business. Exhibitors often run event-only promotions too, so there’s potential savings to be made by talking to the specialists direct. Visitors to Hospitality Expo and CleanEx include: If you’re in one of the following businesses or job roles then Hospitality Expo is ideal for you! Care Home owners • Hotels - owners and managers • General managers • Head housekeepers/ managers • Hospitals • procurement managers • Private schools Registrations are open! FREE ENTRY – FREE PARKING – FREE ENTRY – FREE PARKING It’s simple to register your place to attend Hospitality Expo/CleanEx. Simply visit the Hospitality Expo page at www.megevents.co.uk and click on ‘attend the event’ and enter


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Nutrition and Hydration Week - 10 Years + 1 Celebration The week provides a platform for everyone involved in providing nutrition and hydration care across health and social care to demonstrate and promote their good practices. The week reaches beyond health and social care sectors. In 2021 was amazing that even during the global pandemic the success of the week, and the passion of those participating made it one of the best ever Building on 2020 where we had Fire Brigade Union, water businesses and industry companies took part, 2021 we had overseas armed forces join in and 2022 The British Transport Police are celebrating the week, which is amazing and only shows how important nutrition and hydration is to us all. These people deliver these good practices every day of the year and the week’s strap line reflects their passion, innovation and drive to enhance the wellbeing of those they care for.

THE WEEK HAS GROWN FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS. Last year out Twitter @NHWeek reached over 12 million accounts, our Facebook followers grew by over 23% in the four weeks leading up to and over the week. Social media is predominately how we monitor our impacts. Hundreds of organisations and establishments, including hospitals, care homes and domiciliary care, across the UK take part in the week.

But the week reaches further afield with events taking place in nations large and small from Australia to Canada to Eire to Portugal – Social Media and emails asking for support shows over 40 nations now join in The week is a celebration, and an opportunity to raise to awareness, of nutrition and hydration so there are no restrictions or specific themes for what should happen throughout the week. We do offer some suggests through the themes of the day (below) to help to inspiration people.

NUTRITION AND HYDRATION WEEK THEMES OF THE DAY Monday - Breakfasts Tuesday - Suppers Wednesday - Afternoon Tea — Global Afternoon Tea Party Thursday - Hydration Friday – Fruit or Fish Saturday - Smoothies Sunday - Sundaes We will be having one standalone focus day’s for 2022 so watch this space We are delighted to once again be supporting our colleagues Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) for Swallow Awareness Day on Wednesday 16th March.

THERE IS BUT THREE OF US... If you are new to Nutrition and Hydration Week, you may not realise there are just three of us who manage, oversee and promote the whole process. This is all as an additional voluntary activity we do beyond our daily roles! The social media back up... is when we have breaks between meetings, in training sessions, etc. This media release was produced by our media liaison ….. the one of

the three of us who opened email! The distribution of merchandise was from our warehouse – sorry a spare bedroom somewhere in the North of England... And we loved the calls from people asking to speak to our marketing or media department – that’s whoever takes the call.

IT MAY SOUND VERY AD HOC BUT IT ALL WORKS. We don’t have any current sponsorship to operate the week, but we are always open to discuss sponsorship which allows us to invest back in promotional material and other material. The week is a true social movement owned by no one. But You make it such a success. Caroline Lecko stated: “Nutrition and Hydration Week has been a catalyst to create a social movement to support and encourage positive change in the provision of nutrition and hydration wherever it takes place. The importance of good nutrition and hydration for us all can’t be underestimated – it is essential in supporting and maintaining good health and wellbeing.” Andy Jones added “We have seen legacies develop from the week, where people have been able to utilise the week to demonstrate the benefits of food and drink to improve the quality of life of those they care for. This has often led to changes longer term in improved food and drink provision.” Derek Johnson commented “It’s the passion of everyone involved that has created the week, all we do is provide a platform for them to demonstrate the good, when a lot of media focus is on the negatives. To us, positives inspire people to achieve more.” Further details of the legacy that Nutrition and Hydration Week is building across health and social care can be found at www.nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/news/

Chefs In Health And Social Care Urged to Apply for Free Management and Leadership Training Head chefs and aspiring head chefs in health and social are invited to sign up for on the Chef Management & Leadership Training Programme, but they need to be quick with the deadline fast approaching. The virtual programme, which gives chefs working in Scotland’s health and care sectors the knowledge and skills needed to manage, motivate and retain staff effectively, will close for applications to the final cohort on 14 March 2022. Developed and delivered by People 1st International on behalf of Skills Development Scotland, the training addresses the heightened need to improve management skills across the sector as employers face intense competition to recruit and retain talent. The Chef Management & Leadership Programme covers the following five modules:

• Training and development The final cohort of the 2.5 day programme will run across the following dates: Monday 28 March 2022 (9am-4pm) Tuesday 29 March 2022 9am-4pm) Wednesday 30 March (9am-12pm)

• Leading a team • HR practices • Effective recruitment • Retaining your staff

Sandra Kelly, UK Director at People 1st International, comments: “It’s been fantastic to work in partnership with Skills Development Scotland to offer the Chef Management & Leadership Training Programme and with just a limited number of places available on the final cohort of the programme, we’d urge any employers that would like to secure a place for their chefs to apply today.” To find out more about the programme and apply, visit: www.people1st.co.uk/chef-management-leadership-training-programme


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How Social Care Qualifications Can Help To Tackle The Social Care Workforce Crisis Craig Wade is Sector Manager for Health, Science and Social Care at educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning, NCFE (www.ncfe.org.uk). He has previous experience as a college lecturer as well as being a nurse in the navy where he was also seconded to a Category B prison to support with prisoners’ mental health. He is still a registered nurse now. The staffing crisis in the social sector is continuing to deepen, and as a result a depleted workforce is struggling to deliver the high-quality provision needed for those in care. There won’t be any quick fix to the crisis, but instead a multi-pronged and urgent approach is required in order to safeguard the sector. As the care sector continues to evolve, leaders need to consider innovative models to address the modern challenges and contexts being faced. Drivers such as changing care needs; interdependency between care and health; and the growth of technology and innovation will inevitably impact on service models.

