The Carer Digital - Issue #92

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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 92

Campaigners Call for New Legal Right to Maintain Contact in Care Settings

A coalition of organisations is calling for a new legal right to be introduced, to ensure people can maintain contact with their family across health and care settings. A broad spectrum of organisations has joined voices for this ‘never again’ moment, in response to the severe, detrimental impact isolation from family and friends has caused. The joint call for a new right was sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care ahead of a parliamentary discussion earlier this month, and is sup-

ported by over 30 organisations, including Mind, Mencap, Healthwatch England and Disability Rights UK. The new right would give anyone who needs care and support access to a friend or relative who can support them across the health and care system, such as in hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries.

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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 Our front page story reminds me of a quote by Thomas Edison; “A good intention with a bad approach often leads to a poor result”. This is only my opinion, and I am of course as always open to correction, that the government’s stance at the beginning of the Covid pandemic where it locked down care homes was made the very best of intentions, but the implementation has led to a lot of heartache. Families with relatives in care homes were separated during the pandemic, as we all know, to protect lives, protect the NHS and reduce the spread of the virus. However, the unforeseen and unintended consequence resulted in significant harm, with families and residents disproportionately affected. The argument regarding the government releasing Covid patients from primary care into care homes to free up NHS beds will be left for another day, but at the time the government, not only here but globally, restricted visits to care homes in response to COVID-19 outbreak, initiating a national ‘ lockdown’ on 23rd March 2020. In Scotland, some care homes closed their doors as early as the 11th of March. Visiting has never been previously restricted for so long or affected so many families, almost all of whom were at a very vulnerable stage in life. In a survey, families expressed loss and grief at being separated; fears about the decline of their relative’s mental and physical health as a result of separation (especially for those with dementia or degenerative conditions); fear that they would never get back the lost or remaining ‘good days.’ They expressed fears that ‘time was running out’ for them to be together, and also expressed concern that the needs of their relative would go unmet without them being there to pick up on or voice any concerns. The study also revealed that most policy makers in the sector only had a superficial understanding of the impact of restrictions, which I suspect is true. And herein lies the problem. The sector was never consulted about restrictions, the impact on residents families and staff’s health and well-being. The policy was introduced rather in a very Draconian way, and care providers found themselves in the frontline. We received reports of families becoming frustrated with staff, families increasingly ‘pushing boundaries’, challenging the wearing of PPE, avoiding touch or rules around gift giving; whilst some relatives felt as though they were being constantly under surveillance during time-restricted garden visits, and we reported concerns with some residents on the ground floor able to have window visits, while others

Editor

Peter Adams

on different floors could not. In all, whilst made with the good intentions it was very much a dog’s dinner and placed a very unfair burden on care providers and staff, leading to accusations of “inconsistency”. Which given that the government only issued guidance and not mandatory instruction was probably the case. There are now calls for the government to place visiting guidance on statutory footing, which would give anyone who needs care and support access to a friend or relative who can support them across the health and care system. Personally, I don’t see this as too much of an issue, now that we have testing procedures in place something we did not have during the restrictions. It is possible now to test people when they visit a care home, and yes, I do understand that there is controversy at the moment surrounding who is going to foot the bill. As reported last month on April 1 free testing finishes and families visiting loved ones in care settings will have to pay. I did say that the government should consider concessions and nominating a friend or relative to support residents and should, in my mind, give that concession. Tests can be done prior to or in a care environment in a separate room with results in less than 15 minutes. So, I think this campaign is one government should acknowledge and implement as quickly as possible. Registered for Care Home Open Week yet? (If not why not)? See page 13. Care Home Open Week is coming up June 27-July 3. Care home open week is championed by a volunteer-led group of leaders from across the social care sector, with a vision to ensure a wider and deeper public understanding, appreciation and respect for social care. It provides care homes with the opportunity to show what they have to offer, their fantastic facilities, activities and services, reminding their neighbours that they are there if they need support. It also provides the perfect opportunity to show fantastic career opportunities that are available in the sector, which encourages the community to support and build connections with their local service, so please do get involved! As regular readers know we aim to deliver sector news, views, industry observer comments and thought led articles direct to the sector but we are also focused on delivering positive stories and initiatives about the sector, providers and care environments, and of course staff. Once again it has been a bit of a bumper week this week for awards, anniversaries, birthdays and special events so thank you once again for sending them in, it is a pleasure to reproduce them, and please do keep them coming to editor@thecareruk.com And do watch out for our new Unsung Hero award coming in the next few days!

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Campaigners Call for New Legal Right to Maintain Contact in Care Settings (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) It would include a duty on health and care providers to enable contact, which would be monitored and enforced by the regulator, and contact would only be restricted on an individual basis if there was an immediate risk of harm from the care supporter, such as being infectious or a safeguarding risk. People who have been affected by separation during the pandemic travelled to Westminster to talk to MPs about their personal experiences and why this new right is needed to prevent further harm. Bereaved families told MPs how all vulnerable people need a legal right to have a care supporter, a relative or friend to help them wherever needed, in hospitals, care homes or GP surgeries, which would would mean families having the final say on access rather than care homes and providers. Parliamentarians have already expressed their support for a new right, including Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Daisy Cooper, and Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts. The cross-party event is being co-chaired by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch and Labour MP Dan Carden.

NEED FOR LEGISLATION Actress Ruthie Henshall attended this event. Ruthie, the ambassador of campaign group Rights for Residents, has fervently campaigned for new legislation, termed “Gloria’s law” – in memory of her late mum, who passed away after experiencing months of isolation and separation from her family. Ruthie said: “The only way to wrestle back power is to legislate. It should not take hundreds and thousands of families to shout, consistently and loudly to those in power, that we need to do the right thing and not leave people in care on their own. The anger, hurt and betrayal we have experienced will not be forgotten.” Former teacher Gloria, who battled Parkinson’s and dementia died in care. Gloria was a resident in a care home Home in Ipswich, Suffolk, for three years. Her symptoms deteriorated during lockdown and Ruthie was only able to see her through a window until she fought for the right to be allowed in. Tracey Crouch MP, who co-chaired the event in Parliament, said: “Over the past two years we’ve seen the devastating impact of people being isolated in health and care settings. We must recognise in law the crucial role family carers play in the lives of people in vulnerable situations. Access to a ‘care supporter’ should become a routine, key ingredient for good care, which one day any of us could need.”

LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER In a letter to the Prime Minister Labour MP Harriet Harman chair of the cross party Joint Committee on Human Rights, said: “Individual care homes are able to decide which rules to follow, because compliance with the guidance is not mandatory. Indeed, we have seen reports that care homes are applying restrictions inconsistently.

“Ruthie Henshall, ambassador for Rights for Residents, recently told this committee ‘Because the guidance is not law, it has become interpreted by each care home, and it is a postcode lottery as to where you live and whether you get even a half-hour visit every two or three weeks.’ “The imposition of restrictions risks potentially breaching the rights of patients, residents, and their family members, including their right to family life and their right to liberty and security. This committee has repeatedly called on the Government to ensure compliance with the visiting guidance by placing it on a statutory footing. Meaningful visits must be facilitated whenever possible, in all care settings. “We would be grateful if you could set out how the Government is monitoring compliance with its visiting guidance and whether you will now reconsider placing the visiting guidance on a statutory footing.” Ms Harman has given the Prime Minister until March 31 to respond.

SUPPORT OF LOVED ONES “ESSENTIAL” Jenny Morrison, co-founder of Rights for Residents, said: “Having the support of a loved one is an essential component of care that should not be viewed as an optional extra. For two years, we’ve witnessed a huge deterioration in the mental health and wellbeing of those denied access to a ‘care supporter’. The Government must acknowledge that many vulnerable people have simply given up the will to live during the pandemic, as a result of prolonged periods of isolation and separation. We must guarantee people the right to have at least one family member or friend that is designated as part of their care team, and is crucial to their mental health and wellbeing”. Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “People who need care must never again be isolated from those most important in their lives. Relatives and friends are much more than just ‘visitors’, they are a lifeline and shouldn’t face a battle to be recognised as a vital part of the care team. A new right to a ‘care supporter’ is urgently needed to end the terrible harm caused by isolation now and for years to come.” Julia Jones, co-founder of John’s Campaign, said: “It’s time to clarify the mess of different guidance documents and voluntary arrangements that have failed to ensure that people living with frailty or disability are enabled to maintain their essential relationships. Potentially this matters to us all. None of us know when our time of need might come — a stroke, perhaps or a head injury transforming any of us overnight from an independently functioning adult to someone who will need that extra help for resilience and personal survival.”


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Why Policies, Procedures And Best Practice Learning Matter In Supported Living Services By Barry Price, QCS Specialist Contributor (www.qcs.co.uk) To mark World Social Work Day, I want to devote this week’s column exclusively to supported living. It is a sector that is so often forgotten about when we talk about social care, and it is also one that that continues to be grossly misunderstood. Many people – both inside and outside of the social care sector – confuse supported living with residential care. They are not the same. The key difference is that people living in a care home receive both their accommodation and care in one single package. Supported living services, however, are different. Individual are tenants and are given much greater autonomy and independence to live their life in the way they want, while at the same time being able to benefit from a dedicated support bubble, which includes support workers and friends and family too.

HMO IS NOT SUPPORTED LIVING There has also been some confusion surrounding supported living services and services provided by Houses in Multiple Occupation landlords (HMO). The two are related but are very different in what they deliver. Often, however, the media place HMO under the same banner as supported living services. With there being very little regulation attached to HMO compared to supported living services, the sector has come under the media spotlight recently. But I don't want to use this slot to focus on the weaknesses and flaws in HMO that have been exposed by the media. For me, as serious as they are, they don't define the supported living sector. What those reports do, however, is unfairly tarnish Supported Living services. By not highlighting the fantastic person-centred support exhibited by support workers every single day, these media reports give the general public a distorted and false picture of the sector.

SUPPORTED LIVING SERVICES EMBRACE REGULATION AND BEST PRACTICE The Supported Living sector that I know - and the one that the majority of health and social care professionals know - is very different. Not only are services steeped in regulation and best practice – often meeting the high standards set out by the CQC, and the Real Tenancy Test and REACH standards (if supporting individuals with a learning disability or Autism), the sector is transformative. It is empowering and it changes lives for the better. It is a sector full of possibilities - where individuals are empowered to live the life they choose, with like-minded people, in a setting appropriate to their needs, further strengthened by a circle of support.

Take the experience of 29-year old Bryn, for example, a newly qualified social worker in Supported Living services at Portsmouth City Council. To celebrate World Social Work Day, in just a few sentences he captured the very essence of what it means to work in supported living services. “One experience will always stay with me,” he wrote. “I supported a young person to get involved in a music studio, as they love rap music and write their own lyrics, I supported the young person to attend the sessions and it was amazing to see them feel inspired and engaged in something they love. I love these type of moments – they really stand out for me and reaffirm why I chose this job.”

should enjoy. For example, placing a 50-year old man, presenting with substance misuse issues, with three young men, who are autistic, would not be a good idea. So, supported living services have the added challenge of ensuring that the living environment is not only safe and secure, but that a collective harmony prevails in the home for all who live and work there. It is absolutely vital that providers and support workers pay close attention to compatibility, because unlike you and me, those in supported living services cannot suddenly decide to move out of their accommodation if they are not happy with other tenants/service users.