One of the key reasons people stay in a career are the opportunities for growth and development, which has been noted by many of the major players. Skills for Care in their report ‘Secrets for Success’ explored what employers who have a turnover of less than 10 per cent considered important in relation to recruitment and retention. These employers demonstrated the benefits of investing in learning and development amongst other factors. In line with this, evidence has shown that those with qualifications in social care are less likely to leave the sector. Qualifications provide a bedrock for progression, alongside equipping the workforce with skills and insights which make work more rewarding. However, recent Skills for Care data indicates that the adult social care workforce is largely unqualified in adult social care qualifications, with only 41% of care workers having a social care qualification at Level 2. The Department of Health and Social Care has clearly identified the importance of promoting qualifications in its efforts to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis. The department recently launched the ‘Made with care’ campaign, which aims to promote the social care sector as a skilled, attractive, inspiring and rewarding option. Alongside this is a commitment to investing £500 million over the next 3 years to facilitate workforce training and career progression for carers. For those looking to gain sector qualifications, there is a real diversity

in what is available. NCFE’s options range from level 1 to level 5 in order to accommodate the needs of all learners, from new entrants to experienced practitioners. From getting an introduction to the sector, to supporting ongoing continuous professional development, someone at any stage in their care career can benefit from taking a course. Beyond that, there are also qualifications with technical status which support progression not only to employment, but also to higher education and promotion opportunities. Given the ongoing crisis, it is easy to look at the negatives, but what is important is to continue to promote how rewarding a career in care can be. It can be challenging, but is always incredibly varied and no two days will ever be the same. The difference that practitioners make to the lives of individuals accessing services is significant, allowing for autonomy, independence and control. This crisis requires a collaborative effort, not just from the care sector but from all those who can offer support. It should also be viewed as an opportunity to consider how the sector can be innovated, benefitting both the people being supported and those who care for them. A key part of this should be the mainstreaming of high-quality and respected qualifications as a way of recruiting, retaining and empowering staff.

Signature Senior Lifestyle Launches New Dementia Care Strategy Signature Senior Lifestyle has launched its new dementia strategy which sets the highest of standards in dementia care. My Life Dementia Pathway is the care provider’s five-year strategy and bids to create innovative, warm and welcoming dementia communities. Signature does so by providing a comprehensive, 360-focus on five key areas. • Information of My Life • Diagnosis & Assessing My Life • Supporting My Life • Living My Life • End of My Life As part of the strategy, and exceeding the sector-standard approach, all Signature chefs are upskilled on the understanding of how dementia affects nutrition and hydration, learning to create appetising meals which takes into account all the senses. The finer detail of our furnishings has also been considered as part of this comprehensive strategy, including how Signature homes will utilise both bright and contrasting coloured furniture to enable residents to navigate around their environment with ease and promote safer mobility. Technology will also have a crucial role to play in further promote independence among residents, whilst also maintaining safety by installing state-of-the-art sound, movement and/or camera sensors in bedrooms, where required. Underlining its whole-home approach, the My Life strategy features a mandatory training programme for team members across all 36 of its care homes. Of Signature’s 2,000 residents, 30% are currently being supported living in its dementia communities. All 3,500+ Signature colleagues will be embedding the My Life strategy, which also provides support to

residents’ families and friends in informal social gatherings, events and individualised meetings. The training programme seeks to understand the perspective of a person living with dementia, through a practical immersion workshop to gain a firsthand understanding of the daily experiences of those living with dementia. In developing its strategy, Signature has consulted with Alzheimer’s Research UK and continues to do so ensuring it reflects the latest available guidance. Overall, the strategy highlights how Signature will develop exceptionally high quality and adapted environments that are conducive to living with dementia. It also helps to build socially fulfilling lifestyles, individually tailored to meet the needs of our residents to create a meaning and purpose to daily living. Michele Saunders, Head of Dementia at Signature, said: “Signature provides the best possible care for our dementia communities, to enhance familiarity, and build trusting relationships and gain knowledge of each resident “My Life underpins our approach and allows us to see the person living with dementia as an individual so we can make a difference to the lives of all our residents every day. “Recruiting team members who are passionate about supporting residents living with dementia is fundamental. We see it as essential for all of our team members to gain an in-depth understanding of dementia to really deliver comprehensive person-centred care on a daily basis. “Achieving this requires constant energy, plenty of enthusiasm, and unwavering empathy and understanding. We are committed to ensuring our dementia care remains industry-leading and sets the standard for generations to come.”

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

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

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


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BMA Welcomes Lords “Holding Government to Account” Over Health and Care Workforce Responding to the House of Lords voting in support of an amendment1 to the Health and Care Bill that will require the Government to publish regular health and care workforce projections, Dr David Wrigley, BMA council deputy chair, said: “The NHS and care services are nothing without their staff. People are unable to receive much-needed care and treatments if there are not enough expert health and care workers to help them. “It’s good that this simple message is getting through, and today’s move from the Lords to accept this amendment shows that they recognise the importance of holding the Government to account for proper workforce planning. “Just today figures showed that we have more than 110,000 vacancies in England’s hospitals alone, more than 8,000 of which were for doctors, and separate data shows we have lost the equivalent of 279 full-time, fully-qualified GPs in England over the

past year. Meanwhile the BMA estimates England has a shortage of around 50,000 doctors compared with our most comparable EU neighbours. “These stark figures underscore the need for urgent action to train, recruit and retain the staff required to meet the growing needs of patients across the health service. “We urge the Government to heed to the message sent from peers today, as well as the expert voices within the 100 health and care organisations, think tanks and charities who have consistently backed this amendment2, and for MPs to keep it within the Bill as it progresses through Parliament. If they ignore these calls, they will not only be failing staff and health and care services, but failing their constituents – who are the very patients relying on them.”

Surprise, Surprise! Care Home Pulls Out All The Stops To Celebrate Resident’s 101st Birthday Last year when Mary Gallagher moved into Orchard House Care Home in Wisbech from hospital she had just turned 100 years of age, not the ideal place to celebrate reaching such a milestone. When the dedicated team at the Nursing, Dementia and Residential home discovered how Mary had celebrated her birthday, that her family were unable to celebrate together and they’d had to settle for a very limited celebration, they knew they needed to put things right and plan a family celebration that reflected the momentous occasion of Mary reaching 101 years of age! The home’s Manager Sarah Watson brought the team together to ensure that Mary and her family celebrated in style, “We are, first and foremost a family at Orchard House Care Home, everybody wants to get involved when we arrange these types of events and there was no shortage of volunteers wanting to make Mary’s day special’. On the day of Mary’s Birthday her children and grandchildren all waited patiently in the specially decorated cinema room for Mary to arrive. Unaware that her family were all downstairs for the first time since her 99th birthday, Mary enjoyed getting ready for what she thought was a small birthday after-

noon tea! The team were hardly able to contain themselves as they kept the surprise from Mary and it wasn’t until Mary made her grand entrance that she realised her surprise. On entering the room and seeing all of her family gathered for the first time in two years, Mary was overwhelmed with emotions. Surprised and delighted to see everyone together, Mary couldn’t believe what she was seeing, "You did all of this for me? Thank you!" When it came to the party’s other surprise, the Birthday Cake, the home’s Chef Sophie, had decorated the hand-made cake with miniature Police officers, as a nod to Mary’s career in the police force, “It was well worth all of the time and attention to detail to see Mary’s face when the cake was presented to her”. Patricia Hatton Mary's daughter, summed up how the family felt and how grateful they were, "I can’t thank everyone enough for organising today and making Mum’s Birthday so special. She has landed on her feet here at Orchard House and we all couldn't be happier".


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Simultaneously Protecting Vulnerable Social Housing Residents and Their Homes Through Lot By Emma Mahy, CEO and co-founder of IoT Solutions Group (www.iotsg.co.uk) Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, adult social care services in the UK have consistently been disrupted by widespread staff shortages brought about by the rapid and ever-changing spread of the disease. An October 2021 report by Skills for Care – the nation's care workforce development agency – found that levels of staff sickness have almost doubled in the wake of the crisis. On average, 9.5 days were lost to illness in 2020/21, compared with 5.1 days pre-pandemic. This surge in staff absence has put tremendous pressure on the sector, which was already seriously understaffed and underfunded prior to COVID. Therefore, the health and wellbeing of many vulnerable people living in social housing may be negatively impacted. To make matters worse, a recent report published by the Housing Ombudsman titled: 'Spotlight on damp and mould – It's not lifestyle' highlights the poor conditions in thousands of social housing properties across the country, with damp and mould presenting a common problem for residents. The proliferation of damp and mould in social hosing poses potentially serious respiratory issues for those vulnerable residents whose care has been disrupted by the pandemic and could place even more strain on the already ailing adult social care sector. In their report, the Housing Ombudsman calls for social landlords to adopt a 'zero-tolerance' approach to tackling damp and mould and addresses the need for a change in culture from reactive to proactive to improve residents' experience. However, conducting regular, manual checks can be a time-consuming and costly process for landlords, which makes keeping on top of the issue all the more difficult.

Significant gaps in the provision of adult social care services, coupled with the potential health hazards associated with damp and mould in social housing, present considerable challenges for local authorities and extra care/social housing providers responsible for overseeing these areas. Luckily, recent breakthroughs in Internet of Things [IoT] technology means that both problems can be tackled simultaneously in a social housing property through the deployment of a single solution.

SUPPORTING ADULT SOCIAL CARE The term 'Internet of Things' encompasses a broad range of internet-connected devices that automatically gather information, analyse data, and create actions – e.g., voice-controlled TVs or apps for regulating fridge temperature. Developers of this technology are increasing their efforts to implement IoT-driven solutions to support adult social care sector challenges. For example, simple-to-use IoT battery-powered sensors are being installed in the homes of vulnerable residents. A single discreet device helps safeguard the residents' health and wellbeing by monitoring their day-to-day activity patterns without cameras or microphones. In response to any sudden changes in activity, the sensors send an alert message to carers, enabling appropriate action to be taken. Deployment results have shown that the technology is highly effective at minimising the risk of severe injury and even death. By unobtrusively monitoring a resident's daily activity, this low-cost technology not only helps to protect their health and safety but also alleviates financial and logistical pressure on care providers whose services are already stretched so thinly. Because the sensors reduce the need for in-person visits, carers can prioritise care provision more accurately depending on client needs, thereby freeing up vital resources for reallocation as required. What's more, a decrease in the number of physical visits made to a resident's home reduces the chance of a carer passing a COVID infection onto a resident, or vice versa, helping to mitigate further the pressure placed on health services, as well as the spread of the virus. On top of this, the introduction of IoT sensors provide residents with the opportunity to live more independent lives while safe in the knowledge that services are constantly on standby for as and when they might be needed.

MITIGATING THE RISK OF DAMP AND MOULD

The very same solution is not only capable of monitoring the activity of a vulnerable resident but also the environmental conditions in their social housing property that could be a sign of damp, which leads to the growth of mould. By placing an IoT-powered device in the room of concern for damp, the level of humidity present within can be constantly and automatically monitored. If humidity levels rise to concerning levels over a prolonged period, an alert can be sent to pre-defined individuals by email or SMS – similarly to how alerts are sent to carers in the event of a change in activity from the resident – so that appropriate action can be taken swiftly. The continuous data that IoT technology can provide in monitoring damp removes the need for time-consuming, costly and disruptive manual checks to be made periodically. Automated monitoring is also far more reliable than manual checks, given that these can only provide a snapshot view of humidity levels at the time that the reading is taken. Facilities managers are responsible for the health, safety and maintenance of their social housing properties, and a solution that identifies damp and mould risk helps streamline the monitoring process. The solution, therefore, increases effectiveness and impact without costly and time-consuming manual checks or resident reporting.

TWO CHALLENGES, ONE SOLUTION It is evident that a single IoT solution can offer significant benefits for assisted living support as well as damp and mould mitigation. Not only can it save local authorities and social housing providers a considerable amount of time and money, but it also ensures that the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents and the conditions within their homes are safeguarded. This single solution simultaneously alleviates pressure on adult social care services and also helps address the concerns highlighted by the Housing Ombudsman's report. Social landlords are assisted in fulfilling their responsibility for overseeing the health, safety and maintenance of properties whilst allowing vital care services to be freed up and reallocated as required While the adult social care and social housing crises are significant challenges indeed for councils, IoT technology plays a vital role in supporting public services and helping vulnerable residents live more safely and independently in their homes.

Quadruple Award Win for Care Professional James A NATIONAL Trainer at Accomplish Group took home an astonishing four awards recognising his positive impact in the care sector at a recent prestigious ceremony. James Punch was named as the winner in four categories at the Leicestershire Live Care Awards including Auxiliary Professional in Adult Social Care Award, Supporting Independence Award and the Special Recognition Award as well as the Overall Care Professional of the Year 2022. James is National Trainer at Accomplish and in his role he works to enhance the skills of colleagues who support the people who use our services. He is already a multi-award winner having won the Trainer of the Year category at the recent National Learning Disability and Autism Awards and is a previous winner in the Leicestershire Live

Care Awards where he was named Autism Support Professional of the Year in 2020. James has been working to support people with additional needs since he was 16 and joined Accomplish Group in 2017. Having previously worked as a Support Worker, James brings his practical and real-life skills and experience into his work training colleagues in his role as a National Trainer. Judges considering the awards said: “James Punch is a role model for many. He is dedicated to helping others, going above and beyond to provide support and care for all around him. Not only helping those he works with his remarkable knowledge and skills, James takes any spare moment he has to ensure service users have the best quality of life.

“Not only does help staff with vital training, but

James makes dreams come true. Passionate about creating a high quality of life for service users, he goes out of his way to find experiences which transform and enrich their lives. “James constantly makes sure that everyone gets the highest standard of care possible, putting in hard work any spare moment he has to find ways to improve their quality of life. James is devoted to making his service users’ dreams come true, and he is truly making a difference.” James said: “It was such an honour to have been simply nominated and shortlisted for these awards, but to have won in these categories just amazing. I’m incredibly proud to have been recognised in this way.”