SUPPORTED LIVING SERVICES’ UMBRELLA IS WIDE AND INCLUSIVE

Person-centred plans should also demonstrate that a Supported Living service understands the difference between what it means to care for a person and what it means to support them with outcome and independence-focused goals. Many in the sector are so fixated in ensuring that those accessing services live independently in the community that they forget that people still have identified support needs. In my opinion, as a sector, we really shouldn't be afraid of highlighting those needs. They don’t present a barrier to independent living and they never should. Supporting someone to pay a bill for the first time with money they have withdrawn from the bank, for example, is not only the right thing to do, it also makes the role of a supported living worker rewarding in itself. At the opposite extreme, there is sometimes a danger that the culture in a supported living service becomes too paternalistic. By this I mean, some workers forget the residents they support live largely independent lives and begin to make decisions on their behalf, or influence their decision-making. Professional staff may think that intervening has saved an individual from avoiding a potentially bad situation, but Under Principle three of the Mental Capacity Act, everyone has the right to make unwise decisions. In not giving those they support the autonomy or authority to make such a decision, the supported living service worker is actually depriving the person of a chance to learn from an experience or an activity that we take for granted as part of our own lifestyles. We have all made unwise decisions, but most of the time, we go on to learn from our mistakes. Why shouldn’t those residing in supported living services be given the same opportunity? Letting go and allowing a person to take risks and learn from their mistakes is as fundamental a part of the supported living service experience as is mentoring a person to find their niche in life. On the week in which we mark World Social Work Day, not only should we celebrate the unheralded achievements of supported living service workers, and those who live and thrive as fully-fledged members of a community support, but also the best practice learning, which, when used correctly, provides a gateway to independence and better outcomes. For a free trial at QCS, please visit www.qcs.co.uk/thecarer-free-trial

The real privilege, however, is to be given a unique opportunity to support people of different ages with diverse and sometimes highly complex needs. The umbrella of supported living services provides hundreds of thousands of people, in the government’s words, with “a safe, stable and supportive place to live”. But ensuring this is the case is easier said than done. It requires teams to embrace a person-centred culture of best practice learning, which ultimately reflects in the support plans they produce. Quality Compliance Systems, (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, and the organisation that I work for, has developed a suite of policies for the supported living sector. In addition to creating its own content, QCS has also gathered together Accessible information tools such as ‘Recite Me’. This enables support staff to convert all of the QCS resources into accessible formats for those with communication needs including a range of language options. QCS, however, recognises the vast challenges that those working in this highly nuanced sector continue to face and the level of support and care that individuals need to fully embrace independent living. Over the course of the last year, QCS has added to its supported living service policy suite and will be launching a newly improved product at the end of the month. Watch this space.

CARE AND SUPPORT PLANS QCS also provides care and support plans, which are at the heart of everything a supported living team does. They should identify each person’s individual support needs, likes, dislikes and preferences. The plans should reflect the life they choose to live and want by building a robust circle of support around them that aims to help them achieve life goals and aspirations. That requires an exceptionally detailed plan that is deeply-rooted in compatibility. What do I mean by this? Well, when writing a support plan or any risk plan, support workers in supported living need to not just focus on an individual’s needs but also factor in how they are likely to fit in with the rest of the group. A support plan must also help them plot a path to seamless integration into the community.

THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE Supporting individuals to choose where, and who they live with, is another inalienable right that anybody accessing supported living services

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘CARE’ AND ‘SUPPORT’


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Call to the Chancellor- SoS – Save Our System Care England, has today (March 16) made representations to the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Budget on 23 March. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “We are at a pivotal point in determining the future sustainability of the adult social care sector. Concerningly, the Government’s plan for adult social care reform is largely unfunded. The funds that have been allocated to the sector represent a mere drop in the ocean in terms of what is required to aid the Government’s ambitions of tackling long-term issues such as fair funding, workforce pay, long term investment and innovation. The reforms are ultimately aimed at improving and maintaining the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable members of society. This can only be achieved through ensuring independent sector provider sustainability.” On 7 September 2021, the Government set out its new plan for adult social care reform in England, Build Back Better. This includes a lifetime cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care, alongside a more generous means-test for local authority financial support. These proposals are funded by the new Health and Care Levy, of which £5.4bn is being invested into adult social care over the next three years. Care England has made clear that the £5.4bn will not be enough to achieve the ambitions set out by the Government. Whilst the NHS will see the tangible benefits resulting from the Levy from the £36bn due to be

raised over the next three years, adult social care will only receive £5.4bn. Of the £5.4bn, £1.7bn is provisioned for Wider System Reform, leaving £3.6bn confirmed at the Spending Review 2021 to implement Charging Reform. Of the £3.6bn, to ensure that local authorities are able to move towards paying a fair cost of care, the Government is provisioning only £162m which will be allocated in 2022 to 2023 to support local authorities as they prepare their markets for reform, of which up to 25% can be retained by local authorities to cover operational costs. A further £600m will be made available in both 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025. Care England holds that the current funding envelope is grossly insufficient to enable the successful implementation of Section 18(3) of the Care Act and will see care homes and home care providers unable to sustain their businesses without additional funding. Martin Green continues: “Care England remains committed to helping the Government establish a long-term and sustainable future that will be to the benefit of all citizens and the economy. We would urge the Treasury to take account of these immediate concerns given the pressing nature of the reform implementation. These reforms will define the sector’s future. It is vital to ensure that these significant sums actually get to the front line where care is provided and are not simply absorbed by the wider NHS and adult social care system.”

Resident Couple at Care Home Celebrate Platinum Wedding Anniversary A couple living at a Wolverhampton based care home celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Jack and Rita Nicholls were treated to a special party to mark the occasion at MHA Waterside House, with their daughter also named Rita coming in to see them. Both have been living at the home, which provides a safe and caring environment for up to 60 people living with dementia, since September 2020 They got married in 1952 after starting their relationship as pen pals whilst Jack was working in the National Service. Rita worked with Jack's sister and they would both get together when he was back home. Rita, 90, said: “It was really nice to celebrate our wedding anniversary with

our daughter Rita at the home. “Lots of fun was had on the day, Rita bought some cakes and drinks and everyone raised a glass for us. “The secret to a long and happy marriage is give and take, and everything will be okay.” Michelle Jones, activity coordinator said: “We would like to congratulate Jack and his lovely wife Rita on their 70th wedding anniversary from all at MHA Waterside House. “Jack and Rita shared wonderful stories of their beautiful wedding day at St Patrick’s RC Church in 1952. “They received their special card from our Queen, congratulating them on their Platinum wedding anniversary.”


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Training the Next Generation is Essential to the Future of Care

By Caroline Brady M.D., Clifton Homecare Limited (www.cliftonhcl.co.uk)

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the importance of the oftenoverlooked care sector and the skilled workforce that keeps it going. However, when the media covered stories about social care, everybody assumed that this meant residential care homes only and the lack of understanding for what domiciliary care was, became only more apparent. This is a long-term issue and one that needs to be tackled for the future of our sector. Many people in the wider community do not seem to know the differences between residential and domiciliary care, but this is a matter of awareness and education, and one that needs to be addressed with the move for more home care options to be available across the UK as a first resort in the future. As such, it is something which we within the sector have the power to help rectify, and an issue that Clifton Homecare has been addressing by engaging with the local community and investing time in training. Clifton Homecare is tapping into the Department of Education’s Skills for Life campaign, and hosting industry placements for eight T Level students from local colleges and high schools between 2021-22. Through this, students are experiencing what it means to work in the home care side of social care and how this differs from residential care settings. It is assumed by the majority of the public that our day-to-day jobs are entirely made up of tending to personal care needs, when actually there is so much more to the sector than this. For example, all senior team members complete training on the NEWS2 system which is a vital part of our role now, helping us to provide critical information to the NHS by carrying out skilled clinical observations of our clients to ensure their health needs are monitored and met. Throughout the social care sector, in all its forms, we are dealing with a complexity of needs in a changing world - from the events of the last two years to changes in technology and healthcare. Our sector covers a vast range of caring roles, having adapted from the traditional home help care over the last decade - everything from end-of-life care, and multifaceted illnesses like motor neuron disease, Huntington's and the

increase in dementia, to care for those with special needs and learning disabilities. Engaging in training and employment schemes such as T Levels and apprenticeships is essential as it provides an opportunity for people to experience the social care sector and find that there is a wonderful career to be had in the field. This is a key message that those within the industry need to communicate, to change the image of what social care means. We want to inspire the whole care sector, and beyond, to realise the potential for success through skills investment and encourage businesses to join the skills revolution that is happening right now. T Levels are fairly new and offer an alternative path for young people to enter the workplace while gaining a technical education, as well as acting as a steppingstone to apprenticeships which are fundamental to our business success and key technical education programmes to enhance businesses in all sectors, not just ours. As an SME business, the continued development and upskilling of staff is essential to maintaining an agile workforce. Clifton currently has nine employees working their way through apprenticeships at varying levels, seven of whom are older workers progressing their careers with us with higher level apprenticeships. Supporting and encouraging staff learning is essential in keeping the care we provide at the highest quality, as it allows new ideas, developments within the sector and best practice to be incorporated into our business, ensuring our clients receive the best possible care. The future of our workforce lies in this approach – in education, awareness and investing time in training. One of the greatest advantages of offering industry placements, is the recruitment pipeline which they enable, whilst allowing us to get to know students and nurture talent on-the-job, as they learn from the ground up. For Clifton Homecare we’ve certainly seen the benefits of investing the time in working with T Level students, especially when they find a real passion for the work and people. Staff recruitment, retention and overall morale have improved as our experienced and committed employees have enjoyed the opportunity to pass on their knowledge, so the training schemes add to the overall fulfilment felt. Effort is certainly needed to ensure we are providing quality training, offering the right support and having ground rules set to maximise the benefits to both the students and our business. But it has all been very worthwhile - and the T Level incentive payment that’s available now, and until 31 July, has helped to cover some costs we have incurred. Businesses are urged to join the skills revolution to drive better performance. Visit www.gov.uk/skills-support to find skills opportunities designed by employers, for employers.

Preston Care Home Worker Urges Others to Consider a Career in Care Health Care Assistant, Gemma Webster, reflects on her rewarding career in care and encourages others to consider taking up the profession. Gemma began her career in social care six years ago and last year she joined the team at Ribble View care home in Preston, which specialises in supporting younger adults with complex needs. Over the years, Gemma has become a keen advocate of the positive aspects of care work and is now urging others to consider working in the sector. She said: “Before Ribble View, I worked in a residential care home supporting older adults living with dementia. I loved this role, but after five years, I was ready for a new challenge." Ribble View supports adults living with complex mental health needs and physical disabilities. It’s classed as a ‘nursing home’ as it offers a higher level of care than a care home and has qualified Nurses on-site. Gemma’s responsibilities as a Health Care Assistant vary. She added: “As a specialist nursing home, we often have six or seven Health Care Assistants on each unit. This gives us the time to spend with people and you really get to know them. “My favourite thing about my role is that we have the time to engage people in the activities that they want to do, especially outside of the home. The people I work with are younger adults, and they’re really active and want to get out and about.” And it’s not just the residents that Gemma’s built a great connection with, it’s her colleagues too. “There’s a great team at Ribble View and I’ve made friends for life. We all work together to make sure

the home is a fun place to live and work. “We have the Ribble View values in the home which outline the behaviours that everyone needs to show. One of the values is team work and I’ve never worked in a place where I’ve felt so included.” The skills needed to work as a Health Care Assistant at Ribble View are unique. But this doesn’t discount those with little-no experience, as employees are given a thorough induction upon starting. Gemma added: “There are plenty of opportunities for training, for instance I’ve just had my annual review and have expressed an interest into becoming a Senior Health Care Assistant.” There is a growing demand for care workers across England, and Gemma’s workplace is no different. Exemplar Health Care’s Ribble View, located on Church Avenue in Preston, is currently recruiting Health Care Assistants and Registered Nurses. The home is looking for people who live and breathe their values of fun, integrity, responsive, success and teamwork. Whilst a relevant qualification is desirable; applicants don’t need to have experience to be a Health Care Assistant at the home. During her time at Ribble View, Gemma has undertaken a variety of training and coaching. Talking about training and progression within the role, Gemma said: “When you start working at Ribble View, you do an in-depth induction which covers the skills needed to do the role. You’ll also be supported by a ‘buddy’ to help you learn on-the-job. “The company offers ongoing training and formal qualifications such as diplomas and apprenticeships. Doing these kinds of qualifications can only benefit you and what you’re able to give back within your role. With stable and secure employment, and lots of opportunities to progress, a career at Ribble View is ideal for those who are looking for a new role. “I think if you want a career that’s rewarding and you enjoy helping others, then it’s a no brainer. I finish each day with a sense of achievement, and there’s ample opportunities to progress.”