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

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


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‘It’s Not a Job’ Campaign Launched In Lincolnshire To Attract More People To The Adult Social Care Profession Lincolnshire County Council are launching a new campaign, ‘It’s Not a Job’ from March 2022 to attract more people to the adult social care profession in Lincolnshire. The campaign, which is being developed by leading marketing and behaviour change agency based in Lincoln, Social Change UK, is taking place in consultation with a network of nine home care providers across the county. “Lincolnshire County Council recognise the value that home carers bring in helping our residents live as independently as possible for as long as possible and are proud to be working with Social Change UK to develop and expand the carer workforce in Lincolnshire and showcase the benefits it can bring for those choosing care as a career.” Cllr Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Public Health The initiative coincides with the Department of Health and Social Care’s national recruitment campaign, ‘Made With Care’, which aims to raise the profile of the adult social care sector as a rewarding and stimulating place to work. The Lincolnshire campaign complements the national efforts by anchoring the message in a sense of place – our beautiful, rural county – and highlighting the benefits to quality of life for carers in the profession. The key messages: ‘It’s not a job, it’s a life’ and ‘It’s not a job, it’s a calling’ draw attention to the benefits of job security, career progression and work-life balance present within adult social care that cannot always be found in other sectors. 38% of the public are estimated to be reconsidering their career goals in response to the pandemic, with a balanced life and greater flexibility featuring among the reasons for wanting to change jobs. An estimated 45% of people are reviewing what “fulfilment” looks like to them and one reason for 40% of the UK workforce wanting to change jobs is a desire for meaning. For many, a career in home care could be the answer. A career in adult social care allows people to make a difference to the lives of others whilst still having

time for themselves. Care work can be very flexible with work patterns to fit in with a breadth of lifestyles. Whether needing time to walk the dog in the morning or pick up children after school, flexible working patterns can enable a better work-life balance than the typical “nine to five”. Roles are also accessible to students studying higher education. The option of zero-hour contracts enables students to return home outside of term time and reduce their regular working hours to fit in with critical study periods. Students studying subjects such as Health or Social Care can enhance their employability in a way that other work typically undertaken by students, such as hospitality, simply cannot. Prior experience and qualifications are not essential. What is most important is kindness, patience and compassion. Care providers are looking for people with transferrable skills and a good work ethic. Adult social care is very accessible for people looking to return to the workplace after a career break or wishing to transfer from another sector. Carers gain skills, knowledge and qualifications that can see them progress right to the top of the ladder. Job security can be assured in the adult social care sector due to the abundance in job opportunities and roles. In addition to raising awareness and highlighting the benefits of the sector, the ‘It’s Not a Job’ campaign seeks to simplify the enquiry process for anyone seeking a job in social care. Lincolnshire County Council has a dedicated page on their website for people interested in a career in adult social care. A single enquiry form on the webpage streamlines the process by connecting jobseekers with the care providers most suited to their location and preferences. Upon completing the short form, one of the county’s homecare providers will be in touch to answer questions and help to find a suitable role. To find out more about starting a career in care, visit: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/jobs-careers/enquire-career-home-care

World Book Day: Literary Characters Come to Life at Veterans’ Care Homes Literary characters leapt to life as Royal Star & Garter celebrated World Book Day. The charity marked the day at each of its three Homes, in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe, on Thursday 3 March. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Reading and story-telling plays an important role in looking after residents’ wellbeing at Royal Star & Garter, with a library in each Home and activities, including Book Clubs, led by Wellness Coordinators. Research shows reading keeps the mind alert and reduces the symptoms of memory loss. It can also lead to new friendships and have an impact on social lives.

At the Surbiton Home, children from nearby St Matthew’s School’s Reception Class dressed up as their favourite book characters and sang songs with residents on a Zoom call. In High Wycombe, staff came to work dressed as characters from their favourite books, and residents in Solihull took part in a book quiz to celebrate the day. Pauline Shaw, Director of Care at Royal Star & Garter, said: “Whether it’s reducing stress, improving memory or allowing people to connect, the benefits reading brings to our mental wellbeing is well known, and is an important part of the holistic care we provide.”




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Broadcaster, Chef, Author, Translator – Signature At Wandsworth Common Celebrates Resident’s Extraordinary Career Signature at Wandsworth Common, a luxury care home in London, is celebrating the remarkable work of Sri Owen. With the world celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women as part of International Women’s Day today (Tuesday 8th March), Signature at Wandsworth Common Resident Sri Owen continues to excel in multiple spheres. From her early years living in what was the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, a career in food seemed on the cards from an early age for Sri as she took inspiration from her grandmother’s cooking. For 40 years, she then worked as a professional chef travelling the world teaching chefs on her main specialty, Indonesian cuisine. In what was a very much a male-dominated profession, Sri went on to be a prolific author of Indonesian cookery books, first putting pen to paper in 1976, writing The Home Book Of Indonesian Cookery and also appearing on the BBC with chefs such as Raymond Blanc. Her extraordinary career has even included a 20-year stint working as broadcaster, producer and translator for the BBC’s Indonesian Service. At 86 years of age, she continues to be a highly-respected voice on south-east Asian cuisines, penning a further 14 books in English over the years. Such is her continued appeal, two publishers have now asked Sri’s help to reissue two of her books into second editions.

Those at Signature at Wandsworth Common are now able to enjoy Sri’s expertise, where she has carried out cooking demonstrations and on special occasions served up delicious dishes for some of her fellow residents. Reflecting on her career Sri, who lived for many years in Wimbledon Village, spoke of her passion to help others and to contribute to life at the care home. She said: “I still like to cook and teach cooking. I am happy to give instructions and advice and examples about Indonesian and other Asian countries food and cooking to chefs of Signature Homes if I am asked to. “I always wanted to teach cooking at any establishment who would like to improve their cooking standard in cuisines that are not so familiar to every single chef.” Helen Harkin, Client Liaison Manager at Signature at Wandsworth Common, described Sri as a ‘master at work’. She said: “It’s an incredibly rare privilege to have an accomplished chef and food writer living with us. “To watch Sri cook is to watch a master at work. Residents gather to watch the cooking and then we all sit together to eat the dish. It is really important for us help support our residents to retain independence.” One of Sri’s classic books, The Rice Book, originally published by Doubleday in 1993, and won The Andre Simon Award of that year, is to be re-published as a second edition by Bloomsbury. This re-publication will be released on September 15, 2022.

Ashwood Care Team Celebrate Residents on International Women’s Day To mark International Women’s Day, the team at Ashwood care home have spent quality time with the wonderful women at Ashwood, looking at their life stories, their values and the important part they played, and continue to play, within their communities. The person-centred project resulted in lots of great stories from residents, which are now displayed in the home, to show off to residents, families and visitors, who can read all about and appreciate the wonderful lives and experiences of residents. By celebrating the important occasion at Ashwood, the team aim to recognise the importance of diversity, inclusivity and equality. Some brilliant ladies featured in the project, include Betty, Lilian and Brenda. Betty talked about her life when she was young, gardening with her mother and helping to grow their fruit and vegetables: “During the war I used to help my mum out with the gardening, growing fruit and vegetables. Anything in the garden was definitely made into something, we would use it all some way or another. So many things happened in our little town, things were gathered up and save and word soon got around about food. If our little shop had a delivery we would go knock on peoples doors and tell the others. It was a totally different era, different days and different ideas.” Betty still enjoys making food for others in her community. Just recently she made chocolate covered strawberries for fellow residents.