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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TV Star from the 1980s Urges Older People and Care Home Residents to Boost their Activity Levels Residents in Care UK homes have been taking part in some unusual forms of exercise as part of a seasonal get fit campaign featuring The Green Goddess. The ‘Let’s Get Physical’ initiative sees teams in Care UK homes across the country encourage residents to take care of their physical health by trying something new and exciting – whether that be a seated ballet class, disco yoga or even taking a trip down memory lane for a very special 1980s inspired workout. As part of the project, Care UK has partnered with popular 80s fitness star, Diana Moran, the Green Goddess, best known for hosting ‘wake up and shape up’ on breakfast television in her trademark green leotard. Diana created some bespoke exercise videos for residents and recorded an inspirational video encouraging everyone to take exercise. Commenting on the partnership, Diana Moran, said: “I am delighted to support Care UK to encourage residents across the country to get active by trying something new. “Regardless of age, keeping active is what keeps us young. Whether it’s walking a little further on your everyday stroll, or exercising a little longer, every day brings a new possibility. Even for those less mobile, chair-based exercises can be just as beneficial. Nothing should get in the way of you being the best version of you!” Residents at Dashwood Manor, Mountfitchet House and Smyth

Lodge dug out their sweatbands and neon legwarmers from the back of their wardrobes and warmed up for the official Care UK and Green Goddess workout, which included seated leg raises, arm reaches and neck circles. Residents and team members at Halecroft Grange care home opted to bring Bollywood to Hale Barns with a dance class led by profession-

al Bollywood teacher, Ambur Khan. Several other home teams have also turned to dance as their chosen activity, including residents at Salisbury Manor, who have been ‘dosey-doeing’ at regular line dancing classes. Music and movement can support everyone to improve balance and co-ordination in a fun, inviting way, which is why residents at Llys Cyncoed and Pear Tree Court have both enjoyed seated ballet lessons from local dance teachers. Residents at Metchley Manor have also been embracing the 80s with a Flashdance inspired workout – what a feeling indeed! At Bickerton House residents have taken part in some knock-out activities by hosting their very own Boxercise class, complete with gloves and gowns. Heathlands House residents have taken on the newest fitness craze – ‘Noodlecise’. This brand-new type of workout uses pool noodles in a variety of ways to build flexibility and strength, all while listening to high-energy music to help motivate movement. Inspired by the Tour de France, Amherst House took part in a very special event – the ‘Tour de Horley’. Also getting on their bikes, residents at Ancasta Grove enjoyed a virtual cycle trip through Southampton, while Perry Manor raised funds for a local charity with its sponsored cycle ride.

Downton Abbey Actor Impressed By Care Home’s Community Engagement Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has praised a new community meeting room sponsored by a Sussex care home. Hugh, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the popular historical drama, toured the Colten Care Wellington Grange Learning Room during his official unveiling of the newly restored Graylingwell Chapel in Chichester. The independent charity Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has raised almost £2m to help transform the Chapel into a café, meeting and workshop rooms, with children’s play area and open space used by the community during the day, and functioning as an events space in the evenings. The Chapel is close to Colten Care’s Wellington Grange home, which was delighted to be approached to sponsor the creation of an internal meeting room to host both residents and different groups from the community. Hugh, who lives in Midhurst, close to Chichester, admired The Wellington Grange Learning Room and called it ‘impressive,’ adding: “It complements the building very nicely.”

Home Manager Helen Smith said: “The residents are very excited to visit the new Chapel and The Wellington Grange Learning Room and were thrilled to hear that Hugh Bonneville, one of their favourite actors, was so impressed with it. “It’s wonderful that this historically important building has been so lovingly restored. Our residents have received membership cards to attend the events at Graylingwell Chapel and there are some very interesting talks coming up. I’m sure it is going to provide many talking points for everyone. As ever we are really pleased to be connected with community projects such as this one.” Claire Robinson, Partnerships Co-ordinator at Chichester Community Development Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to Wellington Grange and its residents for their support. It’s wonderful that residents will be spending time here, along with other groups from the community and we look forward to hosting some cross-generational activities which everyone can enjoy together.” Officially cutting the ribbon to open Graylingwell Chapel, Hugh said: “It is a pleasure to see this very positive project brought to life.”


PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

Why Star Ratings Offer Peace of Mind for Residents and Providers By Dan Sullivan, National Compliance Coordinator at NTH Solutions (www.nthsolutions.co.uk)

The last two years have seen a new level of scrutiny on cleanliness and safety in healthcare settings. As a sector, social care takes great care in their cleanliness for residents and staff – having coped amidst a global pandemic and adapting to increasing levels of safety, is testament to this. It’s one thing for you to know how clean and safe your care home is and to feel assured with the rigorous processes you have in place, it’s another thing to make sure your residents and their loved ones know this.

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? We are fully aware of the importance of infection prevention and control, and the associated hygiene practices required in these settings. So, although the levels of safety have always been a core part of running a healthcare environment, it’s been magnified due to the new world we’re living in. Most nursing and care homes will have a way of monitoring and measuring cleaning methods, but the big question is, how can you prove how clean your site is? The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021 (NSoHC 2021) introduced by NHS England and Improvement are in place to promote a level of consistency across all healthcare settings. The Standards are effectively a tool to outline how healthcare settings can ensure they meet the highest levels of cleanliness for resident, visitor and staff safety. A core element of the Standards is the introduction of the star rating, a recognised scoring system to easily promote how clean a space is. The star rating result is generated by a standardised and scored audit, so it’s fully evidenced and verified. To the resident and their relatives, this is an easy-to-understand way of

knowing and being able to trust the environment they’re in. To the care home provider, it’s recognition for doing the right thing and maintaining excellence in cleanliness, which is supported and recognised by the NHS. The aim is for all healthcare settings (where NHS care is provided) to have a star rating displayed by November 2022. This is achievable for all social care settings as the Standards offer a way of documenting the day-to-day cleaning and putting in place a consistent quality auditing procedure to formalise what you already do. It’s a valuable step forward for primary care to maintain the provision of cleanliness, as well as showing how good you are and what sets you apart. If it’s likened to how much we care about food hygiene standards, we all know the level of reassurance it brings when we can see the Food Hygiene Standards Agency rating in our local fish and chip shop, so think of the benefits to have it in a setting where someone is taking care of your loved ones.

WHY SHOULD IT MATTER? Maintaining a certain standard of cleanliness is ultimately about patient safety, the proof and peace of mind to residents and visitors (and staff) that it’s a safe environment, knowing it has been audited and then proudly displayed through the approved star rating. There’s no better way to demonstrate your efficiency and commitment to safety than having it for all to see. Why let the hard work go unrecognised? What may feel like ‘another thing’ for care homes to comply with, is in fact something that should be welcomed. It brings uniformity to cleaning practices and provides you with the reassurance that you are delivering the highest service to your residents. We urge care home providers to think about where you might need support to implement anything you’re not currently doing. There are organisations that can guide and support you in the implementation and maintenance of high levels of cleanliness, to formalise your existing processes and provide you with the tools to put measures in place to keep you, your staff, residents and visitors safe. In a Covid-19 era, why wouldn’t you want to give instant and reliable reassurance when walking into your care home?

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 profes-

sion, 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 92 | PAGE 9

New Care Home Study Reduces Emergency Hospital Admissions by 75% New research from Barnet Hospital has revealed that the introduction of care home multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) can drastically reduce emergency admissions, helping to ease pressures faced by the NHS. The study, supported by the end of life charity, Marie Curie, was carried out in three residential care homes across North London. One of the care homes reduced emergency admissions by 75% after MDTs were introduced, as well as reducing the time each resident spent in hospital. MDT interventions also resulted in 76% of residents having advance care plans initiated and reviewed. The collaboration between medical staff allowed them to focus on people-centered care, ensuring that those living in care homes could have their end-of-life preferences documented. Additionally, medications were reduced by two per person across all three care homes with the support of MDT. The presence of the pharmacist also resulted in fewer medications being prescribed, which will reduce sides effects, including falls and delirium.

Debbie Ripley, Associate Director Strategic Partnerships and Services London at Marie Curie said: “Unnecessary admissions are both scary and confusing for residents, especially if they are one of the 80% of the care home population living with dementia. They are also a burden on precious NHS resources. It is staggering to see the impact MDTs can have on reducing unplanned hospital admissions and helping residents record their wishes and plans for care. Everyone should have the best possible experience toward the end of their lives and this type of MDT appears to help people achieve that in this care setting.” Lead researcher Dr Anna Steel, from Barnet Hospital said: “We have an exceptionally large care home population in Barnet. For residents living with frailty, improving accessibility to healthcare services through an MDT approach helps residents to age well and avoid unnecessary interventions. Our goal is to help our care home residents live their best lives through our holistic MDT approach.” The research, published in the journal BMC Health Services Research, involved 34 care home residents, across three care homes in North London. The MDTs were formed of seniors and trainees in geriatrics, psychiatry, pharmacist, and residential home senior staff providing interventions. For each individual there were three-hour intervention sessions and each one included an educational presentation which was made available to all staff.

The Belmont Bears Make Their Way Around The Worcester Community, Including The Local Children’s Hospital The team at The Belmont care home received their much-anticipated delivery to the home last week. To spread some joy around the community, The Belmont Caring Bears arrived in the bagful. The lovable brown bears are complete with ribbon in the home’s signature blue and named; ‘The Belmont Caring Bears’. The bears will offer a warm welcome to toddlers visiting the Home and the youngest family members who visit their grandparents and great grandparents. Local schools, nurseries, hospital wards and those in need of some comfort will also be able to adopt a Belmont Bear. Tommy Fellows, Customer

Relations Manager at The Belmont, has started making his way around the town and visiting these key areas to help spread a little joy around the community. First up, Tommy, with a bag of bears in each hand, visited the Riverbank Children’s Ward at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and was heart warmed to see the smiles on the children’s faces, and how much they loved the bears. Tommy Fellows commented: “It was lovely bringing some smiles to families and meeting the healthcare heroes that make a difference to children every day. We look forward to supporting the ward more and the wider community work at the Hospital.”

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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92 | PAGE 11

Call to Find Unsung Pandemic Heroes and Heroines in Wales

A search has been launched to find the unsung heroes and heroines of social care in Wales who have “risen magnificently” to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Entries are being sought for the 2022 Wales Care Awards, to honour the skill and devotion of people who work in social care looking after vulnerable children and adults. The event is making a welcome return after being cancelled during the last two years because of the pandemic The awards were introduced Care Forum Wales to inspire excellence in the care sector. As ever, this year’s event will take place in the magnificent surroundings of City Hall in Cardiff, on Friday, October 21. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 29. Anybody who has been nominated over the past two years will be automatically entered this time. Short listed finalists will receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze Wales Care Award, an invitation for themselves and a guest to the Oscars-style gala award ceremony. The event will be hosted by the top opera singer, Wynne Evans, perhaps best known these days as Gio Compario, the moustachioed tenor from the Go Compare TV ads. There are over 150,000 people in Wales receiving social care and the sector employs more than 80,000 staff. That’s equivalent to five per cent of the Welsh workforce. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales and the founder of the Wales Care Awards, “Care Forum Wales is engaged at every level in trying to raise the status of the social care profession and in particular the value to society of the many thousands of social care workers who provide such an important service to communities across Wales. “The Wales Care Awards is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care cal-

endar although over the past two years everything had to be put on hold because of the pandemic. “Front line staff working in care homes and in domiciliary care have been in the eye of the Coronavirus storm, protecting the most vulnerable people in Wales from the ravages of this dreadful virus. “The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges and our fantastic workforce responded heroically, putting their own lives on the line to shield their beloved residents and staff. “Care Forum Wales continues to campaign vigorously to ensure that these frontline heroes and heroines are properly rewarded. “In Wales, pay rates for carers are effectively determined by local councils who set the level of fees care homes and domiciliary care companies receive. “Most local authorities and health boards use a formula which calculates how much they want to allocate towards all care home costs, including what staff are paid. As a result, wage levels have been unfairly suppressed by the local authorities who have managed the budgets for a quarter of a century. “This is an opportunity to nominate the champions and ambassadors of social care and contribute to raising public awareness of the vital contribution of our sector, a contribution that has been even greater during the nightmare of the past two years. “The dedication, professionalism and quality of the workforce within the care sector are an absolute inspiration. “It is occasions like the awards night that enables Care Forum Wales to recognise and celebrate such skills, talents and heroic commitment. “Our aim is to acknowledge the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of the unsung heroes and heroines working in the care sector. “It is always a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement. “We are now accepting entries for the 2022 awards and we are looking forward to a fantastic occasion during which the dedicated men and women who work in social care can enjoy their welldeserved moment in the sun.” Further information, including nomination forms can be found on https://walescareawards.co.uk/ or you can call 01978 755400 or email janet@careforumwales.co.uk

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PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

Buying A Care Home By Gary Hemming CeMAP CeFA CeRGI CSP of ABC Finance Ltd (www.abcfinance.co.uk) Buying a care home is the next step for many in this industry, but for first-time care home buyers, the whole thing can be daunting. With this in mind, in this article, we will break down the key steps in the process, the finance options available, how much you may be able to borrow and some key things to look out for when considering running your own home.