Resident Lilian enjoyed talking about her family: “My dad had a fruit stall, my sister was a dressmaker, my mum worked on the railway and my grandma lived next door. We had a horse and cart and we used to go down and get fruit and veg at Covent Garden. I was evacuated during the war but, grew up in Islington. When the war ended, there were parties out in the street and pianos out in the street. Everyone brought out what they could.” At Ashwood, Lily is either up and dancing or she is telling the team some of her most prominent memories and personal experiences during WW2. Brenda talked about her profession as a nurse: “I used to be a nurse you know, I loved my job so much. I also worked in a Hospice for children, I did home nursing, first aid and worked in mother care. I’m a people person, I like to keep busy.” Brenda loves to help, support and look after others and this seems to be a role that comes naturally to her within the Ashwood community. The wonderful project was a great way to learn a little more about the lovely ladies at the home, celebrating their successes, wonderful memories, and the meaningful lives that they have led. The team at Ashwood are always encouraging residents to chat and recognise the admirable achievements they have accumulated throughout their lives.

Welsh Care Home Supervisor Recognised At Prestigious Care Industry Awards Linda Hiles, ancillary supervisor at Lewis Martin Court near Cardiff, has been named as the winner of The Ancillary Worker Award in the Great British Care Awards for Wales. Linda was nominated for the outstanding work she has done since early 2020, in a service which supports young people with complex disabilities. Lewis Martin Court is operated by Ambito Care and Support, part of Salutem Care and Education. The nomination was submitted to the judging panel by Lewis Martin Court’s manager, Sarah Davies, who said: “Linda has been incredible and an absolute asset to Lewis Martin Court throughout the pandemic. I really don’t know what we would have done without her. Everyone needs a Linda!” The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout the UK and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. The awards pay tribute to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding work within their field.

Linda Hiles said: “It was a real honour just to be nominated for the Great British Care Awards, and then to win was absolutely incredible. I couldn’t do it without the support of my fantastic team. “The work we do supporting young people with complex needs is so valuable. During the pandemic it was sometimes very difficult, but it is incredibly rewarding, and I love doing it. “I’d like to say thank you to Sarah for nominating me for this award.” Linda will be invited to attend the national finals of the Great British Care Awards later in the month. John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, said: “On behalf of the whole Salutem family, I’d like to congratulate Linda for this extraordinary recognition. “She is clearly an inspiration to her colleagues and the individuals she supports. This award is well deserved, and I wish her the best of luck for the national finals.”


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Hugh Myddelton Care Home Celebrates International Women's Day “Residents at Hugh Myddelton House in Southgate marked International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th by spending the day celebrating the achievements of wonderful trail-blazing women throughout history. IWD takes place on March 8 every year to celebrate women’s rights and inspire people to fight for gender equality. A United Nations-sanctioned global holiday, IWD celebrates women’s contributions to society, raises awareness about the fight for gender parity and inspires support for organisations that support women globally. Residents took part in discussions about the role of the many different women who have shaped history from Cleopatra and Boudica to Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie right through to the Queen and Mrs Thatcher. They talked about the important women in their own lives and celebrated the achievements of their fellow residents. Ramona Stanciu, General Manager at Hugh Myddelton House said: “We’ve all had a really interesting day thinking about the very many amazing women who have had such an impact on our lives, whether that was an historic figure or people in our own family. It was good to share our experiences, take stock and reflect on how much society has

changed over the years. Also, I was very happy to offer flowers to all women at Hugh Myddelton, residents and team members.” Resident Dega commented: “It is amazing to think how much things have changed just in my lifetime, when I was younger there were so many things it was deemed inappropriate for women to do. It is wonderful that women have so many more opportunities these days and days like this are so important to make sure we keep going in the right direction.”

Care Home Marks International Women’s Day With Tribute To Centenarian Pair A Hampshire care home celebrated International Women’s Day by paying tribute to two residents who have both reached the age of 100 in recent months. Colten Care’s Court Lodge in Lymington honoured centenarians Ann Melrose and Dorothy Hodson, both veterans of the Women’s Land Army, by presenting flowers and certificates of appreciation to them at a special afternoon party. The occasion was an opportunity for both Ann and Dorothy to reflect on how their lives were shaped by wartime service in their teens and early 20s. Founded during World War One to support agricultural production, the Women’s Land Army was revived at the outbreak of the Second World War so that it could again organise women to replace workers called up to the military. Women who served in it were known as land girls. Ann said: “I was too young to join the regular army, so I joined the Land Army instead. I worked on farms in Kent. Sometimes land girls would live in a cottage near the farm, and sometimes we would live in at the farm.” After the war Ann went on to marry, raise a family and work in the hotel industry.

Recalling her time as a land girl, Dorothy said: “It was hard work, with long hours and little pay, but I enjoyed it.” As well as being in the Women’s Land Army, Dorothy worked in a wartime factory where Wellington bomber airplanes were made. She said: “It was my job to rivet the wing tips of the plane and I could only do it by crawling across the wing.” After the war Dorothy met her husband and raised her family while working. Andrea Rixon of the Court Lodge Companionship Team said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone at the home when I say it is an honour and a privilege to be caring for Ann and Dorothy. “They really are very special ladies. We thank them for their service all those years ago in helping to keep the nation fed and secure. Subsequent generations owe them an everlasting debt.”

Surrey Care Home Celebrates its Female Leaders this International Women’s Day

Banstead-based maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, care home Belvedere House is celebrating the female leaders within its team this International Women’s Day (8 March). The charity regularly celebrates International Women’s Day by highlighting the often-overlooked role women and the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens) have played in the UK armed forces over the years by sharing the inspiring stories of Wrens living at the Society’s home. This year the team is championing the hard work of the female leaders at The Royal Alfred that ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the Home, and who ensure all the residents are given the best possible care.

The team at The Royal Alfred come from a range of backgrounds with more than 89 members of staff to offer round-the-clock care, 63 of which, are women. The Home is proud to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace with a strong programme of staff training and wellbeing support. The Society practices an internal recruitment policy that ensures all staff, from every background, have the necessary qualifications, skills, training, and support to help them move ahead in their careers. This policy enables staff members to feel valued in their roles and ultimately ensures a continually high level of care for residents. Karen Goddard has been Business Manager at The Royal Alfred for ten years and manages the non-clinical functions in the Home. Karen also supports the CEO and Heads of Departments across administration, housekeeping, catering, estates, tenant welfare and accounting. Karen said: “The Royal Alfred has always been committed to furthering equality and diversity within the charity, with six women in senior roles across the organisation joining from all over the world. We have a hugely supportive senior team, and I am supported tremendously by my line manager, the CEO, and the Trustees. In the last year, we have really focussed on diversity, equality, and inclusion within the wider team of Belvedere House. Maria Jobson is the personal assistant to Chief Executive of the Society, Brain Boxall-Hunt. Maria has been a vital member of the team at The Royal Alfred for seven and a half years as the first point of contact for potential residents and their families. Working closely with the CEO and senior management team to provide the highest standard of confidential PA duties, administrative and project support to the CEO, Maria enables the smooth and effective running of the Society. Maria said: “I previously worked in the Civil Service for over ten years after serving as a Chief Clerk in the Army, which meant I was already familiar with military terms and phrases when I joined The Royal Alfred in 2014. I love my role at The Society, the whole team is extremely supportive from the CEO to the Trustees and all of my other colleagues; there are no barriers for any member of the team that wants to progress in their role with extensive training opportunities and support provided. There is rarely a dull moment here; each day always has a surprise or new challenge in store.”


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

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

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

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

vived. The coroner added: “I also heard evidence that care homes such as Newgrange, despite their residents having either limited or no independent mobility, do not fall under the national definition of ‘Higher Risk Buildings’. “I heard that if a building is classified in this way, it brings about greater consultation with fire authorities and building control regarding its design, management and construction and implications for the Responsible Person and how the Fire Risk Assessment is conducted.” the product cannot be installed. It is recommended by ASFP and BMTRADA that any installations of pink foam are removed and replaced with a true fire rated alternative. We are often asked “Can I do the work myself?” As stated by the HSE, competence can be described as the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Unless suitable training has been undertaken, it is unlikely that you or your maintenance staff would be able to demonstrate competence in fire stopping works. Fire stopping is a very specialised part of the building works. We hold third party accreditation with International Fire Consultants (IFC) and are regularly audited to ensure we employ appropriate trained & competent staff, processes & procedures and only use suitable materials. We are also proud to be members of Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). We are working hard to engage with the care industry to ensure you get the best advice and workmanship to ensure your buildings are safe for residence and staff as well as being compliant with current regulations. See the advert below for further details.



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Developing the PMLD Standards and Their Significance Michael Fullerton is Director of Health and Wellbeing at Achieve together, one of the UK’s leading providers of support for people with learning disabilities, autism, PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities), deafness, hearing loss and associated complex needs. Michael was part of the team that developed the PMLD Standards, offering benchmark standards of support to those with PMLD. Achieve together identified one of the challenges facing those with PMLD, which is that they are often under-represented and don’t have the opportunity to make their voices heard. For anyone to enjoy a healthy and meaningful life with good mental health, it is important to feel valued and included. In response, the PMLD Service Standards were developed to ensure across the UK there was clear benchmarked standards of support for children and adults with PMLD. The key aims of this initiative were to raise the profile of people with PMLD, giving them a greater voice and presence in society, and ensure their needs and wants were neither neglected nor taken for granted. The nurse’s team at Achieve together worked with a self-advocacy group (Campaign 4 Change), as well as the people Achieve together supports and their families to overcome health, mobility, and communication barriers. This was to ensure people with PMLD have a stronger voice and presence, both internally in the organisation and nationally. The Standards offer guidance for both organisations and individuals, outlining guidance on a range of topics including communication, physical environment and health and wellbeing. Supported by Sir Norman Lamb and NHS England, these Standards now provide an important framework for organisations to ensure a clear vision for their support of this population.

Once the Service Standards were drawn up, it was then important to look at how they would be implemented at Achieve together in order to facilitate change. A PMLD Forum was established internally, allowing teams to develop clear action plans linked to each of the elements outlined in the Standards. A PMLD Qualification was also developed for support teams to enhance understanding of the needs of people with PMLD and how to maximise quality of life for this group. Meanwhile, Achieve together worked directly with people with PMLD, their families, other health professionals, and Campaign 4 Change to support people with PMLD to join Campaign 4 Change and be an integral part of a self/peer advocacy group. The organisation also asked Learning Disability England for people with PMLD to be key speakers at the national 2020 LDE Conference. This helped to show that people with PMLD can successfully overcome challenges and barriers to have an active voice. Self/peer advocacy for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities takes a lot of time, creativity and skill to get the best out of people. The people involved need to be mindful that any plans to engage with people, particularly in person, need significant planning. Nonetheless, it is worth the time and energy, to ensure those people are ‘at the table’, they do have a voice and are visible and valued. In addition, this support ensures those people can feel they have a role to play in society and enjoy a range of experiences they ordinarily would not be exposed to. Documents such as the PMLD Service Standards provide a framework which organisations and individuals can work from to improve their role as advocates for those with PMLD. However, there is still a long road ahead to help wider society recognise the immense capabilities and potential of those with PMLD. Achieve together and Campaign 4 Change are facilitating a session this month called ‘Removing the Invisibility Cloak’, which is around ensuring people with PMLD are ‘visible’ in society. Ongoing work such as this is essential if we are to change outlooks towards those with PMLD, as is the need to regularly challenge our own perspectives in order to ensure we are consistently being the best advocates possible.

Fizz and Fun for Care Home 1st Anniversary Celebrations were in order at a Poole care home, marking its first year serving the community since opening doors in March 2021. Staff and residents at Upton Bay Care Home, Hamworthy, celebrated the occasion in style wish bottles of ‘Nosecco’, the alcohol free alternative to prosecco, ensuring even staff on shift could join the jubilations. “I was one of the first to move in last year,” Commented Barbara (pictured centre), long standing resident. “I’ve had a lot of fun and made some friends for life!” “Our first anniversary marks a whole year of exceptional care from our dedicated team, as well as building lasting relationships within the Hamworthy community,” said Mevin Sohorye, general manager at the home. “We extend a huge thank you to our residents, their families, and of course, our dedicated staff, who bring compassion, comfort and love to Upton Bay every day.” “We look forward to many more happy years, welcoming new residents through our doors each week, and making a positive difference to our local area.” Over the year, Upton Bay has an active presence within the Poole community, adopting a ‘think local’ approach to fundraising, for charities such as Caring Canines and the Turlin Moor food bank.

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

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

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

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


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Janice Finds Time To Jive After 30 Year Career In Care Janice King, Operations’ Director at Manorcourt Homecare – part of Healthcare Homes - began her career in the social care sector working in a care home 30 years ago. Recognising the growing demand at the time to provide care to people in their own homes, Janice embarked on setting up a homecare service and Manorcourt Homecare began in 1999. Norfolk-born Janice was originally a hairdresser with her own shop when her young son wanted to get involved in motocross – an expensive sport. She looked for some extra work to help fund the new hobby and started cleaning the kitchens at St Leonard’s Court Care Home in Mundford three evenings a week. She explained, “I loved the residents in the care home from day one and really looked forward to going to work - the people who owned the home could see that and asked if I wanted to try some care shifts. “There was no looking back for me. I was a bit naïve to start with but soon learnt what was involved. Care is hard work but so very rewarding.” Soon Janice gave up her hairdressing business for a full time career in care and it was obvious to her that a different type of care was needed – homecare. “At this point I was working in the care home full time but we then had one local lady who really needed extra care but would not come to live in the home so we agreed to put a plan together to go to her. “This was in the early 1990s, there was no such thing as a homecare service at that time. I used to go in to her in the morning and help her get up, then work in the care home all day before going back to help this lady get to bed.” Gradually more people wanted a carer to go out to their homes and the business grew, it was sold on and Janice went with it. Manorcourt Homecare was set up and the business concentrated on the homecare side of things. “Home carers need a vast amount of knowledge, it isn’t just about providing care even though that is an important part of the service, “ said Janice. “People really look forward to the time in the day when their carer