WHAT ARE THE KEY STEPS IN FINDING A NEW HOME? The first step is to consider whether you’re looking to purchase a home freehold or by taking on a lease. You should also consider whether you’d like to purchase an existing care home or set up your own from scratch. Freehold purchases allow you to purchase the property, whereas leasing a property makes you the tenant. While many people consider a lease as an asset, it’s actually a liability as payments must be made, and should the business fail, the lease would cease to have value. As such, any perceived value cannot be relied upon. On the other hand, a freehold purchase can be considered as an asset even if it is mortgaged, as it can be sold or traded at any time, even if the business ceases to exist. While this may lead you to think that a freehold purchase is the best solution, a freehold purchase usually costs a lot more than a leasehold purchase. In this article, we will mainly focus on freehold purchases. The next consideration is whether you should buy an existing home, or start a new one from scratch. Purchasing a strong existing home does have several advantages, including all of the necessary registrations, reliable cash flow and existing staff. Later in the article, we will break down a few things that you should consider about each of these areas.

WHAT FINANCE OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR CARE HOME PURCHASES AND WHAT WILL IT COST?

Cat Café At Care Home A pair of enchanting fluffy felines were the headline attraction at a pop-up cat café that has been organised for residents at a dementia care home in Wellington. Sibling kittens Mocha and Chino enjoyed a couple of hours being the centre of attention at Camelot House and Lodge, where they were taken by volunteers from St Giles Animal Centre in Wrantage, near Taunton. Richard Dempslake, activities co-ordinator for Camelot House and Lodge, said: “The kittens were running around and making our residents laugh, playing with their toys and being given treats. “They are only four months old, absolutely adorable, and the residents were in complete awe seeing, stroking and feeding them. “We set up a secure area in the dining room, and having the pop-up cat café was a lovely activity that our residents loved taking an active part in. “I've been talking to St Giles for a couple of years to try and organise a cat café but it’s taken a long time because of Covid restrictions. It was worth waiting for though, and we hope to do it again soon.

When looking to finance a care home purchase, the most suitable product is usually a commercial mortgage. A commercial mortgage of this nature generally takes 8-12 weeks to complete from start to finish. Commercial mortgage lenders generally require a 30%-35% deposit for elderly care or nursing homes, and 15%-20% for specialist care. Children’s care homes are an example of specialist care. If the care home is a new start-up that won’t form part of an existing group, the required deposit will increase sharply. In this situation, a deposit of 50% of the property value is not uncommon. Interest rates realistically start at around 2.5% with ‘High Street’ lenders although rates of 5%-7% are not uncommon for secondary lenders. To obtain funding, you could approach your business bank or a different bank, or try a commercial mortgage broker who will search the market for you.

WHAT ARE THE KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN LOOKING AT A NEW HOME? When looking to make such a large purchase, it’s important that your due diligence is undertaken thoroughly. The key areas of focus are around the financials, the home’s position with CQC and its employees. When it comes to checking the financials, the first step is going through the trading accounts in detail. A few checks worth considering are the following: • Does the turnover match the weekly fee income and stated occupancy levels? • Is the turnover/profit position improving year on year, staying flat or reducing? • Are there any unusually large outgoings in a certain year? If so, ask what it was. The CQC position can be checked online and it’s important that you delve into any previous issues. Homes marked as ‘needs improvement’ may be more difficult to finance, meaning higher finance costs and less profitability as a result. While it may still be worth considering a home with CQC issues, any issues should be reflected in the price. It the CQC rating does require improvement, the lender may want to see an improvement strategy as part of the application. Lenders may also search online for any press, both positive and negative as well as looking at any reviews and comments. Finally, employment contracts should be checked for any staff who will be retained. It’s important that you understand the terms and conditions of employees, to understand what you can and can’t do going forward. In addition, understanding whether any key staff have left the business in the last 12 months and whether they’ve been replaced will give you an insight into personal dynamics of the business. As the care sector is a sensitive industry, staff retention on a takeover can be important as the residents may have built a bond with staff and large turnarounds can have a negative impact.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to Gemma and Lyn from St Giles for their time bringing Mocha and Chino in to see us. I hope the kittens get adopted soon and by a loving family.” Camelot House and Lodge team member Andrew Patterson was so impressed by the animal welfare work done by St Giles that he has signalled his interest in adopting a dog from the rescue centre. Research proves that spending time with cats and dogs offers a variety of therapeutic benefits, including stress reduction and lower blood pressure, because those who enjoy their company experience an increase in the levels of the “love” hormone, oxytocin, and the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates anxiety, happiness and mood. St Giles Animal Rescue cares for abandoned, abused and displaced pets in Somerset, including dogs, cats and small animals, and offers them for adoption after they have been treated, trained and prepared for a better life. Pets ready for their forever home are listed on the charity’s website www.stgilesanimalrescue.co.uk and they are always looking for volunteers, fosterers and new sponsors to help cover the costs of veterinary, boarding and food bills. Details are available online or by calling 01823 490333, or email rescue@stgilesanimalcentre.co.uk with any adoption enquiries. The cat café at Camelot House and Lodge was part of a varied programme of activities offered to residents. The home is run by awardwinning specialist dementia care providers Camelot Lodge, who also have homes in Bridgwater and Plymouth.

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

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

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


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92 | PAGE 13

Your Chance To Shout About Good Care Register for Care Home Open Week 2022 and you’ll have the chance to share the lives behind the care home front door in what is anticipated to be the most successful Care Home Open Week yet. After what was a challenging 2021, Care Home Open Week returns in 2022 for its hybrid debut ready to re-connect care homes across the country with their community! Save the date and register (https://championingsocialcare.org.uk/care-home-open-day/) and take advantage of the opportunities available to shout about why your care home is a fantastic place to be. Share your outstanding facilities, introduce people to the incredible people that live and work within them and stop people wondering what happens inside. Invite everyone to find out about the care home on their street and learn more about the social care sector! You can find out more about Care Home Open Week now, and register your home to take part from the 27th June – 3rd July. https://championingsocialcare.org.uk/care-home-openday/ ‘We are incredibly excited to host Care Home Open Week

again this year, we know that community connections are vital for care homes to operate and we hope this will enable them to build long-lasting relationships that support their teams and residents to flourish.’ – Mitesh Dhanak, Precious Homes CEO. Care teams and their residents are desperate to get communities back into care services. Which is why Care Home Open Week is back with hybrid opportunities to host an event either in person or virtually! Of course it is recommend that all homes participate within government guidelines at the time. Care Home Open Week provides homes with the opportunity to show what they have to offer, their fantastic facilities, activities and services reminding their neighbours that they are there if they need support. It also provides the perfect opportunity to show fantastic career opportunities that are available in the sector, which encourages the community to support and build connections with their local service, considering how they can support those living and working in care communities throughout the year. Register today (https://championingsocialcare.org.uk/care-home-openday/) and be proud to be part of Care Home Open Week.

Runwood Homes’ Care Homes Launch Brilliant Blue Light Event Teams with the Runwood Homes Group, including Maun View in Nottingham and Waterfield House in Hadleigh, Ipswich, are excited to start their Blue Light event, for all local emergency services and healthcare professionals. The team are promoting the event with flyers and posters on display in the home and around the wider community. Lindsey Fletcher, the Customer Relations Manager at Waterfield House, is also eager to get out in the community, to personally invite professionals to the event. Waterfield House will be hosting the event every third Thursday of the month, from 8am onwards. The team at Maun View hold theirs every Thursday from 9:30am to 11:30am. The event will see local professionals and teams within the community welcomed into the home for breakfast, where they will be able to enjoy a bacon roll and a cup of tea or coffee. Or, the amazing team will go out into the community visiting key workers, with a warm bacon roll in hand. The team at Waterfield House and Maun View and their residents are so excited to host the event, to get to know the professional community and to build upon solid relationships and connections. Everybody at the home is also looking forward to expressing their thanks and gratitude for all the incredible work these teams do in the community, by setting them up with a nice breakfast for the day ahead or refuelling them after a busy night shift.

Over the coming weeks, Waterfield House’s Lindsey Fletcher, will be making her way around the town to invite members of the professional community to the event, and commented: “I am really looking forward to starting our Blue Light Coffee Mornings at Waterfield House. It will be a great opportunity to express our thanks to those that work within and support our community. The idea is to build upon the connections we have with our professionals within the community in a relaxed and sociable environment.” At Maun View, the entire team is playing their role in ensuring their blue light event is a success. The home’s chef is hard at work cooking up the bacon rolls, while Wellbeing Lead, Nia, Home Manager, Sam and Customer Relations Manager, Lydia, are involved in serving the key workers and advertising the event to the community. Lydia Morris commented: “It has been great fun launching the Blue Light Event. It is great to be able to give back to the key workers in our community and let them know how much we appreciate everything they do. We work really closely with these people, and it is vital we have a strong, healthy working relationship with them.” Runwood Homes’ are continually finding new ways to connect with their community, hosting events at the home, getting out in the town with Runwood Homes branded goodies and playing an active part in community events and initiatives.


PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

7 Steps To Improve Your Digital Presence is more important to get in front of those searching for care homes in your area than for generic care home related terms.

3) HELP SEARCH ENGINES UNDERSTAND YOUR SITE

Did you know that there are approximately 3.5 billion searches on Google every day? This digital revolution has been accelerated by the Covid 19 pandemic, as physical confinement led to explosive growth of online activity. Being found online is more important than ever and a strong digital presence is crucial for the success of any care home business. I wanted to share 7 tips to help you build online success in a week….

1) KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER It would be easy to think of your residents as your only customers. Your focus is quite rightly on those who you look after, but your digital marketing should be targeting family members. These adult children, as well as healthcare professionals, are more likely to be searching for information about your care home(s) than your residents. As with any marketing strategy, you need to understand their needs and concerns and ensure that your website answers their specific questions. By developing customer personae, you can ensure that you cater for all audiences. What will they be looking for online and what content / functionality will they expect from a care home website? How can you use your site to appeal to them and what do you want them to do when they visit your site?

2) KEYWORD RESEARCH The vast majority of online searches start with the input of a search query. Whilst there is considerable growth in voice search, which is often more conversational in nature, the fact is that searches are based on words. In the digital marketing world, these are known as ‘keywords’. Keyword research is the analysis of how people use language when searching for something. It is one of the most potent user focus groups you have at your disposal. There are plenty of platforms available to help you, both free and paid, but they all help show the different keywords used to search for your chosen subject and indicate how popular each keyword is. You should use this data to identify the terms that are most relevant to your care home and to inspire ideas for content on your website. Whilst the temptation may be to target those keywords with the highest search volume, you should focus on relevancy above all else. Geographical qualifiers are especially important for care homes and it

Once you have developed your keyword strategy, you need to ensure that your website is ‘labelled’ with your target keywords in order to help the search engines understand the website and increase the likelihood of ranking well for those terms. This is an area where you may need to speak to your web developer, as it does require a basic understanding of html and website structure, but you need to ensure that you are using your target keywords in page titles, headings, navigation links and in the main body content of all key pages. This must happen for all key pages and you need to avoid competing against yourself by targeting the same keywords on multiple pages. You should aim to use a variety of keywords that are related to the main theme of each page that you are optimising and be sure to write in a natural manner. Remember that your users are ultimately more important than search engines, so avoid the temptation to over-optimise content and render it unreadable.

4) CONTENT A robust content strategy is critical to being successful at attracting attention online. You will be facing stiff competition from other care homes in your area or larger healthcare organisations, so you need to stand out. Not only will excellent content help you stand out, it is also the best way to convert web visits to enquiries. By publishing content that resonates with potentially anxious relatives, you will be able to reassure them that you are sensitive to the needs of their loved ones and will offer the highest standards of care. A blog allows you to publish content that is not directly about your care home, but which will be of interest to those looking for information about care homes. The keyword research data should help inspire your content strategy as you can be confident that you are publishing content that people are actively interested in. You should plan content that you know will be relevant at specific times of the year (e.g. the benefits of being outside and how you ensure that your residents spend time in the fresh air when the weather allows) but also respond to events as and when they arise (e.g. changes in Covid guidelines that affect visiting procedures).

5) LOCAL SEO Location is especially important for care homes and you should be especially interested in ranking well for search terms with a clear local intent. In simple terms, geographical markers are just like any keyword you should treat a local keyword (e.g. ‘care home Chiswick’) in the same way that you may target any other keyword (e.g. ‘care home specialising in dementia care’), so you should publish content that targets geographical keywords, but there are a few extra steps that you can take to help promote your care home within a particular area. The first step is to ensure that you have a Google Business Profile (https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/) for each care home that you operate. By verifying the business with Google, you will

instantly boost the likelihood of featuring on Google Map listings in your area, which can drive significant levels of traffic. You should then try to build as many NAP (name, address, phone number) citations as possible. Local business directories are the most obvious opportunities to do this, but the more references to your care home that include further proof of your physical location will enhance your visibility for searches in that area. Lastly, speak to your web developer about adding local business schema markup (https://schema.org/LocalBusiness) to your website. This reinforces your physical location to the search engines.

6) DIGITAL PR All the steps taken so far to improve your digital presence are aimed primarily at your website. It is vital that your website is optimised for search engines but good SEO (search engine optimisation) is much more than just your website. Although much harder to achieve, as you do not enjoy the same direct control that you have over your website, you need to promote your brand on other websites. Each link counts as a ‘vote’ and is used as a sign of confidence by the search engines. It is therefore necessary to consider how to build the number of sites that link to your website. This is, however, another area where quality, rather than quantity, should be your main priority. You should aim to earn links rather than buy or beg for them. This underlies the importance of fantastic content. It is extremely difficult to encourage other sites to link to your commercial pages, but much easier to attract links when you are offering engaging / helpful content for free. Link building should be considered as a form of PR. Just as the PR mindset will consider which publications your target audience is reading and how to gain editorial coverage in those titles, good link building is really about recognising where your target audience is going online and working with those sites to offer high quality content.

7) REPUTATION I hate to end on a potentially negative note, but wanted to sound a word of caution about online reviews. Reviews can, of course, be extremely positive and you should share positive feedback as the social proof of other people saying how amazing your care home is can be extremely powerful. The flipside is that all your hard work building a strong online presence can be undone by some negative reviews that can be found online when people search for your brand. You should therefore remain vigilant to any adverse publicity and respond in a professional manner to any negative reviews. No organisation is perfect and mistakes are made, but ignoring any bad feedback will cause lasting damage. Responding to negative reviews and showing that you care and have addressed the issues raised will minimise the impact of any such review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Joe Friedlein is the founder of Browser Media, a UK based digital marketing agency. Keep up to date with digital marketing news and tips on the blog at https://browsermedia.agency/blog/.

Local Care Home Joins in New Project with The Chickenshed Theatre Staff and residents at Barchester’s Southgate Beaumont care home in Southgate are taking part in a new project launched by The Chickenshed theatre. The Space Between Us was originally created as an intergenerational theatre project exploring the space between young and old. It has since developed into a creative and transformative programme derived from sharing stories, developing empathy amongst participants, while changing hearts and minds of their external community. The programme cultivates an environment where people, of all ages, can explore, celebrate and, in many cases, eliminate that space between us. Music has been recognised as an effective way of engaging people including those with dementia. Music evokes memories, it unites and connects people, no matter what their age, to a moment in time and brings joy both to those performing and those listening.

Rachel Yates and her team from The Space Between Us Programme have arranged monthly workshops at Southgate Beaumont with the opportunity for residents to attend The Glad Rags Secret Society event at The Chickenshed, where over 60+ are invited to “get glam” and enjoy an afternoon of live music. The first session at Southgate Beaumont visited the swinging 60’s - the music, the fashion and creating a 1960's montage encouraged stories and music memories. General Manager, Beatrice Godfrey said: “This project is such a brilliant idea, we’re so excited to be part of it. Our residents love music and to interact with young people, it brings them so much joy. Our residents especially love to hear live music, it gives them such a boost – we are delighted to be involved.”

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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Mental Health Problems Cost UK Economy at Least £118 billion a Year – New Research Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually according to a new report published by Mental Health Foundation and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The cost of mental health problems is equivalent to around 5 per cent of the UK’s GDP. Almost three quarters of the cost (72%) is due to the lost productivity of people living with mental health conditions and costs incurred by unpaid informal carers who take on a great deal of responsibility in providing mental health support in our communities. Across the UK there were 10.3 million recorded instances of mental ill health over a one-year period, and the third most common cause of disability was depression. The report, ‘The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK’, makes the case for a prevention-based approach to mental health which would both improve mental wellbeing while reducing the economic costs of poor mental health. Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of Mental Health Foundation, said: “Our report reveals the monumental cost to the economy of poor mental health. It also demonstrates the opportunity to make a radical change in our approach to mental health by prioritising prevention, resulting in improved wellbeing for all and reducing costs to our economy. “We urge governments across the UK to pay attention to what the evidence is telling us and commit to investing in cost-effective prevention interventions that are proven to work. Too often decision makers may ignore or dismiss evidence-based programmes and policies focused on prevention, citing prohibitive expense. The truth is we cannot afford the spiralling costs to both people’s wellbeing and our economy by trying to treat our way out of the mental health crisis. Investing in society-wide measures to prevent poor mental health and address the factors that pose a risk to our mental health, will help people to thrive at every stage of their lives and boost our economy by billions in the long-term.” Research gathered from the UK and internationally shows the potential public health and economic benefit of programmes that target and prevent mental health problems and empower more people to live well.

For example, by addressing issues such as perinatal depression, bullying, and social isolation in older people. Other well-evidenced initiatives include promoting positive parenting, rapid access to psychological and psychosocial supports for people with identified needs and building supportive and inclusive workplaces. A growing number of studies report on the significant return on investment from parenting programmes. Methods and costs vary, but those assessed in this way cover a long-time frame and report positive returns of up to £15.80 in long-term savings for every £1 spent on delivering the programme. Similarly, a review of workplace interventions found savings of £5 for every £1 invested in supporting mental health. Lead author of the report, David McDaid, Associate Professional Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics at the London School of Economics, said: “Our estimate of the economic impacts of mental health conditions, much of which is felt well beyond the health and social care sector, is a conservative estimate. What is clear is that there is a sound economic case for investing in effective preventive measures, particularly at a time when population mental health may be especially vulnerable because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires further sustained and co-ordinated actions not only within the health and social care sector, but across the whole of government.” The £117.9 billion cost is likely to be a significant under-estimate of the true costs – based on the lack of data available around some key areas. For example, health service costs are based on the number of people receiving treatment and do not consider the many people who would benefit from treatment but either do not receive it because of pressure on services, or do not seek help. Additionally, no costs are included for reduced performance at work due to mental health problems, costs to criminal justice and housing systems linked to poor mental health, costs associated with addiction issues, or the costs associated with self-harm and suicide. To read the full report visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk.

The Pie’s The Limit - Care Home Residents Celebrate British Pie Week with A Twist

Staff and residents at Barchester’s Moors Manor care home in St Leonards, near West Moors had a fantastic time celebrating British Pie Week, a brilliant excuse to sample lots of delicious fare and also have some fun. Over the course of the week, overseen by Chef Sarah, staff and residents experimented with many different types of pie fillings and flavour combinations. - this week has certainly been a veritable pie-filled feast! We also like to put a spin on things so we held a food themed quiz with teams of residents joined by staff, the losing team nominated a representative from their team for the other team to receive a pie in the face. General Manager, Tracey, said: “It wasn’t just the residents that were excited

when we found out there was a British Pie Week, the eyes of the staff lit up too! Who doesn’t love a pie? We had so much fun coming together for the quiz as well and seeing the resident laughing as they threw a pie in Sarah’s face was priceless!” Joan, a resident said: “It has all been truly delicious week sampling different pies. I had so much fun at the quiz and thoroughly enjoyed throwing a pie in Sarah’s face, all in jest of course!” Tracey added, "Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities."


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Compulsory Vaccines For Carers U-Turn: Too Little Too Late?

MANDATORY Covid-19 vaccine requirements for health and social care workers were removed on Tuesday 15 March, following a recent announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care. It comes after a government U-turn on the previous vaccine mandate for NHS workers in England, which was set to come into effect from the start of April, and has been decided after a public consultation where 90% of respondents supported its removal. Laura Kearsley, partner and solicitor specialising in employment law at Nelsons, said: “When the compulsory vaccine announcement was made last year, there was a real worry in the care sector as to the impact it might have on recruitment and staff retention – particularly given the shortage of staff that the industry is already experiencing. “There’s no arguing that the requirement to be double vaccinated caused a number of challenges for employers, as many workers refused the jab and chose to leave their roles or left bosses with no choice but to terminate their employment. “Despite the U-turn, professionals in the industry – including chief executive of Care England, Martin Green – have spoken out about the

seen.”

ADVICE TO EMPLOYERS

decisions being too late for many as it’s unlikely they will return to roles they’ve just left. However, at the moment, this still remains to be

Birthday Boy Almost Misses his Party Residents and staff of the Edensor Care home in Clacton on Sea were sick with worry when their beloved cat went missing on 6 March, the day before his first birthday. They had been planning this special cat’s birthday party for weeks and were so upset when he hadn’t been seen for over 24 hours. Dave is no ordinary cat. He joined the Care Centre when all the residents were given the opportunity to ask for a wish in early 2021. Resident Diane Groom asked for ‘a cat to care for and love’ and much to her surprise a beautiful kitten that the home named Dave arrived. Over the past year Dave has really made himself at home. He loves, sleeping on the Manager’s chair, cuddles from the residents and staff and lots of lovely food from all his admirers. Lindsey Milliken, Deputy Manager, Edensor Care Centre, said, “We had been planning Dave’s party for weeks so when we discovered that no one had seen him for over 24 hours, which was totally out of character for him, we hastily made posters and I set off scouring the local area to find him. What a relief it was when he finally reappeared later that day, tired and very hungry and we could have his party.” Dave, who appeared on the BBC news in June 2021 and became the star of one of their top five most watched videos, has his own Instagram page ‘DiagramaDave’ and has received cards from all over the

“As the mandate has now been lifted, many employers in the sector may well be wondering whether they are legally obligated to contact workers who have left their employment and, if so, whether they’re required to automatically offer them the option to return to their former employment. “While we await further detail on the revocation, it’s unlikely that employers will be obliged to re-offer jobs to those who left or were dismissed during the process. It’s also unlikely that staff returning to their roles will be legally entitled to have their previous service recognised in terms of continuity of employment. “This is an unprecedented circumstance that has never had to be navigated before in any industry, therefore it’s important to ensure the correct steps are taken as more information comes to light in the coming weeks.” For more information about managing your workforce, please visit: www.nelsonslaw.co.uk/managing-your-workforce/

country. The Care Home presented him with a birthday cake and a selection of new toys, and the Home was delighted to receive a portrait of Dave painted by a WWII veteran who loves animals. Lindsey continued, “Dave has really made a difference to everyone here and we are so relieved that he is home. Seeing the residents faces light up when he is about is magical, and he brings immense joy and happiness to residents and staff. Many of the phone calls we receive from prospective new residents ask if we still have Dave - he really is a star.” Many of the residents at Edensor have dementia, this is what Dave means to them. Sue: “I love Dave and I hope he has a very long life.” Maureen: “It feels like my own home seeing Dave. I love the fact that he is famous.” Shirley: “I am so excited to see Dave ever day....I am more excited that he is becoming more famous than Clacton Pier.” Chaz: “I think it's great having Dave around Edensor I love to hear he is famous. Today Clacton tomorrow the world.” Diane: “I love him so much.”