comes in – sometimes it is the only person they may be seeing in a day so we have to make that visit valuable and special for them, no matter how busy or pushed for time we may be.” Manorcourt Homecare’s objectives have always been to provide the highest standards of personalised care; where dignity is respected; independence is promoted; and where life is lived to its fullest potential. Janice was critical in the growth of the company, from its first few clients to an established homecare provider now with approximately 1800 clients. Janice has been instrumental in building Manorcourt Homecare’s reputation for delivering specialist care and support services from its 11 branch locations in East Anglia and Greater London. Janice progressed with the business, becoming a shareholder and eventually Operations Director. She has personally provided care for thousands of people over the years , in many cases building up lasting friendships. There has only ever been just one client who she did not feel able to continue visiting as a carer. “We just didn’t hit it off – it can happen and if it does a carer isn’t able to give their best quality care. I always let my carers know to say

something if a problem like that crops up, “ said Janice. “Homecare is about care and support – you have to be professional but you have to be able to be a friend to the client as well.” Janice, who is the youngest of six children, knows the importance of a family mealtime. It is often around key mealtimes when carers make their visits. “For lots of people mealtime is a big social part of the day – certainly at my house it was with six children, plus friends, there was always chatter and laughs around the table, “ she said. “I imagine for some people to go from that to sitting on your own in front of the TV must be hard. That is why it is so important that home carers make their visits count – we can become like family.” Janice has been a motivational leader and a role model within Healthcare Homes Group, sharing her expertise in all matters of homecare. She is passionate about providing person-centred care and support services to people in their own homes, ensuring every customer receives a first class service. Speaking before her retirement in February, Janice said she plans to give herself two to three months to decide exactly what she wants to do now. “Work has been my life and taken up most my time for the past 30 years – I have allowed it to, I was always on the end of the phone and loved what I was doing. But after the last couple of years with the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges to my own health I know I need to think about myself and my family.” Janice has two children and four grandchildren who she aims to spend more time with. She has recently taken up learning to jive and plans to spend a bit more time doing that. Her husband Peter, a welder and fabricator, won’t be joining her in retirement just yet. “I have 30 years’ worth of things to sort through in the last few weeks of my time in post and also plan to visit all the branches one final time and see as many staff as I can before I leave, “ added Janice. “We have a fantastic group of managers and amazing teams at Manorcourt Homecare – I know am leaving the business in good hands.”

The Grange Residents Delighted to Attend St Catherine’s Church Hall Coffee Morning Residents at The Grange, in Wickford, were happy to receive an invite to their

lish previous events and activities with the Church, like their monthly church serv-

local church’s monthly coffee morning.

ice. New opportunities have also arisen, with the church inviting The Grange’s One

The team and residents wrapped up warm and walked the short distance to St

Voice Choir to come and sing there soon. One Voice Choir is an inclusive group of

Catherine’s Church Hall, where they were greeted by all the lovely ladies in atten-

residents who love to sing. They have performed many shows in the community

dance. The residents enjoyed tea, coffee and a variety of tasty cakes, all in the

and are now discussing possible dates to perform at the Church for the communi-

company of friends, both old and new. The morning was a great opportunity for

ty.

residents to have a lovely chat in a new, comfortable and relaxing space.

The residents had nothing but praise for the coffee morning, stating how much

Residents enjoyed introducing themselves to the members there and were inter-

they enjoyed the delicious cakes and are looking forward to coming again.

ested to learn of all the other events that are taking place at the church hall soon,

Following such positive feedback, it is needless to say that this will become a reg-

like the Church Fair, just one of the events everyone at the home is eager to

ular activity for the home. It really was a great morning for both the staff team and residents, and opened

attend. The coffee morning was a great success, not only did residents enjoy delicious

up lots of opportunity for future events and activities, which will build upon their

refreshments and meaningful conversations, but the home was able to re-estab-

connections with the church and its wonderful members.

TLC Care and Support Welcomes New Managing Director TLC Care and Support, a residential care and supported living service which is part of Envivo Group, has announced the appointment of Lee Houghton, its new Managing Director. Lee will lead TLC’s personal and enablement care support offer for 130 people over 16 with a range of social care needs in Essex, East Hertfordshire and Suffolk – including those with a learning disability, those on the autistic spectrum and associated complex challenging needs and/or a mental health diagnosis. Lee is equipped with a firm balance of clinical credibility and track record of excellence in leadership as a registered Occupational Therapist with extensive senior management and board level experience within the NHS, Social Services and independent sectors across hospitals, care homes, community services and supported living settings. She has also acted as an Advisor for the College of Occupational Therapists’ Consultancy Service, as a Specialist Advisor for the CQC, and as Independent Chair for Kent Council’s panel for serious reviews of safeguarding incidents. Her award-winning credentials include her being recognised as a Gold winner of Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust STAR Award for Leadership. She

has also received recognition after redesigning a mental health day hospital service to create a Wellbeing Centre. Commenting on her appointment as TLC’s new Managing Director, Lee Houghton said: “I am delighted to be joining the TLC team as they work to ensure that young people and adults over 16 can achieve their goals and live safely and independently in the way that works best for them. “It has been a complex and challenging two years for the social care sector, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to working with colleagues to build on our track record of delivering high quality, person-centred support and exploring innovative models of care.” Lee replaces Martin Lyne after he stepped down as TLC’s Managing Director. Tim Davies, chief executive of Envivo Group, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Lee to TLC and believe appointing somebody of her calibre will help to ensure our services are set up in the strongest possible way to make a real difference to the lives of the people we support.”

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

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 iddirect.com, ASDA pharmacy and local pharmacies priced at £8.99 Ontex iD can be purchased from www.id-direct.com


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 29

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

Wall & Door Protection for a Caring Environment For 55 years Yeoman Shield wall & door protection systems from Harrison Thompson & Co. Ltd. have been delivering healthcare providers with a solution to costly and unsightly impact damage to interior walls & doors. This proactive approach to impact damage can show a year on year saving on maintenance time and budgets. Offering a comprehensive range which includes, protection panels, protection rails, handrails and fire rated door protection systems, offered in over 48 colours, gives customers a wide choice to realise functional and aesthetic requirements. The ability to incorporate colours, signage and images, into Yeoman Shield’s core products can be beneficial to mental health environments be that creating a calming atmosphere or a practical

assistance in wayfinding. The Guardian Handrail can also be supplied in an anti-ligature option safeguarding service users. Fire doors are never more important than in a residential setting catering for those more vulnerable. Yeoman Shield offer a full fire rated door protection system that when installed can prevent compromising impact damage and by doing so extends the functioning lifecycle of fire doors. To complement these products is the company’s newly launched Fire Door Services giving reassurance to the building’s responsible person by offering fire door assessments, remedial and door replacement works all carried out under FIRAS & FDIS accreditation. More information on Yeoman Shield’s range of product and services can be found at www.yeomanshield.com

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

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

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

WHY USE HEADSETS?