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Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection Event Now Available to Book Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection is taking place on 17 March 2022, with a dedicated virtual event taking place on the day. A booking link is now available to virtually attend this special event on the day. Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection is being held by 21 organisations across social care to pay tribute to the incredible work of the dedicated people working across adult social care during the past two years of the pandemic and beyond. The day will also remember those social care colleagues we’ve sadly lost to COVID-19. An estimated 969 social care workers lost their lives to COVID-19 between March 2020-September 2021. A special event is set to be held in London on the day and will be streamed live for a virtual audience. A booking link is now available to register to join the event virtually and to express interest in attending in-person, though in-person capacity is limited. The event will be an important part of Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection, allowing a space for people across social care to come together and share their experiences and reflections. Speakers will

include Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care, Gillian Keegan, Minister of State for Care, as well as others working across the social care sector. A poem dedicated to our social care workforce has been specially written to be read at the event, and there will also be a screening of an exclusive film sharing stories from people working across care about how the pandemic impacted them. As well as joining the event, there are many other ways to take part in Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection. A virtual memorial wall and tribute wall has been created where messages of thanks and recognition can be dedicated to people working in social care, whether it’s a colleague, a friend, or someone who supported you. You can also pay tribute to anyone lost. Organisations and individuals are also being encouraged to get involved in their own way on the day – that could be by planting a tree, hosting a coffee morning, or creating a flower display. Events and activities taking place on the day, as well as tributes, can be shared on social media using #RememberSocialCare. You can join the event virtually by registering online: https://events.skillsforcare.org.uk/ memorialday2022 Find out more about how to get involved with the day: https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/

Care Home Residents Take On 28 Day Knitting Challenge for Hearing Dogs Charity Resident knitting enthusiasts of Icknield Court Care Home in Princes Risborough took on a 28 day knitting challenge to raise money for local charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. As a month-long activity in February, Icknield Court’s Activity Coordinators encouraged the resident knitters to use different colours of wool to knit squares on a daily basis. Each square was then sewn together to make beautiful, cozy blankets which where then wrapped into abundantly coloured parcels ready to donate to the deserving Charity. Regular updates were sent to both relatives and friends throughout the month and a JustGiving link was set up to help raise a target of £100 for the charity which also helped spur the residents along with their knitting. Once the fundraising deadline was reached, the residents actually raised an impressive total of £163.00. This donation will go a long way in helping to support the charity but it has also entitled Icknield Court residents to have their own sponsorship of a puppy. The home will now receive regular updates and photographs of the puppy’s progress throughout it’s life. To celebrate, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People visited the Home with three of their

dogs, Jerry, Big Bree and Hope, who proved hugely popular with the residents. The bundle of blankets was given to the Charity by resident Joyce Miles, with the donation cheque being presented by Activity Coordinators, Kayleigh Jones, Lucy Skidmore and Liz Jones. Dog lover and resident of Icknield Court Jean Lishman commented: "I enjoyed sewing the squares and it was a very good way of producing a blanket. All of this reminded me of a Dalmatian my father had, he was such a gorgeous dog." Darcy Power, a representative from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People commented: "When I found out about this fundraiser I was so thrilled and couldn't be more thankful. We are happy to be able to share what we do with Icknield Court and let the residents know how their contributions have helped us and introduce them to our dogs! This has been a great experience to not only socialise the dogs but for us also to give back to the residents. I love the idea of us nurturing our relationship with the home even more in the future." Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a charity based in Saunderton who trains dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds they would otherwise miss. You can find out more information on them at www.hearingdogs.org.uk


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Fire Safety Complacency is a Top Concern for UK Business Leaders With employees being encouraged to return to workplaces following the pandemic, new research by fire safety specialist, JLA, has revealed that business leaders are most concerned about employee complacency relating to fire safety following false fire alarms in the workplace. According to the nationally representative survey of 250 business owners, the biggest fear for a false fire alarm across all of the sectors surveyed, was the risk that staff would become complacent and would not react to a real fire alarm safely or as urgently. This was the highest concern for 44% of respondents, suggesting that attitudes to fire safety worryingly decline in organisations once false fire alarms have occurred. The research, carried out by JLA as part of its “False fire alarms” campaign, revealed several concerns from business leaders, such as worries that the site would have to close to deal with the aftermath of a false alarm sounding. This was the highest concern for 30% of respondents, with loss of productivity amongst employees being another considerable concern for 38% of businesses. This figure rose to 41% for hospitality businesses and 46% of office workers, suggesting that if false fire alarms sound, productivity is compromised, which can lead to businesses being forced to shut their doors, losing out on money and consequent damage to reputation in the process. To best prepare for the risk of a false alarm damaging productivity,

“Whilst these false fire alarms are viewed as a minor inconvenience for many, we know that this is often a big concern for business owners. Knowing how to respond to fire risks can be difficult but finding the right fire services and training can ensure that concerns regarding false fire alarms will become a thing of the past. “HR teams can communicate as best as possible to workers that fire safety training is absolutely crucial to all workers and is a legal requirement for all organisations. If employees do not have a thorough understanding of fire safety and the evacuation procedures, this can pose a significant risk to their safety, and business continuity, if a fire does occur. “Frequent training can also be given to avoid this complacency and businesses should: Ensure effective, regular maintenance of all fire alarm equipment Provide training to employees on how to prevent false alarms Ensure employees know how to respond to a false fire alarm to minimise disruption to the business Commenting on this research, Peter Martin, Operations Director, Fire & Security at JLA, said: “False fire alarms present a real problem for employee productivity and efficiency and can have detrimental impacts to how a business operates.

will ensure that all employees and businesses are as best prepared as possible to deal effectively with a fire, should an alarm sound. “False fire alarms, whilst frustrating, are often a necessary reminder to employees of the right steps to take to safely evacuate and get to an area of safety. This, with an emphasis on checking fire equipment and alarms, will ensure that minimal disruption is made and that the business can continue to operate as usual.” For more information about the JLA research findings and JLA products, please visit https://tinyurl.com/4ebua7rt

Local Schoolchildren Name Rooms For Eve Belle Care Home Eve Belle, a new, luxury care home in Wickford, Essex, is set to open its doors in spring, but the team are already hard at work establishing meaningful community connections, meeting residents in the local area and making the home ready for its much-anticipated opening in May. The beautiful, 58-bed care home is set over two spacious floors, and will feature a Cinema, pamper room, salon, cocktail bar and exquisite lounges. With such premium facilities, luxurious interiors and quality care provided by a friendly and professional team, this will be a wonderful addition for seniors in the Wickford community. Over the past few weeks, Eve Belle’s Customer Relations Manager, Laura Cook, has been making the most of the lead up to the home’s official opening, establishing herself and the home within the community. To start off a long-lasting relationship with the local school, Laura invited pupils to name some of the key areas within the home, including the cinema, pamper room and salon. Pupils at North Crescent Primary School all suggested names and displayed their ideas in graffiti style artwork, on large A3 paper, which will be mounted and showcased in the home’s marketing suite when it opens. The wonderful ideas and artwork were presented to Laura on the 9th of March, by Sharon Walker, Inclusion Mentor Julie Quick, and the Pupil Ambassadors.

Laura Cook said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the pupils and staff of North Crescent Primary School; to have the community involved in naming parts of Eve Belle care home has been so special for us. We can’t wait to invite the pupils in so we can show them the results of their hard work - thank you to all at North Crescent Primary School!”

Sharon Walker, Head Teacher of North Crescent Primary School, commented: “We are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in collaboration with Eve Belle, the Sanders Senior Living home. We are excited about ‘Letting the Light in’; connecting with our local community and showing what North Crescent has to offer. Together we will flourish and grow, every corner, every subject, every person matters”. Inviting the local primary school to be a part of Eve Belle’s construction has begun a long-lasting friendship between two generations. The team hope to continue this with regular visits from the pupils to Eve Belle, and the residents to North Crescent Primary, for special events and assemblies. This will be hugely beneficial for the residents, as intergenerational work is proven to improve wellbeing and mood, and will raise awareness of dementia within the community, giving all residents, not just at Eve Belle but of Wickford as a whole, a better chance to live well with dementia. The team at Sanders Senior Living would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to North Crescent Primary School for their help and support and look forward to continuing to work closely with the school’s community in the future.

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

Safeguard Your Care Home with InVentry Care homes are crucial for our society, so it’s important to ensure they’re a safe setting to help staff carry out the best possible care. With many family members and friends visiting their loved ones daily, InVentry is essential to track who’s entering and leaving your care home. Visitors are met with a simple signing in process and their information is stored directly in the system. This not only allows you to track who is onsite at any given time, but it ensures an even faster sign in during repeat visits. You can also ensure that the contractors you have onsite have the skills to do the job safely by asking

custom questions before they sign in, with options to include documents they may need to read upon arrival, ensuring health & safety and the security of your site is always maintained. InVentry can even help you become CQC and Care Inspectorate Compliant as our software allows you to receive star-rated feedback from those who have visited your care home. You can store this feedback within your system and note any actions taken to improve your processes and procedures! Head to our website: www.inventry.co.uk


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92 | PAGE 19

Kingsley Napley welcomes COVID-19 Inquiry Terms of Reference Stephen Parkinson, Senior Partner at law firm Kingsley Napley LLP and an expert in Public Inquiries, welcomes the draft Terms of Reference published by Baroness Hallett and is wholly supportive of their scope. Earlier this year (see link), Stephen argued for the Terms to be kept focused in order to examine lessons to be learned from the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The alternative approach affording the Inquiry a wider remit of holding the Government to account for its decisions, he argued, would take a great deal of time and not necessarily add value given the majority were political decisions. “The main purpose of this Inquiry must be to help us grapple with future crises of a similar nature. The objectives that Baroness Hallett has unveiled today require the Inquiry to examine lessons to be learned and I hope that that can be strengthened into a requirement to provide firm recommendations. While I welcome the fact that the inquiry is being asked to provide a factual narrative of what occurred, I hope that it will not become too distracted by that task. We don’t need a detailed history of what we already know – we want to know what can be done better in future. That includes how to manage better the impact on businesses and the impact on people’s personal lives from a crisis of this nature.” In his blog, Stephen called for the COVID-19 inquiry to focus on three key areas: Planning – the government has accepted already that it was not fully prepared for COVID-19. It planned for an influenza pandemic and its recommendations appear to have been quite general. Crucially there was

nothing to guide the government as to how quickly and stringently it should implement measures to contain the virus and no advance planning on lockdown. The scope of advice the Government received – it is clear that scientific advice dominated Government decision making whilst there was no economic equivalent of SAGE to enable politicians to weigh competing considerations in making their decisions. This imbalance should be investigated. The process of decision making – whether early decision-making by a handful of individuals should have evolved into a model involving wider Cabinet debate and consultation with affected organisations and businesses. Further Stephen believes questions should be asked about the extent to which the civil service’s crisis management expertise was up to the task in hand and whether wider expertise would have been of benefit. “Baroness Hallett will now, of course, consult on the proposed Terms as promised but we can see the clear direction of travel she intends the Inquiry to take and I am strongly supportive of that.” Stephen Parkinson adds: “The danger of Public Inquiries is that they can sometimes be regarded as a talking shop with no clear or useful outcome. The Terms of Reference agreed at the outset are crucial to avoid that. We simply don’t have time for this Inquiry to take years and years, which is what would happen if it became an exercise in apportioning blame, and so I welcome the fact that this does not appear to be what is intended. Given this will be the most important Inquiry of our generation, it is imperative it serves a useful function and I am confident Baroness Hallett is taking the right approach.”

Fife Care Home Staff Open Private Salon for Residents with Exclusive Launch Party Residents at Preston House Nursing Home in Glenrothes, Fife had the surprise of a lifetime when staff opened Tranquillity, a private salon, with a special launch event for everyone in the home. The home’s very own hair and beauty technicians welcomed residents to their new oasis with tea, coffee and treats, as the salon’s first customers took their seats for a thorough pampering. Residents left with their nails sparkling and hair freshly set, specially made up for a glamorous evening meal. Previously a dusty storeroom, the home’s staff members gave the space a grand makeover of its own. A fresh coat of paint and new furniture have created an inviting, relaxing space where residents can meet their friends and treat themselves to hair and nail

appointments. Tracy Sayle, Manager at Preston House said: “Who doesn’t love being pampered? We know how special our residents feel after spending time with our hairdresser or nail technician. Although we have a number of spaces where they socialise with their friends in the home, we know they enjoy a treat like this now and again, so creating a salon was the best possible use of the space for them.” Donna Dunsire, Lifestyle Coordinator at Preston House said: “It was like night and day. The salon was just a room where we stored equipment or supplies, but it’s a brand new space now and we love watching them light up after a bit of ‘me’ time.”


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Answering The Care Funding Question By Will Hale, CEO at Key Later Life Finance (www.keyadvice.co.uk) While care in older age is not something most people want to think about, it is a challenge modern society needs to meet as increasing numbers of people are living to older ages – often with physical, medical and cognitive support needs. This is certainly on the agenda for the government who under their “Build Back Better” initiative intends to bring in sweeping changes from October 2023 – including a £86,000 cap on the amount that people need to pay for care. While there are already suggestions that the cap isn’t really a cap, given the fact that not all costs are included, there is some hope that the changes will create a fairer system. That said, the vast majority of those needing care in older age will need to make some contribution to meeting these costs and how this will be delivered has been the driving force behind Key’s series of reports on the issue since 2019 and the third Care Report: Tackling the Care Question has just been published. For the study, we asked over-55s across the UK about their views on care and also submitted Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to local authorities. It is hard not to have some sympathy for councils as they juggle supporting residents with a wide range of other pressing needs with reduced budgets and ever increasing scrutiny of their performance. Key’s FOI request looked to better understand not only who they were supporting but how this had changed during the pandemic and how they understood potential future demand. Just 6% of councils questioned had made no changes to adult care provision during the pandemic. In contrast, 71% increased funding for care homes and 71% increased the number of regular check-ins for shielding adults While this was a great step forward, the FOI did reveal that of the 201 councils who provided information only 16 recorded enquiries from those needing adult social care. While management information can seem extremely dry, it does help organisations to understand future

demand and ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to support these needs which is why these findings are so worrying. Authorities in Yorkshire (29% recorded enquiries) were the best performers but no councils in the East Midlands, East of England and the South East claimed to record this information. For those who need care but don’t quality for council support – either due to their finances or needs – ‘self funding’ is their only option which can be expensive depending on the type of support they require. Nearly one in three (32%) over-55s told us they were worried about how they will fund care in later life with 11% feeling they will not be able to and 17% saying if they need care their local council will have to pay. Most over-55s believe they will be able to rely on their investments and pension income to fund any need for long-term care. However growing numbers are looking to property wealth. While the mantra has been that ‘no one should have to sell their home to pay for care’, the reality is that for most people their home is their largest asset with over-65s owning unmortgaged property wealth worth as much as £1.256 trillion – making it a viable funding source. Indeed, one in four (26%) over-55s say they will use equity tied up in their home to help them which is higher than in 2019 when just 19% said they would use property wealth as part of care funding. There are no easy answers as anyone working in the sector will know. But there is certainly an argument for older homeowners to use the wealth tied up in bricks and mortar to find the right care option for their individual circumstances. Using housing equity to fund property maintenance, to adapt the home to make it more suitable for later life living or to pay for domiciliary care seems to make sense. Keeping older people in their own homes for longer is desirable from both a societal and a public finances perspective. If we are happy to support older homeowners use their equity to provide children/grandchildren with deposits, repay debts and boost income then perhaps we need to more actively engage the same customers, and their families, on the topic of the care and how to fund it.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY Will Hale has been CEO of the UK’s largest equity release adviser Key Later Life Finance https://www.keyadvice.co.uk/ since 2017 and joined the company in 2014 as Corporate Business Development Director. Previously he worked at specialist annuity provider Partnership and his career includes a range of senior roles in the later life market.

Long Service Honoured at Leading National Care Provider Care Group is commemorating a combined 506 years of service across its teams located in Stoke-on-Trent. Shelton Care Group, part of National Care Group, has 26 employees with more than 15 years of service under their belt, with two colleagues reaching a 30-year milestone with the company. This includes registered manager at Cauldon Place, Kay Trow, who celebrates 30 years in the business this August, alongside quality coordinator Jayne Turner, who will pass the 30-year mark in July. The news comes amidst a nationwide focus on recruitment in the adult social care sector, with a projected shortfall of 105,000 vacancies needing to be filled in an ever-widening skills gap. Kay said: “I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been blessed to work with such a fantastic group of people in my career, both colleagues and the individuals we support, who inspire what we do every day of our lives. “There is a huge amount of career opportunities in this field and, having started as a support worker, I can honestly say that these roles are invaluable in changing people’s lives – they are the lifeblood and DNA of our care and support services. It’s testament to the values and support Shelton Care and National Care Group provide that so many of our colleagues have stayed with the company for such a long period of time.” For Jayne, who also started as a support worker at the company’s Richmond Mews service, the reward of a long-term career in adult social care is unlocking the potential of the individuals they support and seeing them gain independence. Jayne said: “I joined the business at the same time as an individual

we support settled into home at Richmond Mews. We were both 19 at the time and he is still supported by the company today. Alongside the team, I’ve supported him over the years and watched him grow in confidence and independence. I very much feel like we have grown up together, which is something incredibly special and rewarding. In my current role as quality coordinator, I’m able to look back and utilise these experiences to ensure our quality standards help to improve the ongoing support we provide across the region.” Shelton Care was acquired by National Care Group in June 2018, operating five residential sites and a day centre, which supports people with learning disabilities and other associated conditions. It’s transition into the National Care Group was managed by regional operations manager Katie Fallows, who celebrated 20 years with the business in November 2021.

Katie said: “The support National Care Group provided at the time, and continues to provide, has been invaluable to Shelton, particularly as we’ve navigated one of the toughest periods in adult social care under the pandemic. “From a day-to-day perspective, I still get the same feelings of emotion and elation that I did all those years ago as a support worker – hearing all about how the individuals we support are doing well and thriving in their environments. I look forward to continuing to help Shelton Care evolve in this capacity and increase its presence across the region.” Last August, Shelton Care expanded the day services it provides in Staffordshire with the opening of Knight House, an all-purpose activity centre with rooms dedicated to arts and crafts, dining, cinema screenings, and a range of sensory experiences. Discussing the expansion of Shelton Care and its years of long service, Karen Lewis, chief operations officer at National Care Group said: “National Care Group would like to pay tribute to those at Shelton Care and the dedicated team of incredible colleagues that have made it a success for such a long period of time. The people we have working here have helped mould so many of the services we provide, showcasing how rewarding a career in adult social care can be. “We’re not just talking about unlocking the potential of individuals on a year-by-year basis, but over the course of two decades or more. As the government looks to encourage more people into the adult social care sector, I can think of no better example than paying close attention to the dedication and careers of this wonderful group of people.”

Lakeland Dairies’ Reimagine Colcannon Chef Competition, Offers Winner £1000 Amazon Gift Card Prize Steeped in Irish heritage, Lakeland Dairies is a 100% farmer-owned and managed Irish Dairy Co-Operative. With St Patrick’s Day on the 17 of March, March has become the month of Lakeland Dairies’ annual Celebrate Green campaign. The campaign embraces the Irish Co-Operative’s excellence in dairy farming, the lush green grass and high-quality milk from its family farms, alongside a heritage in creating professional dairy products, all carefully designed to deliver extraordinary taste and fantastic functional performance. To celebrate, they are inspiring the whole industry, from hotel to hospital chefs, to celebrate their Irish Dairy, by entering their Colcannon Competition. Judged by Lakeland Dairies and the Craft Guild of Chefs, the competition encourages chefs to create a modern twist on Colcannon. One lucky chef will win an amazing £1000 amazon gift card. The competition runs through the month of March when chefs can submit their entry including a photograph and description of the dish via Lakeland Dairies’ website for a chance to win. Entries will be judged for their creativity and visual appearance. 75% of chefs* said they usually make a special dinner to celebrate St Patrick’s day, and in the same survey, voted Colcannon as chef’s

favourite Irish dish*. Colcannon is traditionally an Irish potato-based side dish, made with fluffy mashed potato, deliciously creamy Irish butter and cream, with fresh cabbage. To support the competition, Lakeland Dairies have created an inspiring ‘Reimagining Colcannon’ Guide which presents many exciting and innovative ideas alongside lots of fresh approaches to the dish. To make a modern twist on the dish, chefs are being encouraged to

explore Lakeland Dairies range of high-quality professional products; Lakeland Dairies Real Dairy Whipping Cream, Pure Irish Butter or Millac Gold Double for a deliciously creamy finish. Jean Cattanach, marketing Controller at Lakeland Dairies says: “March is such an exciting time for Lakeland Dairies, it’s the month of Celebrate Green when we shine a spotlight on our farming excellence and Irish provenance.” “We can’t wait to see the amazing Colcannon dishes the fantastically skilled chefs across the country will create.” With a proud heritage of excellence in dairy farming, Lakeland Dairies is a 100% farmer-owned and managed Irish dairy co-operative, whose products are made from high-quality milk from the lush green pastures of its 3,200 family farms. Claim your free Reimaging Colcannon Guide and enter here: https://bit.ly/3uBbShR Website: www.lakelanddairies.com/foodservice Facebook: @lakelanddairiesfoodservice Twitter: @lakelandFS *Survey of 1200 chefs, 2021


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Autonomy And Consent – The Digital Care Management Platform Involving Service Users in Their Own Care. Log my Care’s Newest Feature Puts Consent Back into the Heart Of Care Log my Care (www.logmycare.co.uk), “the most userfriendly digital care management platform on the market,” has launched its newest feature, consent management. Designed alongside carers, the feature enables care providers to manage their service users’ consent records directly in Log my Care’s platform – making quality assurance a breeze. Building on the electronic signature feature for care and support plans introduced last November, service users, or their Legal Power of Attorney, will now be able to sign digital consent and lack of capacity forms. Care providers have the option to choose from a list of pre-populated templates to present to their clients for consent, with the option to amend these, as required. All signed consent forms are easily accessible and make evidencing consent for care incredibly simple. Consent has long been an issue in the care sector. The ever-increasing demand for social care has led to reports of neglect and service users feeling unheard and unseen. Log my Care now makes it easier for care providers to document and manage their consent policies and procedures, helping them to deliver personcentred care and give their clients the autonomy they deserve.

Consent management is easy-to-use and allows care providers to take a more standardised approach to recording consent or lack of capacity. Having evidence of consent easily accessible can help care providers achieve good and outstanding ratings in their inspections, as it’s a legal requirement that regulatory bodies check diligently. Everything you need consent for in one place, the consent management feature has been added to Log my Care’s Care Plans and Risk Assessments Module. (https://logmycare.co.uk/pricing/care-plans) Sam Hussain, Founder and CEO of Log my Care, says, “We're working hard to put people into the heart of social care by supporting them to have choice, control and independence. Our mission is to make peoplecentred technology accessible to everyone in social care - that's why our core product is easy-to-use and free for everyone who needs it.”

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

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

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



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Hospice Charity Praises ‘Overwhelming Generosity’ of Dorset Care Home Residents

Dorset charity Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has praised the ‘overwhelming generosity’ of residents and staff at a Poole care home for raising nearly £2,500 to help its work. Colten Care’s Bourne View chose Lewis-Manning Hospice Care as its main charity to support two years ago and has since held a series of fundraising initiatives in spite of the pandemic. They included a virtual bike ride by resident Molly Tarrant that raised more than £700 on its own plus raffles, cake and plant sales, quizzes and neighbourhood hamper deliveries. The home invited charity representatives in for a special presentation, featuring the handing over of a giant cheque for £2,364.47. Molly, fellow residents and members of staff, all of whom were involved in the fundraising, attended. Vicki Gray, Area Fundraiser for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, said: “I am overwhelmed with the incredible amount raised by the staff and residents at Bourne View. We are so very grateful for their generosity, especially during the past two years, when fundraising has

proven to be very challenging. Alone we can do so little, but together our community can do so much. “The Bourne View team are great to work with, really friendly and supportive. “I would like to thank everyone at Bourne View for putting so much time and effort into these fundraising events. They really have helped more local lives than they’ll ever know.” Despite being unable to walk after a stroke, Molly rode 100 miles on a static physiotherapy bike, the equivalent distance from Bourne View to London, to support Lewis-Manning. Describing it as a ‘brilliant charity’, she said: “I had heard about the brilliant work they do for patients with life-limiting illnesses and I wanted to do something myself and give something back.” Brian Ramsey from the Bourne View Companionship team said: “LewisManning Hospice Care provides extraordinary care to people across the community and we have been proud and privileged to do our bit to support them.”

Doors Open At New Adult Residential Living Scheme In North Somerset LEADING provider of care and support services National Care Group has opened a new residential service in North Somerset. Increasing the company’s presence in South West England, the new service will support up to eight individuals with complex learning difficulties, enabling them to live as part of the community. Committed to supporting vulnerable adults in the community, National Care Group has worked with the local commissioning teams to develop a service that is in line with the shortage of specialist facilities in the North Somerset area. The new accommodation and support service will ensure the people National Care Group support can create a home for themselves and better integrate into the community, while getting the expert support they need. Mike Ranson, commercial director at National Care Group, said: “The support we have received from local commissioners for this scheme has enabled us to work collaboratively to develop a service that will

meet an identified local need. We look forward to seeing the new service go from strength to strength as we welcome the first individuals to the service.” Since 2019, National Care Group has opened 19 new residential and supported living schemes in the UK, supporting individuals with complex learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Alongside the North Somerset service, a further residential scheme supporting vulnerable adults is planned in the spring, as the national provider continues to grow its network across the country. Mike added: “Our strategy is to always ensure that vulnerable adults across the UK can lead rich and fulfilling lives with the support of our specialist teams. We are constantly assessing how we can improve our services in a way that enhances best practice in the sector. This is a really exciting time for the National Care Group, as we continue to grow organically as well as acquire and integrate high quality local operators into our organisation.”