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

KEEP ON MOVING!

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

WHAT THE CARE HOMES SAY...

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

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

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

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

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

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


PAGE 30 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

CATERING FOR CARE

Lakeland Dairies Foodservice Launch ‘Fortification Focus’ Resources for N&H Week As sponsors of this year’s N&H Week, Lakeland Dairies Foodservice have applied their dairy expertise to publish a series of exciting fortification resources for caterers. The dedicated fortification toolkit includes an animation, case study, milk powder guide and fortified protein recipe book and video resources which are available to download free from Lakeland Dairies Foodservice website. The resources are aimed at supporting caterers to understand the nutritional difference between milk powders and the effect this has on resident or patient wellbeing when fortifying. Jean Cattanach, marketing controller Lakeland Dairies Foodservice comments: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of driving better understanding, and better nutrition in fortified diets during N&H Week and beyond. Our fortified resources offer an easy to use, practical solution for caterers who are delivering fortified menus in this challenging area of hydration and nutrition.” Fortifying is a complex area of nutrition. Lakeland Dairies have combined their expertise with insight from experts in fortified diets to deliver the innovative resources for healthcare and care caterers. Their ground-breaking, Lakeland Dairies’ Guide to Choosing Milk Powders highlights the importance of understanding the variations in milk powders nutritional values, and the significant difference these variations can make to the wellbeing of residents and patients. Other resources in the series include a case study, which is supported by an engaging animation. Based upon work by Dave Richards, group catering manager at Hill Care and consultant dietitian Rachael Masters, the case study demonstrates how easy it can be for caterers to deliver fortified hot drinks in a tasty and nutritionally effective manner. The case study provides a simple three-step guide to fortify hot drinks with a food first approach, assisting care caterers to discover

how fortifying liquid milk is a simple and efficient method to support those with, or at risk of undernutrition. By adding just five heaped tablespoons of Lakeland Dairies 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder to a pint of milk, care caterers can provide an extra 275 calories and 27.5g of protein in 5tbsp. That is more protein than 100g of steak, or three eggs would provide. Dave Richards comments: “Using Lakeland Dairies 100% Skimmed Milk Powder on our hot drinks trolley in the fortified milk and fortified milkshakes has made a fantastic difference. It enables us to easily and simply achieve our goal to add both calories and protein into the diets of our residents. Especially in residents whose appetite and portion sizes are small; the provision of fortified milk and fortified dishes are essential for improving their overall wellbeing, especially tissue viability and skin integrity” All the fortification resources highlight how fortifying diets is about more than just adding calories, underscoring how important it is to fortify with protein as well as calories to support good muscle health. They expertly explain how protein is essential for muscle maintenance, essential for general wellbeing, and for the body to grow and repair. Consultant dietitian Rachael Masters who worked with Lakeland Dairies on the resources comments: “Fortifying can make a significant and positive impact for those identified as at risk of undernutrition. As a dietitian I recommend Lakeland Dairies 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder for fortification because it is an amazing source of both calories AND protein, providing an amazing 5.5g protein and 55kcal per 15g tablespoon” To download the Lakeland Dairies fortified resources for N&H Week please visit: https://bit.ly/3HOrXDU

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

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

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



PAGE 32 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

Infection Control and Prevention Professor Martin Green OBE is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional and the Chief Executive of Care England. 2022 has started with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 variant Omicron. This variant is much more transmissible than previous variants of the virus, and this reinforces the need for every care service to focus on infection control. The winter months are always difficult for care providers because in

normal years we face issues such as seasonal flu and Norovirus, and there is limited scope for people to be outdoors, or for care homes to open windows and increase ventilation. If infections do break out in care settings, because of the nature of residents – the majority of whom have comorbidities and are older and frail – the consequences of infections can be very serious. When infections break out this also leads to the suspension of admissions and it may also trigger a visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). If the care provider cannot assure the CQC inspectors that they have done all they can to minimise the risk of infection, this may also result in a change to the rating of the service. It is because of all the reasons that I’ve outlined that care providers place infection control as a very high priority and do all they can to protect their services from virus outbreaks. What is good to know is that there are many products that care homes can use to make absolutely sure that the risk of viruses getting into care homes is kept to an absolute minimum. Good infection control not only protects residents and staff, but is also an important part of ensuring that relatives and friends have confidence that the people they love are being kept safe.

Infection control is an essential part of delivering good quality care, but it also can be very labour-intensive and care providers look for products that people know are effective, and which are very easy to use. It is also very important to create a homely, rather than a sterile atmosphere, and using products that residents and their families are familiar with also helps to give confidence that the service is safe and free from infection. Products that are familiar also help when you are trying to create a homely atmosphere for residents who may be living with dementia. Product packaging and smells are very important in delivering a sense of well-being and security to residents in care services and this is even more pertinent considering visiting hours are still precarious. Procter and Gamble are a real market leader in this area, and they have a range of products that will not only give the assurance that infection control is covered and are also easy to administer but are also known to residents, staff, and families. Brands such as Fairy Professional and Flash Professional are trusted to provide a highly effective clean time and again, from first use. Likewise, laundry services are very important and trust brands such as Ariel Professional don’t just provide spotless clothes but feature scents familiar to residents and families. In fact, Flash Professional Multi-Surface cleaner offers disinfection and fast contact time to kill 99.99% of bacteria and viruses in as little as 15 seconds, and can be used on a variety of surfaces, such as tables, counters, chairs, door knobs, drawer or cupboard handles, and windows. Infection control is a very important part of delivering good quality care and maintaining the safety of residents. Despite the many viruses that try to attack care homes, there is a range of products to help care homes protect their residents and staff and ensure that services are delivered in safe environments . However, with spring on the way and the worst of cold and flu season behind us, residents and families can look forward to quality time together, safe in the knowledge that their care establishments are taking steps to implement efficient and effective training in which their staff are well trained.

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

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

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

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

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

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




THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 35

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PAGE 36 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

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

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

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

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 37

NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

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

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

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

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

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

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


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NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 39

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

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

Benefits include:

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

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

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

Features include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

INCLUDES A 12 MONTH GUARANTEE

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


PAGE 40 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

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

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

Bizimply Helps Care Homes to Spend More Time Caring for Residents

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

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



PAGE 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

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

BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE

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

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

REAL-TIME VISIBILITY AND INSIGHTS

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

TRUE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH OPEN API

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

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

USABILITY MADE AFFORDABLE

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91 | PAGE 43

INSURANCE FOR CARE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

01480 272727

Impartial advice from experienced advisers

Exceptional service from a dedicated account executive

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

Market-leading products from A rated insurers

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

Support with claims

Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR

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

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


PAGE 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 91

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

Why JJ?

• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 809756 www.jjcarerecruitment.co.uk admin@jjrecruitment.co.uk

Aston Brooke Solicitors

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

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

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

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

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

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