Mayfield House Puts Care Home Awards on the Menu A Crewe care home has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award thanks to its talented chef. Mayfield House, at Mayfield Mews, is hoping to be crowned ‘Best for Nutrition, Food and Dining’ after becoming a finalist in the Care Home Awards. The awards are an annual benchmark of excellence and innovation for care home management, operations and delivery, and winners will be announced in July. Anne Littleton, owner and Director of Care at Mayfield House, said: “We’re immensely proud to have been chosen as a finalist. “It’s lovely to see recognition within the industry for the fantastic work of our chef, Rod Hulme, who has really gone above and beyond. Mayfield House understands dementia-type illnesses and Rod liaises with staff on dietary guidance produced by the Alzheimer’s Society. “We are now developing an in-house bakery, complementing our existing cinema room and pub.” Kara Hulme, Director of Operations, and Rod’s wife, said: “Rod has transformed our menu, creating things like a selection of finger foods for residents with difficulty using cutlery, as well as moulded homemade puréed foods

which look and taste like a fine dining experience.” Rod, 37, from Crewe, began working as a kitchen assistant at Mayfield when he was 17 and was supported through training, including an NVQ 2 and 3 in Catering and ICT, to become a professional chef. He said: “I have received tremendous support and encouragement from Mayfield House. “Quality food in a care home is important, as these people deserve wellpresented nutritious meals to ensure they are getting all they need to remain healthy and strong. They also feel happier if they have had a good meal. “The tastes and preferences of food for each generation of residents is everchanging and I like to adapt to their tastes. We are now streamlining the breakfasts to ensure residents have a hotel-style choice of foods.” Award winners will attend a glittering ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on July 1. Mayfield House is currently recruiting for Healthcare Associate Leaders and a Care Floor Manager. For more information visit mayfieldhousecarehomes.co.uk.

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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Signature at Eastbourne Resident Relives Musical Past Touring Europe A Resident at Signature carehome in Eastbourne recently had his wish come true after he was given the opportunity to relive and rekindle his musical past which saw him and his bandmates tour Europe. Michael Tucker has been around music all his life. Growing up in Horley, Surrey, Michael came from a very musical family; his mother played the piano, his aunt the violin, and his uncle the drums. Naturally, Michael was the next member of his family to catch the musical-bug. At the age of 14, Michael won a three-year scholarship at a grammar school for his talents as a violinist. Eager to further build on his musical ability, at the age of 14 Michael began learning the guitar. Little did he know at the time, this instrument would shape his future and lead him along an exciting and unique musical path. Walking home from a lesson three years on, guitar in hand, he was stopped in a local park and told about a budding band being formed. Armed only with an address and his own curiosity to learn more, he went to the house and knocked on the door. The rest they say, is history… The band, originally known as The Moonriders, started to take shape in around 1958. It was soon after this that they took the bold plunge to head out on the road, with no plan, just each other, their instruments, and their songs, looking for agents to sign them. It was on this journey, led by lead guitarist and singer, Michael Tucker, that they renamed to The London Blues, their more recognisable title. The band became the first Western rock band to tour behind the Iron Curtain and are best known for releasing an ultra-rare LP in Poland in mid-1965 and three Polish-only EPs in 1965-1966. Over the course of the band’s history, they shared the same label as the legendary Rolling

Stones, The Animals, and The Hollies, as well as featuring several musicians who went on to other notable UK bands, including The Flowerpot Men. Upon learning about Michael’s incredible musical past and hearing the extraordinary stories he had to tell, Sara Connor, Activities & Volunteer Coordinator at Signature at Eastbourne, thought it would be a fantastic idea if she could give Michael the opportunity to rekindle this connection. After reaching out to local music superstore, BONNERS, and telling the owner about Michael and his past, he was more than happy to invite Sara, Michael and fellow resident and music enthusiast Dennis down to the store so he could pick up a guitar and play once again. Speaking on the chance to play the guitar once again, Michael said: “It gave me a sense of satisfaction and if I had the opportunity to do it again then nothing would stand in my way.” When asked what it was like to be in the band, Michael added: “It was like being in the Army and we enjoyed plenty of camaraderie- it felt like you and the band against the world! We were, and still are, the best of friends. The last time we met was in the summer of 2020, so hopefully we can meet again soon.” Talking about the day, organiser Sara Connor, said: “Michael has been living at Signature at Eastbourne for a couple of years now and he doesn’t spend a lot of time in the community. I was lucky enough to spend time with him one-to-one and listen to all his great stories and adventures. It was a very emotional moment to watch him play once again.” Reflecting on Michael and Dennis’s visit to the store, Tony White, owner of Bonners, said: “It was a real pleasure to have Michael and Dennis visit us at Bonners. Making music is a real joy and to see their faces light up when given the opportunity to hold and play the instruments was something that reminded myself and all of the Bonners team exactly why we love working in this industry and bringing happiness to everyone who gets the opportunity to play a musical instrument.”

Octavia’s Care and Communities Teams win an RBKC Mayor’s Award Octavia’s Care, Support and Communities teams have received an award from the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for their outstanding work in supporting local people during the Covid-19 pandemic. They were recognised with a Mayor’s Award in the category of ‘Local Community Organisation’ for going ‘above and beyond’ their role to support people in the borough during the months of lockdown. When the UK national Covid lockdown began in March 2020, Octavia quickly adapted its care, support and outreach services in order to ensure that vulnerable residents and people in the community were not left isolated, alone or in need of help. Many colleagues went the extra mile to offer help to people throughout the pandemic and provide it whenever it was needed. Much of this intense activity was taken on by staff based at Octavia’s The Reed community centre, in North Kensington, who were supported by other Octavia teams working remotely. While most of the country was isolating at home, Octavia’s Care team was out and about in Kensington and Chelsea, providing vital support in a number of ways, including hand delivering food vouchers to local people, preparing and delivering food parcels, shopping for residents who were shielding, visiting members of the Kensington Day Centre and vulnerable residents to provide social contact and emotional support, and working with local charity partners to distribute meals. They were supported by colleagues from Octavia’s Communities team, who arranged telephone

befriending with Octavia volunteers for isolated people, undertook regular wellbeing check-in phone calls to see if needs had changed, and arranged the issue of emergency food parcels and food vouchers (often outside of their working hours). Octavia Assistant Director of Care, Support and Communities, Neil McCarthy said: “The last two years have been difficult for many people in our community, but older isolated and vulnerable people have been among the worst affected. “For many during the pandemic, Octavia carers were a friendly face at distance from the doorstep or window to say ‘hello’ and ask how they were getting on. “They worked tirelessly in the community, week in, week out, when most of us had moved to working from home. They were always upbeat, even though, like the rest of us, they were unsure of the risks in those early days of Covid. They were driven by the needs of others. “It is thanks to their dedication, and the dedicated support they received from colleagues, that we were able meet the needs of so many people in our local community during this time. As an organisation, we are very grateful to them and we are honoured that their contribution has been recognised with this award.” Commenting on the award, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, said: “Mayor’s Awards are given to recognise the people and organisations who serve our community and help make Kensington and Chelsea a great place to live, work and learn. On behalf of the whole borough, I thank Octavia’s Care and Communities teams for their amazing contribution.”

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

Barchester’s Charitable Foundation Appoints Two New Trustees Barchester’s Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of two new trustees to its board; Julia Scott and Andy Tilden, who both bring a wealth of experience from their exceptional careers working in the field of social care. Established in 2000, the aim of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation is to help older people and adults living with a disability or mental health problems in local communities across the country. The charity provides grants to improve mobility and quality of life, and each year the Foundation distributes over £150,000 to individuals, small community groups and charities across England, Scotland and Wales. From starting out as an occupational therapist in the NHS, Julia’s career has developed across a variety of different roles. Prior to joining the Royal College, Julia was Head of Disability services at Kensington and Chelsea Social Services in London. She was Chief Executive of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists from 2006 to 2021. Julia was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Brunel University in 2006 in recognition of her contribution to undergraduate Occupational Therapy education and previously taught a Quality Assurance module at the University. In March 2011, Julia was awarded a prestigious Social Care Fellowship from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). Julia is one of only six recipients of this Fellowship. In March 2016, Julia was awarded an inaugural Fellowship from Skills For Care, in recognition of her leadership and support of the social care workforce.

Julia is now a Trustee of Age UK, a Strategic Advisor for Healthcomms Consulting and a mentor for other Allied Health Professionals and is greatly looking forward to applying her experience to the work of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation Board. Andy Tilden retired as Director of Operations at Skills for Care in March 2021 having spent the previous year as Interim CEO. His role covered leadership and management, standards, learning qualifications and apprenticeships, recruitment and retention, workforce innovation and regulated professionals. Andy has been working in and around social care since the late 1970s. He initially qualified as a teacher and has worked as a residential care worker, a trainer and manager in the NHS and as a lecturer. He qualified as a social worker in 1984 and worked in juvenile justice, child protection and learning disability services and a lecturer. He served three years as a NICE Fellow. Andy is now Vice Chair and trustee of the RCN Covid Foundation, a trustee of Community Catalysts and a Non-Executive of Training Now which is part of the Agincare group. Andy is a Fellow of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and in 2021 he was awarded an OBE for services to social care. Dr Pete Calveley, Chairman of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation Comments: “We are delighted to welcome Julia and Andy onto the Barchester Foundation board. We are excited to work with them and we are certain that their many years of experience and combined expertise in social care will be hugely beneficial in helping us shape the Foundation’s future.”


THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92 | PAGE 27

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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 28 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

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 92

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL

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.

Fragrance Solutions for Care Home Environments At Oxy-Gen Powered®, we understand the sensitivities and challenges associated with the caring business, especially when it comes to providing a clean, safe and odourless environment for your valuable members. The Oxy-gen Powered range is designed to counter the unpleasant, tough odours that can present themselves despite a thorough cleaning regime. They are effective for odour elimination, yet safe for health. The Oxygen-Pro uses patented technology that ensures a precise dose of fragrance oil is released consistently and continuously, guaranteeing the same level of freshness throughout the cartridge life, silently and discreetly. Oxygen-Pro is a true non-aerosol, continuous Fragrancing and Odour Elimination System. Our air-care systems contain the proprietary odour neutralising agent, NeutraLox, which eliminates malodours rather than masking them. We can offer nonfragrant cartridges that simply eliminate nasty odours or a fantastic fragrance

range that will not only eliminate those bad odours but will emanate continuous, clean, fresh-smelling fragrances into the air. The system is easy to use and is Carbon Footprint approved. In an independent study, the product has been assessed and verified for emissions and energy consumption and was found to have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to aerosol products on the market. Changing cartridges is hassle-free and, more importantly, they are recyclable at the end of the cartridge life. The Oxygen-Pro system is an ideal replacement for environmentally harmful aerosols, gels, liquids and other fragrance systems. There are no allergens, no added VOCs, no propellants, no solvents, no alcohols, just continuous, clean fresh fragrance all day, every day! Email: fdtuk@oxygenpowered.com or tel: 01270 766676.

Introducing The World’s First Movable Bedpan Disposer Panaway® M1 A game-changing evolutionary step towards transforming waste management in elderly care, hospices and hospitals. Haigh, a respected leader in waste disposal technology, is launching Panaway® M1 – the first-of-its-kind mov-

able bedpan disposer helping hospitals and care homes safeguard their patients, offering a mobile, cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution to medical waste disposal. Originally developed to deal with issues relating to sluice room flexibility, site access and maintenance response caused byCOVID-19 restrictions, the innovative design has been a game changer helping healthcare organisations rethink their infection prevention strategies. An estimated 95%* of the UK NHS sites now use disposable medical pulp products for managing patient waste, with disposable (single-use) systems rapidly becoming established worldwide as best practice to prevent infections and crosscontamination within the healthcare environment. Panaway® M1 gives care organisations all the convenience, accessibility and benefits of a modern sluice room where and when it’s most needed - without compromising on safety. Easy to set up and relocate, Panaway® M1 is supplied with all fixtures and fittings required to use in a wide range of locations. Leading the way in performance, versatility and ease of use, the Panaway® M1 is economical and energy efficient, using less energy and water than other washing systems. With no hot water required, it is good for the environment - and the paper pulp is eco-friendly, hygienic and highly cost effective. Quiet, quick and easy to use, the Panaway® M1 disposes of pulp product and contents in less than a minute. It aims to make the life of the user as straightforward as possible, freeing up time for patient care. Panaway® M1 is an invaluable addition as an emergency stand-in when a bedpan machine or washer is unavailable or as a cost-effective temporary solution whilst migrating a site to a disposable system. Jacob Shepherd, Managing Director at Haigh, said “We have been bowled over by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Panaway® M1 trials. This is the tool site operators wished they always had when it comes to patient waste and the associated infection prevention procedures. Even sites that do not currently use disposable pulp can see benefits without having to switch from washing systems all in one go. We’ve already seen some neat ways Panaway® M1 has been used that were completely new to us and we are genuinely excited to see how this further develops over time.” For more information about renting, purchasing or a trial of Panaway® M1 contact Michelle Marriot on +44 (0)7500 626463 or email info@haighmed.com



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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 92 | PAGE 37

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 38 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

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 92 | PAGE 39

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 92 | PAGE 41

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 42 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

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 44 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 92

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 92 | PAGE 45

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

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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.


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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